To date, a lot of anonymous cryptocurrencies are presented on the cryptocurrency market, among which the cryptocurrency Zcash, Monero and Dash have long been considered leaders. However, appearing at the beginning of this year, the anonymous Grin cryptocurrency immediately gained popularity, almost instantly eclipsing “shop colleagues” in the information space.
Many still do not understand where all this hype around Grin came from and what is so revolutionary in this project. We will try to figure this out in the framework of this article.
The main page of the project’s official website states that Grin (“grin, grin”) is an “anonymous and easy blockchain” that offers “electronic transactions for everyone, without restrictions and censorship.” And this wording is quite fair, considering that the Grin network operates on the basis of the MimbleWimble protocol, which offers complete confidentiality and scalability, behind which there is mathematically sound cryptography.
Cryptocurrency Grin (GRIN) is the internal currency of the project, acting as a means of transferring value between network users. As with most other cryptocurrency blockchains, GRIN tokens are generated as a reward for participants in the mining process.
History of the creation of Grin
To understand all aspects of the Grin cryptocurrency project, it is advisable to at least briefly familiarize yourself with the history of the blockchain protocol that underlies it – MimbleWimble.
So, the author of this protocol is the developer, known as Tom Elvis Jedusor (the real name of Lord Voldemort in the French version of Harry Potter books), who published WhitePaper in 2016 describing the idea of a new technology for anonymous blockchain transactions. The name for the protocol was also taken from the book universe of Joan Rowling, where the “Mimblewimble” spell was used to cast a spelling tongue spell.
Initially, MimbleWimble was offered as a solution for scaling and implementing improved privacy for the bitcoin network, but because of the complexity of this, it was decided to launch a separate cryptocurrency.
Having given the impetus to the new cryptographic technology, the anonymous developer no longer declared himself, at least under the mentioned pseudonym. Subsequently, work on the project was continued by other crypto enthusiasts, some of whom supported the creator of MimbleWimble, taking pseudonyms from the Harry Potter universe.
For the first time, a proposal for implementing the protocol in the form of the Grin cryptocurrency appeared in March 2017 from the developer Ignotus Peverell – he posted on GitHub a code fragment of a future project, its technical description and the basics of the concept. Together with other GitHub users supporting this idea, he launched a collection of donations to create a new blockchain based on MimbleWimble (he managed to raise 100 thousand euros).
Subsequent work on the project lasted almost 2 years. The official launch of the Grin blockchain took place on January 15, 2019. It is noteworthy that a wave of information hype immediately began around the new coin, fueled by listings first on second-tier exchanges (Bisq, BitForex, Galleon, BKEX, etc.), and then on more serious sites like Bittrex, OKEx, Poloniex and KuCoin.
The main trading platform for GRIN was the Hotbit exchange, the main pool for mining is F2pool, which is easily connected to it (at the end of January, together with SparkPool, it controlled about 70% of the network hashrate).
The popularization of the new cryptocurrency was also facilitated by its enthusiasm for the community of miners, who barely survived the bear market, during which their equipment either stood idle or had difficulty recouping the cost of electricity. With the advent of the Grin cryptocurrency, they now have the opportunity to make good profits by mining coins on video cards with increased amounts of memory.
However, the joy of the miners gradually began to subside, as in the following months, the price of the coin fell several times, and large mining pools began to engage in its extraction.
Grin Project Team
An important feature of the project is complete openness – it does not belong to any official company, and all of its participants initially worked on Grin solely on the principles of volunteering.
Since the launch took place without a presale, an ICO or a premine, three leading developers of the project are currently receiving salaries, the funds for which are collected in the form of donations (donations) from the community.
Two of them are known on GitHub under the pseudonyms Ignotus Peverell and Antioch Peverell, which repeat the names of characters from the Harry Potter universe.
The third developer, not related to the book universe of Joan Rowling, is Michael Cordner, better known by his nickname Yeastplume, a programmer with 20 years of experience in the gaming industry and fraud detection systems.
All of them have been developing Grin since the spring-summer of 2017.
According to data from GitHub, a total of 125 people took part in the work on the project at different time periods. However, only 6 of them list more than 100 important actions. The rest contributed to the project from time to time, mainly in the form of improving small sections of code.
Grin Cryptocurrency Technologies
Blockchain working principle
Having familiarized yourself with the technical features of the Grin cryptocurrency, we can conclude that we have before us a light and completely anonymous blockchain with verified transactions, in which there is no information about addresses and amounts.
In the Grin blockchain, the amount of calculations accompanying the transfer of funds is minimized, and the addresses of user wallets and transaction amounts are transmitted in the form of ordinary text messages by a random workaround between peers and are not saved in history.
In fact, the Grin block looks like one big transaction of “something from nowhere”, all the information available in the explorer about which in essence is of no value to the observer.
As for double spending, which, for example, is prevented by Bitcoin using UTXO, in the Grin blockchain this problem is solved using an algorithm that checks the condition that the sum of transaction inputs equals the sum of outputs. Simplified, this can be represented by the following formula:
Vi1 + vi2 \u003d vo3,
Where vi1 and vi2 are inputs and vo3 is the output.
At the same time, the verification algorithm does not see the mortgage transfer amount, and its purpose is to make sure that the difference between the sums of outputs and inputs will be zero. In addition, the presence of proof of ownership (possession of a private key) in the transaction core is checked.
The same technology should protect the network from serious inflation, which was at the highest level at the time the network was launched, and then will decline annually.
For greater network scalability, automatic deletion of old transactions is provided. This improves productivity and makes it impossible to investigate old transactions, for example, to investigate crimes in which funds were transferred through the Grin cryptocurrency network.
Some consider this feature a significant minus. However, this gives a guarantee that the Grin blockchain will not grow as fast as Bitcoin and will forever remain quick and easy.
More details about the principle of transactions in the Grin network can be found on the corresponding GitHub page (with complex formulas and cryptographic terminology).
Consensus Algorithm Between Nodes
The Grin consensus mechanism is called the Cuckoo Cycle and is based on evidence of interest. This algorithm was chosen to eliminate the “hardware race” and make the new anonymous blockchain resistant to ASIC mining. Also, thanks to the “cuckoo cycle”, the extraction of Grin coins is possible not only using video cards, but also processors. Another feature of this algorithm is the resistance to cracking by quantum computing.
An increased level of confidentiality in the Grin network is achieved through the use of the Dendelion protocol (“dandelion”), which provides an improved method for distributing transactional messages, which, by the way, are similar to standard https requests.
At the moment, the equipment connected to the Grin network runs on the Cuckatoo-29 and Cuckatoo-31 algorithms. And since the beginning of March, there has been an active transition to the second option – the hashrate of devices on Cuckatoo-31 is two times higher than the same indicator for Cuckatoo-29.
The next should be the protocol updates to Cuckatoo-32 and 33. However, developers are considering the possibility of transferring previously planned Grin hard forks, which should gradually replace protocol versions as part of the fight against ASICs, as it turned out that this could lead to exactly the opposite consequences.
Features of mining GRIN
New Grin coins are mined using the PoW (Proof-of-Work) mining algorithm. The generation of new blocks occurs with an interval of 1 minute and a reward of 60 tokens. An important feature that distinguishes GRIN from most other cryptocurrency projects is the issue of coins is not limited.
The mining software proposed by the developers of Grin (GrinMiner) can be used on Linux (x86 / 64) and OSX operating systems. The installation and configuration process is described in detail in the corresponding section on MimbleWimble on GitHub. All actions are performed using commands in the terminal, which will not be particularly difficult for sophisticated miners, but can be difficult for beginners in this matter.
For those who don’t want or cannot tinker with the settings manually, you can pay attention to the Vault 712 interactive installer (Linux x86 only).
Mining on the CPU is also possible, but in this case, the process of extracting new coins is much slower than on the GPU.
Recommended requirements for a comfortable and cost-effective mining of Grin cryptocurrency is a video card with at least 4 GB of fast DRAM. But devices with 8 or more GB of memory are best suited, for example, from a line of video cards sharpened for the extraction of this particular cryptocurrency, which has been produced by SAPPHIRE Technology for several months now.
You can also use GrinGoldMiner, an alternative Grin mining software from an unofficial developer that offers support for Linux and Windows 7. To use it, you need a video card with at least 6 GB of memory.
The recommended mining pools for Grin are F2Pool, SparkPool, MWGrinPool and GRINMINT.
How to store Grin coins
To store purchased and mined coins, only the purses recommended by the developers should be used:
- Wallet 713 – a wallet without an interface, all interaction with which occurs through the command line;
- Grin Purse – the first wallet with a graphical interface, offered by the BitMesh exchange;
- Ironbelly is an open source wallet application for mobile (Android, iOS), named after the Ukrainian dragon from the book universe of Joan Rowling;
- Smirk – a simple and convenient wallet with a minimalist design;
- Superlinear and Niffler – desktop wallets for Windows, Mac and Linux;
- SuperGrin – a simple wallet for Mac OS;
- Diagon Alley – a beta version of the Electron crypto wallet application for Windows, Linux and OSX;
- Grin Vault is a full-fledged Grin-wallet for Android (under testing and development).
Advantages and disadvantages
The main benefits of Grin were listed throughout the article. This is an innovative cryptotechnology, complete confidentiality, speed and ease of the network due to the use of a unique scalability solution, as well as the lack of control over the project by any organization.
As for the shortcomings, one can distinguish only infinite emission – despite the built-in mechanism of linear inflation reduction, there is still a risk of serious depreciation of this cryptocurrency in the future. Although, if you recall that the Grin cryptocurrency team tried to create a tool not for accumulating value, but for transmitting it using fast anonymous transactions, the mentioned feature begins to be perceived as a very relative flaw.
It is also worth mentioning the process of setting up an official mining client, organized through the command line – such difficulties can scare off part of the crypto community that does not have a high level of technical skills.
In general, the Grin cryptocurrency is an interesting blockchain project, which in the long term will certainly find its application as an innovative payment solution. Despite having a direct competitor in the face of the less-advertised cryptocurrency Beam, which is also an implementation of the MimbleWimble protocol, Grin has every chance of becoming the leader of a new generation of anonymous cryptocurrencies.
As for the prospects for investing in GRIN, everything is very ambiguous here. Still, for now, this is just a profit coin for miners. It is clearly not worth allocating a significant part of your portfolio for it, primarily because of the mentioned risks of depreciation.
But as a medium-term asset that has already gone through some stage of accumulation, you can pay attention to Grin, especially in anticipation of the alt season, which is hinted at by the latest Bitcoin movements and charts of many coins. Given the level of informational hype surrounding the project at the time of launch, there is a likelihood of a recurrence of such bursts of excitement that will return high volatility to trading pairs with GRIN.