Lambda Technical Review - Top 100 Crypto Review

This is just a quick introduction to my blog. I’ll be posting here technical articles once per week (every ~friday) about certain cryptocurrencies usually in the top 100.

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This week, I’ll be reviewing a relatively new cryptocurrency called Lambda. Lambda is self-marketed as a “disruptor in Blockchain-based decentralized storage solution” which isn’t quite proper English, but from what I can tell, they’re working on building a marketplace where people can buy and sell storage.

Decentralization

Whenever I review a project for technical problems, I first look at the consensus mechanism. This basically determines how the network decides which chain is the “most valid”. Here’s what they say in their white paper:

Lambda uses validators to maintain the consensus network. The number of validators in the system = the initial number of officially operated validators + the number of validators operated by other friendly third parties + the number of miners promoted == 1024. Among them, the number of miners promoted will eventually reach 1024, and the other nodes will log out in an orderly manner.

So, from what I can tell, they’re running official nodes (centralized), 3rd parties are running “friendly” nodes (federated), and eventually, miners will be “promoted” to replace the official and federated nodes.

Importantly, the maximum number of promoted miners is 1024.

Anyone can “pledge” sectors providing how much storage they can provide and the cost in LAMB. The orders are matched at which point, these candidates become “storage miners” meaning their storage can be rented by anybody using the network. The “storage miners” can become validators if they meet certain requirements.

The consensus process seems intentionally vague and doesn’t provide much information about how consensus is actually determined. They reference xBFT and a VRF (verifiable random function), but they don’t go into detail about which VRF they are using…

Considering the fixed start nodes, lack of information about the consensus algorithm, and maximum of 1024 validators, Lambda should not be considered decentralized or uncontrollable by adversaries. In fact, at the beginning, Lambda is completely centralized and a blockchain should not be used.

Proof of Space-Time

Proof of Space-Time was coined by Filecoin and continues to be used by storage blockchains to mean: proving that you are storing X amount of data for Y time. Another name for this is a proof-of-custody.

A good PoST implementation:

  1. makes it very difficult to fake a proof
  2. makes it easy and efficient to verify a proof
  3. works deterministically (verifiable by all nodes on the network)
  4. trustlessly duplicated (storage providers should not be able to delegate to another storage provider) a. this allows the customer to ensure that data is duplicated

As for Lambda, they first start pointing out problems with various architectures used currently.

Interactive challenges require highly synchronous networks, and the high frequency of the <challenge, prove> interaction causes an increase in the network load on the system.

They also address #4 here:

If a piece of data is saved in multiple copies, or matched with multiple miners, this can lead to sybil attacks and the false storage of multiple copies.

Their process involves validators generating a challenge and then miners recursively generating some number of proofs each based on the last. The validator can then verify that each proof leads to the next and that the proofs are valid.

However, they do not explain information about how proofs are structured, instead, giving generic functions like: GenProof(data, challenge, tag).

The whitepaper does not give any information about why validators are incentivized to generate and verify proofs.

In interactive protocols like this, the VRF is EXTREMELY important. If I can pick which validator I’m going to be audited by, I can easily fake verification of an audit. ETH 2.0 solves this by specifying, in depth, how validators are shuffled, and the penalties for different actions malicious validators can take. Lambda, on the other hand, does not specify either of those or even what conditions would cause validators/storage miners to be slashed.

Economic White Paper

I started to read this. They started with a quote by Peter Thiel.

In Zero to One, Peter Thiel suggests that the progress of human civilization and technology can take one of two forms: horizontal or extensive progress, and vertical or intensive progress.

Nobody cares. Please detail incentives and penalties of your protocol.

I kept scanning… There is 1 page in the entire “economic white paper” that provides any information about the protocol.

They included this image:

storage vs. verification

I have no idea what the x or y axis is here or why “Proof of Retrievability” is a point on any scale… This white paper is completely nonsensical.

They do, however, in proper ICO format, include information about the inflation rate of the network (again 1 vague sentence out of 15 pages):

The validator can get 400 million LAMBs in the first year, after which the amount decreases over time.

I stopped here. Out of 15 pages, they couldn’t even provide detailed information about inflation???

Github Analysis

They have a solidity contract, screenshots of a wallet, and a fork of Tendermint (BFT implementation) with ~25 commits.

Also, something interesting I found was a EVM interpreter with an added opcode: Order(bytes32 orderID, bytes32 buyerAddress, bytes32 sellerAddress, uint256 ipAddress).

There are so many things wrong with this, I don’t know where to start. There’s 0 reason to add an opcode to the EVM to provide such specific functionality. Also, WHY WOULD YOU NEED THE IP ADDRESS OF A NODE?

IP addresses generally change often and really, really shouldn’t be used to identify anything, especially on a blockchain.

Can they properly format LaTeX in the whitepaper

Latex Oops

No.

Lambda is a shitcoin: a $60 million shitcoin.

Disclaimer: I do not own any Lambda. As of the time of writing, I own BTC, ETH, LTC, and PHR. I own under $500 of BTC/LTC/ETH and I get paid 1245 PHR per week with current holdings of around 60,000 PHR.


This project is maintained by meyer9