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Friday, December 26, 2014

PayCoin Prime Controller Staking Issues?

It's been three days since I posted about this on the HashTalk forums, and now I'm sort of worried/confused. According to the block explorer, not one of the Prime Controllers has successfully staked since the first day of staking (three days and 17/18 hours ago). Let me explain why this is a concern, and just to give a specific reference point, right now (2014-12-26 22:49:51 for block 12939) the block explorer shows that there are 12,356,686.044244 XPY in existence.

I know that I'm personally generating around 4.5 XPY per day with my HashStakers/HashStaker Primes, and I'm pretty much a small fry in the Paycoin world. Craig at present has 29,325 in the HashStaker Champions list, and at an average of 0.00972 XPY per HashStaker per day, he alone should account for 285 new XPY each day. The remainder of the top 10 HashStakers is another 121,489 HashStakers, which would mean another 1181 XPY daily.

Note that the bottom member of the top ten list has about 20 times more HashStakers than I do, so realistically we're talking about probably three or four times that amount of payouts daily. So HashStaker owners could easily account for something like 5000 new XPY daily, and a figure of 20K or more XPY daily would hardly be surprising.

If we go back 24 hours in the block chain, we're at block 11968, which had a total of 12,356,637.14105 XPY in existence. That means in the past 24 hours, we have only added 48.903194 XPY to the block chain through Proof of Stake mining. Which is a problem. Interestingly, even at 5% staking annually, if every XPY in the world currently staked we would generate 1691.53 XPY per day. So again, based on simple math we can determine that only about 2.9% of XPY in existence has staked during the past 24 hours.

Of course, staking is based on coin age so if a Prime Controller with 125K XPY were to stake with a coin age of one week, it will alone generate 8384.668 XPY. So maybe this all averages out over time. But that doesn't change the fact that staking generally happens based on total coin age, and right now the Prime Controllers should account for 56% of all XPY, with a coin age of at least three days, compared to the Orion Controllers that currently seem to be doing all the staking.

Let me put it another way. Taking the 57% or so of all XPY that is currently supposed to be held in Prime Controllers (currently the Rich List shows around 7 million XPY for the Primes), with a staking rate of 350% annually we should be seeing an extra 67204 daily being generated from the Prime Controllers. If we're only generating 43 XPY daily, we're off by a factor of 1562X! Again, this is good news for Paybase as it would mean it's a lot easier to support a $20 price floor, but this is not how the coin is supposed to work according to the white paper and other information.

In short, I think something is going wrong with the staking algorithm. I haven't tried to find any proof in the code -- I'm only looking at the block explorer numbers -- but off hand I'd say it appears only Orion Controllers are currently staking, with the Prime Controllers sitting on the sidelines twiddling their thumbs. GAW cannot possibly continue to pay out potentially thousands (tens of thousands?) of XPY for HashStakers on a daily basis if their Prime Controllers are not actually generating significant quantities of XPY. It is, in a word, unsustainable.

Let's hope I'm just overlooking something, and if not let's hope this gets fixed sooner rather than later!

Addendum, 12/27/2014: So a few days later, it looks like things are working as intended. Block 14226 finally got a Prime Controller to stake, one of the ones that formerly had just 125,000 XPY. And that's not the only block to have that happen recently. Blocks 14241 and 14243 to 14251 had similar results (and 14253 as well). What's interesting is that the stake rate for the blocks appears to be 100% in most cases, not 350%, with blocks 14247 and 14251 staking at just 20%.

That presumably means everything truly is dynamically controlled by the coin algorithm. That's good I guess... though it still brings up that question of how and when Prime Controllers should stake, and at what interest rate? I'm sure if someone wants to analyze the source code we could get the answer, but for now let's just say it's "dynamic".

Also, the "Rich List" and "Prime Controllers" lists are apparently not being updated properly on the Block Explorer. If you look at Prime Controller addresses right now, 15 still show balances of 125,000 XPY, but if you click on those addresses all of them have staked either ~360 or ~1804 XPY now.

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