Bitcoin Roundtable Consensus: Wladimir Says 'I'm All For

Monero, the Most Private Cryptocurrency

Monero, the Most Private Cryptocurrency
Written by the CoinEx Institution, this series of jocular and easy to understand articles will show you everything you need to know about major cryptocurrencies, making you fully prepared before jumping into crypto!

https://preview.redd.it/ryvcznqspe451.jpg?width=720&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5fa91e26288d7b0a624113ed21172cc9fd5624a3
Monero, or XMR for short, is an open-source cryptocurrency that is safe, reliable, private, and untraceable. It can run on Windows, Mac, Linux, and FreeBSD, and is known as one of the most private cryptocurrencies. In 2018, Monero already ranked 10th in terms of trading volume, with its market value beyond 1 billion US dollars, an evidence for its great fame in this field.
By a special method in cryptography, Monero ensures that all transactions remain 100% irrelevant and untraceable. Perhaps after reading this article, you will understand why it is so special and popular in the increasingly transparent and traceable cryptocurrency circle (After all privacy comes first!).
In fact, many large cryptocurrencies in the world are not anonymous. All transactions on Bitcoin and Ethereum are made public and traceable, which means that anyone can eavesdrop on transactions flowing into and out of the wallet. That has given rise to a new type of cryptocurrency called “privacy currency”! These “privacy currencies” hide encrypted transactions by adopting specific types of passwords. One typical example is Monero, one of the largest privacy cryptocurrencies in the world.
Monero was created on April 18, 2014 under the name BitMonero, literally the combination of Bit (Bitcoin) and Monero (the “coin” in Esperanto). In five days, the community decided to change its name to Monero.
Interestingly, Monero’s creators valued personal privacy and tried to behave in a low-key manner with pseudonyms instead of the real names. It is said that the Monero major contributor’s nickname is “thankful for today”, yet this guy has gradually disappeared from public view as Monero developed day by day.
Unlike many cryptocurrencies derived from BTC, Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol. It is also the first branch based on the Bytecoin of CryptoNote currency. Here is some information about Bytecoin: BCN, for short, is a decentralized cryptocurrency with a high degree of privacy; it has open-source codes that allow everyone to contribute to the development of the Bytecoin network; and the Bytecoin network provides global users with instant private transactions that are not traceable and at no additional cost.
Yet, as a branch of BCN, Monero outshines its parent in reputation by being different in two ways. First, Monero’s target block time was reduced from 120 seconds to 60 seconds; second, the issuance speed was cut by 50% (which reverted to 120-second residence later, with the issuance time maintained and the reward for each new block doubled). By the way, during the fork, the Monero developers also found a lot of low-quality codes and then refactored them. (That is exactly what geeks will do)
Monero’s modular code structure was also highly appreciated by Wladimir J. van der Laan, one of the core maintainers of Bitcoin.
Monero values privacy, decentralization and scalability, and there are significant algorithm differences in blockchain fuzzification, which sets it apart from its peers. How private is it? Here are more details.
1. Safe and reliable
For a decentralized cryptocurrency, decentralization means that its network is operated by users; transactions are confirmed by decentralized consensus and then recorded on the blockchain irrevocably. Monero needs no third party to guarantee the safety of funds;
2. Privacy protection
Monero confuses all transaction sources, amounts, and recipients through ring signatures, ring confidential transactions, and invisible addresses. Apart from all the advantages of a decentralized cryptocurrency, it is by no means inferior in safeguarding privacy;
3. Unable to track
The sender, the receiver and the transaction amount of all Monero transactions must be anonymous by default. The information on the Monero Blockchain cannot be matched with physical individuals or specific users, so there is no trace to track;
4. Scalable
Everyone knows that Bitcoin’sability to process transactions has always been limited by the scalability issue; as we have mentioned before in the introduction of Bitcoin, the block size of 1MB makes things difficult. But Monero’s developers have created a system that allows the network to process more transactions when needed; what’s more, Monero does not have any “pre-set” restrictions on block size.
Of course, this also means that some malicious miners may block the system with large blocks. To prevent this from happening, Monero has worked out countermeasures: the block reward penalty of the system.
On October 18, 2018, Monero’s latest hard fork changed the consensus mechanism algorithm to CrypotoNight V8. In this hard fork, it introduced the BulletProff bulletproof protocol, which can also effectively reduce the transaction fee of miners without disclosing transactions
It is said that Monero will issue about 18.4 million XMR in around 8 years. Moreover, it eclipses its counterparts in distribution — with no pre-mining or pre-sale, all block rewards will be left to miners by means of the POW mechanism.
Here is the reward scheme of Monero in two stages:
  1. Acceleration: mine 18132000 XMR before May 2022;
  2. Deceleration: Deceleration starts right after 18132000 XMR are mined, and there will be a reward of 0.6XMR for each block mined afterwards. In this way, the overall supply will be kept on a small scale and decelerated.
Monero is also excellent in its development concept that is designed to be anti-ASIC from the very beginning. Here is a brief introduction to ASIC (Special Application Integrated Circuit).
Due to the specificity of ASICs, specially designed ASICs can usually have much higher hashrate than general CPUs, GPUs, and even FPGAs — that makes hashrate excessively centralized and makes it vulnerable to the monopoly of single centralized institutions. Yet the cryptonight algorithm used by Monero allows most CPUs and even FPGAs to get involved and get mining rewards, instead of making GPU the only one that can efficiently mine.
In other words, Monero’s core development team will modify the consensus mechanism algorithm and have a hard fork after some time to ensure its strength against ASIC and the monopoly of hashrate.
However, although Monero has been designed against ASICs to avoid centralization, nearly 43% of its hashrate is still owned by 3 mining pools; in addition, it is not a BTC-based currency, making it even harder to introduce some elements. Of course, Monero is not that newbie-friendly, and thus has not been widely accepted.
Yet each cryptocurrency has its own features. As long as Monero keeps improving its privacy, it will definitely attract increasing followers. If you are interested in Monero, welcome to CoinEx for exchange or trade.

About CoinEx

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submitted by CoinEx_Institution to Coinex [link] [comments]

I recently recounted the history of the block size controversy for someone and thought I'd repost it here

Bitcoin development was initially led by an anonymous figure named Satoshi Nakamoto who created the project "Bitcoin: a Peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System"
The project mostly languished in obscurity until in late 2010 it was revealed that Bitcoin was being used to evade the ban on Wikileaks contributions. (A good summary of Bitcoin's early history can be found here.)
Satoshi was opposed to Bitcoin being used for something as controversial as funding Wikileaks, and in one of his last messages, wrote "It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us." (link). Satoshi vanished shortly thereafter.
When Satoshi disappeared, he left the project effectively in the control of Gavin Andresen, one of the early contributors to the project. Gavin has been characterized as something of a naive academic. It wasn't long before Gavin had been approached by the CIA and agreed to visit and do a presentation. So we know that Bitcoin was on the CIA's radar by 2011.
Bitcoin-as-introduced had an Achilles heel. To prevent a specific kind of denial-of-service attack, Satoshi had added a "block size limit" to prevent flooding attacks. Satoshi's plan was to raise the limit as usage increased. Satoshi and the early Bitcoiners such as myself did not envision that the limit might itself be a vulnerability. A near-complete history of the block size limit controversy is here. I'll attempt to summarize my experience with some references.
Now it's almost 2020, and by now we've all become much more attuned to the scope of what three-letter-agencies have been doing to manipulate social media platforms. But in 2012 that was tinfoil-hat stuff across most of the internet.
In 2012, the Bitcoin subreddit was one of the key places people went for discussion about what was happening in Bitcoin. That, and the bitcointalk forum. The history of what happened has been well documented with sources in places like here and here.
The TLDR is
Throughout all of this, Blockstream steadfastly argued that it didn't control the Bitcoin Core software. Blockstream pointed to Chaincode Labs who funded several key bitcoin developers and the MIT Media Labs "Digital Currency Initiative" who funded Gavin, Cory, and Wladimir. Gavin and Wladimir in particular had the authority to merge changes into the Bitcoin Core software and as such effectively could decide what did and did not go into the software. As an ostensibly academic organization, Gavin and Wladimir etc could act with intellectual honesty and without coercion.
Except Gavin left the Digital Currency Initiative in 2017, saying that while he wasn't pressured to quit, he "didn't want to feel obligated to any person or organization."
Fast forward to 2019, and we learn the fascinating news that the MIT Media Labs were funded in part by none other than Jeffrey Epstein, who it turns out just so happened to be a staunch advocate of the Blockstream approach. So really, Bitcoin development was corralled: Blockstream was paying a bunch of devs, and Blockstream-Friendly MIT Media Labs were paying the others.
If you're still reading this, you probably wonder what it is about the Blockstream strategy that is so "bad." Aren't they just proposing a different way to solve Bitcoin's problems?
The original idea for Bitcoin was a "peer to peer cash system" - - the idea being that if Alice wants to buy something from Bob, she can just give him some tokens - - just like cash.
The new vision of bitcoin promoted by Blockstream and Core is "store of value". Under this model, you buy Bitcoins like you might speculate on gold - you buy some and you hold it. Later, if you want to purchase something, you sell your Bitcoins for some other payment method (or use an IOU against a deposit, just like a bank), and use that for purchases.
It should be apparent after a moment of thought that the original concept (Alice hands Bob some cash which Bob can then spend how he likes) is vastly more disruptive than the model in which Alice buys Bitcoin on a government-regulated exchange, holds them hoping they'll appreciate in value, and then sells them for Euros or dollars. In model one, the currency is essentially outside the domain of gatekeepers, and could completely disintermediate the entire existing financial system just like Napster for money. In model two, Bitcoin is no more disruptive than shares of a gold fund.
submitted by jessquit to btc [link] [comments]

BITCOIN DIVORCE – BITCOIN CORE VS BITCOIN CASH EXPLAINED

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned includes examples of the censoring.)
Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well.
BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war.
Who are they fighting against?
The government and central banks.
There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software.
BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker.
Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp
Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”.
Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs.
ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS
Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government.
Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks.
Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.
Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology.
One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government.
Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s) This must have angered Ver a lot.
Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war.
Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies.
More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com).
HOW TO WIN THE WAR
To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it.
IS BITCOIN WINNING?
Yes and no.
Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals.
Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold.
However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency.
If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies.
BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT
In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. Dell, Wikipedia and airlines have stopped accepting bitcoin. SatoshiDice and Yours switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times?
Because of small blocks.
SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT
Why isn't the block size increased?
Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.)
Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused.
The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
This scaling debate and in-fighting went on for several years. You can read more about it at: https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6rxw7k/informative_btc_vs_bch_articles/dl8v4lp/?st=jaotbt8m&sh=222ce783
SMALL BLOCKERS VS BIG BLOCKERS
Why has Blockstream refused to increase block size? There are a few possible reasons:
  1. They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
  2. Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
  3. They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
  4. They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ
He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos.
He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased?
He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future.
Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores.
Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS
According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain?
DIFFERENT AGENDAS
It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas.
Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!”
Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good."
Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.”
Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later”
Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.”
Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.”
Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed”
Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.”
Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.”
Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome."
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.”
Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system”
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia.
Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions.
An analogy of this scaling debate is this:
You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph.
Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS
If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users). Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin.
Roger Ver's companies used to use or still use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table.
In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) are IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream.
But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream.
Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems.
BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS
There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers.
Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08)
Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this. He pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
THE DIVORCE
To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC.
After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash and has the symbol BCH.
Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while.
Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash.
Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money.
This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different.
Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways.
Both parties have want they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

Remember when Bitcoin was to be ruled by "math not men"? Whether you support bigger or smaller blocks, and whether you're "short" Bitcoin (you want the price to go down, so you can buy), or "long" (you want the price to go up, so you can sell) - you should still support *decentralized* governance.

Why should you support decentralized governance?
Because otherwise, the people involved in these centralized "meetings" (ie, the miners and the devs jetting around the world, making "important" decisions on things like "max blocksize" without your input) will become "insiders" - who can easily manipulate the price to make profits - behind your back, and at your expense.
The potential for manipulation
In the past, I've communicated with several experienced old-time traders and consultants from Wall Street regarding Bitcoin.
And many of them say they won't touch Bitcoin with a ten-foot pole because it's quite obvious to them that (in the absence of regulation), a new asset class like Bitcoin is horribly vulnerable to all sorts of behind-the-scenes manipulation.
They've seen it all before. They know all the ins and outs of how people with "insider information" can rig the market - and they can already see plenty of warning signs and alarm bells showing how easy it would be to pull off this kind of market manipulation in Bitcoin.
Now, I'm not in favor of government regulation for Bitcoin. I believe that it should be as self-regulating as possible.
But the only way to do this is if we get the governance and the software right.
Basically, what this probably boils down to is "baking in" a bit more governance into the software itself - so that things can be decided by everyone in the market as a whole, rather than by a small group of people at a private meeting.
Ethereum said "code is law", and Bitcoin said it would be governed "by math, not by men". But now look where we've ended up.
In the case of Ethereum, the promise was "code is law" - but then they discovered that the DAO code could be hacked, which raised difficult questions about how to interpret what the "law" really means.
In the case of Bitcoin (for those of us who remember that far back), the promise was to be "governed by math, not men".
Now flash-forward to the present.
After being stable for weeks, the price abruptly dropped by $30-40 today.
This was apparently due to broken promises from some meeting in Hong Kong in February, followed by another "friendly", "invite-only" meeting in Silicon Valley today - where previously promised solutions weren't delivered, and it was explicitly forbidden to offer any new ones.
So now, we're getting a vivid reminder that the "max blocksize" limit (as it currently stands) is a constant, hard-coded in a program, by a centralized group of programmers and miners - who are all fallible human beings, possessed by normal human drives and foibles and obligations, such as fear and greed, ego and hubris, payments to make and mouths to feed.
This means that a handful of insiders can easily manipulate this "max blocksize" number - deciding whether and when and how it will get changed, and how much, and how often - so they could potentially manipulate the price - depending on their own personal preferences.
For example, they could be "long" on Bitcoin and want to sell - or they could be "short" on Bitcoin and want to buy - or maybe they're just not terribly bright - or maybe they're into bike-shedding - or maybe they're just having a bad day - or a bad life.
Whatever the reason, in the end, they're going to keep on injecting their central planning and their personal preferences into your store of value, your medium of exchange.
And as long as you continue to accept this idea that they have the right to jet around the world, dictating how you can use your monetary system today - they're going to keep right on doing it.
Now, most of us do accept that certain parameters like a "max blocksize" could probably change at some point in the future - depending on the needs of the market, and the capacity of the hardware.
Our mission right now should be to make sure that the process for changing such a parameter is as decentralized as possible.
Currently, that's far from being the case.
But - no matter what you personally think or hope that number should be - you should support the idea that the process for determining that number should be as decentralized as possible.
Today, a bunch of devs and miners flew to an invitation-only meeting to (not) talk about setting this number.
You weren't invited to this meeting (or the previous one in February) - but the following "colorful" cast of characters were:
No matter who you are, you probably don't want a tiny, centralized cast of characters deciding on Bitcoin's monetary policy for you.
Like the title of this posts says, it doesn't actually matter whether you support bigger or smaller blocks, or whether you're "short" or "long" on Bitcoin.
It doesn't matter whether you're using Bitcoin to accept payments for your business - or doing "dollar cost averaging" to buy a little every week to put away for the future - or using cold storage to save for your retirement or for your kid's college education - or trying your hand at using "technical analysis" to do some day trading to see if you can outsmart the market.
It's hard enough trying to deal with day-to-day events and budget for your future and analyze the market and understand the economy - without also having to factor in stuff like: whether u/btcdrak and u/maaku7 and u/luke-jr and u/adam3us and u/kanzure might happen to be "long" or "short" on Bitcoin - or whether some of them might be simply clueless or out to lunch or got up on the wrong side of the bed today.
Remember how Bitcoin was supposed to be?
If you remember back to when you first got into Bitcoin, one thing that we all did at least agree on back then was the promise that it was shield us from many human idiosyncracies in our previous monetary systems - all the centralized invitation-only committees run by shady central bankers, with their back-room deals, meeting privately with no transparency, setting monetary policy affecting your life, behind your back and without your input.
So... we thought we had forever escaped terrifying economic curses such as the Keynesian Beauty Contest and the Greenspan Put and the Hank Paulson TARP and the Krugman Liquidity Trap and the Cyprus Haircut and the Brexit Slump etc. etc. - only to turn around and find out that we may have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, as we are now being haunted by even more terrifying curses such as the u/Btcdrak Scam and u/Maaku7 Macroeconomics and the u/Luke-Jr Pedantic Semantics and the u/Kanzure Transcript and the Adam Back Flip and the Theymos Dictatorship and the van der Laan Paralysis - all under the ever-present dismal shadow of the Tragedy of Gregonomics - and brought to you and paid for by the Fantasy Fiat of AXA.
Is there a solution?
As you can see from all of the above, the main problem facing Bitcoin right now is centralized governance.
Of course, code inevitably does have to be (centrally) written by someone.
But there are things we can do right now to minimize the amount of centralized intervention in Bitcoin's code and governance.
Whenever possible, we can and should favor code which requires a minimum of centralized interference.
Core/Blockstream have basically spent the past year or two tying themselves up in knots, and disrupting the community and the market - and maybe even suppressing the price - due to their stubborn, selfish, destructive refusal to provide parameterized code where the market can set certain values on its own - most notably, the "maximum blocksize".
Meanwhile, code such as Bitcoin Unlimited (and also Bitcoin Classic, once it adopts BitPay's Adaptive Blocksize Limit) puts the "governance" for things like "max blocksize" back where it belongs - in the hands of the users, in the marketplace.
Using more-parameterized code is an obvious technique known by anyone who has taken a "Programming 101" course.
Everyone knows that parameterized code is the easiest way to let the market set some parameters - avoiding the dangers of having these parameters set behind closed doors by a centralized cartel of powerful people.
We can and should all work together to make this a reality again - by adopting more-parameterized code such as Bitcoin Unlimited or Bitcoin Classic.
This will allow us to realize the original promise of Bitcoin - where "The Users and the Market Decide - Not Central Planners."
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

My draft for a new /r/btc FAQ explaining the split from /r/Bitcoin to new users

If /btc is going to actually compete with /Bitcoin, it needs to be just as friendly and informative to new users, especially given its position as the “non default” or “breakaway” sub. The current /btc sticky saying "Welcome to the Wiki" doesn't even have any content in it and I feel this is a bit of a wasted opportunity to create an informative resource that new users will see by default and everyone else can link to instead of retyping things over and over about the history and difference between the subs.
Here's what I've written as a starting point. I've done my best to keep it as concise and relevant as possible but in all honesty it is a complicated issue and a short but effective explanation is basically impossible. I hope the community can expand/improve on it further.
Quick bit about me
I got into Bitcoin in October 2013, when /Bitcoin had around 40k subscribers if I remember correctly, so by now I've actually personally experienced a large portion of Bitcoin's history - including the events preceding and since the creation of this sub. I have been an active and popular poster on /Bitcoin for almost all of that time, until the split and my subsequent banning. With the recent censorship fiasco, I'm finding I have to reiterate the same points over and over again to explain to newer users what happened with the /Bitcoin vs /btc split, questions about hard forks, what is likely to happen in the future and so on. So I put a couple of hours into writing this post to save myself the trouble in future.

/btc FAQ - Historical split from /Bitcoin megathread - v0.1

There is a TL:DR; at the bottom, but it is exactly that. If you skip straight to the TL:DR; then don’t expect sympathy when you post questions that have already been covered in the lengthy and detailed main post.

New to Bitcoin?

I am totally new to Bitcoin. What is it? How does it work? Can/should I mine any? Where can I buy some? How do I get more information?
All of these questions are actually really well covered in the /Bitcoin FAQ. Check it out in a new tab here. Once you've got a bit of a handle on the technology as a whole, come back here for the rest of the story.

History: /btc vs /Bitcoin

What's the difference between /btc and /Bitcoin? What happened to create two such strongly opposed communities? Why can't I discuss /btc in /Bitcoin?
Historically, the /Bitcoin subreddit was the largest and most active forum for discussing Bitcoin. As Bitcoin grew close to a cap in the number of transactions it could process, known as the 1MB block size limit, the community had differing opinions on the best way to proceed. Note that this upcoming issue was anticipated well ahead of time, with Satoshi's chosen successor to lead the project Gavin Andresen posting about it in mid 2015. Originally, there was quite a broad spread of opinions - some people favoured raising the blocksize to various extents, some people favoured implementing a variety of second layer solutions to Bitcoin, probably most people thought both could be a good idea in one form or another.
This topic was unbelievably popular at the time, taking up almost every spot on the front page of /Bitcoin for weeks on end.
Unfortunately, the head moderator of /Bitcoin - theymos - felt strongly enough about the issue to use his influence to manipulate the debate. His support was for the proposal of existing software (called Bitcoin Core) NOT to raise the blocksize limit past 1MB and instead rely totally on second layer solutions - especially one called Segregated Witness (or SegWit). With some incredibly convoluted logic, he decided that any different implementations of Bitcoin that could potentially raise the limit were effectively equivalent to separate cryptocurrencies like Litecoin or Ethereum and thus the block size limit or implement other scaling solutions were off-topic and ban-worthy. At the time the most popular alternative was called Bitcoin XT and was supported by experienced developers Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, who have since both left Bitcoin Core development in frustration at their marginalisation. Theymos claimed that for Bitcoin XT or any other software implementation to be relevant to /Bitcoin required "consensus", which was never well defined, despite it being seemingly impossible for everyone to agree on the merits of a new project if no one was allowed to discuss it in the first place. Anyone who didn't toe the line of his vaguely defined moderation policy was temporarily or permanently banned. There was also manipulation of the community using the following tactics - which can still be seen today:
This created enormous uproar among users, as even many of those in favour of Bitcoin Core thought it was authoritarian to actively suppress this crucial debate. theymos would receive hundreds of downvotes whenever he posted: for example here where he gets -749 for threatening to ban prominent Bitcoin business Coinbase from the subreddit.
In an extraordinary turn of events, Theymos posted a thread which received only 26% upvotes in a sample size of thousands announcing that he did not care if even 90% of users disagreed with his policy, he would not change his opinion or his moderation policy to facilitate the discussion the community wanted to have. His suggested alternative was instead for those users, however many there were, to leave.
Here are Theymos' exact words, as he describes how he intends to continue moderating Bitcoin according to his own personal rules rather than the demands of the vast majority of users, who according to him clearly don't have any "real arguments" or "any brains".
Do not violate our rules just because you disagree with them. This will get you banned from /Bitcoin , and evading this ban will get you (and maybe your IP) banned from Reddit entirely.
If 90% of /Bitcoin users find these policies to be intolerable, then I want these 90% of /Bitcoin users to leave. Both /Bitcoin and these people will be happier for it. I do not want these people to make threads breaking the rules, demanding change, asking for upvotes, making personal attacks against moderators, etc. Without some real argument, you're not going to convince anyone with any brains -- you're just wasting your time and ours. The temporary rules against blocksize and moderation discussion are in part designed to encourage people who should leave /Bitcoin to actually do so so that /Bitcoin can get back to the business of discussing Bitcoin news in peace.
/btc was therefore born in an environment not of voluntary departure but of forced exile.
This forced migration caused two very unfortunate occurrences:
  1. It polarised the debate around Bitcoin scaling. Previously, there was a lot of civil discussion about compromise and people with suggestions from all along the spectrum were working to find the best solution. That was no longer possible when a moderation policy would actively suppress anyone with opinions too different from Theymos. Instead it forced everyone into a "with us or against us" situation, which is why the /btc subreddit has been pushed so far in favour of the idea of a network hard fork (discussed below).
  2. It has distracted Bitcoin from its mission of becoming a useful, global, neutral currency into a war of information. New users often find /Bitcoin and assume it to be the authoritative source of information, only to later discover that a lot of important information or debate has been invisibly removed from their view.
Since then, like any entrenched conflict, things have degenerated somewhat on both sides to name calling and strawman arguments. However, /btc remains committed to permitting free and open debate on all topics and allowing user downvotes to manage any "trolling" (as /Bitcoin used to) instead of automatic shadow-banning or heavy-handed moderator comment deletion (as /Bitcoin does now). Many users in /Bitcoin deny that censorship exists at all (it is difficult to see when anyone pointing out the censorship has their comment automatically hidden by the automoderator) or justify it as necessary removal of "trolls", which at this point now includes thousands upon thousands of current and often long-standing Bitcoin users and community members.
Ongoing censorship is still rampant, partially documented in this post by John Blocke
For another detailed account of this historical sequence of events, see singularity87 s posts here and here.
/btc has a public moderator log as demonstration of its commitment to transparency and the limited use of moderation. /Bitcoin does not.
Why is so much of the discussion in /btc about the censorship in /Bitcoin? Isn't a better solution to create a better community rather than constantly complaining?
There are two answers to this question.
  1. Over time, as /btc grows, conversation will gradually start to incorporate more information about the Bitcoin ecosystem, technology, price etc. Users are encouraged to aid this process by submitting links to relevant articles and up/downvoting on the /new and /rising tab as appropriate. However, /btc was founded effectively as a refuge for confused and angry users banned from /Bitcoin and it still needs to serve that function so at least some discussion of the censorship will probably always persist (unless there is a sudden change of moderation policy in /Bitcoin).
  2. The single largest issue in Bitcoin right now is the current cap on the number of transactions the network can process, known as the blocksize limit. Due to the censorship in /Bitcoin, open debate of the merits of different methods of addressing this problem is impossible. As a result, the censorship of /Bitcoin (historically the most active and important Bitcoin community forum) has become by proxy the single most important topic in Bitcoin, since only by returning to open discussion would there be any hope of reaching agreement on the solution to the block size limit itself. As a topic of such central importance, there is naturally going to be a lot of threads about this until a solution is found. This is simply how Bitcoin works, that at any one time there is one key issue under discussion for lengthy periods of time (previous examples of community "hot topics" include the demise of the original Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, the rise to a 51% majority hash rate of mining pool GHash.io and the supposed "unveiling" of Bitcoin's anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto).

Bitcoin Network Hard Forks

What is a hard fork? What happens if Bitcoin hard forks?
A network hard fork is when a new block of transactions is published under a new set of rules that only some of the network will accept. In this case, Bitcoin diverges from a single blockchain history of transactions to two separate blockchains of the current state of the network. With any luck, the economic incentive for all users to converge quickly brings everyone together on one side of the fork, but this is not guaranteed especially since there is not a lot of historical precedent for such an event.
A hard fork is necessary to raise the block size limit above its 1MB cap.
Why is /btc generally in favour of a hard fork and /Bitcoin generally against?
According to a lot of users on /Bitcoin - a hard fork can be characterised as an “attack” on the network. The confusion and bad press surrounding a hard fork would likely damage Bitcoin’s price and/or reputation (especially in the short term). They point to the ongoing turmoil with Ethereum as an example of the dangers of a hard fork. Most of /Bitcoin sees the stance of /btc as actively reckless, that pushing for a hard fork creates the following problems:
According to a lot of users on /btc - a hard fork is necessary despite these risks. Most of /btc sees the stance of /Bitcoin as passively reckless, that continuing to limit Bitcoin’s blocksize while remaining inactive creates the following problems:
Bitcoiners are encouraged to examine all of the information and reach their own conclusion. However, it is important to remember that Bitcoin is an open-source project founded on the ideal of free market competition (between any/all software projects, currencies, monetary policies, miners, ideas etc.). In one sense, /btc vs /Bitcoin is just another extension of this, although Bitcoiners are also encouraged to keep abreast of the top posts and links on both subreddits. Only those afraid of the truth need to cut off opposing information.
What do Bitcoin developers, businesses, users, miners, nodes etc. think?
Developers
There are developers on both sides of the debate, although it is a common argument in /Bitcoin to claim that the majority supports Bitcoin Core. This is true in the sense that Bitcoin Core is the current default and has 421 listed code contributors but misleading because not only are many of those contributors authors of a single tiny change and nothing else but also many major figures like Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn and Jeff Garzik have left the project while still being counted as historical contributors.
Businesses including exchanges etc.
A definite vote of confidence is not available from the vast majority of Bitcoin businesses, and wouldn't be binding in any case. The smart decision for most businesses is to support both chains in the event of a fork until the network resolves the issue (which may only be a day or two).
Users
Exact user sentiment is impossible to determine, especially given the censorship on /Bitcoin.
Miners and Nodes
Coin.dance hosts some excellent graphical representations of the current opinion on the network.
Node Support Information
Miner Support Information
What do I do if the network hard forks?* Do we end up with two Bitcoins?
Firstly, in the event of a hard fork there is no need to panic. All Bitcoins are copied to both chains in the case of a split, so any Bitcoins you have are safe. HOWEVER, in the event of a fork there will be some period of confusion where it is important to be very careful about how/why you spend your Bitcoins. Hopefully (and most likely) this would not last long - everyone in Bitcoin is motivated to converge into agreement for everyone's benefit as soon as possible - but it's impossible to say for sure.
There isn't a lot of historical data about cryptocurrency hard forks, but one example is alternative cryptocurrency Ethereum that forked into two coins after the events of the DAO and currently exists as two separate chains, ETH (Ethereum) and ETC (Ethereum Classic).
The Ethereum fork is not a good analogy for Bitcoin because its network difficulty target adjusts every single block, so a massive drop in hash rate does not significantly impede its functioning. Bitcoin’s difficult target adjusts only every 2100 blocks - which under usual circumstances takes two weeks but in the event of a hard fork could be a month or more for the smaller chain. It is almost inconceivable that a minority of miners would willingly spend millions of dollars over a month or more purely on principle to maintain a chain that was less secure and processed transactions far slower than the majority chain - even assuming the Bitcoins on this handicapped chain didn't suffer a market crash to close to worthless.
Secondly, a hard fork is less likely to be a traumatic event than it is often portrayed in /Bitcoin:

What Happens Now

How do I check on the current status of opinion?
Coin.dance hosts some excellent graphical representations of the current opinion on the network.
Node Support Information
Miner Support Information
Users are also welcome to engage in anecdotal speculation about community opinion based on their impression of the commentary and activity in /btc and /Bitcoin.
Haven't past attempts to raise the blocksize failed?
There is no time limit or statute of limitations on the number of attempts the community can make to increase the block size and scale Bitcoin. Almost any innovation in the history of mankind required several attempts to get working and this is no different.
The initial attempt called Bitcoin XT never got enough support for a fork because key developer Mike Hearn left out of frustration at trying to talk around all the censorship and community blockading.
The second major attempt called Bitcoin Classic gained massive community momentum until it was suddenly halted by the drastic implementation of censorship by Theymos described above.
The most popular attempt at the moment is called Bitcoin Unlimited.
/btc is neutral and welcoming to any and all projects that want to find a solution to scaling Bitcoin - either on-or off-chain. However, many users are suspicious of Bitcoin Core's approach that involves only SegWit, developed by a private corporation called Blockstream and that has already broken its previous promises in a document known as the Hong Kong Agreement to give the network a block size limit raise client along with Segregated Witness (only the latter was delivered) .
What if the stalemate is irreconcilable and nothing ever happens?
Increasing transaction fees and confirmation times are constantly increasing the pressure to find a scaling solution - leading some to believe that further adoption of Bitcoin Unlimited or a successor scaling client will eventually occur. Bitcoin Core's proposed addition of SegWit is struggling to gain significant support and as it is already the default client (and not censored in /Bitcoin) it is unlikely to suddenly grow any further.
If the stalemate is truly irreconcilable, eventually users frustrated by the cost, time and difficulty of Bitcoin will begin migrating to alternative cryptocurrencies. This is obviously not a desirable outcome for long standing Bitcoin supporters and holders, but cannot be ignored as the inevitable free market resort if Bitcoin remains deadlocked for long enough.

TL:DR;

I don’t know anything about Bitcoin. Help me?
What’s the /btc vs /Bitcoin story?
  • Bitcoin is at its transaction capacity and needs to scale to onboard more users
  • The community was discussing different ways to do this until the biased head moderator of /Bitcoin Theymos got involved
  • Theymos, started an authoritarian censorship rampage which culminated in telling 90% of /Bitcoin users to leave. /btc is where they went. Here is the thread where it all started. Note the 26% upvoted on the original post, the hundreds of upvotes of community outcry in the comments and the graveyard of [removed] posts further down the chain. Highly recommended reading in its entirety.
  • To this day, /Bitcoin bans all discussion of alternative scaling proposals and /btc
  • Bitcoin is about freedom, and can’t function effectively with either an artificially restricted transaction cap or a main community forum that is so heavily manipulated. This subreddit is the search for solutions to both problems as well as general Bitcoin discussion.
What’s the deal with hard forks?
  • No TL:DR; possible, read the whole post.
What happens now?
  • Node Support Information
  • Miner Support Information
  • Debate continues in /btc, and generally doesn't continue in /Bitcoin - although posts referencing /btc or Bitcoin Unlimited regularly sneak past the moderators because it is such a crucial topic
  • Eventually one side or the other breaks, enough miners/nodes/users get on one side and Bitcoin starts scaling. This may or may not involve a hard fork.
  • If not, fees and average confirmation times continue to rise until users migrate en masse to an altcoin. This is not an imminent danger, as can be seen by the BTC marketcap dominance at its historical levels of 80+% but could change at any time
submitted by Shibinator to btc [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned includes examples of the censoring.)
Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well.
BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war.
Who are they fighting against?
The government and central banks.
There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software.
BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker.
Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp
Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”.
Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs.
ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS
Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government.
Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks.
Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared after 2010, but we can refer to his writings. He wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.
Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology.
One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government.
Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s) This must have angered Ver a lot.
Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war.
Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies.
More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com).
HOW TO WIN THE WAR
To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it.
IS BITCOIN WINNING?
Yes and no.
Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals.
Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold.
However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency.
If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies.
BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT
In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. SatoshiDice, Yours.org and Bitmain switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times?
Because of small blocks.
SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT
Why isn't the block size increased?
Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.)
Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused.
The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
This scaling debate and in-fighting went on for several years. During this time, the controllers of bitcoin and Bitcointalk censored big blockers. Comments that criticized small blocks or supported big blocks, were deleted. You can read more about it at: https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6rxw7k/informative_btc_vs_bch_articles/dl8v4lp/?st=jaotbt8m&sh=222ce783
SMALL BLOCKERS VS BIG BLOCKERS
Why has Blockstream refused to increase block size? There are a few possible reasons:
  1. They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
  2. Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
  3. They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
  4. They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ
He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos.
He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased?
He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future.
Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores.
Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS
According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain?
DIFFERENT AGENDAS
It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas.
Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!”
Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good."
Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.”
Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later”
Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.”
Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.”
Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed”
Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.”
Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.”
Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome."
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.”
Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system”
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia.
Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions.
An analogy of this scaling debate is this:
You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph.
Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS
If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users).
Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin. Roger Ver's companies use use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table.
In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) is IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream.
But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream.
Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems.
BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS
There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers.
Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08) According to this video, Luke-jr believes that the government should tax you and the government should execute heretics. Luke-jr's values are diametrically opposed to libertarians'.
Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this, so he pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
MIKE HEARN EXPLAINS BLOCKSTREAM
Mike Hearn is one of the first Bitcoin developers. He explained how Core/Blockstream developers (source):
THE DIVORCE
To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC.
After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash and has the symbol BCH.
Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while.
Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash.
Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money.
This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different.
Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways.
Both parties have what they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
submitted by curt00 to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned includes examples of the censoring.)
Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well.
BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war.
Who are they fighting against?
The government and central banks.
There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software.
BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker.
Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp
Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”.
Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs.
ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS
Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government.
Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks.
Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared after 2010, but we can refer to his writings. He wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.
Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology.
One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government.
Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s) This must have angered Ver a lot.
Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war.
Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies.
More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com).
HOW TO WIN THE WAR
To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it.
IS BITCOIN WINNING?
Yes and no.
Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals.
Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold.
However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency.
If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies.
BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT
In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. SatoshiDice, Yours.org and Bitmain switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times?
Because of small blocks.
SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT
Why isn't the block size increased?
Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.)
Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused.
The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
This scaling debate and in-fighting went on for several years. During this time, the controllers of bitcoin and Bitcointalk censored big blockers. Comments that criticized small blocks or supported big blocks, were deleted. You can read more about it at: https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6rxw7k/informative_btc_vs_bch_articles/dl8v4lp/?st=jaotbt8m&sh=222ce783
SMALL BLOCKERS VS BIG BLOCKERS
Why has Blockstream refused to increase block size? There are a few possible reasons:
  1. They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
  2. Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
  3. They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
  4. They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ
He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos.
He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased?
He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future.
Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores.
Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS
According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain?
DIFFERENT AGENDAS
It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas.
Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!”
Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good."
Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.”
Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later”
Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.”
Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.”
Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed”
Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.”
Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.”
Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome."
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.”
Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system”
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia.
Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions.
An analogy of this scaling debate is this:
You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph.
Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS
If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users).
Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin. Roger Ver's companies use use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table.
In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) is IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream.
But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream.
Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems.
BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS
There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers.
Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08) According to this video, Luke-jr believes that the government should tax you and the government should execute heretics. Luke-jr's values are diametrically opposed to libertarians'.
Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this, so he pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
MIKE HEARN EXPLAINS BLOCKSTREAM
Mike Hearn is one of the first Bitcoin developers. He explained how Core/Blockstream developers (source):
THE DIVORCE
To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC.
After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash and has the symbol BCH.
Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while.
Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash.
Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money.
This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different.
Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways.
Both parties have what they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

Reddit forensics: Since 16 May 2017, Reddit displays the View Count on your posts. I made 37 posts since then: 29 got < 1000 views, 5 got 1000-2000 views (70-91% upvoted), 2 got 2000-3000 views (82-91% upvoted). And my post arguing "SegWit = MERS" got a whopping 8500 views (only 50% upvoted). Weird!

A few days ago I made a post where I argued that "SegWit = MERS" - tying together the 2010 Mortgage Crisis caused by MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or MERS) with an article by legal expert Jimmy Nguyen of nChain:
Risk of SegWit – U.S. Contract Law
https://nchain.com/en/blog/risk-of-segwit-us-contract-law/
My "SegWit = MERS" post argued that SegWit will cause the same kind of catastrophe with Bitcoin that MERS (the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems company / database) caused with the mortage industry - since SegWit and MERS both encourage deleting the "chain of ownership data".
That "SegWit = MERS" post was about a relatively obscure economic topic - but it got a whopping 8500 views - over 10x the median number of views for my posts.
But now suddenly that one one post arguing "SegWit = MERS" got a whopping 8500 views - but only 50% upvoted.
I have no idea why this happened - and I'm not complaining about these "statistical anomalies" associated with that one post arguing that "SegWit = MERS".
But I do think it is "interesting" that suddenly such an extremely high number of "people" wanted to read (and downvote) a post which made the (relatively obscure) economic argument that "SegWit = MERS".
Did that "SegWit = MERS" post strike a nerve?
And why did it only get downvotes - but no real rebuttals? (One guy linked to some C++ code - but a few lines of C++ code do not refute the argument that SegWit encourages deleting the "chain of ownership data" for bitcoins.)
ಠ_ಠ
Data
Below are the 8 posts (out of 37 total posts) that got over 1000 views, with View Count, Upvoted Percent, and Points - and these 8 posts are sorted from highest to lowest View Count.
So the first post in this listing (the post arguing "SegWit = MERS") is the one that's the "statistical anomaly" or "outlier", with:
SegWit would make it HARDER FOR YOU TO PROVE YOU OWN YOUR BITCOINS. SegWit deletes the "chain of (cryptographic) signatures" - like MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) deleted the "chain of (legal) title" for Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) in the foreclosure fraud / robo-signing fiasco
65 points - 50% upvoted - 8.5k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6oxesh/segwit_would_make_it_harder_for_you_to_prove_you/
CENSORED (twice!) on r\bitcoin in 2016: "The existing Visa credit card network processes about 15 million Internet purchases per day worldwide. Bitcoin can already scale much larger than that with existing hardware for a fraction of the cost. It never really hits a scale ceiling." - Satoshi Nakomoto
416 points - 91% upvoted - 3.0k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6l7ax9/censored_twice_on_rbitcoin_in_2016_the_existing/
Skype is down today. The original Skype was P2P, so it couldn't go down. But in 2011, Microsoft bought Skype and killed its P2P architecture - and also killed its end-to-end encryption. AXA-controlled Blockstream/Core could use SegWit & centralized Lightning Hubs to do something similar with Bitcoin
442 points - 82% upvoted - 2.8k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6ib893/skype_is_down_today_the_original_skype_was_p2p_so/
Gavin Andresen: "Let's eliminate the limit. Nothing bad will happen if we do, and if I'm wrong the bad things would be mild annoyances, not existential risks, much less risky than operating a network near 100% capacity." (June 2016)
385 points - 89% upvoted - 1.4k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6delid/gavin_andresen_lets_eliminate_the_limit_nothing/
What is up with all these Bitcoin devs who think that their job includes HARD-CODING CERTAIN VALUES THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE USER-CONFIGURABLE (eg: "seed servers")?
118 points - 79% upvoted - 1.3k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6nh00q/what_is_up_with_all_these_bitcoin_devs_who_think/
I just figured out a lot today - about Bitcoin, about scaling, about "Satoshi", about trolls and downvotes and snowflakes. And for the first time in years, I am very, very optimistic about the future of Bitcoin - because of a certain eccentric, arrogant, capitalist mathematician who curses a lot.
71 points - 70% upvoted - 1.2k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6kpi36/i_just_figured_out_a_lot_today_about_bitcoin/
"It's funny Core never wanted a compromise until they were losing. Fuck them, they lost, no compromise. Winner takes all, bitches." ~ u/zimmah
192 points - 76% upvoted - 1.1k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6d35ie/its_funny_core_never_wanted_a_compromise_until/
u/theymos: "I can't recommend running BIP148 software. Doing so will likely cause you to break away from the real Bitcoin currency on the flag day, create a mess of your datadir which you'll need to manually clean up, and theoretically there are opportunities for losses due to counterfeit BTC." Wow!
144 points - 91% upvoted - 1.1k views
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/6e6qri/utheymos_i_cant_recommend_running_bip148_software/
Analysis
So the first post in the list of 8 posts above (the one where I argued "SegWit = MERS") is the "statistical anomaly" or "outlier".
Actually that "SegWit = MERS" post is a "statistical anomaly" in two ways:
  • The "SegWit = MERS" post has an extremely high high View Count compared to all my other posts (8500 views - versus a median of under 1000 views).
  • The "SegWit = MERS" post has (relatively) low Upvoted Percent / Points (only 50% - versus 70%-90% on all my other posts with over 1000 views).
Number of Posts View Count % Upvoted Points
29 < 1000
5 1000-2000 70-91% 70-380
2 2000-3000 82-91% 410-440
1 : "SegWit = MERS" 8500 50% 65
Remarks
I'm not complaining about that post getting "only" 50% Upvoted - or about getting an extremely high View Count of 8500!
But I do think there may be something "interesting" happening here:
  • The vast majority of my posts (29 out of 37) get less than 1000 View Count.
  • Only 5 of my posts (out of 37) got 1000-2000 View Count (and Upvoted Percent 70-91%).
  • Only 2 posts (out of 37) got 2000-3000 View Count (and Upvoted Percent 82-91%).
  • Suddenly, this one weird post (arguing that "SegWit = MERS") got a gigantic 8500 View Count (and Upvoted Percent only 50%).
  • Also, none of the commenters on that post (except for u/metalzip) actually made any arguments. User u/metalzip provided links to some C++ code on GitHub. All the other comments were just content-free drive-by hate.
  • The arguments from u/metalzip may have been serious - but it is not clear whether they were convincing.
  • We still do not have any conclusive evidence showing that SegWit will not cause a catastrophe by encouraging people to delete the "chain of ownership data".
  • Finally, it is disturbing (actually, it is outrageous) that the only hard "facts" being pointed to, in this debate about the specification of the most radical and irresponsible change ever in the economic incentives and security model of what may be the world's next world currency, is a few incrutable lines of C++ code.
  • C++ code is totally adequate for expressing and discussing User Needs and Requirements for important computer systems such as Bitcoin, involving social, economic, legal and "game theory" aspects.
  • If SegWit encourages people to delete the "chain of ownership" data, then this is something we need to talk about - a lot. Just pointing to a few lines of C++ code is not the way to debate this radical change to the economic incentives and security model of Bitcoin.
In other words:
  • Nobody gave a serious rebuttal the to my argument that "SegWit = MERS" - or to legal expert Jimmy Nguyen’s arguments in his bombshell article Risk of SegWit – U.S. Contract Law, where he talked about the legal catastrophe which SegWit could cause by deleting the "chain of ownership data" for bitcoins being transferred among parties.
  • Someone merely pointed to some lines of C++ code - but this does not constitute a refutation of the argument that "SegWit = MERS".
  • More discussion about the possibility that "SegWit = MERS" is warranted (including analysis of social, economic, legal and "game theory" aspects) - beyond someone merely pointed to some lines of C++ code.
The fact is: both MERS and SegWit encourage deleting the "chain of ownership" data - for mortgages and for bitcoins.
This major change to the economic incentives and security model of Bitcoin needs much more debate. Merely pointing to a few lines of C++ code on GitHub does nothing to rebut the arguments made in my "SegWit = MERS" post, or in legal expert Jimmy Nguyen's bombshell article Risk of SegWit – U.S. Contract Law.
In fact, this kind of hand-waving about obscure technical details is exactly what caused the MERS catastrophe in the first place - which is why we should be alarmed that economically and legally ignorant devs paid by banksters are trying to pull the exact same hocuc-pocus on us again - now with SegWit.
Suddenly 8500 "people" wanted to read an obscure economic argument that "SegWit = MERS" - and one of them rebutted it... with some lines of C++ code??
Previously, I have have pointed out that many devs at Core & AXA-owned Blockstream devs are clueless about economics:
Adam Back & Greg Maxwell are experts in mathematics and engineering, but not in markets and economics. They should not be in charge of "central planning" for things like "max blocksize". They're desperately attempting to prevent the market from deciding on this. But it will, despite their efforts.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/46052e/adam_back_greg_maxwell_are_experts_in_mathematics/
Greg Maxwell u/nullc says "The next miner after them sets their minimum [fee] to some tiny value ... and clears out the backlog and collects a bunch of funds that the earlier miner omitted" - like it's a BAD THING. Greg is proposing a SUPPLY-LIMITING AND PRICE-FIXING CARTEL, like it's a GOOD THING.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5i4885/greg_maxwell_unullc_says_the_next_miner_afte
Gregory Maxwell nullc has evidently never heard of terms like "the 1%", "TPTB", "oligarchy", or "plutocracy", revealing a childlike naïveté when he says: "‘Majority sets the rules regardless of what some minority thinks’ is the governing principle behind the fiats of major democracies."
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/44qr31/gregory_maxwell_unullc_has_evidently_never_heard/
Wladimir van der Laan (Lead Maintainer, Bitcoin Core) says Bitcoin cannot hard-fork, because of the "2008 subprime bubble crisis" (??) He also says "changing the rules in a decentralized consensus system is a very difficult problem and I don’t think we’ll resolve it any time soon." But Eth just did!
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4ttv32/wladimir_van_der_laan_lead_maintainer_bitcoin/
So now, 8500 "people" wanted to read an obscure economic argument that "SegWit = MERS" - and half of the voters them downvoted it - and one of them rebutted it... with some lines of C++ code (which hardly anyone in the community is able to read)??
This is how we are going to decide major questions such as the possibility that "SegWit = MERS"??
ಠ_ಠ
How this analysis was performed
Since 16 May 2017, you can check the View Count for each of your posts on Reddit - if you're logged in.
And there is also a special URL syntax you can use to search for posts on Reddit in a custom date range.
Here's the announcement from Reddit on 16 May 2017, about the new "View Count" statistic:
[reddit change] Post view counts, users here now and traffic page updates
https://np.reddit.com/changelog/comments/6bj0iy/reddit_change_post_view_counts_users_here_now_and/
Here's the explanation of how to use CloudSearch to search for posts on Reddit within a custom date range:
Use Cloudsearch to search for posts on reddit within a time frame
https://np.reddit.com/reddittips/comments/2ix73n/use_cloudsearch_to_search_for_posts_on_reddit/
Here's the CloudSearch URL I used to filter my posts on Reddit from May 15, 2017 to July 27, 2017:
https://np.reddit.com/btc/search?sort=relevance&q=author%3A%22ydtm%22+timestamp%3A1494806400..1500938780&restrict_sr=on&syntax=cloudsearch
If you want to customize the above CloudSearch URL for yourself (and for different dates), then make the following 2 changes:
  • Change my Reddit name ydtm to your Reddit name, and
  • Use a site like Epoch Converter to convert the "from" and "to" dates to UNIX timestamp format, and change the date range 1494806400..1500938780 to your date range in the URL above.
Conclusion
So the new View Count statistic could provide useful new information about who is viewing and reacting to your posts.
Maybe someone could come up with some theories why 8500 "people" would view a post making the rather obscure economic argument that "SegWit = MERS".
Maybe arguing that "SegWit = MERS" struck a nerve?
Meanwhile, more discussion is needed about the bombshell article Risk of SegWit – U.S. Contract Law, where Jimmy Nguyen talked about the legal catastrophe which SegWit could cause by deleting the "chain of ownership data" for bitcoins being transferred among parties.
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

Bitcoin dev IRC meeting in layman's terms (2015-11-12)

Once again my attempt to summarize and explain the weekly bitcoin developer meeting in layman's terms. Link to last weeks summarization Note that I crosspost this to Voat, bitcoin.com and the bitcoin-discuss mailing list every week. I can't control what's being talking about in the meeting, if certain things come up I might not be able to post here because of "guidelines".
Disclaimer
Please bear in mind I'm not a developer and I'd have problems coding "hello world!", so some things might be incorrect or plain wrong. Like any other write-up it likely contains personal biases, although I try to stay as neutral as I can. There are no decisions being made in these meetings, so if I say "everyone agrees" this means everyone present in the meeting, that's not consensus, but since a fair amount of devs are present it's a good representation. The dev IRC and mailinglist are for bitcoin development purposes. If you have not contributed actual code to a bitcoin-implementation, this is probably not the place you want to reach out to. There are many places to discuss things that the developers read, including this sub-reddit.
link to this week logs Meeting minutes by meetbot
Main topics discussed where:
transaction priority for 0.12 Opt-in replace-by-fee Versionbits Chain limits
transaction priority for 0.12
Each transaction is assigned a priority, determined by the age, size, and number of inputs. Which currently makes some transactions free. This currently has a large amount of code, which makes it harder to maintain, and is not that optimal since you can't expect miners to include 0-fee transactions.
Most people seem fine with removing priority in the mempool, but people should be notified ahead of time this is coming. sdaftuar proposed a staggered approach, setting the default value for priority to 0, and remove it entirely in the next release. petertodd notes there will be a natural staggered process since not everyone will upgrade to 0.12 instantly and some implementations might not remove priority at all. Most wallet-software outside of bitcoin-core don't implement priority calculations. As fee estimation becomes more important and many wallet providers use the bitcoin-core fee estimation, improvements on that are welcome. Luke-Jr doesn't agree with removing priority, particularly with changing the mining code to use the priority a transaction has when it enters the mempool. Sipa has the idea to add a small fraction of bitcoin days destroyed divided by the average UTXO age to the fee, so that non-spam-attack transactions are viewed as if they have a larger fee.
While most agree with the proposal to remove the current priority, there's still much debate on whether it needs to be replaced for 0.13, and if so, how.
Review "Improve usage of fee estimation code" BlueMatt will mail the developer mailinglist announcing the changes. ( https://www.mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg02790.html )
Opt-in replace-by-fee
Currently when a node sees a transaction that spends the same output it ignores it. With replace-by-fee it replaces the current transaction in the mempool if it has a higher fee. This allows for things like spending "stuck" transactions, adding more recipients to a transaction in order to prevent chaining, etc.
Since there are people that accept 0-confirmation transactions and this would make it extremely easy to double spend them, this is made opt-in. The sender can choose to opt-in to replace-by-fee by changing an input in the nSequence field.
Peter Todd wrote some tools to use replace-by-fee. link It would be nice to have opt-in per output instead of the whole transaction, however that would be very hard to implement and would have some privacy concerns. Luke-Jr would like to see an option to toggle between first-seen-safe/full RBF and neveopt-in/always. Since there are possibly some objections with the "always" toggle it should be a separate pull-request.
review and merge nSequence-based Full-RBF opt-in Peter Todd will write a mail to the list to explain how it works and how people can not accept opt-in transactions.
Versionbits
BIP 9 Currently softforks have been done by the isSuperMajority mechanism, meaning when 95% of the last X blocks has a version number higher than Y the fork is deployed. A new way of doing this is currently being worked on and that uses all bits of the version number, appropriately being called versionbits. So instead of a fork happening when the version is larger than (for example) 00000000011 (3), a fork happens when (for example) the 3rd bit is up (so 00100000011). This way softforks can be deployed simultaneous and independent of each other.
There are 2 different implementations. One from Codeshark and one from Rusty jtimon thinks both implementations are more complicated than they need to be. There needs to be a minor revision namely a starting time for proposals. In general we'd like to get this in soon, but existing softforks need to complete first.
CodeShark adds a starting time to versionbits.
Chain limits
Chain in this context means connected transactions. When you send a transaction that depends on another transaction that has yet to be confirmed we talk about a chain of transactions. Miners ideally take the whole chain into account instead of just every single transaction (although that's not widely implemented afaik). So while a single transaction might not have a sufficient fee, a depending transaction could have a high enough fee to make it worthwhile to mine both. This is commonly known as child-pays-for-parent. Since you can make these chains very big it's possible to clog up the mempool this way. With the recent malleability attacks, anyone who made transactions going multiple layers deep would've already encountered huge problems doing this (beautifully explained in let's talk bitcoin #258 from 13:50 onwards) Proposal and github link.
Wumpus doesn't feel comfortable with merging it because there's some controversy from companies who exceed the limits (or could be/want to). jgarzik does feel comfortable with it, and many think it should be merged as it's easy to revert if needed. There's little choice as it's not safe from attacks without limits. We should communicate the replace-by-fee sendmany alternative to long chains (adding new recipients on existing non-confirmed transactions), although it won't show up in users wallet yet and block-explorers probably aren't ready to display it correctly. Emphasis on the fact it's a change in default values, not a consensus change, however default values have a lot of power. The final limits are 25 transactions and 101kb total size for both ancestor and descendant packages.
jgarzik will merge the pull-request. Morcos will mail the list once it's merged.
Participants
BlueMatt Matt Corallo petertodd Peter Todd morcos Alex Morcos jgarzik Jeff Garzik gmaxwell Gregory Maxwell wumpus Wladimir J. van der Laan Luke-Jr Luke Dashjr jtimon Jorge Timón btcdrak btcdrak phantomcircuit Patrick Strateman sipa Pieter Wuille CodeShark Eric Lombrozo sdaftuar Suhas Daftuar jg_taxi jg_taxi gavinandresen Gavin Andresen cfields Cory Fields bsm1175321 Bob McElrath 
Comic relief
19:53 sipa new topic? 19:53 wumpus any other topics? 19:53 petertodd  19:53 jgarzik did we cover jonas while I was in the taxi? 19:54 sdaftuar ? 19:54 jtimon ? 19:54 CodeShark not sure I want to know 19:54 jgarzik proposal for new GUI maintainer 19:54 CodeShark sounds kinky, though 19:54 petertodd CodeShark: GUI's are pretty kinky 19:56 BlueMatt ok, end meeting? 19:56 btcdrak if we can remember the command this week :-) 19:56 wumpus #meetingend 19:56 gmaxwell #destroymeeting 19:56 wumpus #endmeeting 19:56 Luke-Jr #endmeeting 19:56 lightningbot Meeting ended Thu Nov 12 19:56:42 2015 UTC. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.debian.org/MeetBot . (v 0.1.4) 19:56 BlueMatt #magicmeetbotincantation 19:57 petertodd #DoWhatIMean 
submitted by G1lius to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Slayer of Empires: How Bitcoin Could Become Far Bigger Than You Think – Paul Rosenberg Experts Split on Practical Implications of Quantum Cryptography Why Bitcoin Is So Important For The Future Of The World with Jimmy Song Spectcular Weekend in Bitcoin and Sports -- Gavin Andresen Steps Down, Welcome Wladimir Who controls Bitcoin Core

First of all to introduce the person whose name is Wladimir van der laan is the chief maintainer of Bitcoin’ most globally used software. A debate which is running over the issue of whether the supply of bitcoin will be accelerated, the person has strict word against them. Van der Laan is authentically from Netherland. A lead maintainer of Bitcoin’s most used software called Wladimir van der Laan has recently made some harsh affirmation about the future of the most famous and powerful cryptocurrency in the world. According to him, people should not expect Bitcoin’s total supply to ever change. Speaking to CoinJournal through email, Bitcoin Core lead developer Wladimir van der Laan has commented on the Bitcoin Roundtable Consensus agreement, and his comments can best be described as cautiously optimistic.. At the crux of the scaling debate, and why it spilled over into a discussion about bitcoin governance, is the discussion of when a proposed solution should be implemented. Other Bitcoin sites. Bitcoin Forum Bitcoin Stack Exchange Bitcoin Magazine. Download Bitcoin Core. Bitcoin Core is the backbone of the Bitcoin network. Almost all Bitcoin wallets rely on Bitcoin Core in one way or another. If you have a fairly powerful computer that is almost always online, you can help the network by running Bitcoin Core. Wladimir van der Laan, the lead maintainer of bitcoin’s most widely used software, has harsh words for those engaged in an ongoing debate about whether the cryptocurrency’s finite supply will ever be increased. A soft-spoken developer from The Netherlands, van der Laan is usually hesitant to enter the fray.

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Slayer of Empires: How Bitcoin Could Become Far Bigger Than You Think – Paul Rosenberg

All the keys are owned by 5 people: Wladimir van der Laan, Pieter Wuille, Jonas Schnelli, Marco Falke and Samuel Dobson. ... Who sets the Bitcoin price? Bitcoin price differences explained ... Support MadBitcoins: 1PtAdf3LbwrPfX87dQ8TMuKEzuMUZtg1z1 April 8, 2014 -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- MadBitcoins: Head for the mountains. Madbitcoins Subscriber Index ... But Bitcoin Core developer Wladimir van der Laan does not believe it will be adopted in his lifetime:“Realistically, I expect it to be a long while before quantum computers are available ... Bitcoin is eating everything – How the Internet’s past can show us Bitcoin’s future ... Cory Fields, and Wladimir van der Laan - Duration: 1:31:13. MIT Media Lab 8,446 views. 1:31:13. The letter that was sent by Dr. Wright’s lawyers to Bitcoin Core developer Wladimir van der Laan (who is not funded by Blockstream) and Blockstream, states that the former lost access to these ...

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