Nimiq
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Nimiq

Nimiq Community FAQs

Here we put together a list of answers for the most frequently asked questions from Hackernews, Bitcointalk, Telegram, Twitter and Reddit.

What is Nimiq?

Nimiq is the world’s first Browser-based Blockchain. It is the only Blockchain designed for simplicity. It makes participating in its Ecosystem as simple as accessing the Internet itself and with that launches Blockchain technology into the mainstream. Its core values are ease-of-use, scalability and speed.

What sets Nimiq apart from Bitcoin, Ethereum et al?

Main differentiators:

  • Nimiqs single purpose is to solve the payment protocol problem. Simple, fast and secure payments from User A to User B.
  • Browser-based and installation-free since it is written in Javascript ES6 and communicates via WebSockets + WebRTC for connecting to the network without a trusted third party.
  • Light clients allow you to establish Blockchain consensus in seconds, requiring less download data than a song.
  • Near instant transactions via off-chain transactions.
  • Long-term commitment and good cause contribution embedded into the Genesis-Block.

Why a Browser-based Blockchain?

Main reasons:

  • To tear down the technical and mental borders that exclude the majority of Internet users from participating in the Blockchain Revolution.
  • To unleash the Blockchain potential by making it accessible to everyone.
  • Because it allows every web-based service to utilize Blockchain Technology through use of easy-to-implement Light Clients.

Is the base code a fork of Bitcoin, Ethereum or any other project?

No. Our code has been specifically implemented to fit the JavaScript platform and we constantly extend it. We were inspired by Bitcoin and sometimes relied on the fact that time has proven Blockchain technology to work well, but there are fundamental differences. Specifically in the networking and signaling part, the proof of work we will use, the block format and the light client implementation.

When will the Mainnet go live?

We plan on launching the Mainnet in Q1 2018 [Edit].

Is any installation required?

No installation is necessary. Nimiq runs natively in your Browsers. Only if you chose to run a Backbone Node you need to install the Nimiq NodeJs client (see our GitHub Repository).

Will there be a mining pool available?

For Browser-based mining on the Mainnet mining pools make sense and will be available.

How does the mining reward work?

The reward is 50 Nimiq per block. Since the Betanet doesn’t work with a pool, efforts invested in mining the current block are not shared and only the account that mines the current block will get the reward for it. Your estimated time to mine the block is calculated by the Betanet using your Hashrate and the current difficulty of the proof-of-work.

What is your average transaction confirmation time?

The Betanet is set to confirm transactions at the average block mining time of ~1 minute. This time varies depending on the Proof of Work difficulty which is adjusted every 10 blocks. For the Mainnet we will implement off-chain transactions (Lightning Network) which will enable near instant confirmation times.

What can I do with Nimiq I receive or mine in the Betanet?

You can test the network capability by sending your Nimiq to any valid account number. Just tell a friend to visit our Betanet, as soon as she connects, she will have an account number generated in the Wallet. Note that your Nimiq balance in the Betanet is for testing purposes. It is not permanent and may be reset at any time if necessary for development and upgrade purposes. The final reset will happen before the Mainnet launch.

What’s preventing people from simply continuing to use the Betanet, it’s decentralized, after all.

People can do that. Though we will have multiple breaking changes which make the current Betanet incompatible with the evolved Nimiq clients.

Is the Betanet Browser wallet the only wallet available for Nimiq?

For the moment the only wallet is the Browser wallet. We are working on a wallet application and a cold storage wallet is also on our roadmap. We will provide users with tools to export their (encrypted) private key or create paper wallets.

How does the Betanet store the private/public key?

The private/public key is stored securely in your Browser using IndexedDB. The keys are created the first time you connect to the Betanet with that Browser. Closing and re-opening the Browser does not change or erase your account. Deleting your browser history deletes your private key! In the Mainnet we will provide a cold wallet app to backup your keys and additionally use the Storage Persistence API such that your keys survive when you delete your browser history.

If you open two different Browsers on the same computer it will create two different wallets. You can consolidate Nimiq wallets by sending the balance from one wallet to another.

How about GPU mining?

On memory-bound hashes, the mining speed is bound by the memory latency. GDDR5 memory on latest graphic cards does not have a relevant latency benefit (if at all) compared to DDR3/DDR4 which is used by the CPU. We’ll have to try it out, but our target is to be solely memory-latency-bound because this will reduce power consumption of miners (basically putting your CPU into waiting for memory most of the time).

How do I export the wallet from a Browser?

Currently you can access it by opening your Javascript console (F12) and entering:

Nimiq.get().wallet.keyPair.toBase64();

An import/export tool is on our roadmap.

Is it possible to mine with the same private/public key on more than one device?

Yes, by using the same private key (access via JS console) you can mine into the same account on multiple machines.

Are the private/public key susceptible to Browser resets?

Clearing your Browser history will not affect your wallet or key. The only thing affecting your wallet is clearing offline website data.

What happens if I switch Browsers?

If you open a new browser a new account will be generated. This only applies to the Betanet though. In the Mainnet you will be able to access your account via any Browser and device using your public and private key, much like regular web applications.

How does resource management work while mining with a Browser?

When connecting to the Betanet your browser establishes consensus with the Nimiq network and starts mining using the processing power available to your Browser. If you switch to a different tab the browser does not need to render the map animation of peers joining and you may experience a higher hashrate.

Can you monitor or adjust how much processing bandwidth the Betanet Miner is using?

This feature is not yet supported in the Betanet Miner. However you can pause the mining or close the window/tab of your Browser which will fully interrupt the mining process.

What are the system requirements for mining?

Any modern device with an up-to-date browser should be able to mine. The better your hardware, the higher your probability for mining a block reward.

Does Nimiq have API/SDK documentation?

Yes, you can find the documentation in our GitHub Repository.

What is the official channel for developers?

Developers can join our Nimiq Network Slack Channel. Get invited here.

Your current proof of work is Sha256. Is this also intended for the Mainnet or are you considering ASIC resistant PoW algorithms?

We will switch to an ASIC-resistant proof-of-work as soon as possible. Definitely before the Mainnet launch. We have excluded Argon2 (too slow to verify). With WebAssembly we can use most algorithms with near to native performance, but only the newest browsers have support for it (e.g. Firefox ESR does not have it yet, Safari will have it in the upcoming 11 release). WebCrypto API could be fallback in case WebAssembly support is insufficient at Mainnet Launch. We are confident we will find a proper solution.

How do you run the proof of work through the browser? Could there be ways to game the system?

Our Betanet PoW is plain sha256 so you could easily set up a miner with high hashrates. This is fine for testing purposes. The final PoW will be memory-latency-bound and implemented in (or compiled to) WebAssembly, which reaches near to native performance in modern browsers.

Is there currently an authoritative backbone node for bootstrapping, or is this determined dynamically?

It is determined dynamically. Once your first connection is established even other browsers can act as signaling server for you.

Isn’t mining on a browser less efficient than the usual way?

Not necessarily. With WebAssembly you can get near-to-native performance. Our Betanet is based on WebCrypto API, which is native as well, but we can’t put the whole mining logic into it. So we have a lot of context switches and slow tasks in JavaScript, which are affected by UI work. Our final client will use WebAssembly for the whole mining and WebWorker to offload the work from the UI thread.

Why are you not using libp2p for discovery and transport?

For our own purposes libp2p is oversized. It implements tons of features and protocols we would have no use for. We restricted ourselves to certain “modern” web technologies (WebSockets and WebRTC) and thus have a whole P2P Blockchain implementation in less than a fifth of the size of libp2p. If we don’t want users to download tons of MB from the Blockchain, why should we want them to download 2MB for the networking stack alone?

What would be the benefits running Nimiq on the NodeJS client instead of the Browser Client?

In the Betanet there is no big difference. It is slightly faster but not in orders of magnitude. In the Mainnet it will depend on the Proof-of-Work algorithm. We will provide detailed information once we have finalized our research regarding this topic.

Isn’t the general opinion of security experts that browser based crypto is DOA?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Browser-based crypto. Most issues arise when you try to e.g. replace TLS with JavaScript to encrypt passwords before sending them to a server. SHA256 doesn’t become broken simply because it’s run in a browser.

Who is Team Nimiq?

We are a team of highly compatible, experienced and motivated geeks whose combined skill sets deliver — meet us here and watch our Vlogs.

Why are you in Costa Rica?

Bringing a team together is essential for delivering efficient and quality work. The remote location we chose in Costa Rica provides a distraction free, healthy environment and everything else we need for a productive setting.

What can you tell us about the Nimiq Foundation?

Nimiq is encompassed by a strong philanthropic mindset. Nimiq is open source and community driven. 2% of the total Nimiq supply will go to a Non-Profit Foundation that funds projects with high ecological and/or social impact. Think of projects such as reforestation of the rain forest or cleaning the oceans; in general: Projects that are necessary but unprofitable. This commitment will be embedded in the Mainnet Genesis Block.

Does the name Nimiq stand for anything?

Nimiq is an Inuit word used for an object or a force that binds things together.”

DISCLAIMER: None of the statements must be viewed as an endorsement or recommendation for Nimiq, any cryptocurrency, or investment product. Neither the information, nor any opinion contained herein constitutes a solicitation or offer by the creators or participants to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.

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Nimiq — Crypto For Humans — https://nimiq.com

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Team Nimiq

Team Nimiq

Nimiq — Crypto For Humans — https://nimiq.com

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