FAQ

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Contents

What is Darkcoin?

Darkcoin is an online currency which aims to play a dominant role in the cryptocurrency market, along with Bitcoin, covering the privacy and anonymity needs that Bitcoin cannot cover due to its transparent nature.

There is an increasing number of Bitcoin users who do not want their transactions or account balances to be publicly available for everyone to see. Darkcoin will ensure that this doesn't happen by combining the best anonymity technologies and IP obfuscation.

More importantly, Darkcoin is a development platform for new technologies that are gradually integrated to the Bitcoin protocol with the intent to provide additional functionality.

You can read more about Darkcoin here: http://wiki.darkcoin.eu/wiki/Main_Page

Who is behind Darkcoin?

Evan Duffield (eduffield on bitcointalk.org) is the creator and main developer of Darkcoin. Kyle Hagan (InternetApe on bitcointalk.org) is the Network Engineer of Darkcoin.

Up to June 2014, Duffield has developed DarkSend (the anonymity module of Darkcoin), the masternode payment voting system, the X11 chained-hashing-algorithm (which has become the favorite hashing algorithm for 2014 among GPU miners) and the difficulty adjusting algorithm DarkGravityWave which builds upon the KGW concept through a different implementation that solves the time-warp problem.

He is committed to the active development of Darkcoin as a full-time job for at least until January of 2016. He has stated that the development plan includes anonymity enhancements, IP obfuscation and mainstream features aside from anonymity.

You can read more on how the creator started the Darkcoin project here: https://darkcointalk.org/threads/the-birth-of-darkcoin.162/

Is Darkcoin illegal?

Laws are local by nature so it depends on where you live as the regulatory framework that governs cryptocurrencies in each country differs. For most countries cryptocurrencies are legal.

It would be safe to assume that if Bitcoin is legal in your country, so is Darkcoin.

Is Darkcoin fully and 100% anonymous?

Privacy / Anonymity is a developing field in cryptocurrencies and while advances are being made, it is unlikely that 100% anonymity will be achieved soon by any cryptocurrency. Darkcoin's DarkSend begun in pre-Alpha stage in February of 2014 and it is a work in progress. It aims to provide obfuscated money flows in a trustless and decentralized way, improving step-by-step to achieve this goal.

The "easy" part of the job is to obfuscate things to a degree that it is virtually impossible for 99.99% of the people to "see through" the obfuscation layer. This can allow for a practical degree of anonymity/privacy.

The "hard" part is to render an extremely capable adversary with vast resources (think someone with NSA-level resources) incapable of breaking through the obfuscation layers.

Isn't Bitcoin anonymous? Why would I need Darkcoin as an invidual or as a company?

Bitcoin's privacy is adequate up to a certain degree and contingent upon the user (whether he is an individual or company) to follow best practices, like using a new address for every single transaction, to use different IPs, to avoid simultaneous spending between addresses (which can link prior activity), etc.

As an individual you may not want to have your transactions publicly listed and connected to your activities, buying habits, incomes and so on. After all, most people don't like to have their bank statement or visa statement online for everyone else to see.

As a company you may also not want to give away client info, buying statistics, volume, expenditure and so on.

While these information are not easy to extract or correlate, there are people* that one can hire to perform blockchain analysis in order to extract information about you, your company or your clients by correlating data that -to most people- seem sufficiently obscure.

Darkcoin obfuscates money flows so that this possibility is virtually eliminated. I2P integration and IP obfuscation is the next step to seamlessly obfuscate IP addresses by simply using the DarkSend client (one can manually use TOR as an IP obfuscation measure right now).

[*] http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-06/06/bitcoin-retail

Wouldn't I be suspect of doing something illegal by hiding my transactions?

According to Article #12 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, privacy is a basic human right that should not be infringed. This is also constitutionally guaranteed in most countries although a lot of governments are joining the trend where mass surveillance is enforced under the excuse of terrorism.

Privacy is our right and 100% legal. The practices that violate it are not - no matter where they originate from.

I want Darkcoins. Where can I find some?

You can either mine Darkcoins (with a CPU or GPU), trade Darkcoins for other coins like Bitcoin, get paid Darkcoins by providing merchandise / services, or buy them from some cryptocurrency exchange.

What are the specs of Darkcoin?

Coins issued will be from 16 to 22 million coins, until 2050+, depending on the difficulty

Fast transaction times at 2.5m per block

Multipool resistant through difficulty re-targeting at every block with DarkGravityWave

Coins issued reduced every year by 7%

Low inflation and further downward adjustment of inflation with increasing hashrate (min reward 5 per block for 2014)

X11 chained hashing algorithm, comprising of 11 different hashes (blake, bmw, groestl, jh, keccak, skein, luffa, cubehash, shavite, simd, echo) allowing CPU and GPU mining (50% less watts / heat than scrypt)

ASIC-resistance (for as long as there are no X11 ASICs)

DarkSend which allows for private/anonymous transactions

Masternode payments which allows for a combined Proof-of-Work / Proof-of-Stake / Proof-of-Service model, where masternodes receive 20% of the mining output. This allows Darkcoin holders to create income out of their existing Darkcoins while also providing a service for the network. (Release Candidate status - bugs are ironed out)


Development projects to be integrated: IP obfuscation and anonymity enhancements

Development projects under consideration: Possible expansion of Masternode utilization with more mainstream features (like Blockchain hosting for thin clients)

Undisclosed "killer" mainstream feature after the anonymity module is completed.

What's the difference between versions 0.9 and 0.10 "RC" ?

Versions numbered 0.9 are built on the opensource code that does not contain the DarkSend functionality. RC versions which are numbered 0.10 are based on the same code plus the closed source addition of DarkSend - so there are only executables for 0.10 (source code not available). The two versions will converge in a few weeks when DarkSend is finalized and opensourced.

Bottom line: If you want to use DarkSend download 0.10 RC. Otherwise you are OK with 0.9.

What are the next development plans for Darkcoin?

-RC4 (Mid July): Improved anonymity and fixes for the masternode payment system

-Code Audit

-RC5: Address any security issues or major bugs discovered in the audit

-Opensourcing of DarkSend

Is Darkcoin a Zerocoin or Bytecoin clone?

No. It's based on Bitcoin's code.

Is Darkcoin a virus? My antivirus flags it as a threat

Most cryptocurrency wallets and mining programs are falsely flagged as viruses by several antivirus solutions. As long as you download an official build of Darkcoin wallet, you should be fine.

Do not download Darkcoin wallets or mining programs from non-official or untrusted sources as these may indeed be affected by viruses or wallet stealers.

Can I mine Darkcoin? If yes, how?

Yes, you can mine Darkcoin with CPU (only 64 bit) or GPU. It uses the X11 hashing algorithm, so if you have prior experience with X11 you should be ok.

You can find software, instructions for mining and indicative hashrates here: Mining Darkcoin

What hashrates should I expect for my GPU?

You can check here for comparison: http://wiki.darkcoin.eu/wiki/Mining_Darkcoin#GPU_Mining_Performance_Charts

What is the optimal setup for my GPU?

Unlike scrypt, X11 doesn't require too much tweak with thread concurrencies, work size, lookup gap and number of threads to achieve a good performance. You can try various settings and see what works or not but most of the time they don't make much of a difference. Alternatively you can ask on the bitcointalk thread that covers sph-sgminer operation for AMD GPUs: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=475795.0

Remember not to set intensity too high, otherwise you will get a lot of rejects.

Why is sph-sgminer showing WU at 0.00x, difficulty at 0.00x or <null> ?

There is nothing wrong with your miner. It's simply that the WU and difficulty levels of scrypt do not really apply for X11. If you also see <null>, there's still nothing wrong. It's more of a case where the mining program is beta / under development.

Is there a 32 bit cpu miner?

No.

Can I solo-mine Darkcoin? If yes, how?

In general, it is not advisable to do so unless you have a very high hashrate – like 30-40 GPUs. In such a case, you probably already know how to solo-mine (the process is similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin etc).

The best alternative to solo mining is P2Pools that eliminates the need for registration and has instant payouts to contributors (a lag in payments is OK for P2Pools during the first day).

What pool should I use?

You can use whatever pool you like, however make sure it's trustworthy. Avoid too large pools as these have a negative impact on the centralization of hashpower which allows 51% attacks. For example if the network has 100 gigahashes of haspower and a pool has 30 gigahash, they own 30% of the hashrate. It'd be better to use something smaller or a P2Pool. Both options prevent the centralization of hashrate.

You are also advised to use secondary mining pools in case your primary one goes offline or is attacked by Denial of Service attacks – which are fairly common.

The pool I'm using bans my client every now and then. What's wrong?

It's possible that the pool has set sensitive anti-DDOS rules to fight DDOS attacks and you're getting caught by it while the pool is experiencing a DDOS*. Try another pool for a while until the DDOS stops.

[*] Distributed Denial of Service Attack

Where can I find information about the centralization of Darkcoin's hashpower?

Information regarding the hashrate of each pool is available here: http://drk.poolhash.org/poolhash.html

What is a 51% attack?

Cryptocurrencies based on the Bitcoin “proof-of-work” system are vulnerable when someone controlling more than 50% of the computing power of the network can make illegitimate transactions appear as legitimate. This allows behaviors like the double spending of the same coins.

How many Darkcoins are in circulation?

Currently there are approximately 4.4 million Darkcoins in circulation.

What is the smallest monetary subdivision of Darkcoin?

The equivalent of Bitcoin's "satoshis" do not have an official name in Darkcoin but the Darkcoin community likes to call them "duffs" in homage of Darkcoin's creator Evan Duffield.

How many Darkcoins are issued daily?

Approximately 2880 per day. If network hashrate goes down significantly, more coins are issued to make mining more attractive and keep the network secure.

How many Darkcoins will be issued in total?

Unlike the number of Bitcoins in which the number is known in advance, Darkcoins have a maximum theoretical limit of approximately 21.3 million coins by 2050 with a slow issuing curve. However the real number of coins can be reduced to something like 16 or 17 million coins in case the hashrate of the network brings the mining reward lower in the near future.

Initially the plan was to have a theoretical limit of approximately 84 million coins, however due to the initial block reward formula which was aggressively diminishing block rewards without a minimum reward set, it would be near impossible to have more than 10 million coins issued.

Minimum block reward is now set at 5 DRKs per block and instead of using block halving every 4 years, Darkcoin employs a far smoother 7% annual decrease in coins issued per block. The minimum block reward was achieved on May 15th 2014.

Bottom line answer is: The theoretical maximum is close to 22mn but in practice we might not see more than 16-17mn coins due to tremendous difficulty increase very early in the coin's life.

Should I buy Darkcoin or will I lose my money?

Nobody can tell you what you should do with your money. Cryptocurrencies in general have tremendous fluctuation in terms of fiat money valuation depending a large number of speculatory variables. One day they could be worth 1$, the next day they could be worth 1000$ and the day after they could be worth a third of that - as it's happening with the rise cycles of Bitcoin.

In general, Darkcoin has good fundamentals as an innovative coin, with low inflation, relatively scarce supply of coins, fast transactions and real world demand in an area that Bitcoin can't currently cover (private / anonymous market). The plan is to be a good store of value that can also be used anonymously, just like cash – something that is currently impossible with the vast majority of cryptocurrencies.

Remember: Never invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Whether it is on Bitcoin, Darkcoin, some other coin, a stock, or any other investment for that matter. Not only can it mess your life, but it can also be dangerous for incurring losses. By investing when you cannot afford to lose you are more prone to panic-sell when the price is going lower than your buying price. When the price goes up again it will be too late.

Trading Darkcoin is also a bad idea if you are not an experienced trader.

I read that Darkcoin is more fungible than Bitcoin. What does that mean?

A central aspect of using currencies is that the unit of the currency has the same properties as another unit of the currency. For example 1 gram of gold is equal with 1 gram of gold. A one euro coin is equal to another one euro coin. In a similar sense, one darkcoin is equal to any other darkcoin.

When the history of each coin is being tracked, from its generation (through mining) up to its last spending, as is the case with the Bitcoin blockchain, certain coins can be "flagged". For example, if one knows that an exchange was hacked and that its BTCs were stolen and that these same BTCs were then spent to acquire a merchandise, it can be seen that that the BTCs spent for the merchandise are a byproduct of crime. So, in this sense, these BTCs are not equivalent with other BTCs because they carry with them a negative reputation or legal implications*. This lack of equality originates from the refusal of some party to accept BTCs that have a certain "history" behind them. Lack of fungibility in a currency is strongly problematic.

If there is a constant "mixing" of coins in the blockchain, as is happening with DarkSend, all Darkcoins remain fungible (=equal to one another) and its use as a currency is not disrupted by the public ledger / blockchain.

[*] Bitstamp has required users to provide evidence of where they got their Bitcoins before cashing them out.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/26apno/bitstamp_will_not_process_withdrawal_unless_you/

Where can I get historic prices for Darkcoin?

The price charts on poloniex and c-cex market exchanges are the oldest charts that exist. The Darkcoin Wiki also makes an effort to follow the price each month, associating it with market events that affected the price: price history

What is X11?

It's the hashing algorithm used by Darkcoin, comprising of 11 different hashing algorithms.You can read more about it here: X11

Can ASICs mine Darkcoin / X11?

Theoretically they can, as all GPU-mineable coins can be implemented on ASICs. However there are no ASICs to do so at this time and anyone who claims that there are ASICs for X11 without proof is probably lying. ASICs will be developed in time if they become profitable for ASIC manufacturers. The NSA might have already ordered some, given their mission (and assigned budget) to be ahead of the game in what they do.

One ASIC manufacturer erroneously put out an online brochure, classifying Darkcoin as an Scrypt coin that can be mined by their Scrypt ASICs. However Darkcoin is not an Scrypt coin since it uses the X11 algorithm. This has created tremendous confusion in some miners that X11 can be currently mined by (scrypt) ASICs.

Can FPGAs mine Darkcoin / X11?

All GPU mineable coins can be mined by FPGAs if someone can program them to do that. However FPGAs do not have ASIC-level speed or energy efficiency. They would still be faster than GPUs though. Sites which rent hashrate for mining purposes list FPGA farms with hashrates of 10-30 Mhashes per second, which is not too fast compared to GPUs.

I see 1 Gigahash in my pool, surely that must be an ASIC!?

Given that there are GPU farms that pull upwards of 1 Gigahash in scrypt, and that X11 hashrates are at least 3-4x of scrypt, it would only require the scrypt equivalent of a 250-300 Mhash farm to pull 1 Gigahash in Darkcoin.

Is there a secret GPU miner that can mine faster?

If it is secret, who would know it except the one having it? In general it is considered that the AMD GPU client could possibly be improved but so far attempts to dramatically* improve hashrates have not been successful. It will probably require extensive rewriting of the code for some of the hashing functions. The Nvidia miner is still in its infancy and its making large development steps.

[*] For AMD GPUs there was an improved closed source version with 2% obligatory fee for the author. That miner was hacked to provide fee-less mining: http://cryptomining-blog.com/2496-new-sgminer-fork-for-x11-mining-with-higher-performance/

Is X11 ASIC-immune?

No it isn't. Any GPU mineable coin can be ASIC'ed. However it can be considered ASIC-resistant for as long as there is no ASIC mining it.

What will Darkcoin do when X11 can be mined by ASICs?

The plan by the coin creators is to follow the same path that Bitcoin followed, from CPUs to GPUs to ASICs.

Wouldn't Darkcoin “die” if it could be mined by ASICs?

Not really. Bitcoin is mined by ASICs and it is far from dead. Coins however that falsely promised that they will avoid ASICs through their RAM-intensive algorithms (which were supposed to prevent ASIC hardware from being developed) are hit the most because they've used ASIC-resistance as one of their main “selling points”.

Darkcoin doesn't use the same selling points although miners can enjoy X11 mining with lower power and a more balanced CPU/GPU performance ratio.

Is it true that GPUs run cooler with X11?

Yes. They generally consume 40-50% less energy and thus produce 40-50% less heat. This is true both for AMD and Nvidia cards. This might change though as further optimizations are done with the code.

Why is the difficulty and hashrate so insanely high? It doesn't make sense

You should factor in that 100 Gigahash of X11, the hashing algorithm of Darkcoin, is just 25-30 Gigahash of Scrypt with AMD GPUs due to a hashing ratio of 3:1 to 4:1. You should also factor in that X11 is mineable with CPUs and Nvidia GPUs which are quite better than AMD GPUs at it, thus attracting a lot of Nvidia hashpower.

Additionally, scrypt mining is totally unprofitable in many European countries with high energy cost. This leaves Darkcoin as one of the few viable mining alternatives due to low electric costs.

Is X11 cooler in GPUs because it's inefficient?

Not necessarily. Bitcoin mining in GPUs (SHA256) requires less energy than Scrypt and yet no-one claims that SHA256 implementation is inefficient – it's just that there are differences in how each hashing algorithm uses the hardware.

Regarding X11, apparently the “gaps” in the chaining sequence, as one algorithm is hashed with the next algorithm, provide for a “breathing” space or “lag”. An alternative explanation is that certain algorithms (out of the 11) are just slow when processed by a GPU and thus slow down the whole process. The hashing of a chain can only go as fast as the slowest algorithm of the chain.

There should be some level of optimization possible in some of the hashing algorithms that increase the hashrate and energy consumption in future versions of the GPU miners. Groestl in particular is considered to be improvable.

Can I mine with Nvidia?

Yes, ccminer now allows X11 mining with Nvidia cards. In fact hashrates for the 750 Ti* and 780 Ti make X11 more of a nvidia algorithm.

[*] Approximating an AMD 290x in hashpower running with the open source sph-sgminer.

Why do I get transaction too large or large transaction fees?

It's very probable that you have a lot of "dust" in your wallet: These are micro-amounts accumulated over time, usually from P2Pool mining. Consolidate these amounts into one address of your wallet and then try re-sending.

What is DGW or DarkGravityWave?

It's the difficulty changing algorithm of Darkcoin. It is currently on its third version (DGW3). It was developed as a response to the need of having fast difficulty retargetting but avoiding the time-warp issue that Kimoto's Gravity Well suffered from. You can read more about it, here: Dark Gravity Wave

Where can I find difficulty and hashrate charts for Darkcoin?

These data are available here: http://drk.poolhash.org/graph.html

What is DarkSend?

DarkSend is a coin-mixing anonymity service implemented by Darkcoin to anonymize transactions. You can read more about it here: DarkSend

Is DarkSend open source?

It will be opensourced when it is finalized (estimation June/July 2014)

Wouldn't it be better for Darkcoin if DarkSend was not open sourced?

The point of DarkSend is to provide a trustless and decentralized anonymous solution. Closed source requires trust to the author of the code and there is no point requesting the users to trust the code. The code should be open for everyone to see.

Darkcoin will remain a cutting edge coin and improve on DarkSend (with IP obfuscation and better anonymity) and its other technologies, knowing that innovation is a key fundamental for its own success. Cloning on the other hand is a way for small coins to "make a quick buck". This is of no concern to Darkcoin as these coins are not really viable in the longterm.

Why can't I DarkSend more than 10 DRKs?

There is only one denomination pool prior to RC2, a limitation which will be lifted in next versions.

How does DarkSend work?

The general concept is that multiple transactions are grouped together so that they can be performed together, after having being broken down to random amounts. In this way a third party doesn't know who sent what.

The mixing of the coins takes place in network nodes that are operated by users. These nodes are called Master Nodes and they will be receiving 20% of the block reward for the service they provide.

The specs of DarkSend are under constant evolution so they are not yet 100% final or open source. Open sourcing will occur after the final release of DarkSend.

How do I know the other party got my payment?

Ideally, the other party should generate a new address for every payment. By checking his/her address balance in the blockchain, after you've sent the money, you can see that they have arrived after a while in "chunks" that add up to the original amount you sent.

What are Master Nodes?

Masternodes are network nodes, owned by the users of Darkcoin network. They perform the coin mixing service of DarkSend which anonymizes transactions. Users get rewarded with 20% of the mining output per block (without actually performing any mining themselves) through a "voting mechanism".

Masternodes require 1000 DRK to be set up as a negative incentive that disallows one party running or controlling too many of them.

In the future Masternodes, or the Masternode-payment system, could possibly be utilized for providing other kind of services, like blockchain hosting for thin-client functionality.

The masternode payment protocol will be implemented on the main Darkcoin network on May 24th, as Release Candidate status. For the time being over 100 masternodes operate on the Darkcoin network, however they are not receiving any payments.

Can Masternodes steal money?

No. Masternodes are something like the meeting place where every party is signing the transaction. Masternodes do not hold money from transactions thus they are unable to steal. It is a trustless solution.

1000 DRK for each masternode? Isn't this too much?

It is not desirable to have a very large number of masternodes as these generate a lot of network traffic. In theory it doesn't make much of a difference to have 1000 nodes x 1000 DRKs or 2000 nodes x 500 DRKs.

Are the 1000 DRK of masternodes used for mixing purposes?

No, they are not. They are just the requirement for running a masternode.

With, say, 100 USD per DRK, a masternode will cost 100.000$. Isn't this very dangerous in terms of risk and exposure?

Yes, and that's why people running masternodes should know what they are doing. More specifically, it is advised to run a masternode on a cold wallet.

Will I lose the 1000 DRKs? Is it a one time payment?

No. You keep your 1000 DRKs and you can spend them later on when you are finished hosting a masternode.

Are the 1000 DRKs of the Masternode in danger?

Masternode hosting is not intended for those who are not confident in what they are doing. Lack of security awareness and technical know-how might jeopardize the 1000 DRKs of someone attempting to setup the node.

As of RC3+ of DarkSend it is possible to NOT have the 1000 DRKs on the node, but rather have the node point to a local wallet / cold wallet, ensuring better safety levels. Read the guide here: https://darkcointalk.org/threads/how-to-set-up-ec2-t1-micro-ubuntu-for-masternode-part-2-3.241/

I have 1000 DRK. How do I set up a Master Node?

Setting a masternode will require technical knowhow and significant security awareness, as there are 1000 DRK at stake that can be hacked if you aren't using them from a cold-wallet. There is also the possibility that your node will be DDOSed.

First read a case where a node was hacked and the user lost his 1000 DRKs (valued at ~10.000 Euro at the time): https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg6984042#msg6984042

Then you can find guides and discussions on setting a Master Node in the following link:

https://darkcointalk.org/threads/how-to-set-up-ec2-t1-micro-ubuntu-for-masternode-part-2-3.241/


Recommendations by InternetApe (Darkcoin network developer) regarding Masternode security:

DO NOT allow root ssh access

Only open port 9999 in your firewall to the world

Only open port 22 (SSH) to a trusted ip

Setup SSH to use certificates for logging in

Do not run any application on the server that you dont have to

Encrypt you wallet

Clear your bash history


Alternative Guides:


http://planetcrypton.com/hardened-server

http://planetcrypton.com/install-darkcoin-daemon

http://planetcrypton.com/update-darkcoin-daemon


Is there an idiot-proof way or guide to create a Master Node?

You don't want to run a Masternode if you are not knowing precisely what you are doing. The risk is too great for your money. The risk is not theoretical. There has been an instance of a hacked server where the hacker took the 1000 DRKs due to poor security. However RC3 introduced cold-wallet functionality, allowing users to store the 1000 DRKs away from the server in cold storage.

Is there a way for someone with less than 1000 DRKs to run a node?

It is possible for people to collaborate and make a node by joining their money and splitting the revenue. Platforms may be built where something similar to mining pools ("masternode pools") may automate this process for owners with less than 1000 DRKs.

How is the Masternode paid?

For every new block issued, there is a "voting process" (from the miners finding blocks) that will pay out at one masternode. Not all masternodes are paid simultaneously - just one per round. This means that there is chance / variance involved in how payouts are conducted. So, for example, if there were 600 nodes running, and since there are 576 blocks per day, one could expect an average payment of one time per day per node. But due to variance this result would more likely average out over a month, than a single day.

Where are the money coming from for Masternode payments? Are extra coins created or do miners get 20% less?

Miners get -20% of each block, and that same 20% goes to Masternodes as a payment. Coin generation remains stable. If mining becomes unattractive for miners, difficulty goes down and coin generation increases benefiting both miners and masternode owners.

Why is a voting mechanism used for paying Masternodes?

The aim of this mechanism is to make reliable payments to well-behaving masternodes. The alternative was to make the block payment to the last node which performed a DarkSend, however this would facilitate scripts in the nodes in which there would be a lot of bogus DarkSends just to increase one's chances to get the payment.

Is the voting mechanism tamper-proof?

It will require a miner or a pool to find 6 blocks in a row in order to be able to tamper with the voting process.

Should Master Nodes be spread around to avoid centralization?

Yes.

What happens if a Masternode is DDOS'ed?

The DarkSend solution is fault resistant. Non-operating masternodes are removed from the list of masternodes and DarkSend continues through the functional nodes.

What happens if a Masternode is hacked?

Worst case scenario is that you can lose your 1000 DRKs.

Such incidents have happened and you can learn from other people's mistakes: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg6984042#msg6984042

Recommendations by InternetApe (Darkcoin network dev)regarding Masternode security:

DO NOT allow root ssh access

Only open port 9999 in your firewall to the world

Only open port 22 (SSH) to a trusted ip

Setup SSH to use certificates for logging in

Do not run any application on the server that you dont have to

Encrypt you wallet

Clear your bash history

Where can I see how many Master Nodes exist and how are they spread around?

You can check these data using the following link: http://drk.poolhash.org/darksend.html

How much can I expect to earn with my Master Node?

The formula for daily income per node is this: (Block reward x 0.2 x 576 blocks per day) / Number of Masternodes running

So if

Block reward = 5 Number of masternodes running = 400

...it goes like this: (5 x 0.2 x 576) / 400 = 1.44 DRK per day for a single node.

What happens if Masternode payment rewards stop or diminish considerably due to very low block reward?

This won't happen for several decades in which case masternode payments might go higher than 20%. Remember also that increasing price per coin will compensate the lower coin issuing rate.

Will Darkcoin clones that implement DarkSend affect Darkcoin's price?

Coins which are first-to-market usually experience a tremendous advantage over their clones, as the clones are perceived to offer nothing more than the original, or if they do it's usually in the form of some “cosmetic” changes for the purpose of pretentious differentiation – in other words tweaked parameters that will allow them to market themselves as “more than a simple clone”.

Darkcoin is an innovative coin which builds upon the source of Bitcoin and adds real-world functionality, expanding the markets in which cryptocurrencies can be used.

As of 15th May 2014, the market cap of the transparent market (all cryptocurrencies which have transparent transactions) is near 7 billion USD while the anonymous market is close to 13 million USD.

The anonymous market can be equated like the new shop in town that “breaks” the monopoly of the *only* shop in town. Up to recently, users could only transact with transparent coins and therefore the transparent coins represented 100% marketshare of the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies. When a new option of privacy and anonymity is presented, it starts from 0% marketshare and gradually increases as it “chews” on the 100% marketshare of the transparent market.

If just 1-10% of the transparent market moves to the anonymous/private market, the market capitalization of anonymous coins will be approximately 70 to 700 million USD. And if Bitcoin prices rise to their all-time-high of ~1200 USD per BTC, then that number can be upward adjusted from 200 million to 2 billion USD.

Compared to current valuation (May 2014) of just 13 mn USD for the anonymous market (of which 12 mn USD are Darkcoin's market cap) there is a tremendous upward potential, not for one, but for many anonymous coins to co-exist in that same market and enjoy the growth from 0% to 1% or 10% and above. Even if 10 anonymous coins competed in the same market, there would still be a very large market cap to share between them. However, cryptocurrency markets are considered markets with characteristics of “winner-takes-all”, and therefore a combination of first-to-market and technical superiority will probably allow Darkcoin to prevail.

Is Darkcoin technologically superior to other anonymous solutions?

Right now (May 2014), aside from Darkcoin with DarkSend, there are three types of anonymous solutions that exist or are in the works.

1. Bitcoin and Bitcoin clones using IP obfuscation or external mixers like Dark Wallet.

2. Zerocash / Zerocoin

3. Bytecoin and cryptonote-based clones

The first solution can be an adequate workaround for Bitcoin users in their effort to achieve a better degree of privacy. It uses coinjoin but it requires a third party to allow the "matchmaking" between Bitcoin users who want to mix their coins. Future plans involve P2P "matchmaking" that will alleviate this problem to some degree. It is also difficult to use for bi-directional transmission of money.

The second solution has yet to prove itself as an operating protocol that is robust because it relies on some advanced mathematics that have not been given the test of time. But the major drawback of Zerocoin seems to be the need to issue a single key at the beginning of the network. This requires a tremendous amount of trust that the key issuer of the Zerocoin network will not have knowledge of the key. The problem is further enhanced because if the key is known and the network is exhibiting abnormal behavior (like the generation of infinite coins), nobody will be able to tell. Otherwise, it's anonymity potential should be the best.

The third solution is a mixing solution, embedded within the protocol, using ring signatures – meaning that people are grouped together so that coins are mixed in groups and people can't tell who is who among the group. Bytecoin currently lacks in terms of “ecosystem”, as it doesn't have a GUI-based wallet, operating with command line (GUI is under development as of the time of this writing). Bytecoin clones also suffer from the immaturity of the Bytcoin ecosystem – however the anonymity solution used is considered good (if combined with IP obfuscation + Quantum Computing resistant algorithms - which is currently not the case) albeit with one serious side-effect: Severely bloated blockchain that might not scale for mainstream adoption. This can be worked around by reducing the anonymity provided and reducing the mixing setting to a lower degree.

Darkcoin implements coin mixing through DarkSend on its own network (no need for third parties – as nodes of the network take over the task of mixing coins) and will also implement IP obfuscation. DarkSend will be updated with further anonymity upgrades in the upcoming RC4 version.

Is Darkcoin going to implement ring signatures?

The plan was to implement ring signatures in V2 of DarkSend. However, possible bloat issues might make Darkcoin problematic to scale as cryptonote coins (which first implemented ring signatures) seem to have significant issues with "bloating" which in turn makes scaling almost impossible. An alternative approach is going to be implemented in the upcoming RC4 version which promises to increase anonymity.

Is Darkcoin centralized due to its Masternodes?

No, there are hundreds of masternodes who are operated by the users of the network. Transactions are routed randomly through any one of these nodes. The name Masternode does not imply centralization. It could be anything like “DarkSend nodes” or something similar, so there should be no confusion about their functionality. However there is a lot of "FUD" (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) by competing cryptocurrencies that Masternodes are "centralized".

That would be the analogous of saying that Bitcoin is centralized due to the existence of nodes, or that a torrent network is centralized due to the existence of large seed nodes.

Can one perform timing analysis to see where the coins went?

The reason for grouping DarkSend transactions it that as there are multiple transactions executed simultaneously, it's hard to tell who sent what to who. By using sequential DarkSending through multiple nodes, IP obfuscation and upcoming improvements, a good degree of anonymity can be achieved.

What can I expect in terms of traceability?

The target is to make the blockchain a “fog” where each transaction cannot be pinpointed with any certainty. As transaction volume increases and as further layers of anonymity are developed upon the existing DarkSend implementation, the degree of anonymity escalates significantly to near total anonymity.

For all intents and purposes, the anonymity provided should be adequate for 99% of the cases, except a very significant adversary (like a government agency with the resources of the NSA). For the last 1% (the NSA-proofing part) it requires much more effort in terms of technology employed and security awareness from the user.

Given that DarkSend obfuscates money flows, and not account balances, you will have to take appropriate measures in terms of "best practices" for anonymous transactions to maximize your anonymity.

1) Generate new addresses every time for receiving funds

2) Use IP obfuscation techniques

3) Avoid operating systems or hardware devices that are "rooted" by government agencies

4) If you want to send or receive a payment, find a way to communicate the payment address without leaving a track. For example, if you send the payment address through an unencrypted email, a phone conversation etc, it's obvious that someone who can spy on you can see the address and link it to you. DarkSend will obfuscate money flows but does not hide your balance or the balance of the other party. Through strong IP obfuscation it is possible to avoid the identity link between you and your addresses.

Note that there is currently no anonymous solution (Darkcoin, Bytecoin (BCN) & clones, Anoncoin) which, in itself, can be proclaimed NSA-proof or fully anonymous.

Darkcoin has three "issues":

a) Account balances are visible since the obfuscation occurs in terms of money flows. This means that by using your home IP, for example, while using your account, a government agency can track you down if you aren't using strong IP obfuscation. IP obfuscation is to be integrated in a future DarkSend release, however one can use IP obfuscation today through services like TOR or something else/better.

b) Masternodes can be controlled and thus the controller of the Masternode can learn about a certain transaction, if they were inclined to. There is a negative incentive to own many masternodes through their high price (so if a government agency wanted to own all masternodes that would escalate the cost of owning the nodes to a very high price) but this in itself does not prevent the mapping of the network to a certain degree. The next versions of DarkSend aim to improve on this aspect in particular.

c) There are still traces in the blockchain when funds go from A to B to C to D. Through denominating a set of same amounts, the pinpointing of a transaction to an individual becomes probabilistic rather than definite.

I have sync issues with my wallet. What can I do?

Download the newest wallet and try again. Alternatively add some extra nodes to your wallet's configuration. You can read how to do that here: https://darkcointalk.org/threads/no-blocksource-available-wallet-sync-problems.618/

If that doesn't work, download the latest wallet. While the wallet ISN'T running, backup your wallet.dat which resides in users/app data/roaming/Darkcoin (Windows) or /home/user/.darkcoin (Linux). Then erase all the rest of the files and folders in these directories EXCEPT wallet.dat. Run the latest wallet and allow it to download the blockchain from the start. That should now work.

I have persistent sync issues with my wallet despite updating my client. What can I do?

Start the wallet and wait 10 minutes. If you still have a problem, stop the wallet and replace peers.dat with the peers.dat from http://drk.poolhash.org/files/peers.dat

(For Macs the peers.dat is located in ~/Library/Application Support/Darkcoin/)

Another issue that could affect your wallet's operation is port 9999 of your firewall. Check the outbound port of 9999 in your firewall and if it is blocked.

An easy way to test it is by trying the following address: http://portquiz.net:9999/

If you get a result like: "You have reached this page on port 9999. Your network allows you to use this port."

...you should be O.K, otherwise you need to fix your port 9999.

My wallet is stuck at block XXXXX and it's not going forward. What can I do?

You've probably missed to update your wallet during a hard-fork. Download the latest wallet and you should be fine.

I didn't update during the latest hard fork and I sent XXX DRK to someone. Have I lost them?

Stop the wallet and backup the wallet.dat. Then update your wallet client to the latest version. Remove the chainstate, the blocks and the database. After you are done, restart the wallet. Once sync is finished check the balance.

Can a coin with the name “Darkcoin” actually succeed?

Yes it can and it does succeed as evidenced by its continuous rise among cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, criticism of this kind only appears when prices are stagnant. The criticism evaporates when prices “get going” again and the price is on the rise.

Won't exchanges remove Darkcoin if it is considered illegal?

Bitcoin was considered “sketchy” and a tool for black market activities in the not so distant past, yet that didn't affect it. But when authorities have a problem with something they will find any excuse possible. This applies to all cryptocurrencies.

Given the transaction volume of the DRK/BTC pair it would be unlikely that exchanges would feel nice about removing it and losing this volume to other exchanges. Besides, the legal status of cryptocurrencies is different in many countries and a co-ordinated action to remove it from all exchanges simultaneously, no matter the country, seems extremely unlikely.

It is also extremely unlikely that any attempts of this kind will be done anytime soon, as Darkcoin is still too small and action against it would actually create a lot of publicity in its favor.

What's the level of Darkcoin adoption in real-life commerce applications?

Cryptocurrency adoption is generally very low in commerce and that includes Bitcoin. Darkcoin is still in its infancy and as such it is not widely considered for commercial applications. There are some merchants or services who accept Darkcoin but these are the exception rather than the rule.

As cryptocurrencies gain a larger marketshare among the means of transmitting money between businesses and individuals, Darkcoin aims to place itself in that area where it will allow both individuals and companies to keep their transactions private, instead of having them on public display for everyone to see.

It is understandable that companies in particular would not like their bank accounts to be visible by everyone (including their competitors), nor would buyers want to have their whole buying history mapped-out and easily navigated through. That's exactly where Darkcoin comes in. In a sense it resembles the privacy level of cash (in an online form) rather than resembling the operation of a credit card.

Was Darkcoin premined?

No.

Was Darkcoin IPO'ed / ICO'ed?

No.

Did Darkcoin have a fair launch?

Yes and it was publicly preannounced.

Was Darkcoin Instamined?

~2mn coins were issued in the first 48 hours due to problems with the difficulty readjustment. That represents approximately 10-15% of the total money supply that will ever be issued.

The majority of these coins were distributed through the market in the following weeks and months at very low price levels* (0.0000x BTC per DRK to 0.000x BTC per DRK) and a lot of them were also absorbed in the April/May 2014 price increase.

[*] Examples of prices and selling action almost two weeks after launch:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg4861558#msg4861558

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg4889177#msg4889177

I read somone who wrote that 50% of the coins in circulation are owned by the devs

No. This is a classic case of spreading FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) by supporters of other cryptocurrencies who perceive Darkcoin as a threat to the coin they support.

The coin has been well distributed through exchanges since early February 2014 – almost 15-20 days after the coin's launch. One could buy as many cheap DRKs as they wanted, with prices of 0.0000x per DRK or 0.0001x per DRK. This can be verified by historic charts of c-cex.com and poloniex.com of early Feb 2014. These two exchanges were the first that adopted DRK. Huge buy orders of 20-30-50k DRKs were being filled by early miners who were dumping their coins for pennies, not really appreciating the coin they had in their possession due to the “abundant” way in which they mined it as people do not really appreciate what they are given in ample quantity.

Miners who “instamined” large quantities never foresaw the huge price increase and as such sold over a million coins at prices from 0.0000x up to 0.002 – with the first large batch being sold after DRK hit the exchanges and the next large batches being sold from February 2014 to April 2014 @ 0.0015 BTC price levels. In fact, many coin holders were complaining* of all the “dumping” by those who held cheap coins from the start that kept the price at artificially low levels for 2 months straight.

The dumping ended, due to tremendous market demand, when a “pump” was initiated by “whale” buyers that swallowed millions of USD (in DRKs), raising the price from 0.0012 to 0.017 within a few weeks.

[*] During this dumping period there were certain individuals who spread FUD about how the coin will never rise in price due to the instaminers dumping continuously. These are typically the same people who are claiming that the 50% instamine distribution affects the coin distribution today. However it is impossible to simultaneously claim that the coins were being dumped and that the 50% instamine holds true today. It's either one or the other. Since the coins were being dumped, the 50% instamine distribution was gradually reduced with each dumping wave. Blockchain analysis indicates a well distributed coin, reflecting the fact that the dumped coins were evenly distributed through the market. Early distribution is not currently an issue as huge buyers have been reshuffling the "rich-list" in their favor, buying millions of dollars in Darkcoins during May 2014. Late distribution through aggressive buying is currently more of a concern than early distribution.

Will the initial distribution affect Darkcoin in the future?

It can bring criticism but other than that, no, as Darkcoin has solid fundamentals which are the basis for its continuous ascent despite FUD and accusations.

The creator of the coin proposed to fix the initial distribution issue by airdroping new coins in order to address criticism and resolve the issue once and for all. The community disagreed and voted down this proposal with most arguing that the distribution is relatively OK by now (April 2014) and that the airdrop would create more problems than it would solve.

Even if there were doubts for the distribution, the late April-May “pump” solved the distribution problem for good, through massive buys that “chewed” enormous waves of “dumping” from prior holders of cheaply acquired coins.

The quick monetary expansion at the start, and the slower rate of expansion later on, actually had a very positive, yet unintended side-effect: It allowed Darkcoin to achieve a very low inflation rate. If every coin was mined at a consistent rate, the rate of issuing new coins would debase the value of existing coins significantly more. Compared to other PoW coins that started around the same period, Darkcoin has the lowest inflation. This allowed it to maintain and increase value when other coins were crashing under the weight of their insatiable demand for new BTCs (that were needed to buy their daily production).

The problem of high inflation in new coins, which tends to suppress their price as supply rises, has now created a new trend where some of the newer coins which are designed, either use a short mining period and Proof of Stake or continue with PoW but with a diminishing mining reward after a few days/weeks/month to reduce the problem of inflation.

Is it fair for late miners to get less coins?

Hybrid PoW / PoS coins with a few days of mining before going to PoS stage, don't seem to experience any criticism of “unfairness”, despite the fact that late comers cannot even mine such coins but have to buy it from prior holders.

Darkcoin on the other hand will issue another 12 to 18 million coins (versus the 4 million already in circulation), thus miners arriving in the future can still mine 75% to 82% of the remaining monetary base.

The diminishing reward formula ensures low levels of inflation that make Darkcoin an adequate store of value.

I read somone who wrote that there is a hidden premine in block 4137. Is that true?

No. You can use a blockchain explorer to see that block generation was 500 coins (as with all other blocks before it). The only "unusual" thing is a large transaction of 186k Darkcoins which might seem impressive with today's price but was only valued at 4.6 BTC when it happened in January (rate at the time was 40.000 DRK per 1 BTC). Transactions however do not count as block generation or something extraordinary. Movement of existing coins does not equal generation of new coins.

I read someone who wrote that Darkcoin is controlled by the government. Is that true?

No. It's just FUD by people invested in other coins or coins that want to speedup the opensourcing of DarkSend.

The beauty of opensource software is that anyone can look at the code and determine for themselves if a program is doing something that it shouldn't be doing. Darkcoin is open source and as such one can see there is no hidden dangers.

DarkSend (the anonymous sending function) is still in active development. DarkSend is being finalized and will be opensourced (projection July 2014) shortly after its final implementation to crush any such rumors. However some of the rumors are pressuring Darkcoin developers to release their code right now so that other coins can clone it and "ride" the anonymity bandwagon.

There is a widespread mentality of get-rich-quick by emulating the success of Darkcoin however most wannabe competitors lack the actual development that is necessary to develop their own anonymity solution.

Why is Darkcoin hated so much? Why so much FUD? Why all this disinfo campaign?

Privacy is a quality that people value. Prior to Darkcoin's DarkSend (February 2014) there was only* the "transparent" crypto market where one could use a transparent coin which has all transactions on public record through the blockchain. Given that the transparent market is sitting at almost 8 billion USD market capitalization, it's reasonable to expect that if just 10% of the people desire privacy in their transactions, then private and anonymous coins will attain close to 800 million in market capitalization. As the whole cryptocurrency market matures and as people extend their preference for privacy, this number could be significantly higher.

This booming field is too large and hence the rewards for the "market players" are enormous. Given that up to March 2014 the anonymous market was near 0.1% of the transparent marketcap, the potential for expansive growth was visible.

The money involved in this field are too much to be left to chance. Hence competitors will naturally want to discredit Darkcoin and take share of its marketcap. What they do not realize is that this market is quite large and they can fit in it as well without trying to harm the "rival" and resorting to tactics like hiring trolls to write (or, more often, "copy-paste") FUD, or hiring hackers to DDOS and impede the network operation of Darkcoin.

There are also cases of short-term trolling by individuals who want the price to go down and profit from such a move, either because they want to buy low and sell high, or because they were locked out of a trade while the coin was going up in price. This is very frequent in trollboxes and forums, but twitter has also become a factor in this field.

Some cases of criticism do not share the same "evil" motives but are rather a reflection of critics being ill-informed by trolls which leads to second-level propagation of false info. Typical cases are "the dev has 2m premine in his wallet", "Darkcoin is closed source, is spying on you or sending your money to the dev", "Darkcoin had a hidden premine on block 4137", "DarkSend is useless" etc.

Last, but not least, there is the cognitive-dissonance factor (a psychological phenomenon) in which an individual wants to believe that they've made the right choice (for example buying another altcoin) by rationalizing that the alternative choice (Darkcoin - which has a quite successful path) is the wrong one. The act of self-reinforcing that belief requires externalization like "it's a bubble", "it will crash", "it's inferior", "it's premined" etc.

[*] It would be fair to say that the existence of Bytecoin[BCN] was not known to any meaningful degree in the cryptocurrency world until it "surfaced" on March.

Is there a wiki for Darkcoin?

Yes. http://wiki.darkcoin.eu/

Is Darkcoin associated with DarkRoad?

No, there is no official engagement and the creators of Darkcoin have distanced themselves from the project:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg5698725#msg5698725

Is there a paper wallet?

Yes, at http://paper.darkcoin.io/

Is there a block explorer?

Yes, at least two:

http://chainz.cryptoid.info/drk/

http://explorer.darkcoin.io/chain/DarkCoin

How many people own Darkcoin?

You can find the list and statistics of addresses here: http://chainz.cryptoid.info/drk/#!rich

Is there a profit calculator for Darkcoin?

Profitability can be calculated using the following calculator: https://cointweak.com/calculator/coin/drk

Coinwarz.com also has a DRK profitability calculator, in comparison with other coins. You can also use data from the average difficulty of the last 24 hours and the average block reward found here: http://drk.poolhash.org/graph.html

What is being done to market Darkcoin?

Basically, marketing has taken a second seat to actually making the coin and its associated technologies. Most interest has been generated by people discovering Darkcoin on their own and assessing it as worthy for their mining endeavors or for investment purposes.

So far this approach has proved quite successful as Darkcoin gradually attracts media attention which begets significant exposure. This has escalated as of late (early May 2014) with Darkcoin being mentioned on TV (Russia Today) or widely-circulating newspapers.

Update: A significant wave of media exposure has taken place as a result of Darkcoin's ascent to #3 of coinmarketcap, behind LTC and BTC.

Will there be any promotional events, sponsorships etc, like DOGE has done?

DOGE relied on meme propagation and as such exposure was a key component to its successful strategy, since it had no appeal in terms of technology. This is something that most clone-coins want to emulate, as they can show nothing else.

Darkcoin aims for a new market that covers new needs that not even Bitcoin can provide for. It can also be a diversification and hedging tool for Bitcoin owners. These facts alone are almost guaranteed to attract, so-called, “big-money”, without the need to resort to cheap promotional tricks. As there is an inflow of “big-money”, more people take notice, the media take notice and awareness is gradually built. However, since there is no marketing team and no official marketing strategy, it would be wrong to say that there will be nothing in terms of marketing as this is largely undecided.

What is the difference between Dark Wallet and Darkcoin?

Dark Wallet and Darkcoin are two completely different things.

Dark Wallet is a third-party coin mixer for bitcoin that operates as a browser plugin.

Darkcoin is a coin with embedded and decentralized anonymity features. It covers the anonymity needs for both sending AND receiving coins.

What is the difference between Zerocoin and Darkcoin?

The first obvious difference is that Zerocoin doesn't exist yet.

In theory Zerocoin offers superior anonymity compared to the first implementation of Darkcoin's DarkSend using advanced, yet untested, mathematics.

The main problem of Zerocoin's implementation is that the whole network is encrypted with a single key that is generated during the birth of the network. The party responsible for creating the network key must also be trusted that he has destroyed the key without knowing it himself. This creates a trust dependency in Zerocoin's implementation that is too large. Has the initial key been destroyed? Does someone have it? Can someone find it and compromise the network by forging transactions?

Darkcoin uses simpler solutions that do not require trust. Coin mixing is a simple and tested solution and that will be enhanced in the next iteration (Version 2) with ring signatures and IP obfuscation for maximum, yet trust-less, anonymity.

I see that some other coins claim to have DarkSend. How is this possible?

It isn't, as the code is not yet opensourced. What they probably mean is that they will try to implement it on their code once DarkSend is finalized and opensourced. Darkcoin will remain one step ahead of the game by being on the cutting edge of innovation regarding the anonymity features.

Are there any physical Darkcoins?

At this point of time there are no physical Darkcoins, either as collectibles, bullion rounds or physical coins with hologram-wallets. That might change though.

I read something about a hard fork. What is that?

Bitcoin-based cruptocurrencies operate with a consensus-based system about the operation of the network. When wallet software introduces new functionality for the network, or modifies existing functionality of the network, it is essential that most wallets support the same functionality, otherwise the network "forks" into two networks. In that case, the old network will still support the old functionality / services and the new network will support the new ones.

A hard fork will require everyone updating their wallet clients, otherwise your transactions will occur in the old and obsolete network - not the new one. This means that people will be unable to see that you've sent them any money or that you will not be able to receive money to a new wallet address.

Why is a hard fork needed?

It is usually necessary in order to upgrade how the network operates. For example the introduction of a different algorithm for block targeting, the introduction of DarkSend, the evolution of DarkSend into better versions etc.

Will I lose my Darkcoins during a hard fork?

Your account balance will be the same. However in order to use your Darkcoins you'll have to update your wallet client.

Are there dangers involved in a hard fork?

Common dangers involve individuals, mining pools or exchanges not updating to the latest wallet client because they haven't taken notice of the upcoming change. Less common problems have to do with experimental code that might introduce unexpected problems into some aspect of network operation, in which case a new hard fork might be required to fix an issue. Darkcoin in particular is testing new grounds in areas like DarkSend and MasterNode payments. Given that these protocols are not yet finalized, small or large bugs can be expected, along with quite frequent updates.

Why is it called "hard" fork? Is there any other type of fork?

Hard fork is when the network is reprogrammed to do something different and everyone updates their software to introduce the new functionality and obsolete the old functionality. There is another type of fork which is simply called "fork". This is when a network splits in multiple networks that act in parallel but in an uncoordinated fashion. Thus coins spent on one network might not be seen on another network. Take for example the case where a country is totally excluded from the Internet. At that point the network nodes inside the excluded country are "forked" from the main network and have their own economy, difficulty, mining rewards etc. However the transactions occurring locally (like someone spending 10 DRKs) are not recognized from the alternate fork which is the global one. So in one network the coins will appear as spent and in the other as unspent. When the two networks re-link and re-syncronize, the transactions or mining rewards of the smaller network will become "orphaned" or obsolete and the account balances will return to their prior status.

A fork can occur in a network where a significant percentage of mining pools or nodes are not running the same wallet client and the differences between them can cause the division of the network in two or more parts. The situation can typically be resolved by everyone updating to the same software and syncing to the longest blockchain of the latest software.

In some cases panic can occur as some transactions are stuck or unrecognized, including transactions from and to market exchanges (some exchanges might opt to "freeze" a coin until the fork is resolved).

What happened with the fork of 26th of May?

As Masternode payments were introduced (so that they could get paid per block) lack of "consensus" between different masternodes, who were running different versions, caused network instability which led to the network being forked to multiple smaller forks. The network used as a checkpoint the blockchain from the official pool (drkpool.com) and a new client was issued to align everyone to it while disabling masternode payments until they are patched to work as expected.

How can I set up access through TOR?

Read this: http://www.darkproxy.net/darknet.php

I'm a little paranoid with security. How can I achieve maximum anonymity and security with Darkcoin?

1) Generate new addresses every time for receiving funds

2) Use IP obfuscation techniques

3) Avoid operating systems or hardware devices that are "rooted" by government agencies

4) If you want to send or receive a payment, find a way to communicate the payment address without leaving a track. For example, if you send the payment address through an unencrypted email, a phone conversation etc, it's obvious that someone who can spy on you (like government agencies) can see the address and link it to you. DarkSend will obfuscate money flows but does not hide your balance or the balance of the other party. Through strong IP obfuscation it is possible to avoid the identity link between you and your addresses.

5) You can also read this regarding possible linking of mined Darkcoins with you: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615.msg6914208#msg6914208

6) Remember that transactions on the exchanges where you provide your full information can be linked to you.

Is Darkcoin Quantum-Computing Resistant?

Public/Private key pairs might be able to be "cracked" by Quantum Computers when these computers become available. This is also the case for Bitcoin and Bitcoin-clones.

To work around this problem, you must only use addresses for spending just one time and then move the money to a new address with no spending.

Once an outgoing transaction occurs, your public key is then "in the open". The public key can then be used to find your private key. If you always keep your money in an address which has no outgoing transactions, you can consider them safe from Quantum Computing cracking: Since the public key has never been transmitted the private key cannot be extrapolated.

To be sure, this might sound like a far-fetched possibility, but for cases of cold-storage, paper-wallets and long-term investments that could span years, you might want to consider it.

I have a question that is not listed above. Where should I ask?

You can use the resources listed below. Keep in mind that most of the people answering are members of the community and have no obligation to help - but they like to help anyway with things they can. Do not "demand" an answer for your question.

Questions that have to do with the project itself should better be addressed at the coin developers, although -be warned- their time is limited and you might not get an answer. Technical issues and abnormal functionality should also be reported to the devs.

Resources:

1. The darkcointalk.org forum: http://darkcointalk.org

2. The bitcointalk.org forum in the Darkcoin thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=421615

3. The official IRC chan on Freenode: #darkcoin

4. IRC chan on EFnet: #darkcoin

5. Subreddit: r/DrkCoin