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Messages - psztorc

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Development / Re: Branching
« on: May 29, 2014, 11:44:08 pm »
I was thinking it over today, and I like the colored coin idea a little more. It makes creating branches similar to normal transactions. As "normal transactions" already work, this is something I like. Again the crucial thing will be awareness of the colored coins. They can't accidentally be mixed, and people must be able to assess which colors are the 'right' ones to a] make contracts on, and b] own.

A system of tags for the prediction markets (Politics, Sports, etc), coupled with a field tracking the Cumulative Trading Fees of each "color", would be a relatively simple way, I think.

I had always imagined that the PMs would have tags, to be searchable.

Development / Re: Branching
« on: May 29, 2014, 11:40:16 pm »
If you have full control over your chains then there is no reason to go with sidechains. IMO the sidechain proposal is a power grab by large BTC holders and double-sha256 miners. Once you get over the idea that a higher hashrate is always worth the "extra security" it provides, you'll see there is no benefit over just making your own chain.

IMHO the primary benefit is not the hashrate, but the money-supply-stability.

Outside Work / Re: Blockchain for building upon
« on: May 29, 2014, 11:37:34 pm »
I'm currently in the process of fleshing this out a little more:

"1) create a jury" sounds like "create a branch", that's good because I haven't updated that part on my page, as branching may get a little more confusing.

7) anyone can sell tokens to the prediction market they purchased it from.
*not always true. The author of a PM can choose to disallow this feature. disallowing the selling of tokens is useful in the case of funding public goods.
Thank you for actually reading the papers... :D

The PM sells at least 2 types of tokens, one type will eventually be declared a winner, and it will be worth 1 truthcoin. all the other types go to zero.
Each PM only accepts one type of money. Either truthcoins, or one type of token.
This doesn't seem right to me. You might want to check my excel sheet demoing the market scoring rules, someone has already tried this in Etherium:

General / Thanks to Ben G
« on: May 28, 2014, 10:59:02 pm »
I just wanted to offer my appreciation to Ben G., who created the first Truthcoin forum. Unfortunately I got a little confused wrt to my multiple email clients, so that one never really took off. I always wanted to use the SimpleMachines forum, as it is used by Bitcoin/Bitshares/etc, and I did want to fully control the web host and domain, so this new forum was likely inevitable.

But still, thanks for getting it started!

Advanced / PM Hedging
« on: May 28, 2014, 10:48:30 pm »
With the introduction of Scaled Decisions, one can bet on, for example, the USD/TRU rate and simultaneously the likelihood of an election outcome. For example, by betting that the USD/TRU rate would fall, and betting that Hillary Clinton will win as 2016 US President, you can ensure that you will be paid if she wins, but also that you will be hedged against a falling price of TRU. Essentially you have available to you a Prediction Market in USD.

One can even bet on DJIA/USD, and USD/TRU at the same time, for similar purposes. See tab "MV Scaled" of my excel sheet ( for a small example of this idea. Notice cell AE30 where I say "This portfolio will be worth return(d1) regardless of what happens to d2."

I will try to expand on this later, when I have more time.

Advanced / Introduction
« on: May 28, 2014, 10:41:27 pm »
I'll be constantly improving this when I have more time.

Market Scoring Rules (MSRs): MSRs replace the double-auction system (with bids and asks) with a simple update rule. Its optimal for a lot of things (particularly blockchain trading), but mostly for PMs, where people don't want to reveal (potentially secret) information by placing bids and asks that go unfilled. In a PM we want traders to be able to trade immediately and often. For details on how this works see my Excel demo (feedback appreciated):

Multidimensional Markets: Normally, with a PM, you be on something you think will happen. Multidimentional markets let you bet on 2 of 2 or 3 of 3 or N of N things, all happening together. Why do this? Firstly, MSRs make it cheap to do so, and preserve the option to bet on only 1 of 2, or 1 of 3 things.  Software can make it psychologically cheap to do this. The costs are low. The benefits, however, are high. With mathemagic, we can move marginal, joint, and conditional probabilities around, and example the real-world relationship between two or more events. Ie, would the economy improve more under Fed policy 1 or 2? Would a stock price be higher with CEO Joe or CEO John?

I wrote some papers which some have found useful:

And why not read a blog post by none other than Hal Finney, possible inventor of Bitcoin?:

More blog posts about conditional markets:

Development / Re: The case for building on bitshares_toolkit
« on: May 28, 2014, 10:18:03 pm »
I would just like to say that it appears to me (without having looked into it too deeply) that by building the bitshares toolkit, the bitshares team has already done a lot of the "work" that I would have expected someone-working-for-me-to-build-Truthcoin to have done. I personally would have offered someone who did this a sizeable stake in the project.

I actually only-slightly understand what "10%/10% to AGS/PTS" means. The crucial thing is that my brain translates 10%/10% into 1. I don't know if this is two separate 10%'s, or 20% or what.

It is true that, thanks to the magic of open source, we could use the bitshares work for free, but (as anyone who has coded knows) the people who wrote the code are (pre-release) as valuable as the code itself. So even if we wanted to do that, we probably couldn't.

Development / Branching
« on: May 28, 2014, 10:07:29 pm »
Side chains appear to be taking too long. I, for one, would prefer not to wait.

However, this design change (to abandon side-chains) alters my concept of 'branching', which solved a number of scalability problems. Instead, it seems that all the branches will have to be contained within one software/blockchain.

This raises some technical questions:
Will this cause blockchain bloat? (Probably not, would be a problem with Bitcoin way before this).
Will people spam the creation of branches? (Probably not, if branch-creation has no strategic impact on blockchain size)
How exactly should branches be created? (One basic idea is to use a colored coins concept, and split a small amount to individuals as desired. This is nice because colored coin technology has already been invented. Absolute care must be taken to make sure that fees are never paid with a share [a colored coin] and always with the basic coin layer).

It does hurt to have to change the design, even this slightly, from my initial January publication, but the original branching proposal would now (in the world of non-side-chains) double the coins with the shares, which is obviously unacceptable.

Normally, I think a lot about problems before I post about them, but since I'm starting a forum with a lot of smart people, I'm just going to throw these half-baked ideas out there and see if a discussion comes back.

General / Re: Initial allocation and fundraising
« on: May 28, 2014, 09:58:27 pm »
First of all I work during the day...trying to only work on Truthcoin in the afternoon.

Sorry, could you clarify? I tried to find the coins vs shares in the whitepaper and couldn't.
From what you just described, both the coins and the shares are the "voting shares" used for outcomes. What is used for what? What charges fees for what?

The reason you are confused, is that the whitepaper assumes that these will be Bitcoin prediction markets. Therefore when the paper mentions Bitcoin it is talking about coins and when it mentions TRU or Truthcoin it is talking about shares. When I said "Truthcoins" I mean shares, when I said Truthcoin-currency I mean coins. Does that help?

People have tried everything, and are still trying even more things than that to market their coin. The altcoin community may be blind and stupid, but so is evolution, and in the last two years they have evolved a lot. From the emerging strategies I have seen, the safe thing to do is to collect a lot of money by IPO, which seconds as an initial hype of your product. This will get you investors who do not sell low, which will get your coin up a reasonable distance at coinmarketcap once it launches, and it will get you enough money to hire someone to do web-page and viral marketing.

Dropping everything on Bitcoin is extremely risky, and to be honest it feels like an attempt at coming up with some unique marketing.  I would not want you to risk your neck on a single marketing stunt like that when you have no experience with marketing. Instead, let your code and product speak for itself to savvy, wealthy investors who are eager to listen and get involved, and then later try all the stunts you want, and hire professionals marketers to draw in the faceless horde.


People become slavishly devoted to the coins they own, and oppose the coins they don't.

I have some savings of my own, and don't necessarily need investors at all (toast himself estimated it would only take on the order of weeks to build), but I do need a way to allocate the shares to make the project decentralized. I could have used the money a long time ago, when I was designing the project on weekends.

This project is no where near as involved as BitsharesX, NXT, or Etherium. (That's the major reason it's going to work). But I only need toast for a week, and he's under a related contract already. 4 other groups (of 1, 1, 2 and 2 coders) have contacted me and are interested in building Truthcoin.

The question is what to do about the two different coin layers, so that the project comes to life (once it is built) ASAP.

General / Re: Initial allocation and fundraising
« on: May 28, 2014, 01:29:52 am »
This is exactly the question I've tried to avoid for as long as possible.

There is also a question of coin distribution vs share distribution. Whichever is the one that pays fees is the one that should be preallocated to AGS/PTS/"PTC".

This is a very important consideration. The actual "Truthcoins" as I designed them, are the voting shares. You must vote on outcomes (but are paid for doing so). In theory the coin layer could be a complete snapshot of the Bitcoin unspent set, ie to guarantee that you own Truthcoin-currency, you would just own Bitcoin on some chosen future date (block number).

I'm very interested in this (snapping Bitcoin for the coin-distribution [which would pay the fees]), primarily for signaling purposes: it is completely the opposite approach to that of every Altcoin so far. I want people not just to understand, but to know, that what is happening here is not at all anything like what has been happening. I want anyone who claims otherwise to be speechless. I think the marketing, and onboarding of the Bitcoin community, would be worth a ton.

That still leaves us with the shares to play with. However, investors must know that they have to use these shares to vote on outcomes or they slowly disappear. I can't really hold the shares for people...that really defeats the whole point, doesn't it?

I've never known exactly what to do about this...I think I may need to *gasp* ask for advice.

Basics / A YouTube Introduction
« on: May 28, 2014, 01:13:17 am »
Prediction Markets (PMs) can be confusing. Even people who work in Finance have often never even heard of them.

In my intro paper ( I linked to a number of videos designed to make the education process relatively painless:

1. John Stossel gives an introduction, The Stossel Show, (4:13).

2. Neil deGrasse Tyson sketches out the general idea, Real Time with Bill Maher, (1:22).

3. InTrade and the 2008 Presidential Election, CNBC, (2:22).

4. CEO of InTrade on Elections and Recessions, Kudlow Report, (4:06).

5. News segment on PMs, The Stossel Show, (8:31).

Design / Incentives / Game Theory / Canonical Info
« on: May 28, 2014, 01:06:04 am »
Searching within one forum and across forums/websites to find info can be very inefficient.

The best place to look is the website:
Specifically, Papers and Presentations. The FAQ and Weaknesses sections try to stay current, as well.

General / Why Do This?
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:32:33 pm »
After finishing the project design, my friends and family had trouble understanding what the point of it was. Although I felt inarticulate and frustrated for a short time, I since collected my thoughts and experiences in the PM world and wrote them all down.

The "manifesto" is here:

Comments are welcome, of course.

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