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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Want to scrap RMT? Reduce cheating and hatcheting? Dissolve the meta? Open your mind and let's talk.

Disclaimer #2: I wrote this early yesterday morning and since then, the podcast happened and FIR Flea Market was announced. I have redacted some sections as a response.
Disclaimer: I know this is a long read and contains many sensitive subjects such as Secure Containers, the Flea Market, and Soft Skills, but it is simply a compiled list of ideas and in no way am I demanding for ultimate order in my favor or holding anybody else's ideas in contempt. I understand that my ideals may drastically differ from others. I only wrote this because of my passion for this game and my desire to see it succeed in the scope of what the devs outlined it to be, or at least how we interpret it: a hardcore looter shooter. I implore you guys to offer your own suggestions, ideas, and pick apart mine. This thread should only serve as the foundation for a greater Tarkov.
First, let's establish some terms to better differentiate between the two types of cheaters. There are consumer cheaters who use programs to gain an advantage over other players simply for the satisfaction of winning. Then, there are commercial cheaters, who are using these same programs but in order to generate an income in real life.
Commercial cheating will always be prolific in any video game that offers players transferable goods, and for as long as there is real money profit to be made, the benefits will continue to outweigh the risks. Any security expert can tell you that no lock is unpickable, no chain is unbreakable, and no password is unsolvable, but that doesn't mean we should all keep our doors unlocked, bikes unchained, and our passwords as "1234". And while a chain might not prevent your expensive road bike from getting stolen, having a chain, a disk lock, lojack, and the front wheel taken with you will certainly deter the grand majority of otherwise would-be thieves, who will of course, make an attempt on the less-protected bike adjacent to yours instead.
Battleye is a good start, the equivalent of a quality bike chain if you will, but of course--enough to stop most consumer cheaters, though not enough to stop most commercial cheaters. So let's ask ourselves: Where should intervention be focused on the most? We could target the cheat providers, but they'll keep writing more cheats. A game of cat and mouse. We could target the (commercial) cheaters, but they'll just buy more accounts and more cheats with the money they made cheating. Cat and mouse. Who else, then, if not the problem? They aren't the problem. Your every-day player. He is the problem. Small businesses are closing for good because the risk of COVID-19 is preventing customers from supporting their establishment. Let's increase the risk for the RMT customer to get the product that they paid for.
How? Make secure containers "read-only". Anything in your container can be "used" i.e. meds, keys, loose rounds for magazine packing, but nothing can be taken out or put in. It will then act as a non-transferable stash that can safeguard your valuables. No more accidentally dropping your S I C C case full of keys and then getting killed. However.. want to drop a keycard, case of bitcoins, or other valuables to a friend or a customer? It has to start and end the raid outside of either persons' secure container. This puts tradeable goods at risk for both the buyer and seller for the entirety of the raid, and not just at the extract when the transaction is made.
This simultaneously makes PVP more rewarding. Now, when you murder that pistoling who risked nearly nothing and put an annoying crack in your shiny, expensive face shield, you'll be able to take the graphics card or LEDX off of his body to remind him that his chances at those items would have been greater had he risked some gear of his own. More gear taken into raids is more gear taken out of the economy. Combined with the current weight system, this is a necessary and intuitive money sink.
On the topic of money sinks, let's consider changing how insurance works. Rather than insure items, we could insure ourself. Pay Prapor or Therapist a reasonable, fixed fee in advance to recover any goods left on our body (only what was taken IN to the raid. I was exploring the idea of having the game take a snapshot of your corpse's entire inventory upon the conclusion of the raid and sending it in the mail, but it would be too easy to abuse for RMT purposes. The seller could give the customer a backpack full of bitcoins and kill him in a bush for example). Because the body is insured and not each individual item, things such as ammo and meds could be returned without the bloat of having an insurance status on each individual bullet in a magazine, the primary reason I believe ammo to not be insurable currently. The fee could scale with the "safety" of the map. For example, Prapor's boys would probably feel less comfortable scouring Reserve for your dead body than a place like Factory, and thus the fee for body recovery on Reserve could be upwards of 100K and unless you were completely stripped, you would still probably make money back on unlooted ammo/meds alone. Factory on the other hand, because of how small the map is and therefore easy to find dead PMCs, the fee could be a reasonable 10K.
This does two things:
First, it stops insurance fraud. Dumping your gear (to ditch a thermal or wear someone else's kit, guaranteeing you get yours back) or your dead buddy's gear into a bush is unimmersive and bad for the economy. The current insurance system unreasonably rewards squad play for the wrong reasons, effectively removing the penalty for death if at least 1 competent person in the group survives (I personally frequent 3-5 man squads and it just feels unfair how much gear I get back when I die).
Second, it sets up a new dynamic in place of insurance fraud. Now, if you want your buddy to get his stuff back, you have to defend his body or extract with his gear. This rewards scavs for properly scavenging, looking for the fruitful casualties of groups that made it out. This is good for the economy, as the punishment for death almost always will result in a transfer of wealth to those who work for it and not a retention of wealth for non-solos.
Next up, the Flea Market.
It has been expressed many times by streamers that the Flea Market has ruined the game and should be removed but on the other hand, there were people complaining that level 15 was too high of a level to access the Flea Market and it has since become available earlier. I believe that the Flea Market is the core reason this game experiences the stagnant meta that it does. Global stock and personal limits from traders mean nothing when you can just visit the Flea Market and stockpile VALs and SR3Ms to run EVERY raid. Of course I am nobody to try and force anybody to play a certain way or use a certain loadout, but I do believe that the game would be more exciting if rare loadouts were actually rare. One solution is to make the Flea Market "find in raid" only. Not only would this be another nail in the RMT coffin (it would prevent customers from selling transacted barter items for exorbitant prices), but it would mark the first true player-driven economy by removing flipped goods from traders.
Traders could offer a (per-person, not global) tailored, but random assortment of goods each restock that you can piece together a kit from rather than a static array of goods unlocked by loyalty level. The (loyalty) level of the player would determine the frequency and strength of their goods. At Prapor LL4 for example, you may see VALs pop up more often, but once you buy them, that's all, and you have to wait until next restock and he might not even have any by then either. You might see a VAL available at lower loyalties as well, but even less frequently. Traders could then scale their prices dynamically to global demand (not the old, abusable system. This one would change the price incrementally based on purchase frequency. Global purchase frequency rising on a specific item? Global price on that item raises accordingly). This is good for the economy and, combined with making the Flea Market "find in raid" only, I believe it to be a solution to stagnant meta. How cool was it when you were new and killed that guy who had an SV-98 that you had to examine because you hadn't seen it until now? You'd get that feeling more often this way. Lastly, if the "find in raid" status is spoofable by cheaters, add a server-side check for the status.
Now on to weapon attachments.
Because of how unusable most stock rifles feel, there is a huge appeal for sticking as many appendages as possible to rifles to achieve that sweet <70, or god forbid, <40 recoil. Many of the attachments in the game go untouched because they don't offer even close to the arbitrary stat benefits of those in the meta. It is such a shame, as one of Tarkov's greatest strengths is the weapon modding system. I believe a step in the right direction would be to improve base weapon stats around the board (excluding weapons with fewer attachments such as the DVL) and and then nerf and bring each attachment more in line with each other, especially some of the outliers. Compare the RK-2 to the VPG for example. As such though, if an unmodded weapon vs a modded weapon wasn't night and day, it would promote significantly more weapon and attachment diversity. Of course some people are still going to min-max no matter how insignificant the benefits are. I would just like to be able to use a shortened SA-58 and be remotely competitive with a BMD'd 21" CASV SA-58. Or be able to C-clamp a Zhukov AK-102 without a foregrip and not lose to an equal-skill player 3/5 times who has the same gun, but with an RK-2.
Soft skill requirements for tasks and upgrades should be removed. They incline people to figure out ways of abusing the system and given people a reason to endorse it in order to progress through the task lines and upgrade their hideout. Soft skills should only be a passive reward for playing the game, not something people feel obligated to abuse. Additionally, PMCs should start at a higher level of soft skills, say... 10, to reflect the training and experience they received during employment. It doesn't make sense that untrained scavs have the same physical and mental capabilities as professional soldiers.
Certain skills as well can benefit greatly from a rework. Let's look at the following:

Strength
The elite perk is incredibly overpowered, but only because of how extreme it is. It could be changed so that each level of Strength increments a small % of the current elite perk, such as 0.5% per level, and then an additional 5% or so for elite, so at level 51, only 70% of the weight from worn gear would be counted. Run speed and Jump height could be reduced, and the leveling speed increased.
On the topic of gear weight, now that the weight system has been introduced and we get slower the heavier we get, could flat movement speed penalties from armor be removed? 6B43 already weighs 20KG. Why does it also slow for an additional 42%? Nobody uses heavy armor anymore because the extra protection is not worth the forfeiture of loot AND lowered base movement speed AND lowered sensitivity/ergonomics. Sensitivity inconsistency is another issue and most consider it a cardinal sin in FPS games.

Recoil Control
Heavily reduce the benefits. -0.3% recoil per level totaling -15% at level 50. As well, -0.4% recoil on the first shot per mouse click. The elite perk could be an additional 5% reduction on the first shot per mouse click. This would be a nice buff to semi-autos and make them more competitive against the current laser beam meta guns.

Search
The elite perk, again, is overpowered. Perhaps starting at Search level 0, we should be able to search two items at the same time, but at 40% speed each if searching two items at once. If only one item is searched at a time, speed would remain at 100%. With each level, search speed for double search increases by 1% and single search by 2% and the elite perk adds an additional 10%, bringing double search speed up to 100% at level 51 without the black and white difference between levels 50 and 51.

TL;DR: No TL;DR because I know some people will draw wild conclusions before fully understanding the content of the post.
submitted by 1199_Panigale_S to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

A tour of the Gridcoin wallet

Hey guys, I thought I would put together an in-depth tour of the Gridcoin wallet software for all of our recent newcomers. Here I'll be outlining all the features and functions the windows GUI wallet has to offer, along with some basic RPC command usage. I'll be using the windows wallet as an example, but both linux and macOS should be rather similar. I'll be including as many pictures as I can as embedded hyperlinks.
Edit: Note that since I originally made this there has been a UI update, so your client will be different colors but all the button locations are in the same place.
This is my first post like this, so please forgive me if this appears a little scatter-brained.
This will not cover the mining setup process for pool or solo miners.
When you launch the wallet software for the first time you should be greeted with this screen.

OVERVIEW TAB

After that prompt, you should be left sitting on the main overview tab with several fields on it.
From top to bottom:

SEND TAB

Now onto the other tabs on the left side. Currently we're on the Overview tab, lets move down to the Send tab. This tab it pretty self-explanatory, you use it if you want to send coins, but I'll go over the fields here:
  • Pay To: Enter a valid gridcoin address to send coins too. Gridcoin addresses always start with an S or and R.
  • Label: Enter a label here and it will put that address in your "address book" under that label for later use. You can leave it blank if you don't want it in your address book.
  • Message: Enter a message here if you want it attached to your transaction.
  • Amount: How many coins you want to send.
  • Add Attachment: Leave this alone, it is broken.
  • Track Coins: This doesn't do anything.

RECEIVE TAB

Now down to the Receive tab. Here you should have a single address listed. If you double click on the label field, you can edit it's label.
  • New: Generate a new address.
If you click on an address, the rest of the options should be clickable.
  • Copy: Copy the selected address to your clipboard.
  • Show QR Code: Show a scan-able QR code for the selected address.
  • Sign Message: Cryptographically sign a message using the selected address.

TRANSACTIONS TAB

The Transactions tab is pretty boring considering we have no transactions yet. But as you can see there are some sorting tools at the top for when you do have transactions listed.

ADDRESS BOOK TAB

The Address Book is where all the addresses you've labeled (that aren't yours) will show up.
  • Verify Message: Verifies a message was signed by the selected address.
The rest of the functions are similar to the functions on the Receive tab.

VOTING TAB

Onto the Voting tab. There wont be any polls because we aren't in sync yet.
  • Reload Polls: Pretty self-explanatory, I've never had to use this.
  • Load History: By default, the wallet will only display active polls. If you want to view past polls you can use this.
  • Create Poll: You can create a network-wide poll. You must have 100,000 coins as a requirement to make a poll. (Creating a poll does not consume the coins)
Here's what the Voting tab will look like once you're in sync

CONTEXT BAR

Now onto the context bar menus on the top.
Under File you have:
  • Backup Wallet/Config: This lets you backup your wallet configuration file just in case.
  • Export: You can export your Transactions tab or Address Book in CSV format.
  • Sign message: Does the same thing as on the Receive tab.
  • Verify message: Does the same thing as on the Address Book tab.
  • Exit: Close the wallet.
Under Settings you have:
  • Encrypt Wallet: Encrypts your wallet with a password. (we'll come back to this)
  • Change Passphrase: Allows you to change your encryption password.
  • Options: Opens the options menu. (We'll come back to this)
Under Community you have:
Under Advanced you have:
  • Advanced Configuration: Opens the Advanced Configuration menu. (Not so advanced if you ask me)
  • Neural Network: Allows you to view solo miners project statistics. It will be largely blank if you're not in sync yet.
  • FAQ: Don't touch this, It is broken.
  • Foundation: Don't touch this, It is broken.
  • Rebuild Block Chain: Starts the client syncing from 0. Don't worry, using this will not make you lose coins.
  • Download Blocks: Downloads the latest official snapshot, can help speed up syncing. The download progress tends to sit at 99.99% for a long time, don't worry, it's working.
Under Help you have:
  • Debug window: Opens the debug window. (We'll come back to this)
  • Diagnostics: Don't touch this, it is broken. This has since been fixed. You can use this to see if there is anything wrong with your setup.
  • About Gridcoin: Opens the About Dialog. This gives you your client version and other information.

OPTIONS

Now back to the options menu under Settings > Options.
Here we have the options menu main tab:
  • Pay transaction fee: The transaction fee that will be automatically paid when you make a transaction.
  • Reserve: You can reserve an amount so that it will always be available for spending.
  • Start Gridcoin on system login: Pretty self-explanatory
  • Detach databases at shutdown: Speeds up shutdown, but causes your blockchain file to no longer be portable.
On the Network tab:
  • Map port using UPnP: Attempts to connect to nodes through UPnP.
  • Connect through SOCKS proxy: Allows you to connect through a proxy.
The window tab is pretty self-explanatory.
The Display tab is also pretty self-explanatory, with the exception of:
  • Display coin control features (experts only!): This allows you to have a great deal of control over the coins in your wallet, check this for now and I'll explain how to use it further down. Don't forget to click "Apply".

ENCRYPTING YOUR WALLET

Now that all of that is out of the way. The first thing you'll want to do is encrypt your wallet. This prevents anybody with access to your computer from sending coins. This is something I would recommend everyone do.
Go to Settings > Encrypt Wallet and create a password. YOU CANNOT RECOVER YOUR COINS IF YOU FORGET YOUR PASSWORD.
Your wallet will close and you will have to start it up again. This time when it opens up, you should have a new button in the bottom left. Now if you want to stake you will have to unlock your wallet. Notice the "For staking only" box that is checked by default. If you want to send a beacon for solo mining or vote, you will need to uncheck this box.

GETTING IN SYNC AND ICONS

Before we continue, Let's wait until we're in sync. Depending on your internet speeds, this could take from several hours to over a day or 2. This can be sped up by using Advanced > Download Blocks, but this can still take several hours.
This is what an in-sync client should look like. Notice the green check to the right of the Receive tab. All of these icons give you information when you hover your mouse over them.
The lock
The arrow tells you if you're staking. If you aren't staking, it will tell you why you're not staking. If you are staking it will give you an estimated staking time. Staking is a very random process and this is only an estimate, not a countdown.
The connection bars tell you how many connections to the network you have.
The check tells you if you're in sync.

WHAT IS STAKING?

Now I've said "stake" about a million times so far and haven't explained it. Gridcoin is a Proof of Stake (PoS) coin.
Unlike bitcoins Proof of Work (PoW), PoS uses little system resources, so you can use those resources for scientific work. PoS works by users "Staking" with their balance. The higher the balance, the higher the chance to create, or "stake" a block. This means you need to have a positive balance in order to stake. Theoretically, you can stake with any amount over 0.0125 coins, but in practice it's recommended to have at least 2000 coins to reliably stake.
Staking is important for solo miners, because they get paid when they stake. Pool miners don't need to stake in order to get paid however. So if you want to solo mine, you'll need to buy some coins from an exchange or start in the pool first and move to solo when you have enough coins.
In addition to Research Rewards for miners, anyone who holds coins (solo miners, pool miners, and investors) gets 1.5% interest annually on top of your coins. So it can be beneficial for pool miners to stake as well.
Here is a snippet of what a research rewards transaction looks like from my personal wallet. I have a label on that address of "Payout address" as you can see here.

UTXOS AND COIN CONTROL

At this point you'll need some coins. You can use one of our faucets like this one or this one to test coin control out.
First let me explain what a UTXO is. UTXO stands for Unspent Transaction Output. Say you have an address with 0 coins in it, and someone sends you 10 coins like I've done here. Those 10 coins are added to that address in the form of a UTXO, so we have an address with one 10 coin UTXO in it.
Now we receive another 5 coins at the same address, like so. Now we have an address with one 10 coin UTXO and one 5 coin UTXO. But how do we view how our addresses are split up into different UTXOs?
Earlier we checked the "Display coin control features" box in Settings > Options > Display. Once that's checked you'll notice there's another section in the Send tab labeled "Coin Control Features". If you click the "Inputs" button, you'll get a new window. And look, there's our 2 UTXOs.
All UTXOs try to stake separately from each other, and remember that the chance a UTXO has to stake is proportional to it's size. So in this situation, my 10 coin UTXO has twice the chance to stake as my 5 coin UTXO. Now wallets, especially ones that make a lot of transactions, can get very fragmented over time. I've fragmented my wallet a little so I can show you what I'm talking about.
How do we clean this up? We can consolidate all this into one UTXO by checking all the boxes on the left and selecting OK.
Now pay attention to the fields on the top:
  • Quantity: The total amount of UTXOs we have selected.
  • Amount: The total amount of coins we have selected.
  • Fee: How much it would cost in fees to send all those UTXOs (more UTXOs = more transaction data = more fees)
  • After Fee: Amount - Fees.
  • Bytes: How large the transaction is in bytes.
  • Priority: How your client would prioritize making a transaction with this specific set of UTXOs selected had you not used coin control.
  • Low Output: If your transaction is less than 0.01 coins (I think).
  • Change: What you will get back in change.
  • custom change address: You can set the address you get your change back at, by default it will generate a new address.
So let's fill out our transaction so we end up with 1 UTXO at the end.
In "Pay To:" Just put any address in your wallet, and for the amount put what it has listed in the "After Fee" Field. Just like this.
Notice how we get no change back.
Now click "Send", we'll be prompted to enter our passphrase and we're asked if we want to pay the fee, go ahead and click "Yes".
Now if we go back to the Overview tab we get this funky icon. If you hover your mouse over it, it says "Payment to yourself", and the -0.0002 GRC is the network transaction fee.
(Ignore the first one, that was me fragmenting my wallet)
Now if we look at the Coin Control menu, we can see that we've slimmed our wallet down from 7 UTXOs to 1.
Now why would you want to use coin control?
2 Situations:
  1. UTXOs less than 0.0125 coins cannot stake. So you can combine a lot of tiny, useless UTXOs into 1 bigger one that can stake.
  2. After a UTXO stakes, it cannot stake for another 16 hours. So if you have 1 large UTXO that is big enough to stake more than once every 16 hours, you can split it into smaller UTXOs which can allow you to stake slightly more often.
  3. By default, the wallet will always generate a new address for change, which can make your wallet get very messy if you're sending lots of transactions. Keep in mind that more UTXOs = larger transactions = more fees.
Sidenote - When you stake, you will earn all research rewards owed reguardless of which UTXO staked. However, you'll earn the 1.5% interest for that UTXO. Not your whole wallet.

FORKING

A fork is when the network splits into multiple chains, with part of the network on each chain. A fork can happen when 2 blocks are staked by different clients at the same time or very close to the same time, or when your client rejects a block that should have been accepted due to a bug in the code or through some other unique circumstance.
How do I know if I'm on a fork?
Generally you can spot a fork by looking at the difficulty on your Overview tab. With current network conditions, if your difficulty is below 0.1, then you're probably on a fork.
You can confirm this by comparing your blockhash with someone elses, like a block explorer.
Go to [Help > Debug Window > Console]. This is the RPC console, we can use to do a lot of things. You can type help to get a list of commands, and you can type help [command you need help with] (without the brackets) to get information on a command. We'll be using the getblockhash [block number] command.
Type getblockhash [block number] in the console, but replace [block number] with the number listed next to the "Blocks:" field on the Overview tab.
This will spit out a crazy string of characters, this is the "blockhash" of that block.
Now head over to your favorite block explorer, I'll be using gridcoinstats. Find the block that you have the hash for, use the search bar or just find it in the list of blocks.
Now compare your hash with the one gridcoinstats gives you. Does it match?
If it matches, then you're probably good to go. If it matches but you still think you're on a fork, then you can try other block explorers, such as gridcoin.network or neuralminer.io.
If it doesn't match, then you need to try to get off that fork.
How do I get off a fork?
  1. Just wait for an hour or two. 95% of the time your client is able to recover itself from a fork given a little time.
  2. Restart the client, wait a few minutes to see if it fixes itself. If it doesn't restart again and wait. Repeat about 4 or 5 times.
  3. Find where the fork started. Using the getblockhash command, go back some blocks and compare hashes with that on a block explorer so you can narrow down what the last block you and the block explorer had in common. Then use reorganize [the last block hash you had in common]. Note that reorganize takes a blockhash, not a block number.
  4. Use Advanced > Download Blocks.
  5. If none of this works, you can take a look at social media (reddit/steemit) and see what other people are saying.

CONFIGURATION FILE

Your configuration file depends on your operation system:
  • On Windows: %appdata%\GridcoinResearch\
  • On Linux: ~/.GridcoinResearch/
  • On MacOS: /Users/USERNAME/Library/Application/Support/GridcoinResearch/
And it should look like this.
If you open up your gridcoinresearch.conf, you'll see the default one it generated. Note that if you entered your email earlier, the first line will have your email on it instead of "investor". If you decided you want to solo mine but didn't enter your email when you first started the wallet, go ahead and put your email on the first line in place of "investor". If you're a pool miner, just leave it as "investor".
Next, it's recommended that you use the addnodes on the gridcoin wiki. So our gridcoinresearch.conf will look like this.
A useful line for solo miners is PrimaryCPID=[YOUR CPID]. Sometimes your wallet can pick up on the wrong CPID so it's good to have that in there if you're solo mining.

RUNNING A LISTENING NODE

A listening node is a node that listens for blocks and transactions broadcasted from nodes and forwards them on to other nodes. For example, during the syncing process when you're getting your node running for the first time, you're downloading all the blocks from listening nodes. So running a listening node helps support the network.
Running a gridcoin listening node is simple. All you need to do is add listen=1 to your gridcoinresearch.conf and you need to forward port 32749 on your router.
If you don't know how to port forward, I'd suggest googling "How to port forward [your router manufacturer]".

QUICK LINKS

Gridcoin.us Official Website
Gridcoin.science Unofficial Website
Gridcoinstats.eu Block Explorer
NeuralMiner.io Block Explorer
Gridcoinstats.eu Faucet
Gridcoin.ch Faucet
Gridcoin Wiki
Gridcoin Github
GRCPool
Arikado Pool
And that's all I have for now!
I plan to keep this post up-to-date with changes in the client. So if anyone has any suggestions, have clarifications they want made, or maybe I got something wrong, then please feel free to leave a comment below or PM me!
submitted by Personthingman2 to gridcoin [link] [comments]

The Strange Birth & History of Monero, Part IV: Monero "as it is now"

You can read here part III.
You can read this whole story translated into Spanish here
This is part IV, the last but not least.
Monero - A secure, private, untreceable cryptocurrency
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.0
Notable comments in this thread:
-201: “I would like to offer 1000 MRO to the first person who creates a pool”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6422665#msg6422665)
[tacotime offers bounty to potential pool developer. Bytecoin devs haven’t released any code for pools, and the only existent pool, minergate (in the future related to BCN interests) was closed source]
-256: “Adam back seems to like CryptoNote the better than Zerocash https://twitter.com/adam3us/status/453493394472697856”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6440769#msg6440769)
-264: “update on pools: The NOMP guy (zone117x) is looking to fork his open source software and get a pool going, so one should hopefully be up soon.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6441302#msg6441302)
-273: “Update on GUI: othe from VertCoin has notified me that he is working on it.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6442606#msg6442606)
-356: “Everyone wanting a pool, please help raise a bounty with me here:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=589533.0
And for the GUI:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=589561.0”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6461533#msg6461533)
[5439 MRO + 0.685 BTC + 5728555.555 BCN raised for pool and 1652 XMR, 121345.46695471 BCN for the GUI wallet. Though this wallet was "rejected" as official GUI because wallet still has to be polished before building a GUI]
-437: “Yes, most Windows users should see a higher hashrate with the new build. You can thank NoodleDoodle. ”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6481202#msg6481202)
-446: “Even faster Windows binaries have just been uploaded. Install for more hash power! Once again, it was NoodleDoodle.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6483680#msg6483680)
-448: “that almost doubled my hashrate again! GREAT STUFF !!!”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6484109#msg6484109)
-461: “Noodle only started optimization today so there may be gains for your CPU in the future.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6485247#msg6485247)
[First day of miner optimization by NoodleDoodle, it is only May 1st]
-706: “The unstoppable NoodleDoodle has optimized the Windows build again. Hashrate should more than double. Windows is now faster than Linux. :O”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6549444#msg6549444)
-753: “i here tft is no longer part of the project. so is he forking or relaunching bytecoin under new name and new parameters (merged mining with flatter emission curve.) also. what is the end consensus for the emission curve for monero. will it be adjusted."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6561345#msg6561345)
[May, 5th 2014. TFT is launching FANTOMCOIN, a clone coin which its "only" feature was merged mining]
-761: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6561941#msg6561941) [May, 5th 2014 – eizh on emission curve and tail emission]
-791: “As promised, I did Russian translation of main topic.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6565521#msg6565521)
[one among dozens of decentralized and “altruist” collaborators of Monero in minor tasks]
-827: image
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6571652#msg6571652)
-853: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6575033#msg6575033)
[some are not happy that NoodleDoodle had only released the built binaries, but not the source code]
-950: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6593768#msg6593768)
[Rias, an account suspected to be related to the Bytecoin scam, dares to tag Monero as “instamine”]
-957: “It's rather bizarre that you're calling this an "instamine" scam when you're so fervently supporting BCN, which was mined 80% before entering the clearnet. Difficulty adjustments are per block, so there is no possibility of an instamine unless you don't publish your blockchain (emission is regular at the preset interval, and scales adequately with the network hash rate). What you're accusing monero of is exactly what ByteCoin did.”
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6594025#msg6594025
[Discussion with rias drags on for SEVERAL posts]
-1016: “There is no "dev team". There is a community of people working on various aspects of the coin.
I've been keeping the repo up to date. NoodleDoodle likes to optimise his miner. TFT started the fork and also assists when things break. othe's been working on a GUI. zone117x has been working on a pool.
It's a decentralized effort to maintain the fork, not a strawman team of leet hackers who dwell in the underbellies of the internet and conspire for instamines.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6596828#msg6596828)
-1023: “Like I stated in IRC, I am not part of the "dev team", I never was. Just so happens I took a look at the code and changed some extremely easy to spot "errors". I then decided to release the binary because I thought MRO would benefit from it. I made this decision individually and nobody else should be culpable”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6597057#msg6597057)
[Noodledoodle gets rid of the instaminer accusations]
-1029: “I decided to relaunch Monero so it will suit all your wishes that you had: flatter emission curve, open source optimized miner for everybody from the start, no MM with BCN/BMR and the name. New Monero will be ready tomorrow”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6597252#msg6597252)
[people trying to capitalize mistakes is always there.]
-1030: "Pull request has been submitted and merged to update miner speed
It appears from the simplicity of the fix that there may have been deliberate crippling of the hashing algorithm from introduction with ByteCoin."
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6597460#msg6597460
[tacotime “officially” raises suspects of possible voluntarily crippled miner]
-1053: "I don't mind the 'relaunch' or the merge-mining fork or any other new coin at all. It's inevitable that the CryptoNote progresses like scrypt into a giant mess of coins. It's not undesirable or 'wrong'. Clones fighting out among themselves is actually beneficial for Monero. Although one of them is clearly unserious and trolling by choosing the same name.
Anyway, this sudden solidarity with BCN or TFT sure is strange when none of these accounts were around for the discussions that took place 3 weeks ago. Such vested interests with no prior indications. Hmm...? "
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6599013#msg6599013
[eizh points out the apparent organized fudding]
-1061: "There was no takeover. The original developer (who himself did a fork of bytecoin and around a dozen lines of code changes) was non-responsive and had disappeared. The original name had been cybersquatted all over the place (since the original developer did not even register any domain name much less create a web site), making it impossible to even create a suitably named web site. A bunch of us who didn't want to see the coin die who represented a huge share of the hash power and ownership of the coin decided to adopt it. We reached out to the original developer to participate in this community effort and he still didn't respond over 24 hours, so we decided to act to save the coin from neglect and actively work toward building the coin."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6599798#msg6599798)
[smooth defends legitimacy of current “dev team” and decisions taken]
-1074: “Zerocash will be announced soon (May 18 in Oakland? but open source may not be ready then?).
Here is a synopsis of the tradeoffs compared to CyptoNote: […]"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6602891#msg6602891)
[comparison among Zerocash y Cryptonote]
-1083: "Altcoin history shows that except in the case of premine (Tenebrix), the first implementation stays the largest by a wide margin. We're repeating that here by outpacing Bytecoin (thanks to its 80% mine prior to surfacing). No other CN coin has anywhere near the hashrate or trading volume. Go check diff in Fantom for example or the lack of activity in BCN trading.
The only CN coin out there doing something valuable is HoneyPenny, and they're open source too. If HP develops something useful, MRO can incorporate it as well. Open source gives confidence. No need for any further edge."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6603452#msg6603452)
[eizh reminds everyone the “first mover” advantage is a real advantage]
-1132: "I decided to tidy up bitmonero GitHub rep tonight, so now there is all valuable things from latest BCN commits & Win32. Faster hash from quazarcoin is also there. So BMR rep is the freshest one.
I'm working on another good feature now, so stay tuned."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6619738#msg6619738)
[first TFT apparition in weeks, he somehow pretends to still be the "lead dev"]
-1139: "This is not the github or website used by Monero. This github is outdated even with these updates. Only trust binaries from the first post."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6619971#msg6619971)
[eizh tries to clarify the community, after tft interference, which are the official downloads]
-1140: “The faster hash is from NoodleDoodle and is already submitted to the moner-project github (https://github.com/monero-project/bitmonero) and included in the binaries here.
[trying to bring TFT back on board] It would be all easier if you just work together with the other guys, whats the problem? Come to irc and talk like everyone else?
[on future monero exchangers] I got confirmation from one."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6619997#msg6619997)
[8th may 2014, othe announces NoodleDoodle optimized miner is now open source, asks TFT to collaborate and communicates an exchanger is coming]
-1146: "I'll be impressed if they [BCN/TFT shills] manage to come up with an account registered before January, but then again they could buy those.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6620257#msg6620257)
[smooth]
-1150: “Ring signatures mean that when you sign a transaction to spend an output (coins), no one looking at the block chain can tell whether you signed it or one of the other outputs you choose to mix in with yours. With a mixing factor of 5 or 10 after several transactions there are millions of possible coins all mixed together. You get "anonymity" and mixing without having to use a third party mixer.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6620433#msg6620433)
[smooth answering to “what are ring signatures” in layman terms]
-1170: "Someone (C++ skilled) did private optimized miner a few days ago, he got 74H/s for i5 haswell. He pointed that mining code was very un-optimized and he did essential improvements for yourself. So, high H/S is possible yet. Can the dev's core review code for that?"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6623136#msg6623136)
[forums are talking about an individual or group of individuals with optimized miners - may 9th 2014]
-1230: "Good progress on the pool reported by NOMP dev zone117x. Stay tuned, everyone.
And remember to email your favorite exchanges about adding MRO."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6640190#msg6640190)
-1258: "This is actually as confusing to us as you. At one point, thankful_for_today said he was okay with name change: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=563821.msg6368600#msg6368600
Then he disappeared for more than a week after the merge mining vote failed.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6645981#msg6645981)
[eizh on the TFT-issue]
-1358: “Jadehorse: registered on 2014-03-06 and two pages of one line posts:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=263597
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=263597;sa=showPosts
Trustnobody: registered on 2014-03-06 and two pages of one line posts:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=264292
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=264292;sa=showPosts
You guys should really just stop trying. It is quite transparent what you are doing. Or if you want to do it, do it somewhere else. Everyone else: ignore them please."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6666844#msg6666844)
[FUD campaign still ongoing, smooth battles it]
-1387: "The world’s first exchange for Monero just opened! cryptonote.exchange.to"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6675902#msg6675902)
[David Latapie announces an important milestone: exchanger is here]
-1467: "image"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6686125#msg6686125)
[it is weird, but tft appears again, apparently as if he were in a parallel reality]
-1495: “http://monero.cc/blog/monero-price-0-002-passed/”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6691706#msg6691706)
[“trading” milestone reached: monero surpassed for first time 0.002 btc price]
-1513: "There is one and only one coin, formerly called Bitmonero, now called Monero. There was a community vote in favor (despite likely ballot stuffing against). All of the major stakeholders at the time agreed with the rename, including TFT.
The code base is still called bitmonero. There is no reason to rename it, though we certainly could have if we really wanted to.
TFT said he he is sentimental about the Bitmonero name, which I can understand, so I don't think there is any malice or harm in him continuing to use it. He just posted the nice hash rate chart on here using the old name. Obviously he understands that they are one and the same coin."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6693615#msg6693615)
[Smooth clears up again the relation with TFT and BMR. Every time he appears it seems to generate confusion on newbies]
-1543: "Pool software is in testing now. You can follow the progress on the pool bounty thread (see original post on this thread for link)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6698097#msg6698097)
-1545: "[on the tail emission debate] I've been trying to raise awareness of this issue. The typical response seems to be, "when Bitcoin addresses the problem, so will we." To me this means it will never be addressed. The obvious solution is to perpetually increase the money supply, always rewarding miners with new coins.
Tacotime mentioned a hard fork proposal to never let the block reward drop below 1 coin:
Code: if (blockReward < 1){ blockReward = 1; }
I assume this is merely delaying the problem, however. I proposed a fixed annual debasement (say 2%) with a tx fee cap of like 0.001% of the current block reward (or whatever sounds reasonable). That way we still get the spam protection without worrying about fee escalation down the road."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6698879#msg6698879)
[Johnny Mnemonic wants to debate tail emission. Debate is moved to the “Monero Economy” thread]
-1603: “My GOD,the wallet is very very wierd and too complicated to operate, Why dont release a wallet-qt as Bitcoin?”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6707857#msg6707857)
[Newbies have hard times with monero]
-1605: "because this coin is not a bitcoin clone and so there isnt a wallet-qt to just copy and release. There is a bounty for a GUI wallet and there is already an experimental windows wallet..."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6708250#msg6708250)
-1611: "I like this about Monero, but it seems it was written by cryptographers, not programmers. The damned thing doesn't even compile on Arch, and there are several bugs, like command history not working on Linux. The crypto ideas are top-notch, but the implementation is not."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6709002#msg6709002)
[Wolf0, a miner developer, little by little joining the community]
-1888: "http://198.199.79.100 (aka moneropool.org) successfully submitted a block. Miners will be paid for their work once payments start working.
P.S. This is actually our second block today. The first was orphaned. :/"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6753836#msg6753836)
[May 16th: first pool block]
-1927: "Botnets aren't problem now. The main problem is a private hi-performance miner"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6759622#msg6759622)
-1927: "Evidence?"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6759661#msg6759661)
[smooth about the private optimized miner]
-1937: “[reference needed: smooth battling the weak evidence of optimized miner] Yes, I remember that. Some person on the Internet saying that some other unnamed person said he did something hardly constitutes evidence.
I'm not even doubting that optimized asm code could make a big difference. Just not sure how to know whether this is real or not. Rumors and FUD are rampant, so it is just hard to tell."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760040#msg6760040)
[smooth does not take the "proof" seriously]
-1949: "image
One i5 and One e5 connected to local pool:
image"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760624#msg6760624)
[proof of optimized miner]
-1953: "lazybear are you interested in a bounty to release the source code (maybe cleaned up a bit?) your optimized miner? If not, I'll probably play around with the code myself tomorrow and see if I can come up with something, or maybe Noodle Doodle will take an interest."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760699#msg6760699)
[smooth tries to bring lazybear and his optimized miner on board]
-1957: "smooth, NoodleDoodle just said on IRC his latest optimizations are 4x faster on Windows. Untested on Linux so far but he'll push the source to the git repo soon. We'll be at 1 million network hashrate pretty soon."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6760814#msg6760814)
[eizh makes publics NoodleDoodle also has more miner optimizations ready]
-1985: “Someone (not me) created a Monero block explorer and announced it yesterday in a separate thread:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=611561.0”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6766206#msg6766206)
[May 16th, 2014: a functional block explorer]
-2018: “Noodle is doing some final tests on Windows and will begin testing on Linux. He expects hashrate should increase across all architectures. I can confirm a 5x increase on an i7 quad-core + Windows 7 64-bit.
Please be patient. These are actual changes to the program, not just a switch that gets flicked on. It needs testing.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6770093#msg6770093)
[eizh has more info on last miner optimization]
-2023: “Monero marketcap is around $300,000 as of now”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6770365#msg6770365)
-2059: I was skeptical of this conspiracy theory at first but after thinking about the numbers and looking back at the code again, I'm starting to believe it.
These are not deep optimizations, just cleaning up the code to work as intended.
At 100 H/s, with 500k iterations, 70 cycles per L3 memory access, we're now at 3.5 GHz which is reasonably close. So the algorithm is finally memory-bound, as it was originally intended to be. But as delivered by the bytecode developers not even close.
I know this is going to sound like tooting our own horn but this is another example of the kind of dirty tricks you can expect from the 80% premine crowd and the good work being done in the name of the community by the Monero developers.
Assuming they had the reasonable, and not deoptimized, implementation of the algorithm as designed all along (which is likely), the alleged "two year history" of bytecoin was mined on 4-8 PCs. It's really one of the shadiest and sleaziest premines scams yet, though this shouldn't be surprising because in every type of scam, the scams always get sneakier and more deceptive over time (the simple ones no longer work)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6773168#msg6773168)
[smooth blowing the lid: if miner was so de-optimized, then BCN adoption was even lower than initially thought]
-2123: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6781481#msg6781481)
[fluffypony first public post in Monero threads]
-2131: "moneropool.org is up to 2KHs, (average of 26Hs per user). But that's still only 0.3% of the reported network rate of 575Khs.
So either a large botnet is mining, or someone's sitting quietly on a much more efficient miner and raking in MRO."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6782192#msg6782192)
[with pools users start to notice that “avg” users account for a very small % of the network hashrate, either botnets or a super-optimized miner is mining monero]
-2137: “I figure its either:
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6782852#msg6782852)
-2192: “New source (0.8.8.1) is up with optimizations in the hashing. Hashrate should go up ~4x or so, but may have CPU architecture dependence. Windows binaries are up as well for both 64-bit and 32-bit."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6788812#msg6788812)
[eizh makes official announce of last miner optimization, it is may 17th]
-2219: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6792038#msg6792038)
[wolf0 is part of the monero community for a while, discussing several topics as botnet mining and miner optimizations. Now spots security flaws in the just launched pools]
-2301: "5x optimized miner released, network hashrate decreases by 10% Make your own conclusions. :|"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6806946#msg6806946)
-2323: "Monero is on Poloniex https://poloniex.com/exchange/btc_mro"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6808548#msg6808548)
-2747: "Monero is holding a $500 logo contest on 99designs.com now: https://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/monero-mro-cryptocurrency-logo-design-contest-382486"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6829109#msg6829109)
-2756: “So... ALL Pools have 50KH/s COMBINED.
Yet, network hash is 20x more. Am i the only one who thinks that some people are insta mining with prepared faster miners?”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6829977#msg6829977)
-2757: “Pools aren't stable yet. They are more inefficient than solo mining at the moment. They were just released. 10x optimizations have already been released since launch, I doubt there is much more optimization left.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830012#msg6830012)
-2765: “Penalty for too large block size is disastrous in the long run.
Once MRO value increases a lot, block penalties will become more critical of an issue. Pools will fix this issue by placing a limit on number and size of transactions. Transaction fees will go up, because the pools will naturally accept the most profitable transactions. It will become very expensive to send with more than 0 mixin. Anonymity benefits of ring signatures are lost, and the currency becomes unusable for normal transactions.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830475#msg6830475)
-2773: "The CryptoNote developers didn't want blocks getting very large without genuine need for it because it permits a malicious attack. So miners out of self-interest would deliberately restrict the size, forcing the network to operate at the edge of the penalty-free size limit but not exceed it. The maximum block size is a moving average so over time it would grow to accommodate organic volume increase and the issue goes away. This system is most broken when volume suddenly spikes."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6830710#msg6830710)
-3035: "We've contributed a massive amount to the infrastructure of the coin so far, enough to get recognition from cryptonote, including optimizing their hashing algorithm by an order of magnitude, creating open source pool software, and pushing several commits correcting issues with the coin that eventually were merged into the ByteCoin master. We also assisted some exchange operators in helping to support the coin.
To say that has no value is a bit silly... We've been working alongside the ByteCoin devs to improve both coins substantially."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6845545#msg6845545)
[tacotime defends the Monero team and community of accusations of just “ripping-off” others hard-work and “steal” their project]
-3044: "image"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6845986#msg6845986)
[Monero added to coinmarketcap may 21st 2014]
-3059: "You have no idea how influential you have been to the success of this coin. You are a great ambassador for MRO and one of the reasons why I chose to mine MRO during the early days (and I still do, but alas no soup for about 5 days now)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846509#msg6846509)
[random user thanks smooth CONSTANT presence, and collaboration. It is not all FUD ;)]
-3068: "You are a little too caught up in the mindset of altcoin marketing wars about "unique features" and "the team" behind the latest pump and dump scam.
In fact this coin is really little more than BCN without the premine. "The team" is anyone who contributes code, which includes anyone contributing code to the BCN repository, because that will get merged as well (and vice-versa).
Focus on the technology (by all accounts amazing) and the fact that it was launched in a clean way without 80% of the total world supply of the coin getting hidden away "somewhere." That is the unique proposition here. There also happens to be a very good team behind the coin, but anyone trying too hard to market on the basis of some "special" features, team, or developer is selling you something. Hold on to your wallet."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846638#msg6846638)
[An answer to those trolls saying Monero has no innovation/unique feature]
-3070: "Personally I found it refreshing that Monero took off WITHOUT a logo or a gui wallet, it means the team wasn't hyping a slick marketing package and is concentrating on the coin/note itself."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6846676#msg6846676)
-3119: “image
[included for the lulz]
-3101: "[…]The main developers are tacotime, smooth, NoodleDoodle. Some needs are being contracted out, including zone117x, LucasJones, and archit for the pool, another person for a Qt GUI, and another person independently looking at the code for bugs."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6848006#msg6848006)
[the initial "core team" so far, eizh post]
-3123: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6850085#msg6850085)
[fluffy steps-in with an interesting dense post. Don’t dare to skip it, worthwhile reading]
-3127: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6850526#msg6850526)
[fluffy again, worth to read it too, so follow link, don’t be lazy]
-3194: "Hi guys - thanks to lots of hard work we have added AES-NI support to the slow_hash function. If you're using an AES-NI processor you should see a speed-up of about 30%.”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6857197#msg6857197)
[flufflypony is now pretty active in the xmr topic and announces a new optimization to the crippled miner]
-3202: "Whether using pools or not, this coin has a lot of orphaned blocks. When the original fork was done, several of us advised against 60 second blocks, but the warnings were not heeded.
I'm hopeful we can eventually make a change to more sane 2- or 2.5-minute blocks which should drastically reduce orphans, but that will require a hard fork, so not that easy."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6857796#msg6857796)
[smooth takes the opportunity to remember the need of bigger target block]
-3227: “Okay, optimized miner seems to be working: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=619373”
[wolf0 makes public his open source optimized miner]
-3235: "Smooth, I agree block time needs to go back to 2 minutes or higher. I think this and other changes discussed (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597878.msg6701490#msg6701490) should be rolled into a single hard fork and bundled with a beautiful GUI wallet and mining tools."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6861193#msg6861193)
[tail emission, block target and block size are discussed in the next few messages among smooth, johnny and others. If you want to know further about their opinions/reasonings go and read it]
-3268: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6862693#msg6862693)
[fluffy dares another user to bet 5 btc that in one year monero will be over dash in market cap. A bet that he would have lost as you can see here https://coinmarketcap.com/historical/20150524/ even excluding the 2M “instamined” coins]
-3283: "Most of the previous "CPU only" coins are really scams and the developers already have GPU miner or know how to write one. There are a very few exceptions, almost certainly including this one.
I don't expect a really dominant GPU miner any time soon, maybe ever. GPUs are just computers though, so it is certainly possible to mine this on a GPU, and there probably will be a some GPU miner, but won't be so much faster as to put small scale CPU miners out of business (probably -- absent some unknown algorithmic flaw).
Everyone focuses on botnets because it has been so long since regular users were able to effectively mine a coin (due to every coin rapidly going high end GPU and ASIC) that the idea that "users" could vastly outnumber "miners" (botnet or otherwise) isn't even on the radar.
The vision here is a wallet that asks you when you want to install: "Do you want to devote some of you CPU power to help secure the network. You will be eligible to receive free coins as a reward (recommended) [check box]." Get millions of users doing that and it will drive down the value of mining to where neither botnets nor professional/industrial miners will bother, and Satoshi's original vision of a true p2p currency will be realized.
That's what cryptonote wants to accomplish with this whole "egalitarian mining" concept. Whether it succeeds I don't know but we should give it a chance. Those cryptonote guys seem pretty smart. They've probably thought this through better than any of us have."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6863720#msg6863720)
[smooth vision of a true p2p currency]
-3318: "I have a screen shot that was PMed to me by someone who paid a lot of money for a lot of servers to mine this coin. He won't be outed by me ever but he does in fact exist. Truth."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6865061#msg6865061)
[smooth somehow implies it is not botnets but an individual or a group of them renting huge cloud instances]
-3442: "I'm happy to report we've successfully cracked Darkcoin's network with our new quantum computers that just arrived from BFL, a mere two weeks after we ordered them."
[fluffy-troll]
-3481: “Their slogan is, "Orphaned Blocks, Bloated Blockchain, that's how we do""
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6878244#msg6878244)
[Major FUD troll in the topic. One of the hardest I’ve ever seen]
-3571: "Tacotime wanted the thread name and OP to use the word privacy instead of anonymity, but I made the change for marketing reasons. Other coins do use the word anonymous improperly, so we too have to play the marketing game. Most users will not bother looking at details to see which actually has more privacy; they'll assume anonymity > privacy. In a world with finite population, there's no such thing as anonymity. You're always "1 of N" possible participants.
Zero knowledge gives N -> everyone using the currency, ring signatures give N -> your choice, and CoinJoin gives N -> people who happen to be spending around the same amount of money as you at around the same time. This is actually the critical weakness of CoinJoin: the anonymity set is small and it's fairly susceptible to blockchain analysis. Its main advantage is that you can stick to Bitcoin without hard forking.
Another calculated marketing decision: I made most of the OP about ring signatures. In reality, stealth addressing (i.e. one-time public keys) already provides you with 90% of the privacy you need. Ring signatures are more of a trump card that cannot be broken. But Bitcoin already has manual stealth addressing so the distinguishing technological factor in CryptoNote is the use of ring signatures.
This is why I think having a coin based on CoinJoin is silly: Bitcoin already has some privacy if you care enough. A separate currency needs to go way beyond mediocre privacy improvements and provide true indistinguishably. This is true thanks to ring signatures: you can never break the 1/N probability of guessing correctly. There's no additional circumstantial evidence like with CoinJoin (save for IP addresses, but that's a problem independent of cryptocurrencies)."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6883525#msg6883525)
[Anonymity discussions, specially comparing Monero with Darkcoin and its coinjoin-based solution, keep going on]
-3593: "Transaction fees should be a fixed percentage of the block reward, or at the very least not be controllable by the payer. If payers can optionally pay more then it opens the door for miner discrimination and tx fee bidding wars."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6886770#msg6886770)
[Johnny Mnemonic is a firm defender of fixed fees and tail emission: he see the “fee market” as big danger to the usability of cryptocurrencies]
-3986: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6930412#msg6930412)
[partnership with i2p]
-4373: “Way, way faster version of cpuminer: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=619373”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg6993812#msg6993812)
[super-optimized miner is finally leaked to the public. Now the hashrate is 100 times bigger than originally with crippled miner. The next hedge for "cloud farmers" is GPU mining]
-4877: “1. We have a logo! If you use Monero in any of your projects, you can grab a branding pack here. You can also see it in all its glory right here:
logo […] 4. In order to maintain ISO 4217 compliance, we are changing our ticker symbol from MRO to XMR effective immediately."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7098497#msg7098497)
[Jun 2nd 2014]
-5079: “First GPU miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=638915.0”
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7130160#msg7130160)
[4th June: Claymore has developed the first CryptoNight open source and publicly available GPU miner]
-5454: "New update to my miner - up to 25% hash increase. Comment and tell me how much of an increase you got from it: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=632724"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7198061#msg7198061)
[miner optimization is an endless task]
-5464: "I have posted a proposal for fixed subsidy:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=597878.msg7202538#msg7202538"
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7202776#msg7202776)
[Nice charts and discussion proposed by tacotime, worth reading it]
-5658: "- New seed nodes added. - Electrum-style deterministic wallets have been added to help in the recovery of your wallet should you ever need to. It is enabled by default."
(https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7234475#msg7234475)
[Now you can recover your wallet with a 24 word seed]
-5726: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7240623#msg7240623)
[Bitcoin Pizza in monero version: a 2500 XMR picture sale (today worth ~$20k)]
-6905: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7386715#msg7386715)
[Monero missives: CryptoNote peer review starts whitepaper reviewed)]
-7328: (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=583449.msg7438333#msg7438333)
[android monero widget built]
This is a dense digest of the first several thousand messages on the definitive Monero thread.
A lot of things happened in this stressful days and most are recorded here. It can be summarized in this:
  • 28th April: Othe and zone117x assume the GUI wallet and CN pools tasks.
  • 30th April: First NoodleDoodle's miner optimization.
  • 11th May: First Monero exchanger
  • 13th May: Open source pool code is ready.
  • 16th May: First pool mined block.
  • 19th May: Monero in poloniex
  • 20th May: Monero +1100 bitcoin 24h trading volume in Poloniex.
  • 21st May: New official miner optimization x4 speed (accumulated optimization x12-x16). Open source wolf0's CPU miner released.
  • 25th May: partnership with i2p
  • 28th May: The legendary super-optimized miner is leaked. Currently running x90 original speed. Hedge of the "cloud farmers" is over in the cpu mining.
  • 2nd June: Monero at last has a logo. Ticker symbol changes to the definitive XMR (former MRO)
  • 4th June: Claymore's open source GPU miner.
  • 10th June: Monero's "10,000 bitcoin pizza" (2500 XMR paintig). Deterministic seed-based wallets (recover wallet with a 24 word seed)
  • March 2015 – tail emission added to code
  • March 2016 – monero hard forks to 2 min block and doubles block reward
There basically two things in here that can be used to attack Monero:
  • Crippled miner Gave unfair advantage to those brave enough to risk money and time to optimize and mine Monero.
  • Fast curve emission non-bitcoin-like curve as initially advertised and as it was widely accepted as suitable
Though we have to say two things to support current Monero community and devs:
  • The crippled miner was coded either by Bytecoin or CryptoNote, and 100% solved within a month by Monero community
  • The fast curve emission was a TFT miscalculation. He forgot to consider that as he was halving the block target he was unintentionally doubling the emission rate.
submitted by el_hispano to Monero [link] [comments]

Wealth Formula Episode 172: Ask Buck

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/172-ask-buck/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone we have a number of questions today on Ask Buck so I am gonna get with it right away the first question is from Beau Cannington. He’s a member of Investor Club and Wealth Formula Network. Here's his question.
Beau Cannington: How much of a negative impact do you think that a rising interest rate environment will have on our commercial real estate investments and specifically the syndication investments with Western Wealth Capital? Thank you very much.
Buck: So Beau good question especially on paper right makes a lot of sense that potentially rising rates could be problematic for multifamily real estate or really for any kind of real estate. But let's go back to basics first because I think it's important, a lot of people don't have a good enough understanding of this in the first place which is when does leverage help you in the first place when does it help to borrow money from the bank? Well leverage only really helps you if you're borrowing at a rate that is less than your effective cap rate and what I mean by effective cap rate is you know you're gonna constantly drive net operating income into a property if you're increasing value of the property if you're in a value-add situation. That's what we do in the Western Wealth Capital opportunities that you're talking about. But that rate at which you borrow has to constantly and always be above your effective cap rate otherwise it's gonna hurt you. All leverage does is to simply amplify the directionality of your profit or losses. So just like it makes you profit more if your effective cap rate is greater than your interest rate, if that you know that income drops to a point where now your cap rate is actually below the interest rate, it's gonna magnify your losses. So that's at a very basic level hopefully that makes sense if it doesn't real issen to it because it's critically important and for some reason you know a lot of people don't pay attention to that especially people who are just getting into real estate for the first time it's really important. Now let's talk about the idea of interest rates themselves I mean the one that most people are familiar with is the one that's on the news all the time. It's a Fed Funds rate you know people call benchmark rate whatever. It's the one that's set by the Federal Reserve and the way I think about the Fed Funds rate is that it's an indicator for whether or not the economy is healthy it's it's sort of a barometer when the rates are getting hiked the economy is in pretty good shape and the Fed is trying to prevent it from getting too hot and to you know potentially prevent inflation. On the other side when the you know Fed lowers rates, like it just did by the way, it signals some level of concern about the economy it you know suggests that maybe there's some deflationary activity going and suggest that there's some recessionary activity going on. You know ultimately the Fed rate is you know it's set by the Fed and it's it's a tool of monetary stimulus to try to control inflation and ultimately mitigate recessionary cycles so it's a way for the Fed to control the economy you know it's one of the ways that they try to control the economy one of the monetary pulse. Now the Fed Funds rate does not equate to mortgage rates I I hear a lot of people you know like on social media and stuff talking about had funds rate goes the perfect time for me to go shopper shop a loan or something like that and well you should know a little bit more than that if you're in the business of real estate and taking loans out but you know I mean I'm seeing like syndicators do that. The Fed fund rate really affects short-term and variable adjusted rates really it's really an indication of what's going on right now in this economy in the very short term. And mortgage rates of course then are far more complex mortgage rates reflect sort of a longer-term health of the economy and they're probably there's a lot that goes into them but probably the thing that you need to watch the most is the ten-year Treasury which is much more a reflection of you know the long-term rates what the market thinks to the markets gonna be in the future right so if there is a belief that there is you know inflation on the horizon you probably see those rates start to rise. Inflation tends to rise when the economy's you know hot so anyway now again so what you should be looking at is the 10-year Treasury now I'm giving you a little bit of background rather than just answering Beau’s question initially but the good news right now is that the Fed fund rate was actually cut so it's actually not going up anyway so we don't need to worry about that right now but what we we also had a big dip in the tenured Treasury so our mortgage rates are very favorable right now as well now that's interesting because that happened before the Fed cut rates you know we recently closed on something within our Investor Club and got really good rates and that was before the that was because the treasury took a dive before it took a dive right before you know the hope this whole thing in the last week or so couple weeks where there's actually a Fed rate. But let's move back again and you know to Beau’s question. Say mortgage rates were going up what would that mean and how would that affect our investments? Now presumably that would be a suggestion that the 10-year Treasury as we talked about was going up which would also be suggestive of an inflationary environment. Now here's where it's really helpful to be invested in real estate like multifamily real estate which is of course my sweet spot. Inflation also means that we raise rents more right so in other words as rates go up so to our rent. So the ten-year Treasury is reflective of inflation when we and so the rates go up but so do rents proportionally and so theoretically we should be in good shape and not worry about it too much because it's really just an adjustment for inflation if you think about it that way. Bottom line is for me personally I don't worry too much about rates when it comes to our Wealth Formula accredited investor opportunities that we're doing and one of the reasons for that is we are incredibly aggressive about value add. So we're constantly in decompression mode as well and we're you know we're locked in to some good rates here too so. Now in addition if you look at the speed at which you know some of these companies work like Western Wealth Capitals the one you mentioned and they're forcing equity into these assets like you know incredibly fast so you're in a dynamic mode of decompressing cap rates in real time and that effectively again de-leverages the asset altogether. So if you found that confusing, listen to it again. But bottom line is if you take nothing else away from this I would tell you that interest rates in general mortgage rates will reflect inflation. So if inflation is going up rates are gonna go up and vice versa and so they tend to cancel each other out don't worry about it that's what I would tell you. If anything rates going down might be potentially more of a concern simply because that's a much more of an indication of an economy that's not healthy. Now we're doing you know BC classed multifamily I still think we're positioned very well so again I don't worry about it too much. Okay let's see next question from Chris Odegard another Investor Club guy and also another Wealth Formula Network guy so Chris here you go.
Chris Odegard: Hey Buck. Chris Odegard here in Kent Washington. My question relates to asset classes. If I remember correctly from Tom Wheelwright he talks about four asset classes: paper or commodities, real assets, real estate real assets aka real estate and businesses. So I believe that you know if I'm a shareholder in coca-cola that's paper but I'm also a private shareholder in a number of small start-up businesses so because my ownership of private shares and small businesses constitute a paper asset or a business asset? And if that's still a paper asset you know what makes you a have what makes you have an investment in business since most of the time you know if you're an owner or part owner of a small non publicly traded business it's usually their share so anyway I'm kind of struggling with the distinction between paper and a business asset classification so appreciate your help on that. Thanks.
Buck: So Chris I thinkx first of all let's back up and just say you know the reality is that these are you know these are just definitions right and there's a gray area between them and we can use them to guide us a little bit as we appropriate things into the right quote-unquote basket but you know we shouldn't get hung up on them too much but let's go back and review the definitions right so what are what are paper assets. So well let's talk about what real assets are so real assets are physical assets right and the thing that they are known for is that they have intrinsic worth due to their substance and property so precious metals commodities real estate land equipment natural resources these all have some kind of intrinsic value to them whereas paper assets would be assets where ownership’s defined only by paper like as you mentioned stocks and currencies and bonds and things like that. The reality is that in in some cases like you're talking about the definitions might not be as useful it might be a better idea to simply ask yourself in a sort of a common-sense way well what is it that I actually own? You know if you own businesses that are not asset heavy lots of you know and what I mean by assets heavy is like you know lots of machinery, stuff that you could liquidate, it's probably fair to put it in the you know the paper side of things. On the other hand if you have a business that as a significant balance sheet of stuff that could be liquidated you might actually put it in you know the real asset bucket. But I will tell you in knowing yours what you're talking about you invest in a lot of startups I would say that I personally would probably never consider an investment limited partner investment in a start-up as a real asset I mean I think the bottom line is that most of those businesses are not going to have a significant amount of equity or collateral to back your debt so there's not a lot to liquidate there's not a lot of intrinsic value in those businesses other than their ability to produce income. So that's where I would put that. Now what gives real estate and precious metals let's go back to that real status well it's ultimately again their inherent value. that it can't really be erased the way a stock price can go to zero. Or frankly if you talk about businesses what happens if the business that you're invested in Chris what if that goes to zero right? If there's no profit if there's no nothing to distribute etc it's not worth anything anymore right so that that to me is probably the biggest thing to distinguish. Although I should bring up I keep thinking about this as we're talking that you know I was listening to the Peter Schiff they still like to listen to I think he's a smart guy just you know he's a little stubborn and he's always thinking the this guy is falling which I don't I don't agree with him but you know he's on this big rampage against Bitcoin and he's been debating all these people about gold versus Bitcoin which I actually think it's kind of a silly debate because I think the gold and Bitcoin people should sort of you know be on the same side but I think you know it might be in part because Peter sells gold and it's a good opportunity to get in front of people, but one of his arguments about gold is that the reason that it has value is that it has intrinsic properties and those intrinsic properties are that it can be used you know to melt down and make stuff and I think there's true but the problem with this argument there in my opinion is that seriously for those of you who are out there like owning gold have you've owned a few ounces of gold and you store it somewhere are you seriously owning it because you know because you might be able to use it sometime or because somebody might be able to use it or are you using it because somebody thinks it has a value? I would argue that the reason you own it in most cases unless you're like a big jewelry buff or whatever is because somebody because you or you want somebody else to you know at some point pay you more for that then what you bought it for so in that respect it's not a whole lot different from like Bitcoin right like you know people the value of gold it has to do with the fact that it also has a monetary value it's really seen that way if you took that out of it and all of it was just a matter of it being jewelry it would not be worth as much as it is but anyway that's my take on that a little unrelated but I thought I would throw in that commentary. Next question let's see is from Ramin Rafie here we go.
Ramin Rafie: Hi Buck. I'm a physician general practitioner. I've been out of residency for about decade now. I have been an employed physician working for a larger corporation making house calls and a hospice director for their large healthcare organization which actually has recently been bought by an insurance company, that's a whole nother story. I actually went to medical school in California. And I've always wondered if it's feasible for me to open up my own kind of practice I don't know enough about the tax structures reimbursement etc, etc. I understand insurances are a big problem and you have to hire a lot of staff that's a waste of resources to strike to insurances but I was debating if solo practitioner doable perhaps direct primary care and if so is one better off just doing a cash face back to this and the legal structure of either having an LLC or an S corp or C Corp I don't know if you can operate on that that's gonna be I guess I need to talk to it accounts it's about that I figured I'd ask you and you might know you might not but I enjoy listening to your podcast it's amazing how many physicians up there are in the same boat. Thanks great time.
Buck: Alright so we do have a lot of physician listeners non-physicians to probably about in case you're wondering it's probably about but not just physicians but health care people right so you know physicians dentists and you know you know high doctors and you know all sorts of stuff, chiropractors and that's probably because well I've had a healthcare background myself on doing a few different kinds of surgery and stuff like that but thanks for the question. I'm gonna try to I mean there's a lot there and I think honestly the truth of the matter is I'm not necessarily an expert on all of these issues but you know some of the things I can answer I think will be relative relatively useful to anybody who's thinking about going on their own. First of all I'd say that if you're starting your own thing you know it an LLC is generally going to always be the best structure for a small business for maximum flexibility you can take, if for some reason you want to be taxed as a c-corp you could where you do an S selection so that's pretty easy. The answer your question of you know can you do it the answer is absolutely yes. There are solo practitioners out there now and you can do it and you could probably do it better and that's always generally been my philosophy when starting businesses usually I don't start businesses I'm you know I don't start businesses that have not in some way shape or form shown that they can be a success, I usually rip off somebody's idea and then pivot a little bit add a little bit something and executed and so I think to the extent that there are plenty of sole practitioners out there in California still I think it absolutely can be done. You know so your question about cash versus insurance based medicine just keeping it brief I'll tell you that it's not really an expertise of mine but by but what I can tell you is that coming out of the door with any business if it's just a cash business you're gonna have to advertise like crazy and you're gonna have to run it like a business which not everybody is ready for so the nice thing for physicians and dentists sometimes is that you know if you do take third party payers like you know these insurance companies they drive patients to your door so especially in the area of primary care there's a shortage so I don't think you'd have any trouble if you took insurance getting filled up really quickly and succeeding. Now as far as advice on how to move forward in general first you know again in this applies anybody who's starting a business and anything in my opinion, first of all finding somebody who's doing what you you know you want to do in another market and kind of copy them if you can reach out to them even better if they're not in a competing market but find in you’re case find a you know solo practitioner market that's similar to what you're trying to do and is showing a success and you know see if they're willing to spend some time with you I would offer to pay them because everybody's helpful until it's like damn I'm busy and this guy wants me to help him. But I think if you say hey now you get a successful thing there I'm looking for some help and you know looking for some consulting from a successful practice it might be useful. Another option of course is to go straight to a consultant and again this applies to every business in my opinion. Of course there's a lot of you know consultants out there. I had one for my first practice ultimately it was a cosmetic surgery business and again I ran this thing not like a medical thing, I didn't take any third-party insurance and stuff but I marketed like crazy I knew nothing about running a business or marketing when I started this the business I set out to start ended up looking nothing like the one I ended up with. What I ended up with was a lot better because I learned a lot on the job. But a lot of the back end things whether it's medical whether it's you know any kind of business or the same right I mean you've got to figure out how do you pay bills how do you set up all the systems accounting payroll and that for me where the consulting was like a really useful thing and I'm you know at the time I think I must have paid like twenty five thirty thousand dollars for and it seemed really expensive but I can tell you in any start-up situation you are much better off spending some money up front with someone holding your hand getting you started quickly and you know I have been you know. I literally have friends I have a couple of friends who've been trying to start up their own practices from multiple years now they could have been up and running in like three months if they just had paid somebody to get it done. So don't be that person you know anyway that's a message for everyone really if you have a problem, now remember this if you have a problem that you can write a check to someone to fix, you don't have a problem right? So that's the way you deal with this stuff don't spend all your time trying to deal with stupid little problems think of yourself as a you know is a thoroughbred right I mean you save yourself for you know high-value tasks. If you mess around and try to do everything yourself you're gonna end up worse I pretty much guarantee it, that goes for anyone starting any kind of business for the first time. So finally I would just say that I don't know a single I don't know a single health care provider in particular I know there's a lot of you out there with your own practice that once you have your own thing would ever go back to working for someone else or who'd ever want to go back for working for someone else, I know some of you have done it after you've sold your practice which is different you sitting on a huge chunk of cash but if you have any sort of entrepreneurial spirit and like the idea of not having limits on the upper end I would highly encourage it. All right so hopefully that's helpful and you know it's broadly I think it's broadly applicable to a lot of people who have ever contemplated any kind of entrepreneurial activities. So let's see the last one that's an actual voice one so let's do that from Ravi.
Ravi Ghanta: Hi buck this is Ravi Ghanta I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work and for providing such valuable information to this community. As part of the investor I've gained so much knowledge from you as well as from your guests on your podcast. Unfortunately I have not been able to attend the Meetup and I won't be able to go to the next meetup in Dallas in September, however I was wondering if you would consider creating a directory of some sort where those who are willing to provide their name their mailing address email address or even phone number to create a community where we can interact with each other you know perhaps by having this information we can even meet up with each other in different places informally, we can also discuss things you know we may all many of us are in the medical field and other specialties or other aspects of business and crafts developing contacts in that way just a thought. But once again thank you for your insightful information and I look forward to continuing to work with you. Thank you.
Buck: All right thanks Ravi. Ravi again is a member of the investor group now I don't think Ravi's part of Wealth Formula Network and that could be part of the confusion or not confusion but part of the question you answer the question which is, is there community that you could join or have you know or have some additional contact. The first thing I'm going to tell you there is that's really what Wealth Formula Network was really all about. So Wealth Formula Network is the online private community we have you know a very strong community there are a lot of people who are really just interested in connecting with one another it is of course that started out with the course and the course was with you know with Tom Wheelwright, Ken McElroy real estate guys bunch of guys I know sort of us gives you the bases gives you the foundation for things that we talk about and then we have these bi-weekly phone calls these bi-weekly phone calls are very useful they're not just phone calls they're zoom phone calls zoom video so we can see each other it's very personal and we have very in-depth conversation, people who are on in well formula Network often create relationships off line off community and that's certainly an option for you. In terms of online communities I would say that I probably wouldn't do anything else and the reason being that anytime you preside over an online community you kind of have to keep an eye on it and I I have well formula Network and that's really all I really want to focus in on I don't really want to you know monitor other sites. As far as you know people putting their information out and stuff I don't necessarily have a problem with that the thing that I worry about is if it's anywhere that people can access, I worry about your privacy because you know we have an extremely robust audience here including you know an accredited investor list of over a thousand people and if there's some like you know advisors registered advisors or you know people who are trying to get to those people they will spam you like crazy if they ever got a hold of that. But Ravi let me think about it because there could be a way to do you know to what you're talking about to a certain extent you know we certainly like I said we certainly already do this kind of thing and within Wealth Formula Network if that's of interest you check it out WealthFormulaRoadmap.com I think you'd probably really enjoy that if you enjoy the show. So all right I don't have any more video I don't have any recorded questions I have a couple of written ones I'm going to get to those the first one says is from Robert McLeod. He says I've been listening your podcast for the last couple years now I know you're a huge proponent of investing in real estate assets especially multifamily but I can't remember you've ever discussed mobile homes. I was wondering if you've looked into investing in or thought of mobile home park space. Thanks for the informative podcast. So it's a sensitive thing because I know there's a lot of people were interested in that people listen to this and friends of mine who are involved in this but you ask I'll answer. To be honest I'm not a big fan of that space right now here's why the cap rates on these things are approaching multifamily real estate right multifamily can always be improved significantly and attract higher level tenants and then areas get gentrified, they get improved I mean there's some improvement ability in mobile home parks right but it's really capped I mean think about it at some point you don't want to live in a damn mobile home anymore right. so here's a good example of you know how multifamily doesn't really have on that cap Chicago Lincoln Park is one of the like fanciest parts of Chicago's really expensive jam-packed full of mansions and stuff now, but there's also a bunch of apartment buildings that are over a hundred years old and you know forty years ago Lincoln Park was an absolute dump and it was dangerous and no one wanted to live there and then it got gentrified and all these places that were probably low income housing are now these incredibly luxurious apartments have been upgraded like crazy and now they are you know now they're multi-million dollar asset selling at ridiculous cap rates. Now tell me how do you do that with a mobile home community? You can't right. So at some point if people are doing well they want to move out of a mobile home park so you can't keep raising rents and expect people to live there so that's one reason so now so if you're capped on an appreciation of rents it's gonna cap your equity upside so now the syndicators out there that I'm seeing especially on the limited partners side are giving returns that frankly are inferior to what we're getting in multifamily an investor club by a longshot I know some of you like this area but I don't and I sure as hell would never invest in a limited partnership like this for returns that are less than double-digit again that's just me though. So finally let me just say this, my philosophy right now in general, buy quality assets don't buy crap okay. I see people posting stuff on Facebook about single family you know Class C Class D homes they bought we're supposed to cash flow like crazy and they you know all they have is problems now you know the idea is that these things might look good on numbers but when you add in the capex and paying for damages and you tenants I mean you may not cash flow at all people are losing money on this stuff left and right so there's a reason why these numbers look so good on paper because they're not good investments and people are trying to sell you them so bottom line is I'm not saying that mobile home parks are you know bad for everyone. I'm just saying that I personally look at the alternative and the alternatives from me are better. I prefer to focus on high quality assets and markets that are growing quickly right. I mean to me I mean it may be boring and repetitive what I do but I can tell you from personal experience it works and I think chasing yield in the idea of going to lower quality assets are going to tertiary markets is a very very bad idea because those are the markets those are the areas in my view that are going to suffer the most if and when there's a significant recessionary activity or market turnaround so hopefully that answers that. Next question Mark Dvorak. Hello can you talk about on your podcast about real estate professional? I feel like it's the ultimate green card to play in real estate as passive losses are you limited? Everyone only talks about this powerful designation briefly. Like the 750 hour rule, can two people count towards those? What are the max deductions and then he says for LP is what are the max deductions one can get without being a real estate professional, a show detailing all these options. Well let me just be brief about this, the reason people are briefed about it is because for the most part there the definition of real estate professional is this ok 750 hours of documented actual work in real estate like not just being a limited partner but you know looking for real estate acquiring you know talking to people whatever you got to have that 750 hours per year and it can't be two people no it has to be one person and you can't have anything that you're doing more of so it's not I've heard some people say they're gonna try to do it with a full-time job I just don't recommend it I think the IRS is gonna not take you seriously in that situation but you know you could try. In that situation of course the losses there's no cap to your losses. The beauty of it is what what you're talking about is say you have a spouse who has a W2 income that's active income but as you as a professional real estate professional all of the passive losses that you generate through depreciation where most people who are not real estate investors can only offset those against passive investments, you can offset that against active active income because your losses as a real estate professional your what would be passive loss has become activated. So if you've got $100,000 loss from real estate depreciation you could offset you know your hundred thousand dollars of your Weiss active income because you're filing jointly right. So that's that's the Holy Grail you're right I think it's a big deal and so but that's really all there is to it. I mean you have to find a CPA who can guide you on this you know I would recommend you know for somebody from WealthAbility and pretty much anybody there's gonna tell you all the right rules but really the issue with the that is you got to find a CPA who's going to tell you how to do it and then stand by you in in the event of an audit. An audit not it's not a bad you know it's not the end of the world it happens anybody's making money you gotta have somebody who is actually you know going to defend that successfully. So anyway that's it in terms of the caps about you know being a limited partner and what are some of the maximum deductions you can get without being a real estate professional the honest truth is that I don't I don't know that there's any really maximum deductions for real estate I mean listen if you have a hundred thousand dollars or two hundred thousand or a million dollars of passive income and you have those losses you have passive losses out of the same amount you could deduct it all so there's no cap at all. I mean the only thing I think there's a cap on I think charitable giving is about fifty percent you know charitable giving fifty percent but you know and then and then there's all your typical things that I don't you know I don't really get into about you know the basic accounting deductions and things like that for other things but I'll tell you from the standpoint of real estate there really is no cap on deductions, it's just you know it's what you have whatever if you're in the passive column as is a non real estate professional you could deduct all that and then the active side you could deduct all of your depreciation against all of your income. So that's pretty straightforward. Okay last question and it's from Betty and she said Buck I heard you talking about a bad drug reaction you had a Minneapolis. What was the drug that gave you the bad reaction yeah so let me let me tell you about that I am those last show I talked about that was my near-death experience thing where I thought I was gonna die, listen to this show you'll get the whole story but bottom line is as it turned out it was a CBD tincture. And I took some CBD for my back in in Santa Barbara and it worked really well for me and then I don't know what was in this bottle that I bought but it just gave me some sort of crazy out-of-body experience and I'm it wasn't like being stoned okay I I've been to college I know what that feels like was something was very wrong, anyway it was the CBD it's a long story. Bottom line is if you are interested in that story and how what I came about listened to show where I talk about this in the last show I think it's probably last week according where this is and you will you'll hear about that. By the way, I'll say that you know riffing off that last show I'm looking again those vintage cars to things that mattered the most of lessons that I had there were to make sure to take care of your family so look at Wealth Formula Banking make sure you you know get into that and and and try to you know align your investments with legacy to a certain extent that's one of my takeaways the other one was to try to have a little bit of fun here and and don't always push it away into delayed gratification. Okay that's it for the questions today and we will be right back.
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