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How secure is the Vertcoin network from new-entrant bad actors? Let's do the math.

The core foundation of a cryptocurrency is the network's security yet we don't have a common methodology to compare currencies.
Thus I propose one method: the capital to market cap ratio.
To start let us calculate Bitcoin's C2MC ratio. Since BTC is an asic coin we need to estimate the cost to design and manufacturer enough asics to 51% the network.
The best method here is to look at the best value non-scam asic. The logic being if a for-profit company can bootstrap production at their public asking price then so could a malicious attacker. It does not matter for our calculation that the asic producers are abusing their customer's preorders and mining for their personal benefit, all that matters is they could produce the hardware. After all an attacker would also mine before they attack.
For our calculation let us use the KNC Neptune which costs $5,995.00 and hashes at 3TH/s. Then take the Bitcoin nethash: 83,161,066.76
Combined we get the formula: ((83,161,066.76 / 3000) * 6000 ) / 7,395,527,268
We thus find Bitcoin has a whole 3 cents of hardware defending every US dollar of BTC.
Now lets do it again for Vertcoin. To make things harder for Vertcoin we will only count the cost of the GPUs. We are thus ignoring the motherboard, power supply, and even CPU. We'll use the 280x which can be had right now for $300 and hashes 350KH/s.
We get: ((7629439.6 / 350) * 300) / 4900000
Or: 130 cents per US dollar.
So there, four months on we can say with confidence that asci-resistance leads to a stronger network. In other news, we've just redesigned the vertmarket so you should try selling something with your super-secure vertcoins.
submitted by steve_abel to vertcoin [link] [comments]

Daily Discussion, August 23, 2018

Please utilize this sticky thread for all general Bitcoin discussions! If you see posts on the front page or /Bitcoin/new which are better suited for this daily discussion thread, please help out by directing the OP to this thread instead. Thank you!
Daily threads are fast paced! If you don't get an answer to your question, you can try phrasing it differently or commenting again tomorrow.
We have a couple chat rooms now. Come say hello.
Please check the previous discussion thread for unanswered questions.
submitted by rBitcoinMod to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Why is the RandomX algorithm being hyped to the moon?

TL;DR: don't assume the average return from mining RandomX will be higher than the current CryptonightR algorithm. Hold back your excitement for now.
I think we all need to bring something to our attention. Over the last month, there have been so many topics and comments here on MoneroMining about the new 'RandomX' algorithm. This algorithm is supposed to be launched a couple of months from now.
There are many questions like "is this a good hashrate for my CPU"? "What's your power usage on RandomX"? "How can I tune my CPU for RandomX"? "How would the algorithm perform on this hardware"? I think these are great constructive comments that are at the heart of what miners stand for. We miners love optimizing our rigs and educating ourselves on technological trends.
But I've noticed many questions such as "what parts should I buy for a RandomX mining rig"? "Is an AMD Ryzen 9 3900x a good investment"? "What parts will give me the most profit when RandomX launches"? Many of these questions are asked with very little research.
I think there's a gold fever brewing behind some of these comments. The kind of motives that have bankrupted many miners in the past bubbles.
As we have seen in 2014 and 2018, anybody who enters the crypto industry with an 'I want easy profit' attitude almost always goes bankrupt. They buy coins or hardware at the peak of the bubble. Sometimes they get lucky and sell their coins or rigs right before the crash (only to get burned in a future bubble later). But most of the time, these new users lose most of their investment.
As a veteran miner, a lot of alarm bells ring in my head when I read these kinds of RandomX hype posts.
I have no reason to think CPU mining will be more profitable on RandomX than on the current CryptonightR.
In the GPU mining community, I have the feeling that there's a lot of resentment over the 2018 crypto recession and the whole 'ASIC miner invasion'. I think people here are feeling burned over their losses last year and the evil ASIC takeover, and want an opportunity for the little guy to start mining again. So we're falsely seeing the RandomX ray of hope as a floodlight, and getting overexcited.
And in general, the ordinary person cannot make a significant, steady profit in the crypto mining industry. The guy who wrote that thread is very rich and even 100 GTX 1080 Ti's cost nothing to him. The reason he became wealthy is because he avoided get-rich-quick gimmicks back in the day (like the dotcom sites) and focused on learning technology for the future. Mining will not make you rich, and especially not RandomX coin tossing.
If you love RandomX, build your rig now, keep benchmarking and undervolting and have fun at it. But if you just want profit, wait until RandomX is up and running. And consider all the risks involved with a new algorithm and commercial mining in general.
So I hope we can all reconsider whether we're excited about RandomX for the right reasons. Let's try to avoid jumping to conclusions about profitability and hold off on the Newegg 'checkout' button. Even though 12 cores at 70 watts sounds awesome. Happy mining!
submitted by Hammereditor to MoneroMining [link] [comments]

I think we should look at Masari's difficulty adjustment algorithm - IMO it's superior to Monero's

I think we should look at Masari's difficulty adjustment algorithm - IMO it's superior to Monero's submitted by MoneroCrusher to Monero [link] [comments]

51% attacks

With the recent 51% attacks occurring on several PoW coins is there any concern with RVN being susceptible to these attacks? To name a couple Verge and I believed BTG too.
submitted by DrunkenMantis27 to Ravencoin [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW

The Problem with PoW
Miners have always had it rough..
"Frustrated Miners"

The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.

Hashrates and Hardware Types

While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.

2 Guys 1 ASIC

One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.

Implications of Centralization

This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.

The Rise of FPGAs

With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called VerusCoin and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.

All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?

Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"

If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.

In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The Botnet Conspiracy and High Nethashrates?

The network hashrate continues to soar despite profitability tanking (now it's up to a whopping 835MH/s), and we know that part of this (how much?) is due to servers that have been hacked, much more powerful than ordinary botnets. At the same time, the Monero price is falling on various things (USDT manipulation of bitcoin being exposed, Chinese New Year, exchange worries, etc.). Is there any way to figure out how much of the nethash is coming from various botnets/server nets, and if so, if the ringleaders of these botnets are working together towards a 51% attack?
We must keep in mind that a truly decentralized, anonymous, and fungible currency will pose a huge threat to the International Bankers and their globalist minions in governments, and we must be able to resist potential attacks. Think of how the CIA and Israel engineered the Stuxnet virus against Iran, for instance. Perhaps the recent shenanigans regarding Tether are not just motivated by a single fraudster's greed, but by something even more sinister...
PS. This is completely speculative, but with the total sh!tcoin ETN being about twice as profitable to mine as Monero, maybe it was created to distract honest miners so that there will be fewer of them to defend the network?
submitted by cjp0008wareagle to Monero [link] [comments]

The BCN pump and ZEC

A couple weeks back I decided to look into investment opportunities on coins still using the original cryptonight algo. The thought being, all those X3s are mining something other than monero - so what?
My criteria were, cryptonight algo and traded on polo. The list was short, exactly one coin - Bytecoin. The diff had risen 8x over the past month and the price had not risen proportionally, this made the decision easy. Bought a not- insignificant quantity of them around 60 sats and expected to hold for a while until the expected price increase to move more inline with the diff.
Today, you probably heard what happened on binance with a 32x rise in price. This was "made possible" by no blocks being mined for at least two hours. This jogged my memory on something that happened a couple years back that I'd forgotten all about. This also caused me to reasses my stance on the Z3 and whether it is good or bad for ZCash.
Leading up to the latest bitcoin halving , I was researching SHA256 coins to speculate on. At the time, I figured a lot of the SHA ASICs would move off of bitcoin and into alts after the halving took place. At the time I was trading on both polo and trex, so I wanted coins on both platforms. There were about three coins I settled on as I remember - DGB, Myriad, and CURE. Bought some of each on both exchanges.
A similar scenario unfolded with CURE as happened with BCN today There was a massive, MASSIVE, pump of CURE on Polo but price was mostly unchanged on trex. Sold my CURE on polo and initiated a transfer from trex to polo to sell the remainder. After some time, there were zero confirmations showing on trex. WTF? Searched out a block explorer for CURE and low and behold the chain was not moving. After some time, the pump was over and the chain began moving again.
There was certainly a nefarious actor on the mining side that had stalled the chain. I'm no expert on the technicals of how, but winning shares were being withheld by someone with a significant portion of that network's hashrate. Maybe someone else can chime in with the details on how this type of attack is perpetrated. Incidentally, CURE was delisted from polo a very short time later. Whether this was due to polo calling BS, or being complicit and tipping off somebody prior to the delisting announcement to get one last hoorah, the world will never know.
I also remember some talk around that time of excessive orphans happening on slushpool. It apparently ended up being an unintentional issue wherein one of the larger farms pointed at slush was withholding winning shares. This sounded very similar to what happened with CURE, but with so much more hashrate on the BTC network, others were finding winning shares to keep the chain moving.
So, how is this relevant to ZEC?
I believe the BCN attack was made possible by, and initiated with, Antminer X3s. Somebody has a lot of them and pulled this off.
I believe the CURE attack was perpetrated by a major holder of SHA256 ASICs. The CURE nethash was a drop in the bucket compared to bitcoin so it was probably a simple matter of pulling off BTC for a couple hours, attacking CURE, then returning to BTC (or whatever else they were moving at the time).
Not going to speculate on who waged these attacks, it's irrelevant. The important, common, factor is ASIC miners. I fear that the ZEC network will be vulnerable to this type of attack should action not be taken to resist ASICs. All it would take is two hours to completely trash it's reputation and the effort invested in getting it to where it is today.
Before you call me a GPU shill or ASIC fudder, consider that these things have actually happened and do your own research to refute the points being made. In either case, thank you for taking the time to read what I've written and I look forward to your feedback.
submitted by dunnmines to zec [link] [comments]

Transcript of Open Developer Meeting In Discord - 5/10/2019

[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
Channel should be open now
Chill05/10/2019
you all rock!
just getting that out of the way :wink:
Tron05/10/2019
Cheers everyone.
theking05/10/2019
Hi fabulous dev team!
Hans_Schmidt05/10/2019
Howdy!
Tron05/10/2019
No specific agenda today.
Questions?
Has everyone seen Zelcore wallet, and Spend app?
theDopeMedic05/10/2019
Any major development status updates that haven't been listed in #news?
Synicide05/10/2019
How was the meetup yesterday? I heard it would be recorded, it is uploaded anywhere yet?
Tron05/10/2019
And Trezor support on Mango Farm assets?
@Synicide Yes it was recorded. The Bitcoin meetup organizer has the video.
I talked about Ravencoin, but mostly about the stuff that was being built on/with/for Ravencoin.
There was about 70% overlap with folks who were at the Ravencoin meetup in March.
Synicide05/10/2019
awesome, looking forward to watching it when it's available
Tron05/10/2019
I'll hit up James and see if he's posting the video.
S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org05/10/2019
@theDopeMedic I'd follow github if youre interested in development status
Synicide05/10/2019
zelcore looks super slick. Been meaning to research its security more with the username/pw being stored on device
Chill05/10/2019
How is the progress on the restricted assets and testnet coming along? A secondary question would be about the approximate fork timeframe.
S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org05/10/2019
Has anyone heard from the community dev (BW) working on Dividends?
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
Any word on BW and his progress w dividends?
@S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org LOL
Tron05/10/2019
@S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org Great question. I haven't heard.
Synicide05/10/2019
last meeting BlondFrogs said he would try to connect with BW as he was sick with the flu at the time. Maybe he has an update
S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org05/10/2019
I've tried to get in contact, but with no success.
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
Got a funny feeling...
Jeroz05/10/2019
Last time we left off with someone mentioning a foundation and Tron saying let’s discuss that next time iirc
kryptoshi05/10/2019
Has anyone taken a look at the merits for this proposal? Thoughts? https://medium.com/systems-nexus/modified-x16r-algorithm-proposal-for-constant-hash-rate-in-short-time-164711dd9044
Medium
Modified X16R algorithm proposal for constant hash rate in short time
Interpretation Lens V. a0.01
Tron05/10/2019
I did see it. Does anyone think this is a problem?
Synicide05/10/2019
It looks interesting... but I'm not sure what it is trying to solve. Looking at netstats, our 1 hour average block time is perfectly 1 minute
S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org05/10/2019
Last I heard from him he expressed how important finishing the code was. I wouldnt jump to conclusions on his absence within the community.
Synicide05/10/2019
x16r by nature will fluctuate, but DGW seems to be doing a good job keeping consistent block times
Tron05/10/2019
Because of relatively broad distribution across the algorithms, the block times are fairly consistent. It is possible, but very, very unlikely to get a sequence that takes up to 4x longer, but that's super rare, and only 4 minutes.
We did some timing analysis of the algorithms early on. A few are 1/2 as long as SHA-256 and some are up to 4x longer. But when you randomly select 16 it usually comes out about even.
Synicide05/10/2019
1hr avg: 1.02min - 24hr avg: 1min
I think we should focus on building, and not trying to fix what isnt necessarily broken
Tron05/10/2019
Agreed.
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
Agreed
Tron05/10/2019
Is everyone ok with the frequency (every other week) of this discussion?
Jeroz05/10/2019
(Added thumbs down to measure)
Tron05/10/2019
@Jeroz Did you do thumbs-up and thumbs down?
S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org05/10/2019
Seems appropriate. Its not like the devs dont poke around here and chat anyways.
Tron05/10/2019
Anything critical that we should be aware of?
Jeroz05/10/2019
When I need a dev, I poke a dev. When that dev is unavailable. I poke another one :smiley:
Hans_Schmidt05/10/2019
BlondFrogs was testing some github code last month to create a dividends snapshot database of asset holders at a given blockheight. Is that planned for inclusion? That's the only thing needed for dividends.
Jeroz05/10/2019
I hope I didn’t offend any devs
With poking around
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
Was thinking voting would be an excellent use case for restricted assets. Local communities, nations, etc... could kyc their residents
radiodub05/10/2019
Is x16r will remain fpga mineable
Tron05/10/2019
@Jeroz We're hard to offend.
Chill05/10/2019
Is the general dev feeling that the next fork should and will include everything needed for the next 6-9 months (barring something completely unforeseen)?
Jeroz05/10/2019
I know :smile:
Tron05/10/2019
@radiodub Nearly impossible to stop FPGAs and still keep GPUs
Jeroz05/10/2019
About that: voting is another hard fork right? Not too soon?
Tron05/10/2019
FPGAs can be reprogrammed as fast. It is silicon (true ASIC) that we can obsolete with a tiny change.
@Jeroz Messaging, voting, Tags, Restricted Assets would require a hard fork (upgrade).
We could do them each individually, but folks get weary of upgrades, so current plan is to roll them together into one.
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Good idea
Jeroz05/10/2019
Oh voting too?
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
People will like that
Jeroz05/10/2019
I thought that was coming later
Tron05/10/2019
Voting is the one that isn't being worked on now. Tags and Restricted assets have taken precedence.
Jeroz05/10/2019
I know. But you plan on waiting to fork until voting is also done?
That would have my preference tbh
But I can see an issue with too many things at the same time
Tron05/10/2019
If someone wants to step in, we've had one of our devs sidelined and he was working on BlockBook support so more light wallets can connect to Ravencoin. Mostly test cases needed at this point.
S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org05/10/2019
Thats a pretty large upgrade.. Bigger surface for unknowns
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
At what point would RVN community consider moving to ASICs because having a Bitcoin level of security would eventually be needed?
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Never rikki
Tron05/10/2019
@S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org 100% Lots of testing on testnet and bounties.
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
I am here :smiley:
Tron05/10/2019
@Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor There's nothing inherently wrong with ASICs but it tends to centralize to data centers and less opportunity for anyone to just run their gaming rig overnight and collect RVN.
Welcome Blondfrogs
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Asics are too expensive. If we want normal people to mine, then we cant be an asic network
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
@Tron True but what happens when the chain needs a Bitcoin level of protection?
Tron05/10/2019
More GPUs, more FPGAs
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Nvidia loves ravencoin :stuck_out_tongue:
Chill05/10/2019
ok, so we are pro FPGAs
𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝕯𝖔𝖓 𝕳𝖆𝖗𝖎𝖘𝖙𝖔 CEO ∞05/10/2019
Build it and they will come
Tron05/10/2019
It's all relative. It is cost to attack. If an ASIC isn't available for rent, then only option is rental of non-allocated GPUs
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
@Chill Eventually everyone will need FPGAs to be profitable on RVN, at that point I don't see why we just don't make the switch to ASICs
Tron05/10/2019
Also, as much as we don't focus on price, the price does matter because it determines the amount of electricity and hardware will be deployed to get the block reward. Price increase means more security, more mining means more security means higher price.
It's a circle.
Chill05/10/2019
someone tell that to the twitter handler
HailKira05/10/2019
you guys adding seedphrase to desktop wallet?
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
@HailKira We will, just is not a high priority right now.
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Twitter handle wants rvn ded
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
I just don't see much difference between ASIC and FPGA and I'd rather have the added nethash an ASIC will provide once GPUs are virtually kicked off the network
kryptoshi05/10/2019
I'm at 11 GB future proof
Tron05/10/2019
That also limits miners to big money, not gaming rigs.
Synicide05/10/2019
@Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor you have to keep in mind the 'added nethash' is all relative
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
FPGAs will limit miners to big $$$ too IMO
Tron05/10/2019
@kryptoshi New algo x16r-12G requires 12GB :frowning:
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
But sperating smaller gb cards would lead to less adoption if we ever become a mainstream coin.
Adpotion of mining that is
Chill05/10/2019
but we are a mainstream coin
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
Mains stream as in what eth did
Tron05/10/2019
@Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor I agree. Not a perfect solution.
Steelers05/10/2019
Is this a Dev meeting or Algo meeting :smiley:
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
But if we ever go mem lane. We should aim for 6 or 8gb.
Tron05/10/2019
Open to other questions.
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
@Tron Probably not the time and the place to have this discussion as we stand currently but IMO we're gonna have this conversation for real eventually
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
Most cards have 6gb now.
kryptoshi05/10/2019
Why 12 gb ? Such a massive jump
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
^
Would also like to know
Tron05/10/2019
@kryptoshi I was joking. You said you had 11GB card.
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
Haha
You got em good
I cant imaghine the face he had when he was 1gb short
Lel
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
That's what she said
kryptoshi05/10/2019
Hahaha
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
need a 2080ti
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
How much does the VII have?
16?
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
Any other questions you have for us?
Hans_Schmidt05/10/2019
@[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs You were testing some github code last month to create a dividends snapshot database of asset holders at a given blockheight. Is that planned for inclusion? That's the only thing needed for dividends.
Chill05/10/2019
a dev might want to contact Crypto Chico for some 'splaining
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
I still haven't contacted the developer that was working on dividends. Was pretty busy with some other stuff. I will contact him this next week, and see where we are at for that.
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
Chico doesn't do interviews, shame. Tron would be a much needed interview for his community
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
As far as releasing dividends, I can be released at anytime the code is finished and doesn't require any voting or hardfork to occur
kryptoshi05/10/2019
Android asset aware wallet?
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
Is in beta right
Tron05/10/2019
Testing went well today on Android. Nearing release.
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
as it is a mechanism that is wallet specific
liqdmetal05/10/2019
no protocol level dividends you guys are saying?
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
correct
Tron05/10/2019
DM me if you want to test Android with Asset support. I'll send you the .APK.
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
RVN gonna be on tZero wallet? :yum:
liqdmetal05/10/2019
why not? what is the logic on non-protocol dividends
assets + protocol dividends is nirvana
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
dividends is pretty much sending payments to addresses. Right now, you would have to do this manually. The dividends code, will allow this to be done quicker and easier.
No consensus changes are required.
Tron05/10/2019
New Android wallet is BIP44 and original Android wallet is BIP32/BIP39 so the words will not find the funds. You'll need to send them to another wallet, and then send them to new BIP44 derived address.
liqdmetal05/10/2019
we already have payments to addresses
so dividends is not a feature so much as simple wallet script
Hans_Schmidt05/10/2019
@[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs The dividend code changes look risky'er to me than messaging. Would you consider "tags" branch test-ready?
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
Not yet @Hans_Schmidt
Dividends is easier then you would think if coded correctly. I still haven't seen the code from the community developer. Excited to view it though.
Hans_Schmidt05/10/2019
@[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs Sorry- I meant restricted, not dividend
kryptoshi05/10/2019
@Tron on the Android wallet, anyone successfully added their own node and got it to sync faster? Always have issues. I have a supped up node and cannot get it to work with the Android wallet...
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
@Hans_Schmidt Oh, that makes more sense. Yes, they are very risky! That is why we are going to create a new bug bounty program for restricted assets testing.
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
Once the network does get flooded w FPGAs, should we even consider changing the algo a couple times a year? That would only give bitstream developers added time to hoard their creations for themselves
Kind of like they're already doing with their x16r bitstreams :yum:
kryptoshi05/10/2019
Flooded... lol... like that hardware has mass production scale like gpus...come on dude
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Bip44 wallet? :smiley:
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
@kryptoshi Eventually yes, where there's $$$ to be made, people make things happen
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
So can we trade from that in the new Binance Dex when RVN get listed?
kryptoshi05/10/2019
@Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor Yes Soon TM lol. :soontm:
Tron05/10/2019
@kryptoshi There are some things we can do to speed it up. For a new wallet, it shouldn't need to sync. For recovered wallet, it needs to sync from beginning of BIP44 wallet support on iOS so words can be moved between the two.
Other options include grabbing the first derived address and looking it up on an explorer to see when it was first used and sync from there.
Another option is to add an optional number with the 12 words so it knows when to start syncing.
There isn't a good reason on an SPV wallet to sync before the seed was created.
kryptoshi05/10/2019
Cool. Glad you are looking at speedup options.. :right_facing_fist: :left_facing_fist:
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
@MrFanelli™ If the binance dex support RVN deposits. I am sure you would be able to send from it
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Has binance reached out for any info or anything?
I seen that we ranked in some voting competition they had on twitter
for an ama
Rikki RATTOE Sr. SEC Impresantor05/10/2019
I believe we'll need to create a fund of approximately $300,000 in order to get a BNB-RVN asset created and listed on the Binance FDEX
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
In order to work with binance we need Ravencoin integrated into Blockbook.
Tron05/10/2019
@MrFanelli™ I've reached back out to Binance on the AMA.
MrFanelli™05/10/2019
Awesome :smile:
kryptoshi05/10/2019
@Tron you are a natural on the interviews... cool as a cucumber. :sunglasses:
Tron05/10/2019
Thanks @kryptoshi
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
Cool. We are done for today.
Please don't ask us any more questions :smiley:
Tron05/10/2019
Thanks everyone!!!!
[Dev-Happy] Blondfrogs05/10/2019
Cya everyone!!
S1LVA | GetRavencoin.org05/10/2019
Cya happy feet, Thanks
Thanks Tron
Seal <:cricat:> Clubber05/10/2019
:bepbep:
submitted by mrderrik to Ravencoin [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW

"Frustrated Miners"

The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.

Hashrates and Hardware Types

While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.

2 Guys 1 ASIC

One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.

Implications of Centralization

This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.

The Rise of FPGAs

With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called Verus Coin (https://veruscoin.io/) and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.

All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?

Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"

If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.

In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW


Miners have always had it rough..
"Frustrated Miners"


The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.
Hashrates and Hardware Types
While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.
2 Guys 1 ASIC
One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.
Implications of Centralization
This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.
The Rise of FPGAs
With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called VerusCoin and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.
All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?
Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"
If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.
In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to EtherMining [link] [comments]

The rise of specialized hardware (particularly FPGAs) and its impact on the mining community

The rise of specialized hardware (particularly FPGAs) and its impact on the mining community

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.

In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.

Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.

Hashrates and Hardware Types
While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.

When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.

This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.

Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.

The Arms Race of the Geek
One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.

Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.

When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.

This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.

Implications of Centralization
This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).

This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.

The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.

The Rise of FPGAs
With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.

A real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called Verus Coin (https://veruscoin.io/) and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.

Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.

Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.

Inclusive Hardware Equalization, Security, Decentralization
Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”

In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.

If other projects adopt Verus’ new algorithm- VerusHash 2.0, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing presents an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not seen in cryptocurrency.

Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.

In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, VerusHash 2.0 is a shining beacon of hope and a lasting testament to the project’s unwavering dedication to it’s vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to CryptoTechnology [link] [comments]

Is Genesis Mining worth it? I created a Genesis Mining profitability calculator in Google sheets to find out.

TL;DR: I attempt to overcome the pitfalls of forecasting genesis mining contract profitability for Ethereum, Monero, and Zcash.
The original Medium post can be found here: https://medium.com/@spreadstreet/is-genesis-mining-worth-it-a-genesis-mining-profitability-calculator-youll-actually-use-a06d916bf7bc
BitPay is on pace to process over $1B annually in bitcoin payment acceptance and payouts, and has already grown their payments dollar volume 328% year-over-year, according to a recent blog post on the BitPay website.
The very nature of cryptocurrencies requires transactions to be verified by miners. What does this mean?
  1. Cryptocurrency transactions are verified by a network of nodes, then recorded in a publicly distributed ledger known as a “blockchain”, which authenticates the coins as monetary units of measurement – or money.
  2. Cryptocurrency mining refers to coins created as a reward in which the users of the network verify and record transactions on this very blockchain. Users who are able to successfully verify the transactions receive fees and rewards in the form of brand new coins.
And Genesis Mining stands as the largest cryptocurrency cloud mining company in the world.
A user can rent "hashing power" in the form of a two-year contract from Genesis for a one-time, upfront fee.
In turn, they receive daily payouts of whatever specific cryptocurrency they purchased the contract for.

THE PROBLEM

While Genesis Mining has done a great job breaking down a complex problem into an easy-to-understand business model, users consistently have one big question:
"How profitable is {x} contract?" - Everybody, ever
While the user is able to see the upfront cost, they are unable to get an idea of how many coins they will receive by the end of the contract.

WHY THE PROBLEM EXISTS

The problem exists, because of two major uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrencies:
  1. Where the price of the currency will fluctuate over time
  2. Where the network hashrate (aka, the mining power of the entire network) will fluctuate over time
Both of these inputs are extremely volatile, and have a huge degree of uncertainty in the near and distant future.
What I will attempt to do in this exercise, is build a profitability calculator for Ethereum, Monero, and Zcash. Each of these cryptocurrencies is currently available on the website as of 11/7/2017.
Each cryptocurrency has three contracts, and I will formulate 4 different scenarios to try and capture a profitability "range".
Note: Do not take any of the words in this post as financial advice or recommendations. These are merely simulations that have their own issues and pitfalls, and are not to be used as the end-all, be-all decision.

THE ASSUMPTIONS

Due to the difficulty in forecasting both price and nethash, I was forced into a few assumptions:
  1. The forecasted price method is a Monte Carlo simulation using a geometric Brownian Motion ran 1,000 times. I covered the full methodology in a prior blog post
  2. The base network hashrate follows along very closely with the movements in price. This assumption I am the least confident about, as network hash has been shown to deviate at certain times
  3. I attempt to cover the shortfall in network hash rate with two different scenarios (shown below).
  4. I assume we hold all coins until the end of the contract, and assign a value to the portfolio based on $USD
  5. I do not run any scenarios of converting a currency into another currency
  6. I do not account for any significant changes to the underlying algorithm, such as the "Casper" Ethereum update (see 'THE DIFFICULTY BOMB' below)
Obviously any slight change could drastically alter these assumptions, but let's take a look at the different scenarios.

THE SCENARIOS

Description of Scenarios
Instead of calculating just a base scenario (which every other calculator on the web does) I wanted to come up with different scenarios to get an idea of what could be.
  1. Base - Assume no change in price or network hashrate for the duration of the contract
  2. Median - Run a full 1,000 trial simulation of prices and network hash rate, and use the median values for each
  3. Conservative - The same as Median, but instead use a price forecast that is 1 standard deviation below the median price
  4. Aggressive - The same as Median, but instead use a price forecast that is 1 standard deviation above the median price

APIs USED

  1. Spreadstreet Google Sheets Add-in
  2. Bitfinex API - To pull in historical data for each currency
  3. WhatToMine API - For nethash statistics
  4. CoinMarketCap - Updated prices

ETHEREUM

The only way to utilize Ethereum is with the product from mining.
But this shortchanges the additional value of mining Ether. It is also absolutely required for securing the Ethereum network as it creates, verifies, publishes, and propagates blocks in the blockchain.
The overall term "Ethereum Mining" is the process of mining Ether. Ether is an absolute essential, as it serves as fuel for the smooth running of the Ethereum platform.
Ether is used as an incentive to motivate developers to create top notch applications.

THE DIFFICULTY BOMB

Sometime in the future (we can't be certain when), ethereum will likely switch from its proof-of-work consensus algorithm to Casper, a proof-of-stake system its developers are now in the throes of completing.
From Blockonomi:
As opposed to the PoW consensus protocol, the PoS protocol achieves consensus through stakers—sometimes referred to as minters, too—who “stake” their coins by locking them down in specialized wallets.
With these stakers at work, mining will become redundant, meaning the Ethereum network post-Casper will rely on stakers and staking pools instead of miners for its operability.
Genesis Mining has a prelim plan in place for this scenario:
The Ethererum Mining plans will run for a maximum of 24 months, however, should Ethereum (“ETH”) switch to proof-of-stake before the end of the term, we will use the leased hardware on a best-effort basis to mine the most profitable coin with that hardware for you.
Very simply put, this changes the economics of contract profitability significantly. We are going to ignore that update for now, but it may make sense to stay away from the contracts in the short-term.

THE CONTRACTS

Ethereum Mining Contracts Comparison

ONE-YEAR PRICE FORECAST

Ethereum One Year Price Simulation
Here we can see one of 1,000 price simulations run to inform our forecast for the Median, Conservative, and Aggressive scenarios.
*Why is the price so high? This is what happens when you have a volatile currency in a simulation that does not have changes in said volatility. When a currency can move 20% in one day, it is not uncommon to see price movements like this. I mean, shit, Ethereum grew 25x in one year.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Ethereum Profit and ROI Comparison

VERDICT

Base performance ranges from 30% to 39% ROI, and is higher than the Median scenario by ~10%.
The conservative scenario shows a loss of between 59-62%, and the aggressive scenario shows a gain between 318% and 347%.
Difficulty bomb in the near-future presents tremendous uncertainty.

MONERO

From Cryptocompare:
Monero (XMR) is a Cryptonote algorithm based cryptocurrency, it relies on Ring Signatures in order to provide a certain degree of privacy when making a transaction. Monero is a Proof of Work cryptocurrency that can be mined with computational power from a CPU or GPU. There are currently no ASICs for Monero, which means that anyone with a computer can mine it.

THE CONTRACTS

Monero Mining Contracts Comparison

ONE-YEAR PRICE FORECAST

MoneroOne Year Price Simulation
We run the same Monte Carlo simulation to inform our forecast for the Median, Conservative, and Aggressive scenarios.
Why is the price so high? See Ethereum up above.
How is it possible for the "Conservative" scenario to be higher than the base price? Good question, and i'm glad you brought it up. The Monero currency has been not only really volatile, but drifting upwards at a pretty high rate.
The results are also being skewed by a recent uptick on November 6th where the price jumped by ~18%.
This may represent an opportunity for contract investment, but more analysis is needed.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Monero Profit and ROI Comparison

VERDICT

Base performance ranges from 87% to 95% ROI, with performance in the Median scenario lower by 5-6%.
The conservative scenario shows a loss of between 63-64%, and the aggressive scenario shows a gain between 795% and 832%.
To reiterate, the aggressive scenario is very much influenced by the recent uptick in volatility, so be weary of those high numbers.

ZCASH

ZCash uses Equihash as an hashing algorithm, which is an asymmetric memory-hard PoW algorithm based on the generalized birthday problem (I don't know what the hell this means, but it sounds fancy).
It relies on high RAM requirements to bottleneck the generation of proofs and making ASIC development unfeasible, much like Ethereum.

THE CONTRACTS

Zcash Mining Contracts Comparison

ONE-YEAR PRICE FORECAST

Zcash One Year Price Simulation
Here we can see one of 1,000 price simulations run to inform our forecast for the Median, Conservative, and Aggressive scenarios.
*Why is the price so high? See: Ethereum up above.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Zcash Profit and ROI Comparison

VERDICT

Base performance ranges from 51% to 65% ROI, and surprisingly lags the Median scenario by 4-6%.
The conservative scenario shows a loss of between 56-60%, and the aggressive scenario shows a gain between 490% and 540%.

CONCLUSION

The initial upfront costs and potential profitability are hidden when investing in hashing power contracts like Genesis Mining.
However with some robust analysis, we can get a better idea of how to assess the potential profitability of a two-year deal.
As we continue to evolve our thinking, better methods and analysis will eventually surface. Hopefully this industry can become a great avenue for side income.
If you want your own copy of the analysis and calculations, you can find it here:
Genesis Mining Profit Calculator
Cheers, and happy hunting!

RELATED POSTS

How to Create an Ethereum Mining Calculator from Start to Finish
10 Statistical Price Predictions for 10 Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin Madness: How to Simulate Bitcoin Prices in Google Sheets

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Young is the founder of Spreadstreet.io, former Financial Analyst for a big-ass company, and runner-up in the 6th grade spelling bee. He would have invested in Google if he knew about it...and had any money.
He is the author of the Spreadstreet blog, which has over 3 readers (not a typo). He hopes to hit 10, but honestly writing is a lot of work.
submitted by 1kexperimentdotcom to EtherMining [link] [comments]

The Problem with PoW

The Problem with PoW

Miners have always had it rough..
"Frustrated Miners"


The Problem with PoW
(and what is being done to solve it)

Proof of Work (PoW) is one of the most commonly used consensus mechanisms entrusted to secure and validate many of today’s most successful cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin being one. Battle-hardened and having weathered the test of time, Bitcoin has demonstrated the undeniable strength and reliability of the PoW consensus model through sheer market saturation, and of course, its persistency.
In addition to the cost of powerful computing hardware, miners prove that they are benefiting the network by expending energy in the form of electricity, by solving and hashing away complex math problems on their computers, utilizing any suitable tools that they have at their disposal. The mathematics involved in securing proof of work revolve around unique algorithms, each with their own benefits and vulnerabilities, and can require different software/hardware to mine depending on the coin.
Because each block has a unique and entirely random hash, or “puzzle” to solve, the “work” has to be performed for each block individually and the difficulty of the problem can be increased as the speed at which blocks are solved increases.
Hashrates and Hardware Types
While proof of work is an effective means of securing a blockchain, it inherently promotes competition amongst miners seeking higher and higher hashrates due to the rewards earned by the node who wins the right to add the next block. In turn, these higher hash rates benefit the blockchain, providing better security when it’s a result of a well distributed/decentralized network of miners.
When Bitcoin first launched its genesis block, it was mined exclusively by CPUs. Over the years, various programmers and developers have devised newer, faster, and more energy efficient ways to generate higher hashrates; some by perfecting the software end of things, and others, when the incentives are great enough, create expensive specialized hardware such as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit). With the express purpose of extracting every last bit of hashing power, efficiency being paramount, ASICs are stripped down, bare minimum, hardware representations of a specific coin’s algorithm.
This gives ASICS a massive advantage in terms of raw hashing power and also in terms of energy consumption against CPUs/GPUs, but with significant drawbacks of being very expensive to design/manufacture, translating to a high economic barrier for the casual miner. Due to the fact that they are virtual hardware representations of a single targeted algorithm, this means that if a project decides to fork and change algorithms suddenly, your powerful brand-new ASIC becomes a very expensive paperweight. The high costs in developing and manufacturing ASICs and the associated risks involved, make them unfit for mass adoption at this time.
Somewhere on the high end, in the vast hashrate expanse created between GPU and ASIC, sits the FPGA (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are basically ASICs that make some compromises with efficiency in order to have more flexibility, namely they are reprogrammable and often used in the “field” to test an algorithm before implementing it in an ASIC. As a precursor to the ASIC, FPGAs are somewhat similar to GPUs in their flexibility, but require advanced programming skills and, like ASICs, are expensive and still fairly uncommon.
2 Guys 1 ASIC
One of the issues with proof of work incentivizing the pursuit of higher hashrates is in how the network calculates block reward coinbase payouts and rewards miners based on the work that they have submitted. If a coin generated, say a block a minute, and this is a constant, then what happens if more miners jump on a network and do more work? The network cannot pay out more than 1 block reward per 1 minute, and so a difficulty mechanism is used to maintain balance. The difficulty will scale up and down in response to the overall nethash, so if many miners join the network, or extremely high hashing devices such as ASICs or FPGAs jump on, the network will respond accordingly, using the difficulty mechanism to make the problems harder, effectively giving an edge to hardware that can solve them faster, balancing the network. This not only maintains the block a minute reward but it has the added side-effect of energy requirements that scale up with network adoption.
Imagine, for example, if one miner gets on a network all alone with a CPU doing 50 MH/s and is getting all 100 coins that can possibly be paid out in a day. Then, if another miner jumps on the network with the same CPU, each miner would receive 50 coins in a day instead of 100 since they are splitting the required work evenly, despite the fact that the net electrical output has doubled along with the work. Electricity costs miner’s money and is a factor in driving up coin price along with adoption, and since more people are now mining, the coin is less centralized. Now let’s say a large corporation has found it profitable to manufacture an ASIC for this coin, knowing they will make their money back mining it or selling the units to professionals. They join the network doing 900 MH/s and will be pulling in 90 coins a day, while the two guys with their CPUs each get 5 now. Those two guys aren’t very happy, but the corporation is. Not only does this negatively affect the miners, it compromises the security of the entire network by centralizing the coin supply and hashrate, opening the doors to double spends and 51% attacks from potential malicious actors. Uncertainty of motives and questionable validity in a distributed ledger do not mix.
When technology advances in a field, it is usually applauded and welcomed with open arms, but in the world of crypto things can work quite differently. One of the glaring flaws in the current model and the advent of specialized hardware is that it’s never ending. Suppose the two men from the rather extreme example above took out a loan to get themselves that ASIC they heard about that can get them 90 coins a day? When they join the other ASIC on the network, the difficulty adjusts to keep daily payouts consistent at 100, and they will each receive only 33 coins instead of 90 since the reward is now being split three ways. Now what happens if a better ASIC is released by that corporation? Hopefully, those two guys were able to pay off their loans and sell their old ASICs before they became obsolete.
This system, as it stands now, only perpetuates a never ending hashrate arms race in which the weapons of choice are usually a combination of efficiency, economics, profitability and in some cases control.
Implications of Centralization
This brings us to another big concern with expensive specialized hardware: the risk of centralization. Because they are so expensive and inaccessible to the casual miner, ASICs and FPGAs predominantly remain limited to a select few. Centralization occurs when one small group or a single entity controls the vast majority hash power and, as a result, coin supply and is able to exert its influence to manipulate the market or in some cases, the network itself (usually the case of dishonest nodes or bad actors).
This is entirely antithetical of what cryptocurrency was born of, and since its inception many concerted efforts have been made to avoid centralization at all costs. An entity in control of a centralized coin would have the power to manipulate the price, and having a centralized hashrate would enable them to affect network usability, reliability, and even perform double spends leading to the demise of a coin, among other things.
The world of crypto is a strange new place, with rapidly growing advancements across many fields, economies, and boarders, leaving plenty of room for improvement; while it may feel like a never-ending game of catch up, there are many talented developers and programmers working around the clock to bring us all more sustainable solutions.
The Rise of FPGAs
With the recent implementation of the commonly used coding language C++, and due to their overall flexibility, FPGAs are becoming somewhat more common, especially in larger farms and in industrial setting; but they still remain primarily out of the hands of most mining enthusiasts and almost unheard of to the average hobby miner. Things appear to be changing though, one example of which I’ll discuss below, and it is thought by some, that soon we will see a day when mining with a CPU or GPU just won’t cut it any longer, and the market will be dominated by FPGAs and specialized ASICs, bringing with them efficiency gains for proof of work, while also carelessly leading us all towards the next round of spending.
A perfect real-world example of the effect specialized hardware has had on the crypto-community was recently discovered involving a fairly new project called VerusCoin and a fairly new, relatively more economically accessible FPGA. The FPGA is designed to target specific alt-coins whose algo’s do not require RAM overhead. It was discovered the company had released a new algorithm, kept secret from the public, which could effectively mine Verus at 20x the speed of GPUs, which were the next fastest hardware types mining on the Verus network.
Unfortunately this was done with a deliberately secret approach, calling the Verus algorithm “Algo1” and encouraging owners of the FPGA to never speak of the algorithm in public channels, admonishing a user when they did let the cat out of the bag. The problem with this business model is that it is parasitic in nature. In an ecosystem where advancements can benefit the entire crypto community, this sort of secret mining approach also does not support the philosophies set forth by the Bitcoin or subsequent open source and decentralization movements.
Although this was not done in the spirit of open source, it does hint to an important step in hardware innovation where we could see more efficient specialized systems within reach of the casual miner. The FPGA requires unique sets of data called a bitstream in order to be able to recognize each individual coin’s algorithm and mine them. Because it’s reprogrammable, with the support of a strong development team creating such bitstreams, the miner doesn’t end up with a brick if an algorithm changes.
All is not lost thanks to.. um.. Technology?
Shortly after discovering FPGAs on the network, the Verus developers quickly designed, tested, and implemented a new, much more complex and improved algorithm via a fork that enabled Verus to transition smoothly from VerusHash 1.0 to VerusHash 2.0 at block 310,000. Since the fork, VerusHash 2.0 has demonstrated doing exactly what it was designed for- equalizing hardware performance relative to the device being used while enabling CPUs (the most widely available “ASICs”) to mine side by side with GPUs, at a profit and it appears this will also apply to other specialized hardware. This is something no other project has been able to do until now. Rather than pursue the folly of so many other projects before it- attempting to be “ASIC proof”, Verus effectively achieved and presents to the world an entirely new model of “hardware homogeny”. As the late, great, Bruce Lee once said- “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
In the design of VerusHash 2.0, Verus has shown it doesn’t resist progress like so many other new algorithms try to do, it embraces change and adapts to it in the way that water becomes whatever vessel it inhabits. This new approach- an industry first- could very well become an industry standard and in doing so, would usher in a new age for proof of work based coins. VerusHash 2.0 has the potential to correct the single largest design flaw in the proof of work consensus mechanism- the ever expanding monetary and energy requirements that have plagued PoW based projects since the inception of the consensus mechanism. Verus also solves another major issue of coin and net hash centralization by enabling legitimate CPU mining, offering greater coin and hashrate distribution.
Digging a bit deeper it turns out the Verus development team are no rookies. The lead developer Michael F Toutonghi has spent decades in the field programming and is a former Vice President and Technical Fellow at Microsoft, recognized founder and architect of Microsoft's .Net platform, ex-Technical Fellow of Microsoft's advertising platform, ex-CTO, Parallels Corporation, and an experienced distributed computing and machine learning architect. The project he helped create employs and makes use of a diverse myriad of technologies and security features to form one of the most advanced and secure cryptocurrency to date. A brief description of what makes VerusCoin special quoted from a community member-
"Verus has a unique and new consensus algorithm called Proof of Power which is a 50% PoW/50% PoS algorithm that solves theoretical weaknesses in other PoS systems (Nothing at Stake problem for example) and is provably immune to 51% hash attacks. With this, Verus uses the new hash algorithm, VerusHash 2.0. VerusHash 2.0 is designed to better equalize mining across all hardware platforms, while favoring the latest CPUs over older types, which is also one defense against the centralizing potential of botnets. Unlike past efforts to equalize hardware hash-rates across different hardware types, VerusHash 2.0 explicitly enables CPUs to gain even more power relative to GPUs and FPGAs, enabling the most decentralizing hardware, CPUs (due to their virtually complete market penetration), to stay relevant as miners for the indefinite future. As for anonymity, Verus is not a "forced private", allowing for both transparent and shielded (private) transactions...and private messages as well"
If other projects can learn from this and adopt a similar approach or continue to innovate with new ideas, it could mean an end to all the doom and gloom predictions that CPU and GPU mining are dead, offering a much needed reprieve and an alternative to miners who have been faced with the difficult decision of either pulling the plug and shutting down shop or breaking down their rigs to sell off parts and buy new, more expensive hardware…and in so doing present an overall unprecedented level of decentralization not yet seen in cryptocurrency.
Technological advancements led us to the world of secure digital currencies and the progress being made with hardware efficiencies is indisputably beneficial to us all. ASICs and FPGAs aren’t inherently bad, and there are ways in which they could be made more affordable and available for mass distribution. More than anything, it is important that we work together as communities to find solutions that can benefit us all for the long term.
In an ever changing world where it may be easy to lose sight of the real accomplishments that brought us to this point one thing is certain, cryptocurrency is here to stay and the projects that are doing something to solve the current problems in the proof of work consensus mechanism will be the ones that lead us toward our collective vision of a better world- not just for the world of crypto but for each and every one of us.
submitted by Godballz to gpumining [link] [comments]

My concerns about SmartCash

Hello folks!
I have been doing a lot of reading about the SmartCash cryptocurrency recently. SmartCash claims to be a private cryptocurrency that also focuses on a community-centered model.
However, a lot of what I've found has concerned me.
But first - I'd like to invite anyone with an opposing point of view to share their opinions after reading this. I'm not in this to spread baseless accusations, I just want an educated conversation. Please do not downvote simply because you disagree; instead, read my post, make a comment and discuss the topic with me. I've sent PM's to several people who support SmartCash in order to let them make their opinions clear.
That said, let's go through this point by point - we'll start with the distribution.
From the official SmartCash website:
Traditional cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, reward only the miners while neglecting the other actors that play an active role in maintaining, developing and promoting the project. SmartCash is a community-centric cryptocurrency, where community and development comes first. 80% of the block reward has been allocated to fund SmartHive community proposals as well as the Hive Teams. 20% of the remaining block reward has been allocated to Mining (5%) and SmartRewards (15%).
In the name of staying unbiased, I am going to acknowledge my ideological beliefs about mining, as well as my own personal biases as a miner, that miners should receive 100% of the rewards for the work they did. With this out of the way, let's discuss the mathematics of SmartCash's block reward distribution.
80% goes to community projects, 15% goes to SmartRewards (staking equivalent, but not used for consensus), and 5% goes to the miners. In theory, this will lead to 95% less miners than normal, ensuring miners get paid roughly the same. In practice, this won't necessarily be true.
But the existence of fewer miners also presents many issues. There have been several 51% attacks against cryptocurrencies that give all block rewards to miners - Krypton in 2016, Feathercoin in 2013, and Dashcoin (a cryptonote fork DSH, not DASH) by MinerGate in April of 2017.
Chain consensus with SmartCash is determined entirely by proof of work, not proof of stake; therefore you do not need to own any coins in order to attack the network and achieve 51% hashrate.
In the case of a cryptocurrency that gives miners 5% of the block rewards, achieving 51% of nethash is quite easy, because fewer people will be mining. SmartCash's current network hashrate is 10 Th/s or 10 trillion hashes per second; a conservative estimate for a GTX 1080's hashrate is 1 Gh/s or 1 billion hashes per second. Therefore, the network is currently secured by the equivalent of 10,000 GTX 1080 GPUs.
Given that this GPU costs approximately $500, it would take about $5 million to conduct a 51% attack on the network. At nicehash prices of ~0.3 BTC/TH/S/Day, this would cost ~$60,000 per day, taking into account a necessary raise in the offered price to 'persuade' more people to switch to Keccak algo, as only 2TH/s is currently for sale on Nicehash.
Even worse, Keccak (Smartcash’s hashing algorithm) was specifically designed to be ASIC-friendly. From the official Keccak website:
Keccak, the winner of the SHA-3 competition, is blazing fast when implemented on dedicated (ASIC) or programmable (FPGA) hardware.
So if somebody ever modified a Keccak ASIC for mining, it would also be easy to conduct a 51% attack.
Let’s move on. Remember how they said that 80% of the block rewards go to a community fund? That address is here, and it controls 55% of the SmartCash in existence. This address is used to fund proposals that are voted on by the community. The problem is that the private key to this address is owned by the developers - and regardless of their past honesty, this system still requires trust in them. A trust-required system is directly contrary to the principles of cryptocurrency. The developers, despite your trust in them, could still sell some of those coins at any time.
Next up we'll discuss SmartCash's privacy. SmartCash uses the Zerocoin protocol for privacy, as it was forked from Zcoin. Zerocoin breaks the link between sender and receiver, but unlike Zerocash and ringCT, it does not hide the transaction amount. Furthermore, SmartCash's privacy is optional, and it is transparent by default. Transparency by default is bad for the following reasons:
(1) it reduces the anonymity set
(2) it makes private transactions inherently more suspicious
(3) it allows sender to harm the privacy of recipient
(4) it makes it impossible to hide your wealth
(5) it makes the currency non-fungible.
My last concern with SmartCash is the coin distribution. Currently, as shown on the SmartCash Rich List, the top 100 addresses control 98.42% of funds. This is a highly unbalanced situation, and it also means that the vast majority of SmartCash wealth is held by a small number of people. With Bitcoin, the top 100 addresses control roughly 32% of funds, which is not perfect, but certainly much better.
In summary, SmartCash is a great idea - a private, community-oriented cryptocurrency - but it is executed in a suboptimal manner.
I would be happy to hear your opinions on this, whether you agree or disagree.
-KnifeOfPi2
submitted by KnifeOfPi2 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

How difficult would it be for Bitmain to update their Wafer and beat Obelisk to market twice?

Seriously. Do you think that Bitmain would take a fork that rendered their hardware useless lying down? I expect their response would be multi-pronged.
At the end of the day this is a shitty situation for Obelisk buyers. They took on considerable risk. Many paid with BTC when BTC was worth $2500. They were promised an exclusivity period. Now they're paying a $13,000 opportunity cost for hardware that will likely ROI over a a multi-year period (if at all). I get it.
I also don't think that forking the chain due to a competitor beating the Obelisk hardware to market is appropriate. Competition is good for crypto and the Halong miner will likely spank the A3. I bought an A3 because I'm dabbling in ASIC mining, but I've been mining SIA as a dual-mined coin for many months. It's a good project with a lot of promise. Don't let a contentious fork derail the meaningful benefit this project can bring to the business world. Stop the distraction and focus on the platform. Regardless of manufacturer, ASICs are not bad for the SIA Network.
15,000 A3s might be bad for miners, and might be bad for Obelisk buyers, but how will they harm the network?
submitted by deanerific to siacoin [link] [comments]

Heard about you guys from Ben Swann. Recently started a masternode.

This is a really neat project. I notice there's not too many transactions in each block, but I imagine that will pick up eventually. However, I was curious about one thing. According to WhatToMine, the nethash of Smartcash is around 8 TH, while the nethash of Ethereum Classic (a popular and profitable coin) is only at 15 TH. Who is mining all this Smartcash, when it doesn't appear to be profitable at all. Is there really that many hardcore Smartcash boyz, like the original Bitcoin boyz, that mine purely to support the network? Or are there beastly ASICs out there generating that hashrate?
submitted by CrazyUncleGoatse to smartcash [link] [comments]

Mining Sigil with Nvidia. How and why.

So I'm currently mining Sigil with a single 1080 Ti. It's a very young coin that works as a hybrid PoS/PoW. The official Sigil pool is a 0% fee and has most of the nethash. I'm using the HSR Miner Neoscrypt software which gives me about 1900KH/s on my card with +100 core +800 memory. This is netting me 30-40 coins/day on the low end with a 2GH/s and 75+ when the nethash is smaller around 700MH/s. With the current value of the coin sitting at roughly 3000 Satoshi's they're worth around $.35 each as of this writing. That's about $14/day for a single card. The only exchange it's currently listed on is coinhouse.eu, but stocks.exchange should have them listed very shortly. All in all it's not to bad and gives a good incentive to mine Sigil.
(Insert Billy Mays, but wait there's more! here)
Sigil isn't just a coin, there's more to it than that. The devs have a planned crowdfunding site called Sigil Go that the currency revolves around. The idea behind the site is crowdfunding for the rest of the world and for the good of the world. Crowdfunding clean water and energy for the developing world, disaster relief and other awesome things could be as simple as backing some self-stirring yogurt cup on Kickstarter.
It's worth doing it for the monetary value alone I think, but I'm hopeful that it could become something great for other reasons.
Disclaimer: I have quite a few Sigil coins but am in no way a affiliated with the team running the project. I'm just hoping it grows and becomes something very cool.
Their whitepapers: http://sigilplatform.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Sigil_WhitePaper.pdf
Their site: http://sigilplatform.com/
Their Bitcoin announcement thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2710157.0
submitted by Peevedkitten to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Smilo explained — 51% attacks

Smilo explained — 51% attacks
In this article of Smilo Explained we are going to explain more about the infamous 51% attacks of the blockchain space. We decided to create a separate article on this matter since it is one of the most impactful attacks in the blockchain space and very topical over the last few weeks with several attacks happening.
https://preview.redd.it/lsnwjlmr7o221.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=aad5525a6181288287829d89d87feb416f028f31
Some blockchain projects are more prone to 51% attacks than others, this is especially true for blockchains using the popular Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. This PoW algorithm is an economic measure to deter various attacks on the network by requiring some work from the service requester, usually in the form of processing time by a computer. However, it is possible to attack PoW blockchains when you control more than 51% of the total hashing power.
Considering this, smaller blockchains with a relatively low total hashing power combined with the PoW consensus mechanism could easily fall victim to this attack. Take Bitcoin as an example, in the first few years when Bitcoin (and blockchain) was less popular, it was relatively easy to buy more than 51% of the total hashing power and attack the network. However, due to the fact that no individual really paid attention to this flaw, Bitcoin was able to slowly grow a considerable amount of relatively decentralised hashing power over time, thus securing the network.
Nowadays, this flaw is quite well-known and due to this there is a rising amount of attackers who try to better themselves by attacking other blockchains. There are even websites giving rough estimates of the costs involved in creating a 51% attack such as https://www.crypto51.app/.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the projects which have suffered from a 51% attack lately.

Vertcoin

The first specific case of a 51% attack which we are going to discuss is the one that took place this week, the 2nd of december, on the cryptocurrency called Vertcoin. During the attack, the attackers tried to double spend the currency to better themselves.
Coinbase engineer Mark Nesbitt stated that the double spending amounted could have resulted to over a $100,000 loss on the Vertcoin network.
“Vertcoin (VTC) experienced 22 deep chain reorganizations, 15 of which included double spends of VTC. We estimate that these attacks could have resulted in theft of over $100,000. The largest reorganization was over 300 blocks deep.”
According to the Crypto 51 webapp, the attack would only cost about 125 dollar per hour at the time of the attack. With an average block time of 2m and 40s this means the attack took approximately 14 hours and would only cost about 1750 dollars.

AurumCoin

A few weeks ago, AurumCoin also fell victim to a 51% attack. During the attack, one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges who had listed AurumCoin, Cryptopia, lost more than 15 million Aurum coins (which was worth over half a million USD at the time of the attack). AurumCoin claims not to be responsible for the attack and they shifted the blame to Cryptopia, insisting it was hacked. Cryptopia, on the other hand, has not yet acknowledged that they have been hacked.

Easy prey

With a market cap of around 10 million USD, AurumCoin was definitely one of the easier targets. The attacker sent over 500.000 USD worth of AurumCoin to cryptopia to exchange them for another cryptocurrency. Once this transaction went through, the attacker allegedly used more than 51% of the hashing power to reverse the transaction as though it never really happened.
Besides, the last commit on AurumCoin’s Github originates from 2015, which indicates that the developers might have abandoned their project. Moreover, having an average hashrate of just about 80PH/s didn’t help them either. For about 800 USD per hour, one can easily rent more than enough mining power on NiceHash to attack AurumCoin’s network.

Confirmations

According to various reports, it seems like AurumCoin needed twenty confirmations at the time of the attack to send or receive any funds. So, could Cryptopia be responsible for this hack? Well, Cryptopia stated that they do not have any control over the time in which these confirmations are completed. Meaning that, Cryptopia does not seem to have any influence on AurumCoin transactions.
According to the exchange, they are unable to reverse or alter these kind of confirmations, and thus the transactions. In their support section they make the following statement;
“Cryptopia does not perform these ‘Confirmations’ or have any control over the time in which these Confirmations are completed. The Confirmations are completed by miners on the Blockchain. Transactions with higher fees will are far more likely to be added to a block first.”
AurumCoin’s case is just one of the examples which shows the negative consequences for both the coin and the exchange hosting them.

Bitcoin Gold

Bitcoin Gold suffered from a similar attack, though on a larger scale. An amount of 12.239 BTG was deposited to an account on the crypto exchange Bittrex, which was according to the online publication Bitcoinist around 18 million USD at the time of the attack.

Technical background

To go more in depth on how the attacker proceeded with his attack, the following information was posted by BitcoinGold as a statement on their website.
“The attackers address is known by this transaction: ee798dd31beda909c9ca7f843bc58b48dfb40b0f6db83ccd10e892e9c3154ce7 (Originally marked as Confirmed, now marked as Unconfirmed)
The deposit was made as part of this block #529022(Originally marked as mainchain, now marked as Orphaned. It was mined by honest miners.) and was confirmed over the course of nearly six hours on mainchain with 21 additional blocks mined, up to and including this block #529043. (Originally marked as mainchain, now marked as Orphaned. It was mined by honest miners.)
Some time after the 20th block, which satisfied the 20-confirmation requirement for Bittrex, the attacker was able to trade their BTG on Bittrex and withdraw other crypto.
The attacker then released 23 (or more) secretly mined blocks to the mainchain, superseding the existing 22 blocks, and replacing their previous transfer of 12.239 BTG to Bittrex with a transfer of those same 12.239 BTG to themselves.
Below is the new transaction (double-spend) of the original 12239 BTG, sent to their own address instead of Bittrex: 8b8ad1deb88c9b9e36c62e96ff52833d4ca1632076b1092a5848de788181aaaf
It was included in this block #529022, which was first mined by the attackers in secret and not broadcast to the network until nearly 6 hours later. When it was finally broadcast along with 22 or more other secretly-mined blocks, for a total of over 23 blocks, it established the “longest chain” and took over as mainchain, causing the previously seen blocks to become “Orphaned.”
Bittrex delisted Bitcoin Gold shortly afterwards. As a result Bitcoin Gold was forced to upgrade their proof of work to make it, according to them, a less attractive and harder to attack network, even though the possibility to become victim of such an attack still lingers. Besides, they advised all exchanges to raise their confirmation requirements to give time to react on unusually large deposits of BTG — the double-spend attacks were clear outliers in size.

Expenses for the attack

Husam Abboud, a managing partner and co-founder at Brazil-based PDB Capital, has calculated that an average investment of 200.000 USD respectively is necessary for a 51% attack on bitcoin gold.
“Bitcoin Gold, a much smaller network (1/20 the size of Bitcoin Cash network), since the fork, has switched to become ASIC resistant hashing with Equihash algorithm, — same as zCash — It is currently more secure against 51% attack from Bitcoin miners, but vulnerable to attacks from Zcash and other Equihash miners.”
As researched by Investopedia, if for example a zCash miner with +8% of Nethash would switch to mine BitcoinGold, he is already at +51% BTG nethash. This would brings the cost of 51% attack on BTG to 580 ZEC/day which equals around 200.000 USD

A common attack

Similar situations occurred this year with Monacoin and Verge among others, showing that these attacks are not uncommon. Counter measures are being taken by exchanges and networks alike such as increasing the number of confirmations required for making a transaction and ASIC resistant networks. Nevertheless, exchanges have very few defences to this attack, as no number of confirmations can make receiving deposits of the network under attack fully safe, when the attacker has over 51% of the hashing power. Some of the measures might reduce the risk of such an attack, though seem not as efficient as hoped, as even networks that have implemented them, are still being attacked.
‘As long as exchanges are willing to provide customers with assets in response to the deposit of a reversible currency, there’s no reason for attackers to stop this behavior. Expect to see more of these attacks.
Exchanges that support these assets will continue to suffer losses, with the ultimate result that exchanges will be forced to delist these assets. In such an environment, it’s hard to find a compelling argument for why these assets should have value.’
Mark Nesbitt

Smilo’s solution

The Smilo network solves this problem with its Smilo BFT+ consensus mechanism. This consensus mechanism circumvents 51% attacks by having one valid blockchain and one valid block created by one chosen speaker. Next to 51% attacks, Smilo’s consensus is also far less vulnerable to a number of other attacks, making it a saver option for both users and exchanges.
Smilo will always require more than 66% consensus with the Smilo BFT+ algorithm, a node will never add a block to his chain when this block has been declined. Moreover, even when more than 66% of the nodes approve a block, but Node A declined the block, Node A will not add the block to his chain, nor will the follow up blocks add this block to the chain.
All Smilo Clients (like the API, full wallets, etcetera) are able to verify both blocks and transactions, providing a two-factor authentication for light clients. Clients can validate if it is connected to “Good actors” or “Bad actors”, depending on the blockchain hash, and therefore decide to send a transaction to a Good or Bad actor.
Since Smilo BFT+ Blacklists ‘Bad actors’, each Bad Actor will become an orphan/bad chain (fork). Besides, considering the fact you need 10.000 Smilo to act as a node, an attacking entity needs to own an immense amount of Smilo to start with, which makes it impractical as it will prove a great financial loss for the attacker. This makes Smilo 99.9% secure against sibling attacks.
For example: 250 nodes are securing the network: - 84 nodes are ok! - 166 nodes are bad! 166 * 10.000 = 1.66 million Smilo (>66% of the actors)
Even if the attacker pulls it off to create a bad block, the 84 good nodes will not add this block (because it is invalid). The next speaker in line (or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth) will create a correct block which will be added to the nodes. Since our full-clients validate nodes and blocks by themselves, they will not send any transactions to the wrong fork. This results in a fork which will only survive for as long as the bad actors are turned on.
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submitted by Smilo-platform to SmiloPlatform [link] [comments]

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KOLLABIERT BITCOIN NUN AUFGRUND DER HASH RIBBON?

Bitcoin Mining Hardware and Cloud Mining Contracts Explained - Duration: 2:57. bitcoinminersuk.com 5,923 views. 2:57. Robert Kiyosaki 2019 - The Speech That Broke The Internet!!! KEEP THEM POOR ... Learn what a hash function does and how it is used in bitcoin and blockchains in general. Leave questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer! On... Im heutigen Video sprechen wir über die Frage, warum Investoren Angst haben in den Bitcoin zu investieren. Außerdem sehen wir uns an warum die Hash Rate um 30% gesunken ist und warum der Bitcoin ... Earn free bitcoin with BitcoinClix.net - Earn Bitcoin Satoshi » Website Link: https://bit.ly/2yEttLh Turn on notifications and never miss a video! Earn bitcoins online. BitcoinClix.net paid 0 ... NetHash Crypto Mining Singapore Videos; Playlists; Channels; Discussion; About; Home Trending History Get YouTube Premium Get YouTube TV Best of YouTube Music ...

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