Reversing the technology development? Aptos and Sui are actually blockchain alliances. Survival depends on the capital’s patience.

Aptos and Sui are blockchain alliances. Survival depends on capital patience while reversing technology development.

Author: Sharp Whistle

This is Whistle’s second article about why Aptos and Sui don’t work.

Whether it’s capital endorsement or technical endorsement, Aptos and Sui are very powerful. However, they don’t have a blockchain, a chain, or a future.

In this podcast, technical expert Steven was invited to interpret Aptos and Sui as a distributed network from the perspective of a communication engineer. The blunt conclusion is that their technical logic cannot stand.

Below is a condensed text version:

Beichen: Before we start chatting, please introduce yourself.

Steven: I am a technician who has been working in communication for 20 years and has a certain understanding of distributed systems. All blockchain technologies can be analyzed from the perspective of distributed systems. I hope my views will be helpful to everyone.

Beichen: Let me add. Steven is a technical expert who often makes blunt remarks about blockchain. This time I invited Steven to systematically analyze some public chains, which will be a series. Let’s start with several public chains in the Move language ecosystem today.

Steven: My blunt conclusion is that Sui is not the correct direction for blockchain. It’s strange that in the past year, no one has pointed out that Sui and the three public chains, Aptos and Linera, which came out of Meta, have problems, but the problems are actually very obvious.

Beichen: This is also a point that puzzles me. People in the currency circle seem to be quite ignorant. For example, when Dfinity appeared before, many technical people in the currency circle were very excited, thinking that its narrative was very grand and could solve many problems, but in fact, it was just a cloud-native story. How many years have Microsoft and IBM been doing this?

Steven: That’s right. Most of the technical people in the currency circle are software engineers who care about whether new functions can be implemented. Move language runs more efficiently and has capital to promote it, which is enough.

And I am a communication engineer, viewing blockchain as a distributed system, concerned about the state of each part of the system and the overall efficiency and security formed in the end, so I can see some big problems.

For example, Solana’s CTO used to work at the same company as me, so as a communications engineer, I can understand the starting point of those technologies that Solana, also a communications engineer, has made. If it were viewed by a cryptographer, there would be another perspective.

Also, I think it is not the right direction to criticize that no one goes to Aptos and Sui because the capital behind them is too strong.

Beichen: So no one dares to say it?

Steven: It’s not that they don’t dare, but ordinary software engineers don’t need to care about this, and communications engineers either have vested interests or don’t care about it at all.

But I think someone in this industry should stand up and point out which projects have promoted technological progress and which projects are purely for shearing leeks.

Now the blockchain industry is in a dilemma-since Ethereum, there has been no new technological paradigm. This is a relatively dangerous signal for blockchain, but during such a long time, capital has been busy cutting leeks, and technology has catered to capital to do this kind of work. Of course, leeks are purely follow the trend.

Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin not to do these things, but as a continuation of the cypherpunk movement, using technological progress to promote social progress and avoid large centralized institutions from encroaching on personal freedom. But now the circle is the opposite, a small number of people with technology are exploiting and plundering the vast majority of people who are worse than them in technology, which is by no means Satoshi Nakamoto’s ideal.

Beichen: We start with the first question. Many people are optimistic about the several public chains that use the Move language, because they believe that it solves the pain points of the blockchain. So do you think the Move language is better than the Solidity language?

Steven: Move and Solidity cannot be compared because their foundations are different, so it cannot be said which one is better.

Solidity is a compiled language born for Ethereum, which must be executed in the Ethereum virtual machine, and it is a Turing-complete language. Of course, it has many problems, but I won’t go into details here.

Move language was created when Facebook was working on the Libra project. It is based on Rust and designed for a consortium blockchain where all nodes are official access nodes. Move inherits Rust’s hardware resource management and has good parallel capabilities. It is designed for programming resources at the type level.

Rust is a compiled language, while Move is an interpreted language. Later, Aptos and Sui projects inherited Move, but their technical logic has problems, which means they have no future from a technical point of view, unrelated to Move itself.

For a public chain, Move is not a good language because it cannot be used on other blockchains without Aptos and Sui projects.

Beichen: For developers, Move language is still attractive.

Steven: What is attractive is Aptos and Sui. If you want to work on these projects, you must use Move, but Move cannot run on other blockchains.

Beichen: So, are products developed on these Move public chains more advantageous than other high-performance public chains (such as Solana)?

Steven: It has nothing to do with the language. All public chains since Libra have problems, which is the root cause of all problems.

Beichen: Let’s compare the technical characteristics of these three Move public chains: Aptos, Sui and Linera. Which one do you think is stronger from a technical point of view?

Steven: They are public chain projects, but not real blockchains. Or, the public chain direction they represent is very bad and will lead the entire blockchain world towards a negative technical trend.

Their entire system is inherited from Libra, with some improvements, but not much. Linera has relatively few publicly available technical materials, so I will mainly talk about Aptos and Sui.

Beichen: Before talking about Aptos, let’s talk about Libra first.

Steven: Libra is an unfinished product. It is a relational database with a version number. Transactions are only used as carriers to record transactions, output results, and account status of a distributed transaction settlement system.

Note that it updates the ledger status every transaction, which is completely different from traditional blockchain. The blockchain ledger only adds fields and does not modify existing ones.

This global state control method is suitable for consortium chains and not for public chains. Since its high performance is achieved at the expense of decentralization and security, a centralized system with a little cryptography is sufficient, and there is no need to use blockchain.

北辰: So you think Aptos, which inherits Libra, is also unnecessary?

Steven: Aptos has some good designs in practical use, such as being able to change private keys after generating account addresses and wallet multi-signature recovery, which is similar to traditional bank account recovery, but implementing these functions will bring greater security risks because there are logical problems in the data structure, and it lowers the security level of the distributed system.

北辰: Specifically, which operations in Aptos lead to a lower security level?

Steven: Aptos’ accounting method is to use the key values in the entire account as an operable data structure, and then set a timestamp to arrange the execution order on the blockchain, which does not require extensive consensus among miners.

This is the practice of consortium chains, which manage all nodes as a cluster. Its shared memory pool protocol is equivalent to the buffer zone in traditional business clusters. Therefore, although Aptos improves operational efficiency, it is easily attacked because the timestamp is proposed by the leader in the validator, and the block time can be easily predicted.

Although all BFT algorithms have this security risk, other public chains that use BFT algorithms are still cautious. For example, after Ethereum is converted into POS mechanism, all mining nodes also use BFT algorithm in the merge phase, but all nodes are at the same level, and which nodes package all transactions are determined by random numbers, which ensures the security of the entire chain.

Therefore, the basic logic of the data structure that Aptos claims to parallelize processing is incorrect-it does not determine the order of precedence according to the linked list structure, and determines the global state by packaging, there is no block or chain at all, it is just a relational database.

This is why Aptos can modify and delete data, because it is not a blockchain, it is not much different from traditional relational databases.

Aptos is a cluster of servers provided by a group of Web2 vendors to provide services. In order to make it look like a blockchain, state control is added to each operation, so the efficiency will be very high, but the number of nodes must be controlled, because if there are too many nodes, the efficiency of state synchronization will decrease.

It can be said that Aptos has removed the decentralization and security of the blockchain in the impossible triangle, so efficiency has no meaning.

Beichen: Next we will talk about Sui.

Steven: Aptos and Sui have similar problems, which is that not all nodes need to reach consensus.

Aptos is at least trying to move towards the direction of blockchain on the basis of Libera (although it cannot change the essence of alliance chain), but Sui directly reveals-I am a distributed smart contract execution platform, and I have nothing to do with blockchain.

Sui divides transaction attributes into simple transactions and complex transactions. Simple transactions end as long as they are signed, and the so-called complex transactions only need to be Byzantine-consistent. That is to say, as long as any transaction can be submitted in the system, it can theoretically be verified alone, and finally only do a state synchronization. This is really letting go of oneself, and there is no difference from traditional clusters, so the efficiency must be very high.

So Sui did not adopt the usual way of dealing with data consistency in blockchains, which is not innovation, but directly abandoned the most basic consensus of blockchains.

Beichen: Is it necessary to add state control to traditional Internet distributed clusters?

Steven: Not necessary, just ensure that the data on all servers is consistent.

Beichen: Then does the addition of state control by Aptos and Sui have any effect on security?

Steven: There is a certain effect, but the effect is not very strong. Theoretically, it will definitely be attacked. Hackers can attack as long as they can control a small number of miners. But to be honest, this situation is unlikely to occur, because Aptos and Sui will strictly control the entry threshold and quantity of nodes, and can only say that the possibility of malice is much greater than that of traditional blockchains.

北辰: So can I understand it as just a distributed network similar to blockchain, rather than a blockchain?

Steven: Yes, it is a cluster system similar to blockchain, but with some additional state control for each operation. This is inherited from Libra, so who is stronger technically between Aptos and Sui, I can only say that Aptos has done more on top of Libra, while Sui is closer to the original state of Libra, and it is hard to say who is stronger.

Although Solana also sacrifices security and decentralization in the impossible triangle, it still has some innovations and follows the basic principles of blockchain such as global control and consensus algorithm. Aptos and Sui are simply traditional relational databases, abandoning the basic properties of blockchain.

北辰: Are all the Move-based public chains essentially consortium chains?

Steven: Yes, and Sui doesn’t even want to pretend to be a public chain.

北辰: The use of consortium chains in China is mainly due to compliance considerations, and I feel that it is a transitional product that will eventually disappear and will disappear soon.

Anyway, different people will pay different IQ taxes. Aptos and Sui’s narrative is very appealing to those in the Web2 world because they can only understand these things, and they may not even recognize the logic of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and think it is a vague vision, and the technology is far inferior to Web2. At this time, a high-performance public chain appears, and they will feel “this thing is good” out of instinctive closeness.

Almost every bull market cycle attracts a new wave of people who have just come from Web2. Their IQ taxes are basically locked in the two categories of “high-performance public chain” and “large-scale user-friendly products,” but their lifecycles are doomed to be short. Undeniably, although it is an IQ tax, it can indeed attract hot money to the industry.

Recently I contacted a capital that is laying out the Sui ecosystem. The logic is relatively simple and rude. They said that there will definitely be a DEX or other basic suite in the Sui ecosystem, so you only need to invest in the top one or two in the first batch, and there will be good returns.

Well, there is nothing wrong with it, but these so-called “high-performance public chains” have a life cycle, it is not a true output of an order. They can only accept hot money from Web2 and technology from Web3 to make a quick profit. EOS is like this, BSC, Solana, etc. are also like this. For example, I think Solana has not died, but it is already brain-dead, so it can actually be declared dead.

Steven: They did not understand the essence of blockchain, did not seriously look at the Bible of the blockchain world- the Bitcoin white paper, and even how Satoshi Nakamoto thought and how to solve the problems that traditional systems cannot solve in the emails before this.

Beichen: So how do you view the future of Aptos and Sui?

Steven: To be honest, this is difficult to predict. Technology doesn’t matter, it won’t affect making money. I think they are tools for big capital to harvest, so it ultimately depends on how long the capital can sustain (if FTX doesn’t go bankrupt, Solana can hold on for a while).

Aptos and Sui are projects developed from the corpse of Libra in terms of technology, directly taking existing technology as a selling point and accumulating a project.

Simply put, I have some technology in my hand, so I will use this technology as a selling point to design a system. It cannot solve any landing problems in any scenario. If you haven’t figured it out, it is definitely not correct, so personally, I think they have no future.

Actively participating in the short term may have good returns, but it is not the correct direction for the development of blockchain technology, and even has a reverse effect.

Beichen: Aptos and Sui are not conspiracies or tricks of capital, but most participants (from project parties to capital to developers, media, and retail investors) really believe that it represents the future of blockchain. It should be said that it is wishful thinking of a group of people who have just come from the Web2 world to the Web3 world.

Today we will talk about it here. Can you summarize all the opinions today into a violent theory?

Steven: To sum up, all these Libra-related projects use the technology of alliance chain to do public chains, which is a degradation in technology, and the technology itself cannot stand.