What are the main benefits of this system?
Massively increased network security against attack.
Faster transactions, 1 (or 2) conf transactions are now safe instead of waiting for 7 confs like before.
More regular block times.
Improved transaction capacity scalability.
Allows for future possibilities, like secure 0-conf (which will come in PoW² II).
Will the block reward change?
Block reward remains unchanged at 100, however only 80 of that will go the PoW miner with the other 20 going to the Witness.
Will the block frequency change?
No blocks will still be mined by PoW miners (approximately) every 2.5 minutes, the Witness portion of the operation is designed to have near zero overhead and not add additional delay.
If the PoW mining takes 2.5 minutes how long does the Witnessing portion take?
The Witnessing portion is designed to be near instantaneous and should in most cases complete within a few seconds.
Will I need to permanently keep my wallet open to act as a Witness?
Yes, in order to act as a Witness it is necessary to keep your wallet open, however this is done in a way that if you use an encrypted wallet your funds will be 100% secure as the wallet will remain encrypted at all times.
We envisage a “raspberry pi, C.H.I.P” or similar hardware based solution to come out in the near future after PoW² release that can integrate smoothly with your wallet and act as a cheap 24/7 Witnessing device to ensure maximum Witness uptime.
What is the minimum period I can lock my coins up for in order to act as a Witness?
In order to participate in the Witness system you will need to lock your coins up for a minimum period of 1 month (17280 blocks).
What is the maximum period I can lock my coins up for in order to act as a Witness?
The maximum you can lock your coins up for is 3 years (630720 blocks).
I’ve locked my coins up for 3 years but changed my mind, is there any way to get them back?
No, once they are locked on the block chain the process is permanent and cannot be reversed.
Why would I want to lock my coins up for a longer period than the minimum?
The longer your coins are locked for the more ‘weight’ you are assigned in the system, with more weight you will be selected more frequently as a Witness and therefore have a higher yield on your investment and participate more in securing the network.
What happens if my wallet goes offline once I am a Witness?
After a period of time (dependant on your weight in the network) of failing to perform your duty you will be removed from the pool of eligible Witnesses, when you log back in you will be required to pay a small fee to re-enter the pool.
What happens if I choose not to pay the fee to join the Witness pool again?
Your coins will remain locked for the chosen period but will be unable to Witness until you pay the fee to re-activate Witnessing.
If I split my coins up can I be selected more often and therefore earn more?
The system is designed in such a way that larger values will be selected more frequently, by splitting your coins up you will actually decrease your yield, it is recommended to use a single large address.
The exception here is for very large amounts, that exceed 2% of the overall system weight, in these cases it might be advisable to split your amounts into two Witness accounts, the wallet UI will however help give guidance on this.
Do I need a fixed IP and do I need to open certain ports?
No special connectivity is required, if the regular Gulden desktop wallet functions on your system then you will be able to act as a Witness.
Will I be able to Witness from my mobile phone wallet?
This is unfortunately not possible, and won’t be in the near future, however there is a small chance it may become possible one day.
Is it possible to Witness from something other than a computer — e.g. my raspberry pi
Yes, however some technical skills are required. We are looking into pi based “Witnessing devices” that can work “out of the box” for non-technical users as a possibility after the initial PoW² launch.
What will the process be to become a Witness?
Simply create a new “Witnessing account” in your wallet and transfer funds into it.
Will the coins that I earn as a Witness “compound” and count towards my weight as a Witness?
Depending on your wallet configuration, when you act as a Witness the 20 reward coins for each Witness operation can either be paid to your Witness account or an external account.
If they are paid to an external account they become normal unlocked coins that can be spent.
If they are paid to your Witness account they will count towards your Witness weight, based on the same time period as the rest of the coins.
If my Witness-key is compromised could the holder use it to prevent me from withdrawing my funds and therefore hold my funds ransom?
No, the system is designed in such a way that the holder of the spending-key can use it to change his Witness-key in the even that he feels the Witness-key may have been compromised.
Is this in any way related to the “master node” concept?
No, this is a completely new system which functions in a substantially different way and shares almost no similarities with “master nodes” other than that you need to hold coins in order to participate.