On "malicious" attacks


The “malicious” map challenges aren’t a big deal. Why not?

  1. They were predicted on this forum. Active participants knew they were a possibility and adjusted accordingly by reducing their stake.

It seems highly likely that most of the people losing their stake are people who were never particularly interested in Foam and were simply completing Proof of Use requirements so they could sell. I realize that there are exceptions (Hi @ainsleysutherland) but these people have also now made adjustments. As @ainsleysutherland noted, there is also something to be said about how the challenges have brought new people into our community.

  1. As @GeoPeter points out, it’s not a problem if the value of POIs gets driven down to a single token. I actually think that might be better than 50 Foam, as that would completely eliminate the attractiveness of a bot attack (gas would be more costly than the Foam gained).

  2. The challenger(s) are gaining Foam, but it seems unlikely that they are going to be able to do anything particularly nefarious with it. As @Ryan_foam has argued, dPOL is less gameable and there really isn’t any risk posed by Foam “whales” beyond this initial damage to high-stake POIs (it’s also worth noting that “whale” is relative–these are still quite small amounts of Foam we are talking about).

  3. Far from a bad thing, the “attacks” are showing people who were drawn primarily by the mapping aspect of the project some hard realities about how trustless systems work and the weakness of on-chain governance.

The neutrality of the Foam team on all of this shows that they are watching and thinking about how to move forward when the time is right. This should be reassuring to everyone. Some people on here have suggested that the Foam team should be panicking, giving curators reserve tokens so that the votes can start going in the “right” way. This would be the worst possible move for the project as it destroys the one thing that differentiates us from the paternalism of Google Maps, Bing, and the like. It would also make it impossible for the Foam team to figure out what coded incentives and rules are going to be needed for the POI curation system to work all on its own and without external intervention.

My .02.


Valid points.

But, are you trying to tell us something, Mr. Putin?


I also wrote that since these accounts relentlessly challenge for the full amount and do not contribute to the map, they should be voted against.


Agree. If they were a real white-hat attacker, they would not be challenging for the full amounts or would redistribute these rewards to the POI owners. We get the point, now they’re pretty much just stealing money.


Yes, very clear not a white hat. It is an attacker using multiple addresses. They can try to justify their actions to themselves (or us) as much as they want. This is clearly not about improving or contributing to the map, it is about profit and proving a point to “naive” Cartographers. It is in fact particularly nefarious to stalk this forum and taunt Cartographers by challenging in this manner.

So Vladimir, I do think it is a big deal.


Writing this for other people who may have read the top post and came away puzzled by its bizarre arguments.

Active participants knew [that there tokens will be stolen]

This is appeal to the classical “Blame the victim” fallacy. “She wouldn’t be raped if she wasn’t wearing that short skirt all the time. He asked for his phone to be stolen by leaving it around.” It tries to shift the blame to distract from perpetrator’s actions and responsibility.

I consider myself an “active participant”, by the way.

challenger(s) are gaining Foam, but [they will not do] anything nefarious with it

This (rather clumsily) attempts to downplay the fact that destroying people’s efforts and wealth for profit is outrageous enough. Instead, we’re supposed to be content that maybe nothing “particularly nefarious” will be done later; that is, apart from what is being done already.

challenges have brought new people to our community

All FOAM token holders are our community. Offended community members come to Discourse to coordinate defense, not to do advance the project with constructive work that brings real value. This drains people’s resources in a very tangible way. I’m not even speaking of their crypto, but their time and energy.

far from a bad thing, the attacks are showing people […] some hard realities

And there is the moral of the story again: life is hard, people steal, you deserved it for being a sucker. Say “thank you” and move along. And keep doubting whether attack is attack, malicious is malicious and stealing is stealing.


Still can’t fathom why they kept coming after Meatworks Butchery … only 50 tokens in it :open_mouth:


You have hit the nail right on the head @foamspacer. I have stopped adding POIs since the attacks on Meatworks Butchery began. The upside is that I have learned a lot since all these malicious attacks began. The downside is that this has become a distraction.


Get real. All this moralizing and false analogizing is ridiculous. This is crypto, not the real world.

There is no legal system, and there are no morals. There is just what the code allows and what the code doesn’t allow. The code allows what is going on, and whatever you think about it, that’s the reality. By all means fight it, but expecting people to behave otherwise is just silly. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with blockchain knows this.

Proof of Kumbaya is not going to secure the blockchain, nor will it ensure the continued health of Foam. You don’t like that some prankster has kept challenging Meatworks? You’re really not going to like it then when a bot comes along and challenges one hundred 50 Foam POIs an hour, every hour.

Coordinated defense is clearly of value to the project. Coordinated defense (questions about its viability, etc.) is at the heart of this TCR experiment, along with questions about whether people will build out the map beyond the Proof of Use period, absent other incentives.


Incentives must be aligned with objectives. The Incentives for the TCR and our initial launch have been met, agreed would we all that it is not perfect. Perfect is the enemy of the good here. We only need a good enough system for POI to move to the next stage. Wasting man hours and development on perfecting the existing POI system only will slow down the FOAM ecology. We must not loose sight of the goal, which is that we are building a vibrant and dynamic platform for the use of spatial data through the blockchain.

This is only possible with FOAM as only FOAM is focused on what matters, Locale, Localization and the Location. The dynamics of adding dPOL and Zone Anchors will be important and key to evolution going forward. The need for and interest in petty or malicious challenges will become marginalized as the economics of the Zone Anchor’s are added to this ecosystem. I sympathize with those who are working at the POI challenges, I believe it is very important, and ask that we all keep the large picture in mind. FOAM is not worth much to anyone with just POI’s. They are a step to the world we envisioned of a Distributed Proof of Location, the whole picture must be considered.

Weighting the entire protocol towards POI’s will be a disservice to Zone Anchors, as would an unfair balance to Signals. We should aim for a virtuous cycle, wherein the efforts put into POI’s benefit both the Zone Anchors and Signals, and likewise all efforts put into Zone Anchors, and Signals should benefit POIs. The adversarial nature of POI’s is acting as expected; where the actors are incentivized to challenge new and existing POI’s.

Only as the larger FOAM ecosystem is built will we see the dream we all have realized.