Recently I had the chance to talk to the developer of Flax Coin, who is at the moment staying anonymous. I wanted to find out what the difference was between Flax and other Chia forks such as ChainGreen and SpareCoin, since the Flax launch went smoothly (so far) and theirs… well.. did not.
The main difference they think is that they have been operating a relatively large Chia farm (over 1PB) and so has dealt with a lot of the challenges and tweaks needed to operate that much storage. This led them to do a careful inspection of the codebase and develop the understanding of it necessary to both properly fork it as well as setup the necessary back end cloud services for launch.
Originally intended as a fun proof of concept, it has already grown way beyond that with almost 375PB of space in the network at time of this writing. That is growing at a rate faster than the Chia netspace, which suggests many farmers are taking their Chia farms, configuring Flax Network’s software on it and bringing over their existing plots. This is one of the intentions of the Chia proof of space and time (PoST) blockchain and it is nice to see it actually works.
The rapid success of this project is largely born from a frustration the community has with Chia Project as-is, with very little chance of small farmers winning blocks only a couple of months in. The developer’s intention here is to keep a running fork of the Chia Blockchain software with a slightly lagged release schedule from the main Chia software. However, there has been a lot of discussion in the Flax discord and requests to the developer to release a pooling protocol patch ahead of Chia Network. However, that would require changes that would prevent future merges. and this is something that the Flax team wants to avoid. A lot of good ideas from this developer however, even in our brief chat and I would recommend Chia Network approach them for collaboration.
When asked why the community should trust them, they said this, verbatim. “The community shouldn’t trust me — they should vet every line of code against upstream Chia, and verify builds from source. In the medium term, I also want the release process to be community driven, so that this really becomes a community fork, maintained by and for the community.”
This is a fantastic attitude for this kind of project, and I wish them the best. I, personally, am farming Flax with my main farm.