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An extensive list of blockchain courses, resources and articles to help you get a job working with blockchain.
u/Maximus_no and me spent some time at work collecting and analyzing learning material for blockchain development. The list contains resources for developers, as well as business analysts/consultants looking to learn more about blockchain use-cases and solutions.
Certifications and Courses
IIB Council Link to course: IIB council : Certified Blockchain Professional C|BP is an In-Depth, Industry Agnostic, Hands-On Training and Certification Course specifically tailored for Industry Professionals and Developers interested in implementing emerging technologies in the Data-Driven Markets and Digitized Economies. The IIB Council Certified Blockchain Professional (C|BP) Course was developed to help respective aspiring professionals gain excessive knowledge in Blockchain technology and its implication on businesses. WHO IS IT FOR:
C|BP is developed in line with the latest industry trends to help current and aspiring Professionals evolve in their career by implementing the latest knowledge in blockchain technology. This course will help professionals understand the foundation of Blockchain technology and the opportunities this emerging technology is offering.
If you are a Developer and you are willing to learn blockchain technology this course is for you. You will learn to build and model Blockchain solutions and Blockchain-based applications for enterprises and businesses in multiple Blockchain Technologies.
This exam is designed for non-technical business professionals who require basic knowledge about Blockchain and how it will be executed within an organization. This exam is NOT appropriate for technology professionals seeking to gain deeper understanding of Blockchain technology implementation or programming.
A person who holds this certification demonstrates their knowledge of:
· What is Blockchain? (What exactly is it?) · Non-Technical Technology Overview (How does it work?) · Benefits of Blockchain (Why should anyone consider this?) · Use Cases (Where and for what apps is it appropriate?) · Adoption (Who is using it and for what?) · Future of Blockchain (What is the future?)
A person who holds this certification demonstrates their ability to:
· Architect blockchain solutions · Work effectively with blockchain engineers and technical leaders · Choose appropriate blockchain systems for various use cases · Work effectively with both public and permissioned blockchain systems
This exam will prove that a student completely understands:
· The difference between proof of work, proof of stake, and other proof systems and why they exist · Why cryptocurrency is needed on certain types of blockchains · The difference between public, private, and permissioned blockchains · How blocks are written to the blockchain · Where cryptography fits into blockchain and the most commonly used systems · Common use cases for public blockchains · Common use cases for private & permissioned blockchains · What is needed to launch your own blockchain · Common problems & considerations in working with public blockchains · Awareness of the tech behind common blockchains · When is mining needed and when it is not · Byzantine Fault Tolerance · Consensus among blockchains · What is hashing · How addresses, public keys, and private keys work · What is a smart contract · Security in blockchain · Brief history of blockchain · The programming languages of the most common blockchains · Common testing and deployment practices for blockchains and blockchain-based apps
A person who holds this certification demonstrates their ability to:
· Plan and prepare production ready applications for the Ethereum blockchain · Write, test, and deploy secure Solidity smart contracts · Understand and work with Ethereum fees · Work within the bounds and limitations of the Ethereum blockchain · Use the essential tooling and systems needed to work with the Ethereum ecosystem
This exam will prove that a student completely understands how to:
· Implement web3.js · Write and compile Solidity smart contracts · Create secure smart contracts · Deploy smart contracts both the live and test Ethereum networks · Calculate Ethereum gas costs · Unit test smart contracts · Run an Ethereum node on development machines
Basic course with focus on Bitcoin. After this course, you’ll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You’ll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network. And you’ll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin in your own projects.
· A mid / basic understanding of blockchain technology and its long-term implications for business, coupled with knowledge of its relationship to other emerging technologies such as AI and IoT · An economic framework for identifying blockchain-based solutions to challenges within your own context, guided by the knowledge of cryptoeconomics expert Christian Catalini · Recognition of your newfound blockchain knowledge in the form of a certificate of completion from the MIT Sloan School of Management — one of the world’s leading business schools Orientation Module: Welcome to Your Online Campus Module 1: An introduction to blockchain technology Module 2: Bitcoin and the curse of the double-spending problem Module 3: Costless verification: Blockchain technology and the last mile problem Module 4: Bootstrapping network effects through blockchain technology and cryptoeconomics Module 5: Using tokens to design new types of digital platforms Module 6: The future of blockchain technology, AI, and digital privacy
· A mid / basic understanding of what blockchain is and how it works, as well as insights into how it will affect the future of industry and of your organization. · The ability to make better strategic business decisions by utilizing the Oxford Blockchain Strategic framework, the Oxford Blockchain Regulation framework, the Oxford Blockchain Ecosystem map, and drawing on your knowledge of blockchain and affiliated industries and technologies. · A certificate of attendance from Oxford Saïd as validation of your newfound blockchain knowledge and skills, as well as access to a global network of like-minded business leaders and innovators. Module 1: Understanding blockchain Module 2: The blockchain ecosystem Module 3: Innovations in value transfer Module 4: Decentralized apps and smart contracts Module 5: Transforming enterprise business models Module 6: Blockchain frontiers
[Proof of Work] - very short, cuz it's well-known.  Bitcoin - to generate a new block miner must generate hash of the new block header that is in line with given requirements. Others: Ethereum, Litecoin etc. [Hybrid of PoW and PoS]  Decred - hybrid of “proof of work” and “proof of stake”. Blocks are created about every 5 minutes. Nodes in the network looking for a solution with a known difficulty to create a block (PoW). Once the solution is found it is broadcast to the network. The network then verifies the solution. Stakeholders who have locked some DCR in return for a ticket* now have the chance to vote on the block (PoS). 5 tickets are chosen pseudo-randomly from the ticket pool and if at least 3 of 5 vote ‘yes’ the block is permanently added to the blockchain. Both miners and voters are compensated with DCR : PoS - 30% and PoW - 60% of about 30 new Decred issued with a block. * 1 ticket = ability to cast 1 vote. Stakeholders must wait an average of 28 days (8,192 blocks) to vote their tickets. [Proof of Stake]  Nxt - The more tokens are held by account, the greater chance that account will earn the right to generate a block. The total reward received as a result of block generation is the sum of the transaction fees located within the block. Three values are key to determining which account is eligible to generate a block, which account earns the right to generate a block, and which block is taken to be the authoritative one in times of conflict: base target value, target value and cumulative difficulty. Each block on the chain has a generation signature parameter. To participate in the block's forging process, an active account digitally signs the generation signature of the previous block with its own public key. This creates a 64-byte signature, which is then hashed using SHA256. The first 8 bytes of the resulting hash are converted to a number, referred to as the account hit. The hit is compared to the current target value(active balance). If the computed hit is lower than the target, then the next block can be generated.  Peercoin (chain-based proof of stake) - coin age parameter. Hybrid PoW and PoS algorithm. The longer your Peercoins have been stationary in your account (to a maximum of 90 days), the more power (coin age) they have to mint a block. The act of minting a block requires the consumption of coin age value, and the network determines consensus by selecting the chain with the largest total consumed coin age. Reward - minting + 1% yearly.  Reddcoin (Proof of stake Velocity) - quite similar to Peercoin, difference: not linear coin-aging function (new coins gain weight quickly, and old coins gain weight increasingly slowly) to encourage Nodes Activity. Node with most coin age weight have a bigger chance to create block. To create block Node should calculate right hash. Block reward - interest on the weighted age of coins/ 5% annual interest in PoSV phase.  Ethereum (Casper) - uses modified BFT consensus. Blocks will be created using PoW. In the Casper Phase 1 implementation for Ethereum, the “proposal mechanism" is the existing proof of work chain, modified to have a greatly reduced block reward. Blocks will be validated by set of Validators. Block is finalised when 2/3 of validators voted for it (not the number of validators is counted, but their deposit size). Block creator rewarded with Block Reward + Transaction FEES.  Lisk (Delegated Proof-of-stake) - Lisk stakeholders vote with vote transaction (the weight of the vote depends on the amount of Lisk the stakeholder possess) and choose 101 Delegates, who create all blocks in the blockchain. One delegate creates 1 block within 1 round (1 round contains 101 blocks) -> At the beginning of each round, each delegate is assigned a slot indicating their position in the block generation process -> Delegate includes up to 25 transactions into the block, signs it and broadcasts it to the network -> As >51% of available peers agreed that this block is acceptable to be created (Broadhash consensus), a new block is added to the blockchain. *Any account may become a delegate, but only accounts with the required stake (no info how much) are allowed to generate blocks. Block reward - minted Lisks and transaction fees (fees for all 101 blocks are collected firstly and then are divided between delegates). Blocks appears every 10 sec.  Cardano (Ouroboros Proof of Stake) - Blocks(slots) are created by Slot Leaders. Slot Leaders for N Epoch are chosen during n-1 Epoch. Slot Leaders are elected from the group of ADA stakeholders who have enough stake. Election process consist of 3 phases: Commitment phase: each elector generates a random value (secret), signs it and commit as message to network (other electors) saved in to block. -> Reveal phase: Each elector sends special value to open a commitment, all this values (opening) are put into the block. -> Recovery phase: each elector verifies that commitments and openings match and extracts the secrets and forms a SEED (randomly generated bytes string based on secrets). All electors get the same SEED. -> Follow the Satoshi algorithm : Elector who have coin which corresponded to SEED become a SLOT LEADER and get a right to create a block. Slot Leader is rewarded with minted ADA and transactions Fee.  Tezos (Proof Of Stake) - generic and self-amending crypto-ledger. At the beginning of each cycle (2048 blocks), a random seed is derived from numbers that block miners chose and committed to in the penultimate cycle, and revealed in the last. -> Using this random seed, a follow the coin strategy (similar to Follow The Satoshi) is used to allocate mining rights and signing rights to stakeholders for the next cycle*. -> Blocks are mined by a random stakeholder (the miner) and includes multiple signatures of the previous block provided by random stakeholders (the signers). Mining and signing both offer a small reward but also require making a one cycle safety deposit to be forfeited in the event of a double mining or double signing. · the more coins (rolls) you have - the more your chance to be a minesigner.  Tendermint (Byzantine Fault Tolerance) - A proposal is signed and published by the designated proposer at each round. The proposer is chosen by a deterministic and non-choking round robin selection algorithm that selects proposers in proportion to their voting power. The proposer create the block, that should be validated by >2/3 of Validators, as follow: Propose -> Prevote -> Precommit -> Commit. Proposer rewarded with Transaction FEES.  Tron (Byzantine Fault Tolerance) - This blockhain is still on development stage. Consensus algorithm = PoS + BFT (similar to Tendermint): PoS algorithm chooses a node as Proposer, this node has the power to generate a block. -> Proposer broadcasts a block that it want to release. -> Block enters the Prevote stage. It takes >2/3 of nodes' confirmations to enter the next stage. -> As the block is prevoted, it enters Precommit stage and needs >2/3 of node's confirmation to go further. -> As >2/3 of nodes have precommited the block it's commited to the blockchain with height +1. New blocks appears every 15 sec.  NEO (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) - Consensus nodes* are elected by NEO holders -> The Speaker is identified (based on algorithm) -> He broadcasts proposal to create block -> Each Delegate (other consensus nodes) validates proposal -> Each Delegate sends response to other Delegates -> Delegate reaches consensus after receiving 2/3 positive responses -> Each Delegate signs the block and publishes it-> Each Delegate receives a full block. Block reward 6 GAS distributed proportionally in accordance with the NEO holding ratio among NEO holders. Speaker rewarded with transaction fees (mostly 0). * Stake 1000 GAS to nominate yourself for Bookkeeping(Consensus Node)  EOS (Delegated Proof of Stake) - those who hold tokens on a blockchain adopting the EOS.IO software may select* block producers through a continuous approval voting system and anyone may choose to participate in block production and will be given an opportunity to produce blocks proportional to the total votes they have received relative to all other producers. At the start of each round 21 unique block producers are chosen. The top 20 by total approval are automatically chosen every round and the last producer is chosen proportional to their number of votes relative to other producers. Block should be confirmed by 2/3 or more of elected Block producers. Block Producer rewarded with Block rewards. *the more EOS tokens a stakeholder owns, the greater their voting power [The XRP Ledger Consensus Process]  Ripple - Each node receives transaction from external applications -> Each Node forms public list of all valid (not included into last ledger (=block)) transactions aka (Candidate Set) -> Nodes merge its candidate set with UNLs(Unique Node List) candidate sets and vote on the veracity of all transactions (1st round of consensus) -> all transactions that received at least 50% votes are passed on the next round (many rounds may take place) -> final round of consensus requires that min 80% of Nodes UNL agreeing on transactions. It means that at least 80% of Validating nodes should have same Candidate SET of transactions -> after that each Validating node computes a new ledger (=block) with all transactions (with 80% UNL agreement) and calculate ledger hash, signs and broadcasts -> All Validating nodes compare their ledgers hash -> Nodes of the network recognize a ledger instance as validated when a 80% of the peers have signed and broadcast the same validation hash. -> Process repeats. Ledger creation process lasts 5 sec(?). Each transaction includes transaction fee (min 0,00001 XRP) which is destroyed. No block rewards. [The Stellar consensus protocol]  Stellar (Federated Byzantine Agreement) - quite similar to Ripple. Key difference - quorum slice. [Proof of Burn]  Slimcoin - to get the right to write blocks Node should “burn” amount of coins. The more coins Node “burns” more chances it has to create blocks (for long period) -> Nodes address gets a score called Effective Burnt Coins that determines chance to find blocks. Block creator rewarded with block rewards. [Proof of Importance]  NEM - Only accounts that have min 10k vested coins are eligible to harvest (create a block). Accounts with higher importance scores have higher probabilities of harvesting a block. The higher amount of vested coins, the higher the account’s Importance score. And the higher amount of transactions that satisfy following conditions: - transactions sum min 1k coins, - transactions made within last 30 days, - recipient have 10k vested coins too, - the higher account’s Important score. Harvester is rewarded with fees for the transactions in the block. A new block is created approx. every 65 sec. [Proof of Devotion]  Nebulas (Proof of Devotion + BFT) - quite similar to POI, the PoD selects the accounts with high influence. All accounts are ranked according to their liquidity and propagation (Nebulas Rank) -> Top-ranked accounts are selected -> Chosen accounts pay deposit and are qualified as the blocks Validators* -> Algorithm pseudo-randomly chooses block Proposer -> After a new block is proposed, Validators Set (each Validator is charged a deposit) participate in a round of BFT-Style voting to verify block (1. Prepare stage -> 2. Commit Stage. Validators should have > 2/3 of total deposits to validate Block) -> Block is added. Block rewards : each Validator rewarded with 1 NAS. *Validators Set is dynamic, changes in Set may occur after Epoch change. [IOTA Algorithm]  IOTA - uses DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) instead of blockchain (TANGLE equal to Ledger). Graph consist of transactions (not blocks). To issue a new transaction Node must approve 2 random other Transactions (not confirmed). Each transaction should be validate n(?) times. By validating PAST(2) transactions whole Network achieves Consensus. in Order to issue transaction Node: 1. Sign transaction with private key 2. choose two other Transactions to validate based on MCMC(Markov chain Monte Carlo) algorithm, check if 2 transactions are valid (node will never approve conflicting transactions) 3. make some PoW(similar to HashCash). -> New Transaction broadcasted to Network. Node don’t receive reward or fee. [PBFT + PoW]  Yobicash - uses PBFT and also PoW. Nodes reach consensus on transactions by querying other nodes. A node asks its peers about the state of a transaction: if it is known or not, and if it is a doublespending transaction or not. As follow : Node receives new transaction -> Checks if valid -> queries all known nodes for missing transactions (check if already in DAG ) -> queries 2/3 nodes for doublepsending and possibility -> if everything is ok add to DAG. Reward - nodes receive transaction fees + minting coins. [Proof of Space/Proof of Capacity]  Filecoin (Power Fault Tolerance) - the probability that the network elects a miner(Leader) to create a new block (it is referred to as the voting power of the miner) is proportional to storage currently in use in relation to the rest of the network. Each node has Power - storage in use verified with Proof of Spacetime by nodes. Leaders extend the chain by creating a block and propagating it to the network. There can be an empty block (when no leader). A block is committed if the majority of the participants add their weight on the chain where the block belongs to, by extending the chain or by signing blocks. Block creator rewarded with Block reward + transaction fees. [Proof of Elapsed Time (POET)]  Hyperledger Sawtooth - Goal - to solve BFT Validating Nodes limitation. Works only with intel’s SGX. PoET uses a random leader election model or a lottery based election model based on SGX, where the protocol randomly selects the next leader to finalize the block. Every validator requests a wait time from an enclave (a trusted function). -> The validator with the shortest wait time for a particular transaction block is elected the leader. -> The BlockPublisher is responsible for creating candidate blocks to extend the current chain. He takes direction from the consensus algorithm for when to create a block and when to publish a block. He creates, Finalizes, Signs Block and broadcast it -> Block Validators check block -> Block is created on top of blockchain.  Byteball (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) - only verified nodes are allowed to be Validation nodes (list of requirements https://github.com/byteball/byteball-witness). Users choose in transaction set of 12 Validating nodes. Validating nodes(Witnesses) receive transaction fees.  Nano - uses DAG, PoW (HashCash). Nano uses a block-lattice structure. Each account has its own blockchain (account-chain) equivalent to the account’s transaction/balance history. To add transaction user should make some HashCash PoW -> When user creates transaction Send Block appears on his blockchain and Receive block appears on Recipients blockchain. -> Peers in View receive Block -> Peers verify block (Double spending and check if already in the ledger) -> Peers achieve consensus and add block. In case of Fork (when 2 or more signed blocks reference the same previous block): Nano network resolves forks via a balance-weighted voting system where representative nodes vote for the block they observe, as >50% of weighted votes received, consensus achieved and block is retained in the Node’s ledger (block that lose the vote is discarded).  Holochain - uses distributed hash table (DHT). Instead of trying to manage global consensus for every change to a huge blockchain ledger, every participant has their own signed hash chain. In case of multi-party transaction, it is signed to each party's chain. Each party signs the exact same transaction with links to each of their previous chain entries. After data is signed to local chains, it is shared to a DHT where every neighbor node validate it. Any consensus algorithms can be built on top of Holochain.  Komodo ('Delegated' Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW)) - end-to-end blockchain solutions. DPoW consensus mechanism does not recognize The Longest Chain Rule to resolve a conflict in the network, instead the dPoW looks to backups it inserted previously into the chosen PoW blockchain. The process of inserting backups of Komodo transactions into a secure PoW is “notarization.” Notarisation is performed by the elected Notary nodes. Roughly every ten minutes, the Notary nodes perform a special block hash mined on the Komodo blockchain and take note of the overall Komodo blockchain “height”. The notary nodes process this specifc block so that their signatures are cryptographically included within the content of the notarized data. There are sixty-four “Notary nodes” elected by a stake-weighted vote, where ownership of KMD represents stake in the election. They are a special type of blockchain miner, having certain features in their underlying code that enable them to maintain an effective and cost-efcient blockchain and they periodically receives the privilege to mine a block on “easy difculty.” Source: https://www.reddit.com/CryptoTechnology/comments/7znnq8/my_brief_observation_of_most_common_consensus/ Whitepapers Worth Looking Into: IOTA -http://iotatoken.com/IOTA_Whitepaper.pdf NANO -https://nano.org/en/whitepaper Bitcoin -https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf Ethereum: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper Ethereum Plasma (Omise-GO) -https://plasma.io/plasma.pdf Cardano - https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/889.pdf
Is there an Intersection between Cardano and Knowledge?
Is anyone here aware of a knowledge base project involving public blockchain? Much hype in recent years has referred to a secure public blockchain (usually Bitcoin) as a "[single] source of truth", to which the standard rebuttal is the observation that securing information with a blockchain says nothing about the veracity of that information (i.e. garbage-in, garbage-out). However, efforts such as peer review (at least in the sciences) can potentially be monetized by means of a public blockchain, which can also then secure the resulting knowledge base against censorship and misrepresentation. Since Charles Hoskinson's vision for ADA seems to be well-aligned with this type of endeavor, I thought it might be worth asking the Cardano community to find out whether there is anything happening in this space. Some clarification on my terminology: I consider a "knowledge base" to be a "knowledge graph" where nodes include some measure of truth (e.g. as in the notion of Bayesian probability). Concerning the phrase "single source of truth", I am aware that there is considerable confusion and convolution between the technical meaning of the phrase (as used by data scientists when discussing the difficulties of implementing an updateable distributed database) and how the phrase is generally meant in the common vernacular. I intend the latter usage.
If you are holding a shovel, that doesn't necessarily mean you are digging gold ;)
Ok, you may still call it "mining" but technically it's only hashing (mind the name: NiceHash). (and it may or may not be used to mine Cryptos, but in the end, it's not you who decides).
What the hell am I doing then?!?
You offer your hashing power; e.g. your GPU(s) and/or CPU(s) computing power - you are a Seller
NiceHash is a marketplace where others buy access to your hashing power - these are Buyers
Others aka Buyers are then mining Cryptocurrencies to their wallets, by using your hashing power
Deals are sold and therefore paid in BTC - from the Buyers pockets directly to your pocket
Prices are solely set by best bids from the Buyers - neither you nor NiceHash can directly affect them.
Who makes Profit, and how?
NiceHash collects fees from buyers and sellers to pay their costs and make their income.
Buyers mine Coins... on other pools to hodl (hoping for future profits), solo to win the “block lottery”, to capitalize short-term rate changes, or by applying other, more complex strategies. tl;dr: Buyers spend their BTC on NiceHash to make a profit for themselves.
Sellers (you) earn these BTC, and after covering your costs - investments in hardware, electricity, maintenance (i.e. your precious time to keep rigs running) - you hopefully made some profit also.
How is it possible everyone is making a profit?
The Cryptocurrency ecosystem attracts people; even the average Joe these days; There is lots of hype, and also lots of belief - more or less reasonable - that Cryptos are the Next Big Thing. So they put their so-called Fiat money (USD/EU…) into buying Coins and thus generate new value within them.
As long public interest rises, thus enough fresh (Fiat) money is floating in - to at least cover more than all the running costs are (hardware, electricity, wages, etc.; usually still to be paid in Fiat) - everyone within this ecosystem can make some profit over time.
Why do profits skyrocket, and will it last (and will this happen again)?
When even Fox News tells people to have some Bitcoin, because everyone can double his money within a few months only, a heavy influx of fresh (Fiat) money begins, and shortly after everyone gets completely crazy, the pie that feeds us grows - to the moon, at least ;)
But nothing is going to last forever (or even for long), nor does this; a minor nucular incident with NK, news from China about potentially disruptive regulation, less trust in the future of Crypto investments because of whatever good or bad reasons, or people just need their Fiat money back for medical bills… you name it.
The good news: If you still believe in Cryptos and hodl you can probably make more out of your past earnings - and what you earn today is going to be a past earning anytime soon ;)
The bad news: Yes, the current raw numbers (for payments per work unit) are decreasing and will continue to decrease, unfortunately; unless there is a new hype. But in the long term that is the only trend you will ever see - so better make up your numbers and act wisely.
The bottom line: Even when your profit steadily declines, it's still a profit (given you have done the math right). And there is not much you - or any other individual - can do about that anyway.
But why?!? I’m supposed to make lotsa money out of this!!!
Since Fox News told everyone about Bitcoins, there were many people having the obvious idea to make big money by mining Cryptos; at first this seems to work since it makes more slices, but from a bigger pie also, but as soon the hype train stutters, the pie stops growing or even starts to shrink again - and so do the slices for everyone who still keeps mining:
Interest hype -> Influx of Fiat money -> Coins quotes skyrocket -> Influx of miners -> Difficulty skyrockets -> Most of the price uptrend is choked within weeks, since it’s now harder to mine new blocks.
Interest hype drains out -> Fiat money influx declines -> Coins quotes halt or even fall -> Miners still hold on to their dream -> Difficulty stays up high, even rises -> Earnings decrease, maybe even sharply, as it's still harder to mine new blocks, that may be even paid less.
Earnings are hit by... a) Planned difficulty increases (like for Ethereum) b) Difficulty increase because of an ever-growing number of miners c) Lower prices of Bitcoin (the NiceHash market trade currency in which you are paid) d) Lower prices of Alt Coins (what buyers are acquiring while using your hashing power) e) And last but not least, when using NiceHash, a possibly declining number of Buyers of hashing power
Also NiceHash earnings/trends are additionally complicated by the fact, that these mechanisms affect tons of Alt Coins, in slightly different ways, and since Buyers "trade" Bitcoins against Alt Coins by using your hashing power, it may, at times, look like someone is cheating; but usually it's just convoluted market mechanics - and the plain truth that you only feel cheated on if you lose, but never when you win ;)
Be warned that this process(es) may happen slowly over several months, in just a couple of weeks, and sometimes within a few days only, and ups & downs of 10,20,30 percent (and more) are nothing unusual!
So, how to judge what’s going on with my profits?
Check the crypto economy - and don’t forget (I might now repeat myself): NiceHash is just a marketplace which runs on BTC; read below how this basically works out.
Check the mid/long term hashrate on NiceHash for your favorite algo(s) - the higher it gets, the smaller is the slice of the (payout) pie you will be able to acquire with the same equipment!
Check the news! Cryptocurrencies are a hot topic nowadays, and many people act on what is in the news; and whatever is going on will probably affect prices in either way and thus your profit.
Simple breakdown of the relationship of BTC payouts by NiceHash, BTC/ALT Coins rates, and Fiat value:
BTC quote | ALTs quotes | BTC payout | Fiat value ----------------------------------------------------- UP | UP | stable*) | UP stable | UP | UP | UP UP | stable | DOWN | stable*) stable | stable | stable | stable DOWN | stable | UP | stable*) stable | DOWN | DOWN | DOWN DOWN | DOWN | stable*) | DOWN
*) If the BTC payouts or Fiat values are really going to stay the same in these cases, or drop, or even rise, of course, depends on the exact delta of the changes between BTC and ALT.
Note: Since BTC is by far the leading Cryptocurrency, you will most probably watch ALTs drop when BTC drops quite often, but not necessarily see ALTs rise as soon BTC rises; all the Fiat (money) value they all together represent simply needs to come from somewhere, and it’s much more likely that new investments aka “fresh money” is pulled into BTC first, and trickles down to ALTs.
Some rather obvious remarks:
Many points are intentionally oversimplified - as otherwise this post would need to be at least ten times as long; the best you can do to stay ahead of the pack is to do your own research and learn about what you are doing here - ideally before doing it!
Even if NiceHash is often jokingly (more or less) called NoobHash, because it's that easy to start with, staying a Noob will pull you back, rather sooner than later, in an ultra-fast paced economy like this.
Don’t expect strangers here or elsewhere to hold your hand all the time, no matter how helpful some people still are. In the end, we all (also) compete against each other ;)
Keep yourself well informed to avoid nasty surprises!
Disclaimer: I'm a user - Seller like you - not in any way associated with NiceHash; this is my personal view & conclusion about some more or less obvious basics in Crypto mining and particularly using NiceHash. Comments & critics welcome...
The report produced by the fire block chain coins Institute, author: Yuan Yuming, Hu Zhiwei, PDF version please read the original text download Summary The Fire Coin Blockchain Application Research Institute conducts research on distributed ledger technology based on directed acyclic graph (DAG) data structure from a technical perspective, and through the specific technical test of typical representative project IOTA, the main research results are obtained:
Compared with the narrowblockchaintechnology,DAGtechnology has its own innovations. In theory, it can achieve high scalability and high decentralization without considering the evil situation. Therefore, there are some security risks.
DAGprojects tend to operate in a decentralized manner, which reduces the degree of decentralization to improve safety, but at the same time the transaction rate is not close to the theoretical limit.
Using a 40-node network based on VPS (CPU for PoW) to conduct a trading stress test on a representative project IOTA, it can be found that the TPS is very low: the optimal result that can be achieved is 4.19.
After analysis, its performance bottleneck is mainly based on the hardware implementation of the hardware itself.If you use other methods such as FPGA, you should further explore the performance potential of DAG.
At the same time, in order to maintain good transaction processing capabilities, a network of nodes of sufficient scale should be established.
Report body 1 Introduction Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology, and distributed ledger technology is not limited to the "blockchain" technology. In the wave of digital economic development, more distributed ledger technology is being explored and applied in order to improve the original technology and meet more practical business application scenarios. Directed Acylic Graph (hereinafter referred to as "DAG") is one of the representatives. What is DAG technology and the design behind it? What is the actual application effect?We attempted to obtain analytical conclusions through deep analysis of DAG technology and actual test runs of representative project IOTA. It should also be noted that the results of the indicator data obtained from the test are not and should not be considered as proof or confirmation of the final effect of the IOTA platform or project. Hereby declare. 2. Main conclusions After research and test analysis, we have the following main conclusions and technical recommendations:
Compared with the narrow blockchain technology, DAG technology has its own innovations. In theory, it can achieve high scalability and high decentralization without considering the evil situation. Therefore, there are some security risks.
DAG projects tend to operate in a decentralized manner, which reduces the degree of decentralization to improve safety, but at the same time the transaction rate is not close to the theoretical limit.
Using a 40-node network based on VPS (CPU for PoW) to conduct a trading stress test on a representative project IOTA, it can be found that the TPS is very low: the optimal result that can be achieved is 4.19.
After analysis, its performance bottleneck is mainly based on the hardware implementation of the hardware itself.If you use other methods such as FPGA, you should further explore the performance potential of DAG.
At the same time, in order to maintain good transaction processing capabilities, a network of nodes of sufficient scale should be established.
3.DAG Introduction 3.1. Introduction to DAG Principle DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) is a data structure that represents a directed graph, and in this graph, it cannot return to this point (no loop) from any vertex, as shown in the figure. Shown as follows: 📷 After the DAG technology-based distributed ledger (hereinafter referred to as DAG) technology has been proposed in recent years, many people think that it is hopeful to replace the blockchain technology in the narrow sense. Because the goal of DAG at design time is to preserve the advantages of the blockchain and to improve the shortcomings of the blockchain. Different from the traditional linear blockchain structure, the transaction record of the distributed ledger platform represented by IOTA forms a relational structure with a directed acyclic graph, as shown in the following figure. 📷 3.2. DAG characteristics Due to the different data structure from the previous blockchain, the DAG-based distributed ledger technology has the characteristics of high scalability, high concurrency and is suitable for IoT scenarios. 3.2.1. High scalability, high concurrency The data synchronization mechanism of traditional linear blockchains (such as Ethereum) is synchronous, which may cause network congestion. The DAG network adopts an asynchronous communication mechanism, allowing concurrent writing. Multiple nodes can simultaneously trade at different tempos without having a clear sequence. Therefore, the data of the network may be inconsistent at the same time, but it will eventually be synchronized.
3.2.2. Applicable to IoT scenarios
In the traditional blockchain network, there are many transactions in each block. The miners are packaged and sent uniformly, involving multiple users. In the DAG network, there is no concept of “block”, the smallest unit of the network. It is a "transaction", each new transaction needs to verify the first two transactions, so the DAG network does not need miners to pass the trust, transfer does not require a fee, which makes DAG technology suitable for small payments. 4. Analysis of technical ideas Trilemma, or "trilemma", means that in a particular situation, only two of the three advantageous options can be selected or one of the three adverse choices must be chosen. This type of selection dilemma has related cases in various fields such as religion, law, philosophy, economics, and business management.Blockchain is no exception. The impossible triangle in the blockchain is: Scalability, Decentralization, and Security can only choose two of them. If you analyze DAG technology according to this idea, according to the previous introduction, then DAG has undoubtedly occupied the two aspects of decentralization and scalability. The decentralization and scalability of the DAG can be considered as two-sided, because of the asynchronous accounting features brought about by the DAG data structure, while achieving the high degree of decentralization of the participating network nodes and the scalability of the transaction. 5. There is a problem Since the characteristics of the data structure bring decentralization and scalability at the same time, it is speculated that the security is a hidden danger according to the theory of impossible triangles. But because DAG is a relatively innovative and special structure, can it be more perfect to achieve security? This is not the case from the actual results. 5.1. Double flower problem The characteristics of DAG asynchronous communication make it possible for a double-flower attack. For example, an attacker adds two conflicting transactions (double spending) at two different locations on the network, and the transactions are continuously forward-checked in the network until they appear on the verification path of the same transaction, and the network discovers the conflict. At this time, the common ancestor nodes that the two transactions are gathered together can determine which transaction is a double-flower attack. If the trading path is too short, there will be a problem like "Blowball": when most transactions are "lazy" in extreme cases, only the early trading, the trading network will form a minority. Early transactions are the core central topology. This is not a good thing for DAGs that rely on ever-increasing transactions to increase network reliability. Therefore, at present, for the double flower problem, it is necessary to comprehensively consider the actual situation for design. Different DAG networks have their own solutions. 5.2. Shadow chain problem Due to the potential problem of double flowers, when an attacker can build a sufficient number of transactions, it is possible to fork a fraudulent branch (shadow chain) from the real network data, which contains a double flower transaction, and then this The branch is merged into the DAG network, and in this case it is possible for this branch to replace the original transaction data. 6. Introduction to the current improvement plan At present, the project mainly guarantees safety by sacrificing the native characteristics of some DAGs. The IOTA project uses the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach to solve this problem. The IOTA introduces the concept of Cumulative Weight for transactions to record the number of times the transaction has been cited in order to indicate the importance of its transaction. The MCMC algorithm selects the existing transactions in the current network as a reference for the newly added transactions by weighting the random weights of the accumulated weights. That is, the more referenced the transaction path, the easier it is to be selected by the algorithm. The walk strategy has also been optimized in version 1.5.0 to control the "width" of the transaction topology to a reasonable range, making the network more secure. However, at the beginning of the platform startup, due to the limited number of participating nodes and transactions, it is difficult to prevent a malicious organization from sending a large number of malicious transactions through a large number of nodes to cause the entire network to be attacked by the shadow chain. Therefore, an authoritative arbitration institution is needed to determine the validity of the transaction. In IOTA, this node is a Coordinator, which periodically snapshots the current transaction data network (Tangle); the transactions contained in the snapshot are confirmed as valid transactions. But Coordinator doesn't always exist. As the entire network runs and grows, IOTA will cancel the Coordinator at some point in the future. The Byteball improvement program features its design for the witness and the main chain. Because the structure of DAG brings a lot of transactions with partial order, and to avoid double flowers, it is necessary to establish a full order relationship for these transactions to form a transaction backbone. An earlier transaction on the main chain is considered a valid transaction.Witnesses, who are held by well-known users or institutions, form a main chain by constantly sending transactions to confirm other user transactions. The above scheme may also bring different changes to the platform based on the DAG structure. Taking IOTA as an example, because of the introduction of Coordinator, the decentralization characteristics are reduced to some extent. 7. Actual operation 7.1. Positive effects In addition to solving security problems, the above solutions can also solve the smart contract problem to some extent. Due to the two potential problems caused by the native features of DAG: (1) The transaction duration is uncontrollable. The current mechanism for requesting retransmission requires some complicated timeout mechanism design on the client side, hoping for a simple one-time confirmation mechanism. (2) There is no global sorting mechanism, which results in limited types of operations supported by the system. Therefore, on the distributed ledger platform based on DAG technology, it is difficult to implement Turing's complete intelligent contract system. In order to ensure that the smart contract can run, an organization is needed to do the above work. The current Coordinator or main chain can achieve similar results. 7.2. Negative effects As one of the most intuitive indicators, DAG's TPS should theoretically be unlimited. If the maximum TPS of the IOTA platform is compared to the capacity of a factory, then the daily operation of TPS is the daily production of the plant. For the largest TPS, the April 2017 IOTA stress test showed that the network had transaction processing capabilities of 112 CTPS and 895 TPS. This is the result of a small test network consisting of 250 nodes. For the daily operation of TPS, from the data that is currently publicly available, the average TPS of the main network in the near future is about 8.2, and the CTPS (the number of confirmed transactions per second) is about 2.7. 📷 The average average TPS of the test network is about 4, and the CTPS is about 3. 📷 Data source discord bot: generic-iota-bot#5760 Is this related to the existence of Coordinator? Actual testing is needed to further demonstrate. 8. Measured analysis The operational statistics of the open test network are related to many factors.For further analysis, we continue to use the IOTA platform as an example to build a private test environment for technical measurement analysis. 8.1. Test Architecture The relationship between the components we built this test is shown below. 📷 among them:
In order to avoid the impact of other factors on the main network or test network on the test results, we built a 40-node small private IOTA test network. The build process refers to the "Private IOTA Testnet" project (https://github.com/schierlm/private-iota-testnet.git) and updates the IRI (IOTA Reference Implementation) version used in it to the latest v1.5.0 release. In addition, during the test, the Coordinator simulation tool provided by the tool is used to periodically generate snapshots to confirm the transaction.
Use Python-based open source load testing tool Locust (https://locust.io/) to control the sending of transaction data. After the test is started, the transaction data is randomly sent to the nodes in all private networks.
When the node is started, the "--zmq-enabled" parameter is added to start the ZeroMQ support of the IOTA, and the transaction data obtained by the node is sent to the observing end through the message queue. Use the ZeroMQ event parsing script (https://github.com/lunfardo314/tps\_zmq.git) on the observing side to observe the node transaction data.
8.2. Testing the hardware environment The server uses Amazon AWS EC2 C5.4xlarge: 16 core 3GHz, Intel Xeon Platinum 8124M CPU, 32GB memory, 10Gbps LAN network between servers, communication delay (ping) is less than 1ms, operating system is Ubuntu 16.04. 8.3. Test scenarios and results analysis
8.3.1. Default PoW Difficulty Value
Although there is no concept such as “miners”, the IOTA node still needs to prove the workload before sending the transaction to avoid sending a large number of transactions to flood the network. The Minimum Weight Magnitude is similar to Bitcoin. The result of PoW should be the number of digits of "9", 9 of which is "000" in the ternary used by IOTA. The IOTA difficulty value can be set before the node is started. Currently for the production network, the difficulty value of the IOTA is set to 14; the test network is set to 9. Therefore, we first use the test network's default difficulty value of 9 to test, get the following test results. 📷 Since each IOTA's bundle contains multiple transfers, the actual processed TPS will be higher than the send rate. But by executing the script that parses zmq, it can be observed that the current TPS is very low. Another phenomenon is that the number of requests that can be sent successfully per second is also low. After analysis, the reason is that the test uses VPS, so in PoW, the CPU is mainly used for calculation, so the transaction speed is mainly affected by the transmission speed.
8.3.2. Decrease the PoW difficulty value
Re-test the difficulty value to 1 and get the following results. 📷 As can be seen from the results, TPS will increase after the difficulty is reduced. Therefore, the current TPS of the IOTA project does not reach the bottleneck where the Coordinator is located, but mainly because of the hardware and network of the client itself that sends the transaction. The IOTA community is currently working on the implementation of FPGA-based Curl algorithm and CPU instruction set optimization. Our test results also confirm that we can continue to explore the performance potential of the DAG platform in this way.
Bitcoin, huh? WTF is going on? Should we scale you on-chain or off-chain? Will you stay decentralized, distributed, immutable?
0. Shit, this is long, TLWR please! Too long, won't read. EDIT: TLDR TLWR for clarity.
Bitcoin is a decentralized, distributed, immutable network. It has users, nodes, and miners, all of which participate in building a public and pseudonymous ledger of blocks called blockchain. The blockchain requires its own currency to function and this currency is called Bitcoin.
The bitcoin network is going through growing pains. Some believe that it should be scaled on-chain with high-volume-low-cost transaction fees, whereas others believe that it has to be scaled off-chain with low-volume-high-cost transaction fees and more affordable second layer solutions. Each have relative advantages and disadvantages. A compromise has not been reached yet.
The off-chain scaling solution via Bitcoin Core SegWit’s lightning network diminishes distributed and immutable network properties. It replaces bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network with a two-layer institution-to-institution network and peer-to-hub-to-peer second layer solution.
The on-chain scaling solution via Bitcoin Cash’s increased block size limit is feasible at the moment but inefficient in the long run. It could be merged with several good concepts from the lightning network proposal and new ideas outlined in this overview.
An appropriate scaling analogy is to recall email attachments early on. They too were limited to a few MB at first, then 10MB, 20MB, up until 25MB on Gmail. But even then, Gmail eventually started using Google Drive internally.
Similarly, any second layer solutions should be integrated within the existing bitcoin network secured by miners and nodes. The revenue from any second layer solutions should be redistributed internally to miners and nodes, not to additional third party hubs which the lightning network envisions.
The author of this overview recommends on-chain scaling for the time being, with the understanding that off-chain scaling should be implemented as soon as possible, as long as these second layer solutions keep the bitcoin peer-to-peer and decentralized, distributed, immutable. Unfortunately, the lightning network does not accomplish this.
The author remains impartial to Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash proposals, with a preference for Bitcoin Cash’s way of handling immutability and overall progress thus far.
1. Bitcoin, huh? Brief introduction. There are 3 sections to this overview. The first section is a brief introduction to bitcoin. The second section looks at recent developments in the bitcoin world, through the analogy of email attachments, and the third section discusses what could be next, through the perspective of resilience and network security. This is just a continuation of a long, long, possibly never-ending debate that started with the release of the bitcoin whitepaper in 2008 (see https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf). The recent mess during the past few years boils down to the controversy with the block size limit and how to appropriately scale bitcoin, the keyword appropriately. Scaling bitcoin is a controversial debate with valid arguments from all sides (see https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Block_size_limit_controversy). I have researched, studied, and written this overview as objectively and as impartially as possible. By all means, this is still an opinion and everyone is advised to draw their own conclusions. My efforts are to make at least a few readers aware that ultimately there is only one team, and that team is the team bitcoin. Yes, currently though, there are factions within the team bitcoin. I hope that we can get beyond partisan fights and work together for the best bitcoin. I support all scaling proposals as long as they are the best for the given moment in time. Personally, I hate propaganda and love free speech as long as it is not derogatory and as long as it allows for constructive discussions. The goal of this overview is to explain to a novice how bitcoin network works, what has been keeping many bitcoin enthusiasts concerned, and if we can keep the bitcoin network with three main properties described as decentralized, distributed, immutable. Immutable means censorship resistant. For the distinction between decentralized and distributed, refer to Figure 1: Centralized, decentralized and distributed network models by Paul Baran (1964), which is a RAND Institute study to create a robust and nonlinear military communication network (see https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM3420.pdf). Note that for the overall network resilience and security, distributed is more desirable than decentralized, and the goal is to get as far away from central models as possible. Of course, nothing is strictly decentralized or strictly distributed and all network elements are at different levels of this spectrum. For those unaware how bitcoin works, I recommend the Bitcoin Wikipedia (see https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page). In short, the bitcoin network includes users which make bitcoin transactions and send them to the network memory pool called mempool, nodes which store the public and pseudonymous ledger called blockchain and which help with receiving pending transactions and updating processed transactions, thus securing the overall network, and miners which also secure the bitcoin network by mining. Mining is the process of confirming pending bitcoin transactions, clearing them from the mempool, and adding them to blocks which build up the consecutive chain of blocks on the blockchain. The blockchain is therefore a decentralized and distributed ledger built on top of bitcoin transactions, therefore impossible to exist without bitcoin. If someone claims to be working on their own blockchain without bitcoin, by the definition of the bitcoin network however, they are not talking about the actual blockchain. Instead, they intend to own a different kind of a private database made to look like the public and pseudonymous blockchain ledger. There are roughly a couple of dozen mining pools, each possibly with hundreds or thousands of miners participating in them, to several thousand nodes (see https://blockchain.info/pools and https://coin.dance/nodes). Therefore, the bitcoin network has at worst decentralized miners and at best distributed nodes. The miner and node design makes the blockchain resilient and immune to reversible changes, making it censorship resistant, thus immutable. The bitcoin blockchain avoids the previous need for a third party to trust. This is a very elegant solution to peer-to-peer financial exchange via a network that is all: decentralized, distributed, immutable. Extra features (escrow, reversibility via time-locks, and other features desirable in specific instances) can be integrated within the network or added on top of this network, however, they have not been implemented yet. Miners who participate receive mining reward consisting of newly mined bitcoins at a predetermined deflationary rate and also transaction fees from actual bitcoin transactions being processed. It is estimated that in 2022, miners will have mined more than 90% of all 21 million bitcoins ever to be mined (see https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Controlled_supply). As the mining reward from newly mined blocks diminishes to absolute zero in 2140, the network eventually needs the transaction fees to become the main component of the reward. This can happen either via high-volume-low-cost transaction fees or low-volume-high-cost transaction fees. Obviously, there is the need to address the question of fees when dealing with the dilemma how to scale bitcoin. Which type of fees would you prefer and under which circumstances? 2. WTF is going on? Recent developments. There are multiple sides to the scaling debate but to simplify it, first consider the 2 main poles. In particular, to scale bitcoin on blockchain or to scale it off it, that is the question! The first side likes the idea of bitcoin as it has been until now. It prefers on-chain scaling envisioned by the bitcoin creator or a group of creators who chose the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. It is now called Bitcoin Cash and somewhat religiously follows Satoshi’s vision from the 2008 whitepaper and their later public forum discussions (see https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1347.msg15366#msg15366). Creators’ vision is good to follow but it should not be followed blindly and dogmatically when better advancements are possible, the keyword when. To alleviate concerning backlog of transactions and rising fees, Bitcoin Cash proponents implemented a simple one-line code update which increased the block size limit for blockhain blocks from 1MB block size limit to a new, larger 8MB limit. This was done through a fork on August 1, 2017, which created Bitcoin Cash, and which kept the bitcoin transaction history until then. Bitcoin Cash has observed significant increase in support, from 3% of all bitcoin miners at first to over 44% of all bitcoin miners after 3 weeks on August 22, 2017 (see http://fork.lol/pow/hashrate and http://fork.lol/pow/hashrateabs). An appropriate scaling analogy is to recall email attachments early on. They too were limited to a few MB at first, then 10MB, 20MB, up until 25MB on Gmail. But even then, Gmail eventually started using Google Drive internally. Note that Google Drive is a third party to Gmail, although yes, it is managed by the same entity. The second side argues that bitcoin cannot work with such a scaling approach of pre-meditated MB increases. Arguments against block size increases include miner and node centralization, and bandwidth limitations. These are discussed in more detail in the third section of this overview. As an example of an alternative scaling approach, proponents of off-chain scaling want to jump to the internally integrated third party right away, without any MB increase and, sadly, without any discussion. Some of these proponents called one particular implementation method SegWit, which stands for Segregated Witness, and they argue that SegWit is the only way that we can ever scale up add the extra features to the bitcoin network. This is not necessarily true because other scaling solutions are feasible, such as already functioning Bitcoin Cash, and SegWit’s proposed solution will not use internally integrated third party as shown next. Note that although not as elegant as SegWit is today, there are other possibilities to integrate some extra features without SegWit (see /Bitcoin/comments/5dt8tz/confused_is_segwit_needed_for_lightning_network). Due to the scaling controversy and the current backlog of transactions and already high fees, a third side hastily proposed a compromise to a 2MB increase in addition to the proposed SegWit implementation. They called it SegWit2x, which stands for Segregated Witness with 2MB block size limit increase. But the on-chain scaling and Bitcoin Cash proponents did not accept it due to SegWit’s design redundancy and hub centralization which are discussed next and revisited in the third section of this overview. After a few years of deadlock, that is why the first side broke free and created the Bitcoin Cash fork. The second side stuck with bitcoin as it was. In a way, they inherited the bitcoin network without any major change to public eye. This is crucial because major changes are about to happen and the original bitcoin vision, as we have known it, is truly reflected only in what some media refer to as a forked clone, Bitcoin Cash. Note that to avoid confusion, this second side is referred to as Bitcoin Core by some or Legacy Bitcoin by others, although mainstream media still refers to it simply as Bitcoin. The core of Bitcoin Core is quite hardcore though. They too rejected the proposed compromise for SegWit2x and there are clear indications that they will push to keep SegWit only, forcing the third side with SegWit2x proponents to create another fork in November 2017 or to join Bitcoin Cash. Note that to certain degree, already implemented and working Bitcoin Cash is technically superior to SegWit2x which is yet to be deployed (see /Bitcoin/comments/6v0gll/why_segwit2x_b2x_is_technically_inferior_to). Interestingly enough, those who agreed to SegWit2x have been in overwhelming majority, nearly 87% of all bitcoin miners on July 31, 2017 prior to the fork, and a little over 90% of remaining Bitcoin Core miners to date after the fork (see https://coin.dance/blocks). Despite such staggering support, another Bitcoin Core fork is anticipated later in November (see https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-is-splitting-once-again-are-you-ready) and the "Outcome #2: Segwit2x reneges on 2x or does not prioritize on-chain scaling" seems to be on track from the perspective of Bitcoin Core SegWit, publicly seen as the original Bitcoin (see https://blog.bridge21.io/before-and-after-the-great-bitcoin-fork-17d2aad5d512). The sad part is that although in their overwhelming majority, the miners who support SegWit2x would be the ones creating another Bitcoin Core SegWit2x fork or parting ways from the original Bitcoin. In a way, this is an ironic example how bitcoin’s built-in resiliency to veto changes causes majority to part away when a small minority has status quo and holds off fully-consented progress. Ultimately, this will give the minority Bitcoin Core SegWit proponents the original Bitcoin branding, perhaps to lure in large institutional investors and monetize on bitcoin’s success as we have it seen it during the past 9 years since its inception. Recall that bitcoin of today is already a decentralized, distributed, immutable network by its definition. The bitcoin network was designed to be an alternative to centralized and mutable institutions, so prevalent in modern capitalist societies. Bitcoin Core SegWit group wants to change the existing bitcoin network to a network with dominant third parties which, unlike Google Drive to Gmail, are not internal. In particular, they intend to do so via the lightning network, which is a second layer solution (2L). This particular 2L as currently designed relies on an artificial block size limit cap which creates a bottleneck in order to provide high incentives for miners to participate. It monetizes on backlog of transaction and high fees, which are allocated to miners, not any group in particular. Cheaper and more instantaneous transactions are shifted to the lightning network which is operated by hubs also earning revenue. Note that some of these hubs may choose to monitor transactions and can possibly censor who is allowed to participate in this no longer strictly peer-to-peer network. We lose the immutability and instead we have a peer-to-hub-to-peer network that is mutable and at best decentralized, and certainly not distributed (see https://medium.com/@jonaldfyookball/mathematical-proof-that-the-lightning-network-cannot-be-a-decentralized-bitcoin-scaling-solution-1b8147650800). For regular day-to-day and recurring transactions, it is not a considerable risk or inconvenience. And one could choose to use the main chain any time to bypass the lightning network and truly transact peer-to-peer. But since the main chain has an entry barrier in the form of artificially instilled high transaction fees, common people are not able to use bitcoin as we have known it until now. Peer-to-peer bitcoin becomes institution-to-institution bitcoin with peer-to-hub-to-peer 2L. To reiterate and stress, note the following lightning network design flaw again. Yes, activating SegWit and allowing 2L such as lightning allows for lower transaction fees to coexist side by side with more costly on-chain transactions. For those using this particularly prescribed 2L, the fees remain low. But since these 2L are managed by hubs, we introduce another element to trust, which is contrary to what the bitcoin network was designed to do at the first place. Over time, by the nature of the lightning network in its current design, these third party hubs grow to be centralized, just like Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, etc. There is nothing wrong with that in general because it works just fine. But recall that bitcoin set out to create a different kind of a network. Instead of decentralized, distributed, immutable network with miners and nodes, with the lightning network we end up with at best decentralized but mutable network with hubs. Note that Bitcoin Core SegWit has a US-based organization backing it with millions of dollars (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockstream and https://steemit.com/bitcoin/@adambalm/the-truth-about-who-is-behind-blockstream-and-segwit-as-the-saying-goes-follow-the-money). Their proponents are quite political and some even imply $1000 fees on the main bitcoin blockchain (see https://cointelegraph.com/news/ari-paul-tuur-demeester-look-forward-to-up-to-1k-bitcoin-fees). Contrary to them, Bitcoin Cash proponents intend to keep small fees on a scale of a few cents, which in large volume in larger blockchain blocks provide sufficient incentive for miners to participate. On the one hand, sticking to the original vision of peer-to-peer network scaled on-chain has merit and holds potential for future value. On the other hand, 2L have potential to carry leaps forward from current financial infrastructure. As mentioned earlier, 2L will allow for extra features to be integrated off-chain (e.g. escrow, reversibility via time-locks), including entirely new features such as smart contracts, decentralized applications, some of which have been pioneered and tested on another cryptocurrency network called Ethereum. But such features could be one day implemented directly on the main bitcoin blockchain without the lightning network as currently designed, or perhaps with a truly integrated 2L proposed in the third section of this overview. What makes the whole discussion even more confusing is that there are some proposals for specific 2L that would in fact increase privacy and make bitcoin transactions less pseudonymous than those on the current bitcoin blockchain now. Keep in mind that 2L are not necessarily undesirable. If they add features and keep the main network characteristics (decentralized, distributed, immutable), they should be embraced with open arms. But the lightning network as currently designed gives up immutability and hub centralization moves the network characteristic towards a decentralized rather than a distributed network. In a sense, back to the initial email attachment analogy, even Gmail stopped with attachment limit increases and started hosting large files on Google Drive internally, with an embedded link in a Gmail email to download anything larger than 25MB from Google Drive. Anticipating the same scaling decisions, the question then becomes not if but when and how such 2L should be implemented, keeping the overall network security and network characteristics in mind. If you have not gotten it yet, repeat, repeat, repeat: decentralized, distributed, immutable. Is it the right time now and is SegWit (one way, my way or highway) truly the best solution? Those siding away from Bitcoin Core SegWit also dislike that corporate entities behind Blockstream, the one publicly known corporate entity directly supporting SegWit, have allegedly applied for SegWit patents which may further restrict who may and who may not participate in the creation of future hubs, or how these hubs are controlled (see the alleged patent revelations, https://falkvinge.net/2017/05/01/blockstream-patents-segwit-makes-pieces-fall-place, the subsequent Twitter rebuttal Blockstream CEO, http://bitcoinist.com/adam-back-no-patents-segwit, and the subsequent legal threats to SegWit2x proponents /btc/comments/6vadfi/blockstream_threatening_legal_action_against). Regardless if the patent claims are precise or not, the fact remains that there is a corporate entity dictating and vetoing bitcoin developments. Objectively speaking, Bitcoin Core SegWit developers paid by Blockstream is a corporate takeover of the bitcoin network as we have known it. And on the topic of patents and permissionless technological innovations, what makes all of this even more complicated is that a mining improvement technology called ASICboost is allowed on Bitcoin Cash. The main entities who forked from Bitcoin Core to form Bitcoin Cash had taken advantage of patents to the ASICboost technology on the original bitcoin network prior to the fork (see https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/breaking-down-bitcoins-asicboost-scandal). This boost saved estimated 20% electricity for miners on 1MB blocks and created unfair economic advantage for this one particular party. SegWit is one way that this boost is being eliminated, through the code. Larger blocks are another way to reduce the boost advantage, via decreased rate of collisions which made this boost happen at the first place (see https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/breaking-down-bitcoins-asicboost-scandal-solutions and https://bitslog.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/the-relation-between-segwit-and-asicboost-covert-and-overt). Therefore, the initial Bitcoin Cash proponents argue that eliminating ASICboost through the code is no longer needed or necessary. Of course, saving any amount electricity between 0% and 20% is good for all on our planet but in reality any energy saved in a mining operation is used by the same mining operation to increase their mining capacity. In reality, there are no savings, there is just capacity redistribution. The question then becomes if it is okay that only one party currently and already holds onto this advantage, which they covertly hid for relatively long time, and which they could be using covertly on Bitcoin Cash if they desired to do so, even though it would an advantage to a smaller degree. To be fair to them, they are mining manufacturers and operators, they researched and developed the advantage from own resources, so perhaps they do indeed have the right to reap ASICboost benefits while they can. But perhaps it should happen in publicly know way, not behind closed doors, and should be temporary, with agreed patent release date. In conclusion, there is no good and no bad actor, each side is its own shade of grey. All parties have their own truth (and villainy) to certain degree. Bitcoin Cash's vision is for bitcoin to be an electronic cash platform and daily payment processor whereas Bitcoin Core SegWit seems to be drawn more to the ideas of bitcoin as an investment vehicle and a larger settlement layer with the payment processor function managed via at best decentralized third party hubs. Both can coexist, or either one can eventually prove more useful and digest the other one by taking over all use-cases. Additionally, the most popular communication channel on /bitcoin with roughly 300k subscribers censors any alternative non-Bitcoin-Core-SegWit opinions and bans people from posting their ideas to discussions (see https://medium.com/@johnblocke/a-brief-and-incomplete-history-of-censorship-in-r-bitcoin-c85a290fe43). This is because their moderators are also supported by Blockstream. Note that the author of this overview has not gotten banned from this particular subreddit (yet), but has experienced shadow-banning first hand. Shadow-banning is a form of censorship. In this particular case, their moderator robot managed by people moderators, collaboratively with the people moderators, do the following:
(1) look for "Bitcoin Cash" and other undesirable keywords,
(2) warn authors that “Bitcoin Cash” is not true bitcoin (which objectively speaking it is, and which is by no means “BCash” that Bitcoin Core SegWit proponents refer to, in a coordinated effort to further confuse public, especially since some of them have published plans to officially release another cryptocurrency called “BCash” in 2018, see https://medium.com/@freetrade68/announcing-bcash-8b938329eaeb),
(3) further warn authors that if they try to post such opinions again, they could banned permanently,
(4) tell authors to delete their already posted posts or comments,
(5) hide their post from publicly seen boards with all other posts, thus preventing it from being seeing by the other participants in this roughly 300k public forum,
This effectively silences objective opinions and creates a dangerous echo-chamber. Suppressing free speech and artificially blowing up transaction fees on Bitcoin Core SegWit is against bitcoin’s fundamental values. Therefore, instead of the original Reddit communication channel, many bitcoin enthusiasts migrated to /btc which has roughly 60k subscribers as of now, up from 20k subscribers a year ago in August 2016 (see http://redditmetrics.com/btc). Moderators there do not censor opinions and allow all polite and civil discussions about scaling, including all opinions on Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Core, etc. Looking beyond their respective leaderships and communication channels, let us review a few network fundamentals and recent developments in Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash networks. Consequently, for now, these present Bitcoin Cash with more favorable long-term prospects.
(1) The stress-test and/or attack on the Bitcoin Cash mempool earlier on August 16, 2017 showed that 8MB blocks do work as intended, without catastrophic complications that Bitcoin Core proponents anticipated and from which they attempted to discourage others (see https://jochen-hoenicke.de/queue/uahf/#2w for the Bitcoin Cash mempool and https://core.jochen-hoenicke.de/queue/#2w for the Bitcoin Core mempool). Note that when compared to the Bitcoin Core mempool on their respective 2 week views, one can observe how each network handles backlogs. On the most recent 2 week graphs, the Y-scale for Bitcoin Core is 110k vs. 90k on Bitcoin Cash. In other words, at the moment, Bitcoin Cash works better than Bitcoin Core even though there is clearly not as big demand for Bitcoin Cash as there is for Bitcoin Core. The lack of demand for Bitcoin Cash is partly because Bitcoin Cash is only 3 weeks old and not many merchants have started accepting it, and only a limited number of software applications to use Bitcoin Cash has been released so far. By all means, the Bitcoin Cash stress-test and/or attack from August 16, 2017 reveals that the supply will handle the increased demand, more affordably, and at a much quicker rate.
(2) Bitcoin Cash “BCH” mining has become temporarily more profitable than mining Bitcoin Core “BTC” (see http://fork.lol). Besides temporary loss of miners, this puts Bitcoin Core in danger of permanently fleeing miners. Subsequently, mempool backlog and transaction fees are anticipated to increase further.
(3) When compared to Bitcoin Cash transaction fees at roughly $0.02, transaction fees per kB are over 800 times as expensive on Bitcoin Core, currently at over $16 (see https://cashvscore.com).
(4) Tipping service that used to work on Bitcoin Core's /Bitcoin a few years back has been revived by a new tipping service piloted on the more neutral /btc with the integration of Bitcoin Cash (see /cashtipperbot).
3. Should we scale you on-chain or off-chain? Scaling bitcoin. Let us start with the notion that we are impartial to both Bitcoin Core (small blocks, off-chain scaling only) and Bitcoin Cash (big blocks, on-chain scaling only) schools of thought. We will support any or all ideas, as long as they allow for bitcoin to grow organically and eventually succeed as a peer-to-peer network that remains decentralized, distributed, immutable. Should we have a preference in either of the proposed scaling solutions? First, let us briefly address Bitcoin Core and small blocks again. From the second section of this overview, we understand that there are proposed off-chain scaling methods via second layer solutions (2L), most notably soon-to-be implemented lightning via SegWit on Bitcoin Core. Unfortunately, the lightning network diminishes distributed and immutable network properties by replacing bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network with a two-layer institution-to-institution network and peer-to-hub-to-peer 2L. Do we need this particular 2L right now? Is its complexity truly needed? Is it not at best somewhat cumbersome (if not very redundant)? In addition to ridiculously high on-chain transaction fees illustrated in the earlier section, the lightning network code is perhaps more robust than it needs to be now, with thousands of lines of code, thus possibly opening up to new vectors for bugs or attacks (see https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Lightning_Network and https://github.com/lightningnetwork/lnd). Additionally, this particular 2L as currently designed unnecessarily introduces third parties, hubs, that are expected to centralize. We already have a working code that has been tested and proven to handle 8MB blocks, as seen with Bitcoin Cash on August 16, 2017 (see https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/first-8mb-bitcoin-cash-block-just-mined). At best, these third party hubs would be decentralized but they would not be distributed. And these hubs would be by no means integral to the original bitcoin network with users, nodes, and miners. To paraphrase Ocam’s razor problem solving principle, the simplest solution with the most desirable features will prevail (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor). The simplest scalability solution today is Bitcoin Cash because it updates only one line of code, which instantly increases the block size limit. This also allows other companies building on Bitcoin Cash to reduce their codes when compared to Bitcoin Core SegWit’s longer code, some even claiming ten-fold reductions (see /btc/comments/6vdm7y/ryan_x_charles_reveals_bcc_plan). The bitcoin ecosystem not only includes the network but it also includes companies building services on top of it. When these companies can reduce their vectors for bugs or attacks, the entire ecosystem is healthier and more resilient to hacking disasters. Obviously, changes to the bitcoin network code are desirable to be as few and as elegant as possible. But what are the long-term implications of doing the one-line update repeatedly? Eventually, blocks would have to reach over 500MB size if they were to process Visa-level capacity (see https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability). With decreasing costs of IT infrastructure, bandwidth and storage could accommodate it, but the overhead costs would increase significantly, implying miner and/or full node centralization further discussed next. To decrease this particular centralization risk, which some consider undesirable and others consider irrelevant, built-in and integrated 2L could keep the block size at a reasonably small-yet-still-large limit. At the first sight, these 2L would remedy the risk of centralization by creating their own centralization incentive. At the closer look and Ocam’s razor principle again, these 2L do not have to become revenue-seeking third party hubs as designed with the current lightning network. They can be integrated into the current bitcoin network with at worst decentralized miners and at best distributed nodes. Recall that miners will eventually need to supplement their diminishing mining reward from new blocks. Additionally, as of today, the nodes have no built-in economic incentive to run other than securing the network and keeping the network’s overall value at its current level. Therefore, if new 2L were to be developed, they should be designed in a similar way like the lightning network, with the difference that the transaction processing revenue would not go to third party hubs but to the already integrated miners and nodes. In other words, why do we need extra hubs if we have miners and nodes already? Let us consider the good elements from the lightning network, forget the unnecessary hubs, and focus on integrating the hubs’ responsibilities to already existing miner and node protocols. Why would we add extra elements to the system that already functions with the minimum number of elements possible? Hence, 2L are not necessarily undesirable as long as they do not unnecessarily introduce third party hubs. Lastly, let us discuss partial on-chain scaling with the overall goal of network security. The network security we seek is the immutability and resilience via distributed elements within otherwise decentralized and distributed network. It is not inconceivable to scale bitcoin with bigger blocks as needed, when needed, to a certain degree. The thought process is the following:
(1) Block size limit:
We need some upper limit to avoid bloating the network with spam transactions. Okay, that makes sense. Now, what should this limit be? If we agree to disagree with small block size limit stuck at 1MB, and if we are fine with flexible block size limit increases (inspired by mining difficulty readjustments but on a longer time scale) or big block propositions (to be increased incrementally), what is holding us off next?
(2) Miner centralization:
Bigger blocks mean that more data will be transferred on the bitcoin network. Consequently, more bandwidth and data storage will be required. This will create decentralized miners instead of distributed ones. Yes, that is true. And it has already happened, due to the economy of scale, in particular the efficiency of grouping multiple miners in centralized facilities, and the creation of mining pools collectively and virtually connecting groups of miners not physically present in the same facility. These facilities tend to have huge overhead costs and the data storage and bandwidth increase costs are negligible in this context. The individual miners participating in mining pools will quite likely notice somewhat higher operational costs but allowing for additional revenue from integrated 2L described earlier will give them economic incentive to remain actively participating. Note that mining was never supposed to be strictly distributed and it was always at worst decentralized, as defined in the first section of this overview. To assure at best a distributed network, we have nodes.
(3) Node centralization:
Bigger blocks mean that more data will be transferred on the bitcoin network. Consequently, more bandwidth and data storage will be required. This will create decentralized nodes instead of distributed ones. Again, recall that we have a spectrum of decentralized and distributed networks in mind, not their absolutes. The concern about the node centralization (and the subsequent shift from distributed to decentralized network property) is valid if we only follow on-chain scaling to inconsiderate MB values. If addressed with the proposed integrated 2L that provides previously unseen economic incentives to participate in the network, this concern is less serious. Furthermore, other methods to reduce bandwidth and storage needs can be used. A popular proposal is block pruning, which keeps only the most recent 550 blocks, and eventually deletes any older blocks (see https://news.bitcoin.com/pros-and-cons-on-bitcoin-block-pruning). Block pruning addresses storage needs and makes sure that not all nodes participating in the bitcoin network have to store all transactions that have ever been recorded on the blockchain. Some nodes storing all transactions are still necessary and they are called full nodes. Block pruning does not eliminate full nodes but it does indeed provide an economic incentive for the reduction and centralization (i.e. saving on storage costs). If addressed with the proposed integrated 2L that provides previously unseen economic incentives to participate in the network, this concern is less serious. In other words, properly designed 2L should provide economic incentives for all nodes (full and pruned) to remain active and distributed. As of now, only miners earn revenue for participating. The lightning network proposes extra revenue for hubs. Instead, miner revenue could increase by processing 2L transactions as well, and full nodes could have an economic incentive as well. To mine, relatively high startup costs is necessary in order to get the most up to date mining hardware and proper cooling equipment. These have to be maintained and periodically upgraded. To run a full node, one needs only stable bandwidth and a sufficiently large storage, which can be expanded as needed, when needed. To run a full node, one needs only stable bandwidth and relatively small storage, which does not need to be expanded. Keeping the distributed characteristic in mind, it would be much more secure for the bitcoin network if one could earn bitcoin by simply running a node, full or pruned. This could be integrated with a simple code change requiring each node to own a bitcoin address to which miners would send a fraction of processed transaction fees. Of course, pruned nodes would collectively receive the least transaction fee revenue (e.g. 10%), full nodes would collectively receive relatively larger transaction fee revenue (e.g. 20%), whereas mining facilities or mining pools would individually receive the largest transaction fee revenue (e.g. 70%) in addition to the full mining reward from newly mined blocks (i.e. 100%). This would assure that all nodes would remain relatively distributed. Hence, block pruning is a feasible solution. However, in order to start pruning, one would have to have the full blockchain to begin with. As currently designed, downloading blockchain for the first time also audits previous blocks for accuracy, this can take days depending on one’s bandwidth. This online method is the only way to distribute the bitcoin blockchain and the bitcoin network so far. When the size of blockchain becomes a concern, a simpler distribution idea should be implemented offline. Consider distributions of Linux-based operating systems on USBs. Similarly, the full bitcoin blockchain up to a certain point can be distributed via easy-to-mail USBs. Note that even if we were to get the blockchain in bulk on such a USB, some form of a block audit would have to happen nevertheless. A new form of checkpoint hashes could be added to the bitcoin code. For instance, each 2016 blocks (whenever the difficulty readjusts), all IDs from previous 2015 blocks would be hashed and recorded. That way, with our particular offline blockchain distribution, the first time user would have to audit only the key 2016th blocks, designed to occur on average once in roughly 2 weeks. This would significantly reduce bandwidth concerns for the auditing process because only each 2016th block would have to be uploaded online to be audited. Overall, we are able to scale the bitcoin network via initial on-chain scaling approaches supplemented with off-chain scaling approaches. This upgrades the current network to a pruned peer-to-peer network with integrated 2L managed by miners and nodes who assure that the bitcoin network stays decentralized, distributed, immutable.
Note that the author u/bit-architect appreciates any Bitcoin Cash donations on Reddit directly or on bitcoin addresses 178ZTiot2QVVKjru2f9MpzyeYawP81vaXi bitcoincash:qp7uqpv2tsftrdmu6e8qglwr2r38u4twlq3f7a48uq (Bitcoin Cash) and 1GqcFi4Cs1LVAxLxD3XMbJZbmjxD8SYY8S (Bitcoin Core).
My draft for a new /r/btc FAQ explaining the split from /r/Bitcoin to new users
If /btc is going to actually compete with /Bitcoin, it needs to be just as friendly and informative to new users, especially given its position as the “non default” or “breakaway” sub. The current /btc sticky saying "Welcome to the Wiki" doesn't even have any content in it and I feel this is a bit of a wasted opportunity to create an informative resource that new users will see by default and everyone else can link to instead of retyping things over and over about the history and difference between the subs. Here's what I've written as a starting point. I've done my best to keep it as concise and relevant as possible but in all honesty it is a complicated issue and a short but effective explanation is basically impossible. I hope the community can expand/improve on it further. Quick bit about me I got into Bitcoin in October 2013, when /Bitcoin had around 40k subscribers if I remember correctly, so by now I've actually personally experienced a large portion of Bitcoin's history - including the events preceding and since the creation of this sub. I have been an active and popular poster on /Bitcoin for almost all of that time, until the split and my subsequent banning. With the recent censorship fiasco, I'm finding I have to reiterate the same points over and over again to explain to newer users what happened with the /Bitcoin vs /btc split, questions about hard forks, what is likely to happen in the future and so on. So I put a couple of hours into writing this post to save myself the trouble in future.
There is a TL:DR; at the bottom, but it is exactly that. If you skip straight to the TL:DR; then don’t expect sympathy when you post questions that have already been covered in the lengthy and detailed main post.
New to Bitcoin?
I am totally new to Bitcoin. What is it? How does it work? Can/should I mine any? Where can I buy some? How do I get more information? All of these questions are actually really well covered in the /Bitcoin FAQ. Check it out in a new tab here. Once you've got a bit of a handle on the technology as a whole, come back here for the rest of the story.
What's the difference between /btc and /Bitcoin? What happened to create two such strongly opposed communities? Why can't I discuss /btc in /Bitcoin? Historically, the /Bitcoin subreddit was the largest and most active forum for discussing Bitcoin. As Bitcoin grew close to a cap in the number of transactions it could process, known as the 1MB block size limit, the community had differing opinions on the best way to proceed. Note that this upcoming issue was anticipated well ahead of time, with Satoshi's chosen successor to lead the project Gavin Andresen posting about it in mid 2015. Originally, there was quite a broad spread of opinions - some people favoured raising the blocksize to various extents, some people favoured implementing a variety of second layer solutions to Bitcoin, probably most people thought both could be a good idea in one form or another. This topic was unbelievably popular at the time, taking up almost every spot on the front page of /Bitcoin for weeks on end. Unfortunately, the head moderator of /Bitcoin - theymos - felt strongly enough about the issue to use his influence to manipulate the debate. His support was for the proposal of existing software (called Bitcoin Core) NOT to raise the blocksize limit past 1MB and instead rely totally on second layer solutions - especially one called Segregated Witness (or SegWit). With some incredibly convoluted logic, he decided that any different implementations of Bitcoin that could potentially raise the limit were effectively equivalent to separate cryptocurrencies like Litecoin or Ethereum and thus the block size limit or implement other scaling solutions were off-topic and ban-worthy. At the time the most popular alternative was called Bitcoin XT and was supported by experienced developers Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, who have since bothleft Bitcoin Core development in frustration at their marginalisation. Theymos claimed that for Bitcoin XT or any other software implementation to be relevant to /Bitcoin required "consensus", which was never well defined, despite it being seemingly impossible for everyone to agree on the merits of a new project if no one was allowed to discuss it in the first place. Anyone who didn't toe the line of his vaguely defined moderation policy was temporarily or permanently banned. There was also manipulation of the community using the following tactics - which can still be seen today:
Default thread sorting changed to "controversial" in selected threads instead of "best" like nearly every other subreddit
Comment/upvote scores hidden by default (combined with the previous point this prevented theymos and other unpopular mods like StarMaged and BashCo from ending up at the bottom of every thread they posted in)
The implementation of a custom CSS sheet that disguises long threads of [removed] comments. This was especially effective at the time as the censorship was obvious since threads were becoming wastelands of hundreds of deleted comments, similar to other Reddit throw downs like GamerGate
This created enormous uproar among users, as even many of those in favour of Bitcoin Core thought it was authoritarian to actively suppress this crucial debate. theymos would receive hundreds of downvotes whenever he posted: for example here where he gets -749 for threatening to ban prominent Bitcoin business Coinbase from the subreddit. In an extraordinary turn of events, Theymos posted a thread which received only 26% upvotes in a sample size of thousands announcing that he did not care if even 90% of users disagreed with his policy, he would not change his opinion or his moderation policy to facilitate the discussion the community wanted to have. His suggested alternative was instead for those users, however many there were, to leave. Here are Theymos' exact words, as he describes how he intends to continue moderating Bitcoin according to his own personal rules rather than the demands of the vast majority of users, who according to him clearly don't have any "real arguments" or "any brains".
Do not violate our rules just because you disagree with them. This will get you banned from /Bitcoin , and evading this ban will get you (and maybe your IP) banned from Reddit entirely. If 90% of /Bitcoin users find these policies to be intolerable, then I want these 90% of /Bitcoin users to leave. Both /Bitcoin and these people will be happier for it. I do not want these people to make threads breaking the rules, demanding change, asking for upvotes, making personal attacks against moderators, etc. Without some real argument, you're not going to convince anyone with any brains -- you're just wasting your time and ours. The temporary rules against blocksize and moderation discussion are in part designed to encourage people who should leave /Bitcoin to actually do so so that /Bitcoin can get back to the business of discussing Bitcoin news in peace.
/btc was therefore born in an environment not of voluntary departure but of forced exile. This forced migration caused two very unfortunate occurrences:
It polarised the debate around Bitcoin scaling. Previously, there was a lot of civil discussion about compromise and people with suggestions from all along the spectrum were working to find the best solution. That was no longer possible when a moderation policy would actively suppress anyone with opinions too different from Theymos. Instead it forced everyone into a "with us or against us" situation, which is why the /btc subreddit has been pushed so far in favour of the idea of a network hard fork (discussed below).
It has distracted Bitcoin from its mission of becoming a useful, global, neutral currency into a war of information. New users often find /Bitcoin and assume it to be the authoritative source of information, only to later discover that a lot of important information or debate has been invisibly removed from their view.
Since then, like any entrenched conflict, things have degenerated somewhat on both sides to name calling and strawman arguments. However, /btc remains committed to permitting free and open debate on all topics and allowing user downvotes to manage any "trolling" (as /Bitcoin used to) instead of automatic shadow-banning or heavy-handed moderator comment deletion (as /Bitcoin does now). Many users in /Bitcoin deny that censorship exists at all (it is difficult to see when anyone pointing out the censorship has their comment automatically hidden by the automoderator) or justify it as necessary removal of "trolls", which at this point now includes thousands upon thousands of current and often long-standing Bitcoin users and community members. Ongoing censorship is still rampant, partially documented in this post by John Blocke For another detailed account of this historical sequence of events, see singularity87 s posts here and here. /btc has a public moderator log as demonstration of its commitment to transparency and the limited use of moderation. /Bitcoin does not. Why is so much of the discussion in /btc about the censorship in /Bitcoin? Isn't a better solution to create a better community rather than constantly complaining? There are two answers to this question.
Over time, as /btc grows, conversation will gradually start to incorporate more information about the Bitcoin ecosystem, technology, price etc. Users are encouraged to aid this process by submitting links to relevant articles and up/downvoting on the /new and /rising tab as appropriate. However, /btc was founded effectively as a refuge for confused and angry users banned from /Bitcoin and it still needs to serve that function so at least some discussion of the censorship will probably always persist (unless there is a sudden change of moderation policy in /Bitcoin).
The single largest issue in Bitcoin right now is the current cap on the number of transactions the network can process, known as the blocksize limit. Due to the censorship in /Bitcoin, open debate of the merits of different methods of addressing this problem is impossible. As a result, the censorship of /Bitcoin (historically the most active and important Bitcoin community forum) has become by proxy the single most important topic in Bitcoin, since only by returning to open discussion would there be any hope of reaching agreement on the solution to the block size limit itself. As a topic of such central importance, there is naturally going to be a lot of threads about this until a solution is found. This is simply how Bitcoin works, that at any one time there is one key issue under discussion for lengthy periods of time (previous examples of community "hot topics" include the demise of the original Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, the rise to a 51% majority hash rate of mining pool GHash.io and the supposed "unveiling" of Bitcoin's anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto).
Bitcoin Network Hard Forks
What is a hard fork? What happens if Bitcoin hard forks? A network hard fork is when a new block of transactions is published under a new set of rules that only some of the network will accept. In this case, Bitcoin diverges from a single blockchain history of transactions to two separate blockchains of the current state of the network. With any luck, the economic incentive for all users to converge quickly brings everyone together on one side of the fork, but this is not guaranteed especially since there is not a lot of historical precedent for such an event. A hard fork is necessary to raise the block size limit above its 1MB cap. Why is /btc generally in favour of a hard fork and /Bitcoin generally against? According to a lot of users on /Bitcoin - a hard fork can be characterised as an “attack” on the network. The confusion and bad press surrounding a hard fork would likely damage Bitcoin’s price and/or reputation (especially in the short term). They point to the ongoing turmoil with Ethereum as an example of the dangers of a hard fork. Most of /Bitcoin sees the stance of /btc as actively reckless, that pushing for a hard fork creates the following problems:
The possibility of an irrevocable community divergence, as has happened in Ethereum (discussed below)
The chance of introducing new code bugs by forcing a network update without totally comprehensive software developer review
The possibility of reducing decentralisation in the network as higher hardware requirements puts greater strain on network nodes and miners
According to a lot of users on /btc - a hard fork is necessary despite these risks. Most of /btc sees the stance of /Bitcoin as passively reckless, that continuing to limit Bitcoin’s blocksize while remaining inactive creates the following problems:
Transaction fees are continuously rising as transactions compete for the limited space in each block
Confirmation times for any given transaction are also increasing, especially ones without a rapidly escalating fee attached
Fee and confirmation times is making BItcoin hostile to new users, who are confused by their difficulties with this “revolutionary” new technology
Restricting Bitcoin’s growth increases the likelihood it will be overtaken by another unrestricted cryptocurrency
Passively validating the stance of /Bitcoin to continue censoring the debate about this important issue
Bitcoiners are encouraged to examine all of the information and reach their own conclusion. However, it is important to remember that Bitcoin is anopen-source projectfounded on the ideal offree market competition (between any/all software projects, currencies, monetary policies, miners, ideas etc.). In one sense, /btc vs /Bitcoin is just another extension of this, although Bitcoiners are also encouraged to keep abreast of the top posts and links on both subreddits. Only those afraid of the truth need to cut off opposing information. What do Bitcoin developers, businesses, users, miners, nodes etc. think? Developers There are developers on both sides of the debate, although it is a common argument in /Bitcoin to claim that the majority supports Bitcoin Core. This is true in the sense that Bitcoin Core is the current default and has 421 listed code contributors but misleading because not only are many of those contributors authors of a single tiny change and nothing else but also many major figures like Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn and Jeff Garzik have left the project while still being counted as historical contributors. Businesses including exchanges etc. A definite vote of confidence is not available from the vast majority of Bitcoin businesses, and wouldn't be binding in any case. The smart decision for most businesses is to support both chains in the event of a fork until the network resolves the issue (which may only be a day or two). Users Exact user sentiment is impossible to determine, especially given the censorship on /Bitcoin. Miners and Nodes Coin.dance hosts some excellent graphical representations of the current opinion on the network. Node Support Information Miner Support Information What do I do if the network hard forks?* Do we end up with two Bitcoins? Firstly, in the event of a hard fork there is no need to panic. All Bitcoins are copied to both chains in the case of a split, so any Bitcoins you have are safe. HOWEVER, in the event of a fork there will be some period of confusion where it is important to be very careful about how/why you spend your Bitcoins. Hopefully (and most likely) this would not last long - everyone in Bitcoin is motivated to converge into agreement for everyone's benefit as soon as possible - but it's impossible to say for sure. There isn't a lot of historical data about cryptocurrency hard forks, but one example is alternative cryptocurrency Ethereum that forked into two coins after the events of the DAO and currently exists as two separate chains, ETH (Ethereum) and ETC (Ethereum Classic). The Ethereum fork is not a good analogy for Bitcoin because its network difficulty target adjusts every single block, so a massive drop in hash rate does not significantly impede its functioning. Bitcoin’s difficult target adjusts only every 2100 blocks - which under usual circumstances takes two weeks but in the event of a hard fork could be a month or more for the smaller chain. It is almost inconceivable that a minority of miners would willingly spend millions of dollars over a month or more purely on principle to maintain a chain that was less secure and processed transactions far slower than the majority chain - even assuming the Bitcoins on this handicapped chain didn't suffer a market crash to close to worthless. Secondly, a hard fork is less likely to be a traumatic event than it is often portrayed in /Bitcoin:
The Bitcoin Core and /Bitcoin stated policy is to avoid a hard fork at all costs. So there is no risk of a hard fork on that side.
The Bitcoin XT/Classic/Unlimited and /btc side is prepared for a hard fork if necessary, but it will only come to pass if a clear majority of miners (and presumably users, although that's harder to determine) are already signalling that they would be onboard. There is no exact threshold value, but no miner is going to risk publishing a block larger than 1MB until they are very confident the network will follow them.
What Happens Now
How do I check on the current status of opinion? Coin.dance hosts some excellent graphical representations of the current opinion on the network. Node Support Information Miner Support Information Users are also welcome to engage in anecdotal speculation about community opinion based on their impression of the commentary and activity in /btc and /Bitcoin. Haven't past attempts to raise the blocksize failed? There is no time limit or statute of limitations on the number of attempts the community can make to increase the block size and scale Bitcoin. Almost any innovation in the history of mankind required several attempts to get working and this is no different. The initial attempt called Bitcoin XT never got enough support for a fork because key developer Mike Hearn left out of frustration at trying to talk around all the censorship and community blockading. The second major attempt called Bitcoin Classic gained massive community momentum until it was suddenly halted by the drastic implementation of censorship by Theymos described above. The most popular attempt at the moment is called Bitcoin Unlimited. /btc is neutral and welcoming to any and all projects that want to find a solution to scaling Bitcoin - either on-or off-chain. However, many users are suspicious of Bitcoin Core's approach that involves only SegWit, developed by a private corporation called Blockstream and that has already broken its previous promises in a document known as the Hong Kong Agreement to give the network a block size limit raise client along with Segregated Witness (only the latter was delivered) . What if the stalemate is irreconcilable and nothing ever happens? Increasing transaction fees and confirmation times are constantly increasing the pressure to find a scaling solution - leading some to believe that further adoption of Bitcoin Unlimited or a successor scaling client will eventually occur. Bitcoin Core's proposed addition of SegWit is struggling to gain significant support and as it is already the default client (and not censored in /Bitcoin) it is unlikely to suddenly grow any further. If the stalemate is truly irreconcilable, eventually users frustrated by the cost, time and difficulty of Bitcoin will begin migrating to alternative cryptocurrencies. This is obviously not a desirable outcome for long standing Bitcoin supporters and holders, but cannot be ignored as the inevitable free market resort if Bitcoin remains deadlocked for long enough.
Bitcoin is at its transaction capacity and needs to scale to onboard more users
The community was discussing different ways to do this until the biased head moderator of /BitcoinTheymos got involved
Theymos, started an authoritarian censorship rampage which culminated in telling 90% of /Bitcoin users to leave. /btc is where they went. Here is the thread where it all started. Note the 26% upvoted on the original post, the hundreds of upvotes of community outcry in the comments and the graveyard of [removed] posts further down the chain. Highly recommended reading in its entirety.
To this day, /Bitcoin bans all discussion of alternative scaling proposals and /btc
Bitcoin is about freedom, and can’t function effectively with either an artificially restricted transaction cap or a main community forum that is so heavily manipulated. This subreddit is the search for solutions to both problems as well as general Bitcoin discussion.
Debate continues in /btc, and generally doesn't continue in /Bitcoin - although posts referencing /btc or Bitcoin Unlimited regularly sneak past the moderators because it is such a crucial topic
Eventually one side or the other breaks, enough miners/nodes/users get on one side and Bitcoin starts scaling. This may or may not involve a hard fork.
If not, fees and average confirmation times continue to rise until users migrate en masse to an altcoin. This is not an imminent danger, as can be seen by the BTC marketcap dominance at its historical levels of 80+% but could change at any time
Hello cryptocurrency lovers! Welcome to Coin-a-Year, the laziest series yet in the Coin-a-Day publishing empire. This year's coin is Nyancoin (NYAN). I originally covered Nyancoin in an article here in /cryptocurrency published January 4th, 2015. Without (much) further ado, I'm going to include the original report next, unmodified. This is unlike my Coin-a-Week series, where I use strikeout and update in-text. Because this is going to be a longer update, I'll just make all further comments and updates below, just realize that all information below is as of January 4th, 2015 and thus is more than a year out of date as of posting now, at the end of February 2016. Since I use horizontal rules as internal dividers in the original post, I'll use a double horizontal rule to divide the original text from this prelude and the following update. Coin-a-Day Jan 4th Welcome to the fourth installment of Coin-a-Day! To see convenient links to the introduction and the previous entries, please see /coinaday. Today's coin is Nyancoin (NYAN). Summary • ~173.6 million available currently ; 337 million limit  • All-time high: ~0.000024 BTC on February 16, 2014  • Current price: ~3 satoshi  • Current market cap: ~$1,275  • Block rate (average): 1 minute   • Transaction rate: ~25? / last 24 hours; estimated $3-4  • Transaction limit: 70 / second  • Transaction cost: 0 for most transactions  • Rich list: ???  • Exchanges: Cryptsy  • Processing method: Mining  • Distribution method: proof-of-work block rewards and 1% premine for "bounties, giveaways & dev support"   • Community: Comatose  • Code/development: https://github.com/nyancoin-release/nyancoin ; there hasn't been a released code change in 10 months. The new developer has talked about some changes, but has not made a new release. He has given advice about how to keep the network running and operate the client.  • Innovation or special feature: First officially licensed cryptocurrency (from Nyancat) ; "zombie"-coin  Description / Community: So you're probably wondering why in the world we're talking about a coin which has been declared dead and already written off. I actually first selected this coin to illustrate a "deadcoin", but the more I dug into it, the more I was amazed at the shambles I discovered. I am combining the description and community sections for this coin, because the community (or lack thereof) is the central issue for Nyancoin. Substantially all, if not literally all, of the original infrastructure is gone. From the announcement post, the original website has expired. The nyan.cat site itself survives, but has no reference to the coin. The github repo remains, but then there was never much changed from the bitcoin/litecoin original. In fact, the COPYING file doesn't even list "Nyancoin Developers". None of the original nodes seem to be running anymore. @Nyan_Coin hasn't tweeted since July 6th. And that was just to announce posting an admittedly cute picture to facebook which makes a claim for a future which seems never to have developed. Of the original 15 pools, I think all are dead except p2pool, for which at least one node still supports NYAN. The original blockchain explorer, nyancha.in, is still running. The faucet is dead or broken. The original exchanges no longer list it (two of the three having died; SwissCEX having ended its trading as of the first of this year). And so forth. And yet:
[Of course, that scene finishes with knocking out the "recovering" patient so he can be taken away...not to mention the absurdity of including Monty Python in a financial article, but moving right along.] There is still just enough left to Nyancoin to keep it twitching, even if it is on life-support. Whether it's an individual node or whether it's a pool, there are blocks being produced at a steady rate as intended. Transactions are being processed. There is still a market. There is still a block explorer. And there is a dev. It is like a case study in the absolute minimum necessary to keep a coin alive. The most likely outcome is almost certainly a final collapse when one critical piece or another of the infrastructure goes away. And yet in the meantime, a person can own a million NYAN for $8 , and then move this coin quickly and easy, albeit with no particular external demand. It's like the world's most hyped testnet. I think this case presents an interesting example of what happens to an altcoin when its initial support dries up. NYAN coin is more fortunate than some, actually, as there are some where there are no longer any nodes running it nor the original announcement thread (in fact, there was actually a second Nyancoin launched around the same time. But it died hard and its original announcement thread was deleted and at this point I would have no idea how to access it; so "Nyancoin" thus illustrates how hard a coin can die (Nyancoin 2) as well as how it can hang around despite being proclaimed dead, with far more justification behind that pronouncement than there has been for bitcoin (NYAN) ). Footnotes  http://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nyancoin/  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=402085.0 Regarding the premine, it's unclear to me where this money is now, since the original poster hasn't been active on BCT since May and the original site is down. However, given that it's only 1%, and about $25 in value right now, there seem to be more significant concerns for NYAN.  http://nyancha.in/chain/Nyancoin - Nyan blockchain explorer; blocks are somewhat inconsistent but somewhere around the 1 minute average  There doesn't seem to be anything automatically doing these stats, so I did visual inspection on about 1500 blocks (about one day) excluding the block generation reward (~250k/day). Most blocks are otherwise empty. I counted about 24 transactions or so scrolling through, with an outlier around 300k NYAN and another around 100k NYAN. In total, about 500k NYAN, excluding the block rewards. This is very approximately $3-4.  Nyancoin is a basically unmodified, slightly out-of-date bitcoin as far as code goes, and ignoring the change in block rate and total coin supply, as well as the difficulty retarget after every block. So for purposes of estimating maximum possible transaction throughput, I start with bitcoin's estimated 7 transactions per second, and multiply by 10 for having a block on average every minute rather than every 10 minutes. In any event, this limit is not likely to be reached in the foreseeable future.  Like bitcoin, transaction fees appear to be optional in Nyancoin. Unlike bitcoin, there is almost no transaction volume, and coins tend to sit for a relatively long time before being moved. So zero-fee transactions appear to be the norm from looking at a couple transactions on the block explorer.  I couldn't find one. See the disclosure section of this article: your humble correspondent is likely represented in some way on a top 100 if one were to be made or if one exists, despite not holding it directly, depending on how the exchange holds it.  I could not find any other exchanges still listing Nyancoin. SwissCex appears to have disabled it as of a couple days ago. Cryptsy has a notice that the NYAN/BTC market will be closing, but its NYAN/LTC market appears strong.  Essentially all of the original sites, pools, faucets, etc. are dead and there has been very little to replace it. There is basically a single node, or perhaps a very few, which are running the blockchain. However, there is a developer still trying to hold things together, maxvall_dev, maxvall on BCT. He is the last hope for the NYAN.  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597877.0 This is the thread where maxvall took over as dev, and it also discusses switching to PoS, which hasn't happened as far as I know.  "zombie"-coin: Not to be confused with ZMB (my god, does it ever end?). This is my term to describe a coin which is "undead": by rights it should be dead. And yet it's still walking around and acting like it's alive. What is it? What's going on? It's quite debatable whether this gives it any special value, but I find it an interesting state, and it's why this was chosen for early coverage. There are plenty of actually popular and successful coins, and we will go onto covering more normal selections; we're looking for variety rather than repetition. But I think this is an interesting example for what can go wrong, and yet in the midst of that, how little it takes for a coin to survive. In fact, it's almost like an alternate history bitcoin to me; this shows the concept that "it was run on one computer before; it can be run on one computer again" to some extent. And there are even some strange pragmatic benefits as well, like having no competition for getting a transaction into a block and thus zero transaction fees.  And, in fact, the author chose to do so today, spending about 0.03 BTC for about 1 million NYAN. Additional Reading • /nyancoins - Like NYAN: mostly dead, but not quite • http://nyan-coin.org/ - new official website • BCT thread listing nodes, xpool (p2pool), for mining information. • americanpegasus predicting in February that NYAN will hit $1; always an entertaining read Giveaway Instead of a challenge today, since NYAN has enough challenges, I decided I would give away 10,000 NYAN to at least the first ten people who ask for it. This still remains at my discretion, but honestly, if you really want, say, 50,000 NYAN and create four new accounts to do so, I'll probably be too amused to say no. I don't expect to get ten requests. If I get more, I'll probably still fulfill them, but as with everything else, this is left to my whim. Donations and Disclosure Okay, this is an important one today because of the tiny market here. I actually hold less USD value in NYAN than in BTC, DOGE, and PPC (although my value in PPC might be about equivalent actually), but I hold more of the total market in NYAN than any of those three. And I'll probably be buying more. So I have a conflict of interest in writing this article. I am not providing financial advice and I do not make any recommendations of any sort on any matters. Make your own decisions; do your own research. Please, I do not want to hear about anyone doing anything "on my advice." I am not offering advice. I personally hold just over 1 million NYAN on Cryptsy right now. Perhaps it would be better if I didn't write any articles about anything I were invested inspeculating on, but I started this series for my own education to further my speculation, so unfortunately, dear reader, your needs come second to my own. tanstaafl; you get what you pay for, and I'm giving you my thoughts. If by some strange quirk of fate you actually own NYAN and enjoyed this article and wished to donate some to me, K7Ho9HghBF6xWwS6JsepE6RAEPyAXbsQCV is mine (first non-empty account I've posted; transferred 1000 NYAN into here earlier from Cryptsy to test that the network and my wallet were actually working). Thank you all for reading and commenting! I've already learned a lot from this process and I look forward to more! Upcoming coins: • January 5th: Nxt • January 6th: Darkcoin • January 7th: Namecoin I'll use alphabetic labeling for footnotes in the updates to avoid any confusion with the footnotes in the original. For simplicity, unchanged items, like the 337 million limit and the 1 minute will not be mentioned, and we'll start with the summary changes. Updates: Summary
Community: We're not quite dead yet; in fact, I think we're getting better! [f]
Code/Development: I have an early draft of NYAN2, but I'm about six months past my initial goal for having it available to use. Life/work/lack of build machine/procrastination. NYAN2 will be a rebase onto a modern LTC codebase which will soft fork to fix a current vulnerability to a fork bug. For now, the network still runs on the same code that it did when I wrote the first article.
Discussion I'm going to consider the community first, since I pointed it out as the weakness and central topic in the last one, then talk about the technical situation briefly, and then review the financial results. The community has been excellent, if I do say so myself. We've got working infrastructure going thanks to the contributions of many Nekonauts (see [f]). Some original Nekonauts have returned or at least popped in from time to time, and new ones like myself have found Nyancoin (I would say given what I wrote in the original, I was still a skeptic of it at that point. Not that skeptics can't be Nekonauts, but I think I'd put my conversion to the cult of nyan shortly after writing that, even though I was already a nillionaire then for the heck of it.) While I do look forward to seeing the community continue to grow in future years and consider that important, I don't think the community is our weakest point any longer; I think it's now our strongest point. I've tried to encourage the community's revival as best I could, including giving away tens of nillions in total, and lots of long rambling articles on my views on ethics and philosophy and frankly it's worked better than I would've really expected (or at least it has coincided with an effective recovery of the community). The community also helped me through at least a couple hard times personally in there as well. The technical situation in Nyancoin is mostly unchanged but slightly improved, although with two additional known vulnerabilities. It's unchanged in that it's the same client. It's improved in that we have an active nyanchain explorer host (nyan.space), and we have a public draft of a plan for a soft forking security fix update in the near future (hopefully by the end of March (although I've slipped these deadlines before and may well miss March for release by a bit, I do think I'm inching closer now and then)). The most serious vulnerability is to forking. This is the bug which hit Peercoin if I recall correctly. NYAN2 is intended to solve this through its soft fork from the LTC fix upstream (from the BTC fix upstream). In the meantime, we've been lucky we haven't been attacked. The tiny marketcap probably helps with not being a particularly attractive attack target. We're not exactly about to pay ransom to move faucet outputs. But that's no excuse; we want this fixed and should have it finally done "soon" (tm). The less serious vulnerability is to a time warp attack in the difficulty function (Kimoto Gravity Well), which relates to general weaknesses it has and issues we've had with large gaps in the block chain because of spikes in the difficulty function causing it to be unprofitable and driving away most of the hash, and then low difficulty and price rise making it attractive to more hash, creating a spike and causing it again. While this is irritating, the chain still works, even if there are fits and starts at times. An important part of the reason I can get away with this is because there is at least one Nekonaut-supporting miner, CartmanSPC, who rescues us from time to time, and did so during the course of this article being written. We have a bunch of pools, but sometimes the hash just isn't there to get us unstuck when the difficulty goes high enough. Another part of the reason I consider it not an especially serious issue is because there's a workaround which works for me (classic bad developer logic): I use a large transaction fee (generally 337 NYAN, although I might have halved it after the most recent halving, I'll probably use 337 again) on my personal wallet by default. If necessary, I use a couple of them. It can make NYAN profitable to mine again despite the higher difficulty and "unstick" the chain. The difficulty function can go back down again in the next block if the gap has been long enough, so that can be enough to keep it going again for a while (although it can also get stuck again irritatingly fast at times). A fix for this will be putting in a better difficulty function for NYAN3, which will require a hard fork. This is tentatively scheduled for feature freeze around the middle of this year, coding to follow, activation sometime early 2017. Financial has been our most disappointing performance. A graph of the 1 year performance right now on coinmarketcap looks pretty sad, showing our fall from a little over 60 satoshi down to around 7 satoshi now. We rose too high, too fast, and I didn't stick with the safe high paying job like a sane person. Instead I hit the road, went to jail, and worked minimum wage. That doesn't sound like a sentence from a cryptocurrency financial review, does it? But the performance of NYAN since the article has been the story of my personal finances, which is the story of my life since then. So, autobiographical coinaday interlude, trying to keep it generally to the most salient points. Well, in 2014 I had been on my way home to Minnesota from California when I was pulled over leaving Eureka, Nevada for speeding (got sloppy and went 45 approaching the 45 sign and thus technically still in the 35; bored cop seeing out-of-state plates). My vehicle reeked of weed, what with having been in Mendocino County previously with no intention of traveling out of the county much less state anytime soon but family emergency brought me back, and the end result was a citation for possession of cannabis and paraphernalia along with the speeding. Fast forward to the beginning of 2015, I'm settled into a good software position and start looking more at cryptocurrency in my spare time. I write the coin-a-day series for a bit and then got annoyed and quit after a while when trying to do one a day on top of an actual job was too much for me (along with some annoyance over criticism; I can be rather thin-skinned at times). But I had gotten interested in Nyancoin, and started buying it up more and more with extra money I was making. And then comes the crash. I had to stop putting as much in as I realized that where I was living and what I was working on wasn't going to work out for me and I needed to figure something else out. So, as I seem wont to do, I went on a roadtrip. I quit my job. And I went back for the court date for my citations and refused to pay, instead spending 10 days in jail rather than pay ~$1400 (I actually had the money in cash available to me if I chose to pay as a backup if I chickened out, but the judge annoyed me enough that I really preferred to be jailed instead of paying, as stupid as that sounds since I'm quite sure the judge didn't care in the least one way or another). After that, I went back to roadtrip lifestyle for a while. It was a nice period. A lot of beautiful scenery; a lot of reading. Eventually, I busted up my car pretty badly...a couple times actually, the second time for good. Fast forwarding through the rest of the year, I worked a couple minimum wage jobs to pay bills and avoid cubicle life and kill some time until I figured out what I was going to do next. Just recently I quit as delivery boy after getting a speeding ticket (I swear, I'm not as horrible of a driver as this makes me sounds, although I have had a bad tendency to speed in the past, which I really have curbed to almost nothing; but I'm clearly not good enough) and am currently writing a Coin-a-Year article with a friend's incentive and applying to do documentation and development with the Nu project. Okay, so what did any of that have to do with NYAN? Well, it's the mess of a life that has led to the fall of the price from 60 satoshi to 7 satoshi. If instead my life history for the time since the article had been simply "I was happily employed writing software", then I don't believe we would have dropped below 20 satoshi. It's easy to see in hindsight. If anyone can lend me a time machine, I'm sure I can get some condensed instructions which should improve performance significantly. Otherwise, just going to have more chalked up for the "character building" tally. So, lessons learned if you are the major buy support for your coin: you need long-term reserves. Whatever you put in bids can be taken out in a moment by a dump for no apparent reason. This is particularly true if you may be quitting your cushy, high-paying job and wandering around without income for an extended period of time. Rather obvious, but hey, maybe someone else can learn from my mistakes. If I'd been bidding as cautiously as I am now from the beginning, I think the price would probably be somewhere from 10-20 satoshi now instead of around 7 satoshi. It's especially unfortunate given that I wanted to be able to demonstrate the more consistent growth possible building a stable store of value, as opposed to the pump and dumps common in altcoins. And instead we had a pump-and-dump looking graph ourselves after I bid up higher than I was able to sustain, and a large (10+ nillion) instadump crashed the market all the way back down to 1 satoshi momentarily. We've had a few large (2+ nillion) dumps since, but nothing that large. We haven't generally had that large of bids though either. It's hard to know when I've exhausted the supply at a price level, when it sometimes waits for a couple weeks or even more and then fills all the bids at once. But I want to maximize the minimum price paid because I think that's important for building confidence in a store of value long-term, which is one of my core goals for NYAN. At the same time, we're still up from the lowest parts of the floor and where I found it. Since I own about 30% [g], the very cheapest supply has been taken off the market. I plan to keep on buying up "cheap NYAN" as much as I can. I've bought up to 60 satoshi before, I'll probably buy up that high this time around. I've got a token 100,000 NYAN ask at 300 satoshi; I hope never to sell lower. Conclusions Now I try to wrap it all together as if I saw this all coming and am the wise expert, despite having had about 90% drop in price in the last year after bidding too high. My original concept was taking the "minimum viable coin" and reviving it to a powerhouse as a textbook example in how to do it. Part of my core concept in this is the arbitrariness of value: throughout history, humans have chosen any number of things as a store of value for the time: salt, large rocks, certain metals, disks, marked sticks, and so forth. While there has generally been a certain logic in the choice, in that there is a locally restricted supply in one way or another, and so forth, from the perspective of other centuries or cultures the choices can seem quite strange. Growing up, I was always struck by how strange the notion of salt being limited and valuable seemed in a world where people were trying to reduce intake and large amounts could be bought for trivial sums. And yet, a key nutrient necessary for life fundamentally makes more sense as being valuable than notched sticks or printed paper or a piece of plastic with some encoded information. Humans have perpetually come up with stranger and stranger ways of storing and transferring value. Each new step, as always, comes with its own disadvantages and, frankly, has generally appeared nonsensical at best and fraudulent at worst to the status quo. Which doesn't mean that each new attempt is valuable. The gold bugs always like to point out that every fiat currency ultimately returns to its true value of zero. And the skeptics of cryptocurrency argue that all cryptocurrencies will eventually return to their true value of zero. It's certainly possible. And it's possible the USD will hyperinflate someday. I tend to try the moderate view for a plausible guess of the future. By that type of logic, I would guess that over the course of decades, USD will in general lose value, and cryptocurrency will tend to slowly gain value. That might not seem the moderate view, but USD not losing value over decades would be truly shocking. And hyperinflation has been predicted since the USD went off the gold standard, or before. So some amount of inflation less than hyperinflation seems like the safe guess (but then, the Titanic arriving would also have seemed like the safe guess to me). And with cryptocurrency, I think it's clear by now the technology will continue to survive. So my first question is with what overall value as a market? It could go down, of course, but that seems unlikely in an already small, young market. Even if all the current crop die off and are replaced, whatever cryptocurrencies are around should be able to do better than a handful of billion in market cap in my view. I believe that cryptocurrency has a bright future ahead of it. The best coins should ultimately survive and thrive. But I've been wrong on most of my major calls so far, like for instance when I thought BTC was over-priced around $5-$10. I think Nyancoin can have an important role to play in the future of cryptocurrency in the years and decades to come, but it's a massively speculative long-shot. See also Nyancoin risks document. But like Linus Torvalds' autobiography, I try to keep "Just for Fun" as a core motto and principle. It's makes for a good hobby project because there will always be more to work on, with a core community motto of TO INFINITY AND BEYOND! Disclaimers / Sponsorship: As I said before:
I am not providing financial advice and I do not make any recommendations of any sort on any matters. Make your own decisions; do your own research. Please, I do not want to hear about anyone doing anything "on my advice." I am not offering advice.
And I'll reiterate that I own about 30% [g] of the current supply of NYAN, which makes me by definition maximally biased. Also, I'm not sure what's up with the address from the first post. It doesn't show up in my current wallet as a recognized address. So, anyhow, don't send there. :-) If you'd like to donate, please consider sponsoring a coin-a-day or coin-a-week article. This is the first sponsored article. This Coin-a-Year article has been brought to you by spydud22 's generous patronage. I'd been meaning to do a Coin-a-Week article on Nyancoin for a while, but between wanting to "wait until the price recovered a bit" and general procrastination, then it seemed like it would make a good Coin-a-Year article, and then I wanted to wait until the price recovered a bit more...anyhow, so thank you spydud22, for causing me to finally do this. :-) Footnotes
[a] nyan.space/chain/Nyancoin ; as of block 1091430, 263738786.71890615 NYAN outstanding. This is slightly over 50% more than the last report, which is what we would expect, since it had existed for about a year then, and has approximately annual halvings. The first year generated about 50% of total supply; the second year generated about 25% of total supply. We should expect in a year to have about 17% (one-sixth) more than we have now.
[b] https://www.cryptopia.co.nz/Exchange?market=NYAN_BTC ; this is the only market reflected in coinmarketcap and it is the primary one on which I trade. Cryptopia also has other base pairs which operate at significantly higher spreads (lower bids; higher asks) and have minimal volume. In the time since the last report, NYAN has traded as high as 60 satoshi (and briefly a little higher at times), but over the last almost twelve months since a peak about a year ago, the price has been generally declining overall, as a gross oversimplification of a lot of movements. This has been an effect of me not being able to keep buying as much and there being large dumps I wasn't expecting from time-to-time. Now I'm taking the approach of building large (one or more nillion (million NYAN)) bids on each price as I slowly work my way back up again in order to be able to handle possible dumps with less price shock.
[c] coinmarketcap.com/currencies/nyancoin/ ; as noted in [b], this only reflects the /BTC basepair on Cryptopia but that's where most of the volume is anyhow. Of course, the market is also not particularly liquid since I'm the primary buyer and have rather limited means currently.
[d] I haven't setup a script to count this yet, among many things on my to-do list for someday, so I went through by hand from what was the then-latest block of 1091430 on nyan.space back to 1089766 which was the first block generated less than 24 hours before. There was actually a three and a half hour block gap at that point, such that the next prior block was about 24 hours and 15 minutes before 1091430 while 1089766 was only about 20 hours and 45 minutes prior, and has a disproportionate number of transactions and value compared to a typical block (8 and ~313,000 NYAN respectively) from the build-up during the gap. But since that gap conveniently started right about at the start of the 24 hour period, doesn't really skew our results here.
Note that there are often times where the UTXO created during one transaction during the day is spent during a later transaction in the day. This can be considered the "same" Nyancoin being "spent" twice in the same day in our total. But in practice, I believe what's happening here is the faucet is breaking off small (10-50 NYAN) pieces from a larger (~40,000 NYAN) chunk, and so that pops up a bunch of times. So the total NYAN blockchain volume as counted for this topline number should not be interpreted as "NYAN spent in the day" but "NYAN moved on the chain", where the "same coin" can move many times. So it's a very easily gamed metric and not a strong / resistant metric like the market price tends to be (at least relatively speaking), but it's a fun number to calculate and provides a little bit of information. The transaction count can also be easily inflated and certainly, for instance, having the faucet does generate transactions which are a very common transaction. And this is also just an arbitrary 24 hour period compared to a previous arbitrary 24 hour period. Nonetheless, I do think there's clearly a bit more activity on the Nyanchain, even though the typical block is still empty and the number of transactions and volume is still tiny compared to the major cryptocurrencies. Here's an arbitrary example of the faucet transactions Note the zero transaction fee, which I love that the miners support (the defaults are all quite low as well). Here's an example of what may be the smallest transaction by NYAN volume of the day; but no, I followed its small, spent output, and it led to this gem which also links to this. I have no idea what's going on here, but it's hilarious and I love it. How's that for microtransaction support? :-)
[e] Obviously Cryptsy went down. We had had more than enough red flags with Cryptsy (including one time where I was able to withdraw 6 nillion more than I had in my balance) and got onto Cryptopia. spydud22 basically accomplished that for us, although I helped out in the tail end of the campaigning.
[f] Our community is still small (I wish there were literally dozens of us!) but we've had valuable activity from multiple people, including, just as highlights, vmp32k who hosts nyan.space, a clone of the original nyancha.in, jwflame who created the excellent nyancoin.info intro site, with the awesome status page (which currently notes that "the last 500 blocks actually took 111 minutes, which is approaching the speed of light, causing the universe to become unstable"), KojoSlayer who runs the faucet and dice, spydud22 who got us on Cryptopia, and many other Nekonauts have made worthy contributions, and the Nekonauts mentioned have done more than just that listed. So while we are small, we are active at least from time to time and technically capable.
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