Opinionpiece: Current Situation of Firo

Disclaimer:
This is an opinion piece of mine and I don´t have any actual influence as I´m still pretty new and as such how may I judge.
So for those who don´t want to read the entire post. I think the way the blockreward is split now isn´t a good Option as it doesn´t solve a couple of problems.

About me and how I got into Firo.
I´m a student and hence money isn´t always my strong suite and I don´t claim to have any experience in such a sense yet. But I am willing to study and advance in this realm. I study Medicine Physics which is actually more of a medicine technology/informatics. And hence I believe that there should be a way to implement my possible solutions.
I personally got into Firo as a miner and via RedFoxCryptos Youtube channel. I´ve mined Solo on 2miners and it was a pretty great experience. Mostly I had a single 3080 mining it and even with that was sometimes able to fine 2 blocks per day which was way better then expected. This is from all I know largely dependant on the ping to the servers. This was all before I´ve ever heard about this forum or even was a member on the Firo discord. We can say a typical miner who doesn´t bother with what he/she mines. The Profitability was great and shortly after I joined the discord I started to hear about the proposal.
I´ve wrote this before but at first as a miner I was mad. I didn´t want it at all and wasn´t happy. Pretty much exactly as everyone else outside right now on like reddit and such let´s say more typical mining sources.
But when I actually read about the Idea behind the Proposal I started to understand why a change was necessary. The centralization on 2miners is in fact a problem which needs to be solved and it is only fair to increase the reward to the masternodes when they are actually providing all the security.
From all I´ve heard this far Firo wants to keep the POW part to make sure the chain doesn´t get “stuck” which in a case were that might happen would be make the miners responsible for security again.
Also I´ve read that the masternodes seem to have a problem with being a bit centralized too.

So here is my Feedback.
Right now the vote was right here on the Firo forum and I think that is problematic. While 140 Votes is quite a few people it is in my opinion to little for the size of the Firo project. At the same time we can´t make it too easy for anyone to vote as that´ll bring problems too, as there are just way more “possible” miners then there are people who can afford a masternode. So there probably isn´t a perfect solution for this and I don´t have one. It just felt to me on other sites as if people were even supprised that this change came as if they hadn´t ever heard of it. Which means there wasn´t enough publicity before this hardfork.
I honestly don´t know how to fix this currently, but in the future I think this should be part of the community funds tasks to get the news out there.

Now for my Idea which I had mentioned before too, but I hadn´t thought about it enough.
So, if we were to train a neural network in uni, we would apply a penalty to it whenever it “guesses” wrong. In a similar sense I would say it should be possible to balance the security between masternodes and miners depending on their “manners” and behavior.
So the idea is to penalize whoever is working against the decentralization the hardest.
Result would be something like:
25% devs and comm.fund
and 75% split between miners and masternodes.

Given I don´t have a solution yet to actually get something like this working, but I still want to think out loud.
Any miner wants to have the highest possible chance to be profitable and hence they will base decisions on it. For this we need a reliable pool with a fair/low fee and a good ping.
Currently for me personally this is solved by 2miners and ethermine with a ping of <25ms. I know people who have higher pings and I know people with lower ping.
So for me the other pools (solo) haven´t been an option as they leave me with 15-20ms more which I´m not willing to accept. Hence yes I´m part of the centralization. But there will be people for which it´s different.

From how I´ve read it this is similar with the masternodes were reliability is even more key hence resulting in a higher centralization as it always ends up in a datacenter.

So my Idea it to pay by the amount of security it can provide, meaning if someone is mining to 2miners and they already have more then 50% then they obviously shouldn´t get the reward that someone mining actual Solo would or someone who mines to a Pool with ~10% hashrate.
Similar for masternodes. Who are running through the same outlet or actually hosted at home.

I don´t have any concrete numbers and I can´t completely say who should be on which pool and how to say who gets to stay on 2miners and who has to move and how you can kind of force them too.
I just know that I´d have moved to a different Solopool if it were actually more profitable. And I can bet it would be similar for a masternode owner.

So for the situation that the network could be just as save on POW as it could be on POS then the rewards should be close to equal as they are all providing the same security.
For the current situation were the Network just isn´t save on POW the reward should be down in the gutter. Meaning give it 10% of the rewards or less to have a good incentive for masternodes to keep everything running and save while punishing miners for not supplying security. At the same time if a similar problem were to arise on POS then there should be a punishment for that too to restore the decentralization.
I mean it would be perfect, if everyone were to mine on their own and nobody would be pooling. Maybe too ambitious but would be great for centralization.

So. That were my two cents. Currently I think it can´t stay the way it currently is and I didn´t get myself to actually be able to participate in the prior vote so I´m part of the fault. I think we should change again I just don´t have the time to invest myself. Maybe this can get something rolling or maybe it´ll run dry in here. I just hope it can start something.

Have a great day and remember to OnlyDoGoodEveryday
Sincerely Jack

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First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write this and share your perspective both here and on Reddit! I do remember you in the discussions from the original proposal. I’m disappointed to hear you didn’t end up voting. :frowning: Since I lack the technical knowledge to say anything about some of your suggestions, I will narrow my comments to other things you bring up that are a little more in my wheelhouse.

The first aspect I would like to say, is we have to be careful and discern who is posting on other websites, especially those on Reddit. Many of these posts are simply going to be people who are reactionary and disgruntled with the news rather than actually having been part of the project, or for that matter, had planned to be part of the project. Especially since YouTube miners have been commenting on the situation, which is always going to incite people to run over. However, you’re right that there does seem to be a remarkable amount of individuals who were not paying attention - miners, masternode holders, and simply holders - who were not paying attention and were caught off guard by the change. The problem is, I am not sure how we could reach out to them any more than we had. Something Fargo brought up in a separate thread was notifications through the wallets, or “alert systems”, but there are inherent risks for such a thing, but Reuben did say if the community was interested and was okay with the risks Firo team could look into that. However, even a system such as that would not guarantee everyone would hear as there are plenty of people who only use third-party wallets.

I do agree, though. I would be interested in finding more ways to reach out to the community to notify them about such things. This will not guarantee participation, but at the very least every option can be exhausted to do our best to ensure they have their chance to vote.

The other thing I would like to cover would be the centralization of masternodes. Yes, there is centralization, but this isn’t necessarily the fault of node holders themselves and it doesn’t really affect them the same way as hash being centralized. The part that is the fault of node holders is that they often choose AllNodes for their hosting, and that leads to a lot of our nodes being on their platform. Understandable why, just as with miners and 2miners, but a problem nonetheless. The reason node holders need to use a hosting service is because, part of the security, requires 1 static IP per node. (That’s where the “not necessarily their fault” part comes in) which unfortunately naturally breeds a certain level of centralization, as well as those hosting services sometimes becoming even more centralized further up the chain. Masternodes aren’t vulnerable the same way as PoW is, but rather in the fact that if something were to happen to AllNodes much of the node network could go down and thus reducing protection. Now, this would still not leave us in the same place as a PoW network as they still need 51% of the node network under their control (first 1k Firo each, hosting, etc) but they also need to be in the quorums as well which could increase the number of nodes they have to have. So while not vulnerable in the same way, it does potentially pose a weak point in the node network. However, PoW centralization poses more risks.

The good news is that this tokenomics change is under review in 6 months from the hardfork and should the community feel to do so, it can be deliberated about and up to another vote. As many people have pointed out on Reddit, tokenomics is a very serious issue and must be treated as such - we need to be careful about changing it. 6 months should give this configuration a fair chance, while also giving the community to correct any missteps that may have arisen from this change.

I will be interested to see what someone smarter and more technical than me may say about the rest of your suggestions. I would be interested in a system that could adjust automatically based on such factors - especially since that could lead to even greater decentralization of the project in the future.

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I’m a miner too and frankly I’m more than a little disappointed both by the inaction of miners prior to the reward change as well as the reaction of miners since it occurred. Miners had one job to show that we were serious about participating: distribute the hash rate. Ruben asked for this on behalf of the project over and over again. Had this trivial request been satisfied, it would have given miners a leg to stand on and the ability to say ‘we hear you’. Instead, miners largely ignored the request, the debate about the proposal and the vote. So of course the reward got slashed.

In six months the project will revisit the reward again. Between now and then miners still have one simple job to do to show they take the project seriously: distribute the freaking hash rate. If that doesn’t happen, don’t expect anything to get better and in fact it might get worse. The reality is that miners need projects like Firo more than projects like Firo needs the miners they’ve got (i.e. apathetic, uninvolved) right now.

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Thanks for the inside on master nodes. I honestly don’t have much clue of it, but this makes sense.

I honestly think that there should be more possibilities for people to get the hosting we probably just need to inform them better on how to do it and how they can balance this out.
Maybe there is less opportunity/incentive for punishment in masternodes but that is honestly just a good thing.

Regarding the miners and outside miners being mad. And miners needing Firo more.
Thanks for that input. I feel like that was a popular argument. I just think it didn’t get us anywhere. And I certainly don’t think it will change anything for the future.
I mean we are still on over 51% 2miners and there doesn’t seem to be an actual move.
I mean we honestly need to stretch this even further. We’re still a small project in terms of hashrate and if a situation were to occur were POS would get stuck how easy would it be for people to realize. And move their hashrate from something like progpow/kawpow to firopow. I mean honestly with hive its around 10 clicks to change hundreds of rigs at once. So a 51% attack would likely not come from 2miners, as from all know they are pretty trusted. At least I wouldn’t think that. I think it’s more likely from that to come from a different source and those people really don’t give a dam about other projects but only about profits and those profits could be grand.
By reducing the hashrate as far as it is down now this risk rises significantly. And in a case were it would be needed we’d be doomed now.

You can only punish/slash people so far until they abandon you. So if that’s the case then you need to be fully able to go on without them. If you’d want to keep them then a different incentive will need to be there.
I mean again imagine someone who’s in 2miners with 100mhs right now. What does that person think swapping hashrate over will do for them.
From all I know solo mining +15ms ping or close to doubling my ping will have a negative impact on my earnings and get significantly more stale shares.
But if the possibility would be to once in a while miss a block because of that but therefore every block has twice its size the it becomes more attractive again.

I mean even ETH struggled with this for a long time were they had and in my opinion still have too much hashrate on ethermine.
How amazing would it be to have these pools themselves say we don’t want/accept more then 20% of the network hashrate to work against centralized. From there you could even decrease that bar every year or something and say ok 30% now. Next year 20% then 15% and so on to force a spread of hashrate through the rewards. Because I can promise you. The miners will definitely follow that.

I’d like to see a distribution review every 6 months but make the changes to a max of 5% difference, unless it is critical. The polls showed quite a wild difference in polling, of course every miner is going to vote for the highest rewards, same as those running masternodes.

Would be cool if there was a reward system for those with a node and mining aswell (solo or firo specific pool linked to a masternode address)

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It is better not to have frequent hard forks :grin:

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So it could be just called as compulsory update then. :slight_smile:

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I think it would be better if it were automatic/algorithmic instead of being voted on. The parameters are just what would be interesting.

I mean every miner reports the latency of shares so if only the fastest were accepted then we could in a way get pools to reduce depending on that.
Takes anonymity out of the mining aspect which is probably regarded as bad though.

Thinking out loud again and to stubborn to delete but instead will just say it :smiley:

Well yea obviously each party will vote for their best outcome. I’d personally want to run a node too. I just cannot afford #student.
But this is why I think just voting on it isn’t a good idea. A code is law approach is likely better :slight_smile:

Community can refuse to update.

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I’ve been experimenting with tor and nodes on testnet. I believe allowing onion addressing for master nodes could solve the problem of centralized nodes. About the centralization of miners, the guy from two miners was bragging that they have 80 percent of the hash power now.

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As programmer I consider code to be tool to achieve wanted result. Many times you find code has bugs or code needs to evolve over the time to be better, to facilitate improvements, new features, …

So I really don’t understand “code is law” phrase. If there will be for example critical bug in code which will allow somebody to steal all coins from anybody, would you not want to fix it? Or would you consider code is law and will let project collapse?

So as you mentioned “code is law” approach would you please elaborate what you exactly mean by that? How would such crypto project evolve?

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They can, but will not they be on dead chain and without new features?

Ok by the code is law I mean, that is shouldn’t be a higher class or group deciding how the reward in a situation like the one in my idea but instead it should be written down in code and that should be used.

Basically we’d want to avoid a situation were any class can complain as it is their fault as they could’ve read it in the code how it will respond/ act upon their choices.

That to me obviously doesn’t mean that a bug or mistake in the code shouldn’t be fixed. It’s something that wasn’t intended and so long as it didn’t cause any harm yet it can be fixed without issue.
If it already caused harm then it gets more difficult. For how that should be acted upon needs to be discussed prior to anything happening so that we can determine before how it’ll be fixed to make it a more solid investment and clear on how it would be handled.
I really am against a governing class or anything like that. That is okay for something like the community fund. And in my eyes necessary in a dev team. But it should not be the case for a reward structure which is in a situation between people wanting to get paid for mining on one side and masternodes on the other. If it’s a clear structure that’s fair for both sides then it should be a system for a great future.

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Thank you for your answer.

Problem i see with this approach is that between code is law approach there will be at least two groups. One who is willing to fix some issues and one who want to keep it in version 1.

If some crypto wants to follow code is law approach it should be mentioned and clearly defined from start, so people could easily avoid such coin.

Some people are for example against changing code when there is some.kind of inflation bug, which obviously looks crazy to people who think code is law approach is non sense (i guess most programmers have realizations that code may not be perfect)

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Well my opinion would be that any code can have a bug that’s quite obvious. Which is why I’d say explicitly before it is implemented what and how I’d want the code to work and what the clear intentions are and if it doesn’t work in some way because of a bug or a mistake then you can fix it because it wasn’t the intended way of use.

I mean in terms of ETH and ETC we can obviously see which model was more successful. So I’d say fixing problems should be a possibility. To some degree. I just don’t like it being done by a higher class solely.

Good. As Firo always engage community when deciding on important changes.

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Well else I wouldn’t even have posted this right :smiley:

I like the idea of a dynamic incentive/penalty block reward in theory.

It isn’t been long, but the current reward restructuring has arguably damaged security. It’s still early, and speaking personally, I actually STARTED mining Firo not long before the update, and continue to do so off 2miners, because XX ms +/-, securing the network is more important than maximizing immediate term gains. Unsecure network means poor price action, means (hypothetically) poor long term gains. I don’t like slash and burn mining. It has its place, so this isn’t a critique. Otherwise, I heard Rueben reaching out to different channels (from my position, post-hoc) advocating for pow despite the failure of firo miners. So I like the developers. Kinda like the coin too. Gotta thing for private permissionless transaction networks, and not many of them seem to be in the right place.

BUT more to your point, JackDeRke. My thoughts here is the system is adding complexity, and adversarial roles between Masternodes and miners. I state this matter of fact, not pro/con.

Adversarial I think is fine: POW systems assume participants are scum bags, everyone is out to get theirs, and the only reason it works is because MOST people benefit from playing legit - and even if ‘most’ can exploit the system, the fact it would inherently damage the very thing someone intends to get out of the system provides a moderating effect (attacks thus tend to be destructive rather than effectively robbery).

Complexity is a hard sell, as it increases surface area for attack. More importantly, how does the network moderate block reward incentive/penalty for pool hashrate? Another way to ask the question: What is the consensus on effective pool hashrate ratio at time of block reward? Do we add ANOTHER security mechanism that basically does nothing but keep miners and masternodes ‘honest’? Yes, masternodes - if they can effectively increase their block share by attacking mining pools (so hashrate consolidates), they need to be checked. I am sympathetic to separation/competition of powers, so I don’t ask cynically. It’s more brain storming.

Anyway, while it is still early in the block reward reshuffling, short term the results don’t look good. Hashrate has fallen dramatically (already down from bull markets), and loss of miner hashrate seems to have fallen from competing pools more so than 2miners - centralization is as bad as ever. A penalty system may not be the solution, only further crippling hashrate - but that is speculative. I think it is a valid consideration long term in after the dust settles from the recent disruption, we don’t see a more invested mining community. Speaking as a miner, I would prefer it to worst block rewards or even abandoning POW.

Anyway, those are my generic thoughts. It’s disappointing miners don’t take their role here seriously, but I believe Reuben and team understand the short comings of how opportunistic GPU mining can be. I do find a code-is-law approach wouldn’t be too bad here. Approach on the basis GPU miners are vultures, and simply gravitate where the opportunity is, then you create the incentive/penalty structure and they will self organize. Masternodes? Their commitment inherently makes them somewhat invested in the network, so the considerations are different. I don’t think they would be so upset to lose some of the block reward if it came automated from miners properly doing their job. Given their investment, while a variable split reward INVITES masternodes to sabotage miners, again, that becomes destructive to the network, and their investment (relatively small atm).

Anyway, for what it’s worth, I didn’t catch the vote, because I wasn’t mining, but I did catch the network before the fork. I’m fine with it. Miners aren’t (and still aren’t) doing their job. You’re becoming invested with posts like this, and that’s great - but if you want to immediately help, and you’re on nvidia go grab the official miner, setup a local node, and solo mine actually. You can simultaneously reduce your ping (basically 0) AND distribute hashrate. With your hashrate pulling multiple blocks daily you will have little issue with reward consistency.

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There seems to be some great suggestions in this chat.
Onion addressing - I would love to hear more on setting this up and testing and hosting on my own hardware.
And the promotion of solo mining on your own local node.
Great ideas
if nothing else the fork has definitely started some great conversations.
As a miner I am not going anywhere but as I am solar power based my projects have to be sustainable and pay for the required maintenance and running costs and a restructured approach is required for me. My holdings are nearly at the requirements for a master node so thanks to you both, I will start investigating these options and see where it leads.
Hosted nodes/system are definitely not for me the last thing I want to do is bring that frustration home. :grin:

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