PeercoinTalk's Community Interview With Sunny King #1 - October 19, 2013

JustaBitofTime: 1. What existing impediments do you think keeps PPC from being the absolute perfectly designed crypto - and are there ways to change it to get it there? (Excelsior)

Sunny King: I don’t think there could be a perfect all encompassing cryptocurrency that dominates all. Bitcoin is the breakthrough of a grand experiment. From architect point of view, you can try to design for excellence, but in a sense we are all still learning in the grand experiment. Proof-of-stake is a young approach I am sure quite a bit of improvements can be made. I am generally not as strict regarding hard fork upgrade so we can do quite a bit if needed.

JustaBitofTime: I read in your Bitcoin Magazine interview about ‘Proof of Excellence’ has any further thought went into that approach?

wantrepreneur: Do you expect potential xpm hardware ASICs require much larger breakthrough in cpu-computing-> moreso then SHA-256?

Sunny King: Not much because I don’t yet find a game suitable enough as a basis for the idea. most games are dominated by AI so there would be a lot of complaints of unfairness.

JustaBitofTime: I’ll go ahead and number to make it easier to follow for those just joining us.

JustaBitofTime: 2. What is your one-year plan and mid-term roadmap that implement your strategy? (Mhps)

irritant: I think one of the advantages of XPM is that it can by mined by everyone, if that is true also on the long term it would make it grow more organically, without asic race madness, do you think this is important for cryptocurrency?

Sunny King: @wantrepreneur Not sure, although primecoin is not designed to hamper asic. So I think maybe a large performance improvement can be achieved through asic. That’s actually a huge milestone for xpm if that even materialize. on the other hand, mining algorithm can improve quite a bit too so the field of xpm mining is very deep.

Sunny King: @irritant I don’t see asic development necessarily bad for the currency, it’s one of xpm’s major contribution to technology if that ever happens.

irritant: Yes true.

ivanlabrie: Sunny, are there any plans to implement pos blocks into xpm, or any other way of preventing 51% attacks?

irritant: I see asics to centralize mining with bitcoin.

Sunny King: @2. The main strategy of the team has already be shown, ppc/xpm would be our combo attack in the market. The two currencies are designed very differently, each with its own unique innovations, improving our overall competitiveness in the market. For ppc the next step is to bring it up to bitcoin v0.8 features in v0.4, xpm would get some protocol tightening in v0.2. I hope the cold-locked feature can be implemented next in ppc. Cooperation with the service providers in the industry is also an important goal. I don’t want to overpromise here but I think we are actually one of the most active dev team around.

irritant: But I’m not sure if it will become a problem.

JustaBitofTime: 3. Do you have a contingency plan to keep the currencies going should (god-forbid) something happen to you? (Excelsior)

Sunny King: @irritant I don’t know, it seems to the bitcoin mining scene won’t change all that much from the gpu days, there are always big players and small players.

Sunny King: @Excelsior That’s something on my plate. For ppc scott can be my backup, but he hasn’t been very active since ppc’s release. For xpm mikael has been doing a good job. I would hope more talents would join the community so there are more capable hands that can take over the responsibilities during emergency situations. So the expansion of the core dev team is also an important goal.

JustaBitofTime: 3.5. Could tell us a bit about the full development team and is this a full time job for you (xpm/ppc)?

wantrepreneur: And to expand on #3, could the code eventually be developed to no longer rely on anyone?

Sunny King: Core dev of ppc is me and scott, xpm is me, mikael, jh and mtrlt.

Sunny King: Yeah almost full time right now. It’s part of my goal that I could achieve self-sufficiency in the cryptocurrency market, so I can continue to commit most of my time to development work.

JustaBitofTime: 4. The main thing I want to see Sunny address in detail is the accusation that proof of stake is setup like central banking, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Certain people have problems with the fact that those who own the most coins will get the most newly minted coins. (Sentinelrv)

Sunny King: That’s only core dev which maintains the client codebase. of course many of you have made great contribution are also part of the development team.

JustaBitofTime: Sunny: I know you’ve answered number 4 before in other posts/interviews… just curious if anything has changed.

irritant: What motivated you to start all this, was it some flaws you saw in bitcoin, or is it more… that you want to change the world, make it better place, more fair?

Sunny King: @wantrepreneur, That’s not very realistic as continued development/maintenance is a key requirement for the success of a cryptocurrency.

JustaBitofTime: @wantrepreneur: Sounds like a key backup on the PPC is an upcoming priority.

Sunny King: @Sentinelrv 4. For argument’s sake let’s assume that proof-of-stake minting is free from the risk of hacked wallet. So the argument boils down to whether holding the currency should deserve some compensation. It’s a similar debate to whether some interest on money is deserved. From my point of view I think interest by itself is not the problem, who wants to lend money without interest? As a free market phenomenon I think interest has some legitimate roots, so it’s very much separate from central banking, which is an entirely different animal based on statism ideologies.

Sunny King: @Sentinelrv 4. The proof-of-stake minting provides a service to the ppc network, so why shouldn’t those who provide the service receive some compensation? The rich and the poor are treated the same here, both can provide proof-of-stake minting, and rate of income is proportional to their holding. So you can say that the rich get richer, and the poor also get richer, at the same rate, so long as they both try to provide the service to the community. Meanwhile, those who transact in the network with high velocity pay the security cost via low inflation.

JustaBitofTime: 5. What legacy do you wish to leave through your Peercoin experience? (MeBeingAwesome)

Sunny King: @MeBeingAwesome 5. @irritant I cherish my work in cryptocurrency very much and I think they are the best works of my career. Not only from a technology and innovation point of view, but also from political and spiritual point of view, I think cryptocurrency movement is one of the most important event in our time, that humanity now owns a very potent weapon against tyranny. So I am very proud to be able to participate in the movement.

irritant: I wish I could do more, maybe I will learn some day (programming etc).

JustaBitofTime: 5.5. You mentioned a weapon against tyranny. Isn’t that the reason you’re so careful with your identity?

JustaBitofTime: 6. About how many more weeks until PPC v0.4 comes out? What will be the new features? (Alertness)

irritant: On irc the imposter mentioned " @fontas: Absolutely. The team is currently looking at ways to implement matlab/simulink derived distributed simulations." I guess it is not true right? (too bad )

Sunny King: Right although the movement is entirely peaceful through free market principles. I am not too worried though I believe what we do is morally good even if it’s banned legally in the future.

Sunny King: @irritant yeah that’s just some guy’s joke.

Sentinelrv: Just want to confirm, there was a Sunny King imposter on IRC? I heard he said he worked in the aerospace industry and people thought it was NASA. This is not true right?

JustaBitofTime: Sunny: While you work through question 6, I’ll post the next 2 for you.

Sunny King: @Alertness 6. Merge with bitcoin v0.8 is more work then I thought. Meanwhile I am evaluating whether to provide the cold-locked transaction feature in v0.4, as it has become a higher priority item. But v0.4 would get most bitcoin v0.8 features for sure. I think it’s at least still several weeks away.

JustaBitofTime: 6.5. The new Bitcoin 0.9 is going to implement some nice things like an independent RPC client binary, and fix some centralization problems. Not to mention the other stuff that we have missed. I suggest we merge with the 0.9 release, and go from there. (Super3)

JustaBitofTime: 7. Will proof-of-stake minting be made more easy to do or even automated? (Matt608)

JustaBitofTime: We’re at question 7 of 12. Sunny has agreed to 45 minutes (11 left)… if he wants to continue past the 45 min to finish, great… if not, we’ll get those answered in a follow-up.

Sunny King: @Super3 I haven’t looked at bitcoin v0.9 yet so it’s hard to say when it would be included. We need some buffer time for new bitcoin code to stabilize also.

JustaBitofTime: 8. Have you looked at Zerocoin? If so, do you see that or something similar as a direction for PPC? (JustaBitofTime)

Sunny King: @Matt608 7. Proof-of-stake minting is automated if you are not using wallet encryption. If you use encrypted wallet you can turn it on via debug window console in v0.4. In the future gui element may be added to further simplify the procedure.

JustaBitofTime: “In the future gui element may be added to further simplify the procedure.” +1

Excelsior: +1

Sunny King: @JustaBitofTime 8. I haven’t studied zerocoin in detail but it appears there were serious concerns regarding its usability (in terms of computation and storage requirements) and certain centralization issue. I feel zerocoin is a highly complex system and could be too expensive for the problem at hand.

JustaBitofTime: 9. Can you explain how the ppc checkpoint system works by community consensus in the event of persistent 51% attack on proof-of-stake or other emergencies, and how that even though the checkpoints are currently centralized, this is not synonymous with ppc itself being centralized. Explain how there is no centralized control over changing ppc, but that in order to revert back to a checkpoint it still takes community consensus. (Alertness)

JustaBitofTime: 10. Folks in the other community have been bitching about the check point. Rumor has it is to be removed by the of year (PPC). Is that right ? What is the reason behind such time frame ? What about XPM? (Romerun)

Sunny King: @JustaBitofTime 8. There are other more cost-effective approach to privacy in my opinion. For example in bitcoin privacy is compromised mainly through the fact that coins belonging to different keys owned by the same user are often combined in the same transaction when spending. This allows blockchain analysis to easily establish what set of keys are from the same user. In bitcoin client combining of inputs from different addressed is automatic, however if this is left to the user to decide then privacy can be much stronger. I call this approach ‘avatar mode’, where each key/address is considered an avatar. So the client would not automatically spend coins belonging to different avatars in the same transaction. So you would have a number of avatar addresses to manage. Of course this doesn’t guarantee absolute privacy but could be quite an improvement practically speaking.

JustaBitofTime: 9 + 10 blend

JustaBitofTime: Ah… avatar mode was one of my questions for future interviews.

irritant: Ahh I see, avatar mode is coincontrol, avatar mode +1

Sunny King: @alertness @romerun XPM is already decentralized. The checkpoints in xpm is like the alert message, clients listen to them but does not enforce the checkpoint by default. Users have the choice to enable the enforcement of checkpoint, but it’s a conscious choice users must take. This means the developer responsible for the checkpoint must gain community consensus before using them, developer cannot arbitrarily force a block chain reorganization onto the users. Generally speaking the checkpoint feature should not be used without 51% attack emergency.

JustaBitofTime: And finally 11 and 12.

JustaBitofTime: 11. As of PrimeCoin PR, it would be really nice to have an article published in one of recognized popular science, or non-peer-reviewed science journals such as New Scientist, Science Illustrated, Scientific American etc. (CryptoBeggar)

JustaBitofTime: #12 was already answered (full time job)

Sunny King: @alertness @romerun The risk of 51% denial-of-service attack on block chain is real, especially to a smaller network such as xpm. In fact I wouldn’t exclude such possibility to even bitcoin. Of course such an attack on bitcoin would likely not come from an individual due to the resource required. But it’s irresponsible to say that’s not possible. Just imagine what would happen if bitcoin stops processing transactions for a few days. The advanced checkpoint feature in xpm is specifically designed to deal with this situation. Yes the network would turn into quasi centralized mode by community consensus, however that’s obviously a lot better than admitting defeat and giving up.

Sunny King: @CryptoBeggar 11. I am very happy to see experts such as John joining this effort, so I am confident that it would happen at some point. As our marketing improves and users keep spreading the words the interest from science journal and other media would definitely increase. I feel this something not only beneficial to primecoin, but it also bring another positive element to cryptocurrency, so the mainstream have more focus on the good things cryptocurrency can bring to the society.

This interview was originally linked as a pdf in this thread. I finally formatted it and put it into a thread so everyone can easily read it. It will be linked from a sticky.

Do you know when we can expect another interview like this one?
It would be very interesting to get some more of Sunny King’s opinions.

[quote=“Hibero, post:3, topic:1919”]Sentinelrv,
Do you know when we can expect another interview like this one?
It would be very interesting to get some more of Sunny King’s opinions.[/quote]

I asked him today and he told me maybe around the beginning of March.

That would be awesome. I mentioned this in Jan. so I hope this happens, I have some questions I would like to ask him. :slight_smile: