Qortal Project

The future of blockchain platforms

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Minting Overview

Qortians do not MINE, Qortians MINT. Minting is NOT what you may have heard of within 'token' based projects. Qortal Minting is:

Proof of Contribution Over Time, and Memory Proof of Work

Minting is much more similar to 'Proof of Work' than it is to anything else. However, it is not really similar to anything that exists. Minting on Qortal is simply a measurement of a node's contribution to the network over time. The Memory Proof of Work (MemPoW) algorithm, is utilized solely to 'limit the number of minting keys' that can be assigned to a single computer. It is assigned with a 'static' difficulty, and simply prevents assigning more than 2 minting keys to any given physical computer.

Collaborative Rewards

In Qortal, every minter SHARES the reward of every block split based on their level. In other words, Qortal does not reward solely the block signer. Minting rewards every minter who is online, synced, and has a minting key assigned to their node. Say goodbye to the battle of MINING and welcome in a fair new system where everyone is rewarded for EVERY block minted. Minting is part of a fundamental principle of the project, which is that money cannot equal power over the network. This means that no one can buy their way into having more power over the network.

Run on Nearly Any Computer

The original ideas of Bitcoin, were to allow any user with any normal computer to take part in the consensus process, and assist in generating new coins. However, over time, due to the fact that only the block signer earns any coins, and the fact that more 'power' meant more potential to do so, Bitcoin gradually got more centralized in many ways. Both the mining itself, being centralized into 'mining pools', and the requirement of specific hardware centralizing the production and sales of said hardware, many aspects of Bitcoin have now been re-centralized, leading to a scenario more similar to the existing 'system' wherein those with more 'influence' are those with more 'money'. Qortal aims to resolve this issue by allowing any user with any normal computer to continue taking part in the coin creation and distribution process, and earning merely by providing their node to the growth of the network, and helping secure newly created blocks.

Low Power Usage

Minting does not use high amounts of electricity, does not require expensive equipment, and does not require the users wishing to mint, to have a huge amount of QORT or any other asset with which to do so.

Any 'normal computer' all the way down to as small a computer as the 'Raspberry Pi 4' may take part in Qortal's consensus, and earn rewards in QORT for assisting in growing the network and securing the Qortal Blockchain.

Minting Concepts + Background

Qortal's developers believe that minting is a superior method to 'power' a blockchain in multiple ways, as it not only has no coin holding requirement (thus minting does NOT favor the users with more capital), but it also focuses on ensuring a strong and ever-expanding network of full nodes. This method leads to a much stronger base node network, and will be much less likely to run into issues like other blockchain projects do, wherein their base network has a lack of full nodes, which makes the chain much less secure overall. This lack of nodes on other networks also leads to users needing to make use of nodes they do not control, thus reducing the level of decentralization by a large margin.

The entire idea of the Decentralization movement was to put the power in the hands of the people. The way things are going now in Bitcoin and many other projects, is the exact opposite of these ideals. Qortal aims to go back to the original Decentralization concepts, putting the power solely in the hands of the users on the network, and maintaining a very strong network with full nodes spread out across the globe.

Minting Info Bullets

  • Minting does NOT reward you based on QORT held, but by simply verifying you are a legit full node and online.
  • Minting rewards are NOT reliant upon being the signer of the block.
  • Every minter is rewarded EVERY BLOCK in Qortal (approximately 60 seconds).
  • To become a minter, a new account must be 'sponsored' by a level 5+ minter, or a Founder.
  • The limitation of creation of minting accounts is a security feature to combat gaming the system.
  • The period of running a node to become a level 1 is set at 7200 blocks (after obtaining sponsorship and about 5 days to complete at 1440 blocks per day).
  • Other portions of the system are possible to change in the future as well.
  • The period to become a Level 5 takes approximately 14 months in which the account can begin sponsoring others.
  • The highest level for a Qortal account is Level 10. The period to become a Level 10 takes approximately 7 years 9 months.
  • The system VERIFIES online minters, utilizing the minting keys. So you MUST STAY ONLINE to be rewarded.
  • The whole point of minting is to GROW AND MAKE THE NETWORK STRONG.
  • Only a node that is YOUR NODE, can be used as a minting node. You cannot access the assignment of minting keys without having full localhost access to the node you're attempting to assign keys on.
  • Each 2 level 'tier' shares a set reward percentage of EVERY BLOCK.
  • As your level goes up, you eventually move into higher leveled tiers and your shared reward percentage increases.
  • The highest level for a Qortal account is level 10.
  • You do not lose credit for blocks minted if your node is down - meaning you do not have to run 7200 straight. Your blocks minted are recorded on-chain.

The method to accomplish this, is described here: Becoming A Minter

Bullets Continued

  • Every 2 levels is called a 'ter'.
  • Every tier shares a given overall percentage of each block's reward.
  • Only minters actively submitting minting signatures (has a 'minting key' assigned to a synchronized node) are rewarded.
  • Signing (or 'finding') blocks, does NOT MATTER in terms of rewards.
  • Every minter is rewarded only based on their level tier and their 'online' signature.
  • Only level 5 or higher minters sign blocks
  • The higher level minters are more likely to be the block signer (for chain security).
  • Becoming a minter requires a temporary 'sponsorship' key to be obtained from another minter of level 5 or higher.
  • During the temporary 'sponsorship' period, no rewards are given to the pre-level-1 minter.
  • Rewards are split evenly throughout the online minters of any given tier.
  • The higher the tier, the higher the reward.
  • The more time a minter has been minting, the higher level they are.

Minting Security

In order to ensure the security of the chain, minting is also structured based on level in regard to block signing. Block signing simply means the actual minter that creates and adds the block that ultimately gets utilized by the overall chain.

Higher Levels More Likely to Sign Blocks

Minting uses a concept called 'key distance' that you can read about here How Qortal’s Consensus Works in order to determine which block by which minter is included into the chain.

The higher level the minter is, the more likely they are to be the block signer. However, being the block signer (contrary to essentially every other blockchain) does not 'mean anything' in Qortal in regard to rewards. Being the block signer does NOT earn the minter anything 'extra' in Qortal. This is a critical difference that is one of the main unique factors of Qortal's minting system.

Signing Blocks Gives No Additional 'Benefit'

Since there is no benefit to being the block signer in terms of rewards there is also no 'competition' between minters, they all work cooperatively to secure the chain, and are rewarded based on their overall time contributed to doing so.

Measuring 'Contribution Over Time'

Minting is sometimes referred to as proof of contribution over time (and Memory Proof-of-Work) and this is a very accurate description.

The MemPoW (Memory Proof of Work) Algorithm

The Memory Proof-of-Work (MemPoW) portion of the above statement, comes from the MemPoW algorithm that is also part of Qortal Minting. The MemPoW algorithm is utilized in a different fashion to that of most Proof-of-Work algorithms in other blockchains. Whereas most PoW chains utilize the algorithm with a 'modifiable difficulty' that changes based on how many 'miners' are actively contributing 'hashrate' to the network, Qortal utilizes a set difficulty on the MemPoW, and merely uses the algo to limit the number of minting keys that can be assigned to any given physical computer.

The MemPoW algorithm is a Memory-based Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm that is utilized in multiple places within Qortal. In regard to minting, the MemPoW must be computed, and submitted with each minter signature. The algorithm is different than other PoW algorithms in multiple ways:

  • MemPoW uses a set difficulty for every minter
  • MemPoW is computed and submitted with each minter signature
  • MemPoW uses a SET amount of RAM (1MB) (instead of providing more hashrate for more hardware like most PoW algorithms.)
  • MemPoW merely limits the number of minting keys that can be assigned to any physical computer, so that those looking to 'cheat' the system by assigning more than 2 minting keys, will have a hard time actually accomplishing this.

Minting Signature Submission 'Window'

As of version 4.4.0 and block 1508000, a NEW method of minter submission and block reward calculation and payouts is now active.

This method takes minter submissions over a larger window that what was used previously, and gives credit for 1000 blocks at a time.

This means that instead of seeing blocks minted increasing every block, like in previous versions, minters will only see blocks minted increasing every 1000 blocks. This is to lower the requirement for processing minter payouts, and increase scalability of the minting system.

This is a temporary change to immediately increase scalability, and in the future will be re-designed to get back to something more similar to the original concept. But the decision was made to make this change now, to allow the Qortal development group to focus elsewhere and give the platform the immediate scaling boost it needed, without having to put extensive further effort into the modification now.

Minter Submissions

Every minter submits their 'signature', which is created with the 'minting key' (reward share private key) assigned to their node. This process is completed automatically every time a new minter submission window comes up.

Nothing is required by the minter other than ensuring their minting key is assigned to their node, which can be verified by checking the Reward Share plugin, in the Qortal UI. If a minting relationship is shown, then the minting key is assigned. That is all that is required.

Since blocks minted no longer increases every block, verifying that your node has the minting relationship assigned in Node Management, is the simplest way to ensure your node is minting. (Of course, the node will also be in 'minting' status, and can be seen by mouseover of the Qortal Core icon on the OS taskbar, or by going to the 'overview page' plugin in the Qortal UI.)

What is Qortal & How to become a Qortal Minter video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3bx_crP8Jg

minting_overview.txt · Last modified: 12/07/2023 15:09 by crowetic