UniversityCoin (UVC) will be back to try and launch again today. This time they’ll have a bit more hard-won wisdom from their first aborted attempt. It’s getting tougher to pull off a ‘clean launch‘ in the altcoin arena. Coin devs and pool operators are rarely on the same page and often seem to be working against one another even though their interest should be aligned.
What Happened To The First Launch?
UVC had issues with their difficulty re-targeting and they gave out their source code to pool ops before the launch. A ‘party or parties unknown‘ insta-mined the BeJeezers out of the coin, leaving outraged miners to deal with the aftermath. Sitting around and waiting for a launch to start is a time of great anticipation for most. When you find out somebody is surreptitiously slipping you the salami you feel very, very letdown!
Instamines are particularly frustrating for everyone involved simply because they mean the ‘first responder‘ is gaining major block rewards at the expense of the ‘fairness’ of the entire launch.
The Trouble With Re-Launches
Re-launches don’t please everyone. The way they usually happen in a BitCoinTalk ANN thread is a miner or group of miners who aren’t getting their share of rewards cry foul and demand a relaunch. This situation is very similar to what happened to George W. Bush in Florida. Even though he won the election - there are many people who feel mis-treated by the whole affair. The same holds true for an altcoin re-launch.
Flunder707 from the pro-relaunch side: “You need to relaunch or it will be the death of the coin. Even if 50% of the people from pools got coins, you are screwing the rest. It will not be a fair launch and it will be the demise of something that didn’t even leave the gate.“
EnJoyThis from the con-relaunch side: “DO NOT RELAUNCH. you can’t make everybody happy! I threw in my 200mh/s and don’t want a restart again. Took me quite some time to configure.”
With a total supply of 20 million coins and 1 million of them insta-mined, the Dev made the decision to re-launch.
The Dev placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of a pool Dev. “We’re truly sorry for the issues with the difficulty and the pools jumping the gun and mining early. Reputations will suffer from this since these individuals are experienced and well established in this industry.”
Who Gets Screwed? The Rig Renters, That’s Who
The big losers in the event of a re-launch are the honest miners who rent rigs. They can’t stop the rental once they purchase it so they’re forced to watch their BTC go down the drain as the miners can’t connect to the pools or connect in order to mine a coin that will be wiped out by the Devs.
Who Else Loses Out On A Failed Launch?
The other parties that lose out on failed launches are those people who re-arrange their schedules in order to participate. Some stay up to all hours waiting for the launch. Others leave work early or do something else that impacts their life in the real world.
Lost time and money are hard to overcome for a young coin. There are only so many participants in the world of alternative cryptocurrencies. Making many of them unhappy early on hurts a coins chances for success.
BitCoinTalk user “cryptolemaik” provided a post-launch analysis that’s worth reading.
“Well it’s pretty simple, IMO, from a developer’s perspective. If he’s planning on dumping a load of his own coins, then don’t relaunch. Everybody who doesn’t want a relaunch is doing the same. Because clearly, the launch was borked. They did not post the password where they told everyone to look, some pools were up early, some didn’t get up at all, others got DDoS’d. Solominers had no chance unless you had under 10ms ping to the node, because the diff retarget was so bad the blocks were flying by like seconds on a clock. So, in all technical aspects the launch was a massive mess and the health of the coin as a long standing product is threatened because of it.”
Picking Up The Pieces - Life After The Launch
The launch is only one part of the life of an altcoin. If the relaunch is smoother, then UniversityCoin can hope to win supporters. What happens after the launch is what really matters. They will need to actually prove their plan to advance their cryptocurrency past the level of a few pools, miners, and speculators. That’s the real challenge. We’ll be watching!
Name And Shame The WrongDoers
Erstwhile BitCoinTalk community member and Bittrex operator Richie Lai posed a question that all of us need answered.
“Could you please let us know who broke the rules as well? This is one of the reasons bittrex didn’t want the source early. We didnt’ want to get caught in the game of ‘who mined early’…. I’d like to know what pools aren’t trustworthy.”
I’ve reached out to UniversityCoin for a comment. The re-launch time so far has not been re-scheduled. We’ll update when more details come in.