Accounts allow you to keep separate records of your BITUM funds. Transferring BITUM across accounts will create a transaction on the blockchain.
A human-readable representation of a possible destination for a payment, similar to an email address. Unlike an email address however, there are a variety of address types, and most addresses are intended only for a single use. This is because addresses represent not only the destination of a payment, but constraints required to redeem funds. For more on addresses see the address details page.
An Application-Specific-Integrated-Circuit (ASIC) is a computing device which has been designed to perform only a single task with extreme efficiency. In the context of cryptocurrency, an ASIC is usually designed to perform Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining. Hashrates from ASICs are typically orders of magnitudes higher than hashrates from general purpose CPUs or GPUs.
The smallest unit of Bitum currency. One atom is one hundred millionth of a single BITUM (0.00000001 BITUM).
The data structure transactions are bundled into before being written into the distributed ledger. Bitum’s difficulty adjusts such that new blocks are found every five minutes on average.
A tool for inspecting the contents of blocks in a more user-friendly format.
Metadata at the beginning of a block that defines information about the block. The hash of a block header is the main way of identifying a block.
A reward (in BITUM) split between PoW miners, active and chosen voters, and the Treasury for successfully creating a block of transactions. The block reward decays exponentially with block height (length of blockchain). However, Bitum’s algorithm interpolates this decay over time so as not to produce market shocks, as typically seen in algorithms that involve large and infrequent reductions, such as halving the rewards every 4 years. The block reward started at 31.19582664 and it adjusts every 6,144 blocks (approximately 21.33 days) by reducing by a factor of 100/101.
In each block, five tickets are called to vote. In addition to votes on any open consensus rule change proposals, each ticket votes to approve or reject the regular transaction tree of the previous block. If a majority of voting tickets vote Yes, the regular transaction tree of the previous block is accepted. If a majority of voting tickets vote No (or there is a tie), the regular transaction tree of the previous block is rejected and those transactions are returned to the mempool.
Outputs from coinbase and stakebase transactions cannot be spent until the coinbase maturity period has passed. The coinbase maturity period is 256 blocks.
Every block which is mined contains a single coinbase transaction. This transaction will only have one input, and that is newly created Bitum which constitutes the PoW and Treasury portions of the block reward. Coinbase transactions are part of the regular transaction tree, which means that they will be rejected if proof-of-stake voters vote to reject the block which contains them. Bitum created in coinbase transactions cannot be spent until the coinbase maturity period has passed.
A Bitum wallet which is used to generate private keys and store Bitum whilst being completely offline. Methods of cold storage include generating a wallet on a computer which is never connected to the Internet, using a dedicated hardware wallet, or using a paper wallet.
Command Line Interface (CLI)¶
An interface a user interacts with via the command line - often referring to a CLI wallet, which is operated using various tools and commands.
A transaction is confirmed when it has been included in a block that has been verified by the network (added to the blockchain). Each additional block added to the blockchain reconfirms all transactions in all previous blocks. The number of times a transaction has been confirmed is used as a measure of confidence that the transaction will remain in the blockchain. A wallet or other service may require a certain number of confirmations before it considers a transaction to be valid. For example, if a wallet requires three confirmations to consider a transaction valid, it would require the next two blocks after the block including the transaction to confirm the transaction.
Rules, encoded in software, that allow a network of nodes to reach an agreement about the state of the ledger. Rules include what data blocks can contain, how block data is structured, and how nodes validate blocks.
Consensus rules voting¶
Changes to Bitum’s consensus rules can only be made through an on-chain voting process which lasts for around one month. The change is made only if at least 75% of votes are in favor.
A document which defines the purpose and guiding principles of the Bitum project.
The full unit of the Bitum currency (i.e. 1 BITUM).
Ticker for the Bitum currency.
Bitum Change Proposal (DCP)¶
A design document that describes potential protocol or consensus changes to Bitum. DCPs primarily serve for documentation, fostering cross-implementation compatibility and helping ensure proper engineering rigor is followed.
A GUI (Graphical User Interface) Bitum wallet maintained by the core team.
Difficulty is a measure of how difficult it is to mine a new block (i.e. find a hash below a given target). In Bitum, the PoW difficulty is calculated from the exponentially weighted average of differences in previous block times.
A cryptographically secure ledger, composed of nodes in a network, where each node holds a copy of the same ledger.
A double-spend is an attack where the given set of coins are spent in more than one transaction. A successful double-spend results in inflation by creating new coins which did not previously exist.
Tickets that reached the end of their window without being called to vote - these can be revoked, but do not grant a reward.
A mechanism for obtaining free (testnet) coins.
Short for ‘fully-validating node. Refers to software that fully validates all transactions and blocks, as opposed to trusting a 3rd party. In addition to validating transactions and blocks, nearly all full nodes also participate in relaying transactions and blocks to other full nodes around the world, thus forming the peer-to-peer network that is the backbone of the Bitum cryptocurrency.
The very first block of the Bitum blockchain, created on the 8th of February 2016.
The output of a cryptographic hashing function that produces a fixed-size value from variable-size input. While it is computationally easy to create a hash from an input, it is extremely computationally difficult to calculate an input that will produce a given hash.
A cryptographic function that produces a fixed-size hash value from variable-size transaction input. Bitum’s Proof-of-Work uses the BLAKE-256 hashing function.
The number of hashes per second computed by miners on the network.
A Bitum wallet which is connected to the Internet. Proof-of-stake voting wallets are an example of hot wallets, they are constantly connected to the Bitum network because they can be called to vote at any time.
In Bitum, a hybrid PoW/PoS system is used, whereby blocks mined by PoW miners must be approved by ticket holders, which are pseudorandomly selected from the ticket pool. This provides a check on PoW miners and increases the overall cost of attacking the network. When a block is approved, 60% of the block reward goes to the PoW miner, 30% goes to the holders of tickets called to vote (approve blocks), and 10% goes to the Bitum Treasury to fund the project.
Once tickets are mined they are immature for 256 blocks (about 20 hours) and cannot be called to vote until after this period elapses.
Increase in the available supply of Bitum as new BITUM is minted into existence through the block reward.
Tickets that are waiting to be called.
The proper Bitum network - a term used to differentiate from testnet.
Transactions waiting to be mined.
Miners help secure the network via Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining. Miners receive block rewards and transaction fees for successfully validating blocks.
A group of miners who share (pool) their computational resources to mine BITUM. When a member of a mining pool successfully mines a block, the rewards are typically split among all pool members in proportion to the hashpower they contribute to the pool.
Tickets that have been called but did not receive a reward. This can happen if a ticket is called to vote, but the wallet that bought the ticket does not respond. This can also happen if the wallet does respond and broadcasts its vote to the network, but a miner does not include their vote in the following block.
Multisignature refers to transactions which can be authorized by more than one private key. Multisignature transactions can support multiple keys (N) and a subset of those (M) are required to transact (commonly known as “MofN”). For example, a 2 of 3 multisignature transaction would have three valid keys, however only two of them would be required to authorize.
The word nonce is derived from “number used once”. In the context of Bitum, this usually refers to a 4-byte field in the block header which, along with some additional bytes used as an extra nonce, is adjusted by proof-of-work miners so that the hash of the block is lower than or equal to the current difficulty target of the network.
Orphaned blocks are valid blocks which are not included in the definitive blockchain. Orphan blocks can occur when they are part of a branch of the blockchain that has been abandoned. This can occur naturally when two miners produce blocks at similar times. Orphan blocks can also be created when they build on an unknown block (i.e. the “parent” block is unknown, making it an “orphan”).
A transaction with missing inputs (i.e. the “parent” transaction is unknown, making the transaction an “orphan”). Orphan transactions can also be created when they are part of a block that has been abandoned and have not been included in another block. For example, if a miner creates a valid block with transactions specific to them, such as coinbase transactions and votes, and that block is orphaned, the transactions in that block will become orphaned transactions.
A system for facilitating the submission and discussion of proposals in an environment with transparent censorship.
An astronomically large number which, when kept secret from others, enables legitimate spending of personal Bitum while preventing others from spending it. Private keys are encrypted by wallets to prevent theft.
A passphrase that is used to encrypt parts of the wallet.db file; most notably private keys. The private keys can not be accessed unless the passphrase is used to decrypt them.
Proof-of-Stake (PoS) voting¶
The mechanism by which ticket holders vote to approve blocks confirmed by PoW miners (thus providing a check on PoW miners), earn staking rewards, and vote on consensus rule changes and Politeia proposals.
The mechanism used by miners to show that they have contributed computational power in order to create a new block. Miners will repeatedly create a hash of the block header until they find a hash equal to or below the current difficulty. Once shared with the network, this hash can easily be validated, thus demonstrating proof of the miners’ work.
See consensus rules.
An astronomically large number generated algorithmically from a private key. Public keys can be freely shared without revealing any information about the private key they are generated from. The user’s public key is used to prove that a transaction was signed using their private key.
The minimum level of participation required in order for a decision-making process to produce an actionable outcome. Changes to the consensus rules require at least 10% of votes to be for or against the change in order to be valid. Politeia proposals require 20%.
Regular transaction tree¶
The normal transactions in a block: sending BITUM to an address, coinbase transactions such as PoW Miner reward and Treasury stipend.
A reorganization (or reorg) of the blockchain is when a set of blocks are replaced by another set which has more work. The number of blocks replaced is the depth of the reorg.
When a ticket (that was missed or expired) is revoked, the BITUM used to buy it becomes spendable again.
Rule Change Interval (RCI)¶
An interval in which ticket holders can vote on consensus rule changes. On mainnet this is every 8,064 blocks (~4 weeks). Once the conditions for a vote have been met during a Stake Version Interval (SVI), voting is scheduled to begin on the first block of the next RCI. Votes are tallied on the last block of the RCI.
Rule change proposal¶
A proposal to change the consensus rules of the Bitum blockchain. Rule change proposals must be implemented in latent code within the software running the network’s nodes. If the proposal passes, the latent code activates one month later.
A 256-bit (32-byte) cryptographically secure random number that can be used to recover a wallet. When creating a wallet using any Bitum wallet software, a 33 word “seed phrase” is also created from the 32-byte seed. If the wallet is lost or corrupted, the seed phrase can be used to restore the wallet’s private keys, transaction history, and balances using any Bitum wallet on any computer.
A cryptographic mechanism to prove that a private key was used to validate or authorize some data (such as a transaction or a Politeia vote).
A simulation network with very low difficulty, such that a developer can mine new blocks locally at will for testing purposes.
Simple Payment Verification (SPV)¶
A wallet mode in which only blocks related to addresses owned by the wallet are downloaded. When not in SPV mode, wallets must download all blocks in the blockchain to verify transactions (fully validating mode). SPV mode allows wallets to operate with less stringent hardware requirements and load significantly faster. SPV wallets cannot vote, but can purchase tickets and allocate voting rights to a Voting Service Provider (VSP).
Stake transaction tree¶
Transactions relating to ticket buying and ticket voting rewards.
Stake Version Interval (SVI)¶
An interval which is used to determine if a vote on consensus rule changes can begin. On mainnet this is every 2,016 blocks (~1 week). Before a vote on consensus rule changes can begin, 75% of tickets that vote during a Stake Version Interval (SVI) must be using software that contains the latent software change being proposed.
Every block which is mined will contain a stakebase transaction for each ticket which voted on that block. Stakebase transactions have two inputs, the Bitum which was spent to purchase the ticket, and the newly created Bitum constituting the reward for voting. Stakebase transactions are also created when an expired or missed ticket is revoked, however there will be no voting reward created in these cases. Stakebase transactions belong to the stake transaction tree, which means that these transactions cannot be rejected by proof-of-stake voters, even if they vote to reject the block which contains them.
Colloquial term for time-locking BITUM in exchange for tickets.
A parallel network used for testing, where BITUM can be obtained freely from faucets.
Bitum holders can time-lock BITUM in exchange for tickets. Tickets grant their holder the ability to vote, and it is through ticket voting that major governance decisions are made. The BITUM locked to buy a ticket is unlocked after that ticket is called to vote on-chain (this averages around one month, maximum around 4 months), along with a reward. Around 0.5% of tickets are not called before they expire; in this case the BITUM is un-locked but no reward is granted.
The pool of live tickets that are available to be called to vote. The target size for the ticket pool is 40,960.
The amount of BITUM one must time-lock in order to buy a ticket. The ticket price is algorithmically adjusted with the goal of keeping the ticket pool at an optimal size of 40,960 tickets. The algorithm for setting the ticket price was changed by DCP-0001, the first consensus rules change to be adopted using an on-chain vote.
The process of buying part of a ticket. This is done by coordinating with other parties who will buy the other parts of a ticket. This can be done without giving up custody to your BITUM. The minimum amount of BITUM that can be put into a split ticket is 5 BITUM. Ticket-splitting is currently coordinated through the ‘ticket-splitting’ channel on the Bitum slack channel.
The Onion Router (Tor) is free open-source software which enables users to improve security and privacy when communicating over a network. It is commonly used to protect against Internet traffic analysis or to enable anonymous communication.
A fee paid to have your transaction included in a block. The default transaction fee for Bitum is 0.0001 BITUM/kB.
Immediately after a ticket is bought it is unmined until the transaction is included in a block.
Tickets that have been called and responded with votes; once a ticket has voted, the BITUM locked to buy it becomes spendable after 256 blocks.
People who buy tickets and vote with them.
Voting Service Provider¶
Non-custodial services that can be authorized to vote on behalf of a ticket, usually providing a number of geographically distributed servers to reduce the chance of missed tickets.
A file that stores private keys. Wallets allow their owner to view and create transactions on the blockchain. The Bitum team maintains a GUI wallet (Bitum) and Command Line Interface (CLI) wallet tools for advanced users. Bitum is also supported by numerous 3rd party wallets.
An address or pubkey script stored in the wallet without the corresponding private key, allowing the wallet to watch for outputs but not spend them.
The cumulative number of hashes calculated by proof-of-work miners to produce the blockchain.