Categories
Weekly Update

This Christmas in TurtleCoin 2018

This Christmas we received the blessing of the community’s progress and our mutual friendship with other networks. TurtleCoin users are quickly becoming the most helpful crew in the industry, and that’s a hat we are happy to wear any time 😀

Here’s to another great year, and a good time this New Year for all of our new friends who’ve just joined us!

Developer Updates

Image result for turtlecoin asic

Core Update at block 1,200,000 !! Miners! Service Operators! Users! This is your update! Tell a friend!

What is a fork? -> Click here to see our article about updates like these and what they mean for you!

1,200,000 – This update is a big one, and unlike our normal fork upgrade schedule, this one packs a little bit more of a punch than others in the sense that we have a new hashing algo variant we’ve been working on called CN Turtle. This new algo affects miners two different ways, GPU miners will see about a 4x increase in power, and CPU miners will see about a 6x increase in power. This just means more heat for most of you but for us it means another upgrade without ASIC, and for the first time it means TurtleCoin is branching out from just using whatever Monero and Aeon use. We’re doubling down on our commitment against Nicehash and ASIC, and have already started research on the next PoW change for when that time comes. Everyone probably also wondering, but if you’re on XMR Stak or XMRig, you’re fine, with more compatibility for others coming soon. – TRTL Core Team

This wall of text means one thing- We’ve got you covered. This is our commitment to a 2019 without ASIC.

https://github.com/turtlecoin/turtlecoin

solo miner improvements – If you’ve ever used the solo miner, you might know it’s a little ‘meh’. You need to know all the arguments to start the miner with, it doesn’t even output barely anything on the default log level, and the output is pretty verbose. One thing you might not be aware of is it actually by default only scans for a new block template every 30 seconds. So, a lot of the time you might be mining on an old block template when the daemon already has a newer template. This fixes that issue, so there should be a lot less orphans. Annoyingly, the windows network stack seems to hold open the closed connections for some time, so polling for a new template every second can end up exhausting the available sockets. I’m working on a fix for this by reusing the same connection. I know most people don’t use the solo miner, but this should help out projects which fork TurtleCoin and don’t have any pools up yet. – zpalm

https://github.com/turtlecoin/turtlecoin

Oiboo’s Game Emporium – Merry christmas and Seasons greetings to all! Thank you for your support this year. So far we have 11 amazing games made by our community! Well done everyone! I have nearly finished the tutorial section of the website, so hopefully we will have loads more games next year! As always any ideas you have or if you have a project you want featured email me @ info@Games.Turtacus.com or message me in #Dev_Gaming Oiboo – oiboo

https://games.turtacus.com

New Turtle Game – I’ve started gitting gud with Godot game engine, following guides and exploring uncharted lands! Me and bunny will be working on new turtle games, coming out sometime 2019. Stay tuned! – Sajo8

Fork Watch!

Do you run a TRTL fork, or are you part of a fork community? Take a second to tell us a bit about your fork and get some exposure for your project!
Name of your TRTL fork :
DeroGold
Github link for your code:
What is special or new about your network?
The DeroGold Association is the future of crypto today and we welcome you aboard. An open source project since block number 1, DeroGold plans to be one of the most illustrious cryptocurrencies ever. Forking our coin from TurtleCoin and using their new CN-TURTLE hashing algorithm will be instrumental in helping us to achieve this goal.
Some specs of DeroGold include 100 trillion max supply, only 2 decimals, 10 second blocks, cutting-edge lite-blocks, and a wallet prefix of dg. It has been said to be very reminiscent of the early TurtleCoin days, since we have a low nethash and large block rewards with a lot of questions about our huuuuge supply.
Join our discord to learn more about us: http://derogold.gq
Special thanks to RockSteady, Zpalmtree, ExtraHash, and Bearybullish for their contributions toward the making of this cryptocurrency, I appreciate y’alls help.
Name of your TRTL fork:
Tax
Github link for your code:
What is special or new about your network?
High Fee, Low Emission -> No inflation but mining is still “worth it”. New hash algorithm to assure satoshis vision will be realised Scalable Blockchain (coming soon)

Community Advertisements

Good news everyone! If you’re mining TurtleCoin with us at Cryptonote.Social, you’re now also (solo) mining Aeon through the wonders of “merged mining”. For now if you’re lucky enough to mine an Aeon block, you get to collect the full reward. Make sure you specify an e-mail address in your miner config so you’ll be notified of any Aeon blocks you mine.
The NibbleClassic Faucet has launched! Come and have a little nibble!

Shoutouts & Thanks

anon – shoutout to kev and beary for being awesome

sups – A thank you to everyone

soregums – Kudos to rashedmyt for lite blocks feature

morpheus – Merry Christmas to One and All! May your holiday be filled with warmth and cheer, and all the best of luck and good fortune for 2019.

rogerrobers – Shoutout zpalmtree :3

sups – Massive thank you to KSupremex#5671 for putting together the “How to” videos for NibbleClassic! Absolute star!

japakar – Best. Discord. Ever. Best. Coin. Ever.

gobble – Merry Christmas, eat, play, drink hard. Enjoy your time with mates and family. Crank up the volume on them Christmas Carols and enjoy the smiles on your kids faces. Build a snowman if you’re in the cold, but if you’re in the heat, put ya boardies on and bomb dive the pool, drink them beers, spread the cheers! (ps. eat bunnies not turkeys)

See you all next year 😀 – rock

Categories
Feature Story

Interview w/ Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle from ForkMaps.com

forkmaps logo

RockSteady (TRTL)

@Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle Thanks for doing the interview. I wanted to talk today about ForkMaps, and what forking means to the community, and why it’s worth tracking.

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

The forkmaps.com story goes something like this… A couple of months ago, RockSteady said he wished someone would make an updated version of the fork timeline on the CryptoNote Wikipedia page. Turtley McTurtleton looked around a bit, didn’t find anything that was being maintained, and had only one response… “Hold my beer.” “I’m on it.” The timing was just right. I was evaluating frontend JS frameworks for an upcoming work project, and rather than writing some contrived “hello world” sample, I used forkmaps as an opportunity to test a handful of frameworks in a real-life scenario.

RockSteady (TRTL)

That’s really cool. While making forkmaps is there anything that surprised you about all these forks?

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

I found the general friendliness by the CryptoNote community a little surprising. I’ve ventured into many discord servers either looking for project details, or advising someone to restore license headers, and I almost always receive a warm greeting.

RockSteady (TRTL)

Tell us a bit about the tech behind the project and how it all works. I noticed the front end got noticeably faster to load recently. Can you talk about that a bit for some of our nerdier readers?

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

I used Vue.js for the frontend. I wrote it using Vue first, then rewrote it using React, and then messed around with a handful of other frameworks/libraries. I’ve used AngularJS and React quite a bit in the past, and to me, Vue is the perfect marriage of the two.

The site has very few dependencies. I used three Vue packages (base, vue-router, vuex), axios for HTTP requests, and echarts. I didn’t use a CSS framework, so design took me forever, but taught me a lot.

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

To tackle performance, I cleaned up a lot of my JS, replacing a lot of nested functions with array reducers. I added a few CSS transitions to smooth out navigation, added loading indicators (which you should almost never see), and threw in some other UX tricks. Other than the fork map page, my improvements were mostly about perceived performance. You can make something that’s actually very fast, feel slow through clunky UX, and that’s what I’d done with my first attempt.

On the map page, I switched from vis.js to echarts, which is much more UX-friendly.

That was a lot, and I promise I’m almost done.

On the data side, all of the CryptoNote coins live in a separate git repo, as individual coin files to make them easy to manage. Whenever there’s an update, I run a gulp task to combine them into a single json file, which forkmaps.com pulls directly from GitHub. This way, it’s trivial to add additional coin families in the future.

RockSteady (TRTL)

That’s really cool, what do you plan to add to it next and what kind of helpers are you currently looking for?

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

Next I’m working on a timeline representation similar to the example you initially showed me. Someone’s working on the 200k TRTL bounty for adding start/end dates to all of the coins as we speak. After that, I want to do max supply, emission curves, primary emission length, and possibly current supply. That one’s been requested a lot, and I think it’ll make an interesting chart. Most coins seem to have a primary emission measured in decades, while Nerva is only three years. I’m always happy to send TRTLs to anyone who contributes data or ideas.

Jerme404’s ForkMaps.com

RockSteady (TRTL)

That’s great that you’re including the community in this project, and even chipping in bounties for people who are helping out. With so much exposure to all of these different forks, surely you’ve come by some really interesting ones. If you don’t mind, let’s run through a few of the more memorable ones to you: Which fork has the best logo in your opinion – What is the most interesting fork – Which forks do you mine – What’s the worst fork name you’ve encountered – If you made a fantasy fork tomorrow, what would it be called and what would it do?

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

I like logos that don’t look like a coin. Some of my favorites are Boolberry, Alloy, Athena, Lethean, Nerva, TurtleCoin, and Karai (not on my site yet, but the logo is solid). Right now, I think the most interesting fork is Nerva. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when the supply is exhausted in like 2.5 years, and CPU-only mining is the shit. I only mine Nerva and TurtleCoin. I rent some of my miners on miningrigrentals, and I used that income to buy more TRTL. Worst fork name? How about all of those dumbass XMR forks that happened when Monero switched their PoW algorithm? Actually, Sadomi might be the worst. I really don’t think they thought that one through. A fantasy coin for me would be a TRTL fork so I’d always have a reliable codebase and community, and I’d implement a prime sieve PoW component similar to riecoin. I’d call it Turtimus Prime.

RockSteady (TRTL)

Haha that sounds fun. Whats up with Prime Sieve? tell me about that

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

So basically, you have an algorithm for finding prime numbers, or prime number patterns. Many projects have chosen to do something “useful” as PoW, at the expense of cryptographic security. But why not both? Add a secondary PoW step that’s relatively easy to perform, does something interesting, and throws another wrench at potential ASICs.

RockSteady (TRTL)

That’s cool, I think we’ve about got it all covered, is there anything you want to add?

Turtley McTurtleton McDrizzle

I’m glad you asked! Years and years ago, before cryptocurrency was a thing, I had a closet full of crunchers (mining rigs nowadays) working hard on distributed computing projects like folding@home (Team 32!) and BOINC/SETI. Back then, there was no financial incentive to spend lots of money on hardware and electricity, but we did it anyway. Some did it for a cause, some for leaderboard points, but I think most did it for the knowledge and the community. I treat crypto projects the same way. At this point in my life, my time is far more valuable than any amount of hardware or hashrate, and there’s a big reason I spend so much of that time with my fellow turtles. And TurtleCoin is the only project I’ve found that really embodies that sense of teamwork and community that the distributed computing scene seems to have lost to crypto over the years. So to all my turtle-fam, keep up the good work, and stay turtley!

RockSteady (TRTL)

Jerme, I’m glad you did this interview, and I’m happy you’re a part of this community! Thanks for everything you do with ForkMaps and otherwise, and I look forward to what you come up with next!

Categories
All Feature Story

What is the Deal with ASIC?


While we talk about algorithm changes, I wanted to give some detail to TurtleCoin users about what’s happening now, what’s coming soon, and what that means for everyone involved.

ASIC miners have hit the market, and various manufacturers are publicly offering a selection of Cryptonight and Cryptolight miners, purpose-built to efficiently and quickly mine coins on networks like ours. As soon as we heard the news, we issued a statement in a TurtleCoin Meta Forum post that talked about the importance of fairness for miners on the TurtleCoin Network.

View at Medium.com

The purpose of this post is to explain what we are doing to keep mining competitive, and to keep the community up to date on current efforts in this direction. As time and progress allows, I’ll be updating this article with new information, so be sure to bookmark it!

Let’s talk about our options.

As with all matters, there are many options to choose from, and in our case, we have two: Do we accept ASIC on our network, or do we begin an ongoing effort to exclude them? Let’s take a minute to think hypothetically about what each option might be like.


Figure A. — a bad turtle

What if we support ASIC?

One option is to change nothing, and adapt to a world with ASIC miners on our network. Their presence would offer an increase in network hash-power, a decrease in the orphaned block rate, less pressure on the GPU market, and a new wave of miners currently being excluded from other networks as other dev teams work fast to discourage ASIC compatibility.

Let’s break that statement down, what does it really mean?

  • “ASIC would offer an increase in network hashpower”
    These machines are very effective at turning power into hash cycles, which means that as they board the network in greater numbers, the difficulty, or the amount of cycles it takes on average to unlock a block every thirty seconds goes up.
  • “a decrease in the orphaned block rate”
    If the global hash rate rises 20x as a result of the presence of ASIC miners, the probability that two miners reach the same solution in the same second is drastically less, as the granularity has increased greatly.
  • “less pressure on the GPU market”
    If you’ve been shopping for GPUs recently, as a gamer, you probably noticed that prices have almost tripled since this time last year. As cryptoassets gained popularity around March 2017, mining hardware and GPUs had a surge of popularity and limited supply, as the same hardware is used by gamers and miners alike. ASIC has one purpose, hashing a single algorithm. They can’t run Crysis. When they’re done, they’re done.

Figure B. — a good turtle

What if we don’t support ASIC?

On the other hand, we can choose to keep mining fair and decentralized, we won’t have to take an oath of servitude to the chip manufacturers, we can still increase our network hash-power, and we will have many uses for our old hardware when it’s no longer profitable to mine with.

Let’s unpack those statements:

  • “keep mining fair and decentralized”
    ASIC manufacturers tend to be centralized in the same geographic area, with parts and resources produced sourced, designed and produced in-house. The potential for collusion or tampering with the flow of hardware from manufacturer to consumer is too high. This puts a single point of failure in front of too many parties that could have an interest in “squeezing” this market.
  • “we won’t have to take an oath of servitude to the chip manufcturers”
    When we, as a network, become dependent on a handful of chip manufacturers, all with similar interests, we can no longer make decisions that require consensus to enact. For example, if we decide to change our hashing algorithm to improve the quality of the network, and a hardware manufacturer doesn’t feel like re-tooling for this change, all they need to do is overpower everyone else on the network with hash-power that they’re in control of supplying to us, and there would be no upgrade taking place as a result. This relationship dynamic is unsustainable.
  • “we can still increase our network hash-power”
    Increasing the difficulty is a good thing for us, and in an algorithm change to eliminate ASIC, we are afforded an opportunity to deviate from our current hashing algorithm to a faster one that spins at a faster rate. This speed increase allows less risk of orphaned blocks.
  • “many uses for our old hardware when it’s no longer profitable for mining”
    ASIC hardware is good for a short amount of time before it becomes cost prohibitive to mine with. There is a regular upgrade cycle to keep up with production and difficulty. When your miner is no longer profitable, there is no resale value, and nothing inside the machine to be used for parts. When difficulty rises enough, you have a heater that generates 30 cents per year. GPUs can be resold, used for gaming, password hashing, 3D rendering, video production, and all types of research needing high amounts of number crunching power.

Is ASIC The Only Problem We Can Solve?

Another issue we face is related to the orphaned block issue we spoke about above, rented hash-power. Networks like NiceHash and botnets currently have the ability to cause timing issues on our network. They immediately dump a load of hash-power on the network, and parallel orphan chains start getting created. The increase in hash-power outpaces the difficulty and miners reach the correct result on block after block simultaneously, and sometimes ahead of schedule.

This has many concerns and frustrations attached to it. Some people even look at it as further securing the network, but regardless of which side you’re on, if the network is emitting blocks out of schedule, the reward suffers, the schedule suffers, and it can’t be good for the consistency of transactions for the normal user.

We’ve decided that while we’re at the drawing board, we may as well come up with a multi-faceted solution that addresses everything. If we can somehow make ourselves incompatible with ASIC as well as rented hash-power and botnets, we can give power back to the miners who are investing in our network by running rigs at home.

Stage One: In Testing Now!

We’ve Got A Plan, And We’re Stickin’ To It!

The plan for tackling this two part problem is a two part response, and we’d like to take care of both. This is our plan currently in action for dealing with these issues.

GPU Mining gives an incentive to the development team to always act in the best interest of and maintain a good standing with the community. At any moment miners have the option to go somewhere else.

Stage 1: Algorithm Change 1

The first priority is to get out of the way of the biggest threat to the network, which is ASIC. If we don’t get rid of ASIC first, we may not have the ability to regain consensus to make further changes to our hashing algorithm for any further changes.

We have several requirements for this stage:

  • We must get out of the path of ASIC as fast as possible
  • We must communicate and dedicate our support to pools and services in the transition
  • We must have compatible mining software for users
  • We must improve the consistency of blocks to reduce orphans

In other networks, as we’ve seen, a rushed algorithm change can cause much disruption, as it has had no time to be tested for completeness and correctness, and hasn’t had time to be properly integrated in pools and services. While these things are fun to play with, we know that this is people’s money and time, and we must treat their resources with respect.


The option that fulfills each of these requirements, and still allows for immediate integration to pools and services is CN-Lite Variant 1

Below is a short point-by-point response to the previous concerns mentioned above.

  • We are able to implement these changes quickly and effectively, in accordance with the ASIC avoidance timeline
  • We have support for pools and services out of the box, and are able to easily patch those that don’t.
  • We already have compatible mining software, most mainstream Cryptonight mining applications have patches tested and ready for this transition.
  • CN-Lite Variant 1 spins faster than the mainstream CN variant alternative, which helps prevent orphans, since we have such a short block target interval.

What Is The Status Of This Change?

Currently, we are in Stage 1, with the new algorithm already in testing on our Testnet repository which you can review on GitHub currently at the link below.

View at Medium.com

Community member Suml Noether is credited with making the upgrade change, and continues to add support and improvements to the needs of the network, like an improved node-multi-hashing library, which is an essential part of running a pool with the new algorithm. Here are links to the associated contributions:

View at Medium.com
View at Medium.com
View at Medium.com
View at Medium.com

I asked Suml to contribute a quote for this article, and got this in response:

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know. — Suml Noether, 2018

For those of you that want to get in on the discussion leading up to Stage 2, please see my updated main post and the related GitHub discussion in the TurtleCoin Meta Forum post linked below.

View at Medium.com

Stay tuned as this article takes shape over the coming weeks. In the mean time, enjoy the testnet, and have a great week!


UPDATE April 9, 2018: The fork went by without errors. All is well. Bummer. Maybe TurtleCash next time 🙁