Today we finally get to publish what we have been working on over the past month. We are very excited to tell you about the future of Saturncoin and how we have managed to create a new solid foundation which warrants a stable future with ongoing development and innovation.
Since Saturncoin was founded at the start of February 2014, it has had its ups and downs. It is important to note that the developers who originally founded Saturncoin haven’t been involved since they bailed back in March. A brief history:
– Saturncoin was founded. It was mainly an (outdated) Litecoin clone without any real innovation. Its main benefit over other coins was its speed: it had a short block time which means fast transfers. While fast transactions are great, the codebase contained considerable flaws (such as lack of proper difficulty adjustment, as well as outdated code in general). It had a 1% premine which was intended to be used for bounties to improve upon.
– Saturncoinfoundation was founded. This foundation is run by a separate group of community members. Its main goal is to be a group which protects the interests of the community, and to launch new projects and donate to causes that actually make a difference (this fund is 100% community driven, all donations are completely voluntarily).
– Later in March, the original founding developers disappeared into thin air, while taking the premine. It became clear that their intentions were never to build an innovative coin, but rather to make a quick buck by stealing the premine from the community and run. Shame on them.
– Saturncoinfoundation decided that despite the betrayal of the founding developers, they refused to give up. Despite the fact that they had very limited resources, they did everything in their power to continue to support the community. At this stage their mission became to continue to the community support while finding people who could continue development. A very big shout out goes to Bitcoines, the main man responsible for leading the Saturncoinfoundation. We salute you!
– In the course of May, a professional group of developers and innovators came into the
picture. Yes, that’s us. We’re here today to tell you all about what we have done so far, and what we have in store.
Fixing and improving upon flaws in the current (“old”) codebase
As set forth in the history overview; the original developers (who disappeared back in March) had created a premine which equaled 1% of the supply, and stole it from the community when they disappeared. Therefore, we decided to look into the option to see whether there was any way to recover this premine.
Above anything, we needed to do this quietly. If we had told anyone that we were planning to do this, the illegitimate premine holders would most likely just try to dump those coins before we’d have a chance to stop them from doing so. As such, as much as we wanted to provide transparency, the only option was to work on this quietly.
After a little digging, we found out that the coins that were mined in the first block (e.g. the premine) were moved around a bunch of times to other wallets. However, almost all of the coins were still sitting in 2 wallets, and had not moved for over 2 months. Hurray – we found the premine and now had a shot at finding a way to recover it!
The next step was to find a way to either get the coins back, or at least make them unusable by blocking the wallets in question. Both options were researched extensively, and both options proved to be theoretically possible. While at first it seemed favorable to recover the premine coins (so they could be spend on bounties as originally intended), we decided that blocking them would be the better option. Because we don’t like premines – and considering that the original devs ran off with it, we felt like it was favorable to destroy it rather than to recover it.
So we began coding and testing. With the help of some input of our own team, as well as respected community members such as Bryce Weiner, Jordan Fish and Chris Franko (thank you guys!), we managed to produce code that allowed us to block specific wallet addresses: the ones that were holding the premine. After running extensive tests we determined that this worked well: with this code it became impossible for the premine wallets to send coins anywhere, rendering those coins useless. Success!
At this stage we needed to find a way to actually get this code implemented in the wallets, because this would only work if everyone collectively adopts these code changes. But.. it had to be done in such a way that the premine holders would not find out about this prematurely, otherwise they would still have a chance to send the coins to an exchange and dump them. So we figured out a plan. And that plan was quite simple: confusion.
During the past month, a number of “mistakes” were made that required everyone to update their wallets urgently. While at the time this looked like unprofessionalism, this was actually a carefully crafted plan. This was simply needed to get everyone to update their wallets quickly, without telling the real reason for why this was necessary (simply because if we did, the premine holders would know about it too). And this worked perfectly; everyone updated and soon thereafter it was impossible for the premine wallets to send their coins anywhere. Success again!
Soon thereafter, we were contacted by both Cryptsy and Mintpal (our main exchanges). They reported that for some reason they were having trouble with sending coins from a specific wallet.. “it seems like they were blocked”. As it turned out: the 2 premine wallets that we had blocked, belonged to Cryptsy and Mintpal. They were deposit addresses that were used by the original devs to deposit the premine coins to both exchanges. And, after discussion with Cryptsy and Mintpal, it turned out that the persons who had originally deposited these coins, had already dumped them on the exchanges back in March. The reason why the coins were still sitting in those wallets relates simply to the fact that the various (legitimate) people who bought those coins, had not withdrawn them yet to a local wallet. Therefore, the coins in question still showed up in the same wallets in the blockchain, while from the exchanges’ point of view they belonged to different people who had legitimately purchased these coins.
This simply means that the premine is no longer relevant. The original developers had already dumped their coins back in March. And obviously we could not take those coins back from people who had legitimately purchased these coins, since that would cause that those buyers would lose coins which they had paid for. So at this stage, we needed to release another (urgent) wallet update, in which these 2 addresses (of which we now knew they belonged to the exchanges) would no longer be blocked, since those coins were already part of the regular supply. And so we did.
To summarize: we made a serious attempt at blocking the illegitimate premine, and successfully worked out a way of doing so. It turned out that the coins in question were already purchased by legitimate buyers 3 months ago and therefor
e they could not be blocked. There was no way we could have known that these wallets belonged to the exchanges – you can’t simply ask to an exchange “does wallet X belong to you?”. Exchanges simply need to respect the privacy of their users and therefore they can’t just release that sort of information.
We do still consider this a success story. Because:
– Most importantly: based on how this played out, we are now absolutely sure that the premine is no longer in the picture. It was already dumped back in March and the coins were bought by legitimate buyers (this was confirmed by both Mintpal and Cryptsy). This confirms that the original developers are not sitting on a large bag of coins that may suddenly get dumped. Therefore the premine essentially has simply become part of the total supply just like all other coins and is no longer a potential threat. – There was no other way we could have gotten 100% conclusive confirmation of the fact that the premine is no longer a threat – Our developments are beneficial to crypto in general. It has proven that there are ways of blocking specific wallet addresses in the codebase. This is important in 2 ways:
These developments can be used by anyone when there is a need to block an address in a blockchain (for example when another coin would like to block a premine for any reason). o This should be considered an important revelation. We were able to add this code to Saturncoin without anyone noticing (as explained, this was necessary, because otherwise the premine holders could have taken action before it got blocked, assuming they were still holding onto those coins). In our case, we did this with the best of intentions. But for crypto in general, this should be considered as something to look out for. Up until today, nobody appears to have noticed the code at all, and that essentially means that if our intentions had been bad, we could’ve basically pulled off some nasty tricks. With that said: the code is open source, and this goes for basically all coins. Therefore we would like to highly recommend our community, and the crypto community in general, to actually read the code before adopting it. It is important for the integrity of crypto in general that communities actually check upon the work of developers and don’t just take everything for granted.
As we have been developing, it very quickly became clear that the codebase that Saturncoin was originally based off of, was heavily outdated. It was basically based on an old (outdated) version of litecoin, which was missing quite a few features that have been added to Litecoin over time.
On top of that, we have a strong urge to move away from Proof of Work. The most sensible alternative is simply Proof of Stake. It is much more secure, and also from an economic point of view it makes a lot more sense, simply because the supply of Proof of Work coins grows too rapidly. While Proof of Stake is already in use on a variety of other coins and therefore isn’t a unique feature, we feel like that should not matter at all. Just because we didn’t invest the wheel, doesn’t mean we should not be using the concept if we were to build a car. Innovation, and altcoins in particular, are all about incorporating technological improvements. So PoS it is.
To incorporate PoS into Saturncoin, there would be two options. The first option would be to add PoS on top of the existing blockchain. The second option would be to launch a completely new blockchain which has PoS incorporated from the start. Both options have been researched extensively, and we have decided to switch to a new blockchain. The first reason for that decision is because adding PoS on top of a blockchain that doesn’t natively use PoS, is risky. While in theory it is possible, the risk of serious trouble is too serious. Moreover, as stated previously, the existing (old) codebase is outdated. Therefore, if we are going to be moving onto a new blockchain anyway, we’d have the option of getting rid of any old flaws.
The name of the new coin: Saturn2Coin, or the short version: SAT2 (or SAT2, since not every application supports the 2 character).
The total supply of Saturncoin, at present, is 7,777,777,777 coins ( 7.77 billion). Our team is not in favor of such a large number of coins at all, since it forces it to be a so-called “penny alt” (a coin which trades in the low satoshi numbers, such as 0.000000xx BTC). For trading purposes, this is not good at all, since all buy and sell orders are concentrated in a very select number of values.
Since the move to the new blockchain enables us to set new specifications, we have decided this opportunity to fix this flaw. We will reduce the total supply by a factor 1000. This means that the total supply will be reduced from 7,777,777,777 (7.77 billion) SAT coins to 7,777,777 (7.77 million) SAT2 coins. In other words: every SAT2 coin is worth as much as 1000 SAT coins.
In order to stop using the old blockchain and start using the new blockchain instead, we will need everyone to exchange their coins. To do this, we have thought of a variety of options. These options range from setting up a proprietary exchange which would be exclusively used for this purpose, to using an exodus approach (which is quite similar to a proprietary exchange), or by letting an existing exchange handle the swap.
We have explored all 3 options, and have performed tests for using an exodus-based approach. While this worked well, we have decided to not go for that option, and instead let existing exchanges handle the swap. The reasons for that are trust and easy of use. You already trust these exchanges with your coins, so by using this approach there is no need to trust a new 3rd party with your coins to get your SAT2 coins. And it’s simply very easy, because all you’ll need to do is to make sure that your coins are on the exchange by the time the swap takes place.
We have reached an agreement with Mintpal: they have agreed to handle the swap for us, at no cost to the end users. Our original intention was to get the swap done on very short term. However, Mintpal has suggested we take some more time for this. At the one hand this allows everyone plenty of time to put their coins on the exchange. At the other hand this also provides Mintpal with a decent timeframe to make all the preparations on their end, to avoid any issues. Therefore, the scheduled date for this swap is set to: Monday 30th June 2014 (exact time to be specified, this will most likely be in the afternoon – we will announce the exact time well ahead of the day).
Community-controlled development fund
A typical issue that many coins struggle with, is to provide developers and innovators with an incentive to spend their time on improvements that benefit the community, whereas ongoing innovation and improvement is crucial. Many coins cover this by implementing a premine. While this can work, there are also major drawbacks to using such an approach. For staters, it introduces the risk of a bad dev to simply steal those coins (and even though we could promise not to do so, we would not expect anyone to just take our word for it). Moreover, a premine will eventually be depleted once the available coins have been paid out for bounties. So once the premine runs out, there is no ongoing incentive to keep the development going strong, other than community spirit. While the community is strong, it would simply be better to have an actual ince
ntive to hold on to.
To solve both of those issues, we have decided to introduce a community-controlled development fund. This works as follows:
– At the start, this fund is empty – For every minted block, a small % of the reward gets deposited into the development fund – It will be up to the community to collectively decide what these funds will be used for (like creating a new bounty and deciding what the reward for it would be, as well as deciding whether the developer in question has fulfilled the task well enough to be eligible to receive the bounty payment)
Using this approach, we will have an ongoing incentive for continued development and innovation, while at the same time not having to introduce the risks that would come with a premine (simply because there are no coins available upfront).
The proposed development fund payout is 1% per year. This mechanism will work the same way as staking. For staking, a certain interest % gets paid based on the amount of coins that are held in the wallet in question. For the development fund this will mean that for every minted block a small amount gets paid to the development fund, which will equal 1% after a year.
We believe that 1% per year is a very modest amount, which is small enough to not significantly cause inflation, while it will be a good way of introducing a sustainable incentive to keep development going strong. Moreover, since the spending of the available development funds will be decided by the community, this warrants that the funds are also actually spent in favor of the community (which in term will easily increase the value of Saturn2Coin by more than the 1% per year it costs to maintain the fund).
The codebase for Saturn2Coin is completely ready to go, developers have finished it completely. As stated in previous posts, we wanted to make sure that we have everything ready before we would announce the details of our plans, to ensure that there will be no risk of setbacks that could cause delays. The specifications are as follows:
– PoW/PoS hybrid – Initial supply: 7,777,777 coins – Initial supply will be used to exchange SAT to SAT2 (at a rate of 1000 SAT = 1 SAT2) – NO premine – NO IPO
PoS: – First year: 10% interest per year – Second year: 5% interest per year – Third year onwards: 2.5% interest per year – Minimum stake age: 10 days – Maximum stake age: 20 days – Block target: 20 seconds – Development fund: 1% per year
PoW: – 10 SAT2 per block – Reward halving every week – Block target: 80 seconds – PoW gets cut off at block 21600 (which should take about 20 days)
Note: this will only be a very short PoW stage, which has a minimal impact on the total supply. The reason we need a PoW phase is because the minimum stake age is 10 days, so no staking will occur during the initial 10 days. During that time we need PoW to keep the blockchain moving. We have decided to let the PoW last for approximately 20 days, to ensure it covers the (theoretical) maximum stake age. After 20 days there is 100% certainty that staking will be taking place, and at that stage PoW will simply no longer be necessary.
With these new specifications we will be holding true to the original values of Saturncoin: speed. Using these specifications blocks will be very fast, meaning transactions will be very fast. This is a cornerstone of our ongoing developments, since real world adoption simply requires fast transactions (nobody will wait in a store for an hour until their Bitcoin transaction finally gets confirmed – and this literally applies to every kind of “every day” purchase or application).
New blockchain release date
As described, the new codebase is already ready and the genesis block has already been mined. It would however not make sense to release this immediately while the SAT -> SAT2 transition is taking place on the 30th of June. This would only cause the initial supply to start staking prematurely. Therefore we are planning to release the new blockchain the Friday before the transition, which is the 27th of June 2014. Since the new blockchain will feature a (brief) PoW stage, we will be handling this the same way as when a completely new coin is launched: it will be prepared in detail, and in a 100% fair manner (no premine, no instamine, wallets available for all platforms at the time of launch, and so on). The exact launch time will be announced well ahead of the day.
Recent (past 24 hours) trading action
You have undoubtedly noticed that recently there has been a lot more trading activity for Saturncoin when we pre-announced the release of this news yesterday. Many of you have asked whether we can explain this. While we can of course not speak for everyone’s motives, an important factor to keep in mind is the fact that last month the total supply of Saturncoin was heavily reduced (from 50 billion coins originally, to 7.77 billion coins currently). Needless to say, this should influence the price per each Saturncoin significantly. However, up until now, it did not affect the price, since at the time we had not yet made these publications about our developments. Essentially that means that the price per Saturncoin has been heavily undervalued lately. And now that we get to release this news and publically display our commitment, the price increase is simply a correction based on the fact that on the one hand the supply was heavily reduced, and on the other hand because we are reestablishing faith with all the developments we are making.
Our team is strongly committed to making ongoing improvements, mainly in terms of introducing new innovation. Most of the steps we are taking today, are mainly focused on creating a new, stronger foundation based on a new codebase and new team. This safeguards the future of Saturncoin, and the new codebase enables us to build new features and innovation on top of it.
But there’s more, because we have not only been focusing on the switch to the PoS blockchain. We have also been actively working on new unique features. While we believe that it makes a lot of sense to incorporate innovations that were already made by others, the real value is to create new unique features, and to be the first to implement it.
We are looking forward to attract vendors, because they are crucial for real world usage. To do so the SAT2 blockchain will be used not just to store information about transactions, but specific kinds of information related to transaction or people/entities involved, depending on what sellers need to be sure about safety of transactions, and what sellers are willing to share.
In this way the use of SAT2 will be safer and protected by the buyer-seller themselves, without any central control. Informations stored in the blockchain, transaction after transaction, would build a history building up transaction safety.
In parallel to this there will be another application, using the blockchain as an advanced storage system for specific applications and distributed data services, but on this one we can’t reveal much more at the moment.
The features that are being worked on are strongly geared towards real-world adoption, for usage by anyone online (including those who don’t use crypto directly at all). Think of open API integrations into non-crypto systems (and think beyond
the bounds of only transferring money). The possibilities are endless. And the opportunities for bringing new concepts closer to the general “non-crypto” public are huge.
Today we are also launching the new website for Saturn2Coin: http://saturn2.co.in This new website features a new design and layout, and is based on responsive HTML5. At present, it includes a clear overview of relevant information and resources, and we will be adding more functionality in the near future. We hope you like the improved looks and usability!