Sunny King [08|Aug 09:19 pm]:for example several altcoins got stuck at high difficulty after the first few days
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:19 pm]:maybe make difficulty adjustment rapid but increase the reward for some time instead...
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:19 pm]:threre are many ideas
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:19 pm]:it's generally agreed now that bitcoin's 2-week adjustment schedule is not suitable for a new altcoin
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:20 pm]:the problem there wasn't the 2-week schedule, so much as the 2016 block schedule
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:20 pm]:if your diff is 10x too high, that
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:20 pm]:is 20 weeks
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:21 pm]:anyway, I saw you made an interesting post a month ago on the ppcointalk forums
Vitalik Buterin Sunny King [08|Aug 09:21 pm]:yeah this problem was actually hit by namecoin, the first altcoin so they developed merge mining for this
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:22 pm]:yeah that's strategic reason for the design of primecoin
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:22 pm]:talking about what your strategy with Primecoin was
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:24 pm]:so you think that the proof-of-* mechanism is essentially the major part of Bitcoin that can be improved, and want the community to focus more on looking for and promoting solid alternatives
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:24 pm]:of course first I had to have the idea that a primecoin could technically work, but then i am looking for reasons why we should run two coins so primecoin can be made
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:24 pm]:is that accurate?
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:25 pm]:so that's primecoin strategic reason
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:26 pm]:So from late last year litecoin has spectacular rise that made me think about why and the competive position of ppcoin vs litecoin
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:27 pm]:it's possible that market would favor something simpler than ppcoin in the shorter term e.g. next couple years
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:28 pm]:so primecoin would be a good candidate in the sense that it's designed to have most litecoin's so-called advantage over bitcoin
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:29 pm]:yet still being innovative and brings new ideas
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:30 pm]:in terms of new ideas
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:31 pm]:I saw somewhere, whether in the source code or the discussions, that you were working on some kind of improved checkpointing system for ppcoin and/or primecoin
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:31 pm]:something not quite so centralized
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:32 pm]:yeah its already in primecoin, it's an updated version of ppcoin's checkpoint system
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:33 pm]:even ppcoin's checkpoint is not meant to stay centralized forever
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:33 pm]:and it's going to work similarly in ppcoin in the future as well
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:34 pm]:so how does this new checkpointing system work?
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:36 pm]:basically developers can broadcast a checkpoint to the network, and if an user turns on the checkpoint enforcement in the node then it would follow the block chain fork of the checkpoint
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:37 pm]:this means that if the majority of network enforces the checkpoints then developer has power to thwart a sustained 51% attack
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:38 pm]:while the network is turning into a temporary centralization mode
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:38 pm]:although there are built-in checks to ensure even in the checkpoint mode developers cannot arbitrarily abuse his power
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:38 pm]:how did the system work before?
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:39 pm]:in ppcoin right now the checkpoints are enforced by default so users have no say in whether to follow it or not
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:40 pm]:ah, okay, so hardcoded into software essentially
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:40 pm]:yeah but it will be switched over in the future
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:41 pm]:> although there are built-in checks to ensure even in the checkpoint mode developers cannot arbitrarily abuse his power <- what kinds of built-in checks are you talking about?
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:41 pm]:the system is designed because threat of 51% attack is real with altcoins
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:42 pm]:there is a consistency check with checkpoints,
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:43 pm]:meaning that developers cannot issue conflicting checkpoints and force double-spending on the network
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:44 pm]:for example, say developer checkpoint is issued on a block with 6-confirmations, then you can treat the transaction confirmed earlier than the checkpoint is safe
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:45 pm]:he cannot invalidate that checkpoint and ask the network to go into another block chain fork
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:45 pm]:what if a developer sends two conflicting checkpoints to two parts of the network at the same time?
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:46 pm]:so half picks up one first, half picks up the other
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:47 pm]:that would cause the network to fork and requires manual intervention like restarting or upgrading client
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:48 pm]:okay, makes sense
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:48 pm]:if it was perfect, you would just use it instead of the pow/pos in the first place
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:48 pm]:in primecoin user could also then ignore checkpoint and just follow the fork with more work
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:50 pm]:checkpoint is a temporary centralization defense against 51%, not on the same level as PoW or PoS
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:50 pm]:is it a jsonrpc command to do this, or are you planning on adding a GUI as well?
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:51 pm]:oh the Qt now has debug window which can do all the rpc commands
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:51 pm]:right, forgot about that
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:52 pm]:so what are the next steps / near-term goals in primecoin development at this point?
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:52 pm]:but if needed we could add it as an option setting
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:54 pm]:I think infrastructure and marketing would be the top priority for primecoin, more exchange support, mining pools and so on
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:55 pm]:the team is also expanded quite a bit so primecoin shouldn't lag behind while I work on ppcoin v0.4
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 09:57 pm]:are you planning on integrating the latest btc features eventually? (eg. payment protocol)
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:58 pm]:sure both primecoin and ppcoin should keep reasonably up-to-date with bitcoin features
Sunny King [08|Aug 09:58 pm]:right now primecoin is ahead of ppcoin in this regard
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:00 pm]:what is ppcoin 0.4 going to have? The advanced checkpointing system?
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:02 pm]:It's mainly a refresh to bitcoin v0.8 features, but there could also be some adjustment on certain protocols
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:04 pm]:the checkpoint would be adjusted a bit also but it won't be as decentralized as in primecoin yet
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:05 pm]:btw ppcoin now has numerous copies in the market and i have now stopped counting them
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:06 pm]:yeah it seems like proof of stake is slowly becoming more accepted
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:06 pm]:also, as far as proofs go, in the ppcoin paper you mentioned a third possibility
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:06 pm]:just past several weeks saw at least three copies released in china and went into speculative frenzy
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:06 pm]:"proof of excellence"
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:06 pm]:could you elaborate a bit more on that idea?
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:08 pm]:it's a concept although there is no concrete designs around this concept
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:09 pm]:it's based on that a tournament result of some games is difficult to forge
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:09 pm]:for example you cannot go to a tennis tournament to win prizes without having some serious skills
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:10 pm]:so a coin might have some kind of internal AI tournament?
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:10 pm]:best programmers win and get to mine some blocks
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:10 pm]:so it's a possible candidate to replace the functions of proof-of-work
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:11 pm]:Yeah that's the idea
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:12 pm]:It doesn't have to be AI it can be done between humans as well
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:13 pm]:true
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:13 pm]:although coins don't really have a way of distinguishing between human players and bots
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:14 pm]:the only challenge I know of that humans are better at is Go
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:14 pm]:right and most games AI can play better than human
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:15 pm]:I actually looked at Go and I think even for that the network would be dominated by bots
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:15 pm]:because there is already very good Go AI and very few pro level Go players
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:15 pm]:yeah
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:16 pm]:and ideally you do want the system to be somewhat egalitarian
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:16 pm]:as otherwise one party might get 51%
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:16 pm]:eg. whoever has the best go algorithm
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:17 pm]:that's probably the hard part about implementingit
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:17 pm]:that's one of its issues because its distribution is a lot more concentrated than proof-of-work
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:20 pm]:Vitalik do you sense a general change of attitude toward altcoins?
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:21 pm]:yes
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:21 pm]:I can feel it
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:21 pm]:I am actually quite surprised that Bitcoin Magazine carried primecoin the first day since my impression earlier was that there was no interest
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:21 pm]:six months ago, altcoins were almost irrelevant
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:22 pm]:and only time i saw anything mentioned was ripple
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:22 pm]:consider this
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:22 pm]:teleport yourself to Dec 2008
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:22 pm]:simultaneously release bitcoin and primecoin
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:22 pm]:which one do you think people will like more?
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:23 pm]:I think primecoin might be the first one to actually beat Bitcoin on that test
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:23 pm]:litecoin was nice, but scrypt is overcomplicated
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:23 pm]:ppcoin is, as you said, too complex
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:24 pm]:Ripple is also too complex
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:25 pm]:it can only survive because Bitcoin came first to ease people into the idea of cryptocurrency
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:26 pm]:I think people are slowly realizing that there are still serious improvements to the core idea of cryptocurrency that can be made
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:26 pm]:and at the same time the community got big enough to support them all
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:28 pm]:here in Calafou (place in Spain), ever since I introduced the locals to Primecoin people have been thinking, since we have one example of a useful PoW, what else can we do?
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:29 pm]:yeah i got a few messages regarding ideas of other useful work types
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:29 pm]:we came up with the idea of an AI challenge-based coin independently too (although no progress toward anything practical)
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:30 pm]:what do you think are some promising directions?
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:30 pm]:that's what I hope primecoin would inspire other designers to do
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:32 pm]:I am not sure, there seems quite a bit demand to monetize F@H, and I heard Pande is looking at the matter seriously
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:33 pm]:But it's not easy to come up with a proper decentralized design
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:35 pm]:The things is, the innovative systems are quite costly to develop, and the market doesn't seem to reward original ideas that well in the altcoin arena
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:35 pm]:F@H?
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:36 pm]:ah, folding at home
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:36 pm]:So i have seen a lot of such attempts fail because of lack of funding for development
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:36 pm]:yeah, the problem there is how you make it uncheatable
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:38 pm]:alright, anything else you wanted to talk about?
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:38 pm]:that's a good chat thanks a lot Vitalik
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:39 pm]:yeah we've covered quite a bit
Vitalik Buterin [08|Aug 10:39 pm]:alright, thank you too!
Sunny King [08|Aug 10:40 pm]:Looking forward to chatting with you again in the future