Interview with the Foldingcoin Team
Foldingcoin is a new project developed in partnership with the Stanford University and it aims to bring a new kind of functionality to CPU and GPU mining.
How about donating your processing power to scientific research in medicine!?
An innovative Team has developed a project for this same reason! Until now, you could donate your processing capacity to assist in scientific research without any kind of compensation whatsoever, but with the Foldingcoin Project this is about to change. You can now point your Rigs at Foldingcoin and receive a reward; a Metacoin that actually has intrinsic value, represented by scientific advances in medicine, new articles, research, and new medical treatments.
The functionality of this business model surpasses many other projects in the crypto currency field, because it directs its effective benefits both ways. In this case miners can directly contribute to medical research, and in return they receive a reward that has real value while being turned into a virtual asset.
Bitcoinist contacted Robert Ross, the Foldingcoin Founder and had an interesting conversation about the Foldingcoin Project.
Robert, can you tell us how you got the Foldingcoin Project’s idea in the first place?
I have been a miner for almost 2 years and have built up GPU rigs over that time. I shifted from mining Bitcoin to altcoins because of ASICs. In March 2014, with the advent of Scrypt ASICs, I powered down my rigs, which totaled 34 GPUs and 8 CPUs due to the fact that they could no longer turn a profit. Then for the first time, I discovered grid computing outside of Bitcoin.
I first found a site called BOINC, and I was instantly hooked on research. Apparently Bitcoin was not the first grid computing project. BOINC offered hundreds of different projects, ranging from finding aliens to creating medicines. I thought this might be the answer. After I installed BOINC on my machines, I learned that most projects were not ATI friendly (most miners will have ATI cards) and the installation was not as user friendly as I would have liked for a general PC user.
Then I discovered a different project that was not on the BOINC platform and that was called Folding@Home, which only worked on one project, and which folds proteins for medical research. The program uses your CPU and GPU power to simulate the folding of proteins in the body, which helps medical researchers better understand how different proteins work. This work can lead to the development of new medical publications and potential therapies. Because their focus is one project, the development of their program is further along than most BOINC projects. It is easy to set up with little configuration, and the development team also seems to be significantly stronger at Stanford than at most BOINC projects. Within five minutes of setting up the Folding program on all my rigs, I was folding proteins.
This led me to an idea. Why not distribute a Counterparty asset to those who fold on the network? So my team and I created FoldingCoin (FLDC).
Can you tell us about the Team and their expertise?
Our Team consists of:
Robert Ross – Founder
Robert has been in the cryptocurrency space for almost 2 years now. Since learning about Bitcoin, Robert originally specialized in the mining world. Robert bought his first miner the day after hearing about Bitcoin and grew his mining operation to a total of 34 GPUs, 8 CPUs, 3 ASIC USB, and 1 BFL 25 G/hs. After spending many hours studying the mining world, Robert redirected his time researching the new and exciting developments that have been coming into the crypto space. This also includes the research of the Alternative cryptocurrencies. The Counterparty protocol has sparked Robert’s interest the most due to its nature of being able to decentralize the wall street stock market game.
James Sewell – Lead Developer
James is new to the cryptocurrency space but has over 20 years of experience as a technologist in the computer networking and Internet field. James was looking for a project in the space where he could apply his scripting and systems administration skills. FoldingCoin was the ideal project.
Aaron Shaw – Hardware Expert
Is a relative newcomer to the world of crypto currencies and alt-coin mining, only delving into these technologies in early 2014. By trade he is a Data Center Infrastructure Systems Engineer with 15+ years designing & managing various types of hardware & software systems for a Fortune 100 company and the U.S. Government, he does what all good engineers do, figure out how a thing ticks, and make it better.
You are trying to change the whole concept of mining, turning it into simple hashing utilized in research. What kind of innovations and specificities does the Foldingcoin introduces and what distinguishes it from other coins?
Mining in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), as well as Scientific Grid Computing (Folding@home), are both great measures of user-contributed computing power. Crypto currency mining has mostly been converted to ASIC hardware in recent months, so there is not much standard GPU and CPU hardware used anymore in traditional “mining”.
There are a lot of old miners with a lot of idle GPU and CPU hardware. FoldingCoin (FLDC) was developed as both a way to use that hardware productively, and also to provide a boost to the Stanford University Fodling@home (FAH) network.
By adding a crypto currency element to FAH, this attracts gamers, computer enthusiasts, and old miners. They may not have contributed idle hardware to FAH if all they were getting was points on a leaderboard and a “feel good”. But now that they can get a crypto currency token in exchange for their folding credits, FAH becomes attractive to a whole new user population.
In our social networking outreach, we have met many “Non Bitcoiners” who are not comfortable with computers, and who don’t know anything about crypto currencies. But they are interested in our project as they can not only use their idle computer for useful medical research, but also generate a valuable asset.
Many Bitcoin evangelists have a problem with all the wasted energy that has gone into mining for AltCoins. The trouble with these AltCoins is that many are just a “pump and dump” coin that retains no value in the end. Coins die all the time in this space. But FLDC does productive work other than securing a blockchain. The Bitcoin community is very generous and charitable. FLDC is so much more appealing to them since it represents a real benefit to humanity through medical research.
FoldingCoin is based on the Counterparty protocol. All FLDC transactions are transferred on the BTC blockchain rather than a separate blockchain. Since FLDC is built on the BTC blockchain, that means it shares all the same advantages of the Bitcoin network. Some of these advantages are:
■ BTC miners verify the transactions
■ When you send FLDC to another wallet you are also sending a small amount of BTC in addition to FLDC
■ Distribution has been locked by the Counterparty protocol ensuring that even the developers of the coin can’t introduce more FLDC into the market.
■ As Bitcoin and Counterparty developers innovate, we evolve with them. We share a wallet and blockchain. With FLDC you do not have to wait on our dev team to develop new apps like mobile wallets. When Counterparty creates them, FLDC is compatible automatically. Most AltCoins have to develop their own apps since they have a separate blockchain.
■ Since FLDC shares the Bitcoin blockchain, we automatically get security and GUI updates as the Bitcoin and Counterparty developers release them.
No mining is required by FLDC. All tokens have already been created and are held in a distribution wallet http://www.blockscan.com/assetInfo.aspx?q=FLDC. The advantages of not requiring mining are as follows:
■ This allows our team to focus on the adoption, distribution, and economy of the coin, and not software development of the coin itself.
■ No energy is wasted securing a blockchain, all resources are strictly for Folding@home work units.
■ There is no exposure to a 51% attack unless it happens to the Bitcoin network itself.
■ CGminer and other mining applications are very confusing and require a lot of patience and research for the first time miner. The FAH program and FLDC has made it incredibly easy for anyone to start right away. http://foldingcoin.net/index.php/step-step/
■ 100% of the 500,000 FLDC distributed everyday is divided amongst all folders combined daily credits. No percentage goes towards SHA 256 miners, donations to the project, or development funds.
Do have any agreements with other company’s or third parties?
We have no agreements with any other companies at this time. We are however in talks with various organizations looking to advocate and advertise for us, but this is something I cannot disclose to you at this time.
What can you tell us of your future implementations and expectations for your project?
Unlike other coins that depend on the developers to make all the decisions when it comes to the coin, we plan to do things differently. We like Satoshi’s original concept “one-CPU-one-vote”. 1 FLDC should therefore be equal to 1 FLDCVOTE.
Starting November 1st we will implement the first FLDC voting system. Each vote will require two separate phases:
First phase – You will leave a comment about what you think FoldingCoin should change in the “vote nomination” posting. One big concern right now is the fact that the FLDC distribution never lowers, it stays at a constant 500,000 each day. If you think a better way would be lets say “half the distribution every half life EX: once 500 million FLDC have been distributed lower the daily distribution to 250,000. Then when 250 million have been distributed lower to 125,000 and so forth” leave that as a comment in the designated “vote nomination” posting. Then other FLDC members will use the “like” button on the comment that they feel is a good change. Then at the 1st of the next month the comment with the most likes will be nominated for voting.
Second phase – On the 1st of the next month we will distribute 1 FLDCVOTE coin to each holder of 1 FLDC. If you have 100 FLDC, then you get 100 FLDCVOTE coins and so forth. Then we will have two different addresses where you can send your FLDCVOTE token. The first address will be “yes” to the change, the second address will be “no” to the change. If the “yes” vote wins, it will be implemented on the date specified on the voting ballot. You will have until the 1st of the next month to send your FLDCVOTE tokens.
This forum is not the first voting forum; this is just to introduce the idea of voting to the FLDC community. The first “vote nomination” posting will be on Nov. 1st
We expect FLDC to be a community driven coin that is supported by the local Meetup.com groups as in internal currency for their Meetups. However we have put a lot of time into developing the Meetup currency and this is what we tell our Meetups: FoldingCoin is promoting adoption by Meetup.com organizations. We would start off Meetup organizers with a gift of 1,000 or more FLDC out of our own funds, depending on size and interest. You the organizer can distribute them how you see fit. Distribution of the FLDC would be up to you and your Meetup but this is a general guideline:
● 10 FLDC – For coming to a Meetup
● 20 FLDC – For bringing a guest
● 50 FLDC – For speaking at a Meetup
● 100 FLDC – For organizing an event
● Participants can tip each other in FLDC or donate FLDC to the Meetup
● You can reward any other amount or type of activity. It’s up to you!
You can buy more FLDC for your Meetup here. Purchase of FLDC financially supports those that are already folding. We can also offer cross-promotion for your Meetup on our web and social media platforms.
This is a fun way to get your Meetup members more involved. This builds a whole new economy around your Meetup. Since most everybody has a computer, more FLDC can be earned easily by any member of a Meetup.
Portability is important to a Meetup. You need a mobile/web wallet at your event. We already have a web wallet counterwallet that is fully functional and can be used at Meetups from your mobile or laptop.
What do your think about the future of crypto currency and bitcoin?
I believe that Bitcoin will be used as basically the gold of the digital currencies. Not used in everyday transactions but more like your savings account. Then cryptocurrencies, or “tokens” will be built on top of BTC using the Counterparty protocol, such as strides made by Overstock.com to make stocks within a Counterparty like model. I also believe that Dogecoin and Dogeparty may play a role in having transactions done quicker, but it is more likely that Counterparty will continue to have development put into it making off chain transactions to perform quicker.