HARDFORK] Neos Mandatory Upgrade - Major Changes & What's In Store for Neos


#1

Neos is changing and here’s why

When we first created Neos and decided to include support for multiple algorithms, I suppose you could say it was in a somewhat romantic effort to bring back mining to everyone, even smaller miners. We figured SHA would be great for those with the heavy iron to “hold down the fort” in the present and future tense post-PoW, blake so that CPUs/GPUs could be useful again, and X11 because it’s pretty power efficient and again allowed for miners to make use of GPUs that had fallen ancient to the new era of scrypt asics and scrypt mining. While this was all with good intention, over the past several months since Neos has been live we’ve been keeping an eye on statistics, community response and request, and overall performance on the network and feedback from the community. When I post that we’re constantly working on Neos, it’s exactly what we’re doing. Whether it’s coding, analyzing, or building on top of Neos - we’re here 7 days a week and it’s rare that you’ll contact us without a response at almost any given hour.

With that being said the legacy diff algorithm that was being used was in more ways than one just not a model that could uphold any semblance of consistency in terms of blockchain movement due to its nature of adjustment. Over the past several weeks what we’ve been doing is testing, re-coding, and testing some more with multiple test branches on private networks in simulation of the active chain in parallel. We first approached the current mining situation with adjustment in the legacy diff algo. Those results of those tests didn’t really prove to make much of a significant impact in terms of adjustment, at least not in the way that would be conducive to fair mining and overall network performance. What we next attempted was implementing a new diff algo from the DarkCoin community - Dark Gravity Wave. We modified the the diff algo to work with multi-algo mining and yet still weren’t happy with the result.

After having spent well over 1.5 weeks with the aforementioned testing and code rewrites - we took a moment to consider some of the voices we’ve heard from the community in conjunction with the analysis we’ve seen for ourselves and our own hypothesis as to what’s affecting the chain, potential longevity of Neos and so forth - and this is what we found:

  1. Nearly 12,000 NEOS of a possible 14,400 NEOS were being found via blake daily.
  2. Noone was really mining X11 or SHA and it seemed regardless of whether SHA was being mined or not with substantial hash - blake came out on top.
  3. The market continued to see consistent dumping of Neos at rates well-below buy rates and certainly well-below ICO rates

With the above facts, at the market value at which Neos was being dumped - the blake difficulty sky rocketing yet still seeing over 80% of the blocks having been found by blake - it seemed to average out to a total of .2 BTC per day from the sells. Keeping that in mind - the only logical explanation considering it wouldn’t be anywhere near profitable for a blake mining operation to continue mining at this climb in difficulty and decline in market value - it’s most likely botnets. This opinion is that of many community members as well as the Neos team. That being said, we do know quite a few legitimate blake miners and we apologize for the fact that you can’t mine Neos with blake any longer - but we will be putting together a blake multipool. Our current multipool (http://mp.neoscoin.com) already supports X11 so our X11 miners have a place to call home there and still be rewarded with Neos using their X11 gear.

While this is a drastic change, multi-algo was meant to provide a fair ground for everyone to mine and it turned out to be a mistake. We don’t sit on mistakes here - we act on them and try to formulate the best possible plan we can to rectify issues. Neos became basically a blake coin and that’s not what we had originally intended it to be nor is that what we wanted it to turn into.

What are the fork details?

The fork will take place at block 42778, which is estimated to fall on or around Dec 16, 2014. At that point, the only proof of work submitted that will actually be accepted onto the chain is SHA-256. The new diff algorithm being used is Dark Gravity Wave. We’ve tested it out and were really happy with the responsiveness to both a large influx of hash and a sudden drop in hash. We will be reaching out to all exchanges, pools, services, and others who currently run the Neos wallet to get them updated. Until the fork block, old clients, blake/x11 as well - will continue to be supported. However, on the fork block blake/x11 will no longer be accepted and supported and any outdated clients attempting to the network will be denied. That in mind, please upgrade as soon as possible. As always, I’ll be here and available via IRC, our forums, teamviewer, and telephone if anyone needs help with the transition.

Current x11/blake pools

Please do NOT upgrade your wallets as your pools will not be able to hash blake or x11 with the new client. Until the fork block you are safe on the existing branch.

What we hope this will do for Neos

We’re trying in all of this to create a more stable, sustainable network that has long-term potential rather than a short term burst and a slow death. We have major plans for Neos that have been in development for some time now, including the upcoming release of Neos 2.0.2. We’ll be introducing not only a plethora of new features and community requests in 2.0.2, but some support services that we’ve secured in place as well as multipool stats (personalized of course) directly in the wallet. This is only phase 1 of 2 in what we consider to be an upgrade and positive change for the Neos community and we’re really excited to get back to work on other facets of Neos now that these past 3 weeks of hard work have come to a positive finish.

Where can I download the patches for Neos 2.0.1b and how do I upgrade?

I’ve tried to make the patching process as painless as possible so I’ve put together some installers for each platform. Please take the following steps before patching on any of the systems supported:

  1. Stop any running Neos processes
  2. Back up your wallet.dat somewhere safe
  3. Proceed with the system-specific patch instructions as described below

Linux Patching

As root type the following:

wget http://install.neoscoin.com/patches/linux/v2.0.1b/Neos-v2.0.1b-patch.sh && chmod 755 Neos-v2.0.1b-patch.sh && ./Neos-v2.0.1b-patch.sh

There is a specific argument to pass to the patch script which will be explained after following the above steps. Once complete, you can start neos back up by logging out of root and typing: neos start
Then visit http://127.0.0.1:18000 and you should see your wallet back up and running with some slight changes to the interface and information displayed.

osX Patching

Download http://install.neoscoin.com/patches/osx/v2.0.1b/Neos-v2.0.1b-osx-patch.tar - double-click it to open it up, and double-click the app inside. It will handle the upgrade for you.

Windows Patching

Download http://install.neoscoin.com/patches/windows/v2.0.1b/Neos-V2.0.1b-WinPatch.exe and double-click once it’s complete and it will go through the installer to upgrade your existing installation.

We have a lot of really great developments in the works, and while this fork set 2.0.2 development back a few weeks I’m REALLY eager to get back to work on coding for 2.0.2. There’s a lot of cool stuff ahead and I’m eager to get it out to everyone but not without it being done properly. I’ll continue to update everyone as usual with any news or progress and if anyone has any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Below are the specs for Neos, with the new modifications made. I can’t express enough how much I appreciate the continued support from everyone and how much it means to me to have been able to watch this community grow and strengthen over only the past several months. I’m really looking forward to what more we can do and bring into the crypto community as a community.

What is Neos?

Neos is a first-of-its-kind crypto platform written from the ground up in PHP. Neos v1 was released on August 24, 2014 - 3 weeks ahead of the promised date set in the ICO due to community demand. With v1 came many features, a lot of community feedback and much room for improvement. On October 3, 2014, Neos v2.0 was released and our vision of what we wanted Neos to be came to fruition. Well after several weeks of hard work, I’m finally able to announce the release of Neos v2.0.1! The primary focal points of 2.0.1 were performance, improved anonymity, and community requests. There’s a lot to announce but first I’d like to provide some information for anyone viewing that may be new to Neos.

Some key features of Neos

In-wallet trading - One-click withdrawal and deposit, order history, buy and sell Neos at supported exchanges
Anonymous transactions - You can view how our system works in the diagram. It’s simple, effective and doesn’t require tokens or trust rings.
In-wallet messaging
Remote-wallet hosting support
Market data and overall stats
In-wallet pool stats including personal worker stats at our official pools
In-wallet block exploration
Configurable settings & much more

Neos technical specifications & General information

Algorithm: SHA-256
Total coins: 21 Million (after the 21 million cap, a perpetual reward of 0.0625 remains per block to keep the chain moving)
Halving every: 210,000 blocks
Fair launch: Block 2 - 1001 the block reward was 0.1. Block 1002+ normal block reward
Block reward: 50 NEOS
Block time: 5 minutes
Tx fees: 0.00000001
Block confirmations: 120
Transaction confirmations: 6
Difficulty adjustment: Dark Gravity Wave
Launch date: 8/24/14 5PM EST
Coins offered during the ICO: 1,050,000.00

Website: http://www.neoscoin.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NeosCoin
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/NeosCoin/
IRC: https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.freenode.net/#neoscoin
Forum: http://forum.neoscoin.com
Git repo: https://github.com/bellacoin/neoscoin.git

Exchanges supporting Neos:

Payment Gateways:

Pay with Neos anywhere Bitcoin is accepted via http://www.coingateway.net

Active Neos mining pools can be found on www.neoscoin.com

 Best regards,

syntaks


#2

Boom!

First things first

Now looking forward to the new features


#3

Good Afternoon,

This makes me sad because I don’t have any hardware able to mine sha-256.

I have one question if 80% of the blocks are mined via saffron-blake, then it would seem the majority of the NEOS user base is using saffron-blake. Why remove the algorithm which most people are using?

I would hypotheses a move to sha-256 only would likely kill off mining. Granted mining is the necessary evil to move blocks (within the current paradigm). Unless you intend to merge mine with a larger coin I would imagine the first person to rent some hash will put the difficulty very high, and unless you have some auto degrade function likely it will stay high and never come back down. (Gryffen coin made this mistake with x15, difficulty when to 2k and no blocks found for like 2+ weeks as there was no interest.)

Thoughts>

Thanks and have a good day,


#4

With the majority of the blocks being blake, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s out of pure/genuine interest in Neos by blake miners. The issue is that with the diff as high as it was sustaining and climbing, it wasn’t feasibly possible to be profitable for anyone unless they had no overhead (aka a botnet). Neos was mindlessly being dumped in excess of 10k coins daily like clockwork. With those coins being found via blake, it adds up. Even multipools mining sha, at max were getting a few thousand coins per day. What we watched over time pointed back to blake. I apologize to genuine blake miners like yourself, but for the overall betterment of Neos and sustainable future we had to make this call. We’ll be looking into setting up a blake alternative for miners to still earn Neos in the near future.

Best regards,

syntaks


#5

Good Evening,

I agree with you in your analysis that Blake is not being mined out of genuine interest; it is that GPU miners use Blake as its the best GPU option of the 3 available right now. Watching the 2-3 pools it would seem they were finding about 50-70% of the blocks (between broketech and miners-pool). Right now with miners-pool offline broketech with ~120 ghs is pulling ~60% of blocks give or take.

So the other concern I have with using sha-256 is that effectively a 51% attack is now a reality for anyone desiring to do so; do you have a thought on this?

Also, using sha-256 what is the mitigation for when the difficulty gets driven up…what brings it back down? Dark Gravity Wave wont do that for you in the context of sha-256, that algo can stabilize to some degree. For example on darkcoin (x11) it works well as you have a “core” mining group as well as a group that comes on and offline as the difficulty changes. However, the change in magnitude in context of darkcoin is still the same magnitude(less than an order of 10). I don’t see the math for how DGW works to stabilize a coin if some hits you with a terahash for a few minutes which is orders of magnitude greater than what normal mining or the core base would represent, this is the threat in sha-256, scrypt or any algo where 1 device alone could outstrip the network…would you be willing to share your simulation results on the forum? Granted this problem may be unbounded, but it would be nice to know to what approximate level this protects.

In addition, in keeping with your goals I still am not sure why sha-256 would be the selected algorithm as it is the one that is most controlled by parties who would potentially dump the coins on exchanges.

I raise these questions now as clearly you have put a lot of thought into this and I don’t want your hard efforts to be undone. So please don’t take any of my comments to be anything other than in the best interests of you, your coin and its development (and for what its worth i will keep holding my 30k whatever comes).

Have a good night,


#6

Regarding the mining algorithms:
The other algorithms were removed because its not feasible to foresee that the all algorithms would have a constant hash rate, leaving a wide open and unfair advantage to one or the other.

The other reason for removal is that BLAKE and X11 are not standardized. Blake failed to obtain the SHA3 spot even after adding fourteen rounds of hashing. Future developments for these algorithms seem slim to none in my opinion. The opposite is true for SHA.

We are going for long term sustainability which is the reason we have chosen SHA as the single algorithm. It is understood the many people see ASIC hardware as the arch nemesis of mining, although in my opinion these are the tools of our trade.

Regarding the difficulty algorithm:
There isn’t one out there that can predict future changes in hash rate. It is meant to keep that block times relatively constant, and as you may know as a miner that can depend on luck itself.

Yes a large surge in hash rate can raise the difficulty significantly and strand the chain for a small time but in our tests DGW seemed to react well in lowering until block times were somewhat constant again.

We are very open to constructive feedback and testing more options, if you or anyone would like to contribute some changes please feel free to make a pull request to our repository, or join us on IRC.

In conclusion
We understand that these changes were going to have a certain amount of blow back from the community, we apologize if anyone feels singled out. We as a team feel this was the best option for our long term goals and can now concentrate our efforts in other areas.


#7

Thanks phark, I couldn’t have put it any better myself.


#8

I am an active user and extracted a coin on Blake and SHA256. Good Luck! Turn to another community.


#9

I’m sorry I’m not quite understanding what you mean by this?

Best regards,

syntaks


#10

The market seems to have responded positively to this hardfork i belive it is a step in the right direction, now with the multipool it is possible to mine NEOS with Scrypt or X11 anyway,


#11

wow this a big change.

So you have phased out everything but SHA256.

Will be very excite to see what happens mining wise


#12

In terms of what’s in store for NEOS. I just yesterday started mining XPY. I was previously and will further mine TEK, DEM, and perhaps also PEER. What do they have in common? They all include a POS solution. I’m expecting BTC to eventually also adopt POS for long term sustainability. I suggest that POS is also something that NEOS needs to very seriously consider. If a hard-fork is necessary, better sooner than later.