Proof of Research & Respool

Saving the world block by block

Guest post by Ian P. Johnson - Technical Contributor

In this article I will attempt to give a brief overview of Proof of Research (PoR), how to install and use the Respool.io client, and a few observations I’ve made over the past six months as a technical contributor with Resistance. In a future article I will dive deeper into the mechanisms behind PoR and best practices for miners looking to contribute their CPUs to scientific research.

If you are not familiar with Resistance or its decentralized exchange, ResDEX, I highly recommend reading an overview here:

The Basics

To better understand PoR, it’s important to know a few basics about the backend technology. Resistance uses a custom-built blockchain (based on the same zK-SNARK technology used by Zcash) to implement the privacy coin, RES, which can be used as an intermediary to conduct private trades on their decentralized exchange, ResDEX.

Resistance applies a modified Proof of Work (PoW) consensus to secure the chain as well as block rewards for mining and running masternodes. The block time is currently one minute (TPS is 4x the speed of Zcash), and rewards are split between several parties.

Reward Distribution

Proof of Research implements “useful” Proof of Work. Meaning work that has advantages outside of securing the blockchain. The distribution of total rewards can be seen below:

  • 30% will be used to reward Proof of Research
  • 30% will go to PoW miners using a CPU-optimized algorithm (yespower)
  • 30% will go to masternodes that exist to implement InstantSwaps, ensure the stability of the Resistance coin, RES, and allow for voting on governance issues
  • 10% will go to a treasury used to fund future project development

BOINC

BOINC is a research platform that has existed for a number of years. It attempts to link researchers in need of free computing power, who are working on humanitarian projects, with people who have idle computing power to donate. Resistance contributes to this computing power by giving users the opportunity to contribute their computing power to whitelisted BOINC projects in return for a share of the block reward.

This whitelist may change in the future according to community voting, but at the moment the projects include:

Rosetta@home
By running Rosetta@home on your computer when you’re not using it you will speed up and extend our efforts to design new proteins and to predict their 3-dimensional shapes. Proteins are the molecular machines and building blocks of life.

World Community Grid
When you become a World Community Grid volunteer, you donate your device’s spare computing power to help scientists solve the world’s biggest problems in health and sustainability.

Respool

Respool.io is the portal that allows miners to interact with BOINC and mine with Proof of Research. On Respool.io, users register an account, administer their hosts (where your CPU power is located), and collect rewards in RES, the Resistance privacy coin, after completing a set amount of tasks provided by BOINC.

As a general note, those who are used to Proof of Work mining may find the Resistance pool disorienting as rewards from PoR are earned and distributed over a period of days rather than minutes. This can sometimes make it more difficult to track when and what rewards you are earning, or to work out if anything is going wrong.

This is perhaps an area where the Resistance pool can be improved in the future. That being said, some of the difficulties are intrinsic to the underlying BOINC mechanisms so Resistance is not entirely responsible for any confusion that arrises.

Computation Credit, RAC, Magnitude, Rewards

Once you have registered your hosts, they will begin to work on tasks. Each task takes between three and nine hours to complete depending on its size and the processing power available on your host(s). Each host will download data from BOINC, perform the required research/work (calculations, simulations etc.), and return the results back to BOINC. Each item of work will be run several times on a number of different hosts and the results compared for consistency (validation) before the user is rewarded and results reported to the researcher.

The mechanism for measuring work and attributing rewards is smoothed so the rewards take some time to accrue and decay over a number of days.

The rewards are based on perceived work (Computation Credit — Recent Average Credit — RAC) deemed by BOINC, which is converted to an intermediate measure, Magnitude, and then on to the Resistance chain native token, RES. Computation Credit can vary significantly per project, so a conversion through Magnitude is intended to level the reward for an equivalent amount of work in each project. The mapping process will be discussed further in a follow up article, but it is fair to say that it is not obviously clear how work equates to reward. Some of the mechanisms within BOINC and some within Resistance are intended to smooth earnings whilst encouraging distribution of work across the projects. 30% of the block rewards are transferred to the PoR pool and distributed to researchers according to RES rewards earned. The graphs below highlight the aforementioned variables over a 45 day period.

Receiving Rewards

As mentioned above, 30% of the block reward goes into the PoR pool wallet. Several times a day these rewards are automatically distributed amongst PoR participants according to the total amount of RES earned, which is derived from the Magnitude of all the hosts working on behalf of that user. This frequent distribution of RES from the pool will also reduce the risk of nefarious actors looking to find vulnerabilities. If the user has not yet setup a RES address to receive his earned rewards they will be accumulated as Owed RES, which will be transferred as soon as the user defines an address to receive his/her rewards.

Installing & Configuring Proof of Research

The following video gives a great explanation covering everything from initial signup to trouble shooting. If you have any additional questions please visit the official website https://www.respool.io

How to install and configure Respool.io

Closing Thoughts

In a second article, I will dive deeper into using BOINC and Proof of Research for advanced purposes. This will encompass the differences between project settings, resource usages, and suggestions.

More detailed discussion on Resistance and Proof of Research can be found on the official Resistance Discord here: https://discord.gg/7weECSh

The latest news, such as the anticipation over mainnet launch and the Resistance IEO can be found in their official Telegram channel at https://t.me/resistanceplatform

I will close this article with a handful of graphics showing the Research my hosts are currently working on:

Links

Website: https://resistance.io (U.S. visitors restricted) 
Whitepaper: https://docs.resistance.io/Resistance_Whitepaper_v1.5.pdf
ResPool Mining: https://respool.io
FAQ:
https://www.resistance.io/faq
Discord: https://discord.gg/7weECSh
Telegram: https://t.me/resistanceplatform