Talk:Primecoin

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Cryptocurrency exchanges[edit]

Does this article say that Primecoin can be traded only for other cryptocurrencies, whereas not for fiat ones ? --Jerome Potts (talk) 20:25, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Ah, indeed, i read at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jun/25/bitcoin-successors-litecoin-freicoin that "All alt-currencies are pegged to Bitcoin, which can be exchanged with the US dollar." --Jerome Potts (talk) 03:30, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Any primes?[edit]

Have they actually discovered any new prime numbers yet? --99.106.241.212 (talk) 23:04, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Oh, and if not, what's the largest it has independently discovered? --99.106.241.212 (talk) 23:11, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Due to the fact that they've limited the primes which can be found by size, I don't think the answer will be particularly interesting. 82.35.30.54 (talk) 10:50, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Cunningham Chain records[edit]

I added a sentence about the records under "Proof of Work" to point to the records list, before noting that User:a5b had already referenced it earlier in the article. I was about to remove my sentence when I saw that a5b's note was marked with "unreliable source?". Since mine points to Wayback Machine records of the existence of the page dating back to 2003, I thought I'd better ask for help from more experienced editors before dumping my addition. Thanks. Scryer (talk) 20:56, 16 December 2013 (UTC) 20:53, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

I think that using web.archive to show reliability of the link is the wrong way (original research).`a5b (talk) 21:01, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
OK, point taken. Without that, your sentence seems to cover everything mine does. Yank mine? Scryer (talk) 21:12, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
The problem is that the source is just a random page on a hosting service that anyone could have written. The page claims it was written by Dirk Augustin, but we don't know who that is, what his expertise is, or whether it's really written by him. (There's a Dirk Augustin at the University of Tennessee and another at Göttingen University; maybe it's one of them, but why is the page hosted in Denmark?). We need a reliable source, such as a peer reviewed journal, to support this claim. Pburka (talk) 01:10, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Which bit are you challenging? Do you suspect this page didn't exist before Primecoin, or that the records it lists haven't been achieved, or that someone other than the Primecoin project achieved them? You can verify the existence of that page and its predecessor run by the same guy since 2003 if you're interested - see the deleted previous draft of this page for guidance there. I'm confident you're not serious about requiring a peer reviewed article, since only a small percentage of Wikipedia pages have references of that sort. Scryer (talk) 01:35, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Additionally, Wikipedia listed the Augustin page as a source at least as early as 2008. Scryer (talk) 01:48, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm challenging the reliability of the source. It doesn't matter how long it's been on Wikipedia. The problem is that we don't know who wrote it or who reviewed it. Most likely it's correct, but we have no way of evaluating its trustworthiness. See WP:RS for an in-depth discussion of what constitutes a reliable source. Peer-reviewed articles are the gold-standard of reliability, and, for topics such as mathematics, ought to be easy enough to find for notable topics. However I'd be happy with any reliable source, such as a newspaper article, a book or even conference proceedings. Pburka (talk) 02:02, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm Jens Kruse Andersen. The page by Dirk Augustin [1] is at my website. The archive link [2] which was used as source earlier only shows that the first archived version of that url is from 2010. It doesn't show how long the page had already been there at the time. In fact it got there in January 2009. But the year seems completely irrelevant to this article anyway. Primecoin started in 2013 so who cares whether the Cunningham Chain records changed url in 2009 or 2010. The record list has always been maintained by Dirk Augustin. He emails it to me as a pure txt file. I add the TOC and links, and uploads it after making some checks. I suggest changing "maintained at its current URL by Dirk Augustin" to "maintained by Dirk Augustin". The "current url" part seems irrelevant, and the link goes to his user page at The Prime Pages. The list itself already says "Record list created and maintained by Dirk Augustin". A Primecoin announcement at [3] says: "Dr. Dirk Augustin, an expert on Cunningham chains and notable record holder of 5 out of the 21 world records, from 5-primes through 9-primes, enthusiastically congratulated Primecoin's breakthrough after its launch. 'I am very glad to see that the Primecoin project increased the interest in searching for prime chains, something I am doing now for over 10 years,' says Dr. Augustin." I have a clear conflict of interest and will not edit the article's statements about my website, but have some comments on this ref: Cunningham Chain records // Dirk Augustin, November 12th, 2013: "The users of Primecoin improved the records for Cunningham Chains of length 10 and 12...."[unreliable source?]. Dirk's "NEWSFLASH" statement at top of [4] is always about changes since last update. It does currently say "The users of Primecoin improved the records for Cunningham Chains of length 10 and 12", but that will be removed in the next update. I'm not sure what to do about [unreliable source?] added by Pburka in [5]. Titanic (1000+ digits) Cunningham Chain records are also listed at the more reliable [6] and [7] at The Prime Pages. Both link to Dirk's page under "Related Pages". His page is the only place subtitanic Cunningham Chain records are maintained. If Wikipedia doesn't accept his list then most of Cunningham chain#Largest known Cunningham chains has to be removed. My prime records website (including the page I host for Dirk) is trusted within the prime search community and is the main or only page for many of the records, but maybe it doesn't satisfy Wikipedia's normal rules. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CunninghamChain.html (I'm a contributor) references Dirk's page at its former url. Here are some other examples of references to prime record pages at my website:
My website is already used as reference in several other Wikipedia articles, but some might find that questionable and I'm not saying it implies it's OK to do here. At Talk:Sylvester's sequence#New factor of s13 the site was accepted as a source, and User:David Eppstein (David Eppstein) added [17] this note to a number from a reliable source: "This appears to be a typo, as Andersen finds 1167 prime divisors in this range." WP:USERGENERATED says: "Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications." I probably fall short of that, but prime number records is an uncontroversial field with computer verified results, and many record types are only maintained at selfpublished websites accepted in the field. A book or paper may sometimes print some record, but they tend to be broken quickly. I have set lots of prime records myself [18], but most of them are listed at my own site or other selfpublished sites. My biased opinion is that my site is good enough for computer-verifiable prime number records nobody has ever disputed, but wouldn't be good enough for claims about theorems. Sorry for the long post. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:09, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I'd be more comfortable if we qualified the claim to reflect the nature of the source. Since the world record isn't certified by any recognized authority, and isn't peer reviewed, why not say "Dirk Augustin, [XXX professor of YYY], reports several Cunningham chains found by Primecoin users are world-records, for example chains of length of 10 and 12.". I can't find any info about (or even publications by) Dr. Augustin, so I'm not sure how to describe him. Pburka (talk) 02:23, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't mean to imply that Dr. Augustin isn't a recognized authority. I simply mean that there is no organization which maintains and certifies these records. Pburka (talk) 02:32, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Note: Some of the Wikipedia references to my site were added by myself many years ago. At Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/PrimeHunter in 2007 I volunteered this information and got no opposition. I don't think I have added references to myself since then, but I have updated some records which already referenced my site. By the way, I think the first link to my site was the last link in [19] (current url [20]), an article creation in 2004 by User:Mindspillage. This was before I became a Wikipedia user. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:30, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
PrimeHunter, I appreciate all your information and your being forthcoming with these details. While your and Dr. Augustin's work seem well regarded, it is considered self-published. Self-published sources can still be considered reliable sources on a topic, citable on Wikipedia, if the author's identity can be verified as an expert in that field, published in reliable sources of that field. For example, if he's a professor that has published a paper on some topic about mathematics, published in a normal peer-reviewed journal, that would arguably suffice aside from nagging concerns that he really is the source behind the data you're posting. ––Agyle (talk) 09:37, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't know whether Augustin has published papers. I don't write papers about my prime records but have one published paper with Harvey Dubner in Experimental Mathematics (journal).[21] Four current Primecoin records (one of them a Bi-twin chain) and a couple of former records are listed in a page by myself, "The Largest Known Simultaneous Primes".[22] However, it was myself who formalized this as a record category with rules about which primes qualify as simultaneous. It's questionable whether the record category is worth a mention in Wikipedia. PrimeHunter (talk) 15:03, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm Dr. Dirk Augustin and would like to introduce myself. Perhaps this helps to solve the discussion which is going on. I wrote my dissertation in applied mathematics at the Universität Münster (a german university). You can find a link to my dissertation here at the bottom of this page: [23]. In addition I published several articles in mathematical yournals (e.g. in "Annals of Operations Research" Vol. 101, Issue 1-4, p75-99 and in "Optimization" 49(4), pp351-368) and in mathematical books (e.g. in "Online optimization of large scale systems" by Marting Grötschel et al). After working for companies like Vodafone and Hewlett Packard I'm now working for Amdocs Limited. The "Cunningham Chain Record page" might not be an "official page" but it's the only source for Cunningham chain records (at least for longer chains) and as far as I know it's widely accepted as trusted world record source for Cunningham chains since more than ten years. For updating the record page I regularly scan several well known prime groups (e.g. the Yahoo Groups "Primenumbers" and "PrimeForm") and prime pages (e.g. [24] which is the official site for prime records, but only lists primes above 1000 digits). In addition anyone can send me new cunningham chain records via email (dirk.augustin@gmx.de). CunninghamChains (talk) 10:40, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, that is most helpful! Hopefully this settles allowing citation of the self-published Cunningham Chain records to be treated as reliable sources (see WP:SPS to review the criteria). While all of this could be the result of a meticulous decade-or-longer hoax, perpetrated by a prime-number-obsessed prankster impersonating prime-number-obsessed mathematicians, the claims are computationally verifiable, nobody's life hangs in the balance, and the evidence should be sufficient for Wikipedia citation purposes. :-) To recap for anyone wanting to verify, Dirk Augustin's work includes:
Jens Kruse Andersen's work includes:
Jens Kruse Andersen's web pages which cite Dirk Augustin's Cunningham Chain records:
The Prime Pages, hosted at The University of Tennessee at Martin, which among other sources cites Augustin/Andersen's page:
Agyle (talk) 11:29, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

At the moment the article only seems to have pro content. Primecoin is defined in terms of Bitcoin, which is understandable but doesn't sound very encyclopedic.

I know this won't help matters but here is another comparison that may be useful as a ref Primecoin: The Quickly-risen Coin That’s Serving Science Jonpatterns (talk) 13:48, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Vitalik Buterin's article in Bitcoin Magazine, the day after it was released, had some criticism, and you can find gripes on any digital currencies in internet forums, but Primecoin has been too trivial so far for reliable sources to provide much coverage about it. Buterin is the only RS writer who seemed to understand Primecoin in any depth. Agyle (talk) 15:06, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, i had a look at the article called 'Primecoin: The Cryptocurrency Whose Mining is Actually Useful'. Couldn't really find much criticism. But I have made the style more neutral.Jonpatterns (talk) 10:12, 1 April 2014 (UTC)


Useful? Utility?[edit]

The article says that such primes are ``useful". I don't see such primes as having any social utility. They seem to be ``useful" only in the sense that they are advancing human knowledge about primes. With respect to maintaining a neutral POV, is it right to call it ``useful"? Can someone please elaborate? I have read the CoinDesk article, which also claims it is useful, but doesn't explain how. Danski14(talk) 04:28, 11 November 2014 (UTC)