Hello to my patient readers, who have stayed with me through the past month of very little content. I believe I owe you an explanation for my absence, as well as an update on my thoughts about Chia.
First the big news about Chia. I missed a post about a new release for the first time since I started the site, and I am hoping to take a look at it and give my thoughts on it today. But Chia Blockchain 1.3.4 was released the other day, and it seems to have quite a few real quality of life improvements baked into it. Most noticeable off the bat from reading the release notes it seems they have built a CAT / XCH exchange rate modifier into the GUI for creating offers as well as added a fee structure to offer files to make them transact more smoothly.
They have added DBWrapper to their build so that multiple applications or instances can access the same database without causing concurrency issues. This is very good, and something we had to do when building our Space Marmots infrastructure. I suspect other teams have also had to do something like this. It is good to see it coming standard. It does raise an interesting point about package dependencies and upstream risk as Chia adds more external code to their systems. There is a balancing point between not taking on too much internal work and not piling on too much external risk, and I’m sure it keeps them up at night some nights. But every time they solve a problem with someone else’s code there is a tiny bit of risk creep.
Also, they updated the harvester protocol. This is apparently a breaking change, so if you upgrade part of your farm to 1.3.4 you need to upgrade the whole thing – something that hasn’t been required in the past. This is kind of a big deal, and from the looks of it they have made a number of efficiency improvements to allow for better economies of scale for large farms. I have seen some posts floating around that suggest it might help small and medium sized farmers keep their lookup times down too.
Also while I wasn’t paying attention Gene Hoffman, COO of Chia Network, submitted a proposed amendment to an upcoming SEC rules change about how to classify transaction communications. Without knowing the current law, or the details of the proposed change it is tough to tell how big a deal it really is or how close to the mark Gene comes, but I did read through the PDF which I will embed at the bottom of this page.
My first thoughts are that Gene is wholly correct. The SEC attempting to regulate non binding statements of intent has all sorts of secondary and tertiary possible effects, so much so that it would be impossible to predict. Gene has mentioned a few of them in the post, such as publishing offer files (as Morgan Bender does in his XCH Weekly Newsletter). But there is also the quintessential childish question: What about me? I cover all sorts of stuff and give my personal opinion on it. A lot of that has to do with systems similar to the ones the SEC is trying to regulate. I do not have an SEC compliance officer reviewing my blog posts, nor could I afford one. Does the SEC think it can regulate me? I am legitimately curious here, because history says that if they think they can they will certainly try.
It is good to see Gene and the Chia executive team taking this issue seriously. Financial systems do need to be carefully regulated, but emphasis on the “carefully” there. Regulation should be precise and purposeful and should only accomplish the intended effect. It doesn’t appear to me that Chia has an issue with the intent of the regulation change, but with its execution. That should be an easy problem to solve for such a famously non-political organization…….
Anyways, to me and where I have been. This is pretty tough to write, but here goes. To any friends and family reading this and finding out here for the first time, I am sorry. You should call more. Or I should, probably. My marriage is falling apart, and I am in the process of separating from my wife. I don’t want to go into any specifics, but needless to say I am heartbroken and depressed. It has been difficult to focus on anything except for work and getting through each day. I will return to the blog, slowly probably, and thankfully I am a pretty uncritical piece of Space Marmots so that project hasn’t even taken a hit. But it might be some time before my output is back to where it was.
There is a stigma around men going through crises, and because of that we tend to suffer alone. I am fortunate in that I have family, and friends, and the Marmotverse team who have been kind and supportive, and have not let me feel too alone. But this is a lonely path, and not all men as are fortunate as I am. If you know someone going through something similar, there is a good chance that no matter what you see on the outside they are hurting, and feeling every raw emotion just under the surface. Reach out to talk, let them know they are in your thoughts. We don’t do this enough among men, and its important. Because of my support system there was no chance for me that this crises would turn into a disaster, but lonely men do kill themselves at alarming rates during times of deep depression. So reach out to that friend you haven’t spoken to in a couple years. See how they are doing. Trust me on this, it can make a difference or even save a life.Chia-SEC-ATS-Comment-Response-2022-04-16-File-No.-S7-02-22