Byteball is a decentralized system that provides tamper-proof storage of data, which includes currencies, property titles, debt, shares, and more. Byteball’s slogan is: “Smart payments made simple.”
Byteball is one of only a few cryptocurrency platforms that isn’t built on a blockchain. Instead, it’s built on a data structure called Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG). DAG platforms are more scalable and more decentralized than blockchain platforms. For more information on DAG, check out this article.
Byteball has a user-friendly wallet, is completely trustless, and doesn’t use proof-of-work or proof-of-stake systems, since it isn’t built on a blockchain. In Byteball, transactions are not grouped into blocks—they’re connected directly instead. Each new transaction references one or more previous transactions.
Let’s dive in and learn all about this incredibly unique cryptocurrency platform.
What Does Byteball Do?
Byteball is a master when it comes to peer-to-peer smart contracts. Users of Byteball can enjoy risk-free conditional smart payments—all you have to do is set a condition when the payee receives the money. If that condition is not met, then you get your money automatically sent back to you.
There’s many interesting uses of peer-to-peer smart contracts that can be carried out on Byteball’s network. Byteball allows peer-to-peer insurance to be bought and sold on their platform using smart contracts.
For example, let’s say you have a flight to catch. You could go on Byteball and purchase flight delays insurance, which ensures you get compensation if your flight is late. You simply go onto Byteball’s Slack channel, find a peer that is willing to bet that your flight will arrive on time, and create a smart contract with them. The money is locked in the contract until the flight completes.
Let’s say you (the insured) agree to pay to the contract 0.1 GB (that’s Byteball’s currency) and the peer (the insurer) pays 0.9 GB. If the flight is delayed, you would receive the 1 GB that is locked in the contract. If it’s on time, the insurer will get the money instead.
This is how you would design a contract for a 15-minute flight delay:
If your flight is late, you must chat with the flight delays oracle on Byteball. The oracle will fetch data from FlightStats (a well-known source of air travel data) and post the flight delay into the Byteball database as a data feed. As soon as the oracle’s data postings are confirmed, you can unlock your contract and receive your insurance money.
On the other side of the deal, this allows users to make profits by offering insurance to their peers.
There’s many other ways to take advantage of Byteball’s platform. Another possibility is using it for prediction markets. Byteball users can potentially make money by predicting future events. They just create a smart contract that can only be unlocked if a specific event occurs—if the Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, for example. The user must find their counterpart in the #prediction_markets Slack channel and create a contract with them. After the result is known, they must chat with the sports oracle to have it post data about the outcome, and then unlock the contract and receive their money.
User-Friendly Peer-to-Peer Payments
Nowadays, sending cryptocurrency is not sufficiently user friendly for mass adoption. We have to send payments to cryptic addresses like 1BtjAzWGLyAavUkbw3QsyzzNDKdtPXk95D. The recipient must already be in the system, and after payment there is no easy way to tell if the payment went to the right person.
But this is changing with Byteball’s wallet. Byteball users can send Bytes to email addresses—even if the recipient isn’t on Byteball yet. The sender just writes an email address where they would normally write a wallet address, like so:
Then the recipient will receive an email with a link to receive their money. If they have a wallet already, the coins are automatically added to their balance. If they don’t have a wallet yet, they are prompted to install one in order to receive the money.
Byteball users can also make payments to peers directly in chats just by clicking links. This makes sending money between users incredibly easy and painless.
Bringing Identity to Crypto
Another feature of Byteball is identity verification. Every Byteball user can link their Byteball address to their real-world identity. Byteball has partnered with Jumio, the leading provider of identity verification services, in order to verify its users’ identities. Once verified, a user’s personal data is securely stored directly in their wallet. At the same time, a hash of the personal data is stored on the public DAG and signed by a trusted attestor.
This feature allows Byteball users to decide what to disclose and to whom. When you want to disclose your identity to a service provider, you just pull it out of your wallet in a few clicks. This is useful when participating in ICOs, for example.
Shop With Chatbots
Users can talk to merchant chatbots on Byteball’s platform to purchase goods and services, and pay in just two clicks. It’s easy to discover what chatbots are available for you via Byteball’s built-in Bot Store. For example, one day your local pizzeria could have its own Byteball chatbot, where you could conveniently order a pizza using cryptocurrency.
Byteball’s Two Currencies
Byteball has two built-in cryptocurrencies: bytes and blackbytes. Bytes (GBYTE) are the commonly used currency on Byteball’s platform, and all transactions are public. You can buy or sell bytes without leaving the wallet by chatting with a trading bot. You can also trade on Bittrex, Cryptox, Cryptopia, Changelly, and Bitsquare exchanges.
The Byteball team also created blackbytes in order to provide their users with complete privacy when needed. Blackbytes are a cash-like, untraceable currency whose transactions are not visible on the public database. You cannot buy or sell blackbytes on traditional cryptocurrency exchanges. However, you can buy and sell blackbytes using Freebe, which exchanges blackbytes from one user to another, completely anonymously.
Fair Initial Distribution
Byteball has made a very bold move in the crypto world by deciding to distribute 98% of all bytes and blackbytes for free to Bitcoin and Byte holders. This decision was made to allow mass adoption to occur by distributing their currency to as many people as possible.
The amounts you receive are proportional to your proven balances in BTC and Bytes on the distribution date. To prove your balances, install the wallet and chat with the Transition Bot (you will find it in the Bot Store in the wallet). The bot will help you link your Bitcoin and Byteball addresses by making a micropayment or signing a message.
So far, there have been 10 rounds of distribution. 64.5% of the total supply has been distributed. The 11th round is tentatively scheduled for the full moon on March 2.
Stay up to date on the distribution rounds by visiting the “Distribution” section of Byteball’s website.
Competitors and Challenges
There aren’t many other cryptocurrency platforms built using DAG technology out there, so Byteball doesn’t really have many competitors. However, the biggest DAG-based platform is IOTA, and they are currently much more popular and successful than Byteball—IOTA is one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap. That said, Byteball and IOTA are different platforms with different focuses, so they shouldn’t really be considered competitors.
Right now, the main challenge for Byteball is to gain more popularity and adoption. It’s still a pretty obscure cryptocurrency platform. First and foremost, Byteball will have to up their marketing game so more people know who they are and what they do. The technology and features are solid, so once they gain more exposure, Byteball could potentially become incredibly popular.
Byteball is truly a one-of-its-kind platform, and it has a lot of exciting developments on the horizon. Byteball’s ease of use, unbounded scalability, and smart contract features could make this platform a very successful peer-to-peer network system around the globe.
To get involved with the Byteball community, definitely join their active Slack channel. You should also follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, follow their blog, and subscribe to their subreddit.