Spacemesh: Cryptocurrency for the People

Starting August 11th 2023, Spacemesh, the cryptocurrency for the people, officially starts circulating.

What is Spacemesh?

It’s a novel layer-one crypto protocol with the goal to fix the issues of Bitcoin and Etherium, all while being easy and cheap for everyone to join, with the hardware that you already posses; no money investment necessary.

How does it work?

If you don’t care about the details, feel free to skip this section.

To keep it simple, like “regular” currencies, cryptocurrencies are (or were?) backed by the value of some physical assets.

In the case of Bitcoin, the value is backed by that of computing power and electricity invested to mine the coins, this is called proof-of-work or PoW; Bitcoin works like a lottery, only a few people win each “round”. Unfortunately this means that to join Bitcoin mining, you would have to invest into hardware powerful enough to be competitive with the rest of the miners, this is a very steep barriers for newcomers. Also, Bitcoin is bad for the environment, because so much electricity has to be globally wasted to power the mining hardware (ASICs).

In the case of Ethereum, the value comes from people staking their wealth while signing legitimate transactions, and rejecting fraudulent ones, this is called proof-of-stake or PoS. The power consumption and hardware requirement to join the Ethereum miners is much lower, and unlike with Bitcoins’ lottery, with Ethereum everybody receives rewards in a fair and predictable way; unfortunately the barrier is still quite steep: to become a miner you must posses some wealth, or buy Ethereum tokens from someone who is willing to sell you some, usually for a high price.

Spacemesh is different, all you need to become a miner is some free space on your hard drive, a computer that stays on most of the time, and a decent gaming GPU that you will need to use just for one time (you can ask a friend to lend you one for a few days if you don’t have one). This model is called proof-of-space-time or PoST and the value of Spacemesh comes from the space that you decide to commit on your computer’s hard disk. Like with Ethereum, it’s not a lottery, everybody is guaranteed to receive rewards proportional to the amount of space they committed to the network. Anyone can become a Spacemesh miner (smesher) without any monetary investment, nor with the need to purchase any new hardware, and the only electricity you will have to pay for is the one for the initial mining, generally a few cents, and to keep your computer powered on most of the time: usually as much as a few light bulbs, depending how much energy your computer consumes when idle.

What do I need to join?

The requirements to join the Spacemesh network are minimal:

  • A modern-ish computer, any computer built in the last 8 years should be okay
  • At least 256 GiB of free space available, permanently committed to Spacemesh
  • Just for one time: a gaming GPU, low-end is okay but high-end will be faster

Windows reports sizes in GiB, but SSD producers use GB, keep this in mind.
1 GB = 1,000 MB = 1,000,000,000 Bytes
1 GiB = 1,024 MiB = 1,073,741,824 Bytes

How do I join?

If you have a gaming GPU on your computer, all you have to do is:

  1. Download and run the latest version of SMAPP;
  2. Follow the instruction the app gives you.

That’s it. Welcome to the smeshers community! 😁

If something is not clear, I have written a detailed step-by-step SMAPP smeshing guide, with screenshots for every single click you should make.

If you don’t have a gaming GPU, the process has a few more steps: you will need to borrow from a friend for a few hours a gaming PC with a gaming GPU.

I have also written a step-by-step guide to do smeshing from a friend’s computer.

If you don’t have a gaming GPU and you don’t have any friends with a gaming GPU, you can also do it with a CPU with SMAPP, but be warned: it might take a long time (up to a few days) and will end up wasting few KWh in electricity. If you have means to do it with a GPU you really should, it’s better for the environment and takes much less time; and remember, you will need the GPU only one time for a few hours.

When will I start receiving rewards?

Once you have become a smesher, you will have to wait for the first PoET round, which happens every two Sundays at 8:00 am UTC.

Once the PoET round starts, you will have 12 hours to verify your PoS data and submit your proof. SMAPP will do this automatically for you, but it’s very important that your computer remains powered on during this time window.

14 days later, you will have to verify that you still have your PoS data on your drive, so it’s important again that your computer is powered on during this time window.

5 days later, you will start receiving rewards. You will keep receiving rewards for 14 days all the time your computer is powered on. You can temporarily turn it off when necessary and you will temporarily stop receiving rewards; you will resume receiving rewards soon after turning it back on.

Is there something I need to be aware of?

That’s it. Just keep the SMAPP running and you will keep receiving rewards.

You will keep receiving rewards forever as long as you submit PoET proofs every two weeks, remember that you will absolutely have to keep your computer powered and connected to the internet during this 12 hours proof time window.

During the bi-weekly proving window, your computer will have to perform heavy computations, this might take from a few minutes up to 12 hours depending on how fast your computer is and how much space you committed to Spacemesh; during this time period your computer might become less responsive, so you might not be able to use it for heavy gaming.

What now?

For now it’s very early, by the time I’m writing this guide there are no coins in circulation yet. Once coins will start circulating, people will start building things with them, a market will emerge, and you will be able to exchange Spacemesh coins for goods and services, as well as for other cryptocurrencies and “regular” currencies.

If you have questions, feel free to join Spacemesh on Discord, you will find smeshers excited to help each other out.

Happy smeshing! 🎉

P.S.: I am one of the many proud smeshers, here’s my wallet’s address if you want to tip me. sm1qqqqqqzd25drytuyjy3fmyml9td4aja3vp5rztgcrcucu

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.