Categories
Feature Story

Interview w/ SoreGums from TRTL Core Team

A while back we used to do an interview series called Out Of The Shell. This was a series of interviews done by an actual journalist, Gigantomachia, who would pull aside members of the community for an article, and when it was over the person being interviewed would pick another member to be next. The series was great, but sometimes life gets in the way, and this interview with SoreGums sat on the shelf for a few months.

I never want good content to go to waste, and I’m sure you guys would love to read it, so here’s the interview with a member of our core team, SoreGums.

This will be the last “Out of the Shell”, but it is far from the last interview, enjoy!

How’d you first learn about TurtleCoin?

I first learned about it via the Kevin Rose podcast BlockZero: #003 – TurtleCoin – The next Dogecoin?.

What was it about the coin that drew you in. Why are you involved in TurtleCoin as opposed to the other coins out there?

I listened to that episode during the 1st week of Feb 2018, then joined Discord. For the first 48hrs checked out everything and sat in #help and assisted others finding their way. Poked around the dev channels and ended up with contributor access to the Meta repo to help with issues there and got a dev-role tag as well. This level/kind of openness in projects is uncommon. I was also involved in discussions and liked the atmosphere and am now here for good. Other projects in this field pretty much have an agenda, and the dev teams don’t encourage outside involvement. I don’t like writing code; I can, I’m not great at it (as measured by speed and regurgitating things from memory – like on a whiteboard). My skill set is figuring things out (know how to find what is needed, be it tools, utilities, platforms, etc. and then put them together) and providing a way forward. I also like writing documentation. I very much enjoy supporting teams rather than being the star or leader.

Also, TurtleCoin is very much a currency application which runs on the TRTL Network. This distinction is relatively new (June 2018), however, has been in the roadmap from the start, see the Karai milestone. The appeal here then for me is getting in amongst it at a level that requires a fundamental understanding of how this all works. Primarily a learning opportunity, I am a believer in continued learning/development is essential for avoiding depression and being “happy” (to put it in simple terms).

How long have you been interested in crypto?

First got into it April 2011, bought 3x AMD GPUs to start mining Bitcoin. It seemed like it would be a thing. Would have been great if I believed that with conviction, haha.

So you gave up early?

About HODL. Always been following. Been moving around a lot, electricity vs reward at the time etc. I’m a member of the “if only” club of 2017 (BTC price surge etc.). I traded in 40BTC for an Amazon gift card to buy eBooks etc. Still worth it, however, in hindsight, 40*20k is a large number, that would have been nice. Now, 7yrs later it’s visible traditional central banking will be impacted. Blockchain genie is free, an energy-efficient application of it will need to be figured out long-term though.

Have you been involved in any other crypto project before TurtleCoin?

Not like with TurtleCoin. On BitcoinTalk, I was pretty vocal in the Coino Coin project, which died due to the core dev team being two people and real life got in the way. It was also a fast block project, ran into problems with that and the size of the blockchain database. It is funny, Dash, Digibyte, Coino all started around the same time. The core idea of fast blocks and what that enables is why I am so interested in TurtleCoin.

I’m as involved in TurtleCoin as I am because of how the project works and the people attracted to this way of working. I’ve been able to engage in discussions and contribute some value, that is accepted. Then the reason this is a thing is that the project has a focus on the platform as a tool, rather than a way to get rich quick (funny how incentives dictate actions/behaviour). Which leads to the people, we seem to be evenly distributed across the globe teaming up as it were on common end-goal objectives. Everyone I’m actively involved with comes at the work via the collaborative, open, straightforward, humble, mindset.

You’ve mentioned being interested in fast block times a few times. What about fast block times interests you and what do they enable?

Everyday transactions, the only way any cryptocurrency is going to become “the way everyday transactions are conducted” is if they are instant or close enough. In Australia/New Zealand they have self-service checkouts at the supermarket, NZ has self-service petrol pumps, a financial transaction needs occur to complete the sale as it were. So fast block times matter, no one is going to adopt a new way that requires them to stand around for more than 5secs before they can go. Thus immediate responses from the network are essential (fundamentally there doesn’t need to be fast block times, however as a building block it is a logical place to work from/at). Bitcoin is getting instant transactions via technology like lighting network, which briefly means people between the purchaser and seller guarantee amounts are moving from purchaser to seller instead of the network directly (over-simplified, general idea).

So practically how all this works is like this. A transaction broadcast to the network is the equivalent of authorisation in the current visa/card networks. This authorisation is saying “these funds have been allocated FROM this account TO this other account”, allocated means on the way to the destination, (privacy coins, of which TurtleCoin is one, only the sender and receiver know the FROM and TO parties) and is instant. In the visa/card networks at this point the sale is, and everyone moves on, the purchaser has their items, and the seller is confident they’ll receive the funds/the transaction will settle (funds show up in the clear in their account, arrived at destination), eventually as guaranteed by legal contracts etc. In the blockchain world, this is a little bit tricky as there is no guarantee by anyone that these broadcasted transactions will ever be settled/confirmed.

Settlement in blockchain tech comes in the form of included transactions in blocks, fast block times mean these blocks, and thus transactions being confirmed happens fast. Each time a block is produced from when the transaction was first included in the blockchain is an additional confirmation that the funds moved from one account to another. For TurtleCoin the target time for block production is 30 seconds. This means within 20 minutes a seller can be confident they will have the funds (technically they have the funds within 30 seconds). Contrast this to the Visa/card networks the seller needs to be cautious because the funds could be taken back up 90 days or even more depending on the card network and agreements etc., for various reasons. It is challenging in the blockchain world for a purchaser to take back the amounts they have sent as the confirmations continue to accumulate, there is no authority to turn to mediate on their behalf.

That is a super long answer however it is not often explained in detail for everyday people to make the connection between block times and how Visa/card networks operate. TRTL Network has attracted a lot of regular people due to how the community and project members interact with each other, so perhaps someone will find the above details useful.

Having code that enables fast block times isn’t the only factor that would lead to actual real-world adoption of TurtleCoin. What do you think needs to happen beyond the code for this to take off?

Utility. It is the answer to all blockchain adoption. TurtleCoin has it as a premise, however, in practice, it is still in the infancy stages. Once the TRTL Network Spec is defined, it’ll allow anyone to write any code that speaks to all nodes in the network. Said another way, the current TurtleCoind daemon can be replaced by some system that works perfectly for the people writing the code, and they will be able to interact with the TRTL Network just fine.

As for specific things that could promote real-world adoption, supplement all transactions that happen via cash with TurtleCoin transactions. It is going to take business relationships of the community to make that happen. One thing that will help any of those conversations is the access to reliable APIs, so the barrier to entry is as low as possible. I am talking about web wallets or platforms that act like web wallets. Just so happens that one such platform is under development by Fexra (GitHub/Discord). Fexra is building out a web wallet platform that enables merchants to integrate with the TRTL Network without having run, own and operate independent infrastructure and at least in the beginning, and this is needed. As the TRTL Network project progresses and standard tools are developed and released under the “Turtle Pay” heading, being able to find TurtleCoin and then be offering it the next day as a way to exchange value, this is what encourages adoption: ease of use; security; etc.

What do you do IRL? Career? Student?

I’ve been in IT since leaving high school in 2002. My predominant occupation is taking care of my son; he’s 1yr old. So am blazing my path doing different things here and there, IT related.

What are you doing in Vietnam?

I’m supporting a tourism company to attract foreigners, via native English website. They are a successful Vietnamese domestic tourism company.

What’s your favorite pizza?

Italian, from Italy; a bit of sauce, some fresh cheese, something green. Loved visiting there a few years ago, missed it immediately when we crossed the border to France. French delis are amazing, eating out of a deli all the time while possible, would not be ideal.

Any particular projects or initiatives you’re working on right now where you’re seeking community input?

I’m an analyst and details focused type of person that can also zoom out to verify the big picture as well. As such infrastructure and breaking down how things work has me focused on developing the project Krang. It is a Blockchain Automation Testing Suite, which means standing up infrastructure automatically and running tests on it, measuring results and creating reports. Said in plain language, turning on multiple computers, installing all the needed software for the blockchain network to function and checking how things run and writing about/reporting on it.

Krang will work for TRTL Network first, then move onto other blockchain projects. There are a bunch of goals that get covered by the above being real. It means we can automatically test releases before pushing them out. We can check for regressions in performance or even benchmark to figure out where we could make performance improvements. It enables us to test the theoretical parts with ease. It allows us to test different network attack scenarios with ease and assist in developing mitigations.

It is considered a massive project regarding what it enables. There will be a fair amount of code created to package all the standard tools and even more documentation written to allow others to use Krang or further extend it. The actual work to be done though is standard practice in organisations that prefer measured/ correct results, rather than guesses.

So if the above appeals to you, ping me on Discord. One other fellow in Australia is also involved and enjoys working on the infrastructure puzzle.

Now that TurtleCoin has been listed with CoinMarketCap what do you think that increased exposure might mean for TRTL.

I think it mostly signals a validation of the work being done. The group of contributors to the project is expanding each week. For them to be seeing that the project is getting positive attention will help with the positive feedback loop. For the users of the network and future users, it is also a positive signal.

There is a dark side to CoinMarketCap in that their timing on information updates has been shown to be self-serving and would encourage people to seek alternative data points instead of relying solely on CMC. One such site is CoinGecko.com, since TurtleCoin’s inception, the project has climbed up the developer ranking there and now (2018-09) TRTL is ranked 26. Slow and steady is the TurtleCoin motto, we’re here for the long term. The openness of TurtleCoin in terms of accepting contributions is great and wide, the project might be viewed at first glance as being a bit of a lark with its meme coin start, however, it is serious about the technology and the utility it is seeking to enable.

One of the projects primary objectives is to educate anyone interested in blockchain technology, either as a user or as a developer. As such the more exposure we get the more people we’ll be able to impact and give people a real handle on what this technology is all about so they can feel empowered and be an active participant in this new world. Like how the internet has connected everybody on the planet, it was the realm of the nerds when it started, blockchain technology needs to have some of the nerd transformed and made accessible for everyone.

Also…When you’re not working or hanging out in the TurtleCoin discord, what do you like to do for fun?

Go to the movies, went to see Deadpool 2 the other week. The first one was best, the second was good fun and entertaining as well, it is based on a comic series though, and well, it’s a bit hard to “out original” the original.

Travelling, reading, learning, visiting family, going out for the day, playing chess with my wife are some other things.

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
Weekly Update

This Week In TurtleCoin (Sep 17, 2018)

Developer Updates

Krang
Krang

This week on Krang – I hit some walls with Rancher and decided to focus on a more traditional basic solution. This is a nice to have feature but can be included later. – Started on a simple python Script that will (Work in progress)

  1. Setup the Terraform pre-requisites for each provider on the client system (Complete)
  2. Initially Krang will support Digital Ocean and Linode (fexra’s request)
  3. Once checks and setup is complete Krang.py will be able to deploy a testnet onto the provisioned computer using a combination of ansible (config management) and docker (application) (Working on this week – 50% complete)
  4. Once done the TestNet can be destroyed (to be completed)
    NOTE: Initial release will focus on functionality, Flexibility (more providers with custom deployments) will be the focus after a working product is available.
    I will be working closely will Fexra this week as he is working on a Web Frontend to deploy, manage and monitor the TRTL stack. Seems like a great opportunity to TRTL power it up and add a frontend to Krang. I’m sure Fexra will include it in his Weekly update, right Uncle Rock! 🙂 -Slash-atello

https://github.com/4Reallive/krang

Turtle atpool.party Mining Pool

Pool Interview w/ Cision – The latest installment of the small pools series highlights Cision’s pool turtle.atpool.party which was one of our earliest pools. This series highlights smaller pools to help decentralize the hashrate to balance out mining power. – RockSteady

https://blog.turtlecoin.lol/archives/interview-w-cision-from-turtle-pool-party/

TurtleCoin v0.8.3 Released – This version is hopefully one of our most stable. Many improvements went into this release, and a lot of hard work went into it as well. This release lays the groundwork for a system that allows us to disconnect old clients from the network during fork upgrades to reduce the chances that legacy clients poison consensus. The fork at 800k was a little bit rocky at first, because we didn’t account for the mixin 7 transactions that would be in the mempool during the switch to mixin 3, which caused miners to be unable to create block 800,000. The solution was to custom-build a daemon that would only pump out empty blocks, and running that on a pool until we were sufficiently far away from block 800,000 where the legitimate block-producing, transaction-processing v0.8.3 could be used. Thanks for everyone’s time who stayed awake to watch the change and help us along. – RockSteady

http://latest.turtlecoin.lol

TRTL-CLI
TRTL-CLI

Turtle Network CLI – Turtle Network CLI is a command line interface extension that is meant to enable users to get updates on the turtle network without having to go to a website! New features have been added such as checking public nodes to see their status and URL, checking the transaction pool, and checking if your transaction has been confirmed. We are looking for more ideas on what should be added as well as user feedback in general. Pop in the discord and let us know what you think about our awesome and convenient program! – Xaz

https://github.com/turtlecoin/turtle-network-cli

WalletShell Screens

WalletShell Resurrection – LabayLabay has taken the time to update MacroShock’s Electron Wallet for us. I tried it out, and it sure is smooth. I highly recommend you try it out, it’s really cool and works on most platforms. – labaylabay (description written by rock)

TRTL-CLI-PY
TRTL-CLI-PY

TRTL-CLI-PY – I rewrote mrrovot’s TRTL CLI in python, so that I could add my own changes to it. It does everything TRTL CLI does, and more! Thanks to zpalm for helping me optimize it a bit, and big shoutout to Xaz and mrrovot who wrote this tool in the first place! Check it out 😉 –Sajo8

https://github.com/sajo8/trtl-cli-py

Turtacus
Turtacus

Turtacus – Every Sunday, the tournament prize of 20,000 trtl is paid out and it was a painstaking process of getting the leaderboard, typing out the tip to each person and adding in how many wins they had. It took 10-15 mins each time, time which with my new job, has been increasingly hard to come by! So now we have a new auto payout function. If I type *payout, the tip 3 are automatically awarded their prize, with their wins listed. Upon completion of tips, the leaderboard is reset and the tournament starts again. Reducing the entire payout cycle to seconds! Ahhhh sweet AI automation! –Rynem 

https://www.github.com/rynemgar/gladiator-bot

T-Scripta
T-Scripta

T-Scripta – T-Scripta is a turtlecoin wallet made in C# .NET. If you are curious what T-Scripta means, it is short for Pond slider(Trachemys scripta). More to come to the wallet it currently has some issues here and there but nothing too major. – Val

https://github.com/turtlecoin/turtle-wallet-tscripta

Shellnet – Shellnet has grown to 235 users and over 22K transactions!
The “latest transactions” panel is working again and now shows payment-IDs. Thanks to JerMe404, the webpage design has also improved significantly.
Join the shellnet discord to get the latest dev updates -dsanon
https://discord.gg/C2as5Yt

https://shellnet.pw

zedwallet – Only some small zedwallet updates this time – fixed a bug where auto saving wouldn’t occur whilst syncing, or when you ctrl+c out whilst syncing.
Hopefully it makes syncing a lot less frustrating if you’re having issues.

Also, there was another patch to make the node connection shut down a lot faster in the wallet – not a big thing but it should make shutting down a lot more responsive.

I meant to put this in a roundup a few weeks back, but zedwallet on Windows now has auto-complete support, to bring it up to par with Linux and Mac.
This works anywhere you have options of commands to pick, like the open menu, the main menu, and the ‘node not open’ menu. Saves you a tiny bit of time if you’re lazy 😉

Hopefully you’ve been liking the new menu system if you’re using 0.8.3 – note that you can type both the command names and the numbers, whatever takes the least effort 😀

Meanwhile, I’m working on something bigger which will take some time… stay tuned!

zpalm

Web Wallet – Busy applying changes to masari’s webwallet so it will work for Turtle. This includes, a project restructure to dotnet core (done), re-write of the background caching process to handle large chains (done), re-work of the client side crypto functions to work for TurtleCoin (done), re-brand for turtle and a few other minor things. Am currently working on some improvements to how mempool Tx’s are handled in the web wallet and am adding some additional info to be displayed if there are unconfirmed fusion transactions. -WhassupZA (Discord), Dave (GitHub)

https://github.com/turtlecoin/turtlecoin-webwallet-js/tree/development

MainScreen.png

Nest – Version 0.34 of Nest, your GUI wallet, was released this week. It has been intensively tested, so you will not encounter the issues we had in 0.32. Please upgrade as it uses latest core 0.8.3, which is not compatible with previous versions. I think you will like the new address directory and wallet scan height features. If you are the maintainer of a fork of TurtleCoin, I made a guide to fork Nest for your coin. – Jon Nest

https://github.com/turtlecoin/turtle-wallet-go/blob/master/docs/forking-nest.md

https://github.com/turtlecoin/turtle-wallet-go

Community Advertisements

turtlecoinbuttons
turtlecoinbuttons

Do you want some TURTLE merch like buttons and other assorted things? Then check out https://zazzle.com/turtlecoinbuttons for your TRTL needs. Also shout out to some other TRTL merch shops, like @bbanditt#3011 and @DonMatus#3519 on Discord! Give them a big round of applause!

https://zazzle.com/turtlecoinbuttons

turtlenode.online
turtlenode.online

Want a faster wallet sync? Try the worlds most reliable public node; turtlenode.online! Free to sync, and only 99TRTL’s to send!

http://turtlenode.online

FunkyPenguin
FunkyPenguin

Curious re whether my contented VPS resources were negatively impacting my pool’s luck, I migrated the pool to Google Kubernetes Engine (recipe forthcoming). 800Kpocalypse aside, the pool does _feel_ luckier on GKE, and I now hope to sleep (more) soundly at night, and work on more Geeky Cookbook recipes (https://geek-cookbook.funkypenguin.co.nz)
So, If you’re a geek who happens to like mining TRTL (among other geeky things), come and visit https://trtl.heigh-ho.funkypenguin.co.nz, or jump into the “kitchen” discord (it’s not all mining) at http://chat.funkypenguin.co.nz Re the pool features, it’s all the usual features, my fav feature is a discord community, followed by telegram/email notifications on blocks discovered etc. This makes mining a more shared, enjoyable activity 😉

https://geek-cookbook.funkypenguin.co.nz/

https://trtl.heigh-ho.funkypenguin.co.nz

http://chat.funkypenguin.co.nz

Community Shoutouts

Rogerrobers – Shout out to artolan

Cision – I want to thank GNU/iburnmycd™ that he havent blocked me yet and helping me to setup my public daemons 🙂

CaptainJac0 – Thank you to everyone who voted for me on https://www.rapdasa.org/design-competition/?contest=photo-detail&photo_id=6276

Judderz – You want Turtle decals, come see me 🙂

Oseru / Hasagi – Amazing work by turtlenode.online for hosting a low tx fee node! Glad to use your node my man!

Oseru / Hasagi – Also a shoutout to Turtle?#3684 for his birthday! Expect a few shells sent your way on Monday. 😉

Moneymind420 – Give big shout out to RockSteady !!! We love Turtles !!!

anon – zpalm’s voice gives me the tingles

Khem Boi – Shout out to all the forking projects including monkey tips, and shout out to all the new miners out there helping the network!

Freeman – riche en information, merci

Captain Jac0 – Arrrrrr to all Turtles

CaptainJac0's Pirate Flag
CaptainJac0’s Pirate Flag
Categories
Feature Story

Interview w/ Cision from Turtle Pool Party

Decentralizing the network hash rate is important, so that any one pool owner going rogue or a single server breaking doesn’t also tank the rest of the network. The purpose of this new series is to encourage the decentralization of mining power by highlighting unique pools that are coming up in the TRTL mining biz. Choosing a smaller pool helps the network secure your assets by not giving any single person enough power to call the shots for you. Thanks for choosing to balance the hashrate, and I hope you enjoy the interview  – RockSteady

Turtle atpool.party Mining Pool
Turtle.atpool.party Mining Pool

RockSteady – Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. The purpose of the interview series is to help spread out the community’s mining power by highlighting smaller pools that have cool and unique things about them. This week, we’ve chosen turtle.atpool.party

turtle.atpool.party is one of the longest running pools on the TRTL Network, and at times was even the biggest. How long have you been operating mining pools in general, and how long have you been operating a TRTL mining pool?

Cision – First off, I would like to thank you and the other devs for giving the smaller pools this great opportunity to shine and get some new miners 🙂 To be honest my TurtleCoin pool was my first cryptopool since back in 2010 when i had my own Bitcoin pool where my friends and I mined. I started my TurtlePool back in January (2018-01-17 – 7:52AM , if my logs are correct) it has been a long journey, I’ve gained a lot of experience and valuable knowledge in crypto.

RockSteady – If you had to highlight one unique thing about your pool to a new user, what would it be?

Cision – We have our own unique design with a bunch of detailed statistics from days, weeks and months. Then our geolocation system that let you connect with low latency to our pool all around the world, ops that was two things 🙂

RockSteady – That’s cool about the geolocation. Tell me more about that, what brought it on, and what’s it do for the miner?

Cision – It did all start with a couple of miners from USA and Asia that really wanted to mine at our pool but they didnt want 200-400ms latency while doing it so we came up with a leaf system that let users mine to a node close to them instead (1-50ms) and this node acts like a leaf for our pool so we cut the latency by 50-90% around the world, we are using Amazon for our geolocation routing system (Route 53) to put them on a leaf closest to them and with the best latency. This means we only need to have one pool for USA, EU and Asia, we can put them under the same roof and build a strong community around it.
RockSteady – Interesting! How did you find TRTL, and how has mining changed since you started?
Cision – It was actually a pure coincidence because fruktstav from z-pool invited me to start mine at his pool and told me about TurtleCoin, i think he posted about it on Facebook in a Swedish group if i remember correct. TurtleCoin was my first coin i started to mine after my Bitcoin drive back in 2010-2011 so i havent mined anything else before it and i stuck with it because of the amazing community. Mining has changed for me from being a little extra income to learning so much new in the field and blockchain technology.
RockSteady – What is next on the agenda for your pool? Do you plan to do anything new soon?
Cision – Next up will be stats per worker so they will be visible on the frontend and not only over the API.
RockSteady – What other services do you run or plan to launch?
Cision – We run our own block explorer over at https://turtle-block.com/ and publicnodes at https://turtle-node.com/ Right now we are focusing on to get some businesses interested into using TurtleCoin as payment method.
RockSteady – That’s great, I hope more people take ownership of the future of the network by approaching vendors for similar integrations. In your opinion, where would you like to see TRTL going next if you had it your way?
Cision – I would like to see TurtleCoin being picked up by the gaming community, its a big community and they would have use for a coin like this thats fast and have good support from devs and community itself.
RockSteady – Is there anything you’d like to add?
Cision – I would like to wish everyone good luck on their crypto adventures :franklin:
RockSteady –  good interview, I’ll get it up tonight
Cision – ok  im heading to bed
see u tomorrow
RockSteady – night
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Predictable Solo Mining w/ Cryptonote.Social Pool

Decentralizing the network hash rate is important, so that any one pool owner going rogue or a single server breaking doesn’t also tank the rest of the network. The purpose of this new series is to encourage the decentralization of mining power by highlighting unique pools that are coming up in the TRTL mining biz. Choosing a smaller pool helps the network secure your assets by not giving any single person enough power to call the shots for you. Thanks for choosing to balance the hashrate, and I hope you enjoy the interview 🙂 – RockSteady

RockSteady – So tell me, how did you get started in mining? What’s your origin story?
cryptonote.social – I started mining Bitcoin back in … oh, I don’t remember exactly, but it was worth about $50 at the time.  2013? I came across Satoshi’s whitepaper and was blown away. I’d been dabbling in decentralized systems since the 90s, and this was the first piece of work that I had come across that offered a fully decentralized solution to a significant problem, and it did so with such elegance. Of course I had to give mining a try, even though ASICs were soon to invalidate my efforts!
RockSteady – Ah interesting, what were your interests regarding decentralization before bitcoin?
cryptonote.social – I’d long been interested in privacy preserving technologies … cypherpunk type of stuff, though I’d never really fully immersed myself into that community.  Decentralization was always a big part of that.  I have to say though, what really piqued my interest was the advent of Napster, and seeing how easily it and other approaches were defeated because of their centralized elements and failure to solve trust minimization.
RockSteady – That’s cool to hear about. A lot of the people doing things differently now have similar roots. I get that same feeling when looking at your mining pool. It’s a bit different than others. Did you write it from scratch?
cryptonote.social – Yes, I’ve written the bulk of it from scratch, with some help from a small group of friends.  I find the best way to learn about a new technology is to just go and build it, and writing code is something I really enjoy.  My software admittedly lacks a lot of the bells and whistles of the established node-based pools out there, but it lets me experiment with new ideas and scratch my software development itch. And those who are using it (a small but loyal group) seem pretty happy with it so far.
RockSteady – That’s cool! What’s it written in, and what was that like? Did you have experience with nodejs-pool and node-cryptonote-pool before?
cryptonote.social – The backend is entirely Go (aka Golang) and the frontend is Angular.  Go has been my language of choice for the past few years — I find it the perfect language for building servers.  Angular is something I was not familiar with until I started this project, but I decided it would be cool to learn. It’s a bit of an over-engineered mess, to be honest, but I suppose overall I’m happy with the results.
Re: node-cryptonote-pool, no, I’d actually never run any pool before starting this. I’d played with a few mining proxies, about the extent of it.
RockSteady – Golang is something we’ve been fairly interested in, and a few of us have begun porting over the turtle libs over; I think Rashed is running that effort.
So your pool is fairly unique in comparison to others and I think that’s given you some good opportunities to implement features other pools might not have. Can you tell us a bit about the special spice that sets you apart?
“Predictable solo mining originates from EthPool.org, a mining pool for Ethereum. … Predictable solo mining aims to eliminate the risks of never earning anything, which is an unfortunately typical outcome of solo mining.”
cryptonote.social – There are a few things, but the main differentiator is probably our predictable solo mining payment scheme, which we’ve begun switching most of our pools over to. Our TurtleCoin pool has been using it for a few weeks now.
Predictable solo mining originates from EthPool.org, a mining pool for Ethereum.  I found it pretty fascinating when I’d learned about it given that running a small pool is basically the same thing as solo mining until you get enough miners  onboard.  Predictable solo mining aims to eliminate the risks of never earning anything, which is an unfortunately typical outcome of solo mining.
RockSteady – Can you elaborate a bit from a high level how you’re able to offer predictable solo mining?
cryptonote.social – Well first of all we don’t offer perfectly predictable payouts: the level of predictability still depends on the size of the pool, and one can’t fully eliminate the randomness of the mining process without taking on a lot of risk (e.g. PPS pools). The goal then is to improve predictability in a way that doesn’t involve  taking on big risks. The basic idea of our predictable solo variant is to “bank” mined blocks as they come in, and hand them out to miners only when they have computed a number of hashes equal to (actually slightly larger than) the network difficulty.  This is a bit different than how EthPool does it, by the way, and we’ve found it actually works reasonably well even when the number of active miners is relatively small.
RockSteady – Ah ok. Would this change as it scales? As the pool grows, and gains blocks with greater frequency, does this eventually scale into salaried mining?
cryptonote.social – Dynamics actually improve as it scales.  The biggest worry is long “droughts” of no blocks, which can really throw things out of whack. This is one reason we actually require miners to hash a bit over network difficulty before earning a block. With a large pool, the chances of long droughts goes down quite a bit.
There is of course the opposite problem: that you end up with so many blocks in the bank that they just sit there and miners can never  win them.  Though this situation is rare, when it does happen, we solve it by simply selecting a banked block at random and paying it out in full to the particular miner that actually minted it. Though this goes against the goal of predictability, it’s an infrequent thing, and miners don’t usually mind some small chance of occasionally “winning the lottery” in this way.
RockSteady – That sounds fair, I’m impressed. What struck you about the ETHPool paper that made you say “you know what, I can do this a little bit better!”
cryptonote.social – I didn’t actually realize at the time that EthPool had issues, and I set out to build exactly what they had done, only for my favored CryptoNote coins instead of ETH.   It wasn’t long though that I realized for a pool with one miner that is much faster than the others (a common case for small pools), the scheme was an utter disaster… the fast miner gets all the rewards, nobody else can ever earn anything.   Shortly after that I came across an academic paper that outlined other flaws with the scheme affecting even large pools, so I set out to see if I could fix them.
RockSteady – Have there been any stumbles or mistakes along the way or has it always been a home run for you
cryptonote.social – Oh there were definitely stumbles. We didn’t implement the difficulty margin (having to go a bit over difficulty) initially and as a result the “whales” were running away with most everything.  Even after implementing it, it takes a while to get the margin value dialed in. The proper level depends on how variable the network is.
So for a coin like TurtleCoin where difficulty has big swings and orphans are common, it turned out we had to set it far more generously than we initially guessed. This made some of the smaller miners lose out, and some dropped out for good. I think we have it properly dialed in at the moment, but I would not be surprised if there are some other details we may still need to address. I’m still thinking about other things we can do to better deal with difficulty variance, for example.
RockSteady – It’s always a bit tough starting out with something new, but I’m glad that you’re getting dialed in. What do you have planned for the near future with the pool and what are some distance goals you have?
cryptonote.social – I’ve been bouncing around a few different ideas. The domain name was chosen because I originally wanted to build a community site of sorts for privacy coin enthusiasts, but once I started with the pool it kind of became all consuming. I do in general like social elements such as the leaderboard, which is why it’s a bit more prominent in my site than you’ll find on most others, and also why all my pools require a username.
I also have some more out-there ideas around turning the hash power you contribute into a “meta currency” of sorts that you can exchange for actual cryptocurrency on demand rather than having to choose the specific coin ahead of time.  But in the short term it’s likely I’ll just continue building out the basic feature set of the existing site.
RockSteady – That’s pretty cool! I’m glad you’re branching out into new territory! What’s the best way that the community can contribute?
cryptonote.social – At this point it’s mostly just by providing feedback around what I have, though I probably wouldn’t turn away anyone who might want to help pretty up the site a bit as web design is not my strong suit!  My code isn’t yet in good enough shape where I’d be comfortable dumping it on github in order to solicit development help, but it’s something I’m working towards.  Plus I want to get a better idea of where I want to take all this. I don’t think the world needs another software package for hosting run of the mill mining pools, as the existing ones are already pretty good.   I’d really want to offer something truly unique before going the open source route, and I don’t think I’m there quite yet.
RockSteady – Do you have a Discord? What’s the best avenue for feedback?
cryptonote.social – Best places to reach me would be on Twitter (https://twitter.com/CryptonoteSoci1) or through e-mail at cryptonote.social@gmail.com.  I don’t have my own Discord server but I’m easy to find on existing ones, as well as on Reddit.
RockSteady – Sounds good, I think that about covers it for our side, is there anything you’d like to add?
cryptonote.social – Don’t think so. It’s been fun!
RockSteady – Thanks!

 

 

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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 (https://blocks.turtle.link/), 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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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.

@gigantomachia

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.