Kaspa launch plan (responding to reality)

Yonatan Sompolinsky
3 min readNov 18, 2021

First and foremost I wanted to thank you all for joining and forming this community, for the interest, excitement, and involvement around the project. Seeing my PhD obsession — POW DAG consensus — realize itself into a live network and a spontaneous community is thrilling yet humbling. Thank you, Todah!

I’m definitely going to start valuing members-count over citation-count, so please bring more crypto friends to the party!

Every few years a new fair-launched POW cryptocurrency captures the excitement of the community — Litecoin, Monero, Grin, and now Kaspa. May the force be with us.

Since we didn’t anticipate this rapid growth, I didn’t prepare accessible answers to several FAQs. I hope to write a longer post about all this in the coming days, but for now here are some answers:

  1. Monetary policy will be deflationary. Halving will be more aggressive than Bitcoin’s since market conditions are different (order-of-magnitude faster market discovery). When the deflationary scheduling will be activated, and what would be the initial block reward (compared to the current avg of 500) — TBD. We will try to seal this next week or so. These numbers will imply the finite cap on supply. BTW we should rebase the term Kaspa to refer to today’s 1000 Kaspa, say; the current representation feels not so scarce :)
  2. Our proof-of-work is a Kaspa variant of heavy-hash, let’s call it k-heavy-hash. My goal here was to create a CapEx heavy POW function, since I believe this concept is both energy-efficient and provides more miner-commitment (stronger than ASIC since less OpEx burnt). Whether k-heavy-hash is actually CapEx heavy, and whether a different POW function will better serve this goal for Kaspa — is a question I’m open to discuss.
  3. The project is maintained by a few devs, all of which have other full time dealings, and some of which are funded by DAGlabs (but totally self managed). In particular, there’s no company or entity behind the project that is responsible for your wallet, full node, funds, miners. We are here during our spare time. I, for one, am a full time postdoc at Harvard university, and while this project is my PhD baby, I am at the same time dedicated to my postdoc baby. So this is a purely community project, please take that into consideration. What can you do to help? Arrange for more dev-power to learn the codebase and join the efforts; DAGlabs can potentially fund additional devs, as long as they have the ability to manage themselves, open issues, fix bugs, manage PRs, etc.
  4. Roadmap. There is no official roadmap as there’s no organized development. I can write down what devs should be working on IMO, post bug fixing and version updates (HFs). In short, IMO priorities should be accelerating gradually to 10 blocks per second, then implementing an amazing upgrade to the consensus protocol, pending theoretical research results of Michael Sutton. In parallel, if someone can promote a privacy gadget (e.g., bulletproofs) and implementation for Kaspa that would definitely leap us forward.
  5. Next week there will be a hard fork (HF) in order to fix a bug and decrease header size. Tune in on this, especially if you are running a mining full node. A few weeks later there will be a HF to embed said monetary policy.
  6. Will we list the coin on exchanges? There is no “we”, there’s “you”. And I suggest waiting for the community to grow more organically before bringing retail.
  7. When is it recommended to stress test for utxo throughput? You are free to stress test as you wish. However, note that even if bugs are discovered, some time will pass before the devs can make themselves available to fix them. Therefore, I suppose better wait for the current system to prove itself stable for more than two weeks, say.
  8. What about block explorer? I believe next week devs will deploy one.
  9. Feel free to follow me here or on Twitter https://twitter.com/hashdag where I hope to post more Kaspa related material in the coming weeks.