Idena Review – Unique Human Centric Blockchain

Welcome to the Idena review. Buckle up and let’s dive into the unique blockchain that manages to gather a growing group of people from all over the world at a particular time. Users are pausing work, staying up late or waking up early just to make it in time for the Idena validation ceremony. In return, they receive some DNA coins and validate their unique crypto identity.

What is Idena, how to create and verify your own crypto identity, what are the benefits and more will be revealed in this Idena review.

Idena – Solving Decentralisation Problems

Idena’s novel Proof of Person (PoP) consensus mechanism is focused on giving back the power into people’s hands. Their manifesto is one person, one vote. To participate in the network consensus, all you need is a low-end PC and internet connection. A scenario where money doesn’t play a central role in making or breaking consensus is what they are trying to achieve. As we all know, both PoW and PoS have their centralisation characteristics that put power into the hands of a few. Network incentives are the main thing that keeps big players playing by the rules. Idena is trying to push to the next level where true decentralisation might be possible.

Each Idena identity is unique and anonymous. Due to certain network constraints, one person can not have more than one identity and consequently, only one vote in the network. No matter how much money a certain individual has, it cannot gain more power in the network. There are some possible pitfalls that will be discussed throughout this Idena review.

Idena Use Cases

Idena has many possible use cases as can be seen from the slide below (source). But they all stem from the anonymous, unique crypto identities that Idena facilitates.

Possible Idena use cases

Battle with bots is constant, they flood social networks, disrupt Proof of Work networks, promote fake news, etc. Idena can change this. It validates that behind each identity or online account is a real person. And it does so without KYC or centralised authority. There is no discrimination, each and every person is welcome. No robots allowed though, sorry BB-8. Verified crypto identity opens many possibilities that will be explored as the network grows.

Potential Attacks

AI is probably the biggest threat to the system since machine learning is slowly taking new grounds with every passing moment. One could argue that it is only a matter of time before bots become smart enough to beat the system. But when that day comes, switching to a more advanced or different flip system is always an option. Few of these attacks are explained in the Idena FAQ. If you think you have what it takes and manage to create an AI that can solve flips with 80% accuracy, there is a $25k bounty waiting for you. Courtesy of the Idena team.

You might say that Idena participants have no skin in the game and that it makes humans involved the weakest link. But that is not entirely true. Each identity has a significant stake, 20% of all network awards is locked and is only released or destroyed when identity is terminated. If you play against the network rules, your stake will be burned. There is also time investment required for creating quality flips and showing up in time for the validation ceremony. In the future, a reputation system will probably be introduced. Reputation will grow with identity age and malicious activity will destroy reputation along with the benefits it might provide.

Bribery and body leasing is always possible, but the network incentives are designed to combat the attacks. Time will tell if the incentives are enough to protect against malicious attackers or if adjustments will be needed.

Idena Review – Coin Metrics

  • Symbol: DNA
  • Testnet genesis block: 1 August 2019
  • Consensus: Proof of Person (PoP)
  • Block time: 20 seconds
  • Block reward: 6 DNA
  • Mining reward per day: 25,920 DNA
  • Validation reward per day: 25,920 DNA
  • Circulating supply: 48,060,000 DNA
  • Max supply: Unlimited
  • Premine: 36,000,000 DNA
  • Validated identities: 440

How Does Idena Team Make Money?

The Idena team consists of a group of anonymous individuals. Exact numbers and their identities are unknown. All we know is that one team member goes by the name “Andrew Idena” or “AI” in short. Idena is designed by an AI looking to construct a perfect pool of human behaviour patterns. Data will be used to train a new generation of machines that will take over humanity. Just kidding. Or not? But enough of Matrix, let’s cover the title of this section.

The primary source of income and incentive to develop Idena is coming from a sizable premine. 36m DNA coins have been premined. The premine is equal to roughly two years worth of new coin minting. The funds are allocated as can be seen below.

Idena Review - premine distribution

Founders will receive 15,120,000 DNA coins in total from the premine. They also created an Idena foundation wallet that receives 5% of all minted coins. Wallets that belong to the founders can be seen within the top 10 addresses.

Team anonymity, coupled with a large premine translates to a red flag that potential investors need to be aware of. 🚩

Network Fund

There is a special zero wallet that attracts 1% of all issued coins. The address can be explored here. Design is somewhat similar to the Nyzo cycle fund. The network must reach consensus if any transaction is to occur from zero wallet. These coins can be used for various purposes. Funding Idena based projects or tools, security audits, donations – basically anything the network agrees on. There are already voting tools being built as we write this.

Idena Review – Invites

Idena onboards new users through an invitation system. For a recruited newbie, the inviter receives 1500 DNA as a reward once 3 successful validations are completed. Each fully validated identity has one invite per epoch to giveaway. On the other hand, founders are once again privileged and have numerous invites per epoch to distribute. The number of their available invites depends on network size and is currently set to 140.

Invites are important source of new coins for the lucky ones who find worthy participants. Hence, the disparity in a number of available invites between founders and regular users additionally enriches and fills already heavy bags of coins that founders have from premine and foundation wallets. Wow, that turned out to be a long sentence, almost as long as founders invite tree that earned them around 500k coins. Update: it has been clarified that founders invite rewards go to the foundation wallet that is only used for community development and marketing campaigns.

Where To Trade Idena?

Link To qTrade

There are various OTC channels that facilitate Idena trading, but ever since qTrade listed Idena (DNA) on 3 February 2020, it has become a go-to place to trade DNA coins. qTrade needs no introduction, we talked about it many times. It is a trusted US-based exchange that lists original, innovative coins like Idena. As expected for any new coin, the volume is insignificant. We haven’t seen it go above 0.2 BTC per day. It averages to around 0.15 BTC daily. Withdrawal fee is a mere 0.01 DNA. Trading fees are free for market makers, while market takers pay 1.5%.

How To Run Idena Node

The easiest way to run Idena node is to simply use Idena client with inbuilt node. You can run it on your mining rig or home PC. All major operating systems are supported. Download and run, it is that simple.

If you don’t have an always-on PC, the best option is running a remote node on a VPS. A $7/m VPS from FranTech (referral link) will do just fine and you won’t have to worry about running your PC 24/7. VPS is more robust and usually has better uptime than home machines. As a result, it is a recommended way of running nodes to avoid penalties and keep the network running smoothly.

Running Idena Node On A VPS

Idena review wouldn’t be complete without a remote node setup tutorial. The first step is to order and set up a fresh VPS. Choose Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as your operating system on a VPS as it works without issues. Then log in to your VPS via SSH. Kitty is a Putty-like SSH client for Windows with many useful features. Download it and follow any Putty tutorial to login to your VPS.

💡 You might be wondering what is the best VPS host for Idena node? FranTech (BuyVM) and Hostens are two solid options with affordable prices. You can find all the details in our VPS providers comparison article.

Time to start entering commands. Let’s create Idena directory:

mkdir idena && cd idena

Copy latest download link for linux node binary from GitHub and replace <direct_link> below:

wget <direct_link>

Make Idena node binary executable and create config file:

chmod +x idena-node-linux-0.*
bash -c 'echo "{ \"IpfsConf\": { \"Profile\": \"server\" } }" > config.json'

Enter a strong password below and run the node inside Screen session:

screen -US idena ./idena-node-linux-0.* --config=config.json --apikey=enter_your_password

Finally, detach from the Screen session and leave it running in the background with Ctrl+a+d.

Before you disconnect from VPS, backup your private key. Use the command below to display it:

cat ./datadir/keystore/nodekey

Now it’s time to install the latest Idena client on your home PC. Open it and visit settings, select the remote node option and enter your API key. Leave node address as default. But as you will see it won’t be able to connect. That’s because you need to setup port forwarding as described here. Afterwards, you should be all set and ready to activate the invite.

How To Update Idena Remote Node

Here is a one-line command that will update the node on your VPS in a few seconds. Simply add in your api key and replace the download link with the latest node version.

screen -X -S idena quit && cd idena && rm idena-node-linux-0.* && wget && chmod +x idena-node-linux-0.* && screen -US idena ./idena-node-linux-0.* --config=config.json --apikey=your_password

Idena Node Installation Script

Idena installation script provides a quick and easy way to install and update your Idena node. It is also newbie-friendly and guides you through the process. Order a fresh VPS with at least 1 GB RAM, install Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and SSH as root or dedicated user if you want higher security. Then simply run the following command that will initiate the installation process:

wget && sudo bash

If the node crashes (use Telegram bot for monitoring) for any reason, you can always restart it with the following command:

screen -X -S idena quit ; cd idena && screen -dmS idena ./idena-node-linux-0.* --config=config.json

Idena Validation Ceremony

Idena verification cycle infographic

Validation ceremony is the central part of Idena consensus. It currently occurs once a week, but the time span between validations depends on the network size and is calculated as described here. The time is always fixed, each validation starts at 13:30 UTC. The validation lasts 30 minutes in total and is split into a short session that lasts less than 2 minutes and the long session that lasts until the 30 minute mark expires. Most people can complete validation in 5-10 minutes.

Validation flow looks like this for the first time Idena users:

  1. Setup Idena client + node as explained above
  2. Learn how to create good flips and request invite on Discord
  3. Activate invite
  4. Solve a few flips for practice
  5. Show up in time (displayed in client) for the next validation
  6. Complete short session
  7. Complete long session + flip grading
  8. Create 3+ quality flips after validation
  9. Go to 5.
  10. After 3 successive validations, your identity will be fully verified.

💡 If you are fast and skilled enough, you might be able to run and validate two identities at the same time. Can you solve 12 flips in under two minutes?

Idena Review – Client

Idena client is the main dashboard for your crypto identity and DNA coins. It has a modern interface and is easy to use. Transaction sending UI could be improved though. A light wallet is also needed, but we do understand that it is not a priority at the moment.

MyAltcoins robot avatar

Let’s get back to the client. Unique robot avatars are connected with each identity/wallet. It is a subtle touch that perfectly fits with Idena AI resistant narrative. There is a simple trick if you don’t like the random robot that will be generated on a first node run. You can delete the private key and let it generate a new one until you find a perfect robot that suits your liking. There is also a website where you can explore and generate new robot avatars at will. If you want to help market Idena, change your Telegram or Discord avatar and people will start asking where all those robots are coming from. Ours definitely looks cool and serves as a nice decoration for Idena review.

Idena Mining

Technically, Idena has mining, but it is not resource-intensive like traditional mining. Once your identity is validated, all you need to do is keep your Idena node online to receive rewards. Note that once you activate mining, your node is expected to be online at all times. If it goes down for more than an hour, you will receive a penalty and mining will be deactivated automatically. Penalty amount depends on network size.

Penalty Amount = 6 x 1800 / Network Size

Guidelines For Solving Flips

The quality of flips is what makes or breaks the network. Simple flips with poor quality make it easier for AI to game and take over the system. It is important to create good flips that are easy for humans but hard for AI. Idena team put specific flip rules in place to make it hard for AI’s so the only thing users need to do is follow the process. Meaningless, bad quality flips will be penalized and you won’t receive flip awards. Quality flip can be created in a few minutes with a bit of thinking. Use your imagination and your flips will easily achieve consensus.

Idena Community

Official chat is located on Telegram. But the community Discord server is where the action happens. It has very active international sections with #ex-yu being the most active by far. Discord is run by Set Animals and reb0rn who are both friendly and approachable. The newest admin is Rioda, who is always ready to help and answer any questions you might have. Idena founders are not interacting with the community as much as we would like to see. It appears that they prefer to communicate via PM’s. We can’t blame them as they seem to be a small team focused on development.

We noticed that community developers are already developing useful Idena tools. Especially Endogen who created Telegram based Idena wallet. He is also developing Idena node monitor and voting bot that have been crowdfunded by the community. More details are available in the respective Discord channels. All relevant links can be found at the end of this Idena review. 

Project Status

It might come as a surprise to some, but Idena is still in testnet. It is unusual to see a project in testnet state that is listed on an exchange and has a fully working network. Don’t let the phrases fool you, Idena in the testnet phase is what many other projects would consider as mainnet.

⏳ All testnet balances will be carried over once mainnet launches. Mainnet is scheduled for Q3-2020. Update: mainnet is already live, see the remark in conclusion.

New software updates are regularly released and the project is progressing at a fast pace. We are looking towards new feature additions like a mobile client that will make it much more convenient to participate in validations. Private transactions are another great long term goal that is on the roadmap.

As can be seen below, new identities are joining at a healthy pace. We expect an influx of participants from poorer countries in the future. Idena can already fulfil one of its designed functions and serve at least as a partial basic income in countries with low economic status. The mobile client will additionally lower the participation barrier for users that don’t have access to a PC.

Idena Review – Conclusion

It is time to conclude Idena review with a few closing sentences. Idena is undoubtedly an exciting project with great potential. The team is actively churning out software updates and we are confident that everything will be ready for a successful mainnet launch in Q3-2020. Heavy founders bags will need to be dealt with in a way that inspires more investor confidence. But at this stage, they aren’t a real concern due to the illiquid market.

Important update: premine concerns have been alleviated in the recently published report, we encourage everyone to read it in full. Also, testnet has been renamed to experimental mainnet due to early exchange listing. You can consider current network state as mainnet.

Idena Resources

MyAltcoins Team,
Petar & Ana

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