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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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I earned about 4000% more btc with my android tablet than with a $250 ASIC mini rig setup using GekkoScience Newpac USB miners!

Requirements:
1.) Android Device with access to Google Play Store. *I haven't tried yet but you may be able to use tis on Android TV devces as well by sideloading. If anyone has success before I try, let me know! -Note, I did this with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 so its a newer more powerful device. If your android is older, your profts will most likely be less than what I earned but to give a projected range I also tested on my Raspberry Pi 4 running a custom LineageOS rom that doesn't allow the OS to make full use of the Pi's specs and I still got 500 h/s on that with Cloud boost, so about 60% of what my Tab 6 with MUCH Higher Specs does.
**Hey guys. Before I get started i just wanted to be clear about one thing. Yes I have seen those scammy posts sharing "miracle" boosts and fixes. I have a hard time believing stuff online anymore. But this is honestly real. Ill attach photos and explain the whole story and process below. Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to share any thoughts, concerns, tips, etc*
So last week I finally got started with my first mini rig type mining build. I started getting into crypto about a year ago and it has taken me a long time to even grasp half of the projects out there but its been fun thus far! Anyways my rig was 2 GekkoScience Newpac USB miners, a Moonlander USB miner to pair with an FPGA i already had mining, a 10 port 60W 3.0 USB hub and 2 usb fans. The Newpacs actually are hashing at a combined 280 g/s which is actually better than their reported max hash rate when overclocked. Pleasant surpise and they are simple!! I just wanted to get a moonlander because my fpga already mines on Odocrypt for DGB and I just wanted to experience Scrypt mining and help build the DGB project. The Newpacs are mining BTC though.
After I got everything up and running i checked my payout daily average after 1 week. I averaged .01 a day TOTAL between all three miners with them all perforing ABOVE SPEC!!! I had done research so i knew I wouldnt earn much. More than anything i just wanted to learn. But still. I was kinda surprised in a negative way. Yesterday I actually earned less than .01 Frustrated I went back to scouring the web for new ideas. About a year ago, when II was starting, I saw an app on my iphone called CryptoBrowser that claimed to mine btc on your phone without actually using phone resources using a method of cloud mining. I tried it for a week and quit because I earned like .03 after a ton of use and seemed scammy. Plus my iphone actually would get very hot when doing this so I quit using it as it seemed like a possible scam with all the cryptonight browser mining hacks and malware out there.
Anyways I was on my Galaxy Tab S6 and saw that CryptoBrowser released a "PRO" edition for 3.99 on Google Play. I bought it for Sh*ts and giggles and booted it up. It came with what they called "Cloud Boost" Essentially this is a button you press and it multiplys the estimated hashrate that it gives you device by the number shown on the boost button. (With the purchase of PRO you get one free x10 boost. You can purchase additional boosts to use with other android devices but those are actually pretty pricy. Another x10 boost was like $25 if i remember correctly).
I played with it for about an hour to see if it actually worked like it said it would this time. To my surprise, as i was browsing, my device didnt increase in temperature AT ALL!!!!! I checked my tast manager to confirm and it was indeed true, my memory and usage barely went up. it was giving me an estimated range of 80-105 on the hashrate. Once i pushed the x10 boost button, that went to 800-1150 h/s. I switched my screen to not go to sleep, plugged it to the charge and let it run on the browser page, hashing. When you push the boost button, it runs for 3 hours at the boosted speeds. After that it goes back to normal but if you press the button again, it boosts everything again. There is no limit to how many times you use it. After checking what I earned after 24 hours, I HAD MADE .40 in BTC!!!!! I JUST EARNED OVER 4000% MORE THAN MY $280 MINING RIG EARNED ME!!!! I was blown away. Maybe this was a fluke? I did it again next day. Every 3 hours or so I would push the button again but thats all. Sure enough, .35 that day. Also, it realy BTC. I requested a payout and although it took like 12 hours for them to send me an email stating they had just sent it, I actually did recieve the state amount of BTC within 24 hours in my personal wallet. The fees to send are SUPER LOW!. Like .01
Below I will list the steps I took, along with an explanation of thier "Mining" process on Androids. Reminder, this ONLY WORKS ON ANDROIDS. Also DO NOT use cryptobrowser on a physcal laptop or desktop. I ran it on an old laptop for three days last year and it fried it. It does actually use your hardware on those platforms to mine and it is not efficnet at all as I suspect they prob steal over half of your power for themselves using the REAL RandomX protocol via browser mining which is EXTREMELY INEFFICIENT DONT TRY IT!!
-----How To Do This Yourself:
Cryptotab Browser states the program works on Android devices by estimating what it thinks the hashrate would be for your device specs and siimulates what you would mine in a remote server however you still earn that estimated coin amount. It is not a SHA-256 process or coin that they say is mining, rather it is XMR and they swap that and pay it out to you in BTC Bitcoin. However I know damn well my Tab S6 doesnt hash 80-105 h/s on RandomX because I have done it with a moodified XMRig module i ported to Android. I got 5 h/s a sec if I was getting any hashes at all. But thats besides the point as I still was making money.
Now, when you press that cloud boost button it immediately boosts that hash rate it estimates by the number on the cloud boost. As stated above, you can purchase more boosts and gift them or use them on extra android devices that you may have. Again, they are pricey so I'm not doing that plus it would just mean that I have another device that I have to leave on and open. The boosts come in x2, x4, x6, x8 and x10 variants. Again, they have unlimited uses.
Here is the link to grab yourself CryptoBrowser Pro from CryptoTab. This IS A REFERRAL LINK! This is where I benefit from doing tis tutorial. Like i said, I want to be transparent as this is not a scam but I'm also not doing this out of the love of my heart. Their referral system works in that people that use the donwload the app using your link are your stage 1 referrals. Anytime they are mining, you earn a 15% bonus. So say they mine $.30 one day. You would get paid out an additional $.045 in your own balance (it does not come out of the referred user balance fyi so no worries). Then lets say that referred miner also gets their own referrals. I would get a 10% bonus on whatever THOSE people mine. This goes on and on for like 8 tiers. Each tier the bonus percntage essential halves. So again, I stand to benefit from this but it also is stupid to not make this visible as its WAY CHEAPER, EASIER AND MORE PROFITABLE TO GET BTC USING THIS METHOD THAN IT IS USING ASICS!! THIS EARNS ALMOST AS MUCH BTC AS AN ANTMINER S7 DOES RUNNING 24/7 ONLY WITHOUT THE HUGE ELLECTRICTY BILL AND COSTS!!!!)
Thats it. Again, if you have concerns, let me know or if you have suggestions, other tips, etc... mention those as well!!!
https://cryptotabbrowser.com/8557319
Links to Picture Proof http://imgur.com/gallery/P13bEsB
submitted by Afraid_Balance to earnbitcoin [link] [comments]

Function X: A Concept Paper introducing the f(x) ecosystem, a universal decentralized internet powered by blockchain technology and smart devices

Function X: A Concept Paper introducing the f(x) ecosystem, a universal decentralized internet powered by blockchain technology and smart devices

https://preview.redd.it/yylq6k0yqrv21.png?width=633&format=png&auto=webp&s=089ffe83e18baeceb87d465ca6fad184939490e4

Prologue

This is a Concept Paper written to introduce the Function X Ecosystem, which includes the XPhone. It also addresses the relationship between the XPOS and Function X.
Pundi X has always been a community-driven project. We have lived by the mission of making sure the community comes first and we are constantly learning from discussions and interactions on social media and in real-life meetings.
As with all discussions, there is always background noise but we have found gems in these community discussions. One such example is a question which we found constantly lingering at the back of our mind, “Has blockchain changed the world as the Internet did in the ’90s, and the automobile in the ‘20s?”. Many might argue that it has, given the rise of so many blockchain projects with vast potential in different dimensions (like ours, if we may add). But the question remains, “can blockchain ever become what the Internet, as we know it today, has to the world?”
Function X, a universal decentralized internet which is powered by blockchain technology and smart devices.
Over the past few months, in the process of implementing and deploying the XPOS solution, we believe we found the answer to the question. A nimble development team was set up to bring the answer to life. We discovered that it is indeed possible to bring blockchain to the world of telephony, data transmission, storage and other industries; a world far beyond financial transactions and transfers.
This is supported by end-user smart devices functioning as blockchain nodes. These devices include the XPOS and XPhone developed by Pundi X and will also include many other hardware devices manufactured by other original equipment manufacturers.
The vision we want to achieve for f(x) is to create a fully autonomous and decentralized network that does not rely on any individual, organization or structure.
Due to the nature of the many new concepts introduced within this Concept Paper, we have included a Q&A after each segment to facilitate your understanding. We will continuously update this paper to reflect the progress we’re making.

Function X: The Internet was just the beginning

The advent of the Internet has revolutionized the world. It created a communications layer so robust that it has resulted in TCP/IP becoming the network standard.
The Internet also created a wealth of information so disruptive that a company like Amazon threatened to wipe out all the traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores. These bookstores were forced to either adapt or perish. The same applies to the news publishing sector: the offerings of Google and Facebook have caused the near extinction of traditional newspapers.
The digitalization of the world with the Internet has enabled tech behemoths like Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook to dominate and rule over traditional companies. The grip of these tech giants is so extensive that it makes you wonder if the choices you make are truly your own or influenced by the data they have on you as a user.
We see the blockchain revolution happening in three phases. The first was how Bitcoin showed the world what digital currency is. The second refers to how Ethereum has provided a platform to build decentralized assets easily. The clearest use case of that has come in the form of the thousands of altcoins seen today that we all are familiar with. The third phase is what many blockchain companies are trying to do now: 1) to bring the performance of blockchain to a whole new level (transaction speed, throughput, sharding, etc.) and 2) to change the course of traditional industries and platforms—including the Internet and user dynamics.
Public blockchains allow trustless transactions. If everything can be transacted on the blockchain in a decentralized manner, the information will flow more efficiently than traditional offerings, without the interception of intermediators. It will level the playing field and prevent data monopolization thus allowing small innovators to develop and flourish by leveraging the resources and data shared on the blockchain.

The Blockchain revolution will be the biggest digital revolution

In order to displace an incumbent technology with something new, we believe the change and improvement which the new technology has to bring will have to be at least a tenfold improvement on all aspects including speed, transparency, scalability and governance (consensus). We are excited to say that the time for this 10-times change is here. It’s time to take it up 10x with Function X.
Function X or f(x) is an ecosystem built entirely on and for the blockchain. Everything in f(x) (including the application source code, transmission protocol and hardware) is completely decentralized and secure. Every bit and byte in f(x) is part of the blockchain.
What we have developed is not just a public chain. It is a total decentralized solution. It consists of five core components: Function X Operating System (OS); Function X distributed ledger (Blockchain); Function X IPFS; FXTP Protocol and Function X Decentralized Docker. All five components serve a single purpose which is to decentralize all services, apps, websites, communications and, most importantly, data.
The purpose of Function X OS is to allow smart hardware and IoTs to harness the upside and potential utility of the decentralization approach. We have built an in-house solution for how mobile phones can leverage Function X OS in the form of the XPhone. Other companies can also employ the Function X OS and further customize it for their own smart devices. Every smart device in the Function X ecosystem can be a node and each will have its own address and private key, uniquely linked to their node names. The OS is based on the Android OS 9.0, therefore benefiting from backward compatibility with Android apps. The Function X OS supports Android apps and Google services (referred to as the traditional mode), as well as the newly developed decentralized services (referred to as the blockchain mode). Other XPhone features powered by the Function X OS will be elaborated on in the following sections.
Using the Function X Ecosystem (namely Function X FXTP), the transmission of data runs on a complex exchange of public and private key data and encryption but never through a centralized intermediary. Hence it guarantees communication without interception and gives users direct access to the data shared by others. Any information that is sent or transacted over the Function X Blockchain will also be recorded on the chain and fully protected by encryption so the ownesender has control over data sharing. And that is how a decentralized system for communications works.
For developers and users transitioning to the Function X platform, it will be a relatively seamless process. We have intentionally designed the process of creating and publishing new decentralized applications (DApps) on Function X to be easy, such that the knowledge and experience from developing and using Android will be transferable. With that in mind, a single line of code in most traditional apps can be modified, and developers can have their transmission protocol moved from the traditional HTTP mode (centralized) to a decentralized mode, thus making the transmission “ownerless” because data can transmit through the network of nodes without being blocked by third parties. How services can be ported easily or built from scratch as DApps will also be explained in the following sections, employing technologies in the Function X ecosystem (namely Function X IPFS, FXTP Protocol and Decentralized Docker).

f(x) Chain

f(x) chain is a set of consensus algorithms in the form of a distributed ledger, as part of the Function X ecosystem. The blockchain is the building block of our distributed ledger that stores and verifies transactions including financials, payments, communications (phone calls, file transfers, storage), services (DApps) and more.
Will Function X launch a mainnet?
Yes. The f(x) chain is a blockchain hence there will be a mainnet.
When will the testnet be launched?
Q2 2019 (projected).
When will the mainnet be launched?
Q3 2019 (projected).
How is the Function X blockchain designed?
The f(x) chain is designed based on the philosophy that any blockchain should be able to address real-life market demand of a constantly growing peer-to-peer network. It is a blockchain with high throughput achieved with a combination of decentralized hardware support (XPOS, XPhone, etc.) and open-source software toolkit enhancements.
What are the physical devices that will be connected to the Function X blockchain?
In due course, the XPOS OS will be replaced by the f(x) OS. On the other hand, the XPhone was designed with full f(x) OS integration in mind, from the ground up. After the f(x) OS onboarding, and with adequate stability testings and improvements, XPOS and XPhone will then be connected to the f(x) Chain.
What are the different elements of a block?
Anything that is transmittable over the distributed network can be stored in the block, including but not limited to phone call records, websites, data packets, source code, etc. It is worth noting that throughout these processes, all data is encrypted and only the owner of the private key has the right to decide how the data should be shared, stored, decrypted or even destroyed.
Which consensus mechanism is used?
Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT).
What are the other implementations of Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT)?
Flight systems that require very low latency. For example, SpaceX’s flight system, Dragon, uses PBFT design philosophy. [Appendix]
How do you create a much faster public chain?
We believe in achieving higher speed, thus hardware and software configurations matter. If your hardware is limited in numbers or processing power, this will limit the transaction speed which may pose security risks. The Ethereum network consists of about 25,000 nodes spread across the globe now, just two years after it was launched. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin network currently has around 7,000 nodes verifying the network. As for Pundi X, with the deployment plan (by us and our partners) for XPOS, XPhone and potentially other smart devices, we anticipate that we will be able to surpass the number of Bitcoin and Ethereum nodes within 1 to 2 years. There are also plans for a very competitive software implementation of our public blockchain, the details for which we will be sharing in the near future.

f(x) OS

The f(x) OS is an Android-modified operating system that is also blockchain-compatible. You can switch seamlessly between the blockchain and the traditional mode. In the blockchain mode, every bit and byte is fully decentralized including your calls, messages, browsers and apps. When in traditional mode, the f(x) OS supports all Android features.
Android is the most open and advanced operating system for smart hardware with over 2 billion monthly active users. Using Android also fits into our philosophy of being an OS/software designer and letting third-party hardware makers produce the hardware for the Function X Ecosystem.
What kind of open source will it be?
This has not been finalized, but the options we are currently considering are Apache or GNU GPLv3.
What kind of hardware will it work on?
The f(x) OS works on ARM architecture, hence it works on most smartphones, tablet computers, smart TVs, Android Auto and smartwatches in the market.
Will you build a new browser?
We are currently using a modified version of the Google Chrome browser. The browser supports both HTTP and FXTP, which means that apart from distributed FXTP contents, users can view traditional contents, such ashttps://www.google.com.
What is the Node Name System (NNS)?
A NNS is a distributed version of the traditional Domain Name System. A NNS allows every piece of Function X hardware, including the XPhone, to have a unique identity. This identity will be the unique identifier and can be called anything with digits and numbers, such as ‘JohnDoe2018’ or ‘AliceBob’. More on NNS in the following sections.
Will a third-party device running the f(x) OS be automatically connected to the f(x) blockchain?
Yes, third-party devices will be connected to the f(x) blockchain automatically.

f(x) FXTP

A transmission protocol defines the rules to allow information to be sent via a network. On the Internet, HTTP is a transmission protocol that governs how information such as website contents can be sent, received and displayed. FXTP is a transmission protocol for the decentralized network.
FXTP is different from HTTP because it is an end-to-end transmission whereby your data can be sent, received and displayed based on a consensus mechanism rather than a client-server based decision-making mechanism. In HTTP, the server (which is controlled by an entity) decides how and if the data is sent (or even monitored), whereas in FXTP, the data is sent out and propagates to the destination based on consensus.
HTTP functions as a request–response protocol in the client-server computing model. A web browser, for example, may be the client and an application running on a computer hosting a website may be the server. FXTP functions as a propagation protocol via a consensus model. A node that propagates the protocol and its packet content is both a “client” and a “server”, hence whether a packet reaches a destination is not determined by any intermediate party and this makes it more secure.

f(x) IPFS

IPFS is a protocol and network designed to store data in a distributed system. A person who wants to retrieve a file will call an identifier (hash) of the file, IPFS then combs through the other nodes and supplies the person with the file.
The file is stored on the IPFS network. If you run your own node, your file would be stored only on your node and available for the world to download. If someone else downloads it and seeds it, then the file will be stored on both your node the node of the individual who downloaded it (similar to BitTorrent).
IPFS is decentralized and more secure, which allows faster file and data transfer.

f(x) DDocker

Docker is computer program designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications. Containers allow a developer to package up an application including libraries, and ship it all out as a package.
As the name suggests, Decentralized Docker is an open platform for developers to build, ship and run distributed applications. Developers will be able to store, deploy and run their codes remote in different locations and the codes are secure in a decentralized way.

XPhone

Beyond crypto: First true blockchain phone that is secured and decentralized to the core
XPhone is the world’s first blockchain phone which is designed with innovative features that are not found on other smartphones.
Powered by Function X, an ecosystem built entirely on and for the blockchain, XPhone runs on a new transmission protocol for the blockchain age. The innovation significantly expands the use of blockchain technology beyond financial transfers.
Unlike traditional phones which require a centralized service provider, XPhone runs independently without the need for that. Users can route phone calls and messages via blockchain nodes without the need for phone numbers.
Once the XPhone is registered on the network, for e.g., by a user named Pitt, if someone wants to access Pitt’s publicly shared data or content, that user can just enter FXTP://xxx.Pitt. This is similar to what we do for the traditional https:// protocol.
Whether Pitt is sharing photos, data, files or a website, they can be accessed through this path. And if Pitt’s friends would like to contact him, they can call, text or email his XPhone simply by entering “call.pitt”, “message.pitt”, or “mail.pitt”.
The transmission of data runs on a complex exchange of public and private key data with encryption. It can guarantee communication without interception and gives users direct access to the data shared by others. Any information that is sent or transacted over the Function X Blockchain will also be recorded on the chain.
Toggle between now and the future
Blockchain-based calling and messaging can be toggled on and off on the phone operating system which is built on Android 9.0. XPhone users can enjoy all the blockchain has to offer, as well as the traditional functionalities of an Android smartphone.
We’ll be sharing more about the availability of the XPhone and further applications of Function X in the near future.

DApps

DApps for mass adoption
So far the use of decentralized applications has been disappointing. But what if there was a straightforward way to bring popular, existing apps into a decentralized environment, without rebuilding everything? Until now, much of what we call peer-to-peer or ‘decentralized’ services continue to be built on centralized networks. We set out to change that with Function X; to disperse content now stored in the hands of the few, and to evolve services currently controlled by central parties.
Use Cases: Sharing economy
As seen from our ride-hailing DApp example that was demonstrated in New York back in November 2018, moving towards true decentralization empowers the providers of services and not the intermediaries. In the same way, the XPhone returns power to users over how their data is being shared and with whom. Function X will empower content creators to determine how their work is being displayed and used.
Use Cases: Free naming
One of the earliest alternative cryptocurrencies, Namecoin, wanted to use a blockchain to provide a name registration system, where users can register their names to create a unique identity. It is similar to the DNS system mapping to IP addresses. With the Node Name System (NNS) it is now possible to do this on the blockchain.
NNS is a distributed version of the traditional Domain Name System. A NNS allows every piece of Function X hardware, including the XPhone, to have a unique identifier that can be named anything with digits and numbers, such as ‘JohnDoe2018’ or ‘AliceBob’.
Use Cases: Mobile data currency
According to a study, mobile operator data revenues are estimated at over $600 billion USD by 2020, equivalent to $50 billion USD per month [appendix]. Assuming users are able to use services such as blockchain calls provided by XPhone (or other phones using Function X) the savings will be immense and the gain from profit can be passed on to providers such as DApp developers in Function X. In other words, instead of paying hefty bills to a mobile carrier for voice calls, users can pay less by making blockchain calls, and the fees paid are in f(x) coins. More importantly users will have complete privacy over their calls.
Use Cases: Decentralized file storage
Ethereum contracts claim to allow for the development of a decentralized file storage ecosystem, “where individual users can earn small quantities of money by renting out their own hard drives and unused space can be used to further drive down the costs of file storage.” However, they do not necessarily have the hardware to back this up. With the deployment of XPOS, smart hardware nodes and more, Function X is a natural fit for Decentralized File Storage. In fact, it is basically what f(x) IPFS is built for.
These are just four examples of the many use cases purported, and there can, will and should be more practical applications beyond these; we are right in the middle of uncharted territories.

Tokenomics

Decentralized and autonomous
The f(x) ecosystem is fully decentralized. It’s designed and built to run autonomously in perpetuity without the reliance or supervision of any individual or organization. To support this autonomous structure, f(x) Coin which is the underlying ‘currency’ within the f(x) ecosystem has to be decentralized in terms of its distribution, allocation, control, circulation and the way it’s being generated.
To get the structure of f(x) properly set up, the founding team will initially act as ‘initiators’ and ‘guardians’ of the ecosystem. The role of the team will be similar to being a gatekeeper to prevent any bad actors or stakeholders playing foul. At the same time, the team will facilitate good players to grow within the ecosystem. Once the f(x) ecosystem is up and running, the role of the founding team will be irrelevant and phased out. The long term intention of the team is to step away, allowing the ecosystem to run and flourish by itself.

Utility

In this section, we will explore the utility of the f(x) Coin. f(x) Coin is the native ‘currency’ of the Function X blockchain and ecosystem. All services rendered in the ecosystem will be processed, transacted with, or “fueled” by the f(x) Coin. Some of the proposed use cases include:
  • For service providers: Getting paid by developers, companies and consumers for providing storage nodes, DDocker and improvement of network connections. The role of service providers will be described in greater detail in the rest of the paper.
  • For consumers: Paying for service fees for the DApps, nodes, network resources, storage solutions and other services consumed within the f(x) ecosystem.
  • For developers: Paying for services and resources rendered in the ecosystem such as smart contract creation, file storage (paid to IPFS service provider), code hosting (paid to DDocker service provider), advertisements (paid to other developers) and design works. Developers can also get paid by enterprises or organizations that engaged in the developer’s services.
  • For enterprises or organizations: Paying for services provided by developers and advertisers. Services provided to consumers will be charged and denominated in f(x) Coin.
  • For phone and hardware manufacturers: Paying for further Function X OS customizations. It is worth noting that Pundi X Labs plan to only build a few thousand devices of the XPhone flagship handsets, and leave the subsequent market supply to be filled by third-party manufacturers using our operating system.
  • For financial institutions: receiving payments for financial services rendered in the ecosystem.
  • Applications requiring high throughput.
Hence f(x) Coin can be used as ‘currency’ for the below services,
  • In-app purchases
  • Blockchain calls
  • Smart contract creations
  • Transaction fees
  • Advertisements
  • Hosting fees
  • Borderless/cross-border transactions
We believe f(x) Coin utilization will be invariably higher than other coins in traditional chains due to the breadth of the f(x) ecosystem. This includes storage services and network resources on f(x) that will utilize the f(x) Coin as “fuel” for execution and validation of transactions.
Example 1: A developer creates a ride-hailing DApp called DUber.
DUber developer first uploads the image and data to IPFS (storage) and code to DDocker, respectively. The developer then pays for a decentralized code hosting service provided by the DDocker, and a decentralized file hosting service provided by the IPFS. Please note the storage hosting and code hosting services can be provided by a company, or by a savvy home user with smart nodes connected to the Function X ecosystem. Subsequently, a DUber user pays the developer.
Example 2: User Alice sends an imaginary token called ABCToken to Bob.
ABCToken is created using Function X smart contract. Smart nodes hosted at the home of Charlie help confirms the transaction, Charlie is paid by Alice (or both Alice and Bob).

The flow of f(x) Coin

Four main participants in f(x): Consumer (blue), Developer (blue), Infrastructure (blue), and Financial Service Provider (green)
Broadly speaking, there can be four main participants in the f(x) ecosystem, exhibited by the diagram above:
  • Consumer: Users enjoy the decentralized services available in the f(x) ecosystem
  • Infrastructure Service Provider: Providing infrastructures that make up the f(x) ecosystem such as those provided by mobile carriers, decentralized clouds services.
  • Developer: Building DApp on the f(x) network such as decentralized IT, hospitality and financial services apps.
  • Financial Service Provider: Providing liquidity for the f(x) Coin acting as an exchange.
The f(x) ecosystem’s value proposition:
  • Infrastructure service providers can offer similar services that they already are providing in other markets such as FXTP, DDocker and IPFS, to earn f(x) Coin.
  • Developers can modify their existing Android apps to be compatible with the f(x) OS environment effortlessly, and potentially earn f(x) Coin.
  • Developers, at the same time, also pay for the infrastructure services used for app creation.
  • Consumers immerse in the decentralized app environments and pay for services used in f(x) Coin.
  • Developer and infrastructure service providers can earn rewards in f(x) Coin by providing their services. They can also monetize it through a wide network of financial service providers to earn some profit, should they decide to do so.
Together, the four participants in this ecosystem will create a positive value flow. As the number of service providers grow, the quality of service will be enhanced, subsequently leading to more adoption. Similarly, more consumers means more value is added to the ecosystem by attracting more service providers,and creating f(x) Coin liquidity. Deep liquidity of f(x) Coin will attract more financial service providers to enhance the stability and quality of liquidity. This will attract more service providers to the ecosystem.
Figure: four main participants of the ecosystem The rationale behind f(x) Coin generation is the Proof of Service concept (PoS)
Service providers are crucial in the whole f(x) Ecosystem, the problem of motivation/facilitation has become our priority. We have to align our interests with theirs. Hence, we have set up a Tipping Jar (similar to mining) to motivate and facilitate the existing miners shift to the f(x) Ecosystem and become part of the infrastructure service provider or attract new players into our ecosystem. Income for service provider = Service fee (from payer) + Tipping (from f(x) network generation)
The idea is that the f(x) blockchain will generate a certain amount of f(x) Coin (diminishing annually) per second to different segments of service provider, such as in the 1st year, the f(x) blockchain will generate 3.5 f(x) Coin per second and it will be distributed among the infrastructure service provider through the Proof of Service concept. Every service provider such as infrastructure service providers, developers and financial service providers will receive a ‘certificate’ of Proof of Service in the blockchain after providing the service and redeeming the f(x) Coin.
Example: There are 3 IPFS providers in the market, and the total Tipping Jar for that specific period is 1 million f(x) Coin. Party A contributes 1 TB; Party B contributes 3 TB and Party C contributes 6 TB. So, Party A will earn 1/10 * 1 million = 100k f(x) Coin; Party B will earn 3/10 * 1 million = 300k f(x) Coin. Party C will earn 6/10 * 1 million = 600k f(x) Coin.
Note: The computation method of the distribution of the Tipping Jar might vary due to the differences in the nature of the service, period and party.
Figure: Circulation flow of f(x) Coin
The theory behind the computation.
Blockchain has integrated almost everything, such as storage, scripts, nodes and communication. This requires a large amount of bandwidth and computation resources which affects the transaction speed and concurrency metric.
In order to do achieve the goal of being scalable with high transaction speed, the f(x) blockchain has shifted out all the ‘bulky’ and ‘heavy duty’ functions onto other service providers, such as IPFS, FXTP, etc. We leave alone what blockchain technology does best: Calibration. Thus, the role of the Tipping Jar is to distribute the appropriate tokens to all participants.
Projected f(x) Coin distribution per second in the first year
According to Moore’s Law, the number of transistors in a densely integrated circuit doubles about every 18 -24 months. Thus, the performance of hardware doubles every 18-24 months. Taking into consideration Moore’s Law, Eric Schmidt said if you maintain the same hardware specs, the earnings will be cut in half after 18-24 months. Therefore, the normal Tipping Jar (reward) for an infrastructure service provider will decrease 50% every 18 months. In order to encourage infrastructure service providers to upgrade their hardware, we have set up another iteration and innovation contribution pool (which is worth of 50% of the normal Tipping Jar on the corresponding phase) to encourage the infrastructure service provider to embrace new technology.
According to the Andy-Bill’s law, “What Andy gives, Bill takes away”; software will always nibble away the extra performance of the hardware. The more performance a piece of hardware delivers, the more the software consumes. Thus, the developer will always follow the trend to maintain and provide high-quality service. The Tipping Jar will increase by 50% (based upon the previous quota) every 18 months.
Financial service providers will have to support the liquidation of the whole ecosystem along the journey, the Tipping Jar (FaaS) will increase by 50% by recognizing the contribution and encouraging innovation.
From the 13th year (9th phase), the Tipping Jar will reduce by 50% every 18 months. We are well aware that the “cliff drop” after the 12th year is significant. Hence, we have created a 3year (two-phase) diminishing transition period. The duration of each phase is 18 months. There are 10 phases in total which will last for a total of 15 years.
According to Gartner’s report, the blockchain industry is forecast to reach a market cap of
3.1 trillion USD in 2030. Hence, we believe a Tipping Jar of 15 years will allow the growth of Function X into the “mature life cycle” of the blockchain industry.

f(x) Coin / Token Allocation

Token allocation We believe great blockchain projects attempt to equitably balance the interests of different segments of the community. We hope to motivate and incentivize token holders by allocating a total of 65% of tokens from the Token Generation Event (TGE). Another 20% is allocated to the Ecosystem Genesis Fund for developer partnerships, exchanges and other such related purposes. The remaining 15% will go to engineering, product development and marketing. There will be no public or private sales for f(x) tokens.
NPXS / NPXSXEM is used to make crypto payments as easy as buying bottled water, while f(x) is used for the operation of a decentralized ecosystem and blockchain, consisting of DApps and other services. NPXS / NPXSXEM will continue to have the same functionality and purpose after the migration to the Function X blockchain in the future. Therefore, each token will be expected to assume different fundamental roles and grant different rights to the holders.
https://preview.redd.it/xohy6c6pprv21.png?width=509&format=png&auto=webp&s=a2c0bd0034805c5f055c3fea4bd3ba48eb59ff07
65% of allocation for NPXS / NPXSXEM holders is broken down into the following: 15% is used for staking (see below) 45% is used for conversion to f(x) tokens. (see below) 5% is used for extra bonus tasks over 12 months (allocation TBD).

https://preview.redd.it/6jmpfhmxprv21.png?width=481&format=png&auto=webp&s=c9eb2c124e0181c0851b7495028a317b5c9cd6b7
https://preview.redd.it/1pjcycv0qrv21.png?width=478&format=png&auto=webp&s=c529d5d99d760281efd0c3229edac494d5ed7750
Remarks All NPXS / NPXSXEM tokens that are converted will be removed from the total supply of NPXS / NPXSXEM; Pundi X will not convert company's NPXS for f(x) Tokens. This allocation is designed for NPXS/NPXSXEM long term holders. NPXS / NPXSXEM tokens that are converted will also be entitled to the 15% f(x) Token distribution right after the conversion.

Usage

Management of the Ecosystem Genesis Fund (EGF)
The purpose of setting up the Ecosystem Initialization Fund, is to motivate, encourage and facilitate service providers to join and root into the f(x) Ecosystem and, at the same time, to attract seed consumers to enrich and enlarge the f(x) Ecosystem. EIF comes from funds raised and will be used as a bootstrap mechanism to encourage adoption before the Tipping Jar incentives fully kicks in.
The EGF is divided into 5 parts:
  1. Consumer (10%): To attract consumers and enlarge the customer base;
  2. Developer (20%): To encourage developers to create DApps on the f(x) blockchain;
  3. Infrastructure Service Provider (20%): To set up or shift to the f(x) infrastructure;
  4. Financial Service Provider (20%): To create a trading platform for f(x) Coin and increase liquidity; and
  5. Emergency bridge reserve (30%): To facilitate or help the stakeholders in f(x) during extreme market condition
To implement the spirit of decentralization and fairness, the EGF will be managed by a consensus-based committee, called the f(x) Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Summary

Time moves fast in the technology world and even faster in the blockchain space. Pundi X’s journey started in October 2017, slightly over a year ago, and we have been operating at a lightning pace ever since, making progress that can only be measured in leaps and bounds. We started as a blockchain payment solution provider and have evolved into a blockchain service provider to make blockchain technology more accessible to the general public, thereby improving your everyday life.
The creation of Function X was driven by the need to create a better suited platform for our blockchain point-of sale network and through that process, the capabilities of Function X have allowed us to extend blockchain usage beyond finance applications like payment solutions and cryptocurrency.
The complete decentralized ecosystem of Function X will change and benefit organizations, developers, governments and most importantly, society as a whole.
The XPhone prototype which we have created is just the start to give everyone a taste of the power of Function X on how you can benefit from a truly decentralized environment. We envision a future where the XPOS, XPhone and other Function X-enabled devices work hand-in-hand to make the decentralized autonomous ecosystem a reality.
You may wonder how are we able to create such an extensive ecosystem within a short span of time? We are fortunate that in today’s open source and sharing economy, we are able to tap onto the already established protocols (such as Consensus algorithm, FXTP, etc), software (like Android, IPFS, PBFT, Dockers, etc.) and hardware (design knowledge from existing experts) which were developed by selfless generous creators. Function X puts together, aggregates and streamlines all the benefits and good of these different elements and make them work better and seamlessly on the blockchain. And we will pay it forward by making Function X as open and as decentralized as possible so that others may also use Function X to create bigger and better projects.
To bring Function X to full fruition, we will continue to operate in a transparent and collaborative way. Our community will continue to be a key pillar for us and be even more vital as we get Function X up and running. As a community member, you will have an early access to the Function X ecosystem through the f(x) token conversion.
We hope you continue to show your support as we are working hard to disrupt the space and re-engineer this decentralized world.

Reference

Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance
http://pmg.csail.mit.edu/papers/osdi99.pdf
Byzantine General Problem technical paper
https://web.archive.org/web/20170205142845/http://lamport.azurewebsites.net/pubs/byz.pdf
Global mobile data revenues to reach $630 billion by 2020
https://www.parksassociates.com/blog/article/pr-07112016
NPXSXEM token supply
https://medium.com/pundix/a-closer-look-at-npxsxem-token-supply-843598d0e7b6
NPXS circulating token supply and strategic purchaser
https://medium.com/pundix/total-token-supply-and-strategic-investors-b41717021583
[total supply might differ from time to time due to token taken out of total supply aka “burn”]
ELC: SpaceX lessons learned (PBFT mentioned) https://lwn.net/Articles/540368/

Full: https://functionx.io/assets/file/Function_X_Concept_Paper_v2.0.pdf
submitted by crypt0hodl1 to PundiX [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – August 2018

Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link) to see all the links.

Development

dcrd: Version 1.3.0 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is out! The main features of this release are significant performance improvements, including some that benefit SPV clients. Full release notes and downloads are on GitHub.
The default minimum transaction fee rate was reduced from 0.001 to 0.0001 DCkB. Do not try to send such small fee transactions just yet, until the majority of the network upgrades.
Release process was changed to use release branches and bump version on the master branch at the beginning of a release cycle. Discussed in this chat.
The codebase is ready for the new Go 1.11 version. Migration to vgo module system is complete and the 1.4.0 release will be built using modules. The list of versioned modules and a hierarchy diagram are available here.
The testnet was reset and bumped to version 3.
Comments are welcome for the proposal to implement smart fee estimation, which is important for Lightning Network.
@matheusd recorded a code review video for new Decred developers that explains how tickets are selected for voting.
dcrwallet: Version 1.3.0 RC1 features new SPV sync mode, new ticket buyer, new APIs for Decrediton and a host of bug fixes. On the dev side, dcrwallet also migrated to the new module system.
Decrediton: Version 1.3.0 RC1 adds the new SPV sync mode that syncs roughly 5x faster. The feature is off by default while it receives more testing from experienced users. Other notable changes include a design polish and experimental Politeia integration.
Politeia: Proposal editing is being developed and has a short demo. This will allow proposal owners to edit their proposal in response to community feedback before voting begins. The challenges associated with this feature relate to updating censorship tokens and maintaining a clear history of which version comments were made on. @fernandoabolafio produced this architecture diagram which may be of interest to developers.
@degeri joined to perform security testing of Politeia and found several issues.
dcrdata: mainnet explorer upgraded to v2.1 with several new features. For users: credit/debit tx filter on address page, showing miner fees on coinbase transaction page, estimate yearly ticket rewards on main page, cool new hamburger menu and keyboard navigation. For developers: new chain parameters page, experimental Insight API support, endpoints for coin supply and block rewards, testnet3 support. Lots of minor API changes and frontend tweaks, many bug fixes and robustness improvements.
The upcoming v3.0 entered beta and is deployed on beta.dcrdata.org. Check out the new charts page. Feedback and bug reports are appreciated. Finally, the development version v3.1.0-pre is on alpha.dcrdata.org.
Android: updated to be compatible with the latest SPV code and is syncing, several performance issues are worked on. Details were posted in chat. Alpha testing has started, to participate please join #dev and ask for the APK.
iOS: backend is mostly complete, as well as the front end. Support for devices with smaller screens was improved. What works now: creating and recovering wallets, listing of transactions, receiving DCR, displaying and scanning QR codes, browsing account information, SPV connection to peers, downloading headers. Some bugs need fixing before making testable builds.
Ticket splitting: v0.6.0 beta released with improved fee calculation and multiple bug fixes.
docs: introduced new Governance section that grouped some old articles as well as the new Politeia page.
@Richard-Red created a concept repository sandbox with policy documents, to illustrate the kind of policies that could be approved and amended by Politeia proposals.
decred.org: 8 contributors added and 4 removed, including 2 advisors (discussion here).
decredmarketcap.com is a brand new website that shows the most accurate DCR market data. Clean design, mobile friendly, no javascript required.
Dev activity stats for August: 239 active PRs, 219 commits, 25k added and 11k deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.

ASICs

Obelisk posted 3 email updates in August. DCR1 units are reportedly shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design.
Innosilicon announced the new D9+ DecredMaster: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15.
FFMiner DS19 claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299. Shipping Aug 20-25.
Another newly noticed miner offer is this unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR (which has now a page on asicminervalue).

Integrations

www.d1pool.com joined the list of stakepools for a total of 16.
Australian CoinTree added DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports.
Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges page at decred.org.
Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?

Adoption

Merchants:

Marketing

Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here.
Contribution to the @decredproject Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub)

Events

Attended:
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning)
The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)

Media

Decred Assembly episode 21 is available. @jy-p and lead dcrwallet developer @jrick discussed SPV from Satoshi's whitepaper, how it can be improved upon and what's coming in Decred.
Decred Assembly episodes 1-21 are available in audio only format here.
New instructional articles on stakey.club: Decrediton setup, Deleting the wallet, Installing Go, Installing dcrd, dcrd as a Linux service. Available in both English and Portuguese.
Decred scored #32 in the August issue of Chinese CCID ratings. The evaluation model was explained in this interview.
Satis Group rated Decred highly in their cryptoasset valuation research report (PDF). This was featured by several large media outlets, but some did not link to or omitted Decred entirely, citing low market cap.
Featured articles:
Articles:
Videos:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems news:
After another debate about chat systems more people began testing and using Matrix, leading to some gardening on that platform:
Highlights:
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons; ecosystem fund; a thread about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable is the Obelisk DCR1.
Chats: cross-chain trading via LN; plans for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring dev activity; what if the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system in Go; security of allowing Android app backups; why PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts about NIPoPoWs and SPV; prerequisites for shipping SPV by default (continued); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses, spending other people's money; why Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued); overview of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes in vgo; why project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations and multilingual environment.
An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading.

Markets

DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery.
@ImacallyouJawdy posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.

Relevant External

StopAndDecrypt published an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs.
The ongoing debates about the possible Sia fork yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky to have the treasury.
Mark B Lundeberg, who found a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue)
Medium took a cautious stance on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate to Ghost (that same project previously migrated away from Slack).
Regulation: Vietnam bans mining equipment imports, China halts crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups.
Reddit was hacked by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement explains the impact. Yet another data breach suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems.
Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins.
Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com.

About This Issue

This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack.
Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
submitted by jet_user to decred [link] [comments]

Understanding Crypto Mining | And perhaps a way to mitigate its impact on the PC gaming ecosystem

EDIT: Per the moderation staff, I'm adding in to the header what I'm using to make it easier for prospective miners.
  1. Go to https://www.nicehash.com/
  2. Create a login
  3. Download their software and run it (this used to be "????")
  4. Profit
Once you reach 0.002 BTC (about 7-10 days on my GTX 1060 + i7-7700k), you can transfer your earnings to Coinbase for free, and cash out. CB does have fees for conversion to Fiat (cash) and your percentage goes down with higher amounts. So don't cash out just because you can. Cash out when you have enough to buy something.
Also a note on taxes. I'm going to keep this simple.
Hi folks. I just want to thank those of you in advance who trudge through this post. It's going to be long. I will try to have a TLDR at the end, so just scroll down for the bolded text if you want Cliff's Notes.
Disclaimer: I'm a miner, sort of. I casually mine when I sleep/work, using my existing PC. It doesn't make much. I don't buy hardware for mining. But, I still wanted to post this disclaimer in the interest of fairness.
As we all know, cryptocurrency mining has had a devastating impact on the PC gaming ecosystem. The demand for GPUs for mining has lead to scarce availability and sky high prices for relevant hardware. But even hardware that is less desirable for mining relative to their peers (GTX 1050ti, 1080) has been impacted. Why? Because when gamers can't get the 1060 or 1070 that they desire, they gravitate en masse towards something that their finances will allow them to settle for.
But for all that we know about mining, there's still a LOT of myth and misinformation out there. And I blame this on the bigger miners themselves. They have a few tactics they're using to discourage competition. Now, why would they do this? Simply put, the more coins are mined, the harder the algorithms get. That means the same hardware mines a lower rate of cryptocurrency over time. If the mining rates were to get too low before new hardware (Volta/Navi) could be released, it would cause a massive depression in the cryptocurrency market. Most hardware would become unprofitable, and used GPUs would flood the market. Miners want to retain profitability on current hardware until the next generation hardware is out.
So, what tactics are they engaging in? Silence and manipulation. On the former, the bigger miners don't usually participate and contribute to the community (there are exceptions, and they are greatly appreciated). They're sponges, taking whatever the community provides without returning much to the community. On the latter, they post here, in this very sub occasionally. And they continue to push certain types of myth/misinformation to discourage other users from mining.
And why, of all people, would you discourage gamers from mining? It's because of the competition point mentioned above. If a massive number of gamers entered the cryptocurrency mining market, it could trigger a mining apocalypse. There's an estimated 3-4 million current-gen GPUs being used in 24/7 mining operations by dedicated miners. Now, how many current-gen GPUs are used by gamers? I'd bet at least an equal amount. But what about Maxwell and Kepler? Or all those GCN-based GPUs up through Fiji? Bottom line is that when you factor in all available profitable GPUs, gamers drastically outnumber dedicated miners (yes, Kepler and GCN 1.0 are still profitable, barely). And if a large number of those users started casually mining as I am, the following would occur:
  • difficulty would increase, lower output (profitability) for everyone involved
  • Coin creation would initially accelerate, and with no massive change to the market cap, that means per-coin value drops
  • when you factor in slower coin generation for individual miners, coupled with lower coin value, you get...
  • ROI length increase on GPUs, depressing their values, which would lead to lower prices and higher availability
Oh dear, someone just spilled the beans...
So naturally, misinformation needs to be spread. If dedicated miners can keep the uninformed, well, uninformed, they're less likely to join in. And I've seen variations of the following misinformation spread. Here's the common tropes, and my rebuttal.
Mining on your GPU will cause it to die prematurely.
I really wish we had a Blackblaze-equivalent for GPUs used in data centers. NOTHING punishes a GPU like full-time use in a data center. Not mining, not gaming, and not prosumer usage. And these companies pay thousands per GPU. Clearly, they're getting solid ROI for their use.
But let's talk about mining specifically. For my GTX 1060, I limit power to 80% (96W). Fan speed is at a constant 40% (that's in the same ballpark as your blower-style GPU in desktop usage). Temperature is a constant 75°C. That's gentle. Gaming hurts it more (start/stop on the fan, varying temps, quick rise at the start and fall at the end, varying loads, etc.).
And if GPUs did prematurely die from mining? One miner insisted that I'd never see an ROI on my 1060 (which cost me $240) because it would die before I could earn that amount. Yea, GPUs routinely die before hitting their ROI. That's why miners are buying $200 GPUs today for $500, or $400 GPUs today for $900. Because they don't generate enough to cover their MSRP, let alone their current gouged prices. /s
Common sense would dictate that miners are profitable, or they wouldn't mine. Therefore, GPUs are not dying prematurely. So, don't fall for this one. And yes, I've seen those photos of the 20-card Sapphire RMA. Mining data centers have THOUSANDS of cards. Just do an image search for a GPU mining farm. This is well within typical acceptable defect rates.
Power costs are too high for mining to be profitable.
Warning! Danger Will Robinson! Math ahead!
Where I live, electricity ranges from 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kw/hr), to 10.1 cents per kw/hr. Let's round to 10 cents. Power measured at the wall from my surge protector, while mining, shows just under 200W. (That's includes my tower, monitor, speakers, a dedicated NAS, a router, and PSU inefficiency). That also includes mining on both CPU and GPU.
At 200W per hour, that's 5 hours to hit 1kw/hr. That's 5kw/hr per 25 hours, so let's call it 5kw/hr per day. That is $0.50 per day total from that outlet (and most of this stuff would be running anyway). That's not even "over my existing costs," that's just out the door.
Bottom line is that electricity is cheap in many areas. The USA national average is currently ~12 cents per kw/hr (RIP Hawaii, at 33 cents). For most of the developed world, power costs are not prohibitive. Don't fall for this. If unsure, check your rates on your bill, and ask someone who can do math if you can't.
Casually mining isn't profitable
There's a big difference between "profit" and "getting rich." I have no expectations of the latter happening from what I'm doing. But "profit" is very much real. It's not power costs that derail profitability. It's all of the hidden fees. Many mining programs take a cut of your output. And then a cut to transfer to a wallet. And then there's a fee to transfer to an exchange. Oh, did you want to then convert to cash? We can...for a fee!
The trick is in finding outlets that allow you to minimize fees. I give up 2% of my output, transfer to my wallet for free, can transfer to an exchange for free, and don't plan to cash out every time I meet the minimum threshold (higher fees!). I instead plan to cash out at extended set intervals to minimize those fees.
NOTE: I am deliberately not listing the provider(s) that I use, because I don't want to be accused of being associated with them and/or driving business to them. I want this post to be about the big picture. But I will answer questions in the comments, provided the moderation staff here has no objections.
Bottom line is that with a mid-range GPU like mine, and without the benefit of CPU mining (it's just not worth it without a modern Core i7, or Ryzen 5/7), my GPU alone could make me ~$60-$75/mo in profit at current rates. Think of how many months/years you go between upgrades. Now, do the math. Needless to say, I'm now regretting not going bigger up front :)
It's too complicated for a casual miner, so don't bother
The old "go big or go home" saying, and it sort of piggy backs off the last one. And there is some truth in this. If you're going to be a big-time miner, you need mining programs (often dedicated to each algorithm and/or currency), multiple wallets, access to multiple exchanges, etc. It's daunting.
But for the casual, you don't need that. There are multiple providers who offer you a one-stop-shop. I have one login right now. That login gives me my mining software, which switches between multiple algorithms/coins, gives me a wallet, and lets me transfer to an outside wallet/exchange. My second login will be the exchange (something that lets me convert my currency to local cash) when my balance justifies it. Given the recent Robin Hood announcement, I'm biding my time to see what happens. This space is getting competitive (lower fees).
Bottom line, it's easier now than it ever was before. As I told someone else, "Once I finally started, I wanted to kick my own ass for waiting so long."
New GPUs are expensive, but if you just wait, there will be a buttload of cheap, used GPUs for you!
Miners learned from the last crash. There were two types of miners in that crash: those who sold their GPUs at a loss, and those who kept mining and made out like bandits on the upswing. Turns out, cryptocurrency really does mimic the stock market (for now).
We're going to look at Bitcoin (BTC) to explain this. No, miners don't mine BTC. But, BTC is commonly what most coins are exchanged for (it makes up roughly one third of the entire cryptocurrency market). And it's the easiest currency to convert to cash. So, when BTC rises or falls in price, the rest of the market goes with it. That includes all of the coins that GPU miners are actually mining.
In January 2017, when the current mining push started, BTC was worth roughly $900 per coin. It's now worth roughly (as of this post) $12,000 per coin, down from a December high of over $20,000 per coin. So yea, the market "crashed." It's also more than 12x the value it was a year ago, when miners dove in. You think they're going to bail at 12x the value? Son, I've got news for you. This market needs to truly crash and burn for them to bail (and that's where you come in!).
So, there's not going to be a flood of used GPUs from a sudden market crash. Again, they've learned from that mistake. Used GPUs will enter the market when they are no longer profitable for mining, and not before. Dedicated miners have lots of room for expansion. When Volta comes out, they're not selling their Pascal GPUs. They're building new Volta mining rigs alongside the Pascal ones, making money off each of them.
Conclusion/TLDR:
  • Mining is subject to diminishing returns. It gets harder over time on the same hardware.
  • PC gamers joining the market en masse could trigger an apocalypse in terms of difficulty
  • Due to this, it benefits pro miners to spread misinformation to discourage gamers from entering the mining game
  • Casually mining on your existing system is safe, easy, could help you pay for your next upgrade(s), and could also hurt the mining market in general (better availability/pricing on GPUs)
  • No, there's no flood of used Pascal/Polaris/Vega GPUs around the corner, as those are HIGHLY profitable even in a depressed market
Second Conclusion - Why do I (jaykresge) personally care?
Simply put, I'm disgusted by this. I was excited about flipping a few friends from consoles to PC gaming. I'm now seeing a reverse trend. One friend is gaming on an RX 560 waiting for prices to hit sanity. He's running out of patience. Others have bailed.
I view our dormant GPUs as the best weapon against cryptocurrency mining. Destroy it from the inside. It's win-win for most of us. Either we earn enough for more upgrades, or we depress pricing. Something's got to give.
In other words, y'all f*ckers better start mining, because I want Volta to be reasonably priced when it launches so I can get an EVGA x80 Hybrid to go with a G-Sync monitor. And if this doesn't happen, I'm going to be cranky!
Seriously though, thanks for reading. Bear with me as I go over this a few more times for typing/grammar. And I look forward to your comments.
submitted by jaykresge to hardware [link] [comments]

Understanding Crypto Mining | And perhaps a way to mitigate its impact on the PC gaming ecosystem

This is a crosspost from /hardware, but I will be editing this independently based on community feedback and guidelines. Prior to posting here, I reached out to your local mod staff to ensure that I wasn't stepping on any toes, given the nature of its content. I hope you find this useful.
Hi folks. I just want to thank those of you in advance who trudge through this post. It's going to be long. I will try to have a TLDR at the end, so just scroll down for the bolded text if you want Cliff's Notes.
Disclaimer: I'm a miner, sort of. I casually mine when I sleep/work, using my existing PC. It doesn't make much. I don't buy hardware for mining. But, I still wanted to post this disclaimer in the interest of fairness.
As we all know, cryptocurrency mining has had a devastating impact on the PC gaming ecosystem. The demand for GPUs for mining has lead to scarce availability and sky high prices for relevant hardware. But even hardware that is less desirable for mining relative to their peers (GTX 1050ti, 1080) has been impacted. Why? Because when gamers can't get the 1060 or 1070 that they desire, they gravitate en masse towards something that their finances will allow them to settle for.
But for all that we know about mining, there's still a LOT of myth and misinformation out there. And I blame this on the bigger miners themselves. They have a few tactics they're using to discourage competition. Now, why would they do this? Simply put, the more coins are mined, the harder the algorithms get. That means the same hardware mines a lower rate of cryptocurrency over time. If the mining rates were to get too low before new hardware (Volta/Navi) could be released, it would cause a massive depression in the cryptocurrency market. Most hardware would become unprofitable, and used GPUs would flood the market. Miners want to retain profitability on current hardware until the next generation hardware is out.
So, what tactics are they engaging in? Silence and manipulation. On the former, the bigger miners don't usually participate and contribute to the community (there are exceptions, and they are greatly appreciated). They're sponges, taking whatever the community provides without returning much to the community. On the latter, they post here, in this very sub occasionally. And they continue to push certain types of myth/misinformation to discourage other users from mining.
And why, of all people, would you discourage gamers from mining? It's because of the competition point mentioned above. If a massive number of gamers entered the cryptocurrency mining market, it could trigger a mining apocalypse. There's an estimated 3-4 million current-gen GPUs being used in 24/7 mining operations by dedicated miners. Now, how many current-gen GPUs are used by gamers? I'd bet at least an equal amount. But what about Maxwell and Kepler? Or all those GCN-based GPUs up through Fiji? Bottom line is that when you factor in all available profitable GPUs, gamers drastically outnumber dedicated miners (yes, Kepler and GCN 1.0 are still profitable, barely). And if a large number of those users started casually mining as I am, the following would occur:
  • difficulty would increase, lower output (profitability) for everyone involved
  • Coin creation would initially accelerate, and with no massive change to the market cap, that means per-coin value drops
  • when you factor in slower coin generation for individual miners, coupled with lower coin value, you get...
  • ROI length increase on GPUs, depressing their values, which would lead to lower prices and higher availability
Oh dear, someone just spilled the beans...
So naturally, misinformation needs to be spread. If dedicated miners can keep the uninformed, well, uninformed, they're less likely to join in. And I've seen variations of the following misinformation spread. Here's the common tropes, and my rebuttal.
Mining on your GPU will cause it to die prematurely.
I really wish we had a Blackblaze-equivalent for GPUs used in data centers. NOTHING punishes a GPU like full-time use in a data center. Not mining, not gaming, and not prosumer usage. And these companies pay thousands per GPU. Clearly, they're getting solid ROI for their use.
But let's talk about mining specifically. For my GTX 1060, I limit power to 80% (96W). Fan speed is at a constant 40% (that's in the same ballpark as your blower-style GPU in desktop usage). Temperature is a constant 75°C. That's gentle. Gaming hurts it more (start/stop on the fan, varying temps, quick rise at the start and fall at the end, varying loads, etc.).
And if GPUs did prematurely die from mining? One miner insisted that I'd never see an ROI on my 1060 (which cost me $240) because it would die before I could earn that amount. Yea, GPUs routinely die before hitting their ROI. That's why miners are buying $200 GPUs today for $500, or $400 GPUs today for $900. Because they don't generate enough to cover their MSRP, let alone their current gouged prices. /s
Common sense would dictate that miners are profitable, or they wouldn't mine. Therefore, GPUs are not dying prematurely. So, don't fall for this one. And yes, I've seen those photos of the 20-card Sapphire RMA. Mining data centers have THOUSANDS of cards. Just do an image search for a GPU mining farm. This is well within typical acceptable defect rates.
Power costs are too high for mining to be profitable.
Warning! Danger Will Robinson! Math ahead!
Where I live, electricity ranges from 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kw/hr), to 10.1 cents per kw/hr. Let's round to 10 cents. Power measured at the wall from my surge protector, while mining, shows just under 200W. (That's includes my tower, monitor, speakers, a dedicated NAS, a router, and PSU inefficiency). That also includes mining on both CPU and GPU.
At 200W per hour, that's 5 hours to hit 1kw/hr. That's 5kw/hr per 25 hours, so let's call it 5kw/hr per day. That is $0.50 per day total from that outlet (and most of this stuff would be running anyway). That's not even "over my existing costs," that's just out the door.
Bottom line is that electricity is cheap in many areas. The USA national average is currently ~12 cents per kw/hr (RIP Hawaii, at 33 cents). For most of the developed world, power costs are not prohibitive. Don't fall for this. If unsure, check your rates on your bill, and ask someone who can do math if you can't.
Casually mining isn't profitable
There's a big difference between "profit" and "getting rich." I have no expectations of the latter happening from what I'm doing. But "profit" is very much real. It's not power costs that derail profitability. It's all of the hidden fees. Many mining programs take a cut of your output. And then a cut to transfer to a wallet. And then there's a fee to transfer to an exchange. Oh, did you want to then convert to cash? We can...for a fee!
The trick is in finding outlets that allow you to minimize fees. I give up 2% of my output, transfer to my wallet for free, can transfer to an exchange for free, and don't plan to cash out every time I meet the minimum threshold (higher fees!). I instead plan to cash out at extended set intervals to minimize those fees.
NOTE: I am deliberately not listing the provider(s) that I use, because I don't want to be accused of being associated with them and/or driving business to them. I want this post to be about the big picture. But I will answer questions in the comments, provided the moderation staff here has no objections.
Bottom line is that with a mid-range GPU like mine, and without the benefit of CPU mining (it's just not worth it without a modern Core i7, or Ryzen 5/7), my GPU alone could make me ~$60-$75/mo in profit at current rates. Think of how many months/years you go between upgrades. Now, do the math. Needless to say, I'm now regretting not going bigger up front :)
It's too complicated for a casual miner, so don't bother
The old "go big or go home" saying, and it sort of piggy backs off the last one. And there is some truth in this. If you're going to be a big-time miner, you need mining programs (often dedicated to each algorithm and/or currency), multiple wallets, access to multiple exchanges, etc. It's daunting.
But for the casual, you don't need that. There are multiple providers who offer you a one-stop-shop. I have one login right now. That login gives me my mining software, which switches between multiple algorithms/coins, gives me a wallet, and lets me transfer to an outside wallet/exchange. My second login will be the exchange (something that lets me convert my currency to local cash) when my balance justifies it. Given the recent Robin Hood announcement, I'm biding my time to see what happens. This space is getting competitive (lower fees).
Bottom line, it's easier now than it ever was before. As I told someone else, "Once I finally started, I wanted to kick my own ass for waiting so long."
New GPUs are expensive, but if you just wait, there will be a buttload of cheap, used GPUs for you!
Miners learned from the last crash. There were two types of miners in that crash: those who sold their GPUs at a loss, and those who kept mining and made out like bandits on the upswing. Turns out, cryptocurrency really does mimic the stock market (for now).
We're going to look at Bitcoin (BTC) to explain this. No, miners don't mine BTC. But, BTC is commonly what most coins are exchanged for (it makes up roughly one third of the entire cryptocurrency market). And it's the easiest currency to convert to cash. So, when BTC rises or falls in price, the rest of the market goes with it. That includes all of the coins that GPU miners are actually mining.
In January 2017, when the current mining push started, BTC was worth roughly $900 per coin. It's now worth roughly (as of this post) $12,000 per coin, down from a December high of over $20,000 per coin. So yea, the market "crashed." It's also more than 12x the value it was a year ago, when miners dove in. You think they're going to bail at 12x the value? Son, I've got news for you. This market needs to truly crash and burn for them to bail (and that's where you come in!).
So, there's not going to be a flood of used GPUs from a sudden market crash. Again, they've learned from that mistake. Used GPUs will enter the market when they are no longer profitable for mining, and not before. Dedicated miners have lots of room for expansion. When Volta comes out, they're not selling their Pascal GPUs. They're building new Volta mining rigs alongside the Pascal ones, making money off each of them.
Conclusion/TLDR:
  • Mining is subject to diminishing returns. It gets harder over time on the same hardware.
  • PC gamers joining the market en masse could trigger an apocalypse in terms of difficulty
  • Due to this, it benefits pro miners to spread misinformation to discourage gamers from entering the mining game
  • Casually mining on your existing system is safe, easy, could help you pay for your next upgrade(s), and could also hurt the mining market in general (better availability/pricing on GPUs)
  • No, there's no flood of used Pascal/Polaris/Vega GPUs around the corner, as those are HIGHLY profitable even in a depressed market
Second Conclusion - Why do I (jaykresge) personally care?
Simply put, I'm disgusted by this. I was excited about flipping a few friends from consoles to PC gaming. I'm now seeing a reverse trend. One friend is gaming on an RX 560 waiting for prices to hit sanity. He's running out of patience. Others have bailed.
I view our dormant GPUs as the best weapon against cryptocurrency mining. Destroy it from the inside. It's win-win for most of us. Either we earn enough for more upgrades, or we depress pricing. Something's got to give.
In other words, y'all f*ckers better start mining, because I want Volta to be reasonably priced when it launches so I can get an EVGA x80 Hybrid to go with a G-Sync monitor. And if this doesn't happen, I'm going to be cranky!
Seriously though, thanks for reading.
submitted by jaykresge to pcgaming [link] [comments]

Decred Journal – September 2018

Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link).

Development

Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures.
dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd.
Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome.
Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules.
Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd.
dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets.
Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue)
Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing.
Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged.
Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing.
A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning.
Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store.
iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.".
Nearest goal is to make the app crash free.
Both mobile apps received new design themes.
dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.".
Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page.
Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One).
Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes.
docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups.
decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet.
@Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories.
Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus!
Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)

Network

Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.

ASICs

Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example.
A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1.
Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.

Integrations

Meet our 17th voting service provider: decredvoting.com. It is operated by @david, has 2% fee and supports ticket splitting. Reddit thread is here.
For a historical note, the first VSP to support ticket splitting was decredbrasil.com:
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks.
Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets.
Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.

Adoption

The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.

Marketing

Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed.
Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)

Events

Attended:
Upcoming:
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)

Media

August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ!
Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit.
September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom.
Videos:
Featured articles:
Articles:

Community Discussions

Community stats:
Comm systems news: Several work channels were migrated to Matrix, #writers_room is finally bridged.
Highlights:
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure.
Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins.
Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels.
#support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)

Markets

In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August.
As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx)
Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.

Relevant External

ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015.
A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use.
A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains.
New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred)
On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange.
Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.".
Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred)
The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights.
A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.

About This Issue

This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack.
Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
submitted by jet_user to decred [link] [comments]

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