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d down, k up, everybody's a game theorist, titcoin, build wiki on Cardano, (e-)voting, competitive marketing analysis, Goguen product update, Alexa likes Charles, David hates all, Adam in and bros in arms with the scientific counterparts of the major cryptocurrency groups, the latest AMA for all!
Decreasing d parameter Just signed the latest change management document, I was the last in the chain so I signed it today for changing the d parameter from 0.52 to 0.5. That means we are just about to cross the threshold here in a little bit for d to fall below 0.5 which means more than half of all the blocks will be made by the community and not the OBFT nodes. That's a major milestone and at this current rate of velocity it looks like d will decrement to zero around March so lots to do, lots to talk about. Product update, two days from now, we'll go ahead and talk about that but it crossed my desk today and I was really happy and excited about that and it seemed like yesterday that d was equal to one and people were complaining that we delayed it by an epoch and now we're almost at 50 percent. For those of you who want parameter-level changes, k-level changes, they are coming and there's an enormous internal conversation about it and we've written up a powerpoint presentation and a philosophy document about why things were designed the way that they're designed. Increasing k parameter and upcoming security video and everybody's a game theorist My chief scientist has put an enormous amount of time into this. Aggelos is very passionate about this particular topic and what I'm going to do is similar to the security video that I did where I did an hour and a half discussion about a best practice for security. I'm going to actually do a screencasted video where I talk about this philosophy document and I'm going to read the entire document with annotations with you guys and kind of talk through it. It might end up being quite a long video. It could be several hours long but I think it's really important to talk around the design philosophy of this. It's kind of funny, everybody, when they see a cryptographic paper or math paper, they tend to just say okay you guys figure that out. No one's an expert in cryptography or math and you don't really get strong opinions about it but game theory despite the fact that the topics as complex and in some cases more complex you tend to get a lot of opinions and everybody's a game theorist. So, there was enormous amount of thought that went into the design of the system, the parameters of system, everything from the reward functions to other things and it's very important that we explain that thought process in as detailed of a way as possible. At least the philosophy behind it then I feel that the community is in a really good position to start working on the change management. It is my position that I'd love to see k largely increased. I do think that the software needs some improvements to get there especially partial delegation delegation portfolios and some enhancements into the operation of staking especially. E-voting I'd love to see the existence of hybrid wallets where you have a cold part a hot part and we've had a lot of conversations about that and we will present some of the progress in that matter at the product updates. If not this October certainly in November. A lot of commercialization going along, a lot of things going on and flowing around and you know, commercial teams working hard. As I mentioned we have a lot of deals in the pipeline. The Wyoming event was half political, half sales. We were really looking into e-voting and we had very productive conversations along those lines. It is my goal that Cardano e-voting software is used in political primaries and my hope is for eventually to be used in municipal and state and eventually federal elections and then in national elections for countries like Ethiopia, Mongolia and other places. Now there is a long road, long, long road to get there and many little victories that have to begin but this event. Wyoming was kind of the opener into that conversation there were seven independent parties at the independent national convention and we had a chance to talk to the leadership of many of them. We will also engage in conversation with the libertarian party leadership as well and at the very least we could talk about e-voting and also blockchain-based voting for primaries that would be great start and we'll also look into the state of Wyoming for that as well. We'll you know, tell you guys about that in time. We've already gotten a lot of inquiries about e-voting software. We tend to get them along with the (Atala) Prism inquiries. It's actually quite easy to start conversations but there are a lot of security properties that are very important like end-to-end verifiability hybrid ballots where you have both a digital and a paper ballot delegation mechanics as well as privacy mechanics that are interesting on a case-by-case basis. Goguen, voting, future fund3, competitive marketing analysis of Ouroboros vs. EOS, Tezos, Algorand, ETH2 and Polkadot, new creative director We'll keep chipping away at that, a lot of Goguen stuff to talk about but I'm going to reserve all of that for two days from now for the product update. We're right in the middle, Goguen metadata was the very first part of it. We already have some commercialization platform as a result of metadata, more to come and then obviously lots of smart contract stuff to come. This update and the November update are going to be very Goguen focused and also a lot of alternatives as well. We're still on schedule for an HFC event in I think November or December. I can't remember but that's going to be carrying a lot of things related multisig token locking. There's some ledger rule changes so it has to be an HFC event and that opens up a lot of the windows for Goguen foundations as well as voting on chain so fund3 will benefit very heavily from that. We're right in the guts of Daedalus right now building the voting center, the identity center, QR-code work. All this stuff, it's a lot of stuff, you know, the cell phone app was released last week. Kind of an early beta, it'll go through a lot of rapid iterations every few weeks. We'll update it, google play is a great foundation to launch things on because it's so easy to push updates to people automatically so you can rapidly iterate and be very agile in that framework and you know we've already had 3500 people involved heavily in the innovation management platform ideascale and we've got numerous bids from everything. From John Buck and the sociocracy movement to others. A lot of people want to help us improve that and we're going to see steady and systematic growth there. We're still chipping away at product marketing. Liza (Horowitz) is doing a good job, meet with her two three-times a week and right now it's Ouroboros, Ouroboros, Ouroboros... We're doing competitive analysis of Ouroboros versus EOS, Tezos, Algorand, ETH2 and Polkadot. We think that's a good set. We think we have a really good way of explaining it. David (David Likes Crypto now at IOHK) has already made some great content. We're going to release that soon alongside some other content and we'll keep chipping away at that. We also just hired a creative director for IO Global. His name's Adam, incredibly experienced creative director, he's worked for Mercedes-Benz and dozens of other companies. He does very good work and he's been doing this for well over 20 years and so the very first set of things he's going to do is work with commercial and marketing on product marketing. In addition to building great content where hope is make that content as pretty as possible and we have Rod heavily involved in that as well to talk about distribution channels and see if we can amplify the distribution message and really get a lot of stuff done. Last thing to mention, oh yeah, iOS for catalyst. We're working on that, we submitted it to the apple store, the iOS store, but it takes a little longer to get approval for that than it does with google play but that's been submitted and it's whenever apple approves it or not. Takes a little longer for cryptocurrency stuff. Wiki shizzle and battle for crypto, make crypto articles on wiki great again, Alexa knows Charles, Everpedia meets Charles podcast, holy-grail land of Cardano, wiki on Cardano, titcoin Wikipedia... kind of rattled the cage a little bit. Through an intermediary we got contact with Jimmy Wales. Larry Sanger, the other co-founder also reached out to me and the everpedia guys reached out to me. Here's where we stand, we have an article, it has solidified, it's currently labeled as unreliable and you should not believe the things that are said in it which is David Gerard's work if you look at the edits. We will work with the community and try to get that article to a fair and balanced representation of Cardano and especially after the product marketing comes through. We clearly explain the product I think the Cardano article can be massively strengthened. I've told Rod to work with some specialized people to try to get that done but we are going to work very hard at a systematic approval campaign for all of the scientific articles related to blockchain technology in the cryptocurrency space. They're just terrible, if you go to the proof of work article, the proof of stake or all these things, they're just terrible. They're not well written, they're out of date and they don't reflect an adequate sampling of the science. I did talk to my chief scientist Aggelos and what we're gonna do is reach out to the scientific counterparts that most of the major cryptocurrency groups that are doing research and see if they want to work with us at an industry-wide effort to systematically improve the scientific articles in our industry so that there are a fair and balanced representation of what the current state of the art are, the criticisms, the trade-offs as well as the reference space and of course obviously we'll do quite well in that respect because we've done the science. We're the inheritor of it but it's a shame because when people search proof of stake on google usually wikipedia results are highly biased. We care about wikipedia because google cares about wikipedia, amazon cares about wikipedia. If you ask Alexa who is Charles Hoskinson, the reason why Alexa knows is because it's reading directly from the wikipedia page. If I didn't have a wikipedia page Alexa would know that so if somebody says Alexa what is Cardano it's going to read directly from the wikipedia page and you know and we can either just pretend that reality doesn't exist or we can accept it and we as a community working with partners in the broader cryptocurrency community can universally improve the quality of cryptocurrency pages. There's been a pattern of commercial censorship on wikipedia for cryptocurrencies in general since bitcoin itself. In fact I think the bitcoin article is actually taken down once back in, might have been, 2010 or 2009 but basically wikipedia has not been a friend of cryptocurrencies. That's why everpedia exists and actually their founders reached out to me and I talked to them over twitter through PMs and we agreed to actually do a podcast. I'm going to do a streamyard, stream with these guys and they'll come on talk all about everpedia and what they do and how they are and we'll kind of go through the challenges that they've encountered. How their platform works and so forth and obviously if they want to ever leave that terrible ecosystem EOS and come to the holy-grail land of Cardano we'd be there to help them out. At least they can tell the world how amazing their product is and also the challenges they're having to overcome. We've also been in great contact with Larry Sanger. He's going to do an internal seminar at some point with with us and talk about some protocols he's been developing since he left wikipedia specifically to decentralize knowledge management and have a truly decentralized encyclopedia. I'm really looking forward to that and I hope that presentation gives us some inspiration as an ecosystem of things we can do. That's a great piece of infrastructure regardless and after we learn a lot more about it and we talk to a lot of people in ecosystem. If we can't get people to move on over, it would be really good to see through ideascale in the innovation management platform for people to utilize the dc fund to build their own variant of wikipedia on Cardano. In the coming months there will certainly be funding available. If you guys are so passionate about this particular problem that you want to go solve it then I'd be happy to play Elon Musk with the hyperloop and write a white paper on a protocol design and really give a good first start and then you guys can go and try to commercialize that technology as Cardano native assets and Plutus smart contracts in addition to other pieces of technology that have to be brought in to make it practical. Right now we're just, let's talk to everybody phase, and we'll talk to the everpedia guys, we're going to talk to Larry and we're going to see whoever else is in this game and of course we have to accept the incumbency as it is. So, we're working with obviously the wikipedia side to improve the quality of not only our article but all of the articles and the scientific side of things so that there's a fair and accurate representation of information. One of the reasons why I'm so concerned about this is that I am very worried that Cardano projects will get commercially censored like we were commercially censored. So, yes we do have a page but it took five years to get there and we're a multi-billion dollar project with hundreds of thousands of people. If you guys are doing cutting-edge novel interesting stuff I don't want your experience to be the same as ours where you have to wait five years for your project to get a page even after government's adopted. That's absurd, no one should be censored ever. This is very well a fight for the entire ecosystem, the entire community, not just Cardano but all cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, ethereum and Cardano have all faced commercial censorship and article deletions during their tenure so I don't want you guys to go through that. I'm hoping we can prove that situation but you know you don't put all your eggs in one basket and frankly the time has come for wikipedia to be fully decentralized and liberated from a centralized organization and massively variable quality in the editor base. If legends of valor has a page but Cardano didn't have one until recently titcoin, a pornography coin from 2015, that's deprecated, no one uses it, has a page but Cardano couldn't get one there's something seriously wrong with the quality control mechanism and we need to improve that so it'll get done.
Taproot! Everybody wants to have it, somebody wants to make it, nobody knows how to get it! (If you are asking why everybody wants it, see: Technical: Taproot: Why Activate?) (Pedants: I mostly elide over lockin times) Briefly, Taproot is that neat new thing that gets us:
Multisignatures (n-of-n, k-of-n) that are just 1 signature (1-of-1) in length!! (MuSig/Schnorr)
Better privacy!! If all contract participants can agree, just use a multisignature. If there is a dispute, show the contract publicly and have the Bitcoin network resolve it (Taproot/MAST).
Activation lets devs work get back to work on the even newer stuff like!!!
Cross-input signature aggregation!! (transaction with multiple inputs can have a single signature for all inputs) --- needs Schnorr, but some more work needed to ensure that the interactions with SCRIPT are okay.
Block validation - Schnorr signatures for all taproot spends in a block can be validated in a single operation instead of for each transaction!! Speed up validation and maybe we can actually afford to increase block sizes (maybe)!!
SIGHASH_ANYPREVOUT - you know, for Decker-Russell-Osuntokun ("eltoo") magic!!!
OP_CHECKTEMPLATEVERIFY - vaulty vaults without requiring storing signatures, just transaction details!!
So yes, let's activate taproot!
The SegWit Wars
The biggest problem with activating Taproot is PTSD from the previous softfork, SegWit. Pieter Wuille, one of the authors of the current Taproot proposal, has consistently held the position that he will not discuss activation, and will accept whatever activation process is imposed on Taproot. Other developers have expressed similar opinions. So what happened with SegWit activation that was so traumatic? SegWit used the BIP9 activation method. Let's dive into BIP9!
bit - A field in the block header, the nVersion, has a number of bits. By setting a particular bit, the miner making the block indicates that it has upgraded its software to support a particular soft fork. The bit parameter for a BIP9 activation is which bit in this nVersion is used to indicate that the miner has upgraded software for a particular soft fork.
timeout - a time limit, expressed as an end date. If this timeout is reached without sufficient number of miners signaling that they upgraded, then the activation fails and Bitcoin Core goes back to the drawing board.
Now there are other parameters (name, starttime) but they are not anywhere near as important as the above two. A number that is not a parameter, is 95%. Basically, activation of a BIP9 softfork is considered as actually succeeding if at least 95% of blocks in the last 2 weeks had the specified bit in the nVersion set. If less than 95% had this bit set before the timeout, then the upgrade fails and never goes into the network. This is not a parameter: it is a constant defined by BIP9, and developers using BIP9 activation cannot change this. So, first some simple questions and their answers:
Why not just set a day when everyone starts imposing the new rules of the softfork?
This was done classically (in the days when Satoshi was still among us). But this might argued to put too much power to developers, since there would be no way to reject an upgrade without possible bad consequences. For example, developers might package an upgrade that the users do not want, together with vital security bugfixes. Either you live without vital security bugfixes and hire some other developers to fix it for you (which can be difficult, presumably the best developers are already the ones working on the codebase) or you get the vital security bugfixes and implicitly support the upgrade you might not want.
Sure, you could fork the code yourself (the ultimate threat in the FOSS world) and hire another set of developers who aren't assholes to do the dreary maintenance work of fixing security bugs, but Bitcoin needs strong bug-for-bug compatibility so everyone should really congregate around a single codebase.
Basically: even the devs do not want this power, because they fear being coerced into putting "upgrades" that are detrimental to users. Satoshi got a pass because nobody knew who he was and how to coerce him.
Suppose the threshold were lower, like 51%. If so, after activation, somebody can disrupt the Bitcoin network by creating a transaction that is valid under the pre-softfork rules, but are invalid under the post-softfork rules. Upgraded nodes would reject it, but 49% of miners would accept it and include it in a block (which makes the block invalid) And then the same 49% would accept the invalid block and build on top of that, possibly creating a short chain of doomed invalid blocks that confirm an invalid spend. This can confuse SPV wallets, who might see multiple confirmations of a transaction and accept the funds, but later find that in fact it is invalid under the now-activated softfork rules.
Thus, a very high threshold was imposed. 95% is considered safe. 50% is definitely not safe. Due to variance in the mining process, 80% could also be potentially unsafe (i.e. 80% of blocks signaling might have a good chance of coming from only 60% of miners), so a threshold of 95% was considered "safe enough for Bitcoin work".
Why have a timeout that disables the upgrade?
Before BIP9, what was used was either flag day or BIP34. BIP34 had no flag day of activation or a bit, instead, it was just a 95% threshold to signal an nVersion value greater than a specific value. Actually, it was two thresholds: at 75%, blocks with the new nVersion would have the new softfork rules imposed, but at 95% blocks with the old nVersion would be rejected (and only the new blocks, with the new softfork rules, were accepted). For one, between 75% and 95%, there was a situation where the softfork was only "partially imposed", only blocks signaling the new rules would actually have those rules, but blocks with the old rules were still valid. This was fine for BIP34, which only added rules for miners with negligible use for non-miners.
The reasons miners signalled support was because they felt they were being pressured to signal support. So they signalled support, with plans to actually upgrade later, but because of the widespread signalling, the new BIP66 version locked in before upgrade plans were finished. Thus, the timeout that disables the upgrade was added in BIP9 to allow miners an escape hatch.
The Great Battles of the SegWit Wars
SegWit not only fixed transaction malleability, it also created a practical softforkable blocksize increase that also rebalanced weights so that the cost of spending a UTXO is about the same as the cost of creating UTXOs (and spending UTXOs is "better" since it limits the size of the UTXO set that every fullnode has to maintain). So SegWit was written, the activation was decided to be BIP9, and then.... miner signalling stalled at below 75%. Thus were the Great SegWit Wars started.
BIP9 Feature Hostage
If you are a miner with at least 5% global hashpower, you can hold a BIP9-activated softfork hostage. You might even secretly want the softfork to actually push through. But you might want to extract concession from the users and the developers. Like removing the halvening. Or raising or even removing the block size caps (which helps larger miners more than smaller miners, making it easier to become a bigger fish that eats all the smaller fishes). Or whatever. With BIP9, you can hold the softfork hostage. You just hold out and refuse to signal. You tell everyone you will signal, if and only if certain concessions are given to you. This ability by miners to hold a feature hostage was enabled because of the miner-exit allowed by the timeout on BIP9. Prior to that, miners were considered little more than expendable security guards, paid for the risk they take to secure the network, but not special in the grand scheme of Bitcoin.
ASICBoost was a novel way of optimizing SHA256 mining, by taking advantage of the structure of the 80-byte header that is hashed in order to perform proof-of-work. The details of ASICBoost are out-of-scope here but you can read about it elsewhere Here is a short summary of the two types of ASICBoost, relevant to the activation discussion.
Overt ASICBoost - Manipulates the unused bits in nVersion to reduce power consumption in mining.
Covert ASICBoost - Manipulates the order of transactions in the block to reduce power consumption in mining.
Now, "overt" means "obvious", while "covert" means hidden. Overt ASICBoost is obvious because nVersion bits that are not currently in use for BIP9 activations are usually 0 by default, so setting those bits to 1 makes it obvious that you are doing something weird (namely, Overt ASICBoost). Covert ASICBoost is non-obvious because the order of transactions in a block are up to the miner anyway, so the miner rearranging the transactions in order to get lower power consumption is not going to be detected. Unfortunately, while Overt ASICBoost was compatible with SegWit, Covert ASICBoost was not. This is because, pre-SegWit, only the block header Merkle tree committed to the transaction ordering. However, with SegWit, another Merkle tree exists, which commits to transaction ordering as well. Covert ASICBoost would require more computation to manipulate two Merkle trees, obviating the power benefits of Covert ASICBoost anyway. Now, miners want to use ASICBoost (indeed, about 60->70% of current miners probably use the Overt ASICBoost nowadays; if you have a Bitcoin fullnode running you will see the logs with lots of "60 of last 100 blocks had unexpected versions" which is exactly what you would see with the nVersion manipulation that Overt ASICBoost does). But remember: ASICBoost was, at around the time, a novel improvement. Not all miners had ASICBoost hardware. Those who did, did not want it known that they had ASICBoost hardware, and wanted to do Covert ASICBoost! But Covert ASICBoost is incompatible with SegWit, because SegWit actually has two Merkle trees of transaction data, and Covert ASICBoost works by fudging around with transaction ordering in a block, and recomputing two Merkle Trees is more expensive than recomputing just one (and loses the ASICBoost advantage). Of course, those miners that wanted Covert ASICBoost did not want to openly admit that they had ASICBoost hardware, they wanted to keep their advantage secret because miners are strongly competitive in a very tight market. And doing ASICBoost Covertly was just the ticket, but they could not work post-SegWit. Fortunately, due to the BIP9 activation process, they could hold SegWit hostage while covertly taking advantage of Covert ASICBoost!
UASF: BIP148 and BIP8
When the incompatibility between Covert ASICBoost and SegWit was realized, still, activation of SegWit stalled, and miners were still not openly claiming that ASICBoost was related to non-activation of SegWit. Eventually, a new proposal was created: BIP148. With this rule, 3 months before the end of the SegWit timeout, nodes would reject blocks that did not signal SegWit. Thus, 3 months before SegWit timeout, BIP148 would force activation of SegWit. This proposal was not accepted by Bitcoin Core, due to the shortening of the timeout (it effectively times out 3 months before the initial SegWit timeout). Instead, a fork of Bitcoin Core was created which added the patch to comply with BIP148. This was claimed as a User Activated Soft Fork, UASF, since users could freely download the alternate fork rather than sticking with the developers of Bitcoin Core. Now, BIP148 effectively is just a BIP9 activation, except at its (earlier) timeout, the new rules would be activated anyway (instead of the BIP9-mandated behavior that the upgrade is cancelled at the end of the timeout). BIP148 was actually inspired by the BIP8 proposal (the link here is a historical version; BIP8 has been updated recently, precisely in preparation for Taproot activation). BIP8 is basically BIP9, but at the end of timeout, the softfork is activated anyway rather than cancelled. This removed the ability of miners to hold the softfork hostage. At best, they can delay the activation, but not stop it entirely by holding out as in BIP9. Of course, this implies risk that not all miners have upgraded before activation, leading to possible losses for SPV users, as well as again re-pressuring miners to signal activation, possibly without the miners actually upgrading their software to properly impose the new softfork rules.
BIP91, SegWit2X, and The Aftermath
BIP148 inspired countermeasures, possibly from the Covert ASiCBoost miners, possibly from concerned users who wanted to offer concessions to miners. To this day, the common name for BIP148 - UASF - remains an emotionally-charged rallying cry for parts of the Bitcoin community. One of these was SegWit2X. This was brokered in a deal between some Bitcoin personalities at a conference in New York, and thus part of the so-called "New York Agreement" or NYA, another emotionally-charged acronym. The text of the NYA was basically:
Set up a new activation threshold at 80% signalled at bit 4 (vs bit 1 for SegWit).
When this 80% signalling was reached, miners would require that bit 1 for SegWit be signalled to achive the 95% activation needed for SegWit.
If the bit 4 signalling reached 80%, increase the block weight limit from the SegWit 4000000 to the SegWit2X 8000000, 6 months after bit 1 activation.
The first item above was coded in BIP91. Unfortunately, if you read the BIP91, independently of NYA, you might come to the conclusion that BIP91 was only about lowering the threshold to 80%. In particular, BIP91 never mentions anything about the second point above, it never mentions that bit 4 80% threshold would also signal for a later hardfork increase in weight limit. Because of this, even though there are claims that NYA (SegWit2X) reached 80% dominance, a close reading of BIP91 shows that the 80% dominance was only for SegWit activation, without necessarily a later 2x capacity hardfork (SegWit2X). This ambiguity of bit 4 (NYA says it includes a 2x capacity hardfork, BIP91 says it does not) has continued to be a thorn in blocksize debates later. Economically speaking, Bitcoin futures between SegWit and SegWit2X showed strong economic dominance in favor of SegWit (SegWit2X futures were traded at a fraction in value of SegWit futures: I personally made a tidy but small amount of money betting against SegWit2X in the futures market), so suggesting that NYA achieved 80% dominance even in mining is laughable, but the NYA text that ties bit 4 to SegWit2X still exists. Historically, BIP91 triggered which caused SegWit to activate before the BIP148 shorter timeout. BIP148 proponents continue to hold this day that it was the BIP148 shorter timeout and no-compromises-activate-on-August-1 that made miners flock to BIP91 as a face-saving tactic that actually removed the second clause of NYA. NYA supporters keep pointing to the bit 4 text in the NYA and the historical activation of BIP91 as a failed promise by Bitcoin developers.
We have discussed BIP8: roughly, it has bit and timeout, if 95% of miners signal bit it activates, at the end of timeout it activates. (EDIT: BIP8 has had recent updates: at the end of timeout it can now activate or fail. For the most part, in the below text "BIP8", means BIP8-and-activate-at-timeout, and "BIP9" means BIP8-and-fail-at-timeout) So let's take a look at Modern Softfork Activation!
Modern Softfork Activation
This is a more complex activation method, composed of BIP9 and BIP8 as supcomponents.
First have a 12-month BIP9 (fail at timeout).
If the above fails to activate, have a 6-month discussion period during which users and developers and miners discuss whether to continue to step 3.
Have a 24-month BIP8 (activate at timeout).
The total above is 42 months, if you are counting: 3.5 years worst-case activation. The logic here is that if there are no problems, BIP9 will work just fine anyway. And if there are problems, the 6-month period should weed it out. Finally, miners cannot hold the feature hostage since the 24-month BIP8 period will exist anyway.
PSA: Being Resilient to Upgrades
Software is very birttle. Anyone who has been using software for a long time has experienced something like this:
You hear a new version of your favorite software has a nice new feature.
Excited, you install the new version.
You find that the new version has subtle incompatibilities with your current workflow.
You are sad and downgrade to the older version.
You find out that the new version has changed your files in incompatible ways that the old version cannot work with anymore.
You tearfully reinstall the newer version and figure out how to get your lost productivity now that you have to adapt to a new workflow
If you are a technically-competent user, you might codify your workflow into a bunch of programs. And then you upgrade one of the external pieces of software you are using, and find that it has a subtle incompatibility with your current workflow which is based on a bunch of simple programs you wrote yourself. And if those simple programs are used as the basis of some important production system, you hve just screwed up because you upgraded software on an important production system. And well, one of the issues with new softfork activation is that if not enough people (users and miners) upgrade to the newest Bitcoin software, the security of the new softfork rules are at risk. Upgrading software of any kind is always a risk, and the more software you build on top of the software-being-upgraded, the greater you risk your tower of software collapsing while you change its foundations. So if you have some complex Bitcoin-manipulating system with Bitcoin somewhere at the foundations, consider running two Bitcoin nodes:
One is a "stable-version" Bitcoin node. Once it has synced, set it up to connect=x.x.x.x to the second node below (so that your ISP bandwidth is only spent on the second node). Use this node to run all your software: it's a stable version that you don't change for long periods of time. Enable txiindex, disable pruning, whatever your software needs.
The other is an "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin Node. Keep its stoarge down with pruning (initially sync it off the "stable-version" node). You can't use blocksonly if your "stable-version" node needs to send transactions, but otherwise this "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin node can be kept as a low-resource node, so you can run both nodes in the same machine.
When a new Bitcoin version comes up, you just upgrade the "always-up-to-date" Bitcoin node. This protects you if a future softfork activates, you will only receive valid Bitcoin blocks and transactions. Since this node has nothing running on top of it, it is just a special peer of the "stable-version" node, any software incompatibilities with your system software do not exist. Your "stable-version" Bitcoin node remains the same version until you are ready to actually upgrade this node and are prepared to rewrite most of the software you have running on top of it due to version compatibility problems. When upgrading the "always-up-to-date", you can bring it down safely and then start it later. Your "stable-version" wil keep running, disconnected from the network, but otherwise still available for whatever queries. You do need some system to stop the "always-up-to-date" node if for any reason the "stable-version" goes down (otherwisee if the "always-up-to-date" advances its pruning window past what your "stable-version" has, the "stable-version" cannot sync afterwards), but if you are technically competent enough that you need to do this, you are technically competent enough to write such a trivial monitor program (EDIT: gmax notes you can adjust the pruning window by RPC commands to help with this as well). This recommendation is from gmaxwell on IRC, by the way.
Summary: Everyone knows that when you give your assets to someone else, they always keep them safe. If this is true for individuals, it is certainly true for businesses. Custodians always tell the truth and manage funds properly. They won't have any interest in taking the assets as an exchange operator would. Auditors tell the truth and can't be misled. That's because organizations that are regulated are incapable of lying and don't make mistakes. First, some background. Here is a summary of how custodians make us more secure: Previously, we might give Alice our crypto assets to hold. There were risks:
Alice might take the assets and disappear.
Alice might spend the assets and pretend that she still has them (fractional model).
Alice might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Alice might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Alice might lose access to the assets.
But "no worries", Alice has a custodian named Bob. Bob is dressed in a nice suit. He knows some politicians. And he drives a Porsche. "So you have nothing to worry about!". And look at all the benefits we get:
Alice can't take the assets and disappear (unless she asks Bob or never gives them to Bob).
Alice can't spend the assets and pretend that she still has them. (Unless she didn't give them to Bob or asks him for them.)
Alice can't store the assets insecurely so they get stolen. (After all - she doesn't have any control over the withdrawal process from any of Bob's systems, right?)
Alice can't give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force. (Bob will stop her, right Bob?)
Alice can't lose access to the funds. (She'll always be present, sane, and remember all secrets, right?)
See - all problems are solved! All we have to worry about now is:
Bob might take the assets and disappear.
Bob might spend the assets and pretend that he still has them (fractional model).
Bob might store the assets insecurely and they'll get stolen.
Bob might give the assets to someone else by mistake or by force.
Bob might lose access to the assets.
It's pretty simple. Before we had to trust Alice. Now we only have to trust Alice, Bob, and all the ways in which they communicate. Just think of how much more secure we are! "On top of that", Bob assures us, "we're using a special wallet structure". Bob shows Alice a diagram. "We've broken the balance up and store it in lots of smaller wallets. That way", he assures her, "a thief can't take it all at once". And he points to a historic case where a large sum was taken "because it was stored in a single wallet... how stupid". "Very early on, we used to have all the crypto in one wallet", he said, "and then one Christmas a hacker came and took it all. We call him the Grinch. Now we individually wrap each crypto and stick it under a binary search tree. The Grinch has never been back since." "As well", Bob continues, "even if someone were to get in, we've got insurance. It covers all thefts and even coercion, collusion, and misplaced keys - only subject to the policy terms and conditions." And with that, he pulls out a phone-book sized contract and slams it on the desk with a thud. "Yep", he continues, "we're paying top dollar for one of the best policies in the country!" "Can I read it?' Alice asks. "Sure," Bob says, "just as soon as our legal team is done with it. They're almost through the first chapter." He pauses, then continues. "And can you believe that sales guy Mike? He has the same year Porsche as me. I mean, what are the odds?" "Do you use multi-sig?", Alice asks. "Absolutely!" Bob replies. "All our engineers are fully trained in multi-sig. Whenever we want to set up a new wallet, we generate 2 separate keys in an air-gapped process and store them in this proprietary system here. Look, it even requires the biometric signature from one of our team members to initiate any withdrawal." He demonstrates by pressing his thumb into the display. "We use a third-party cloud validation API to match the thumbprint and authorize each withdrawal. The keys are also backed up daily to an off-site third-party." "Wow that's really impressive," Alice says, "but what if we need access for a withdrawal outside of office hours?" "Well that's no issue", Bob says, "just send us an email, call, or text message and we always have someone on staff to help out. Just another part of our strong commitment to all our customers!" "What about Proof of Reserve?", Alice asks. "Of course", Bob replies, "though rather than publish any blockchain addresses or signed transaction, for privacy we just do a SHA256 refactoring of the inverse hash modulus for each UTXO nonce and combine the smart contract coefficient consensus in our hyperledger lightning node. But it's really simple to use." He pushes a button and a large green checkmark appears on a screen. "See - the algorithm ran through and reserves are proven." "Wow", Alice says, "you really know your stuff! And that is easy to use! What about fiat balances?" "Yeah, we have an auditor too", Bob replies, "Been using him for a long time so we have quite a strong relationship going! We have special books we give him every year and he's very efficient! Checks the fiat, crypto, and everything all at once!" "We used to have a nice offline multi-sig setup we've been using without issue for the past 5 years, but I think we'll move all our funds over to your facility," Alice says. "Awesome", Bob replies, "Thanks so much! This is perfect timing too - my Porsche got a dent on it this morning. We have the paperwork right over here." "Great!", Alice replies. And with that, Alice gets out her pen and Bob gets the contract. "Don't worry", he says, "you can take your crypto-assets back anytime you like - just subject to our cancellation policy. Our annual management fees are also super low and we don't adjust them often". How many holes have to exist for your funds to get stolen? Just one. Why are we taking a powerful offline multi-sig setup, widely used globally in hundreds of different/lacking regulatory environments with 0 breaches to date, and circumventing it by a demonstrably weak third party layer? And paying a great expense to do so? If you go through the list of breaches in the past 2 years to highly credible organizations, you go through the list of major corporate frauds (only the ones we know about), you go through the list of all the times platforms have lost funds, you go through the list of times and ways that people have lost their crypto from identity theft, hot wallet exploits, extortion, etc... and then you go through this custodian with a fine-tooth comb and truly believe they have value to add far beyond what you could, sticking your funds in a wallet (or set of wallets) they control exclusively is the absolute worst possible way to take advantage of that security. The best way to add security for crypto-assets is to make a stronger multi-sig. With one custodian, what you are doing is giving them your cryptocurrency and hoping they're honest, competent, and flawlessly secure. It's no different than storing it on a really secure exchange. Maybe the insurance will cover you. Didn't work for Bitpay in 2015. Didn't work for Yapizon in 2017. Insurance has never paid a claim in the entire history of cryptocurrency. But maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe your exact scenario will buck the trend and be what they're willing to cover. After the large deductible and hopefully without a long and expensive court battle. And you want to advertise this increase in risk, the lapse of judgement, an accident waiting to happen, as though it's some kind of benefit to customers ("Free institutional-grade storage for your digital assets.")? And then some people are writing to the OSC that custodians should be mandatory for all funds on every exchange platform? That this somehow will make Canadians as a whole more secure or better protected compared with standard air-gapped multi-sig? On what planet? Most of the problems in Canada stemmed from one thing - a lack of transparency. If Canadians had known what a joke Quadriga was - it wouldn't have grown to lose $400m from hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast. And Gerald Cotten would be in jail, not wherever he is now (at best, rotting peacefully). EZ-BTC and mister Dave Smilie would have been a tiny little scam to his friends, not a multi-million dollar fraud. Einstein would have got their act together or been shut down BEFORE losing millions and millions more in people's funds generously donated to criminals. MapleChange wouldn't have even been a thing. And maybe we'd know a little more about CoinTradeNewNote - like how much was lost in there. Almost all of the major losses with cryptocurrency exchanges involve deception with unbacked funds. So it's great to see transparency reports from BitBuy and ShakePay where someone independently verified the backing. The only thing we don't have is:
ANY CERTAINTY BALANCES WEREN'T EXCLUDED. Quadriga's largest account was $70m. 80% of funds are in 20% of accounts (Pareto principle). All it takes is excluding a few really large accounts - and nobody's the wiser. A fractional platform can easily pass any audit this way.
ANY VISIBILITY WHATSOEVER INTO THE CUSTODIANS. BitBuy put out their report before moving all the funds to their custodian and ShakePay apparently can't even tell us who the custodian is. That's pretty important considering that basically all of the funds are now stored there.
ANY IDEA ABOUT THE OTHER EXCHANGES. In order for this to be effective, it has to be the norm. It needs to be "unusual" not to know. If obscurity is the norm, then it's super easy for people like Gerald Cotten and Dave Smilie to blend right in.
It's not complicated to validate cryptocurrency assets. They need to exist, they need to be spendable, and they need to cover the total balances. There are plenty of credible people and firms across the country that have the capacity to reasonably perform this validation. Having more frequent checks by different, independent, parties who publish transparent reports is far more valuable than an annual check by a single "more credible/official" party who does the exact same basic checks and may or may not publish anything. Here's an example set of requirements that could be mandated:
First report within 1 month of launching, another within 3 months, and further reports at minimum every 6 months thereafter.
No auditor can be repeated within a 12 month period.
All reports must be public, identifying the auditor and the full methodology used.
All auditors must be independent of the firm being audited with no conflict of interest.
Reports must include the percentage of each asset backed, and how it's backed.
The auditor publishes a hash list, which lists a hash of each customer's information and balances that were included. Hash is one-way encryption so privacy is fully preserved. Every customer can use this to have 100% confidence they were included.
If we want more extensive requirements on audits, these should scale upward based on the total assets at risk on the platform, and whether the platform has loaned their assets out.
There are ways to structure audits such that neither crypto assets nor customer information are ever put at risk, and both can still be properly validated and publicly verifiable. There are also ways to structure audits such that they are completely reasonable for small platforms and don't inhibit innovation in any way. By making the process as reasonable as possible, we can completely eliminate any reason/excuse that an honest platform would have for not being audited. That is arguable far more important than any incremental improvement we might get from mandating "the best of the best" accountants. Right now we have nothing mandated and tons of Canadians using offshore exchanges with no oversight whatsoever. Transparency does not prove crypto assets are safe. CoinTradeNewNote, Flexcoin ($600k), and Canadian Bitcoins ($100k) are examples where crypto-assets were breached from platforms in Canada. All of them were online wallets and used no multi-sig as far as any records show. This is consistent with what we see globally - air-gapped multi-sig wallets have an impeccable record, while other schemes tend to suffer breach after breach. We don't actually know how much CoinTrader lost because there was no visibility. Rather than publishing details of what happened, the co-founder of CoinTrader silently moved on to found another platform - the "most trusted way to buy and sell crypto" - a site that has no information whatsoever (that I could find) on the storage practices and a FAQ advising that “[t]rading cryptocurrency is completely safe” and that having your own wallet is “entirely up to you! You can certainly keep cryptocurrency, or fiat, or both, on the app.” Doesn't sound like much was learned here, which is really sad to see. It's not that complicated or unreasonable to set up a proper hardware wallet. Multi-sig can be learned in a single course. Something the equivalent complexity of a driver's license test could prevent all the cold storage exploits we've seen to date - even globally. Platform operators have a key advantage in detecting and preventing fraud - they know their customers far better than any custodian ever would. The best job that custodians can do is to find high integrity individuals and train them to form even better wallet signatories. Rather than mandating that all platforms expose themselves to arbitrary third party risks, regulations should center around ensuring that all signatories are background-checked, properly trained, and using proper procedures. We also need to make sure that signatories are empowered with rights and responsibilities to reject and report fraud. They need to know that they can safely challenge and delay a transaction - even if it turns out they made a mistake. We need to have an environment where mistakes are brought to the surface and dealt with. Not one where firms and people feel the need to hide what happened. In addition to a knowledge-based test, an auditor can privately interview each signatory to make sure they're not in coercive situations, and we should make sure they can freely and anonymously report any issues without threat of retaliation. A proper multi-sig has each signature held by a separate person and is governed by policies and mutual decisions instead of a hierarchy. It includes at least one redundant signature. For best results, 3of4, 3of5, 3of6, 4of5, 4of6, 4of7, 5of6, or 5of7. History has demonstrated over and over again the risk of hot wallets even to highly credible organizations. Nonetheless, many platforms have hot wallets for convenience. While such losses are generally compensated by platforms without issue (for example Poloniex, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Gatecoin, Coincheck, Bithumb, Zaif, CoinBene, Binance, Bitrue, Bitpoint, Upbit, VinDAX, and now KuCoin), the public tends to focus more on cases that didn't end well. Regardless of what systems are employed, there is always some level of risk. For that reason, most members of the public would prefer to see third party insurance. Rather than trying to convince third party profit-seekers to provide comprehensive insurance and then relying on an expensive and slow legal system to enforce against whatever legal loopholes they manage to find each and every time something goes wrong, insurance could be run through multiple exchange operators and regulators, with the shared interest of having a reputable industry, keeping costs down, and taking care of Canadians. For example, a 4 of 7 multi-sig insurance fund held between 5 independent exchange operators and 2 regulatory bodies. All Canadian exchanges could pay premiums at a set rate based on their needed coverage, with a higher price paid for hot wallet coverage (anything not an air-gapped multi-sig cold wallet). Such a model would be much cheaper to manage, offer better coverage, and be much more reliable to payout when needed. The kind of coverage you could have under this model is unheard of. You could even create something like the CDIC to protect Canadians who get their trading accounts hacked if they can sufficiently prove the loss is legitimate. In cases of fraud, gross negligence, or insolvency, the fund can be used to pay affected users directly (utilizing the last transparent balance report in the worst case), something which private insurance would never touch. While it's recommended to have official policies for coverage, a model where members vote would fully cover edge cases. (Could be similar to the Supreme Court where justices vote based on case law.) Such a model could fully protect all Canadians across all platforms. You can have a fiat coverage governed by legal agreements, and crypto-asset coverage governed by both multi-sig and legal agreements. It could be practical, affordable, and inclusive. Now, we are at a crossroads. We can happily give up our freedom, our innovation, and our money. We can pay hefty expenses to auditors, lawyers, and regulators year after year (and make no mistake - this cost will grow to many millions or even billions as the industry grows - and it will be borne by all Canadians on every platform because platforms are not going to eat up these costs at a loss). We can make it nearly impossible for any new platform to enter the marketplace, forcing Canadians to use the same stagnant platforms year after year. We can centralize and consolidate the entire industry into 2 or 3 big players and have everyone else fail (possibly to heavy losses of users of those platforms). And when a flawed security model doesn't work and gets breached, we can make it even more complicated with even more people in suits making big money doing the job that blockchain was supposed to do in the first place. We can build a system which is so intertwined and dependent on big government, traditional finance, and central bankers that it's future depends entirely on that of the fiat system, of fractional banking, and of government bail-outs. If we choose this path, as history has shown us over and over again, we can not go back, save for revolution. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying the consequences of what we decided today. Or, we can find solutions that work. We can maintain an open and innovative environment while making the adjustments we need to make to fully protect Canadian investors and cryptocurrency users, giving easy and affordable access to cryptocurrency for all Canadians on the platform of their choice, and creating an environment in which entrepreneurs and problem solvers can bring those solutions forward easily. None of the above precludes innovation in any way, or adds any unreasonable cost - and these three policies would demonstrably eliminate or resolve all 109 historic cases as studied here - that's every single case researched so far going back to 2011. It includes every loss that was studied so far not just in Canada but globally as well. Unfortunately, finding answers is the least challenging part. Far more challenging is to get platform operators and regulators to agree on anything. My last post got no response whatsoever, and while the OSC has told me they're happy for industry feedback, I believe my opinion alone is fairly meaningless. This takes the whole community working together to solve. So please let me know your thoughts. Please take the time to upvote and share this with people. Please - let's get this solved and not leave it up to other people to do. Facts/background/sources (skip if you like):
The inspiration for the paragraph about splitting wallets was an actual quote from a Canadian company providing custodial services in response to the OSC consultation paper: "We believe that it will be in the in best interests of investors to prohibit pooled crypto assets or ‘floats’. Most Platforms pool assets, citing reasons of practicality and expense. The recent hack of the world’s largest Platform – Binance – demonstrates the vulnerability of participants’ assets when such concessions are made. In this instance, the Platform’s entire hot wallet of Bitcoins, worth over $40 million, was stolen, facilitated in part by the pooling of client crypto assets." "the maintenance of participants (and Platform) crypto assets across multiple wallets distributes the related risk and responsibility of security - reducing the amount of insurance coverage required and making insurance coverage more readily obtainable". For the record, their reply also said nothing whatsoever about multi-sig or offline storage.
In addition to the fact that the $40m hack represented only one "hot wallet" of Binance, and they actually had the vast majority of assets in other wallets (including mostly cold wallets), multiple real cases have clearly demonstrated that risk is still present with multiple wallets. Bitfinex, VinDAX, Bithumb, Altsbit, BitPoint, Cryptopia, and just recently KuCoin all had multiple wallets breached all at the same time, and may represent a significantly larger impact on customers than the Binance breach which was fully covered by Binance. To represent that simply having multiple separate wallets under the same security scheme is a comprehensive way to reduce risk is just not true.
Private insurance has historically never covered a single loss in the cryptocurrency space (at least, not one that I was able to find), and there are notable cases where massive losses were not covered by insurance. Bitpay in 2015 and Yapizon in 2017 both had insurance policies that didn't pay out during the breach, even after a lengthly court process. The same insurance that ShakePay is presently using (and announced to much fanfare) was describe by their CEO himself as covering “physical theft of the media where the private keys are held,” which is something that has never historically happened. As was said with regard to the same policy in 2018 - “I don’t find it surprising that Lloyd’s is in this space,” said Johnson, adding that to his mind the challenge for everybody is figuring out how to structure these policies so that they are actually protective. “You can create an insurance policy that protects no one – you know there are so many caveats to the policy that it’s not super protective.”
The most profitable policy for a private insurance company is one with the most expensive premiums that they never have to pay a claim on. They have no inherent incentive to take care of people who lost funds. It's "cheaper" to take the reputational hit and fight the claim in court. The more money at stake, the more the insurance provider is incentivized to avoid payout. They're not going to insure the assets unless they have reasonable certainty to make a profit by doing so, and they're not going to pay out a massive sum unless it's legally forced. Private insurance is always structured to be maximally profitable to the insurance provider.
The circumvention of multi-sig was a key factor in the massive Bitfinex hack of over $60m of bitcoin, which today still sits being slowly used and is worth over $3b. While Bitfinex used a qualified custodian Bitgo, which was and still is active and one of the industry leaders of custodians, and they set up 2 of 3 multi-sig wallets, the entire system was routed through Bitfinex, such that Bitfinex customers could initiate the withdrawals in a "hot" fashion. This feature was also a hit with the hacker. The multi-sig was fully circumvented.
Bitpay in 2015 was another example of a breach that stole 5,000 bitcoins. This happened not through the exploit of any system in Bitpay, but because the CEO of a company they worked with got their computer hacked and the hackers were able to request multiple bitcoin purchases, which Bitpay honoured because they came from the customer's computer legitimately. Impersonation is a very common tactic used by fraudsters, and methods get more extreme all the time.
A notable case in Canada was the Canadian Bitcoins exploit. Funds were stored on a server in a Rogers Data Center, and the attendee was successfully convinced to reboot the server "in safe mode" with a simple phone call, thus bypassing the extensive security and enabling the theft.
The very nature of custodians circumvents multi-sig. This is because custodians are not just having to secure the assets against some sort of physical breach but against any form of social engineering, modification of orders, fraudulent withdrawal attempts, etc... If the security practices of signatories in a multi-sig arrangement are such that the breach risk of one signatory is 1 in 100, the requirement of 3 independent signatures makes the risk of theft 1 in 1,000,000. Since hackers tend to exploit the weakest link, a comparable custodian has to make the entry and exit points of their platform 10,000 times more secure than one of those signatories to provide equivalent protection. And if the signatories beef up their security by only 10x, the risk is now 1 in 1,000,000,000. The custodian has to be 1,000,000 times more secure. The larger and more complex a system is, the more potential vulnerabilities exist in it, and the fewer people can understand how the system works when performing upgrades. Even if a system is completely secure today, one has to also consider how that system might evolve over time or work with different members.
By contrast, offline multi-signature solutions have an extremely solid record, and in the entire history of cryptocurrency exchange incidents which I've studied (listed here), there has only been one incident (796 exchange in 2015) involving an offline multi-signature wallet. It happened because the customer's bitcoin address was modified by hackers, and the amount that was stolen ($230k) was immediately covered by the exchange operators. Basically, the platform operators were tricked into sending a legitimate withdrawal request to the wrong address because hackers exploited their platform to change that address. Such an issue would not be prevented in any way by the use of a custodian, as that custodian has no oversight whatsoever to the exchange platform. It's practical for all exchange operators to test large withdrawal transactions as a general policy, regardless of what model is used, and general best practice is to diagnose and fix such an exploit as soon as it occurs.
False promises on the backing of funds played a huge role in the downfall of Quadriga, and it's been exposed over and over again (MyCoin, PlusToken, Bitsane, Bitmarket, EZBTC, IDAX). Even today, customers have extremely limited certainty on whether their funds in exchanges are actually being backed or how they're being backed. While this issue is not unique to cryptocurrency exchanges, the complexity of the technology and the lack of any regulation or standards makes problems more widespread, and there is no "central bank" to come to the rescue as in the 2008 financial crisis or during the great depression when "9,000 banks failed".
In addition to fraudulent operations, the industry is full of cases where operators have suffered breaches and not reported them. Most recently, Einstein was the largest case in Canada, where ongoing breaches and fraud were perpetrated against the platform for multiple years and nobody found out until the platform collapsed completely. While fraud and breaches suck to deal with, they suck even more when not dealt with. Lack of visibility played a role in the largest downfalls of Mt. Gox, Cryptsy, and Bitgrail. In some cases, platforms are alleged to have suffered a hack and keep operating without admitting it at all, such as CoinBene.
It surprises some to learn that a cryptographic solution has already existed since 2013, and gained widespread support in 2014 after Mt. Gox. Proof of Reserves is a full cryptographic proof that allows any customer using an exchange to have complete certainty that their crypto-assets are fully backed by the platform in real-time. This is accomplished by proving that assets exist on the blockchain, are spendable, and fully cover customer deposits. It does not prove safety of assets or backing of fiat assets.
If we didn't care about privacy at all, a platform could publish their wallet addresses, sign a partial transaction, and put the full list of customer information and balances out publicly. Customers can each check that they are on the list, that the balances are accurate, that the total adds up, and that it's backed and spendable on the blockchain. Platforms who exclude any customer take a risk because that customer can easily check and see they were excluded. So together with all customers checking, this forms a full proof of backing of all crypto assets.
However, obviously customers care about their private information being published. Therefore, a hash of the information can be provided instead. Hash is one-way encryption. The hash allows the customer to validate inclusion (by hashing their own known information), while anyone looking at the list of hashes cannot determine the private information of any other user. All other parts of the scheme remain fully intact. A model like this is in use on the exchange CoinFloor in the UK.
A Merkle tree can provide even greater privacy. Instead of a list of balances, the balances are arranged into a binary tree. A customer starts from their node, and works their way to the top of the tree. For example, they know they have 5 BTC, they plus 1 other customer hold 7 BTC, they plus 2-3 other customers hold 17 BTC, etc... until they reach the root where all the BTC are represented. Thus, there is no way to find the balances of other individual customers aside from one unidentified customer in this case.
Proposals such as this had the backing of leaders in the community including Nic Carter, Greg Maxwell, and Zak Wilcox. Substantial and significant effort started back in 2013, with massive popularity in 2014. But what became of that effort? Very little. Exchange operators continue to refuse to give visibility. Despite the fact this information can often be obtained through trivial blockchain analysis, no Canadian platform has ever provided any wallet addresses publicly. As described by the CEO of Newton "For us to implement some kind of realtime Proof of Reserves solution, which I'm not opposed to, it would have to ... Preserve our users' privacy, as well as our own. Some kind of zero-knowledge proof". Kraken describes here in more detail why they haven't implemented such a scheme. According to professor Eli Ben-Sasson, when he spoke with exchanges, none were interested in implementing Proof of Reserves.
And yet, Kraken's places their reasoning on a page called "Proof of Reserves". More recently, both BitBuy and ShakePay have released reports titled "Proof of Reserves and Security Audit". Both reports contain disclaimers against being audits. Both reports trust the customer list provided by the platform, leaving the open possibility that multiple large accounts could have been excluded from the process. Proof of Reserves is a blockchain validation where customers see the wallets on the blockchain. The report from Kraken is 5 years old, but they leave it described as though it was just done a few weeks ago. And look at what they expect customers to do for validation. When firms represent something being "Proof of Reserve" when it's not, this is like a farmer growing fruit with pesticides and selling it in a farmers market as organic produce - except that these are people's hard-earned life savings at risk here. Platforms are misrepresenting the level of visibility in place and deceiving the public by their misuse of this term. They haven't proven anything.
Fraud isn't a problem that is unique to cryptocurrency. Fraud happens all the time. Enron, WorldCom, Nortel, Bear Stearns, Wells Fargo, Moser Baer, Wirecard, Bre-X, and Nicola are just some of the cases where frauds became large enough to become a big deal (and there are so many countless others). These all happened on 100% reversible assets despite regulations being in place. In many of these cases, the problems happened due to the over-complexity of the financial instruments. For example, Enron had "complex financial statements [which] were confusing to shareholders and analysts", creating "off-balance-sheet vehicles, complex financing structures, and deals so bewildering that few people could understand them". In cryptocurrency, we are often combining complex financial products with complex technologies and verification processes. We are naïve if we think problems like this won't happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for many people to admit that they don't know how something works. If we want "money of the people" to work, the solutions have to be simple enough that "the people" can understand them, not so confusing that financial professionals and technology experts struggle to use or understand them.
For those who question the extent to which an organization can fool their way into a security consultancy role, HB Gary should be a great example to look at. Prior to trying to out anonymous, HB Gary was being actively hired by multiple US government agencies and others in the private sector (with glowing testimonials). The published articles and hosted professional security conferences. One should also look at this list of data breaches from the past 2 years. Many of them are large corporations, government entities, and technology companies. These are the ones we know about. Undoubtedly, there are many more that we do not know about. If HB Gary hadn't been "outted" by anonymous, would we have known they were insecure? If the same breach had happened outside of the public spotlight, would it even have been reported? Or would HB Gary have just deleted the Twitter posts, brought their site back up, done a couple patches, and kept on operating as though nothing had happened?
In the case of Quadriga, the facts are clear. Despite past experience with platforms such as MapleChange in Canada and others around the world, no guidance or even the most basic of a framework was put in place by regulators. By not clarifying any sort of legal framework, regulators enabled a situation where a platform could be run by former criminal Mike Dhanini/Omar Patryn, and where funds could be held fully unchecked by one person. At the same time, the lack of regulation deterred legitimate entities from running competing platforms and Quadriga was granted a money services business license for multiple years of operation, which gave the firm the appearance of legitimacy. Regulators did little to protect Canadians despite Quadriga failing to file taxes from 2016 onward. The entire administrative team had resigned and this was public knowledge. Many people had suspicions of what was going on, including Ryan Mueller, who forwarded complaints to the authorities. These were ignored, giving Gerald Cotten the opportunity to escape without justice.
There are multiple issues with the SOC II model including the prohibitive cost (you have to find a third party accounting firm and the prices are not even listed publicly on any sites), the requirement of operating for a year (impossible for new platforms), and lack of any public visibility (SOC II are private reports that aren't shared outside the people in suits).
Securities frameworks are expensive. Sarbanes-Oxley is estimated to cost $5.1 million USD/yr for the average Fortune 500 company in the United States. Since "Fortune 500" represents the top 500 companies, that means well over $2.55 billion USD (~$3.4 billion CAD) is going to people in suits. Isn't the problem of trust and verification the exact problem that the blockchain is supposed to solve?
To use Quadriga as justification for why custodians or SOC II or other advanced schemes are needed for platforms is rather silly, when any framework or visibility at all, or even the most basic of storage policies, would have prevented the whole thing. It's just an embarrassment.
We are now seeing regulators take strong action. CoinSquare in Canada with multi-million dollar fines. BitMex from the US, criminal charges and arrests. OkEx, with full disregard of withdrawals and no communication. Who's next?
We have a unique window today where we can solve these problems, and not permanently destroy innovation with unreasonable expectations, but we need to act quickly. This is a unique historic time that will never come again.
CryptoDiffer teamHello, everyone!We are glad to meet here:Max Freeman (@maxfreeman4), Project Lead at Epic CashYoga Dude (@Yogadude), PR&Marketing at Epic CashXenolink (@Xenolink), Advisor at Epic Cash Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Thanks Max, we are excited to be here! Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello Everyone! Thank you for having us here! Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Thank you to the CryptoDiffer team and CryptoDiffer community for hosting us! CryptoDiffer teamLet`s start from the first introduction question:Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Epic Cash? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello! My background is Marketing and Business Development, I’ve been in crypto since 2011 started with Bitcoin, then Monero in 2014, Ethereum in 2015 and at some point Doge for fun and profit. I joined Epic Cash team in September 2019 handling PR and Marketing. I saw in Epic Cash what was missing in my previous cryptos — things that were missing in Bitcoin and Monero especially. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Hello Cryptodiffer Community, I am not an original co-founder nor am I a developer for the Epic Cash project. I am however a community member that is involved in helping scale this project to higher levels. One of the many beauties of Epic Cash is that every single member in the community has the opportunity to be part of EPIC’s team, it can be from development all the way to content producing. Epic Cash is a community driven project. The true Core Team of Epic Cash is our community. I believe a community that is the Core Team is truly powerful. EPIC Cash has one of the freshest and strongest communities I have seen in quite a while. Which is one of the reasons why I became involved in this project. Epic displayed some of the most self community produced content I have seen in a project. I’m actually a doctor of medicine but in terms of my experience in crypto, I have been involved in the industry since 2012 beginning with mining Litecoin. Since then I have been doing deep dive analysis on different projects, investing, and building a network in crypto that I will utilize to help connect and scale Epic in every way I can. To give some credit to those people in my network that have been a part of helping give Epic exposure, I would like to give a special thanks to u/Tetsugan and u/Saurabhblr. Tetsugan has been doing a lot of work for the Japanese community to penetrate the Japanese market, and Japan has already developed a growing interest in Epic. Daku Sarabh the owner and creator of Crypto Daku Robinhooders, I would like to thank him and his community for giving us one of our first large AMA’s, which he has supported our project early and given us a free AMA. Many more to thank but can’t be disclosed. Also thank you to all the Epic Community leaders, developers, and Content producers! Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind”. I started working on the ideas that would become Epic in 2018. I fell in love with Bitcoin in 2017 but realized that it needs privacy at the base layer, fungibility, better scalability in order to go to the next level. CryptoDiffer team Really interesting backgrounds I must admit, pleasure to see the team that clearly has one vision of the project by being completely decentralized:) Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Epic Cash in 3–5 sentences? What technology stands behind Epic Cash and why it’s better than the existing one? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I’d like to highlight the differences between Epic and the two highest-valued privacy coin projects, Monero and Zcash. XMR has always-on privacy like Epic does, but at a cost: Its blockchain is over 20x more data intensive than Epic, which limits its possibilities for scalability. Epic’s blockchain is small and light enough to run a full node on cell phones, something that is in our product road map. ZEC by comparison can’t run on low end devices because of its zero knowledge based approach, and only 1% of transactions are fully private. Epic is simply newer, more advanced technology than prior networks thanks to Mimblewimble We will also add more algorithms to widen the range of hardware that can participate in mining. For example, cell phones and tablets based around ARM chips. Millions of people can mine Epic that can’t mine Bitcoin, and that will help grow the network rapidly. There are some great short videos on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQBFfksJlM97rgrplLRwNUg/videos that explain why we believe we have created something truly special here. Our core architecture derives from Grin, so we are fortunate to benefit on an ongoing basis from their considerable development efforts. We are focused on making our currency truly usable and widely available, beyond a store of value and becoming a true medium of exchange. Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Well we all have our views, but in a nutshell, we offer things that were missing in the previous cryptos. We have sound fiscal emission schedule matching Bitcoin, but we are vastly more private and faster. Our blockchain is lighter than Bitcoin or Monero and our tech is more scalable. Also, we are unique in that we are mineable with CPUs and GPUs as well as ASICs, giving the broadest population the ability to mine Epic Cash. Plus, you can’t forget FUNGIBILITY 🙂 we are big on that — since you can’t have true privacy without fungibility. Also, please understand, we have HUGE respect to all the cryptos that came before us, we learned a lot from them, and thanks to their mistakes we evolved. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash To add on, what also makes Epic Cash unique is the ability to decentralize the mining using a tri-algo model of Random X (CPU), Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) for an ability to do hybrid mining. I believe this is an issue we can see today in Bitcoin having centralized mining and the average user has a costly barrier of entry. To follow up on this one in my opinion one of the things we adopted that we have seen success for , in example Bitcoin and Monero, is a strong community driven coin. I believe having a community driven coin will provide a more organic atmosphere especially when starting with No ICO, or Premine with a fair distribution model for everyone. CryptoDiffer team Q3: What are the major milestones Epic Cash has achieved so far? Maybe you can share with us some exciting plans for future weeks/months? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Since we went live in September of 2019, we attracted a very large community of users, miners, investors and contributors from across the world. Epic Cash is a very international project with white papers translated into over 30 languages. We are very much a community driven project; this is very evident from our content and the amount of translations in our white papers and in our social media content. We are constantly working on improving our usability, security and privacy, as well as getting our message and philosophy out into the world to achieve mass adoption. We have a lot of exciting plans for our project, the plan is to make Epic Cash into something that is More than Money. You can tell I am the Marketing guy since my message is less about the actual tech and more about the usability and use cases for Epic Cash, I think our Team and Community have a great mix of technical, practical, social and fiscal experiences. Since we opened our YouTube channels content for community submissions, we have seen our content translated into Spanish, French, German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, and other languages Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Our future development roadmap will be published soon and includes 4 tracks: Usability Mining Core Protocol Ecosystem Development Core Protocol Epic Server 2.9.0 — this release improves the difficulty adjustment and is aimed at making block emission closer to the target 60 seconds, particularly reducing the incidence of extremely short and long blocks — Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: June 2020 Epic Server 3.0.0 — this completes the rebase to Grin 3.0.0 and serves as the prerequisite to some important functional building blocks for the future of the ecosystem. Specifically, sending via Tor (which eliminates the need to open ports), proof of payment (useful for certain dex applications e.g. Bisq), and our native mobile app. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Fall 2020 Non-Interactive Transactions — this will enhance usability by enabling “fire and forget” send-to-address functionality that users are accustomed to from most cryptocurrencies. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Scaling Options — when blocks start becoming full, how will we increase capacity? Two obvious options are increasing the block size, as well as a Lightning Network-style Layer 2 structure. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Confidential Assets — Similar to Raven, Tari, and Beam, the ability to create independently tradable assets that ride on the Epic Blockchain. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Usability GUI Wallet 2.0 — Restore from seed words and various usability enhancements — Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: Fall 2020 Mobile App — Native mobile experience for iOS and Android. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Winter 2020 Telegram Integration — Anonymous payments over the Telegram network, bot functionality for groups. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Mining RandomX on ARM — Our 4th PoW algorithm, this will enable tablets, cell phones, and low power devices such as Raspberry Pi to participate in mining. Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: n/a The economics of mining Epic are extremely compelling for countries that have free or extremely cheap electricity, since anyone with an ordinary PC can mine. Individual people around the world can simply run the miner and earn meaningful money (imagine Venezuela for example), something that has not been possible since the very early days of Bitcoin. Ecosystem Development Atomic Swaps — Connecting Epic to other blockchains in a trustless way, starting with ETH so that Epic can trade on DeFi infrastructure such as Uniswap, Kyber, etc. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash From the Community aspect, we have been further developing our community international reach. We have been seeing an increase in interest from South America, China, Russia, Japan, Italy, and the Philippines. We are working on targeting more countries. We truly aim to be a decentralized project that is open to everyone worldwide. CryptoDiffer team Great, thank you for your answers, we now can move to community questions part! Cryptodiffer Community You have 3 mining algorithms, the question is: how do they not compete with each other? Is there any benefit of mining on the GPU and CPU if someone is mining on the ASIC? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash The block selection is deterministic, so that every 100 blocks, 60% are for RandomX (CPU), 38% for ProgPow (GPU), and 2% for Cuckoo (ASIC) — the policy is flexible so that we can have as many algorithms with any percentages we want. The goal is to make the most decentralized and resilient network possible, and with that in mind we are excited to work on enabling tablets and cell phones to mine, since that opens it up to millions of people that otherwise can’t take part. Cryptodiffer Community To Run a project smoothly, Funding is very important, From where does the Funding/revenue come from? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Yes, early on this was realized and in order to scale a project funds are indeed needed. Epic Cash did not start with any funding and no ICO and was organically genesis mined with no pre-mine. Epic cash is also a nonprofit community driven project similar to Monero. There is no profit-driven entity in the picture. To overcome the revenue issue Epic Cash setup a development fund tax that decreases 1% every year until 2028 when Epic Cash reaches singularity with Bitcoin emissions. Currently it is at 7.77%. This will help support the scaling of the project. Cryptodiffer Community Hi! In your experience working also with MONERO can you please clarify which are those identified problems that EPIC CASH aims to develop and resolve? What’s the main advantage that EPIC CASH has over MONERO? Thank you! Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash First, I must admit that I am still a huge fan and HODLer of Monero. That said: ✅ our blockchain is MUCH lighter than Monero’s ✅ our transaction processing speed is much faster ✅ our address-less blockchain is more private ✅ Epic Cash can be mined with CPU (RandomX) GPU (ProgPow) and Cuckoo, whereas Monero migrated to RandomX and currently only mineable with CPU Cryptodiffer Community
the feature ‘Cut Through’ deletes old data, how is it decided which data will be deletes, and what are the consequences of it for the platform and therefore the users?
On your website I see links to download Epic wallet and mining software for Linux,Windows and MacOs, I am a user of android, is there a version for me, or does it have a release date?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
This is one of the most exciting features of Mimblewimble, which is its extraordinary ability to compress blockchain data. In Bitcoin, the entire history of a coin must be replayed every time it is spent, and comprehensive details are permanently stored in the blockchain. Epic discards spent transaction inputs and consolidates outputs, storing neither addresses or amounts, only a tiny kernel to allow sender and receiver to prove their transaction.
The Vitex mobile app is great for today, and we have a native mobile app for iOS and Android in the works as well.
Cryptodiffer Community $EPIC Have total Supply of 21,000,000 EPIC , is there any burning plan? Or Buyback program to maintain $EPIC price in the future? Who is Epic Biggest competitors? And what’s makes epic better than competitors? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash We respect the older generation coins like Bitcoin. But we have learned that the supply economics of Bitcoin is very sound. Until today we can witness how the Bitcoin is being adopted institutionally and by retail. We match the 21 million BTC supply economics because it is an inelastic fixed model which makes the long-term economics very sound. To have an elastic model of burning tokens or printing tokens will not have a solid economic future. Take for example the USD which is an inflating supply. In terms of competitors we look at everyone in crypto with respect and also learn from everyone. If we had to compare to other Mimblewimble tech coins, Grin is an inelastic forever inflating supply which in the long term is not sound economics. Beam however is an inelastic model but is formed as a corporation. The fair distribution is not there because of the permanent revenue model setup for them. Epic Cash a non-profit development tax fund model for scaling purposes that will disappear by 2028’s singularity. Cryptodiffer Community What your plans in place for global expansion, are you focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Since we are a community project, we have many developers, in addition to the core team. Our plans for Global expansion are simple — we have advocates in different regions addressing their audiences in their native languages. We are growing organically, by explaining our ideology and usability. The idea is to grow beyond needing a fiat bridge for crypto use, but to rather replace fiat with our borderless, private and fungible crypto so people can use it to get goods and services without using banks. We are not limiting ourselves to one particular demographic — Epic Cash is a valid solution for the gamers, investors, techie and non techie people, and the unbanked. Cryptodiffer Community EPIC confidential coin! Did you have any problems with the regulators? And there will be no problems with listing on centralized exchanges? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash In terms of structure, we are carefully set up to minimize these concerns. Without a company or investors in the picture, and having raised no funds, there is little scope to attack in terms of securities laws. Bitcoin and Ethereum are widely acknowledged as acceptable, and we follow in their well-established footprints in that respect. Centralized exchanges already trade other privacy coins, so we don’t see this as much of an issue either. In general, decentralized p2p exchange options are more interesting than today’s centralized platforms. They are more censorship resistant, secure, and privacy-protecting. As the technology gets better, they should continue to gain market share and that’s why we’re proud to be partnered with Vitex, whose exchange and mobile app work very well. Cryptodiffer Community What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Because our blockchain is so light (only 1.16gb currently, and grows very slowly) it is naturally well suited to become a decentralized mobile money standard because people can run a full node on their phone, guaranteeing the security of their funds. Scalability in Bitcoin requires complicated and compromised workarounds such as Lightning Network and light clients, and these problems are solved in Epic. With our forthcoming Mobile Mining app, hundreds of millions of cell phones and tablets will be able to easily join the network. People can quickly and cheaply send money to one another, fulfilling the long-envisioned promise of P2P electronic cash. As an investor, it’s important to ask a few key questions. Bitcoin Standard tokenomics of disinflation and a fixed supply are well proven over a decade now. We follow this model exactly, with a permanently synchronized supply from 2028, and 4 emission halvings from now until then, with our first one in about two weeks. Beyond that, we can apply some simple logical tests. What is more valuable, money that can only be used in some cases (censorable Bitcoin based on a lack of fungibility) or money that can be used universally? (fungible Epic based on always-on privacy by default). Epic is also poised to be a more decentralized and therefore resilient network because of wider participation in mining. Epic is designed to be Bitcoin++ Privacy, Fungibility, Scalability Cryptodiffer Community Q1. What are advantages for choosing three mining algorithms RandomX+, ProgPow and CuckAToo31+ ? Q2. Beam and Grin use MimbleWimble protocol, so what are difference for Epic? All of you will be friends for partners or competitors? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash RandomX and ProgPow are designed to use the entirety of a CPU / GPU’s unique processing capabilities in a way that other types of hardware don’t work as well. You can run RandomX on a GPU but it doesn’t work nearly as well as a much cheaper CPU, for example. Cuckoo is a “memory hard” algorithm that widens the range of companies that can produce the hardware. Grin and Beam are great projects and we’ve learned a lot from them. We inherited our first codebase from Grin’s excellent Rust design, which is a better language for community participation than C++ that Beam currently uses. Functionally, Mimblewimble is similar across the 3 coins, with standard Confidential Transactions, CoinJoin, Dandelion++, Schnorr Signatures and other advanced features. Grin is primarily ASIC-targeted, Beam is GPU-targeted, and Epic is multi-hardware. The biggest differences though are in tokenomics and project structure. Grin has permanent inflation of 60 coins per block with no halvings, which means steady erosion of value over time due to new supply pressure. It also lacks a steady funding model, making future development in jeopardy, particularly as the per coin price falls. Beam has a for-profit model with heavy early inflation and a high developer tax. Epic builds on the strengths of these earlier mimblewimble projects and addresses the parts that could be improved. Cryptodiffer Community Some privacy coin has scalability issues! How Epic cash will solve scalability issues? Why you choose randomX consensus algorithem? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Fungibility means that you can’t distinguish one unit of currency from another, in example Gold. Fungibility has recently become a hot issue as people have been noticing Bitcoins being locked up by exchanges which may of had a nefarious history which are called Tainted Coins. In example coins that have been involved in a hack, darknet market transactions, or even processing coin through a mixer. Today we can already see freshly mined Bitcoins being sold at a premium price to avoid the fungibility problem Bitcoin carries today. Bitcoin can be tracked by chainalysis and is not a fungible cryptocurrency. One of the features that Epic has is privacy with added fungibility, because of Mimblewimble technology, Epic has no addresses recorded and therefore nothing can be tracked by chainalysis. Below I provide a link of an example of what the lack of fungibility is resulting in today with Bitcoin. One of the reasons why we chose the Random X algo. is because of the easy barrier of entry and also to further decentralize the mining. Random X algo can be mined on old computers or laptops. We also have 2 other algos Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) to create a wider decentralization of mining methods for Epic. Cryptodiffer Community I’m a newbie in crypto and blockchain so how will Epic Cash team target and educate people who don’t know about blockchain and crypto? What is the uniqueness of Epic Cash that cannot be found in other project that´s been released so far ? Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Actually, while we have our white paper translated into over 30 languages, we are more focused on explaining our uses and advantages rather than cold specs. Our tech is solid, but we not get hung up on pure tech talk which most casual users do not need to or care to understand. As long as our fundamentals and tech are secure and user friendly our primary goal is to educate about use cases and market potential. The uniqueness of Epic Cash is its amalgamation of “whats good” in other cryptos. We use Mimblewimble for privacy and anonymity. Our blockchain is much lighter than our competitors. We are the only Mimblewimble crypto to use a unique cocktail of mining algorithms allowing to be mined by casual miners with gaming rigs and laptops, while remaining friendly to GPU and CPU farmers. The “uniqueness” is learning from the mistakes of those who came before us, we evolved and learned, which is why our privacy is better, we are faster, we are fungible, we offer diverse mining and so on. We are the best blend — thats powerful and unique Cryptodiffer Community Can you share EPIC’s vision for decentralized finance (DEFI)? What features do EPIC have to support DEFI? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash We view Epic as ideally suited to be the decentralized digital reserve asset of the new Private Internet of Money that’s emerging. At a technology level, atomic swaps can be created to build liquidity bridges so that wrapped Epic tokens (like WBTC, WETH) can trade on other networks as ERC20, BEP2, NEP5, VIP180, Algorand and so on. There is more Bitcoin value locked on Ethereum than in Lightning Network, so we will similarly integrate Epic so that it can trade on networks such as Uniswap, Kyber, and so on. Longer term, if there is market demand for it, thanks to Scriptless Script functionality our blockchain has, we can build “Confidential Assets” (which Raven, Tari, and Beam are all also working on) that enable people to create tokenized assets in a private way. Cryptodiffer Community If you could choose one celebrity to promote Epic-cash, who that would be? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash I am a firm believer that the strength of the project lies in allowing community members to become their own celebrities, if their content is good enough the community will propel them to celebrity status. Organic celebrities with small but loyal following are vastly more beneficial than big name professional shills with inflated but non caring audiences. I remember the early days of Apple when an enthusiastic dude named Guy Kawasaki became Apple Evangelist, he was literally going around stores that sold Apple and visited user groups and Evangelized his belief in Apple. This guy became a Legend and helped Apple become what it is today. Epic Cash will have its OWN Celebrities Cryptodiffer Community How does $EPIC solve scalability of transactions? Current blockchains face issues with scalability a lot, how does $EPIC creates a solution to it? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Epic Cash is utilizing Mimblewimble technology. Besides the privacy & fungibility aspect of the tech. There is the scalability features of it. It is implemented into Epic by transaction cut-through. Which means it allows nodes to remove all intermediate transactions, thus significantly reducing the blockchain size without affecting its validation. Mimblewimble also does not use addresses like a BTC address, and amount of transactions are also not recorded. One problem Monero and Bitcoin are facing now is scalability. It is evident today that data is getting more expensive and that will be a problem in the long run for those coins. Epic is 90% lighter and more scalable compared to Monero and Bitcoin. Cryptodiffer Community what are the ways that Epic Cash generates profits/revenue to maintain your project and what is its revenue model ? How can it make benefit win-win to both invester and your project ? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash There is a block subsidy of 7.77% that declines 1.11% per year until 0, where it stays after that. As a nonprofit community effort, this extremely modest amount goes much further than in other projects, which often take 20, 30, even 50+ % of the coin supply. We believe that this ongoing funding model best aligns the long term incentives for all participants and balances the compromises between the ends of the centralized/decentralized spectrum of choices that any project must make. Cryptodiffer Community Q1 : What are your major goals to archive in the next 3–4 years? Q2 : What are your plans to expand and gain more adoption? Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Max already talked about our technical plans and goals in his roadmap. Allow me to talk more about the non technical 😁 We are aiming for broader reach in the non technical more mainstream community — this is a big challenge but we believe it is doable. By offering simpler ways to mine Epic Cash (with smart phones for example), and by doing more education we will achieve the holy grail of crypto — moving past the fiat bridges and getting Epic Cash to be accepted as means of payment for goods and services. We will accomplish this by working with regional advocacy groups, community interaction, off-line promotional activities and diverse social media targeting. Cryptodiffer Community It seems to me that EpicCash will have its first Halving, right? Why a halving so soon? Is a mobile version feasible? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Our supply emission catches up to that of Bitcoin’s first 19 years after 8 years in Epic, so that requires more frequent halvings. Today’s block emission is 16, next up are 8, 4, 2, and then finally 0.15625. After that, the supply of Epic and that of BTC stay synchronized until maxing out at 21m coins in 2140. Today we have a mobile wallet through the Vitex app, a native mobile wallet coming, and are working on mobile mining. Cryptodiffer Community What markets will you add after that? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Well, we are aiming to have ALL markets Epic Cash in its final iteration will be usable by everyone everywhere regardless of their technical expertise. We are not limiting ourselves to the technocrats, one of our main goals is to help the billions of unbanked. We want everyone to be able to mine, buy, and most of all USE Epic Cash — gamers, farmers, soccer moms, students, retirees, everyone really — even bankers (well once we defeat the banking industry) We will continue building on the multilingual diversity of our global community adding support and advocacy groups in more countries in more languages. Epic Cash is More than Money and its for Everyone. Cryptodiffer Community Almost, all cryptocurrencies are decentralized & no-one knows who owns that cryptocurrencies ! then also, why Privacy is needed? hats the advantages of Private coins? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash With a public transparent blockchain such as Bitcoin, you are permanently posting a detailed history of your money movements open for anyone to see (not just legitimate authorities, either!) — It would be considered crazy to post your credit card or bank statements to Twitter, but that’s what is happening every time you send a transaction that is not private. This excellent video from community contributor Spencer Lambert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0blbfmvCq\_4 explains better than I can. Privacy is not just for criminals, it’s for everyone. Do you want your landlord to increase the rent when he sees that you get a raise? Your insurance company to raise your healthcare costs because they see you buying too much ice cream? If you’re a business, do you want your employees to see how much money their coworkers make? Do you want your competitors to trace your supplier and customer relationships? Of course not. By privacy being default for everyone, cryptocurrency can be used in a much wider range of situations without unacceptable compromises. Cryptodiffer Community What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment? Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Epic Cash can be used as a Private and Fungible store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. As Epic Cash grows and becomes adopted it can be compared to how Bitcoin and Monero is used and adopted as well. As Epic is adopted by the masses, it can be accepted as a medium of exchange for store owners and as fungible payments without the worry of having money that is tainted. Epic Cash as a store of value may be a good long term aspect of investment to consider. Epic Cash carries an inelastic fixed supply economic model of 21 million coins. There will be 5 halvings which this month of June will be our first halving of epic. From a block reward of 16 Epic reduced to 8. If we look at BTC’s price action and history of their halvings it has been proven and show that there has been an increase in value due to the scarcity and from halvings a reduction of # of BTC’s mined per block. An inelastic supply model like Bitcoin provides proof of the circulating supply compared to the total supply by the history of it’s Price action which is evident in long term charts since the birth of Bitcoin. EPIC Plans to have 5 halvings before the year 2028 to match the emissions of Bitcoin which we call the singularity event. Below is a chart displaying our halvings model approaching singularity. Once bitcoin and cryptocurrency becomes adopted mainstream, the fungibility problem will be more noticed by the general public. Privacy coins and the features of fungibility/scalability will most likely be sought over. Right now a majority of people believe that all cryptocurrency is fungible. However, that is not true. We can already see Chainalysis confirming that they can trace and track and even for other well-known privacy coins today such as Z-Cash. Cryptodiffer Community
You aim to reach support from a global community, what are your plans to get spanish speakers involved into Epic Cash? And emerging markets like the african
How am I secure I won’t be affected by receiving tainted money?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Native speakers from our community are working to raise awareness in key markets such as mining in Argentina and Venezuela for Spanish (Roberto Navarro called Epic “the holy grail of cryptocurrency” and Ethiopia and certain North African countries that have the lowest electricity costs in the world. Remittances between USA and Latin American countries are expensive and slow, so Epic is also perfect for people to send money back home as well. Cryptodiffer Community Do EPICs in 2020 focus more on research and coding, or on sales and implementation? Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash We will definitely continue to work on research and coding, with emphasis on improved accessibility (especially via smartphones) usability, security and privacy. In terms of financial infrastructure will continuing to add exchanges both KYC and non KYC. Big part of our plans is in ongoing Marketing and PR outreach. The idea is to make Epic Cash a viral sensation of sorts. If we can get Epic Cash adopters to spread the word and tell their family, coworkers and friends about Epic Cash — there will be no stopping us and to help that happen we have a growing army of content creators, and supporters. Everyone with skin in the game gets the benefit of advancing the cause. Folks also, this isn’t an answer to the question but an example of a real-world Epic Cash content — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtAVEqKGgqY a challenge from one of our content creators to beat his 21 pull ups and get 100 epics! This has not been claimed yet — people need to step up 🙂 and to help that I will match another 100 Epic Cash to the first person to beat this Cryptodiffer Community I was watching some videos explaining how to send and receive transactions in EpicCash, which consists of ports and sending links, my question is why this is so, which, for now, looks complex? Let’s talk about the economic model, can EpicCash comply with the concept of value reserve? Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash In V3, which is coming later this summer, Epic can be sent over Tor, which eliminates this issue of port opening, even though using tools like ngrok.io, it’s not necessarily as painful as directly configuring the router ports. Early Lightning Network had this issue as well and it’s something we have a plan to address via research into non-interactive transactions. “Fire and Forget” payments to an address, as people are used to in Bitcoin, is coming to Epic and we’re excited to develop functionality that other advanced mimblewimble coins don’t yet have. We are committed to constant improvement in usability and utility, to make our money system the ease of use leader. We are involved in the project (anyone can join the Freeman Family) because we believe that simply by choosing to use a form of money that better aligns with our ideals, that we can make a positive change in the world. Some of my thoughts about how I got involved are here: https://medium.com/epic-cash/the-freeman-family-e3b9c3b3f166 Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Huge thanks to our friends Maks and Vladyslav, we welcome everyone to come say hi at one of our friendly communities. It is extremely early in this journey, our market cap is only 0.5m right now, whereas the 3 other mimblewimble coins are at $20m, $30m and $100m respectively. Epic is a historic opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legends such as Bitcoin and Monero, and we hope to become the first Top 5 privacy coin project. Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Would like to Thank the Cryptodiffer Team and the Cryptodiffer community for hosting us and also engaging with us to learn more about Epic. If anyone else has more questions and wants to know more about EPIC , can find us at our telegram channel at https://t.me/EpicCash . Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash Thank you, CryptoDiffer Team, and this wonderful Community!!! Cryptodiffer TEAM Thank you everyone for taking your time and asking great questions Thank you for your time, it was an insightful session Spread the love
What is EPIC CASH? Epic Cash is the final point in the journey toward true P2P internet cash, the cornerstone of a private financial system. The Epic currency aims to become the world’s most effective privacy-protecting form of digital money. In order to fulfill that goal, it satisfies the three principal functions of money: 1. Store of Value — can be saved, retrieved, and exchanged at a later time, and of predictable value when retrieved; 2. Medium of Exchange — anything accepted as representing a standard of value and exchangeable for goods or services; 3. Unit of Account — the unit by which the value of a thing is accounted for and compared. Website: http://epic.tech Whitepapers: http://epic.tech/whitepaper Epic Cash Community: https://t.me/EpicCash Miner Chat: https://t.me/EpicMiners Gitlab: gitlab.com/epiccash Twitter: twitter.com/EpicCashTech Social Media: http://epic.tech/social-media Exchanges: https://epic.tech/service-list Oleg✌🏻 Hello community! Our AMA with EPIC begins🚀 We are very happy to have you here, on our joint AMA👌 So, lets start! The very first question for you. Can you introduce yourself? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind” — we believe that the existing fiat money system enslaves people by unfairly confiscating their wealth through inflation. By using an honest money system such as Epic, we can improve the quality of life for billions of people worldwide. Yoga Dude Hello, I am Yoga Dude 🙂 I handle Marketing and PR, in crypto since 2011 started as Bitcoin miner, and in 2014 in Monero, and in 2015 in Ethereum, oh and briefly in DOGE for fun and unexpected profit. Heard about Epic Cash while learning about the Mimblewimble algo and joined the team last year. JLong I am John, Doing the general engineering and managerial work Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble I have been involved in early stage cryptos for the past 3 years, after building a global trading business for the past 20 years. Oleg✌🏻 nice to meet you🙂 Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Epic is a decentralized community project like Bitcoin or Monero, there is no central authority or corporation involved. We had no ICO and no premine, we had a fair launch at 0 supply last September. Yoga Dude Great to meet everyone :) Oleg✌🏻 Here we go the 1st question for you ~ 1. What is Epic Cash about? Yoga Dude Epic Cash is designed to fulfill Satoshi’s original vision of P2P electronic cash, adjusting for what we learned from Bitcoin, a medium of exchange that is fast, free, open to all, while being private and fungible. We launched in September 2019 as a Proof of Work mineable crypto, without an ICO or a premine. Oleg✌🏻 Look like a real Bitcoin🙂 Yoga Dude with privacy and fungibility 😄 Oleg✌🏻 Sounds cool! move on to the next question… 2. What makes Epic Cash better than Monero or other privacy coins? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble First off, we have a lot of respect for Monero and other privacy coins, we learned a lot from what they did right and what they did wrong, Our blockchain is much lighter than Monero or Bitcoin, our transaction engine is faster than Monero or ZCash. We use a three mining algo approach to allow more users the ability to obtain Epic Cash. We are a new, highly undervalued, coin and we look great not only for future use but for today's investment. Our blockchain is 90+% smaller than Monero or Bitcoin. Coins such as Zcash have optional privacy. Epic makes all transactions private, and it is impossible to trace movements of coins by watching wallet addresses. Oleg✌🏻 Young and hot😋 security and privacy level is very important now but… 3. Why copy the same supply economics as Bitcoin? Yoga Dude It is hard to compete with the success of Bitcoin today, part of the elegance and the appeal of Bitcoin is the responsible emission rate, terminating at 21million highly sub dividable coins. Like the Bitcoin supply curve, Epic Cash encourages early adopters, and with subsequent halvenings maintains a gradually diminishing flow of additional currency while preserving the overall value. Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble In 2028, the supply of Epic matches that of Bitcoin and they stay in sync until the final coin is mined in 2140. We have 4 halvenings between now and then, which is demonstrated in Bitcoin to drive the value over market cycles. Epic is a chance for people who were late to Bitcoin to ride the wave and not miss their opportunity this time. Oleg✌🏻 Interesting! 4. Why Choose Epic Cash over Grin and Beam? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble First of all, we have tremendous respect for all Mimblewimble currencies and their talented teams, they all taught us a lot and we are thankful for that. Without sounding too contentious, the choice seems obvious. We offer the same core tech, but with a much more responsible emission curve — Grin is an endless fountain of emission and inflation (60 per second forever), and Beam is even more frontloaded outpacing even Grin’s aggressive emission schedule for the next several years… We respect Grin and Beam, we learned from them, and we believe we are the next evolutionary step. Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, we offer more ways to mine Epic Cash, both with GPU and CPU and ASICs, this gives us more potential users and miners, vs Grin and Beam that are only mineable with GPUs. Yoga Dude Yes, all that ☝️😄 Oleg✌🏻 I hope the miners read it all carefully 👌 Next question 5. Why have a development fund tax and what will it be used for? Yoga Dude Dev fund tax today is at a reasonable 7.77% dropping by 1.11% every year until it hits zero. As Epic Cash grows in value these funds will become increasingly more relevant in additional technical, marketing, and fintech partnerships developments. Oleg✌🏻 Very smart! 6. What is the advantage of 3 mining algorithms? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble By having multiple mining algorithms we are able to attract CPU, GPU, and ASIC miners simultaneously. Currently all other Mimblewimble currencies are mineable with GPU only ignoring a large segment of CPU miners. Monero made a splash migrating to the RandomX CPU mining algo. Epic Cash from the beginning embraces all mining communities. Many miners are successfully using older hardware such as Xeon processors to help secure the network. We use RandomX for CPU, ProgPow for GPU, and Cuckoo for ASIC. Longer term, our flexible architecture means we can have many algorithms, not just 3. Our roadmap includes an allocation for SHA3 Keccak, which will help further decentralize the network and keep it unstoppable. Yoga Dude We love miners 🙂 and Epic Cash can be mined with laptops and gaming rigs 🙂 Oleg✌🏻 A wide selection of mining methods is a great way to create a stable, decentralized and large network👌 Let’s talk about persons… 7. Who are the people developing Epic Cash? Yoga Dude We are blessed with a very talented team of skilled developers with diverse backgrounds, many of them are volunteers who believe in what Epic Cash stands for and contribute with product and usability innovation. Our teams main focus is to make Epic Cash the best, most secure, most user friendly and usable product on the market, without making it unnecessarily techie, with as much mainstream user appeal as possible. This is a serious challenge but we are up for it 😄 Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble It is also important to note that we are a truly open ecosystem that anyone can participate in. Our community has developed wallets, mining pools, educational content, and much else besides. We are not limited by the funding generated during an ICO or VC investment, our users are an essential element of our team. Oleg✌🏻 Sounds very attractive. 8. What do you think is currently lack in today’s crypto? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble We believe there is not enough privacy, anonymity and fungibility, although there is a growing awareness in the community as to why these are necessary. People are waking up to the fact that privacy is a right for everyone but today it is being exploited and violated by corporations, governments and unscrupulous individuals. Privacy does not mean that you have something to hide. We have doors on our houses, curtains on our windows, we wear clothes, and we have security on our bank accounts and businesses, not because we are criminals. Fungibility (the property of not being able to distinguish one unit of currency from another) also has become a hot issue as people have started to get in trouble because of someone else’s misdeeds. Tainted money (coins that are blacklisted or restricted) is a problem for Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two cryptos today. Mimblewimble eliminates the risk of tainted coins making them indistinguishable from each other. With traceable coins, you always have to worry if the coins you are getting were involved in a hack, or perhaps the darknet. Oleg✌🏻 It’s good to see strong and safe coin in our time Let’s talk about your future… 9. What does the Epic Cash roadmap look like going forward? Yoga Dude First and foremost, we are focused on security and usability. We are working on a new, improved GUI wallet to incorporate the community feedback on ways to improve it. We are in the process of completing final testing phases for the next iteration of Epic Cash which will make it more secure and stable. Once that is done, we will be rolling out Android and iOS support to make Epic Cash usable on leading smartphones and smartwatches. Beyond that without going into too much detail we are focused on continuous evolution of privacy, ease of mining, and overall speed and usability. And of course we are constantly looking to add more exchanges both with and without KYC. Oleg✌🏻 Are you working on Android and IOS wallet ? What will your application be? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Yes, we will release a mobile wallet this year. It will bring us one step closer to people being able to actually use cryptocurrency as money in daily life. Yoga Dude The idea is to be able to access Epic Cash from any platform and device Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Epic is very lightweight, which means that low-end devices such as smartwatches can participate. Oleg✌🏻 Ok, got it. Thanks for clarification! 10. What else can you tell us about Epic Cash? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Well one thing I really want to mention is our great Epic Cash community. We’ve been building a decentralized community organically, without the talk of price pumps, pressure to HODL and other BS crypto-gimmicks. Our community is truly global and consists of developers, volunteers, miners, and other Epic enthusiasts spreading the word about Epic Cash, helping us reach millions of people around the world to improve their quality of life through social media and directly. Everyone is an evangelist, everyone is an influencer, everyone has the power to make the world a better place to live in. As we continue to grow — the future looks Epic 😊 Yoga Dude Definitely the community! We got a talented crowd of very cool and motivated people from all over the world! Oleg✌🏻 Thank you guys, for such informative answers 🙂 Now we proceed to Section 3, where a Community can ask their questions to the EPIC team Now I’ll open chat for the quite some time … Oleg✌🏻 Thank you all, dear community! EPIC team, please choose the 10 best questions you want to answer. AngeI Everyone likes Privacy & Epic Cash provides their Best Privacy to users But, Which Technologies are being used by Epic Cash to make Blockchain very Private and Completely untrackable ? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble From the wallet to the node, Epic uses Dandelion++ to bounce transactions around the world before they go into the mempool for mining. Within the blockchain itself, Cut-Through merges all transactions in a block together, with CoinJoin automatically mixing all coins. Beyond that, there are no addresses, so it’s impossible to watch someone’s wallet. Arnold Even litecoin is implementing mimblewimble, Don’t you think it’s a significant threat for Epic if they implement it, then why would anyone use a less popular and a new cryptocurrency. Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble LTC is implementing mw as an “extension block”, meaning that it is optional and not all transactions will use it. This is very different than the core protocol leveraging mw to make all transactions private and all coins fungible. Aluta Why Epic cash so much focus on fungibility? Does fungibility matters that much? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Fungibility is going to be one of the key issues within the cryptocurrency space in the coming years. Today, if you accept traceable coins from a seller, you are liable if they have ever been used in any illegal activity. This has led to a two tier market where freshly minted coins sell for more than circulated coins. When coins are fungible, like Epic, you don’t have to worry that you will run into a problem when an exchange or merchant blocks your transaction. Joxes It is a pleasure. When I first researched EpicCash, google showed me a youtube video that talked about how to mine with EpicCash. It made me ask: is this mining activity profitable so far? We are in the early stages of development I guess, what adoption strategies are you taking to have sustained growth? is it feasible to reach N ° 500 rank in coinmarketcap in the medium term? Yoga Dude When I got into crypto, it was by mining Bitcoin back in 2011 when you could still solve blocks on a single computer, but Bitcoin at the time was anything but profitable 😄 Today Epic Cash is still new, still young, and still undervalued. I believe it is mining-worthy because of its potential, not because of today’s price. By allowing Epic Cash to be mined with GPU and CPU on gaming rigs, servers, and even laptops we offer maximum public participation in our project. More people involved in the project, the more evangelists there are. We empower people to mine Epic Cash and to promote it. S.P.A.D.E What new features of Epic Cash provide that Grin or Beam does not offer. Why do we need Epic Cash? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble They are great coins, but there are some ways in which Epic improves. Epic has better tokenomics than Grin and a more sustainable model than Beam, that has a company behind it that needs to repay investors via its high dev tax. this article explains in more detail https://medium.com/@frodofreeman/overview-of-mimblewimble-cryptocurrencies-7c70be146f50 Sahil What’s the Minimum Hardware / setup Required for Mining of EPIC Cash coins? Is Mining Profitable and Can we Mine EPIC Cash coins at Home? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble It is possible to mine on an ordinary laptop or desktop from the last 5 years, sometimes older. Epic is open to everyone, and our friendly community is standing by to help you get started at t.me/epicminers Erven James Sato “TOKEN BURN” is BENEFECIAL for any projects, in able to CONTROL THE NUMBER OF TOKEN CIRCULATION and TO PROVIDE GREATER INCENTIVES TO INVESTORS. Does your GREAT PROJECT have plan about TOKEN BURN? Xenolink For deflating projects It is beneficial to drive the demand / scarcity / and price up in a faster pace. Epic Cash is here for the organic long run not the short run. However when it comes to long term economics elastic supplies whether inflating or deflating will not be a solid long term economic model. This has been heavily discussed already with Bitcoins inelastic Fixed 21 million supply in the past. Having a fixed model demonstrates good long term economics without worrying about balancing a deflating/inflating model. Bitcoin is a perfect example of a 21 million inelastic fixed supply model that has been proving itself till today. Which is why we are also using the same fixed 21 million supply model. Epic Cash plans to have a solid organic long term future to bring free private fungible money and make this world a better place. Red Z🔥🤙 No one predicted the COVID-19 pandemic while developing their business model. But the crisis and recession of the global economy is our present with you and it affects all sectors, including blockchain. Will you make or have already made changes to the project roadmap, tokenomics? Do you have a plan in case the situation does not improve in the coming months and will affect the crypto industry even more? Yoga Dude One thing we have seen as the result of the COVID-19 is more governments are talking about moving to digital cash — digital dollar in USA, digital Lira in Turkey, etc… If in the past the idea of digital money was not graspable by some people, today its the governments that are educating the people for us about the value of digital currency… What is ironic, the governments, by printing money to solve the economic consequences of COVID-19 also educating the consumer about the true “value” of fiat… What we offer is a touch free, borderless, private, anonymous, fungible currency that can not be printed beyond the initial defined algo. We are more responsible than the printing presses of the governments 🤔 kunlefighter How does the Dandelion++ Protocol, Confidential Transactions (CT) and CoinJoin assist in protecting the privacy of individuals and their transactions on Epic Cash Blockchain? Max Freeman | Epic Cash | Mimblewimble Dandelion++ bounces transactions around before committing them to the blockchain, making it impossible to determine where they originated from. Confidential Transactions means that all tx are private, you can’t tell anything about where the coins have been or who they belonged to. CoinJoin in essence melts down and re-mints each coin every time it is used, making it impossible to track their ownership or usage history. Epic provides comprehensive privacy to everyone, without the compromises that other pre-mimblewimble coins have. Dr Mönica Hello sir @maxfreeman4@Johnsstec@Yogadude Thanks for the ama I notice that Epic Cash has 2 type of new algorithm, progPoW version 0.15.0 and randomX version 1.0.3 NOW , CAN you tell me why you choose these 2 algorithm??? Yoga Dude We went with RandomX because it is a solid and very popular CPU centric algo used by several coins — most recently Monero. Most miners today heavily favor ASICs or GPUs, leaving a lot of solid high end users in the dust unable to mine emerging cryptos. As far as ProgPow, again its an established algo for GPU miners, and thanks to many cryptos starting with Bitcoin/Monero/Ethe etc there is no shortage of GPU rigs out there :) plus again the casual user with a video gaming caliber card can get in on the action. Oleg✌🏻Perfect!It was a great AMA, but it is coming to an end, thanks to everyone who was with us. Thanks EPIC team for taking the time👏. I hope our projects will be able to collaborate even more closely in the future and achieve new successes. Cheers!🎉
Recently you must have known a very hot program called “make money with Brave browser“. Is it real? Yes. I know many people who have earned up to $50k per month. And how to make money with this? Please follow this tutorial. I’ll show you how to earn money with Brave browser in 4 ways.
Get free airdrop of $5 worth of BAT by just using it.
Earn up to $7.50 of BAT by inviting users to download and try out the platform.
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Open Brave Browser and click on “BAT triangle logo” at the top right corner of your screen.
Turn on “Brave Rewards” and “Ads”.
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I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
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