Faster Transaction Times And Security
Are cryptocurrencies with faster transaction times less secure? The answer to this question can be “yes” or “no” as we will try to explain in this section per example. FastCoin (FST), the fastest complete transacting cryptocurrency in the world (at the time of writing), will be referenced.
Someone left the following comment at another blog:
We developed FastCoin. EarthCoin is modeled somewhat after that failed attempt. We consider FastCoin failed as reducing the block times adds to the instability of the blockchain.
FST can have problems, with its faster speed, as there was once a fork of 500+ blocks by a pool. These blocks are confirmed at one point, and if spent will then cause losses for shops. The faster its speed, the more riskier the coins that are spent can be reversed later.
Keep this in mind when considering who has faster transaction times.
The FastCoin development team responded in part as follow:
Please understand that we take the matter of security with FastCoin very seriously, we find the information you posted interesting and would like to learn more.
Could you please provide us with the specific role you played when developing the FastCoin project and any credible references to back up those claims? In addition, can you provide evidence pertaining to when exactly there was “a fork of 500+ blocks by a pool” as you claim? If you could be more specific of the block count in question, when you believe this incident took place, a simple inquiry into the FST BlockChain can determine the FST in question. We could easily look up the records in question here: http://fst.webboise.com/chain/Fastcoin
In addition to the above, I see that either you or the Earthcoin group claim elsewhere that: “Right now we average <30 seconds as our safe spot to advertise however we’re closer to <10 seconds”, without informing the public under which circumstances Earthcoin performs at these suggested times. We mean, it completely negates the posted block time specification of 1 min which is from your official posting within the Bitcointalk.org forum post located here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=379236.0
So what is it? 1 min, 30 seconds, or less then 10 seconds? We mean, once your coin is programmed for a certain block time, that’s it, it is set, there is nothing you can do to change that unless you release a new version of it with a completely new block chain and some re-coding of the original code. The only thing you can do with a live release is slower the confirmation time on the client end as what World coin decided to do by combining the original 15 seconds posted block confirmation times into a 30 seconds per block confirmation.
In addition, don’t you think the Network difficulty adjustments over the life of a coin are the real concern here?
We mean, ALL CRYPTO COINS are prone to being gamed and potentially manipulated. To understand this it must be understood that a Crypto coin’s algorithm has a close relationship it shares with the following:
a.) The overall Network Hash Rate
b.) The regression difficulty which in our case self adjusts each hour depending on the Network Hash Rate.
From the information that was presented by you, it appears that you try to use the argument that because of FastCoin’s high confirmation times, run away branches can occur more frequently and the example you gave was 500+ confirmations etc. If in fact this did occur, besides the fact that we don’t have an official record of this event, this possibility is more a function of how stable the Network Hash Rate was relative to the difficulty set for the given period of time, not the FastCoin confirmation time itself. It is important to make this distinction except if you have an ulterior motive.