Gridcoin Research 4.0-2018 Roadmap Progress Report

in gridcoin •  last year

Original Article:
Gridcoin Research 4.0 Proposals and Preliminary Polls

Discussion Recording Part 1 of 2:
Gridcoin 4.0 Roadmap Discussion, November 4th. Part 1 of 2

Discussion Recording Part 2 of 2:
Gridcoin 4.0 Roadmap Discussion, November 4th. Part 2 of 2

Discussion Summary:
Summary of Discussion - Gridcoin Proposals & Preliminary Polls

Hello again, Gridcoin Community!

The response to the 4.0-2018 Roadmap has been overwhelming! Thank you all for participating, asking question, expressing concerns, and suggesting improvements on, or alternatives to proposed developments!

This is the first progress report for the Gridcoin Research 4.0-2018 Roadmap. Below you will find brief summaries of each topic discussed in the main article. The intent here is to help facilitate the conversation's overall progression. Be sure to join the live discussion at the Gridcoin hangout this Saturday, November 11th, hosted on the BeyondBitcoin mumble. (Thank you @officialfuzzy and the BeyondBitcoin community!)

November 11th will be a standard hangout hosted by our very own @peppernrino and the floor is open to discussions regarding any aspect of Gridcoin, not just the 2018 Roadmap. Be sure to get your topics in by commenting on the hangout thread found here:

Otherwise, join us for the live hangout at 7pm UTC! The discussion regarding this article will be recorded and uploaded within 24 hours of the end of the hangout.

Mumble Information
Label: BeyondBitcoin - Gridcoin
Address: or (IP =
Port: 64738
Username: Enter your username
Password: w0rldCh@NG3rsUN!t3

For Science! For Medicine! For Everyone!


Constant Block Reward

The Roadmap segment tomorrow will touch briefly on several of the proposals from the article, but will be focusing on the economy of Gridcoin through a discussion on the CBR proposal.

As it stands, investors are not encouraged to keep their GRC online. Without their help, the Gridcoin network is not as secure as it could be. In fact, the lack of participation of so many GRC is a large part of what causes all the annoying little forks in the network. Additionally, without active GRC, the network is more open to malicious actors. CBR is proposed to provide an incentive for investors to keep a balance online, to keep a true stake in the Gridcoin network. An investor with something at stake will take action to secure that investment. This rings true throughout the financial world, so why don't we encourage investors to put something at stake in order to receive rewards?

There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to implement CBR, and when defining the parameters of that CBR implementation. First, will this switch cause an economic crash?! Not likely. We're not trying to fight whales with CBR. We're trying to secure and stabilize the Gridcoin network. That is good for everyone, even whales! It is more than likely that whales understand this and will gladly participate in the network for reward. If, for some reason, whales decide to dump because yes, we would remove idle interest earned from the Gridcoin protocol, well... honestly, that means more cheap coins for future investors (of which there are plenty). Never underestimate the utility presented by the Gridcoin blockchain, incentive structure, and network.

To implement CBR, we are going to need to explore how the Gridcoin economy works. The way I see it:

There are two ways to mint GRC from the blockchain.

  1. Participation in securing the blockchain through Proof of Stake
  2. Participation in research by contributing computing power to BOINC

What are the priorities we want written into Gridcoin network's protocols?

Who will receive the majority of rewards from securing the blockchain through CBR-PoS? Will the people earning the CBR-PoS mint be receiving more reward than those with large volumes of processing researching with BOINC? How much GRC do we want to mint a year? What if we split the mint of GRC into 25% from securing the blockchain and 75% from research? What about 50/50? What about 33/66?

What will be the differences between an interest economy and a CBR economy? Should CBR be static, defined change -- reduce or increase reward in a predictable manner over time (like PoW block reward halving), or should it be dynamic -- based on the direct needs of the Gridcoin network at a given time?

Is it possible to combine interest with CBR?

Are there alternatives to CBR which will increase network weight?

How many worst case scenarios can we think of? Can we prevent them? Could we solve them?

These are just a few questions to get the conversation going. Let's discuss!


Manual Rewards Claim, Beacon Mint, and Super Block Distribution are proposed as ways to deliver a researcher's earned rewards to their wallet in a timely manner without the use of a pool. A pool's intent, under these upgrades, would be to simplify the UX of Gridcoin. For example, I'm not going to explain to my grandma how to set up everything with BOINC and the GRC client. Rather, I'm going to install the software on her cell phone, smart fridge, or whatever, and tell her to join a pool. Otherwise, we want anyone with the inclination to be able to utilize the full scope of the Gridcoin and BOINC clients, including voting and receiving BOINC stats.

MRC involves a user requesting their rewards delivered in a coming block and for security measures, might involve claim fees, time, and beacons.

Beacon Mint increases the researchers likelihood to stake (thereby receiving their earned research rewards) as the amount owed to them but not delivered increases. Beacon Mint also brings back what v8 took from the Gridcoin network: using research to secure the blockchain (PoR).

Super Block Distribution distributes owed research rewards when a superblock is staked.

Each of these proposals has benefits and flaws and actually all 3 can seemingly synergize with one another. For more information, listen to the recordings or read the discussion summary. This will be a topic discussed in depth during another meeting. If you want to discuss it now, make a thread.


Sharedropping is intended to update the Gridcoin codebase, which is fairly dated -- ask a dev. During this process we will remove the non-critical personal information held in the current blockchain. There are several paths to take with the sharedropping update. We will discuss sharedropping at length in another meeting. If you want to discuss it now, make a thread.


Total Credit Delta intends to more directly connect earning Gridcoin and computing for research on BOINC. It will make it easier to create earnings calculators while greatly reducing the need for researchers to charge their RAC before earning rewards. It also might present the opportunity to fix a problem where a project runs out of WU to distribute while some researchers are still crunching a few bunkered or time intensive WU. With TCD, we might not need to remove a project immediately after it runs out of WU, allowing those with remaining WU to earn rewards upon their completion. We will talk more about TCD in another meeting. If you want to discuss it now, make a thread.

Dynamic Witness Participation seeks to implement a more stable and secure superblock creation process. DWP is a major change to the Gridcoin codebase and we will have an entire meeting dedicated to its discussion. If you want to discuss it now, make a thread.

Again, thank you for taking the time to involve yourself with the growth and development of Gridcoin. This stuff is not easy. Luckily, we have a community filled with people with an insane array of talents and knowledge. Let's teach each other. Let's learn from each other.

If we don't see you tomorrow, have a good weekend and keep an eye out for discussion recordings, summaries, threads, and next weeks progress report.


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I have a formatting suggestion. Instead of pasting the link directly in the article like this:

Original Article:

Use the title of the linked content instead:

Original Article:
Gridcoin Research 4.0 Proposals and Preliminary Polls

Original Article:
[Gridcoin Research 4.0 Proposals and Preliminary Polls](

-Will change.

--Changed. = )

I have been thinking about CBR. I am nervous that CBR may actually end up being a disincentive for large balance holders and could have adverse economic implications. (Right now the current reward PoS reward mechanism encourages large balances but does not encourage keeping the wallet online. We have to be careful not to exchange one problem for a worse one economically, which would be to unwittingly create a disencentive for large balance holders to keep large balances of gridcoin.)

I think a good compromise would be a PoS reward that is linearly related to the average gridcoin balance at the time of staking, but NOT a function of the time since last staking (other than the indirect impact of staking frequency). This appropriately rewards large balance holders, but also encourages everyone to keep their wallets online for staking, since staking more often with this method will lead to greater rewards. Keeping the wallet offline will prevent staking and result in no reward during the offline period. Since the staking weight would still be essentially proportional to the balance compared to the total gridcoin in circulation, the staking frequency (and reward) would still be proportional to the average balance maintained, which would further encourage whales to stay online which puts forth large staking reserves.


Could you explain how you see CBR as a possible disincentive? Also, what are the adverse economic implications that make you nervous?

I am a bit confused to the solution you propose as well. Could you rephrase or give an example?


See my reply below, my idea of scaling both the reward and frequency results in essentially a quadratic reward curve. That may tilt things too much towards large balance holders. What I think by disencentives is for whales is that we have to understand WHY they are holding large balances. Is it the interest? I am not sure the whales really would have such a problem keeping the clients online to stake as much as their concern about the amount of interest they are collecting. The CBR needs to be carefully calibrated to provide the equivalent of the same interest they are getting now, but with the requirement that they keep their clients online to get it. The CBR value that has been discussed seems an arbitrary number though. Maybe it was picked through a calibration analysis like that and it just came out at that even number. The frequency calculation based on relative magnitude seems pretty set, so the only way to calibrate the CBR would be to create a scale factor which adjusts CBR periodically to match the desired system-wide stake payout with the previous total interest payments. This should cause participants to get almost the same payment as the interest they did before, as long as they keep their clients online.


I like to hope that investors invest because of the blockchain. If they invest for interest without faith in the blockchain, they would be investing in something for more of that thing which they see 0 value in.

There have been no CBR values proposed. Those in the article are place holders.

I agree, that we need to calibrate CBR value based on our intent -- what that intent is still needs to be defined.

The frequency to stake is currently and for the immediately future based on balance, not magnitude.

Low balance users not staking is a problem across the board with PoS blockchains. Our problem is that research rewards are distributed when a user stakes. For this, we propose MRC, BM, and SBD. CBR is not intended to fix the low balance user problem with regards to staking.

I am still uncertain about how you see CBR as a possible disincentive and what the possible adverse economic effects would be under certain scenarios. Could you clarify more please = ). Break down your proposed quadratic curve and give a few scenarios, perhaps.


I will when I get a chance to detail my thoughts! I am at a major fencing tournament today in Kansas City, so it may be later on today/this evening. I am not sure I even agree with my own suggestion. It may be TOO sensitive. Is there a good way to determine the addresses and balances that are NOT staking? What I would like to do is build a detailed model literally address by address from the top down and run some scenarios system wide. This would be far more valuable than just anecdotal examples.

As a related point, the system is currently underpaying interest. (I think the latest figure was something around 0.98% per annum system wide based on the interest paid in GRC divided by the GRC supply), which if I understand things correctly is a symptom of extreme non-participation by some clients (because the interest, while accrued, doesn’t actually get paid until staking occurs). So am I right to say that there are many wallets with accrued interest and high balances that haven’t staked in months/years - that literally amounts to the difference between the actual interest actually paid out and the 1.5% per annum target?

If so, does the network actually owe all this interest to the investors? My guess is that if that is true, some attention has to be paid to the disposition of accrued, but not realized interest during the transition, otherwise people could get upset.


I think the transition period will have to be widely advertised, but in the end if someone is not paying attention of the course of say, 6-12 months, that is their loss. Similar to how the PoW->PoS switch worked, there will be some disappointed parties, but what can you do?

At the same time, perhaps there's a way to snapshot interest owed so when the person does bring coins online they can receive that back interest in their first staked block.


There are potential economic repercussions to implementing MRC/BM/SBD, ie, without the buying pressure from new users purchasing GRC on exchanges for staking purposes would our volume be so low that we would end up getting removed from the exchanges?


"I think a good compromise would be a PoS reward that is linearly related to the average gridcoin balance at the time of staking, but NOT a function of the time since last staking (other than the indirect impact of staking frequency). This appropriately rewards large balance holders, but also encourages everyone to keep their wallets online for staking, since staking more often with this method will lead to greater rewards. "

This is exactly what is being proposed in CBR. You've independently come up with the exact manner in which CBR is intended to work! More coins = higher probability to stake. Thus whales will stake with higher frequency - still earning de facto interest.


Not quite. My suggestion provides essentially a quadratic curve, because you get the effect of both frequency and balance, whereas CBR, you get only frequency. Maybe quadratic is too much though. The problem with this is to balance all of the incentives/disencentives for the whales, medium, and small balance holders so as not to upend the gridcoin economy in the transition.

Unless I am misunderstanding something, we also still have the problem of long staking periods (low frequency) for really small balance holders, which remains a discouragement for new participants that are not using a significant initial investment.

really interesting and useful topic,good luck friend