Mining software getting blocked and removed by Anti-virus

An extensive guide for cashing out bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into private banks

Hey guys.
Merry Xmas !
I am coming back to you with a follow up post, as I have helped many people cash out this year and I have streamlined the process. After my original post, I received many requests to be more specific and provide more details. I thought that after the amazing rally we have been attending over the last few months, and the volatility of the last few days, it would be interesting to revisit more extensively.
The attitude of banks around crypto is changing slowly, but it is still a tough stance. For the first partial cash out I operated around a year ago for a client, it took me months to find a bank. They wouldn’t want to even consider the case and we had to knock at each and every door. Despite all my contacts it was very difficult back in the days. This has changed now, and banks have started to open their doors, but there is a process, a set of best practices and codes one has to follow.
I often get requests from crypto guys who are very privacy-oriented, and it takes me months to have them understand that I am bound by Swiss law on banking secrecy, and I am their ally in this onboarding process. It’s funny how I have to convince people that banks are legit, while on the other side, banks ask me to show that crypto millionaires are legit. I have a solid background in both banking and in crypto so I manage to make the bridge, but yeah sometimes it is tough to reconcile the two worlds. I am a crypto enthusiast myself and I can say that after years of work in the banking industry I have grown disillusioned towards banks as well, like many of you. Still an account in a Private bank is convenient and powerful. So let’s get started.
There are two different aspects to your onboarding in a Swiss Private bank, compliance-wise.
*The origin of your crypto wealth
*Your background (residence, citizenship and probity)
These two aspects must be documented in-depth.
How to document your crypto wealth. Each new crypto millionaire has a different story. I may detail a few fun stories later in this post, but at the end of the day, most of crypto rich I have met can be categorized within the following profiles: the miner, the early adopter, the trader, the corporate entity, the black market, the libertarian/OTC buyer. The real question is how you prove your wealth is legit.
1. Context around the original amount/investment Generally speaking, your first crypto purchase may not be documented. But the context around this acquisition can be. I have had many cases where the original amount was bought through Mtgox, and no proof of purchase could be provided, nor could be documented any Mtgox claim. That’s perfectly fine. At some point Mtgox amounted 70% of the bitcoin transactions globally, and people who bought there and managed to withdraw and keep hold of their bitcoins do not have any Mtgox claim. This is absolutely fine. However, if you can show me the record of a wire from your bank to Tisbane (Mtgox's parent company) it's a great way to start.
Otherwise, what I am trying to document here is the following: I need context. If you made your first purchase by saving from summer jobs, show me a payroll. Even if it was USD 2k. If you acquired your first bitcoins from mining, show me the bills of your mining equipment from 2012 or if it was through a pool mine, give me your slushpool account ref for instance. If you were given bitcoin against a service you charged, show me an invoice.
2. Tracking your wealth until today and making sense of it. What I have been doing over the last few months was basically educating compliance officers. Thanks God, the blockchain is a global digital ledger! I have been telling my auditors and compliance officers they have the best tool at their disposal to lead a proper investigation. Whether you like it or not, your wealth can be tracked, from address to address. You may have thought all along this was a bad feature, but I am telling you, if you want to cash out, in the context of Private Banking onboarding, tracking your wealth through the block explorer is a boon. We can see the inflows, outflows. We can see the age behind an address. An early adopter who bought 1000 BTC in 2010, and let his bitcoin behind one address and held thus far is legit, whether or not he has a proof of purchase to show. That’s just common sense. My job is to explain that to the banks in a language they understand.
Let’s have a look at a few examples and how to document the few profiles I mentioned earlier.
The trader. I love traders. These are easy cases. I have a ton of respect for them. Being a trader myself in investment banks for a decade earlier in my career has taught me that controlling one’s emotions and having the discipline to impose oneself some proper risk management system is really really hard. Further, being able to avoid the exchange bankruptcy and hacks throughout crypto history is outstanding. It shows real survival instinct, or just plain blissed ignorance. In any cases traders at exchange are easy cases to corroborate since their whole track record is potentially available. Some traders I have met have automated their trading and have shown me more than 500k trades done over the span of 4 years. Obviously in this kind of scenario I don’t show everything to the bank to avoid information overload, and prefer to do some snacking here and there. My strategy is to show the early trades, the most profitable ones, explain the trading strategy and (partially expose) the situation as of now with id pages of the exchanges and current balance. Many traders have become insensitive to the risk of parking their crypto at exchange as they want to be able to trade or to grasp an occasion any minute, so they generally do not secure a substantial portion on the blockchain which tends to make me very nervous.
The early adopter. Provided that he has not mixed his coin, the early adopter or “hodler” is not a difficult case either. Who cares how you bought your first 10k btc if you bought them below 3$ ? Even if you do not have a purchase proof, I would generally manage to find ways. We just have to corroborate the original 30’000 USD investment in this case. I mainly focus on three things here:
*proof of early adoption I have managed to educate some banks on a few evidences specifically related to crypto markets. For instance with me, an old bitcointalk account can serve as a proof of early adoption. Even an old reddit post from a few years ago where you say how much you despise this Ripple premined scam can prove to be a treasure readily available to show you were early.
*story telling Compliance officers like to know when, why and how. They are human being looking for simple answers to simple questions and they don’t want like to be played fool. Telling the truth, even without a proof can do wonders, and even though bluffing might still work because banks don’t fully understand bitcoin yet, it is a risky strategy that is less and less likely to pay off as they are getting more sophisticated by the day.
*micro transaction from an old address you control This is the killer feature. Send a $20 worth transaction from an old address to my company wallet and to one of my partner bank’s wallet and you are all set ! This is gold and considered a very solid piece of evidence. You can also do a microtransaction to your own wallet, but banks generally prefer transfer to their own wallet. Patience with them please. they are still learning.
*signature message Why do a micro transaction when you can sign a message and avoid potentially tainting your coins ?
*ICO millionaire Some clients made their wealth participating in ETH crowdsale or IOTA ICO. They were very easy to deal with obviously and the account opening was very smooth since we could evidence the GENESIS TxHash flow.
The miner Not so easy to proof the wealth is legit in that case. Most early miners never took screenshot of the blocks on bitcoin core, nor did they note down the block number of each block they mined. Until the the Slashdot article from August 2010 anyone could mine on his laptop, let his computer run overnight and wake up to a freshly minted block containing 50 bitcoins back in the days. Not many people were structured enough to store and secure these coins, avoid malwares while syncing the blockchain continuously, let alone document the mined blocks in the process. What was 50 BTC worth really for the early miners ? dust of dollars, games and magic cards… Even miners post 2010 are generally difficult to deal with in terms of compliance onboarding. Many pool mining are long dead. Deepbit is down for instance and the founders are MIA. So my strategy to proof mining activity is as follow:
*Focusing on IT background whenever possible. An IT background does help a lot to bring some substance to the fact you had the technical ability to operate a mining rig.
*Showing mining equipment receipts. If you mined on your own you must have bought the hardware to do so. For instance mining equipment receipts from butterfly lab from 2012-2013 could help document your case. Similarly, high electricity bill from your household on a consistent basis back in the day could help. I have already unlocked a tricky case in the past with such documents when the bank was doubtful.
*Wallet.dat files with block mining transactions from 2011 thereafter This obviously is a fantastic piece of evidence for both you and me if you have an old wallet and if you control an address that received original mined blocks, (even if the wallet is now empty). I will make sure compliance officers understand what it means, and as for the early adopter, you can prove your control over these wallet through a microtransaction. With these kind of addresses, I can show on the block explorer the mined block rewards hitting at regular time interval, and I can even spot when difficulty level increased or when halvening process happened.
*Poolmining account. Here again I have educated my partner bank to understand that a slush account opened in 2013 or an OnionTip presence was enough to corroborate mining activity. The block explorer then helps me to do the bridge with your current wallet.
*Describing your set up and putting it in context In the history of mining we had CPU, GPU, FPG and ASICs mining. I will describe your technical set up and explain why and how your set up was competitive at that time.
The corporate entity Remember 2012 when we were all convinced bitcoin would take over the world, and soon everyone would pay his coffee in bitcoin? How naïve we were to think transaction fees would remain low forever. I don’t blame bitcoin cash supporters; I once shared this dream as well. Remember when we thought global adoption was right around the corner and some brick and mortar would soon accept bitcoin transaction as a common mean of payment? Well, some shop actually did accept payment and held. I had a few cases as such of shops holders, who made it to the multi million mark holding and had invoices or receipts to proof the transactions. If you are organized enough to keep a record for these trades and are willing to cooperate for the documentation, you are making your life easy. The digital advertising business is also a big market for the bitcoin industry, and affiliates partner compensated in btc are common. It is good to show an invoice, it is better to show a contract. If you do not have a contract (which is common since all advertising deals are about ticking a check box on the website to accept terms and conditions), there are ways around that. If you are in that case, pm me.
The black market Sorry guys, I can’t do much for you officially. Not that I am judging you. I am a libertarian myself. It’s just already very difficult to onboard legit btc adopters, so the black market is a market I cannot afford to consider. My company is regulated so KYC and compliance are key for me if I want to stay in business. Behind each case I push forward I am risking the credibility and reputation I have built over the years. So I am sorry guys I am not risking it to make an extra buck. Your best hope is that crypto will eventually take over the world and you won’t need to cash out anyway. Or go find a Lithuanian bank that is light on compliance and cooperative.
The OTC buyer and the libertarian. Generally a very difficult case. If you bought your stack during your journey in Japan 5 years ago to a guy you never met again; or if you accumulated on https://localbitcoins.com/ and kept no record or lost your account, it is going to be difficult. Not impossible but difficult. We will try to build a case with everything else we have, and I may be able to onboard you. However I am risking a lot here so I need to be 100% confident you are legit, before I defend you. Come & see me in Geneva, and we will talk. I will run forensic services like elliptic, chainalysis, or scorechain on an extract of your wallet. If this scan does not raise too many red flags, then maybe we can work together ! If you mixed your coins all along your crypto history, and shredded your seeds because you were paranoid, or if you made your wealth mining professionally monero over the last 3 years but never opened an account at an exchange. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I am not a magician and don’t get me wrong, I love monero, it’s not the point.
Cashing out ICOs Private companies or foundations who have ran an ICO generally have a very hard time opening a bank account. The few banks that accept such projects would generally look at 4 criteria:
*Seriousness of the project Extensive study of the whitepaper to limit the reputation risk
*AML of the onboarding process ICOs 1.0 have no chance basically if a background check of the investors has not been conducted
*Structure of the moral entity List of signatories, certificate of incumbency, work contract, premises...
*Fiscal conformity Did the company informed the authorities and seek a fiscal ruling.
For the record, I am not into the tax avoidance business, so people come to me with a set up and I see if I can make it work within the legal framework imposed to me.
First, stop thinking Switzerland is a “offshore heaven” Swiss banks have made deals with many governments for the exchange of fiscal information. If you are a French citizen, resident in France and want to open an account in a Private Bank in Switzerland to cash out your bitcoins, you will get slaughtered (>60%). There are ways around that, and I could refer you to good tax specialists for fiscal optimization, but I cannot organize it myself. It would be illegal for me. Swiss private banks makes it easy for you to keep a good your relation with your retail bank and continue paying your bills without headaches. They are integrated to SEPA, provide ebanking and credit cards.
For information, these are the kind of set up some of my clients came up with. It’s all legal; obviously I do not onboard clients that are not tax compliant. Further disclaimer: I did not contribute myself to these set up. Do not ask me to organize it for you. I won’t.
EU tricks
Swiss lump sum taxation Foreign nationals resident in Switzerland can be taxed on a lump-sum basis if they are not gainfully employed in our country. Under the lump-sum tax regime, foreign nationals taking residence in Switzerland may choose to pay an expense-based tax instead of ordinary income and wealth tax. Attractive cantons for the lump sum taxation are Zug, Vaud, Valais, Grisons, Lucerne and Berne. To make it short, you will be paying somewhere between 200 and 400k a year and all expenses will be deductible.
Switzerland has adopted a very friendly attitude towards crypto currency in general. There is a whole crypto valley in Zug now. 30% of ICOs are operated in Switzerland. The reason is that Switzerland has thrived for centuries on banking secrecy, and today with FATCA and exchange of fiscal info with EU, banking secrecy is dead. Regulators in Switzerland have understood that digital ledger technologies were a way to roll over this competitive advantage for the generations to come. Switzerland does not tax capital gains on crypto profits. The Finma has a very pragmatic approach. They have issued guidance- updated guidelines here. They let the business get organized and operate their analysis on a case per case basis. Only after getting a deep understanding of the market will they issue a global fintech license in 2019. This approach is much more realistic than legislations which try to regulate everything beforehand.
Italy new tax exemption. It’s a brand new fiscal exemption. Go to Aoste, get residency and you could be taxed a 100k/year for 10years. Yes, really.
Portugal What’s crazy in Europe is the lack of fiscal harmonization. Even if no one in Brussels dares admit it, every other country is doing fiscal dumping. Portugal is such a country and has proved very friendly fiscally speaking. I personally have a hard time trusting Europe. I have witnessed what happened in Greece over the last few years. Some of our ultra high net worth clients got stuck with capital controls. I mean no way you got out of crypto to have your funds confiscated at the next financial crisis! Anyway. FYI
Malta Generally speaking, if you get a residence somewhere you have to live there for a certain period of time. Being stuck in Italy is no big deal with Schengen Agreement, but in Malta it is a different story. In Malta, the ordinary residence scheme is more attractive than the HNWI residence scheme. Being an individual, you can hold a residence permit under this scheme and pay zero income tax in Malta in a completely legal way.
Monaco Not suitable for French citizens, but for other Ultra High Net worth individual, Monaco is worth considering. You need an account at a local bank as a proof of fortune, and this account generally has to be seeded with at least EUR500k. You also need a proof of residence. I do mean UHNI because if you don’t cash out minimum 30m it’s not interesting. Everything is expensive in Monaco. Real Estate is EUR 50k per square meter. A breakfast at Monte Carlo Bay hotel is 70 EUR. Monaco is sunny but sometimes it feels like a golden jail. Do you really want that for your kids?
Dubaï
  1. Set up a company in Dubaï, get your resident card.
  2. Spend one day every 6 month there
  3. ???
  4. Be tax free
US tricks Some Private banks in Geneva do have the license to manage the assets of US persons and U.S citizens. However, do not think it is a way to avoid paying taxes in the US. Opening an account at an authorized Swiss Private banks is literally the same tax-wise as opening an account at Fidelity or at Bank of America in the US. The only difference is that you will avoid all the horror stories. Horror stories are all real by the way. In Switzerland, if you build a decent case and answer all the questions and corroborate your case in depth, you will manage to convince compliance officers beforehand. When the money eventually hits your account, it is actually available and not frozen.
The IRS and FATCA require to file FBAR if an offshore account is open. However FBAR is a reporting requirement and does not have taxes related to holding an account outside the US. The taxes would be the same if the account was in the US. However penalties for non compliance with FBAR are very large. The tax liability management is actually performed through the management of the assets ( for exemple by maximizing long term capital gains and minimizing short term gains).
The case for Porto Rico. Full disclaimer here. I am not encouraging this. Have not collaborated on such tax avoidance schemes. if you are interested I strongly encourage you to seek a tax advisor and get a legal opinion. I am not responsible for anything written below. I am not going to say much because I am so afraid of uncle Sam that I prefer to humbly pass the hot potato to pwc From here all it takes is a good advisor and some creativity to be tax free on your crypto wealth if you are a US person apparently. Please, please please don’t ask me more. And read the disclaimer again.
Trust tricks Generally speaking I do not accept fringe fiscal situation because it puts me in a difficult situation to the banks I work with, and it is already difficult enough to defend a legit crypto case. Trust might be a way to optimize your fiscal situation. Belize. Bahamas. Seychelles. Panama, You name it. At the end of the day, what matters for Swiss Banks are the beneficial owner and the settlor. Get a legal opinion, get it done, and when you eventually knock at a private bank’s door, don’t say it was for fiscal avoidance you stupid ! You will get the door smashed upon you. Be smarter. It will work. My advice is just to have it done by a great tax specialist lawyer, even if it costs you some money, as the entity itself needs to be structured in a professional way. Remember that with trust you are dispossessing yourself off your wealth. Not something to be taken lightly.
“Anonymous” cash out. Right. I think I am not going into this topic, neither expose the ways to get it done. Pm me for details. I already feel a bit uncomfortable with all the info I have provided. I am just going to mention many people fear that crypto exchange might become reporting entities soon, and rightly so. This might happen anyday. You have been warned. FYI, this only works for non-US and large cash out.
The difference between traders an investors. Danmark, Holland and Germany all make a huge difference if you are a passive investor or if you are a trader. ICO is considered investing for instance and is not taxed, while trading might be considered as income and charged aggressively. I would try my best to protect you and put a focus on your investor profile whenever possible, so you don't have to pay 52% tax if you do not have to :D
Full cash out or partial cash out? People who have been sitting on crypto for long have grown an emotional and irrational link with their coins. They come to me and say, look, I have 50m in crypto but I would like to cash out 500k only. So first let me tell you that as a wealth manager my advice to you is to take some off the table. Doing a partial cash out is absolutely fine. The market is bullish. We are witnessing a redistribution of wealth at a global scale. Bitcoin is the real #occupywallstreet, and every one will discuss crypto at Xmas eve which will make the market even more supportive beginning 2018, especially with all hedge funds entering the scene. If you want to stay exposed to bitcoin and altcoins, and believe these techs will change the world, it’s just natural you want to keep some coins. In the meantime, if you have lived off pizzas over the last years, and have the means to now buy yourself an nice house and have an account at a private bank, then f***ing do it mate ! Buy physical gold with this account, buy real estate, have some cash at hands. Even though US dollar is worthless to your eyes, it’s good and convenient to have some. Also remember your wife deserves it ! And if you have no wife yet and you are socially awkward like the rest of us, then maybe cashing out partially will help your situation ;)
What the Private Banks expect. Joke aside, it is important you understand something. If you come around in Zurich to open a bank account and partially cash out, just don’t expect Private Banks will make an exception for you if you are small. You can’t ask them to facilitate your cash out, buy a 1m apartment with the proceeds of the sale, and not leave anything on your current account. It won’t work. Sadly, under 5m you are considered small in private banking. The bank is ok to let you open an account, provided that your kyc and compliance file are validated, but they will also want you to become a client and leave some money there to invest. This might me despicable, but I am just explaining you their rules. If you want to cash out, you should sell enough to be comfortable and have some left. Also expect the account opening to last at least 3-4 week if everything goes well. You can't just open an account overnight.
The cash out logistics. Cashing out 1m USD a day in bitcoin or more is not so hard.
Let me just tell you this: Even if you get a Tier 4 account with Kraken and ask Alejandro there to raise your limit over $100k per day, Even if you have a bitfinex account and you are willing to expose your wealth there, Even if you have managed to pass all the crazy due diligence at Bitstamp,
The amount should be fractioned to avoid risking your full wealth on exchange and getting slaughtered on the price by trading big quantities. Cashing out involves significant risks at all time. There is a security risk of compromising your keys, a counterparty risk, a fat finger risk. Let it be done by professionals. It is worth every single penny.
Most importantly, there is a major difference between trading on an exchange and trading OTC. Even though it’s not publicly disclosed some exchange like Kraken do have OTC desks. Trading on an exchange for a large amount will weight on the prices. Bitcoin is a thin market. In my opinion over 30% of the coins are lost in translation forever. Selling $10m on an exchange in a day can weight on the prices more than you’d think. And if you trade on a exchange, everything is shown on record, and you might wipe out the prices because on exchanges like bitstamp or kraken ultimately your counterparties are retail investors and the market depth is not huge. It is a bit better on Bitfinex. It is way better to trade OTC. Accessing the institutional OTC market is not easy, and that is also the reason why you should ask a regulated financial intermediary if we are talking about huge amounts.
Last point, always chose EUR as opposed to USD. EU correspondent banks won’t generally block institutional amounts. However we had the cases of USD funds frozen or delayed by weeks.
Most well-known OTC desks are Cumberlandmining (ask for Lucas), Genesis (ask for Martin), Bitcoin Suisse AG (ask for Niklas), circletrade, B2C2, or Altcoinomy (ask for Olivier)
Very very large whales can also set up escrow accounts for massive block trades. This world, where blocks over 30k BTC are exchanged between 2 parties would deserve a reddit thread of its own. Crazyness all around.
Your options: DIY or going through a regulated financial intermediary.
Execution trading is a job in itself. You have to be patient, be careful not to wipe out the order book and place limit orders, monitor the market intraday for spikes or opportunities. At big levels, for a large cash out that may take weeks, these kind of details will save you hundred thousands of dollars. I understand crypto holders are suspicious and may prefer to do it by themselves, but there are regulated entities who now offer the services. Besides, being a crypto millionaire is not a guarantee you will get institutional daily withdrawal limits at exchange. You might, but it will take you another round of KYC with them, and surprisingly this round might be even more aggressive that the ones at Private banks since exchange have gone under intense scrutiny by regulators lately.
The fees for cashing out through a regulated financial intermediary to help you with your cash out should be around 1-2% flat on the nominal, not more. And for this price you should get the full package: execution/monitoring of the trades AND onboarding in a private bank. If you are asked more, you are being abused.
Of course, you also have the option to do it yourself. It is a way more tedious and risky process. Compliance with the exchange, compliance with the private bank, trading BTC/fiat, monitoring the transfers…You will save some money but it will take you some time and stress. Further, if you approach a private bank directly, it will trigger a series of red flag to the banks. As I said in my previous post, they call a direct approach a “walk-in”. They will be more suspicious than if you were introduced by someone and won’t hesitate to show you high fees and load your portfolio with in-house products that earn more money to the banks than to you. Remember also most banks still do not understand crypto so you will have a lot of explanations to provide and you will have to start form scratch with them!
The paradox of crypto millionaires Most of my clients who made their wealth through crypto all took massive amount of risks to end up where they are. However, most of them want their bank account to be managed with a low volatility fixed income capital preservation risk profile. This is a paradox I have a hard time to explain and I think it is mainly due to the fact that most are distrustful towards banks and financial markets in general. Many clients who have sold their crypto also have a cash-out blues in the first few months. This is a classic situation. The emotions involved in hodling for so long, the relief that everything has eventually gone well, the life-changing dynamics, the difficulties to find a new motivation in life…All these elements may trigger a post cash-out depression. It is another paradox of the crypto rich who has every card in his hand to be happy, but often feel a bit sad and lonely. Sometimes, even though it’s not my job, I had to do some psychological support. A lot of clients have also become my friends, because we have the same age and went through the same “ordeal”. First world problem I know… Remember, cashing out is not the end. It’s actually the beginning. Don’t look back, don’t regret. Cash out partially, because it does not make sense to cash out in full, regret it and want back in. relax.
The race to cash out crypto billionaire and the concept of late exiter. The Winklevoss brothers are obviously the first of a series. There will be crypto billionaires. Many of them. At a certain level you can have a whole family office working for you to manage your assets and take care of your needs . However, let me tell you it’s is not because you made it so big that you should think you are a genius and know everything better than anyone. You should hire professionals to help you. Managing assets require some education around the investment vehicles and risk management strategies. Sorry guys but with all the respect I have for wallstreebet, AMD and YOLO stock picking, some discipline is necessary. The investors who have made money through crypto are generally early adopters. However I have started to see another profile popping up. They are not early adopters. They are late exiters. It is another way but just as efficient. Last week I met the first crypto millionaire I know who first bough bitcoin over 1000$. 55k invested at the beginning of this year. Late adopter & late exiter is a route that can lead to the million.
Last remarks. I know banks, bankers, and FIAT currencies are so last century. I know some of you despise them and would like to have them burn to the ground. With compliance officers taking over the business, I would like to start the fire myself sometimes. I hope this extensive guide has helped some of you. I am around if you need more details. I love my job despite all my frustration towards the banking industry because it makes me meet interesting people on a daily basis. I am a crypto enthusiast myself, and I do think this tech is here to stay and will change the world. Banks will have to adapt big time. Things have started to change already; they understand the threat is real. I can feel the generational gap in Geneva, with all these old bankers who don’t get what’s going on. They glaze at the bitcoin chart on CNBC in disbelief and they start to get it. This bitcoin thing is not a joke. Deep inside, as an early adopter who also intends to be a late exiter, as a libertarian myself, it makes me smile with satisfaction.
Cheers. @swisspb on telegram
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Some advice for everybody at this point in time

Hi all. I'm taking the liberty to share some hard-won experience at this point in time.

Some advice for Core and supporters

It's easy to feel resentment at this stage, having done so much work and written so much high-quality code, and yet getting a shitstorm for it. When I was leading the Swedish Pirate Party into the European Parliament, I was gradually getting used to getting a barrage of criticism grenades for everything I did and didn't do every single day, starting with when I did or didn't get out of bed in the morning.
It's very hard to explain what this does to your psyche to somebody who hasn't experienced it. Imagine everybody was out to get you, every single day, and giving you high-pitched screaming blame for everything from an orange being round to some Mongolian guy's utter misinterpretation of what you said three years ago.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that people could probably snap and go restraining-shirt-insane for much less.
But the crucial thing when you're in a leadership position like that, getting criticism for absolutely everything, is to maintain your ability to sort the relevant criticism apart from the back seat drivers who make a living out of complaining but not contributing. You've also got to trust your inner compass of the vision you want to accomplish.
From what I can tell, Core has made the common but crucial mistake of isolating itself from the community and taking on an expert attitude toward everybody else in trusting this inner vision compass over external criticism, where Core is somehow right by definition - the development happens as Core wants it, period. This is very dangerous in any open-source / free software project. Other people are just as intelligent and may have considerable experience and ability to evaluate the claims made, and these should - no, must - be taken seriously.
To illustrate just one point, let's take a look at Core's scaling solution here, Segregated Witness.
When I apply my nontrivial experience in coding and systems design - I started coding 37 years ago - I see these two options for scaling bitcoin near-term:
OPTION ONE - Change the blocksize upper limit to two megabytes. One line of code for the constant, about ten LOCs for activation trigger logic. Requires upgrading of a majority server software.
OPTION TWO - Introduce Segwit. About 500 lines of new code, of which at least 100 in the hypersensitive consensus code. Requires upgrading a majority of server software and all client/wallet software and client/wallet hardware, especially those needing to pay money to an arbitrary address (as Segwit introduces a new type of address).
When proponents of Core's scaling tell me that Option Two here is the better because it's safer, and I try to comprehend that statement, I am either utterly insane or the statement is the equivalent of "black is white and up is down". It's just not completely counter to all experience in software engineering risk management, it's so far out it doesn't reflect sunlight anymore.
When I try to understand more and challenge the assertion that option two is safer - on what I must say are very good grounds - I'm told that I should be leaving design to the experts and that I don't understand enough of the complex machine that is bitcoin. I know I am capable of learning complexities, but I am firmly told off from even trying.
That's just not how you succeed in maintaining a community. That's not how you make people want to run your code.
Of course, people are free to run whatever code they like. But the checks and balances in an open source community is simple: if the leadership for a project builds something different from what people want to run, they will run something else. It's therefore in the interest of the leadership to listen to the community to understand what software a majority wants to run. These competing interests provide the checks and balances.
Now, I understand the complexity of block transfer times through the Chinese firewall and that preliminary tests indicate that a typical full node is saturated at a blocksize of 32 megabytes. However, none of these limits will be hit by this particular scaling. Also, when blazing a trail like this, you work one problem at a time, you solve one bottleneck at a time. People have been flagging for the necessity of increasing the blocksize for ... I don't have dates here at hand, but it should be the better part of a year if not more. Further down the road, scaling node throughput capacity can be done in a number of ways from GPUing ECDSA to specialized hardware, but it's not the imminent bottleneck.
When such an enormous amount of crucial data (on the need to raise the blocksize limit) is ignored, that is done at the peril of the project.
People in the bitcoin community are intelligent geeks, capable of inhaling absurd amounts of information and cross-referencing all of it. If you are unable to explain why your solution is better than another proposed solution, people will be utterly dissatisfied with the response "because we are the experts" - for you must assume that other people in the community, in the general case, are at least as intelligent and capable of learning as you are. It's even possible that if you can't explain your solution to an open and intelligent mind, it's not a good solution.

Some advice for Classic and supporters

So it appears the hard fork is happening. A lot of people have fought hard to raise the blocksize limit for a long time, using a variety of means, and it seems to be happening at long last.
Core didn't take the last available opportunity to include a blocksize limit lift in 0.12, but have announced the release candidate without that feature. So this is it, this is when the fork happens or doesn't happen. Right now, based on announced support, the fork appears to be moving forward. A lot of people supporting Classic are feeling a lot of relief, even if people know that this effort is not done until the blocksize trigger has activated on the network. It's far from there at this point - there's not even deployed code. But everything seems to be going the right way.
It's important to reflect on how this is more than a discussion on features. This is an election of what people decide get to decide on the features, direction, quality, and vision moving forward. And as Satoshi declared, there's only one thing determining the outcome of the election: what code is producing the longest chain. That's how bitcoin's democracy works, right there.
This is not a selection of features. It's much bigger than that. It's an election of governance and stewardship into the future.
As in most elections, there has been a lot of animosity - in both directions. As heels have been dug in, ditches turned to trenches, and preferences turned into prestige, people are starting to call out each other and accuse the other side of not working for what's best for bitcoin, and actively naming specific names in negative contexts.
When those in power do this to you, you're feeling everything in the book between resentment, belittling, and outrage. It's easy to do the same thing back. There have even been suggestions that Core is deliberately sabotaging bitcoin to the benefit of ... a selection of actors.
This creates a toxic culture leading up to the election point, where people are afraid to take bitcoin-positive initiatives in anticipation of all the negative attention that follows - for in such an environment, practically all attention will be negative.
It doesn't help that people incumbent in positions of power tend to "do what they must, because they can" in order to safeguard the status quo, however small or insignificant that incumbency is - this includes everything from Theymos' deletion of discussions, via the silly DDoS attacks on XT nodes, to LukeJR's poison pull request to Classic about killing all miner hardware investment. Actions such as these are not really excusable, but they are still human: people tend to do the very human mistake of letting the ends justify the means, with the ends being what they believe is best for the bitcoin network.
Of course, other people disagree of what's best for the bitcoin network, and toxicity follows until the conflict is resolved. And beyond. The toxicity will remain until actively removed by leadership.
It is the responsibility of the winner in any rift to end a toxic animosity culture of hostilities and personal adversarialism. I cannot stress this enough.
History is full of examples where the winners refused to live alongside the losers and rebuild the world together once the conflict was resolved. It never ends well. On the other hand, where the opposite has been true - South Africa's end of segregation with Mandela as president comes to mind as a good example of leadership here - people learn to put animosity behind them.
A lot of people who have submitted code to Core (and previously) are skilled coders, after all, working from their vision. This vision doesn't have to be incompatible with Classic's vision in the slightest - it may just be a matter of slightly different feature priorities, with people intending to get everything in there anyway.
(I'd also therefore like to praise Jonathan Toomim for not engaging in the rifting but focusing on solving the problem to most people's acceptance. Real MVP right there.)

Finally, some personal reflections

Unfortunately, I believe bitcoin development has lost touch with large-scale rollout necessities over the past year or so. At the moment, there are three use cases which all new features should seek to improve:
Remittance. The act of sending money between individuals in different countries.
Drop-in credit card replacement, from the perspectives of both the payer and the merchant (two different use cases). This means that a payment must be instant, easy, and much cheaper than a credit card settlement.
These three use cases must be front left, right, and center when doing any design on the bitcoin network, as far as I'm concerned. They also reinforce each other when funds received by remittance don't have to go via fiat to be used for purchasing something.
If there's no profit to be made in using bitcoin as a drop-in replacement for credit card payments, bitcoin will not be deployed at scale. Deployment and outcompeting legacy systems depend entirely on merchant financial gains from rollout. The story begins and ends with this observation.
That's why I'm concerned when I'm looking at the features of 0.12. I don't see any features targeting one of these three use cases. Fact is, I see at least one feature severely degrading the drop-in capability of credit card replacement - RBF - and the lack of scaling severely jeopardizing, not to say ultimately removing, the profitability in replacing credit cards.
What I see is instead engineering for the sake of engineering. The question of "who's the customer?" seems to have gotten lost in the process. While it's arguable that there's no customer as such in an open source project, there's nevertheless an importance in understanding where the front bowling pins are for a disruptive technology like this - and it's certainly not in the one-time initialization time of starting up a new node. I'd argue that the front bowling pins instead are the three use cases I listed above, and would love to see a stronger focus on tangible use cases moving forward even if people disagree with my choice of cases.
Onward and upward. Bitcoin will recover and move on. Let's learn from this experience.
submitted by Falkvinge to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTICE

This post is a temporary resting place for FAQs while we wait for the release of VertDocs.

What is Vertcoin?

Vertcoin is a digital peer to peer currency focused on decentralization and ASIC resistance. Vertcoin is aiming to be easily accessible to the everyday user without extensive technical knowledge. Vertcoin has started to lower the barrier of entry with lots of video guides and the development of the One Click Miner (OCM).

Why does ASIC Resistance Matter?

ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are dedicated mining devices that can only mine one algorithm. Coins like Bitcoin and Litecoin both made GPU mining obsolete when SHA-256 and Scrypt ASICs were created.
ASIC Resistance and How it Makes Vertcoin Decentralized
Vertcoin believes that ASIC resistance goes hand in hand with decentralization.
ASICs are made by companies like Bitmain and almost all the original sellers of ASICs sell on a preorder basis. When pre ordering an ASIC you are buying from a limited batch that the ASIC company has produced. Often times the batch will not be fully filled and the ASIC company will often have left over ASICs. When the ASIC company has left over ASICs they will put them to work mining. Soon enough the ASIC company will have a very large amount of unsold ASICs that are mining and slowly the ASIC company starts to own a large part of the network’s hashrate. When an ASIC company(s) starts to own a large majority of the hashrate the network can become very centralized after a while.
Having your network consist of a few large companies can be very dangerous as they could eventually get 51% hashing power and 51% attack your network, destabilizing the network. When your network is made out of a lot of smaller miners, like Vertcoin, it is much harder for your network to be 51% attacked, therefore increasing network security. By having centralized hashing power your coin effectively centralizing the network as the centralized hashing power can deny transactions and stop any activity they don’t want.

What Ways is Vertcoin Superior to Litecoin and Bitcoin?

Network Difficulty Adjustments with Kimoto Gravity Well
Vertcoin uses a difficulty adjustment called Kimoto Gravity Well which adjusts the difficulty every block, whereas Bitcoin and Litecoin’s difficulty changes every 2016 blocks. By adjusting the difficulty every block Vertcoin’s block time can stay consistent by adjusting for the fluctuation in network hash rate from hash rate renting and part time miners. If a large miner switches off Bitcoin or Litecoin mining the network could be slowed to a crawl until 2016 blocks are mined and the difficulty can change to adjust for the new network hash rate. We observed this happen to Bitcoin when Bitcoin Cash became more profitable than Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s network hash rate saw a steep fall off, slowing the network to a crawl. If this was to happen with Vertcoin the difficulty would adjust after 1 block was mined, allowing Vertcoin to always be profitable to mine.
Anyone can Meaningfully help Verify Transactions
In Proof-of-Work crypto currencies miners help secure the blockchain and get rewarded with the block reward. In ASIC mineable coins like Bitcoin and Litecoin you can’t meaningfully verify transactions unless you pay 1000-2000$ for a ASIC miner. When you mine with a CPU or GPU in a ASIC mineable coin you make no meaningful impact on the network. It is like trying to break concrete with a shovel while everyone else has a jackhammer.
Simple Upgrades Aren’t Held back by 1-2 Large Miners
In ASIC market people buy ASICs in batches in a preorder. With Bitcoin ASICs there is not enough demand for ASICs so the batch often doesn’t get sold out so now the manufacturer has spare ASICs. Now that the manufacturer has spare ASICs they will often start mining with them and eventually the ASIC company has one of the highest hash rates. If the ASIC company doesn’t want a certain upgrade to go through, for example SegWit, they can vote with their hash rate to hold back the upgrade forever or at least until people who want SegWit get more hash rate.
You Have a Say in Protocol Rules and Consensus
In Bitcoin you are a passive observer because you can only issue transactions and you have no part in the process after that. In Vertcoin you can be apart of the process for deciding the ordering of transactions and deciding what transactions get into blocks.
Block Rewards and Transaction Fees are Distributed Evenly
In Bitcoin and Litecoin the block rewards and transaction fees are often given to the large miners in China due to mining centralization created by ASICs. Vertcoin distributes its mining rewards to people all around the world thanks to the mining decentralization.

When will Atomic Swaps Be Ready?

Atomic Swaps can be done in two flavors: On-chain and Off-chain (via Lightning Network). On-chain swaps were actually done already using Blocknet, you can see it in use on Youtube. We're looking into doing it again using Interledger.
However our main focus is to do off-chain Atomic Swaps using Lightning Network technology. Because it has the same benefits as Lightning transactions: No network fees and instant transactions.
For off-chain swaps we need Lightning Network to be fully operational. It's difficult to give an ETA on that since we aren't the ones developing it. U/gertjaap posted a video on the current state of the Lightning Network for Vertcoin a while ago, which you can see here.
This was actually the "bleeding edge" of Lightning Network at the time. was able to use it on VTC's main net, meaning that our blockchain is ready for the good stuff. As you can see however, it can't yet be considered production ready (most users would want a little better UX than a command line app).
Now off-chain Atomic Swaps is a technique based on the same principles as Lightning Network, but adds an extra complexity for it being across chains. So it's basically the same as a "multi hop" Lightning payment, which is not yet built by any of the implementations. They're still working hard on making the single-hop payments robust. So in order for AS to be possible, LN has to be fully operational.
A timeline cannot be given at this time, because frankly we don't know. The implementation of Lightning Network we feel has the most potential is LIT, because it supports multiple currencies in its protocol (where LND is bitcoin-only at the time and requires significant work to support other currencies, which is an essential part of being able to work across multiple blockchains).
LIT is open source and there's nothing secretive about its progress, you can see the development on Github. We even have our lead dev James Lovejoy (u/jamesl22) close to the action and contributing to it where possible (and our team as well through testing it on the Vertcoin chain).
So we're not developing LN or AS ourselves, we're just ready with our blockchain technology whenever it becomes available.
If we have any real progress that has some substance, you can expect us to let the world know. We're not interested in fluffy marketing - we post something when we achieve real progress. And we are not keeping that secret.

How do I Choose the Right Vertcoin Wallet?

Deciding what Vertcoin wallet you should choose can be a difficult process. You can choose between three different wallets: Core, Electrum and Paper. Once you decide you can use the "How to Setup Your Vertcoin Wallets" video guide to assist you.

Core

The Core wallet is the wallet that most people should use. It will store the entire blockchain (~2GB) on your computer. The Core wallet is the only wallet that fully supports P2Pool mining. You will also have to use the Core wallet if you plan to run a P2Pool node or any Vertcoin related server.

Electrum

The Electrum wallet is a light wallet for Vertcoin. You do not have to download the blockchain on your computer, but you will still have your own private keys on your computer. This is recommended for people who don't need to store Vertcoins for very long and just need a quick but secure place to store them.

Paper

The Paper wallet is as the name implies, a physical paper wallet. When generating a paper wallet you will get a pdf that will need to print out. A paper wallet is normally used for long term storage since it is the safest way to store Vertcoins. A paper wallet can also be called "cold storage." Cold storage references the storage of your coins offline, preventing you from getting hacked over the internet.

Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet designed by Ledger. A hardware wallet is similar to a paper wallet since it is normally used for cold storage. The hardware wallet is on par with the security of a paper wallet while being easy to use and setup. Note: You should never mine directly to a Ledger hardware wallet.

How do I start mining Vertcoin?

We have many guides available for you to use depending on your computer specifications.
Nvidia GPUs on Windows
Nvidia GPUs on Linux
AMD GPUs on Windows WARNING: Very unprofitable, AMD optimized miner is coming very soon.

Where can I get the One Click Miner (OCM)

You can get the latest version of the One Click Miner in the Vertcoin Discord. The download is pinned to the top of the #oneclick channel.

What do all the Numbers Mean on P2Pool’s Web Interface

I've seen a lot of confusion from new miners on public p2pool nodes, so here's a primer for the most common static node page style, for first time miners: https://imgur.com/K48GmMw

Active Miners on this Node

Address - This is the list of addresses currently mining on this node. If your address does not show up here, you are not mining on this node.
Hashrate
This is a snapshot of your hashrate as seen by the node. It will fluctuate up to 15% from the hashrate you are seeing on your mining software, but will average out to match the output in your mining software.
Rejected Hashrate
This is the amount of your hashing contribution that is rejected, both in hashrate and as a percentage of your total contribution. Running your own p2pool node minimizes this number. Mining on a node that is geographically close to reduce lag also minimizes this number. Ideally you would like it to be less than 1%, but most people seem happy keeping it under 3%.
Share Difficulty
This speaks for itself, it is the difficulty of the share being currently worked on. Bigger numbers are more difficult.
Time to Share
This is how long you need to mine before you will receive any payouts, or any "predicted payout." The lower your hashrate, the higher your time to share.
Predicted Payout
This is the reward you would receive if a block was found by p2pool right now. If it reads "no shares yet" then you have not yet been mining the requisite amount of time as seen in the previous "time to share" column.

Status

Network Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining vertcoin everywhere, regardless of where or how.
Global Pool Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining vertcoin on this p2pool network, be it the first network or the second network.
Local Pool Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining Vertcoin on this node.
Current Block Value
This is the reward that will be given for mining the current block. The base mining reward is currently 50 VTC per block, so any small decimal over that amount is transaction fees being paid by people using the network.
Network Block Difficulty
This is the difficulty of the block being mined. The higher the number, the higher the difficulty. This number rises as the "Network Hashrate" rises, so that blocks will always be found every 2.5 minutes. Inversely, this number falls when the "Network Hashrate" lowers as well.
Expected Time to Block
This is a guess at how much time will elapse between blocks being found by this p2pool network. This guess is accurate on average, but very inaccurate in the short term. Since you only receive a payout when the network finds a block, you can think of this as "Estimated Time to Payout."

Why is P2Pool Recommended Over Traditional Pools?

Decentralisation

P2Pool is peer to peer allowing a decentralized pool mining system. There are many nodes setup around the world that connect to each other too mine together. Many other coins have 1 very large pool that many miners connect to and sometimes the largest pool can have 51% or more of the network hash rate which makes the network vulnerable to a 51% attack. If P2Pool is the largest network then that prevents the Vertcoin network to be susceptible to a 51% attack as P2Pool is decentralized.

PPLNS Payout System

P2Pool uses a PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) payout system which awards miners more the longer they mine, sort of like a loyalty system. A drawback to this system is that part time miners that aren't 24/7 won't be able to earn that much.

2 Networks

While Network 1 is catered towards 24/7 miners and people who have dedicated mining rigs, Vertcoin has a second P2Pool network where part time miners and miners under 100 MH/s can go to mine.

Mines Directly to Your Wallet

P2Pool mines directly to your wallet and cuts out the middleman. This reduces the likely hood that the pool will run away with your coins.

No Downtime

Since P2Pool is decentralized and has different nodes for you to choose from there will be no downtime because the P2Pool network does not die if one node goes down. You can setup a backup server in your miner so that you will have no downtime when mining.

Anonymity and Security

When using P2Pool you use a wallet address making your real identity anonymous, you are simply known by a random 34 letter string. Along with using a wallet address instead of a username there is no password involved P2Pool preventing the possibility of cracking your pool account (If you were on a traditional pool,) and stealing all your coins.

How do I Find a Nearby P2Pool Node

You can find the public p2pool nodes the the P2Pool Node Scanners. If you want to find a network 1 node go here. If you want to find a network 2 node go here.

How do I setup a P2Pool Node?

Linux P2Pool Setup
Windows P2Pool Setup (Text)
Windows P2Pool Setup (Video) This guide setups a network 2 node. When downloading Python download the 32bit version, not the 64bit. Downloading the 64bit version causes problems with the twisted install.
How do I setup a change my node to network 1 or network 2?
In the P2Pool startup script when you type the --network flag add vertcoin1 for network 1 and vertcoin2 for network 2 right after.

How do I Buy Vertcoin?

You can see a video guide on Youtube, "How to Buy Vertcoin with Fiat Using Bittrex and Coinbase"

How can I get help with "X problem?"

The quickest way for you to get help is for you to join the Vertcoin Discord Group. We almost always have knowledgable Vertans, whether that be developers or experienced Vertans, online to help you with whatever problems you may have.

How can I donate to the Developers?

You can donate to the dev fund at https://vertcoin.org/donate/. You can select what you want your funds to go to by donating to the corresponding address. You can also see how much funding is required and how much we have donated.

Where can I see what exchanges Vertcoin is on?

You can see what exchanges Vertcoin is listed on at CoinMarketCap. You can see what exchanges Vertcoin has applied to be on at this google docs spreadsheet.

Where can I see Vertcoin's Roadmap?

The Vertcoin developers currently have a trello board where you can see the goals and what the status of said goal is. You can also vote on what you want the Vertcoin developers to focus on next.

What is the Status of the AMD Optimized Miner?

The AMD Optimized Miner internal beta is aiming to be ready by the end of September. The AMD Optimized Miner is currently being developed by @turekaj on the Vertcoin Discord. He currently does not have a Reddit account and Discord is the only way you can contact him.

What Does Halving Mean?

Halving means that the block reward for miners will be split in half. Halving happens around every 4 years for Vertcoin or 840,000 blocks. This means around December miners will only receive 25 VTC per block instead of the current 50 VTC per block.
If you would like to add another question to this list please comment it and I will get around to adding it ASAP.
submitted by asianboygames to vertcoin [link] [comments]

Some advice for everybody at this point in time

Hi all. I'm taking the liberty to share some hard-won experience at this point in time.

Some advice for Classic and supporters

So it appears the hard fork is happening. A lot of people have fought hard to raise the blocksize limit for a long time, using a variety of means, and it seems to be happening at long last.
Core didn't take the last available opportunity to include a blocksize limit lift in 0.12, but have announced the release candidate without that feature. So this is it, this is when the fork happens or doesn't happen. Right now, based on announced support, the fork appears to be moving forward. A lot of people supporting Classic are feeling a lot of relief, even if people know that this effort is not done until the blocksize trigger has activated on the network. It's far from there at this point - there's not even deployed code. But everything seems to be going the right way.
It's important to reflect on how this is more than a discussion on features. This is an election of what people decide get to decide on the features, direction, quality, and vision moving forward. And as Satoshi declared, there's only one thing determining the outcome of the election: what code is producing the longest chain. That's how bitcoin's democracy works, right there.
This is not a selection of features. It's much bigger than that. It's an election of governance and stewardship into the future.
As in most elections, there has been a lot of animosity - in both directions. As heels have been dug in, ditches turned to trenches, and preferences turned into prestige, people are starting to call out each other and accuse the other side of not working for what's best for bitcoin, and actively naming specific names in negative contexts.
When those in power do this to you, you're feeling everything in the book between resentment, belittling, and outrage. It's easy to do the same thing back. There have even been suggestions that Core is deliberately sabotaging bitcoin to the benefit of ... a selection of actors.
This creates a toxic culture leading up to the election point, where people are afraid to take bitcoin-positive initiatives in anticipation of all the negative attention that follows - for in such an environment, practically all attention will be negative.
It doesn't help that people incumbent in positions of power tend to "do what they must, because they can" in order to safeguard the status quo, however small or insignificant that incumbency is - this includes everything from Theymos' deletion of discussions, via the silly DDoS attacks on XT nodes, to LukeJR's poison pull request to Classic about killing all miner hardware investment. Actions such as these are not really excusable, but they are still human: people tend to do the very human mistake of letting the ends justify the means, with the ends being what they believe is best for the bitcoin network.
Of course, other people disagree of what's best for the bitcoin network, and toxicity follows until the conflict is resolved. And beyond. The toxicity will remain until actively removed by leadership.
It is the responsibility of the winner in any rift to end a toxic animosity culture of hostilities and personal adversarialism. I cannot stress this enough.
History is full of examples where the winners refused to live alongside the losers and rebuild the world together once the conflict was resolved. It never ends well. On the other hand, where the opposite has been true - South Africa's end of segregation with Mandela as president comes to mind as a good example of leadership here - people learn to put animosity behind them.
There's a highly-upvoted thread already about keeping the moral high ground in /btc, which makes me happy. However, an effort like the one I'm describing goes beyond not behaving badly. The winning side must actively take responsibility for reconciliation.
A lot of people who have submitted code to Core (and previously) are skilled coders, after all, working from their vision. This vision doesn't have to be incompatible with Classic's vision in the slightest - it may just be a matter of slightly different feature priorities, with people intending to get everything in there anyway.
This assumes, of course, that the hard fork happens. We're not there yet. Do not take success for granted; many projects have fallen on taking success for granted.
(I'd also therefore like to praise Jonathan Toomim for not engaging in the rifting but focusing on solving the problem to most people's acceptance. Real MVP right there.)

Some advice for Core and supporters

It's easy to feel resentment at this stage, having done so much work and written so much high-quality code, and yet getting a shitstorm for it. When I was leading the Swedish Pirate Party into the European Parliament, I was gradually getting used to getting a barrage of criticism grenades for everything I did and didn't do every single day, starting with when I did or didn't get out of bed in the morning.
It's very hard to explain what this does to your psyche to somebody who hasn't experienced it. Imagine everybody was out to get you, every single day, and giving you high-pitched screaming blame for everything from an orange being round to some Mongolian guy's utter misinterpration of what you said three years ago.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that people could probably snap and go restraining-shirt-insane for much less.
But the crucial thing when you're in a leadership position like that, getting criticism for absolutely everything, is to maintain your ability to sort the relevant criticism apart from the back seat drivers who make a living out of complaining but not contributing. You've also got to trust your inner compass of the vision you want to accomplish.
From what I can tell, Core has made the common but crucial mistake of isolating itself from the community and taking on an expert attitude toward everybody else in trusting this inner vision compass over external criticism, where Core is somehow right by definition - the development happens as Core wants it, period. This is very dangerous in any open-source / free software project. Other people are just as intelligent and may have considerable experience and ability to evaluate the claims made, and these should - no, must - be taken seriously.
To illustrate just one point, let's take a look at Core's scaling solution here, Segregated Witness.
When I apply my nontrivial experience in coding and systems design - I started coding 37 years ago - I see these two options for scaling bitcoin near-term:
OPTION ONE - Change the blocksize upper limit to two megabytes. One line of code for the constant, about ten LOCs for activation trigger logic. Requires upgrading of a majority server software.
OPTION TWO - Introduce Segwit. About 500 lines of new code, of which at least 100 in the hypersensitive consensus code. Requires upgrading a majority of server software and all client/wallet software and client/wallet hardware, especially those needing to pay money to an arbitrary address (as Segwit introduces a new type of address that both sender and receiver must handle).
When proponents of Core's scaling tell me that Option Two here is the better because it's safer, and I try to comprehend that statement, I am either utterly insane or the statement is the equivalent of "black is white and up is down". It's just not completely counter to all experience in software engineering risk management, it's so far out it doesn't reflect sunlight anymore.
When I try to understand more and challenge the assertion that option two is safer - on what I must say are very good grounds - I'm told that I should be leaving design to the experts and that I don't understand enough of the complex machine that is bitcoin. I know I am capable of learning complexities, but I am firmly told off from even trying.
That's just not how you succeed in maintaining a community. That's not how you make people want to run your code.
Of course, people are free to run whatever code they like. But the checks and balances in an open source community is simple: if the leadership for a project builds something different from what people want to run, they will run something else. It's therefore in the interest of the leadership to listen to the community to understand what software a majority wants to run. These competing interests provide the checks and balances.
Now, I understand the complexity of block transfer times through the Chinese firewall and that preliminary tests indicate that a typical full node is saturated at a blocksize of 32 megabytes. However, none of these limits will be hit by this particular scaling. Also, when blazing a trail like this, you work one problem at a time, you solve one bottleneck at a time. People have been flagging for the necessity of increasing the blocksize for ... I don't have dates here at hand, but it should be the better part of a year if not more. Further down the road, scaling node throughput capacity can be done in a number of ways from GPUing ECDSA to specialized hardware, but it's not the imminent bottleneck.
When such an enormous amount of crucial data (on the need to raise the blocksize limit) is ignored, that is done at the peril of the project.
People in the bitcoin community are intelligent geeks, capable of inhaling absurd amounts of information and cross-referencing all of it. If you are unable to explain why your solution is better than another proposed solution, people will be utterly dissatisfied with the response "because we are the experts" - for you must assume that other people in the community, in the general case, are at least as intelligent and capable of learning as you are. It's even possible that if you can't explain your solution to an open and intelligent mind, it's not a good solution.

Finally, some personal reflections

Unfortunately, I believe bitcoin development has lost touch with large-scale rollout necessities over the past year or so. At the moment, there are three use cases which all new features should seek to improve:
Remittance. The act of sending money between individuals in different countries.
Drop-in credit card replacement, from the perspectives of both the payer and the merchant (two different use cases). This means that a payment must be instant, easy, and much cheaper than a credit card settlement.
These three use cases must be front left, right, and center when doing any design on the bitcoin network, as far as I'm concerned. They also reinforce each other when funds received by remittance don't have to go via fiat to be used for purchasing something.
If there's no profit to be made in using bitcoin as a drop-in replacement for credit card payments, bitcoin will not be deployed at scale. Deployment and outcompeting legacy systems depend entirely on merchant financial gains from rollout. The story begins and ends with this observation.
That's why I'm concerned when I'm looking at the features of 0.12. I don't see any features targeting one of these three use cases. Fact is, I see at least one feature severely degrading the drop-in capability of credit card replacement - RBF - and the lack of scaling severely jeopardizing, not to say ultimately removing, the profitability in replacing credit cards.
What I see is instead engineering for the sake of engineering. The question of "who's the customer?" seems to have gotten lost in the process. While it's arguable that there's no customer as such in an open source project, there's nevertheless an importance in understanding where the front bowling pins are for a disruptive technology like this - and it's certainly not in the one-time initialization time of starting up a new node. I'd argue that the front bowling pins instead are the three use cases I listed above, and would love to see a stronger focus on tangible use cases moving forward even if people disagree with my choice of cases.
Onward and upward. Bitcoin will recover and move on. Let's learn from this experience.
submitted by Falkvinge to btc [link] [comments]

Groestlcoin Release September 2018

Introduction

As always, the past 3 months since 22nd June have been crazy busy. The bears might still be around, but the show must go on and of course has not slowed the Groestlcoin development team in the slightest. Here’s a quick overview of what has already happened since the last release: - Integrated into the bitbns exchange, with the ability to buy Groestlcoin directly with the Indian Rupee. - Groestlcoin Rebrand Vote – Whilst there was much talk and push for a rebrand vote, the overall result was almost unanimously in favour of keeping our unique and conversation-starting name. With just 83 votes to Rebrand, and 2577 votes to No Rebrand. Thank you for all who voted, the funds raised are being used to fund ongoing hosting and development costs. - Integrated into the Cryptobridge exchange. Cryptobridge is a popular decentralised exchange where you always hold the private keys to your funds, only YOU have access to them. - Groestlcoin has been added to SimpleSwap – Groestlcoin can now be swapped with over 100 other cryptocurrencies, without signing up! - Groestlcoin has been added to UnoDax, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in India, with TUSD, BTC and INR trading pairs. - Groestlcoin has been added to SwapLab.cc, where you can buy Groestlcoin using Bitcoin and over 50 other altcoins. Purchasing with VISA/Mastercard is coming VERY SOON. Discussed later: - Groestlcoin has been listed on #3 largest exchange in the world on volume, Huobi Global! More on this to come further on in the announcements. - Groestlcoin has been added to the Guarda Multi-Currency Wallet. - Groestlcoin has been added to Melis Multi-Device, Multi-Account, Multi-Platform, Multi-Signature advanced wallet! Already this list is far more than most other cryptocurrencies have achieved in the past 3 months. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what has been developed.

What's been Happening?

GRSPay Released

We are so excited for this, that it has it's own separate reddit thread. Head over there now at https://www.reddit.com/groestlcoin/comments/9ikr5m/groestlcoin_releases_grspay/? to see more on this!
https://www.melis.io/assets/logo-navbar-4b6f0d372f15b2446d3fa4c68f346e4fb08ee113941186cee58fd6135f3f8b7d.svg

Melis Wallet

The the most advanced wallet for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and now Groestlcoin.
With Melis you have the complete control of your bitcoins and private keys, you can define spending limits policies and make use of two or more factors authentication. Melis is open source, published on GitHub.

How Melis Works?

You can create as many accounts as you want. An account is a part of your wallet that can be customised to your requirements. You can choose how many co-signers are required to spend funds. The accounts are completely independent and act like separate wallets from each other but can be accessed via the same details. A core feature of Melis is the ability to set a ‘primary’ device. With this you can set an account as ‘Secure’ so it is only viewable (and accessible at all) from the Primary device. You can have a savings account hidden from the outside world whilst also having your ‘spending’ funds available on the go. With Melis you can create a multi-signature account between N people, where up to N signatures are required to sign a transaction, choosing if any of those should be mandatory.
Core Features:
https://guarda.co/assets/images/1PGo4ID.svg?1537791124643

Guarda Wallet

Safer than ever! Desktop Light Wallet - Anonymous and fast!
With Guarda Multi-currency Desktop Light Wallet you don’t need to register. Guarda has no access to your private keys or funds. You can receive, send, store, buy and exchange cryptocurrencies in complete anonymity and safety. All these features are available on Linux, Windows or MacOS. Choose the one that suits you!
More info about Guarda wallet on www.guarda.co
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Integrated into HolyTransaction

What is HolyTransaction?

HolyTransaction gives users access to the crypto world with a universal cryptocurrency wallet and instant exchange.

Features

For more information, visit Holy Transaction here.
https://www.groestlcoin.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/next-grs-groestlcoin.jpg

Integrated into NEXT Wallet

What is NEXT?

NEXT is a modern, next-generation stylish open-source Desktop wallet.

Features

For more information, visit NextWallet here.
https://blockchainfinancial.com/mediaserve2018/09/admin-06143647-bcf_logo_vec_256x256.png

Integrated into Blockchain Financial

What is Blockchain Financial?

Blockchain Financial is a set of web based services for individuals and companies that want to make things happen with the Cryptocurrencies Ecosystem. - For those that don't know anything about cryptocurrencies, we offer tools that will let them receive, send and operate with an assortment of coins. - For those that are already riding the wave, we offer tools that will let them do all those things that they weren't able to do.

Blockchain Financials mission

We're not here to reinvent the wheel. We're here to make it run smoother for you, and we provide some of the most useful services you'll find on the internet, made in a way that is easy to understand and use on a daily basis. In short, we're a bunch of people that claim to be Crypto Evangelists. We strongly believe in cryptocurrencies, and our main promise is to push them up so more people get involved and take all the advantages they offer.

More information from Blockchain Financial

Back in 2014, the world was taken by storm when Facebook approved the first cryptocurrencies tipping apps. The first was for Dogecoin, and the second was for multiple coins.
The project was hosted on whitepuma.net, and persisted for almost two years, built up a massive user community and gave a home to Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and dozens of other bitcoin-based altcoins.
After very active months, the tipping hype started to fade away. Then, the developers decided to jump into the next stage: bringing not only tipping, but also mining and a widget that could be embedded on websites to allow everyone to accept payments. Sadly, the work was never completed because the project started to require an unsustainable amount of resources. Then, in a painful decision, a shutdown was announced by December 2015.
A couple of months after whitepuma.net was closed, the source code was released by its creator as Open Source on GitHub. But it wasn't maintained.
Now, some of the original members of the dev and admin teams gathered up with a handful of the WhitePuma's elite users, and decided to make something good with the best pieces of the old source code. That, with fresh new ideas and the power of the BardCanvas engine, synthesized the core of Blockchain Financial.
More info about Blockchain Financial wallet on .
For more information, visit [Blockchain Financial](www.blockchainfinancial.com)
https://www.huobi.com/image/logo.aeb4723.svg

Groestlcoin Listed on Huobi

Who are Huobi?

Huobi was founded in China and is now based in Singapore, with offices in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and the North America, currently sitting #3 in volume on Coinmarketcap. Huobi is a great leap forward for our growing presence in Asia and we are very excited to be listed here!
You can find the official Huobi announcement here.

Groestlcoin Core v2.16.3 - Please Update ASAP

A new major Groestlcoin Core version 2.16.3 is now available for download which includes both a Denial of Service component and a critical inflation vulnerability, so it is recommended to upgrade to it if you are running a full Groestlcoin node or a local Groestlcoin Core wallet.
v2.16.3 is now the official release version of Groestlcoin Core. This is a new major version release with a very important security updates. It is recommended to upgrade to this version as soon as possible. Please stop running versions of Groestlcoin Core affected by CVE-2018-17144 ASAP: These are 2.13.3 and 2.16.0.
As a result in this, all exchanges and services have been asked to upgrade to this version, so please be patient if wallets go in to maintenance mode on these services.

What's new in version v2.16.3?

This is a major release of Groestlcoin Core fixing a Denial of Service component and a critical inflation vulnerability (https://nvd.nist.gov/vuln/detail/CVE-2018-17144) exploitable by miners that has been discovered in Groestlcoin Core version 2.13.3 and 2.16.0. It is recommended to upgrade to 2.16.3 as soon as possible. If you only occasionally run Groestlcoin Core, then it's not necessary to run out and upgrade it right this second. However, you should upgrade it before you next run it. If you know anyone who is running an older version, tell them to upgrade it ASAP. Stored funds are not at risk, and never were at risk. At this time we believe over half of the Groestlcoin hashrate has upgraded to patched nodes. We are unaware of any attempts to exploit this vulnerability. However, it still remains critical that affected users upgrade and apply the latest patches to ensure no possibility of large reorganizations, mining of invalid blocks, or acceptance of invalid transactions occurs.

The Technicals

In Groestlcoin Core 2.13.3, an optimization was added (Bitcoin Core PR #9049) which avoided a costly check during initial pre-relay block validation that multiple inputs within a single transaction did not spend the same input twice which was added in 2012 (Bitcoin Core PR #443). While the UTXO-updating logic has sufficient knowledge to check that such a condition is not violated in 2.13.3 it only did so in a sanity check assertion and not with full error handling (it did, however, fully handle this case twice in prior to 2.1.0.6). Thus, in Groestlcoin Core 2.13.3, any attempts to double-spend a transaction output within a single transaction inside of a block will result in an assertion failure and a crash, as was originally reported. In Groestlcoin Core 2.16.0, as a part of a larger redesign to simplify unspent transaction output tracking and correct a resource exhaustion attack the assertion was changed subtly. Instead of asserting that the output being marked spent was previously unspent, it only asserts that it exists. Thus, in Groestlcoin Core 2.16.0, any attempts to double-spend a transaction output within a single transaction inside of a block where the output being spent was created in the same block, the same assertion failure will occur. However, if the output being double-spent was created in a previous block, an entry will still remain in the CCoin map with the DIRTY flag set and having been marked as spent, resulting in no such assertion. This could allow a miner to inflate the supply of Groestlcoin as they would be then able to claim the value being spent twice.
Groestlcoin would like to publicly thank Reddit user u/Awemany for finding CVE-2018-17144 and reporting it (https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-core-dev/2018-Septembe000064.html). You deserve gratitude and appreciation from cryptoworld, and you have ours. If you want to support him for his work, please consider donating to him on his bitcoin cash address: bitcoincash:qr5yuq3q40u7mxwqz6xvamkfj8tg45wyus7fhqzug5
http://i.imgur.com/3YhyNZK.png

Groestlcoin Electrum-GRS 3.2.2 - Ledger & Trezor Edition

What is Electrum-GRS?
Electrum-GRS is a lightweight "thin client" groestlcoin wallet Windows, MacOS and Linux based on a client-server protocol. Its main advantages over the original Groestlcoin client include support for multi-signature wallets and not requiring the download of the entire block chain.

Changes:

http://i.imgur.com/3YhyNZK.png

Electrum-GRS Mobile Android

What is Electrum-GRS Mobile?

Electrum-grs is a lightweight "thin client" groestlcoin wallet Android based on a client-server protocol. Its main advantages over the original Groestlcoin client include support for multi-signature wallets and not requiring the download of the entire block chain.

Changes

Groestlcoin EasyVanity Released

Groestlcoin EasyVanity is a Windows app is built from the ground-up in C# and makes it easier than ever before to create your very own bespoke Groestlcoin address(es), even whilst not connected to the internet! You can even generate multiple keys with the same prefix and leave it on overnight whilst your CPU or GPU collects and stores these addresses locally.
If you're tired of the random, cryptic addresses generated by regular groestlcoin clients, then Groestlcoin EasyVanity is the right choice for you to create a more personalized address.

Features

• Ability to continue finding keys after first one is found • Includes warning on startup if connected to the internet • Ability to output keys to a text file (And shows button to open that directory) • Ability to make your match case sensitive (Where possible) • Show and hide the private key with a simple toggle switch, and copy the private key straight to your clipboard • Show full output of commands • Includes statistics whilst the application is running • Ability to choose between Processor (CPU) and Graphics Card (GPU) • Automatically detects 32 or 64 bit systems • Features both a Light and Dark Material Design inspired Themes • EasyVanity's search is probabilistic, and the amount of time required to find a given pattern depends on how complex the pattern is, the speed of your computer, and whether you get lucky. • EasyVanity includes components to perform address searching on your CPU (vanitygen) and your OpenCL-compatible GPU (oclvanitygen). Both can be built from source, and both are included in the Windows binary package. • Prefixes are exact strings that must appear at the beginning of the address. When searching for prefixes, Easyvanity will ensure that the prefix is possible, and will provide a difficulty estimate. • The percentage displayed just shows how probable it is that a match would be found in the session so far. If it finds your address with 5% on the display, you are extremely lucky. If it finds your address with 92% on the display, you are unlucky. If you stop EasyVanity with 90% on the display, restart it, and it finds your address with 2% on the display, your first session was unlucky, but your second session was lucky. • EasyVanity uses the OpenSSL random number generator. This is the same RNG used by groestlcoin and a good number of HTTPS servers. It is regarded as well-scrutinized. Guessing the private key of an address found by EasyVanity will be no easier than guessing a private key created by groestlcoin itself. • To speed up address generation, EasyVanity uses the RNG to choose a private key, and literally increments the private key in a loop searching for a match. As long as the starting point is not disclosed, if a match is found, the private key will not be any easier to guess than if every private key tested were taken from the RNG. EasyVanity will also reload the private key from the RNG after 10,000,000 unsuccessful searches (100M for oclvanitygen), or when a match is found and multiple patterns are being searched for. • Free software - MIT. Anyone can audit the code. • Written in C# - The code is short, and easy to review.

Groestlcoin Sentinel (Android & Blackberry) – Mainnet + Testnet

What is Sentinel?

Groestlcoin Sentinel is the easiest and fastest way to track/receive/watch payments in your offline Groestlcoin Wallets. Groestlcoin Sentinel is compatible with any standard Groestlcoin address, BIP44 XPUB (Extended Public Key) BIP49 YPUB and BIP84 ZPUB
Groestlcoin Sentinel is a great solution for anyone who wants the convenience and utility of a hot wallet for receiving payments directly into their cold storage (or hardware wallets). Sentinel accepts XPUB's, YPUB'S, ZPUB's and individual Groestlcoin address. Once added you will be able to view balances, view transactions, and (in the case of XPUB's, YPUB's and ZPUB's) deterministically generate addresses for that particular wallet.

What's New?

The P2SH paperwallet supports creating P2SH paperwallets in bulk, keypair generation with QR codes and sweeping tool. Groestlcoin believes strongly in privacy, the live version does not collect and store IP or transaction data.
Changes
Features
The BECH32 paperwallet supports creating BECH32 paperwallets in bulk, keypair generation with QR codes and sweeping tool. Groestlcoin believes strongly in privacy, the live version does not collect and store IP or transaction data.
Features
![WebWallet](https://i.imgur.com/Z2oj7bj.png)

Groestlcoin Web Wallet Update 1.4

What is Groestlcoin Web Wallet?
Groestlcoin Webwallet is an open source, multisignature, HD Wallet and more! Webwallet is a a open source browser based Groestlcoin webwallet.
Webwallet is a playground for Groestlcoin in javascript to experiment with. It supports multisig, OP_HODL, RBF and many more. Groestlcoin believes strongly in privacy, the live version does not collect and store IP or transaction data.
Changes:
submitted by Yokomoko_Saleen to groestlcoin [link] [comments]

Why I fear GPU mining

In a word: botnets.
In more words: One of the relatively unspoken strengths of the way Bitcoin has panned out is that since mining requires extremely specialized hashing hardware, bad actors commanding massive botnets have almost no incentive to turn their zombie networks to the task. Even thousands of normal home computers wouldn't make a dent. That power would be much better spent elsewhere, at least from the criminal's perspective.
The incredibly important corollary to this is that the cost of mining Bitcoin includes hardware and energy cost. If Bitcoin could be mined with botnets of normal machines -- and in this definition of "normal" I include those with even high-end GPUs -- then the cost of hardware and energy (both stolen from the victims) is essentially zero. (Also, keep in mind that machines with capable GPUs are disproportionately Windows-based due to gaming applications. Red flags galore.)
So then what's the cost of mining in such a world? None, except for the risk of going to jail for engaging in the illegal activity of acquiring and commanding a botnet.
As for Ethereum, the same concerns apply along with an additional: Bitcoin is huge and (hopefully) no single botnet could "attack" the integrity of the network. But Ethereum, at least at the start, will not be. Thus, couldn't a large botnet or a collusion of botnets equipped with zombified computers with GPU miners completely break it? (I guess the fact that mining is more accessible for good actors increases the total mining pool, but by the laws of economics, why would good actors mine ether if bad actors (and their botnets) are doing it without hardware and energy costs?)
I'm not a low-end developer nor a security researcher so my understanding of all of this is cursory. Please feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.
Edit: To clarify, I'm not as concerned about botnet-powered attacks as much as I'm concerned about the economic integrity of the mining process as a whole.
submitted by fivedogit to ethereum [link] [comments]

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