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Re: [Cryptography] Altcoin volume

Hi James,

On 25/09/2017 09:28, James A. Donald wrote:

There can only be one.  Who is winning?

There can only be one winner with zero semantics.  Two cryptos with zero semantics have no differentiation, and thus the primary mover is likely to squeeze all copies out through network effects.

Winning then becomes a process of differentiation.  Which can be ephemeral such as the altCoins or it can be technological such as the enhanced chains like Ethereum.  To which we can now add the newcomers like Tezos and EOS (disclosure; I work with these guys), which seek to do things better again.

Then you've got the forked Bitcoins - Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Segwit.  They are competing on more subtle technological differences, on scaling, and on politics.

As to who is winning, ... wait and see :-)

Well obviously bitcoin is winning, but bitcoin's flaws may bring it down, so which altcoin is best placed to replace it?

The winner needs to be a proof of stake currency, because transactions cost less and are faster, and it needs to facilitate communication and to provide identities and logins.

And because intelligent voting is a benefit to the community, but not to the individual, it needs to harvest behavior of stakeholders to provide witness election, as steamit does to some extent.

While proof of work currencies suffer from the problem that miners may not pursue the best interests of the currency, proof of stake currencies suffer from the problem that stakeholders may not vote in their best interests, that typically stakeholders do not vote at all, or vote frivolously.

Yes, this is one of the lessons of DPOS.  In practice, the limit of 21 producers or witnesses or delegates is informed both by community (in)attention to the process, and also by the desire to reduce finality of transactions down (2/3 of the producers therefore 42 seconds or so).

Bitcoin is hitting its scaling limits hard, and is dependent on tolerance by the Chinese government.  But so long as the Chinese government is not too oppressive, it will remain the dominant cryptocurrency.

I don't think China will upset Bitcoin's hegemony, unless they go after the hash farms. If that happens, Bitcoin has a big problem. More rumblings here: https://steemit.com/eos/@iang/eos-with-dpos-is-immune-to-the-gfw-attack-because-it-is-more-decentralised

(Digressing, as American capitalism comes to mean that the accounting and human resources departments are tentacles of the American state even in nominally independent nations, maybe we will soon call actual capitalism "socialism with Chinese characteristics")

lol...  It is somewhat surreal that new tokens are refusing sales to both US persons and to Chinese persons.

Right now there are umpteen altcoins, most of them composed of hype and copies of the bitcoin software, some of them outright scams.

Information of the value of altcoin currency is not necessarily reliable, because of the dotcom boom density of scams and projects that wind up degenerating into scams.

Steam broke genuinely new ground, and EOS is in the same lineage. Unlike a lot of altcoins whose main goal is to separate speculators from their money, they deserve to succeed.  They are clearly better than bitcoin.

How are they doing?

Ha!  Putting biased corporate hat on:  Building, building, building.  Alpha-grade testnet is supposed to be happening as we speak.  Devs are being brought in.  Much conference.

For those who don't follow:  EOS has a novel coin distribution strategy that was designed to mimic mining and to eliminate the pump and dump:  with a 1 year broad distribution using daily auctions. This won't be complete until mid next year, at which point the tokens will be switched off, the community will start up its chain, and the real EOS tokens will be enabled.


...In short, DPOS separates out the problem of PoS into two layers:

 * a selected set of block producers (aka witnesses), and
 * an on-chain voting mechanism to vote in/out the producers
proportional to stake.

This separation solves the "nothing at stake" problem.  I've written an
introductory high level description to DPOS here:

And here's a more practical take of the workings of the Steemit DPOS
system, with numbers:
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