Perfect Parallelism

There are no accounts, only assets, which can be independently updated and verified without global ordering and cross dependencies. Value doesn't move, only ownership of value changes and all settlement is local.

 Alphabill introduces four innovations

A New Transaction Unit

The Alphabill blockchain is built using bills as transaction units. We introduce a formal category theory of money and payments and show that parallel decomposition (the basis for both scalability of production and verification) is possible with a bill-based model. 

State Tree Recursion

State tree recursion means that the global state is decomposable into sub-blockchains for tokens. Each token is independently verifiable and actionable in the real world. When you receive a ten dollar bill you don't need to verify every other dollar bill in the economy. The same is true with tokens minted on Alphabill.

A New Consensus Protocol

All attempts at decomposition to date are based on a federated approach or blockchain of blockchains. Alphabill has a single consensus instance such that all machines operating in parallel achieve fast deterministic finality.

A New Computational Model

To enable a multi-machine model for smart contracts, a new computational model is introduced: tokens are controlled using predicates (similar to Bitcoin locking scripts) and ownership is passed to contracts for execution but not settlement.

Changing The Frame of Reference

Sometimes the answer is hiding in plain sight. There are over 20,000 cryptocurrencies. All of them are based on either UTXOs or accounts as the transaction unit. In Alphabill, the state tree is built using tokens. This simple change in the frame of reference is the basis for linear scalability.

Comparing Approaches

Ethereum has accounts with balances. Alphabill has tokens with owners. Each transaction involves only one unit, which changes the token ownership.

A Single State Tree

Partitions are logical divisions of the state tree. Shards are sets of machines that process transactions. As transaction volumes grow in a partition, shards can be added indefinitely. This is possible in a bill-based architecture due to parallel decomposability – there is zero cross-shard coordination needed.

A Single Consensus Instance

All attempts at sharding to data involve separate sovereign blockchains, limiting the speed of finality for cross-shard settlement. In Alphabill, there is no cross-shard settlement.

A New Model for Programmability

There are two models for computation in Alphabill: a) predicates similar to Bitcoin opcodes; b) and stateful smart contracts. This enables composability, expressibility, and most importantly performance – parallel execution of contract code at scale.

Tokens Are Separate From Computation

Tokens exist as first-class citizens on the state tree, not as variables in a smart contract. Token ownership is transferred to smart contracts through predicates, which lock the token and enable an owner to pass a proof of ownership to the smart contract, which executes and then enables new owners to present proofs back to the token addresses for settlement.

Object-Oriented Token Design

Alphabill provides for a system of type inheritance which can be used to describe a rich ontology for tokens, based on an object-oriented design. A new data structure called a “token type” is introduced that is similar to a regular token in that it has its own unique state in the state tree. Fungible, non-fungible, non-transferrable or any type of digital right can be encoded at the token level.

Smart Contract Composability

Existing smart contract platforms enable programmability via a shared state model. However, a shared global state cannot scale beyond a single machine. Alphabill uses a new paradigm for smart contract composability – certified message passing without direct inter-shard communication.

A Decomposable Ledger Means Portable Tokens

Alphabill is decomposable into token ledgers, carrying all necessary context for updating and verifying without sacrificing security. Tokens can be verified independently on mobile devices and require only a small amount of storage. Tokens are portable – they can be stored in Enterprise ERP systems, they can be transferred and used in enterprise and decentralized applications.

Read about the whole new world of use cases that become possible here.

Decentralized On-Chain Governance

Decentralization is core to the design of Alphabill. Users can join the Governance partition with consumer accessible hardware and participate in the governance of the network. Validators are added in a randomized way to either the Root Chain or a partition through a virtualization layer controlled by decentralized governance.

Programmable Privacy –
from KYC to ZK-Snarks

On Alphabill, developers have a choice. Predicates allow for the enforcement of limitations at the protocol level. Due to the independence of token histories, privacy models can be implemented on a per token basis. Unlike UTXO and account-based models, Alphabill tokens can be verified in parallel and independently from each other. 

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