Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby charlie » 07 Nov 2017, 22:45

Accepting donations is one of the primary ways FOSS developers can go about getting remuneration for their efforts.

These days digital currencies are all the rage. Which ones are most FLOSS friendly? Which ones are likely to persevere? Any thoughts/opinions? Obviously BitCoin is the one that has penetrated the mainstream but what about competitors such as LIteCoin etc?
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Magellan » 07 Nov 2017, 23:35

Most popular cryptocurrency projects are open source software. I personally wouldn't involve myself with one that wasn't. Many are based off of BitCoin's codebase (LiteCoin for instance).

If you are thinking of accepting cryptocurrency donations, I think that most of the ones listed in the top 10 by market capitalization should be OK. You can check that out on CoinMarketCap: https://coinmarketcap.com/ Of course, you should do some research into the individual currencies you are thinking of accepting, but going by market cap is a good start.

I would stick to BitCoin myself, for the most part. Since it has that most visibility and acceptance, you are more likely to get donations that way. I would probably only accept altcoin donations if I was trying to appeal to the users of a specific altcoin platform, e.g, if I wanted to use Game Credits in my game or if my game's community was on Steemit.

One thing to note: If you do accept cryptocurrency donations, be sure that you control the private keys of your wallets! Do not rely on exchanges to hold your currency for you. Many have been compromised in the past and could be again!
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Lyberta » 08 Nov 2017, 08:20

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero seem to be the key players.
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Duion » 08 Nov 2017, 12:30

Why Cryptocurrencies, is there any benefit? I mean the likelyness to get donations is close to zero already and using weird ways for payments will make it worse.
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Julius » 08 Nov 2017, 14:06

Duion {l Wrote}:Why Cryptocurrencies, is there any benefit? I mean the likelyness to get donations is close to zero already and using weird ways for payments will make it worse.


Why not if it is an additional means of payment?

But IMHO unless some sort of technological breakthrough is reached I would stay clear of crypto currencies right now. Basically they are all pyramid schemes and the get-rich-quick phase is over.

Other than that there are some specific issues:

Bitcoin has reached a level of compute complexity and number of transactions which it was never designed for (it was initially just a proof of concept), resulting in lots of technical issues and maybe more importantly that it is more or less controlled by a few commercial bitcoin mining companies in China, which makes the idea of global independant crypto-currencies kind of moot.

Etherum is maybe the most interesting right now, not because of it's use as a crypto-currency, but rather for "smart contracts". The track record of it rather suggests to stay clear though, with many huge bugs requiring hard forks and resulting in all sorts of issues. The above mining issue probably applies to it as well, or will soon (not sure).

Monero seems very shady right now... strong spider senses tingling in regards to criminal run pyramid scheme. Yes you can still mine regularly... but it appears that this is achieved by opting for a compute algorithm that will never scale (even more so than other systems). It's probably also used massively for money laundering (although the idea to have truly anonymous transactions is good in theory). Last but not least... very shady stuff going on with "companies" approaching websites and mobile app developers to include a (hidden) Monero mining client in their software so that mostly unsuspecting users are mining as a sort of botnet. This of course drives up energy consumption and battery use, and is in general just morally corrupt in my opinion.

Interesting thought or rather conspiracy theory:
If there was a (almost) super-human artificial intelligence on the loose, how would it make sure people build sufficient compute capacity for it to run? Yep, invent a clever algorithm for itself (that a normal human will not understand as doing anything special) and link it to a get-rich-quick scheme = Bitcoin. :D
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Lyberta » 08 Nov 2017, 18:04

Julius {l Wrote}:But IMHO unless some sort of technological breakthrough is reached I would stay clear of crypto currencies right now. Basically they are all pyramid schemes and the get-rich-quick phase is over.


Bitcoin is still growing fast. I personally estimate the the point of saturation to be 1,000,000$ per bitcoin. There can be 21 millions of Bitcoins so the total worth will be 21,000,000,000,000$ - a fair amount for global currency.

Julius {l Wrote}:Monero seems very shady right now... strong spider senses tingling in regards to criminal run pyramid scheme. Yes you can still mine regularly... but it appears that this is achieved by opting for a compute algorithm that will never scale (even more so than other systems). It's probably also used massively for money laundering (although the idea to have truly anonymous transactions is good in theory).


The point of government is to limit freedoms of its citizens so a free currency should make it simple to violate government-imposed laws. It is important to convert cash into cryptocurrencies while cash is still legal. When cash will become illegal, it would be hard to buy anything without government surveillance. No government should be able to control what I buy, whether it's food, a book, an assault rifle or drawn child pornography.
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Julius » 08 Nov 2017, 18:58

Just like you can start a cryptocurrency you can make your own cash (or other form of informal trust based payment system). Governments also have about the same difficulties in making both illegal. However they are much more likely to try making certain cryptocurrencies illegal... cash will just be slowly phased out due to hardly anyone using it anymore (not a good thing, but the reality in many places already).

Fundamentally current cryptocurrencies are also based on a faulty assumption, i.e. that money is something like a real good and should have a somewhat fixed value/amount (see gold-standard discussion). But on the contrary money has been always a social tool (!= good) and as such is (and should be) malleable by a democratic process. Trying to make money a pure exchangeable good has always been the tool of tyrants and (historically) slave traders... and current cryptocurrencies will be used the same way if truly successful.
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Lyberta » 09 Nov 2017, 05:10

Julius {l Wrote}:Fundamentally current cryptocurrencies are also based on a faulty assumption, i.e. that money is something like a real good and should have a somewhat fixed value/amount (see gold-standard discussion). But on the contrary money has been always a social tool (!= good) and as such is (and should be) malleable by a democratic process.


Well, nobody is fixing prices yet. And I like that there is a limit of how much cryptocurrency there can be because that can make the value less volatile. Unless it's all destroyed by hard forks.
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Magellan » 09 Nov 2017, 06:00

Julius {l Wrote}:Fundamentally current cryptocurrencies are also based on a faulty assumption, i.e. that money is something like a real good and should have a somewhat fixed value/amount (see gold-standard discussion). But on the contrary money has been always a social tool (!= good) and as such is (and should be) malleable by a democratic process. Trying to make money a pure exchangeable good has always been the tool of tyrants and (historically) slave traders... and current cryptocurrencies will be used the same way if truly successful.
Recommended book: "Debt the first 5000 years" by David Graeber.


Not all cryptocurrencies have a fixed pool. Some are fully inflationary, especially those that rely on Proof of Stake. See Peercoin, for instance, or Steem. Usually these tokens have a way to "burn" or remove units from the total currency supply, but still create more at a rate that outstrips the burn (I know Peercoin does so at a rate of about 1% per year).

Additionally, I would argue that cryptocurrencies can be/are malleable by democratic processes if they are open-source projects and if there is no government forcing you to use them. In that way, a person has many angles for how they can voice their opinion and make change happen in a cryptocurrency system. They could refuse to use cryptocurrencies that they disagree with and support only ones they do agree with, donate hash power to projects they support, make modifications to improve cryptocurrencies, and even fork off and make their own that works how they want it to. Add to this the increased freedom (and responsibility) to secure your own stores of value (essentially "being your own bank"), and I think that some (not all) cryptocurrencies are already much more democratic than the national fiat currencies of today.

As for donations, I found some open-source Bitcoin donation widgets that can be added to webpages. Unfortunately, none that I found were terribly recent:

https://github.com/wm-noble/send-btc
https://plugins.trac.wordpress.org/brow ... on-widget/ < (This one is for WordPress sites)
https://github.com/scottycc/coinwidget.com < (This one will also allow you to accept Litecoin)
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Lyberta » 09 Nov 2017, 06:23

Also, interesting video just out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmISqCpO8RE
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Julius » 09 Nov 2017, 12:43

@Magellan: Yeah, I am by far not the first to point out this issue, and I generally like those alternative approaches like Proof of Stake. But as far as I can tell, these attempts are experiments at the margin, with the vast majority of cryptocurrency supporters is fully in the let's call it "gold standard camp".

And while of course open-source allows you to do a lot of more or less democratic things, it is very difficult to just "restart" a currency (too many fears a potential loss) and the currently popular cryptocurrencies are almost designed to be as undemocratic as possible... not in the sense of that they are controlled by a single entity but in the sense that it is almost impossible to change the amount or value based on the democratic will of the people.
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Re: Best crypto currency for FOSS developers

Postby Julius » 24 Nov 2017, 05:35

I guess this is very relevant to this topic:
http://join.utopian.io/
(no endorsement implied by linking this).
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