The newest release of Lynx (v0.16.3.9) is now live. You are strongly advised to only use Lynx release 0.16.3.9+ from this point forward. The Lynx code is open source and is available to view at our public github repo.

What enhancements does this version include?

You can review the minor enhancements in the branches codenamed ‘0.16.3.6’, ‘0.16.3.7’, ‘0.16.3.8’ and ‘0.16.3.9’. However, the primary enhancements include:

  1. modifying to the Hybrid Proof of Work (HPoW) rules release schedule,
  2. modifying the pchMessageStart codes
  3. locking down two suspicious addresses

1. What modifications were made to the HPoW release schedule?

The schedule was shortened to release the HPoW features faster. The original schedule was extremely conservative. Now, we’re confident the new release schedule reflects the speed at which we’re developing the project and the success we’ve had on testnet. As of this writing, the updated Hybrid Proof of Work release schedule is below.

    • Complete! Upon the arrival of Block 2,630,000, Rule 1 of HPoW will be implemented with a delay time of 10 blocks.
    • Complete! Upon the arrival of Block 2,680,000, Rule 2 of HPoW will be implemented with using the power of 2.
    • Complete! Upon the arrival of Block 2,730,000, Rule 1 of HPoW will be implemented with a delay time of 20 blocks.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 2,760,000, Rule 3 of HPoW will be implemented using only 1 digit of the hash result to match. This sets a probability of 1 in 16 the miner will win the block.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 2,780,000, Rule 1 of HPoW will be implemented with a delay time of 30 blocks.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 2,800,000, Rule 1 of HPoW will be implemented with a delay time of 40 blocks.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 2,820,000, Rule 1 of HPoW will be implemented with a delay time of 50 blocks.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 2,850,000, Rule 2 of HPoW will be implemented with using the power of 3.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 2,940,000, Rule 3 of HPoW will be implemented using only 2 digit of the hash result to match. This sets a probability of 1 in 256 the miner will win the block.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 3,000,000, Rule 2 of HPoW will be implemented with using the power of 4.
    • Upon the arrival of Block 3,500,000, Rule 3 of HPoW will be implemented using only 3 digit of the hash result to match. This sets a probability of 1 in 4,096 the miner will win the block.

2. Why did we modify the pchMessageStart codes?

When Lynx was first created as Kittehcoin many years ago, the original developers never changed the default values to unique values. This means that a few other coins projects have clients that can discover Lynx nodes during network discovery and try to connect. They eventually fail, but it creates inefficient chatter on the Lynx network and slows down the peer discovery and network sync process.

This change was tedious as it’s difficult to execute without a hard fork or serious disruption of the network – especially a network live on exchanges exchanges, wallets, etc. We solved the problem by creating and privately releasing a ‘bridge’ version of Lynx that has been operating for a while now. It allows the new version of Lynx to talk to the old – but only for a little while. Once you upgrade to the latest version of Lynx, you won’t have any risk of experiencing a forked chain with your desktop wallet.

All network partners have already been updated to the new version. Coinomi, the block explorer at CryptoId, our various exchange partners and even our Discord ‘Tipsy’ tipping bot has been updated.

3. Why did you lock down two suspicious addresses?

In short, because the addresses contain stolen coins that impact the entire network. Long ago, on the block numbers below, someone attacked Kittehcoin (before the Lynx development team took over the project). The attack exploited a weakness that allowed the attacker to define the amount of mining reward. At that time, the default mining reward was only 2,000 MEOW per block. However, the blocks below show the reward was changed to the same 2 billion each time the attack was executed. The pattern is easy to find. The Lynx team fixed the security hole fixed when we ported the latest Litecoin code to the Kittehcoin chain. While the attack vector was closed, the coins still remained in existence, pumping up the circulating supply by ±28 billion coins.

The code change implemented in v0.16.3.9 includes a restriction for the 2 largest known single addresses on the Lynx blockchain:

  • KJ2MGS3jq4DPkVmE1ephMCbT7ojDcDSJRG
  • KSho9zUYrFdTPPxfF6ye9sLurgKygeUEzL

The attacker(s) now has 2 options:

Option 1: Do nothing.

  • The coins in those wallets will never be spendable. All future version of Lynx will include the lockdown code that will prevent the coins from being spent. Consensus of the network prevents the coins from being moved.

Option 2, includes an incentive:

  • Each of the two blocked addresses may keep 100,000,000 Lynx in their original addresses IF they send the rest of coins to this – and only this – address: KQoKm4bzQvDAwiiFsPz3AE4UJHkHBvX6Bz. Once the coins are received, the blocking code will be removed in future Lynx releases and the 100,000,000 coins will revert to the attackers’ control.
  • If the coins are ever received at that address, a small portion of them will be used to reimburse the few Lynx holders that experienced theft (approximately Dec 5, 2019) from an R-value Attack. Then, the remainder of the coins will be verifiably burned. A schedule will be published and the remaining stolen coins will be burned in (roughly) the same amounts as they were stolen.

Why are we burning the stolen coins?

We’re burning the stolen coins because it’s the right thing to do. We have no interest in keeping them because it will erode trust in the Lynx project, and that’s something we take very seriously. These coins were created outside of the normal business rules of Lynx. Therefore, all Lynx holders paid for them. Lynx never had a pre-mine or ICO. The existence of the stolen coins harms every Lynx holder by suppressing the total value of the network market cap and reducing the total scarcity of the circulating supply. If these coins are burned, the total circulation should be reduced by roughly ~20%. We expect this will have a positive impact on the entire Lynx network — and the community of users that support it.

Note: our general policy is to not police the Lynx blockchain. However, we made an exception here because of the size of the theft, the number of users it impacts (everyone), and it’s easy to trace on the blockchain. It’s our hope that most of the Lynx community accepts and supports this difficult decision.