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Author Topic: Time to grow up.  (Read 3767 times)
maaku
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October 09, 2011, 08:25:16 AM
 #1

Ok, seriously folks: what's the point? About once a week we see a “new” coin crop up--or rather, a new fork of bitcoind with minor cosmetic changes. Congratulations, you can follow directions and change a few magic bytes! So what does this new *coin bring to the table?

“Our coin is GPU-hostile!” Ok... and why is that beneficial?

“Our coin continues to reward miners indefinitely!” Great... and what economic impact does that have?

“Our coin has fast[er] transactions!” Sure... just wake me up when it's instantaneous. Anything slower than that is of no practical consequence.

“Our coin ...”

You know what, f--k it. If you're differentiating yourself from bitcoin by some technical difference, you're doing it wrong. Hell, if you're having to explicitly differentiate yourself at all, you're doing it wrong.

But you know what, I'm going to be heretical and say this: if you're creating yet another currency, you're doing it wrong. Because ultimately, you're competing with the 800lb gorilla, and even if this decentralized currency thing takes off, you're still going to have a snowball's chance in hell of being the last one standing when the dust settles.

Let me tell you a little secret: crypto-token systems were *not* invented to create digital cash. It was much later that someone came along and dreamt up that application. So what other applications can you think of, hmm? Think of namecoin--that's pretty innovative (and useful), right? Maybe there is something cool and innovative you can do with bitcoin's codebase, that isn't a currency?

Ok, fine. You insist on doing a currency. So how about one with demurrage, eh? Ok maybe you're not so fond of Silvio Gesell, and John Keynes is more your style--so give us a coin with a fixed inflation. Or maybe one based on LETS/ripple? Or whatever--but make sure you a real economic theory to back up your experiment; otherwise your shitcoin is snake oil and you should be ashamed of yourself.

You know what, let this be an open challenge to the altcoin community: show us something innovative, new, and useful, 'cause you're making us all look bad.

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Lolcust
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October 09, 2011, 08:29:35 AM
 #2

Well, being GPU-hostile places you into a position of living in peace and cooperating with 800lb gorilla instead of competing with it Wink

Geist Geld, the experimental cryptocurrency, is ready for yet another SolidCoin collapse Wink

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maaku
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October 09, 2011, 08:34:27 AM
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Only in a universe where merge-mining is impossible.

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FlipPro
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October 09, 2011, 08:35:58 AM
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I stopped coming here because of the kids.  Cool

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October 09, 2011, 08:39:59 AM
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I stopped coming here because of the kids.  Cool

how's tweetforum workin' out for you?
Going good, we have been working super hard on TF 2.0 and will soon be released for beta.

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October 09, 2011, 08:47:55 AM
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Ok maybe you're not so fond of Silvio Gesell, and John Keynes is more your style--so give us a coin with a fixed inflation.

Define fixed inflation - since inflation is fixed nominally in some of them new coins Wink

Geist Geld, the experimental cryptocurrency, is ready for yet another SolidCoin collapse Wink

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maaku
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October 09, 2011, 09:08:41 AM
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@Lolcust, nominally is different from actually--to my knowledge there is no *coin out which strives for the latter (a much harder problem).

As an aside, I do applaud you for Geist Geld, at least as it was originally presented. It came out just as I was in a debate with someone else about the possibility of bitcoin supporting very-short rounds. I had done some modeling which showed that rounds as short as ~4.5s were possible on the current bitcoin network. Although short round-times have made other attacks against the GEG network much worse, it has not been the root source of any security problems, and the network has been remarkably stable (more stable, in fact, than I had predicted).

GEG singlehandedly dispelled a number of myths about round-times that were until now widely believed on this forum. That kind of experimentation is a Good Thing.

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ripper234
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October 09, 2011, 09:41:16 AM
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maaku - first I saw your post, and I agreed with it.

Then I saw LiteCoin (which might have spurred your post to begin with).

I haven't seen such a serious contender as LiteCoin for the "Bitcoin silver" in a while. Its advantages over the other chains are explained within.

I don't know if "No GPU" is a good feature of a coin or not, but this is the first coin that gives us a good chance to test this.
I will be mining it when it launches.

It is not radically different than Bitcoin, I agree, but no harm in trying other things, at least when you're serious, don't pre-mine, and respect your predecessors. coblee seems to fit these criteria, just by that one post.

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October 09, 2011, 09:44:08 AM
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@Lolcust, nominally is different from actually--to my knowledge there is no *coin out which strives for the latter (a much harder problem).

As an aside, I do applaud you for Geist Geld, at least as it was originally presented. It came out just as I was in a debate with someone else about the possibility of bitcoin supporting very-short rounds. I had done some modeling which showed that rounds as short as ~4.5s were possible on the current bitcoin network. Although short round-times have made other attacks against the GEG network much worse, it has not been the root source of any security problems, and the network has been remarkably stable (more stable, in fact, than I had predicted).

GEG singlehandedly dispelled a number of myths about round-times that were until now widely believed on this forum. That kind of experimentation is a Good Thing.

1) It seems to me that making a coin that has a fixed increase-in-percentile  in miner output is rather trivial.

2) Since I am not economist (so please don't take this question as some kind of pedantic trollolololery), why is nominally fixed output not considered a case of fixed "inflation", is there a universal agreement as to that increase in monetary mass should only be counted in percent of previous output ?

P.S.:

I think it is as good opportunity as any to remind that what is taking place in "consez" is neither proper inflation nor proper deflation, but more of a kind of psychological shenanigan.

Geist Geld, the experimental cryptocurrency, is ready for yet another SolidCoin collapse Wink

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iopq
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October 09, 2011, 10:58:43 AM
 #10

I completely agree

but there's an even better reason not to make a new coin:
someone will just do 51% doublespend attacks on the exchanges if the hash rates are too low
we've seen this with ixcoins and i0coins so far

it's probably easily done with gg, the hashrate is not that high
so there's really room only for three currencies:
1. bitcoins
2. namecoins with merged mining
3. <insert dominant GPU-unfriendly currency>

the joint
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October 09, 2011, 03:55:59 PM
 #11

Alternative currencies are the new Bitcoinduit.

bulanula
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October 09, 2011, 04:03:03 PM
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@Lolcust, nominally is different from actually--to my knowledge there is no *coin out which strives for the latter (a much harder problem).

As an aside, I do applaud you for Geist Geld, at least as it was originally presented. It came out just as I was in a debate with someone else about the possibility of bitcoin supporting very-short rounds. I had done some modeling which showed that rounds as short as ~4.5s were possible on the current bitcoin network. Although short round-times have made other attacks against the GEG network much worse, it has not been the root source of any security problems, and the network has been remarkably stable (more stable, in fact, than I had predicted).

GEG singlehandedly dispelled a number of myths about round-times that were until now widely believed on this forum. That kind of experimentation is a Good Thing.

First you rant about Geist Geld for having faster transactions as its sole selling point but then you praise it? You are contradicting your first post by admitting that the experiment was useful.

I agree though that the economic design is the most important part of any new currency and that currency creators are not paying any attention to it.

Well, take a look at EnCoin mate !
maaku
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October 09, 2011, 05:31:09 PM
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2) Since I am not economist (so please don't take this question as some kind of pedantic trollolololery), why is nominally fixed output not considered a case of fixed "inflation", is there a universal agreement as to that increase in monetary mass should only be counted in percent of previous output ?
You'd have to go to the equation of exchange: (monetary base) x (velocity) = (price level) x (gdp)--velocity being a measure of how quickly money changes hands. A positive increase in price level is what's usually meant by “inflation”, so take the first derivative and isolate d/dt(price level), and you'll see all the terms that need to be dealt with.

To get fixed, positive inflation you'd have to set the block reward to a fixed percentage of the total number of coins (so it changes with each block), then add in a factor to cancel/zero out each of the remaining non-zero/changing terms.

I know of no altchain that does this.

First you rant about Geist Geld for having faster transactions as its sole selling point but then you praise it? You are contradicting your first post by admitting that the experiment was useful.
I didn't rant against anything by name. I was also careful to say “as originally presented” w.r.t GEG. Of course having pre-mined 7m coins then actively working to setup an exchange casts one heck of a dark cloud on the whole project. Why are people still mining now that the experiment is a success? Why is anyone putting up a bid order on the exchange?

Well, take a look at EnCoin mate !
I have, and I don't like it (I had a heated debate with him on the freicoin forums)--my opinion is quite opposite JohnDoe's: it's disastrous from an economics and security standpoint, but nothing is stopping an implementation. I do like that it is a genuinely new idea. But so far it's all talk and no code, and I don't like that.

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maaku
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October 09, 2011, 06:14:03 PM
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@ripper234, “bitcoin silver” is a funny analogy I don't quite get. It's not fundamentally any different than bitcoin in any way. Scrypt vs sha256, short rounds, and a larger monetary base... that's all cosmetic. The last two are literally one-line changes, with very little practical effect. It's still bitcoin protocol, bitcoin scripting language, bitcoin generating curve, and a hash-derived proof of work. It's bitcoin through-and-through, except for a choice of hash function that makes it resistant to parallel implementation.

And why? Because a few people on this forum didn't like that parallel sha256 made mining unprofitable for those without means? Please don't forget that the role of the miner is to provide security to the network, not to make you rich. Those hoards of GPU, FPGA/ASIC mining rigs provide security far, far better than any CPU-based system could. That time traveller attack? It still exists in bitcoin, but thanks to parallel miners, exploiting it would set you back millions of $$. With these new CPU-friendly, security-hostile *coins, any reasonable botnet operator will be able to herd more hashing capacity than the entire legitimate network, far into the foreseeable future.

“Tenebrix/Fairbrix/Litecoin: Bitcoin, minus the security!”

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October 09, 2011, 06:28:20 PM
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@ripper234, “bitcoin silver” is a funny analogy I don't quite get. It's not fundamentally any different than bitcoin in any way. Scrypt vs sha256, short rounds, and a larger monetary base... that's all cosmetic. The last two are literally one-line changes, with very little practical effect. It's still bitcoin protocol, bitcoin scripting language, bitcoin generating curve, and a hash-derived proof of work. It's bitcoin through-and-through, except for a choice of hash function that makes it resistant to parallel implementation.

And why? Because a few people on this forum didn't like that parallel sha256 made mining unprofitable for those without means? Please don't forget that the role of the miner is to provide security to the network, not to make you rich. Those hoards of GPU, FPGA/ASIC mining rigs provide security far, far better than any CPU-based system could. That time traveller attack? It still exists in bitcoin, but thanks to parallel miners, exploiting it would set you back millions of $$. With these new CPU-friendly, security-hostile *coins, any reasonable botnet operator will be able to herd more hashing capacity than the entire legitimate network, far into the foreseeable future.

“Tenebrix/Fairbrix/Litecoin: Bitcoin, minus the security!”

Finally someone that gets the ScamCoin philosophy.
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October 09, 2011, 06:39:24 PM
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@ripper234, “bitcoin silver” is a funny analogy I don't quite get. It's not fundamentally any different than bitcoin in any way. Scrypt vs sha256, short rounds, and a larger monetary base... that's all cosmetic. The last two are literally one-line changes, with very little practical effect. It's still bitcoin protocol, bitcoin scripting language, bitcoin generating curve, and a hash-derived proof of work. It's bitcoin through-and-through, except for a choice of hash function that makes it resistant to parallel implementation.

And why? Because a few people on this forum didn't like that parallel sha256 made mining unprofitable for those without means? Please don't forget that the role of the miner is to provide security to the network, not to make you rich. Those hoards of GPU, FPGA/ASIC mining rigs provide security far, far better than any CPU-based system could. That time traveller attack? It still exists in bitcoin, but thanks to parallel miners, exploiting it would set you back millions of $$. With these new CPU-friendly, security-hostile *coins, any reasonable botnet operator will be able to herd more hashing capacity than the entire legitimate network, far into the foreseeable future.

“Tenebrix/Fairbrix/Litecoin: Bitcoin, minus the security!”

There is a claim that Botnets aren't that big of a threat (e.g. on Tenebrix FAQ). I don't know if it's true or not, time will tell.

The advantages of a CPU friendly network is that literally everyone can play. It's released in a control manner, so no "hidden" early adopters. You don't need to compile C++ or run linux to be an early adopter of LiteCoin - just download and run. When Bitcoin was first released, this was certainly not the case.

I'm not saying that LiteCoin > BitCoin ... again, time will tell.

Fact is, when I told my friends about Bitcoin, half a year ago, I told them "yeah, it's a crypto-currency you can mine at home ... in theory. In practice, don't try it, because you'll just burn your CPU for nothing. How to mine on a GPU? I don't know, it's too late, the hash power is huge already".

So there are people who feel Bitcoin is unfair in some sense. Those people might not feel this about an noob-friendly fair alt chain that doesn't have a ton of pre-mined coins. Or might not.

If the theory is correct, new comers will not feel the "early adopter envy" to such a degree as it was with Bitcoin, and LiteCoin can at least find its market, even if it won't dominate over Bitcoin. I don't have anything better to do with my CPU right now, so I'm trying it out. Perhaps I'll even buy a few when there is an exchange, we'll see.

Every coin I've seen so far wasn't a good candidate as "silver", each for its own reasons. I think NameCoin could have been, but was deliberately underdeveloped (still no GUI, I don't know how much time after release).

Understand, it's not "bitcoin vs the alts". It's "cryptocurrencies vs fiat", and everyone that invests in Bitcoin should invest some portion in alts, because they have some chance of out-growing bitcoin, at least relatively. Even if Bitcoin market cap is X1000 than LiteCoin in a year, perhaps if I invest a small amount of time & money today, my money will grow by a factor of 1000, while Bitcoin might only grow by a factor of 10. I don't know the likelihood of this scenario, but I believe it's possible.

Sorry for the long post.

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maaku
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October 09, 2011, 06:50:33 PM
 #17

@ripper234, if the first thing that comes to your mind in describing bitcoin is “you can mine it at home”, then you're missing the point entirely, and we can talk past each other until the cows come home.

If you have CPU-hours to burn, then at least contribute to Folding@Home, or something equally worthwhile.

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October 09, 2011, 06:58:22 PM
 #18

@ripper234, if the first thing that comes to your mind in describing bitcoin is “you can mine it at home”, then you're missing the point entirely, and we can talk past each other until the cows come home.

If you have CPU-hours to burn, then at least contribute to Folding@Home, or something equally worthwhile.

I'm not missing the point, trust me.

What's exciting about Bitcoin is the theoretical possibility of mining it at home, even if in practice it's not relevant right now.
It's still a very exciting project.

The excitement comes from it being peer to peer, and minting not being limited to a select group of people. Everybody can be a miner if they chooses - it's just not worth it to most people.

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October 09, 2011, 07:19:45 PM
 #19

As long as we're talking philosophical principles, fine. The “point” I'm referring to is that a secure, distributed currency and a democratic everybody-can-mine-at-home crypto-token are provably opposite goals. It is technologically and economically impossible for the latter coin to ever reach bitcoin valuations. Anyone trying to convince you otherwise is selling snake oil.

This is the essence of the scamcoin--either to get you to believe that you can get in early and make big bucks (a classic investment con), or get you to invest in the impossible (snake oil).

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October 09, 2011, 07:49:17 PM
 #20

It is technologically and economically impossible for the latter coin to ever reach bitcoin valuations.

1. Why?
2. Even if it does't "reach bitcoin valuations", but just 1/100th of it, and stablizes at that valuation, then how is it a scam? It's a good deal for early adopters, but it's not a pump & dump.

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