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Author Topic: Here is how to compensate bitstream developers  (Read 2607 times)
mrb
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June 03, 2012, 05:07:08 AM
 #1

eldentyrell developed a complex non-self-sufficient bitstream interacting with a centralized infrastructure via encrypted messages to take a reasonable share of the profits of people mining with his fast bitstream. I think this complexity is unnecessary.

There is another way to compensate eldentyrell that would (1) be simpler, and (2), allow him to make more money. I propose that miners pay a variable amount of BTC to be on a waiting list to receive the bitstream before others; each buyer is given a time slot when he will receive the bitstream; the more a buyer pays, the higher on the waiting list, the earlier he receives it. In other words, miners compete with each other to have the privilege of being the first ones to profit from the bitstream, before the rest do (or before the bitstream is leaked).

Example:
- Alice pays 100 BTC, eldentyrell will give her the bitstream on week #1
- Bob pays 80 BTC, gets it on week #2
- Charlie pays 60 BTC, gets it on week #3

If Alice is a large miner and wants no one else to get the bitstream for a few weeks, she can pay to reserve multiple time slots (yay competition!):
- Alice pays 100 BTC -> receives the bitstream on week #1
- Alice pays 80.001 BTC -> week #2
- Alice pays 80.001 BTC -> week #3
- Alice pays 80.001 BTC -> week #4
- Bob pays 80 BTC -> week #5
- Charlie pays 60 BTC -> week #6

If a buyer fails to pay on the week of his time slot, eldentyrell simply skips him, and goes to the next on the list.

Early buyers paid a lot of money to receive it early, and have little incentive to leak the bitstream. Buyers down the list are more likely to leak it, but by this time, eldentyrell should have received most of his compensation.

I think eldentyrell could receive thousands of BTC this way. I, alone, would be ready to pay 100 BTC to reserve a slot!

Comments?

List interested buyers so far:
  • mrb 100 BTC
  • needbmw 50 BTC

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bitfury
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June 03, 2012, 05:36:25 AM
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Bitstream per chip can have reasonable cost ONLY if you have volume of these chips to spread NRE costs of bitstream design...

I have designed even faster bitstream, but if one would offer me $25 for single chip to play with it without limits and protections I would reject that offer for security reasons.

AES-KEY within Spartan6 protects IP no way better, EldenTyrell however pointed me on that, so my delivery idea failed.

So - still there's need for kind of signcrypt server that would control bitstream.

Ask EldenTyrell how much time he spent on this bitstream, and how much he could get for that time say for design of something else like that under contract development. That would make you clue how difficult it gets to design bitstream, and why bitstreams are so scarce compared to say OpenCL code for GPUs.

As with any IP - it is expensive to build one, but cheap to copy... So world usually goes in piracy, espionage to get others' technology, and IP compensations are usually incomplete.

However - there are built-in into bitcoin feature - Assurance contract:

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contracts

=== cut ===
Example 3: Assurance contracts

An assurance contract is a way of funding the creation of a public good, that is, a good that, once created, anyone can benefit from for free. The standard example is a lighthouse: whilst everyone may agree that one should be built, it’s too expensive for an individual sailor to justify building one, given that it will also benefit all his competitors.
=== cut ===

That is doable with BitCoins - but I do not see any implementation "in the wild".

Maybe at some point this would become actual.
mrb
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June 03, 2012, 05:57:16 AM
 #3

Ask EldenTyrell how much time he spent on this bitstream, and how much he could get for that time say for design of something else like that under contract development.

Do the math yourself. You estimated there are 1000 LX150s in the wild mining (probably about right). Assuming all of them run his bitstream, eldentyrell would only make $1300/month. This is not fair compensation. The number of LX150s will increase over time, but it is likely that within 6-12 months, a free/open bitstream matching his performance will be released, reducing his income to zero.

With my suggestion, I think eldentyrell could receive more, likely thousands of BTC (I would pay 100 BTC!)
needbmw
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June 03, 2012, 07:06:04 AM
 #4

I can offer 50BTC too.

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June 03, 2012, 07:18:49 AM
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Quote
AES-KEY within Spartan6 protects IP no way better, EldenTyrell however pointed me on that, so my delivery idea failed.

need explain..... Huh

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mrb
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June 03, 2012, 07:28:34 AM
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need explain..... Huh

"This work covers our results analyzing the Virtex 4, Virtex 5, and Spartan 6 family showing that the encryption mechanism can be completely broken with moderate effort"
Lethos
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June 03, 2012, 08:38:38 AM
 #7

It might sound complicated, but he has achieved something very impressive and it is up to him how to monetise if that is how he plans to release it.

Sure there might be simpler or easier ways, but his method ensures he controls it so that no one can go around reselling it.

He is obviously prepared to put a lot of money and investment aside to ensure it stays that way, so I can not fault him.

Simpler methods do not give him that so why bother. Otherwise he might as well just have it open source and ask for donations.

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June 03, 2012, 08:49:58 AM
 #8

I don't know anything about FPGA or what kind of overhead is created by eldentyrell's "DRM", but on the face of it it seems to me that his method is by far superior, and kudos for being able to pull it off.

I'll preface by saying that your proposed method is a general concept not specific to bitstreams; it applies to any situation where an arbitrary piece of information needs to be monetized and the only way to use it is to receive a copy of it (and specifically where the more people possess it, the less valuable it becomes per person). Since this is a very general and common problem I've been interested in solutions to it for a while, but I suspect what you suggest usually doesn't work, and this includes the bitstream problem.

We should acknowledge that once eldentyrell gives the data to Alice, there's nothing essential distinguishing them - they both equally have access to the data, and can sell it to whoever is willing to pay. Possibly people will be more willing to deal with the "true" originator of the bitstream and eldentyrell may have a better distribution platform, but in theory, if eldentyrell expects to receive a total of X from the following bidders, so should Alice.

So Alice has plenty of incentive to defect. She doesn't have that much incentive not to. Not everybody uses this kind of FPGA, so the difficulty increase from propagating the data is minor, and hasn't much effect on Alice's own mining profits.

If you consider the fact that the next recipients can also trade in the data, and the fact that the time scale of propagating data is much faster than that of receiving mining rewards, and follow this to the logical conclusion, you'll find that eldentyrell will be hard-pressed to sell the data for anything at all; nobody will want to buy something that will be plentiful and worthless in a heartbeat.

Even if this somehow works, it creates unnecessary risk in the valuation. Suppose someone develops an equivalent open-source bitstream tomorrow. Then the data will become worthless, and in retrospect, the data is almost worthless today. When Alice buys the data she doesn't know for how long it will have added value, so she's basically gambling. There's nothing inherently wrong with a risky investment but it's still inferior to a product where you pay exactly what it is worth. With a cut taken by the creator this is what happens - as long as his product creates value he receives a reward proportional to the created value, when it no longer does he's no longer rewarded.

PS the Shapley value for the cut is 50% of the difference, and eldentyrell would be well within his right to charge that. Taking only 20% is basically him being nice.

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pieppiep
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June 03, 2012, 09:15:30 AM
 #9

Cgminer is free but you have the option to donate a percentage to the makers.
Does anyone know how much is donated via this way? It's hard to compare $1300 per month with unknown numbers.
Personally, if I would ever make a faster bitstream for fpga's than available, or faster software for cpu/gpu, I would do it the way cgminer does.
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June 03, 2012, 10:09:14 AM
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Cgminer is free but you have the option to donate a percentage to the makers.
There is no option to donate anything in cgminer. That feature was removed a long time ago because I found very few people donated so I gave up assuming people would be generous if asked. On the other hand, p2pool has a donation feature that is enabled by default unless you disable it manually. I suggested I should enable the donation feature for cgminer when I was working on it by default and I got crucified by a handful of people and decided it wasn't worth the bad karma. So now there is no donation feature at all since I hardly earned anything useful from it.

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June 03, 2012, 02:54:53 PM
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Cgminer is free but you have the option to donate a percentage to the makers.
There is no option to donate anything in cgminer. That feature was removed a long time ago because I found very few people donated so I gave up assuming people would be generous if asked. On the other hand, p2pool has a donation feature that is enabled by default unless you disable it manually. I suggested I should enable the donation feature for cgminer when I was working on it by default and I got crucified by a handful of people and decided it wasn't worth the bad karma. So now there is no donation feature at all since I hardly earned anything useful from it.

Donation sent, CGMiner rocks!

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June 03, 2012, 03:02:59 PM
 #12

Rename thread to:

Here is how NOT to compensate bitstream developers
nedbert9
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June 03, 2012, 03:05:21 PM
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Cgminer is free but you have the option to donate a percentage to the makers.
There is no option to donate anything in cgminer. That feature was removed a long time ago because I found very few people donated so I gave up assuming people would be generous if asked. On the other hand, p2pool has a donation feature that is enabled by default unless you disable it manually. I suggested I should enable the donation feature for cgminer when I was working on it by default and I got crucified by a handful of people and decided it wasn't worth the bad karma. So now there is no donation feature at all since I hardly earned anything useful from it.

Ditto.
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June 03, 2012, 03:09:57 PM
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Rename thread to:

Here is how NOT to compensate bitstream developers

I agree, this won't fly.

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June 03, 2012, 05:52:46 PM
 #15

Early buyers paid a lot of money to receive it early, and have little incentive to leak the bitstream. Buyers down the list are more likely to leak it, but by this time, eldentyrell should have received most of his compensation.

A bunch of clever people would form a group to get the first seat, just to leak it to all of themselves, and possibly others.


Cgminer is free but you have the option to donate a percentage to the makers.
There is no option to donate anything in cgminer. That feature was removed a long time ago because I found very few people donated so I gave up assuming people would be generous if asked. On the other hand, p2pool has a donation feature that is enabled by default unless you disable it manually. I suggested I should enable the donation feature for cgminer when I was working on it by default and I got crucified by a handful of people and decided it wasn't worth the bad karma. So now there is no donation feature at all since I hardly earned anything useful from it.

Same with MPBM. It has that option, and it had it enabled by default from the very beginning, but >90% of people turn it off. It generated a total of around 5-10BTC so far, which is totally not worth it.

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June 03, 2012, 07:25:31 PM
 #16

Rename thread to:

Here is how NOT to compensate bitstream developers
+1

Mrb, weren't you the one that developed a proprietary 6990 miner that only a select few were able to utilize due to this method?

ET's idea is fair and allows everyone to benefit.  If you don't like his compensation method don't use it and put the huge amount of time and effort involved into developing your own bitstream.  Then you can distribute your elite code to the select few.

This entire "he's going to make too much money/btc" thought is a bunch of horseshit.
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June 03, 2012, 07:37:35 PM
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I can offer 50BTC too.

You would pay 50BTC to go from 245MH/s to 258MH/s (effective) ?

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needbmw
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June 03, 2012, 07:51:55 PM
 #18

I can offer 50BTC too.

You would pay 50BTC to go from 245MH/s to 258MH/s (effective) ?

I would pay 50BTC to ET for free downloadable 245MH/s bitstream working without his signcryption servers.

NO PSAKING!
mrb
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June 03, 2012, 08:32:52 PM
 #19

This entire "he's going to make too much money/btc" thought is a bunch of horseshit.

You don't understand me.

I am saying the exact opposite.
eldentyrell's method will make him too little money ($1300/mo with 1000 FPGAs).
My method would likely compensate him more.
mrb
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June 03, 2012, 08:57:54 PM
 #20

So Alice has plenty of incentive to defect. She doesn't have that much incentive not to. Not everybody uses this kind of FPGA, so the difficulty increase from propagating the data is minor, and hasn't much effect on Alice's own mining profits.

[...]

Even if this somehow works, it creates unnecessary risk in the valuation. Suppose someone develops an equivalent open-source bitstream tomorrow. Then the data will become worthless, and in retrospect, the data is almost worthless today. When Alice buys the data she doesn't know for how long it will have added value, so she's basically gambling. There's nothing inherently wrong with a risky investment but it's still inferior to a product where you pay exactly what it is worth. With a cut taken by the creator this is what happens - as long as his product creates value he receives a reward proportional to the created value, when it no longer does he's no longer rewarded.

Thanks. You make very good points in your rebuttal (Alice has incentives to defect, and this is basically a risky investment.)
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