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Tangram Faucet: Distribution Methodology Overview

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the Tangram Faucet Distribution methods, with a statistical overview of each method.

One of the challenges when identifying distribution model(s) especially when you’re not a mineable cryptocurrency is understanding what are the goals which you’re trying to accomplish during distribution and if the model in question is able to fit those standards. The most obvious requirements are ensuring that;

  1. Enables thousands of people to easily obtain and get access (non-censorship)
  2. Resources used to obtain TGM are not mindlessly being wasted
  3. Lastly that the mechanism is stable and secure throughout the distribution lifecycle.

Thankfully, the Tangram community came through over several months to ensure these primary objectives were met.

(a special thank you to one of the community members for putting endless hours into making the distribution model possible).

Below will define the two distribution mechanisms:

  1. Folding@home
  2. Image and Description Faucet

Summary of the Main Distribution Method (Folding@home)

  1. Folding@home

Summary Folding@home is a project focused on disease research. The problems they’re attempting to solve require many computer calcul­ations — and they need your help to find the cures! Currently Folding@home has accomplished 12% of their goal of 1 million ‘Folders’.

Folding@home Distribution Method Details

The mechanism maintains the requirements of that was mentioned above 1). Distribute fairly to thousands of people. 2). Ensure that the resources used to obtain TGM are not needlessly wasted. 3). Ensure technical stability and security during the distribution lifecycle.

Tangram is effectively utilising the Folding@home mechanism as a useful, socially edifying proof-of-work method for TGM distribution.

Breaking Down the Proposal(s)

Key areas of consideration

  1. Number of users throughout the distribution lifecycle
  2. Number of coins possible for a user during distribution lifecycle
  3. Capital expenditure in order to obtain maximum amount of coins for an individual
  4. Approaches which individuals may take to ‘game the system’
  5. Possible outcomes and risks of shorter / longer based distribution lifecycle

Defining properties:

  1. 110,246,994 TGM (60%) will be distributed through the Folding@home mechanism
  2. Distribution lifecycle of 3 months (72 days over a period of 12 weeks — minimum)
  3. 36,748,998.00 TGM total cap per month
  4. 1,531,200 TGM total cap per day
  5. Minimum Work Unit (WU) solving time of 1 hour of CPU usage (Maximum solving time is limited by the capacity of your hardware)

Month 1

  • 382.8 TGM will be distributed per WU / per a full cycle of Folding@home
  • 4000 WU’s will be solved per day

Month 2

  • 191.40 TGM will be distributed per WU / per a full cycle of Folding@home
  • 8000 WU’s will be solved per day

Month 3

  • 127.602 TGM will be distributed per WU / per a full cycle of Folding@home
  • 12,000 WU’s will be solved per day

Option 2 collection mechanism

  1. Collection(s) will be divided equally amongst users everyday. (Day cap / users)

Potential captcha checkpoint collection

The table below represents the collection throughout the check-points when running the folding@home. (e.g. — electricity cut-outs, Windows installing updates, etc …)

Possible Captcha Checkpoints

Example — Checkpoint collection stages

Distribution per WU & # of WU’s achievable per day

Example — Distribution over time (Folding@home)

Graph interpretation

Each month an increase of WU’s are allowed, however the number of TGMs given per WU decreases. This is to ensure that a larger number of people are able to participate in the distribution

Time schedule

The following schedule has been developed to establish an equitable distribution. This schedule is subject to change based on further analysis and suggestion.

NOTE: All times are UTC

Example — Daily time schedule for distribution

Things to consider:

  1. Daily start time (e.g. — 12:00 AM) — The start time the faucet will open.
  2. End time will be when either of 2 variables match:
  • 24 hours have elapsed
  • MAX WU has been reached for daily cap

Rationale Behind the 3 Month Distribution Duration (minimum)

  1. Robustness throughout a shorter distribution time (of the given mechanism) vs. for example a 6 month distribution lifecycle.
  2. Decrease in vulnerability of the folding@home mechanism.
  3. Elimination of long-term security risk for a long-term distribution lifecycle / period (risk is constant throughout the 3 months).
  4. Minimisation of the effects of volatility in community judgement (trust, shocks, patience & overall emotional well-being). or something else that ties community volatility to a positive outcome for a shorter timespan
  5. The expected obsolescence of the distribution mechanism(s) over a longer period of time.
  6. Diversification, which has different effects through short-term to long-term.
  7. Ensures that the network is not dependent on a small percentage of individuals.
  8. Provides stability and reduces volatility within the community during an important growth period of the network (infancy to adulthood).

Risk Factors

  1. Not all TGM may be distributed during the distribution lifecycle
  2. Vulnerabilities and malicious usage may be found in the folding@home solution during the distribution life cycle that may impede the continued use of the distribution mechanism

Risk mitigation

  1. Continued distribution of remaining TGM
  2. If not all TGM are distributed in a timely manner either during the day, month or end of the distribution lifecycle the following may apply:
  3. Burn remaining TGM
  4. Other mechanisms may be considered based on community suggestion(s)
  5. If vulnerabilities are discovered, Folding@home will no longer be utilised, and the Image and Description mechanism will be used as a fallback mechanism for continued distribution.

Folding@home security measures

Initial CoolCaptcha

  1. The Initial CoolCaptcha uses a separate host and database.
  2. Included via JS into the main faucet site
  3. Each user is recognized by IP (stored as SHA256 hash)
  4. IP change will trigger error during solving process

Supported features:

  1. Variable puzzle difficulty / count (depending on fail rate of user)
  2. Global puzzle difficulty
  3. Puzzle count
  4. Puzzle tile difficulty (style, size, etc.) can be altered

Login

  1. Faucet database
  2. Each user is recognized by IP (stored as SHA256 hash)
  3. IP blacklist will be maintained

Checkpoints

  1. Captcha checkpoint every n seconds. — m tries per user
  2. Total successful captcha checkpoints parameter k (e.g. 80% success rate of all checkpoints) -
  3. If the captcha checkpoints parameter k isn’t satisfied, no collection will be triggered or verifiable
  4. Captcha checkpoints can only be solved in the given time interval

Check of WU

  1. After ALL captcha checkpoints are successfully solved the WU ID will be saved into the database and periodically checked by a cronjob.

How do collections get triggered?

  1. Verification of completed WU’s daily associated with addresses
  2. All verified collections that have been noted as NOT malicious will be processed at the end of each week (This may change through the duration of the distribution lifecycle).

Summary of the Secondary Distribution Method (Image and Description)

  1. Image and description

Summary — Enter the description of the image that is being displayed. Works similar to Google’s Image reCaptcha annotation, however instead of annotating specific areas within an image, you describe the image being displayed.

Defining properties:

  1. 9,187,249.50 TGM (5%) will be distributed through the Image and description faucet mechanism
  2. Distribution lifecycle of 3 months (72 days over a period of 12 weeks)
  3. 3,062,416.5 TGM total cap per month
  4. 42,533.5625 TGM total cap per day

Distribution per successful image description & # of Images achievable per day

Example — Distribution over time (Image and Description faucet)

Graph interpretation

As the months go by, an increase of WU’s are allowed, however the number of TGMs given per WU decreases. This is to ensure that a larger number of people are able to participate in the distribution

Time schedule

The same time schedule will apply as per the main distribution cycle. (Subject to change based on non-working time as with the main distribution).

Things to consider:

  1. Image and description captcha will be used in case of a failover of main distribution.

Image Captcha faucet security measures

  1. User registration
  2. New Tangram addresses will need to be registered in order to use the image captcha faucet
  3. IP blacklisting capabilities
  4. Each IP address has it own stats, (e.g. fail rate, description submitted / requested) independent of the TGM address used
  5. Registered addresses can only be used from one IP
  6. Registrations may be closed without prior notice
  7. TGM addresses may be blocked without prior notice

Summary

Pillars of the distribution we have taken into consideration are fairness and flexibility in ways to distribute through internal and external outcomes, in a manner that grows participation and provides technical, operational and ethical stability. By no means are we calling this is a perfect solution or ideal distribution mechanism, but it is a heuristic process that will be refined as we proceed.

It can be argued that the longer a distribution lifecycle continues, the more even number of people are able to obtain a coin. However the longer a distribution cycle, the lower number of people are able to utilise the network (e.g. Bitcoin mining) due to either; a) not knowing long enough beforehand, therefore those who have known have already obtained exponentially more and cut out majority of individuals or; b) malicious actors have successfully gamed the mechanism and ultimately halt the distribution; which in turn necessitates a more complex mechanism(s) involving harder human intervention techniques.

Regular analyses will be released throughout the distribution lifecycle which will include:

  1. Number of TGM distributed each day, week, and month in a weekly announcement (This will also be available in real-time)
  2. Gini index (Current equality of distribution)

If there is any further analysis that the community would like to be considered, feel free to offer your suggestions.

On a lighter note, we will soon have an AMA on Reddit. Seriously — thank you to everyone who has not only been involved, engaged and actively participating to make this community and project what it is today, but also for making Tangram safer, stronger, and more privacy focused through their involvement, publicly and privately.

*Date of distribution start — TO BE CONFIRMED

Notes

  1. Individuals with a lower spec hardware will have a collection speed of 1.3x — 1.5x lesser than individuals with higher spec machines — This only applies if a WU takes greater than 1 hour to complete. The rate of collection for higher spec hardware has been increased by a magnitude of two in order to reduce the gap for fairness (30 mins to 1 hour).
  2. Link to alpha-faucet stats (human difficulty and hardware statistics): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1asa7LzaMyNilcc6ddjyy2p5eAz1pdpFM/view

Disclaimer: Distribution overview (days, times, output in collection of TGM, length of distribution and model) are subject to change to meet the structure and factors that may hinder the outlined standards and requirements of the distribution methodology overview outlined in this article.

If you’re interested, have questions and feedback:

Visit the repo: https://github.com/tangramproject

Visit the website: www.tangrams.io

Read the blog: www.medium.com/@tangramd

Join the forum: forum.tangrams.io

Subscribe on Reddit: www.reddit.com/r/Tangrams

Discover on Discord: www.discord.tangrams.io

Message on Telegram: https://t.me/Tangrams

Follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tangram

Watch YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoe5hPG_zjltaG_j2n1Oh4Q

Connect with the Raven team on Telegram

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Tangram

Tangram was created with a singular vision: to inspire, mobilize and empower a new generation of cypherpunks.