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Out of the Shell #4: @月饼tom

Tom’s Avatar

Welcome to the fourth installment of Out of the Shell, a series of interviews with the developers, designers, and doers behind TurtleCoin. This is @gigantomachia and I’ll be your host.

The TurtleCoin community is full of talented people who contribute their time and skills, but prefer to stay under the radar. I was lucky enough to lure one these humble turtles out of his shell for this interview. Tom (@月饼tom) is a security researcher from Canada who’s been involved in crypto on and off since the very beginning (he mined Bitcoin when it still made sense to do it from your desktop). He originally discovered TurtleCoin on TradeOgre while looking for valuable coins to mine and was immediately drawn in by the community and the TurtleCoin origin story. He now runs one of TurtleCoin’s block explorers and mining pool trackers (, as well as one of the community’s public daemons (a public daemon allows a user to interact with the TurtleCoin blockchain without having to run turtlecoind directly on their computer to sync with the blockchain).

I chatted with @月饼tom about how he came to join the TurtleCoin community, what projects he’s currently working on, and why he thinks TurtleCoin has a bright future. Enjoy.

Tips welcome: TRTLuxvBFVNSxovAp3c9C8h8dUttA4sP8hHELDQJXsQZ7JcKfnn3sLkUPGQgQBkvvhXFfAErUqmf52BzyqFaHhEHicRNLnXYfRj (Gigantomachia)

How’d you first learn about TurtleCoin?
I could not ignore Bitcoin again after all the attention in November/December of last year and decided to go look for some altcoins to mine. I found Aeon via a forum I was a member of that ran a private pool. After not being so happy with major exchanges for selling the mining proceeds I was looking for new Aeon markets and stumbled across TradeOgre, saw this thing called TurtleCoin and fell went down the rabbit hole.

So, you entered via mining. Do you mine TurtleCoin exclusively, now?
No, not exclusively. I mine some other coins. The nature of the different cryptocurrencies is that depending on the equipment you have it is more profitable to mine some different ones, Zcash/Equihash on Nvidia and cryptonote on CPUs.

What initially drew you to the coin? What was it that enticed you to jump in?
The story of how there was so much BS in the crypto world with white papers, ICOs and whatnot rang true. I had read so many and they all seemed so hollow. They had me at “Hold my beer.” Lets go make a coin without all the pretense and just see where it goes. I am pretty sure all the ICO guys didn’t put down their vodka tonics to go do work, you know?

So the story behind TurtleCoin drew you in and you started mining TRTL. What led you to get more involved in the community and set up a block explorer?
I saw a gap in that basic services like the block explorer were not there yet and knew that cryptonote blockchain software had not been maintained much over the years from working with the Aeon code. I saw it as an opportunity to run a service and enhance my skills in running a reliable service in a coin that I was “invested” in through having spent the time mining it. Basically, it’s a win/win. I get to learn about running blockchain software at scale and help a coin I own a bit of.

For the non-technical people who might read this and wonder, can you explain the purpose of a block explorer and mining pool tracker? How does that service benefit the community?
Ah ya, good question. So the block explorer lets you track all the details of the blockchain, like what the current block is (height), what the reward is for finding or mining a block and, most importantly, to look up transaction IDs and see if they made it onto the blockchain. The pool listing is useful to track the network as most of the mining or block generation is done in pools these days. So, basically, you can watch and see when your transaction hits the chain, and then if someone says they didn’t receive it or it didn’t make a block you have some reference point.

What’s your professional background?
I am a security researcher.

What’s your favorite pizza?
Pepperoni pizza is the best.

You mentioned earlier not ignoring Bitcoin again after the Nov/Dec run up. Does that imply you’ve been involved in the past? How long have you been interested in crypto?
Since the start. But the culture changes and the rapid escalation to more expensive mining technologies (GPU/ASIC) drove me away rather quickly.

The start start? Were you mining Bitcoin when you could do it from your desktop? What year did you get involved?
So early 2010 probably. Yes, I remember being frustrated that I could only mine a few coins and gave up at the time lol.

So you gave up on all crypto until late last year?
I went back and did a review a few times: 2013, 2015.

Besides the block explorer and mining pool tracker, are you involved in any other projects in the TurtleCoin community?
In a small way I feed the results of running a TurtleCoin daemon at scale back into the core project. I am also working on a receipt printer paper wallet project solo.

See Tom print money. Print, Tom. Print.

What’s the application of a receipt printer paper wallet? I’ve only ever seen them as receipts from bitcoin ATMs. Is that what you’re thinking here?
Yeah, ATMs or just an easy way to sell coins to people and give them access via a paper wallet that can be printed quickly.

That implies face-to-face transactions. That’s an interesting angle I haven’t seen the community talk about yet. Good lead in to a question about where you see TurtleCoin heading.
I see TurtleCoin heading into the space of a coin that you can use how you need to use it. If you need to make a fast transaction on the network that will work (it does today), or if you want to go use paper wallets printed on thermal printer paper, that will work too. Hopefully the digit feature will help people understand better the value or amount they are sending at any given time. How much was 0.004005 BTC vs how much is 2500 TRTL.

What does TurtleCoin have going for it that the other cryptocurrencies with an emphasis on privacy don’t?
So another good question. I see other privacy-focused cryptocurrencies having a strong culture around why you should buy or invest in it, and usually a strong “leader” who is directing the investment “advise” and the project. In TurtleCoin I see strong leadership in the technology and culture, but the whole market aspect is not the focus. They kicked all the “when’s the next exchange” and “price!?” folks to a separate discord a few weeks ago so that we could focus on the technology. This means to me that the leadership values privacy and this is not just another pump-and-dump scheme. I guess that does not just apply to privacy coins, but crypto in general.

Are you saying an emphasis on the tech, not marketing, is a good sign for the coin’s long-term viability?
Well marketing is important too, and that happens for sure. I am saying that my interpretation is that marketing is done with concern for the users interests the same as it is with the technology.

When you’re not working or hanging out in the TurtleCoin discord, what do you like to do for fun?
For fun I like to do things like cryptocurrency hacking, time travel and hockey.

Any particular projects or initiatives you’re working on right now where you’re seeking community input? Any request for the reader or community, or opportunities for people to get involved if they want?
So, the block explorer codebase was forked from Karbo and it does not really reflect the branding of TurtleCoin. I would be happy to work with folks on updates that use the material that the folks in the marketing channel have created.

Anything you’d like to add?
I think that TurtleCoin is a good somewhat safeish place for folks to learn about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology if they keep in mind that the markets are super risky. Just use the opportunity to run the wallet/daemon and get some TRTL with mining or the rain and see how it works for them. Other than that just a big thanks to everyone out there in the community. It has been a blast and let’s see where this goes.

Tips welcome: TRTLv2MxqomYoBNjKD1jPeQBRZ6ghG9xpED51C3uSv2VDNgt7u8fHVtA8oEF5sjXC7U1kavfTLAPQKKoPUodidGuDULqYNXihwJ (月饼 tom)

Tom, you’ve been a really big help since the beginning, and an expert diagnostician! Thanks for putting up with all the shenanigans :) — Rock

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The Traveler’s Guide to #exile

This is a guide for all of those who’ve suddenly found themselves read-only in our chat with an #exile role applied to their account. This is a welcome-guide of sorts, and an explainer for the TurtleCoin Judiciary Appeals Process.

Oh no! I was happily shitposting and now I can’t say anything except for this one room with the grabby wolf-turtles! — ExileTurtle RIP

We have to accept the responsibility that free speech and anonymity can lead to some disasters, and if you don’t discourage troublemakers, you lose a lot of good people. We don’t want to kick you or ban you, we just can’t have you in the front room showing your ass to guests.

You can see here, CrappyRules eating an inmate.

The good news is, most people get out of exile within minutes. Sit tight.

Probably by the time you’re done reading, not skimming, this article, you’ll have someone waiting to talk to you. In the mean time, here’s what’s about to happen.

Arrest & Intake

An exile role is applied to you. You are now read-only in all chats except for #exile, and there are other chats you just won’t be able to see anything. At this point, nobody has addressed what has brought you to #exile and your case is awaiting arbitration. Your username will usually have the label (INMATE).

Note: Exile is completely a free speech zone. I’m not saying to go and harrass anyone with an (inmate) tag, I’m saying if you want to tell someone exactly how you feel about them, this is for sure the place, but beware, being directly hazardous to the community, or disregarding an order to chill out will get you in a sticky situation, and don’t be surprised if you step over the line and notice the exit door a lot harder to find!

This is Shortok’s baby. Look at it.

The Appeals Process

There is a voluntary appeals process. Everyone is given a chance to sway the community sentiment in their favor. If you’d like to appoint a representative to help petition for your release, this is allowed.

If you have decided to submit a statement, an ad-hoc committee of your peers will be created to evaluate your appeal.

Rare Origami Turtles are a sure bet.

Judgement & Redemption

If you’ve made your appeal, and it is decided you need to get right with the community, you’ll be given three choices for redemption:

  • A tribute — You must pay a tribute to the rain bot, or tip the person you’ve wronged.
  • A challenge — You’ll be issued a challenge, like singing for us, or crafting a bespoke haiku to convey your apologies to the Appeals Committee.
  • A sentence — Doing time in #exile is always a respectful way to repent. Some of the most caustic members of our society have gone through this way, the longest being a month or more, and come out as gems of our society.

That’s all there is to it.

In all, #exile can be a scary place, and there’s a lot of reasons why you don’t want to get sent there. Keep in mind though, you’re there for a reason, and we’d rather you be a good sport and earn your way out. It’s a rehabilitative process that will help integrate you with the community. And most of all, you don’t want to run in to Wazlo.

Seriously, you don’t want to meet Wazlo.
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How To Be A Good Turtle

Thanks to Uurayan for inspiring this article, I hope it inspires some of you! -RockSteady

An illustrated Guide For Identifying Good Turtles

As always, we Turtles learn by doing, and while I was doing a bad job of informing the community what we like to see, a Good Turtle came along and showed me some resources that I could use to help you guys! Thanks Uurayan!

1. A Good Turtle Always Says Hello!

Seeing someone pop in the chat is always exciting. Take a second from your conversation to welcome them!

Here you can see Mr. Bones and Shiraz being very welcoming Turtles. Great job guys!

Say hello to someone by @’ing their username when you see them, and maybe a small welcome phrase if they’re arriving from a recent event that got us a lot of new faces.

When a new user joins, they can’t type for the first 5–10 minutes, so be patient!

Bring the new person up to speed on the conversation at hand and give them some context, and then ask for their input. Everyone has a voice here, and a good way to get to know someone is to get them involved as soon as they hit the floor.

2. A Good Turtle Is Happy To Be Helpful!

Being new can be scary and frustrating, especially if you need help! When you see Turtles who need help, even if you don’t know the answer, acknowledge them and allow them to explain to you what’s going on.

Ereptor and Turtle? are two Good Turtles in the #help channel

When someone asks for help, even if you don’t know the answer, please take a second to pop in the #help channel and grab someone who can help. Try not to just bark back at them “Go ask #help”, if you can, take them by the shell and go there with them and see that they find help.

People will be frustrated, that’s okay! Keep your convo 100% related to fixing their problems and you’ll win them over every time when they’re fixed. The most angry people will be your most passionate supporters if you help them.

3. A Good Turtle Knows Their Surroundings!

Sometimes the party can get a little out of hand, and conversations can drift into uncertain waters, that’s okay! We’ve made lots of channels for you to express yourself.

When in doubt, take it to #market-talk
  • Are you in #dev_marketing because you invested at 1235 SAT and demand to know when the next sweet pump sesh is happening? Is your question in any way related to price, trade, or markets?
    Market talk goes in #market-talk.
  • Are you sure you need to post the brand new issue of NSFW Turtentacle Hentai vol. XVII in general chat? 
    Post it in #off-topic
  • Do you see someone complaining about not being given enough free TRTL or otherwise disrespecting the general giving spirit of the chat? 
    Tell them to post it in #exile where there are no rain or tip bots.
  • Are you standing in #dev_general shouting about not being able to sync your daemon? 
    Get a glass of water, and post it in #help.

Disappointed with the amount of your free TRTL? We can fix that.

General is the first chat where all the new users end up, and this is where they form their first impressions. Please be nice, and be thinking at all times “Is this conversation representing the community in a good way?”

You don’t have to be a party pooper to kindly guide the conversation where it belongs; don’t point fingers if you get called out for being in the wrong spot, and don’t put up a fight when you’re asked to go.

What To Do When You See A Good Turtle!

  1. Thank them! Tell them they make the chat a better place. Tip them if you feel like they did something good!
    If others see you recognizing a Good Turtle for their effort, they’ll want to do the same. You don’t have to take it from me, just Google search “The Big Bang Theory Episode About Pavlov Response”.. Here’s a clip:

2. Help them! Good Turtles Multiply!

Anybody can help, even if you’re not a coder. If you see someone trying to help a user and the user is taking the drama to a new level, be the soothing voice that pops in and reiterates what the helpful Turtle is trying to say. Sometimes hearing something from another person’s words helps.

Never forget the Turtles who helped you

3. When You See A Good Turtle, Post A Link To This Article And Let Other’s Know What Makes This Person So Great!

Good Turtles make this community thrive, and without them we’d be lost. Even if it is not on this list, find a way to acknowledge the Good Turtles, and let them know you appreciate their hard work!

Thanks again to Uurayan for helping us pay attention to the things that matter and urging us to create a framework for what exactly makes the ideal chatter.


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Take Your Baikal and Shove It Up Your ASIC

ASICs are on the way; what does this mean for the TurtleCoin Network?

What is mining, and why do I need to prove my work?

TurtleCoin and other Proof-of-Work networks rely on miners to process transactions for the network and keep the blocks flowing. When a miner guesses the right number, a reward and fees are awarded, and the process starts again, but slightly more difficult each time as new miners join. This effort to process the transaction and receive the prize or “proof”, is the “work” involved in the term “Proof-of-Work”.

Menk’s Ryzen 1800X & 1080ti TRTL Miner @ 1,500 H/s

What’s an ASIC, why is everyone suddenly an expert in algorithms, and best of all, why does this even matter? Slow and Steady, right?

Most of us on the TurtleCoin Network use CPUs and GPUs to mine, which means just about anything can mine a TurtleCoin or connect to a mining pool, whether it be an old laptop, a gaming computer, a fancy mining rig, or even a spare telephone (and our mobile miner, you know, actually mines stuff- who knew!). This also means if you get tired of TurtleCoin, you can go mine BoolBerry or Aeon or something else, without modifications to your hardware. TurtleCoin was made with this type of random CPU and GPU hardware in mind, because we want as many of the little guys as possible around the world, keeping the mining power evenly spread out on as many devices as possible so that there is not one single point of failure.

How does ASIC compare to CPU and GPU?

ASICs are just chips made to do a single purpose, meaning an ASIC chip is usually engineered for a certain algorithm, like Bitcoin’s SHA256, so if you get a Bitcoin ASIC miner and want to mine DASH later, it’s not going to work, you’re only going to be able to mine Bitcoin and maybe something else with the same SHA256 hashing algorithm.

The benefit is that ASIC miners are more efficient at turning power into hashrate with a smaller footprint, which is why you usually find them packed in to large warehouses near cheap power and cold weather; normal hobbyist miners don’t run these setups. This usually leads to a select few groups producing most of the hash power for the network from a few centralized geographic areas, which has its own risks involved. This is the issue that has everyone’s jimmies rustled in the Cryptonote scene a bit at the moment.

This is the spec sheet for the new Baikal Giant N

One of the top ASIC companies, Baikal, has given the community credible reason to believe that a Cryptonote/Cryptolight ASIC has been created and will be hitting market soon.

Monero first voiced their intent to change algorithms to avoid this issue a few weeks ago, that we know of. As you remember, an ASIC can hash one algorithm only, after the chip has been designed, manufactured, and produced, which makes this a risky production run investment for a company like Baikal.

Coincidentally, on a completely unrelated note, we at Turtle HQ had been eyeballing what an algorithm change might look like, but for a different reason — mainly to get out from under rented hashing networks like NiceHash that were hitting us pretty hard at the time. Ironically, not so much of a problem anymore.

So what’s TurtleCoin’s official position on ASIC?

Slow and steady. Whatever it takes. Every day.

We will do everything in our power to deter ASIC compatibility on our network.

If you’re considering purchasing one of these ASICs for the purposes of mining TurtleCoin, you may wish to strongly reconsider, as we will take any measures necessary to ensure mining stays competitive for all participants, not just those who can afford warehouses overseas.

Are your jimmies rustled? Would you like to know more? Please watch or participate in our public discussion on the link below about the pending algorithm change regarding ASIC mining on the TurtleCoin network.

Cowabunga dudes! I wish all of you crypto network admins out there good luck in dealing with this, and as always, the Turtle dev channels are always open to help others.

Please post needs and concerns in our Meta Forum

Have a good week! Keep moving forward!

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(aka Zach from England)

Welcome to the third installment of Out of the Shell, a series of interviews with the developers, designers, and doers behind TurtleCoin. This is @gigantomachia and I’ll be your host.

Any open-source crypto project is only as strong as the developers behind it. Though only three months old, TurtleCoin’s developer community has demonstrated that it’s among the most active. CoinGecko, which uses various metrics to rank cryptocurrencies and other cryptoassets to help investors gauge their value, currently ranks TurtleCoin 64th out of 131,392 coins on the list of coins with the strongest developer community (measured by number of stars, merged pull requests, new commits, etc., on GitHub). That places it above even Bitcoin Cash, which CoinGecko ranks 82nd on the list.

One of the developers contributing to TurtleCoin’s stellar ranking is @Zpalmtree, who so far has roughly 70 commits to TurtleCoin’s various GitHub repos. I chatted with @Zpalmtree about his background, how he came to join the TurtleCoin community, what projects he’s currently working on, and how others can contribute. Enjoy.

Tips welcome: TRTLuxvBFVNSxovAp3c9C8h8dUttA4sP8hHELDQJXsQZ7JcKfnn3sLkUPGQgQBkvvhXFfAErUqmf52BzyqFaHhEHicRNLnXYfRj (Gigantomachia)

How did you first learn about TurtleCoin?
I saw a thread about it on 4chan /biz/. Funnily enough, I actually saw the very first thread about TurtleCoin and posted in it a bit, but it was pretty late and forgot about it in the morning. A month or so later I saw another thread, and it looked pretty fun, so I gave the software a download. I didn’t realize I had posted in the original thread until someone linked to it and I read through and realized some of the posts were mine!

What initially drew you to the coin? What was it about those posts that enticed you to comment and then later download the software?
My memory isn’t great, but if I remember correctly it was someone saying that you could mine thousands in a day. I imagine most miners have seen their balances slowly tick up with fractions of a coin, and whilst it may be worth the same either way, having TRTL flow into your wallet in the thousands is a lot more fun. Sure enough, when I woke up the next day, I already had 60,000 TRTL received from one night of mining.

How long have you been involved in crypto?
I’ve been aware of crypto having lurked on /g/ for many years, but I never actually got into it until autumn 2017, when I started mining on a gaming PC when I wasn’t using it. It seemed pretty fun, but I never really sent much of it, what with the high fees and lack of people to send it to really. This is the first crypto I’ve got into the community and been having fun sending tons of small amounts to everyone. It’s great fun to see someone tip you and it to appear in your wallet in a matter of seconds.

What did you first start mining on the gaming PC?
I think it was Ethereum actually. I had recently sold my 480 after the prices shot up from the Ethereum boom, and bought a 1070 with the proceeds, before they too shot up. I then started delving into the whattomine charts, finding out the best coins for my card, which is always a fun way to learn about more alt currencies by trying out their wallets and mining the most profitable ones. Of course, what with crypto being so volatile, you end up with tens of wallets installed and constantly having to swap between them. I then started mining on miningpoolhub for a few months, which auto swaps between the most profitable coins, until I started just mining TRTL full-time.

What’s your background? Sounds like you know your way around computers. Do you work or are you a student?
I’m a student, in my final year of a computer science degree, and am looking forward to getting a job writing software, though my recent experience with TRTL has made me perhaps look towards getting a job developing something blocdkchain related. It’s a fun field to be in with some very interesting tech being developed.

How long you been coding? Any special areas of focus?
I’ve only been programming since I was 17, so not that long. I’m a big fan of Haskell, a functional programming language, and I’m happy to write anything if it’s in that! I like exploring niche programming languages and always looking for a way to use fancy language features to write more concise code. Shoutout to @hai!

What’s been your contribution to the TurtleCoin community thus far? What projects have you worked on?
I think my first contribution was a typo fix! I just saw something in the wallet, which was spelt wrong, so I made a quick edit on the GitHub to fix it, and it was in the code shortly after. Then, after growing a bit more used to the software, I started hanging around the #help channel, and trying to help out the newbies with some common errors. Big thanks to @Turtle? who is constantly in there helping. I’m not sure if the dude ever sleeps. I thought it might help to compile some of the common issues into an FAQ, and now Bebop is doing some good work on the wiki to make it nice and presentable to users, so they can quickly find answers to their queries.

Next, I started looking more into the simplewallet code, a simple fix was changing the checkpoint message to yellow, as a few people thought they were done when they hit there, when it’s just a conformation of valid progress. Then I made a command, view_tx_outputs, which takes a hash and verifies which outputs belong to you, which is handy if your wallet is messing up but the blockchain is working fine. I also added an outgoing_transfers command to match the incoming_transfers command. Finally, I added mnemonic seed support to the wallet, which I think is pretty cool. It’s pretty easy to add features to simplewallet, so please, if anyone notices something missing, let us know or jump in and fix it yourself!

Finally, I setup a few quick scripts to allow the TurtleCoin project to be automatically built every time someone makes a commit or a pull request, on Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is pretty handy to check that we don’t break the build for people on other platforms.

What’s your favorite pizza?
A nice, thin based, spicy meat feast.

Any particular TurtleCoin projects or initiatives you’re working on right now where the reader can help? Any request for the reader or community, or opportunities for people to get involved if they want?
Right now I’m looking at stuck transactions. I’ve isolated the code which returns stuck transactions to the sender, and it’s a bit buggy. We also want to modify simplewallet to not let people send transactions that will get stuck in the first place.

We want to work on making the user-facing software as easy to use as possible, so it’s very easy for people to just download the software and get mining or sending TRTL. The GUI wallet is a great step towards this — thanks @therealcrypt! — but it’s also got a few bugs which are a bit frustrating. This is written in C# which is pretty friendly for newer users to jump in and start modifying the code of — please check the GitHub issues out if you’d like to help out with that.

C# Wallet —

Wallet Issues —

The GitHub issues are great ways to find out what needs fixing in the code, and some fixes are as simple as a one-line change. There’s also the meta forum, where people can suggest direction for the project, or potential changes to the software. This is yet another good way to find things you can help out with.

Meta Forum —

We’re also considering rewriting the main codebase in Golang — so if you’re interested in that, please let us know in #dev_general! Speaking of that — lurking in all the dev channels is a great way to tell what’s going on and what other people are working on.

#Dev_General —

If you’re not a programmer, but still want to get involved — no worries! We constantly have new users coming in, so hanging out in the #help and #mining channels and fixing newbies’ issues is a great way to improve the coin’s adoption. Furthermore, if you’ve got experience in art, graphics, advertising, writing, or anything like that, the #dev_marketing channel is all about making cool things to spread the word of TRTL, articles, posters, or even just posting about TRTL on websites like reddit or 4chan. Finally — TurtleCoin is meant to be a fun coin — so make some cool memes to spread!

#Help —

#Mining —

#Dev_Marketing —

When you’re not in class, studying, or hanging out in the TurtleCoin discord, what do you like to do for fun?
Playing video games with friends, watching anime and tv series, and reading the latest tech- and programming-related news. I also played my first game of DnD yesterday — very fun!

Mining some serious coin is what initially drew you to TurtleCoin. What’s made you stick around?
The thing that sets TurtleCoin apart from other cryptos for me is the community. It’s so easy to get involved, talk to the devs, look at what other folks are working on, and chat with some like-minded folks. It’s the first project where I’ve been able to easily get tons of my code into the codebase. Before this, I had only made a few tiny pull requests, both one-line fixes.

Where do you see TurtleCoin going?

I see TurtleCoin being similar to Doge in that it’s a bit of a meme coin, fun to tip other people with, but whilst Doge is very similar to BTC tech wise, Turtle has nice privacy features, lots of active development, and some interesting plans for the future. Above all it’s a community coin, and I think it has a good place as an introduction to cryptocurrencies for new users, with a friendly community, and an easy coin for new devs to contribute to. I’d love to see more new miners and developers getting involved and having some fun using TRTL!

Tips welcome: TRTLv2Fyavy8CXG8BPEbNeCHFZ1fuDCYCZ3vW5H5LXN4K2M2MHUpTENip9bbavpHvvPwb4NDkBWrNgURAd5DB38FHXWZyoBh4wW (Zpalmtree)

A note from RockSteady:

Zach, Thank you for giving us your time and attention, you’ve really been blazing a trail since you got here and the work you’ve contributed has really helped push this project along. You’re a pleasure to work with, and an important part of this community; we’re happy to have you!

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Out of the Shell #2: @Turtle?

Welcome to the second installment of Out of the Shell, a series of interviews with the developers, designers, and doers behind TurtleCoin. This is @gigantomachia and I’ll be your host.

As word continues to spread about TurtleCoin and its awesome community, more and more people are finding their way to our discord server (as of Feb. 17, there were 6,944 members). One of the attractive things about the TurtleCoin community is that it’s naturally evolved into a welcoming place for people steeped in coding and those new to crypto and unfamiliar with the command line. So, it’s no surprise that many of the the new members soon find themselves in the #help channel, whether to ask how to get a CLI wallet set up or what it means to sync the blockchain. And when they do, many are lucky to encounter @Turtle?. An early member of the TurtleCoin community, @Turtle? stands vigil in the #help channel, ready to assist even the most dumbfounded new member. @Turtle? lives in the UK, where he runs a computer-repair business.

How did you first learn about TurtleCoin?

I first learned about TurtleCoin from /biz/ on 4chan. I was in their very first thread only a few hours after it had been posted.

Sounds like you’re a regular on /biz/, so I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of posts on various altcoins. What was it about the TurtleCoin post that made you get involved in the community and contribute?

The first thing that got my attention was a crude MS Paint drawing, to be honest with you. This wasn’t a coin that was trying hard with fancy marketing and lots of figures on how the coin can work for you. It was much more humble than that, inviting people to come and contribute no matter their skill level. The whole thing seemed very friendly and community-based, which is very rare these days.

As for contributing I just shared what I knew about setting things up from my own experience. At the start, it was only Linux based unless you knew how to compile it for Windows, so a majority of us were running it via virtual machines. As time went on it became slightly easier to set it up on all platforms, but it wasn’t a one-click solution. I tried to help out with common issues that I saw being repeated if I knew how to solve them, even going so far as to private message individuals and edit their GPU configs for mining manually.

What’s your work background? Are you a developer IRL?

I’m not a developer, no. I have some background in tech support, but that’s it really.

What do you do for work?

I would say I’m self employed. I run a computer-repair business, but that’d be overselling myself lol. I mainly repair friends’, family and friends of friends’ computers. Not huge, but it’s enough to pay the bills.

What’s your favorite type of pizza?

New Yorker/Meat feast

How long have you been into crypto? Is TurtleCoin the first crypto community you’ve actively contributed to?

I mined bitcoin in the really early days as it was a fun thing at the time. That hard drive is dead/overwritten and lost, unfortunately. I got back into crypto last year after hearing how well bitcoin was doing from a friend and started mining again as a hobby a few months after. This is the first time I’ve actively contributed to a crypto community and also the first time I’ve really done anything in the crypto scene besides mining and trading.

Now that the project has progressed beyond those early days, what type of things are you working on in the TurtleCoin community?

I’m not a developer or anything, so I’m mainly still answering questions and helping new people get on their feet fairly quickly without too many headaches.

People who help new members are very important to the growth of the community. From your vantage point, what are the most common stumbling blocks that new people face in getting up and running with TurtleCoin?

The biggest stumbling block would have to be the main wallet being command line only, and also the miner being command line too. Most of it is fairly straight forward, where you just have to enter in text commands, but a good chunk of people have been spoilt with fancy graphics and buttons that just do the things for them, so it’s a change not a lot of people are familiar with.

I’m not a developer either, so even I’m intimidated by the command line. There are GUI wallets now though, right?

There has been two GUI wallets around since the first few weeks I think, although they require you to either be on Linux or compile it yourself (which most people looking for a GUI wallet won’t know how to do). There has been some really good work going on with the Xamarin wallet in the last month though and most Windows users can get it up and running in under a minute, which is really nice! (This doesn’t count the time spent downloading the blockchain, but it’s a start.)

When you’re not fixing computers or hanging out in the TurtleCoin #help channel, what do you like to do for fun?

I’m not really the social type so it’s mostly hanging out with a few friends at home while playing games/watching films or going down the rabbit hole that is the internet and wondering where the last 5 hours went.

Sounds familiar. You mentioned getting involved in the TurtleCoin community because it seemed genuine, didn’t try too hard to market itself as the next bitcoin, etc. What hopes do you have for TurtleCoin? Is this just a fun project, or do you see real opportunity here?

For me, personally, I see it as a fun project as I’m not a developer nor a major contributor. However, I also think that the project as a whole will go really far if it keeps up the current pace and morale. The amount of time and effort that has gone into a project only two months old is astonishing.

Do you have any request for the reader? Or suggestions for how people can get involved if they want? Any projects you’re working on that could use input?

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to join the discord. Nobody bites and people are more than willing to help you! If you would like to develop something for TurtleCoin, jump in and introduce yourself. Even if you think you have no skills, I’m sure there’s something you could get your hands on and we’re more than happy to help you along the way.

And if anyone wants to come in and help out with new people, you’re more than welcome to. Means I can put my feet up for a little bit. aha!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d just like to say thanks to the devs for all their hard work, thanks to the community for being so warm and inviting and thanks to you for allowing me to be interviewed.


Tips for the author: TRTLuxvBFVNSxovAp3c9C8h8dUttA4sP8hHELDQJXsQZ7JcKfnn3sLkUPGQgQBkvvhXFfAErUqmf52BzyqFaHhEHicRNLnXYfRj

A note from RockSteady:

Turtle?, you’ve been an amazing part of this community, and I personally consider you the safety net that keeps people coming back and turns their frown upside down when things break. You’ve done so much to help us, and from all of your teammates, we thank you for that, sincerely.

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Mess With The Best…

Image result for hackers phone booth
A relentless Turtle Team prepares for battle!

… and Die Like The Rest.

A critical security issue was discovered by Turtlecoin developers and subsequently patched. Other Cryptonote forks and, possibly, other coins are vulnerable as well.

If you have not already done so, please update to the latest version of Turtlecoin.

Turtlecoin is completely secure from the vulnerability described in this article from v0.3.1 onwards. Technical details are published here:

Roughly two weeks ago, some of our developers decided to look into the security of Turtlecoin. It was immediately apparent that the vulnerability Tavis Ormandy pointed out in the Electrum Wallets ( were also present in Turtlecoin as well as most Cryptonote forks.

We immediately set out to fix this in two commits:


Additionally, we have also reached out to the majority of the other affected Cryptonote coins with our findings in an effort to secure the community and to raise awareness for the bug class.

The impact of the vulnerability is substantial. A simple hosted webpage could allow an attacker to steal funds from an open wallet as a victim surfs the internet without any interaction from the victim at all. This drive-by attack would not alert the victim until it is too late and the funds are gone.

We recommend that users of other coins exert extreme caution when using their wallets and to avoid clicking on links sent by untrusted individuals.

Note: Thanks to the members of the Turtle team that worked hard to patch and disclose this issue responsibly. We hold your safety as our first priority, and tests like this help us hold that commitment. — RockSteady

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Out of the Shell #1: @adjoining (aka Ric from Mexico)

Welcome to Out of the Shell, a series of interviews with the developers, designers, and doers behind TurtleCoin. This is @gigantomachia and I’ll be your host.

The TurtleCoin community includes a diverse group of people that share a love of TRTL, and the first TurtleCoin contributor we’re highlighting is no different. @Adjoining is an early member of the community and the one behind the awesome TurtleCoin logo. His real name is Ric and he’s a full-time university student in Mexico, where he was born and raised.

How did you first learn about TurtleCoin?

As a lot of the community, I found out about it in one of the first posts on 4chan /biz/ about needing help for TurtleCoin in different areas. At the bottom of that list was a Design/PR team. I’ve done some quick logos and edits for 4chan users in other boards before, so this was a no brainer for me to try. So I joined the Discord server and uploaded a concept, which became the current logo. At the time, it had some very rough edges, but everybody just embraced it, @ostettd is the one that took on the task of making it perfect. But we kept the first logo as our Discord emoji mascot!

The original TurtleCoin logo, which lives on as the community’s emoji mascot

What’s your background? Are you a graphic designer?

This is gonna come off as a weird one, but my actual field is finance. I’ve never called myself a designer because there are people that study years to become professional designers. My experience around design came at around 12 years old, with some very basic understanding of how Photoshop works. As the years went on, I started developing more skills until I landed my first freelance gigs at around 18.

What was it about TurtleCoin that drew you in and made you want to contribute?

Well, I’ve been a /biz/ lurker for a while now, but never really bothered to go deeper into most of those threads because every project seems like they are trying too hard right now. The fancy names and overly complex explanations on how stuff works made me start using that board just to get a sentiment of what people were talking about. TurtleCoin’s name caught my attention instantly and, once I read through the website, I realized this was probably something I could try on my laptop. I had some trouble setting things up at first, but everyone in here was ready to help at any time. So to sum that up, I joined for fun, and stayed because of how approachable everything and everyone was.

How long have you been interested in crypto?

The first time I heard about crypto — or, to be more specific, Bitcoin — was around 2012. Again, on 4chan when it was still a thing for hackers and drug dealers. I never really went deep into the tech and dismissed it as internet meme magic until late 2016, when I gave the Bitcoin white paper a read and grasped what I could, then went on Google to fill in the blanks and I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can since.

Is TurtleCoin the first crypto asset you’ve been involved in as a contributor?

Yup. It’s been awesome to spend time with the marketing team because it seems like a lot of us are in the same boat.

@adjoining’s initial logo concept for TurtleCoin

What’s the TurtleCoin marketing team working on right now?

We are now quite a big team of people from all different backgrounds, and it’s amazing how we’re all on the same page regarding the project. Currently our goal is to bring the TurtleCoin project under one banner, which is going to be about ease of access and the welcoming vibe the project already gives off. We’re currently focusing our efforts on making everything about the blockchain and how TurtleCoin works more appealing to the average consumer.

Why do you think marketing is important in this kind of project?

I think marketing is important in anything that wants to appeal to a bigger audience, because with the amount of information around us these days, most people tend to dismiss stuff that’s not familiar looking. By that I mean, we’re used to seeing companies and projects like this be presented in a more serious way.

Do you have any requests for the community? How could people get involved if they want?

The translation platform we’re working on for everything TurtleCoin is a great chance for people of all different backgrounds to give their input. Proof reading is also a very important task that we can fall behind on given the amount of content being made every day. In the design side of things, we’re always open to ideas and comments on how things should be done. As Rock said before, even those that think they have no skills have a place in the community. A helpful and open community is what has made us gain so much traction, I think. I would like to invite anyone interested in contributing with their help and skills to the project to go in the #dev_ channels in our discord.

Any idea what you want to be doing after your graduate? Thinking of a traditional financial route, or do you want to try to make a career in crypto?

My current focus is on project management and asset allocation, but I talked to someone from the Turtle chat the other day and they got me intrigued in business Intelligence. I tend to lean more into the business management side of finance; macroeconomics is not really my strong point. But I also believe my career will be directly correlated with the crypto world in the not-so-far future. So, yeah, I don’t really know what’s next for me. Ha.

  • @gigantomachia

TRTLuxvBFVNSxovAp3c9C8h8dUttA4sP8hHELDQJXsQZ7JcKfnn3sLkUPGQgQBkvvhXFfAErUqmf52BzyqFaHhEHicRNLnXYfRj (Tips for the Author)

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How A Block Is Born

This is a chat snippet between TurtleCoin Developer Bebop and Atakor, from a time when Atakor asked about how blocks are formed. Bebop gave a great description, and recently Hai brought it to my attention that it never got posted. I felt it was best to leave it raw and unedited, so excuse any LOL’s or spelling mistakes please. Thanks Hai for bringing this to my attention.

image credit: Malware Bytes


this is not really offtopic but i don’t want to pollute general and interupt the ongoing discussion: how are transactions validated in cryptocurrencies, specifically PoW ones?

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

well in a nutshell laymen’s terms each block is a hash of the previous block and some digital signature information from the sender and the solution to the PoW and the miner

it uses cryptographic key pairs so that it’s basicalyl pretty easy to verify the validity using the public keys — where it’s computationally difficult to try to reverse the private keys used to sign all the information


so noone has to do anything “manually” to verify transactions

everything is automated

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018



mining = generating coins + validating transactions

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

yeah so it’s like this


k great, thanks, i’ll check all the technical details on how it’s done later

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

the blockchain is just a ledger right


i’m curious but never took the time to really understand the whole thing

yep it is

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

well first let me ask you this

do you know what a hash is?




was going to say, i’m a computer science graduate just didnt take time to read the details on how the whole thing works

i understand everything on a superficial level

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

ok awesome

just don’t want to explain stuff you already know


yeah ofc

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

ok so think of it like this

let’s say we’re a group of friends and we create a currency. we agree there are 100 units of fartcoin there’s 10 of us in the group and we all put it in 10 bucks in a pot and say our 100 units of fartcoin are worth the 100 dollars in the pot…

now we decide instead of printing out or making physical tokens for this currency we’re Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

ok so we say any time anyone transacts, the transaction isn’t official unless the spreadsheet is updated.

so we agree that @Atakor is going to keep up with the spreadsheet and so any time anyone does a transaction they get you to update the record. now you’re the central authority

this is bad because you could lie, for your own benefit or just because. you could get overwhelmed and fall behind or become unreliable

you could try to game the system in less apparent ways like delaying transactions in a way that gives you some advantage


Satoshi Nakamoto, ladies & gents
this is valuable text for beginners, i wonder if you can put it somewhere not to be lost

just goign to do it virtually

but we need a way to track the transactionso f this virtual currency right

so that you don’t sell your 10 worth to me and then tell someone else you still have it and sell it to them (double spend)

and so that once i buy 5 from you and 5 from john, now i i have 20




i think i know all of this actually

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

so we say ok we’ll make a spreadsheet


don’t want you to go too deep

to basic i mean

i know how the tech works more or less

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

don’t worry i’m gonna round it out to pOw niceley here in a sec




just was confused about the validating transactions part

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

other people might be reading this


ok cool

oh yeah that’s true!

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

ok so we say any time anyone transacts, the transaction isn’t official unless the spreadsheet is updated.

so we agree that @Atakor is going to keep up with the spreadsheet and so any time anyone does a transaction they get you to update the record. now you’re the central authority

this is bad because you could lie, for your own benefit or just because. you could get overwhelmed and fall behind or become unreliable

you could try to game the system in less apparent ways like delaying transactions in a way that gives you some advantage


Satoshi Nakamoto, ladies & gents

this is valuable text for beginners, i wonder if you can put it somewhere not to be lost

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

so we say ok that won’t work we want a distributed situation. so we set up a group email and say now, for a transaction to be official, you send a message to the whole group and then everyone updates their own copy of the spreadsheet


and to be easily accessible(edited)

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

but now we have a few new issues


what if everyone doesn’t see the message and update at the same time. what if soem people never get some messages, etc

and how do we know the update messages we’re receiving are legitimate

so there’s two elements to this

the first is hashing and encryption. every transaction record is just data so we can hash that, and we can hash that with the previous records. so the sender of the transaction basically does a signed hash of that and that basically gives a sequence of hashes that can be computationally verified and have mathematical guarantees of correctness and crytographic validity

now the 2nd part is consensus. how do we get everyone synced and agreeing on the same sequence of hashes

so the way we get consensus with PoW is we say ok. we’ll do updates on a sort of time interval

and for every single round, 1 random person gets to be the one to update the transactions, and that person signs it with his/her signature and then everyone gets that one as their copy

so how do we choose a random person? we don’t. we do a number guessing game, but it’s not just a simple number guessing game, it’s a hashing game

you gotta guess a number and then carry out computations on it to see if it produces the target number

and whoever guesses it first tells everyone ‘hey i got it!’ and then he can provide the solution — that is computationally easy to verify but computationally difficult to guess

think of it like a set of keys and a lock

100 billion keys or something

and you gotta go through one by one and find the right key for the lock

but once you do, it’s easy for people to insert it into the lock and verify that it opens

sorta like that, via hashing

so you if you guess that round, you tell everyone, and basically if majority quickly verifies and agrees with you, 51% or more, that’s the blockchain now

but what if no one guesses in a round?

well instead of an actual fixed time, we say a round is whenever someone finds the solution

and then we say instead of having to guess the exact number, we say you have to be within a range. and the higher the difficulty, the narrower that range, and we adjust the difficulty each round tryign to target a certain timeframe

in turtlecoin that timeframe is 30 seconds

so each round is not exactly 30 seconds but if there is more hash power then they’re gonna solve it faster and the algorithm is going to increase difficutly on subsequent rounds

and because each round takes time + computational work (hardware + electrical costs) we give a payout — a portion of our virtual currency — for solving the round to incentivize this number guessing and verifying (which we call mining) and because it is incentivized, multiple people participate and invest resources making it hard for a single entity to maintain majority by itself

now instead of a few people starting by putting money in a pot, we just say the only way a unit of this currency can be put into circulation is by mining it

the ledger starts at 0 for everyone

how was that? how’d i do?


your explanation skills are top notch

i wouldn’t have been able to formulate it as clearly and in such a continuous way

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018


once everything is a sequence of numbers now you see how the verification is automated

so in theory i cuold tap you on the shoulder and say hey, fuck @RockSteady Nakamoto , we’re gonna make up some false transactions and send all his coins to us, even tho we don’t know the valid keys for that we’re just gonna accept it as truth(edited)

there we go

and you say yeah, definitely let’s do it

and we just agree on the fake transaction

well problem is, we’re not gonna be able to get 51% of the people to agree probably with an invalid transaction

and becuase each block is a hash of the previous


51% is 51% of the hashing power right?

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

every subsequent transaction would be invalid

yeah you can put it in those terms too as hashing power

now there have been cases when that has happened (ethereum)

but not everyone agreed. they forked


or mining power should i say (de-hashing, finding the hash)

Bebop van Saberhagen-01/16/2018

those kinds of forks can easily happen. sometimes the fork doesn’t maintain interest/value and dies or staggers along and sometimes it does well. blockchains can fork for a number of reasons

that’s where you get bitcion and bitcoin cash and what not

blockchain forks may or may not come with some software or protocol changes, but one can also deploy new blockchains with the same software and protocols or with different software and protocols


(check PM pls)

as i told you, this explanation is valuable, you might want to save it somewhere


@Bebop van Saberhagen as a non-cs graduate I found that very informative this should be on or the welcome channel as a pinned message

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Big Turtles Get Stuck!

To put it in simple terms, there’s an issue we’re running across out in the wild and figured it would be best to get ahead of it and keep the community aware of what is going on, and a possible solution while we address the issue.

A whale-turtle struggles to rebroadcast his transaction.

We’ve noticed that sending large transactions (2,000,000+ TRTL) can sometimes get a little hairy, because your wallet will notify both sides of the transaction that a transaction has been broadcast, but the transaction never gets confirmed, or included in a block. This ends with the transaction getting stuck, and after 1–21 days, cancelling.

Normally this is fine.

In Bitcoin and other networks, these stuck funds return to your wallet after some days of not being processed, (they never really left), and you’re able to resume spending. In our case, however, and at least when it has happened to me, the funds remain stuck, and then when the transaction cancels, the wallet software still interprets these funds as attempting to be double-spent, like a US dollar hot off the photo-copier machine.

What’s the problem?

When someone creates a transaction with qualities that make it unsuitable to be processed, it cannot be included in a block easily or quickly. Similar to bitcoin, if you send a large amount of coins with no fee or very little fee, they can sit in the transaction pool until blocks expand to fit the extra size of the transaction into a block.

A good rule of thumb is to use 100 TRTL fee for every 1,000,000 TRTL you send, . If you’re sending less than a million, a fee of 10 or less is fine.

What’s The Solution?

For now, if you have to send a large transaction, split your transaction up into a few chunks of 500,000 TRTL, and if you don’t need the extra transactional privacy, you’ll increase your luck of not getting stuck by using a 10+ mixin for now until a fix is released. Confirmation time is fast on the network, there is no reason to send a large amount of coins all at once and expect it to clear easily.

For the nerds, or people who enjoy a more technical assessment of the situation: