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Author Topic: Updated: Community survey for academic paper  (Read 1792 times)
crazyideas21
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April 08, 2015, 12:37:27 AM
Last edit: June 09, 2015, 05:43:45 PM by crazyideas21
 #1

We are a group of crypto-currency researchers from the University of California, San Diego, USA. We are writing an academic paper on the socioeconomic behaviors in the altcoin community.

We would like to invite everyone to participate in a short survey.


(Feel free to fill in both surveys if you are a developer and a miner.)

Your experience with altcoin will be useful toward our research and the community. All responses will be kept confidential and used only for research purposes. The result of the survey will be a part of a scientific publication, in which features that identify specific individuals or altcoins will be removed. It is not our intent to speculate or judge anyone. Our goal is to understand the community in an objective, data-driven way.

In the past few years, we have published papers such as this one on de-anonymizing Bitcoin and another one on bitcoin-mining botnets. Both papers were published at prestigious academic conferences such as IMC and NDSS.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the lead researcher, Danny Y. Huang.

Thank you!

(Edited this post based on feedback from past survey respondents.)
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crazyideas21
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April 08, 2015, 04:47:46 PM
 #2

All questions are optional. We're mainly interested in the cost and revenue of creating a new altcoin, and of mining altcoins.

Please help out. Thanks!
bstymaster
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April 08, 2015, 05:39:31 PM
 #3

I would love to really help you out, however I haven't created an altcoin yet.
But let me do my best anyhow.

the cost can be 0
  - you just change some constants in the bitcoin code (or whatever code you're forking)
  - tons of coins were made like this. some even had some success (sadly!)

the cost can be a few man hours worth of coding
  - change the constants and change the PoW algorithm, with one that exists, but not yet in a coin.
  - tons of these exist, and it's a good idea to have alternatives to SHA2 in the cryptoworld

make an original PoW algorithm.
  - you'd better be a cryptographer though, or else it's probably not going to be secure
  - do any of these exist?


On the other hand, the costs can be quite high if you design a new coin from scratch.
   - nxt
   - ripple
   - CryptoNote
   - What else?
   - costs, revenue? ask them!


But keep in mind, that once you publish the source code you no longer control anything, so the revenue must be from collateral sources.
But unless you are designing a new coin, for forking coins it's a simple matter of advertising costs and returns. marketing, or whatever you want to call it.

So, generally speaking, the revenue will not come from you owning the coin, because you can't do that with free software, but rather from generating this new potential source of revenue.
But keep in mind that other people who haven't invested can exploit it too, and it's their right to do so, being free software.
Daedelus
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April 08, 2015, 05:54:47 PM
 #4

Or launch a coin within Nxt using the Monetary System.

5min and few clicks you can your own crypto (inc optional POW feature). All for a whopping fee of $0.40

@crazyideas21, Nxt has a group that integrated nxt into an economics course at a czech university in Prague. I can give you their details who would be happy to assist, I'm sure.
box0211
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April 08, 2015, 11:36:00 PM
 #5

just launch your own coin with NXT monetary system ... and you can even mine it yourself just to get an idea of how it works. no need to fork bitcoin.
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April 09, 2015, 12:02:56 AM
 #6

We are a group of crypto-currency researchers from the University of California, San Diego, USA. We are interested in the business model of altcoins and the social behaviors that revolve around altcoins.

Very interesting indeed, and great news in itself - academics are certainly welcome and needed in the scene!

I'll fill in the survey and would love to exchange some further thoughts regarding these issues with you.

As a general note, it's quite difficult to define the exact costs of establishing another crypto currency. If we're talking about "just forking" then it's pretty much copy & paste stuff, although even then there is fair amount of work to do anyways - if nothing else, at least all the graphics, sales talk etc.

I see lots of similar issues in crypto currency scene as in open source in general. In a nutshell: lots and lots of great ideas and enthusiasm, combined with equally great technical skills, often lacking in overall coordination, resulting in a familiar scenario of "loads and loads of speed but not always that much direction. Wink I mean this as a general level note; there are of course many exceptions to these rules of thumb when it comes to individual projects and people.

- Jyri
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April 09, 2015, 05:29:20 AM
 #7

We are a group of crypto-currency researchers from the University of California, San Diego, USA. We are interested in the business model of altcoins and the social behaviors that revolve around altcoins.

Very interesting indeed, and great news in itself - academics are certainly welcome and needed in the scene!

I'll fill in the survey and would love to exchange some further thoughts regarding these issues with you.

As a general note, it's quite difficult to define the exact costs of establishing another crypto currency. If we're talking about "just forking" then it's pretty much copy & paste stuff, although even then there is fair amount of work to do anyways - if nothing else, at least all the graphics, sales talk etc.

I see lots of similar issues in crypto currency scene as in open source in general. In a nutshell: lots and lots of great ideas and enthusiasm, combined with equally great technical skills, often lacking in overall coordination, resulting in a familiar scenario of "loads and loads of speed but not always that much direction. Wink I mean this as a general level note; there are of course many exceptions to these rules of thumb when it comes to individual projects and people.

- Jyri
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An interesting model that will have an immediate effect on North America is the "DAO". A decentralized Autonomous Organization.

One of the first DAOs might be The 420 Alliance Joint Force. For more information read here:
http://crypto.care/investment_opportunities/the_420_alliance_joint_force/



crazyideas21
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April 10, 2015, 12:47:14 AM
 #8

As a general note, it's quite difficult to define the exact costs of establishing another crypto currency. If we're talking about "just forking" then it's pretty much copy & paste stuff, although even then there is fair amount of work to do anyways - if nothing else, at least all the graphics, sales talk etc.

the cost can be 0
  - you just change some constants in the bitcoin code (or whatever code you're forking)
  - tons of coins were made like this. some even had some success (sadly!)

You all have raised a good point. The cost of developing a new altcoin may be low, yet to make sure that others would start using it (e.g. mining and trading the coin), the marketing cost can be significant. Our research group is trying to quantify such costs. How much does marketing cost? How many man-hours does it involve?

I'm surprised that most respondents so far say that the revenue from creating altcoins is close to zero. If indeed it costs effort to create and market a new altcoin, a rational altcoin creator would expect to receive some form of revenue in return (in addition to feeling good).

What would be the revenue? And how to generate this revenue? (You can respond to the thread or on the anonymous survey above. Thanks!)

just launch your own coin with NXT monetary system ... and you can even mine it yourself just to get an idea of how it works. no need to fork bitcoin.

Nxt may be a good choice moving forward. Rather, we are interested in a retrospective analysis. For the past two years, there has been a surge in new altcoins that are directly derived from bitcoin or litecoin. While some coins are created to make a better world, others may have a more rational motive. What's their business model? What are their costs and revenues? How do they maximize returns?
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April 10, 2015, 06:48:56 AM
 #9

I'm surprised that most respondents so far say that the revenue from creating altcoins is close to zero. If indeed it costs effort to create and market a new altcoin, a rational altcoin creator would expect to receive some form of revenue in return (in addition to feeling good).

What would be the revenue? And how to generate this revenue? (You can respond to the thread or on the anonymous survey above. Thanks!)

It's not exactly a secret.
1. Premine/ICO/IPO -  if you're in it
just for the money, this is what you do. Over and over.

That said, it is sort of natural way for dev to cover
the costs. Too bad it has been soiled by scammers.

2. Angel investor - if you are really brilliant

3. Buying from the exchange and selling - peanuts, but may
be enough.


“God does not play dice"
altcoin.center
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April 10, 2015, 06:49:19 AM
 #10

The cost of developing a new altcoin may be low, yet to make sure that others would start using it (e.g. mining and trading the coin), the marketing cost can be significant. Our research group is trying to quantify such costs. How much does marketing cost? How many man-hours does it involve?

Exactly. Estimating the value of the used time can be complex or even impossible. Generally speaking, the amount of work is somewhere between "overwhelming" and "nearly impossible". Grin

I'm surprised that most respondents so far say that the revenue from creating altcoins is close to zero. If indeed it costs effort to create and market a new altcoin, a rational altcoin creator would expect to receive some form of revenue in return (in addition to feeling good).

It all comes down to definition of rational. This world tends to emphasize the point of view that only financial gain (direct or indirect) has the built-in potential to make doing something reasonable. However, the scene (not just crypto currency but the whole open source / privacy posse in general) is in most cases much more motivated by not exactly "feeling good" but perhaps "doing good".

What would be the revenue? And how to generate this revenue? (You can respond to the thread or on the anonymous survey above. Thanks!)

For one, the joy of being able to live as a genuinely free human being, free of the fiat money fraud played by the banks.

At the moment, crypto scene is like the wild west in it's wildest: there is so much potential, so many different people with different backgrounds and motivators, that getting a precise picture of it all requires one to drop all assumptions and a deep dive into the murky waters of the geek semi-underground.

Naturally, people do need to live with something. I personally am an entrepreneur who went bankrupt in 2008 and has been more or less broke ever since. I too have used immense amounts of time, energy and resources (bandwidth, CPU and storage capacity etc.) to advance several crypto projects - without any financial gain involved in the equation. On the other hand, I am also working full time to get projects such as the Altcoin.Center CryptoShop (https://cryptoshop.altcoin.center/) take off.

This is just my assumption, but I do think that many crypto currency activists see the currencies as "just money" - i.e. just a tool for exchange, not a means to benefit in itself. In other words, the scene is trying to provide an alternative that would actually do the #1 task money was originally invented for, before the goldsmiths turned it from means to an end.

just launch your own coin with NXT monetary system ... and you can even mine it yourself just to get an idea of how it works. no need to fork bitcoin.

Nxt may be a good choice moving forward. Rather, we are interested in a retrospective analysis. For the past two years, there has been a surge in new altcoins that are directly derived from bitcoin or litecoin. While some coins are created to make a better world, others may have a more rational motive. What's their business model? What are their costs and revenues? How do they maximize returns?
[/quote]

In many cases, the driving force is clearly not financial gain. Therefore, not nearly all coins (or other open source software projects) have a "business model" to them. For many people and especially projects, it's just cool to have your own currency.

If you ask me, I'd say there's plenty of room in this world for crypto currencies. I do not mind the fact that there are so many 99,9% cloned coins. Most of them have no plans to "replace the Bitcoin" but to simply exist in their own niche of this newly born crypto wonder world.

-j.
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April 10, 2015, 10:49:46 AM
 #11

You can respond to the thread or on the anonymous survey above.

The design of the survey needs more work. It asks about altcoin(s) but only offers a response structure appropriate for a single coin.

The survey should also offer more multiple choice questions and fewer open-ended questions, in its present form it's more like a sheet of guidance for writing an essay on altcoin creation and marketing.

Anyway, you already have some answers w.r.t. generation costs via examining the charges and service tradeoffs implicit in the offerings of the various altcoin creation services. As for marketing costs, that rather assumes that marketing is typically part of the mix and even a basic familiarity with the domain will reveal just how shaky the basis for that assumption.

It's usual practice, when inviting people to make the effort of responding, to offer a quid pro quo in the form of a promised published analysis of the survey results, it sort of makes the exercise a bit more worthwhile for your respondents, or at the very least, demonstrates an appreciation of people's generosity with their time.


Cheers

Graham
crazyideas21
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April 13, 2015, 05:30:16 AM
 #12

Anyway, you already have some answers w.r.t. generation costs via examining the charges and service tradeoffs implicit in the offerings of the various altcoin creation services. As for marketing costs, that rather assumes that marketing is typically part of the mix and even a basic familiarity with the domain will reveal just how shaky the basis for that assumption.

Thanks for the feedback, Graham! We will iterate and improve the survey.

And yes, the result of the survey will be a part of a scientific publication, in which features that identify specific individuals or altcoins will be removed. In the past few years, we have published papers such as http://www.cs.ucsd.edu/~snoeren/papers/botcoin-ndss14.pdf and http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~savage/papers/IMC13.pdf.

Many of the popular altcoins that we have observed are hosted on websites that clearly reflect a high level of professionalism. We thus make the assumption that a nontrivial amount of effort was spent on marketing, with the goal of attracting more followers and standing out from the other coins.
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April 14, 2015, 10:07:56 AM
 #13

Don't tell em we make a shitload of money here!
crazyideas21
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April 15, 2015, 05:33:07 AM
Last edit: April 16, 2015, 04:05:26 AM by crazyideas21
 #14

How is this this study to address cryptographic currencies that disenfranchise (at least, effectively) “possession” (e.g., GEC)?

You may have raised an interesting point. To avoid any misunderstanding, however, could you clarify your question first? In particular, what did you mean by "possession"? How can a cryptocurrency "disenfranchise" something?

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April 15, 2015, 04:05:02 PM
 #15

Don't tell em we make a shitload of money here!

As an academic, we are interested in understanding the profitability of altcoins. How much money are you talking about? Revenue? Costs? Feel free to respond via the Google Forms in the first post of the thread. Thanks!
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April 15, 2015, 04:16:11 PM
 #16

Don't tell em we make a shitload of money here!

As an academic, we are interested in understanding the profitability of altcoins. How much money are you talking about?

Wow, we're getting really highbrow here.

“God does not play dice"
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April 15, 2015, 04:56:59 PM
 #17

Don't tell em we make a shitload of money here!

As an academic, we are interested in understanding the profitability of altcoins. How much money are you talking about? Revenue? Costs? Feel free to respond via the Google Forms in the first post of the thread. Thanks!

To clarify, we are aware that there are more than 500 altcoins in the past three or four years. Some try to reinvent the financial market. Some try to generate profit. Some try to do both. Some have other goals.

We are trying to understand the profitability model in an objective and purely academic way. It is not our intent to speculate or judge anyone. Through this survey, we are hoping to gather anecdotal evidence on the mining and creation of altcoins. At the same time, we are conducting analyses on blockchains and exchanges. In a few months, we hope to publish a report, using data from both our analyses and the surveys, and to help the community understand the altcoin scene a little better.
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April 15, 2015, 09:37:58 PM
 #18

To clarify, we are aware that there are more than 500 2000 altcoins in the past three or four years.

See https://minkiz.co/coin/name/ for a tabbed listing and http://github.com/DOACC for an RDF graph.

Cheers

Graham
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May 03, 2015, 01:36:10 PM
 #19

I got your PM, sorry it took so long to reply.

Contact salsacz at Nxt Academy: https://nxtforum.org/nxt-academy/

The project I mentioned integrating Nxt into University of Economics in Prague course is here: https://nxtforum.org/nxt-projects/university-of-economics-in-prague-nxt-project/
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May 05, 2015, 09:02:11 PM
 #20

I got your PM, sorry it took so long to reply.

Contact salsacz at Nxt Academy: https://nxtforum.org/nxt-academy/

The project I mentioned integrating Nxt into University of Economics in Prague course is here: https://nxtforum.org/nxt-projects/university-of-economics-in-prague-nxt-project/


Thank you!
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