What I think Grin needs (before the mainnet)

I think that Grin needs to spread passion.
The power of a cryptocurrency lays on its community that is composed by various actors: miners, devs, investors, holders, firms and users. Every subject contribute in some way and the key could be achieved making the community inclusive for everyone. This is similar to our society with the difference that in the former case the structure has completely to be built. Like in ‘development economics’ this isn’t a result, but a path composed by various steps (composed by various paths) that answer to different questions. And these questions are ordered for importance and the answers can be the keys of the game theory questions.

These questions are:

  • WHY Grin?
  • HOW Grin would achieve this?
  • WHAT is Grin?

This video shows what I’m trying to explain: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA]

The first question is tied with the philosophy of grin. People are moved by believes and then by technology and this combination make sustainability in the long run. It can be useful to have a list of books/articles/papers (must reads) chosen by users and the council (ehm the Knights of the Grin table :grin:) and shared by the community, that explains exactly the philosophy and the believes of Grin.

The second question is tied with game theory incentives and composes the structure of the cryptocurrency. This can be achieved in different ways and having answered to the first question make clearer how to obtain the result. Blockchain resolves the problem of consensus sociologically and not only technologically through incentives to maintain the chain and for this reason it could be useful have some incentive-mechanism to let grow and consolidate the community and not only the blockchain. For instance, instead of giving airdrops, the council and miners can initially publish some easy jobs that the community can do (guides to mine, ui, git problems, research) and get rewarded with grins (after the mainnet but decided before). Another idea could be to have a multisig wallet managed by the council that delegates some jobs in that way (just a hint). It’s very important the initial distribution.

The last question depends on all the actors but principally on developers that are the builders. In that question we have the technology that gains consensus and the answer is the result. Cryptocurrencies are an act of coordination and all these questions must be answered synergistically.

What’s your thoughts?

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Thanks for posting this. Funnily enough I’ve been thinking a lot about that Simon Sinek video you linked to in the context of Grin as well. I agree, Grin would benefit from having a clearly defined Vision/Mission/Values statement.

Some early thinking around this topic is spread out across the documentation, see for example here and here. There’s also been some general discussion on the forum in this thread, and it’s likely going to become a topic of the now bi-weekly governance meetings at some point moving forward.

There is also an in-process attempt to form a coherent view on Risk Management, with the intention that this will drive some of the thinking around overall values and principles of the projects a whole. You see for example my own first stab at some of these in the doc.

All are encouraged to participate and contribute their thoughts as part of the effort of making this more formalised and defined.

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I second @lehnberg. Explaining this is also not something I’m personally very good at, I’m too deep in the weeds. So if some of you think they can do a good job at it, please feel free to step in. Perhaps a post here that others can build on? I’d tag this “help wanted” if I could.

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Developers are raided / harassed / prosecuted.

Members on technocratic council infiltrated/coerced.

Losing control of Github repo.

Are you guys not doing opspec?

Do you guys not have deadman switches and canaries?


Why do you not have any political watering down risks that are not related to the council? Currency is a community asset of very abstract nature with an generally undefined community, rapid growth can rapidity shift the nature of that community. A prime example is whichever coin had expensive voluntary privacy features, that when it rapidly grew people dropped those features privacy mostly broke and so most coins since don’t have optional security, because wealth makes for new user laziness

Like 99% of the people in this space think bitcoin came from a mythical creator and the political forces around it was basically random (and they can safely ignore them start their own shit coin and find the same success.) Dispite how easy it is to find something like cyphernomicon and ctrl-f “digital currency” and “anarchno-capitalism” and think “maybe these two ideas are deeply connected” since its >20 years old

I would suggest worrying about these as well:

  • wild success, with general public acceptance without understanding. “I like the tech of mw as much as the next candidate for the technocratic council, but would it really be the end of the world to give back doors to major governments, vote idoitface 2030 for grin president”

  • corporate bullshit spin off

  • government bullshit spin off, “happy coin a fork a grin that lets the central bank control the inflation rate”

  • koolaid spin off; ltc, bch and eth anyone?

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Yep, Mane, good question. And a great video!
Talking “why”, Grin sure provides a good answer in terms of privacy.
But thats not enough, as there are plenty of other projects in the same field.
One of the strengths of Grin is its appearance as an idealist project. No premining and all that. It definetly adds credibility to the project - and the scene talks about Grin as some of the hottest stuff around. Yep, but so what? It is cryptowinter out there and most projects in the DLT-scene are still in desastrous lack of any feasible or even sustainable use case. Wish I could say different.
The only use case that I left doing kind of ok for now, is payments. A pretty crowded niche market. Plus the idea of storing value, fed by the hope of some distant cryptospring. However, storing value has a potential of changing things in society.

So, if Grin wants to change things in society, it needs more. Transparency for noobs like me. I would not even know, how I can find out about the number of transactions. And even they could be faked: Sending coins flying back and forth… well, we have seen that with Tether and the likes. So, with all cutthroughs - how can people tell in a year from now, to which extent (meaning cumulative turnover of coins) Grin is actually been used? Do they invest in a ghost scheme, is the price driven by the mere assumption of how much money is actually circulating? Privacy without stats may backfire in terms of investors.

This made me think of a statement of Satoshi Nakamoto, who responded to a discussion about lost keys that the “lost coins are a donation to the community”. Well, it is a donation that is neither proveable nor quantifyable and hence goes unnoticed.
That is: Unless one turns this idea around and implements such a donation scheme on purpose.
Because Grin is the only project that is unconventional enough to "altrustically"collect and publicly burn a small fraction from transaction fees.

Why? Because Grin is the only coin that can. Before mainnet.

  1. „Burning“ outputs serves as an indication of how much is actually being transfered, but does not reveal transactions. This serves investors and traders as a basis of trust. After all, they want to make sure not to invest in a ghost scheme nobody uses.
  2. „Deflationless deflation“ creates value by adding to scarcity. If a (however minor) part of each transaction fee is visibly burned, this also counters the mining of new coins in the long run and will be noticed as a measure to insure the currency‘s value. Ideally, such a burning rate should vary over time, dynamically coupled with mining or transaction parameters. If nothing else, it keeps people talking about the project. It is not just about scarcity, It is also about “perceived scarcity” and the awareness that each and every transactions donates a little bit to scarcity.

This would require the following:

  • „burning“ must be publicly visible, be it within the blockchain as a sum per block or via a transparent transfer to a proveably ownerless „public“ wallet. Maybe, a variation of an atomic swap might also work?
  • the amount burned must be proportional to the total amount transfered over a given period in time.

This „reporting period“ does not need to be constant but must cover a sufficiently long period to ensure that single large transactions are not indicated. Ideally, the reporting period should be proportional to its height, i. e. very large amounts would be reported over a prolonged period, so as to obfuscate the exact transfer date of single large transactions while small amounts could come clicking in by the hour.

No idea whether this is technically feasible, but if any community is wild enough to implement such an „altruist“ feature - then it is you guys… And it can only be done before mainnet. Once the cash is rolling, too many vested interests are involved.

Has such a feature been discussed within Grin?

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Yes, I proposed such a scheme in Feb this year; see

https://lists.launchpad.net/mimblewimble/msg00450.html

It failed to get sufficient support and hence there are no plans to implement it.

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While most people won’t be able to (or want to) dig through the code or run their own node, they can verify that money has not been printed out of thin air by checking that all unspend outputs at each block equal the sum of all previous coinbase rewards for all blocks, right?

I thought I read that the supply schedule is planned to be inflationary in order to encourage Grin to be used as a transactional currency rather than a store of value. Is that still the plan?

Regarding fee burning and dynamic blocks: was the main purpose to prevent spam, and if so, why would additional mechanisms be required for Grin while most PoW chains just use fees?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Correct. In fact, the “initial block download” skips all the spent transactions and downloads just the utxo set. together with all headers and kernels to check them against.

Correct. Still 1 grin / second.

Quoting from the above link:

"Grin testnet1 burns half the tx fee in an attempt to incentivize
against block bloat. But this attempt fails since miners can still
spam a block with their own 0-fee transactions, or accept user’s 0-fee
transactions while demanding an out-of-band fee payment that is not
subjected to fee burning.

One might try to counter this with a consensus required minimum tx fee,
but that would require a hardfork whenever changes in the price of grin
make the minimum either unreasonably low (inviting spam) or
unreasonably high (preventing medium value transactions).

So testnet2 will do away with fee burning.

A better way to incentivize against block bloat is to penalize miners
for bigger blocks."

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Thanks for explaining that :slight_smile:

I’m still confused about the tx fee burning. We’re on testnet4 and as far as I know there’s no fee burning, and actually tx are encouraged to add a small fee to have their tx included in the next block, leaving tx fees to be dynamically adjusted by the community on a market bases rather than hard coded into the protocol, just like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Is that the current situation and/or are there any other mechanisms being explored to discourage bigger blocks?