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Can an existing Blockchain be used?

Overview 

The goal of the P² Payments Network is to integrate on-chain payments directly into Peernet. This enables users to a) monetise content b) pay for guaranteed storage and uptime c) automate data-driven revenue models, copyright licensing, etc. 

P² must be scalable, cost-effective, fast, easy to use, and simple to integrate (by dev teams into their own products running on Peernet to offer payments). 

Unless there are any major technical issues, worries, or design problems with existing blockchain networks, it seems to make the most sense to use existing technology for this. 

Current solutions: (Pro - Con) 

Bitcoin: Most secure and battle tested - Slow and expensive 

Ethereum: Most used and easiest to integrate (ourselves and devs building on peernet) - expensive and slow (1min avg tx time, $10 cost) 

Polkadot: Scalable, Low Cost - Wouldn’t make sense to have our own token bc their security is all done through their own token DOT 

Cosmos: Scalable, Low Cost, integrates via IBC to any other project built on Cosmos - Writing logic (specifically smart contract) in Rust/Go is much more complex than Solidity, newer ecosystem compared to BTC, ETH (same age as Polkadot) 

My Analysis of Current Solutions 

Bitcoin does not make sense to be used as payments due to speed and cost. Layer 2 solutions like lightning network solve for this, but have horrible UX and lack any large userbase currently due to this. It is also extremely difficult to securely integrate Bitcoin into external blockchains.  

Ethereum is as well too slow and expensive to be used as payments. There are many Layer2 solutions that help with reducing this burden by most-often taking things off-chain or batching transactions (i.e Plasma, Raiden, Matic, ZKPs). I am not a believer in Layer 2 solutions due to how much they sacrifice decentralisation and often how little they impact performance - the ratio is bad. There is a possibility that ETH2.0 solves for this; however, the full roll-out will take several more years to complete and there is no guarantee that it reduces fees to such an extent that it can be used for payments - it’s focus is smart contracts and related use cases.  

Polkadot could be used for payments; however there is no need to have your own token when using polkadot because they handle validators, network security, and fees themselves. If we did not want to launch our own token, P2P, then Polkadot would probably make the most sense to use. 

I believe that Cosmos is the best way to proceed in that it offers the same (or better) transaction costs and scalability as polkadot, but requires having our own token to secure the network via staking and to pay for network tx fees. This gives us a lot of flexibility.

Comments

  • Would payments need to be private (via some form of zk-p integration) or just generic blockchain payments?

  • I think they can start public and a privacy option can be integrated when ZKPs get standardised and the technology advances.

  • Using cosmos is an interesting proposition; the more I've looked in to it, however, the more I think this line of thinking is reasonable and is the simplest and more appropriate path forward for P². A few questions though:

    (1) How many blockchains are we exposing the the cosmos ecosystem? I imagine we will only expose a single blockchain which validates our token / payment system but just making sure so I am not surprised

    (2) To what degree will the payment system and virtual folder blockchains be integrated? I imagine this will involve a contract on the token network once payment for a resource is validated but I'm unsure how the two blockchain ecosystems will interact.

  • The other reason I like Cosmos for payments is the UX - tendermint has instant transaction finality and doesn't rely on a number of block confirmations which should speed up settlements a ton and should in theory be in par speed wise with visa, paypal, etc.

    1) Just a single chain for payments. Would definitely enable IBC so it can benefit from different networks in the cosmos ecosystem, i.e the planned amm/dex on cosmos hub for token exchanges.

    2) We haven't decided this yet. Ideally I think that they should be separate enough where both can function fully on their own, and if needed Peernet can swap for a new payments system in the future if and when blockchains become more scalable (if cosmos is not competitive anymore). This will be the next big topic we discuss over the upcoming weeks. I'll create a new dedicated discussion for it now.

  • After my experience upgrading a validator for the latest cosmos release I am going to actively start exploring ethereum layer 2 solutions for payments. I also love zkps so it will be fun:)

    I think cosmos is still very promising, it just reminds me of the early days of ethereum and shows they still have a ways to go before being production ready on a global scale as is needed with this system.

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