Weekly Update Archive: #1-102

Sunny King, the developer and architect behind Peercoin (PPC) and Primecoin (XPM) posts a weekly update in a thread on BitcoinTalk.org. We’ve transferred all of Sunny’s previous updates to this thread. Sunny will begin posting his weekly updates here in this board in addition to BitcoinTalk, so there will no longer be a need to go outside PeercoinTalk to get this information.

BitcoinTalk Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=114994.0

Weekly Update would be published here starting with #7 due to popular request.

Previous weekly updates are here:
Weekly Update #6 (September 30, 2012) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101820.msg1233906#msg1233906
Weekly Update #5 (September 23, 2012) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101820.msg1215432#msg1215432
Weekly Update #4 (September 16, 2012) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101820.msg1196648#msg1196648
Weekly Update #3 (September 9, 2012) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101820.msg1174319#msg1174319
Weekly Update #2 (September 2, 2012) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101820.msg1154847#msg1154847
Weekly Update #1 (August 26, 2012) https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=101820.msg1134469#msg1134469

October 07, 2012, 03:55:10 AM
Weekly Update #7

This week the total network money supply surpassed 10 million coins at block 8186.
Work is under way for v0.3.0.
Proof-of-work difficulty appears to have bottomed at block 8409, with difficulty 8116. A fairly strong reversal pushed difficulty past 12000 today due to (maybe temporary) strength in exchange rate the last two days. Proof-of-stake difficulty dropped to around 6.
Andy has added a lot more charts besides the PPC:BTC price chart to his website. Nicely done and now I find myself checking the charts regularly. I like to look at the difficulty chart a lot, it resembles a beautiful mountain range. Looking forward to seeing higher and higher peaks as mining technology progresses.

Have fun and next week!

October 14, 2012, 07:31:33 PM
Weekly Update #8

SatoshiRoulette introduced PPC games this week, becoming the first (non-exchange) website that accepts ppcoin payments.
Andy Rossy has provided a raw transaction rpc patch for those who needs the patch to run a service.
This serves as a reminder that ppcoin is experimental software that I do not make any guarantee regarding its security. Users must evaluate risks on their own regarding the security of ppcoin and I can only say I will try to do my best to make it more secure.
Some miners like to jump between currencies to maximize their profit, this is normal. Often we see ppcoin proof-of-work difficulty oscillate a bit as miners switch and this is expected. My observation is that mining difficulty tends to follow exchange rate. This phenomenon is universal to other bitcoin forks as well, as we saw some chains had problems recovering from miner withdrawals due to long adjustment intervals. For ppcoin it appears to recover from miner withdrawal reasonably well due to the continuous adjustment design. This type of oscillation has less negative impact on ppcoin network for two reasons. First proof-of-stake block generation is independent of the proof-of-work difficulty. And secondly the proof-of-work mint rate design somewhat dampens the oscillation effect.

Have fun and next week!

October 21, 2012, 07:58:33 PM
Week Update #9

ppcoin has passed block #10000 this week at 10:41:39 UTC on October 15, 2012
Proof-of-stake difficulty has dropped to 1. Last couple of days the frequency of proof-of-stake blocks has reduced compared to last two weeks. This is because 30 days ago the proof-of-stake blocks just started appearing so most coins eligible have already participated in block generation, causing a lack of eligible coins currently. The average size of stake generating blocks are expected to become smaller in the next couple months and proof-of-stake frequency will become more stable and start pushing up difficulty from it’s minimum at 1.
Due to my heavy schedule around the end of the year, work on the client is slowed down. There will be a delay for the next release.
There was some complaints that bitcoin 0.7 rollout wasn’t smooth. I don’t know the details so if there is something to take note, welcome to message me about this topic. I would probably wait a while before reviewing bitcoin 0.7 and planning for a merge.

Have fun and next week!

October 29, 2012, 05:19:17 AM
Weekly Update #10

Proof-of-work difficulty temporarily peaked at 15732 at block #11509 this week following some buying strength on the Bitparking exchange.
There was some effort to figure out the memory leak encountered with mining pools. So far it appears to be an elusive bug.

Not much else to report on this week. So have fun and see ya all next week!

November 05, 2012, 02:35:18 AM
Weekly Update #11

Proof-of-work difficulty stabilized over 16000 this week.
Proof-of-stake blocks account for more than half of the blocks in the past several days. It is expected in the next month or two proof-of-stake blocks would reach the 10 minute spacing target and proof-of-stake difficulty should begin rising above the current minimum of 1.

Have fun and next week!

November 11, 2012, 06:41:41 PM
Weekly Update #12

Proof-of-work difficulty surpassed 20000 this week and briefly approached all time high yesterday.
v0.2.2 release is under final testing and build. Improvements to the qt gui code have been done and qt can now properly display stake and coinstake transactions. However official build of gui would not be supported yet in this release. Gui users can either self-build or obtain community-released gui builds. v0.2.2 is expected to be ready some time next week.
Regarding network hash rate, since ppcoin is designed with variable spacing target for proof-of-work blocks, you cannot directly compare network hash rate to other block chains based on proof-of-work difficulty. To estimate network hash rate you would need to first get an estimate of current proof-of-work spacing target (in seconds), by counting the number of proof-of-work blocks in the last 24 hours for example. The formula to calculate the total network hash rate is: hash rate = difficulty * 4G / spacing target.

Have fun and next week!

November 19, 2012, 03:33:49 AM
Weekly Update #13

Proof-of-work difficulty broke new high this week. The new peak is at block #14952 with difficulty 25020.
v0.2.2 has been released. This release has made some improvements to the qt gui for stake transactions. Although official gui builds are not yet supported, those users who build qt gui themselves should find the new version much more usable.
Vircurex has started ppcoin support this week, becoming the third ppc exchange.
Bitcoin mint-halving date is approaching soon (in about ten days). This event could cause high volatility in ppc (and other altcoin) exchanges. We strongly caution investors and traders to fully evaluate and limit their risk exposure.

Have fun and next week!

November 25, 2012, 09:47:44 PM
Weekly Update #14

Proof-of-work difficulty continued to drop this week, currently at over 16000.
Please be aware that in a few days bitcoin mint rate halves from 50 btc to 25 btc per block. This may cause high volatility in alt coins including ppcoin. So please limit risk exposure in the market accordingly.

December 03, 2012, 04:32:26 AM
Weekly Update #15

The mint rate halving of bitcoin at bitcoin’s block #210000 caused ppcoin’s proof-of-work difficulty to ramp up as some miners switched from bitcoin mining. This week’s peak difficulty is a new record at 30677 at block #17333.
The exchange rate on bitparking seems to be fairly stable throughout the halving event when difficulty was rising fast.
I am happy to see more people discussing ppcoin designs on the forum. I hope more and more people gain deeper understanding of the design, which is important to the future of ppcoin and proof-of-stake designs in general.

December 09, 2012, 10:27:56 PM
Weekly Update #16

Proof-of-work difficulty continued to rise this week and is currently over 36000. Proof-of-stake difficulty is currently 1.28, gradually rising from the minimum difficulty of 1.
Christian (xchrix) is now running a new website cryptocoinsend.com, becoming the first payment processor supporting ppcoin.

December 17, 2012, 05:02:37 PM
Weekly Update #17

Proof-of-work difficulty reached a new record of 43120 at block 19080. Currently proof-of-work difficulty stays around 33000 and proof-of-stake difficulty is about 2.1.
Not much else to report on this week. Lots of people are probably busy preparing for the holidays. So relax and have some fun after a productive year!

December 24, 2012, 04:24:20 AM
Weekly Update #18

We have disclosed a stake generation vulnerability this week. A researcher made the disclosure announcement two days ago so I had to issue a disclosure statement on the same day. I would like to talk a bit about the controversial topic of responsible disclosure. Why is responsible disclosure important? Because the computer software industry has already tried everything and learned the hard lessons, so an etiquette of responsible disclosure has been adopted widely. Responsible disclosure does not mean cover-up. It means the researchers and developers work together and negotiate a disclosure schedule, allowing reasonable time for developers to implement fix and for users to patch their systems. The management of bitcoin merkle hash vulnerability has been a prime example of responsible disclosure. We try to hold ourselves to high technical and ethical standard since the beginning of ppcoin network, and we would appreciate independent researchers from the community do the same.
The impact of the vulnerability is described in https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=131940.0
The centrally broadcasted checkpoint is designed to help in this type of situations. So with the checkpoint protection the impact of the vulnerability is reasonably limited.
The vulnerability has been known to us for a while and I have spent quite some time to formulate an improved hash protocol. Proper review and implementation of the new protocol would take some time, and that’s why I stress the importance of responsible disclosure as not all vulnerabilities can be fixed and patched in a day or two.
The schedule of implementing the new protocol is tentatively planned as following: week 1~2: implementation and review; week 3 - testing on testnet; week 4 - final testing, build and release; week 8 - client upgrade deadline and protocol switch. Yes the protocol change would be a hard fork and all clients are required to upgrade within 3-4 weeks after the release.

Merry Christmas to all!

December 31, 2012, 03:02:46 PM
Weekly Update #19

Total money supply surpassed 15 million coins this week.
Release 0.3.0 with protocol upgrade is being implemented and is currently on schedule (to be released in about 3 weeks).
This week saw the debut of freicoin on the bitcointalk forum (actual release was the week before on Dec. 21st). I don’t see the benefit of the concept of demurrage except for being more honest than the inflation tax, but alas, with even fellows at the Federal Reserve becoming fans (http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2012/08/if-interest-rates-go-negative-or-be-careful-what-you-wish-for.html) we’d need to take notice. Welcome the new competition

Happy New Year to All!

January 07, 2013, 05:23:52 AM
Weekly Update #20

Release 0.3 is about 80% code complete and the new code is under some preliminary testing right now. Given the current progress and to ensure the quality of the protocol upgrade we might extend the testing period by 1-2 weeks before final release. So that means the release would be around end of January.
Our seed nodes infrastructure recently experienced frequent outages. So for new nodes or nodes trying to redownload block chain you might experience connection issues. Running nodes shouldn’t have these problems as those can always connect to other operational peers. I am trying to check the seed node status everyday so generally if you cannot connect as a new node just wait some time and it should be able to.

Have a fun week!

January 15, 2013, 03:23:57 AM
Weekly Update #21

Release 0.3 is now 90% code complete. First round of unit testing has been completed. Over this week testing on testnet is being prepared.
Over the next two weeks we plan to migrate the seed nodes. Short periods of down time (no connection) is possible for new nodes and nodes attempting a redownload of block chain. Existing nodes shouldn’t be affected.
Due to exchange rate drop proof-of-work difficulty dropped below 30000. We remind investors and traders be fully aware of the experimental nature of the project and the volatility in market, and manage risks accordingly. With ASIC release looming the bitcoin difficulty is expected to rise quickly in the following months. Further volatility of exchange rate is expected due to this.

Have fun!

January 21, 2013, 06:36:18 AM
Weekly Update #22

Testing continued with 0.3 protocol and revealed some bugs with the new code. I expect testnet testing on protocol switch to be initiated some time this week, when the core code is considered reasonably stabilized.
The 0.3 protocol upgrade involves changing the way hash is computed to generate stake transactions (known as coinstake). The transition for users should have minimal impact as there is no effect on existing wallet balance, transactions and minting related protocols of the network. The new protocol replaces the current proof-of-stake difficulty in the role of stake modifier inside the proof-of-stake hashing computation (not to be confused with proof-of-work hashing, which remains unchanged). The stake modifier is a part of the hash inputs to scramble the computation so nodes cannot compute the future stake from a coin when the coin is first confirmed into block chain. The new protocol generates the stake modifier from roughly 10 days of future blocks from when the coin is first confirmed into block chain. This should reasonably resolve all currently known vulnerabilities regarding stake generation.
Due to the technical nature of implementing and switching a core part of the protocol, we feel it’s prudent to thoroughly test it before 0.3 release, lest critical bugs hitting block chain. Meanwhile, I am also contemplating releasing an unpolished gui build with 0.3 release, to help current gui wallet users with the upgrade. The final 0.3 release date would likely be determined in the next two weeks depending on the progress of testnet testing.

Have a fun week!

January 28, 2013, 08:10:29 AM
Weekly Update #23

0.3 protocol is code complete. Testing continues on the release and I have just started testing with testnet protocol switch.
The hosting provider for our seed nodes infrastructure is undergoing some migration pain and the recent support has been less than stellar. I would need to look for alternative providers next week (preferrably accepting bitcoin, recommendations are welcome). Meanwhile some downtime is expected over next few weeks, for new nodes and nodes redownloading the block chain. Existing running nodes shouldn’t be affected.
If I manage to still have some extra time I might start looking into qt build for the release.

Have fun!

February 04, 2013, 03:21:56 AM
Weekly Update #24

The seed nodes have been successfully migrated this week. The new servers have been running smoothly the last couple days. Also thanks for Andy and xchrix for volunteering their nodes. Hopefully the seed nodes would now have better availability for block chain download.
Testnet has been successfully switched to the new v0.3 protocol. The new code looks to have stabilized and I will continue testing on test network this week. I will also test building qt client in our official build for possible inclusion in the 0.3 release.
The official build of ppcoin adopts bitcoin’s verifiable build system (gitian-builder). This system allows developers to verify the integrity of the final release binaries. In theory users can verify the build too by following the same build procedures but currently the process is quite involved. This is part of the reasons why we haven’t supported qt in release build yet. We believe that delivering trustable executable files is very important to our users.
The first ASIC miner has been delivered on the market. Another milestone in the young history of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Congratulations!

Have a fun week!