From understanding Burstcoin security to selecting a wallet, the Getting Started guide provides the information needed to succeed with Burstcoin.
A great deal of technical knowledge is not required to use the Burstcoin network’s collection of open source software. The definitive collection, including wallet software, is located in the Burstcoin Software Library.
For more information on any of the topics listed below, or technical documents, visit the Burstcoin Documentation Project. Here you will find everything there is to know about Burstcoin. You can even contribute new documentation to the project, or recommend improvements.
To activate a new wallet for Burstcoin mining or to receive a transfer from the Bittrex exchange, visit the Burstcoin Community Faucet list.
To assist with supporting new users of Burstcoin, this section contains Frequently Asked Questions. You can help curate this section by visiting the documentation project section.
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500k “pre-Dymaxion” hard fork checklist
500k “pre-Dymaxion” hard fork checklist
Disclaimer: A checklist is used by qualified personnel. For example, a pre-flight checklist is for pilots, a medical guideline is for medical staff, etc. A checklist is not a tutorial. If you do not understand some of the points that apply to your “user class”, you have more learning/reading to do.
It is assumed you know what PoC1 and PoC2 is, how they differ, what optimized plots are, where you find various Burstcoin software, how to update it, which pools support PoC2, etc. If you do not know this, you will not find the information here.
What to do now that 2.2.6 is released (everyone)
- Make sure you have a current version of the 2.2.6 wallet
- Make sure you shut down all instances of pre-2.2.0 wallets, especially 1.2.9 or 1.3.6cg. These are obsolete and will no longer function after the fork. Never panic. There is nothing in the upcoming HF that would make you lose your funds. Worst case if you use the wrong wallet: your funds may be temporarily inaccessible.
- You do not want to have a non-release BRS version, unless you are a developer and/or are testing on TestNet
- Make sure all your PoC1 plots are optimized
- Check the Burstcoin software library for the latest info on Burstcoin software
- Get a PoC1 to PoC2 plot converter
- There are several miners such as jminer capable of mining PoC2 files before the PoC2 switch and also PoC1 files after the PoC2 switch. Using this software is probably the best way to avoid any mining downtime.
- However, PoC2 plots before the switch will give you only 50% read speed (with jminer, etc. — nonfunctional with anything else), so will PoC1 plots after the switch. You want to find a good strategy when to convert which of your plots for maximum performance.
- read below the “PoC2 Switch @ 502k”
- The coins in your private wallet are safe. Even if you do not update the wallet (which you should), your coins are not gone. Worst case: you may lose only temporarily access to your coins until you get a new wallet version.
- While we cannot speak for exchanges in general, the coins you have on any exchange are also safe. Even if the exchange messes up their wallet, it’s again only a temporal glitch.
- As long as no private key is lost, no funds are lost.
- We will make no recommendation if you should sell before the HF and buy afterward. PoCC members will simply hodl.
For pool operators
- Make sure your pool and your back-end wallet(s) can switch to PoC2 mining at block height 502000. (The 2.2.6 wallet can do this, as can the PoCC pool software)
- You might want to have a look at Multi-Out payments, because they are ideal to perform payouts to your miners after the 500 000 hard fork.
- Update to 2.2.6 now – anything less than 2.2.0 will soon cease to function
- Wallet API remains the same, there are two new API calls:
sendMoneyMultiSamewhich you might want to use for your services – if applicable. They are especially useful for Pools, Exchanges and Faucets.
- The number of possible transactions per block is now up to 1020 (old: 255), maximum block payload size 179520 bytes (old: 44880)
- Each of these 1020 slots in a block has a minimum transaction fee of
slot-index * 0.00735Burst.
For miners: PoC2 switch @ 502k
The release of 2.2.6 will contain everything needed for enabling all of the Pre-Dymaxion hard fork features:
- MultiOut/MultiOutSame transactions
- 4-fold block capacity increase
- dynamic fees
However, while the first 3 of these features will be activated at block height 500k, PoC2 will be activated a little later at 502k (about 5.5 days later).
Why a delayed PoC2 activation?
We promised there will not be two coins, only one Burstcoin.
Everything that is needed for PoC2 is in place. Miners have a multitude of options to choose from in how to handle the PoC1 to PoC2 switch.
Nevertheless, we assume that a temporary drop in mining capacity will occur as soon as the PoC1 -> PoC2 switch happens. Some miners may not be aware of PoC2 at all (hopefully a small percentage), some may be amidst PoC1->PoC2 conversion and their capacity is not available, some will do on-the-fly conversion and their read times will be higher, therefore their effective capacity smaller… etc.
Bottom line is that shortly after the PoC1 -> PoC2 switch the desired behavior (mine via PoC2) will have to compete with undesired behavior (inert “Wut? I did nothing” miners mining PoC1).
If we had all Pre-Dymaxion HF features switched at once, we would jeopardize the whole HF because with that PoC1 -> PoC2 switch, we would have weakened “the right chain” mining capacity.
Instead, we will enable all the new features regarding higher capacity and dynamic fees and 2000 blocks later, when there are new blocks in the blockchain (sub-1 Burst fee, more than 255tx per block – which we will make sure), and when we are beyond the maximum wallet rollback capability of 1440 blocks, the wallet/pools/miners will automatically enable the PoC2 switch.
At this moment, it is definitely impossible for any old wallet (1.2.9, 1.3.6cg, 2.0.4 or whatever) that might have survived somehow until then to have both PoC1 and the new features and be on the winning chain. Like 100% impossible.
This process will ensure that there will be only one Burscoint. The new, more secure, high-capacity, flexible Burstcoin. Our foundation for even bigger things to come.
When to use BURST, Burst and
BURST is the currency code. e.g. “We have enough BURST/BTC exchanges, but we need a BURST/fiat gateway.”
Burst is the network. e.g. “Burst is not merely a way to send digital currency, it’s the software framework around which a large variety of interconnected services, based around the digital currency, can be built.”
burst is a unit of the currency. e.g. “I’m a small stakeholder with only 4399
burst, if someone could give me 601
burst, I’d have a nice round number.”
Omit needless words
Being succinct is being clear. And an easy way to be succinct is to omit needless words. For instance,
“…average Bitcoin transaction time has significantly increased to the 8-to-13 minute range…”
can be simplified to
“…average Bitcoin transaction time has significantly increased to 8 to 13 minutes…”
Mortimer the Burstcoin Butler
On December, 6th 2018 the PoCC announced the renaming of the “PoCC Bot” to Mortimer as well its functionality. Originally started as a Tip Bot, Mortimer will provide a lot of services within the Burst ecosystem:
- tip bot (Reddit, Twitter, Discord, Discourse forum software)
- pricing information (coinmarketcap API)
- supporting BURST and NXT (not all functionality), maybe others too
- mixing service
Originally started as the PoCC Bot for tips on Reddit, Mortimer is a multi-interface, multi-currency and multi-functionality service framework mainly for the Burstcoin cryptocurrency. Called “butler” for short. Mortimer supports other cryptocurrencies than Burstcoin where it serves the purpose of added value to Burstcoin (such as exchange services).
Mortimer can currently act as a tip bot on Reddit. In order to use it for tipping services, you have to associate your Reddit account with a Burst address and fund it with some Burst. In order to be able to receive tips, you need to register a Burst address with your reddit account.
The command to register your Reddit account with a Burst address is:
/u/PoCCBot setaddr <your BURST address>
In order to be able to send some tips, you have to send some Burst amount to the PoCC Bot:
The funding has to happen by sending an Ordinary Payment (obviously Multi-Outs will not work as you cannot attach any message there) with a unencrypted Message in the format
/u/PoCCBot fund <reddit_account>
Once said transaction reaches the bot, it will add the Burst you sent to your “Reddit tips account”.
Please be careful when sending commands to the bot. At the moment there are no mechanisms for refunds, so if you get the reddit account wrong, or mess up the message format – your funds may be lost. Making Mortimer more robust is on the TODO list though.
You can see the reddit account funded is defined in the message. It does not necessarily need to be “your” account. You can also sponsor some other account. Which will probably be used in future to fund some “agents” who can (ab)use tips as faucet. The service is provided for free, i.e. the bot does not take any percentage of the funds.
Mortimer includes an anonymization/mixing service. In order to use the mixing service, you send an ordinary payment to the PoCC Churner (mixer) address (https://explore.burst.cryptoguru.org/transaction/2946354633558760665), with the amount you would like to have mixed. Mortimer will take 10 Burst fixed fee (for tx fees) and 2% “of the rest”. If you send less than 10 Burst …
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – obviously.
You add an encrypted message to that transaction with the commands for that bot. If that message is not encrypted, or if there is no message, the mixing will not happen, your funds are forfeited for now. Work on making Mortimer more robust is underway, so it is considered to simply send the funds back to the originating address – sans some fee – on errors.
So you sent a tx with an encrypted message. What needs to be in that encrypted message? For now, simply
OUT: <adr1>, <adr2>, <adr3>, …
so basically “OUT:” followed by a comma/space separated list of target addresses where the remaining funds (sent funds – fees) will land. e.g.
OUT: RTST-6QF7-XV5Y-H8DFW, RTST-UFV8-N6DD-794Y3 BURST-RTST-M4HW-82N6-945YG
As you can see, the Mortimer parser is somewhat tolerant, you can use comma, or space, or comma and space and you can have addresses with or without the BURST- prefix. In order for the mixer to be effective, you obviously should take care of the following things:
- never tell anyone the addresses in that encrypted message
- make sure they are empty/new i.e. without any transaction history
- they have NO PUBKEY associated with them, because the mixing addresses have neither
- that you have time. Even after the funds have arrived on your target addresses, do not withdraw them immediately.
Burstcoin (also called Burst) is a digital cryptocurrency and payment system based on blockchain technology. Burstcoin was introduced on the bitcointalk.org forum on 10 August 2014 as an NXT-based currency. Burstcoins are mined using an algorithm called proof-of-capacity(1) in which miners use computer storage instead of the more common energy-expensive method proof-of-work (PoW) which involves permanent computational operations.
Burstcoin was officially introduced on the 10th of August 2014 with the goal of solving other cryptocurrencies’ most significant problems: lack of decentralization, waste of energy, unfair releases, and the supremacy of big miners and corporations. It is the first and only cryptocurrency secured by the Proof-of-Capacity algorithm.
The critical difference between Proof of Work and Burst’s Proof of Capacity is that instead of needing ever more expensive, power-hungry processors and graphics cards, it uses inexpensive, low-power hard drives. Proof of Capacity is inherently more secure, and trimmed versions of the blockchain are less costly to maintain and more secure as well. Another significant advantage with Proof of Capacity is its mining, working like a built-in coin faucet in the form of hard drives that allow anyone to earn free coins in exchange for providing extra security for the network.
The energy requirement for Burstcoin mining is minimal compared to most other cryptocurrencies, making Burstcoin one of the most energy efficient within the field of proof-based cryptocurrencies. (1) Storage space is required: as of March 2018, the estimated network size approached 341,000 terabytes (2).
The Burstcoin platform allows for development flexibility, ensuring developers the freedom to create applications. In this sense, Burstcoin can be considered a next-generation cryptographic application project (often called ‘cryptocurrency 2.0’) in contrast to the first generation cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. (3)
The previous developers, the PoC Consortium, released a white paper entitled The Burst Dymaxion. (4) It describes the implementation of a tangle-based lightning network allowing for arbitrary scalability and anonymous transactions. The Dymaxion operates with payment channels opened using the directed acyclic graph (DAG) technology on top of the Burstcoin blockchain functioning with the Proof-of-Capacity protocol. Burstcoin is currently being developed by the Burst Alliance.
Origin to community takeover
Burstcoin was released to the public on 10 August 2014 on bitcointalk.org by the original developer who was known under the alias “Burstcoin”. Their real identity is still unknown today. The coin was launched without an initial coin offering (ICO) or premine. (note 2) The genesis block was created on August 11th, 2014. (5) Approximately one year later, the main developer “Burstcoin” disappeared without any explanation.
Being an open source project, other members of the community took over the development of Burstcoin on January 11th, 2016. A new forum thread was created on Bitcointalk.org by a senior community member.
On July 22nd, 2017, an attacker spammed the Burst network with messages, causing wallets to crash and splitting the network into multiple forks. (6) The network remained unstable for several days. On August 11th, 2017, in the aftermath of the spam attack, a new development team called the PoC Consortium (7) introduced itself on Bitcointalk.org. They were recognized by the former development team as the designated successors for the Burst Reference Software. (8) The PoC Consortium’s engagement ended at the end of 2018 and development reverted to community development. The Burstcoin Alliance was formed to provide leadership for the project.
Burstcoin is the first cryptocurrency to use the proof-of-capacity algorithm. Proof-of-capacity was successfully implemented by the original developer, going by the name “Burstcoin” on bitcointalk.org forums.
Burstcoin was the first cryptocurrency to implement working, “Turing complete” smart contracts (note 3) in a live environment in the form of Automated Transactions (AT), this occurred before both Etherium and Counterparty (9, 10, 11) An application of these smart contracts was demonstrated in the form of the world’s first decentralized lottery. (12, 13, note 4) It became the first ever program to run on top of a blockchain in a trustless decentralized manner. Other use cases of the Automated Transactions include decentralized crowdfunding.
A more recent innovation by Burstcoin and Qora is the Atomic cross-chain transactions (ACCT), (15) this allows for full decentralized trading between two cryptocurrencies without the need for any third-party, namely an online exchange. Cross-chain transactions have been executed successfully between the blockchains of Burstcoin and Qora. (16, 17)
On December 27th. 2017, the PoC Consortium developers released a new white paper titled The Burst Dymaxion. It describes the implementation of a tangle-based lightning network allowing for arbitrary scalability and anonymous transactions. The Dymaxion operates with payment channels opened using the directed acyclic graph (DAG) technology on top of the Burst blockchain functioning with the Proof-of-Capacity protocol.
The Burstcoin blockchain is a public ledger that records every transaction. It is fully distributed and works without a central trusted authority: the blockchain is maintained by a network of computers known as nodes running the Burstcoin software.
Ownership of Burstcoins implies that a user can spend Burstcoins linked with a specific address. For this to occur, a payer must digitally sign the transaction using the associated private key. Without knowledge of the private key, the transaction cannot be signed and Burstcoins cannot be spent. The network verifies the signature using the public key. If the private key is lost, the Burstcoin network will not recognize any other evidence of ownership; the coins are then unusable and are effectively lost.
A summary of a Burstcoin transaction is as follows: The sender details the parameters for the required transaction type (sending money, creating an alias, transmitting a message, issuing an asset or an order for an asset). All values for the transaction inputs are bounds checked for validity. If the transaction is found to be valid, the public key for the generating account is computed using the supplied secret passphrase. A new transaction is created, with a type and sub-type value set to match the type of transaction being created. All specified parameters are included in the Transaction object. A unique transaction ID is generated with the creation of the object. The transaction is digitally signed using the sending account’s private key. The encrypted transaction data is placed within a message instructing network peers to process the transaction. The transaction is then broadcast to all peers on the network. Burstcoin transactions are based on the NXT code base. A detailed explanation of the transaction process can be found on its wiki page. (19)
The mining process is based on a proof-of-capacity (PoC) consensus algorithm. To mine Burstcoin, each miner first computes a large data set which is then saved to a computer storage medium. These data sets are known as plots. For each new block in the blockchain each miner reads through a tiny subset (1/4096th – approximately 0.024%) of their own saved plots and returns a result as a time interval in seconds known as a deadline, which is the time elapsed since last block creation after which this miner would be allowed to create a new block. The miner with the lowest deadline wins the block and is then rewarded with the transaction fees and the block reward.
The computational resources for mining are limited to the time it takes the miner to read the plot files stored on mass storage. Once this is achieved, no other computational resources are needed until the next block, making Burstcoin highly energy efficient. (20) Miners compete on the size of their plot files, rather than on equipment speed as is the case with other cryptocurrencies.
Proof-of-capacity is also claimed to be ASIC-proof. Burstcoin’s proof-of-capacity algorithm is based on pre-computed proof-of-work, so theoretically one could compute the proofs in real time. However, it is currently impossible to efficiently compute a significant amount of work during a 4-minute time interval. Inspecting the pre-computed work stored on the hard drive is both faster and more energy efficient than any conceivable ASIC device could achieve in real-time.
Given that it can take a long time to find the smallest deadline, some miners collectively mine in what is known as a mining pool. (21) Mining pools allow miners to have a more evenly distributed Burstcoin income: the reward for each block won by the pool is distributed between the miners of that pool (sometimes with the largest share going to the miner that found it).
If a pool has a “deadline limit”, it means the reward is shared only among miners who submitted deadlines for the winning block came under the pool’s deadline limit. This tends to skew payment distribution in favor of the larger miners in the pool (who have a higher probability of meeting that deadline limit for the winning block) while still distributing the proceeds to more participants than occurs with solo mining, where one miner wins 100% of the block reward.
To reduce transaction fees, most pools also have a minimum payment threshold, meaning the pool must owe you at least that much before it pays you.
The Burstcoin cryptocurrency wallet is implemented as a Java-based Web server, which users can either run themselves (as is done by the Windows client), or, for convenience, use on someone else’s server machine (for example one hosted by a Burstcoin mining pool), if they trust said machine not to be copying their passphrase via keystroke logging. Mining pools have an obvious incentive to maintain their reputation by not compromising their convenience wallet servers.
The passphrase (typically 12 dictionary words) is all that is needed to transfer funds out of an account. Any wallet server can convert such a passphrase into a public address (a string of alphanumeric characters beginning
BURST-) used for receiving Burstcoin, and an Account ID (an integer) which is needed to generate the “plot” files for mining.
The core feature set of Burst is based on the NXT platform, which allows the adding of external services to be built on top of the blockchain.
The first Android version of the Burst wallet was released in 2016 (22) and was able to mine on Android devices. This app is now considered “outdated” by burst-coin.org (23) which instead recommends the POC Consortium wallet (24) or the BurstNation wallet. (25) These newer apps cannot mine on Android but do allow users to create wallets and to send and receive Burstcoin on any Android device.
The Burst Asset Exchange is a peer-to-peer exchange platform integrated into the Burst wallet. It functions primarily as a secure decentralized trading platform for Burst assets. The popularity of the asset exchange is based upon the absence of any third party, allowing improved efficiency and reduced costs. A burst asset is basically a token to represent anything the asset issuer deems to be of value so that it can be traded, typical examples of such assets include shares in the following: mining pools, retirement funds, mining rigs, gambling sites, and silver investments.
Automated transactions (Smart Contracts)
Smart Contracts are self-executing contractual states, stored on the blockchain. (note 5) In brief, an Automated Transaction is a”Turing complete” set of byte code instructions which will be executed by a byte code interpreter built into its host. An AT supporting host platform automatically supports various applications ranging from games of chance to automated crowdfunding and ensuring that “long term savings” are not lost forever. (26)
The crowdfunding feature allows users within the Burst community to raise funds in Burst for project creators in a decentralized way. Funds are refunded if the project’s target is not met.
The Burstcoin Wallet has an inbuilt escrow service, which allows a quantity of Burstcoins to be held by a third party on behalf of transacting parties.
The Burstcoin Wallet includes a completely decentralized marketplace where Burstcoin users can view other users items for sale by referencing their account id. It will display all items for sale for the designated account holder. (27)