Gridcoin Community Hangouts #43!
(Please note that this article is only to summarise the questions and points that were brought up in the 43rd hangout. It does not cover every detail of the discussion. You can read the first summary of the Gridcoin Proposals here)
Thanks and introduction:
As always a big thank you to the BeyondBitcoin community & @officialfuzzy for hosting the BeyondBitcoin Mumble server and allowing Gridcoin the free use of this resource!
As always the hangouts started with an introduction by @peppernrino (hereafter referred to as Rino) who not only hosts the show but also arranges these hangouts and does the edits of most of the recordings. This week’s hangout followed, in order of the most number of upvotes, the topics submitted by the community in the comments of the Gridcoin Community Hangout Post. It was also noted that it was Remembrance Day.
Constant Block Rewards
The first item on the docket was the 2nd 4.0-2018 roadmap discussion focusing on the economy of Gridcoin through the Constant Block rewards proposal in Gridcoin Research 4.0 post.
The purpose of the discussion was to focus on the impact of Constant Block Rewards on the economy of Gridcoin. The current problem is that 1.5% interest is earned on all coins whether they are actively staking or not. This means some investors keep their wallets offline and only come online for a few hours when they want to collect their interest which is paid to them in the next block they stake. It is very clear when these investor “whales” come online to quickly stake their coins as the difficulty of the network spikes.
When more coins are staking on the network there is less chance of persistent forks in the blockchain and it is theoretically more challenging to attack the network. Constant Block Rewards aims to encourage investors to keep their coins staking by minting a set reward of GRC for every block staked. The more coins staking the more frequently that staker would stake a block.
Fkinglag asked why we don’t simply tweak the current system as CBR seems like a radical change. Tomáš responded that it’s just two or three lines of code that are needed to implement Constant Block Rewards. Making changes to the current system would be more challenging from a technical viewpoint than moving to this new reward system.
@jringo mentions that while simple from a technical viewpoint, it is a radical economic change that needs to be explored along with alternatives before being implemented.
With regard to Constant Block Rewards, Rino suggested that Total Credit Delta (a replacement of the Recent Average Credit calculation) could be implemented first and the community could see how that fairs. Other community members in the hangout agreed as Constant Block Rewards can be seen as a substantial economic change.
Rino also asked if more coins are online would present an easier opportunity for any type of attack on the blockchain. Tomáš indicated that no, “more coins on the network can only be a good thing.” Rino reiterated his opinion that we should fix as many bugs as we can before making changes.
Tomáš agreed and reminded everyone that there are two things to fix: bugs which make forks easier (blocks need to be able to find the longest chain) and a low network weight which threatens the security and stability of the blockchain.
Tomáš also shared that the testnet (a test version of the entire Gridcoin blockchain) is currently working on fixing a fork bug. This means that in addition to the proposed Constant Block Rewards the devs are actively working on improvements to the stability of the current system.
Long Term Problems with Interest
KookiDo noted that there is a set number of GRC minted by research per day while the number of GRC minted by interested is exponential. As the number of GRC minted to pay interest goes up, won’t the number of research coins rewarded per day approach relative zero? The answer essentially boiled down to “yes, eventually”.
Read more on the problem at: Gridcoin Reward Mechanism and How to Improve It
Newer and Older Roadmaps
Fkinglag mentioned that there has been a roadmap for a while. The multisig nature of the Gridcoin Research 4.0 proposal makes it look like it is an attempt at overwriting the older roadmap. This was not the intention of the original authors but was rather to facilitate discussion around current ideas. Over this coming week the older roadmap will be looked into to see if and how the two roadmaps can be integrated.
Discussion Surrounding CM's Comment
Time was taken to read CM’s comment live in the hangouts and reflections were levied on some areas.
Rino strongly agreed that a Graphene as a New codebase will have a large developer learning curve.
It was noted that Constant Block Rewards can fix low stake weight thus negating this as an advantage of a move to graphene.
Overall it was felt that there was more value in Sharedropping to a more modern version of the current type of blockchain based on the bitcoin codebase when compared to switching to Graphene.
Regarding CM-SSA Beacon proposal CM comments that he felt that his proposal was misrepresented, so provides the informative reply he had previously posted – this can be viewed by following the link in the heading of this section. His clarification of CM-SSA was included in the previous summary of proposal discussions.
Main sections commented on while reading his comment included:
”Example alternative uses [of openssl based userid ownership proof]: … Anything that requires proof of BOINC account ownership.”
This could facilitate commercialisation of BOINC projects; this proof could be used by independent parties who wish to offer monetary compensation for work on their projects which produce Intellectual Property results. The cost to those independent parties would be a fraction of the cost of renting a centralized supercomputer to perform their for profit IP calculations. This is not necessarily in line with the open source, open results, altruistic grid computing nature of Gridcoin and BOINC. While this can be done independently by individual companies if they so choose, Gridcoin might not want to facilitate this process by encouraging projects to freely offer the required tools. If a company wants to pay people for their own private computations on the BOINC infrastructure, they should be required to build their own tools for doing so. Is there a way that the possibility of commercialisation could be reduced?
“Projects may decide they don't want to support such a feature, to which we would retort with removing them from the whitelist? Lol..”
It’s either all in or not at all. The whitelisted projects have been chosen specifically by the community through polling. The only way that the above can take place is if a poll is first passed regarding this decision.
”We could remove the team requirement instantly with this, as it's absolute proof of account ownership.”
Removing the team requirement will probably drastically increase the user base of Gridcoin. This could have the effect of unintentionally creating a Denial of Service attack on project servers. It is recommended that something like the proposed Dynamic Witness Participation for the creation of superblocks is instituted first. Once this is in place the institution of either Brod-SSA or CM-SSA can be implemented which would allow for the safe removal of the team requirement. Finally, it would be beneficial to have Gridcoin in a place where it can withstand the scrutiny of many new users when the team requirement is lifted. Examples of improvements in this regard would be the replacement of the confusing Recent Average Credit calculation with the simpler Total Credit Delta calculation as well as reducing the number of soft forks the network undergoes.
State of the Network
Jringo gave an account of the state of the Gridcoin network. A copy of which can be found here.
KookiDo pointed out that the user “Pomegranate-“ has zero hosts according to gridcoinstats while having one of the highest credit values. It was noted that it is possible to hide hosts on BOINC which means that block explorers like gridcoinstats cannot see the user’s number of hosts.
Everyone is very welcome to join the Gridcoin Community Classroom #2 on Saturday, November 18 at 6PM UTC. You can check everytimezone for time zone info. You can follow these links to see the original announcement of the Gridcoin Community Classroom and the overview of the first Classroom.
Thank you to @jringo for proofreading this article. Thank you to all the devs who are continuously working behind the scenes. Finally, appreciation is extended to everyone in the community who contributed to the hangouts – in person or otherwise. If you wish to take part in the conversation, join a community forum such as Steemit, CryptoCurrencyTalk,
Discord, reddit and Slack (request an email invite if you’d like to join)!
Here’s to the growth and development of Gridcoin!