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Author Topic: [SKY] Skycoin Launch Announcement  (Read 379697 times)
mladen00
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December 13, 2014, 05:11:27 AM
 #1401

dev, aprox date for IPO/ICO?

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December 13, 2014, 12:42:03 PM
 #1402

For those of us who see massive potential in skycoin, could you please PM me and let me know what other INNOVATIVE projects you're following that are in development and pre-IPO/ICO (e.g. zerocash). I'm only interested in truly innovative projects that solve a problem, not copy and pasted trash. Only an innovative project can serve as a hedge against bitcoin (e.g. potentially monero or skycoin could hedge against a massive and catastrophic failure in the bitcoin protocol).

These are the only currencies I am interested in.

Regards,
Wit
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December 13, 2014, 12:57:56 PM
 #1403

For those of us who see massive potential in skycoin, could you please PM me and let me know what other INNOVATIVE projects you're following that are in development and pre-IPO/ICO (e.g. zerocash). I'm only interested in truly innovative projects that solve a problem, not copy and pasted trash. Only an innovative project can serve as a hedge against bitcoin (e.g. potentially monero or skycoin could hedge against a massive and catastrophic failure in the bitcoin protocol).

These are the only currencies I am interested in.

Regards,
Wit

Im interested too
Emunie? Etherum?

LISK    Develop Decentralized Applications & Sidechains in JavaScript with Lisk!
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December 13, 2014, 02:08:05 PM
 #1404

For those of us who see massive potential in skycoin, could you please PM me and let me know what other INNOVATIVE projects you're following that are in development and pre-IPO/ICO (e.g. zerocash). I'm only interested in truly innovative projects that solve a problem, not copy and pasted trash. Only an innovative project can serve as a hedge against bitcoin (e.g. potentially monero or skycoin could hedge against a massive and catastrophic failure in the bitcoin protocol).

These are the only currencies I am interested in.

Regards,
Wit

Im interested too
Emunie? Etherum?

Exaclty. I would add here the SuperNET project as well.
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December 13, 2014, 02:11:44 PM
 #1405

why not push the new code to github
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December 17, 2014, 09:57:55 AM
 #1406

Update:

The Skycoin project is larger than "clone litecoin, change logo and call it Dogecoin". There are multiple parts and it took time from going from a single coder or small group of coders to a structure that can handle the multiple parts of the project. Then there is a larger architectural issue, about what the scope of the project is, what the long term goals are and what the objective for a second generation crypto-currency should be.

Just the coin itself is a massive undertaking. The scope and architecture of the coin has changed significantly over the last two years. Issues such as usability, what the API should look like, security issues, determinism, what the components are and how they should interact. During development we identified several hundred different aspects of the coin, which are individually very involved and each affected other components and design choices subtlety.

As an example, here is how our conception of handling the API/wallets evolved.

In Bitcoin you run a local node and it loads wallets from disc. The node authorizes transactions from the wallet it had loaded.
- this is simple, naive, it works
- it does not allow you to expose your node's API to network, to allow queries for thin clients without allowing other people access to your wallet
- it was designed for this use case, so the API is missing things, like ability to get unspent output set or balance for addresses in wallet

In Skycoin, we originally we originally intended to have ability to load multiple wallets and unload them and maybe a user system with permissions.

Then two months ago, we studied the Obelisk API. The API does not load wallets, but gives you functions for checking the unspent output set for an address, checking balances for address and injecting transactions.
- the API does not load wallets
- anyone can expose their node's API to the network and anyone can use it to check balances, get unspent outputs or inject transactions
- a client using a remote server or a local server goes through the same API

Then this creates a two layer structure. The first layer is the base API, maybe called the Node API
- check unspent output set for an address, check balances for an address
- given set of outputs, give me transaction that spends the outputs, so I can sign it with my private keys and inject it
- inject a transaction

The wallet, is at a higher level and keeps track of addresses and private keys
- the wallet queries for balances and unspent outputs
- the wallet creates transactions, uses private keys to sign the transactions
- the wallet injects the transactions through the base API

This may seem trivial. You have wallet and are checking balances and sending coins. It does the same thing. To the end-user it looks exactly the same as Bitcoin. However for developers it is a 10x improvement
- a cell phone, now only needs a json client and to be able to store and create signatures with private keys and has the capacities of a full node with a copy of the blockchain. This means people in Kenya, who cannot have the full blockchain can use it as effortlessly as someone in the first world with a local node.
- a user can have multiple wallets
- a small standard library for key storage, signing and API improves security.
- users who want to use default send can, while users who need to choose which inputs to spend and how can create custom transactions (which Bitcoind is unable to do)

This architecture is a very small change and its not immediately obvious that it is an improvement. However consider the following application and effort required to implement with the Bitcoin API, vs the revised API.

A person in Kenya with only SMS but not internet could potentially use the second API, even on phone with a 16 bit processor. A "Kenyan Wallet", might be all coins stored in single address, with SMS from a trusted gateway when a new output is received into their address. The SMS client would be notified when it receives new coins (outputs for its address), the client can say "Send 4 coins to XYZ" and then transaction and transaction hash is sent back (about 140 bytes), the client checks transaction, signs it with the private key stored on the phone and then texts it to gateway. The gateway then injects the transaction to the network. So we can do transactions in two text messages. The gateway can use the public key of the person to send the message encrypted for privacy, so no one but the user and gateway know what was sent, how much or to who. The cell phone operator cannot impersonate the gateway, without the gateway's private key. The client can verify the destination of the transaction and hash before signing it, so the gateway cannot steal coins or redirect them to another address.

With Bitcoin, implementing this application would require a full node-rewrite and then keeping it updated and merging in changes to Bitcoin. It would be a massive undertaking, just to be able to check address balances for an arbitrary address. With the second API, you have a small program that can create signatures with private keys, compute public key from private key and which stores the wallet. It may have to be ported to C to compile on the 16 bit phone but its trivial. Then you need to make the gateway check the balances with JSON query and inject transactions with a JSON query. Then the gateway, written in golang, needs a library for sending SMS messages.

Corporate Usability

Very small architectural changes have very significant impacts on the applications that will be developed. In particular, limitations of the Bitcoin API and usability considerations have driven merchants to use Bitpay. Few companies have the resources to do an independent implementation or modification of the full node, merely to accept Bitcoin payments.  A company embeds javascript, receives Bitcoin and gets paid in USD through a third party. This was not the original intention.

Similarly, most export company have multiple sales associates taking payments. They may accept Bitcoin, but right now each sale associate has to have their own node and receive payments and then funnel it into a corporate address. It is impossible to build the "user wallet" system a company needs to accept Bitcoin in an easy work flow.

The existing workflow in one export company, for accepting Bitcoin payments
- a customer contacts the sale associate and aspects for particular goods, with payment in Bitcoin
- a sales associate, receives a request for goods and creates an invoice in the company's invoice system
- then the sales associate asks a financial manager, for bitcoin address to give the customer
- then the sales associate receives the address and communicates it to the customer
- then the customer sends the Bitcoin payment for the invoice and notifies the sales associate
- then the sales associate (who doesnt know how to check if payment went through), asks the financial manager to confirm the payment
- then the financial manager communicates back to the sales associate that the Bitcoin payment cleared
- then the sales associate notifies the customer that their order is complete
- then the sales associate marks the invoice as paid, then forwards the invoice to the shipping and distribution department
- The financial manager is responsible for a certain number of sales associates, at end of week his invoices are added up and the Bitcoin balance received is calculated. Then that is transferred into a main company wallet.

This system is very complex, however it is designed so that the sales associate cannot steal the Bitcoin and so that the financial manager cannot steal the Bitcoin. There is a paper trail, showing how many Bitcoin were invoiced and should be in an account. The owner can check he is not being stolen from by employees.

Companies are eager to accept Bitcoin, but the process is frustrating. If the financial manager is sleeping, the sales associate cannot mark the invoice as paid and there are various complications. The account manager, doesnt create new addresses for each invoice, but reuses the same address for a whole week, then adds up the invoices at end of week to make sure balance adds up. If the balance doesnt add up, he has to go back through every Bitcoin transaction and there is a problem if the payment was split over multiple transactions.

Existing payment systems are very poor, but Bitcoin is still currently more frustrating. Bitcoin needs to be less frustrating, not more frustrating than legacy systems.

The company requires a way of having multiple wallets and restrictions on the wallets. They need to be able to associate individual addresses with transactions with invoices #s . The sales associate needs to be able to generate addresses for invoices and know immediately when they are paid, but should not be able to transfer coins out. Each company has their own system and integration needs to be something that can be implemented with low skill in PHP (most small companies do not have the developers required for a full node implementation). It has to be idiot proof. The company needs to know that if their server is secure and only the API is exposed, that the Bitcoin are safe and subject to certain guarantees. They will want the balance in online wallet minimized. Security has to be simple to achieve.=.

The system has to be simple enough that it is easily understood. One of the biggest failings of Bitcoin is that it is nuanced. It behaves in unexpected ways and requires too much specialized knowledge to use properly. None of the hundreds of people running Bitcoin sites, ever imagined that transaction malleability or signature malleability existed and even fewer understood what implications it could have. There was panic, fear, uncertainty. They began to be aware of how many factors were out of their control and in some sense that Bitcoin was too complex to be "knowable" without significant effort.

People expected that when they restored their wallet from backup, that the coins would be there. However, people with over 200 outgoing transactions found that coins were missing. They did not know that change addresses for transactions were going into newly generated addresses not in the wallet backups.

The requirements for usability, security are immense. The existing system of currency, transactions, commerce and accounting is being redesigned from scratch. In many ways, Skycoin is being crushed under these requirements. There are a few minor changes that may be made in future, but we believe we can now freeze out changes to the core architecture. The final coin, looks identical to the design three months ago but we are more confident that there is not a better architecture for meeting the long-term requirements.

Inflation

We have been debating whether a coin needs inflation for over a year. We believe any inflation mechanism in the coin, is a threat to survival on a geographic timescale. We are morally opposed to inflation and believe there will be temptation for future developers to increase or modify the inflation value in the future. Inflation privileges and empowers a single group, with the receipts of the money created through inflation. It creates a surface for attack. It also makes the performance of the coin dependent upon the competence of its management.

However, if 1% of currency is created each year and invested in activities that increase the value of the coin network, by more than the cost, then doing so maximizes the value for all coin holders. If $1 in investment in meshnet deployment, PR, advertising or lobbying nets $5 in coin market cap then coins which use this mechanism will out-compete coins that are unable to. The market-cap and values of coins pursuing this strategy will grow significantly faster than the alternative.

In this perspective, coins are like stocks or corporations and have issuance and redemption. A coin does not have profits or offer services directly like a corporation. The value of the coin depends on both its use as a standard, a store of value and in the skill of the managers and community in increasing the coin's long-term value (an investment instrument).

One possibility, is that there will be no universal dominant standard or store of value in the future. The relevance of gold as a standard and store of value over geographic time scales, may have been a sociological anomaly. The future may be a competing market of assets, whose prices rise and fall with changes in their relevance, utility and the power each asset has to impose itself.

For instance, gold acts as competition to state currencies. Before the federal reserve, mortgage contracts and loans were often defined against gold to protect the lender against inflation risk. In the U.S. in order to institute the federal reserve, to ensure control over interest rates it was made illegal in the early 1900s to benchmark loan interest rates against gold. The state imposed prices upon gold, determined its price and outlawed private possession.

Today, gold is just a commodity. There is physical gold and paper gold. If you own physical gold, the gains are taxed at income tax rate of 35%. Gold ETFs, gold stock and other paper gold are taxed at a lower rate of 15%. This is to punish people for holding physical gold. Paper gold is not scarce, it can be printed. There is significantly more paper gold than physical gold. Paper gold allows gold supply to expand on paper, with the expansion of currency, so that the value of gold no longer reflects the value of a scarce, finite commodity. Therefore modern gold, no longer represents a scarce, finite commodity or store of value in the full sense as its supply and demand may now contract and expand with fiat. Paper gold should trade at a discount to physical gold, to account for the risk of paper gold evaporating in a counter party default, however the tax penalty is so severe that all money is driven into paper gold rather than physical gold. Otherwise if the expansion of paper gold was too great and the discount on the paper gold was too large, people would demand physical delivery on paper gold to arbitrage and the paper market would collapse. The paper market is only stable, because holding physical gold is discouraged through a punitive tax treatment, which dwarf the spread between paper and physical gold.

There are different incentives and taxes a country can impose
- gold is inter-convertible to fiat at no tax (gold accuracy hedges against inflation, expansion of fiat)
- gains on physical gold are punitively taxed, but paper gold receives the tax treatment of other investments (paper gold supply on paper, expands and contracts with fiat and is an imperfect hedge. no longer finite or scarce relative to fiat)

In a unipolar world, where a single power can impose itself, fiat dominates and there is no standard of value or scarcity. Gold was a neutral, intrinsically scarce  standard of international trade settlement, between equal powers. Gold only dominated, in a multipolar world of international trade where no single power was able to impose itself over the world. Once in power, the alternatives were eliminated or neutered. There was no alternative to fiat.

In this view, assets are not neutral, passive stores of value but are imposed as power relationships. In countries with poorly functioning currencies, but strong states, like Argentina the currency is imposed by force. People try to escape the failing currency like the USD but dollar sniffing dogs patrol the borders waiting to confiscate gold and US dollars. Citizens in Argentina protecting their money in bank accounts abroad are charged with acts of financial terrorism.

In weak states in Africa, with failing currencies, the state cannot impose its worthless fiat and people turn to more stable currencies, such as the USD or bartering useful commodities such as tradable cell phone minutes. In the US, the fiat is imposed with incentives and structured designed so that even gold supply grows and contracts with the debasement of fiat. However, the rate is tolerable and the stability is sufficient.

This posses a difficult question for Skycoin. If assets are imposed by power relationships and no neutral, scarce "store of value exists". If value is a social construct, imposed by power then should Skycoin be a passive asset, an attempt at creating a neutral "store of value", a standard of exchange. Or should Skycoin be an active, aggressive, expansionist imperial asset which can defend and actively impose itself when conditions are favorable? This question underlies whether Skycoin, Bitcoin or any other cryptocoin can succeed.

What would an "active" currency look like

If the Bitcoin network spends $100 million on mining equipment and electricity, would Bitcoin be worth more today if instead that $100 million was spent lobbying politicians for favorable policies, on marketing, improving usability and creating software for replacement of the legacy system? The market cap of Bitcoin is over 4 Billion USD, but it can barely summon or coordinate resources on the scale of a much smaller corporation, to advocate for itself and its interests. Instead, Bitcoin sits passively as its enemies slowly redefine the legal framework under which it operates. Frameworks are made in secret, behind closed doors by the powers most threatened by Bitcoin and then imposed. Only after the rules have been written, are they shown to the community and then the consent and agreement of the community is demanded.

Bitcoin is only five years old and the majority of commerce transactions are being replaced by "Paper Bitcoin" held in Coinbase, rather than physical Bitcoin held on the owners computer. The companies accepting Bitcoin are using Bitpay and the coins are being sold immediately for fiat through a third party. It is a very small and minor step, to require merchants taking payments to clear the payment through such third parties in order to comply with KYC requirements.  Bitcoin will be allowed to exist in the first world, as long as it is irrelevant and remains restricted to a small group of the wealthy and highly technical.

Similarly, the dominance of MtGox, allowed Bitcoin prices to be run up and manipulated by paper Bitcoin and dollars that only existed in a database. An exchange with 12,000 Bitcoin can easily sell plus/minus 4000 Bitcoin and unless a run on the exchange happened, it would never be detected. An exchange with 10 million in cash deposits owed to customer can create database money and buy a few million in Bitcoin and it would never be detected, unless everyone tried to withdraw their fiat. There exist significant scope for market and price manipulation, as we saw with MtGox. Price manipulation is very profitable, either to suppress or raise prices artificially, or implement trading strategies.

These manipulations increase the volatility of Bitcoin and undermine its credibility. Altcoins and coins with lower marketcap, which are traded on fewer exchanges are even more subject to manipulation than Bitcoin. Many altcoin speculators do not run the block chain for the dozen coins they are speculating on, therefore the coins only exist as paper coins as balances an SQL database and are never withdrawn to an address. Therefore the scope of manipulation is infinite.

Requirements:
- The default wallet must be more usable than Coinbase.
- The exchange infrastructure needs to be integrated into the wallet and exchanges should not hold coin balances. The coins should be withdrawn back into the wallet automatically.
- We need digital contracts that can substitute for fiat for short time scales and has the same clearing speed as Bitcoin. For instance, a contract backed by 1 Bitcoin that can be be redeemed by a particular entity, upon execution to $100 in Bitcoin at the current spot price.
- If Bitcoin's competitors are buying a seat and representation in drafting regulation, Bitcoin needs to buy representation in the secret meetings where the legislation is being drafted.
- The reliance on the legacy banking sector and institutions must be on a roadmap for elimination

This seems obvious, but Bitcoin has been unable to summon the resources necessary to even begin baby steps towards these goals. It suggests that Bitcoin is inefficient, in that it allocates costs to miners rather than towards the issues it is facing. Another five hundred million dollars spent on ASICs will not improve Bitcoin usability or address the political threat of regulation Bitcoin is facing.

Imperial and expansionist crypto-coins

A coin can either be a passive asset, or it can allocate resources to achieve goals, long-term expansion and create a favorable environment for expansion.

Resource Sources:
- volunteers/donations
- funding from external investors
- providing services, charging a fixed percentage on each transaction
- funding all operations from IPO and sale of fixed pool of assets
- funding from the creation of new currency (inflation). Essentially redirecting money that miners would otherwise receive, to actively funding the coin development, marketing and ecosystem development.

Goals:
- usability improvements
- security
- marketing/PR/promotion
- ecosystem and application development
- expansion/growth
- buying political influence and representation in jurisdictions which stand to benefit from adapting liberal regulatory frameworks
- software integration for commerce, banking and export sectors which stand to benefit the most from adaption

In Skycoin, the meshnet and services are federated. The infrastructure is owned and operated by the community and the development organization is not in a position to extract a tax on service revenue. Therefore this is not an option for funding expansion.

We chose to finance, from IPO sales of a fixed pool of assets and the founders contribution of early Bitcoin. However, we found that this resulted in under investment. The core team is making steady progress and can complete the existing project scope (at a much lower cost than other projects at a higher quality level, Ripple, ETH but slower). The next stage of the project is expanded in scope and aggressive expansion will require a higher resource intensity and a larger number of project teams and external partners than the software development. As many as eight distinct project teams, external design firms and manufacturing partners may be involved, from design to production of just the hardware portion of the meshnet.

Factors concerning price stability: creating stable stores of value

Another aspect rendering the current model non-viable, is price stability. One of the core requirements for Skycoin is price stability. Bitcoin intraday volatility is too high. Companies adapting Bitcoin for international trade are unable to hold balances in Bitcoin, without substantial foreign exchange risks. A daily swing from $330 to $315 or monthly swings from $400 to $320 completely precludes Bitcoin for use for settling international trade. Companies cannot hold long-term Bitcoin balances and are forced to liquidate receipts, to local currencies immediately.

Skycoin introduced a method called "the capital ratchet" to lower intraday volatility and reduce speculation, using a fixed pool of Skycoin allocated at the beginning. The method works as long as Bitcoin remains stable. However, if Bitcoin fails or experiences significant volatility then the method fails and eventually exhausts the capital allocated to the strategy. Through simulation, we determined that maintaining a stable currency level and low volatility required an active and constant input of funds. Maintaining a floating peg against speculation may consume 0.2% to 0.6% per year of the market cap of the currency. Maintaining a floating peg may require an inflation mechanism to fund the acquisition of reserves to offset volatility by speculators.

The cost however is offset by the increased market cap and growth of the coin. How much more would Bitcoin be worth today, how much more adaption would it have in commerce if it had stable price levels? We believe that the relationship between volatility and market-cap is substantial.

We also determined, that Skycoin cannot be passive with respect to the exchange infrastructure. Skycoin needs to devote substantial resources to open source development and research into new cryptocurrency exchange infrastructure.  Skycoin cannot achieve the level of price stability required under the existing paper alt-coin regime.

To give an example, Russia issues rubles. Foreign banks have forex markets that buy and sell rubles. The rubles are entries in a database, paper rubles. There is nothing preventing a foreign bank from creating as many paper rubles as it wants and dumping them. They could even hedge the strategy with derivatives to minimize the cost of the manipulation and achieve significant amplification. Naked short sales covered with options/derivatives can create assets. Someone can sell you a stock that they dont own in a naked short sale and cover their position with options or derivatives. If all the banks agree to honor each others derivatives even if the counterparty is insolvent or in default, the scope for manipulation is unlimited.

This tells us that "store of value" is a social construct. It is highly dependent on who has power and upon social conventions, incentives and agreements between institutions.

Bitcoin has not developed an options or derivatives market yet. However, exchanges are able to create paper bitcoin and as demonstrated by the leaked MtGox data, non-existent fiat currency was created in MtGox's database and used to run up the price of Bitcoin before the MtGox collapse. Bitcoin will likely become subject to the same manipulations and worse.

An exchange can add a Litecoin to an account in a database and then a user can sell that Litecoin. The litecoin may not exist and the exchange may have to buy the litecoin, to cover a withdrawal. An exchange with withdrawal limits or withdrawal fees, engaged in heavy manipulation, may be solvent indefinitely. An exchange, suffering insolvency may silently and secretly haircut a fraction of users balances and there is no indication to the user that it even occurred. There is no way to prove that reports of stolen funds are real, instead of an anonymous attack on honest exchanges by dishonest competitors.

This is a subset of the problems we must address over the next twelve months. Skycoin balances and Bitcoin balances, therefore must be held in the local wallet. Exchanges must go through a common API, integrated in to the wallet and positions must be moved back into the local wallet automatically, so that the exchanges are holding no net coins. That is the first step. Until this is achieved, there is unlimited scope for price manipulation in every altcoin.

This is the only way to create absolute guarantees against the manipulations we are seeing in other altcoins. In other words, we have an exhausting amount of work to do, even after launch.

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December 17, 2014, 10:24:55 AM
 #1407

As always, it is the spatial vision for SkyCoin. I like what I read every time. I like this project more and more from update to update. Especially like the  price stability concept.
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December 17, 2014, 11:36:06 AM
 #1408

What is the outlook for the month and when IPO? when is launch and are you working full time

Why not a honest good ol' premine instead of IPO? If there is an IPO, no one will know how many coins the devs have.

I suspect each and every IPO/ICO/ITO so far has had devs buying their own coins, and if they haven't, they've been just stupid because it's a risk free freeroll for extra money.
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December 18, 2014, 09:55:58 PM
Last edit: December 20, 2014, 02:56:15 PM by skycoin
 #1409

New Bitcoin Security Problem:
http://joncave.co.uk/2014/08/bitcoin-sighash-single/

If you create transactions and then send them off to a remote server for signing before injection, coins can be stolen.

What is the outlook for the month and when IPO? when is launch and are you working full time

Why not a honest good ol' premine instead of IPO? If there is an IPO, no one will know how many coins the devs have.

I suspect each and every IPO/ICO/ITO so far has had devs buying their own coins, and if they haven't, they've been just stupid because it's a risk free freeroll for extra money.

Yes. Even Ripple. Even if the devs own 98% and the community owns 2%, the devs can still benefit from pumping up price if the liquidity is thin.

What makes me the most sad, is that there are developers who bought in to Bitcoin at pennies. They made a lot of money already and very few of them gave back to the community or created something that moved the community forward. Everything is a money grab.

We have hundreds of money grab altcoins. Gimmicks. Whole cartels devoted to pump and dumps. Bitcoin is still in a penny stock and show pony, gimmick mentality. The Bitcoin ponzi fund, may stolen an eighth of the total Bitcoins in existence. Many of the early scams each individually netted over 200,000 Bitcoin, while Bitcoin was below a dollar.

An eighth to a fourth of the total Bitcoin is possessed by scammers if they didnt sell it off. The other half is lost, as the private keys were lost when early wallets were deleted.

People are launching exchanges, to manipulate altcoin prices. There is no standard for storing coins, checking balances or injecting transactions across different coins. The exchanges know the speculators are not running the wallet for the twenty coins they are speculating on. They know that only a fraction of the coins will ever be withdrawn, instead of being liquidated for Bitcoin. They know how much manipulation they can get away with.

Scammers gonna scam.

...

The Obelisk/Darkwallet team has been the only one pushing Bitcoin forward in terms of standards. They could not even raise $20,000 compared to the millions that other projects have raised. Then you have RoboCoin. Everyone was excited about the ATMs, but it becomes a money grab and they decide to centralize the system and their system ended up being inferior to the open source ATMs. Biometric palm vein readers that are so invasive its something out of a dystopian scifi novel. In 2030 you wont need Bitcoin because cash is illegal and you dont need to carry around credit cards because you just have to put you hand under the Visa™ biometric palm vein reader after Visa™ buys Robocoin.

Coinbase has done a very good job. Bitpay has done very well in building a sales force and signing up Microsoft and the New York Times. sipa has improved Bitcoin with his libraries for deprecating OpenSSL and now headers first downloading. So Bitcoin has pushed forward, but we have not really seen the community come together and address the problems facing Bitcoin. It cannot organize on the scale required. We have not seen many Satoshi level technical achievement. Satoshi was brilliant, in terms of integrating existing ideas into something new and using the tools available to get it done quickly.

Bitcoin in Perspective

So Bitcoin has pushed forward. However Satoshi is gone. There is no leadership or direction. Bitcoin is facing existential threats and the response has been underwhelming. Bitcoin as a technology works, but has some rough edges that cannot be fixed without a hard fork and therefore will not be fixed. However, the most daunting issues are social

- mining pool concentration (control of the network by half a dozen people instead of 10,000 or 100,000 people)
- continually declining price from the creation of new Bitcoin. If 100 million newly created coins are being dumped per year to pay for ASICs and electricity, the public must buy 100 million in Bitcoin per year, just to keep price where it is. The higher the price goes, the more people have to buy in per day, to keep it where it is. Bitcoin is very similar to gold, in that price increases, increase output and create a price ceiling (previously unprofitable gold mines become profitable as prices go over certain level). The Bitcoin price may continue its current decline, forever unless people can be convinced to pump more fiat into Bitcoin.
- the short term "get rich", mentality. No one is in this for the long term. As soon as Dogecoin became successful, it was colonized and destroyed by scammers. There is a level of imperialism, where projects are colonized by people who can best exploit or monetize them.
- exchanges are allowing free trades. They are offering substantial leverage and bots are driving price up and down $30 in five minutes. They drop price to attract buyers and then yank the price up to attract sellers. This is great for day traders, but frustrating for anyone serious about Bitcoin commerce. Exchanges may be manipulating price.
- I cannot tell if the teledilidonics "proof of sex coin" is real. I cannot tell the new altcoins apart from parodies anymore. There is an altcoin that makes miners input captchas every hour to prove that they are human.
- There is still significant legal and regulatory risk. Corporations play realpolitik. They will say "We support Bitcoin" while drafting legislation in secret to destroy it, that the politicians then pass off. Whenever a politician appears with a bill, it was usually written by a corporation or group of corporations in a trade association. The Bitcoin regulations are being written by Visa, Mastercard and Western Union.
- immaturity. The security oversights at MtGox were unacceptable. The drama at Ripple and disregard for fiduciary obligation to the asset holders, over a petty personal dispute (no one uses Ripple so this can be overlooked).

I think Bitcoin has a very strong appeal, because it is redecentralizing power and giving people back control that has been forcefully taken from them. It has survived on its psychological appeal. It is a political technology.

What is Money?

There are two aspects of Bitcoin. There is a idea of "technological determinism" and that it was inevitable. The idea that technology is a force of nature that shapes society and determines its rules. Then there is Bitcoin as a political ideology of liberation. The idea that Bitcoin can liberate us from the power of control, the fines, the fees of oppressive financial institutions.  Institutions which were imposed upon us and whose power over society allowed them to outlaw or marginalize alternatives.

In history there were hundreds of currencies within each nation state. As the nation state grew in power, it outlawed competing currencies. Community currencies and regional currencies have arisen very frequently, rapidly grown and then collapsed. The majority of the collapses were from the corruption within the administion of the currency. They would print and debase the currency without limit. Bitcoin was the first system, where the rate of currency creation was defined by mathematics and no longer at the whim of the administrators.

There is a technological aspect determining the properties of the asset, but there is also a sociological aspect concerning what drives adoption. Why do people adapt community currencies? Why do they arise, why do they grow, what would happen if they dont collapse for internal reasons (do they get crushed by the state)?

Then there is a question about what currency is.

Free Banking:

Currency is credit issued by a bank. If you have a dozen banks, each issues their own bank notes (fiat, cash). If a particular bank is in default or shaky, then their bank notes or deposits may trade at 80 cents on the dollar, against notes issued by another bank. If the note is redeemable, for instance, for gold, and the bank makes bad loans and cannot honor convertibility then the bank liquidates and each person may receive 20 cents on the dollar in gold.

If the note is not redeemable, for anything then it is not clear what would cause the price of the note to crash. It its not clear the note would be worth anything. There is no basis setting the value of of the notes from a particular bank. If we have one hundred banks, issuing their own currencies, we initially assume the $1 nominal unit on each bank note from each bank are equal value. However, one bank may issue a thousand times as much currency as another bank. They each have an incentive to print money. If the value of the notes of each bank were equal, then inflation would cause the currency to be worthless.

Central Banking: Single Nation

A central bank, is a nation state, that creates money. It delegates sub-banks and sets the rules these banks may create money through. The central bank may say "You may create $8 in loans, for every dollar in deposits you have". A more complex system is "You can borrow up to $8 from me for every dollar in deposits, at an interest rate I set" The bank will add 2% to that interest rate for the loans it makes. So there is some constraint on money creation. However, if you model this system you have producers, you have commodities, you have labor and wages. As labor save up money, they put it in banks and it expands the monetary base. It keeps a certain level of unemployment to keep wages down, it privileges the producers (the people who derive income from buying commodities and labor for production).

The central bank can create money, but the exponential expansion of money from the money multiplier prevents this from being effective. Every dollar the central bank prints, ends up in deposits, which then creates additional dollars through loans the sub-banks make. So instead the central bank sells bonds. The central bank has an interest rate on its bonds and people will tolerate a 2% inflation without feeling trauma, so the central bank can inflate away and continually roll over its debt (sell new bonds, to pay coupons on old bonds).

If wages are increasing faster than commodity prices, then the central bank can hike interest rates, cause inflation and drive up unemployment and drive the wages back down. Inflation increases the supply of money, so workers can buy less goods, commodities for the money they have or wages they earn, therefore demand for goods decreases, produces cut back production and lay off some workers who become unemployed. Competition between the employed and unemployed, keeps wages from rising against commodities if the policy is set right.

Without this type of central bank policy, labor is finite and a fixed factor like land, which competes for uses. Social factors like unions come in and the power of labor increases disproportionately with its scarcity, compared to a commodity which is not governed by social factors.

If there is technological progress or GDP growth, it means the price of commodities is decreasing relative to labor. The labor is producing more and more commodities each year for the same input. So the central bank keeps the wages and commodity prices in line. It creates a fixed basket of goods and calls this the CPI. The CPI is the nominal cost to buy the basket of goods. The central bank keeps the CPI to wage ratio fixed, even as wage to GDP falls and as the labor hours, capital equipment and fix factors required to produce the goods in the CPI basket falls.

More and more goods will be produced for the same labor, but wages are kept down so that a worker has to work the same number of hours for the same amount of commodity. Then the surplus is consumed by inflation (debasing the national debt). As long as the rate of productivity growth + inflation is greater than the interest on the government debt, the debt can be rolled over forever. The relationship between wages and commodities can be held at stable levels.

In this model, the government raises money through debt. The banks, government and producers (corporations or owners of cashflow) have mutually beneficial relationship as allies against the population. The banks receive privileged ability to make loans in excess of their actual capital through the government (which corporations or other entities are not permitted). The producers receive cheap docile labor and privileges, subsidies, contacts from the money created through government debt and the government receives the privileges derived from control and administration of money created through such debt. The government also taxes.

For large companies, with influence the nominal tax rate is often very less than the benefits, subsidies and revenue derived from the government. The burden falls on the workers and the smaller corporations. This is true in the nations both with the least progressive and most progressive tax schedules.

Central Banking: Multiple Nations

Multiple central banks with a one bank per country is similar to free banking, however the nations now produce exports and therefore have a reason to buy each others currencies. The currency price can now float and be set by a market.

Nations must keep wages low, so they can produce goods cheaply for export. If they nation produces goods that can be exported, then foreign nations must buy the currency to purchase the goods. If a nation's currency is too high against other currencies, a nation can devalue the currency through domestic inflation. Having a cheap currency relative to other currencies, means that a nation's labor and outputs are cheap compared to other countries. Nations may engage in competitive devaluation, to make their exports cheaper than other nations to grab larger market share in particular markets.

Nations can perform a "floating peg", by acquiring other currencies or assets and then buying/selling their own currency to maintain the price level relative to another currency or improve stability of the currency against spectators.

A country may maintain a peg against another currency, by printing money and dumping it on to the international markets, when their currency increases relative to the pegged currency. A nation may also prevent its citizens from exchanging domestic currency for foreign currency to buy imports and then hoard the foreign currency gained from exports, for other uses.

Note that a country mostly performing mineral extraction (primary sector) and creation of goods from these extracted resources (secondary sector) is isolated from changes to its foreign exchange rates. Both its costs (labor) and its commodity inputs are priced in domestic currency. A country reliant upon foreign mineral inputs or manufactured goods, has a domestic economy with input costs which are dependent on its foreign exchange rates.

Note that inflation in the value between the currencies of the central banks and inflation in the domestic economy are independent. The relationship is arbitrary, as the relationship between the price of wages/labor and commodities. If the domestic price factors are insulated from the foreign exchange rates

Brief History of Money

Before, the 1800s the dominant power center was land owners. They possessed serfs for farming land and a small military for war against other belligerent landed, freudal powers. They derived income from serfs farming land. Grain certificates served as first form of deposits and currency. Grain was perishable and could not be stored, so landed elites imposed non-perishable gold as standard, to allow wealth to be accumulated in a non-perish form. Combat was specialized, capital intensive, horses, knights and pike-man. The landed nobles were militarily significant.

The most powerful feudal lord imposed himself as a hereditary king. The king allowed feudal powers in his domain to engage war among themselves. The kind organized military excursions against foreign powers. The crossbow was developed, highly specialized knights were now vulnerable to being killed by peasants and lost their military utility relative to mass formations of peasant. Military power became a matter of population and military significance of the landed nobles declined. The king seized the power to dispose and allocate ownership of land and seized  taxation rights over the feudal estates.

Previously the king had only received income from primarily his land and estate. As the power of the state grew and the powers of taxation grew, a permanent state bureaucracy developed.  The power of the state bureaucracy grew, become absolute and was unaccountable to the people (but especially to the other power centers within the state). The French Revolution occurred and the state bureaucracy was dispossessed. This culminated in the era of Napoleon around  1795 and resulted in the development of the republic form of government and later republic democracies.

The industrial revolution occurred. A single factory in Britain could produce more textiles than could be consumed by the country. Britain developed a navy, occupied North America, Africa, India, China as colonies. Colonies exported raw materials to Britain and were restricted to buying imported goods from Britain. Britain used its military power to impose its currency and demanded payment in silver coinage for salt in India, to drain the country of wealth and precious metals. To obtain money to pay these taxes, Indians mined silver, worked as soldiers for the British occupation force or produced raw materials for export to the British mainland.

Similar, to America today, the British were not allowed access the mainland Chinese market. Chinese goods were in high demand and there was a persistent trade imbalance between Britain (importing Silk, porcelain, tea) and China which did not allow foreigners into its domestic market. Therefore the British invaded China in the Opium War and created a market for opium, to balance out the trade and drain China of its gold and silver.

The modern form of government and currency was formed in the Gilded age. The power and wealth of the landed, hereditary nobility had been dispossessed by technological progress. The factory owner and industrialist (producers, later corporations) exceeded the landed nobility in prestige, power and income and became the new dominant power center. The conflict was between the state (the political class), bankers (financial class), the producers (the economic producers) and the unions (labor class).

The economic class dominated between 1870s and 1920s. The economic class failed to retain power and a new economic class developed in collusion with the political class. The banking class gained new powers and the existing federal reserve system (single nation central bank) was put in place by 1930s, replacing free banking. The economic class defeated the labor class by 1970s, by targeting inflation rates to unemployment and taking over the labor party. The economic class moved to transnational production to evade control of political class and as leverage against labor. Domestic polices were pushed through internationally which benefited the power centers (banking, political and economic class) at expense of labor or domestic development.

Financial imperialism reigned. Privileged countries in the world system had low capital reserves requirements and could make large loans and perform domestic development and foreign investment, while lesser nations were subject to higher capital reserve requirements. Nations were made to take on debt in a foreign currency and then their exchange rate was debased (similar to Russia today). Highly leveraged, institutions from the privileged countries with access to cheap capital sweep in and buy up natural resources and revenue producing, productive assets cheaply (similar to the domestic oligarchs of the Soviet Union during the market transition). Privileged, indebted countries, with powerful militaries, large trade imbalances and few significant exports derived as much as a third of their visible corporate profits from financial imperialism.

By 2010, the domestic banking institutions became dependent upon government for survival (following policies mandated by the political class). The banking class became transnational and through crisis imposed the Basel agreements internationally, as the existing system faced collapse under persistent trade imbalances and speculative folly. The centers of power devolved and merged. The three power centers (banking, political and economic) are no longer district, nationally or internationally. There is no longer a center or power but an amorphous series of tentative and eternally shifting power relationships.

The state obtained absolute power of mass surveillance, media censorship, detainment. However enforcement is extremely selective and based up realpolitik. You are more likely to be arrested for whistle blowing, filming a factory farm (domestic terrorism), evading capital controls (domestic terrorism) or embarrassing a corporation (domestic terrorism), politician or government agency than for personal or political behavior, which does not threaten power. Any viable or even merely annoying threat to existing power or institutions will likely be labeled an unlawful terrorist threat and will be violently repressed.

There is now a unified, international banking regulatory body, which can decide in a secret meeting to merely threaten possible regulation and effectively cut Bitcoin off from every single banking institution globally (Outside of Russia, China and Brazil). This is a realistic assessment.

Europe is already banning cash. Europe cannot expand tax rates further without eliminating the possibility of untaxed underground economies. A further increase in taxation, decreases net revenue as more activity is driven underground or offshore. Bitcoin is similar to cash, but more docile and controllable. All transactions go through exchanges and can be taxed/monitored. Purchases online are taxed. When physical cash is banned in Europe over the next two decades, we will see a migration to Bitcoin but also a crack down.  Increasing government taxation over 40% of GDP, requires elimination of cash and international treaties against "tax competition". It requires that corporations are taxed for sales based upon the market rather than where the profits are realized.

Implications for Bitcoin

It is clear that money is a social construct. Money is the result of power relationships and relationships between institutions. Money is both social and is created by institutionalized power or social convention. Gold was accepted as a universal, voluntary social agreement. Government money since 1910 is backed by lead. There was a transition from coercive, extraction (the opium wars, colonialism) with voluntary adaption to both coercive definition and imposition of currency.

Bitcoin is therefore an attempt to return to the pre-1920s scarce, finite, "sound money" with voluntary exchange by social convention rather than coercive imposition.

How does Bitcoin fit in, with the history of money? What gives Bitcoin value? Will ability of people to adapt Bitcoin as a standard voluntarily, be hampered by coercion by the state, or interests within the state whose interests are threatened by Bitcoin?

In terms of strategic position, to force the hands of government, two things are necessarily
- the software has to be developed to the point, that it becomes feasible for small nation states to adapt blockchain based currencies as the national unit. This will force a uniform regulatory treatment between nation state and privately issued digital currencies.
- There need to be unified standards for interoperability between digital currencies. They need to be transparently convertible during a transaction at the current spot prices. This means any merchant or institution accepting one currency, effectively accepts all currencies. It produces a two-sided market and separates the attributes of currencies people use for payment and currency received as payment. Merchants may be required by law to quote prices in local currencies, but payments can be settled in any unit.

The original Ripple Pay (not Ripple), there was USD as the unit of currency. Banks create money through extending credit. The idea in Ripple Pay was to allow each person to extend create to each other in a peer-to-peer network. Each person acts as a bank and the bank is disintermediated (similar to Bitcoin). However, Ripple Pay was still pegged to the dollar.

Bitcoin is at one extreme, a finite, intrinsically scarce asset. The other extreme is decentralizing credit creation down to the level of a "personal currency", where each person is a node in a graph issuing credit to each other and there are floating exchange rates between the personal currencies. This is the extreme of pushing the free banking credit creation mechanism down to the individual. If you are running a coal mine or steel plant on that type of system, it would be interesting whether the price levels are stable and how it affects output level.

Ripple Pay type systems, need serious consideration as possibilities for eliminating the dependence of Bitcoin/Skycoin on the legacy banking system.

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December 19, 2014, 08:44:36 AM
 #1410

...

trello is dead, github is dead, where is the work taking place. no mention of skycoin anywhere on the web....only one member for trello too. is there really a team behind this project or is it just one person.

is this a real project or just fantasy writing/social commentary. the darknet and op redecentralize havent heard of you either

...

This.

The project seemed too ambitious from the very start.

You missed me when you started playing ICO/IPO without any working code, this is my STOP signal for any project I follow.
Also, a lot of the initial project specs has been dropped (correct me if I am wrong) :
- the darknet
- the meshnet
- the "new" consensus algorithm
These where the unique features that attracted me to skycoin, on one of the latest posts you mention releasing just a coin and not even decentralized.

Quote from: skycoin
This is not required for IPO, because we can use central signing key until decentralized consensus is implemented. 

Anyway, I am absolutely sure you will be able to raise a decent amount of Bitcoin from clueless people.
So, if your intentions are legit, good luck with your project.
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December 19, 2014, 09:36:38 AM
 #1411

nicely written

any roadmap for 2015?


OP SEC. The coin was done in January. The only difference if we launched today would be the coin would be trading. There are a few things missing on github, so no one can compile it and launch it before us, without knowing how to program.

For 2015
- we would like to have networking working for the darknet/meshnet.
- the new consensus algorithm will be implemented
- we would like to have some written standards for what is done and tutorials for developers
- then we have to do hardware
- we are deciding the roadmap for the next phase of the project.

If you look at Bitcoin, there are less then three people working on it. I would say three people but only one person at a time. People come in, finish something and then leave when its done. It took Bitcoin about a year to implement headers only downloads. "Ok we finished Litecoin!" What do you do after you finish Litecoin, Dogecoin or Ripple or anything else? There is no programming or design left, its just marketing. Pump and dump. Every existing altcoin is a pump and dump with no long term viability.

To survive and grow, Skycoin needs to meet a higher standard than other coins. Skycoin has to be useful. It must satisfy a need. It has to breach the great firewall. It has to make meshnets viable and offer an alternative to monopolistic ISPs. It needs to be an effective response to the encroaching threats on the internet. Skycoin needs be able to survive and carry on if Bitcoin fails for internal or external reasons.

People are measuring the success of Bitcoin or Ethereum in terms of piles of cash, instead of impact. They are asking whether Bitcoin is at $300 or $1200 instead of asking what has it changed and what impact it has had. Today Bitcoin was effectively banned in Australia. Bitcoin is being taxed at purchase and double taxed at the point of sale. The tax treatment is so punitive that Bitcoin has been effectively driven underground in Australia. It took five years from launch, until the first government decided to regulate it to death. If we released everything today and the meshnet hardware and software worked perfectly and it was mature, it would still be five years before the node density was enough to threaten ISPs or cell phone companies.

Similarly, Bitcoin survived for five years but we did not know that the mining process would continually drive down the price. We did not know that if miners are spending 100 million/year on electricity and ASICs, that people must buy 100 million/year into Bitcoin to just keep the price where it is against the miners selling Bitcoin. We did not understand the security issues.

Instead of coins with longer term duration, the vast majority of coins have lasted for significantly less time than Bitcoin. We have not seen a single coin that is as solid as Bitcoin, in the last five years.

Pump and Dump.

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December 19, 2014, 10:00:21 AM
Last edit: July 05, 2017, 07:23:32 AM by skycoin
 #1412


This. The project seemed too ambitious from the very start.

You missed me when you started playing ICO/IPO without any working code, this is my STOP signal for any project I follow.
Also, a lot of the initial project specs has been dropped (correct me if I am wrong) :
- the darknet
- the meshnet
- the "new" consensus algorithm
These where the unique features that attracted me to skycoin, on one of the latest posts you mention releasing just a coin and not even decentralized.

Quote from: skycoin
This is not required for IPO, because we can use central signing key until decentralized consensus is implemented.  

Anyway, I am absolutely sure you will be able to raise a decent amount of Bitcoin from clueless people.
So, if your intentions are legit, good luck with your project.

There are different parts.
- the cryptography (done; this was months of work)
- the networking for blockchain/transaction replication (done; significant work)
- the design of the blockchain parser (done; this was months of work)
- the QT webwallet, with embedded HTML/QT (done; was hell to get compiling on three platforms)
- the consensus algorithm; open research project, took two years of work. Requires bench-marking, testing, validation. Almost done but not implemented or validated in full, but at stage where it could be implemented. There are several candidate algorithms that converge and are suitable and we are testing them.
- the protocol for privacy preserving connection oriented source routing. no one uses this method in networking and its a substantial research problem. There are DDoS issues, spoofing issues and hundreds of details that cannot be worked through quickly. Merely figuring out how to achieve paths in network is an open problem. Just getting it working required inventing and implementing a new type of distributed hash table algorithm.
- there is the design of the application level interface for the network. If it is as difficult to embed as tor, or poorly designed it will significantly hamper network adaption and application development.
- then there is hardware. as soon as we had prototype working, we found out limitations. We were told by engineers that meshnets would not be viable on 2.4 Ghz and ignored them, until we had to confront range problems in testing. So its easy to complain, about how long this is taking, but waiting is easier than learning Verilog and implementing direct digital synthesis on a CPLD.

Passive speculators do not add anything.

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December 19, 2014, 10:06:41 AM
 #1413

...
The only reason for the IPO is for developers to be able to buy into the project.

How do you intend to attract developers with a closed source development progress ? No one knows about your developments, and your "team".

Passive speculators do not add anything.

But those are the only ones you will get.
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December 19, 2014, 10:34:28 AM
 #1414

...
The only reason for the IPO is for developers to be able to buy into the project.

How do you intend to attract developers with a closed source development progress ? No one knows about your developments, and your "team".

- that's a good point really.
wouldn't it be a good idea to create a community first? then you can have people joining in? look at bitsharetalk.org....community contributions

Yes. We have a bunch of volunteers and people helping. The development will be opened up in the next stage. Right now, we have more developers than things to do.

Right now, we have the following three priorities
- consensus needs to be finished (someone is working on this and its fairly specialized). Its phd level research, trial and error. Its ready to move into the codebase, except for a networking library prerequisite.
- the coin is ready to launch
- the software/networking for darknet needs to be finished, which is specialized. The bottleneck is the protocol design, not implementing it. Once the spec is on paper, anyone could implement it quickly. We decided to cut corners if its something we can fix later, to get it working quickly. So we are ignoring problems like designing the protocol to allow establishing a N-hop route without incurring round distance time between node. That will be something someone can figure out and add later.

Those are the three things we are focused on, with our limited resources right now. What comes afterwards, will require a larger number of developers and there will be many smaller projects that need to be done.

For instance, once you can publish data with your public key and have it peer-to-peer replicated, then you will want to do something like implementing Twitter or Blogging over that. Once the darknet works, then you will want to do instant messaging. You will want to be able to tunnel all your traffic over it and use it like a VPN. You will want improved routing service that find faster routers to target nodes. You will want to bundle multiple routes together for performance or latency. You will want to be able to publish websites or services on the network.

The overlay network will be running on software, over the normal internet. Then you will want to add mesh or physical links and that is when the hardware meshnet can start. Then there has to be antenna development, hardware development projects. We have to find people who can do hardware. This is when money helps, is for funding this.

So we are entering a phase where there will be a lot for developers to do. Right now we are only working on those three things.

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December 19, 2014, 05:24:09 PM
 #1415

Go learn Verilog, go get a CPLD and implement direct digital synthesis and go implement a SDR and then put it on github.
We are experts with Verilog, CPLD, FPGA, ASIC, SoC design, and how could we help you guys? According to my knowledge, there is no Verilog repo on Github for us to contribute code.
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December 20, 2014, 03:17:18 PM
 #1416

nice it sounds like the coin will be launching soon?

do you buy the coin just after the launch?  so how do i get SKY coins ? any IPO before the launch?

What does this coin make different to the rest?
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December 20, 2014, 03:23:01 PM
 #1417

does it make sense to launch the ipo now to get more capital?
I also care about the IPO matter,
it seems so confident for skycoin here.

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December 20, 2014, 03:23:52 PM
Last edit: December 20, 2014, 08:54:00 PM by skycoin
 #1418

Go learn Verilog, go get a CPLD and implement direct digital synthesis and go implement a SDR and then put it on github.
We are experts with Verilog, CPLD, FPGA, ASIC, SoC design, and how could we help you guys? According to my knowledge, there is no Verilog repo on Github for us to contribute code.

This is an amplitude modulated software defined radio for the whitespace band. 100 Mhz to 700 Mhz carrier. This is the most simple type of radio possible. Its pretty trivial.

Can you hook up an FPGA, maybe one on an ARM development board to an CPLD. We need to take a 600 Mhz to 700 Mhz carrier and amplitude modulate it (multiply the amplitude of the carrier by a value, which changes and can be set). The CPLD needs to implement a Digital to Analog (DAC) converter and then amplitude modulate the carrier. Then this gets amplified and is connected to antenna.

Then we need a Analog to Digital (ADC) implemented on the CPLD for receiving radio on other end. Changing the ADC/DAC 20 million times per second with a 4 to 8 bit ADC/DAC resolution is sufficient for now. A fulll 300 Mhz is ideal, but may not be possible without skillful pipelining.

For example. On beagleboard black, there are ADC/DAC units on the real time units. We can set output to "8" and then voltage level 8 comes out, we feed that into the gate on the amplifier. Then a ~50 Mhz HAM frequency carrier comes in to amplifier and is amplified an amount depending on voltage of gate. Then we change the 8 to a 40. With the real time unit, we can do that ~1 million times per second. Then the value gets amplified, fed into antenna and we are transmitting a sin wave with height 8. We have an array of bytes, one byte is read in a at a time and sets the output  value of the DAC, which updates 1 million symbols/second. So we are signaling with radio. This is same thing, except we want the ADC/DAC in the CLPD, so we can do hundreds of MHz and later modulation of the carrier twice per Hz, with changes applied at the zero crossing.

Eventually we want modulation at two symbols per Hz, so 1.4 billion times per second for 700 Mhz carrier (one output for positive part of sin phase and one for the negative phase) with 8 bit resolution for DAC output and +8 bit for ADC reception (or whatever is feasible). The value change for the analog output should occur at the zero crossing of the carrier, to prevent snapping. This will probably require moving the CPLD to ASIC to operate at this baud rate.

At 700 Mhz, with two 8-bit symbols per Hz we are at 11.2 Gb/s for maximum rate (two 8 bit symbols, 700 million times per second). That is the data rate for CPLD to the FPGA. Because of noise, antenna ringing and requirement for forward error correction (100 bits may have to be sent for each received bit), the data throughput may be significantly less than the symbol baud rate. The ASIC version may need a hardware IO protocol (PCIe or other) to interface between the CLPC/ASIC and FPGA at this rate. At those data rates the forwards error correction will need to be implemented in the FPGA, but CLPC prototype may be low enough baud rate for this to be performed in software. We are assuming that directional antennas are used and that the target signal is the loudest signal received, which significantly reduces the resolution requirements on the ADC for reception. Very simple circuit. We are not sure if phase locking or ability to set phase offset is a requirement.

Eventually the FPGA and CPLD, frequency generation and amplifier should be on a single PCB. The FPGA should implement Unipro so we can plug it in into an ARA baseboard. This is the end-target, but prototyping with ARM+FPGA dev board may be easier, or you may have better solution. Alternatively, the first device could be an CLPD + FPGA with a USB interface. Whatever is easier, you probably have a USB FPGA core already. The control board or system should use a Debian linux.

We can provide software in C for an initial forward error correction code. This can be on CPU initially, but move to FPGA is later required to handle full data rates (which may not be hit by the CPLD).

We understand the CPLD can go to 300 Mhz, so 300 MHz modulation of the carrier wave may possible without going to ASICs. Higher frequencies may be possible by including multiple copies of the circuit, with clock skews. For instance, having one DAC for the positive phase and  one for the negative phase. A simple CPLD design should be able to achieve a symbol rate of a few dozen Mhz. The ADC needs a floor and max and adjustment to bring the signal within range. This needs to be changed seldom (assume as most 1000 times per second).

I would get it working with a 1-bit or 2-bit ADC/DAC block on the CPLD and then go from there. Alternatively, if there is a very cheap ADC/DAC chip that can handle these ranges or 3 samples per second at 1.4 Ghz, we could use that and wire it into the FPGA. I have feeling that DAC/ADCs chip rated at the required sampling rate are $100 and that getting board down to $20 will require a degree of ASIC integration in the analog frontend.

So the objective here, is to get a lower frequency prototype working in CPLD
- to reduce risk for doing MOSIS/ASIC prototype that can handle full rate and higher resolution in the ADC/DAC. The symbol baud rate for the ASIC version may require integrated hardware IO pin for interface to FPGA, but is otherwise the same.
- then if that works, get a few wafers on an older process
- to have something working early, so that we can distribute dev boards and start on software development and prototyping, antenna development

That is first generation. Second generation
- multiple DAC/ADCs for running multiple antennas
- digital delay line (same signal from each output, but with defined phase shift and amplitude change) so that we can do phased array
- low frequency control or modulation of phase shift (to allow phase locking, reduce interference between transmitters)
- two antennas can resolve or filter on direction from phase shift of signal received by two antennas at a separation.
- N antennas elements each making independent reading of same signal, helps reduce noise floor.

nonlinearboy
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December 21, 2014, 01:36:33 AM
 #1419

the IPO is coming?
glad to see the update.
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December 21, 2014, 04:12:21 AM
 #1420

I remember when this thread first started...and I have to say that it is my favorite long term watch.

A developer who is constantly updating prior to launching a coin?  It's a bold move, Cotton...and makes me more excited for the tech...

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