Why Verge Needs DigiShield NOW! And Why DigiByte Is SAFE!
Hello everyone, I’m back! Someone asked a question recently on what exactly happened to XVG – Verge and if this could be a problem for DGB – DigiByte - Here: DigiByte vs Verge It was a great question and there have been people stating that this cannot be a problem for us because of DigiShield etc… with not much explanation after that. I was curious and did a bit more investigating to figure out what happened and why exactly it is that we are safe. So take a read.
Some Information on Verge
Verge was founded in 2014 with code based on DogeCoin, it was initially named DogeCoinDark, it later was renamed Verge XVG in 2016. Verge has 5 mining algorithms as does DigiByte. Those being:
However, unlike DigiByte those algorithms do not run side by side. On Verge one block can only be mined by a single algorithm at any time. This means that each algorithm takes turns mining the chain.
Prior to the latest fork there was not a single line of code that forced any algo rotation. They all run in parallel but of course in the end only one block can be accepted at given height which is obvious. After the fork algo rotation is forced so only 6 blocks with the same algo out of any 10 blocks can be accepted. - srgn_
Mining Verge and The Exploit
What happened then was not a 51% attack per say, but the attacker did end up mining 99% of all new blocks so in fact he did have power of over 51% of the chain. The way that Verge is mined allowed for a timestamp exploit. Every block that is mined is dependent on the previous blocks for determining the algorithm to be used (this is part of the exploit). Also, their mining difficulty is adjusted every block (which last 30 seconds also part of the exploit). Algorithms are not picked but in fact as stated previously compete with one another. As for difficulty:
Difficulty is calculated by a version of DGW which is based on timestamps of last 12 blocks mined by the same algo. - srgn_
This kind of bug is very serious and at the foundation of Verge’s codebase. In fact, in order to fix it a fork is needed, either hard fork or soft fork! What happened was that the hacker managed to change the time stamps on his blocks. He introduced a pair of false blocks. One which showed that the scrypt mining algorithm had been previously used, about 26 mins before, and then a second block which was mined with scrypt. The chain is set up so that it goes through the 5 different algorithms. So, the first false block shows the chain that the scrypt algorithm had been used in the recent past. This tricks it into thinking that the next algorithm to be used is scrypt. In this way, he was essentially able to mine 99% of all blocks.
Pairs of blocks are used to lower the difficulty but they need to be mined in certain order so they can pass the check of median timestamp of last 11 blocks which is performed in CBlock::AcceptBlock(). There is no tricking anything into thinking that the next algo should be x because there is no algo picking. They all just run and mine blocks constantly. There is only lowering the difficulty, passing the checks so the chain is valid and accepting this chain over chains mined by other algos. - segn_
Here is a snippet of code for what the time stamps on the blocks would look like:
SetBestChain: new best=00000000049c2d3329a3 height=2009406 trust=2009407 date=04/04/18 13:50:09 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=000000000a307b54dfcf height=2009407 trust=2009408 date=04/04/18 12:16:51 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=00000000196f03f5727e height=2009408 trust=2009409 date=04/04/18 13:50:10 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=0000000010b42973b6ec height=2009409 trust=2009410 date=04/04/18 12:16:52 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt) SetBestChain: new best=000000000e0655294c73 height=2009410 trust=2009411 date=04/04/18 12:16:53 ProcessBlock: ACCEPTED (scrypt)
Here’s the first falsified block that was introduced into the XVG chain – Verge-Blockchain.info As you can see there is the first fake block with a time stamp of 13:50:09 for example and the next is set to 12:15:51, the following two blocks are also a fraudulent pair and note that the next block is set to 12:16:52. So essentially, he was able to mine whole blocks - 1 second per block!
This exploit was brought to public attention by ocminer on the bitcointalk forums. It seems the person was a mining pool administrator and noticed the problem after miners on the pool started to complain about a potential bug. What happened next was that Verge developers pushed out a “fix” but in fact did not really fix the issue. What they did was simply diminish the time frame in which the blocks can be mined. The attack still was exploitable and the attacker even went on to try it again! “The background is that the "fix" promoted by the devs simply won't fix the problem. It will just make the timeframe smaller in which the blocks can be mined / spoofed and the attack will still work, just be a bit slower.” - ocminer Ocminer then cited DigiShield as a real fix to the issue! Stating that the fix should also stipulate that a single algo can only be used X amount of times and not be dependent on when the algo was last used. He even said that DigiByte and Myriad had the same problems and we fixed them! He cited this github repo for DigiByte:
It seems that the reason that this exploit was so lucrative was because the difficulty adjustment parameters were not enough to reduce the rewards the attacker recieved. Had the rewards per block adjusted at reasonable rate like we do in DGB then at least the rewards would have dropped significantly per block. The attacker was able to make off with around 60 million Verge which equals about 3.6 million dollars per today’s prices. The exploit used by the attacker depended on the fact that time stamps could be falsified firstly and secondly that the difficulty retargeting parameters were inadequate. Let’s cover how DigiShield works more in detail. One of the DigiByte devs gave us this post about 4 years ago now, and the topic deserves revisiting and updates! I had a hard time finding good new resources and information on the details of DigiShield so I hope you’ll appreciate this review! This is everything I found for now that I could understand hopefully I get more information later and I’ll update this post. Let’s go over some stuff on difficulty first then I’ll try giving you a way to visualise the way these systems work. First you have to understand that mining difficulty changes over time; it has to! Look at Bitcoin’s difficulty for example – Bitcoin difficulty over the past five months. As I covered in another post (An Introduction to DigiByte Difficulty in Bitcoin is readjusted every 2016 blocks which each last about 10 mins each. This can play out over a span of 2 weeks, and that’s why you see Bitcoin’s difficulty graph as a step graph. In general, the hash power in the network increases over time as more people want to mine Bitcoin and thus the difficulty must also increase so that rewards are proportional. The problem with non-dynamic difficulty adjustment is that it allows for pools of miners and or single entities to come into smaller coins and mine them continuously, they essentially get “free” or easily mined coins as the difficulty has not had time to adjust. This is not really a problem for Bitcoin or other large coins as they always have a lot of miners running on their chains but for smaller coins and a few years ago in crypto basically any coin other than Bitcoin was vulnerable. Once the miners had gotten their “free coins” they could then dump the chain and go mine something else – because the difficulty had adjusted. Often chains were left frozen or with very high fees and slow processing times as there was not enough hash power to mine the transactions. This was a big problem in the beginning with DigiByte and almost even killed DogeCoin. This is where our brilliant developers came in and created DigiShield (first known as MultiShield). These three articles are where most of my information came from for DigiShield I had to reread a the first one a few times to understand so please correct me if I make any mistakes! They are in order from most recent to oldest and also in order of relevance.
DigiShield is a system whereby the difficulty for mining DigiByte is adjusted dynamically. Every single block each at 15 seconds has difficulty adjusted for the available hashing power. This means that difficulty in DigiByte is as close as we can get to real time! There are other methods for adjusting difficulty, the first being the Bitcoin/Litecoin method (a moving average calculated every X number of blocks) then the Kimoto Gravity Well is another. The reason that DigiShield is so great is because the parameters are just right for the difficulty to be able to rise and fall in proportion to the amount of hash power available. Note that Verge used a difficulty adjustment protocol more similar to that of DigiByte than Bitcoin. Difficulty was adjusted every block at 30 seconds. So why was Verge vulnerable to this attack? As I stated before Verge had a bug that allowed for firstly the manipulation of time stamps, and secondly did not adjust difficulty ideally. You have to try to imagine that difficulty adjustment chases hashing power. This is because the hashing power on a chain can be seen as the “input” and the difficulty adjustment as the corresponding output. The adjustment or output created is thus dependent on the amount of hashing power input. DigiShield was designed so that increases in mining difficulty are slightly harder to result than decreases in mining difficulty. This asymmetrical approach allows for mining to be more stable on DigiByte than other coins who use a symmetrical approach. It is a very delicate balancing act which requires the right approach or else the system breaks! Either the chain may freeze if hash power increases and then dumps or mining rewards are too high because the difficulty is not set high enough! If you’ve ever taken any physics courses maybe one way you can understand DigiShield is if I were to define it as a dynamic asymmetrical oscillation dampener. What does this mean? Let’s cover it in simple terms, it’s difficult to understand and for me it was easier to visualise. Imagine something like this, click on it it’s a video: Caravan Weight Distribution – made easy. This is not a perfect analogy to what DigiShield does but I’ll explain my idea. The input (hashing power) and the output (difficulty adjustment) both result in oscillations of the mining reward. These two variables are what controls mining rewards! So that caravan shaking violently back and forth imagine those are mining rewards, the weights are the parameters used for difficulty adjustment and the man’s hand pushing on the system is the hashing power. Mining rewards move back and forth (up and down) depending on the weight distribution (difficulty adjustment parameters) and the strength of the push (the amount of hashing power input to the system). Here is a quote from the dev’s article. “The secret to DigiShield is an asymmetrical approach to difficulty re-targeting. With DigiShield, the difficulty is allowed to decrease in larger movements than it is allowed to increase from block to block. This keeps a blockchain from getting "stuck" i.e., not finding the next block for several hours following a major drop in the net hash of coin. It is all a balancing act. You need to allow the difficulty to increase enough between blocks to catch up to a sudden spike in net hash, but not enough to accidentally send the difficulty sky high when two miners get lucky and find blocks back to back.” AND to top it all off the solution to Verge’s time stamp manipulation bug is RIGHT HERE in DigiShield again! This was patched and in Digishield v3 problems #7 Here’s a direct quote: “Most DigiShield v3 implementations do not get data from the most recent blocks, but begin the averaging at the MTP, which is typically 6 blocks in the past. This is ostensibly done to prevent timestamp manipulation of the difficulty.” Moreover, DigiShield does not allow for one algorithm to mine more than 5 blocks in a row. If the next block comes in on the same algorithm then it would be blocked and would be handed off to the next algorithm. DigiShield is a beautiful delicate yet robust system designed to prevent abuse and allow stability in mining! Many coins have adopted out technology!
Verge Needs DigiShield NOW!
The attacker has been identified as IDCToken on the bitcointalk forums. He posted recently that there are two more exploits still available in Verge which would allow for similar attacks! He said this: “Can confirm it is still exploitable, will not abuse it futher myself but fix this problem immediately I'll give Verge some hours to solve this otherwise I'll make this public and another unpatchable problem.” - IDCToken DigiShield could have stopped the time stamp manipulation exploit, and stopped the attacker from getting unjust rewards! Maybe a look at Verge’s difficulty chart might give a good idea of what 1 single person was able to do to a coin worth about 1 billion dollars.
Edit - Made a few mistakes in understanding how Verge is mined I've updated the post and left the mistakes visible. Nothing else is changed and my point still stands Verge could stand to gain something from adopting DigiShield! Hi, I hope you’ve enjoyed my article! I tried to learn as much as I could on DigiShield because I thought it was an interesting question and to help put together our DGB paper! hopefully I made no mistakes and if I did please let me know. -Dereck de Mézquita I'm a student typing this stuff on my free time, help me pay for school? Thank you! D64fAFQvJMhrBUNYpqUKQjqKrMLu76j24g https://digiexplorer.info/address/D64fAFQvJMhrBUNYpqUKQjqKrMLu76j24g
"Bitcoin consumes more energy than [insert country here]", "Bitcoin is DESTROYING the planet", "Bitcoin could cost us our green future" A deeper look into bullshit.
As you might have noticed there has been an explosion of mainstream media article about Bitcoin's energy consumption. I won't link these crap but here are the titles:
The guardian: "Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity a year than Ireland "
Express.co.uk "SHOCK CLAIM: Bitcoin is DESTROYING the planet and uses as much energy as DENMARK"
Vice: "Bitcoin Could Consume as Much Electricity as Denmark by 2020"
Mashable: "How to fix Bitcoin's energy-consumption problem"
CBS News:"Bitcoin mining consumes more energy than 159 countries"
Newscientist : "Bitcoin mining uses more energy than Ecuador – but there’s a fix"
CNN: "Bitcoin boom may be a disaster for the environment"
Bloomberg: "Bitcoin's Exorbitant Energy Costs May Prove to Be Biggest Risk"
The list goes on...
So what is the info? Where does it come from? How did they come up with it? Is it true? What is the info Wrapped in sensationalism, the info is the following:
energy consumption of the bitcoin network, which is responsible for verifying transactions made with the cryptocurrency, is 30.14TWh a year
Where does it come from Following direct links, or going through endless source circle of newspaper quoting one another, the source for absolutely all of these news article is the following website: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption The about section contains the following:
Digiconomist is a platform that provides in-depth analysis, opinions and discussions with regard to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The goal of Digiconomist is to cover any relevant financial, economic or regulatory cryptocurrency-related topic.
Additionally a quick look at the website shows a few things: 1. The website only talks about ETH and BTC 2. Outside of the blog posts it almost only talks about energy consumption (there is an ETH obituaries) 3. Blog posts started in march 2014 4. The domain was registered the 2014-07-03 5. No address, no country, no name, no foundation, no agency... Who are they? Disregarding the fact that it comes from a no name website the, info is right there with a nice graph and even a methodology explained with a pretty infochart. It almost looks to good for a blog about cryptos. How did the Bloomberg, ars technica and the like found this website? I do not know, but when they did a ready to use report for newspaper was there waiting for them. Also, the graph as an url embedded at the bottom: "bitcoinenergyconsumption.com" which interestingly enough is a redirect for Digiconomist. Also the bottom of the page on consumption has a list of news articles referring to this website for their sensationalist claims. How did they come up with it So as I said the methodology is there, and the result of it is there too:
Bitcoin's current estimated annual electricity consumption* (TWh) 32.53
So let's dive into the methodology on a step by step process, first of all, a further detailed methodology is shown here
First, calculate the "Annualized global mining revenues (USD)", the website says: $13,487,831,695 As of this writing, on fork.lol, the reward for BTC is around r = 240 000 USD per block. r * 6 * 24 * 365 = 12 614 400 000. This is the same order of magnitude, but not good enough. Including the BCH reward as well (17 639 as we speak) gives : C = 13 541 505 840 USD. Seems about right.
Calculate the mining operating cost "Annualized estimated global mining costs" : $1,626,480,051 This is easy, it is simply 60% of the previous number C * 0.6 = 8 124 903 504 USD ??? Ok this is weird, their number is not even 60%, it is more like 12%. So where is that number coming from?? Turns out this 60% assumption is not used at all in the calculation...
Disregard the previous step
Calculate the current total hashrate on the network: 14.12 ExaHashes/s at the time of these lines
Assume the following:
Since the marginal product of mining is equal to the number of Bitcoins received per unit of mining effort, it would thus be expected that miners will either add more hashrate if the resulting revenue exceeds associated electricity costs, or reduce the hashrate once electricity costs start exceeding the revenue per hash. This also means that it is expected that the total network of Bitcoin miners is always mining at the calculate-able break-even efficiency. The break-even efficiency for Bitcoin mining can simply be calculated as: W per GH/s=(price∙BTC/day)/(price per kWh ∙ 24hrday)
In layman terms, this means that they assume that the number of miners is always the exact amount for break even. This is a fair assumption. The formula that follows it make no sense without the context it came with in that working paper. A quick look at this document shows concerning mathematical mistakes... I have tried for far too long, I cannot reproduce any of their numbers... So is it true? No These numbers are not reproducible, they make no sense and calculated using a dubious paper by some professor of "social research". I assume he is also the owner of the website because his name appears way too often in there...The university where he studies has a nice wikipedia page:
The New School is a private non-profit research university centered in Manhattan, New York City, USA, located mostly in Greenwich Village. It was founded in 1919 as an institution dedicated to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry, serving as a home for progressive thinkers.
The real estimation This is actually pretty straight forward. The maximum ever reached in hash rate was 16.5 exahashes/s according to fork.lol. This is equivalent to 1.18 million S9 ant miner at 14 TH/s. Assuming everyone suck and they all have old hardware with crappy PSU. Let's say each S9 consumes 2000W. This is a 17520000 Wh per year per miner, which yields 20.67 TWh. So peak production with very negatives assumptions yields a number 40% lower... General critic Deriving consumption from the mining revenue is purely ludicrous. No including the fees in the mining revenue calculation is also ludicrous. If your numbers are not reproducible, they are worthless.
Weekly Web Opportunities For Entrepreneurs - Week 2
Thanks for the love on the last post. This week there's a lot of people bidding on stuff and prices are pretty high. I paid double what an application dev wanted for an app due to the sudden influx of bidders. As such I am going to add a new feature, and that's a target purchase price range. I'll try to include ROI calculations, break even assessments, etc... where possible, but strongly encourage you to do your own math. For those who missed last week read that post here Last week Flippa, the main portal to buy and sell websites / apps, made a UI update. There's a lot more to see on each screen so in this week's post I'll be linking directly to the opportunity I found there, hope that's ok with the mods. Disclaimer and Updates on last weeks post are at the bottom. Business: InstaSnoop Type: iOS App Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auctions / Buy It Now Current Price: $600 Target Price Range: $1,500 - $3,500 Days Til End: 5 days My Thoughts: This is an app that allows you to surf though Instagram without being able to comment or like on any photos. Perfect for the Instastalker and likely something teens / young adults would download based on past social media history of this very same behavior (MySpace and Facebook). Could also be a valuable tool for HR departments and Law Enforcement to look through public data without accidentally notifying people that are being watched. Business Insider also did an article on this app and it's been written about by Mashable, Madmoizelle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Australia, and a handful of other websites. That's where the good news ends. The listing itself has a lot of red flags for me. First off the seller states that he lives in United Arab Emirates, but there's an Australian trademark license in the images provided. Secondly he states that he posted a screenshot of his good friend 'Sandy' but the screenshots are all named Jane Smith or John Smith, common filler names meaning they might not be indicitive of what the app actually looks like. Also a commenter points out this doesn't appear to use the Instagram API, so how it works is a bit of a mystery at the moment. Finally the app has an official website, but that doesn't appear to have been verified by the seller. Verdict: Buy maybe - The name of the seller on Flippa matches the name listed on iTunes and while there's no verified data, this app got quite a bit of publicity late last year. Also the seller has a remarkable rating and claims over $300k in transations on the website. Now all of that could be easily faked but the more information I examine the more likely it is to be legitimate. Still, there's a lot of room to ask questions and before you go dipping your toes into the bidding pool I'd get those questions answered either publicly or privately. If you're into making social media clients or already doing something with Instagram this is a pretty decent pickup, if only for the links going to the apps website. They have links from places like CBS and Hootsuite and their images are used on various other websites. (pro tip: you can see if an app is legitimate by doing a reverse image search on the supplied screenshots required for iOS / android app stores). According to Open Site Explorer the site has links from 27 other websites. If you bought this, made half of your money back, and then shut it down and forwarded the website to another social media app, instagram blog, etc... it would be worth the purchase price. Still, the app got quite a bit of coverage last year and while the gimmick might be burned out there's every chance that it's not and that porting this app to Android and Windows phone could bring in more publicity driving higher downloads and generating income back. Link:Flippa auction linkApp Store Link:iOS App Store Profile = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Business: Pizza Destinations Type: Pizza Food Blog Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $1 Target Price Range: $10 to $25 Days Til End: 2 hours My Thoughts: Note: This auction might be over by the time this is posted, but it's been listed 13 times before so there's a good chance it'll still be there. This is one for the entry level entrepreneur. Are you a college or high school student that wants some free pizza? This is a deal for you, if you get it for the right price. I have several friends that run food / travel blogs and they are growing in popularity with restaurant owners. Most restaurant owners are very fickle with how they spend their marketing budget, giving away a free pizza in exchange for a positive review, location listings, and a link is a win for them every time. Of course the domain name pigeon holes you into traveling and/or cooperating with other people in various areas to get this to work. I checked the content and while it's unique it's terrible quality. The design of the site isn't good either. The website has almost zero SEO value as well and no social media presence. Still, there's quite a bit of upside for an entry level entrepreneur to get their feet wet with this one as pizza restaurants are found around the globe and in varying arrays of style, ingredient selection, ingredient quality, and price. Verdict: Buy low - Sure buy it, but don't pay too much. It's going to take some work to get this thing going, but that's good news for a pizza craving entrepreneur. The seller has a Buy It Now price of $150, but if you bid on this auction it's very likely that it won't go for that price, which means the auction will end and you'll get an offer from the seller for half. That's your chance to negotiate. If you do buy it immediately start categorizing the site on a geolocation basis (i.e. country -> state/prov -> city -> neighborhood). If you don't get this for the right price and you like the concept don't freak out, there are still a lot of good domain names available in the space and WordPress is free. That's all you're really getting in this sale anyways.
Business: 1 Gallon a Day Type: iOS app Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $4,500 Target Price Range: $4,000 to $6,800 Days Til End: 3 Days My Thoughts: If you've been to a gym for more than 5 minutes you know that gym bros carry around a gallon jug to make sure they drink their 1 gallon of water per day. This app makes it far easier for people to track their water intake. The app was featured on the Apple App store and just got a recent update that hasn't been messaged out to the general public just yet. This app made $4k in revenue in January because it was featured, revenue dropped to $478 in February after the app was no longer featured. That means revenue might not be a function of number of downloads, but of how often it gets featured. The $478 in February was still more than the first month the app existed, December 2015 which was $199. If I had a fitness client or brand I would have them gobble this app up and if I had another fitness tracking app I would examine the likelihood of merging the 2 or adding other tracking features to this app. Verdict: Buy - Fitness is hot and doesn't appear to be cooling off. There's a lot of room for this to grow and you should be able to make the purchase price back within it's first year. Still don't expect this to be your million dollar golden egg. It's a one trick pony with something that could easily be copied. You should grab all of the downloads you can, while you can, expand to Android, and then either introduce sister apps to this one or new features in the next 4 to 6 months before other apps start duplicating your method and your messaging.
Business: 94 Designs Type: Website Business Model: Job / Gig Listings Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $149 Target Price Range: $0 Days Til End: 14 hours My Thoughts: This is a gig listing site like fiverr. There are dozens upon dozens of these on the web already and this one offers nothing unique. The brand name is also incredibly similar to 99 designs which does something very similar to this.
Verdict: DO NOT BUY - Run from this one as fast as you can. I just wanted to post a DNB listing here and this one isn't just in a crowded field making it a dog, but there's also a chance you'll get into legal trouble with it. The seller has the starting price at $149 and the buy it now price at $150, which isn't a great sign either. Not worth it, move along.
Business: Bit Video Type: Website Business Model: Profit sharing Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $331 Target Price Range: $500 - $2,000 Days Til End: 23 hours My Thoughts: Live Streaming video is all the rage today and this is a pretty neat implementation of that but using bitcoins and WebRTC to achieve a decentralized live streaming video network. Unfortunately it's generating zero revenue according to the listing and the seller has posted frustratingly little about the site. Based on my experiences in online video (GamersTube.com 2006 to 2013) I know that this is going to be fraught with challenges. If I'm understanding the description correctly though, this website won't incur the bandwidth bill of the streamed video, and that's the largest expenditure for any video site. To me it's a unique and interesting concept which, if the bitcoin community embraced, could lead to double digit monthly revenues. It's a gamble, but a gamble I'd be willing to make if I could validate that this is a unique implementation of the prior mentioned technologies and not based on a script. Verdict: Buy - This looks like a star in the making to me, though it's intrinsically tied to the on again / off again fortunes of bitcoin. If it turns out this is just a redo of an already done implementation or there is some bigger bitcoin video competitor, I might change my verdict on this to a Watch or DNB.
Business: Ventrilode Type: iOS App Business Model: Ad supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $3,000 Target Price Range: $2,500 - $3,250 Days Til End: 9 days My Thoughts: Ventrilode is something I've been familiar with for some time as it was born out of the frustration with Flagship Industries, the makers of Ventrilo, not making an app client. As far as I know Ventrilo server hosts are barred from being associated with any unofficial clients for Ventrilo, including mobile app clients. I was told this while doing consulting work for NationVoice, at one time the largest Ventrilo server host in the world. That means the biggest source of advertisers, revenue, and publicity are not approachable which will make driving revenue from this difficult. Add to that that the app is being used less as VOIP clients for gaming fall out of favor with consumers and you see that this is not a good idea for a large cash investment.
Verdict: Watch - Unless you think you can lose 3k active users per month and still make a profit, do not buy this. Brian Knapp / Flagship Industries could always introduce a mobile client at any moment, or upgrade Ventrilo which hasn't happened since 2007, breaking this app. But the loss of users is much bigger of a problem and the current price of $3,000 hasn't even reach their reserve price. You could be buy this app simply to grab eyeballs and attention of PC gamers. At the price of $3,000 that would put your customer acquisition costs at $0.42 / active user. That's a great deal, but remember its hemorrhaging active users at a rate of approximately 250 per month. By the time you close and get everything transferred over your customer acquisition costs could rise substantially and that's at the $3,000 figure that doesn't match their reserve. In five years the developers never wanted to make an Android version of this and that's weird to me. This auction also comes with another iOS app client for Mumble called Mumblefy. To me this is a wait and see, but there are very few ways in which this app will make your investment back and a whole lot of ways you'll lose every penny.
Business: Rocket Soccer Type: iOS / Android app Business Model: Ad Supported Listed On: Flippa.com Listing Type: Auction Current Price: $600 Target Price Range: $500 - $1,000 Days Til End: 4 days My Thoughts: This is a ripoff of Rocket League, a popular game on PS4 and Xbox. I didn't even want to download and test it, but it has atrocious reviews on the Android app store.
Verdict: DO NOT BUY - I am not into buying ripoff apps or websites that I can't make unique. This one just feels too close to Rocket League for me to enjoy. Of course buying this would allow you to follow in their coat tails and make some decent scratch. I'm just not going to recommend that.
UPDATES on WEEK 1: * Nerd Armor - 1 day left at $3,000 w/ reserve met auction listing * CheapTonight.com - Ended without sale open to offers now * IBartendNow.com - 15 days left at $200 w/ reserve not met auction listing * Paintball-Stuff.com - Sold for $40, negotiated post-sale closed listing Disclaimer: As always I am not affiliated with Flippa, GoDaddy Auctions, AfterNIC, Digital Point, Name Pros, Empire Flippers, or any other website, social community, or web app where websites, domains, and mobile apps are bought and sold. I have been building websites since 1994 and currently run a boutique digital strategy agency. I also buy websites and apps to optimize and earn revenue from. This post contains only my opinions and serves as no guarantee of success.
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