Response to Jimmy Song

MWC Team

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March 2, 2020

Jimmy Song wrote the following critique of the MWC developers earlier today.


We wanted to take the opportunity to go over his critique and respond. First of all, he apparently didn't read, or ignored, our response to the Hotbit issue here: https://www.mwc.mw/mimble-wimble-coin-articles/status-with-hotbit

If he did then he probably would have had a different perspective on the situation. On one hand, he claims we "cloned" GRIN. On the other hand, he claims that because of this issue, we are not good developers. I wonder if Mr. Song considered the possibility that this "bug" is in fact a "bug" in the open-source GRIN code he accuses us of cloning?

Well, I will spoil it for you Mr. Song, the code behaves in exactly the same way in both MWC and GRIN. Both in wallet713 which we forked and in grin-wallet which wallet713 was forked from originally.

I put bug in quotes because as we explained in the above article, Hotbit was expecting the transaction logs to be updated after a reorg. We have told them, multiple times, that they should not be relying on transaction log data to determine whether a transaction is valid or not.

That is why exchanges typically sweep funds from the hot wallet to another wallet after what the exchange determines is a sufficient amount of confirmations before crediting the user’s accounts. This is what we suggested they do as well because then the transaction would be confirmed in the BLOCKCHAIN as opposed to transaction log data.

Jimmy Song has asserted his expert opinion that Grin has solid technology yet he says MWC is a technical mess. It was only after GRIN expressed their opinion in Jan 2019 (https://github.com/mimblewimble/grin/issues/2423) about making no changes to the unlimited emission rate that the MWC project was conceived.

And it was determined to be a fork of GRIN because like Mr. Song we think their underlying technology is solid. Therefore, on what basis does he make the expert opinion that GRIN has solid technology but MWC is a technical mess?

On the contrary, the MWC Team released their our own native qt wallet: https://github.com/mwcproject/mwc-qt-wallet and have fixed numerous bugs in GRIN itself. Some of these bug fixes have been merged into GRIN itself.

See: https://github.com/mimblewimble/grin/pull/3200

Also, see this article on a bug found by TradeOgre in grin-wallet which the MWC Team fixed: https://www.mwc.mw/mimble-wimble-coin-articles/mwc-team-fixes-another-grin-bug-this-time-in-grin-wallet

And the MWC Team fixed this deadlock bug in GRIN which was causing MWC pools to freeze: https://github.com/mwcproject/mwc-node/commit/8a3544340b463ec69f4cc45b7af909c271be8084

The MWC Team also implemented a secure version of mwcmqs (based on grinbox). Grinbox does not support SSL on Windows: https://www.mwc.mw/mimble-wimble-coin-articles/major-upgrade-to-mwc-mq-mwc-message-queue-released-today

Finally, Mr. Song, without any basis in fact, defames the MWC Team by accusing us of "bribing" Hotbit to take down a post. This is completely false.

If he would have read our article he would understand that, even though we don't see ourselves at fault, we agreed to transfer funds to Hotbit to make its customers whole. It is early in the project and the MWC Team decided, after significant input from the community, that given the circumstances it would be a good use of funds to use some of the unclaimed airdrop funds for the purpose of making whole early MWC buyers who used Hotbit. And with that decision the post Hotbit changed was no longer relevant.

We are not sure about Mr. Song’s motivations but perhaps he is hoping there would be a future MWC airdrop(s) that he could claim and perhaps hold or sell for more bitcoins? Everyone loves free money.

After all, it is a great way for people to try something new and interesting while also learning how to use Mimblewimble ghost money technology even if it is only to sell something they get for free.

But we do understand why some people would not want knowledge of the airdrop to spread because if more people are aware, register and claim then each person’s pro-rata share declines. Therefore, if there is a future MWC airdrop then it will be interesting to see whether Mr. Song will tell his audience about it since doing so would reduce his pro-rata share.

But the bottom line is that the MWC team is attempting to build the best product possible for buyers and holders of MWC. And the unclaimed airdrop funds will be put to use in a way that will hopefully maximize value for them and not necessarily for people like Mr. Song.

It is hard enough to write code and work tireless hours trying to build something new and interesting. After all, Nick Szabo said about Mimblewimble technology that “it seems very promising, and I’ve heard great things about it from engineers I respect, but I haven’t looked at it closely.” https://mobile.twitter.com/NickSzabo4/status/1152783557485404167

The MWC Team just wants to experiment with this ‘very promising’ technology because it is interesting and an elegant solution to so many problems. But when you have someone like Jimmy Song hastily rushing to comment on things when he hasn't even bothered to take time to understand what happened it makes one question the seriousness of software development commentary in this space.

The MWC Team have many decades of software development experience in Silicon Valley working for some of the largest companies building the most innovative software projects. This type of ametuer commentary, without even doing a minimal amount of investigation, does a serious disservice to Mr. Song’s audience. For their sake, at least, we hope he improves his methods.

Perhaps if Mr. Song wants to be helpful and put his expert skills to use then he could help explain the Fuchsbauer paper to everyone if he can. That is some serious work that needs doing and we would take it on if we were not busy writing the code to implement Mimblewimble technology and fix the code of other projects that have done good work trying to.


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