Upgrading Burst Plots to PoC2

It’s time to start the process of upgrading plots from PoC1 to PoC2! I’ve been waiting for Creepsky to release a version of his creepMiner that I use on the ODROID-XU4 and it’s finally here! Version 1.7.18 is now available on GitHub.

I’m currently using version 1.7.16, so what’s new in this release?

1.7.17 (Jun 7th)

  • The all important PoC2 support!
  • The addition of Bintray
  • Some minor fixes

1.7.18 (Jun 8th)

  • PoC2 -> PoC1 conversion before block 502000

So it looks like not only will the miner support PoC2, but it will be backwards compatible with PoC1 format. That’s all great news! That means converting is now safe to do!

What’s the Difference Between PoC1 and PoC2 Formats

The Pre-Dymaxion Hard Fork will launch at block 500,000. Since the average block time is 4 minutes and the current (at the time of writing this) block is 499285, that puts us 715 blocks away – roughly 48 hours! 5 days later at block 502,000 the consensus protocol for Burst will switch from PoC1 to PoC2.

What’s a consensus protocol? That’s a posting for another time, but check out this article over at Blockgeeks if you want to learn more.

While the current format doesn’t limit the Dymaxion infrastructure, it does pose a bit of a problem with time-memory trade-offs. Essentially if a miner were to compute all of the hashes to create a plot file, but only store the last 32 byte hash, they’d be able to compute the previous values to get the scoop they need, so they’d be able to fit many more “plot” files per drive. They’d still need a powerful set of GPUs (or ASIC?) to compute these values, but it would be very anti-PoC.

The new PoC2 format changes the file structure such that the hashes are no longer sequential. I’m not an expert on plot file optimization (yet), but this almost seems like a trade-off in speed to me, but time will tell.

This Burstcoinist article by Tom Créance explains the problem in further detail.

Want to learn more about Time-Memory Trade-Offs? Check out the white paper referenced by The Burstcoinist article – Beyond Hellman’s Time-Memory Trade-Offs with Applications to Proofs of Space.

Continued in Part 2: How to Convert from PoC1 to PoC2 Format


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