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I did some research, and I get that the first came Cryptonote and its implementation - ByteCoin, as an "official" coin.

From there came bitmonero, and from it came monero.

During its life, since inception, there were many stories such as:

  • the original cryptonote developers, and the veil of secrecy around them + the bytecoin pre-mine.
  • the creation of bitmonero, about which I don't know much, really
  • era of the cryptonote forum
  • the crippled miner story
  • community taking over and bitmonero became monero
  • attack on the network, as documented by relevant MRL paper

I believe there is much to add, and maybe I did not put everything in correct order. Would be nice if such events were properly documented, especially for the newcomers who are interested in the full story.

closed as too broad by JollyMort, cardboardoranges, Smart Kid, PyRulez, studycrypto Aug 6 '16 at 2:16

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I am voting to close as too broad but hope more narrowly tailored questions to replace this return. – studycrypto Aug 6 '16 at 2:16
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    Yes, it is my intention to do so. Can't spare the time now, unfortunately. In one-two weeks, hopefully. – JollyMort Aug 7 '16 at 8:58
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    ima tackle it right now – Ginger Ale Aug 7 '16 at 11:54
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This is an edited version of the excellent investigation of the bytecoin scam performed by user "rethink-your-strategy" on the bitcointalk forums written August 15, 2014. It is the best available account of the bytecoin scam, and covers the following areas from the original question:

  1. the original cryptonote developers, and the veil of secrecy around them + the bytecoin pre-mine.

  2. the creation of bitmonero, about which I don't know much, really

  3. community taking over and bitmonero became monero attack on the network, as documented by relevant MRL paper

It has been edited due to the (entertaining) vulgarity of the original report and to fit in the 30k character limit of answers.

The Alleged CryptoNote/Bytecoin Story

CryptoNote is a new cryptocurrency protocol. It builds on some of the Bitcoin founding principles, but it adds to them. There are aspects of it that are truly well thought through and, in a sense, quite revolutionary. CryptoNote claim to have started working on their project years ago after Bitcoin's release, and I do not doubt the validity of this claim...clearly there's a lot of work and effort that went into this. The story as Bytecoin and CryptoNote claim it to be is as follows:

They developed the code for the principles expressed in their whitepaper, and in April, 2012, they released Bytecoin. All of the copyright messages in Bytecoin's code are "copyright the CryptoNote Developers", so clearly they are one and the same as the Bytecoin developers. In December 2012, they released their CryptoNote v1 whitepaper. In September 2013, they released their CryptoNote v2 whitepaper. In November 2013, the first piece of the Bytecoin code was first pushed to Github by "amjuarez", with a "Copyright (c) 2013 amjuarez" copyright notice. This was changed to "Copyright (c) 2013 Antonio Juarez" on March 3rd, 2014. By this juncture only the crypto libraries had been pushed up to github. Then, on March 4th, 2014, "amjuarez" pushed the rest of the code up to github, with the README strangely referring to "cybernote", even though the code referred to "Cryptonote". The copyrights all pointed to "the Cryptonote developers", and the "Antonio Juarez" copyright and license file was removed. Within a few days, "DStrange" stumbled across the bytecoin.org website when trying to mine on the bte.minefor.co.in pool (a pool for the-other-Bytecoin, BTE, not the-new-Bytecoin, BCN), and the rest is history as we know it. By this time Bytecoin had had a little over 80% of its total emission mined.

Immediate Red Flags

The first thing that is a red flag in all of this is that nobody, and I mean no--body, is a known entity. "Antonio Juarez" is not a known entity, "DStrange" is not a known entity, none of the made up names on the Bytecoin website exist (they've since removed their "team" page, see below), none of the made up names on the CryptoNote website exist (Johannes Meier, Maurice Planck, Max Jameson, Brandon Hawking, Catherine Erwin, Albert Werner, Marec Plíškov). If they're pseudonyms, then say so. If they're real names, then who are they??? Cryptographers, mathematicians, and computer scientists are well known - they have published papers or at least have commented on articles of interest. Many of them have their own github repos and Twitter feeds, and are a presence in the cryptocurrency community.

The other immediate red flag is that nobody, and I mean no--body, had heard of Bytecoin. Those that had heard of it thought it was the crummy SHA-256 Bitcoin clone that was a flop in the market. Bytecoin's claim that it had existed "on the deep web" for 2 years was not well received, because not a single vendor, user, miner, drug addict, drug seller, porn broker, fake ID card manufacturer, student who bought a fake ID card to get into bars, libertarian, libertard, cryptographer, Tor developer, Freenet developer, i2p developer, pedophile, or anyone else that is a known person - even just known on the Internet - had ever encountered "Bytecoin" on Tor. Ever. Nobody.

Indisputable Facts

Before I start with some conjecture and educated guesswork, I'd like to focus on an indisputable fact that obliterates any trust in both Bytecoin's and CryptoNote's bullshit story. Note, again, that I do not doubt the efficacy of the mathematics and cryptography behind CryptoNote, nor do I think there are backdoors in the code. What I do know for a fact is that the people behind CryptoNote and Bytecoin have actively deceived the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community, and that makes them untrustworthy now and in the future. If you believe in the fundamentals in CryptoNote, then you need simply use a CryptoNote-derived cryptocurrency that is demonstrably independent of CryptoNote and Bytecoin's influence. Don't worry, I go into this a little later.

So as discussed, there were these two whitepapers that I linked to earlier. Just in case they try remove them, here is the v1 whitepaper and the v2 whitepaper mirrored on Archive.org. This v1/v2 whitepaper thing has been discussed at length on the Bytecoin forum thread, and the PGP signature on the files has been confirmed as being valid. When you open the respective PDFs you'll notice the valid signatures in them:

signature in the v1 whitepaper

signature in the v2 whitepaper

These are valid Adobe signatures, signed on 15/12/2012 and 17/10/2013 respectively. Here's where it gets interesting. When we inspect this file in Adobe Acrobat we get a little more information on the signature:

Notice the bit that says "Signing time is from the clock on the signer's computer"? Now normally you would use a Timestamp Authority (TSA) to validate your system time. There are enough public, free, RFC 3161 compatible TSAs that this is not a difficult thing. CryptoNote chose not do this. But we have no reason to doubt the time on the signature, right guys? crickets

See these references from the v1 whitepaper footnotes? Those two also appear in the v2 whitepaper. Neither of those two footnotes refer to anything in the main body of the v1 whitepaper's text, they're non-existent (in the v2 whitepaper they are used in text). The problem, though, is that the Bitcointalk post linked in the footnote is not from early 2012.

May 5, 2013. The footnote is referencing a post that did not exist until then. And yet we are to believe that the whitepaper was signed on 12/12/2012! What sort of fools do they take us for?

A little bit of extra digging validates this further. The document properties for both the v1 whitepaper as well as the v2 whitepaper confirms they were made in TeX Live 2013, which did not exist on 12/12/2012. The XMP properties are also quite revealing:

XMP properties for the v1 whitepaper

XMP properties for the v2 whitepaper

According to that, the v1 whitepaper PDF was created on 10/04/2014, and the v2 whitepaper was created on 13/03/2014. And yet both of these documents were then modified in the past (when they were signed). Clearly the CryptoNote/Bytecoin developers are so advanced they also have a time machine, right?

Final confirmation that these creation dates are correct are revealed those XMP properties. The properties on both documents confirm that the PDF itself was generated from the LaTeX source using pdfTeX-1.40.14 (the pdf:Producer property). Now pdfTeX is a very old piece of software that isn't updated very often, so the minor version (the .14 part) is important.

pdfTeX 1.40.14 pushed to source repo on Feb 14, 2014

This version of pdfTeX was only pushed to the pdfTeX source repository on February 14, 2014, although it was included in a very early version of TeX Live 2013 (version 2013.20130523-1) that was released on May 23, 2013. The earliest mentions on the Internet of this version of pdfTeX are in two Stack Exchange comments that confirm its general availability at the end of May 2013 (here and here).

The conclusion we draw from this is that the CryptoNote developers, as clever as they were, intentionally deceived everyone into believing that the CryptoNote whitepapers were signed in 2012 and 2013, when the reality is that the v2 whitepaper was created in March, 2014, and the v1 whitepaper haphazardly created a month later by stripping bits out of the v2 whitepaper (accidentally leaving dead footnotes in).

Why would they create this fake v2 whitepaper in the first place? Why not just create a v1 whitepaper, or not even version it at all? The answer is simple: they wanted to lend credence and validity to the Bytecoin "2 years on the darkweb" claim so that everyone involved in CryptoNote and Bytecoin could profit from the 2 year fake mine of 82% of Bytecoin. What they didn't expect is the market to say "no thank you" to their premine scam.

And Now for Some Conjecture

As I mentioned earlier, the Bytecoin "team" page disappeared. I know it exists, because "AtomicDoge" referred to it as saying that one of the Bytecoin developers is a professor at Princeton. I called them out on it, and within a week the page had disappeared. cowards.

That was the event that triggered my desire to dig deeper and uncover the scam. As I discovered more and more oddities, fake accounts, trolling, and outright falsehoods, I wondered how deep the rabbit hole went. My starting point was DStrange. This is the account on Bitcointalk that "discovered" Bytecoin accidentally a mere 6 days after the first working iteration of the code was pushed to Github, purely by chance when mining a nearly dead currency on a tiny and virtually unheard of mining pool. He has subsequently appointed himself the representative of Bytecoin, or something similar.

At the same time as DStrange made his "accidental discovery", another Bitcointalk account flared up to also "accidentally discover this weird thing that has randomly been discovered": Rias. What's interesting about both the "Rias" and "DStrange" accounts are their late 2013 creation date (October 31, 2013, and December 23, 2013, respectively), and yet they lay dormant until suddenly, out of the blue, on January 20th/21st they started posting. If you look at their early posts side by side you can even see the clustering: Rias, DStrange.

At any rate, the DStrange account "discovering" Bytecoin is beyond hilarious, especially with the Rias account chiming in to make the discovery seem natural. Knowing what we unmistakably do about the fake CryptoNote PDF dates lets us see this in a whole new light.

Of course, as has been pointed out before, the Bytecoin website did not exist in its "discovered" form until sometime between November 13, 2013 (when it was last captured as this random picture of a college girl) and February 25, 2014 (when it suddenly had the website on it as "discovered"). This can be confirmed by looking at the captures on Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://bytecoin.org

The CryptoNote website, too, did not exist in its current form until after October 20, 2013, at which time it was still the home of an encrypted message project by Alain Meier, a founding member of the Stanford Bitcoin Group and co-founder of BlockScore. This, too, can be confirmed on Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://cryptonote.org

~~ It's hard to ascertain whether Alain had anything to do with CryptoNote or Bytecoin. It's certainly conceivable that the whitepaper was put together by him and other members of the Stanford Bitcoin Group, and the timeline fits, given that the group only formed around March 2013. More info on the people in the group can be found on their site, and determining if they played a role is something you can do in your own time.~~

Update: Alain Meier posted in this thread, and followed it up with a Tweet, confirming that he has nothing to do with CryptoNote and all the related...stuff.

Batshit Insane

The Bytecoin guys revel in creating and using sockpuppet accounts. Remember that conversation where "Rias" asked who would put v1 on a whitepaper with no v2 out, and AlexGR said "a forward looking individual"? The conversation took place on May 30, and was repeated verbatim by shill accounts on Reddit on August 4 (also, screenshot in case they take it down).

Those two obvious sockpuppet/shill accounts also take delight in bashing Monero in the Monero sub-reddit (here are snippets from WhiteDynomite and cheri0). Literally the only thing these sockpuppets do, day in and day out, is make the Bytecoin sub-reddit look like it's trafficked, and spew angry bullshit all over the Monero sub-reddit. Clearly they're pissy that nobody has fallen for their scam. Oh, and did I mention that all of these sockpuppets have a late January/early February creation date? Because that's not obvious at all.

And let's not forget that most recently the sockpuppets claimed that multi-sig is "a new revolutionary technology, it was discovered a short time ago and Bytecoin already implemented it". If you think that's bad, you're missing out on the best part of all: the Bytecoin shills claim that Bytecoin is actually Satoshi Nakamoto's work. I'm not kidding you. For your viewing pleasure...I present to you...the Bytecoin Batshit Insane Circus:

Seriously. Not only is this insulting to Satoshi Nakamoto, but it's insulting to our intelligence. And yet the fun doesn't stop there, folks! I present to you...the centerpiece of this Bytecoin Batshit Insane Circus exhibit...

Of course! How could we have missed it! The clues were there all along! The CryptoNote/Bytecoin developers are actually aliens!

One last thing: without doing too much language analysis (which is mostly supposition and bullshit), it's easy to see common grammar and spelling errors. My personal favorite is the "Is it true?" question. You can see it in the Bytecoin thread asking if it's Satoshi's second project, in the Monero thread asking if the Monero devs use a botnet to fake demand, and in the Dashcoin thread confirming the donation address.

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    Great answers all around, will be hard to pick the "correct" one. Maybe should have split in few more questions. Is there any data about how this "community took over" event took place? – JollyMort Jul 30 '16 at 3:20
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    Yeah, that might be best to split the original question into multiple questions and then recopy these into those questions. There's some data on the "community took over" event in the bitcointalk threads. I read through the era at one point, its all still there. A lot of the conversation occurred on IRC though, so someone with logs from the era would have the best historical account. I wasn't around then. – Ginger Ale Jul 30 '16 at 11:19
7

This is an edited version of the excellent investigation of the bytecoin scam performed by user "rethink-your-strategy" on the bitcointalk forums written August 15, 2014. It is the best available account of the bytecoin scam, and covers the following areas from the original question:

  1. era of the cryptonote forum

It has been edited due to the (entertaining) vulgarity of the original report and to fit in the 30k character limit of answers.

Layer After Layer

One of the things that happened soon after the Bytecoin "big reveal" was a string of forks popping up. The first was Bitmonero on April 18. Fantomcoin was launched May 6. Quazarcoin was launched May 8. HoneyPenny was announced on April 21, although only launched as Boolberry on May 17. duckNote was launched on May 30. MonetaVerde as launched June 17.

Now for some reason unbeknownst to anyone, the Bytecoin code was pushed up to SourceForge on 08/04/2014 (the "Registered" date is at the bottom of the page). I have no idea why they did this, maybe it's to try and lend credence to their bullshit story (oh hey, look how old Bytecoin is, it's even on Sourceforge!)

Coincidentally, and completely unrelated (hurr durr), Quazarcoin, Fantomcoin, and Monetaverde are all also on Sourceforge. This gives us a frame of reference and a common link between them - it's quite clear that at least these three are run by the same team as CryptoNote. There is further anecdotal evidence that can be gathered by looking at the shill posts in the threads (especially the way the Moneteverda shills praise merge mining, in a way that is nearly indistinguishable from the Bytecoin praise for multi-sig technology).

QuazarCoin is a special case and deserves a little attention. Let's start with OracionSeis, who launched it. He's well known on Bitcointalk for selling in-game currencies. In that same thread you'll notice this gem right at the end from Fullbuster: "Hey,OracionSeis is no longer under my use so please https://bitcointa.lk/threads/selling-most-of-the-game-currencies.301540/#post-5996983 come into this thread! thank you !" Click through to his new link and Fullbuster clarifies: "Hello, I may look new around here but i've sold my first account and created new one and i have an intention to keep the same services running as my first account did." So now that we know that OracionSeis is a bought account, we can look at his actions a little more critically.

On May 7, just when Monero was being taken back by the community (see below), OracionSeis out of the blue decided to take it over/relaunch it himself. This included a now-defunct website at monero.co.in, and a since-abandoned Github. The community pushed back hard, true to form, with hard-hitting statements such as "To reiterate, this is not the original devs, and thus not a relaunch. ... This should warrant a ban." A man after my own heart. OracionSeis caved and decided to rename it to...QuazarCoin, which launched on May 8. To recap: bought account, launched by trying to "relaunch" Monero, got messed up, renamed it to QuazarCoin. Clearly and undeniably goes in our pile of scam coins.

The other three are a little more interesting. Let's start with duckNote. It's hard to say if duckNote is a CryptoNote/Bytecoin project. The addition of the HTML based wallet is a one-trick pony, a common thread among most of the CryptoNote/Bytecoin controlled coins, but that could also be the result of a not-entirely-retarded developer. Given the shill posts in the duckNote thread I'm going to flag it as possibly-controlled-by-the-bytecoin-brigade.

And now we come to ~~ HoneyPenny~~ ~~ MoneyPenny~~ ~~ HoneyBerry~~ ~~ Boolean~~ Boolberry. This is an interesting one. This was "pre-announced" on April 21, although it was only released with the genesis block on May 17. This puts it fourth in line, after Fantomcoin and Quazarcoin, although fucktarded proponents of the shittily-named currency insist that it was launched on April 21 because of a pre-announcement. rejects from the Pool of Stupidity, some of them. At any rate, "cryptozoidberg" is the prolific coder that churned out a Keccak-derived PoW (Wild Keccak) in a month, and then proceeded to add completely retarded features like address aliasing that requires you to mine a block to get an address (lulz) and will never cause any issues when "google" or "obama" or "zuckerberg" want their alias back. Namecoin gets around this by forcing you to renew every ~200 - 250 days, and besides, nobody is making payments to microsoft.bit. This aliasing system is another atypical one-trick-pony that the CryptoNote developers push out and claim is monumental and historical and amazing.

There's also the matter of cryptozoidberg's nickname. In the Bytecoin code there's the BYTECOIN_NETWORK identifier, which according to the comment is "Bender's nightmare" (hurr durr, such funny, 11100111110001011011001210110110 has a 2 in it). Now this may be a little bit of conjecture, yo, but the same comment appears twice in the "epee" contributed library, once in the levin signature, and again in the portable storage signature. The contexts are so disconnected and different that it would be a stretch to imagine that the same person did not write both of these. We can also rule out this being a Bytecoin-specific change, as the "Bender's nightmare" comments exist in the original epee library on github (which is completely unused anywhere on the planet except in Bytecoin, most unusual for a library that has any usefulness, and was first committed to github on February 9, 2014).

We know from the copyright that Andrey N. Sabelnikov is the epee author, and we can say with reasonable certainty that he was involved in Bytecoin's creation and is the dev behind Boolberry. Sabelnikov is quite famous - he wrote the Kelihos botnet code and worked at two Russian security firms, Microsoft took him to court for his involvement (accusing him of operating the botnet as well), and then settled with him out of court on the basis of him not running the botnet but just having written the code. Kelihos is a botnet that pumped out online pharmacy spam (you know the annoying "Y-ou Ne3D Vi-4Gra!?" emails? those.) so it's good to see he transitioned from that to a cryptocurrency scam. Regardless of BBR's claim to have "fixed" CryptoNote's privacy (and the fake fight on Bitcointalk between the "Bytecoin devs" and cryptozoidberg), it's clear that the link between them is not transparent. BBR is either the brainchild of a spam botnet author that worked on Bytecoin, or it's the CryptoNote developers trying to have one currency distanced from the rest so that they have a claim for legitimacy. I think it's the second one, and don't want to enter into a debate about it. Make up your own mind.

Which brings us to the oddest story of the bunch: Bitmonero. It's pretty clear, given its early launch date and how unfamiliar anyone was with creating a genesis block or working in completely undocumented code, that thankful_for_today is/was part of the CryptoNote developers. He made a fatal error, though: he thought (just like all the other cryptocurrencies) that being "the dev" made him infallible. Ya know what happened? He tried to force his ideas, the community politely said "no thanks", and Bitmonero was forked into Monero, which is leading the pack of CryptoNote-based coins today. Let me be perfectly clear: it doesn't matter that the Bytecoin/CryptoNote developers know their code and can push stuff out, and it doesn't matter that Sabelnikov can shovel bullshit features into his poorly named cryptocurrency, and it doesn't matter that Monetaverde is "green" and has "merged mining". Nobody working behind these cryptocurrencies is known in the cryptocurrency community, and that alone should be a big red flag. Monero is streets ahead, partly because of the way they're developing the currency, but mostly because the "core devs" or whatever they're called are made up of reasonably well-known people. That there are a bunch of them (6 or 7?) plus a bunch of other people contributing code means that they're sanity checking each other.

And, as we saw, this has infuriated the Bytecoin/CryptoNote developers. They're so angry they waste hours and hours with their Reddit accounts trawling the Monero sub-reddit, for what? Nobody has fallen for their scam, and after my revelation today nobody will. Transparency wins, everything else is bullshit.

As pointed out by canonsburg, when the Bytecoin/CryptoNote people realised they'd lost the game, they took a "scorched earth" approach. If they couldn't have the leading CryptoNote coin...they'd destroy the rest by creating a shit-storm of CryptoNote coins. Not only did they setup a thread with "A complete forking guide to create your own CryptoNote currency", but they even have a dedicated website with a lot of JavaScript. Unfortunately this plan hasn't worked for them, because they forgot that nobody cares, and everyone is going to carry on forking Bitcoin-based coins because of the massive infrastructure and code etc. that works with Bitcoin-based coins.

There are a bunch of other useless CryptoNote coins, by the way: Aeon, Dashcoin, Infinium-8, OneEvilCoin. We saw earlier that Dashcoin is probably another CryptoNote developer driven coin. However, this entire group is not really important enough, nor do they have enough potential, so make up your own mind. New CryptoNote coins that pop up should be regarded with the utmost caution, given the bullshit capabilities that we've already seen.

All Tied Up in a Bow

I want to cement the relationship between the major CryptoNote shitcoins. I know that my previous section had a lot of conjecture in it, and there's been some insinuation that I'm throwing everyone under the bus because I'm raging against the machine. That's not my style. I'm more of a Katy Perry fan..."you're going to hear me roar". There were some extra links I uncovered during my research, and I lacked the time to add it to this post. Thankfully a little bit of sleep and a can of Monster later have given me the a chance to add this. Let's start with an analysis of the DNS records of the CN coins.

If we look at the whois and DNS records for bytecoin.org, quazarcoin.org, fantomcoin.org, monetaverde.org, cryptonote.org, bytecoiner.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonotestarter.org, and boolberry.com, we find three common traits, from not-entirely-damming to oh-shiiiiiiit:

  1. There's a lot of commonality with the registrar (NameCheap for almost all of them), the DNS service (HurricaneElectric's Free DNS or NameCheap's DNS), and with the webhost (LibertyVPS, QHoster/SecureFastServer.com, etc.)
  2. All of the CN domains use WhoisGuard or similar private registration services.
  3. Every single domain, without exception, uses Zoho for email. The only outlier is bitmonero.org that uses Namecheap's free email forwarding, but it's safe to disregard this as the emails probably just forward to the CryptoNote developers' email.

The instinct may be to disregard this as a convenient coincidence. But it isn't: Zoho used to be a distant second go Google Apps, but has since fallen hopelessly behind. Everyone uses Google Apps or they just use mail forwarding or whatever. With the rest of the points as well, as far-fetched as the link may seem, it's the combination that is unusual and a dead giveaway of the common thread. Just to demonstrate that I'm not "blowing shit out of proportion" I went and checked the records for a handful of coins launched over the past few months to see what they use.

darkcoin.io: mail: Namecheap email forwarding, hosting: Amazon AWS, open registration through NameCheap monero.cc: mail: mail.monero.cc, hosting: behind CloudFlare, open registration through Gandi xc-official.com: mail: Google Apps, hosting: MODX Cloud, hidden registration (DomainsByProxy) through GoDaddy blackcoin.io: mail: Namecheap email forwarding, hosting: behind BlackLotus, open registration through NameCheap bitcoindark.org: mail: no MX records, hosting: Google User Content, open registration through Wix viacoin.org: mail: mx.viacoin.org, hosting: behind CloudFlare, closed registration (ContactPrivacy) through Hostnuke.com neutrinocoin.org: mail: HostGator, hosting: HostGator, open registration through HostGator

There's no common thread between them. Everyone uses different service providers and different platforms. And none of them use Zoho.

My next check was to inspect the web page source code for these sites to find a further link. If you take a look at the main CSS file linked in the source code for monetaverde.org, fantomcoin.org, quazarcoin.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonote-coin.org, cryptonote.org, bitmonero.org, and bytecoiner.org, we find a CSS reset snippet at the top. It has a comment at the top that says "/* CSS Reset /", and then where it resets/sets the height it has the comment "/ always display scrollbars */". Now, near as I can find, this is a CSS snipped first published by Jake Rocheleau in an article on WebDesignLedger on October 24, 2012 (although confusingly Google seems to think it appeared on plumi.de cnippetz first, but checking archive.org shows that it was only added to that site at the beginning of 2013). It isn't a very popular CSS reset snippet, it got dumped in a couple of gists on Github, and translated and re-published in an article on a Russian website in November, 2012 (let's not go full-blown conspiritard and assume this links "cryptozoidberg" back to this, he's culpable enough on his own).

It's unusual to the point of being impossible for one site to be using this, let alone a whole string of supposedly unrelated sites. Over the past few years the most popular CSS reset scripts have been Eric Meyer's "Reset CSS", HTML5 Doctor CSS Reset, Yahoo! (YUI 3) Reset CSS, Universal Selector ‘’ Reset, and Normalize.css, none of which contain the "/ CSS Reset /" or "/ always display scrollbars */" comments.

You've got to ask yourself a simple question: at what point does the combination of all of these coincidental, completely unusual elements stop being coincidence and start becoming evidence of a real, tenable link? Is it possible that bytecoin.org, quazarcoin.org, fantomcoin.org, monetaverde.org, cryptonote.org, bytecoiner.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonotestarter.org, and boolberry.com just happen to use similar registrars/DNS providers/web hosts and exactly the same wildly unpopular email provider? And is it also possible that monetaverde.org, fantomcoin.org, quazarcoin.org, cryptonotefoundation.org, cryptonote-coin.org, cryptonote.org, and bytecoin.org just happen to use the same completely unknown, incredibly obscure CSS reset snippet? It's not a conspiracy, it's not a coincidence, it's just another piece of evidence that all of these were spewed out by the same people.

The Conclusion of the Matter

Don't take the last section as any sort of push for Monero. I think it's got potential (certainly much more than the other retarded "anonymous" coins that "developers" are popping out like street children from a cheap ho), and I hold a bit of XMR for shits and giggles, so take that tacit endorsement with a pinch of salt.

The point is this: Bytecoin's 82% premine was definitely the result of a faked blockchain. CryptoNote's whitepaper dates were purposely falsified to back up this bullshit claim. Both Bytecoin and CryptoNote have perpetuated this scam by making up fake website data and all sorts. They further perpetuate it using shill accounts, most notably "DStrange" and "Rias" among others.

They launched a series of cryptocurrencies that should be avoided at all cost: Fantomcoin, Quazarcoin, and Monetaverde. They are likely behind duckNote and Boolberry, but it's on your head if you want to deal with scam artists and botnet creators.

They developed amazing technology, and had a pretty decent implementation. They screwed themselves over by being greedy, being utterly retarded, being batshit insane, and trying to create legitimacy where there was none. They lost the minute the community took Monero away from them, and no amount of damage control will save them from their own stupidity.

tl;dr - CryptoNote developers faked dates in whitepapers. Bytecoin faked dates in fake blockchain to facilitate an 82% premine, and CryptoNote backed them up. Bytecoin, Fantomcoin, Quazarcoin, Monetaverde, Dashcoin are all from the same people and should be avoided like the black plague. duckNote and Boolberry are probably from them as well, or are at least just dodgy. Monero would have been dodgy, but the community saved it. Make your own mind up about shit and demand that known people are involved and that there is transparency. End transmission.

Just a reminder that if you found this information useful, a little donation would go a long way. Bitcoin address is 1rysLufu4qdVBRDyrf8ZjXy1nM19smTWd.

5

The following text addresses the the crippled miner story component of the original question. It has been copied verbatim from the original source, https://da-data.blogspot.com/2014/08/minting-money-with-monero-and-cpu.html

Minting Money with Monero ... and CPU vector intrinsics
August 28, 2014

I woke up on May 28th, 2014, on vacation with my family in the middle of the desert, to find a copy of my private source code plastered across the bitcointalk message board. Announced as a "new optimized version" of the Monero currency miner, it was enthusiastically adopted by cryptocurrency miners across the world. And in the process of doing so, my daily profit from the Monero Mining Project dropped by over five thousand dollars per day.

But let's start at the beginning, when I started getting in to a loose collaboration with three people I've never met---one whose name I'm not even confident I really know---with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of a nebulous new cryptocurrency at stake.

It started with a cryptic note from someone I'd met online, with a link to a bitcointalk.org message board discussion for a new currency called "bitmonero". His note said only:

"this looks interesting."

From prior collaborations with him, I knew he had a good nose for opportunities in cryptocurrencies. Within an hour or two, he followed up noting:

"Regarding bitmonero it is profitable with aws with the wallet miner. Seem like some people have got optimised miner which is a few times faster as well so there obviously room for improvement..."

AWS, of course, was Amazon Web Services' spot market, which will let you cheaply rent mind-boggling amounts of compute power on short (1 hour) timescales. AWS profitability is a key ingredient for making money on cryptocurrency mining, because it scales: You can rent one machine or 10,000, and the only thing you have to worry about is if you start to use too many, the price will go up.

I was busy with the end of the semester and didn't respond quickly. The next day, I had an email from him offering 1 Bitcoin (about $600) to develop a 5x faster miner, and from chat, we discussed splitting the profits after that 50/50. I was still feeling overwhelmed with real work, but I took a brief look at the code, and something... well, something smelled funny. So funny that I got home, couldn't get it out of my head, and spent the next 6 hours playing around with it -- and got a 3x speedup.

The next day, I dropped my contact a note:

I'm giving it a little go at rewriting the entire thing in SSE for fun. I finally get it - they basically took scrypt as their model but make the whole thing a big long dependent chain. Hard to shave memory but at the cost of slow verification.

Followed a day later by raising that to a 5x speedup, and then an 8x speedup, and within a week, an 11x speedup. That was pretty remarkable, given that a developer had already started trickling optimizations into the codebase.

The more I looked at it, the more clear it became: The original developers deliberately crippled the miner. It wasn't just slow, and it wasn't just naive; it was deliberately obfuscated and made slow by the use of completely superfluous copies, function calls, use of 8 bit pointer types, and accompanied by the most ridiculously slow implementation of the AES encryption algorithm one could imagine.

Now, the history of "Bitmonero" (now called Monero) started to become relevant. In Feb 2014, an anonymous group of developers released a coin called "Bytecoin" based on an entirely new implementation of a bitcoin-like cryptocurrency called Cryptonote, but with much stronger anonymity built in through the use of a clever Diffie-Hellman like mechanism for encrypting destination addresses and the use of Rivest's ring signatures to provide a transaction-level mixnet without the need for realtime mixing. It's not perfect, but it's clever, and the most important thing is that it's new, and fundamentally different from Bitcoin. That attracted a lot of attention.

But when Bytecoin was released, it was presented as though it emerged from two years on the "dark web" (Tor onion sites and the like), during which time, 80% of the possible coins that could ever be minted, had been minted. The reception in the cryptocurrency community was heavily skeptical.

My strong belief is that the skepticism was warranted: Here's the original slow-hash from bytecoin as it was copied into Bitmonero. It has some doozies. For example, on line 100, you might note that for every iteration through an inner loop repeated tens of thousands of times, the AES key is re-imported into the library. The later loop, starting on line 113, is repeated half a million times, and is so abstracted through lots of memcpys and pointer manipulation it's hard to tell that all it really does is one round of AES encryption, a pointer dereference into a random scratchpad, a 64 bit multiplication, and another pointer dereference. Phew. This original code was roughly 50x slower than my final optimized code, and could have easily been used to fake two years of blockchain data on a single computer or a small cluster. I'm pretty sure that's what happened.

Bitmonero was a fork of Bytecoin designed to not have the 80% premine. But its initial developer either didn't know, didn't care, or wanted to profit from the de-optimized hashing. That initial developer was pretty quickly given the boot by the community, and in came an unrelated group of developers who took it over---who were, as far as I can tell, completely unaware of the deoptimization. So things sat there for a few weeks in the same state as Bytecoin.

By the time I got into it, developer "NoodleDoodle" (hey, this is crypto, people can pick whatever names they want -- Satoshi Nakamoto?) had already untwisted the first "de-optimization" with the AES encryption key. But the rest was ripe pickin's. Most importantly, the entire use of AES in the inner loop was one instruction on modern x86 CPUs.

This was a brilliantly designed proof-of-work function targeting the strengths of modern CPUs -- native AES encryption and fast 64 bit multipliers -- tuned to use a scratchpad exactly the size of the per-core L3 cache on Intel CPUs (about 2MB) that someone then wrapped in such a thick blanket of crap it was nearly unrecognizable until you started jumping in, tearing it apart, and putting it back together again.

Here's what it looks like without the crud (diagram shows one round): Some initial 128 bit values are determined by hashing the block state using a Keccak (sha3) variant - call them A and B. The big lookup table is also populated using that same state, mixed around using AES. Then, executed 500,000 times, are rounds of mixing as shown at the right: Use A to determine a pseudorandom location in the scratchpad, take that, mix it in, AES encrypt it (one round), use the result to determine a second location, use that in a 64 bit multiply, store it back, and repeat. Elegantly simple.

I didn't have the AWS account limits (or credit cards!) to really do it right, so I delivered some code to my contact and we went to town.

By the 14th of May, we were 45% of the total hashing power on the coin. Things started to get a little exciting:

I think i should make almost 6 btc in the last 24hr... will send you 3 if i manage to sell all the MRO.

$1500 per day was starting to seem like a very interesting ROI. I gave up on sleep for a while, and begged my family for permission to continue the project for a few hours per day while we were on vacation. Permission granted. I decided we'd made the right decision when on May 21st, we each netted 13 BTC (about $6500 USD), and 17BTC the next day. I think we exceeded 60% of the net hash of the coin at a few points. That's enough to play nasty games, but we weren't interested in that (and doing so would have required me to understand the rest of the code much more deeply than I had), so we just sold as fast as we could mine.

That was eye-opening. Because of the newness of the codebase and its actual, significant technical advances in anonymity (and a lot of growing pains and scalability challenges notwithstanding), a decent bit of Bitcoin money started flowing in to the coin. Some well-known and less well-known folks who'd made millions investing in Bitcoin started viewing Monero as an interesting high-risk hedge for a small percent of their Bitcoin holdings.

By May 16th, I'd squeezed about 90% of the optimizations out of it, and we were running 100x faster than the coin was at its initial release. That didn't stop me from obsessing about speed tweaks for the next week or so, but it gave me a little breathing room to start thinking about the next step.

The natural evolution of cryptocurrencies is that they start out being mined on CPUs, because that's easy. Then someone writes a GPU-optimized miner for them. The big ones jump to FPGA and then ASIC, though as far as the general community knows, only coins using SHA256d (Bitcoin and family) and scrypt (Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.) have ASIC implementations.

So, why not take the next leap? We needed a GPU miner to keep ahead of the inevitable optimizations that others would release. In fact, the writing was already on the horizon -- NoodleDoodle had released another 2x speedup already, and was talking about getting an even bigger one out. It was only a matter of time until some of the dangerous experts in crypto started getting involved, and yvg1900 had been talking about developing a miner for Monero. The altcoin mining software world is small enough that there aren't too many people out there who can beat my optimizations without help, but yvg is one of them, and I knew that once he was in the game, before too long, I and everyone else would be running his code instead.

(And history showed that this was right - his final release beat my code by about 10%, and he was nice enough to share a few x86/Haswell micro-op optimization ideas with me.)

I've developed some GPU miner software as I blogged about earlier, but I'm not the best out there. Fortunately, in the process of doing so, I met some of the best. I dropped them a note, explained the opportunity, and they signed on. Pretty soon, we had in our arsenal not only a super-fast CPU miner, but also a great little GPU miner.

The beauty of having both was that it reduced our cost basis by a factor of two. While the GPU miner wasn't all that much faster than a CPU miner, due to the way pricing on the spot market often works out, you can rent a machine with a GPU for a similar price to one that only has a CPU. So within a few weeks, we were able to mine on both the GPU and CPU at the same time.

Which was fortunate, because that rock-in-my-guts May 28th incident rolled around sooner than I'd have ever guessed.

From what I can back-patch of it, my contact checked with another developer to see if there was room to further optimize my code on a contract basis. I don't know the details of that contact, so I won't speculate, but something somewhere went very wrong, and the other developer incorporated my optimizations into an open source release. Overnight, our edge started to disappear.

I gave up sleep for another night and eked out one last 5% performance boost to my code, but now we were really depending on having fast GPU code and on minimizing mining cost. We all spent some time benchmarking and running price/performance analyses about the types of instances available at Amazon, and reduced the cost a little through that. But then we got the GPU miner done, and, bogglingly, found ourselves back in business!

Things continued well for a week or two, until on June 4, another GPU developer, Claymore, released his own GPU miner -- but it targeted only AMD GPUs, and Amazon's were Nvidia. It was also more than 2x slower than ours -- three cheers for fast code. We held our breath waiting for an onslaught of new miners, but it never came. My best guess is that the newness of the Cryptonote software, as well as some difficulty getting it running because of a lot of dependencies on Boost and other libraries, scared a lot of people off and kept the technical barriers to entry high.

In the end, our game continued into July -- almost two months of mining at an advantage large enough to make a profit on Amazon. We spent over a quarter of a million dollars renting cloud compute time, to the point where I had a great phone call with the manager of the Spot instance program at Amazon who was trying to figure out how they could improve usability for weirdos like us.

It was a wild experience, and while I was, ahh, financially inconvenienced by the code leak, I'm also obliquely glad my optimizations made their way into the public (I'd have released them eventually, but hadn't planned on doing it quite so early). It's informative that throughout the many ways I've explored of getting paid to improve the state of the art in cryptocurrency software, the most profitable by over an order of magnitude was the most greedy approach of keeping the software entirely private. That's something the developers of future currencies should ponder -- it's probably worth up-front investment to pay someone to release an optimized CPU and GPU optimized miner for your coin, because if they're making a profit afterwords, it could be very hard to convince them to give up the margin.

25 lines mixing C, one instruction of inline assembly, and some AVX intrinsics -- one of the most fun, exciting, and profitable side projects I've ever been involved in. Like everything in crypto, it moved at the speed of light -- it was like launching and then folding up a small startup in the course of two months. And that's why I now have 6 high-end GPU mining rigs in my basement to heat the house through winter and some fun war stories about the importance of operational security and paying attention to low-level programming tricks in school.

(As a note: I make some positive statements about Monero in here, and I really do admire the technical advance it represents in anonymous cryptocurrencies. But please don't read anything I'm writing here as suggesting I think you should buy it -- I view all cryptocurrencies as exceptionally high risk, on a spectrum from "eek" to "stay the heck away!" There's an enormous amount of risk in all of the currencies, and while I talked about the technical positives of Monero here, it also has some very significant technical challenges. I don't personally own any, nor do I hold any Bitcoin - I mine and sell for the most part, to minimize my risk exposure.)

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