Preparing for the Burstcoin Signum Hard Fork

Burstcoin is the pioneer of the “Proof of Capacity” (PoC) consensus algorithm, a greener alternative to Proof of Work. Launched in 2014, Burst has been at the forefront of blockchain technology with the first implementation of smart contracts. Since 2019, the Burst Apps Team has been preparing the Burst blockchain for the next decade.

Scheduled to go live on April 24th, 2021, the upcoming Signum hard fork sets a clear signal — PoC was the starting point and now a new consensus is built for a glorious future of Burstcoin.

Preparing for POC+

At block height 875500 (around April 24th 2021), the Signum hard fork will be activated on the Burst blockchain. From this block on, miners will be able to build up their Committed Balance on-chain using the Add Commitment transaction. Then, at block height 878000 (a week later), the commitment will be taken into account and miners will have a better chance of mining blocks and earning improved rewards using the new PoC+ consensus described here.

In this article, we explain to Burstcoin owners, node operators, pool providers and miners how to prepare for the Signum hard fork.

Summary:

  • Burstcoin Owner

Burstcoin Owner
As a Burstcoin owner (hodler/investor) you don’t need to do anything at all.
Regardless of whether you have coins stored in your own wallet or on the current exchanges (Bittrex, STEX, BTDEX) your funds are safe and no action is needed.

If you operate your own local node for your wallet, you need to upgrade this by April 23rd, 2021 at the latest (see the “Important Links” section at the end of this article for a link to download the node software). Any BRS version lower than 3.0 will not be able to connect to the upgraded chain from block height 875500 on.

Node Operator
As a node operator, you should upgrade your node to BRS 3.0 as soon as possible.

This will, on the one hand, show your support for the upcoming Signum hard fork and, on the other hand, keep you eligible for the NDS-A (Network Distribution Strengthen-Award) which will be paid only to operators running BRS 3.0 from now on.

Pool Operator
The pool software needs to be able to consider the changes implemented by PoC+. The software needs to be upgraded to actually compute the miners’ fair share in case they commit BURST in the mining process. The Babel Pool already has an open-source implementation with the necessary changes you can use as reference. For further help, you can join our Telegram group for the Signum hard fork (see the “Important Links” section at the end of this article for the link).

Miner
As a Burstcoin miner, you don’t need to change your current miner setup at all. Current miner software should run without any problems after the hard fork gets activated.

With the introduction of PoC+, you can optionally commit Burstcoins to your account with the Add Commitment transaction. The miner commitment is defined as the BURST amount the user commits to mining. This transaction locks the given amount and becomes effective after 60 confirmations (around 4 hours). After that period, the miner can unlock it by using the Remove Commitment transaction. In the case where a miner actually forges a block, his/her entire committed amount is locked for 1440 blocks.

The commitment is shown on the Classic wallet and also on the Phoenix wallet under “Committed Balance”.

The miner’s commitment will be taken into account from block 878000 on. Miners can start making their commitments as soon as from block 875500.

Classic Wallet with new widget “Comitted Balance”
New Commitment Area in the Classic wallet

PoC+ Improves Robustness Against 51% Attacks
So-called 51% attacks are a frequent concern for any distributed consensus.
With the PoC+ hybrid consensus, a malicious miner/pool would only be able to succeed in a 51% attack if they have 51% of the plotted disk space and at the same time have the average value in BURST available on their miner ID. For example, if a miner has 51% of the disk space (or even much more than that) it would be 8x less with zero commitment. If a miner has a lot of BURST committed (staked) but low capacity, again a majority attack is impossible.

Also, if a miner has 20% of the network in disk space and 100 times the average value committed, as soon as more blocks are mined, the average commitment would increase, thereby reducing the effective capacity of such a miner.

As can be seen, PoC+ not only increases the commitment in the mining process but also makes the consensus much harder to attack. A malicious actor cannot simply divert capacity currently mining other coins, but would also need to simultaneously stake a substantial coin amount for a non-negligible period of time.

Lift off at 24th of April 2021

Conclusion
Burstcoin has a long standing history and was the first PoC coin on the planet. With the upcoming Signum hard fork, Burstcoin will once again be at the forefront of new consensus technology and will usher in a more secure and capable network for the future. As we’ve shown in this article, being part of the action is only a few clicks away!

The Signum hard fork sends a strong and clear signal to the community.
We will continue evolving Burstcoin to make it the most wanted blockchain in the near future.

Important Links

BRS 3.0 download : https://github.com/burst-apps-team/burstcoin/releases/tag/v3.0.0

Telegram Group Signum: https://t.me/signumchain
POC+ Mining Calculator : https://signum.network/calculator.html

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