Emission Rate Changes

MWC Team

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March 6, 2020

The MWC Team has taken a different economic approach than the GRIN team from the beginning. The MWC Team view themselves as entrepreneurs building an experimental product that serves the needs of, and primarily benefits buyers and holders.

The GRIN emission rate is 1 GRIN per second indefinitely. There will be 31,536,000 GRIN created per year. Currently, there are approximately 36 million GRIN. This results in a very low stock to flow ratio in the early years. During 2020 the stock to flow ratio of GRIN will be about 1.14x or approximately 36,000,000 GRIN divided by the new production of 31,536,000. This acts as a transfer of wealth from holders to miners.

As Saifedean Ammous explains, a low stock to flow ratio results in a transfer of value from holders of the asset to producers while a high stock to flow ratio results in lower costs, measured in the asset itself, for holders.

In January 2019, at the time GRIN launched, a member of the MWC Team who was following the project made a comment about the supply. The issue was summarily closed within two hours without any significant discussion. The MWC Team member considered this a clear sign from the GRIN team that creating a fork with different economic conditions was just fine as the GRIN team was not interested in changing the economic conditions of GRIN to have a higher stock to flow ratio.

The Initial MWC Stock

Every GRIN has been produced through mining. MWC decided to take a different approach and create a large stock in the genesis block. There will be a total of 20,000,000 MWC of which 10,000,000 will be proof of work mined over time and 10,000,000 MWC were created in the genesis block.

The MWC created in the genesis block were allocated as follows: 2,000,000 to a developer fund for the thousands of hours of work performed by the developers to launch and continue working on MWC, 2,000,000 to the HODL Program and 6,000,000 as an airdrop.

The developer fund was discussed in the January 31, 2019 whitepaper and very publicly since. The team considers that having the ability to financially incentivize the continued development of MWC is beneficial for the buyers and holders and acts as a way to fund development without relying purely on altruistic contributions and reduces the freerider benefits.

And this is more important during the early stages of the experimental project. The development fund was announced months before registration for the airdrop commenced. When mainnet launched the developer fund had almost no economic value. Therefore, buyers and holders have been and are able to take this into consideration with any of their decisions and hopefully they have a positive view of the good code that gets written like the GRIN bug fixes.

Since mainnet launched in November 2019 the developer fund has been part of the circulating supply. The HODL Program and unclaimed airdrop funds are not part of the circulating supply but will be distributed over time and in ways that are intended to be of benefit primarily to buyers and holders of MWC.

The exact details of the HODL Program have still not been decided but at least 50% of the MWC in the HODL Program will be distributed to holders that have MWC that has not been moved after block 202,500.

Starting in January 2019 the airdrop was announced and publicized. The registration period lasted from April to July. By January 2, 2020 about 5,400,000 MWC had been successfully claimed by Bitcoin holders that registered with more than 148,000 bitcoins. We do not know how large the MWC community actually is but there have been approximately 2,000+ accounts created on Hotbit that have traded MWC.

The MWC Team view the airdrop(s) as a way to create an initial stock of the experimental MWC project while distributing free samples of Mimblewimble technology as a deference to Bitcoin holders who had done their research, were interested in Mimblewimble technology and took action. During the first two years of Bitcoin’s existence it traded for de minimis amounts, had no real functioning exchanges and was largely created as a hobby good by using very small amounts of computing and electricity resources.

But creating a new asset does not necessarily result in any economic value also being created. The airdrop results in supply of the product but for there to be economic value then there must be demand for the product. Remember, the airdrop recipients received MWC for only the effort of registering and claiming it by signed message.

Some airdrop recipients did not intend to hold MWC and consequently a market formed where buyers and sellers could speculate and freely exchange. On December 3, 2019 the MWC price hit a bottom of 3,510 satoshis or $0.25 with a market capitalization of less than $2m.

As of early March it has been trading a few hundred thousand dollars per day of volume around 80,000 satoshis or about $7.00 with a market capitalization of around $50m. There has been a lot of volatility which expresses wide differences of opinion on the future outcome of this interesting and experimental project!

In four short months, the MWC Team’s conservative projections have been surpassed beyond expectation by this new experimental product that implements a clever and elegant technology.

Emission Rate Comparisons

With pure proof of work coins like GRIN, Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc. some think there is a tradeoff between the emission rate and security. There are tangible expenses, often required to be paid in fiat currency, for providing the work via computers, electricity, employees, etc.

The MWC Team views the stock to flow ratio of an asset as a metric of how expensive the product is at serving holders as measured in the underlying asset. Most miners who provide the security to blockchains seem to be primarily interested in the profitability as measured in fiat currency and do not seem as concerned with the number of units of the coin they are mining. For speculators they can always make the calculation to either mine or buy.

Consequently, these are just common differences in viewpoint between holders and miners. In conjunction with the HODL Program, the decrease in new salable supply may give miners more options with regard to the salable float.

For comparison purposes, it makes sense to look at the daily emission rate of various coins in fiat currency terms.

Bitcoin - $16,000,000 - 1,800 BTC

Bitcoin post halvening - $8,000,000 - 900 BTC

Bitcoin Cash - $650,000

Litecoin - $465,000

Zcash - $375,000

Dash - $160,000

Monero - $88,000

Dogecoin - $35,000

MWC - $22,600 - 3,429 MWC

Bitcoin Gold - $20,000

MWC post emission change - $5,700 - 854 MWC

Emission Rate Schedule

A few days ago we announced the release of mwc node 3.1.0 which has the hard fork to remove C32+. This hard fork has been extensively tested and has been successfully running on floonet for several weeks.

In the announcement, we also recommended people read the linked to updated consensus.rs file which had some changes related to the emission schedule as well. We didn’t get many comments on those changes so we wanted to start the discussion and make sure everyone is fully aware of and prepared for the changes.

The new emission schedule will change and the MWC supply will harden as follows:

Block number  | Date (approx)     |  MWC per block.    |   MWC per day

0                      | Nov 11, 2019      | 2.380952380 MWC   |   3428.571427

212,580           | Apr 7, 2020        | 0.60 MWC                  |   864

385,380           | Aug 7, 2020       | 0.45 MWC                  |   648

471,780           | Oct 7, 2020        | 0.30 MWC                 |   432

644,580           | Feb 7, 2021       | 0.25 MWC                  |   360

903,780           | Aug 7, 2021       | 0.20 MWC                  |   288

1,162,980        | Feb 7, 2022       | 0.15 MWC                  |   216

1,687,140        | Feb 7, 2023       | 0.10 MWC                  |   144

2,221,300        | Feb 7, 2024       | 0.05 MWC                  |   72

5,356,260        | Feb 7, 2030       | 0.025 MWC                |   36

10,597,860      | Feb 7, 2040       | 0.01 MWC                  |   14.4

886,947,008    | Year 3707          | 0 MWC                       |   0

Total coins = 20,000,000 MWC.

These changes do not affect the total supply of coins that will exist. Only 20,000,000 MWC will exist. The emission schedule merely increases the stock to flow which lowers the costs for holders.

The MWC Team thinks this will be beneficial for buyers and holders of the coin. When MWC launched it took a very conservative approach to the stock to flow. However, the last four months have had results that were beyond expectation.

The MWC Team feels that these changes will ultimately benefit the entire community and ecosystem including miners, exchanges and users by fortifying the economic aspects of the project. Another side benefit of this update is that MWC will have a very long time where coins will still be emitted and thus will not be dependent on a fee market for over 1,600 years.

As MWC will begin to harden and become more scarce, then everything else being equal, this could result in network turbulence if the malicious miners continue attacking the network as the cost to do so may be lower. We recommend everyone consider the recommendations made for exchanges.

Potential Impact

Holders will only benefit from the disruptive malicious mining attacks because those attacks will add cumulative difficulty on top of the commitments of the holders and there is no risk of coin loss because the holders are not moving their coins anywhere or interacting with any counter-parties.

The exact details of the HODL Program have still not been decided but at least 50% of the MWC in the HODL Program will be distributed to holders that have MWC that has not been moved after block 202,500. So now may be as good a time as any to get yourself positioned to take advantage of the HODL program.

Buyers may also be impacted because of the increased risk of a block withholding attack, reorgs or other network turbulence. If buying OTC then requiring many more confirmations is a safe approach.

If buying on an exchange then we recommend one that is extremely risk averse and requires a significant number of confirmations before crediting a deposit. Because the product is being optimized for buyers and holders and not for sellers, therefore, the MWC Team considers any inconvenience caused to the sellers by having to wait for more confirmations to be an acceptable tradeoff.

The mining profitability of the coin is largely referenced by looking at the price as being traded on many exchanges. Consequently, buyers can help defend the network by purchasing on exchanges like TradeOgre as this will be a positive pricing signal to miners.

The number of confirmations required is a personal decision that is up to the user or exchange. Customers should understand the number chosen and decide which exchange to use based on that. To be extra cautious. The MWC Team has been suggesting 5,000+ confirmations to exchanges. However, that is really just a question of risk. The MWC blockchain has had reorgs of up to 120 blocks but there is no guarantee that a higher number won't occur at some point.

While Bitcoin confirmations that only take 30-60 minutes may be acceptable for most people’s risk tolerance we should keep in mind that it takes months to get gold out of the ground and ready to be sold on the market. The market is able to weigh and price all of these different factors among different products.

If one wants to use a product where with a very low amount of confirmations a transaction is highly unlikely to be reorged then we suggest Bitcoin. MWC is in its infancy and an experimental project and is not attempting to be the fastest blockchain with the most amount of cumulative difficulty. Through individual choices the market will determine the tradeoff between confirmations, security, financial cost and time.

One of the differences between the GRIN network and the MWC network is that GRIN has a much higher hashrate. And the GRIN hashrate is miniscule compared to the Bitcoin hashrate. This means that just like GRIN is more susceptible to double spend and block withholding attacks than Bitcoin so likewise is MWC currently more susceptible than GRIN.

Financial Innovation

The GRIN code MWC forked from does not handle these disruptive malicious mining attacks at all and seems to rely on a high hashrate. The MWC Team does not like this approach but understands the pragmatism of it. 

Part of this is related to one of the differences between Mimblewimble and Bitcoin-like blockchains. In Mimblewimble, the network does not keep any transactions or spent outputs. That is part of how it scales so much better than Bitcoin, but it means that wallet software and systems around that wallet software need to handle reorgs differently. Writing that code requires competence and effort and perhaps the GRIN project would rather work on other things.

The new wallet has a separate state from the network. In the latest version of mwc-wallet and mwc713 most commands call scan and we attempt to keep the state of the wallet in exactly the same state as the full node it is connected to. However, this is difficult to do.

GRIN also tried to do that but the MWC Team found a number of cases where the state is not maintained accurately. The MWC Team fixed all those that they could find. However, ultimately the only way to ensure the exact state of the network is to recover the wallet from seed.

The block withholding or reorg attacks are a normal part of the functioning of any proof of work chain. Because the GRIN project has not taken the precautions and written the code to attempt to help users and exchanges handle these types of disruptions, which carry an economic cost for those perpetrating them, therefore, the MWC Team thinks this will be a good opportunity for the community to perform quality assurance and testing on their individual procedures, the software they run and how they individually interact with the MWC blockchain.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the hard fork implements changes to both the proof of work and the emission rate. The MWC Team thinks these changes will be beneficial to buyers and holders.

However, an abundance of caution is warranted. Be extremely careful with any counterparties you interact with, the number of confirmations you require and the software you build and run.

The exact details of the HODL Program have still not been decided but at least 50% of the MWC in the HODL Program will be distributed to holders that have MWC that has not been moved after block 202,500. So now may be as good a time as any to get yourself positioned to take advantage of the HODL program.

While the GRIN project has a solid foundation, nevertheless, there is a lot that needs to be cleaned up. And it is during the infancy of the experimental MWC project when that can be done with the least disruption to long-term holders and other stakeholders.


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