This one is again a little late, but there was some big Chia news that hit in the last week or so and I didn’t want it to fall to the wayside. Nothing quite as big as the week before the with release of the Chia Blockchain 1.3 beta, but big nonetheless. Also this is coming out on a Tuesday instead of a Sunday because it was a long weekend in Canada and I really didn’t feel like it until now.
The first thing on the site last week was the introduction of the new Chia Developers Forum, which is a fantastic resource. However, even though its barely been a couple of weeks Chia Network has already tried to blow me off once by telling me to go post there when asking questions about Bram and Gene over-reacting to the BLS standards change. If the plans for the developers forum is to control the flow of or provide more detailed information then that is probably a good thing, as they can get a little chaotic with their messaging about technology decisions. Even if it does mean that I have to be a bit more obnoxious to get them to answer me in real time.
The next good news was the introduction of Chia Improvement Proposals (CHIP) which will allow the community to become more involved with large scale changes to architecture of the Chia network. It is still unclear how much say people outside of Chia Network Inc will have when it comes to these decisions, and until I see one complete end to end that wasn’t on Chia’s roadmap I will consider it to be mostly theatre. But it might make for good theatre, so I will be keeping my eye on them. So far the only one is the CHIP process itself.
Goby Wallet, the first browser extension light wallet for Chia, got a massive update since the last time we took a look at it. It now fully supports integration and authentication with web sites and is beginning to approach feature parity with Metamask. I have been able to transfer XCH and CATs in and out, as well as complete an offer directly on offerpool.io through the integration with the site. Very slick indeed. I have some pretty serious security concerns with using browser extensions this way, as doing cryptography securely in a browser is hard, but it is an industry standard tool that so far has been missing from Chia.
Then came the fun stuff. First, Bram popped off on Twitter about an esoteric proposed change to the BLS standard which will have the unfortunate side effect of making the BLS keygen process behave a little differently than what Chia has implemented. It took quite a bit to dig to the bottom of this, but the end result is probably not a whole lot of anything other than exposing how at-risk Chia is by being completely reliant on a draft digital signature standard that is still in flux. My core recommendation here is for Chia to spend some time and money on being primary on the standard to make sure their implementation stays compliant through finalization.
The last thing I wrote about on the weekend was the OpenSea attack that used phishing emails to trick NFT owners into pre-signing a delegated account authorization that allowed the attacker to transfer out all their NFTs. While this isn’t related to Chia, as NFTs on the Chia Blockchain are still in development, it did help to highlight one of the serious advantages Chia has with the UTXO coin model over Ethereum’s account model. Because Chia does not have accounts, simply coins on-chain that are owned by the master private key, there isn’t really a similar mechanism that could be used to gain access to everything in a wallet without specifically signing for each individual coin.
On top of all that, like every week there was a great issue of XCH Weekly, which I recommended to everyone this week as well. And twice weekly there is a Twitter Spaces Chia Happy Hour where people in the community get a chance to chat live about and with Chia Network. They aren’t really set in stone or anything, but as of right now they run Thursdays at 10:30 PM EST and Sunday at 3:30 PM EST for the European friendly one. Both sets this week were great.
Stay tuned this week for another in depth report on a technology comparison between Chia and Ethereum, teased in Sunday’s European happy hour, as well as a massive update on the work being done by myself and team on the Space Marmots NFT project.