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Writing a short early history of ICOs, starting with altcoins - anything important I've missed?
This is for the forever-forthcoming ICO book. But I figured I needed to talk about altcoins first, the previous generation of shitcoins. This is mostly from dredging early altcoin stuff on Bitcointalk. There needs to be a bit of the end that leads from The DAO as a world-famous ICO to the 2017 crypto bubble, and ICOs booming in that. Is there anything super-relevant I've missed? In the context of ICOs as we now know them, not just altcoins. Ethereum and Ripple probably. The early history of ICOs In the beginning was Bitcoin. That’s the start for every cryptocurrency and blockchain story. Different parts are important to different people — fun and interesting technology, decentralised money, fighting the oppressive statist jackboots of taxation, sticking it to the man. What ICOs inherit from Bitcoin is the notion of inventing your own magical Internet money — so you can get rich for free. Bitcoin was released in January 2009 as an open protocol, implemented as open source code — anyone could take a copy of it, twiddle it a bit and have a new coin. It took until April 2011 for the first “fork” of the Bitcoin code to come out — Namecoin, an attempt at a decentralised replacement for the Internet’s Domain Name Service (DNS). It was another four months until someone came up with a general altcoin, usable as a Bitcoin-style payment system — Ixcoin, on 10 August 2011. The creator, “Thomas Nasakioto” — an anagram of "Satoshi Nakamoto"; he used a picture of Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada as his forum avatar — disappeared less than a month later, having scored about 50 bitcoins in the process. “Pretty sure it’s dead,” said one commenter. “It has served his purpose. Many people made quite a few BTC out of it.” A flood of what were rapidly labeled “altcoins” followed — i0coin, Solidcoin, RRCoin, Tenebrix, Litecoin. The Freenode Internet Relay Chat network started banning cryptocurrency servers that made automated network announcements around this time, rather than deal with what looked “like a botnet using their network.” The first Initial Coin Offering as we know it is commonly held to be Mastercoin in July 2013. Mastercoin became OmniLayer — the platform for Tether. Mastercoin was the first sale of a token that ran as an application on top of another blockchain — in this case, Bitcoin: “I am VERY excited to announce that I now have a complete specification for building a protocol layer on top of bitcoin (like how HTTP runs on top of TCP/IP).” Mastercoin didn’t use the phrase “Initial Coin Offering.” The phrase “IPO” — “Initial Public Offering,” in the manner of stock offerings for companies going public — was being used for altcoin offerings by 2014. IronBankCoin used “initial coin offering” and “ICO” by July 2014 — “The initial coin offering will be of 21% of the coin cap during the PoW (Proof of Work) stage” and “Initial Distribution of the Land (ICO info): ICO? Aren't those all scams?” Mastercoin never really took off as a token platform — that didn’t come until Ethereum made tokens easy to set up in 2015, and The DAO got press worldwide in 2016 by showing just how much money an ICO could pull in. Even as The DAO proceeded to lose $50 million to a hacker five days after launch.
Abstract So far, the topic of merged mining has mainly been considered in a security context, covering issues such as mining power centralization or crosschain attack scenarios. In this work we show that key information for determining blockchain metrics such as the fork rate can be recovered through data extracted from merge mined cryptocurrencies. Specifically, we reconstruct a long-ranging view of forks and stale blocks in Bitcoin from its merge mined child chains, and compare our results to previous findings that were derived from live measurements. Thereby, we show that live monitoring alone is not sufficient to capture a large majority of these events, as we are able to identify a non-negligible portion of stale blocks that were previously unaccounted for. Their authenticity is ensured by cryptographic evidence regarding both, their position in the respective blockchain, as well as the Proof-of-Work difficulty. Furthermore, by applying this new technique to Litecoin and its child cryptocur rencies, we are able to provide the first extensive view and lower bound on the stale block and fork rate in the Litecoin network. Finally, we outline that a recovery of other important metrics and blockchain characteristics through merged mining may also be possible. References
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A. Gervais, G. O. Karame, K. Wust, V. Glykantzis, H. Ritzdo rf, and S. Capkun, “On the ¨ security and performance of proof of work blockchains,” in Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC. ACM, 2016, pp. 3–16.
A. E. Gencer, S. Basu, I. Eyal, R. van Renesse, and E. G. Sirer, “Decentralization in bitcoin and ethereum networks,” in Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC). Springer, 2018. [Online]. Available: http://fc18.ifca.ai/preproceedings/75.pdf
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K. Nayak, S. Kumar, A. Miller, and E. Shi, “Stubborn mining: Generalizing selfish mining and combining with an eclipse attack,” in 1st IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy, 2016. IEEE, 2016. [Online]. Available: http://eprint.iacr.org/2015/796.pdf
J. Bonneau, “Why buy when you can rent? bribery attacks on bitcoin consensus,” in BITCOIN ’16: Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Bitcoin and Blockchain Research, February 2016. [Online]. Available: http://fc16.ifca.ai/bitcoin/papers/Bon16b.pdf
K. Liao and J. Katz, “Incentivizing blockchain forks via whale transactions,” in International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security. Springer, 2017, pp. 264–279. [Online]. Available: http://www.cs.umd.edu/∼jkatz/papers/whale-txs.pdf
A. Zamyatin, N. Stifter, A. Judmayer, P. Schindler, E. Weippl, and W. J. Knottebelt, “(Short Paper) A Wild Velvet Fork Appears! Inclusive Blockchain Protocol Changes in Practice,” in 5th Workshop on Bitcoin and Blockchain Research, Financial Cryptography and Data Security 18 (FC). Springer, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/087.pdf
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Y. Sompolinsky and A. Zohar, “Phantom: A scalable blockdag protocol,” Cryptology ePrint Archive, Report 2018/104, 2018, accessed:2018-01-31. [Online]. Available: https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/104.pdf
A. Judmayer, A. Zamyatin, N. Stifter, A. G. Voyiatzis, and E. Weippl, “Merged mining: Curse or cure?” in CBT’17: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology, Sep 2017. [Online]. Available: https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/791.pdf
A. Judmayer, N. Stifter, K. Krombholz, and E. Weippl, “Blocks and chains: Introduction to bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and their consensus mechanisms,” Synthesis Lectures on Information Security, Privacy, and Trust, 2017.
A. Kiayias, A. Miller, and D. Zindros, “Non-interactive proofs of proof-of-work,” Cryptology ePrint Archive, Report 2017/963, 2017, accessed:2017-10-03. [Online]. Available: https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/963.pdf
N. T. Courtois and L. Bahack, “On subversive miner strategies and block withholding attack in bitcoin digital currency,” arXiv preprint arXiv:1402.1718, 2014, accessed: 2016-07-04. [Online]. Available: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1402.1718.pdf
A. P. Ozisik, G. Bissias, and B. Levine, “Estimation of miner hash rates and consensus on blockchains,” arXiv preprint arXiv:1707.00082, 2017, accessed:2017-09-25. [Online]. Available: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1707.00082.pdf
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R. Matzutt, J. Hiller, M. Henze, J. H. Ziegeldorf, D. Mullmann, O. Hohlfeld, and K. Wehrle, ¨ “A quantitative analysis of the impact of arbitrary blockchain content on bitcoin,” in Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC). Springer, 2018. [Online]. Available: http://fc18.ifca.ai/preproceedings/6.pdf
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A. Judmayer, N. Stifter, P. Schindler, and E. Weippl, “Pitchforks in cryptocurrencies: Enforcing rule changes through offensive forking- and consensus techniques (short paper),” in CBT’18: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology, Sep 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.sba-research.org/wpcontent/uploads/2018/09/judmayer2018pitchfork 2018-09-05.pdf
Thoughts on merged mining? (Mining 2 or more coins at the same time)
PoW is intrinsically broken/flawed. We all signed up for it, but I am personally not really that worried. Any new algorithm that relies on PoW is just delaying the inevitable. ASICs are a greater threat than GPU was to CPU in terms of centralization, but if we survive it, we will be much much better for it. How much of a supportive community do we want to be? Will we allow present and future altcoins to use Dogecoin as the parent blockchain and their blockchain is auxiliary? We can't stop them, but it's nice to be inclusive. This is merged mining. You mine 2 or more coins (Namecoin, Ixcoin, Devcoin, I0coin and Groupcoin), at the same time, with one miner. Bitcoin does this all day. Here is a discussion about it for scrypt coins: https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=15666.0 At a merged mining scrypt pool that mines Dogecoin, if you had 1250kh/s it would look like this: Parent Blockchain - DogeCoin: You are mining it at 1250Khash/s Auxillary Blockchains: PesetaCoin: you are mining it at full speed, 1250Khash/s UnitedScryptCoin: you are mining it at full speed, 1250Khash/s OrgCoin: you are mining it at full speed, 1250Khash/s HunterCoin: you are mining it at full speed, 1250Khash/s More pools like this would be nice. Is anyone working on a Dogecoin specific one? I would like to think we are the type of community to support this. This could only make us stronger. It's just one of many possible ways to improve our network security.
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