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Frequently Asked Questions

NOTICE

This post is a temporary resting place for FAQs while we wait for the release of VertDocs.

What is Vertcoin?

Vertcoin is a digital peer to peer currency focused on decentralization and ASIC resistance. Vertcoin is aiming to be easily accessible to the everyday user without extensive technical knowledge. Vertcoin has started to lower the barrier of entry with lots of video guides and the development of the One Click Miner (OCM).

Why does ASIC Resistance Matter?

ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are dedicated mining devices that can only mine one algorithm. Coins like Bitcoin and Litecoin both made GPU mining obsolete when SHA-256 and Scrypt ASICs were created.
ASIC Resistance and How it Makes Vertcoin Decentralized
Vertcoin believes that ASIC resistance goes hand in hand with decentralization.
ASICs are made by companies like Bitmain and almost all the original sellers of ASICs sell on a preorder basis. When pre ordering an ASIC you are buying from a limited batch that the ASIC company has produced. Often times the batch will not be fully filled and the ASIC company will often have left over ASICs. When the ASIC company has left over ASICs they will put them to work mining. Soon enough the ASIC company will have a very large amount of unsold ASICs that are mining and slowly the ASIC company starts to own a large part of the network’s hashrate. When an ASIC company(s) starts to own a large majority of the hashrate the network can become very centralized after a while.
Having your network consist of a few large companies can be very dangerous as they could eventually get 51% hashing power and 51% attack your network, destabilizing the network. When your network is made out of a lot of smaller miners, like Vertcoin, it is much harder for your network to be 51% attacked, therefore increasing network security. By having centralized hashing power your coin effectively centralizing the network as the centralized hashing power can deny transactions and stop any activity they don’t want.

What Ways is Vertcoin Superior to Litecoin and Bitcoin?

Network Difficulty Adjustments with Kimoto Gravity Well
Vertcoin uses a difficulty adjustment called Kimoto Gravity Well which adjusts the difficulty every block, whereas Bitcoin and Litecoin’s difficulty changes every 2016 blocks. By adjusting the difficulty every block Vertcoin’s block time can stay consistent by adjusting for the fluctuation in network hash rate from hash rate renting and part time miners. If a large miner switches off Bitcoin or Litecoin mining the network could be slowed to a crawl until 2016 blocks are mined and the difficulty can change to adjust for the new network hash rate. We observed this happen to Bitcoin when Bitcoin Cash became more profitable than Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s network hash rate saw a steep fall off, slowing the network to a crawl. If this was to happen with Vertcoin the difficulty would adjust after 1 block was mined, allowing Vertcoin to always be profitable to mine.
Anyone can Meaningfully help Verify Transactions
In Proof-of-Work crypto currencies miners help secure the blockchain and get rewarded with the block reward. In ASIC mineable coins like Bitcoin and Litecoin you can’t meaningfully verify transactions unless you pay 1000-2000$ for a ASIC miner. When you mine with a CPU or GPU in a ASIC mineable coin you make no meaningful impact on the network. It is like trying to break concrete with a shovel while everyone else has a jackhammer.
Simple Upgrades Aren’t Held back by 1-2 Large Miners
In ASIC market people buy ASICs in batches in a preorder. With Bitcoin ASICs there is not enough demand for ASICs so the batch often doesn’t get sold out so now the manufacturer has spare ASICs. Now that the manufacturer has spare ASICs they will often start mining with them and eventually the ASIC company has one of the highest hash rates. If the ASIC company doesn’t want a certain upgrade to go through, for example SegWit, they can vote with their hash rate to hold back the upgrade forever or at least until people who want SegWit get more hash rate.
You Have a Say in Protocol Rules and Consensus
In Bitcoin you are a passive observer because you can only issue transactions and you have no part in the process after that. In Vertcoin you can be apart of the process for deciding the ordering of transactions and deciding what transactions get into blocks.
Block Rewards and Transaction Fees are Distributed Evenly
In Bitcoin and Litecoin the block rewards and transaction fees are often given to the large miners in China due to mining centralization created by ASICs. Vertcoin distributes its mining rewards to people all around the world thanks to the mining decentralization.

When will Atomic Swaps Be Ready?

Atomic Swaps can be done in two flavors: On-chain and Off-chain (via Lightning Network). On-chain swaps were actually done already using Blocknet, you can see it in use on Youtube. We're looking into doing it again using Interledger.
However our main focus is to do off-chain Atomic Swaps using Lightning Network technology. Because it has the same benefits as Lightning transactions: No network fees and instant transactions.
For off-chain swaps we need Lightning Network to be fully operational. It's difficult to give an ETA on that since we aren't the ones developing it. U/gertjaap posted a video on the current state of the Lightning Network for Vertcoin a while ago, which you can see here.
This was actually the "bleeding edge" of Lightning Network at the time. was able to use it on VTC's main net, meaning that our blockchain is ready for the good stuff. As you can see however, it can't yet be considered production ready (most users would want a little better UX than a command line app).
Now off-chain Atomic Swaps is a technique based on the same principles as Lightning Network, but adds an extra complexity for it being across chains. So it's basically the same as a "multi hop" Lightning payment, which is not yet built by any of the implementations. They're still working hard on making the single-hop payments robust. So in order for AS to be possible, LN has to be fully operational.
A timeline cannot be given at this time, because frankly we don't know. The implementation of Lightning Network we feel has the most potential is LIT, because it supports multiple currencies in its protocol (where LND is bitcoin-only at the time and requires significant work to support other currencies, which is an essential part of being able to work across multiple blockchains).
LIT is open source and there's nothing secretive about its progress, you can see the development on Github. We even have our lead dev James Lovejoy (u/jamesl22) close to the action and contributing to it where possible (and our team as well through testing it on the Vertcoin chain).
So we're not developing LN or AS ourselves, we're just ready with our blockchain technology whenever it becomes available.
If we have any real progress that has some substance, you can expect us to let the world know. We're not interested in fluffy marketing - we post something when we achieve real progress. And we are not keeping that secret.

How do I Choose the Right Vertcoin Wallet?

Deciding what Vertcoin wallet you should choose can be a difficult process. You can choose between three different wallets: Core, Electrum and Paper. Once you decide you can use the "How to Setup Your Vertcoin Wallets" video guide to assist you.

Core

The Core wallet is the wallet that most people should use. It will store the entire blockchain (~2GB) on your computer. The Core wallet is the only wallet that fully supports P2Pool mining. You will also have to use the Core wallet if you plan to run a P2Pool node or any Vertcoin related server.

Electrum

The Electrum wallet is a light wallet for Vertcoin. You do not have to download the blockchain on your computer, but you will still have your own private keys on your computer. This is recommended for people who don't need to store Vertcoins for very long and just need a quick but secure place to store them.

Paper

The Paper wallet is as the name implies, a physical paper wallet. When generating a paper wallet you will get a pdf that will need to print out. A paper wallet is normally used for long term storage since it is the safest way to store Vertcoins. A paper wallet can also be called "cold storage." Cold storage references the storage of your coins offline, preventing you from getting hacked over the internet.

Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet designed by Ledger. A hardware wallet is similar to a paper wallet since it is normally used for cold storage. The hardware wallet is on par with the security of a paper wallet while being easy to use and setup. Note: You should never mine directly to a Ledger hardware wallet.

How do I start mining Vertcoin?

We have many guides available for you to use depending on your computer specifications.
Nvidia GPUs on Windows
Nvidia GPUs on Linux
AMD GPUs on Windows WARNING: Very unprofitable, AMD optimized miner is coming very soon.

Where can I get the One Click Miner (OCM)

You can get the latest version of the One Click Miner in the Vertcoin Discord. The download is pinned to the top of the #oneclick channel.

What do all the Numbers Mean on P2Pool’s Web Interface

I've seen a lot of confusion from new miners on public p2pool nodes, so here's a primer for the most common static node page style, for first time miners: https://imgur.com/K48GmMw

Active Miners on this Node

Address - This is the list of addresses currently mining on this node. If your address does not show up here, you are not mining on this node.
Hashrate
This is a snapshot of your hashrate as seen by the node. It will fluctuate up to 15% from the hashrate you are seeing on your mining software, but will average out to match the output in your mining software.
Rejected Hashrate
This is the amount of your hashing contribution that is rejected, both in hashrate and as a percentage of your total contribution. Running your own p2pool node minimizes this number. Mining on a node that is geographically close to reduce lag also minimizes this number. Ideally you would like it to be less than 1%, but most people seem happy keeping it under 3%.
Share Difficulty
This speaks for itself, it is the difficulty of the share being currently worked on. Bigger numbers are more difficult.
Time to Share
This is how long you need to mine before you will receive any payouts, or any "predicted payout." The lower your hashrate, the higher your time to share.
Predicted Payout
This is the reward you would receive if a block was found by p2pool right now. If it reads "no shares yet" then you have not yet been mining the requisite amount of time as seen in the previous "time to share" column.

Status

Network Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining vertcoin everywhere, regardless of where or how.
Global Pool Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining vertcoin on this p2pool network, be it the first network or the second network.
Local Pool Hashrate
This is the total hashrate of all the miners mining Vertcoin on this node.
Current Block Value
This is the reward that will be given for mining the current block. The base mining reward is currently 50 VTC per block, so any small decimal over that amount is transaction fees being paid by people using the network.
Network Block Difficulty
This is the difficulty of the block being mined. The higher the number, the higher the difficulty. This number rises as the "Network Hashrate" rises, so that blocks will always be found every 2.5 minutes. Inversely, this number falls when the "Network Hashrate" lowers as well.
Expected Time to Block
This is a guess at how much time will elapse between blocks being found by this p2pool network. This guess is accurate on average, but very inaccurate in the short term. Since you only receive a payout when the network finds a block, you can think of this as "Estimated Time to Payout."

Why is P2Pool Recommended Over Traditional Pools?

Decentralisation

P2Pool is peer to peer allowing a decentralized pool mining system. There are many nodes setup around the world that connect to each other too mine together. Many other coins have 1 very large pool that many miners connect to and sometimes the largest pool can have 51% or more of the network hash rate which makes the network vulnerable to a 51% attack. If P2Pool is the largest network then that prevents the Vertcoin network to be susceptible to a 51% attack as P2Pool is decentralized.

PPLNS Payout System

P2Pool uses a PPLNS (Pay Per Last N Shares) payout system which awards miners more the longer they mine, sort of like a loyalty system. A drawback to this system is that part time miners that aren't 24/7 won't be able to earn that much.

2 Networks

While Network 1 is catered towards 24/7 miners and people who have dedicated mining rigs, Vertcoin has a second P2Pool network where part time miners and miners under 100 MH/s can go to mine.

Mines Directly to Your Wallet

P2Pool mines directly to your wallet and cuts out the middleman. This reduces the likely hood that the pool will run away with your coins.

No Downtime

Since P2Pool is decentralized and has different nodes for you to choose from there will be no downtime because the P2Pool network does not die if one node goes down. You can setup a backup server in your miner so that you will have no downtime when mining.

Anonymity and Security

When using P2Pool you use a wallet address making your real identity anonymous, you are simply known by a random 34 letter string. Along with using a wallet address instead of a username there is no password involved P2Pool preventing the possibility of cracking your pool account (If you were on a traditional pool,) and stealing all your coins.

How do I Find a Nearby P2Pool Node

You can find the public p2pool nodes the the P2Pool Node Scanners. If you want to find a network 1 node go here. If you want to find a network 2 node go here.

How do I setup a P2Pool Node?

Linux P2Pool Setup
Windows P2Pool Setup (Text)
Windows P2Pool Setup (Video) This guide setups a network 2 node. When downloading Python download the 32bit version, not the 64bit. Downloading the 64bit version causes problems with the twisted install.
How do I setup a change my node to network 1 or network 2?
In the P2Pool startup script when you type the --network flag add vertcoin1 for network 1 and vertcoin2 for network 2 right after.

How do I Buy Vertcoin?

You can see a video guide on Youtube, "How to Buy Vertcoin with Fiat Using Bittrex and Coinbase"

How can I get help with "X problem?"

The quickest way for you to get help is for you to join the Vertcoin Discord Group. We almost always have knowledgable Vertans, whether that be developers or experienced Vertans, online to help you with whatever problems you may have.

How can I donate to the Developers?

You can donate to the dev fund at https://vertcoin.org/donate/. You can select what you want your funds to go to by donating to the corresponding address. You can also see how much funding is required and how much we have donated.

Where can I see what exchanges Vertcoin is on?

You can see what exchanges Vertcoin is listed on at CoinMarketCap. You can see what exchanges Vertcoin has applied to be on at this google docs spreadsheet.

Where can I see Vertcoin's Roadmap?

The Vertcoin developers currently have a trello board where you can see the goals and what the status of said goal is. You can also vote on what you want the Vertcoin developers to focus on next.

What is the Status of the AMD Optimized Miner?

The AMD Optimized Miner internal beta is aiming to be ready by the end of September. The AMD Optimized Miner is currently being developed by @turekaj on the Vertcoin Discord. He currently does not have a Reddit account and Discord is the only way you can contact him.

What Does Halving Mean?

Halving means that the block reward for miners will be split in half. Halving happens around every 4 years for Vertcoin or 840,000 blocks. This means around December miners will only receive 25 VTC per block instead of the current 50 VTC per block.
If you would like to add another question to this list please comment it and I will get around to adding it ASAP.
submitted by asianboygames to vertcoin [link] [comments]

Check out Part 1 of our first Skycoin Official AMA with Synth!

Part 2 of the AMA posted here.
 
What is Skywire? Where does it fit in with Skycoin?
Skycoin is a blockchain application platform. We have multiple coins in the platform (Metallicoin, mdl.life, solarbankers.com, etc). We let people launch their own blockchain applications (including coins).
There are two parts to Skywire. The first part is the Skywire node. The second part is the hardware.
Skywire is one of the first applications we are launching on the Skycoin platform. It is one of our flagship applications that has been in development for several years. Skywire is basically a decentralized ISP on blockchain. It is like Tor, but you are paid to run it. You forward packets for your neighbors and you receive coins You pay coins to other people for forwarding your packets.
So it is like Tor but on blockchain and you are paid for running the network. Also, while Tor is slow, Skywire was designed to be faster than the current internet, instead of slower.
Skywire is a test application for monetizing excess bandwidth. Eventually the software defined networking technology behind Skywire, will allow us to build physical networks (actual mesh nets) that can begin to replace centralized ISPs. However, the current Skywire prototype is still running over the existing internet, but later we will start building out our own hardware.
Skywire is a solution for protecting people’s privacy and is also a solution to net neutrality. If Skycoin can can decentralize the ISPs with blockchain, then we wont have to beg the FCC to protect our rights.
Skywire is just a prototype of a larger system. Eventually we will allow people to sell bandwidth, computational resources and storage.
On the hardware side, the Skywire Miner is a like a personal cloud, for blockchain applications. It has eight computers in it and you plug it in and you can run your blockchain applications on it. You can even earn coins by renting out capacities to other users on the network.
 
How would your everyday, average Joe user access the Skywire network? Let's say from their phone…
We designed Skywire and Skycoin to be as usable as possible. We think you should not have to be a software developer to use blockchain applications.
Skywire is designed to be “zeroconf”, with zero configuration. You just plug in your node and it works. Its plug and play.
Eventually you will be able to buy a Skywire Miner and delegate control of the hardware to a “pool”, who will configure it for you and do all the work, optimize the settings and the pool will just take a small fee for the service and owner of the hardware will receive the rest of the coins their miners are earning.
You will just plug in the Skyminer and start earning coins. It will be plug and play.
Most users will not know their traffic is being carried over Skywire. Just like they do not know if they are using TCP or UDP. They will just connect their computer to the network with wifi or an ethernet cable and it will work exactly like the internet does now.
 
Are you completely anonymous on Skywire, or do you need to add a VPN and go through Tor for extra protection?
Skywire is designed, to protect users privacy much better than the existing internet. Each node only knows the previous hop and the next hop for any packet. The contents of the packet are encrypted (like HTTPS), so no one can spy on the data.
Since Skywire is designed to be faster than the existing internet, you give up a little privacy for the speed. Tor makes packets harder to trace by reshuffling them and slowing them done. While Skywire is designed for pure speed and performance.
 
Will Skywire users be able to access traditional internet resources like Google and Facebook over Skywire?
Yes. Most users will not even know they are using Skywire at all. It will be completely invisible to them.
Skywire has two modes of operation. One mode looks like the normal internet to the user and the other mode is for special applications designed to run completely inside of the Skywire network. Skywire native apps will have increased privacy, speed and performance, but all existing internet apps will still work on the new network.
 
How difficult will it be for a traditional e-service to port their products and services to Skywire / Skycoin? Are there plans in place to facilitate those transitions as companies find the exceeding value in joining the free distributed internet?
We are going to make it very easy. Existing companies run their whole internal networks on MPLS and Skywire is almost identical to MPLS, so they wont have to make any changes in most cases.
 
What is the routing protocol? How are the routes found?
Skywire is source routed. This means that you choose the route your data takes. You can chose routes that offer higher privacy, more bandwidth (for video downloads) or lower latency (for gaming).
Skywire puts control of the data back to the user.
 
I have also understand that the protocols underlying in skywire will be/already are pretty different from the Internet protocols. Taking into account the years of research applied to the current Internet and the several strategies for routing it doesn't seem an easy task to rebuild everything and make it work. Where can be found the information about the routing strategies used in skywire?
The routing strategies are user defined. There is no best routing strategy that is optimal for every user or application. Instead we allow people to choose their routes and policies, based upon the application, time of day, available bandwidth, reliability and other factors.
This is actually the way the original internet worked. However, it was scrapped because of the RAM limitations of early computers which only had 4 KB of memory. So the internet was built upon stateless routing protocols because of the limitations of the available computers at the time, not because the networking protocols were the best or highest performance. Today even a cell phone has 4 GB of ram and 1 million times the memory of a computer in the 1980s, so there is no reason to accept these limitations anymore.
Our implementation is simpler and faster because we are stripping away the layers of junk that have accumulated. The internet was actually built up piecemeal, without any coherence, coordination or planning. The internet today is a mishmash of different ad-hoc protocols that have been duct taped together over decades, without any real design.
Skywire is an re-envisioning of the internet, if it was built today knowing what we know now. This means simplifying the protocols and improving the performance.
 
How will the routing work if someone from Europe wants to access a video from a node in Australia (for example)? How do the nodes know the next hop if they cant read the origin or destiny of any packet?
If you have a route with N hops, then you contact each of the nodes on the route (through a messaging service) and set the route table on each route. Then when you drop a packet in the route, it gets forwarded automatically. You could have 60 or 120 hops between Australia and Europe and its fine.
Each individual node only knows the previous hop and the next hop in the chain. That is all the node needs to know.
 
Could you estimate a timeline for when Skywire will operate independently from the current ISP infrastructure?
I think Skycoin is a very ambitious project and some parts could take ten or twenty years. Even if we started with a network of a few thousand nodes and we were growing the network over 1% per day, it will still take a decade or two to conquer the Earth.
We are going to start with small scale prototypes (neighborhoods), then try cities. I think the first demonstration networks will be working this year.
 
How will bandwidth be priced in terms of coin hours and who determines this rate?
You could have 40 PHDs each do a thesis on this. The short answer is that an auction model has to be used (similar to Google’s Ad Words auction model) and the auction has to be designed in a way so that the bandwidth prices reach a stable equilibrium.
There are parts of Skycoin that are completely open source and public, like the blockchain and consensus algorithm and Skywire. There are secrets like the auction model and pricing, that are designed to protect Skycoin from being forked and to prevent competitors from copying our work.
We estimate that if a competitor was to start today, with 2 million dollars a year in R&D, that it would take them a minimum of eight years to develop a working bandwidth pricing model. And from experience in auction models for advertising networks, 80% of the competitors will fail to develop a working model at all.
A working, fair, decentralized bandwidth pricing model that was competitive with what we have would take even longer. There are very few people (less than 4) on Earth who have the experience in mathematics, economics, game theory and cryptographic protocols to design the required auction and pricing models.
One of Google’s secrets that allows them to dominate the internet advertising industry, is their auction model for ad pricing. That is what allows Google to pay the content producers the most money for their advertising inventory, while charging the advertising buyers the least.
Google’s auction models for pricing AdSense inventory are even more secretive and important than Google’s search algorithm. This is one of the most important and secretive parts of Google’s business. Even companies like Facebook, with billion dollar war chests have been unable to replicate to close the algorithm gap in this area. Expertise in these algorithms and their auction and pricing models is one of the reasons that Google has been able to extract advertising premiums over Facebook.
Even if a competitor raises a billion dollars and hires all the PHDs in the field and they had ten years to do research, I doubt they would be able to develop anything close to what we have now.
The history of bandwidth markets is very interesting and Enron tried to do a trading desk for bandwidth and bandwidth futures and it completely failed. The mathematical stability and predictability of the pricing of bandwidth under adversarial conditions is one of the major problems.
For instance, one of our “competitors” suggests that people will be paid coins if someone accesses their content. So why don’t you just put a website and then have 2000 bots go to it, to get free coins! How are they going to stop that.
Or if they are pricing bandwidth, if the price is fixed and the price is too low, then people will not build capacity and bandwidth will be insufficient and the network will be slow.
Or if the price is variable and adjusts with demands, what will stop someone from buying up the capacity for a link (“Cornering the Market”) to drive the price up 50x on links they control and extort money out of the other people on the network with a fake bandwidth shortage?
The pricing algorithm has to be stable under adversarial conditions. It is a very difficult problem, harder than even consensus algorithm research. Even if a competitor had unlimited funding and unlimited time, it is unlikely that they would find a superior solution to what we have and that alone nearly guarantees that we are going to win this market. It gets even more difficult if you need price stability and you admit any type of bandwidth futures, that allow speculation on future prices. This is a kind of problem like Bitcoin consensus algorithm that can only be solved by an act of genius.
We have a lot of experience in this area. It is hyper specialized and a very difficult area and is one of the areas that will give Skycoin a strong sustainable advantage.
 
Will there be a DNS for Skywire to register .sky domains?
Of course. We will definitely add some kind of DNS and name system eventually.
Remembering and typing public keys is too difficult. We want to make it as easy as possible. We want people to be able to register aliases (like screen names) so that people can send coins to aliases instead of having to type in addresses every time.
This will let people send 5 Skycoin to “@bobcat” instead of sending coins to “23TeSPPJVZ9HvXh6iYiKAaLNQroKg8yCdja”. This will be a revolution in usability.
 
When operating a Skyminer, will people in my surrounding area see it as a Wifi option on their devices?
You can configure it to expose a wifi access point. It depends on what you are trying to do.
 
While I plan on running a DIY miner regardless of the payout, will one of the first 6000 DIY miners built to the same spec as the official miner receive a worthwhile payout in Sky coin? What is the requirement for a DIY miner to get whitelisted (and earning Skycoin) on the Skywire testnet?
The reason we have white-listing on the testnet, is to stop too many nodes from joining the network at once. The network can only support so many nodes until we upgrade certain infrastructure (like the messaging/inter-process communication standard).
Eventually, all DIY miners will be whitelisted, but there will probably be a queue.
 
The Sky team is developing antennas by their own instead of buying or using technology already developed, why is such an effort necessary?
You can of course, buy any commercial antenna or wifi system and use it for Skywire.
We are developing our own custom antennas, to push performance limitations and experiment with advanced technology, like FPGAs (Field Programmable Arrays) and SDR (Software Defined Radio).
Existing wifi has a huge latency (15 milliseconds per hop). We need to make several modification to get that down to 0.5 millisecond per hop.
We have several custom PCB boards in development. We have a few secret hardware projects that will be announced when they are ready.
For instance, the Skywire Miner was in development for two years before we publicly announced it. Some of our next hardware projects are focused on payments at the point of sale and improving usability, not just the meshnet.
 
So back in January Steve was asked a question in the skywire group: "Steve, I am not a tech savage, so how can I understand better the safety running a miner if people on the network do DeepWeb stuff? So i will receive and redirect data packets with crazy things and also there is around 128 GB of storage on my miner. How can i have peace of mind of that?" He replied with "If you don’t run an exit node to the open internet it won’t matter you can run relay nodes if you’re worried about it, or proxy specific content." This seems to goes counter to what you mentioned regarding end-to-end encryption with Skywire. Will some people only be relay nodes and some will be exit nodes as well?
I think the question is wrong.
You only store content for public keys that you explicitly subscribe to.
This means if you do not like particular content or do not want it on your hardware, then you can just blacklist those public keys or don’t subscribe to them. Data never goes on your machine unless you requested it.
If you are holding data for a third party such as forwarding packets, it’s always going to be encrypted, so will look like random noise. There will never be anything in the data that causes legal liability. It will look the same as the output of a random number generator.
 
If using the skyminer, how much bandwidth will be necessary to run it at its best? And what about the router? It's true it has only 100mbits output? Is a 1gigbits connection necessary to reach toprates?
Hold on!!!! Let us get the software and test net running first, lol. We will know once we know what works for the testnet.
 
What will the price be for future Skynodes (formerly called Skyminers)?
We are working on ways of reducing the cost, such as by buying our own factory, doing custom PCB boards and using different materials.
The cheapest Skywire Miner node will be about $30 for a single node miner. We will have a very cheap personal Skywire “hardware VPN” node also.
The miners we are shipping now are for powering the network backbone and have 8 computers and are about $800 each. We sold people the miners for 1 BTC each so they can support development, but gave them a Skycoin bonus equal to about 1 BTC worth of Skycoin.
Then that money, went to fund the cost for developing the newer hardware.
submitted by MuSKYteer to skycoin [link] [comments]

Staying Anonymous in a High Risk Activity (xpost from /r/ShadowWar)

👀
To preface this topic, I must state that I am not advocating any immoral activity. Also please note, that just because something is illegal, does not necessary mean that it must be immoral. Remember that the Civil Rights Act was not passed until 1964 - just over 50 years ago. Just because something is enshrined into law, does not mean that it is moral and just.
That said, there may come a time in your life where you decide that you must do something that is going to piss off someone with the means to hurt you. For the purposes of this Topic, let us pretend you have compromising files that detail illegal activity, and you want to release it onto the internet. The pressing question is, how do you release your content without revealing who you are and putting yourself and/or your loved ones in danger?
Let's do our best to come up with as many countermeasures as we can.
Why Become an Anonymous Whistleblower?
The government and/or your workplace will tell you that there is a Whistleblower program in place, and that you should make use of it if you witness any wrongdoing. You will need to use your own judgement, on whether to use this program, or if you should instead become an internet whistleblower. Every situation is different.
What I CAN say, however, is that it is in the nature of government to seek unlimited power. EVERY government in the world would eventually strip their citizens of all rights and control their every move and thought, IF they thought they could get away with it. Similarly, individuals and corporations (and yes, governments) will risk fines and jail time by doing something illegal, if they think that it is worth the risk of getting caught.
You see examples of this everywhere. One of the easiest-to-find examples is when a car manufacturer doesn't bother to fix a fatal defect because the cost of fixing it is greater than the cost of the lawsuits from the inevitable deaths (link). Even when they DO get caught, the penalty isn't even that bad because the fines are for some odd reason TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
When the government does something illegal, they KNOW they're doing something illegal. They just do it anyway because they can get away with it, and because they hide it well enough. When someone steps forward and says "hey, this isn't right!", the government's reaction is NOT to say "oh, that person is right, we should correct things and be sure to follow the law!" Instead, what they think is "oh no, this guy is going to tell on us, and if word gets out, then it will be a setback in our quest for power! we need to make sure our secret stays hidden! how do we go about doing that...?"
The answer is typically to threaten to ruin the potential whistleblower's life in some way. Maybe they get transferred to another department. Maybe they get fired for being 1 minute late. Maybe the whistleblower made the complaint official so they go for a gag order. Or maybe the problem is big enough that they hack their emails and start a smear and discrediation campaign. Sprinkle a little crack on them. Plant child pornography on their hard drive. Use their SSN and credit cards to ruin them financially. Or maybe they just put a couple bullets in them.
The government doesn't want you to right wrongs. The government just wants power. If you uncover illegal activity, you must determine if reporting the violation through official channels will actually fix the problem, or if you must do your best to raise a public stink about it. This also applies to corporations. Be wary of dealing with HR - they exist to protect the company, not you.
"It's Just Metadata"
When solid evidence of mass survillence was revealed, one of the arguments that the government used to try to downplay it is that they were not actually collecting message contents, but instead only collecting the metadata (sender, reciever, date and time, etc). First off, this is bullshit - they are obviously collecting the message contents too. Second off, METADATA IS FUCKING IMPORTANT. You can put together a pretty clear picture of exactly what is happening, just from metadata. Metadata is basically a smoking gun to the message or file contents.
The scary thing is, most tech-savy people - myself included - are not able to guarantee that they can clean ALL of the metadata from a file. And not only is metadata stored on the operating system level (on the "outside" of files), but the program that created the file in the first place probably has its own metadata INSIDE the file. And there's no way you can trust "metadata-cleaner-v0.6.exe" (now with the Ask toolbar!) to keep you out of jail.
You must assume that the original files that you copy and intend to leak, are littered with metadata that very very clearly identifies you as the leaker.
To combat this, there are several steps you can take.
  1. DO NOT leak the original untouched files. Certainly keep a copy of them, but original files might have your digital fingerprints all over it, and will put you at risk. Instead, copy or transcribe the contents, and place it into a new file, and be sure to do it on a computer that cannot be traced back to you or any of your accounts.
  2. Modify the contents of the file. When pasting text, you should strongly consider pasting the contents format-free (control-shift-v) (or use Notepad as an intermediary). Depending on how paranoid you are about this, also consider converting everything to upper-case or lower-case. If images are involved, resize them slightly. Also, especially if the image is a .jpg, save with a slightly reduced quality to introduce noise or to destroy "invisible" markers that the human eye cannot detect. Also be aware that documents might have deliberate variations, depending on the person who accessed them. This could be hidden in typos, punctuation, capitalization, even full words or sentences. The document you plan on leaking might actually be trapped.
  3. You must also consider who had access to the file? Are you the only one? Because if you are, then taking every precaution possible will not help you. Is it a limited group of people? You are going to be placed under a microscope. The more people that "could have" done it, the better. You need to be able to hide in a crowd of suspects - the larger the pool of suspicion, the better.
This is in no way a comprehensive list. The reality is, the offending organization has as many tools at their disposal as they can imagine. You must try to determine the level of risk yourself, and what the most likely countermeasures would be, and adjust your strategy to circumvent them. Be smart, and careful, and paranoid. And honestly, you should seriously consider using a journalist instead of doing this yourself.
There is also one more matter to be careful of... the actual file contents itself. You have to read it, and you have to determine if any innocent person would be put in danger if you leak the information. And then you must determine if leaking the document is still worth it.
Doing the Deed
There are a number of precautions that you can take when you need to remain anonymous for an online activity. Some of these are pretty basic. Others of these are more extreme. It is up to you to determine which measures are appropriate, to protect yourself from the risks you are about to take.
  1. Do not use any computer that is associated with you or anyone else you know. You should buy a laptop off of Craigslist. Do not use your real phone number, or real email address, or your real name, etc. When arranging to buy this laptop, you should ideally not be using your own computer or internet connection to communicate with the seller. Using your laptop with a Tails linux live CD in a coffee shop is typically secure enough though, for this particular activity. Buy the laptop using cash. Try to not give the seller any reason to remember you.
  2. Remove the hard drive from your newly acquired laptop. Only boot up on a Tails live cd. Read up on spoofing your MAC address. Never switch on the laptop at home, or use your home internet connection. Never connect to any of your personal online accounts using this laptop. Never use this laptop to browse the internet - your browsing behaviors could get the laptop/connection "fingerprinted" back to you. This is a "dark" laptop, and you should take every measure to keep it that way.
  3. I do not know if it is even possible to aonymously buy a burner phone in the United States. But if you absolutely need one, try to do it as anonymously as possible, using all of the other tips listed here, and then some. Use cash, avoid cameras, avoid local shops,
  4. Do all of your preparations offline. Only connect to the internet for the amount of time you need to perform your activity, and no longer. Every second you spend online increases your exposure and threat. This is very similar to the concept of military radios that transmit in encrypted bursts, to help prevent enemy interception and triangulation.
  5. Only use public hotspots, when you connect to the internet. And assume that every time you hop online, someone puts a pin in a map where you are. This means, do not use hotspots near your home. Do not use the same hotspot twice.
  6. Use TOR. It's not perfect, and I have my suspicious about government infiltration of the network. But it's FAR better than nothing. In addition, you should also use a VPN if you can. This is far more difficult though, since VPNs are generally not free. Check /VPN, for assistance in researching this topic though, I think there might be a few, albiet with limited bandwidth. If you need to buy a VPN, use bitcoin (/bitcoin), instead of your credit card. Reasons should be obvious enough.
  7. Avoid cameras, CCTV, and traffic cameras. This is especially difficult this day in age, but try to make an effort to anyway, without appearing suspicious. Maybe call off your upload / activity, if there were too many cameras. If your adversary is strong enough, you must assume that they will pinpoint the location you used, and long after you're gone, they might arrive on the scene to confiscate security footage from the surrounding area.
  8. Consider anti-facial-recognition makeup and clothing. Note, this only fools facial recognition software, and should only be used if circumstances warrant (aka, they already know who you are, and are looking for you). This type of behavior will INSTANTLY cause everyone around you to pay attention to you. A realistic silicon mask and makeup is probably a superior alternative, if you have access to that sort of thing, to make an old-fashioned disguise, but takes a bit more effort.
  9. In extreme cases, consider performing a surreptitious upload. For example, maybe you can leave your laptop in a bag, and have it automatically connect to a coffee shop's WiFi and perform a task and then disconnect, while you pretend to work on a paper, or chat up the cute girl with the glasses. If you are this worried though, you might be better off not even entering the building with the hotspot in the first place. If you need to put even more distance between you and your internet access, consider using a directional WiFi antenna. Naturally, you might want to build it yourself, as opposed to buying one on Amazon.
As you can see, possible methods for avoiding detection start to become increasingly ridiculous. Every measure has a countermeasure. You must determine the likely measures that will be used to find you, and focus on countering those. If you have the spare time, then take it a few steps further. But at some point, a budget for time, alabi windows, and resources avaialble to perform countermeasures start to become stretched thin.
Hitting The Fan
Despite being more careful than you thought humanly possible, there is always the possibility that will get caught. Maybe you leave your fingerprint on a spoon. Maybe a random camera catches your face. Maybe you brag about it on Facebook. Maybe your moment of doing the right thing was witnessed by a 192 megapixel camera with a wide angle lense, mounted on the bottom of a Cessna and flown in lazy circles around the city at an altitude of 8000 feet while recording everything within 30 miles, allowing law enforcement to rewind the footage to locate you at the scene, and then fast forward while tracking your movements to find out where you live.
I guess that last one was oddly specific... (link)
The point is, you need a plan for when things go south. Edward Snowden's plan was to fly to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States. Most of us aren't going to need that extreme of a getaway plan, but picking a country you would flee to in such a hypothetical sitaution is amusing by itself. (Relavant Wikipedia Article)
Depending on the severity of your actions, it might be wise to leave the country BEFORE you publish your dirt. Make sure your passport is up-to-date, withdraw as much cash as you can comfortably / legally travel with, and transfer your remaining assets to a safe international bank. I'm not an expert on international finance, if you have enough assets you would likely want to speak to a lawyer to make sure your funds don't get frozen or confiscated.
For the rest of us who are not on the top of the international most wanted list, you may want to pre-plan a legal defense.
Or you could just take up a hobby. I hear handcuffing yourself in a duffel bag in your bath tub and padlocking it from the outside so you can practice escaping is a pretty fun and safe solo activity. (link)
submitted by primo_pastafarian to conspiracy [link] [comments]

The biggest problem with Lightning Network isn't hubs or centralization-- it's adoption

Let's talk about Lightning Network for a moment. Lightning Labs promises it will fix the fee problem once and for all, by moving transactions off of Bitcoin Core's secure blockchain. Most opponents of Lightning raise these concerns:
  1. Lightning requires your private keys to be stored on an online computer for the entirety of your payment channel's existence. This will make it impossible to keep your coins in cold storage without paying on-chain fees to close and re-open the channel (currently averaging $31/tx).
  2. Lightning nodes will collect a fee for each "hop" through the mesh. If you have a high degree of separation between yourself and your payment's recipient, you'll be better off paying the on-chain fees and sending it to their wallet directly. Lightning Hubs have been proposed to fix this issue. But Lightning Hubs will be legally classified as payment processors, and will be heavily regulated and scrutinized by governments.
But there is another issue I want to address: the impracticality of relying on users to scale the network. My case in point: Segwit, which was released last August. Despite its technical shortcomings, Segwit offers a 40% discount on all transactions to users who use compatible clients. Yet it is four months later and adoption is hovering at the ~8% mark. It's much more practical to scale through miners than through users, as most miners run the same software and abide by the rules of a handful of mining pools. More than 90% of miners were prepared to upgrade to Segwit2x before a FUD campaign diminished support. But even at it's lowest point, 70% of miners were committed to the upgrade.
Lightning developers promise a release within the next two months (though they have been promising this timeframe for over a year now). Yet even if the Lightning team debuts the network within the next two months, it will be virtually useless, as clients and businesses will need time to upgrade their software. This is no secret, as Cobra has admitted that Lightning will be "adopted over the next few years."
TLDR: Even if Lightning was a perfect solution, it would take two to three years for wallet providers and businesses to overcome its massive technical debt. A block size increase would be far easier to implement, as all miners abide by the rules of a handful of mining pools, and the change is just a simple change of a simple variable.
submitted by Typo-Kign to btc [link] [comments]

Log of AMA with Skycoin

boldninja Let's all give a warm welcome to @synth from SkyCoin.net and for taking the time to do this AMA
synth *hello
mike Hi Synth
jakethepanda Hey @synth
thrice.pi Hey synth
dr10 Hi
boldninja I think we can start - you guys know the drill. Give him some time to respond (no more than 2-3 questions on backlog so he can catch up)
dr10 How would you - shortly & in easy words - sum-up the advantages of SkyCoin to magazines and non-crypto people?
mgaruccio Can you explain a bit about the mesh net? Is it just an mpls network between nodes or is there something deeper going on?
michaelthecryptoguy Whassup @synth
tranzer hi synth. I have a question - are those coins that are not in circulation in any cold wallets since only a portion is currently available according to CMC? What would you say is the 1 unique feature that Skycoin has?
synth It is very difficult, because Skycoin is a very large project and already has +6 years of development. Different parts of the project have different objectives.
The cryto, coin part is about solving the problems with the existing consensus algorithms. Being able to do +300 transactions a second, transactions in seconds instead of minutes (faster than credit cards), eliminating miners, eliminating block rewards (eliminating inflation) and eliminating 51% attack and the other problems with mining.
then there are other repos and experimental projects under github.com/skycoin such as a meshnet and distributed VPN prototype, where people will be paid coins for forwarding traffic. Also prototypes of distributed social media application, with peer to peer data replication and different experimental projects. Research into immutable data structures for next generation internet. Some of them are very radical.
dr10 How does the Network consensus algorithm Obelisk work and differ from widely known algorithms like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake?
mgaruccio So how much exists today? Could I build an app on the platform if I wanted to?
mike In terms of the rate of progress, what is currently your greatest limiting factor - like funding, manpower, currently available technology?
synth
Can you explain a bit about the mesh net? Is it just an mpls network between nodes or is there something deeper going on?
It is not actually a meshnet. It is software defined networking, it is much more powerful than just meshnet. Its a new type of networking and new completely new protocol and networking namespace, independent of the existing internet.
It supports source routing, while the existing internet does hot potato routing, so never achieves optimal latencies.
It supports multi-homing, which IPv6 does not (Which is critical for when we have gigabit or terabit networking and multi-redundant bandwidth paths)
It has default oppurunistic crypto, both link layer and end to end; so everything is encrypted by default, unlike the current internet.
It has store and forward networking and will operate in Africa or even under conditions where latencies are in the minutes or hours and packet loss is excessive. Where existing protocols cannot operate reliability. It is much more robust than IPv4/IPv6 or TCP/ip
It has improved privacy. If a packet takes a route that is 10 hops, each hop only knows the previous node in the route and the next node in the route. It is not like IPv4 where each packet gives the source and destination. The privacy level is something that does not exist on the current internet.
IP addresses are replaced by public key and no one can read traffic to a destination, without knowing the private key of the public key that identifies the destination. The system does not need 3rd parties or certificate authorities. The design is a revolution.
are those coins that are not in circulation in any cold wallets since only a portion is currently available according to CMC?
The coins are locked into 100 addresses, each with 1 million coins each. And they are released sequentially.
There is a complicated locking procedure and releasing new coins requires unamious consent and a shared secret among a group of developers. Anyone in the shared secret group can block distribution of more coins (to stop the problem that killed NXT). So by design the coins were supposed to be difficult to distribut, there had to be a good reason or justification before a distribution would be approved.
mike What are the hardware requirements to operate a wireless Skywire (the name for the protocol described above) Node?
arc-over-water nxt i think is doing ok..
synth
How does the Network consensus algorithm Obelisk work and differ from widely known algorithms like Proof of Work and Proof of Stake?
PoS and PoW use miners. Miners receive new coins every block as a block reward. So miners are making money and will fight to control the network. An everyone will suffer because the newly created coins represent inflation.
Skycoin was designed to eliminate mining and eliminate the inflation. No block rewards, no new coins. And we needed to develop a new consensus algorithm to do that and there are only a few methods that work, for these constraints. The consensus algorithm is based upon Ben-Or's randomization procedure for achieving consensus in a distributed system, with some improvements for detecting adversarial or malicious nodes who are trying to prevent the consensus process.
There are white papers on skycoin.net about the specifics. I would call it "network consensus" and it uses a sort of Web of Trust (WoT), where if the people creating blocks are doing a bad job or attacking the network, then the community can get rid of them. At the same time, the people who control the network, do not have any real power to attack the network except by slowing down transactions and being annoying, so even if they become malicious the only issue is how to get rid of them and select new people.
mike Any idea when Skywire will be released and ready to test on hardware nodes (testnet or mainnet)?
mgaruccio So if there is no block reward what is the incentive to run a node?
vega What will be the actual function of Skycoin (the coin itself)? Will the coin be used as currency, as transfer of value in and between all these various developing functionalities, semi-separate projects to tie them all together or it's function will be more limited?
michaelthecryptoguy Do you have an idea on the specs of a node that would be required? In the beginning? What about with 10,000 users? (edited)
synth
nxt i think is doing ok..
There were three people that each owned 30% of the coin. One decided he wanted out and began dumping. NXT was over 150 million I think. When he started dumping, it basicly killed NXT.
Skycoin's distribution was designed to stop dumping by the founders and early people.
After Skycoin gets to 30% of the total coins distributed, there will probably a hard time lock on the remaining coins, so that a maximum of 5% of the remaining coins can be released per year. So the distribution for the other 70% of the coins will take a minimum of 14 years (and could be longer).
We cannot even sell the rest of the coins, because if we sold 10% of the total now at $5 per coin, it would be 50 million or something and we cannot spend or even use that amount of money. Not at this stage.
Ethereum spent 30 million or 70 million in their first year or two after the ICO and then nearly went bankrupt. Silicon Valley wages and offices etc. We have been very conservative and have kept costs down and kept them responsible. Now we have coins like EOS and they want to raise a billion dollars and have not produced anything yet, do not hav a blockchain and I have no idea what they would spend that money on, but they are throwing $350,000 parties in time square for marketing/PR etc...
arc-over-water what prevents you from selling? anybody can spend that amount of money?
nxt is a newer platform than sky, market value is $220 million plus $166 million, I get what you are saying but the evidence is wrong. Community is huge and active in Nxt. But you say it is killed, i dont get it?
synth
What will be the actual function of Skycoin (the coin itself)? Will the coin be used as currency, as transfer of value in and between all these various developing functionalities, semi-separate projects to tie them all together or it's function will be more limited?
Yes. Bitcoin has no purpose. An altcoin does two things - check your balance - send money to other people
Two features - check balance - send
For a coin to have value, people need to be forced to buy it to consume specific services. There has to be stuff for people to spend the coin on, that there is demand for.
So Bitcoin is really just a purely speculative asset. It generates no cashflow and its value is determined by perception or social convention.
Ideally, Skycoin would start off as a "better Bitcoin" (faster, more secure, new algorithm, simplier, etc), then over time we would build up an ecosystem and have some type of backing and tie the coin's value into the network and usebase.
The mesh netork (skywire) is good, because it gives something for people to do to get coins and it allows people to consume the coins. You can run your internet traffic through a VPN that tunnels over Skywire and maybe it will be a nominal amount (actually absurdly small amount of money), but there would be real economic activity and a real userbase and community using the coin. Not just speculation.
Later on the scope is much wider.
arc-over-water So the skycoin wallet will be a VPN for our internet usage?
synth
nxt is a newer platform than sky, market value is $220 million plus $166 million, I get what you are saying but the evidence is wrong. Community is huge and active in Nxt. But you say it is killed, i dont get it?
What I am saying, is that NXT would be a lot further along than it is now and probably around where Ethereum is, except for that mistake in the distribution and keeping it too concentrated. It set them back by years. They did not consider what the impact on the price would be, over the long term, when one of the early whales started selling off or decided he wanted out.
arc-over-water But they did the same again with IOTA, same lead dev.. Its over a $Billion
they released and let the market price distribute
synth
So the skycoin wallet will be a VPN for our internet usage?
The VPN is just one application, that uses bandwidth over Skywire. There are several things in development.
This is a BBS like 4chan, that is completely distributed, with CXO. https://github.com/skycoin/bbs
It will run over Skywire also, This is like building a whole new internet from scratch. The apps that run on it are going to specialized and privacy focused, etc GitHub skycoin/bbs Contribute to bbs development by creating an account on GitHub.
mike So Skycoin is a Proof of Resource coin where its value is actually backed by provision of a useful service, in this case private and secure networking? Are there plans to add decentralized storage and even distributed processing to it?
arc-over-water so these 100 separate million coin accounts will be 100 ICOs or how is the distribution patterned? is it written into the code or up to the devs?
rockyj !calculate
slackbot Custom Response https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FGo3FkC3uSWXGHatPQyny2brMWjAIJsHFCR-Lhkl_m0/edit#gid=0
synth
So if there is no block reward what is the incentive to run a node?
running a consensus node does not cost anything. You can run it on a raspberry pi.
The important thing is that if the people doing consensus are doing a bad job, that the community can get rid of them and replace them. The other important thing, is that they can be audited and determined automatically if they are obeying the protocol.
the miners in skycoin are not very powerful and cannot do anything except slow down transactions. They are unable to spend other people's money without their private keys, so the consensus/mining nodes are almost irrelevent. It is not like Bitcoin where the miners can hold the network hostage or act selfishly (driving up the transactions fees for their own personal benefit and delaying any innovations that would improve bitcoin for everyone, etc).
So Skycoin is a Proof of Resource coin where its value is actually backed by provision of a useful service, in this case private and secure networking? Are there plans to add decentralized storage and even distributed processing to it?
We have decentralized storage, which is called CXO. But only the bandwidth is monetized by Skywire. We do not nickle and dime and try to attach a coin cost to every API call. Everything that should be free is free. So its a different philosphy.
On top of CXO we also have distributed social media applications (simmilar to Steemit)
CXO is very similar to IFPS, but simplier and designed for our internal infrastructure and with our crypto standards, instead of being a mismash.
mike Is it possible for Skycoin to choose the best paths and route around bad or slow nodes as damage to the network, in effect reducing their impact on consensus?
looks like you answered the question above while I was typing...
tranzer How many tx/s can skycoin handle? What are block times?
thrice.pi 300 right? ^
arc-over-water on your website it says you will have a NON- Turing complete lisp language?
synth
so these 100 separate million coin accounts will be 100 ICOs or how is the distribution patterned? is it written into the code or up to the devs?
We will have a distribution page, up on the website soon. Its complicated.
Skywire, is designed to pull coins out of circuation, through a sort of tithe on network activity and it does automatic buy backs effectively. So the distribution will actually peak and then decline. But one distribution is from the locked coins, and the locked coins are freed, then circulate, then end up at the foundation (from the skywire tithe are pulled out of circulation), but still count towards the free float.
The coin holders also receive a coinhour dividend and there will be a market rate conversion between coin hours and Skycoins and coinhours are the actual currency for the Skywire network. If you do not have enough coin hours, then you sell Skycoin for CoinHour at the market rate, to purchase bandwidth; but if you have a lot of coins then you have enough coin hours for downloading movies or VPN or whatever you are doing and it is essentially free.
So there is a dual level economic structure. Both with coin buybacks to pull coins out of circulation and with a dividend or incentive to encourage users to hold the coin if they are using the network.
arc-over-water so there will be two currencies, holding one reserves the other
synth
Is it possible for Skycoin to choose the best paths and route around bad or slow nodes as damage to the network
Yes. This is very important.
The person dialing a connection, chooses the path of the connection!
You can choose the lowest latency path for video games or Skype, and choose highest throughput paths for video downloads etc. Or can choose paths through specific nodes or facilities or countries, for security concerns and to minimize the number of points that the traffic could be intercepted at.
mike Will Skycoin still have the node subsidy plan for setting up and registering the mesh nodes like originally planned?
dr10 When do you plan to be able to present your planned technology and services to the masses? When can they use what you try do accomplish?
synth
on your website it says you will have a NON- Turing complete lisp language?
That is probably an error. LOL. We will have a new website soon.
There is no scripting language on the skycoin blockchain. Each transaction is constant time (for efficiency and security and to achieve the highest transaction rate and to keep the coin simple).
However, we have a language called CX in development, which is a next generation language that is beyond "smart contracts" and the toy things on ethereum. It uses immutable datastructures and is something completely new. Most of the skycoin "smart contracts" will probably be off blockchain or in personal blockchains and we do not want to shove all the data onto the main chain, because forcing everyone to download everyone one elses contracts it the world is just spamming the blockchain to death. There are better ways to do it.
Will Skycoin still have the node subsidy plan for setting up and registering the mesh nodes like originally planned?
Yes. We are going to get from 20% to 30% distributno of the coins, through network incentives for people running Skywire nodes, consensus nodes and services.
I think this is going to be massive for marketing. And it is the best way to get the coins out to the users, instead of all the coins being held by whales
samuelvihollandia I read how you suggest Skycoin could be used for VPN connections, is this the largest use case you see?
arc-over-water Maidsafe has been working on the redesign of the net for about ten years, what are you doing the same and what different?
synth
I read how you suggest Skycoin could be used for VPN connections, is this the largest use case you see?
No. This is just something easy, that we have working. Its not the largest applicatoin at all.
80% of internet traffic right now is bitorrent and the bitorrent sites are being systematically shutdown and driven off the internet. They wont go away, but will jut go underground. What.cd (largest music tracker, with 800k people) was just shut down, bakabt (largest anime tracker) has gone closed registration, Nyantorrent etc...
User communities of millions of people will be migrating from the clearnet (the existing corporate shit-net) to the "new internet". We are going to see people migrating by the millions, whole user communities of millions of people.
arc-over-water Are you a corporation or foundation or charity? Registered? I am not sure i have seen anything about who you are? What is the dev team size? Background? - Maidsafe is open and clear so is IOTA and Stellar etc. Can you let us know who you and your team are? Especially you are talking about 15 year and up obligations..
techbytes Do we need to hold skycoin to run Skywire nodes or consensus nodes like masternodes from other coins?
synth
Maidsafe has been working on the redesign of the net for about ten years, what are you doing the same and what different?
Maidsafe is in version 2 or 3. Maidsafe will not have a real coin until version 9. Each version takes them about two or three years. Maidsafe will not be "done" or ready for atleast 18 years at this rate.
Skycoin has been in development for ~6 years and the meshnet for 4 years and it will be finished in a few months. To the poin that people can start using it.
Skycoin is similar to maidsafe in the objective, but has a different approach and architecture and primitives. We did not try to do everything, but focused on a smaller, tractable core and got that done.
There will be multiple projects in this space, but few teams are able to plan on the time horizon necisary for building a new internet or able to design each of the components of a system this large, or figure out how to do it so that it is useful at each stage of construction of a project that may take a decade. (edited)
mike Can you see a way for Ark and Skycoin to build on each other in a synergistic manner? I'm all for not reinventing the wheel, especially when it looks like it will be replaced with antigravity like Skycoin.
I see Skycoin as essentially replacing TCP/IP and providing mesh network type functionality at the hardware level, Ark would run on top of it as a top level application layer.
arc-over-water are you up to date on Maidsafe, they are nearly out of Alpha and its more like release early next year? But that being said, Maidsafe says once it is released it is like a virus or AI type, so does Tau Chain, and also Autonomic by HunterMinerCrafter, are we heading towards AI with Maid, Sky Tau and Autonomic?
dr10 smartbridge now! :kappa:
mike So Skycoin would act as a sort of global decentralized cloud server to build on top of.
To communicate, it is more like sharing encrypted files to selected recipients than it is sending messages or hosting sites on a specific server.
synth
Are you a corporation or foundation or charity? Registered? I am not sure i have seen anything about who you are? What is the dev team size? Background?
I think there are over ~60 people who have worked on Skycoin or have made major contributions. Its really a project from the darknet.
Many of the contributors are anonymous. Some of them have security clearances and were in the military industrial complex and one of them worked at the San Diego Naval Defence Research Lab and a lot of the idea for the networking protocols came out of public sector academic researched, funded from there.
We also have a lot of very very early Bitcoin people, hardcore crypto people that predate Bitcoin and an Ethereum core developer, etc..
On the Chinese side we have an early investor in Alibaba and telecom investor. And are doing pilot with china aviation group (owns four publicly traded airline companies) and apparently now Sinopec (which is 2nd largest publicly traded corporation in world).
Then we have people who are part of israeli and US intelligence and are probably doing some sort of money laundering or phychological operations background, who just showed up for some reason. This group seems very interested in the "applications" of these coins and how to improve tranaction privacy and the specifics of the CoinJoin protocol implementation. We got a lot of advice from people experienced in forensic accounting and what they wanted to see and where they felt Bitcoin was deficient and where it leaked metadata.
Then a bunch of PHD level people doing research into distributed database consensus algorithms and another group doing programming language research.
Then a lot of people from the deep darknet, anon, frog twitter and cipher punks and bitorrent communities. (really should be listed as two seperate groups). And people from the Russian darknet community. We have like eight Ivans. (edited)
I see Skycoin as essentially replacing TCP/IP and providing mesh network type functionality at the hardware level, Ark would run on top of it as a top level application layer.
Yes. The key functionality is two things - connecting to people by public key (networking) - distributing self validating, immutble data peer to peer (transactions, blocks etc... content addressible storage)
And you can build almost anything on those two building blocks. The whole internet will eventually be rewritten on top of those primitives and it will replace many of the existing protocols.
arc-over-water Who is the entity that is funding this? I think you have done 2 ICOs? How much did you receive? The first was 10c and the second was @ 50c per coin, released 6 million, is that correct?
samuelvihollandia Are you planning to enter a different exchange market soon?
arc-over-water Have you personally been in Sky from the start? What members have? Who allocates the ICO money etc... I hope you understand that decentralization with investment is a two edged sword, we invest in people but we cannot know these people.... So... we question.. (edited)
thrice.pi with all these outside parties that helped to build skycoin and bring it where it is today who are the main core team who will help to keep all these cool features running. Will these outside parties be recruited for the long haul?
synth
Who is the entity that is funding this? I think you have done 2 ICOs? How much did you receive? The first was 10c and the second was @ 50c per coin, released 6 million, is that correct?
The people who funded the project for the first four years, were early bitcoin and deep crypto people; who were unhappy with the fact that Bitcoin and the other alts did not seem concerned about the core issues at all. They gave us over 1200 bitcoin I think, over several years and did not ask for anything in return.
The early Skycoin devs were doing academic research, architecture and new algorithms. Prototyping and simulation. The later stage people were more project managers and doing implementation.
We did four ICOs for small amounts, to fund development and to allow developers working on the project to buy in. The first ICO I remember was at $0.10 per coin and the price now is about $4.00 per coin, so its up ~35x or 40x, but when you consider the Bitcoin price going from $100 to $3000, the increase has not been so much. lol (edited)
arc-over-water With the price up 35x in about 1 year, is it not now time to cool the run up and release another ICO? At what amount of coins released and what procedure?
mike Would Intel Edison or Joule, or Samsung Artik 10 work well as a Skywire wireless node? They have 2 Gb-8 Gb RAM, 8-64 Gg eMMC storage, 802.11n wireless, bluetooth, and some with Zigbee?
synth
Have you personally been in Sky from the start? What members have? Who allocates the ICO money etc... I hope you understand that decentralization with investment is a two edged sword, we invest in people but we cannot know these people.... So... we question.
I think there wer three different groups that merged together in first three years, that had similar objectives. Because the code was in different language. There was python, C code and then eventually golang and the golang code became the basis for the current codebase.
The way the coin allocations work, is that it requires unamimious consent for releasing coins and it has to be for a specific, ear marked purpose and can be blocked by any of the devs.
Then there is a pool of coins in bitcoin for various project managers to allocate. And that is an operational fund for paying developers, contractors, marketing etc. Then different people have different responsibilities.
Then we also have corporate funding and sponsorship and some companies paying our full time devs etc, which helps a lot.
arc-over-water Silicon Valley (TV SHOW) recently had their decentralized web running on a network or refrigerators? So i would guess, smart phones, smart gadgets? Home gadgets etc could add services and receive rewards from Sky?
mike best would be a totally open source and publicly audited manufactured system on a chip for the nodes to prevent any backdoors. Even chip designers now don't really know what they're putting into the chips since they just drag and drop black boxes known as IP cores into the ASIC designs.
synth
With the price up 35x in about 1 year, is it not now time to cool the run up and release another ICO? At what amount of coins released and what procedure?
I think the Skycoin price has been doubling every 40 days, for as long as I can remember. However, it will still be years before it is in the top 20, its still a long way to climb. It took bitcoin years to go from 0 to $1, even though it was growing at 1% per day the whole time for six years.
best would be a totally open source and publicly audited manufactured system on a chip for the nodes to prevent any backdoors.
we are going to use arm
arc-over-water IOTA is also working on their own hardware for nodes etc, Trinary asset is JINN
synth all intel and AMD systems have remote management engine backdoors. So they are not safe for storing large amounts of coins.
We also have alpine linux and special version of linux, that is 6 MB and has everything that is needed for running our toolchain. It will not have any binary blobs in the kernel or anything that we cant compile from source. It does not have systemd and does not have gli, but uses musl. And does not have openssl.
mike so looks like the Samsung Artik 5 and 10 can run it no problem, they're ARM based. 25x35x4mm package for the Artik 10, Artik 5 is smaller, less powerful but has 2 separate antenna ports, nice for mesh networking with an omni and a directional antenna.
earlyarkinvestor how does Ark compare to Lisk?
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earlyarkinvestor isn't Lisk trying to achieve interoperability between blockchains as well
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mike nice! looks like an ARM based server rack
let me know if you need any help with it, see you're on solidworks, which I run as well.
synth this is the skycoin cluster; it has 8 CPU boards; 4 cores per CPU, 2 GB of ram per CPU and 64 bit ARM processor. Only one program will run on each individual board, so there is compartmentalization and a physical gap so that compromising one process on a system does no allow all other processes on the system to be compromised
mike looks like 2 ethernet ports per board.
synth and the hardware does not have the qualcom backdoors and is actually chinese equipment; and the backdoors are normally at the kernel level because they are not at hardware backdoors yet
lol
mike do they have SATA ports, maybe M.2 for storage?
synth and we will hav an ARM openwrt router eventually too
this model does not have SATA, but we have a model with SATA; you could hook up 16 2 TB drives, lol and download half the piratebay to your cluster (edited)
the skycoin infrastructure is cluster based and designed for running across +300 computers, with one "node" deployed per computer. Eithe a CXO storage node, or a skywire SDN/meshnet node, or a VPN end point node or a consensus network, or skycoin node, etc. We have multiple node/application types.
so this is a "personal cloud' by itself
its not like StoreJ where you have other people storing your stuff; you are going to have ~5 clusters and 300 computers and can store your own files, on your own internet, on your own hardware. You do not need to go outside of your own network.
mike Have thought it'd be nice to have a board with an array of M.2 sockets to run SSD arrays without all the cables, have the busses shielded in circuit board.
synth yes, i think there will be m.2 eventually
these actually use a microSSD for storage, and its 48MB/s
mike any idea on the pricing on your ARM boards in quantity? We are looking at Intel for Bitseed V3, but ARM would be good to stay with, especially using your boards if there is SATA.
arc-over-water Do you have a general idea of usable functions to be released next in what order? The first release was the Coin and wallet, then the ICOs and can you give a general future with dates if you can
synth the boards are $30 each and the memory for solid state, is actually more than the the cost of the CPU/RAM/board now. Which is sort of insane.
mike so you have microSSD, what's maximum size? we shipping 1with Tb hard drives right now
synth Bitseed mike is going to help with this; so we can pool the boards and do a custom PCB
mike yes, that's where we see the price jumps, is in RAM and eMMC costs.
and it's hard to find low cost boards with SATA
synth try the orange pi
the price goes up 30% for SATA
mike yes, very nice specs.
synth eventually, we will make one that has custom PCB and is a pluggable blade server, I think.
mike I like the Samsung Artiks for the tiny form factor for drone routers, cubesat/picosat possibilities.
but like the fact that you are controlling much deeper down the supply chain with your boards.
synth we only need ram, CPU, then microSD slot; and that is it. so the wifi and all this other stuff is just crap and its junk. We only have communication, storage and computation. So should be minimialist.
submitted by Jarunik to ArkEcosystem [link] [comments]

Topic 5: Staying Anonymous in a High Risk Activity

To preface this topic, I must state that I am not advocating any immoral activity. Also please note, that just because something is illegal, does not necessary mean that it must be immoral. Remember that the Civil Rights Act was not passed until 1964 - just over 50 years ago. Just because something is enshrined into law, does not mean that it is moral and just.
That said, there may come a time in your life where you decide that you must do something that is going to piss off someone with the means to hurt you. For the purposes of this Topic, let us pretend you have compromising files that detail illegal activity, and you want to release it onto the internet. The pressing question is, how do you release your content without revealing who you are and putting yourself and/or your loved ones in danger?
Let's do our best to come up with as many countermeasures as we can.
Why Become an Anonymous Whistleblower?
The government and/or your workplace will tell you that there is a Whistleblower program in place, and that you should make use of it if you witness any wrongdoing. You will need to use your own judgement, on whether to use this program, or if you should instead become an internet whistleblower. Every situation is different.
What I CAN say, however, is that it is in the nature of government to seek unlimited power. EVERY government in the world would eventually strip their citizens of all rights and control their every move and thought, IF they thought they could get away with it. Similarly, individuals and corporations (and yes, governments) will risk fines and jail time by doing something illegal, if they think that it is worth the risk of getting caught.
You see examples of this everywhere. One of the easiest-to-find examples is when a car manufacturer doesn't bother to fix a fatal defect because the cost of fixing it is greater than the cost of the lawsuits from the inevitable deaths (link). Even when they DO get caught, the penalty isn't even that bad because the fines are for some odd reason TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
When the government does something illegal, they KNOW they're doing something illegal. They just do it anyway because they can get away with it, and because they hide it well enough. When someone steps forward and says "hey, this isn't right!", the government's reaction is NOT to say "oh, that person is right, we should correct things and be sure to follow the law!" Instead, what they think is "oh no, this guy is going to tell on us, and if word gets out, then it will be a setback in our quest for power! we need to make sure our secret stays hidden! how do we go about doing that...?"
The answer is typically to threaten to ruin the potential whistleblower's life in some way. Maybe they get transferred to another department. Maybe they get fired for being 1 minute late. Maybe the whistleblower made the complaint official so they go for a gag order. Or maybe the problem is big enough that they hack their emails and start a smear and discrediation campaign. Sprinkle a little crack on them. Plant child pornography on their hard drive. Use their SSN and credit cards to ruin them financially. Or maybe they just put a couple bullets in them.
The government doesn't want you to right wrongs. The government just wants power. If you uncover illegal activity, you must determine if reporting the violation through official channels will actually fix the problem, or if you must do your best to raise a public stink about it. This also applies to corporations. Be wary of dealing with HR - they exist to protect the company, not you.
"It's Just Metadata"
When solid evidence of mass survillence was revealed, one of the arguments that the government used to try to downplay it is that they were not actually collecting message contents, but instead only collecting the metadata (sender, reciever, date and time, etc). First off, this is bullshit - they are obviously collecting the message contents too. Second off, METADATA IS FUCKING IMPORTANT. You can put together a pretty clear picture of exactly what is happening, just from metadata. Metadata is basically a smoking gun to the message or file contents.
The scary thing is, most tech-savy people - myself included - are not able to guarantee that they can clean ALL of the metadata from a file. And not only is metadata stored on the operating system level (on the "outside" of files), but the program that created the file in the first place probably has its own metadata INSIDE the file. And there's no way you can trust "metadata-cleaner-v0.6.exe" (now with the Ask toolbar!) to keep you out of jail.
You must assume that the original files that you copy and intend to leak, are littered with metadata that very very clearly identifies you as the leaker.
To combat this, there are several steps you can take.
  1. DO NOT leak the original untouched files. Certainly keep a copy of them, but original files might have your digital fingerprints all over it, and will put you at risk. Instead, copy or transcribe the contents, and place it into a new file, and be sure to do it on a computer that cannot be traced back to you or any of your accounts.
  2. Modify the contents of the file. When pasting text, you should strongly consider pasting the contents format-free (control-shift-v) (or use Notepad as an intermediary). Depending on how paranoid you are about this, also consider converting everything to upper-case or lower-case. If images are involved, resize them slightly. Also, especially if the image is a .jpg, save with a slightly reduced quality to introduce noise or to destroy "invisible" markers that the human eye cannot detect. Also be aware that documents might have deliberate variations, depending on the person who accessed them. This could be hidden in typos, punctuation, capitalization, even full words or sentences. The document you plan on leaking might actually be trapped.
  3. You must also consider who had access to the file? Are you the only one? Because if you are, then taking every precaution possible will not help you. Is it a limited group of people? You are going to be placed under a microscope. The more people that "could have" done it, the better. You need to be able to hide in a crowd of suspects - the larger the pool of suspicion, the better.
This is in no way a comprehensive list. The reality is, the offending organization has as many tools at their disposal as they can imagine. You must try to determine the level of risk yourself, and what the most likely countermeasures would be, and adjust your strategy to circumvent them. Be smart, and careful, and paranoid. And honestly, you should seriously consider using a journalist instead of doing this yourself.
There is also one more matter to be careful of... the actual file contents itself. You have to read it, and you have to determine if any innocent person would be put in danger if you leak the information. And then you must determine if leaking the document is still worth it.
Doing the Deed
There are a number of precautions that you can take when you need to remain anonymous for an online activity. Some of these are pretty basic. Others of these are more extreme. It is up to you to determine which measures are appropriate, to protect yourself from the risks you are about to take.
  1. Do not use any computer that is associated with you or anyone else you know. You should buy a laptop off of Craigslist. Do not use your real phone number, or real email address, or your real name, etc. When arranging to buy this laptop, you should ideally not be using your own computer or internet connection to communicate with the seller. Using your laptop with a Tails linux live CD in a coffee shop is typically secure enough though, for this particular activity. Buy the laptop using cash. Try to not give the seller any reason to remember you.
  2. Remove the hard drive from your newly acquired laptop. Only boot up on a Tails live cd. Read up on spoofing your MAC address. Never switch on the laptop at home, or use your home internet connection. Never connect to any of your personal online accounts using this laptop. Never use this laptop to browse the internet - your browsing behaviors could get the laptop/connection "fingerprinted" back to you. This is a "dark" laptop, and you should take every measure to keep it that way.
  3. I do not know if it is even possible to aonymously buy a burner phone in the United States. But if you absolutely need one, try to do it as anonymously as possible, using all of the other tips listed here, and then some. Use cash, avoid cameras, avoid local shops,
  4. Do all of your preparations offline. Only connect to the internet for the amount of time you need to perform your activity, and no longer. Every second you spend online increases your exposure and threat. This is very similar to the concept of military radios that transmit in encrypted bursts, to help prevent enemy interception and triangulation.
  5. Only use public hotspots, when you connect to the internet. And assume that every time you hop online, someone puts a pin in a map where you are. This means, do not use hotspots near your home. Do not use the same hotspot twice. Make sure the "map" of every hotspot you've used doesn't center on your home, or even the town you live in.
  6. Use TOR. It's not perfect, and I have my suspicious about government infiltration of the network. But it's FAR better than nothing. In addition, you should also use a VPN if you can. This is far more difficult though, since VPNs are generally not free. Check /VPN, for assistance in researching this topic though, I think there might be a few, albiet with limited bandwidth. If you need to buy a VPN, use bitcoin (/bitcoin), instead of your credit card. Reasons should be obvious enough.
  7. Avoid cameras, CCTV, and traffic cameras. This is especially difficult this day in age, but try to make an effort to anyway, without appearing suspicious. Maybe call off your upload / activity, if there were too many cameras. If your adversary is strong enough, you must assume that they will pinpoint the location you used, and long after you're gone, they might arrive on the scene to confiscate security footage from the surrounding area.
  8. Consider anti-facial-recognition makeup and clothing. Note, this only fools facial recognition software, and should only be used if circumstances warrant (aka, they already know who you are, and are looking for you). This type of behavior will INSTANTLY cause everyone around you to pay attention to you. A realistic silicon mask and makeup is probably a superior alternative, if you have access to that sort of thing, to make an old-fashioned disguise, but takes a bit more effort.
  9. In extreme cases, consider performing a surreptitious upload. For example, maybe you can leave your laptop in a bag, and have it automatically connect to a coffee shop's WiFi and perform a task and then disconnect, while you pretend to work on a paper, or chat up the cute girl with the glasses. If you are this worried though, you might be better off not even entering the building with the hotspot in the first place. If you need to put even more distance between you and your internet access, consider using a directional WiFi antenna. Naturally, you might want to build it yourself, as opposed to buying one on Amazon.
As you can see, possible methods for avoiding detection start to become increasingly ridiculous. Every measure has a countermeasure. You must determine the likely measures that will be used to find you, and focus on countering those. If you have the spare time, then take it a few steps further. But at some point, a budget for time, alabi windows, and resources avaialble to perform countermeasures start to become stretched thin.
Hitting The Fan
Despite being more careful than you thought humanly possible, there is always the possibility that will get caught. Maybe you leave your fingerprint on a spoon. Maybe a random camera catches your face. Maybe you brag about it on Facebook. Maybe your moment of doing the right thing was witnessed by a 192 megapixel camera with a wide angle lense, mounted on the bottom of a Cessna and flown in lazy circles around the city at an altitude of 8000 feet while recording everything within 30 miles, allowing law enforcement to rewind the footage to locate you at the scene, and then fast forward while tracking your movements to find out where you live.
I guess that last one was oddly specific... (link)
The point is, you need a plan for when things go south. Edward Snowden's plan was to fly to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States. Most of us aren't going to need that extreme of a getaway plan, but picking a country you would flee to in such a hypothetical sitaution is amusing by itself. (Relavant Wikipedia Article)
Depending on the severity of your actions, it might be wise to leave the country BEFORE you publish your dirt. Make sure your passport is up-to-date, withdraw as much cash as you can comfortably / legally travel with, and transfer your remaining assets to a safe international bank. I'm not an expert on international finance, if you have enough assets you would likely want to speak to a lawyer to make sure your funds don't get frozen or confiscated.
For the rest of us who are not on the top of the international most wanted list, you may want to pre-plan a legal defense.
Or you could just take up a hobby. I hear handcuffing yourself in a duffel bag in your bath tub and padlocking it from the outside so you can practice escaping is a pretty fun and safe solo activity. (link)
submitted by primo_pastafarian to ShadowWar [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: I am Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress (18% of web!) and Automattic, ask me anything!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-07-31
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Hey Matt, I was at your State of the Word in SF and you talked about moving WordPress more towards being an application framework rather than a CMS or blog platform. What specifically do you have in mind for this (better settings API, developer features, etc)? And then if you could break backwards compatibility (which really isn't a option for WP), what would you really like to completely redo or add to WordPress? Thanks! First and foremost the most important things for a platform are stability, speed, and security. To do those well you need the ability to push updates and fixes as close to real-time as possible. And it needs to work in every language. User authentication, data and caching abstraction.
A lot of what people think of as platform stuff is actually at the CMS layer -- custom post types, taxonomy meta,
If backwards compatibility wasn't a concern I would rename all the inconsistent column names and variables to match our style guide, drop TinyMCE, simplify the user roles and capabilities system, replace widgets with page blocks, redo the admin menu system, denormalize the DB, flatten dependencies and deep hierarchy in function execution, and completely reorganize the code so the bare minimum of files are included with any given request.
After reading questions from all of the nice, well-meaning people writing WordPress as "Wordpress", do you wish reddit would implement capital_P_dangit(\)? ;) Yes! If anyone from Reddit sees this, would super-duper appreciate if we could get /WordPress capitalized properly. I can send copious amounts of swag, bourbon, and BBQ if bribes are needed.
Looks like that already happened. My link works, but if you click the link in the header it takes you back to the lowercase P. Probably just a field in a database somewhere.
How is it going with Bitcoin ? Haven't looked recently, will see if I can pull some numbers. I wish I had bought some Bitcoins before we introduced it, though. :)
Any stats ? 94 successful transactions so far, pretty low. I think it's more important philosophically to support it than it's been beneficial from a business point of view.
If you could wave a magic wand and instantly rewrite WordPress in any programming language, which would it be? Go. :)
Do you ever think "I could have been tumblr" ? Just the opposite, I'm very glad we're not Tumblr.
Hi Matt, I'm a long time WordPress dev (since day 1 moreorless) so thanks very much for starting it. Just wondering what your opinion of Ghost is? Link to www.tryghost.org. Link to www.fastcolabs.com
They say or imply lots of things about WordPress that aren't true. They've also done things like had a quote from me looking like I was endorsing Ghost on their Kickstarter page even after I asked them to remove it several times. (Lots of people were confused or thought it was a plugin for WP.)
What do you think of Drupal 8 ? :) Some cool stuff in there! I also keep an eye on Joomla and Concrete5. I find it really fascinating to watch other open source projects especially because we share much of the same background and philosophy, but make radically different decisions around things like backward compatibility and release schedule.
It's like watching birds that evolved from the same ancestor but on isolated islands and environments. I'm sure we do things that look completely crazy to Drupal folks, and vice versa.
Along those lines I was asked to keynote at the Joomla World Conference in November and it looks like I'm going to be able to make it.
Why is hello dolly still a default plugin? Do you have any statistics about how many people actually activate/use it? Have you personally written any other plugins? Hello Dolly is actually the 13th most active plugin, with an active userbase of about 16% of Akismet (the most-activated plugin), and about a third as popular as Jetpack. It's ahead of W3 Total Cache! Again this is not just installations, it's currently active.
Some of the other plugins I've been involved with are here on my profile: Link to profiles.wordpress.org
They're obsolete but at the time I was proud of Advanced Caching, Staticize Reloaded, and Cache Images and the early and since-rewritten work on bbPress, HyperDB, and Akismet.
How directly involved are you in ongoing development of core? Are you relatively hands on, do you ever drive decision making or do you leave it to the community? Would love a wooden WP logo, as long as it's not a fauxgo. :)
On a completely different subject. I'm as involved in WordPress development as I was 10 years ago, it just manifests itself in ways that tend to be a lot more behind the scenes and less visible, which I don't mind as I'm way more interested in things moving forward and the results than credit or recognition for any specific thing. (I get plenty of recognition regardless, don't need more.) The only downside is that folks who I don't work with on a day-to-day basis assume that my role at Automattic or WP is more as a traveling figurehead or "evangelist" which can rub me the wrong way sometimes.
I met you at WordCamp Chicago this year (I told you about a widget plugin that turns them into a post type and such). For 3.8 I'm going to take a swing at the release lead role again, which should be fun.
I created these wooden WordPress logos with my 3D Printer, I meant to give you one but I forgot about it. You still want one? The most important thing I've done since WP started, though, isn't in a line of code or a feature people use, it's getting the right people involved and creating an environment for them to thrive. It's the single most important thing any founder can do, whether of an OS project, a non-profit, or a for-profit company even though there's not a single thing you can point to as the result of it other than the overall success and movement of the project.
What are your favorite/most powerful/most surprising implementations of WordPress? My favorite are when people I admire use it, from Jay Z to Zeldman. In many ways what we do like a canvas, and it's a huge honor to see the creativity and beauty people bring to it.
Of all the WordCamp's you've been to around the globe, what was the most unusual location for the event itself and, separately, the after party? Oh by far and away the strangest location was Davao in the Philippines. I can't find any pictures at the moment, but my talk was essentially at a restaurant with a swimming pool courtyard -- the audience was on the other side of the pool from me, and the food buffet was behind me so when the Q&A got slow people would grab food. The PA system had an echo because I think it was normally used for karaoke. And then the bats came out!
Best after-party is hard to pick, but I had a great time after WordCamp Las Vegas which aligned with my 25th birthday a few years ago.
The Philippines is a wacky place. Oh, my people :-) I loved it and had a great time, including at the one mentioned above. :)
Of all the WordPress community memes, which one is your favorite? Link to twitter.com is pretty funny, and some days I miss WP Wank.
Recently I enjoyed #thingswpdailywouldpost and the response: Link to torquemag.io
Pretty much anything Mike Adams (mdawaffe) sneaks into the code, be it easter eggs or Ghostbuster references.
Mark Jaquith had some pretty hilarious ones but I can't find them at the moment, maybe other folks could post their favorites too. :)
Automattic has a lot of side projects (Gravatar, PollDaddy, etc) - What's next? There's always a struggle between doing new things or experiments under a new brand -- like VaultPress -- vs putting it under an existing brand. A lot of the things I've been thinking about we're going to put under the Jetpack brand, for example Jetpack Photon (CDN + dynamic image resizing and filtering) could be a standalone product, but decided to bundle it. So keep an eye on some big things coming to Jetpack, especially for Code Poets, people who use WordPress professionally.
What would you like to see us do next?
What individual do you think is the most under recognized contributor to the WordPress community at large? That's a tough one... I'm going to say the volunteers on the support forums. There are 2M+ posts there, and it's easy to forget that a huge number of WP users end up in the forums and get help that allows them to use the software when they wouldn't otherwise be able to.
I remember seeing a WordPress yearly theme of "WordCamps and WordPress Meetups". What should be the next year's area of focus for the Community? What areas would you like to see beefed up in the Community? Some themes that I thought might be good are "Women in WordPress", "Contribution and Documentation", "WordPress Evangelism", "Adopt an old plugin" to name a few. How do you feel about these? Those are all good, if I had to pick one it'd be getting the documentation going better on WordPress.org -- handbooks, function reference, training materials / syllabuses, and doing it all in every language and for every plugin/theme.
Hey Matt, what was the most difficult thing for you in starting your business and what do you think is the most important thing you have to know and/or to learn when you found a startup? The hardest thing for me was taking responsibility for the lives and families of others, those first few hires especially. It's why I originally raised funding even though we had revenue already, and why since then we've always focused on making the business sustainable over decades, not just the next tech hype cycle.
What's the best meal you have ever eaten (and photographed)? Hands down: Eleven Madison Park in NYC.
Recently I had a really special libation tasting menu at The Aviary in Chicago, which is from Grant Achatz the chef of Alinea, it was a cool experience at a table in the kitchen.
I'm constantly amazed by the coordination and efficiency of professional kitchens, I'm mesmerized when I watch.
PHP has matured a lot in the last few years, with new tools such as Composer and new frameworks such as Laravel. The relationship between this side of the PHP community and WordPress seems to be pretty strained. Are there plans to address this relationship, particularly with the new focus on WordPress as a web app framework? I think the PHP and WP community are coming closer together, I know it's something that Nacin has been spending time on and we've had more presence at PHP-focused conferences.
Thoughts on forking WordPress, a la jQuery? (Link to eamann.com. I don't think forking as described there is a good idea.
Multiple content areas - probably the most important CMS feature not baked into core. Will it ever happen? There's something around multiple content areas that could be really interesting we're going to start working on this year, hopefully ready by early 2014.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing WordPress (in the context of competitive software or just un-met customer needs) for the next year? By far and away it's the high attrition rate of new users. We look at posting a lot in that context but I think it's far more important to look at customization -- theme discovery and tweaking, widgets, menus.
Hello Matt, what is your opinion about current state of PHP in general? Do you like any particular framework? Templating engine? Thanks. I think it's pretty great, would just love to see continuing development around performance. Nothing really in the language that's holding us back. Wish it was trendier with younger devs.
Hey Matt, why did you force the rest of us to suffer through images defaulting to a link in our posts (I understand that was your doing)? Youthful indiscretion!
What is your development setup (software)? Most of my time these days is spent with people instead of code. (For better or worse. :)) I love lists, and live on Link to simplenote.com .
When I code since I switched to Mac in 2011 I use Coda 2 and SFTP to a remote server rather than a local dev environment. nano on the server.
Apache or nginx? Nginx!
I find WP so much more user-friendly than the competition. Was that a conscious decision from the outset? Was it hard work to make it that way or was it just the way you guys did things? Do you have a warehouse full of useability testers or does it just come naturally to you guys? The first few users were friends of mine who weren't into technology at all, so from the start we needed to make it work for regular people. As we grow it's mostly just a matter of reminding ourselves of that, sitting down with them to see how they use the software, and anticipating their needs.
If something in the future interests you enough to make WordPress/Automattic part-time for you, so you can take on something else or contribute to another cause, what might it be? I'm really fascinated by micro-electronics, hardware, and the "internet of things" for lack of a better term. It's surreal to be approaching an age that resembles the sci-fi I loved as a child.
That said, I can't imagine not working full-time on WordPress/Automattic, I feel too strongly about our mission, impact, and potential.
What's your favorite beer? Link to imgur.com. Link to cloudup.com
I see a lot of desperate web development companies locally that try to stress that Wordpress is insecure and shouldn't be used. What would be the best thing to say to people like that to shut them up? Some of the largest and most important publishers in the world rely on WordPress. (Show them the showcase.) If WordPress was insecure we'd see it on the front page of nytimes.com, wired.com, and cnn.com. :)
Hi Matt, have you read Chris Lema's blog post. What is your response? I have. It's also funny because I think Gartner is about to come out with a "magic quadrant" that puts us in the crappy quadrant (low vision and ability to execute). Their leaders? Adobe, Sitecore, SDL, Oracle, HP, Opentext...
I completely agree with Chris on all the ways that enterprise currently works, and their concerns. (People assume because we choose to do things differently that we don't understand the other side.) But I'm not willing to compromise getting better software into the hands of users as quickly as possible, if that means Gartner thinks we're a visionless niche player so be it.
We've done long-term support branches before, it was a big development burden and almost no one used it or cared. There will be businesses that embrace keeping their technology moving at the speed the web does, and there will be those that go out of business and become irrelevant.
•Will you ever support multiple languages in the WordPress core? No plans for multiple languages in core, sorry.
•What do you think of new writing platforms like Quip and Editorially? Will the WordPress post editor ever have any of those 'team' features? I really dig the new writing platforms, I do think we'll get some of those team features if not in core than in Jetpack.
I heard a rumor Matt switched back to QWERTY. True? Not true, still typing Dvorak, though last year I was beat on speed for the first time by Helen Hou-Sandi, who types QWERTY. She's speedy, and if she switched to Dvorak she could probably win world champs. :)
Hey Matt, where do you think the future of the independent WordPress news community lies, with your recent purchase of WPTavern and the recent sale of WP Daily to WP Engine? Do you think there is a space for an impartial WordPress news website? *edited for correct spelling! I'm glad that new ones are being started as fast as old ones are shutting down. There is some really interesting stuff going on in the community and I think there's space for real journalism and strong commentary.
What one major thing would you like to see changed/fixed/updated in WordPress core? The fact it doesn't work well on mobile devices.
How do I convince my boyfriend, who wants me to keep his site in ASP.NET (he's a programmer, I'm a designecoder), to install WordPress? I'm not even allowed to use PHP! :( The best way I've found to convince people, even as the founder, is just showing examples. That's why we created the showcase: Link to wordpress.org
Find out which musicians, celebs, authors, etc he writes and see which of them are on WordPress and bring it up casually in conversation. (We have huge adoption from creative folks.)
Best BBQ of all time? I hope I haven't had it yet. :)
Are open source contributions a prerequisite to work at Automattic? No, but they get you to the top of the list when we're reviewing applications. (I know, I look at every incoming resume.)
Would you consider Automattic the "Redhat of WordPress"? Without a doubt. ;)
Do you think an app store for plugin and themes built with high quality standards and framework, could be a good solution for WordPress end users? The plugin directory is an app store where everything is free.
Would having paid stuff there make it better? I don't think so.
Why do you feel thats different for themes - premium themes are available via the themes directory. (I've never bought one of those so I don't know if the comparison is valid) Design is inherently valuable in its scarcity, functionality is valuable in ubiquity.
It's unlikely that we'll ever want to put a popular theme into core, but fairly likely it'll happen for a popular plugin.
Collaboration is more important for plugins than themes, and money from scarcity balkanizes development.
Did you ever feel like you couldn't continue with your project? Is there any advice you have for small business startups? Covered advice here -- Link to www.reddit.com
There have absolutely been times I felt like I couldn't continue, both with Automattic and WordPress. You have to take the lows with the highs and stick with what you believe in.
Hi Matt, I have been using WordPress for 10 years, make most of my living from it, and will always love it. Thank you for that! It is by far the easiest way I have found to build websites that my clients find easy to use. I see the reasons why WordPress does not use more modern coding practices and tools and appreciate the need for backward compatibility, but wonder if you ever see the code base moving forward to a time when developers can use the newest features of PHP, best coding practices (i.e. testing), and the great tools that are available these days, like Composer. Do you think there will ever be some kind of fork or offshoot of WordPress that functions as an application development framework, since so many developers are using it for that these days? Thanks :) I disagree with the premise -- WordPress does use modern coding practices. People assume that supporting say an older version of PHP or MySQL holds us back far, far more than it actually causes any trouble. Supporting older browsers is a way bigger deal.
Our biggest challenge is figuring out the user side of things, the front-end code. How things should work for a user rather than how they should work for a computer.
What does your average day look like and how do you manage so many different projects? I spend more time on Skype (text chat with colleagues) than I would care to admit. Between that and P2s ( Link to p2theme.com ) I can easily fill eight hours in a day. As the company has grown to over 180 people there is a huge amount of content and activity to keep up with.
Hey Matt, how many hours you work on an average day? It's hard to say because I don't really consider what I do work, the hours just melt away.
I find I'm most productive first thing in the morning when I wake up, usually around 7am but a bit later if it's a cloudy morning, and I generally run out of steam around 11:30pm that night.
Some days I'm traveling though I might only have 4-5 hours at a computer and can get a similar amount done.
I find I'm generally more creatively charged the following day if I'm able to unplug at night, which is one reason I like jazz festivals (I try to go to Montreal every year) because I can work during the day and check out shows at night.
Any chance of a comment-spam filter being built into core? Akismet is great but has a lot of hurdles for a new user (Activation of the plugin, Registration on Wordpress.com, Registration for API key) and most just don't do it, contributing to the problem. I agree with Viper007Bond -- anything we did in core like Cookies for Comments would become completely ineffective within a day. Those only stop dumb bots who have easier places to spam.
Link to markjaquith.wordpress.com
off, love you, your ethos, your company. If you figure it out, let me know. :)
My question: how do you plan to get "normal" people to update their blogs as often as they do their Twitter and Tumblrs? But seriously, I think it's all about removing friction (every second loading and extraneous click) and becoming part of people's habits, which is one of the reason I spent a fair amount of time on triggers and habits at the State of the Word this year.
any plans to launch a Premium paid version of Photon service with more features? Not on features, we'll make anything new there free to everybody, but might have a paid tier for top 1% of users by bandwidth/usage. But probably a few years from that, plenty of bandwidth and CPU here in the meantime, and it's just getting cheaper and faster.
Find a new boyfriend maybe? His judgement is clearly lacking. Ha!
Which features are available on other CMS that you would like to see in WordPress? I really like some of the drag and drop layout things folks like Squarespace and Weebly do. I think we have so much we can do to improve customization.
Hi Matt ! I know you've advocated for water causes in the past. Do you have plans for future charitable/philanthropic projects? Thanks for doing this. My big contribution this year has been to the Bay Lights project: Link to thebaylights.org
Haven't decided about next year yet...
What do you think about App websites/themes that seem to be using WordPress as the choice of CMS, do you think WordPress is a good platform for these types of sites? Scaling, Performance issues considering? Examples, Dating sites, Crowdfunding sites, Job board, etc. I think it's a great framework for anything content-driven. For things like messaging that don't map well to WP's data model, you can still do it just make some new tables, don't try to shoehorn it in the standard ones.
Which verticals will you be tackling next with WordPress.com? Please share your sensitive corporate information ;) Putting a hold on new verticals at the moment, going to try and go deeper on some of the existing ones first.
Hi Matt, now as most people know, you are very much a fan of open source and the GPL license. However, is there anything you do NOT like about open source? Also besides Wordpress (or its themes/plugins), are there any open source projects you like that aren't related to Wordpress or Automattic? I think the things that make open source incredibly collaborative and ultimately eat the world can also make design and big shifts difficult. WordPress has made some major shifts over its decade of life and grew as a result, but those pivots are harder to do the more successful we are because sometimes it means doing the opposite of what we did to become successful in the first place.
Automattic's been tweeting a bunch of new hires lately, and quite frankly doing a great job of making me jealous. Has the 90% of employees being remote ever caused real problems or friction? And how do Happiness Engineers work: do they help people out over the phone, or is it strictly a text over the Internet thing? Remote distributed working has been working great and we plan to continue it for the foreseeable future. HEs mostly work with email, but we're introducing a ton more live chat and phone work.
Say you retired your involvement from WordPress, what other projects stimulate your interest and challenge you? I think for many of us, all good things come to an end and considering your success of WordPress, what other projects (offline or online) would benefit from your involvement? I think I got this one here -- Link to www.reddit.com
Have any companies ever tried sueing you over silly software patents? Yes.
Hey Matt, you talked about profitability on TWiST. How do you plan on increasing revenue at Automattic? (I'm especially interested in how open source projects like Wordpress could lead to profitable companies) Edit: (changed "profit" to "revenue") I think it largely looks like the things we're doing today, just executed better and with a wider audience aware of them.
Hi Matt, besides traveling and photography, what are some of your other non-WordPress interests? Pretty tame: Music, especially jazz and hip-hop (J Cole, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Weeknd). Wearable tech. Vinyl records. Food (trying to cut down on this). Reading.
With growing popularity Wordpress has, in the past few years, become increasingly prone to hack attempts, brute force attacks, etc. Is there anything being done to address security concerns? I think we're a lot more secure than we were a few years ago, to be honest.
Hey Matt, I watched the live stream of your State of the Word on the weekend and you talked about leading development of WordPress 3.8 and that it would be "experimental". What kind of features do you have in mind? New interface with MP6, new theme with 2014, and hopefully some work on the editor and widgets.
As someone who's making a living thanks to the WordPress, this might be the only occasion for me to say Thank you Matt. You've truly changed my life. Thank you. :) Hug a WP contributor next time you meet one, there are hundreds of people active every day that are even more crucial to WordPress than me.
This is my personal favorite. ;) Edit: Whoops, imgur mirror so we don't kill ipstenu's site. That is indeed amazing. :)
Contribute. Agreed!
Sup Matt, Hit me with some Akismet stats. We're blocking 40-50 million more spam every day than we were last year. The volume of spam has been growing unusually fast.
Hi Matt, what do you think about this 400,000 Euro Site - :D. Link to www.carlabrunisarkozy.org. Link to www.connexionfrance.com. WordPress is priceless, so 400k euros isn't a bad deal, but they could shop around for a better consultant. :)
Last updated: 2013-08-04 23:08 UTC
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