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FAQ:

What are these ‘crypto coins?’

Crypto coins are decentralized, peer to peer, blockchain based software networks. Each computer connected to the network is considered a ‘node.’ Basically, the network poses mathematical problems (or proofs) to the nodes and the nodes attempt to solve the proof. When a node finds a solution to a problem, the network rewards the node with virtual tokens or coins. The mathematical proofs the network creates are based upon each resultant answer of the proof before in a linear fashion–this is the ‘blockchain.’ As more and more proofs are issued by the network and solved, the chain builds and each subsequent proof adds more validity to the proofs which come before it in the chain. The virtual tokens or coins can be ‘sent’ back and forth through the network and can represent nearly any good or service. Crypto coins at their simplest represent a store of relative information about a unit of measure.

What does ‘decentralized’ mean?

Each ‘node’ in a crypto coin network operates independently of every other node yet records and validates the proofs in the blockchain. This allows for a coin network to operate with as few as two nodes. As long as at least one other node on any given network is running, the coin is considered functional and mining (solving for proofs) or transactions (sending coins back and forth) can take place. As there’s no centralized server, any two nodes will work–from anywhere in the world. If they can connect, the network is live.

What might I use a crypto coin for?

Crypto coins are a store of ‘something.’ One can assign any value whatsoever to a coin or it coins can be purely superfluous in nature. Because of the public blockchain and mathematical proofs, stores of value work well as nodes ‘trust’ each other. This makes crypto coins perfect for transferring value between people without the need for a third party, yet in a fast, safe, and irreversible method. Many crypto coins are used to exchange for other crypto coins in virtual ‘stock’ markets. Other crypto coins are used by private groups as a method of investment and value transfer. Other crypto coins still are simply ‘collectable’ and often used to commemorate or imitate things like various real currencies or tokens. Finally, some crypto coins are purely whimsical ways to perform mathematics by computers and be rewarded.

What are the differences between SHA256D, Scrypt, Skein, Quark, etc. algorithms?

These algorithms are the method by which the mathematical proofs are computed and solved by the nodes in the crypto coin’s network. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. SHA256D is the oldest and most robust of the current proofs, and proofs can be solved by CPUs, GPU (video cards), FPGA, or ASIC (chips specifically designed for solving proofs. The next most widely used algorithm is Scrypt and ASICs are just beginning to hit the market for this algorithm. Quark uses 8 random hashing functions to maintain CPU-only proof solving. Skein, Jane, Blake, X11, and others are newer algorithms and many can be mined with CPU or GPU systems.

What software does Coinlab.info use to create crypto coins?

Coinlab.info builds coin clients on fresh virtual machines of Windows 8.1 using Qt 4.8.4, OpenSSL 1.0.1g (Heartbleed free), and MinGW 1.0. Coins are tested using Debian 7.0.5 Wheezy and our seednode servers also run Debian 7.0.5. We have fully licensed Clickteam Install Creator Pro and build custom installer packages. Our -qt.exe programs are virus free and will pass Virustotal scanning, although some scanners are prone to flagging crypto coins as a “bitmining’ malware package due to their unique signature of proof solving software.

Why doesn’t Coinlab.info offer Proof of Stake/Demurrage/Pay to the Developer coins?

These types of crypto coins, Proof of Stake, Demurrage, and coins where a percentage of each block to back to the developer are technically challenging to maintain. The owner of a coin of this type will be required to update and maintain the network at a considerably higher interval than a standard Proof of Work coin. Proof of Work is the oldest and most robust form of crypto coin–the primary example of this is Bitcoin itself. Coinlab.info offers a service building standard Proof of Work coins because they offer the coin buyer the best and easiest experience with a coin. For the novice coin owner, Proof of Work coins can undergo long periods of dormancy on the network without experiencing issues. All of Coinlab.info’s coins are based on standard crypto coin code to ensure compatibility with existing crypto coin services (exchanges, games, block explorers, etc) and can be extended by the owner at a later date with minimal effort.

What kind of hardware is needed to manage a crypto coin?

At least two nodes are needed on a network to have a functional coin network. Typically, this is accomplished via a home PC and a Virtual Private Server (VPS) running the client. The VPS can be configured with the coin’s seednode so that new coins which come on to the network look to it first for a list of other nodes to connect to.

What level of technical expertise is needed to manage a crypto coin?

Coinlab.info’s Proof of Work coins require very little technical know-how outside of setting up the initial network and seednode(s). Once the coin’s network is running, the system is fairly automatic. Checkpoints and small fixes should be maintained in crypto coins on a cycle, but in theory a coin’s basic network can thrive for years and years with little or no intervention.

What is ‘mining,’ and what kind of hardware does one need to ‘mine’ crypto coins?

Mining or minting is solving for mathematical proofs. A detailed look at crypto coin mining can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin#Mining Mining can be done on a variety of hardware, CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and ASICs (specifically designed to solve a specific type of proof). The type of coin you choose should be based on how you plan to mine it.

What about exchanges, game sites, and other crypto coin related services?

Coinlab.info’s coins are created to be 100% compatible with these various third party services.

Where can I learn more about crypto coins?

A great place to start are the forums at CryptoCoinTalk.com. Another great resource is Altcoins.com which is a virtual directory of crypto coins. Finally, Bitcointalk.org is a major site for crypto coin news and release information but it can be a bit of a rough around the edges at times.

Is there a ‘how-to’ for all of this?

Well, there was one, once upon a time. Its still here in .pdf form, but its woefully outdated and oft copied by others online. There is also a video but again, it is fairly out of date. Coinlab.info is committed to not only becoming a simple source for crypto coins but a knowledge repository. Eventually we plan to rewrite the above information in to a comprehensive guide and it will be found on our Knowledge Base.


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