September 14, 2015
In this week's episode we feature a brand new external project: Monero Dice, and interview its founders and operators, Riccardo "fluffypony" Spagni, and rznag.
Until next week!
Hello everyone and welcome to yet another Monero Missive. I am Riccardo (fluffypony) and with me today I have Gingeropolous
Hello everyone, this is Gingeropolous
And also today we have rznag, joining us from sunny Europe.
So, we are going to cover another external project. This is a brand new external project, and it's one that I have started so I suppose Gingeropolous is going to be interviewing me…surprise!
So basically after the demise of cryptocoinsdice, which you may recall, was the first dice site to support Monero, and then the owner decided to do a runner with everyone's money. There was a gap that opened up for a reliable Monero dice site, and I thought, well hey, you know, let me take that up and run with it.
Don't run with it!
haha good one, let me take that up and –walk- with it, in a circle, not going anywhere. With that said…
In a ring signature
To that end rznag and I have gotten together and we are launching Monero Dice, a very unexpected name, very original. We were going to call it Dark Flarb Dice, but unfortunately we were worried about copyright issues
Why not Dice-aro?
Dice-aro, because no one would be able to spell it.
So, Gingeropolous - have you played around with the test site?
No I have not. I have mainly played dice with that bastard Tippero, he's taken a lot of my Monero. Well, what are some of the interesting and unique features of your dice site?
It's for Monero.
Well that is unique and interesting
And we will not run.
How do we know you will not run? What is your anti-run mechanism?
Well, you see, I think what you better ask yourself is, would a rznag, and a fluffypony make off with Monero?
Would you make off with Monero? I hope not. So rznag, why don't you tell us about the provable fair features of Monero Dice?
Okay. Provably fair? You can check out the source for single draws or if you, if you roll your dice, you will see that hash that and can calculate it for yourself to see that it is fair.
Cool, cool…I don't know how to do that
It's very complicated, very technical. We promise, I give you the fluffypony guarantee that it's, that it's fair. Okay? Okay, well I mean, the other thing is we got an autoroll system, so traditionally if people wanted to play a bunch of successive roles on a dice site, then they would have to write an API, or write a little program that uses API or whatnot, and we forego that by having an autoroll system, that is designed to allow ordinary folk to click a button and off it goes. And it doesn't do martindale, martingayle, whatever that stupid thing is called, but it just does rolls, you know? In a row, successive, forever, however many you want.
And as long as you have credit.
Yes, till you run out of money.
Hmm, alright, I have logged in now. So, so say I wanted to get rich, how would I do that by investing in Monero Dice?
If you wanted to get rich I think we are in the wrong industry.
Well I mean. You know
You should deposit some Monero, roll the dice, and then you should have luck perhaps, that's the thing, perhaps not. So it could work out, but most not.
Yea, but can people bankroll Monero Dice? I mean, that's apparently a thing.
Yes, we have an invest feature. You can, invest into the bank and then if other players lose, the money goes into the bankroll, and is split into for the investors.
And obviously there is no guarantee of making money because you are basically contributing to the bankroll. So if the site makes a loss, then the investors lose as well, and if the site makes a profit, then the investors profit. But it's important to understand that, and I think that this is key – that when you are dealing with a gambling site, which effectively this is, or a gaming site, that the house edge is the thing that balances out. So the house edge is the thing that makes sure that we don't shut down after two weeks, because we've bled money.
But at the same time, the house edge can work both ways. So I mean we can, we can sort of lose money for a time and then get back up
So how would I know that my funds are actually secure on this dice site, you know if I have to deposit my Monero in order to play.
You can secure your account with 2 Factor Authentication to have a basic security mechanism on your account, and also we are storing funds in a cold wallet system, so we don't have much in our hot wallet.
Which is of course beneficial, because it wouldn't be the first time that a site got “hacked” and just disappeared with money.
Okay, so cold storage and 2 factor authentication. So, I'm not critiquing you guys for your efforts, but you know this is one of those comments that is sure to come to fruition due to the nature of cryptocurrency space now, and all of the “investors”- or the critics that don't develop themselves, but just hope that others will make them rich. fluffypony, you're a core developer of Monero, so, the first thing that's going to come up is "Oh the core developer is not developing the core, and he's just making these dice sites…why!?" "Why? Why is this happening?"
So look, it's a valid point, and I think it's important to understand. We had a discussion, on Bitcointalk the other day where a very dear friend of mine, a guy that's close to my heart, Blockafett, came into the Bitcointalk thread, and he had such gentle and soothing words to say, and we got into a discussion about Monero investors. And I think this is important to understand, cause I explained our role as a core team, and how it relates. And this is such an important thing to understand because as a core team, our role as stewards of Monero is to push this technologically interesting project forward. However, obviously we want to make money, but the way we are going to make money is not by adjusting the emission curve, or by mining, -accidentally- mining 5% of the entire emission in the first 36 hours. You know, by means of an example unrelated to anything else. But that's not the way you make money - it's a cryptocurrency, it's not an investment opportunity. There's no sort of reward for buying Monero, there shouldn't be a reward for buying any currency. And unfortunately, because Bitcoin went through a stage where it spiked from being well under a dollar to being over a thousand dollars over a period of a couple of years, you end up with this um, this, this line of reasoning that people have which is, if Bitcoin can do it, we can too, and can you imagine if you owned 100 000 Bitcoin when it was still really cheap and blah blah blah. But, that's the wrong way to look at it - it's a medium of exchange and it's a store of value. If the valuation of that store of value changes over time, that's great, congratulations, you've by virtue of that earned some money, but that's not really the point. The point is, money should be made regardless of how that valuation changes, unless you are a currency trader. So, currency traders will, you know, set up hedgefunds, and, and do day trading between the Euro and the Dollar, or whatever.
And they'll make money through that. But ordinary people and you're really wealthy people like Warren Buffet, and Mark Zuckerburg and whoever - the way they make money is not by currency trading. So investing in a cryptocurrency is fundamentally stupid, if that's what you are trying to do …I don't know how else to put it. The way they make money is buy building stuff like Zuckerburg made Facebook, or stole Facebook from the Winklevoss twins or whatever the case is. You know, and Buffet as well, I mean, Buffet goes and invests in companies and yada yada.
So that's his thing, and the reason that we're moving forward with Monero Dice is precisely for that reason. I'm not trying to make money, and rznag's not trying to make money by buying a whole bunch of Monero and then saying, “well I hope it goes up in value.” Instead we're going, “hey, let's make money by building something that makes money.”
The services and there's an environment that push the cryptocurrency as a result.
Yea, build an environment to actually use the currency as a currency.
Yea, not try and get rich by fudging some numbers in the cryptocurrency's emission curve.
But, that works so well!
No, apparently it does. That's why it keeps happening.
Its kind of related, but is there a cut of proceeds that's going to funnel down to the core, or is it that because fluffypony is involved, that it's going to the core.
Yea, well, that's pretty much it. So, the earnings that I make from this will go to core development, definitely right now and for the foreseeable future. Obviously if at some stage in the future, core development is self-sustaining, then, I probably won't need to give 100% of my earnings to core development, but since the core team's mostly paying for core development out of our pockets, it really, you know it doesn't make sense for me to withhold any of my Monero Dice earnings.
Gotcha. I thought of a potential other interesting question that's not finance related. In terms of actually developing this sort of application, how much knowledge of the Monero core is necessary - is this all RPC, API…whatever…
At the interface level. Is this at the interface level of dealing with Monero, or does it go further than that.
No, it's just at interface level. It's RPC and, RPC, API, JSON, we communicate directly with the daemon and the wallet and get data from there by API. So, in the end, not something very complicated.
Gotcha, but apparently something that's very easy to run with.
Let's qualify what we, what we mean when we say run away, not run
Yea, I'm sorry
But, I think the other thing that's come out of this, that's been quite cool is that rznag's written a little test system in Python that uses the the Tippero Python Library, and that's great for system automators, or merchants, or developers that are using Monero. The whole ecosystem's starting to build up now, where there are a lot of libraries with tools to test them, and so, I think the more that stuff happens over time, the easier it's going to be for integrators to just like say, “ok, I'm going to take this library and use it”, rather than sitting in #Monero-dev IRC channel and asking for help.
Right, right, awesome. Is this software opensource? Is this on GitHub?
It is not. One of the things that I'd like to do at a later stage, is put the-the secret sauce that's in the provably fair stuff, to sect that out and put that on Git-Hub. Because I do think that, when it comes to being provably fair, the fundamental aspect of it is, “is there a piece of code that I can compare?” And secondly, are the hashes made available now and maybe even in perpetuity. Really, it should be simple for someone to grab a piece of code, put the-the hash in and go, “okay cool, that's the output that I expected.”
Gotcha. Somewhat related to that, I finally stumbled upon the “provably fair” part of it. In the settings, I see hash of current server seed, current notch number, and, your current seed. So, this all looks fine and well, I have no idea what it all is. So how could I go like, “oh look at these numbers, this is probably fair.”
Okay, you can recalculate all of that numbers, the hashes, and verify at the end it's provably fair. With these numbers and so on, you can recalculate it, and see that we did the correct calculation.
Oh, the calculation for what? That's what I'm lost on.
For when rolled, for the result of your dice roll. We show random, but it's not that random, not completely random.
Alright, so hash of the current server seed, that is, a hash of a current server seed, which makes absolutely zero sense to me.
Okay, so the way it works is, you've got, the server seed, and you've got your individual user seed. Okay? And then you've got the nonce.
And then what happens is that nonce, that nonce increases or changes for every roll. Okay?
So, the server seed is global, everyone shares the same server seed that server seed can reset under various circumstances and it can roll-over. And your user seed can also change, reset, whatever, based on either user request or based on certain circumstances, and the way it works is, every single role, it takes the server seed, it takes your seed, it takes the nonce, and squishes them all together and uses that as the seed for the roll. And in the next roll, it will do the same thing.
Ok, so that's how the random is generated
Yea, and that's super simplified, but it gives you an idea of the relation. So, even though it is random and you can't go and predict the roll in advance, it also means that you can after the fact, go and verify it quite easily
Okay, so, theoretically, if I knew how to squish the numbers together, I could take this information, in the settings column, and then squish it, and get an output, and then go back to the, the actual rolling, and then perform the same thing there and see my odds and go, “ah, they are similar, or they are the same.” Right?
Yes, that is correct.
Okay, okay, so for those out there that know how to squish the numbers together, you can do it.
You can be a number squisher too.
Get your code on Github
Yes, eventually, one day, soon™. Thanks very much for the chat and rznag, thanks for joining us
Yes, thank you too.
Yea, thank you guys for the chat, and thanks everyone for listening. I hope you enjoy these Monero Dice; roll away, invest away, number squish away, do what you will.
Don't run away
Yea, trust that this one's not running
It is running, but we're not running…there is, there's running that is happening, but it's not the bad running, it's the good running.
Good luck people translating this to other languages, I hope that there's as much nuance with –running- in other languages.
And tune in next week, there'll be, who knows, another external project, another what-ever-the-other-one's are called.
Dev Diary, that's one, and what's that final one?
Oh, yea, okay. I'm sure they're all Monero Missives. Anyhoo, find out next week, what we'll talk about. Alright.
Well, I think that the caffeine worked today folks, so I hope you have a good day,
Or a good night.