Multipool - A Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Altcoin mining pool.

New people please read this. [upvote for visibility please]

I am seeing too many new people come and and getting confused. Litecoin wiki isn't the greatest when it comes to summing up things so I will try to do things as best as I can. I will attempt to explain from what I have learned and answer some questions. Hopefully people smarter than me will also chime in. I will keep this post updated as much as I can.
Preface
Litecoin is a type to electronic currency. It is just like Bitcoin but it there are differences. Difference explained here.
If you are starting to mine now chances are that you have missed the Bitcoin mining train. If you really want your time and processing power to not go to waste you should mine LTC because the access to BTC from there is much easier.
Mining. What is it?
Let's get this straight. When making any financial commitment to this be prepared to do it with "throw away" money. Mining is all about the hashrate and is measured in KH/s (KiloHash/sec). Unlike the powerful ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) that are used to mine bitcoins using hashrates in the GH/s and even TH/s, litecoin mining has only been able to achieve at the very best MH/s. I think the highest I've seen is 130 MH/s so far. Which leads us to our next section.
Mining Hardware
While CPU mining is still a thing it is not as powerful as GPU mining. Your laptop might be able to get 1 a month. However, I encourage you to consult this list first. List of hardware comparison You will find the highest of processors can maybe pull 100 KH/s and if we put this into a litecoin mining calculator it doesn't give us much.
Another reason why you don't want to mine with your CPU is pretty simple. You are going to destroy it.
So this leaves us with GPUs. Over the past few months (and years) the HD 7950 has been the favourite because it drains less power and has a pretty good hashrate. But recently the introduction of the R9 290 (not the x) has changed the game a bit. People are getting 850 KH/s - 900 KH/s with that card. It's crazy.
Should I mine?
Honestly given the current difficulty you can make a solid rig for about $1100 with a hashrate of 1700 KH/s which would give you your investment back in about a month and a half. I am sure people out there can create something for much cheaper. Here is a good example of a setup as suggested by dystopiats
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
Type Item Price
CPU AMD Sempron 145 2.8GHz Single-Core Processor $36.01 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard $99.48 @ OutletPC
Memory Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $59.99 @ Newegg
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (3-Way CrossFire) $245.38 @ Newegg
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (3-Way CrossFire) $245.38 @ Newegg
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (3-Way CrossFire) $245.38 @ Newegg
Power Supply SeaSonic Platinum 860W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $146.98 @ SuperBiiz
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. $1078.60
Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-29 00:52 EST-0500
Estimated Hashrate (with GPU overclocking) : 1900 KH/s
Hardware Fundamentals
CPU - Do you need a powerful CPU? No but make sure it is a decent one. AMD CPUs are cheap to buy right now with tons of power. Feel free to use a Sempron or Celeron depending on what Motherboard you go with.
RAM - Try to get at least 4 GB so as to not run into any trouble. Memory is cheap these days. I am saying 4 GB only because of Windoze. If you are plan to run this on Linux you can even get away with less memory.
HDD Any good ol 7200 RPM hard drive will do. Make sure it is appropriate. No point in buying a 1TB hard drive. Since, this is a newbie's guide I assumed most won't know how to run linux, but incase you do you can get a USB flash drive and run linux from it thus removing the need for hard drive all toghether. (thanks dystopiats)
GPU - Consult the list of hardware of hardware I posted above. Make sure you consider the KH/s/W ratio. To me the 290 is the best option but you can skimp down to 7950 if you like.
PSU - THIS IS BLOODY IMPORTANT. Most modern GPUs are power hungry so please make sure you are well within the limits of your power consumption.
MOTHERBOARD - Ok, so a pretty popular board right now is Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 and the ASRock 970 Extreme4. Some people are even going for Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 and even the mighty Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 because it has more PCI-E slots. 6 to be exact. However you may not need that much. With risers you can get more shoved into less.
PCI-E RISERS - These are called risers. They come in x16 to x16 and x1 to x16 connections. Here is the general rule of thumb. This is very important. Always get a POWERED riser otherwise you will burn a hole in your MoBo. A powered rise as a molex connector so that additional power from PSU can be supplied.
When it comes to hardware I've provided the most basic knowledge you need. Also, take a look at cryptobader's website. This is very helpful. Please visit the mining section of Litecoin Forums and the litecoinmining subreddit for more indepth info.
Mining Software
Now that you have assembled your hardware now you need to get into a pool. But before you do that you need a mining software. There are many different ones but the one that is most popular is cgminer. Download it and make sure you read the README. It is a very robust piece of software. Please read this if you want to know more. (thanks BalzOnYer4Head)
Mining Pools
Now that your hardware and software is ready. I know nothing about solo mining other than the fact that you have to be very lucky and respectable amount of hashing power to decrypt a block. So it is better to join pools. I have been pool hopping for a bit and really liked give-me-coin previously known to the community as give-me-ltc. They have a nice mobile app and 0% pool fees. This is really a personal preference. Take a look at this list and try some yourself.
How do I connect to a pool?
Most pools will give you a tutorial on how to but the basics are as follows:
  • Signup for a pool
  • Create a worker for your account. Usually one worker per rig (Yes people have multiple rigs) is generally a good idea.
  • Create a .run file. Open up notepad and type cgminer.exe -o (address_to_the_miningpool:port_number) -u (yourusername.workername) -p (your_worker_password_if_you_made_one). Then File>Save As>runcgminer.run (Make sure the drop down is set to "All Files" and .txt document.) and save in the same folder as cgminer. That's it.
  • Double click on runcgminer.run (or whatever you named it) and have fun mining.
Mining Profitability
This game is not easy. If it was, practically everyone would be doing it. This is strictly a numbers game and there are calculations available that can help you determine your risk on your investments. 4 variables you need to consider when you are starting to mine:
Hardware cost: The cost of your physical hardware to run this whole operation.
Power: Measured in $/KwH is also known as the operating cost.
Difficulty rate: To put it in layman's terms the increase in difficulty is inversely proportional to amount of coin you can mine. The harder the difficulty the harder it is to mine coin. Right now difficulty is rising at about 18% per 3 days. This can and will change since all you miners are soon going to jump on the band wagon.
Your sanity: I am not going to tell you to keep calm and chive on because quiet frankly that is stupid. What I will tell you not to get too carried away. You will pull you hair out. Seriously.
Next thing you will need is a simple tool. A mining profitability calculator. I have two favourite ones.
coinwarz
I like this one cause it is simple. The fields are self explanatory. Try it.
bitcoinwisdom
I like this one because it is a more real life scenario calculator and more complicated one (not really). It also takes increasing difficulty into account.
Please note: This is the absolute basic info you need. If you have more questions feel free to ask and or google it!
More Below.
submitted by craeyon to litecoin [link] [comments]

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTICE

This post is a temporary resting place for FAQs while we wait for the release of VertDocs.

What is Vertcoin?

Vertcoin is a digital peer to peer currency focused on decentralization and ASIC resistance. Vertcoin is aiming to be easily accessible to the everyday user without extensive technical knowledge. Vertcoin has started to lower the barrier of entry with lots of video guides and the development of the One Click Miner (OCM).

Why does ASIC Resistance Matter?

ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are dedicated mining devices that can only mine one algorithm. Coins like Bitcoin and Litecoin both made GPU mining obsolete when SHA-256 and Scrypt ASICs were created.
ASIC Resistance and How it Makes Vertcoin Decentralized
Vertcoin believes that ASIC resistance goes hand in hand with decentralization.
ASICs are made by companies like Bitmain and almost all the original sellers of ASICs sell on a preorder basis. When pre ordering an ASIC you are buying from a limited batch that the ASIC company has produced. Often times the batch will not be fully filled and the ASIC company will often have left over ASICs. When the ASIC company has left over ASICs they will put them to work mining. Soon enough the ASIC company will have a very large amount of unsold ASICs that are mining and slowly the ASIC company starts to own a large part of the network’s hashrate. When an ASIC company(s) starts to own a large majority of the hashrate the network can become very centralized after a while.
Having your network consist of a few large companies can be very dangerous as they could eventually get 51% hashing power and 51% attack your network, destabilizing the network. When your network is made out of a lot of smaller miners, like Vertcoin, it is much harder for your network to be 51% attacked, therefore increasing network security. By having centralized hashing power your coin effectively centralizing the network as the centralized hashing power can deny transactions and stop any activity they don’t want.

What Ways is Vertcoin Superior to Litecoin and Bitcoin?

Network Difficulty Adjustments with Kimoto Gravity Well
Vertcoin uses a difficulty adjustment called Kimoto Gravity Well which adjusts the difficulty every block, whereas Bitcoin and Litecoin’s difficulty changes every 2016 blocks. By adjusting the difficulty every block Vertcoin’s block time can stay consistent by adjusting for the fluctuation in network hash rate from hash rate renting and part time miners. If a large miner switches off Bitcoin or Litecoin mining the network could be slowed to a crawl until 2016 blocks are mined and the difficulty can change to adjust for the new network hash rate. We observed this happen to Bitcoin when Bitcoin Cash became more profitable than Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s network hash rate saw a steep fall off, slowing the network to a crawl. If this was to happen with Vertcoin the difficulty would adjust after 1 block was mined, allowing Vertcoin to always be profitable to mine.
Anyone can Meaningfully help Verify Transactions
In Proof-of-Work crypto currencies miners help secure the blockchain and get rewarded with the block reward. In ASIC mineable coins like Bitcoin and Litecoin you can’t meaningfully verify transactions unless you pay 1000-2000$ for a ASIC miner. When you mine with a CPU or GPU in a ASIC mineable coin you make no meaningful impact on the network. It is like trying to break concrete with a shovel while everyone else has a jackhammer.
Simple Upgrades Aren’t Held back by 1-2 Large Miners
In ASIC market people buy ASICs in batches in a preorder. With Bitcoin ASICs there is not enough demand for ASICs so the batch often doesn’t get sold out so now the manufacturer has spare ASICs. Now that the manufacturer has spare ASICs they will often start mining with them and eventually the ASIC company has one of the highest hash rates. If the ASIC company doesn’t want a certain upgrade to go through, for example SegWit, they can vote with their hash rate to hold back the upgrade forever or at least until people who want SegWit get more hash rate.
You Have a Say in Protocol Rules and Consensus
In Bitcoin you are a passive observer because you can only issue transactions and you have no part in the process after that. In Vertcoin you can be apart of the process for deciding the ordering of transactions and deciding what transactions get into blocks.
Block Rewards and Transaction Fees are Distributed Evenly
In Bitcoin and Litecoin the block rewards and transaction fees are often given to the large miners in China due to mining centralization created by ASICs. Vertcoin distributes its mining rewards to people all around the world thanks to the mining decentralization.

When will Atomic Swaps Be Ready?

Atomic Swaps can be done in two flavors: On-chain and Off-chain (via Lightning Network). On-chain swaps were actually done already using Blocknet, you can see it in use on Youtube. We're looking into doing it again using Interledger.
However our main focus is to do off-chain Atomic Swaps using Lightning Network technology. Because it has the same benefits as Lightning transactions: No network fees and instant transactions.
For off-chain swaps we need Lightning Network to be fully operational. It's difficult to give an ETA on that since we aren't the ones developing it. U/gertjaap posted a video on the current state of the Lightning Network for Vertcoin a while ago, which you can see here.
This was actually the "bleeding edge" of Lightning Network at the time. was able to use it on VTC's main net, meaning that our blockchain is ready for the good stuff. As you can see however, it can't yet be considered production ready (most users would want a little better UX than a command line app).
Now off-chain Atomic Swaps is a technique based on the same principles as Lightning Network, but adds an extra complexity for it being across chains. So it's basically the same as a "multi hop" Lightning payment, which is not yet built by any of the implementations. They're still working hard on making the single-hop payments robust. So in order for AS to be possible, LN has to be fully operational.
A timeline cannot be given at this time, because frankly we don't know. The implementation of Lightning Network we feel has the most potential is LIT, because it supports multiple currencies in its protocol (where LND is bitcoin-only at the time and requires significant work to support other currencies, which is an essential part of being able to work across multiple blockchains).
LIT is open source and there's nothing secretive about its progress, you can see the development on Github. We even have our lead dev James Lovejoy (u/jamesl22) close to the action and contributing to it where possible (and our team as well through testing it on the Vertcoin chain).
So we're not developing LN or AS ourselves, we're just ready with our blockchain technology whenever it becomes available.
If we have any real progress that has some substance, you can expect us to let the world know. We're not interested in fluffy marketing - we post something when we achieve real progress. And we are not keeping that secret.

How do I Choose the Right Vertcoin Wallet?

Deciding what Vertcoin wallet you should choose can be a difficult process. You can choose between three different wallets: Core, Electrum and Paper. Once you decide you can use the "How to Setup Your Vertcoin Wallets" video guide to assist you.

Core

The Core wallet is the wallet that most people should use. It will store the entire blockchain (~2GB) on your computer. The Core wallet is the only wallet that fully supports P2Pool mining. You will also have to use the Core wallet if you plan to run a P2Pool node or any Vertcoin related server.

Electrum

The Electrum wallet is a light wallet for Vertcoin. You do not have to download the blockchain on your computer, but you will still have your own private keys on your computer. This is recommended for people who don't need to store Vertcoins for very long and just need a quick but secure place to store them.

Paper

The Paper wallet is as the name implies, a physical paper wallet. When generating a paper wallet you will get a pdf that will need to print out. A paper wallet is normally used for long term storage since it is the safest way to store Vertcoins. A paper wallet can also be called "cold storage." Cold storage references the storage of your coins offline, preventing you from getting hacked over the internet.

Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet designed by Ledger. A hardware wallet is similar to a paper wallet since it is normally used for cold storage. The hardware wallet is on par with the security of a paper wallet while being easy to use and setup. Note: You should never mine directly to a Ledger hardware wallet.

How do I start mining Vertcoin?

We have many guides available for you to use depending on your computer specifications.
Nvidia GPUs on Windows
Nvidia GPUs on Linux
AMD GPUs on Windows WARNING: Very unprofitable, AMD optimized miner is coming very soon.

Where can I get the One Click Miner (OCM)

You can get the latest version of the One Click Miner in the Vertcoin Discord. The download is pinned to the top of the #oneclick channel.

What do all the Numbers Mean on P2Pool’s Web Interface

I've seen a lot of confusion from new miners on public p2pool nodes, so here's a primer for the most common static node page style, for first time miners: https://imgur.com/K48GmMw

Active Miners on this Node

Address - This is the list of addresses currently mining on this node. If your address does not show up here, you are not mining on this node.
Hashrate
This is a snapshot of your hashrate as seen by the node. It will fluctuate up to 15% from the hashrate you are seeing on your mining software, but will average out to match the output in your mining software.
Rejected Hashrate
This is the amount of your hashing contribution that is rejected, both in hashrate and as a percentage of your total contribution. Running your own p2pool node minimizes this number. Mining on a node that is geographically close to reduce lag also minimizes this number. Ideally you would like it to be less than 1%, but most people seem happy keeping it under 3%.
Share Difficulty
This speaks for itself, it is the difficulty of the share being currently worked on. Bigger numbers are more difficult.
Time to Share
This is how long you need to mine before you will receive any payouts, or any "predicted payout." The lower your hashrate, the higher your time to share.
Predicted Payout
This is the reward you would receive if a block was found by p2pool right now. If it reads "no shares yet" then you have not yet been mining the requisite amount of time as seen in the previous "time to share" column.

Status

Network Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining vertcoin everywhere, regardless of where or how.
Global Pool Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining vertcoin on this p2pool network, be it the first network or the second network.
Local Pool Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining Vertcoin on this node.
Current Block Value
This is the reward that will be given for mining the current block. The base mining reward is currently 50 VTC per block, so any small decimal over that amount is transaction fees being paid by people using the network.
Network Block Difficulty
This is the difficulty of the block being mined. The higher the number, the higher the difficulty. This number rises as the "Network Hashrate" rises, so that blocks will always be found every 2.5 minutes. Inversely, this number falls when the "Network Hashrate" lowers as well.
Expected Time to Block
This is a guess at how much time will elapse between blocks being found by this p2pool network. This guess is accurate on average, but very inaccurate in the short term. Since you only receive a payout when the network finds a block, you can think of this as "Estimated Time to Payout."

Why is P2Pool Recommended Over Traditional Pools?

Decentralisation

P2Pool is peer to peer allowing a decentralized pool mining system. There are many nodes setup around the world that connect to each other too mine together. Many other coins have 1 very large pool that many miners connect to and sometimes the largest pool can have 51% or more of the network hash rate which makes the network vulnerable to a 51% attack. If P2Pool is the largest network then that prevents the Vertcoin network to be susceptible to a 51% attack as P2Pool is decentralized.

PPLNS Payout System

P2Pool uses a PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) payout system which awards miners more the longer they mine, sort of like a loyalty system. A drawback to this system is that part time miners that aren't 24/7 won't be able to earn that much.

2 Networks

While Network 1 is catered towards 24/7 miners and people who have dedicated mining rigs, Vertcoin has a second P2Pool network where part time miners and miners under 100 MH/s can go to mine.

Mines Directly to Your Wallet

P2Pool mines directly to your wallet and cuts out the middleman. This reduces the likely hood that the pool will run away with your coins.

No Downtime

Since P2Pool is decentralized and has different nodes for you to choose from there will be no downtime because the P2Pool network does not die if one node goes down. You can setup a backup server in your miner so that you will have no downtime when mining.

Anonymity and Security

When using P2Pool you use a wallet address making your real identity anonymous, you are simply known by a random 34 letter string. Along with using a wallet address instead of a username there is no password involved P2Pool preventing the possibility of cracking your pool account (If you were on a traditional pool,) and stealing all your coins.

How do I Find a Nearby P2Pool Node

You can find the public p2pool nodes the the P2Pool Node Scanners. If you want to find a network 1 node go here. If you want to find a network 2 node go here.

How do I setup a P2Pool Node?

Linux P2Pool Setup
Windows P2Pool Setup (Text)
Windows P2Pool Setup (Video) This guide setups a network 2 node. When downloading Python download the 32bit version, not the 64bit. Downloading the 64bit version causes problems with the twisted install.
How do I setup a change my node to network 1 or network 2?
In the P2Pool startup script when you type the --network flag add vertcoin1 for network 1 and vertcoin2 for network 2 right after.

How do I Buy Vertcoin?

You can see a video guide on Youtube, "How to Buy Vertcoin with Fiat Using Bittrex and Coinbase"

How can I get help with "X problem?"

The quickest way for you to get help is for you to join the Vertcoin Discord Group. We almost always have knowledgable Vertans, whether that be developers or experienced Vertans, online to help you with whatever problems you may have.

How can I donate to the Developers?

You can donate to the dev fund at https://vertcoin.org/donate/. You can select what you want your funds to go to by donating to the corresponding address. You can also see how much funding is required and how much we have donated.

Where can I see what exchanges Vertcoin is on?

You can see what exchanges Vertcoin is listed on at CoinMarketCap. You can see what exchanges Vertcoin has applied to be on at this google docs spreadsheet.

Where can I see Vertcoin's Roadmap?

The Vertcoin developers currently have a trello board where you can see the goals and what the status of said goal is. You can also vote on what you want the Vertcoin developers to focus on next.

What is the Status of the AMD Optimized Miner?

The AMD Optimized Miner internal beta is aiming to be ready by the end of September. The AMD Optimized Miner is currently being developed by @turekaj on the Vertcoin Discord. He currently does not have a Reddit account and Discord is the only way you can contact him.

What Does Halving Mean?

Halving means that the block reward for miners will be split in half. Halving happens around every 4 years for Vertcoin or 840,000 blocks. This means around December miners will only receive 25 VTC per block instead of the current 50 VTC per block.
If you would like to add another question to this list please comment it and I will get around to adding it ASAP.
submitted by asianboygames to vertcoin [link] [comments]

Check out Part 1 of our first Skycoin Official AMA with Synth!

Part 2 of the AMA posted here.
 
What is Skywire? Where does it fit in with Skycoin?
Skycoin is a blockchain application platform. We have multiple coins in the platform (Metallicoin, mdl.life, solarbankers.com, etc). We let people launch their own blockchain applications (including coins).
There are two parts to Skywire. The first part is the Skywire node. The second part is the hardware.
Skywire is one of the first applications we are launching on the Skycoin platform. It is one of our flagship applications that has been in development for several years. Skywire is basically a decentralized ISP on blockchain. It is like Tor, but you are paid to run it. You forward packets for your neighbors and you receive coins You pay coins to other people for forwarding your packets.
So it is like Tor but on blockchain and you are paid for running the network. Also, while Tor is slow, Skywire was designed to be faster than the current internet, instead of slower.
Skywire is a test application for monetizing excess bandwidth. Eventually the software defined networking technology behind Skywire, will allow us to build physical networks (actual mesh nets) that can begin to replace centralized ISPs. However, the current Skywire prototype is still running over the existing internet, but later we will start building out our own hardware.
Skywire is a solution for protecting people’s privacy and is also a solution to net neutrality. If Skycoin can can decentralize the ISPs with blockchain, then we wont have to beg the FCC to protect our rights.
Skywire is just a prototype of a larger system. Eventually we will allow people to sell bandwidth, computational resources and storage.
On the hardware side, the Skywire Miner is a like a personal cloud, for blockchain applications. It has eight computers in it and you plug it in and you can run your blockchain applications on it. You can even earn coins by renting out capacities to other users on the network.
 
How would your everyday, average Joe user access the Skywire network? Let's say from their phone…
We designed Skywire and Skycoin to be as usable as possible. We think you should not have to be a software developer to use blockchain applications.
Skywire is designed to be “zeroconf”, with zero configuration. You just plug in your node and it works. Its plug and play.
Eventually you will be able to buy a Skywire Miner and delegate control of the hardware to a “pool”, who will configure it for you and do all the work, optimize the settings and the pool will just take a small fee for the service and owner of the hardware will receive the rest of the coins their miners are earning.
You will just plug in the Skyminer and start earning coins. It will be plug and play.
Most users will not know their traffic is being carried over Skywire. Just like they do not know if they are using TCP or UDP. They will just connect their computer to the network with wifi or an ethernet cable and it will work exactly like the internet does now.
 
Are you completely anonymous on Skywire, or do you need to add a VPN and go through Tor for extra protection?
Skywire is designed, to protect users privacy much better than the existing internet. Each node only knows the previous hop and the next hop for any packet. The contents of the packet are encrypted (like HTTPS), so no one can spy on the data.
Since Skywire is designed to be faster than the existing internet, you give up a little privacy for the speed. Tor makes packets harder to trace by reshuffling them and slowing them done. While Skywire is designed for pure speed and performance.
 
Will Skywire users be able to access traditional internet resources like Google and Facebook over Skywire?
Yes. Most users will not even know they are using Skywire at all. It will be completely invisible to them.
Skywire has two modes of operation. One mode looks like the normal internet to the user and the other mode is for special applications designed to run completely inside of the Skywire network. Skywire native apps will have increased privacy, speed and performance, but all existing internet apps will still work on the new network.
 
How difficult will it be for a traditional e-service to port their products and services to Skywire / Skycoin? Are there plans in place to facilitate those transitions as companies find the exceeding value in joining the free distributed internet?
We are going to make it very easy. Existing companies run their whole internal networks on MPLS and Skywire is almost identical to MPLS, so they wont have to make any changes in most cases.
 
What is the routing protocol? How are the routes found?
Skywire is source routed. This means that you choose the route your data takes. You can chose routes that offer higher privacy, more bandwidth (for video downloads) or lower latency (for gaming).
Skywire puts control of the data back to the user.
 
I have also understand that the protocols underlying in skywire will be/already are pretty different from the Internet protocols. Taking into account the years of research applied to the current Internet and the several strategies for routing it doesn't seem an easy task to rebuild everything and make it work. Where can be found the information about the routing strategies used in skywire?
The routing strategies are user defined. There is no best routing strategy that is optimal for every user or application. Instead we allow people to choose their routes and policies, based upon the application, time of day, available bandwidth, reliability and other factors.
This is actually the way the original internet worked. However, it was scrapped because of the RAM limitations of early computers which only had 4 KB of memory. So the internet was built upon stateless routing protocols because of the limitations of the available computers at the time, not because the networking protocols were the best or highest performance. Today even a cell phone has 4 GB of ram and 1 million times the memory of a computer in the 1980s, so there is no reason to accept these limitations anymore.
Our implementation is simpler and faster because we are stripping away the layers of junk that have accumulated. The internet was actually built up piecemeal, without any coherence, coordination or planning. The internet today is a mishmash of different ad-hoc protocols that have been duct taped together over decades, without any real design.
Skywire is an re-envisioning of the internet, if it was built today knowing what we know now. This means simplifying the protocols and improving the performance.
 
How will the routing work if someone from Europe wants to access a video from a node in Australia (for example)? How do the nodes know the next hop if they cant read the origin or destiny of any packet?
If you have a route with N hops, then you contact each of the nodes on the route (through a messaging service) and set the route table on each route. Then when you drop a packet in the route, it gets forwarded automatically. You could have 60 or 120 hops between Australia and Europe and its fine.
Each individual node only knows the previous hop and the next hop in the chain. That is all the node needs to know.
 
Could you estimate a timeline for when Skywire will operate independently from the current ISP infrastructure?
I think Skycoin is a very ambitious project and some parts could take ten or twenty years. Even if we started with a network of a few thousand nodes and we were growing the network over 1% per day, it will still take a decade or two to conquer the Earth.
We are going to start with small scale prototypes (neighborhoods), then try cities. I think the first demonstration networks will be working this year.
 
How will bandwidth be priced in terms of coin hours and who determines this rate?
You could have 40 PHDs each do a thesis on this. The short answer is that an auction model has to be used (similar to Google’s Ad Words auction model) and the auction has to be designed in a way so that the bandwidth prices reach a stable equilibrium.
There are parts of Skycoin that are completely open source and public, like the blockchain and consensus algorithm and Skywire. There are secrets like the auction model and pricing, that are designed to protect Skycoin from being forked and to prevent competitors from copying our work.
We estimate that if a competitor was to start today, with 2 million dollars a year in R&D, that it would take them a minimum of eight years to develop a working bandwidth pricing model. And from experience in auction models for advertising networks, 80% of the competitors will fail to develop a working model at all.
A working, fair, decentralized bandwidth pricing model that was competitive with what we have would take even longer. There are very few people (less than 4) on Earth who have the experience in mathematics, economics, game theory and cryptographic protocols to design the required auction and pricing models.
One of Google’s secrets that allows them to dominate the internet advertising industry, is their auction model for ad pricing. That is what allows Google to pay the content producers the most money for their advertising inventory, while charging the advertising buyers the least.
Google’s auction models for pricing AdSense inventory are even more secretive and important than Google’s search algorithm. This is one of the most important and secretive parts of Google’s business. Even companies like Facebook, with billion dollar war chests have been unable to replicate to close the algorithm gap in this area. Expertise in these algorithms and their auction and pricing models is one of the reasons that Google has been able to extract advertising premiums over Facebook.
Even if a competitor raises a billion dollars and hires all the PHDs in the field and they had ten years to do research, I doubt they would be able to develop anything close to what we have now.
The history of bandwidth markets is very interesting and Enron tried to do a trading desk for bandwidth and bandwidth futures and it completely failed. The mathematical stability and predictability of the pricing of bandwidth under adversarial conditions is one of the major problems.
For instance, one of our “competitors” suggests that people will be paid coins if someone accesses their content. So why don’t you just put a website and then have 2000 bots go to it, to get free coins! How are they going to stop that.
Or if they are pricing bandwidth, if the price is fixed and the price is too low, then people will not build capacity and bandwidth will be insufficient and the network will be slow.
Or if the price is variable and adjusts with demands, what will stop someone from buying up the capacity for a link (“Cornering the Market”) to drive the price up 50x on links they control and extort money out of the other people on the network with a fake bandwidth shortage?
The pricing algorithm has to be stable under adversarial conditions. It is a very difficult problem, harder than even consensus algorithm research. Even if a competitor had unlimited funding and unlimited time, it is unlikely that they would find a superior solution to what we have and that alone nearly guarantees that we are going to win this market. It gets even more difficult if you need price stability and you admit any type of bandwidth futures, that allow speculation on future prices. This is a kind of problem like Bitcoin consensus algorithm that can only be solved by an act of genius.
We have a lot of experience in this area. It is hyper specialized and a very difficult area and is one of the areas that will give Skycoin a strong sustainable advantage.
 
Will there be a DNS for Skywire to register .sky domains?
Of course. We will definitely add some kind of DNS and name system eventually.
Remembering and typing public keys is too difficult. We want to make it as easy as possible. We want people to be able to register aliases (like screen names) so that people can send coins to aliases instead of having to type in addresses every time.
This will let people send 5 Skycoin to “@bobcat” instead of sending coins to “23TeSPPJVZ9HvXh6iYiKAaLNQroKg8yCdja”. This will be a revolution in usability.
 
When operating a Skyminer, will people in my surrounding area see it as a Wifi option on their devices?
You can configure it to expose a wifi access point. It depends on what you are trying to do.
 
While I plan on running a DIY miner regardless of the payout, will one of the first 6000 DIY miners built to the same spec as the official miner receive a worthwhile payout in Sky coin? What is the requirement for a DIY miner to get whitelisted (and earning Skycoin) on the Skywire testnet?
The reason we have white-listing on the testnet, is to stop too many nodes from joining the network at once. The network can only support so many nodes until we upgrade certain infrastructure (like the messaging/inter-process communication standard).
Eventually, all DIY miners will be whitelisted, but there will probably be a queue.
 
The Sky team is developing antennas by their own instead of buying or using technology already developed, why is such an effort necessary?
You can of course, buy any commercial antenna or wifi system and use it for Skywire.
We are developing our own custom antennas, to push performance limitations and experiment with advanced technology, like FPGAs (Field Programmable Arrays) and SDR (Software Defined Radio).
Existing wifi has a huge latency (15 milliseconds per hop). We need to make several modification to get that down to 0.5 millisecond per hop.
We have several custom PCB boards in development. We have a few secret hardware projects that will be announced when they are ready.
For instance, the Skywire Miner was in development for two years before we publicly announced it. Some of our next hardware projects are focused on payments at the point of sale and improving usability, not just the meshnet.
 
So back in January Steve was asked a question in the skywire group: "Steve, I am not a tech savage, so how can I understand better the safety running a miner if people on the network do DeepWeb stuff? So i will receive and redirect data packets with crazy things and also there is around 128 GB of storage on my miner. How can i have peace of mind of that?" He replied with "If you don’t run an exit node to the open internet it won’t matter you can run relay nodes if you’re worried about it, or proxy specific content." This seems to goes counter to what you mentioned regarding end-to-end encryption with Skywire. Will some people only be relay nodes and some will be exit nodes as well?
I think the question is wrong.
You only store content for public keys that you explicitly subscribe to.
This means if you do not like particular content or do not want it on your hardware, then you can just blacklist those public keys or don’t subscribe to them. Data never goes on your machine unless you requested it.
If you are holding data for a third party such as forwarding packets, it’s always going to be encrypted, so will look like random noise. There will never be anything in the data that causes legal liability. It will look the same as the output of a random number generator.
 
If using the skyminer, how much bandwidth will be necessary to run it at its best? And what about the router? It's true it has only 100mbits output? Is a 1gigbits connection necessary to reach toprates?
Hold on!!!! Let us get the software and test net running first, lol. We will know once we know what works for the testnet.
 
What will the price be for future Skynodes (formerly called Skyminers)?
We are working on ways of reducing the cost, such as by buying our own factory, doing custom PCB boards and using different materials.
The cheapest Skywire Miner node will be about $30 for a single node miner. We will have a very cheap personal Skywire “hardware VPN” node also.
The miners we are shipping now are for powering the network backbone and have 8 computers and are about $800 each. We sold people the miners for 1 BTC each so they can support development, but gave them a Skycoin bonus equal to about 1 BTC worth of Skycoin.
Then that money, went to fund the cost for developing the newer hardware.
submitted by MuSKYteer to skycoin [link] [comments]

The Mike Hearn Show: Season Finale (and Bitcoin Classic: Series Premiere)

This post debunks Mike Hearn's conspiracy theories RE Blockstream in his farewell post and points out issues with the behavior of the Bitcoin Classic hard fork and sketchy tactics of its advocates
I used to be torn on how to judge Mike Hearn. On the one hand he has done some good work with BitcoinJ, Lighthouse etc. Certainly his choice of bloom filter has had a net negative effect on the privacy of SPV users, but all in all it works as advertised.* On the other hand, he has single handedly advocated for some of the most alarming behavior changes in the Bitcoin network (e.g. redlists, coinbase reallocation, BIP101 etc...) to date. Not to mention his advocacy in the past year has degraded from any semblance of professionalism into an adversarial us-vs-them propaganda train. I do not believe his long history with the Bitcoin community justifies this adversarial attitude.
As a side note, this post should not be taken as unabated support for Bitcoin Core. Certainly the dev team is made of humans and like all humans mistakes can be made (e.g. March 2013 fork). Some have even engaged in arguably unprofessional behavior but I have not yet witnessed any explicitly malicious activity from their camp (q). If evidence to the contrary can be provided, please share it. Thankfully the development of Bitcoin Core happens more or less completely out in the open; anyone can audit and monitor the goings on. I personally check the repo at least once a day to see what work is being done. I believe that the regular committers are genuinely interested in the overall well being of the Bitcoin network and work towards the common goal of maintaining and improving Core and do their best to juggle the competing interests of the community that depends on them. That is not to say that they are The Only Ones; for the time being they have stepped up to the plate to do the heavy lifting. Until that changes in some way they have my support.
The hard line that some of the developers have drawn in regards to the block size has caused a serious rift and this write up is a direct response to oft-repeated accusations made by Mike Hearn and his supporters about members of the core development team. I have no affiliations or connection with Blockstream, however I have met a handful of the core developers, both affiliated and unaffiliated with Blockstream.
Mike opens his farewell address with his pedigree to prove his opinion's worth. He masterfully washes over the mountain of work put into improving Bitcoin Core over the years by the "small blockians" to paint the picture that Blockstream is stonewalling the development of Bitcoin. The folks who signed Greg's scalability road map have done some of the most important, unsung work in Bitcoin. Performance improvements, privacy enhancements, increased reliability, better sync times, mempool management, bandwidth reductions etc... all those things are thanks to the core devs and the research community (e.g. Christian Decker), many of which will lead to a smoother transition to larger blocks (e.g. libsecp256k1).(1) While ignoring previous work and harping on the block size exclusively, Mike accuses those same people who have spent countless hours working on the protocol of trying to turn Bitcoin into something useless because they remain conservative on a highly contentious issue that has tangible effects on network topology.
The nature of this accusation is characteristic of Mike's attitude over the past year which marked a shift in the block size debate from a technical argument to a personal one (in tandem with DDoS and censorship in /Bitcoin and general toxicity from both sides). For example, Mike claimed that sidechains constitutes a conflict of interest, as Blockstream employees are "strongly incentivized to ensure [bitcoin] works poorly and never improves" despite thousands of commits to the contrary. Many of these commits are top down rewrites of low level Bitcoin functionality, not chump change by any means. I am not just "counting commits" here. Anyways, Blockstream's current client base consists of Bitcoin exchanges whose future hinges on the widespread adoption of Bitcoin. The more people that use Bitcoin the more demand there will be for sidechains to service the Bitcoin economy. Additionally, one could argue that if there was some sidechain that gained significant popularity (hundreds of thousands of users), larger blocks would be necessary to handle users depositing and withdrawing funds into/from the sidechain. Perhaps if they were miners and core devs at the same time then a conflict of interest on small blocks would be a more substantive accusation (create artificial scarcity to increase tx fees). The rational behind pricing out the Bitcoin "base" via capacity constraint to increase their business prospects as a sidechain consultancy is contrived and illogical. If you believe otherwise I implore you to share a detailed scenario in your reply so I can see if I am missing something.
Okay, so back to it. Mike made the right move when Core would not change its position, he forked Core and gave the community XT. The choice was there, most miners took a pass. Clearly there was not consensus on Mike's proposed scaling road map or how big blocks should be rolled out. And even though XT was a failure (mainly because of massive untested capacity increases which were opposed by some of the larger pools whose support was required to activate the 75% fork), it has inspired a wave of implementation competition. It should be noted that the censorship and attacks by members of /Bitcoin is completely unacceptable, there is no excuse for such behavior. While theymos is entitled to run his subreddit as he sees fit, if he continues to alienate users there may be a point of mass exodus following some significant event in the community that he tries to censor. As for the DDoS attackers, they should be ashamed of themselves; it is recommended that alt. nodes mask their user agents.
Although Mike has left the building, his alarmist mindset on the block size debate lives on through Bitcoin Classic, an implementation which is using a more subtle approach to inspire adoption, as jtoomim cozies up with miners to get their support while appealing to the masses with a call for an adherence to Satoshi's "original vision for Bitcoin." That said, it is not clear that he is competent enough to lead the charge on the maintenance/improvement of the Bitcoin protocol. That leaves most of the heavy lifting up to Gavin, as Jeff has historically done very little actual work for Core. We are thus in a potentially more precarious situation then when we were with XT, as some Chinese miners are apparently "on board" for a hard fork block size increase. Jtoomim has expressed a willingness to accept an exceptionally low (60 or 66%) consensus threshold to activate the hard fork if necessary. Why? Because of the lost "opportunity cost" of the threshold not being reached.(c) With variance my guess is that a lucky 55% could activate that 60% threshold. That's basically two Chinese miners. I don't mean to attack him personally, he is just willing to go down a path that requires the support of only two major Chinese mining pools to activate his hard fork. As a side effect of the latency issues of GFW, a block size increase might increase orphan rate outside of GFW, profiting the Chinese pools. With a 60% threshold there is no way for miners outside of China to block that hard fork.
To compound the popularity of this implementation, the efforts of Mike, Gavin and Jeff have further blinded many within the community to the mountain of effort that core devs have put in. And it seems to be working, as they are beginning to successfully ostracize the core devs beyond the network of "true big block-believers." It appears that Chinese miners are getting tired of the debate (and with it Core) and may shift to another implementation over the issue.(d) Some are going around to mining pools and trying to undermine Core's position in the soft vs. hard fork debate. These private appeals to the miner community are a concern because there is no way to know if bad information is being passed on with the intent to disrupt Core's consensus based approach to development in favor of an alternative implementation controlled (i.e. benevolent dictator) by those appealing directly to miners. If the core team is reading this, you need to get out there and start pushing your agenda so the community has a better understanding of what you all do every day and how important the work is. Get some fancy videos up to show the effects of block size increase and work on reading materials that are easy for non technically minded folk to identify with and get behind.
The soft fork debate really highlights the disingenuity of some of these actors. Generally speaking, soft forks are easier on network participants who do not regularly keep up with the network's software updates or have forked the code for personal use and are unable to upgrade in time, while hard forks require timely software upgrades if the user hopes to maintain consensus after a hardfork. The merits of that argument come with heavy debate. However, more concerning is the fact that hard forks require central planning and arguably increase the power developers have over changes to the protocol.(2) In contrast, the 'signal of readiness' behavior of soft forks allows the network to update without any hardcoded flags and developer oversight. Issues with hard forks are further compounded by activation thresholds, as soft forks generally require 95% consensus while Bitcoin Classic only calls for 60-75% consensus, exposing network users to a greater risk of competing chains after the fork. Mike didn't want to give the Chinese any more power, but now the post XT fallout has pushed the Chinese miners right into the Bitcoin Classic drivers seat.
While a net split did happen briefly during the BIP66 soft fork, imagine that scenario amplified by miners who do not agree to hard fork changes while controlling 25-40% of the networks hashing power. Two actively mined chains with competing interests, the Doomsday Scenario. With a 5% miner hold out on a soft fork, the fork will constantly reorg and malicious transactions will rarely have more than one or two confirmations.(b) During a soft fork, nodes can protect themselves from double spends by waiting for extra confirmations when the node alerts the user that a ANYONECANSPEND transaction has been seen. Thus, soft forks give Bitcoin users more control over their software (they can choose to treat a softfork as a soft fork or a soft fork as a hardfork) which allows for greater flexibility on upgrade plans for those actively maintaining nodes and other network critical software. (2) Advocating for a low threshold hard forks is a step in the wrong direction if we are trying to limit the "central planning" of any particular implementation. However I do not believe that is the main concern of the Bitcoin Classic devs.
To switch gears a bit, Mike is ironically concerned China "controls" Bitcoin, but wanted to implement a block size increase that would only increase their relative control (via increased orphans). Until the p2p wire protocol is significantly improved (IBLT, etc...), there is very little room (if any at all) to raise the block size without significantly increasing orphan risk. This can be easily determined by looking at jtoomim's testnet network data that passed through normal p2p network, not the relay network.(3) In the mean time this will only get worse if no one picks up the slack on the relay network that Matt Corallo is no longer maintaining. (4)
Centralization is bad regardless of the block size, but Mike tries to conflate the centralization issues with the Blockstream block size side show for dramatic effect. In retrospect, it would appear that the initial lack of cooperation on a block size increase actually staved off increases in orphan risk. Unfortunately, this centralization metric will likely increase with the cooperation of Chinese miners and Bitcoin Classic if major strides to reduce orphan rates are not made.
Mike also manages to link to a post from the ProHashing guy RE forever-stuck transactions, which has been shown to generally be the result of poorly maintained/improperly implemented wallet software.(6) Ultimately Mike wants fees to be fixed despite the fact you can't enforce fixed fees in a system that is not centrally planned. Miners could decide to raise their minimum fees even when blocks are >1mb, especially when blocks become too big to reliably propagate across the network without being orphaned. What is the marginal cost for a tx that increases orphan risk by some %? That is a question being explored with flexcaps. Even with larger blocks, if miners outside the GFW fear orphans they will not create the bigger blocks without a decent incentive; in other words, even with a larger block size you might still end up with variable fees. Regardless, it is generally understood that variable fees are not preferred from a UX standpoint, but developers of Bitcoin software do not have the luxury of enforcing specific fees beyond basic defaults hardcoded to prevent cheap DoS attacks. We must expose the user to just enough information so they can make an informed decision without being overwhelmed. Hard? Yes. Impossible. No.
Shifting gears, Mike states that current development progress via segwit is an empty ploy, despite the fact that segwit comes with not only a marginal capacity increase, but it also plugs up major malleability vectors, allows pruning blocks for historical data and a bunch of other fun stuff. It's a huge win for unconfirmed transactions (which Mike should love). Even if segwit does require non-negligible changes to wallet software and Bitcoin Core (500 lines LoC), it allows us time to improve block relay (IBLT, weak blocks) so we can start raising the block size without fear of increased orphan rate. Certainly we can rush to increase the block size now and further exacerbate the China problem, or we can focus on the "long play" and limit negative externalities.
And does segwit help the Lightning Network? Yes. Is that something that indicates a Blockstream conspiracy? No. Comically, the big blockians used to criticize Blockstream for advocating for LN when there was no one working on it, but now that it is actively being developed, the tune has changed and everything Blockstream does is a conspiracy to push for Bitcoin's future as a dystopic LN powered settlement network. Is LN "the answer?" Obviously not, most don't actually think that. How it actually works in practice is yet to be seen and there could be unforseen emergent characteristics that make it less useful for the average user than originally thought. But it's a tool that should be developed in unison with other scaling measures if only for its usefulness for instant txs and micropayments.
Regardless, the fundamental divide rests on ideological differences that we all know well. Mike is fine with the miner-only validation model for nodes and is willing to accept some miner centralization so long as he gets the necessary capacity increases to satisfy his personal expectations for the immediate future of Bitcoin. Greg and co believe that a distributed full node landscape helps maintain a balance of decentralization in the face of the miner centralization threat. For example, if you have 10 miners who are the only sources for blockchain data then you run the risk of undetectable censorship, prolific sybil attacks, and no mechanism for individuals to validate the network without trusting a third party. As an analogy, take the tor network: you use it with an expectation of privacy while understanding that the multi-hop nature of the routing will increase latency. Certainly you could improve latency by removing a hop or two, but with it you lose some privacy. Does tor's high latency make it useless? Maybe for watching Netflix, but not for submitting leaked documents to some newspaper. I believe this is the philosophy held by most of the core development team.
Mike does not believe that the Bitcoin network should cater to this philosophy and any activity which stunts the growth of on-chain transactions is a direct attack on the protocol. Ultimately however I believe Greg and co. also want Bitcoin to scale on-chain transactions as much as possible. They believe that in order for Bitcoin to increase its capacity while adhering to acceptable levels of decentralization, much work needs to be done. It's not a matter of if block size will be increased, but when. Mike has confused this adherence to strong principles of decentralization as disingenuous and a cover up for a dystopic future of Bitcoin where sidechains run wild with financial institutions paying $40 per transaction. Again, this does not make any sense to me. If banks are spending millions to co-op this network what advantage does a decentralized node landscape have to them?
There are a few roads that the community can take now: one where we delay a block size increase while improvements to the protocol are made (with the understanding that some users may have to wait a few blocks to have their transaction included, fees will be dependent on transaction volume, and transactions <$1 may be temporarily cost ineffective) so that when we do increase the block size, orphan rate and node drop off are insignificant. Another is the immediate large block size increase which possibly leads to a future Bitcoin which looks nothing like it does today: low numbers of validating nodes, heavy trust in centralized network explorers and thus a more vulnerable network to government coercion/general attack. Certainly there are smaller steps for block size increases which might not be as immediately devastating, and perhaps that is the middle ground which needs to be trodden to appease those who are emotionally invested in a bigger block size. Combined with segwit however, max block sizes could reach unacceptable levels. There are other scenarios which might play out with competing chains etc..., but in that future Bitcoin has effectively failed.
As any technology that requires maintenance and human interaction, Bitcoin will require politicking for decision making. Up until now that has occurred via the "vote download" for software which implements some change to the protocol. I believe this will continue to be the most robust of options available to us. Now that there is competition, the Bitcoin Core community can properly advocate for changes to the protocol that it sees fit without being accused of co-opting the development of Bitcoin. An ironic outcome to the situation at hand. If users want their Bitcoins to remain valuable, they must actively determine which developers are most competent and have their best interests at heart. So far the core dev community has years of substantial and successful contributions under its belt, while the alt implementations have a smattering of developers who have not yet publicly proven (besides perhaps Gavin--although his early mistakes with block size estimates is concerning) they have the skills and endurance necessary to maintain a full node implementation. Perhaps now it is time that we focus on the personalities who many want to trust Bitcoin's future. Let us see if they can improve the speed at which signatures are validated by 7x. Or if they can devise privacy preserving protocols like Confidential Transactions. Or can they figure out ways to improve traversal times across a merkle tree? Can they implement HD functionality into a wallet without any coin-crushing bugs? Can they successfully modularize their implementation without breaking everything? If so, let's welcome them with open arms.
But Mike is at R3 now, which seems like a better fit for him ideologically. He can govern the rules with relative impunity and there is not a huge community of open source developers, researchers and enthusiasts to disagree with. I will admit, his posts are very convincing at first blush, but ultimately they are nothing more than a one sided appeal to the those in the community who have unrealistic or incomplete understandings of the technical challenges faced by developers maintaining a consensus critical, validation-heavy, distributed system that operates within an adversarial environment. Mike always enjoyed attacking Blockstream, but when survey his past behavior it becomes clear that his motives were not always pure. Why else would you leave with such a nasty, public farewell?
To all the XT'ers, btc'ers and so on, I only ask that you show some compassion when you critique the work of Bitcoin Core devs. We understand you have a competing vision for the scaling of Bitcoin over the next few years. They want Bitcoin to scale too, you just disagree on how and when it should be done. Vilifying and attacking the developers only further divides the community and scares away potential future talent who may want to further the Bitcoin cause. Unless you can replace the folks doing all this hard work on the protocol or can pay someone equally as competent, please think twice before you say something nasty.
As for Mike, I wish you the best at R3 and hope that you can one day return to the Bitcoin community with a more open mind. It must hurt having your software out there being used by so many but your voice snuffed. Hopefully one day you can return when many of the hard problems are solved (e.g. reduced propagation delays, better access to cheap bandwidth) and the road to safe block size increases have been paved.
(*) https://eprint.iacr.org/2014/763.pdf
(q) https://github.com/bitcoinclassic/bitcoinclassic/pull/6
(b) https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-Decembe012026.html
(c) https://github.com/bitcoinclassic/bitcoinclassic/pull/1#issuecomment-170299027
(d) http://toom.im/jameshilliard_classic_PR_1.html
(0) http://bitcoinstats.com/irc/bitcoin-dev/logs/2016/01/06
(1) https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/graphs/contributors
(2) https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-Decembe012014.html
(3) https://toom.im/blocktime (beware of heavy website)
(4) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=766190.msg13510513#msg13510513
(5) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10774773
(6) http://rusty.ozlabs.org/?p=573
edit, fixed some things.
edit 2, tried to clarify some more things and remove some personal bias thanks to astro
submitted by citboins to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

BlockTorrent: The famous algorithm which BitTorrent uses for SHARING BIG FILES. Which you probably thought Bitcoin *also* uses for SHARING NEW BLOCKS (which are also getting kinda BIG). But Bitcoin *doesn't* torrent *new* blocks (while relaying). It only torrents *old* blocks (while sync-ing). Why?

This post is being provided to further disseminate an existing proposal:
This proposal was originally presented by jtoomim back in September of 2015 - on the bitcoin_dev mailing list (full text at the end of this OP), and on reddit:
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3zo72i/fyi_ujtoomim_is_working_on_a_scaling_proposal/cyomgj3
Here's a TL;DR, in his words:
BlockTorrenting
For initial block sync, [Bitcoin] sort of works [like BitTorrent] already.
You download a different block from each peer. That's fine.
However, a mechanism does not currently exist for downloading a portion of each [new] block from a different peer.
That's what I want to add.
~ jtoomim
The more detailed version of this "BlockTorrenting" proposal (as presented by jtoomim on the bitcoin_dev mailing list) is linked and copied / reformatted at the end of this OP.
Meanwhile here are some observations from me as a concerned member of the Bitcoin-using public.
Questions:
Whoa??
WTF???
Bitcoin doesn't do this kind of "blocktorrenting" already??
But.. But... I thought Bitcoin was "p2p" and "based on BitTorrent"...
... because (as we all know) Bitcoin has to download giant files.
Oh...
Bitcoin only "torrents" when sharing one certain kind of really big file: the existing blockchain, when a node is being initialized.
But Bitcoin doesn't "torrent" when sharing another certain kind of moderately big file (a file whose size, by the way, has been notoriously and steadily growing over the years to the point where the system running the legacy "Core"/Blockstream Bitcoin implementation is starting to become dangerously congested - no matter what some delusional clowns "Core" devs may say): ie, the world's most wildly popular, industrial-strength "p2p file sharing algorithm" is mysteriously not being used where the Bitcoin network needs it the most in order to get transactions confirmed on-chain: when a a newly found block needs to be shared among nodes, when a node is relaying new blocks.
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin+bitcoinxt+bitcoin_uncensored+btc+bitcoin_classic/search?q=blocktorrent&restrict_sr=on
How many of you (honestly) just simply assumed that this algorithm was already being used in Bitcoin - since we've all been told that "Bitcoin is p2p, like BitTorrent"?
As it turns out - the only part of Bitcoin which has been p2p up until now is the "sync-ing a new full-node" part.
The "running an existing full-node" part of Bitcoin has never been implemented as truly "p2p2" yet!!!1!!!
And this is precisely the part of the system that we've been wasting all of our time (and destroying the community) fighting over for the past few months - because the so-called "experts" from the legacy "Core"/Blockstream Bitcoin implementation ignored this proposal!
Why?
Why have all the so-called "experts" at "Core"/Blockstream ignored this obvious well-known effective & popular & tested & successful algorithm for doing "blocktorrenting" to torrent each new block being relayed?
Why have the "Core"/Blockstream devs failed to p2p-ize the most central, fundamental networking aspect of Bitcoin - the part where blocks get propagated, the part we've been fighting about for the past few years?
This algorithm for "torrenting" a big file in parallel from peers is the very definition of "p2p".
It "surgically" attacks the whole problem of sharing big files in the most elegant and efficient way possible: right at the lowest level of the bottleneck itself, cleverly chunking a file and uploading it in parallel to multiple peers.
Everyone knows torrenting works. Why isn't Bitcoin using it for its new blocks?
As millions of torrenters already know (but evidently all the so-called "experts" at Core/Blocsktream seem to have conveniently forgotten), "torrenting" a file (breaking a file into chunks and then offering a different chunk to each peer to "get it out to everyone fast" - before your particular node even has the entire file) is such a well-known / feasible / obvious / accepted / battle-tested / highly efficient algorithm for "parallelizing" (and thereby significantly accelerating) the sharing of big files among peers, that many people simply assumed that Bitcoin had already been doing this kind of "torrenting of new-blocks" these whole past 7 years.
But Bitcoin doesn't do this - yet!
None of the Core/Blockstream devs (and the Chinese miners who follow them) have prioritized p2p-izing the most central and most vital and most resource-consuming function of the Bitcoin network - the propagation of new blocks!
Maybe it took someone who's both a miner and a dev to "scratch" this particular "itch": Jonathan Toomim jtoomim.
  • A miner + dev who gets very little attention / respect from the Core/Blockstream devs (and from the Chinese miners who follow them) - perhaps because they feel threatened by a competing implementation?
  • A miner + dev who may have come up with the simplest and safest and most effective algorithmic (ie, software-based, not hardware-consuming) scaling proposal of anyone!
  • A dev who who is not paid by Blockstream, and who is therefore free from the secret, undisclosed corporate restraints / confidentiality agreements imposed by the shadowy fiat venture-capitalists and legacy power elite who appear to be attempting to cripple our code and muzzle our devs.
  • A miner who has the dignity not to let himself be forced into signing a loyalty oath to any corporate overlords after being locked in a room until 3 AM.
Precisely because jtoomim is both a indepdendent miner and an independent dev...
  • He knows what needs to be done.
  • He knows how to do it.
  • He is free to go ahead and do it - in a permissionless, decentralized fashion.
Possible bonus: The "blocktorrent" algorithm would help the most in the upload direction - which is precisely where Bitcoin scaling needs the most help!
Consider the "upload" direction for a relatively slow full-node - such as Luke-Jr, who reports that his internet is so slow, he has not been able to run a full-node since mid-2015.
The upload direction is the direction which everyone says has been the biggest problem with Bitcoin - because, in order for a full-node to be "useful" to the network:
  • it has to able to upload a new block to (at least) 8 peers,
  • which places (at least) 8x more "demand" on the full-node's upload bandwidth.
The brilliant, simple proposed "blocktorrent" algorithm from jtoomim (already proven to work with Bram Cohen's BitTorrent protocol, and also already proven to work for initial sync-ing of Bitcoin full-nodes - but still un-implemented for ongoing relaying among full-nodes) looks like it would provide a significant performance improvement precisely at this tightest "bottleneck" in the system, the crucial central nexus where most of the "traffic" (and the congestion) is happening: the relaying of new blocks from "slower" full-nodes.
The detailed explanation for how this helps "slower" nodes when uploading, is as follows.
Say you are a "slower" node.
You need to send a new block out to (at least) 8 peers - but your "upload" bandwidth is really slow.
If you were to split the file into (at least) 8 "chunks", and then upload a different one of these (at least) 8 "chunks" to each of your (at least) 8 peers - then (if you were using "blocktorrenting") it only would take you 1/8 (or less) of the "normal" time to do this (compared to the naïve legacy "Core" algorithm).
Now the new block which your "slower" node was attempting to upload is already "out there" - in 1/8 (or less) of the "normal" time compared to the naïve legacy "Core" algorithm.[ 1 ]
... [ 1 ] There will of course also be a tiny amount of extra overhead involved due to the "housekeeping" performed by the "blocktorrent" algorithm itself - involving some additional processing and communicating to decompose the block into chunks and to organize the relaying of different chunks to different peers and the recompose the chunks into a block again (all of which, depending on the size of the block and the latency of your node's connections to its peers, would in most cases be negligible compared to the much-greater speed-up provided by the "blocktorrent" algorithm itself).
Now that your block is "out there" at those 8 (or more) peer nodes to whom you just blocktorrented it in 1/8 (or less) of the time - it has now been liberated from the "bottleneck" of your "slower" node.
In fact, its further propagation across the net may now be able to leverage much faster upload speeds from some other node(s) which have "blocktorrent"-downloaded it in pieces from you (and other peers) - and which might be faster relaying it along, than your "slower" node.
For some mysterious reason, the legacy Bitcoin implementation from "Core"/Blockstream has not been doing this kind of "blocktorrenting" for new blocks.
It's only been doing this torrenting for old blocks. The blocks that have already been confirmed.
Which is fine.
But we also obviously need this sort of "torrenting" to be done for each new block is currently being confirmed.
And this is where the entire friggin' "scaling bottleneck" is occurring, which we just wasted the past few years "debating" about.
Just sit down and think about this for a minute.
We've had all these so-called "experts" (Core/Blockstream devs and other small-block proponents) telling us for years that guys like Hearn and Gavin and repos like Classic and XT and BU were "wrong" or at least "unserious" because they "merely" proposed "brute-force" scaling: ie, scaling which would simply place more demands on finite resources (specifically: on the upload bandwidth from full-nodes - who need to relay to at least 8 peer full-nodes in order to be considered "useful" to the network).
These "experts" have been beating us over the head this whole time, telling us that we have to figure out some (really complicated, unproven, inefficient and centralized) clever scaling algorithms to squeeze more efficiency out of existing infrastructure.
And here is the most well-known / feasible / obvious / accepted / battle-tested algorithm for "parallelizing" (and thereby massively accelerating) the sharing of big file among peers - the BitTorrent algorithm itself, the gold standard of p2p relaying par excellence, which has been a major success on the Internet for decades, at one point accounting for nearly 1/3 of all traffic on the Internet itself - and which is also already being used in one part of Bitcoin: during the phase of sync-ing a new node.
And apparently pretty much only jtoomim has been talking about using it for the actual relaying of new blocks - while Core/Blockstream devs have so far basically ignored this simple and safe and efficient proposal.
And then the small-block sycophants (reddit users or wannabe C/C++ programmers who have beaten into submission and/or by the FUD and "technological pessimism" of the Core/Blockstream devs, and by the censorhip on their legacy forum), they all "laugh" at Classic and proclaim "Bitcoin doesn't need another dev team - all the 'experts' are at Core / Blockstream"...
...when in fact it actually looks like jtoomim (an independent minedev, free from the propaganda and secret details of the corporate agenda of Core/Blockstream - who works on the Classic Bitcoin implementation) may have proposed the simplest and safest and most effective scaling algorithm in this whole debate.
By the way, his proposal estimates that we could get about 1 magnitude greater throughput, based on the typical latency and blocksize for blocks of around 20 MB and bandwidth of around 8 Mbps (which seems like a pretty normal scenario).
So why the fuck isn't this being done yet?
This is such a well-known / feasible / obvious / accepted / battle-tested algorithm for "parallelizing" (and thereby significantly accelerating) the sharing of big files among peers:
  • It's already being used for the (currently) 65 gigabytes of "blocks in the existing blockchain" itself - the phase where a new node has to sync with the blockchain.
  • It's already being used in BitTorrent - although the BitTorrent protocol has been optimized more to maximize throughput, whereas it would probably be a good idea to optimize the BlockTorrent protocol to minimize latency (since avoiding orphans is the big issue here) - which I'm fairly sure should be quite doable.
This algorithm is so trivial / obvious / straightforward / feasible / well-known / proven that I (and probably many others) simply assumed that Bitcoin had been doing this all along!
But it has never been implemented.
There is however finally a post about it today on the score-hidden forum /Bitcoin, from eragmus:
[bitcoin-dev] BlockTorrent: Torrent-style new-block propagation on Merkle trees
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/484nbx/bitcoindev_blocktorrent_torrentstyle_newblock/
And, predictably, the top-voted comment there is a comment telling us why it will never work.
And the comment after that comment is from the author of the proposal, jtoomim, explaining why it would work.
Score hidden on all those comments.
Because the immature tyrant theymos still doesn't understand the inherent advantages of people using reddit's upvoting & downvoting tools to hold decentralized, permissionless debates online.
Whatever.
Questions:
(1) Would this "BlockTorrenting" algorithm from jtoomim really work?
(2) If so, why hasn't it been implemented yet?
(3) Specifically: With all the "dev firepower" (and $76 million in venture capital) available at Core/Blockstream, why have they not prioritized implementing this simple and safe and highly effective solution?
(4) Even more specifically: Are there undisclosed strategies / agreements / restraints imposed by Blockstream financial investors on Bitcoin "Core" devs which have been preventing further discussion and eventual implementation of this possible simple & safe & efficient scaling solution?
Here is the more-detailed version of this proposal, presented by Jonathan Toomim jtoomim back in September of 2015 on the bitcoin-dev mailing list (and pretty much ignored for months by almost all the "experts" there):
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-Septembe011176.html
As I understand it, the current block propagation algorithm is this:
  1. A node mines a block.
  2. It notifies its peers that it has a new block with an inv. Typical nodes have 8 peers.
  3. The peers respond that they have not seen it, and request the block with getdata [hash].
  4. The node sends out the block in parallel to all 8 peers simultaneously. If the node's upstream bandwidth is limiting, then all peers will receive most of the block before any peer receives all of the block. The block is sent out as the small header followed by a list of transactions.
  5. Once a peer completes the download, it verifies the block, then enters step 2.
(If I'm missing anything, please let me know.)
The main problem with this algorithm is that it requires a peer to have the full block before it does any uploading to other peers in the p2p mesh. This slows down block propagation to:
O( p • log_p(n) ) 
where:
  • n is the number of peers in the mesh,
  • p is the number of peers transmitted to simultaneously.
It's like the Napster era of file-sharing. We can do much better than this.
Bittorrent can be an example for us.
Bittorrent splits the file to be shared into a bunch of chunks, and hashes each chunk.
Downloaders (leeches) grab the list of hashes, then start requesting their peers for the chunks out-of-order.
As each leech completes a chunk and verifies it against the hash, it begins to share those chunks with other leeches.
Total propagation time for large files can be approximately equal to the transmission time for an FTP upload.
Sometimes it's significantly slower, but often it's actually faster due to less bottlenecking on a single connection and better resistance to packet/connection loss.
(This could be relevant for crossing the Chinese border, since the Great Firewall tends to produce random packet loss, especially on encrypted connections.)
Bitcoin uses a data structure for transactions with hashes built-in. We can use that in lieu of Bittorrent's file chunks.
A Bittorrent-inspired algorithm might be something like this:
  1. (Optional steps to build a Merkle cache; described later)
  2. A seed node mines a block.
  3. It notifies its peers that it has a new block with an extended version of inv.
  4. The leech peers request the block header.
  5. The seed sends the block header. The leech code path splits into two.
  6. (a) The leeches verify the block header, including the PoW. If the header is valid,
  7. (a) They notify their peers that they have a header for an unverified new block with an extended version of inv, looping back to 2. above. If it is invalid, they abort thread (b).
  8. (b) The leeches request the Nth row (from the root) of the transaction Merkle tree, where N might typically be between 2 and 10. That corresponds to about 1/4th to 1/1024th of the transactions. The leeches also request a bitfield indicating which of the Merkle nodes the seed has leaves for. The seed supplies this (0xFFFF...).
  9. (b) The leeches calculate all parent node hashes in the Merkle tree, and verify that the root hash is as described in the header.
  10. The leeches search their Merkle hash cache to see if they have the leaves (transaction hashes and/or transactions) for that node already.
  11. The leeches send a bitfield request to the node indicating which Merkle nodes they want the leaves for.
  12. The seed responds by sending leaves (either txn hashes or full transactions, depending on benchmark results) to the leeches in whatever order it decides is optimal for the network.
  13. The leeches verify that the leaves hash into the ancestor node hashes that they already have.
  14. The leeches begin sharing leaves with each other.
  15. If the leaves are txn hashes, they check their cache for the actual transactions. If they are missing it, they request the txns with a getdata, or all of the txns they're missing (as a list) with a few batch getdatas.
Features and benefits
The main feature of this algorithm is that a leech will begin to upload chunks of data as soon as it gets them and confirms both PoW and hash/data integrity instead of waiting for a fully copy with full verification.
Inefficient cases, and mitigations
This algorithm is more complicated than the existing algorithm, and won't always be better in performance.
Because more round trip messages are required for negotiating the Merkle tree transfers, it will perform worse in situations where the bandwidth to ping latency ratio is high relative to the blocksize.
Specifically, the minimum per-hop latency will likely be higher.
This might be mitigated by reducing the number of round-trip messages needed to set up the BlockTorrent by using larger and more complex inv-like and getdata-like messages that preemptively send some data (e.g. block headers).
This would trade off latency for bandwidth overhead from larger duplicated inv messages.
Depending on implementation quality, the latency for the smallest block size might be the same between algorithms, or it might be 300% higher for the torrent algorithm.
For small blocks (perhaps < 100 kB), the BlockTorrent algorithm will likely be slightly slower.
Sidebar from the OP: So maybe this would discourage certain miners (cough Dow cough) from mining blocks that aren't full enough:
Why is [BTCC] limiting their block size to under 750 all of a sudden?
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/486o1u/why_is_bttc_limiting_their_block_size_to_unde

For large blocks (e.g. 8 MB over 20 Mbps), I expect the BlockTorrent algo will likely be around an order of magnitude faster in the worst case (adversarial) scenarios, in which none of the block's transactions are in the caches.

One of the big benefits of the BlockTorrent algorithm is that it provides several obvious and straightforward points for bandwidth saving and optimization by caching transactions and reconstructing the transaction order.

Future work: possible further optimizations
A cooperating miner [could] pre-announce Merkle subtrees with some of the transactions they are planning on including in the final block.
Other miners who see those subtrees [could] compare the transactions in those subtrees to the transaction sets they are mining with, and can rearrange their block prototypes to use the same subtrees as much as possible.
In the case of public pools supporting the getblocktemplate protocol, it might be possible to build Merkle subtree caches without the pool's help by having one or more nodes just scraping their getblocktemplate results.
Even if some transactions are inserted or deleted, it [might] be possible to guess a lot of the tree based on the previous ordering.
Once a block header and the first few rows of the Merkle tree [had] been published, they [would] propagate through the whole network, at which time full nodes might even be able to guess parts of the tree by searching through their txn and Merkle node/subtree caches.
That might be fun to think about, but probably not effective due to O( n2 ) or worse scaling with transaction count.
Might be able to make it work if the whole network cooperates on it, but there are probably more important things to do.
Leveraging other features from BitTorrent
There are also a few other features of Bittorrent that would be useful here, like:
  • prioritizing uploads to different peers based on their upload capacity,
  • banning peers that submit data that doesn't hash to the right value.
Sidebar from the OP: Hmm...maybe that would be one way to deal with the DDoS-ing we're experiencing right now? I know the DDoSer is using a rotating list of proxies, but still it could be a quick-and-dirty way to mitigate against his attack.
DDoS started again. Have a nice day, guys :)
https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin_Classic/comments/47zglz/ddos_started_again_have_a_nice_day_guys/d0gj13y
(It might be good if we could get Bram Cohen to help with the implementation.)
Using the existing BitTorrent algorithm as-is - versus tailoring a new algorithm optimized for Bitcoin
Another possible option would be to just treat the block as a file and literally Bittorrent it.
But I think that there should be enough benefits to integrating it with the existing bitcoin p2p connections and also with using bitcoind's transaction caches and Merkle tree caches to make a native implementation worthwhile.
Also, BitTorrent itself was designed to optimize more for bandwidth than for latency, so we will have slightly different goals and tradeoffs during implementation.
Concerns, possible attacks, mitigations, related work
One of the concerns that I initially had about this idea was that it would involve nodes forwarding unverified block data to other nodes.
At first, I thought this might be useful for a rogue miner or node who wanted to quickly waste the whole network's bandwidth.
However, in order to perform this attack, the rogue needs to construct a valid header with a valid PoW, but use a set of transactions that renders the block as a whole invalid in a manner that is difficult to detect without full verification.
However, it will be difficult to design such an attack so that the damage in bandwidth used has a greater value than the 240 exahashes (and 25.1 BTC opportunity cost) associated with creating a valid header.
Related work: IBLT (Invertible Bloom Lookup Tables)
As I understand it, the O(1) IBLT approach requires that blocks follow strict rules (yet to be fully defined) about the transaction ordering.
If these are not followed, then it turns into sending a list of txn hashes, and separately ensuring that all of the txns in the new block are already in the recipient's mempool.
When mempools are very dissimilar, the IBLT approach performance degrades heavily and performance becomes worse than simply sending the raw block.
This could occur if a node just joined the network, during chain reorgs, or due to malicious selfish miners.
Also, if the mempool has a lot more transactions than are included in the block, the false positive rate for detecting whether a transaction already exists in another node's mempool might get high for otherwise reasonable bucket counts/sizes.
With the BlockTorrent approach, the focus is on transmitting the list of hashes in a manner that propagates as quickly as possible while still allowing methods for reducing the total bandwidth needed.
Remark
The BlockTorrent algorithm does not really address how the actual transaction data will be obtained because, once the leech has the list of txn hashes, the standard Bitcoin p2p protocol can supply them in a parallelized and decentralized manner.
Thoughts?
-jtoomim
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

Log of AMA with Skycoin

boldninja Let's all give a warm welcome to @synth from SkyCoin.net and for taking the time to do this AMA
synth *hello
mike Hi Synth
jakethepanda Hey @synth
thrice.pi Hey synth
dr10 Hi
boldninja I think we can start - you guys know the drill. Give him some time to respond (no more than 2-3 questions on backlog so he can catch up)
dr10 How would you - shortly & in easy words - sum-up the advantages of SkyCoin to magazines and non-crypto people?
mgaruccio Can you explain a bit about the mesh net? Is it just an mpls network between nodes or is there something deeper going on?
michaelthecryptoguy Whassup @synth
tranzer hi synth. I have a question - are those coins that are not in circulation in any cold wallets since only a portion is currently available according to CMC? What would you say is the 1 unique feature that Skycoin has?
synth It is very difficult, because Skycoin is a very large project and already has +6 years of development. Different parts of the project have different objectives.
The cryto, coin part is about solving the problems with the existing consensus algorithms. Being able to do +300 transactions a second, transactions in seconds instead of minutes (faster than credit cards), eliminating miners, eliminating block rewards (eliminating inflation) and eliminating 51% attack and the other problems with mining.
then there are other repos and experimental projects under github.com/skycoin such as a meshnet and distributed VPN prototype, where people will be paid coins for forwarding traffic. Also prototypes of distributed social media application, with peer to peer data replication and different experimental projects. Research into immutable data structures for next generation internet. Some of them are very radical.
dr10 How does the Network consensus algorithm Obelisk work and differ from widely known algorithms like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake?
mgaruccio So how much exists today? Could I build an app on the platform if I wanted to?
mike In terms of the rate of progress, what is currently your greatest limiting factor - like funding, manpower, currently available technology?
synth
Can you explain a bit about the mesh net? Is it just an mpls network between nodes or is there something deeper going on?
It is not actually a meshnet. It is software defined networking, it is much more powerful than just meshnet. Its a new type of networking and new completely new protocol and networking namespace, independent of the existing internet.
It supports source routing, while the existing internet does hot potato routing, so never achieves optimal latencies.
It supports multi-homing, which IPv6 does not (Which is critical for when we have gigabit or terabit networking and multi-redundant bandwidth paths)
It has default oppurunistic crypto, both link layer and end to end; so everything is encrypted by default, unlike the current internet.
It has store and forward networking and will operate in Africa or even under conditions where latencies are in the minutes or hours and packet loss is excessive. Where existing protocols cannot operate reliability. It is much more robust than IPv4/IPv6 or TCP/ip
It has improved privacy. If a packet takes a route that is 10 hops, each hop only knows the previous node in the route and the next node in the route. It is not like IPv4 where each packet gives the source and destination. The privacy level is something that does not exist on the current internet.
IP addresses are replaced by public key and no one can read traffic to a destination, without knowing the private key of the public key that identifies the destination. The system does not need 3rd parties or certificate authorities. The design is a revolution.
are those coins that are not in circulation in any cold wallets since only a portion is currently available according to CMC?
The coins are locked into 100 addresses, each with 1 million coins each. And they are released sequentially.
There is a complicated locking procedure and releasing new coins requires unamious consent and a shared secret among a group of developers. Anyone in the shared secret group can block distribution of more coins (to stop the problem that killed NXT). So by design the coins were supposed to be difficult to distribut, there had to be a good reason or justification before a distribution would be approved.
mike What are the hardware requirements to operate a wireless Skywire (the name for the protocol described above) Node?
arc-over-water nxt i think is doing ok..
synth
How does the Network consensus algorithm Obelisk work and differ from widely known algorithms like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake?
PoS and PoW use miners. Miners receive new coins every block as a block reward. So miners are making money and will fight to control the network. An everyone will suffer because the newly created coins represent inflation.
Skycoin was designed to eliminate mining and eliminate the inflation. No block rewards, no new coins. And we needed to develop a new consensus algorithm to do that and there are only a few methods that work, for these constraints. The consensus algorithm is based upon Ben-Or's randomization procedure for achieving consensus in a distributed system, with some improvements for detecting adversarial or malicious nodes who are trying to prevent the consensus process.
There are white papers on skycoin.net about the specifics. I would call it "network consensus" and it uses a sort of Web of Trust (WoT), where if the people creating blocks are doing a bad job or attacking the network, then the community can get rid of them. At the same time, the people who control the network, do not have any real power to attack the network except by slowing down transactions and being annoying, so even if they become malicious the only issue is how to get rid of them and select new people.
mike Any idea when Skywire will be released and ready to test on hardware nodes (testnet or mainnet)?
mgaruccio So if there is no block reward what is the incentive to run a node?
vega What will be the actual function of Skycoin (the coin itself)? Will the coin be used as currency, as transfer of value in and between all these various developing functionalities, semi-separate projects to tie them all together or it's function will be more limited?
michaelthecryptoguy Do you have an idea on the specs of a node that would be required? In the beginning? What about with 10,000 users? (edited)
synth
nxt i think is doing ok..
There were three people that each owned 30% of the coin. One decided he wanted out and began dumping. NXT was over 150 million I think. When he started dumping, it basicly killed NXT.
Skycoin's distribution was designed to stop dumping by the founders and early people.
After Skycoin gets to 30% of the total coins distributed, there will probably a hard time lock on the remaining coins, so that a maximum of 5% of the remaining coins can be released per year. So the distribution for the other 70% of the coins will take a minimum of 14 years (and could be longer).
We cannot even sell the rest of the coins, because if we sold 10% of the total now at $5 per coin, it would be 50 million or something and we cannot spend or even use that amount of money. Not at this stage.
Ethereum spent 30 million or 70 million in their first year or two after the ICO and then nearly went bankrupt. Silicon Valley wages and offices etc. We have been very conservative and have kept costs down and kept them responsible. Now we have coins like EOS and they want to raise a billion dollars and have not produced anything yet, do not hav a blockchain and I have no idea what they would spend that money on, but they are throwing $350,000 parties in time square for marketing/PR etc...
arc-over-water what prevents you from selling? anybody can spend that amount of money?
nxt is a newer platform than sky, market value is $220 million plus $166 million, I get what you are saying but the evidence is wrong. Community is huge and active in Nxt. But you say it is killed, i dont get it?
synth
What will be the actual function of Skycoin (the coin itself)? Will the coin be used as currency, as transfer of value in and between all these various developing functionalities, semi-separate projects to tie them all together or it's function will be more limited?
Yes. Bitcoin has no purpose. An altcoin does two things - check your balance - send money to other people
Two features - check balance - send
For a coin to have value, people need to be forced to buy it to consume specific services. There has to be stuff for people to spend the coin on, that there is demand for.
So Bitcoin is really just a purely speculative asset. It generates no cashflow and its value is determined by perception or social convention.
Ideally, Skycoin would start off as a "better Bitcoin" (faster, more secure, new algorithm, simplier, etc), then over time we would build up an ecosystem and have some type of backing and tie the coin's value into the network and usebase.
The mesh netork (skywire) is good, because it gives something for people to do to get coins and it allows people to consume the coins. You can run your internet traffic through a VPN that tunnels over Skywire and maybe it will be a nominal amount (actually absurdly small amount of money), but there would be real economic activity and a real userbase and community using the coin. Not just speculation.
Later on the scope is much wider.
arc-over-water So the skycoin wallet will be a VPN for our internet usage?
synth
nxt is a newer platform than sky, market value is $220 million plus $166 million, I get what you are saying but the evidence is wrong. Community is huge and active in Nxt. But you say it is killed, i dont get it?
What I am saying, is that NXT would be a lot further along than it is now and probably around where Ethereum is, except for that mistake in the distribution and keeping it too concentrated. It set them back by years. They did not consider what the impact on the price would be, over the long term, when one of the early whales started selling off or decided he wanted out.
arc-over-water But they did the same again with IOTA, same lead dev.. Its over a $Billion
they released and let the market price distribute
synth
So the skycoin wallet will be a VPN for our internet usage?
The VPN is just one application, that uses bandwidth over Skywire. There are several things in development.
This is a BBS like 4chan, that is completely distributed, with CXO. https://github.com/skycoin/bbs
It will run over Skywire also, This is like building a whole new internet from scratch. The apps that run on it are going to specialized and privacy focused, etc GitHub skycoin/bbs Contribute to bbs development by creating an account on GitHub.
mike So Skycoin is a Proof of Resource coin where its value is actually backed by provision of a useful service, in this case private and secure networking? Are there plans to add decentralized storage and even distributed processing to it?
arc-over-water so these 100 separate million coin accounts will be 100 ICOs or how is the distribution patterned? is it written into the code or up to the devs?
rockyj !calculate
slackbot Custom Response https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FGo3FkC3uSWXGHatPQyny2brMWjAIJsHFCR-Lhkl_m0/edit#gid=0
synth
So if there is no block reward what is the incentive to run a node?
running a consensus node does not cost anything. You can run it on a raspberry pi.
The important thing is that if the people doing consensus are doing a bad job, that the community can get rid of them and replace them. The other important thing, is that they can be audited and determined automatically if they are obeying the protocol.
the miners in skycoin are not very powerful and cannot do anything except slow down transactions. They are unable to spend other people's money without their private keys, so the consensus/mining nodes are almost irrelevent. It is not like Bitcoin where the miners can hold the network hostage or act selfishly (driving up the transactions fees for their own personal benefit and delaying any innovations that would improve bitcoin for everyone, etc).
So Skycoin is a Proof of Resource coin where its value is actually backed by provision of a useful service, in this case private and secure networking? Are there plans to add decentralized storage and even distributed processing to it?
We have decentralized storage, which is called CXO. But only the bandwidth is monetized by Skywire. We do not nickle and dime and try to attach a coin cost to every API call. Everything that should be free is free. So its a different philosphy.
On top of CXO we also have distributed social media applications (simmilar to Steemit)
CXO is very similar to IFPS, but simplier and designed for our internal infrastructure and with our crypto standards, instead of being a mismash.
mike Is it possible for Skycoin to choose the best paths and route around bad or slow nodes as damage to the network, in effect reducing their impact on consensus?
looks like you answered the question above while I was typing...
tranzer How many tx/s can skycoin handle? What are block times?
thrice.pi 300 right? ^
arc-over-water on your website it says you will have a NON- Turing complete lisp language?
synth
so these 100 separate million coin accounts will be 100 ICOs or how is the distribution patterned? is it written into the code or up to the devs?
We will have a distribution page, up on the website soon. Its complicated.
Skywire, is designed to pull coins out of circuation, through a sort of tithe on network activity and it does automatic buy backs effectively. So the distribution will actually peak and then decline. But one distribution is from the locked coins, and the locked coins are freed, then circulate, then end up at the foundation (from the skywire tithe are pulled out of circulation), but still count towards the free float.
The coin holders also receive a coinhour dividend and there will be a market rate conversion between coin hours and Skycoins and coinhours are the actual currency for the Skywire network. If you do not have enough coin hours, then you sell Skycoin for CoinHour at the market rate, to purchase bandwidth; but if you have a lot of coins then you have enough coin hours for downloading movies or VPN or whatever you are doing and it is essentially free.
So there is a dual level economic structure. Both with coin buybacks to pull coins out of circulation and with a dividend or incentive to encourage users to hold the coin if they are using the network.
arc-over-water so there will be two currencies, holding one reserves the other
synth
Is it possible for Skycoin to choose the best paths and route around bad or slow nodes as damage to the network
Yes. This is very important.
The person dialing a connection, chooses the path of the connection!
You can choose the lowest latency path for video games or Skype, and choose highest throughput paths for video downloads etc. Or can choose paths through specific nodes or facilities or countries, for security concerns and to minimize the number of points that the traffic could be intercepted at.
mike Will Skycoin still have the node subsidy plan for setting up and registering the mesh nodes like originally planned?
dr10 When do you plan to be able to present your planned technology and services to the masses? When can they use what you try do accomplish?
synth
on your website it says you will have a NON- Turing complete lisp language?
That is probably an error. LOL. We will have a new website soon.
There is no scripting language on the skycoin blockchain. Each transaction is constant time (for efficiency and security and to achieve the highest transaction rate and to keep the coin simple).
However, we have a language called CX in development, which is a next generation language that is beyond "smart contracts" and the toy things on ethereum. It uses immutable datastructures and is something completely new. Most of the skycoin "smart contracts" will probably be off blockchain or in personal blockchains and we do not want to shove all the data onto the main chain, because forcing everyone to download everyone one elses contracts it the world is just spamming the blockchain to death. There are better ways to do it.
Will Skycoin still have the node subsidy plan for setting up and registering the mesh nodes like originally planned?
Yes. We are going to get from 20% to 30% distributno of the coins, through network incentives for people running Skywire nodes, consensus nodes and services.
I think this is going to be massive for marketing. And it is the best way to get the coins out to the users, instead of all the coins being held by whales
samuelvihollandia I read how you suggest Skycoin could be used for VPN connections, is this the largest use case you see?
arc-over-water Maidsafe has been working on the redesign of the net for about ten years, what are you doing the same and what different?
synth
I read how you suggest Skycoin could be used for VPN connections, is this the largest use case you see?
No. This is just something easy, that we have working. Its not the largest applicatoin at all.
80% of internet traffic right now is bitorrent and the bitorrent sites are being systematically shutdown and driven off the internet. They wont go away, but will jut go underground. What.cd (largest music tracker, with 800k people) was just shut down, bakabt (largest anime tracker) has gone closed registration, Nyantorrent etc...
User communities of millions of people will be migrating from the clearnet (the existing corporate shit-net) to the "new internet". We are going to see people migrating by the millions, whole user communities of millions of people.
arc-over-water Are you a corporation or foundation or charity? Registered? I am not sure i have seen anything about who you are? What is the dev team size? Background? - Maidsafe is open and clear so is IOTA and Stellar etc. Can you let us know who you and your team are? Especially you are talking about 15 year and up obligations..
techbytes Do we need to hold skycoin to run Skywire nodes or consensus nodes like masternodes from other coins?
synth
Maidsafe has been working on the redesign of the net for about ten years, what are you doing the same and what different?
Maidsafe is in version 2 or 3. Maidsafe will not have a real coin until version 9. Each version takes them about two or three years. Maidsafe will not be "done" or ready for atleast 18 years at this rate.
Skycoin has been in development for ~6 years and the meshnet for 4 years and it will be finished in a few months. To the poin that people can start using it.
Skycoin is similar to maidsafe in the objective, but has a different approach and architecture and primitives. We did not try to do everything, but focused on a smaller, tractable core and got that done.
There will be multiple projects in this space, but few teams are able to plan on the time horizon necisary for building a new internet or able to design each of the components of a system this large, or figure out how to do it so that it is useful at each stage of construction of a project that may take a decade. (edited)
mike Can you see a way for Ark and Skycoin to build on each other in a synergistic manner? I'm all for not reinventing the wheel, especially when it looks like it will be replaced with antigravity like Skycoin.
I see Skycoin as essentially replacing TCP/IP and providing mesh network type functionality at the hardware level, Ark would run on top of it as a top level application layer.
arc-over-water are you up to date on Maidsafe, they are nearly out of Alpha and its more like release early next year? But that being said, Maidsafe says once it is released it is like a virus or AI type, so does Tau Chain, and also Autonomic by HunterMinerCrafter, are we heading towards AI with Maid, Sky Tau and Autonomic?
dr10 smartbridge now! :kappa:
mike So Skycoin would act as a sort of global decentralized cloud server to build on top of.
To communicate, it is more like sharing encrypted files to selected recipients than it is sending messages or hosting sites on a specific server.
synth
Are you a corporation or foundation or charity? Registered? I am not sure i have seen anything about who you are? What is the dev team size? Background?
I think there are over ~60 people who have worked on Skycoin or have made major contributions. Its really a project from the darknet.
Many of the contributors are anonymous. Some of them have security clearances and were in the military industrial complex and one of them worked at the San Diego Naval Defence Research Lab and a lot of the idea for the networking protocols came out of public sector academic researched, funded from there.
We also have a lot of very very early Bitcoin people, hardcore crypto people that predate Bitcoin and an Ethereum core developer, etc..
On the Chinese side we have an early investor in Alibaba and telecom investor. And are doing pilot with china aviation group (owns four publicly traded airline companies) and apparently now Sinopec (which is 2nd largest publicly traded corporation in world).
Then we have people who are part of israeli and US intelligence and are probably doing some sort of money laundering or phychological operations background, who just showed up for some reason. This group seems very interested in the "applications" of these coins and how to improve tranaction privacy and the specifics of the CoinJoin protocol implementation. We got a lot of advice from people experienced in forensic accounting and what they wanted to see and where they felt Bitcoin was deficient and where it leaked metadata.
Then a bunch of PHD level people doing research into distributed database consensus algorithms and another group doing programming language research.
Then a lot of people from the deep darknet, anon, frog twitter and cipher punks and bitorrent communities. (really should be listed as two seperate groups). And people from the Russian darknet community. We have like eight Ivans. (edited)
I see Skycoin as essentially replacing TCP/IP and providing mesh network type functionality at the hardware level, Ark would run on top of it as a top level application layer.
Yes. The key functionality is two things - connecting to people by public key (networking) - distributing self validating, immutble data peer to peer (transactions, blocks etc... content addressible storage)
And you can build almost anything on those two building blocks. The whole internet will eventually be rewritten on top of those primitives and it will replace many of the existing protocols.
arc-over-water Who is the entity that is funding this? I think you have done 2 ICOs? How much did you receive? The first was 10c and the second was @ 50c per coin, released 6 million, is that correct?
samuelvihollandia Are you planning to enter a different exchange market soon?
arc-over-water Have you personally been in Sky from the start? What members have? Who allocates the ICO money etc... I hope you understand that decentralization with investment is a two edged sword, we invest in people but we cannot know these people.... So... we question.. (edited)
thrice.pi with all these outside parties that helped to build skycoin and bring it where it is today who are the main core team who will help to keep all these cool features running. Will these outside parties be recruited for the long haul?
synth
Who is the entity that is funding this? I think you have done 2 ICOs? How much did you receive? The first was 10c and the second was @ 50c per coin, released 6 million, is that correct?
The people who funded the project for the first four years, were early bitcoin and deep crypto people; who were unhappy with the fact that Bitcoin and the other alts did not seem concerned about the core issues at all. They gave us over 1200 bitcoin I think, over several years and did not ask for anything in return.
The early Skycoin devs were doing academic research, architecture and new algorithms. Prototyping and simulation. The later stage people were more project managers and doing implementation.
We did four ICOs for small amounts, to fund development and to allow developers working on the project to buy in. The first ICO I remember was at $0.10 per coin and the price now is about $4.00 per coin, so its up ~35x or 40x, but when you consider the Bitcoin price going from $100 to $3000, the increase has not been so much. lol (edited)
arc-over-water With the price up 35x in about 1 year, is it not now time to cool the run up and release another ICO? At what amount of coins released and what procedure?
mike Would Intel Edison or Joule, or Samsung Artik 10 work well as a Skywire wireless node? They have 2 Gb-8 Gb RAM, 8-64 Gg eMMC storage, 802.11n wireless, bluetooth, and some with Zigbee?
synth
Have you personally been in Sky from the start? What members have? Who allocates the ICO money etc... I hope you understand that decentralization with investment is a two edged sword, we invest in people but we cannot know these people.... So... we question.
I think there wer three different groups that merged together in first three years, that had similar objectives. Because the code was in different language. There was python, C code and then eventually golang and the golang code became the basis for the current codebase.
The way the coin allocations work, is that it requires unamimious consent for releasing coins and it has to be for a specific, ear marked purpose and can be blocked by any of the devs.
Then there is a pool of coins in bitcoin for various project managers to allocate. And that is an operational fund for paying developers, contractors, marketing etc. Then different people have different responsibilities.
Then we also have corporate funding and sponsorship and some companies paying our full time devs etc, which helps a lot.
arc-over-water Silicon Valley (TV SHOW) recently had their decentralized web running on a network or refrigerators? So i would guess, smart phones, smart gadgets? Home gadgets etc could add services and receive rewards from Sky?
mike best would be a totally open source and publicly audited manufactured system on a chip for the nodes to prevent any backdoors. Even chip designers now don't really know what they're putting into the chips since they just drag and drop black boxes known as IP cores into the ASIC designs.
synth
With the price up 35x in about 1 year, is it not now time to cool the run up and release another ICO? At what amount of coins released and what procedure?
I think the Skycoin price has been doubling every 40 days, for as long as I can remember. However, it will still be years before it is in the top 20, its still a long way to climb. It took bitcoin years to go from 0 to $1, even though it was growing at 1% per day the whole time for six years.
best would be a totally open source and publicly audited manufactured system on a chip for the nodes to prevent any backdoors.
we are going to use arm
arc-over-water IOTA is also working on their own hardware for nodes etc, Trinary asset is JINN
synth all intel and AMD systems have remote management engine backdoors. So they are not safe for storing large amounts of coins.
We also have alpine linux and special version of linux, that is 6 MB and has everything that is needed for running our toolchain. It will not have any binary blobs in the kernel or anything that we cant compile from source. It does not have systemd and does not have gli, but uses musl. And does not have openssl.
mike so looks like the Samsung Artik 5 and 10 can run it no problem, they're ARM based. 25x35x4mm package for the Artik 10, Artik 5 is smaller, less powerful but has 2 separate antenna ports, nice for mesh networking with an omni and a directional antenna.
earlyarkinvestor how does Ark compare to Lisk?
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earlyarkinvestor isn't Lisk trying to achieve interoperability between blockchains as well
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mike nice! looks like an ARM based server rack
let me know if you need any help with it, see you're on solidworks, which I run as well.
synth this is the skycoin cluster; it has 8 CPU boards; 4 cores per CPU, 2 GB of ram per CPU and 64 bit ARM processor. Only one program will run on each individual board, so there is compartmentalization and a physical gap so that compromising one process on a system does no allow all other processes on the system to be compromised
mike looks like 2 ethernet ports per board.
synth and the hardware does not have the qualcom backdoors and is actually chinese equipment; and the backdoors are normally at the kernel level because they are not at hardware backdoors yet
lol
mike do they have SATA ports, maybe M.2 for storage?
synth and we will hav an ARM openwrt router eventually too
this model does not have SATA, but we have a model with SATA; you could hook up 16 2 TB drives, lol and download half the piratebay to your cluster (edited)
the skycoin infrastructure is cluster based and designed for running across +300 computers, with one "node" deployed per computer. Eithe a CXO storage node, or a skywire SDN/meshnet node, or a VPN end point node or a consensus network, or skycoin node, etc. We have multiple node/application types.
so this is a "personal cloud' by itself
its not like StoreJ where you have other people storing your stuff; you are going to have ~5 clusters and 300 computers and can store your own files, on your own internet, on your own hardware. You do not need to go outside of your own network.
mike Have thought it'd be nice to have a board with an array of M.2 sockets to run SSD arrays without all the cables, have the busses shielded in circuit board.
synth yes, i think there will be m.2 eventually
these actually use a microSSD for storage, and its 48MB/s
mike any idea on the pricing on your ARM boards in quantity? We are looking at Intel for Bitseed V3, but ARM would be good to stay with, especially using your boards if there is SATA.
arc-over-water Do you have a general idea of usable functions to be released next in what order? The first release was the Coin and wallet, then the ICOs and can you give a general future with dates if you can
synth the boards are $30 each and the memory for solid state, is actually more than the the cost of the CPU/RAM/board now. Which is sort of insane.
mike so you have microSSD, what's maximum size? we shipping 1with Tb hard drives right now
synth Bitseed mike is going to help with this; so we can pool the boards and do a custom PCB
mike yes, that's where we see the price jumps, is in RAM and eMMC costs.
and it's hard to find low cost boards with SATA
synth try the orange pi
the price goes up 30% for SATA
mike yes, very nice specs.
synth eventually, we will make one that has custom PCB and is a pluggable blade server, I think.
mike I like the Samsung Artiks for the tiny form factor for drone routers, cubesat/picosat possibilities.
but like the fact that you are controlling much deeper down the supply chain with your boards.
synth we only need ram, CPU, then microSD slot; and that is it. so the wifi and all this other stuff is just crap and its junk. We only have communication, storage and computation. So should be minimialist.
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