We had a pretty eventful weekend if you weren't paying attention. First and foremost is the big news that Paycoin officially launched. (Woohoo -- finally!) No, not that Paycoin (PYC); I'm talking about the new Paycoin (XPY). There was a ton of hashing power thrown at Paycoin, and the people over at BitcoinTalk as usual are going nuts with cries of scam, ponzi, etc. "How dare GAW not even bother posting an ANN thread at the site!?" Anyway, we're still waiting for Paycoin to fully establish its value, but the going rate right now is about $9 to $10 over at Coin-swap.net; will it go up to $20+ as GAW has promised? We shall have to wait and see, but at least there's a fully functional Blockchain Explorer already.
There's more to discuss with the launch. First, besides a ton of hash power -- probably the most ever for a new coin -- there was some serious fluctuation in perceived hash rate per block. I suspect this was more a case of algorithm woes, as I doubt tons of people were hopping on/off the Paycoin mining train, but when a new coin gets exponential growth it can create a lot of craziness. They had to stall mining at block 277 for a while to fix the issues, but things are now back to "normal". Which means if you have SHA256 mining hardware, you can actually try mining some XPY... but how much does that pay?
We could use $20 per XPY as a price, or we can go with the current $9.20 at Coin-swap.net; I'm going to use the latter, simply because right now it's "guaranteed". Don't be surprised if GAW suddenly swoops in next week via Paybase and scoops up all the underpriced XPY for sale, as they've made similar moves in the past (e.g. giving out 750 Hashlets for Vaultbreaker pre-orders). Anyway, right now the value of a Paycoin block is 49.0 XPY, and blocks are targeted to generate every minute. There will be 12.5 million XPY generated in roughly the first week, though 12 million were part of the genesis block. Yes, that's a big premine... I'm a bit confused as I thought there wasn't going to be a massive premine, but things have apparently changed.
Anyway, besides the huge premine, there are still 500K XPY to mine during the Proof of Work phase, after which things move to full Proof of Stake. Here's where it gets interesting. The current pay rate for mining Bitcoin is about $4.30 per THash/s. Using the current price of 0.0285 BTC per XPY with a BTC price of $341, 1TH will net around $30.60 per day with Paycoin. Obviously this is only for the next five days or so, but if the price of XPY actually hits $20 and stays there (or goes up), you'd be looking at $60+ per day from 1TH.
Not surprisingly, all of the rental services have basically shot up in price to at least match (or come close to matching) the above pricing. Nicehash as an example is paying 0.0775 BTC per TH per day right now -- a bit less than what you might make by mining XPY directly and selling it yourself, but then you're not guaranteed to hit a block with mining.
GAW has also talked about Paycoin and Paybase Express recently, and if they can make that actually work it could be truly epic. There are many naysayers and complaints that GAW is just stealing/buying ideas from others, but I really don't care as long as it all works in the end. That's the kicker, though: making it work. If it does, buying stuff from Amazon or other stores with Paycoin could be as easy as using a credit card, and we'll apparently get to try it out next week. So if you need to do some Amazon shopping, please go through my link first! :-)
As for the minimum price of $20 per XPY once Paybase comes online, you need to consider one important detail: all of those HashStakers need to have 1 XPY each in order to be worth anything, and a ton of people have dedicated at least $10 per HashStaker per three months. The current top 10 list of HashStakers alone gives us over 42,000 HashStakers, so we could be talking about potentially millions of HashStakers. If that's the case, then it will be much easier for GAW to secure a price floor of $20.
How they go about doing that should be pretty simple: they will control Paybase, and all they need to do is have a massive buy wall at $20 -- enough to buy up all the XPY that GAW doesn't already control. That could be $100 million or so, but probably quite a bit less is my guess, which means the $30 million GAW set aside to secure initial pricing should be sufficient. As far as other exchanges go, GAW doesn't need to do anything at all -- if you can sell XPY on Paybase for $20, the prices at other exchanges will naturally gravitate to that point as anyone selling for less will have buyers that are willing to transfer the XPY to Paybase.
When staking kicks in, we also have some other things that aren't clear. For instance, the current code base for Paycoin doesn't appear to have any of the advanced features in place yet (e.g. the Hybrid Flex Blockchain), and GAW_CEO has even stated that some of the items detailed in the whitepaper are going to be added during the coming two weeks. I'm not sure if that will require another hard fork or not, but it's a bit questionable to say the least.
I haven't had any time to look for other stuff (e.g. Prime Controllers, Orion Controllers, minimum stake age, etc.) in the source code, but according to the whitepaper I looked at, the minimum stake age is 30 days. Umm... that can't be right, though, as PoW ends after just over seven days, leaving 22 or so days of "nothing" if PoS isn't active! Maybe there's a newer whitepaper? [Update: HashStakers don't need to wait to start staking, and neither do Prime Controllers (not sure about Orion Controllers), so staking will be fine -- it's only the standard wallet that will have to wait, and that stakes at a much lower rate anyway.]
Hopefully this all works out, but in the meantime I have a ton of HashPoints ("future XPY") and I'm trying to mine more XPY directly. When XPY gets pushed to $20+, that could potentially pay for minivan and then some, so here's hoping!