Sunny King: Hi all.
JustaBitofTime: Hey Sunny, nice to have you with us. Are you ready to get started?
Sunny King: Yes John I'm ready.
JustaBitofTime: Coolbeans94 wanted to know about Peercoin's long term approach, he asks "27. Is its design more for long-term security and sustainability? How does that relate to Bitcoin’s longterm vision?(Coolbeans94)"
Sunny King: @Coolbeans 94. Both PPC and XPM are designed to last. PPC is designed with energy efficiency, XPM is designed with energy multiuse. Bitcoin has a long term uncertainty as to whether transaction fees can sustain good enough level of security. Before that the main concern is how to balance transaction volume and transaction fee levels. Currently I get the feeling that bitcoin developers favor very low transaction fees and very high transaction volume, to be competitive against centralized systems (paypal, visa, mastercard etc) in terms of transaction volume, to the point of sacrificing decentralization. This also brings major uncertainties to bitcoin's future.
Sunny King: @Coolbeans 94. From my point of view, I think the cryptocurrency movement needs at least one 'backbone' currency, or more, that maintains high degree of decentralization, maintains high level of security, but not necessarily providing high volume of transactions. Thinking of savings accounts and gold coins, you don't transact them at high velocity but they form the backbone of the monetary systems.
Sunny King: @Coolbeans 94. Pure proof-of-work systems such as bitcoin is not 100% suitable for this task. This is because transaction fee is not a reliable incentive to sustain network security. If the mining generation amount is kept constant (there have been several such attempts in altcoins) it would work better security-wise but then it would also significantly weaken the scarcity property of the currency. XPM's inflation model is designed in such a way that it could serve as backbone currency better than bitcoin if needed, because it could maintain high security reliably for longer, with reasonably good scarcity property as well. Of course that's only from architect's point of view, whether or not it would be chosen by the market is a whole different matter.
JustaBitofTime: Along those lines the community wanted to know ""If the tax fees are to remain fixed at 0.01 and Peercoin becomes widely adopted, (Thus a sharp rise in value) the fees could become too much for microtransactions. What would happen in this case? What solutions do you imagine to get around the microtransaction issue?"
Sunny King: @Coolbeans 94. PPC is designed to serve even better as a backbone currency. The proof-of-stake technology in PPC is not only energy efficient; it also maintains high level of security without relying on transaction fee. Thus PPC could be safely designed with strong scarcity property yet serving well as backbone currency.
Sunny King: @Coolbeans 94. Both PPC and XPM use protocol enforced transaction fees, which reflects my preference that high transaction volume is discouraged in favor of serving as backbone currencies.
JustaBitofTime: Speaking of security, there's often quite a bit of debate surrounding the PPC vs XPM checkpointing. 27.5 Will checkpoints be optional like they are in XPM in the next client version?
Sunny King: @transaction fees: Right now if we are talking about micropayments in the US$1 range, both PPC and XPM still handle them with much lower overhead than credit card network. In the long term micropayments should be provided by centralized providers, or a less decentralized network optimized for high capacity transaction processing.
Sunny King: @transaction fees: On the other hand there is no promise that minimum transaction fee wouldn't be adjusted. If processing capacity of personal computers continues to advance at the current pace, both max block size and minimum transaction fee could very well be adjusted at some point. However I do take a very cautious approach to adjusting transaction fees, as opposed to bitcoin devs. The impact to the fitness of the currency as a backbone currency is of great concerns to me.
Sunny King: @checkpoint: Decentralization of PPC checkpoint is currently planned to begin in v0.5. It would be a gradual process.
JustaBitofTime: I can tell you from my own Libertarian leaning, being able to add some layer of anonymous transactions is important to me. 47. Can you tell us more about 'sendtoaddressfrom' and Avatar mode? Will this be released in the next client version? (JustaBitofTime)
Sunny King: @JustaBitofTime Yeah this is still at conceptual stage. It shares some similarity to coin control. However from user point of view I'd like them to think in terms of avatars instead of addresses and coins, it's simpler and better for privacy.
Sunny King: The main rule is that in avatar mode the client doesn't automatically assemble coins from different avatars into the same transaction.
Sunny King: But it can still do so within an avatar.
JustaBitofTime: One of the challenges the Peercoin community faces is breaking down all the technical nuances of the coin. Alertness asks "60. Could you please explain exactly how the level of PoW and PoS difficulty is calculated? (Alertness)"
Sunny King: So you probably need to specify which avatar the money should come from in a send.
Sunny King: I would wait to see how coin control is introduced in bitcoin first. If bitcoin implements similar concepts first that would be nice too.
Sunny King: @Alertness For simplicity we can think of the difficulty adjustment of PoW and PoS blocks independent of each other. Basically it uses some technique called 'exponential moving' to keep the block spacing relatively constant. It adjusts on every block and smoother than bitcoin's adjustment, responding to change of network hash rate much faster than bitcoin, but at the same time not too fast to make difficulty manipulation exploits difficult.
Sunny King: @Alertness PoS blocks have a constant 10-minute spacing target. PoW blocks have a variable spacing target, between 10-minute and 2-hour, but on average it's about 30-minute when PoS block spacing is close to the 10-minute target. This serves to reduce the variation of block spacing.
JustaBitofTime: Along those lines, 60.5 Could you please spend some time talking about the environmental impact of Bitcoin vs Peercoin now and then in the future? (JustaBitofTime)
Sunny King: @JustaBitofTime I don't like to paint bitcoin in a negative picture because it's indeed a brilliant system with high integrity and reasonably good inflation design. High energy consumption is only a minor blemish. To say that it's gold 2.0 I think is quite reasonable.
Sunny King: But if we can solve one of the issues with gold and gold 2.0, their environmental impact, that would be very nice, wouldn't it? We all want to live on a cleaner and happier earth, right? So we should take this task more seriously and PPC provides a possible solution.
Sunny King: On the other hand we should also respect other people's free will. For example we should not force other people to not mine bitcoin or participate in distributed computing projects, because of the environmental cost. So XPM complements the goal here as it produces additional scientific value from the consumed energy. So people who like to mine cryptocurrency for whatever reason have a better choice to mine, to get more benefit out of the mining activity and environmental cost.
JustaBitofTime: For our non-technical users, how does PoS factor into the environmental impact? In other words, 1 friend is mining Bitcoin and the other is mining Peercoin. How does that look now and how does it look in 1 year?
Sunny King: Currently PPC market cap is still small, so the effect is still small. If PPC becomes as successful as BTC, then the energy saving would be significant, and more and more so as difficulty rises.
JustaBitofTime: As difficulty rises, what is the net effect? I feel this is an area that many new to the coin have trouble making the connection.
Sunny King: A caveat here is that the energy consumption on bitcoin mining might drop in the long term as well, due to lack of incentive in mining. However this would drop bitcoin's security level.
JustaBitofTime: You spoke about producing additional scientific value from consumed energy with XPM. 55. What are your thoughts about F@H? Do you see a place for it in crypto coins?
Sunny King: Difficulty increase in PPC reduces inflation rate, which also reduces the energy consumption. This is assuming market capitalization stays the same.
Sunny King: It's hard to say, I am not an expert in protein folding algorithms but I can imagine it would be hard to completely decentralize. There has been a proposal of a less decentralized solution whereas traditional hashing provides network security and half of the minting, whereas folding computation provides the other half of the minting using the existing centralized distributed computing network. This approach is not limited to F@H though, people are also thinking about other networks such as BOINC.
Sunny King: The problem with this system is whether trust is required on the centralized distributed computing network to not abuse the system and counterfeit. Without solving such problems it's not a serious currency system in my opinion, but on the other hand we do see existing systems in operation with centralized minting, such as DVC and FRC. So this type of systems definitely has some niche in the market.
JustaBitofTime: Shifting gears here, Jimmy asks "Q1 New: When will the development team release the official ppcoin specification? (Jimmy) Clarification “We got the paper last year, but we need a protocol specification detail similar to https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Protocol_specification, especially for POS and the integration of POW with POS. The specification is important to developers and the general users who are interested in ppcoin.”
Sunny King: @Jimmy There is no set plans for this yet. If the demand is strong I could look into getting a summary of difference between bitcoin protocol spec and ppcoin protocol spec.
JustaBitofTime: Between 2 different coins, you obviously have your hands full. Romerun asks "Last interview sunny say if he somehow disappears Scott will fill in. But up till now we don't really know who he is, or how much commitment of him to the project / etc. There could be the issue of impostor too, so it would be benefit to the community to clear this up. And wouldn't it be better to have a few more key devs to PPC."
JustaBitofTime: My understanding was Scott was capable of filling in, however, has not worked on PPC recently?
Sunny King: That's right. For some reason Scott isn't as motivated as I am. I also look forward to having more developers with ppc, right now I think xpm team is in good shape, quite a number of people are working on xpm miners which requires a good understanding of the innerworkings of primecoin.
Sunny King: So I think as our community grows there will be more talents showing up. I am still pounding scott to be actively involved as well.
JustaBitofTime: As your development team expands for XPM, Muto asks "35. Do you plan to release another currency? (Muto)"
Sunny King: @Muto 35. No such plan right now. I have recently turned down a few invitations to work on other currency projects due to my responsibility in PPC and XPM. I am committed to further improve PPC and XPM's competitiveness in the market.
JustaBitofTime: Speaking of competitiveness in the market, Romerun would like to know "What are the development priorities/future features of PPC/XMP in Sunny's mind? online wallet? ppc-blockchain.info? etc."
JustaBitofTime: I understand marketing and overall community development/involvement is a big part of the overall plan.
Sunny King: I have touched a few things last week I think, there are other things I have in mind but don't wish to talk about yet. I am constantly evaluating market situation to figure out what's the best features to compete in the market.
JustaBitofTime: Let's change it up again 8. Who are your business and personal heroes? (MeBeingAwesome)
Sunny King: As to services and apps I usually leave those to the market to support. If I were to be involved in a service somehow I think it needs to have profit potential.
Sunny King: And not divert too much of my resources and time.
Sunny King: @MeBEingAwesome Right now I am in the business of cryptocurrency As to my heroes, I think Satoshi qualifies as one. We know that before bitcoin came into existence, several pioneers in the digital currency world have made sacrifices, such as Douglass Jackson the founder of e-gold, Bernard von NotHaus the founder of Liberty Dollar, among many others. These efforts are part of the same movement to decentralize the control of money, from potentially rising oppressive governments. Gold was demonetized to mainly facilitate centralized power, that gives governments power to do a lot more damage, to do whatever they want. Through history we can see the corruption of morality of governments, for example, in the 1860's US governement still had the integrity to return to gold standard after civil war, while in the 1930's it no longer had such integrity after an economic depression. Not only that, it developed audacity to blame the depression on gold. It's very difficult to restore morality of governments.
Sunny King: The cryptocurrency movement, arising from the lessons of e-gold and liberty dollar, gives people a powerful tool to peacefully return to the principle of limited government. We all thank Satoshi whose brilliant mind and effort enabled this movement. Of course there are a lot more things going on in the societies outside cryptocurrency world, to preserve mankind's freedom, to elevate mankind's morality and spirituality, so there are many heroes around us.
JustaBitofTime: I completely respect your desire to remain anonymous. If the code is open, that should speak for itself. With that being said, there are people that claim you might be someone involved with the Satoshi team early on. Can you speak to that rumor? Also, did you have any involvement with Satoshi directly?
Sunny King: I wish I were as that would have made me very rich I am also curious to who Satoshi really is, what led him to such great achievement. But on the other hand I also wish him a peaceful life not having to endure such hardships like NotHaus.
JustaBitofTime: For those not familiar with NotHaus, please look into Liberty Dollar.
JustaBitofTime: On the flipside, D5000 has a question about a worst-case scenario. "44. What mechanism prevents PPC to collapse in a worst-case-scenario, e.g. a year-long strong bear market with steadily dropping hashrate, increasing mining rewards and higher inflation? (D5000)"
JustaBitofTime: (Note to community: We have Sunny for about 30 more minutes, I want to make sure you have time to ask a question I might not have covered)
Sunny King: @D5000 Practically there is a ceiling of inflation. Even though block reward would be higher when exchange rate drops lower, the extent to which this could occur is quite limited. For example, the first block of PPC (August 2012) is at difficulty 256, now PPC's difficulty is at 5 million. Even if exchange rate drops 100 times, the inflation rate would only increase say from 15% annual to 50% annual, still on a similar level to litecoin. So there is a ceiling of inflation rate that keeps getting lowered by Moore's Law. It's safe to say that in the worst case PPC's inflation would not exceed LTC's inflation for the next two years, most likely stay much lower than LTC. In the long term Moore's Law dominates the inflation model in PPC and XPM, over the fluctuations caused by market adoption and exchange rate. I use Moore's Law loosely here, inclusive of the effect of mining algorithm advances and the performance gain due to the transition from software mining to hardware mining.
JustaBitofTime: Q2 New: Is ppcoin less anonymous than PoW coin? If you solo mine your own coin on POW and use it, it's untraceable. I wonder if coin mined with POS contains the origin of the stake mining it, thereby can be traced. (Romerun) http://www.peercointalk.org/inde...=585.0
Sunny King: @Romerun The default minter in ppcoin client always keep the stake on the same address where it comes from. So yes it can be traced back on the same address, but it doesn't reveal much additional information with respect to privacy.
JustaBitofTime: Q4 New: What would be useful, and I'll see if I can find some figures, is to compare the power consumption of the Bitcoin network with future predictions with the Peercoin network on PoW/PoS and then also the current payment services providers network (for example, the power of the DCs that Visa/Mastercard/Amex run to process transactions)." (Nox-)
Sunny King: Some group did a paper a while back that attemps to analyze the energy consumption of bitcoin network I think. Although I feel they have a negative agenda there. This cost of bitcoin may very well be worthwhile compared to traditional centralized systems. But with more efficient systems such as PPC, bitcoin could face a bit competitive pressure.
JustaBitofTime: Sunny: I have a final question after Q4 New and then we'll open it up to any further community questions for the reminder of our time. Again, we sincerely appreciate you taking the time. It shows a lot of character supporting this community and its initiatives.
JustaBitofTime: What is the best way for media to contact you? Do you do phone interviews? What are the best times etc..
Sunny King: @Nox- To compare the energy consumptions, we would need to assume the systems are at similar capitalizations, and for PPC there needs to be an approximate curve of difficulty (maybe based on Moore's Law). One probable also make some assumption about bitcoin's future difficulty growth. It's not very reliable but I think it's doable for rough illustration purpose.
Sunny King: Right now I can only do online chat interviews or through email.