Launching “Infinitum,” a new cryptocoin (PRE-ALPHA for devs and power users)

Hi devs and adventurous power users,

I’ve “finished” (i.e. managed to get the code to an apparently usable state) “Infinitum,” a “non-scarce,” “democratic” SHA-256 cryptocoin. The code for Version 0.1.0 is on github here: https://github.com/fcecin/infinitum ; it is based on Bitcoin Core 0.13.0.

I am running my own build. There is one seed node online on a dedicated Linode server. I have mined a couple blocks. Seems to work so far. Everything else is still pending, including a project website with downloadable binaries, etc. If you manage to compile and run the wallet, you should connect to the seed node and everything else should work exactly like in Bitcoin Core.

If you want to read up a bit on the philosophy backing the project, here is some reading material: https://medium.com/money-games

Infinitum is, essentially, a very simple clone of Bitcoin. I’ve done the smallest amount of changes to the Bitcoin Core code that I could afford to. That is why I’m hopeful that it either works 100% or that the bugs that will show up will all be addressed simply in the coming months and releases.

The core game mechanic change in Infinitum is that the block reward is a function of the block difficulty. The block subsidy is 16 satoshis per difficulty. E.g., a block with a difficulty of 1,000 will reward 16,000 satoshi, and a block with a difficulty of 1 billion will reward 16 billion satoshis (160 coins). The economics of Infinitum are the exact same of the predecessor systems of Bitcoin: Hashcash and RPoW (Reusable Proof-of-Work). That is, “INF” (the Infinitum coin) is, economically speaking, essentially reusable Hashcash stamps. I am not aware of any cryptocoin system that does this yet, which is why I created Infinitum.

Additionally, coins not spent in 20 years are forgotten by the chain, and there’s a mechanism for miners to vote for what amounts are “dust” during six-month periods, and such unspent dust coins are also forgotten every six months. Full nodes are all expected to be able to run in Pruned Mode (which discards block data), and Infinitum also uses these forgetting rules to prune the Chainstate (UTXO) database. That is, Infinitum solves the problem of ever-growing disk space usage by full nodes.

Block times are 5 minutes, and re-targeting occurs every block using a rather conservative algorithm. Since the block subsidy is proportional to difficulty, there are no block-reward gains possible with manipulating the hash-rate other than annoying the network and causing block spamming or stalling. The retargeting should work fine under any kind of stress, and you’re welcome to throw whatever mining power you want at it. Even if it takes a month to produce a block after an e.g. multi-pool attack, that should be fine. It’s designed to be that way, and the only long-term solution possible to hash-rate variance is substantial interest by miner operators.

Infinitum is, in the long run, intended as a settlement network, which is why, by definition, it scales. Most end-users will use “replicated banks” (a thing that would take me a year or two to develop, I guess) instead of interacting directly with the settlement chain. But, for many years to come, even assuming it would ever take off to Bitcoin scale and beyond, it will still function as an end-user network since it has roughly the same capacity as the Bitcoin network.

This is my baby project! It’s taking off, and all questions, interest and involvement are appreciated. The whole point of this release is to see if I can get some devs and power users on board that like the ideas behind the project. I especially need people to donate me Windows and Mac builds of the wallet, and people to just compile and use it, and throw some hash-power, send money to each other and run into problems, generate bug reports etc. Very simple testing stuff.

At this point I pretty much expect bugs and flaws. I intend to address all of them as they show up. If it becomes necessary to hard-fork or to reset the entire network (i.e. start with a new genesis block) I will do so, but I hope that will not be necessary. In any case, please don’t be too attached to your “coins” for now, as this software and network are pretty much very experimental and unproven at this point. Things should be more settled towards the end of the year.

You can find me on Twitter: @fabianacecin

Fabby

P.S.: This PR on Cryptocointalk: https://cryptocointalk.com/topic/50371-launching-infinitum-a-new-cryptocoin-pre-alpha-for-devs-and-power-users/

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