I recently came across a bounty in the TRTL Discord for an article about TurtleCoin. The requirements were loose, it was mainly just a length requirement, so I figured I’d brew up some coffee and give it a shot.
Thanks to Keda666 for reminding me to post this.
Starting a coin network is easy. Taking care of one, helping it grow, keeping it healthy, giving it good guidance – those are the hard parts. My name is RockSteady, and TurtleCoin is my problem child.
With an introduction like that, you might be thinking that I regret creating TurtleCoin or that it is a mistake in the sense that it was a failure, but quite the opposite as Bob Ross might say. TurtleCoin was created at the height of the crypto-boom of December 2017. At the time you could create literally anything, put “crypto” in the name, and sell it for millions, even if it didn’t exist (RIP BitConnect, never forget).
Out of the plethora of networks that were coming out, a little privacy category emerged. You had DASH and the masternode networks, you had Zcash with the optional privacy networks, then you had Bytecoin, Monero and the rest of the Cryptonote family with stealth addresses and fulltime privacy… and off standing in the corner, struggling for attention and trying to peer above the shoulders of the Cryptonote family is little TurtleCoin with a pizza stained shirt and light coating of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
As you may or may not know, TurtleCoin was a fork of Bytecoin. Incidentally, TurtleCoin and Monero for the first 3 years shared the same codebase, which came from an old retired version of Bytecoin. The way the privacy works in TurtleCoin and Monero is that if you think of every transaction as a handful of coins and dollars, each coin or dollar is matched up with a handful of others on the network and spent in a way that an observer can’t tell whose coins participated in the transaction, and nobody can scope out your transaction history or balance without being given keys to see it.
So, big deal, right? You fork some code, then change all the mentions to the old guys, throw in a little pizzaz, maybe some ninja turtle memes, and boom you’re off to the races, right? Shitcoin starter pack.
Unfortunately that is mostly true for some networks, at least to get the coin off the runway and into the sky. It takes almost zero work to fork code, change some variables and launch a network, but if the hundreds of projects people created based on our code are any indicator, it takes much much more than that to keep a network functioning and thriving.
Lets get to the problem child part.
A big reason why none of these forked networks exist anymore is that your network is like a little pot of gold, always out of reach, but for those smart enough you can find ways to make things easier as miner, or when all else fails, make things harder for everyone. Over the years, through the system of mining coins alone, we have seen it all with regards to the measures people will take to overcome the rules of the network to drive up their profit just a few points while having disastrous effects for the rest of us.
At times we have seen people forging timestamps for mined blocks, pulse mining the network to skew the difficulty enough so that many coins are produced in an hour, then when the difficulty climbs as a result, the miner leaves for another network with lower difficulty and leaves us to mine slow blocks for an hour before they return as the difficulty goes back to normal. Wash, rinse repeat. We even saw people so bold as to incorporate TurtleCoin as the payload of botnets, presumably to get more mining power.
Miners and their grubby little hands were the least of our troubles, along the way we noticed bugs that either got exploited and created a fire that we had to put out (like the fusion spam), or bugs that hadnt yet been exploited luckily (like the remote RPC bug). Sometimes when you fork code from others, this is the risk you take.
Maybe it is getting clearer why we don’t have as many TurtleCoin forks around anymore. If it isn’t so clear, here is an analogy – If you put a plane in the air, and stop refueling it, it will eventually touch the ground.
With all of these problems, TurtleCoin still prevails, and has not to this day had a single attack on the protocol that caused a loss of funds from any user, and with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as big as the remaining emission, nobody has exploited that either. (at the time of this writing, TurtleCoin still has 91% of the supply left to be mined)
Three years later, TurtleCoin still receives new code every day, new features, improvements, fixes – and still has users transacting despite the price being the lowest it has ever been in history. During these three years, as a team we have seen hundreds of networks spawn from the TurtleCoin code. These networks may have been other peoples hopes and dreams, Id imagine.
“Finally this will be the one” some of the forkers might say, before they sell off their entire premine and start the next project.
Today I can think of two networks that forked us that are still functioning, and of those two, when I think of how many receive software updates, Id have to say it is maybe one that is still actively developed.
As we round our way into the second era of TurtleCoin, the one where we scrap all code and write something new from scratch, I hope some of this funny business in the markets changes, and I do hope that all the forkers out there get their act together, however irrational they may be. TurtleCoin is our hopes and dreams, our pot of gold, our problem child. TurtleCoin is actively developed and every bit as serious of a project as others, it just has a funny name.
Accept no imitations, TurtleCoin is here to stay. When you think privacy, utility, and low cost transactions without showing the world your balance, think TurtleCoin. When you think about TurtleCoin, think about us, your captains, and a team that wont let you down no matter what the price.
Thanks for listening, I hope you all stick with us for TRTL v2.. its a game changer in the works. No more mining, even better privacy, everything new. Get some while you can, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Also published on Medium.