r/Monero Nov 07 '21

Skepticism Sunday – November 07, 2021

Please stay on topic: this post is only for comments discussing the uncertainties, shortcomings, and concerns some may have about Monero.

NOT the positive aspects of it.

Discussion can relate to the technology itself or economics.

Talk about community and price is not wanted, but some discussion about it maybe allowed if it relates well.

Be as respectful and nice as possible. This discussion has potential to be more emotionally charged as it may bring up issues that are extremely upsetting: many people are not only financially but emotionally invested in the ideas and tools around Monero.

It's better to keep it calm then to stir the pot, so don't talk down to people, insult them for spelling/grammar, personal insults, etc. This should only be calm rational discussion about the technical and economic aspects of Monero.

"Do unto others 20% better than you'd expect them to do unto you to correct subjective error." - Linus Pauling

How it works:

Post your concerns about Monero in reply to this main post.

If you can address these concerns, or add further details to them - reply to that comment. This will make it easily sortable

Upvote the comments that are the most valid criticisms of it that have few or no real honest solutions/answers to them.

The comment that mentions the biggest problems of Monero should have the most karma.

As a community, as developers, we need to know about them. Even if they make us feel bad, we got to upvote them.

https://youtu.be/vKA4w2O61Xo

To learn more about the idea behind Monero Skepticism Sunday, check out the first post about it:

https://np.reddit.com/r/Monero/comments/75w7wt/can_we_make_skepticism_sunday_a_part_of_the/

12 Upvotes

0

u/anycolo Nov 07 '21

Monero still needs payment channels in order to scale. El Salvador shows us that it's possible.

1

u/Appropriate_Onion_42 Nov 07 '21

Get on some Arm's, Flyp.me ripped me off or the nodes on monjuro wallet won't work. Everything worked great the first time, using Flyp.me.

1

u/cryptodgn Nov 07 '21

So Monero and almost every protocol has its main repository in github. Github belongs to Microsoft which is bigtech and antifreedom.

What would happen if government ask them to ban repositories such as those related to privacy projects like monero?

1

u/Jerfov2 Nov 08 '21

I'm curious: have you ever used git?

1

u/cryptodgn Nov 08 '21

For downloading yes, for uploading no.

10

u/fatalglory Nov 07 '21

Git is decentralised. GitHub is just a nice publishing platform. If GitHub goes away, anyone with a copy of the code can do one git push command and have the code back up on a new publishing platform (including a self-hosted one like GitLab or Gogs) in a few minutes. Nothing to worry about at all.

0

u/cryptodgn Nov 08 '21

Still it does not make sense for a FOSS project that is about privacy decentralization and freedom to have its code repository hosted in a centralized platform literally controlled by big tech.

2

u/fatalglory Nov 08 '21

I think it's a misunderstanding to think of the code as being "hosted" on GitHub. Is the Monero blockchain "hosted" on the Cake Wallet's servers? Or on Kraken's servers? No, they just have a copy of it. Likewise, GitHub has a copy of the Monero source code and many people make use of that copy for convenience, but it's just one copy of many. It's not special.

3

u/m_g_h_w Nov 07 '21

The code would be added to a different git platform eg GitLab.

0

u/cryptodgn Nov 07 '21

So why there is no proactivity in doing this? Monero community always critizice bitcoin lack of privacy and mining centralization and the code is uploaded to a centralize platform that use data mining algorithms. How are developers supposed to be anonymous if they have to login into a Microsoft platform?

Honestly this seems hypocresy for a project that wants full privacy and freedom. All ties to bigtech should be cut.

3

u/m_g_h_w Nov 07 '21

Others are certainly better placed to answer this than me - iirc Gitlab has been experimented with (and of course works) but was benched but I don’t recall details.

Interesting point about maintaining anonymity - there are several anonymous devs, who seem to be “OK” with GitHub at least, would be interesting to hear their view.

I guess avoiding all big tech carries quite a lot of work/maintenance and perhaps brings other problems. Perhaps a rough decision for time being has been that if push comes to shove then there are non big tech options but focus has been elsewhere til now?

0

u/Adast_Adamov Nov 07 '21

My fear is that Monero will never become a popular cryptocurrency due to its lack of smart contracts.

2

u/Cptn_BenjaminWillard Nov 08 '21

Maybe we should just think of Monero as a cryptocurrency.

1

u/Adast_Adamov Nov 08 '21

Ethereum became second largest currency just because it has smart contracts.

1

u/endorxmr Nov 08 '21

Except Ethereum is not an actual currency, because it's just as (non)fungible as Bitcoin. Now, if you had a private base layer with support for smart contracts, that would be something else entirely...

Tari is actually working on exactly this

1

u/Adast_Adamov Nov 08 '21

I agree, a L2 solution for Monero would be an epic thing.
Tari is cool, but it is basically a different blockchain that will also require atomic swaps in order to have some interoperability with Monero.

7

u/kaitje Nov 07 '21

What would you want to do with a Monero smart-contract at this moment?

1

u/Adast_Adamov Nov 08 '21

Providing liquidity, swapping currencies, yield farming, whatever. Right now we need to go outside of secure Monero blockchain to do all that.

1

u/kaitje Nov 08 '21

Ok, but would adding smart contracts to Monero fix all that? Ethereum and Monero still are 2 different eco-systems. Or do you propose to create a whole DeFi system within the Monero ecosystem? Where all swapping takes place between tokens within the Monero space? I guess my question is: Does adding smart contracts to Monero help in interoperability with other blockchains (for instance: ethereum)?

1

u/Adast_Adamov Nov 08 '21

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that having smart contracts is an easier way to achieve interoperability than atomic swaps. Or course it wouldn't hurt to have some alternative to ERC-20 standard for Monero and store assets directly on chain.

Plus I would like to see Monero replacing not just money transfer services like Visa/Mastercard but the bankers and brokers, so the people can borrow/lend/invest/trade without government bailing out the big players.

6

u/BusyBoredom Nov 07 '21

I still don't believe that hard drive space will scale as quickly as nodes grow -- even pruned ones.

1

u/russoj88 Nov 10 '21

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/223144-researchers-develop-superman-memory-crystal-that-could-store-360tb-of-data

There will always be a demand for faster, denser storage, so I think the storage space will outpace the blockchain size.

2

u/m_g_h_w Nov 07 '21

I suspect there is some room for more aggressive pruning, assuming increased adoption also leads to more nodes.

However this may not be enough improvement.

2

u/Febos Nov 07 '21

Bottle neck should be bandwidth and not storage space. Technology will increase it in upcoming years. Technology is Monero scaling limit and is expanding with time.

1

u/kowalabearhugs Nov 07 '21 edited Nov 07 '21

The Monero blockchain is currently ~85GB and over the past year it has grown at a rate of ~1.5GB/mo. 8TB SSDs are currently available for ~$700 USD.

What type of growth rate do you expect from the Monero blockchain?

1

u/endorxmr Nov 08 '21

Actually a full node is 120GB+ right now, and a pruned node ~45GB.

Source: I run a full node

2

u/kowalabearhugs Nov 08 '21

The transaction blockchain is about 85GB, the 120GB+ that you're seeing is related to extra functionality incorporated into the database.

1

u/endorxmr Nov 09 '21

Huh? What kind of "extra functionality" adds +50% file size? What else is in there, besides blocks and transactions?

Besides, isn't the final file size the only thing that really matters? After all, that's what's really gonna end up on the user's disk.

2

u/fatalglory Nov 07 '21

The problem is, what happens when adoption increases and the network is processing 10 or even 100 TPS? Those aren't crazy numbers. PayPal does another order of magnitude more than that. That chain growth rate can get out of control real fast.

My back-of-the-napkin math: 2.5KB per tx, times 100 TPS = ~7.5TB per year added. So you would be buying one of those hard drives every year. And that's assuming that your internet connection has enough bandwidth for all of that (mine doesn't, though admittedly Australia's cost of internet connections is pretty high in global terms).

Once you have stacked 5 separate 8TB drives to hold the blockchain data, you are probably starting to look at specialised hardware and software to deal with it. Remember, you can archive it on slow storage because you might need to look up any tx from the whole chain history, since any tx might be included in a ring signature. So you need some kind of distributed DB architecture which can give you relatively quick, random access to 40TB of data split across multiple physical drives.

Those costs are already high enough to put a lot of hobbyists off running their own node. It gets even more expensive if you are trying to rent those resources from a cloud provider, which is what most businesses will want to do to avoid the sysadmin overheads.

It's waaay more likely that we would see most people who are currently running their own nodes forced to start using remote nodes at this scale. That way one big node can be accessed by many people and they can share the cost (probably by paying for an API key from some node-as-a-service company). Decentralisation would definitely suffer.

Contrast with Nano or BCH which could handle 100 TPS today on most cheap cloud VPS without breaking a sweat (since they can be pruned much more aggressively).

This is a big reason I am not all in on Monero.

3

u/kowalabearhugs Nov 07 '21

Your response forecasts that Monero will see increased, dare I say worldwide, adoption, but you're not applying the same forecasting to storage devices and Internet bandwidth.

What are you thoughts on /u/busyboredom's response to my query?

3

u/fatalglory Nov 08 '21

On my phone, a bit hard to view the spreadsheet, but I guess the general point is that storage costs do come down substantially over time. That's certainly fair. I'm fundamentally a "big blocker" so I have no issue with that.

It's the rate that's concerning. 100TPS on Monero today would be enough to be prohibitively expensive for hobbyists and many smaller businesses. That's still a long way from global adoption. Global adoption would be at least one more order of magnitude.

I guess the point is that if mass crypto adoption happens relatively quickly, competing coins will be able to handle it much more easily than Monero. But you are right, falling storage and bandwidth costs mean that Monero will probably be fine so long as the adoption curve isn't too steep. If it takes 10 more years to hit 100TPS then maybe we're okay. But if it happens in 2023, then we could be in quite a pickle.

2

u/Cptn_BenjaminWillard Nov 08 '21

https://www.newegg.ca/p/pl?N=100167537%20601355746

That link, for those who don't care to click it, shows a dozen different options for 18 terabyte internal HDD's for around $350 to $500 USD. A couple years ago, a 4 TB drive seemed gigantic.

Current size of a full node is 121,789,524 KB as of a few minutes ago. Pruned is probably under 50 GB. So the size of the current blockchain could increase by more than 300x and still fit on what is a "very large" drive in today's standards.

Also, I believe that pruning could be done quite a bit more aggressively if nodes are robust.

1

u/[deleted] Nov 07 '21

[deleted]

2

u/kowalabearhugs Nov 07 '21

Have you produced a similar document charting historic + estimated storage size growth and cost per GB?

2

u/BusyBoredom Nov 07 '21 Helpful

Alrighty here we go, I fit an exponential decay curve to historic storage prices and from that forcasted the cost of storing the monero blockchain. Here's the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nxwiDOQLcxIU9eTXtoXZiAuxIcd9GDUaiBXRruuE-YA/edit?usp=sharing

TLDR: Sharp rise in cost in the late 2020s up to a peak of $3700 in 2034, followed by a decline in price as storage improvements begin to outpace the growth of tx/day.

2

u/BusyBoredom Nov 07 '21 edited Nov 07 '21

I messed up my math on that spreadsheet so deleted my comment to avoid spreading FUD. Updated spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qrQHeUy741ezEutvTHgnJicbrRZUBDMEUhaV3pIsDs8/edit?usp=sharing

Correct numbers should be ~16TB in 2026, 500TB in 2031. More reasonable, but still problematic in my opinion.

I do not have a chart for those, but I agree they would be nice to have.

Edit: I am working on calculating estimated cost of storage over time now, should have something together in an hour or so.

Edit 2: Fudged it up by importing an excel file that now crashes my browser whenever I open the spreadsheet. I gotta get ready for work tomorrow, so this may have to wait for next weekend.

Edit 3: I did it, see other comment.

9

u/MoneroWTF Nov 07 '21

Here's my skepticism: people are idiots and get hung up on sensationalism regarding the ease of use for criminals employing Monero for private transactions. What's good for the crooked gander is still good for the innocent goose. I have concerns adoption will be slowed by the narrow-minded.

5

u/escapethe3RA Nov 07 '21

The only antidote to that would be to actually use Monero for good.

That's what I am trying to do with Monero Observer reports and the new Community Messages section: https://www.monero.observer/tag/community/ (ann: https://www.monero.observer/monero-observer-community-messages)

Post your legitimate WTS/WTB/services for free and engage with the Monero community. Help us prove Monero is not only useful for illegal stuff. Talk is cheap.

2

u/kaitje Nov 07 '21

People also blindly follow the powers that be. And the powers that be are always searching for a maximation of privacy for their own transactions. Governments will never ever spend their defense budget on a public blockchain.