Let's talk about the elephant in the room

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

Bottomline is: Grin is an exciting project with fascinating tech that might fail to gain traction and become one of many dead ends in the cryptocurrencies world. What can be done about this?

Some of the stuff below might sound harsh, but I guess that is not the time for sugercoating.

I think we all might be biased here. This might soud harsh, but the project is going nowhere in terms of wider interest (not to mention the price). Yeah, the concept was fun and many people were passionate to deliver something really good, but even the best intentions might not allign with what market prefers. It is still profitable enough to mine but with lack of interest the future is not bright. Big exchanges do not want to list it (and those who listed us seem to no longer care about it, look at Bittrex, where the wallets are off), new people are not coming to the community, ASIC producers scrapped their ASIC plans, people are still mining, because it is still profitable and devs are still developing, because they are getting like 10k USD per month (or whatever the money is now), so it makes sense for them to sit on this for as long as possible, but there is nothing that could bring people to Grin. When they are looking for anonimity they are picking Monero, when they want simple coin they go with BTC, and when they want smart contracrs they pick ETH. When they want experiment they pick the flavour of the month - and yeah Grin was flavour of the month last year in February, when prices were rallying and everyone were listing us, but it seems like dead end now. We all might be biased in believing otherwise since our bags might be heavy or we might be passionate about the tech, but all the positive and negative biases aside, anyone could think of 3 reasons why things could change in the near future? I mean, why suddenly people should get interested in Grin in the timeframe of following months?

I don’t think that’s something one person or small group of people could change. Perhaps this is question of finding the answer to the question WHY people should chose Grin. Yeah, scalability and anonimity are cool, but the first one is not that visible yet and second is achieved on smiliar level with projects like Monero or Zcash. Yeah, we can discuss that Grin has fairer distribution etc., so long term this is advantage, but when people do not care about the project advantages like this are irrelevant. Perhaps something that boosts adoption would make people realise, that we are not much worse than Monero, Zcash and on some levels can be even better.

If I had answer or even remotely valuable ideas I would bring them to the table. :smile: Well, of course listings on mayor exchanges are something that always boosts interests, even if some people jump in only because of the listing, not caring if it is a shitcoin or valuable project, it always brings visibility and that would make all kinds of people involved in the community.

Second thing is easier onramping. Yeah, things that are done with projects like Grin++ are impressive, we understand that, but for new people it is much easier to onboard on Beam than on Grin (for the reasons that we know), so perhaps making onboarding easier would be second step, but listing, listings and listings are the most important thing right now. But we won’t have the listings without easy tools for people to handle their coins, so I guess both those things should happen.

Some of those plenty of BTCs that are being held by the council should be used for listings, because it brings visitibility to the project. Easiest way to bring visisbility. It is not a shame to ask for paid listing. Yeah, we might have gotten spoiled by free listings by Poloniex, Bittrex etc. in the early days of the project, but it is because back the Grin was flavour of the month.

Also, finding and enforcing standarized tx methos would be a milestone here. To summarise, we need listings (even if they cost us money) and easy GUI wallets with standarized tx methods. Perhaps you have other ideas, feel free to share them, but one thing seems almost sure - despite many technical improvements happening all the time, the project as a whole is heading downhill and we need smart person to figure out what can be done about it and implement that idea.

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Come join us in grincoin.teams.wallet_dev on keybase where this is being actively discussed.

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https://grin.mw/community#how-to-join

Once joined in grincoin, you can join the wallet_dev team like so:
https://grin.mw/governance#wallet-development-team

Or see the pinned message on top of grincoin#general.

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I don’t have necessary skills to contribute anything on the technical level. Just trying to provide external, unbiased perspective - this looks like exciting project that is not gaining traction because of various mistakes. And what is even worse, there doesn’t seem to be specific plan aiming to change that.

One way to fix things might be to start actively pursue listings (and spending some money on that), because listings are the easiest way to gain visibility - and the project needs visibility to attract new people. Try thinking beyond simply considering exchanges as some price influencing tool, it is also great way to let people know about the project.

Second thing - easy onramping, as in enforcing one tx standard ASAP. And perhaps hiring UI experts and building great GUI on top of official wallet (despite Grin++ being great etc.). Serious exchanges need to know that users have good wallets before they even consider listing, because they want to avoid being flooded by requests.

I’ve seen the Keybase community, but just saying it out loud here, perhaps someone more engaged in the project will draw some conclusions from this.

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I think that the price is kind of moving where it was expected to move. Perhaps it’s a bit lower than most expected, but it shouldn’t be a completely unexpected scenario. Remember that Grin still has very high inflation.

I think a lot of the devs are still not getting paid and those that are have shown they care about the project. It doesn’t feel like money-grabbing to me.

I can’t imagine how the early Bitcoiner would feel after donating 100 Bitcoins to Grin and seeing it spent on exchange listing. I almost guarantee you they’d be disappointed. Grin has very cypherpunk roots and such action would, in my opinion, completely destroy that.

While I expect Grin to change, I really like its conservative stance. Most of the networks out there try to get as many features in and each feature adds its own dependencies that with time start to intertwine which makes the system more complex and harder to change in a safe way. More importantly, complexity makes a system less secure. You start with mathematical security, but every concept used needs to be implemented and the implementation is usually not formally verified so you have no proof it equals its formal specification. This leaves you relying on code reviews. This is, in my opinion, a very strong point for Grin because the cryptography behind Mimblewimble is relatively simple compared to some alternative approaches that have the so-called ‘moon math’. Because of its design simplicity, it’s implementation is also much simpler. Cryptocurrencies that blind the amounts need to take special care because there is no place for an error. If someone finds a way to break the cryptography of a single UTXO in a privacy coin, they can create as many coins as they want and nobody can ever find out. This is very different from cryptocurrencies that have amounts public and can always verify the supply. If amounts are public, while still horrible, breaking a UTXO ‘only’ allows the attacker to steal money from that UTXO.

So here are my reasons:

  1. Simplicity and security go hand in hand and Grin is great here
  2. Addresses privacy/anonymity issues (could be improved in the future somehow)
  3. It will continue to improve, but slowly
  4. It’s mathematically beautiful - it almost feels like a natural extension of Bitcoin for privacy. I’ve not seen this with any other coin
  5. The community is conservative

The point 5. is something people often think of as a huge downside of Bitcoin. I think being conservative is important because if you’re trying to pick a platform to use as a money exchange service, you want to pick one that doesn’t change rapidly or often. There’s enough risk starting new projects so why on earth would you add more risk by picking a platform that often changes which might bring security vulnerabilities and you have no idea how it will look like in 5-10 years? It makes no sense to me. I think Bitcoin’s conservatism is a big reason of why it is successful.

As Tromp mentioned, this is currently being discussed on keybase.

I think it’s great that you’re asking these questions as you’re probably not the only one that had these on their mind. I’m also sure that many won’t agree with my points and we’ll see a diverse set of answers.

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Also see just published https://github.com/mimblewimble/grin-rfcs/pull/46, with some ideas of transaction flows that makes end user experience more streamlined. Feedback in the PR is welcomed!

I like those words! To the point + calm tone. Imagine providing users out of the box experience of anonymous and scalable transactions. No complicated stuff. Just beautiful GUI wallet with standarized tx enabling easy transfers to all third party wallets and exchanges. Innovation easy to market, attracting new userbase and new contributors. Alligning that with some PR information sent to exchanges might bring the project to its deserved spotlight.

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I’d like to add another point. I think Grin has some potential that is not yet being used and probably needs a bit more thinking on how to best use it. A cut-through that is done before submitting to the chain is very powerful. UTXOs that are cut-through before they are even published on the chain have an optimal privacy from information theoretical point of view. I find this very fascinating because nobody else even knows they existed. I’m pretty sure schemes are possible that achieve interesting guarantees, but we have to research them and make them practical.

Wait, are you asking what can done about the fact that it might fail to gain traction? Sounds like what you really want is the answer to the question “What can we do to be 100% certain that grin is a wide success?”

The answer is that there’s nothing we can do to be 100% certain in any cryptocurrencies success.

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OK, well, this not going to be soft, I’m pretty direct in this post, but I really think it’s necessary for the good of the project. Please don’t take it personally.

I think the huge problem in regards with Grin is not the exchange listings, nor the scalability/privacy problems the devs are trying to solve with Grin. The huge problem is the usability. Really. And it seems like most of the Grin devs think that by creating a wonderful product, people will automatically join and start using it. Of course not. If the iPhone hadn’t the appstore, would you have bought it? Would you have bought a phone without any apps available on it? Obviously, the answer is no.

Well, why would you buy/invest in a currency which you can use to, well actually, you can’t use it. Besides sending Grin to other people, you can’t do anything with it. Like @TheNewGrin rightfully said, there is currently no reason to use Grin. If you want to store money “safely”, you can use Bitcoin, or a stablecoin if you don’t want to take risks (in terms of value of course, not security). If you want to really use your currency, you will likely start using Ethereum, and start being an early adopter of their dApps. And if you want privacy for some reason, you will most certainly start using Monero or Zcash.

Besides, you can’t expect from people to start using your product, if they don’t even know that your product exists. Second, once they know your product exists, there must be a valid reason to start using it.

That’s the huge problem behind Grin at the moment, there is literally no reason to use it. So why should I invest in it? Why should I get involved in this project?

@TheNewGrin seems to think that exchange listings will solve this problem, which is definitely not the case. Though, I certainly agree that exchange listing will be needed in the future. At the end of the day, Grin is a currency, and to become a true currency, you need massive amounts of liquidity. If you want proof that exchanges won’t change a thing, just take a look at the 100+ shitcoins available on Binance which no one uses and which aren’t experiencing any growth. Exchanges, are just a gateway towards your product. But if your product isn’t attractive in the first place, it doesn’t matter on which/how many exchanges you are listed on, your project will fail.

Paying for exchange listing is certainly not the right way of doing things, you simply need to have a growing community with a strong product, some hype, and exchanges will directly list it. It’s like networking. You know, a lot of people recommend networking actively to have a strong carreer. But if you are good enough, you will not even need to network with people, the network will come at you. Well it’s exactly the same thing with exchanges. So exchanges aren’t a priority. Grin hasn’t a lot of funds as a cryptocurrency project, and I would be really dissapointed if it were to use these funds to be listed on some stupid, currently-trendy, exchanges.

The priority is to create an ecosystem with an active community which can truly use Grin as a currency to pay for stuff, to exchange it with other cryptocurrencies,… Essentially building stuff on top of Grin, instead of focusing solely on Grin itself.

Users don’t care about your fancy tech features Grin will have in the future. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. And it’s not by having a new fancy wallet that people will start adopting Grin, though, having a wallet with a great UX available on every platform won’t hurt.

Finally, the right way of doing things in my opinion would be to start an ecosystem fund, actively managed and start giving grants to developers building stuff on top of Grin (and not just building Grin itself). Besides, we should start a kind of ambassador program, or something similar, to encourage the current Grin community to start creating content and promote the project elsewhere. Again, you can have the best product, if people don’t know about it, no one will use it. And as always, content is king.

PS: Oh, and regarding the salary of the current devs. I must say 10K a month is A LOT.

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I agree with what you said, except for the salary

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well maybe my opinion is not important since i never understood the specifics of the project and was here only for speculative reasons so maybe we are not the target audience people like me but since there is a topic like that let me share my opinion

foremost the user experience for average user is terrible. maybe there is good tech behind that coin, maybe all the smart ppl know how to use the text wallets but for regular user that is huge barrier. there are some unofficial wallets but they are also difficult to use for regualr user. i bought grin last year and since them i am keeping most of them on the exchange because trafers are impossible thing for average user. for example recently i installed grin plus plus wallet bacause it seems to be most popular one (first i tried ironbelly but there was no way to transfer coins from poloniex). so grin plus plus is giving me error connecting to tor on my windows 10 and i can not get any address to send coins from poloniex. so i am stuck with my coins on poloniex like most people are.

can’t grin take example from beam and create similar wallet? beam might have the premine but it is such an excellent project to use compared to grin. why not spend money on having good wallet with easy transfers? and if anyone knows how to transfer coins out of poloniex let me know. most average users are holding their coins on exchanges because they don’t know how to transfer them out, check out discossions on telegram and discord.

Sorry you’re having this experience. Indeed, Grin can be quite a challenge to use, but it’s slowly getting better. If you ever want to figure out why you’re getting those connection issues, I’m always around to help at https://t.me/grinpp

oh so you are the author of the wallet, didn’t mean to disrespect, actually you have created one of the most useful tools in the grin ecosystem so far it seems. maybe actually if it was all more streamlined on the protyocol level the issues would be non existent, but i don’t know. anyway, maybe for the TOR addresses to work i need to download something which is obvious for some users but for average user no. maybe you could share some link in the wallet itself if people need to download something additionally?

You shouldn’t need to download anything, but if you’ve used the tor browser before, you may have to delete %userprofile%/tor/ before opening the wallet, since a user recently found that it can conflict with the tor version used in Grin++.

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I’ve found Niffler wallet quite straightforward and reliable to use before, including tx’ing to and from Poloniex (though have not done that for a while).

Maybe I need to install TOR?

No, it ships with Grin++. Probably best to diagnose and solve this in the support channel. It’ll be a lot quicker. Are you on Telegram? The channel is t.me/Grinpp

Every point you concern I think it’s the time, that grin or beam is a baby now, it’s not strong now, and has many weakness.

But I think all of these shouldn’t worry about ‘altcoins competition’, as I non-tech guy, I find devs are working better than before, then I just buy low price and don’t show hand.

When the baby growing bigger and bigger, after many devs code, the problem will be solved. Still, risk is always there, you said some of it.

We can do something for it : code, donor, test, translation, marketing to someone … etc. If people do their best, grin will not die.

After I clicked close the grin++ wallet in Win 10, but sometimes I find the process is still there.