Bitcoin - Getting Past Store Of Value and Currency - AVC

Check out Part 2 of our first Skycoin Official AMA with Synth

Enjoy Part 2 of 2 of the Skycoin Official AMA with Synth for March, 2018. Part 1 is posted here.
 
How will skywire stop centralization such as massive skywire node forwarding servers, like with the current internet?
There will be more competition between pools in Skycoin than there is in Bitcoin. If that problem occurs, then we will deal with it, we have strategies and models in place to handle this potential scenario.
 
How will it stop whales building humongous skyminer pools in massive cities such as New York that will forward all the nodes in that city?
If a whale wants to come in and invest 1 billion dollars, to take control of the internet service for a whole city, then it will only make Skycoin grow faster. If it becomes a problem like what is happening for Bitcoin right now, then we have plans in place to handle the issue.
The miner pools can only be so abusive in Skycoin, because if the pools are too abusive, then other people will switch to smaller pools that give them a better deal.
 
How do you solve mining for bandwidth? What is to stop an attacker putting two routers next to each other to print money?
This is of the reasons why Skycoin will work and we do not think we have any viable competitors. We know how to solve this problem.
The short answer is that we are not paying users for bandwidth. Users are paying each other. So if you put two routers next to each other in a loop, then you are paying yourself for your own bandwidth! So you are not printing money. It is the same as moving money from one of your wallets, to the other wallet.
Skycoin does not “print money”. There is zero inflation. It is a closed loop economy.
Our mathematical models show that if the network is not running in closed loop, that you can always game the system and eventually botnets will take over all of the rewards.
There is another way we found, which uses a bandwidth credit system and later we can build futures and derivatives markets. Since bandwidth is scarce, but is wasted if not used our algorithm allows a certain amount of fraud (acceptable loss ratio) to be factored in but mathematically guarantees that the fraud stays below a certain threshold. There is a maximum amount or upper bound a node can get away with, before it detected and the other nodes stop working with the node.
Basicly, eventually the nodes have a reputation system and nodes prefer other nodes who follow the rules over nodes that try to engage in bandwidth fraud.
We have a simple working solution for the testnet, then we will start building up the full solution, which will also improve the network performance a lot by directing most of the rewards at trustworthy nodes with a high uptime, lower latency and higher bandwidth capacity. The node reputation system will take a bit of work, but will allow us to do a lot of new thing with QoS and routing.
 
Since the people using Skywire resources depend on those resources to report what happens to the outside world, how do you stop adversarial actors from defrauding users using information asymmetry between the users and the blockchain? How do you do this without an enormous amount of overhead?
Adversarial actors are a major problem in any system where anything of value is concerned.
If you do not have a solution for fraud, then bots will come in and steal all the money. Imagine you are running a poker site with 100,000 humans on it. Then someone floods the poker site with 1 million bots (who are better at poker than humans). The bots are going to steal all the money from your users and they will leave (because they are only losing now and the game is not balanced anymore).
If you tell people “I will give you money for running this computer program”, there are people who control 15 million computers and they will just run the program on their botnet. All of the money will goto the bots.
Skywire solves the bot problem by a sort of peer-to-peer whitelisting protocol. We do not let people flood the network with bots. Each node maintains a peer list and if you want to peer a human has to add the peer on both ends by hand, so it’s harder for a botnet to come in and try to take over.
People, because they are social, will peer with people they know personally (their own social network or communities). It’s designed so that people with high quality, hand curated peer lists will have a significant advantage over someone who peers with 10 million slow botnet computers, running on laptops running windows XP. Also people who own dedicated hardware will also have much better performance metrics and will be rewarded more than botnet computers.
The overhead for the record keeping is only 2% to 6% of the total bandwidth in the network, depending on how long the sessions are and the specifics. So the overhead is at the same level as for the existing internet.
 
Why did you use Orange Pi’s, that have their NIC on a USB 2.0 bus, for the hardware in the Skynodes?
Ideally, for security, the NIC should not have DMA (Direct Memory Access). USB 3.0 is a nightmare. USB 2.0 is bad and USB 1.0 is actually better (more secure, but slower).
The NIC drivers or firmware usually have a lot of dangerous security problems.
We are designing a custom PCB and there are several security, cost, design issues that do not have a clear best solution. The NIC is on the USB 2.0 bus, primarily because that is what the chip supports and because of cost.
 
What is to stop the cable lobbyist and the FCC who have already proven they will go against the will of the people from banning skywire? Couldn't they stop people from getting access to the backhaul and outright outlaw the entire concept? When I asked on the Telegram everyone dismissed the concern and said 'its impossible to stop us, look at the darknet'. And while that is true, for skywire to work don't you need widespread normie adoption? What percentage of people would actually run this if they banned it?
There are many, extremely wealthy and powerful groups that are being squeezed out by the FCC and the internet monopolies. There are some surprising large and powerful players that will support (publicly or clandestinely) any project that gives them some breathing room from the telecom squeeze out.
We want them to try to ban Skywire. That means we are winning.
You have to understand the context of the FCC and the cable companies.
The cable companies were forced to be very aggressive and remove net neutrality and start using mafia extraction tactics against companies like Netflix and Google, because of earnings pressure. The cable companies all have declining revenue because people are using the internet for video and are “cord cutting”. The CEOs and management are desperate to keep their stock prices up and slow down the earnings decline.
The CEOs of the cable companies are under extreme pressure to increase earnings in the short term, but are using tactics that will create a lasting long term backlash. The CEOs will increase earnings, they will see their stock prices go up, they will cash out their options and retire to the Hamptons. The backlash will be the next CEOs problem.
Skywire is global and the FCC only matters in the US. In Europe there is much more diversity in ISPs and you wont see the type of battle and resistance they will put on in the US.
The cable companies are dying. They are the dinosaurs whining and moaning before the meteor impact. Fighting technology innovations like Skywire is part of the process of the demise of these telecom monopolies, but it is not something to worry about.
If they are attacking us, it means we are winning. We will be ready.
 
Do you have an estimate for when coin hours will have value and be tradable?
We are working on getting the exchange up, but it will need to wait until the testnet. First we will make coinhours tradable, then we will open them up for exchange.
 
How, in simple terms, do coin hours prevent spam?
The more they spam, the more scarce and expensive the coinhours become. If someone spams or attacks Skycoin, the Skycoin price will actually go up.
Since there are only a finite, scarce number of Skycoin and each Skycoin generates a fixed number of coinhours per hour; then coinhours become scarce and valuable. They put a price on transactions.
An attacker or spammer has to ask “Should I just sell my coinhours for money or should I spam and lose money?”. Eventually the spammer will use up all of his coinhours and then will have to buy them from someone else to keep spamming. Eventually they will even drive the market rate of the coinhours up, until the spamming becomes so expensive that they run out of money or give up.
 
On telegram you wrote coin hours are meant to be volatile if I'm not mistaken. Will this be a problem in the future?
It depends. By shuffling volatility from Skycoin, to the coin hours it makes Skycoin more valuable as a store of value and as a currency for transactions.
We want people to spend coin hours. If Skycoin is going up everyday 5% a day, why would you spend it? If we priced the bandwidth in Skycoin, the whole network would shutdown because everyone would just be hoarding their Skycoin instead of spending them! That is why we introduced coinhours.
Coinhours solve the problem of hoarding and gives people a currency which they are encouraged to spend. Skycoin is a better store of value because there is no inflation, while coinhours are better for transactions because they have an inflation rate that encourages people to spend them.
The market cap of the Skycoin coinhours could actually be higher than the market cap of Skycoin under some conditions.
Everyone is very excited to see what the price coinhours settle at. People are betting on the market and cannot wait to trade and speculate on the coinhours (either dumping them before they go down to zero, or hoarding them incase they go up 500x). I was surprised at how excited people are about the coinhours.
 
Are there any more coins launching on skyledger soon you can talk about?
Kittycash.com, mdl.life, SPACO, solarbankers.com, and more...
I have been so busy with Skycoin I cannot even keep up with the new ICOs.
We are opening up the platform now and more people will be launching coins that I could possible keep track of. We should probably have a registry to track the Skyledger ICOs.
 
Will it be easier to launch coins on skyledger in the future? Any other skyledger updates?
Yes. We have a script now for launching new coins!
In 30 seconds you will be able to: Create your coin Have your ICO software running to collect money Have the coin automatically listed on an internal exchange (instead of waiting 8 months to get listed on some mega exchange) Have mobile, desktop and hardware wallet support Skyledger is getting a rebranding and its own marketing team. We have several flagship coins in development, that will help alot for Skycoin marketing.
 
Synth mentioned months ago in the telegram chat that Obelisk was still in development, when and how will the algorithm be tested and release? How are the actual transactions validated if obelisk is not the algorithm used?
We have done several simulations. There are several peer reviewed academic research papers published about it. There are open source simulations in the github repo.
The exchanges are worried about us enabling the full consensus algorithm without enough testing. We have to do a lot of testing before we turn everything on.
Currently the exchanges forced us to use a masternode dev check-point system. Over time, we are going to make extensive changes to the node and keep minting on the checkpoint system, while rolling out everything. Then after extensive testing, will roll out everything in stages.
The testing of the new features and stages, needs to be done on a smaller coin (other Skyledger coins) before being rolled out to Skycoin. Skycoin’s market cap is too large and we have to be cautious about bugs and not rolling out new code before its tested.
The dev check-point system is a compromise that allows us to test new consensus algorithms, while protecting the exchanges. If the exchanges lose money from a bug and lose $200,000 in Skycoin then we have to pay them for the lose basicly.
The exchanges are all short-staffed because of massive user base growth. They are taking weeks sometimes to upgrade the Skycoin node version, after we release a new version. We have to carefully coordinate our release and upgrade schedules to minimize exchange downtimes.
The short answer, is; we can roll out everything in a few weeks (if we had to). Everything is tested and ready to go. However, because of the exchanges are overloaded, we have to roll it out carefully in planned stages, with a months notification for any changes.
I think everything will be in place by the end of the year, but the Skywire testnet is taking a lot of development resources, so we will push it back if that means Skywire gets launched faster.
Also, then we are always improving things. So even after it “done”, its not really done. It always need more developers working on it and improving everything. We think “one second transaction are fast enough”, then someone comes in with a video game they want to put on blockchain and suddenly we need 200 ms. The demands are endless.
When all of this work is done, it will also mean that we have the best blockchain platform. So we need to have a marketing event built around this. It may not make sense to do it in the middle of Skywire launch mania, because we can only handle so many things at once.
News like this, we also have to make sure we release it into an upward market, when a lot of people are paying attention to innovations in blockchain technology. It would be wasted if we released big news or features, when people were not paying attention.
 
What's in store for Skycoin this year?
To many things. Everything. All at once. Its crazy.
We are opening a hardware incubator, which is the most exciting thing for me. I think we will not see the real applications of blockchain until we get blockchain into the physical world.
 
Where do you see this project in 5 years, where in 10 years? (What is your long term goal?)
We are moving so fast. I could not imagine that we did as much as we have, in such a short time. I cannot even keep up with how many things are in development now.
The goal this year is to demonstrate real world applications of blockchain technology. To bring blockchain to the physical world and make it tangible.
The goal in five years is to make blockchain obsolete and to create what comes after blockchain. We are experimenting with a thing we have started to call the “Fibre”. I do not think innovation will stop at blockchain.
The third generation of coins is going to be post-blockchain and want to be a leader in this area.
 
How long before I can buy a coffee with Skycoin?
As soon as I buy a coffee shop, lol.
 
When the community try to bring more people to skycoin, specially those with big money, we have to face the fact that the time locked distribution is not auditable (or it is?) is there any strategy to calm the doubts about the distribution method (the developers hold the majority of the coins/ are the only ones able to mint coins)
One of the advantages of blockchain is that all of the transaction are public. So the distribution schedule is auditable. Skycoin’s distribution is completely public. The distribution addresses are also public. So it is very transparent.
There is an api endpoint here with the distribution addresses and information updated in real time https://explorer.skycoin.net//api/coinSupply
 
In your blogs you are talking about the possibility of a ninja announcement that burns 80% tokens. That means it will be only 20 mil sky. So, in which circumstances devs would do that?
If we can find a closed loop, economic model for Skywire, that does not require a 15 or 20 year distribution period. Then we will burn the coins. Then the distribution would be capped at 30 million instead of 100 million.
Right now, we need the coins held aside for infrastructure investment, to grow the network and maintain the project.
There are some future components, that could eliminate the need for infrastructure fund and enable the network to be self-financing. Even if we get these components in place, what it means is that the infrastructructure fund will just allow us to grow even faster! So we might still not burn the coins.
You cannot underestimate what it will mean if we are investing 100 million dollars a year of coins into growth. This is the fuel that drives the growth of the ecosystem, so it does not make sense to “burn” the fuel. If there are more projects we can invest in, to grow faster, then we should do that.
 
In your opinion, what is the best exchange for buying Skycoin right now, and why? And on what other exchanges will Skycoin be listed, and when?
C2CX is good. Cryptopia is also good but withdrawals are slow.
We will be listed on larger exchanges this year, but cannot give details. We signed contracts but the exchanges grew from 1 million users to 8 million users in a few months, so their technical teams are overloaded. Listing a new coin can take 6 months after signing the agreement now. We are doing all we can to expedite the process.
 
Will the Kittycash platform be advertised across cat loving forums and the like?
LOL.
 
What will the value of legendary kittys be in 2019?
People are spending 1 or 2 Bitcoin per legendary kitty now. Kitty Cash had to stop selling legendary kitties, because fifty people were trying to buy each kitty and too many people were trying to buy them at once.
 
When will SKY be listed on new exchanges?
We were listed on four new exchanges this month. Wolfcrypto, Next, and two other exchanges. I cannot even keep track of it.
We signed contracts with the largest exchanges, but are still waiting for technical integration and we signed contracts not to disclosure information about specific exchange listings.
The exchanges are very overloaded right now, with technical problems from user growth and also from hundreds of coin ICOs that all want to be listed at once. Millions of people per month are registering on the Bitcoin exchanges now and the exchanges are overloaded. It can be a six month waiting list for listing now, after contracts have been signed, so we are just waiting at this point. However, big exchanges are coming soon.
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