History of Monero
Inspired by Johnny Mnemonic's post and motivated by Gingeropolous's request for written history of the first months of Monero, I decided to start one. This will take time, will need to be amended, etc... but, hey! it a start.
It started with a revolutionary technology called CryptoNote (for more about CryptoNote, read What's so special about Monero for a quick explanation, or the CryptoNote whitepaper review by the Monero Research Lab for more in-depth information). And a scam called Bytecoin (BCN)
Some of the persons behind the Cryptonote technology decided to scam people on massive proportions with Bytecoin (80% premine) by folding up a story about darknet mining for two years. People smart enough to scan a blockchain quickly found out about the 80% premine, decided this was DOA and started considering a relaunch.
Whether they anticipated it or just reacted to an unexpected situation, the Bytecoin people prepared an "answer": they would control the opposition (Macchiavelli would have a lot to say about it).
> Most of us didn't like the fact that Bytecoin had already been 80% mined. An unknown individual named thankful_for_today announced he was working on a fair relaunch of bytecoin that would have a distribution closer to that of bitcoin, with shorter block times. A number of us showed interest and even attempted to collaborate with him.
>We actually wanted a shallower distribution.
We were pretty unanimous that 1 minute block times were a bad idea.
We were unanimous that some type of perpetual inflation was necessary on the tail end of distribution.
>At the same time, crypto_zoidberg announced his fork, HoneyPenny (eventually to become Boolberry BBR). This project had some interesting things going on, but wasn't planned for release for another 6 weeks or so.
> When thankful_for_today launched bitMonero two weeks later (he was in a huge rush to be the first fork out the door, and might be the reason Monero always had the lead on BBR), he had pretty much ignored everything that was discussed and just did what he wanted. The block reward was considerably steeper than what everyone was expecting [NdlR: Hanlon"s razor here: tft was just clumsy and forgot to change a variable]. He also moved forward with 1 minute block times despite everyone's concerns about the increase of orphan blocks. He also didn't address the tail emission concern that should've (in my opinion) been in the code at launch time. Basically, he fucked everything up. Then, he disappeared.
> I, and others, started working on new forks that were closer to what everyone else was hoping for. David Latapie (IIRC) started PMing people and trying to get them to consolidate projects to not divide the community. I personally thought the best course of action was to fix bitMonero and relaunch it (I still think that would've been best). but instead it was decided that the bitMonero project should just be taken over. There were like 9 or 10 interested parties at the time if my memory is correct. We voted on IRC to drop the "bit" from bitMonero and move forward with the project.
> Thankful_for_today suddenly resurfaced, and wasn't happy to learn the community had assumed control of the coin. He attempted to maintain his own fork (still calling it "bitMonero") for a while, but that quickly fell into obscurity. The rest is history.
Summary of the "TFT-era" thread
- Pre-ANN on 9th of April.
- Release is planned for the 17th of April 2014
- Postponed to 18th. Today, 18th of April is Monero Day.
- x0rcist created #bitmonero. From this day on, this is where most of the action happened.
- I wrote the first tutorial (I remember I was very proud of manipulating more than the
lscommand line and I received several 100 BMR donations for it).
- First TFT-induced bug on day 2.
- eizh commences the hostilities by suggesting a renaming and later a new OP ("This coin desperately needs a better first post.", which you can still recognize today on the Bitcointalk ANN)
- As a testimony to how little was happening on the forum, one of the most important moment in the history of bitmonero was only mentionned through one sentence on the forum, by tacotime: Discussion of chain future going on presently in IRC
- And finally, I announce: we move
BMR was launched the 18th of April. A mere 5 days later, BMR was over (and went to become Monero MRO, until later fluffypony proposed to use the ISO 4217-compatible code XMR). Ironically, most of the visibility of BMR was after BMR was over. In turn, the new thread (where I decided that the OP would be a shared account, a practice I discovered with Karmacoin) only lived two days, because I accidentally created on the wrong section of the Altcoin forum and no moderator responded to my request to move it. That's why the third post on the final thread, the official ANN is "How many threads does this coin need?"
From its inception, the history of Monero was not exactly a bed of roses.
The second renaissance
Quoting smooth (a future Core Team Member):
> You are wrong TFT. The original announcement described the coin as having a reward curve "close to Bitcoin's original curve" (those are your exact words). The code as implemented has a reward curve that is nothing like bitcoin. It will be 86% mined in 4 years. It will be 98% mined in 8 years. Bitcoin is 50% mined in 4 years, and 75% in 8 years.
> With respect TFT, you did the original fork, and you deserve credit for that. But this coin has now gone beyond your initial vision. It isn't just a question of whether miners are on bitcointalk or not. There is a great team of people who are working hard to make this coin a success, and this team is collaborating regularly through forum posts, IRC, PM and email. And beyond that a community of users who by and large have been very supportive of the efforts we've taken to move this forward.
It turned out that this coin was not that fair, since the miner was terribly deoptimised (NoodleDoodle, one of the future Core Team Member, found out the first occurence of such issue) and certainly BCN guys had an optimised version that allowed them to mine much faster (ten time faster as we eventually found out). Riccardo Spagni recently wrote a summary of improvements.
Also, thankful_for_today was unreachable for days and when he came back, he was all about merge-mining with Bytecoin, something the nascent "real" community of Bitmonero was strongly opposed to. Smooth announced he would leave the project if merge-mining was implemented and Tacotime (another of the future Core Team Members) announced he would also and would start working on a second fork (which would have perfectly mimicked the Tenebrix-Fairbrix-Litecoin series). TFT eventually implemented merged-mining in another fork, called Fantomcoin, heavily underoptimised (since almost none of the Monero improvement were ported). Fantomcoin was pumped, dumped and delisted.
 (unrelated to Bytecoin BCE or Bytecoin BYC.
 If you want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, rethink-your-strategy wrote a comprehensive post - fluffypony, a future Monero Core Team Member, was maybe the first to mention the similarities with the Tenebrix scam.