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Saw this over et PrimeGrid

lane42

Diamond Member
Sep 3, 2000
5,666
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There's been a big discussion behind the scenes about turning BOINC credit into actual money. From a PrimeGrid admin standpoint, this is not a good thing. Even with worthless BOINC credit we've seen cheating in the past. When people are able to make money on PrimeGrid, that invites unscrupulous users to join in order to cheat. That in turn would ruin the science. Anyone devising a way to fake residues on prime-finding projects could be adding years to our search if they cause a missed prime. We don't want to discover five years from now that we can't trust our results.

The science (sieving, finding primes) is why we're here. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with that, otherwise we might as well shut down PrimeGrid right now. For this reason, we've decided not to participate in any system that monetizes our credit. While this policy will apply to any and all such organizations, we know of only one at the moment, and that's Gridcoin.

We'll be asking Gridcoin to de-whitelist PrimeGrid and we won't be sharing our daily statistics with them. Gridcoin users are welcome to crunch here, but won't earn any coin for doing so. If that means those users will be moving to other sites, we'll be sorry to see them go, but feel this is a step we must take.

This decision was not taken lightly and we're not happy about the necessity. Although Gridcoin is currently the only currency affected by this policy, this is not a reaction to anything that Gridcoin has done, or has not done. This policy is about the monetization of BOINC credit, not Gridcoin or cryptocurrencies in general.

While we welcome your comments on this, please understand that this is something we feel must be done and the decision is not going to be reversed.
 

Howdy

Senior member
Nov 12, 2017
569
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I do not understand crypto and especially do not understand how there is some magical hash or what ever in running PG or any other project for that matter that can in turn in to cash......here's the thread @ PG
 
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zzuupp

Lifer
Jul 6, 2008
14,850
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wow! I'm admittedly not a fan of cryptocurrencies at all. I'd never thought that anyone would ban them pre-emptively.
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
1,679
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I'd never thought that anyone would ban them pre-emptively.
I understand that it's not full ban.
We'll be asking Gridcoin to de-whitelist PrimeGrid and we won't be sharing our daily statistics with them. Gridcoin users are welcome to crunch here, but won't earn any coin for doing so. If that means those users will be moving to other sites, we'll be sorry to see them go, but feel this is a step we must take.
IOW, grc people can still crunch PG but without earning "coin". And as crashtech said, I do wish more projects follow suit and back to volunteering route.
 
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StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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It is a project policy change which looks reasonable to me.
  • Consider what happens when two random guys on the internet come forward and state that number A is prime: A third (fourth...) party checks and confirms or denies. This independent verification is very cheap to perform.
  • But what happens when two random guys on the internet claim that number B is not prime: PrimeGrid believes them,* moves on, and lets the contributors look at other numbers. Each day, a large amount of numbers is declared to be composite in this way.
    *) A third party gets involved only if the two guys did not agree on the residue.
IMO that's a pretty good reason for demanding that nobody gets money for claiming to PrimeGrid that a given number is composite. Otherwise, people might eventually invest into means to make wingmen agree on the same residue as a business.

However, PrimeGrid can demand but not 100 % ensure that PG credits are not being monetized, similar to how they can demand but not 100 % ensure that results are not falsified.

BTW, does anybody remember whether or not PrimeGrid allows anonymous_platform?
 

bill1024

Member
Jun 14, 2017
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If you go over to prime95 GIMPS, you can win some big big $$$ if you find a very huge prime, and around 3 grand for a smaller huge prime.
I have not heard of any cheating going on at GIMPS prime95, has anyone?
Not heard of any widespread cheating with F@H by cure/folding coin or anyone in the EVGA bucks program.
Sure there will be people dumping WUs that do not pay as well for ones that do. But F@H can tell and they will reset your and your teams, (if wide spread) points back to zero. The teams make it known it is not acceptable to do that.
With a double checking wingman policy in place, I can't see anyone gaming the system in any other way.
Should GC be excluded in challenges, sprints and FB status, maybe since they are paid, but to exclude then getting coins, yet inviting them to stay and crunch PG... Appears to me it is about the stats and the collection of stats acting like a DOS attack. And then I do not blame them for asking them to take PG off the white list, at least until they fix the issue.
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
4,301
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@bill1024, the PG admins clearly claim that their decision is about reducing the risk of falsified negative results. (I.e. it is a policy against people trying to make money from fake composite results --- which are extremely expensive to triple-check ---, not against fake prime results which are extremely cheap to triple-check.)

The admins further claim that the decision is a result of their ongoing internal security analyses. I do very much believe them that there are ways around the wingman policy, notably if there is money to be made from circumventing it. Implementing and operating such a nontrivial cheat will probably come at a considerable cost that the cheater would have to pay somehow.

Further, they point out that the decision is not based on past occurrences, but based on the assessment of the potentially extreme extent of damage should a respective cheat be implemented at some point in the future.
 

bill1024

Member
Jun 14, 2017
87
71
91
Yeah but people cheat for many reasons not just for $$. I caught my kids cheating at candy land for gods sake.
Maybe people will cheat if PG is a sprint, or maybe in the next challenge. Hey, who does not want to be in first place...
Their project, their decision. What ever they say are the rules, I will play by them, even if I do not agree with them.
 

lane42

Diamond Member
Sep 3, 2000
5,666
586
126
Reminds me of the Seti Sneaker netting thing that happened about 15 years ago.
Top teams, top cruncher's caught cheating, and that was just for credits. putting money
on the line just makes it more tempting to cheat, imo. Good call PG.

BTW, T.A. was checked and no cheats on this Team ;)
 

[H]Coleslaw

Member
Apr 15, 2014
130
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101
If you go over to prime95 GIMPS, you can win some big big $$$ if you find a very huge prime, and around 3 grand for a smaller huge prime.
I have not heard of any cheating going on at GIMPS prime95, has anyone?
Not heard of any widespread cheating with F@H by cure/folding coin or anyone in the EVGA bucks program.
Sure there will be people dumping WUs that do not pay as well for ones that do. But F@H can tell and they will reset your and your teams, (if wide spread) points back to zero. The teams make it known it is not acceptable to do that.
With a double checking wingman policy in place, I can't see anyone gaming the system in any other way.
Should GC be excluded in challenges, sprints and FB status, maybe since they are paid, but to exclude then getting coins, yet inviting them to stay and crunch PG... Appears to me it is about the stats and the collection of stats acting like a DOS attack. And then I do not blame them for asking them to take PG off the white list, at least until they fix the issue.
IIRC, a few years back a Russian team was cheating but I don't know if it was fully intentional or not. Since all you have to do is edit a text file and they weren't doing double checking, it was rather easy to do. However, it is noticeable as well and easy to catch when people do it on a large scale.

Link to DC-Vault discussion - http://www.team-ninja.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=57725
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
4,301
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These guys either love searching for primes very much, or are not following the news very closely, or have a lot of tasks pending validation.
Certainly the former.


(from boincstats)
 
Last edited:

zzuupp

Lifer
Jul 6, 2008
14,850
2,318
126
These guys either love searching for primes very much, or are not following the news very closely, or have a lot of tasks pending validation.
Certainly the former.


(from boincstats)
I'm guessing by their near zero the day before: It looks like a two day dump.

Plus, the gridcoiners tended to do PPS Sieve. No prime finding their just RAC.
 
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StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
4,301
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Actually I posted this because I was surprised how large a number of Gridcoin's users are still producing at PrimeGrid, even after it was taken off of Gridcoin's whitelist for quite some time now. By points per day, Gridcoin is still the largest producer at PrimeGrid (with exceptions yesterday and the day before yesterday, due to the AP27 challenge).

I am so used to micro-managing my own DC computers (especially now during the WCG B'day) that I keep forgetting that there is a large number of DCers out there who operate in the set-and-forget mode. This however is detrimental if their goal is to receive GRC tokens on the side. But I suppose many of the Gridcoiners who chose to run PrimeGrid did so in the first place because they expected that they can keep running this without ever having to look after their computers, due to PrimeGrid's exceptional reliability of the server and the applications, and 2nd, that PrimeGrid would never fall off of the whitelist, ditto because of its outstanding reliability.

(PS, the wiggle on October 13-14 must have been a glitch caused by the timing of boincstats' updates.)
 
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