Configure Windows 10 For Mining - Computing on Demand
Download - Bitcoin
Windows GUI miner minerstat
I literally have tens of thousands of dollars in top-shelf hardware, looking to repurpose some before selling on eBay to build a NAS system, possibly a dedicated firewall device as well. o_O
Q1) What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.** A1) This will be a dedicated NAS system for my home network. As such, I'm looking to have it: - Host ##TB's of 720, 1080 & up resolution Movies and TV Shows I'm about to begin ripping from a MASSIVE DVD & Blueray collection I have. - My kids are big on Minecraft. I understand it's possible to host your own "worlds" (or whatever they call the maps you can build) on your own "server". I think it would be pretty neat to offer them (& their friends - if can be done 'safely/securely') their own partition on one of my NAS HDD's. - I also have accounts with a couple diff VPN companies... I understand it's possible (?) to sync said VPN's with a NAS, this might be a more relative topic on the next point/purpose... - I'd like to be able to remotely link to this NAS for when I travel overseas and want to stream at my temp location from my house/this NAS. ______________________ Q2) What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?** * A2) Here's where I make matters more complicated than most others would... I've been an advocate for Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general since 2013. I invested in a small mining outfit back in 2014 (strictly Bitcoin/ASIC's). One of my buddies is the President of a large-scale mining operation (foreign and domestic) and he convinced me to dabble in the GPU mining-space. I made my first hardware purchase in Q4, 2017 and launched a small-scale GPU-Farm in my house since then. I had the rigs mining up until Q3 of 2018 (not cost-efficient to keep on, especially living in SoFlo) and since then, the hardware's been collecting dust (& pissing off my family members since they lost access to 3X rooms in the house - I won't let anyone go near my gear). One of my New Years Resolutions for 2019 was to clear out the house of all my mining equipment so that's all about to go up on eBay. So "budget" is relative to whatever I "MUST" spend if I can't repurpose any of the parts I already have on hand for this build... (Anyone having something I "need" and is looking to barter for one of the items I'll list later on in here, LMK). ______________________ Q3) When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.** A3) IMMEDIATELY! :) ______________________ Q4) What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)** A4) Well I had a half-assed idea approximately 1 year ago that it might be wise to build a bunch of 'gaming rigs' to sell on eBay with my intended repurposed mining hardware so I went on a shopping spree for like 6 months. That said; I've got a plethora of various other components that aren't even unboxed yet. 90% of the items I've purchased for this additional project were items that were marked down via MIR (mail-in-rebates) & what-not...
AFAIK, there are only 3X items I absolutely do not have which I 'MUST' find. Those would be - 1) Motherboard which accepts "ECC RAM". 2) CPU for said MOBO. 3) Said "ECC RAM".\*
______________________ Q5) Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?** A5) I'm located in Southwest Florida. No Microcenter's here. Best Buy is pretty much my only option although I am a member of Newegg, Amazon & Costco if that makes any difference? ______________________ Q6) If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.** A6) In an attempt to better clean up this Q&A, I'm going to list the items I have on-hand at the end of this questionnaire in-case passers-by feel like this might be a TLDR.* (Scroll to the bottom & you'll see what I mean). ______________________ Q7) Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?** A7) I don't think that's necessary for my intended purpose although - I'm not against it if that helps & FWIW, I'm pretty skilled @ this task already (it's not rocket science). ______________________ Q8) Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)** A8) As stated in A4; ECC RAM is non-negotiable... RAID seems like a logical application here as well. - This will predominantly be receiving commands from MacOS computers. I don't think that matters really but figured it couldn't hurt to let you guys know.\* - I'd also be quite fond of implementing "PFSENSE" (or something of that caliber) applied to this system so I could give my Netgear Nighthawks less stress in that arena, plus my limited understanding of PFSENSE is that it's ability to act as a firewall runs circles around anything that comes with consumer-grade Wi-Fi routers (like my Nighthawks). Just the same, I'm open to building a second rig just for the firewall.\* - Another desirable feature would be that it draws as little electricity from the wall as possible. (I'm EXTREMELY skilled in this arena. I have "Kill-A-Watts" to test/gauge on, as well as an intimate understanding of the differences between Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium rated PSU's. As well as having already measured each of the PSU's I have on-hand and taken note of the 'target TDP draw' ("Peak Power Efficiency Draw") each one offers when primed with X amount of GPU's when I used them for their original purpose.\* - Last, but not least, sound (as in noise created from the rig). I'd like to prop this device up on my entertainment center in the living room. I've (almost) all of the top-shelf consumer grade products one could dream of regarding fans and other thermal-related artifacts. - Almost forgot; this will be hosting to devices on the KODI platform (unless you guys have better alternative suggestions?) ______________________ Q9) Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?** A9) Definitely! Desired theme would be WHITE. If that doesn't work for whatever reason, black or gray would suffice. Regarding "Case Size". Nah, that's not too important although I don't foresee a mini-ITX build making sense if I'm going to be cramming double digit amounts of TB in the system, Internal HDD's sounds better than a bunch of externals plugged in all the USB ports. ______________________ Q10) Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?** A10) I don't know. If I do need a copy of Windows, I don't have one so that's something I'll have to consider I guess. I doubt that's a necessity though. ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ **Extra info or particulars:*\* AND NOW TO THE FUN-STUFF... Here's a list of everything (PARTS PARTS PARTS) I have on-hand and ready to deploy into the wild &/or negotiate a trade/barter with: CASES - Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Arctic White (Model# Crypto-Currency-9011048-WW) - (Probably my top pick for this build). Cooler Master HAF XB EVO (This is probably my top 1st or 2nd pick for this build, the thing is a monster!). Cooler Master Elite 130 - Mini ITX - Black Cooler Master MasterBox 5 MID-Tower - Black & White Raidmax Sigma-TWS - ATX - White MasterBox Lite 5 - ATX - Black w/ diff. Colored accent attachments (included with purchase) NZXT S340 Elite Matte White Steel/Tempered Glass Edition EVGA DG-76 Alpine White - Mid Tower w/ window EVGA DG-73 Black - Mid Tower w/ window (I have like 3 of these) ______________________ CPU's - ***7TH GEN OR BELOW INTEL's ("Code Name Class mentioned next to each one)**\* Pentium G4400 (Skylake @54W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE" Celeron G3930 (Kaby Lake @ 51W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE" :) i5 6402P (Skylake @65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i5 6600k (Skylake @ 91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i7 6700 (Skylake @ 65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i7 7700k (Kaby Lake @ 95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( ***8TH GEN INTEL's **\* i3-8350K (Coffee Lake @91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC FRIENDLY" :) I5-8600K (Coffee Lake @95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( ***AMD RYZEN's **\* Ryzen 3 2200G Ryzen 5 1600 Ryzen 7 1700X ______________________ MOTHERBOARDS - ***7TH GEN AND BELOW INTEL BASED MOBO'S - **\* MSI Z170A-SLI ASUS PRIME Z270-A ASUS PRIME Z270-P ASUS PRIME Z270-K EVGA Z270 Stinger GIGABYTE GA-Z270XP-SLI MSI B150M ARCTIC MSI B250M MICRO ATX (PRO OPT. BOOST EDITION) ***8TH GEN INTEL BASED MOBO'S - **\* EVGA Z370 FTW GIGABYTE Z370XP SLI (Rev. 1.0) MSI Z370 SLI PLUS ***AMD RYZEN BASED MOBO'S - **\* ASUS ROG STRIX B350-F GAMING MSI B350 TOMAHAWK MSI X370 GAMING PRO ASROCK AB350M PRO4 ______________________ RAM - Way too many to list, nothing but 4 & 8GB DDR4 sticks and unfortunately, none are ECC so it's not even worth mentioning/listing these unless someone reading this is willing to barter. At which time I'd be obliged to send an itemized list or see if I have what they're/you're specifically looking for.\* ______________________ THERMAL APPLICATIONS/FANS - JUST FANS - BeQuiet - Pure Wings 2 (80mm) Pure Wings 2 (120mm) Pure Wings 2 (140mm) Silent Wings 3 PWM (120mm) NOCTUA - PoopBrown - NF-A20 PWM (200mm) Specifically for the BIG "CoolerMaster HAF XB EVO" Case GREY - NF-P12 Redux - 1700RPM (120mm) PWM Corsair - Air Series AF120LED (120mm) CPU COOLING SYSTEMS - NOCTUA - NT-HH 1.4ml Thermal Compound NH-D15 6 Heatpipe system (this thing is the tits) EVGA (Extremely crappy coding in the software here, I'm like 99.99% these will be problematic if I were to try and use in any OS outside of Windows, because they barely ever work in the intended Windows as it is). CLC 240 (240mm Water-cooled system CRYORIG - Cryorig C7 Cu (Low-Profile Copper Edition*) A few other oversized CPU cooling systems I forget off the top of my head but a CPU cooler is a CPU cooler after comparing to the previous 3 models I mentioned. I almost exclusively am using these amazing "Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pads" as an alternative to thermal paste for my CPU's. They're not cheap but they literally last forever. NZXT - Sentry Mesh Fan Controller ______________________ POWER SUPPLIES (PSU's) - BeQuiet 550W Straight Power 11 (GOLD) EVGA - 750P2 (750W, Platinum) 850P2 (850W, Platinum) 750T2 (750W, TITANIUM - yeah baby, yeah) ROSEWILL - Quark 750W Platinum Quark 650W Platinum SEASONIC - Focus 750W Platinum ______________________ STORAGE - HGST Ultrastar 3TB - 64mb Cache - 7200RPM Sata III (3.5) 4X Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD's 2X Team Group L5 LITE 3D 2.5" SSD's 480GB 2X WD 10TB Essential EXT (I'm cool with shucking) + 6X various other external HDD's (from 4-8TB) - (Seagate, WD & G-Drives) ______________________ Other accessories worth mentioning - PCI-E to 4X USB hub-adapter (I have a dozen or so of these - might not be sufficient enough &/or needed but again, 'worth mentioning' in case I somehow ever run out of SATA & USB ports and have extra external USB HDD's. Although, I'm sure there would be better suited components if I get to that point that probably won't cost all that much). ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ Needless to say, I have at least 1X of everything mentioned above. In most all cases, I have multiples of these items but obviously won't be needing 2X CPU's, Cases, etc... Naturally, I have GPU's. Specifically; At least 1X of every. Single. NVIDIA GTX 1070 TI (Yes, I have every variation of the 1070 ti made by MSI, EVGA and Zotac. The only brand I don't have is the Gigabyte line. My partners have terrible experience with those so I didn't even bother. I'm clearly not going to be needing a GPU for this build but again, I'm cool with discussing the idea of a barter if anyone reading this is in the market for one. I also have some GTX 1080 TI's but those are already spoken for, sorry. It's my understanding that select CPU's I have on this list are ECC Friendly and AFAIK, only 1 of my MOBO's claims to be ECC Friendly (The ASROCK AB350M PRO4), but for the life of me, I can't find any corresponding forums that confirm this and/or direct me to a listing where I can buy compatible RAM. Just the same, if I go w/ the ASROCK MOBO, that means I'd be using one of the Ryzens. Those are DEF. power hungry little buggers. Not a deal-breaker, just hoping to find something a little more conservative in terms of TDP. In closing, I don't really need someone to hold my hand with the build part as much as figuring out which motherboard, CPU and RAM to get. Then I'm DEFINITELY going to need some guidance on what OS is best for my desired purpose. If building 2X Rigs makes sense, I'm totally open to that as well... Rig 1 = EPIC NAS SYSTEM Rig 2 = EPIC PFSENSE (or the like) DEDICATED FIREWALL Oh, I almost forgot... The current routers I'm using are... 1X Netgear Nighthawk 6900P (Modem + Router) 1X Netgear Nighthawk X6S (AC 4000 I believe - Router dedicated towards my personal devices - no IoT &/or Guests allowed on this one) 1X TP-Link Archer C5 (Router). Total overkill after implementing the Nighthawks but this old beast somehow has the best range, plus it has 2X USB ports so for now, it's dedicated towards my IoT devices. ---- I also have a few other Wi-Fi routers (Apple Airport Extreme & some inferior Netgear's but I can only allocate so many WiFi Routers to so many WiFi channels w/out pissing off my neighbors) On that note, I have managed to convince my neighbors to let me in their house/WiFi configuration so we all have our hardware locked on specific, non-competing frequencies/channels so everyone's happy. :) Please spare me the insults as I insulted myself throughout this entire venture. Part of why I did this was because when I was a kid, I used to fantasize about building a 'DREAM PC' but could never afford such. To compensate for this deficiency, I would actually print out the latest and greatest hardware components on a word document, print the lists up & tape to wall (for motivation). I was C++ certified at the age of 14 and built my first PC when I was 7. At the age of 15 I abandoned all hope in the sector and moved on to other aspirations. This entire ordeal was largely based off me finally fulfilling a childhood fantasy. On that note = mission accomplished. Now if I'm actually able to fulfill my desires on this post, I'm definitely going to feel less shitty about blowing so much money on all this stuff over the last couple years. TIA for assisting in any way possible. Gotta love the internets! THE END. :) EDIT/UPDATE (5 hours after OP) - My inbox is being inundated with various people asking for prices and other reasonable questions about my hardware being up for sale. Not to be redundant but rather to expound on my previous remarks about 'being interested in a bartetrade' with any of you here... I did say I was going to sell my gear on eBay in the near future, I also said I wanted to trade/barter for anything relative to helping me accomplish my OP's mission(s). I'm not desperate for the $$$ but I'm also not one of those people that likes to rip other people off. That said; I value my time and money invested in this hardware and I'm only willing to unload it all once I've established I have ZERO need for any of it here in my home first. Hence my writing this lengthy thread in an attempt to repurpose at least a grand or two I've already spent. One of the most commonly asked questions I anticipate receiving from interested bodies is going to be "How hard were you on your hardware?" Contrary to what anyone else would have probably done in my scenario which is say they were light on it whether they were or weren't, I documented my handling of the hardware, and have no problem sharing such documentation with verified, interested buyers (WHEN THE TIME COMES) to offer you guys peace of mind. I have photo's and video's of the venture from A-Z. I am also obliged to provide (redacted) electricity bill statements where you can correlate my photo's (power draw on each rig), and also accurately deduct the excess power my house consumed with our other household appliances. Even taking into consideration how much (more) I spent in electricity from keeping my house at a constant, cool 70-72F year-round (via my Nest thermostat). Even without the rigs, I keep my AC @ 70 when I'm home and for the last 1.5-2 years, I just so happened to spend 85% of my time here at my house. When I would travel, I'd keep it at 72 for my wife & kids. Additionally; I had each GPU 'custom' oveunderclocke'd (MSI Afterburner for all GPU's but the EVGA's).* I doubt everyone reading this is aware so this is for those that don't.... EVGA had the brilliant idea of implementing what they call "ICX technology" in their latest NVIDIA GTX GPU's. The short(est) explanation of this "feature" goes as follows: EVGA GPU's w/ "ICX 9 & above" have EXTRA HEAT/THERMAL SENSORS. Unlike every other GTX 1070 ti on the market, the one's with this feature actually have each of 2/2 on-board fans connected to individual thermal sensors. Which means - if you were to use the MSI Afterburner program on one of these EVGA's and create a custom fan curve for it, you'd only be able to get 1/2 of the fans to function the way intended. The other fan simply would not engage as the MSI Afterburner software wasn't designed/coded to recognize/ communicate with an added sensor (let alone sensor'S). This, in-turn, would likely result in whoever's using it the unintended way having a GPU defect on them within the first few months I'd imagine... Perhaps if they had the TDP power settings dumbed down as much as I did (60-63%), they might get a year or two out of it since it wouldn't run as near as hot, but I doubt any longer than that since cutting off 50% of the cooling system on one of these can't be ignored too long, surely capacitors would start to blow and who knows what else... (Warning = RANT) Another interesting side-note about the EVGA's and their "Precision-X" OveUnderclocking software is that it's designed to only recognize 4X GPU's on a single system. For miners, that's just not cool. My favorite builds had 8X and for the motherboards that weren't capable of maintaining stable sessions on 8, I set up with 6X. Only my EVGA Rigs had 3 or 4X GPU's dedicated to a single motherboard. Furthermore, and as stated in an earlier paragraph, (& this is just my opinion) = EVGA SOFTWARE SUCKS! Precision X wasn't friendly with every motherboard/CPU I threw at it and their extension software for the CLC Close-Loop-Cooling/ CPU water-coolers simply didn't work on anything, even integrating into their own Precision-X software. The amount of time it took me to finally find compatible matches with that stuff was beyond maddening. (END RANT). Which leads me to my other comments on the matter. That's what I had every single 1070 ti set at for TDP = 60-63%. Dropping the power load that much allowed me to bring down (on average) each 1070 ti to a constant 110-115W (mind you, this is only possible w/ "Titanium" rated PSU's, Platinum comes pretty damn close to the Titanium though) while mining Ethereum and was still able to maintain a bottom of 30 MH/s and a ceiling of 32 MH/s. Increasing the TDP to 80, 90, 100% or more only increased my hashrates (yields) negligibly, like 35-36 MH/s TOPS, which also meant each one was not only pulling 160-180W+ (Vs. the aforementioned 115'ish range), it also meant my rigs were creating a significantly greater amount of heat! Fortunately for the GPU's and my own personal habits, I live in South Florida where it's hot as balls typically, last winter was nothing like this one. Increasing my yields by 10-15% didn't justify increasing the heat production in my house by >30%, nor the added electricity costs from subjecting my AC handlers to that much of an extra work-load. For anyone reading this that doesn't know/understand what I'm talking about - after spending no less than 2-3 hours with each. and. every. one. I didn't play with the settings on just one and universally apply the settings to the rest. I found the 'prime' settings and documented them with a label-maker and notepad. Here's the math in a more transparent manner: *** I NEVER LET MY GPU's BREACH 61C, EVER. Only my 8X GPU rigs saw 60-61 & it was the ones I had in the center of the build (naturally). I have REALLY high power fans (used on BTC ASIC MINERS) that were sucking air from those GPU's which was the only way I was able to obtain such stellar results while mining with them. **\* Mining at "acceptable" heat temps (not acceptable to me, but most of the internet would disagree = 70C) and overclocking accordingly brings in X amount of yields per unit. = 'Tweaking' (underclocking) the GPU's to my parameters reduced my yield per unit from -10-15%, but it SAVED me well over 30-35% in direct electricity consumption, and an unknown amount of passive electricity consumption via creating approximately 20%+ less heat for my AC handler to combat. I say all this extra stuff not just for anyone interested in mining with their GPU's, but really to answer (in-depth) the apparent questions you people are asking me in PM's. Something else that should help justify my claims of being so conservative should be the fact I only have/used "Platinum and Titanium" rated PSU's. Heat production, power efficiency and longevity of the hardware were ALWAYS my top priority.* . I truly thought Crypto would continue to gain and/or recover and bounce back faster than it did. If this project had maintained positive income for 12 months+, I'd have expanded one of our sites to also cater to GPU mining on a gnarly scale. Once I have my NAS (& possibly 2nd rig for the firewall) successfully built, I'll be willing/able to entertain selling you guys some/all of the remaining hardware prior to launching on eBay. If there's something you're specifically looking for that I listed having, feel free to PM me with that/those specific item(s). Don't count on an immediate response but what you can count on is me honoring my word in offering whoever asks first right of refusal when the time comes for me to sell this stuff. Fortunately for me, PM's are time-stamped so that's how I'll gauge everyone's place in line. I hope this extra edit answers most of the questions you guys wanted to have answered and if not, sorry I guess. I'll do my best to bring light to anything I've missed out on after I realize whatever that error was/is. The only way anyone is getting first dibs on my hardware otherwise is if they either offer compelling insight into my original questions, or have something I need to trade w/. THE END (Round#2)
The first and foremost thing to know about Leasehold platform is that it is decentralized that is to say, it is based on blockchain. Leasehold is also a profit-sharing business or platform with the sole purpose of sharing rental income via tokenization brought about by blockchain. In the same way, it is good to know that, the Leasehold platform aims to be a valuable one and to achieve this, sees it fit to ensure their token holders are always comfortable hence the idea of rewards being in the form of buy-back and burn; with this strategy, the Leasehold platform take the acquired profits, buys back its tokens from the market and burn them. In other ways, Leasehold token is a Deflationary token which will continue to be bought and burnt as the platform ensures strict growth policies are followed.
Like earlier stated, there are many blockchain projects with different consensus algorithms such as Proof-of-Stake, Proof-of-Work etc, in the case of Leasehold, it will be based on Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS). This DPOS is of the idea that delegates within the platform can create blocks, these delegates are trusted and as such selected to be active within the platform in addition to the fact they secure the chain while getting their rewards which is strictly based on a good performance.
Talking about a decentralized exchange, it offers more security because, in the crypto space, there are many exchanges that have been hacked, exit scam with funds as well as closing accounts without reason. Therefore, Leasehold will sure have its own because the team wants to offer a secure, safe, trustworthy and reliable platform for trading of LSH tokens. When trading in Leasehold platform's DEX, there will be no malicious acts but instead a good level of trust and transparency.
Another point as to why Leasehold is worthwhile is the fact that it makes it possible for users to partake in profit-sharing without owning properties physically, nor is there a need to identify themselves. In view of this, Leasehold is working towards taking huge advantages of the tourist industry, everyday living industry etc since it has been proven that booking platforms grow with more than double the users from the previous years. With this move, as a user, there is an opportunity to profit by owning the property, while with Leasehold, everything is simplified leading to owning a portion of profits.
Another wonderful attribute of Leasehold platform is that token holders are carried along in the development of the platform, in this case, they are always presented with updated happenings which includes buy-back details, acquisition of properties etc.
Since security is paramount in Leasehold platform, the team created a hub, which will make it possible for token holders to securely store their tokens in their wallet. This wallet is connected directly to the Leasehold network.
There are many projects already in the crypto space which supports mining and same is the case with Leasehold. Leasehold will have a real-time data pool bearing all the financials of the platform's earnings. It will also display a list of the current buy-back funds which will be used for buy-back and burn purposes.
Currently, many people in the world are limited when it comes to using of cryptocurrencies and this is where tokenization comes to play; that is, with tokenization, many people in the world will be free and able to buy crypto easily. With this in mind, in the Leasehold platform is tokenization as well, with tokenization of LSH tokens, people from all over the world will be able to take part in profit-sharing from the Leasehold short term rental markets. This is profitable because a study has shown that, short term rental markets are now booming all over the world because there is no need putting up large amounts of capital at once, which many individuals do not have or have access to.
There are two methods of property rental in Leasehold platform which is developed to accommodate different types of users; a. Property rental of non-owned apartments: This is a method where the Leasehold team will accept the responsibility of running apartments for homeowners which will be at an agreed amount. In this case, the team will use their marketing strategies and booking system methods to ensure the best of services is offered to homeowners while on the other hand, this will also help Leasehold to acquire constant funding for its buybacks. b. Property rental of owned properties: In this method, the Leasehold team will strive to achieve the maximum amount of returns since all profits will belong to the company at the same time distributed to the buybacks. Furthermore, from the profits made, Leasehold will continue buying property on the open market while renting it out using its specially designed cross-platform method.
Just like there are blockchain platforms which sought for funding before continuing building their platform, same is with Leasehold. The team will carry out 5 stages of ITO’s with the aim of raising enough funding so as to acquire small apartments thus starting the renting process and partner site setups. According to the team, the reason for these stages of ITO is that each stage will allow the Leasehold platform to acquire and set up the working business model that will make the buy-back and burn process possible. The end result of this is, Leasehold will be in a position to be free from cryptocurrencies volatility as well as being far bear markets. Leasehold Initial Token Offering (ITO) has started already and stipulated to end by May 2020. Read more on (ITO).(It is wise to make your own research before investing or participating in any token sale.)
I'll probably upgrade to a 1080 Ti, but not until the prices come back down.
750W seems like a little overkill to me, but PCPartsPicker estimates my rig at ~670W
I'd like to keep the price tag as low as possible. However, I don't really know what I'm doing here, and if I absolutely need a $4,000 rig to accomplish my goals, then I'll do it, but I don't think I'm comfortable with anything more expensive.
I looked into mergerfs + snapraid, but decided to go with zfs instead. I think I can tolerate the same-sized-drives restriction, and zfs sounds pretty fun to play with.
I have no idea how to tune my zfs setup (monitor the SMART data? block size? etc). Are these things I need to square away now, or can optimize later?
I don't fully understand SAS Expanders, but from what I've read, I don't think I need any. Please let me know if I'm wrong here.
My internet connection is ~100mbps down and ~10mbps up. I have a gigabit router, and I plan to connect to my router via CAT-6. (I don't think I'd benefit from Directly Attached Coax, but I may be wrong)
My main question is: will this hardware and software setup accomplish my goals? My secondary question is: is any of my hardware unnecessary for my goals? are there better ways to eat this Reese's? Thanks so much for all the help in advance, I've learned so much from this subreddit (and DataHoarding) already!
Would like some help and input on my phone and windows computer setup :)
Hi! (English is not my native language but I'll try to define my desires as clear as possible, and finding it hard to turn this post in a perfectly coherent story, just so you know :) I'm trying my best not to go off topic as much as I can but sometimes I feel the need to say things to clarify my desires) I bought a galaxy s10 Plus a while ago and before setting it up and cleaning my online clutter I decided to read up more about privacy, security, open source, google, tracking and so forth. And then the journey began! :P I'm processing all of the info I read and watched the last months but I find it's hard to take every little detail into consideration and make the perfect decision for everything haha. So I'm kind of stuck now in the sense that I want to set everything up but don't know exactly what is the correct order to do things not to mess up and whats the right setup for me. So the question(s) arose; What is my personal desire in terms of privacy and security. And what is the setup for me so I can have the right balance between convenience, productivity, privacy and security online. What is attainable and what is not. For me all of this has to do with trust, what people, organizations, institutions, companies can you trust with your information. If we lived in a world where we can trust that other people have the best intentions for everyone around them and are committed to creating a world of freedom, love, safety and trust and are committed to lift the human spirit and give the support to let it reach it's ultimate potential most of these precautions or worries would not be necessary, unfortunately we don't (at the moment) so we have to take some measures. Most important for me: - Keep my bank details safe, bitcoin, creditcard information and so forth. (My creditcard have been scammed once, dont want this to happen again) - Keeping my internet searches private - Keeping my communication private - Having the right balance between privacy and security. Do I choose to download using google play so the chances are bigger I download apps that are not infected, or do I choose to get rid of google play and take a certain risk. - Being able to use my phone without being paranoid about of worrying about everyone and everything constantly tracking me, listening to me and so forth. It's a very intense and crazy time we are living in at the moment but I don't want to let the paranoid mindset taking hold of my life again like it used to do. I see people taking extreme measures to ensure maximum security or privacy and admire them for that but that's not my final goal. I would like to have a setup that I feel that I have done the things I could do to "maximize" my privacy, anonymity, security, and productivity without getting too paranoid and stressed out over minor things. I've concluded a few things in this process:
What I don't have control over.
People who have malicious intent trying to get their hands on private and or sensitive personal information.
What I do and have control over.
I'm an Identity Thief and I Want My Identity Back [Part 1]
Found this on a darkweb forum. It was posted only yesterday, and I thought you all might find it interesting. Fair warning, there's supposedly more to come, according to the comments on the forum, so this isn't an all inclusive post. I decided to paste it here in real time as it was posted instead of waiting until they were done putting it all online. From here on out, this is a direct copy-paste of the post, plus some formatting for Reddit.
I fucked up. Badly. My whole life has been a great, big fuckup, but this really takes the cake. I'll be dead soon, so it can't get much worse. My name is Michael Kay, also known as Neale Keaton. If you're running your little bots trying to find my name, it'll match this post. Hello, my little darkweb stalkers. I'm about to give you my version of events. I'm about to show you that you're being played like the gullible little basement dwellers you are. So sit down, go fullscreen, and read this through to the end. Because I think that by the end, you'll see things my way.
I'm an identity thief. Have been for four years. When I got out of the military, I couldn't adjust back to "normal" life. I got stuck in the same cycle that other vets do. No job, living on savings from my military income, and trying to kick my drinking habit. After almost a year, I came to a brutal conclusion that is the reality for many people in this economy: my identity wasn't worth shit. I was only a few months away from homelessness, had no prospects at a job, and was lacking in the social etiquette needed for dating. I was an only child of two only children. Grandparents were all dead, and my parents... well, I wanted nothing to do with them. They were the reason I joined the military and left home at 18. Again, my identity was shit. But, my drunk and sometimes high brain had a thought that kept repeating itself. What if I were someone else? Someone with a good background. Some work experience, proof that I was a good employee, maybe even a degree. In the military, I got to share a training ground temporarily with some of the boys heading into the Army Cyber Command. We got a few chances to swap stories, and they talked about the things they were learning. One guy was especially cocking about how "good" he was at navigating the darkweb. He regaled us with stories about finding illegal identities and firearms online before he even joined the military. He told us that the darkweb was full of everything you'd need, legal or illegal. With that memory in mind, that's who I turned to. In a move that further diminished my savings, I bought myself a nice identity off the darkweb. A driver's license, social security number, the works. It came with years of taxes being paid on-time, and some falsified work experience. If I paid extra, the people I bought it from would even pick up the phone when the prospective employer called and recommend me as a good employee. They had a fake website for the company and everything. They even told me that their services were geared towards people like myself. Those unfortunate enough to have a bad identity. People who just needed the leg up of a trustworthy social security number. And it worked. I followed their guidelines, and true to their word, I got a job. From my Bachelor's degree in Business Management, I landed a position as a store manager for a small retail chain. During the day, I went to work and pretended I knew what the hell was going on. At night, I got a couple of dated self-help books from the library so I could make it look like I knew what I was doing with all the spreadsheets, scheduling, profit and loss statements, and anything else I was given. I worked hard. I didn't sit on my ass and let my identity carry me. I worked to earn what I'd been given, and it was the only way I could live with what I'd done. I was told that the identity was from a child who had died at birth, yet the social security number had not been discarded. The people I bought it from had "raised" that social security number. They hacked into school databases and inserted their name and grades, and did everything they needed to make the kid look like he'd grown into the man I was. Or rather, the man whose shoes I would step into. That identity saved me. But good things can't last forever.
While the identity gave me a second chance, it didn't give me good money. The job was good enough to subsist on, but after a year and then two years, I found that I was unable to save anything. At the rate I was going, I'd be working until I was 65 years old and yet have nothing to show for it. Once your basic needs are met, higher needs come into play. I learned that while reading books about business. Books about how to understand your customers. Even if all their basic needs are met, people are never satisfied. We crave purpose. We crave something higher. Something better. All the time and always. No matter how high you go, you'll always find something more to want. The same psychology that has been plaguing humanity for thousands of years, affected me. I didn't want to be a store manager my entire life. But I also wasn't sure what I wanted. So, I explored. I read even more books. I'd never read that much in my life, but I was on a mission. I was searching for something, some kind of meaning. I'd been given a second chance, and I wanted to do something with it. But I had no idea what it was. My first wrong decision, which led me to where I am now, came during work. I was manning a register while one of my employees took a break, and a customer left their debit card behind. I didn't notice it until a few customers later, when one held it up and said "I think someone forgot this." I took it, stuck it in the bottom of the cash drawer, and thanked that customer. My employee returned, and I went back to my office to work on more spreadsheets. At the end of their shift, the employee, whose register I had taken over, brought me the card. I told him I'd take care of it, and took it for safekeeping. As I turned it around in my hand after he left, my brain started to run things over in my head. I had questions. What was to stop me from sliding this card through the card reader at a register, choosing to process it as a credit card, and withdrawing cash? Who would know? How would they trace me? The store didn't have cameras. We were in a good enough neighborhood that my superior had decided not to pay for them. So, in all seriousness, who would know? Nobody.
My plan was devised while sitting in the office. It was just past lunch and time for a couple more employees to take breaks. I walked over, card in my pocket, and told the cashier that it was their time for a break. They happily walked to the break room, and I slipped into their place. The other cashier and I worked through a couple more customers, then we had nothing to do. The store wasn't busy during this time. I told the other cashier to take some returned merchandise and enter it into the inventory computer in the back. They obeyed, and I had my chance. Swiftly, I moved to the other cashier's register and typed on their machine. I logged in under their name. They were new, and I had just barely trained them on the system. I only knew their password because it was literally "1234567". I'd seen them type it so many times that I had incidentally memorized it. Their login was the key to my plan. With their account open, I scanned a pack of gum and rang out the "customer." I slid the card through the card reader, punched in $100 in cash to withdraw, and waited for the approval. Ding. Approved. The cash drawer popped open, I extracted a couple tens, some fives, and a 20 before slamming it closed. I snatched the receipt, stuffed everything into my pocket, including the gum, and went back to my register. When the other cashier returned, I told them I needed a few minutes in my car. That's where I hid the gum, receipt, and cash. On my way back in, I used my shirt to wipe the card clean of any fingerprints. I dropped it by the curb on my way into the store, stomping on it a couple of times to make it look abused. Taking a deep breath, I walked back inside. Son of a bitch. It worked.
There was never and kickback from that experiment. The customer never came to the register asking about their card, and the card disappeared from the curb outside before the end of the day. I suspect that the customer found it there when they came back for their card. I'm willing to guess that the customer talked to their bank about the extra transaction. The bank probably refunded them and gave them a new card, and the police never showed up asking questions. At home, I burned the receipt and the gum pack. I burned the gum pack so the barcode could never be traced to me. Just in case. To celebrate, I used the cash to treat myself to a very expensive dinner that night. All the evidence was gone, and I was clear and free. And the thrill was exactly what I'd been searching for.
From there, I brainstormed and even researched better ways to accomplish what I wanted. My goals were two-fold: 1) Make a decent chunk of money. Generate enough to save for long-term goals and happiness. 2) Not harm the identities of those who I used. And, of course, not get fucking caught. Generally, I planned this out by attacking many targets for small amounts, maybe a hundred dollars or less. If I hit six to ten targets a month, that'd be anywhere from $600 to $1000 extra a month. Which was enough. There were a lot of technical details that I had to plan for. I couldn't keep using my store: it was too obvious and the police would be on me in a month easily. I also couldn't use the same city. Some debit cards wouldn't let you withdraw cash without a pin. I got lucky the first time. And, what if the customer didn't have $100 in their account? I had to look at contingencies for contingencies. I also had to set rules for myself. Don't use an ATM. Don't use cards in stores that have cameras. Stay with crowds and look for cameras outside each store, like in the parking lots. Don't deposit the cash you took into your own bank account. Don't put it in a safety deposit box either. All kinds of rules based on my research and contingency planning. I bought a pen-camera off of ebay which I used while going to the store. I used it to film the person in front of me obscurely. I always got in line behind a man, too. When they pulled their card out, they often held it around their chest, like they wanted people to see their card. Rarely did people try to obscure their pins. At home, I would pull the video from my camera for the day and hope that at least one card was legible enough that I could extract the card number, expiration date, and name. A lot of people like to stand in line with their card on the counter until it's their time to pay. Or they hold it over the card reader like it's a race and they're waiting for the gun to fire. It's ridiculously easy for someone like me to extract that info with a camera. I set up an account on the darkweb where I would submit the card information, and a shiny, newly printed debit or credit card would show up in the mail. They routed the envelope through a network of darkweb "MailMen" so the envelope never even used the actual postal service. I would scuff the card up a bit, validate the data on my own card reader that I purchased through another darkweb service, and queue it up for use. I had a queue system so the cards were never used in perfect order, and were used a few months after I had snatched their information. I was grabbing information in stores that had cameras, so I wanted there to be time between when I grabbed it and when I used it. Sometimes this meant that the card went out of service before I could use it. But I was collecting enough cards that it didn't matter. I had no way to know if the cards would work, so before going to pay, I would have a contact buy a song on an obscure site using the card. It was a site that didn't require the security code printed on the back of regular cards, since I didn't have those codes. My phone would buzz after the transaction went through or failed, and I'd know whose card was next to be used. I'd get in, pay, withdraw cash, take the receipt, then leave. After each money run, I'd burn all the evidence and hide my cash. I had a good contingency plan for if a cashier asked for my ID. It was too expensive to get an ID for every card I planned to use once. So, I had my acting always ready to go. "Can I see your ID?" "Crap, that's my boyfriend's card, he's out in the car. We're just getting cash to pay the neighborhood kid who takes care of our lawn." If the cashier asked me to go and get my "boyfriend", I'd leave the store and never come back. But they always bought the excuse. And apparently I play a gay guy pretty well. Who would've thought?
I know what you're probably thinking. "God damn, Michael, get to the important parts! Blah, blah blah!" I don't get to brag much about what I've done and how clever it was, so I'm taking my last opportunity before I'm probably shot. So fuck off. During all of this, where it went on for three months without so much as a hiccup, I was doing other research. I was making more money, but those needs came back again and I found myself needing more. How could I make money faster? I'd ask myself that all the time, and skim the darkweb for methods that would work for me. That's when I turned to credit card fraud of the mail-in card variety. A new formula for making money right this second began to form. I used a feature of the MailMan darkweb service to set up a mailing address that would forward all mail to me. Then, I went online and bought a few hundred sets of personal data that were probably hacked from some company's database. Using this personal data, I signed up for three to four credit cards for each person. With those cards, I bought things online that I already intended to purchase for myself. Once the items arrived, I paid off the balance on the credit cards with my hard-earned money using prepaid cards that I bought with cash. Then, after a month or two of using the card, I would withdraw $100 in cash at a store. And then I'd store the card in my hiding place, never to be used again. If anyone ever looked at their credit reports and saw the credit card, it would look suspicious and odd, but would only be a $100 balance. They would, hopefully, just pay it off, close the card, and stop caring. Besides, my use of the card boosted their credit score. I paid the bills and fees on time, and kept the card open as long as I could afford, paying the yearly premium out of my own pocket. It was my way of saying thanks that they'd never hear. You give me some money, I help you boost your credit score. A symbiotic relationship. I even thought I'd earned the title of "ethical credit card scammer." No one, especially not the police, would see it that way, but that's how I justified my actions to myself. My mistake came from not researching my "clients" before I used their identity and their card. That's what got me caught. But not by the police.
I'd gotten used to the current routine to the point where I could do it in my sleep. I was making good money, much better compared to before. I kept my job as a store manager, and it felt so much more fulfilling because I was making the money I needed overall, and had something to look forward to: the thrill of identity theft. After some cautious planning, I rented out a nice, two-story duplex in one of my "client's" names and credit score. I kept my payments on-time and was the perfect tenant. The duplex's owner only did a soft pull on this client's credit, so it wouldn't show up on their credit report. Regardless, I had a contact on the darkweb set up some monitoring for this identity online. He assured me that if anything went wacky with the credit that made it seem like the client was suspicious or investigating, I'd get a text. I wanted a heads up if I needed to ditch my place. One month. It only took one month for them to find me. In the digital world, you would think one month was a long time, but it was too short for me. Too unexpected. I was in bed, sleeping, when I heard the front door squeak open. My eyes shot open. A million fears and thoughts ran through my head. It didn't matter if it was just a thief or the FBI. Either way, the police would be involved, and I'd be caught. I rolled out of bed silently. Watching my half-open bedroom door, I grabbed my sheets and spread them tight across my bed. I wanted to make it look like no one was home. Snatching my wallet and keys from the bedside table, I dropped to the ground and rolled under my bed. The boxes I kept under the bed for storage hid me from view once I arranged them. Footsteps came up the stairs. I wished I'd thought to buy a gun. But buying a gun took heavy background checks, and I hadn't figured out how to bypass those yet. Heavy boots tried to sneak down the hall. I saw two of them, one behind the other. Both black and menacing. They moved like they had training, but not much. From the way the floor bent under each step, they were both probably heavy around the belly. The door opened as they entered the room. Upon seeing the empty bed, they paused, unsure of what to do next. One of them whispered, loud enough that I could hear. "Not home." "So we wait." I bit my lip and cursed internally. They were looking for me, whoever they were. Probably not cops: they wore jeans, not uniforms. They could be plainclothes, sure, but I just felt that they weren't cops. I heard the front door squeak again, but the two men were too busy whispering to notice. I wondered if the door was just open in the wind. My reply came in the form of a voice from the hall. "Evening, fellas. Hands where I can see them." Shit. A cop. This guy's feet moved gracefully under him. Definitely trained. Suddenly, the two men rushed the cop, and I watched him fall as they shoved their way past him. Through the dimness, I could see that it wasn't a cop at all. It was Jack, my neighbor across the street. He was ex-military, like me, though he'd been in the service a lot longer than I had. I heard the front door fly open and slam shut as the two would-be thieves left the house. Jack stayed on the ground, sighing. He probably figured that pursuit wasn't worth the trouble. I weighed my options before finally pushing boxes out of the way and crawling out from under the bed. Jack watched, surprised. "You were under there the whole time?" He asked. "They weren't here long, thanks to you." Jack eyed my perfectly made bed, then where I'd crawled from. "Smart tactic for hiding. I'll have to remember that one." "Thanks." We stood in the dark for a minute, feeling awkward for different reasons. "Listen..." I said. "I'm grateful that you came and chased these assholes out, but can we not call the police? They didn't take anything, I'm not hurt, and I really don't want to deal with the hassle." Jack chuckled. "I was about to ask you the same thing." I looked at him in confusion. He lifted his gun, pointing it at the ceiling and showing it to me. It was a 92FS Beretta. Sleek, shiny, and well oiled. "This girl here is illegal for me to have. I have a small rap sheet from before the military, but am still not allowed to own a gun of my own. So, I'm going to agree that we don't involve the cops." "It's beautiful," I said, trying not to gasp from relief. "She sure is," he grinned. "Jack, thank you," I said, extending my hand. "Any time," he said, shaking my hand.
I wondered for a few days about those thieves. There's no way they broke into my house by random chance. They were looking for me: they'd verbally confirmed that. So who were they? Why did they want me? I thought myself into dead end after dead end. There wasn't anything I could do until I had more information. And yet, I had no way to get more information. I was stuck in limbo until they tried again, if they truly were looking for me, or until I could stop double checking my locks at night.
One night, as I lay in bed reading a book as usual, my phone rang. The duplex had actually come with a cordless phone system, which was humorous considering our cell-phone dominated world. I answered it, not knowing who it was. "Hello?" "Hi, Neale. Listen, just wanted to give you a heads up. There's a weird car that's been parked outside my house for hours. People were lying down and taking a nap for a while, but perked up when you got home. Now they've got cameras aimed at your house. Don't come to the window and try to look, they'll see. I just wanted to call and tell you that before I go and talk to them." What the hell. Breaking in is one thing, but now surveillance? Who did they think I was? Unfortunately, that was the question I should have pursued long before things got worse. "Did you get their license plate?" I asked. "And their make and model." "Can I have it before you talk to them?" "Sure," Jack said. He gave me the info, and I told him I'd call him back in a bit. To his credit, Jack didn't even question what I was doing or why I wasn't freaking out and calling the cops. I connected to Tor and sought out a darkweb site that had a backdoor into my state's DMV registration database. Only one or two states have those backdoors, and mine is one of them. Lucky for me. I put in the license plate number and the results came back. I paid my $25 fee with the usual Bitcoin, and opened the word doc that came back. Registered to one Charles B. Matsworth. With an address across the state from me. The database backdoor didn't transmit images, so I couldn't compare their driver's license photo with the people in the car. I was either dealing with Charles himself, or a stolen vehicle. Helpful, but also potentially not. I hit up another darkweb site and searched for Charles. I paid my fee, then the results populated. Except there were no results. There were ALWAYS results, but this guy's name wasn't there. Which was impossible with this site. It passively picked up every name tossed around the internet and provided you with links to where it was mentioned. But there were no results. Which means someone was actively scrubbing this guy's name from the web. So, that's when I knew he was one of you, darkweb. I hit redial on my home phone and got Jack back on the line. It was just past 11pm. "Hey, Neale," he answered. "Hey," I said, resisting the urge to peer through the blinds. "I can't look, obviously, but have you seen anything else helpful about them?" Jack paused, probably looking out the window. "Passenger is a heavy smoker: there's a small pile of cigarette butts on his side and he's smoking one right now. They've got some Arby's wrappers on their front dash. Driver is using a telescopic lens on a pretty expensive camera. Canon, I think. Two coffee cups from a gas station in the cup holders. Car looks pretty new, just a little dust. If you took it through a car wash, it would probably shine. I'm guessing it's a new model." I listened to him observe them, spouting off anything that he thought might be useful. "Any of that help you out?" He asked. "Maybe," I said, trying to think what I should do. Scare them off and let them know I'm onto them? Let them sit there and spy, hoping they don't decide to physically enter? Leave out the back? My bedroom light was on, so they knew I was home. My shadow had probably played against it a few times tonight too. This was a situation I didn't have a contingency for. "You should come over to my house. Sneak out around back, walk a block over, and come in through my back door," Jack said. "We can spy on the spies." I considered it. Last time, we had scared off the thieves and not gotten any useful information. This was the most useful situation since that night. I should take advantage of it. "Okay, I'll do that," I said. I gave him my mobile phone number so he could use that instead of the home phone. I made my way to the back door and left, locking it behind me. Going straight back and over the back fence, I went to the next street over, then jogged three streets down to crawl through someone else's yard and into Jack's. He was waiting at the sliding glass door when I got there. "No movement, they're still staring at the house and talking occasionally." "Any idea what they're saying?" I asked, hopeful. "Nope." I walked into his living room, and found his setup. He had a pair of binoculars on a coffee table, and a few slats of his blinds were held open by paper clips. "Have a look," he said, waving me into the room. "Need some water?" "Yes, please," I said, picking up the binoculars. Through the blinds, I saw the two men in their car, both heads turned towards my house. It was exactly as Jack had described. The streetlight was far away, so I couldn't make out hair colors, but one had longer hair than the other. That was about all I could make out. Jack appeared beside me and set a glass of water on the table. "Recognize them?" He asked. "No," I muttered, setting down the binoculars. "You in some kind of trouble, Neale? Borrow money from the wrong guys? Or are these just private investigators from your ex-wife trying to track you down for child support?" Jack's tone was light and joking. He honestly didn't seem to give a shit what kind of trouble I was in. "Not that I know of," I said weakly, turning back to the window. "Maybe they're after the guy who lived there before me?" "Could be," Jack said, sitting on the couch. I turned back around to face him while he watched me with the slightest smile on his face. "Thank you, again, for helping me figure this out," I said. "I haven't had this much fun since my last tour. I haven't had any action since. This is exciting and refreshing, Jack. I'm happy to help." I nodded, taking a seat as well, but keeping the window within sight. "So, it's not money, it's not women. Is it drugs? No judgement from me, man." "No drugs either," I said, trying to do my own thought process. For half a second, I considered telling Jack about myself. Then I realized how asinine of an idea that was. He'd probably kick my ass for stealing. "I say we watch 'em. We won't learn anything by running out there and scaring them off. But maybe they'll do something that gives us an idea of what they're up to," Jack said. It was the same conclusion I'd come to, so I agreed. We watched them in silence for about an hour. I was perfectly okay not talking to Jack, and he seemed okay not talking to me. We took turns at the window, and if something interesting seemed to start happening, we'd wave the other one over to look. Nothing interesting happened until almost 1am. They both got out of their seats and exited the car. Each one stretched, then pulled pistols out of their belts. They examined their guns, cocked them, and made their way to my house, side by side. I waved Jack over, and he watched them try my front door, find it locked, then go around back. "I have an idea," Jack hissed, suddenly shoving something into my hand. His Beretta. "If they come out, open the front door and yell to me. If they start shooting, you shoot back. Give me cover to get back into the house." "What are you doing?!" I hissed back as he grabbed at the front door. "Getting some information!" He said before shutting the door. I watched him drop to a low crouch and crab-walk his way to their car, which was parked at the edge of his sidewalk. The passenger window was open from the smoker, so he leaned into the car and rustled around. I watched my house, heart beating sharply. I saw a shadow pass by my bedroom window. They would have found me not in bed by now. They could be leaving soon. I made my way to the front door and opened it a crack. "Jack!" I whispered. "They made it to my bedroom! Hurry up!" I shut the door, and ran back to the window, careful not to disturb the blinds. With the binoculars, I inspected my house. The figure was still by my window, and Jack was still rummaging through the car. The figure moved away from my window, and I dashed back to the door. "They're coming!" I called. Jack didn't waste time. He got up and bolted for the door. I shut the front door as he entered, and we both went to the window. The men came back around my house and got back into their car. I thought they would wait around until I came home, but the car started, and they drove away. We both watched the tail lights disappear. When they were gone, I turned back to Jack, who had dumped handfuls what he was carrying onto the coffee table. "Receipts," he said. "I didn't see any badges for policemen or private detectives. Car is registered to Charles B. Matsworth, but the address is blurred out on the papers." I blurted out half the address before I caught myself. Jack looked at me funny, but didn't ask. "I guess grabbing the receipts was useless," he chuckled. "I was gonna say we could plot the receipts on a map and try to figure out where they came from." "That's still a good idea," I said. "That address is for Charles, not necessarily where these guys came from." "Pretty sure these guys are criminal. Sure you don't want to hand this off to the police?" Jack asked. My heart skipped a beat, and I tried to sound nonchalant. "No, I don't want to get the police involved unless it's serious." Jack laughed out loud. "They pulled guns, then went into your house in the middle of the night. I'd say it's pretty serious, Neale." "Okay, okay, I'll level with you," I said. "I've done some stuff and still have an outstanding warrant. If I go to the cops, I'll be arrested." That was enough of the truth to be a convincing argument. Jack pondered that for a bit. "What'd you do?" He asked. "Unpaid speeding ticket," I said quickly with a shrug. "50 in a 35. That was a few months ago. If I go now, before paying the ticket, I'll probably get arrested." Jack nodded with a slight smile. "Okay, Neale. We'll investigate it ourselves until you get your ticket paid. Then we'll get the police involved." I swallowed hard. I didn't intend to ever get the police involved. So I had to resolve this fast.
Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures. dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd. Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome. Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules. Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd. dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets. Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue) Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing. Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged. Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing. A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning. Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store. iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.". Nearest goal is to make the app crash free. Both mobile apps received new design themes. dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.". Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page. Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One). Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes. docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups. decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet. @Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories. Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus! Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply. Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example. A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1. Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks. Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
Atomic desktop wallet added Decred in version 0.1.31. The team answered many questions on Reddit.
AnyBit wallet added Decred. It features built-in price and news tracking. Notably, the source code is open for their Android and iOS wallets.
Coboadded Decred support into their Android and iOS wallets.
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets. Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.
The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.
Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed. Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)
Raedah Group went on the streets of Portland, USA with a pretty blue tent. (photos)
Meetup at Binzantin Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore: "There were 20-ish attendees, and about half of them have joined the Chinese FB group. Most of them don't hear about Decred before, but have expressed the interest in learning more about it after the event. Overall, it's a good exposure for Decred in the Taiwan community.". A report with photos was posted on Facebook, more photos are here and here.
@joshuam made a Decred Jacket appearance at Singapore Grand Prix. (photos)
NewTech PDX meetup in Portland, USA. Raedah Group presented Decred and reported "lots of new converts". (photos)
North Shore Bitcoin & Blockchain in Glenview, USA. @dustorf gave a five minute overview of Decred and noted: "There were only about 25 people, but about 1/3 of them were aware of Decred prior. (...) Our simple presence and explanation of the project moved opinion from 'another shitcoin they sold after mining' to 'an interesting and viable project worthy of further investigation'.". (photos: 12)
Bitcoin Meetup CDMX in Mexico City on Oct 6. @elian will be talking about Decred at the oldest Bitcoin meetup in Mexico.
SF Blockchain Week in San Francisco, USA on Oct 9. @lukebp will discuss DPoS vs PoS on a panel 9:30a-10:15a at the Titans of Tech Stage, Hilton Union Square.
Decred Meetup in Casablanca, Morocco on Oct 27. @butterfly will host the event and talk about Decred in French.
Texas Bitcoin Conference Austin, USA on Oct 27-28. @BAB: "The great thing about this is that it will also be a Decred Summit. We will have half of the conference dedicated to Decred topics, updates, etc."
Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 5-8. @moo31337 will be on a panel discussing "2018: A Rollercoaster Year for Cryptocurrencies"
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)
August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ! Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit. September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom. Videos:
The underbelly of blockchain Governance - fiat licensing and our code with Marco Peerboom and Chris DeRose (youtube, tweet, decred, missed in August issue) Insightful dialogue about men's underwear, licenses, subtleties of GPL, BSD wars, tiling window managers and much more.
Introduction to Decred (Korean, youtube) @Killawhale collected a lot of feedback from the community and produced this video to spread the word in Korea.
Perspectives on Governance from Nathan Wilcox, Jonathan Zeppettini, Vitalik Buterin (z.cash)
Decred - an example of governance (Portuguese, youtube)
Decred, the crypto that wants to compete with Bitcoin (French, youtube)
Exodus.io Live with Marco from Decred! (youtube) Marco joins Exodus.io to discuss what makes DCR an asset that will stand the test of time.
Building Decred With Systems Development Lead Marco Peereboom - Governance, Politeia, Lightning (youtube) Topics: early days, Politeia, the structure of Decred, dcrtime, Lightning Network, attracting users and developers, future plans (DEX, Schnorr signatures, privacy, DAEs).
Decentralized autonomous funding of blockchain projects by @Richard-Red (medium, discussion on decred and dashpay)
The trouble with infrastructure, "thin" protocols in particular, is that someone has to build them at a cost. e.g. LN takes a ton of work, doesn't necessarily generate value itself, but it magnifies the value of BTC or whatever coin that uses it. I see the DEX in a similar light - whoever creates it is not going to make a bunch of money from it, but it will magnify the value of the underlying asset(s) that end up having a deep order book on the DEX. (@jy-p in #dex)
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure. Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins. Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels. #support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)
In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August. As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx) Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.
ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015. A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use. A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains. New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred) On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange. Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.". Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred) The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights. A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.
About This Issue
This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
The Lightning Network is a concept proposed by developers Thaddeus Dryja and Joseph Poon to create a network of trust-less payment channels on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. The goal of this network is to allow for instantaneously secure Bitcoin payments of any amount, no matter how small.
The Scalability Problem
From the earliest days of Bitcoin, critics took issue with its scalability characteristics. The very first response to Satoshi Nakamoto's described design was a total rejection of the system as being unable to deal with the enormous capacity demands of the world's economy. This message was the first, but far from the last time the scalability of Bitcoin would be called into question. The reason for this skepticism is that in computer science, there are well understood system designs and algorithm designs, with vastly different costs. For example when a design calls for searching through a group of words, an adjustment to make the words alphabetically ordered can produce a potentially billion times faster solution. Simply by using a strategy of checking in exponentially reducing half sections, the search is executed at an exponentially reduced cost. The Blockchain is an example of a system in which growth of use does not just grow cost linearly, but instead at an exponentially increasing rate. The reason for this inefficiency is that when the Blockchain adds a new member who needs to send payments, the new member incurs a cost on all the other members who have a need to fully validate payments. All fully validating members of the Blockchain must sync and validate everything all other members produce. From the perspective of the total system, this means that the total system cost is increasing as a power of two, the polar opposite outcome of what a more ideally scalable and efficient algorithm would yield.
Satoshi Nakamoto realized this deficiency in his original proposal, and came up with a proposed solution. His idea was to reduce the operative mode of validation to be scoped to a user, for users who had less need to validate. Since additional members only incurred costs on validating members, skipping validation from some clients would mean that the impact of adding members was more limited, to be borne only by those who wished to dependably receive payments, such as merchants. This method he named Simplified Payments Verification or SPV, and his original outlined plan would present a less secure but still acceptable model for normal consumers because there would be an alerting mechanism for rule breaches that would signify the system was compromised, proactively preventing attacks on consensus rules. Although long promised, the demands of Bitcoin Core's development meant that Satoshi was never able to deliver on his promised SPV-mode client. Over time others took his ideas and appropriated the SPV name in making their own similar, but not quite equal solutions. Due to wide differences of opinion in the correct methods and workability of SPV mode, a reference project was never created and the alerting system was never crafted. Nevertheless as a working solution many people adopted lower security but more user friendly and less operationally costly wallets, in many varied configurations. Eventually the efficiencies of SPV came to be seen as only a temporary optimization of the Blockchain design. Instead of solving the exponential cost of the Blockchain system, SPV clients could only slow the cost increases. The lack of an alerting system and other faults of SPV meant that anyone receiving payments could not rely on it, muting the model's positive impact on the total system scalability cost. SPV's dependency on miner validation made miner centralization concerns more pronounced. The validation cost burden on merchants and on the overall system began to have secondary negative effects, such as contributing directly to mining centralization by giving outsize advantages to miners with economies of scale. The high cost of a full node contributed to merchant validation centralization by creating an increasingly high cost to validate payments. Many efforts were made to optimize against these increasing costs, but the fundamental design of the Blockchain meant that an increasing tide of transactions would one day overwhelm any possible optimization that did not address the basic peer broadcasting design.
The End of SPV
Another marked failing of SPV clients proved to be that they could never successfully be secured against financial privacy leakage. This represented a threat to users' personal privacy and even to the overall utility of the currency where all equal denomination coins, no matter their origin, should have close to an equal value. SPV clients were also seen as unsustainable in a decentralized configuration: since they cannot sync with each other they must make increasing demands on the limited and increasingly costly altruism of the node operators. SPV could also not provide a solution to another much lamented Blockchain problem: the limitations preventing micro-payments. Early on in Bitcoin's life, to fight floods of small transactions that were called penny-flooding, Satoshi had instituted barriers against very small payments: payments smaller than a tenth of a bitcoin were blocked. Satoshi also created a prioritization system to improve the Blockchain's reliability for high value payments, a marketplace for transactions in every block, with space being prioritized to the highest value transactions as indicated by fees. This further pushed out very small payments, Satoshi often had to regretfully inform people that micro-payments were not feasible. In the early years of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto and the other developers faced many and varied pressing immediate practical operational concerns and development realities of simply keeping the Blockchain reliable, durable and secure. Early plans for scalability and support for broad use-cases gave way to what was seen as the most important use-case: high value transactions with a high level of security and durability against network attack. Over time the system's long-term scalability, various lower priority use cases, and difficult to implement features like instant settlement were all pushed to be developed outside of the Blockchain on a different layer, called Layer 2. Layer 2 systems would still empower transactions denominated in Bitcoin units and be ultimately settled against the Blockchain, but also be able to avoid offering the same guarantees and functionality as the Blockchain, in order to serve a broader range of use cases. The Lightning Network is an example of a Layer 2 service: a network service that seeks to provide instant settlement, tiny micro-payments, improved privacy, in a system that is fundamentally built on the Blockchain but also logically separated.
Lightning's solutions are based on a common and long running proposal for how to use the Blockchain to provide for instantly secure and arbitrarily small transactions: payment channels. Payment channels have existed for many years, in both well established theory and as real libraries and projects. Payment channels are a method of using smart contracts to rapidly trade Bitcoin between two parties, without requiring the Blockchain for more than occasional settlement. The parties create a shared starting balance on the Blockchain and then using signed but un-broadcast transactions rapidly, cheaply, and privately update the balance between them. Because the funds are locked in a multiple signature smart contract, cooperation with the channel partner is required to spend the funds, however a payment channel smart contract also specifies a timeout that acts an escape if there is a failure of cooperation. There are multiple ways to form these channels, but they all offer the same advantages: instant transactions, arbitrarily small denomination payments, low fees, and transaction privacy, although only between two joined together parties. The key innovation in Lightning is to take these joined pairs and link them together in a network: pairs passing along funds to each other in a chain until they reach their destinations. This combines the Blockchain's benefit of sending to arbitrary users with all payment channel benefits like instantly secure transactions.
Opening Payment Channels
To open channels in Lightning, a Bitcoin transaction smart contract is published with rules for how deposited funds may be spent. The rules of the transaction essentially specify that funds deposited cannot be spent unless both parties agree, with the exception that one party can unilaterally refund his deposited funds to himself if he is willing to wait for a time delay before re-spending them. The transaction establishing these rules is called a commitment transaction and a transaction that adds funds into this channel is called a funding transaction. For efficiency, when initiating the channel for the first time both transactions may be folded together into a single Blockchain transaction. There are two proposed methods for accomplishing Lightning's channel timeout requirement. The first mechanism uses a feature called CLTV that first added to Bitcoin in the soft forking Bitcoin Core version 0.11.2, released in November of 2015. This feature allowed for time-locking funds against a certain date, meaning that channel partners could create fixed future time timeouts for their channels. Using this feature would mean that channels be routinely re-created to bump the timeout window forward. Another method was also proposed, using a time-locking feature called CSV that was first added to Bitcoin in the soft forking Bitcoin Core version 0.12.1, released in April of 2016. CSV allowed for specifying relative time locking contracts, meaning that channel partners could instead choose their timeout relative to when they executed their channel escape clause, allowing for channels that could remain open indefinitely. Because of this improvement, CSV timeouts were selected as the standard for Lightning payment channels.
Lightning payment channels work pretty much like normal payment channels, they pass signed transactions between two parties to update their balance. There is however one unique aspect that allows for routing: a third party involved in a Lightning balance update transaction called an R value. This R value, which is simply a lumping together of information about the movement of funds, allows a transaction between parties to be routable. R values represent hash-able information that can be used as Blockchain presentable proof that funds have been moved across the Lightning Network. To understand how the R value allows moving money through the interaction of third party Lightning Network actors, it's important to understand that when spending funds on the Blockchain it is not actually the people who authorize funds. Instead it is only their private keys' signatures that authorize spending, all Blockchain funds are actually locked in contracts that have various rules about how they may be unlocked, the most common being that a singular private key may be used to unlock them. Because Blockchain contracts simply deal in signatures and are scriptable, it is possible to create a type of transaction that is keyed against a signatory who actually knows nothing about the transaction and simply testifies to a system state in a signed way. For example, a server that produced cryptographically signed statements about the weather could be used in a transaction between two parties to be the arbiter of the execution of a weather based funds transfer, without any direct involvement of the server in the transaction itself. This type of transaction is rare, and it was banned as part of a blanket banning effort by Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik who objected to general purpose smart contracts on the Blockchain and promoted the idea of a white listing system called standard transactions. In February of 2014, the release of Bitcoin version 0.10.0 mostly lifted this restriction, allowing more novel transaction types. Included in the allowed transaction types were those keyed off of an arbitrary non participatory signature, called hash locked transactions. In February of 2016, Sean Bowe and Pieter Wuille published a work in progress version of a special transaction type that could include a time locked transaction with a hash unlock code. This specific type of transaction, called a Hash Time Locked Contract or HTLC, enables the state changes within Lightning Network channels. Lightning Network clients negotiate with the network to send out a transaction to be routed across the network, yielding an updated set of finalized settlement data which represents the settlement update hash lock solution, the R value. This R value is only represented to the Blockchain as an opaque signature, and it could signify any successful routing, including passing of value from the Bitcoin Blockchain to another Blockchain, like the Bitcoin Testnet. This type of settlement transaction is very powerful, it can be used to create a wide variety of transactions, like multi-signature transactions within the Lightning Network, or even probabilistic settlements within the Lightning Network. A novel payment type called Pre-Image Length Probabilistic Payment, or PILPP has been proposed as a way to send payments on the Lightning Network that are actually provably probabilistic, meaning it is possible to send someone a one bitcoin with a fifty percent chance of arrival. Using this payment type, it is theorized that services could even charge sub-Satoshi fees for their services by asking customers for probabilistic payments of a single Satoshi.
The Lightning Network offers a particularly private solution to executing a transaction, called onion routing, in a method similar to the online privacy system Tor, also known as The Onion Router. The way that Lightning Network transactions are executed, each client considers the destination for funds and then decides on a linked series of pairs to execute the transfer. The client then wraps the pair series information in an encrypted format so that each pair jump is only given information on a need-to-know basis. The intermediary relays are not given information about any of the other pairs, including the final destination of the transfer they are assisting. To avoid a situation where pairs fail to execute their fund passing duty, routed payments are given a TTL, or a time to live, meaning that the payments are no longer valid after a certain point. This allows automatic retrying of payments that fail to route successfully due to a third party fund transfer failure. Transactions can also use fees to incentivize pairs to successfully pass funds in a timely manner; pairs that fail to route may bear an opportunity cost.
In Breach of Contract
From the Blockchain's perspective, Lightning Network funds are just funds deposited in a two of two signature multi-signature wallet. As the balance of funds changes within a channel, the settlement is actually done through a transaction that may be broadcast at any time to the Blockchain to settle funds back to each party. With potentially thousands of balance state change transactions, the balance within the channel is intended to go up and down over time. This presents a major problem for payment channels: what happens if the other party broadcasts an obsolete state of the balance of payment to the network that ignores a recent payment, and therefore steals funds? This situation in which there is a breach of the basic channel contract where an out of date state is broadcast can only be solved by correcting the Blockchain record in response, meaning the stored funds must be monitored for breaches. In the Lightning Network the solution to this issue is to preemptively prepare a special type of transaction called a breach remedy transaction that prevents the invalid old state from being used to steal funds. A breach remedy transaction goes beyond reclaiming the injured party's funds. To discourage theft, the transaction also takes the entirety of the offending party's funds as a penalty. For this reason it is recommended that a channel never be allowed to empty, that some funds to take in penalty always remain, to avoid a situation called an exhausted channel. Breach remedy transactions are formed as a part of every update to the balance of payments in a Lightning Network channel, in a flow called the Revocable Sequence Maturity Contract or RSMC. The RSMC flow is done without requiring trust in the other party, generating and exchanging the guarantees against betrayal before completing the funds state update. Breach remedy transactions are fully formed, fully signed, and they may even be safely published to third parties with rewards for the first publisher attached, to incentivize many eyes watching for and preventing a breach of contract.
Sometimes channel participants may wish to close their channels, for regular channel rebalancing or just to make a Blockchain payment. Lightning Network transactions that settle back to the Blockchain are called exercise settlement transactions, and they are simply standard co-signed transactions. Funds are sent as in any standard multi-signature transaction and the channel is considered closed. This happens instantly, as long as the channel partner is cooperative. In the event that a channel partner is unavailable to close the channel, another option is possible, which is to exercise the CSV clause specified in the channel opening contract. This clause says that any party may unilaterally close the channel and reclaim their funds, provided that they wait for a timeout period to spend their funds again freely. This timeout period is called a dispute period, because it gives the channel partner a chance to dispute the channel close in the case of a breach of contract, when the channel is closed with an out of date balance of payments.
There are a number of challenges inherent in the Lightning Network concept. In the most marked change from the Blockchain, Lightning flips the configuration of the network from a single shared Blockchain ledger to a wide array of individualized Lightning client ledgers. Users holding Lightning Network funds are holding funds that are just as good as Bitcoin, but the funds are actually signed claims on funds. In the Blockchain a global ledger state is synced between everyone and a user must only save their private keys to retain control of their funds. In Lightning, securely holding both the key data and individualized ledger data is the responsibility of the client. One solution to this issue is to use the saved keys to securely encrypt the state data and then save the encrypted data to a networked backup. Another departure from the Bitcoin network model that requires careful consideration is that Lightning transactions do not need to be broadcast to every member by relaying others transactions. Given a more limited number of transactions that are sent, this reveals more information as to the identity of the sender. To solve this, Tor channels could be used to obscure IP information from channel partners, but a more comprehensive and as yet undefined solution may be needed to help obscure other correlation efforts. Funds in Lightning also work differently from Bitcoin funds. The Lightning channels lock the funds to an agreement with a Lightning relay, in which a set of cooperative rules are agreed upon to enable the Lightning protocol. But in the case of a cooperation failure, which can simply mean the connected Lightning relay suffering downtime, user funds will be locked from use for up to the preset lock time, which could be up to a week. To deal with this, it's suggested that the risk of locking be spread over multiple channels, or that a user be encouraged to limit their use of Lightning to smaller amounts of spending money. Spending down entire channels is also not an efficient use of Lightning, so that reinforces the idea of users separating their funds into spending money in Lightning channels and savings in traditional Bitcoin wallets. Another tricky issue with Lightning funds is that a channel partner may try to steal funds from the channel. Wallets must either be semi-regularly online to prevent that, or third parties must be available who can be relied upon to prevent theft. Theoretically, miners could also execute a theft directly, by gaining majority control of the network for the dispute period and blocking any breach remedy transactions from occurring, although some of the standard guards against miners taking that action would still apply, such as their general block reward incentives. This means that Lightning benefits from a decentralized set of miners and a set of users who are able to access the Blockchain cheaply to respond to breaches of channel contracts. There are actually two configuration types of Lightning, similar to how there are two common types of Bitcoin clients: light Lightning clients who only spend money occasionally, and full Lightning nodes who act as relays and comprise the body of the Lightning network. There is a benefit associated with running a Lightning relay: as transactions are passed through a relay, they carry a reward of small market-based fees. But there is also a potential cost with running a Lightning relay, these relays are software that must have the agency to move funds between their channels. Relays need to have some automated access to user funds, to complete the signatures needed for channel transaction routing. It is recommended that relay operators be sure to secure their systems from unauthorized access to protect the capital required to operate a relaying node. Lighter Lightning clients do not share this issue, by only connecting occasionally they may secure their funds in colder storage and through multi-signature setups, as is the standard for secure Bitcoin storage.
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