Byteball: Cryptocurrency With No Blockchain or ICO


The new generation of cryptocurrencies based on DAG thrust its way: another example of such tokens is Byteball, a coin without blockchain or mining with fast and immutable transactions one may conceal or confirm with a third party at will. The Byteball team attempts to solve the problems faced by bitcoin while distributing their coins in a rather peculiar way: they just give them away.

No Blockchain, No Miners

As opposed to blockchain, DAG is formed by new transactions. Each of them refers to the parent transactions by signing their hashes and incorporating them. This forms a tree of transactions where each of them is confirmed and immutable. There is no probabilistic completeness: if a transaction has made it to the main chain, it is there forever.

The very name Byteball refers to the resemblance between operation of a DAG network and a snowball. New transactions are always on top of the old ones, thus confirming them and reinforcing their place in the ‘main tree’ of the network.

Removal of mining as such (which implies both PoW and PoS) is another feature of difference between Byteball and classic cryptocurrencies. All BB’s have been issued when the network had gone online (one petabyte of coins overall), and this entire monetary mass will remain constant due to return of fees in the turnover. Instead of miners, the transactions are confirmed by ‘witnesses,’ i.e. well-known trusted users. Later on, major credit or other financial organizations like banks, exchanges or government entities may play that role.


The model is widely criticized by bitcoin and decentralization advocates, still it has its advantages. The criticized features are annihilated by the model of the network (details are available in the project’s 48-pages whitepaper).

Fast irreversible transactions are confirmed instantly. Payments and negotiations are closely integrated: one may make purchases in a built-in encrypted chat in a dialogue with a chatbot. All transactions are confirmed by a few touches. The developers make their best to make Byteball easy for regular users.

Switching Between Publicity and Anonymity

When necessary, a Byteball transaction may be confirmed by a third party, which makes it possible to use the existing legal system to prevent scam. Banks may open accounts traceable in the Byteball database, not in its own internal one, while still being in compliance with prevailing KYC/AML requirements. Alternatively, a transaction may be completely concealed, and DAG will have only its hash while other data will be transmitted directly from the payer to the payee.

Bytes and Blackbytes

Apart from bytes, owners also get so-called ‘blackbytes,’ which are essentially tokens for private untraceable payments, with full info transferred from the payer to the payee without being recorded in the public database. Blackbytes are transacted by integrating payer and payee wallets. One may exchange regular bytes for black ones via the integrated p2p exchange service, or at bitcointalk forum through a guarantor.

Byteball Main Network Launched

As opposed to numerous other projects who raised funds via ICO and failed to do what they promised, Byteball has a working network, wallets, and other infrastructure items one may use without waiting. Effectively, Byteball is a basic token for more interesting things. It is a smart contracts platform, like Ethereum for Augur. It is the projects using it as a substrate for their assets that decide what to create.

One may say that Byteball attempts to bypass the problems faced by bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: real anonymity when needed; traceability when confirmation from independent sources is required; and speed and immutability of transactions regardless of their number. Additionally, the lack of blocks makes it impossible to run flood attacks that bitcoin recently experienced.

No Blockchain or ICO

Byteball draws attention not just by the lack of blockchain, but also by the method of distribution as their developer Anton Churumov aka tonych gives bytes away to all bitcoin owners who confirmed their wallet in the Byteball network. The asset’s price has tripled over January 2017, which seems quite impressive for a freely distributable altcoin. One may also buy one at Cryptox and Byteball’s chat. Bytes are also available in the p2p network

Why Giving Bytes Away?

It’s hard to argue with the developer who refers Metcalfe’s law which stipulates (in this case) that bitcoin’s value is proportional to the square of the number of active users. In order to become popular, Byteball should make it to the wallets of as many people as possible. Ninety-eight per cent of all bytes and blackbytes will be distributed among bitcoin owners linking their byteball address to their bitcoin address.

Notably, the network was launched December 25, 2016. On that day, 10% of all bytes and blackbytes were distributed among those who connected their bitcoin and byteball addresses. Overall, there were over 70,000 BTC linked. The owner of where Byteball is traded also sent bytes to everyone who had BTC at the exchange on Christmas.

The second round took place on February 11: over 120,000 BTC were linked, and $1 million worth of bytes given away.

How Do I Get Free Bytes?

It’s still possible to get bytes and blackbytes for free if you have some assets on your bitcoin wallet. You will have to download and install Byteball wallet; go to and click the link from Transition Bot in the chat to open a new wallet and a new chat; and follow the Transition Bot’s instructions to confirm your bitcoin address. One may confirm their wallet in two ways: by sending a microtransaction, or by signing a message.

Who knows where Byteball would end up? Will it dominate the market, find its niche, or just wither as a yet another irrelevant altcoin? Only time will tell. But now, everyone may participate in its distribution.

Vadim Popov

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