r/Bitcoin - Andreas Antonopoulos: Misconceptions about

Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
submitted by kcbitcoin to btc [link] [comments]

Is anyone else freaked out by this whole blocksize debate? Does anyone else find themself often agreeing with *both* sides - depending on whichever argument you happen to be reading at the moment? And do we need some better algorithms and data structures?

Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me?
I know, I know, a healthy debate is healthy and all - and maybe I'm just not used to the tumult and jostling which would be inevitable in a real live open major debate about something as vital as Bitcoin.
And I really do agree with the starry-eyed idealists who say Bitcoin is vital. Imperfect as it may be, it certainly does seem to represent the first real chance we've had in the past few hundred years to try to steer our civilization and our planet away from the dead-ends and disasters which our government-issued debt-based currencies keep dragging us into.
But this particular debate, about the blocksize, doesn't seem to be getting resolved at all.
Pretty much every time I read one of the long-form major arguments contributed by Bitcoin "thinkers" who I've come to respect over the past few years, this weird thing happens: I usually end up finding myself nodding my head and agreeing with whatever particular piece I'm reading!
But that should be impossible - because a lot of these people vehemently disagree!
So how can both sides sound so convincing to me, simply depending on whichever piece I currently happen to be reading?
Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just a gullible idiot?
Just Do It?
When you first look at it or hear about it, increasing the size seems almost like a no-brainer: The "big-block" supporters say just increase the blocksize to 20 MB or 8 MB, or do some kind of scheduled or calculated regular increment which tries to take into account the capabilities of the infrastructure and the needs of the users. We do have the bandwidth and the memory to at least increase the blocksize now, they say - and we're probably gonna continue to have more bandwidth and memory in order to be able to keep increasing the blocksize for another couple decades - pretty much like everything else computer-based we've seen over the years (some of this stuff is called by names such as "Moore's Law").
On the other hand, whenever the "small-block" supporters warn about the utter catastrophe that a failed hard-fork would mean, I get totally freaked by their possible doomsday scenarios, which seem totally plausible and terrifying - so I end up feeling that the only way I'd want to go with a hard-fork would be if there was some pre-agreed "triggering" mechanism where the fork itself would only actually "switch on" and take effect provided that some "supermajority" of the network (of who? the miners? the full nodes?) had signaled (presumably via some kind of totally reliable p2p trustless software-based voting system?) that they do indeed "pre-agree" to actually adopt the pre-scheduled fork (and thereby avoid any possibility whatsoever of the precious blockchain somehow tragically splitting into two and pretty much killing this cryptocurrency off in its infancy).
So in this "conservative" scenario, I'm talking about wanting at least 95% pre-adoption agreement - not the mere 75% which I recall some proposals call for, which seems like it could easily lead to a 75/25 blockchain split.
But this time, with this long drawn-out blocksize debate, the core devs, and several other important voices who have become prominent opinion shapers over the past few years, can't seem to come to any real agreement on this.
Weird split among the devs
As far as I can see, there's this weird split: Gavin and Mike seem to be the only people among the devs who really want a major blocksize increase - and all the other devs seem to be vehemently against them.
But then on the other hand, the users seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major increase.
And there are meta-questions about governance, about about why this didn't come out as a BIP, and what the availability of Bitcoin XT means.
And today or yesterday there was this really cool big-blockian exponential graph based on doubling the blocksize every two years for twenty years, reminding us of the pure mathematical fact that 210 is indeed about 1000 - but not really addressing any of the game-theoretic points raised by the small-blockians. So a lot of the users seem to like it, but when so few devs say anything positive about it, I worry: is this just yet more exponential chart porn?
On the one hand, Gavin's and Mike's blocksize increase proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer to me.
And on the other hand, all the other devs seem to be against them. Which is weird - not what I'd initially expected at all (but maybe I'm just a fool who's seduced by exponential chart porn?).
Look, I don't mean to be rude to any of the core devs, and I don't want to come off like someone wearing a tinfoil hat - but it has to cross people's minds that the powers that be (the Fed and the other central banks and the governments that use their debt-issued money to run this world into a ditch) could very well be much more scared shitless than they're letting on. If we assume that the powers that be are using their usual playbook and tactics, then it could be worth looking at the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, to get an idea of how they might try to attack Bitcoin. So, what I'm saying is, they do have a track record of sending in "experts" to try to derail projects and keep everyone enslaved to the Creature from Jekyll Island. I'm just saying. So, without getting ad hominem - let's just make sure that our ideas can really stand scrutiny on their own - as Nick Szabo says, we need to make sure there is "more computer science, less noise" in this debate.
When Gavin Andresen first came out with the 20 MB thing - I sat back and tried to imagine if I could download 20 MB in 10 minutes (which seems to be one of the basic mathematical and technological constraints here - right?)
I figured, "Yeah, I could download that" - even with my crappy internet connection.
And I guess the telecoms might be nice enough to continue to double our bandwidth every two years for the next couple decades – if we ask them politely?
On the other hand - I think we should be careful about entrusting the financial freedom of the world into the greedy hands of the telecoms companies - given all their shady shenanigans over the past few years in many countries. After decades of the MPAA and the FBI trying to chip away at BitTorrent, lately PirateBay has been hard to access. I would say it's quite likely that certain persons at institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and the Fed might be very, very motivated to see Bitcoin fail - so we shouldn't be too sure about scaling plans which depend on the willingness of companies Verizon and AT&T to double our bandwith every two years.
Maybe the real important hardware buildout challenge for a company like 21 (and its allies such as Qualcomm) to take on now would not be "a miner in every toaster" but rather "Google Fiber Download and Upload Speeds in every Country, including China".
I think I've read all the major stuff on the blocksize debate from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Adam Back, and Jeff Garzick and several other major contributors - and, oddly enough, all their arguments seem reasonable - heck even Luke-Jr seems reasonable to me on the blocksize debate, and I always thought he was a whackjob overly influenced by superstition and numerology - and now today I'm reading the article by Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - and I find myself agreeing with him too!
I say to myself: What's going on with me? How can I possibly agree with all of these guys, if they all have such vehemently opposing viewpoints?
I mean, think back to the glory days of a couple of years ago, when all we were hearing was how this amazing unprecedented grassroots innovation called Bitcoin was going to benefit everyone from all walks of life, all around the world:
...basically the entire human race transacting everything into the blockchain.
(Although let me say that I think that people's focus on ideas like driverless cabs creating realtime fare markets based on supply and demand seems to be setting our sights a bit low as far as Bitcoin's abilities to correct the financial world's capital-misallocation problems which seem to have been made possible by infinite debt-based fiat. I would have hoped that a Bitcoin-based economy would solve much more noble, much more urgent capital-allocation problems than driverless taxicabs creating fare markets or refrigerators ordering milk on the internet of things. I was thinking more along the lines that Bitcoin would finally strangle dead-end debt-based deadly-toxic energy industries like fossil fuels and let profitable clean energy industries like Thorium LFTRs take over - but that's another topic. :=)
Paradoxes in the blocksize debate
Let me summarize the major paradoxes I see here:
(1) Regarding the people (the majority of the core devs) who are against a blocksize increase: Well, the small-blocks arguments do seem kinda weird, and certainly not very "populist", in the sense that: When on earth have end-users ever heard of a computer technology whose capacity didn't grow pretty much exponentially year-on-year? All the cool new technology we've had - from hard drives to RAM to bandwidth - started out pathetically tiny and grew to unimaginably huge over the past few decades - and all our software has in turn gotten massively powerful and big and complex (sometimes bloated) to take advantage of the enormous new capacity available.
But now suddenly, for the first time in the history of technology, we seem to have a majority of the devs, on a major p2p project - saying: "Let's not scale the system up. It could be dangerous. It might break the whole system (if the hard-fork fails)."
I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, maybe someone else could enlighten me, but I don't think I've ever seen this sort of thing happen in the last few decades of the history of technology - devs arguing against scaling up p2p technology to take advantage of expected growth in infrastructure capacity.
(2) But... on the other hand... the dire warnings of the small-blockians about what could happen if a hard-fork were to fail - wow, they do seem really dire! And these guys are pretty much all heavyweight, experienced programmers and/or game theorists and/or p2p open-source project managers.
I must say, that nearly all of the long-form arguments I've read - as well as many, many of the shorter comments I've read from many users in the threads, whose names I at least have come to more-or-less recognize over the past few months and years on reddit and bitcointalk - have been amazingly impressive in their ability to analyze all aspects of the lifecycle and management of open-source software projects, bringing up lots of serious points which I could never have come up with, and which seem to come from long experience with programming and project management - as well as dealing with economics and human nature (eg, greed - the game-theory stuff).
So a lot of really smart and experienced people with major expertise in various areas ranging from programming to management to game theory to politics to economics have been making some serious, mature, compelling arguments.
But, as I've been saying, the only problem to me is: in many of these cases, these arguments are vehemently in opposition to each other! So I find myself agreeing with pretty much all of them, one by one - which means the end result is just a giant contradiction.
I mean, today we have Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, arguing (quite cogently and convincingly to me), that it would be dangerous to increase the blocksize. And this seems to be a guy who would know a few things about scaling out a massive global p2p network - since the protocol which he invented, BitTorrent, is now apparently responsible for like a third of the traffic on the internet (and this despite the long-term concerted efforts of major evil players such as the MPAA and the FBI to shut the whole thing down).
Was the BitTorrent analogy too "glib"?
By the way - I would like to go on a slight tangent here and say that one of the main reasons why I felt so "comfortable" jumping on the Bitcoin train back a few years ago, when I first heard about it and got into it, was the whole rough analogy I saw with BitTorrent.
I remembered the perhaps paradoxical fact that when a torrent is more popular (eg, a major movie release that just came out last week), then it actually becomes faster to download. More people want it, so more people have a few pieces of it, so more people are able to get it from each other. A kind of self-correcting economic feedback loop, where more demand directly leads to more supply.
(BitTorrent manages to pull this off by essentially adding a certain structure to the file being shared, so that it's not simply like an append-only list of 1 MB blocks, but rather more like an random-access or indexed array of 1 MB chunks. Say you're downloading a film which is 700 MB. As soon as your "client" program has downloaded a single 1-MB chunk - say chunk #99 - your "client" program instantly turns into a "server" program as well - offering that chunk #99 to other clients. From my simplistic understanding, I believe the Bitcoin protocol does something similar, to provide a p2p architecture. Hence my - perhaps naïve - assumption that Bitcoin already had the right algorithms / architecture / data structure to scale.)
The efficiency of the BitTorrent network seemed to jive with that "network law" (Metcalfe's Law?) about fax machines. This law states that the more fax machines there are, the more valuable the network of fax machines becomes. Or the value of the network grows on the order of the square of the number of nodes.
This is in contrast with other technology like cars, where the more you have, the worse things get. The more cars there are, the more traffic jams you have, so things start going downhill. I guess this is because highway space is limited - after all, we can't pave over the entire countryside, and we never did get those flying cars we were promised, as David Graeber laments in a recent essay in The Baffler magazine :-)
And regarding the "stress test" supposedly happening right now in the middle of this ongoing blocksize debate, I don't know what worries me more: the fact that it apparently is taking only $5,000 to do a simple kind of DoS on the blockchain - or the fact that there are a few rumors swirling around saying that the unknown company doing the stress test shares the same physical mailing address with a "scam" company?
Or maybe we should just be worried that so much of this debate is happening on a handful of forums which are controlled by some guy named theymos who's already engaged in some pretty "contentious" or "controversial" behavior like blowing a million dollars on writing forum software (I guess he never heard that reddit.com software is open-source)?
So I worry that the great promise of "decentralization" might be more fragile than we originally thought.
Scaling
Anyways, back to Metcalfe's Law: with virtual stuff, like torrents and fax machines, the more the merrier. The more people downloading a given movie, the faster it arrives - and the more people own fax machines, the more valuable the overall fax network.
So I kindof (naïvely?) assumed that Bitcoin, being "virtual" and p2p, would somehow scale up the same magical way BitTorrrent did. I just figured that more people using it would somehow automatically make it stronger and faster.
But now a lot of devs have started talking in terms of the old "scarcity" paradigm, talking about blockspace being a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" - which seems kinda scary, and antithetical to much of the earlier rhetoric we heard about Bitcoin (the stuff about supporting our favorite creators with micropayments, and the stuff about Africans using SMS to send around payments).
Look, when some asshole is in line in front of you at the cash register and he's holding up the line so they can run his credit card to buy a bag of Cheeto's, we tend to get pissed off at the guy - clogging up our expensive global electronic payment infrastructure to make a two-dollar purchase. And that's on a fairly efficient centralized system - and presumably after a year or so, VISA and the guy's bank can delete or compress the transaction in their SQL databases.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if some guy buys a coffee on the blockchain, or if somebody pays an online artist $1.99 for their work - then that transaction, a few bytes or so, has to live on the blockchain forever?
Or is there some "pruning" thing that gets rid of it after a while?
And this could lead to another question: Viewed from the perspective of double-entry bookkeeping, is the blockchain "world-wide ledger" more like the "balance sheet" part of accounting, i.e. a snapshot showing current assets and liabilities? Or is it more like the "cash flow" part of accounting, i.e. a journal showing historical revenues and expenses?
When I think of thousands of machines around the globe having to lug around multiple identical copies of a multi-gigabyte file containing some asshole's coffee purchase forever and ever... I feel like I'm ideologically drifting in one direction (where I'd end up also being against really cool stuff like online micropayments and Africans banking via SMS)... so I don't want to go there.
But on the other hand, when really experienced and battle-tested veterans with major experience in the world of open-souce programming and project management (the "small-blockians") warn of the catastrophic consequences of a possible failed hard-fork, I get freaked out and I wonder if Bitcoin really was destined to be a settlement layer for big transactions.
Could the original programmer(s) possibly weigh in?
And I don't mean to appeal to authority - but heck, where the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto in all this? I do understand that he/she/they would want to maintain absolute anonymity - but on the other hand, I assume SN wants Bitcoin to succeed (both for the future of humanity - or at least for all the bitcoins SN allegedly holds :-) - and I understand there is a way that SN can cryptographically sign a message - and I understand that as the original developer of Bitcoin, SN had some very specific opinions about the blocksize... So I'm kinda wondering of Satoshi could weigh in from time to time. Just to help out a bit. I'm not saying "Show us a sign" like a deity or something - but damn it sure would be fascinating and possibly very helpful if Satoshi gave us his/hetheir 2 satoshis worth at this really confusing juncture.
Are we using our capacity wisely?
I'm not a programming or game-theory whiz, I'm just a casual user who has tried to keep up with technology over the years.
It just seems weird to me that here we have this massive supercomputer (500 times more powerful than the all the supercomputers in the world combined) doing fairly straightforward "embarassingly parallel" number-crunching operations to secure a p2p world-wide ledger called the blockchain to keep track of a measly 2.1 quadrillion tokens spread out among a few billion addresses - and a couple of years ago you had people like Rick Falkvinge saying the blockchain would someday be supporting multi-million-dollar letters of credit for international trade and you had people like Andreas Antonopoulos saying the blockchain would someday allow billions of "unbanked" people to send remittances around the village or around the world dirt-cheap - and now suddenly in June 2015 we're talking about blockspace as a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" and partially centralized, corporate-sponsored "Level 2" vaporware like Lightning Network and some mysterious company is "stess testing" or "DoS-ing" the system by throwing away a measly $5,000 and suddenly it sounds like the whole system could eventually head right back into PayPal and Western Union territory again, in terms of expensive fees.
When I got into Bitcoin, I really was heavily influenced by vague analogies with BitTorrent: I figured everyone would just have tiny little like utorrent-type program running on their machine (ie, Bitcoin-QT or Armory or Mycelium etc.).
I figured that just like anyone can host a their own blog or webserver, anyone would be able to host their own bank.
Yeah, Google and and Mozilla and Twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp did come along and build stuff on top of TCP/IP, so I did expect a bunch of companies to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol as well. But I still figured the basic unit of bitcoin client software powering the overall system would be small and personal and affordable and p2p - like a bittorrent client - or at the most, like a cheap server hosting a blog or email server.
And I figured there would be a way at the software level, at the architecture level, at the algorithmic level, at the data structure level - to let the thing scale - if not infinitely, at least fairly massively and gracefully - the same way the BitTorrent network has.
Of course, I do also understand that with BitTorrent, you're sharing a read-only object (eg, a movie) - whereas with Bitcoin, you're achieving distributed trustless consensus and appending it to a write-only (or append-only) database.
So I do understand that the problem which BitTorrent solves is much simpler than the problem which Bitcoin sets out to solve.
But still, it seems that there's got to be a way to make this thing scale. It's p2p and it's got 500 times more computing power than all the supercomputers in the world combined - and so many brilliant and motivated and inspired people want this thing to succeed! And Bitcoin could be our civilization's last chance to steer away from the oncoming debt-based ditch of disaster we seem to be driving into!
It just seems that Bitcoin has got to be able to scale somehow - and all these smart people working together should be able to come up with a solution which pretty much everyone can agree - in advance - will work.
Right? Right?
A (probably irrelevant) tangent on algorithms and architecture and data structures
I'll finally weigh with my personal perspective - although I might be biased due to my background (which is more on the theoretical side of computer science).
My own modest - or perhaps radical - suggestion would be to ask whether we're really looking at all the best possible algorithms and architectures and data structures out there.
From this perspective, I sometimes worry that the overwhelming majority of the great minds working on the programming and game-theory stuff might come from a rather specific, shall we say "von Neumann" or "procedural" or "imperative" school of programming (ie, C and Python and Java programmers).
It seems strange to me that such a cutting-edge and important computer project would have so little participation from the great minds at the other end of the spectrum of programming paradigms - namely, the "functional" and "declarative" and "algebraic" (and co-algebraic!) worlds.
For example, I was struck in particular by statements I've seen here and there (which seemed rather hubristic or lackadaisical to me - for something as important as Bitcoin), that the specification of Bitcoin and the blockchain doesn't really exist in any form other than the reference implementation(s) (in procedural languages such as C or Python?).
Curry-Howard anyone?
I mean, many computer scientists are aware of the Curry-Howard isomorophism, which basically says that the relationship between a theorem and its proof is equivalent to the relationship between a specification and its implementation. In other words, there is a long tradition in mathematics (and in computer programming) of:
And it's not exactly "turtles all the way down" either: a specification is generally simple and compact enough that a good programmer can usually simply visually inspect it to determine if it is indeed "correct" - something which is very difficult, if not impossible, to do with a program written in a procedural, implementation-oriented language such as C or Python or Java.
So I worry that we've got this tradition, from the open-source github C/Java programming tradition, of never actually writing our "specification", and only writing the "implementation". In mission-critical military-grade programming projects (which often use languages like Ada or Maude) this is simply not allowed. It would seem that a project as mission-critical as Bitcoin - which could literally be crucial for humanity's continued survival - should also use this kind of military-grade software development approach.
And I'm not saying rewrite the implementations in these kind of theoretical languages. But it might be helpful if the C/Python/Java programmers in the Bitcoin imperative programming world could build some bridges to the Maude/Haskell/ML programmers of the functional and algebraic programming worlds to see if any kind of useful cross-pollination might take place - between specifications and implementations.
For example, the JavaFAN formal analyzer for multi-threaded Java programs (developed using tools based on the Maude language) was applied to the Remote Agent AI program aboard NASA's Deep Space 1 shuttle, written in Java - and it took only a few minutes using formal mathematical reasoning to detect a potential deadlock which would have occurred years later during the space mission when the damn spacecraft was already way out around Pluto.
And "the Maude-NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Protocol Analyzer (Maude-NPA) is a tool used to provide security proofs of cryptographic protocols and to search for protocol flaws and cryptosystem attacks."
These are open-source formal reasoning tools developed by DARPA and used by NASA and the US Navy to ensure that program implementations satisfy their specifications. It would be great if some of the people involved in these kinds of projects could contribute to help ensure the security and scalability of Bitcoin.
But there is a wide abyss between the kinds of programmers who use languages like Maude and the kinds of programmers who use languages like C/Python/Java - and it can be really hard to get the two worlds to meet. There is a bit of rapprochement between these language communities in languages which might be considered as being somewhere in the middle, such as Haskell and ML. I just worry that Bitcoin might be turning into being an exclusively C/Python/Java project (with the algorithms and practitioners traditionally of that community), when it could be more advantageous if it also had some people from the functional and algebraic-specification and program-verification community involved as well. The thing is, though: the theoretical practitioners are big on "semantics" - I've heard them say stuff like "Yes but a C / C++ program has no easily identifiable semantics". So to get them involved, you really have to first be able to talk about what your program does (specification) - before proceeding to describe how it does it (implementation). And writing high-level specifications is typically very hard using the syntax and semantics of languages like C and Java and Python - whereas specs are fairly easy to write in Maude - and not only that, they're executable, and you state and verify properties about them - which provides for the kind of debate Nick Szabo was advocating ("more computer science, less noise").
Imagine if we had an executable algebraic specification of Bitcoin in Maude, where we could formally reason about and verify certain crucial game-theoretical properties - rather than merely hand-waving and arguing and deploying and praying.
And so in the theoretical programming community you've got major research on various logics such as Girard's Linear Logic (which is resource-conscious) and Bruni and Montanari's Tile Logic (which enables "pasting" bigger systems together from smaller ones in space and time), and executable algebraic specification languages such as Meseguer's Maude (which would be perfect for game theory modeling, with its functional modules for specifying the deterministic parts of systems and its system modules for specifiying non-deterministic parts of systems, and its parameterized skeletons for sketching out the typical architectures of mobile systems, and its formal reasoning and verification tools and libraries which have been specifically applied to testing and breaking - and fixing - cryptographic protocols).
And somewhat closer to the practical hands-on world, you've got stuff like Google's MapReduce and lots of Big Data database languages developed by Google as well. And yet here we are with a mempool growing dangerously big for RAM on a single machine, and a 20-GB append-only list as our database - and not much debate on practical results from Google's Big Data databases.
(And by the way: maybe I'm totally ignorant for asking this, but I'll ask anyways: why the hell does the mempool have to stay in RAM? Couldn't it work just as well if it were stored temporarily on the hard drive?)
And you've got CalvinDB out of Yale which apparently provides an ACID layer on top of a massively distributed database.
Look, I'm just an armchair follower cheering on these projects. I can barely manage to write a query in SQL, or read through a C or Python or Java program. But I would argue two points here: (1) these languages may be too low-level and "non-formal" for writing and modeling and formally reasoning about and proving properties of mission-critical specifications - and (2) there seem to be some Big Data tools already deployed by institutions such as Google and Yale which support global petabyte-size databases on commodity boxes with nice properties such as near-real-time and ACID - and I sometimes worry that the "core devs" might be failing to review the literature (and reach out to fellow programmers) out there to see if there might be some formal program-verification and practical Big Data tools out there which could be applied to coming up with rock-solid, 100% consensus proposals to handle an issue such as blocksize scaling, which seems to have become much more intractable than many people might have expected.
I mean, the protocol solved the hard stuff: the elliptical-curve stuff and the Byzantine General stuff. How the heck can we be falling down on the comparatively "easier" stuff - like scaling the blocksize?
It just seems like defeatism to say "Well, the blockchain is already 20-30 GB and it's gonna be 20-30 TB ten years from now - and we need 10 Mbs bandwidth now and 10,000 Mbs bandwidth 20 years from - assuming the evil Verizon and AT&T actually give us that - so let's just become a settlement platform and give up on buying coffee or banking the unbanked or doing micropayments, and let's push all that stuff into some corporate-controlled vaporware without even a whitepaper yet."
So you've got Peter Todd doing some possibly brilliant theorizing and extrapolating on the idea of "treechains" - there is a Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast from about a year ago where he sketches the rough outlines of this idea out in a very inspiring, high-level way - although the specifics have yet to be hammered out. And we've got Blockstream also doing some hopeful hand-waving about the Lightning Network.
Things like Peter Todd's treechains - which may be similar to the spark in some devs' eyes called Lightning Network - are examples of the kind of algorithm or architecture which might manage to harness the massive computing power of miners and nodes in such a way that certain kinds of massive and graceful scaling become possible.
It just seems like a kindof tiny dev community working on this stuff.
Being a C or Python or Java programmer should not be a pre-req to being able to help contribute to the specification (and formal reasoning and program verification) for Bitcoin and the blockchain.
XML and UML are crap modeling and specification languages, and C and Java and Python are even worse (as specification languages - although as implementation languages, they are of course fine).
But there are serious modeling and specification languages out there, and they could be very helpful at times like this - where what we're dealing with is questions of modeling and specification (ie, "needs and requirements").
One just doesn't often see the practical, hands-on world of open-source github implementation-level programmers and the academic, theoretical world of specification-level programmers meeting very often. I wish there were some way to get these two worlds to collaborate on Bitcoin.
Maybe a good first step to reach out to the theoretical people would be to provide a modular executable algebraic specification of the Bitcoin protocol in a recognized, military/NASA-grade specification language such as Maude - because that's something the theoretical community can actually wrap their heads around, whereas it's very hard to get them to pay attention to something written only as a C / Python / Java implementation (without an accompanying specification in a formal language).
They can't check whether the program does what it's supposed to do - if you don't provide a formal mathematical definition of what the program is supposed to do.
Specification : Implementation :: Theorem : Proof
You have to remember: the theoretical community is very aware of the Curry-Howard isomorphism. Just like it would be hard to get a mathematician's attention by merely showing them a proof without telling also telling them what theorem the proof is proving - by the same token, it's hard to get the attention of a theoretical computer scientist by merely showing them an implementation without showing them the specification that it implements.
Bitcoin is currently confronted with a mathematical or "computer science" problem: how to secure the network while getting high enough transactional throughput, while staying within the limited RAM, bandwidth and hard drive space limitations of current and future infrastructure.
The problem only becomes a political and economic problem if we give up on trying to solve it as a mathematical and "theoretical computer science" problem.
There should be a plethora of whitepapers out now proposing algorithmic solutions to these scaling issues. Remember, all we have to do is apply the Byzantine General consensus-reaching procedure to a worldwide database which shuffles 2.1 quadrillion tokens among a few billion addresses. The 21 company has emphatically pointed out that racing to compute a hash to add a block is an "embarrassingly parallel" problem - very easy to decompose among cheap, fault-prone, commodity boxes, and recompose into an overall solution - along the lines of Google's highly successful MapReduce.
I guess what I'm really saying is (and I don't mean to be rude here), is that C and Python and Java programmers might not be the best qualified people to develop and formally prove the correctness of (note I do not say: "test", I say "formally prove the correctness of") these kinds of algorithms.
I really believe in the importance of getting the algorithms and architectures right - look at Google Search itself, it uses some pretty brilliant algorithms and architectures (eg, MapReduce, Paxos) which enable it to achieve amazing performance - on pretty crappy commodity hardware. And look at BitTorrent, which is truly p2p, where more demand leads to more supply.
So, in this vein, I will close this lengthy rant with an oddly specific link - which may or may not be able to make some interesting contributions to finding suitable algorithms, architectures and data structures which might help Bitcoin scale massively. I have no idea if this link could be helpful - but given the near-total lack of people from the Haskell and ML and functional worlds in these Bitcoin specification debates, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't throw this out - just in case there might be something here which could help us channel the massive computing power of the Bitcoin network in such a way as to enable us simply sidestep this kind of desperate debate where both sides seem right because the other side seems wrong.
https://personal.cis.strath.ac.uk/neil.ghani/papers/ghani-calco07
The above paper is about "higher dimensional trees". It uses a bit of category theory (not a whole lot) and a bit of Haskell (again not a lot - just a simple data structure called a Rose tree, which has a wikipedia page) to develop a very expressive and efficient data structure which generalizes from lists to trees to higher dimensions.
I have no idea if this kind of data structure could be applicable to the current scaling mess we apparently are getting bogged down in - I don't have the game-theory skills to figure it out.
I just thought that since the blockchain is like a list, and since there are some tree-like structures which have been grafted on for efficiency (eg Merkle trees) and since many of the futuristic scaling proposals seem to also involve generalizing from list-like structures (eg, the blockchain) to tree-like structures (eg, side-chains and tree-chains)... well, who knows, there might be some nugget of algorithmic or architectural or data-structure inspiration there.
So... TL;DR:
(1) I'm freaked out that this blocksize debate has splintered the community so badly and dragged on so long, with no resolution in sight, and both sides seeming so right (because the other side seems so wrong).
(2) I think Bitcoin could gain immensely by using high-level formal, algebraic and co-algebraic program specification and verification languages (such as Maude including Maude-NPA, Mobile Maude parameterized skeletons, etc.) to specify (and possibly also, to some degree, verify) what Bitcoin does - before translating to low-level implementation languages such as C and Python and Java saying how Bitcoin does it. This would help to communicate and reason about programs with much more mathematical certitude - and possibly obviate the need for many political and economic tradeoffs which currently seem dismally inevitable - and possibly widen the collaboration on this project.
(3) I wonder if there are some Big Data approaches out there (eg, along the lines of Google's MapReduce and BigTable, or Yale's CalvinDB), which could be implemented to allow Bitcoin to scale massively and painlessly - and to satisfy all stakeholders, ranging from millionaires to micropayments, coffee drinkers to the great "unbanked".
submitted by BeYourOwnBank to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

My motivation for this subreddit

I'm was really excited to read the how to start your own cloud node post by ganesha1024
I was amazed at how quickly I was able to get a node up and running..and then 2 and then more.
I started to experiment and found that I could get an XT node up and running on the f1-micro (1 vCPU, 0.6 GB memory, 60GB disk) setting. I then found that I couldn't get the BU node to run on the same.
I'm now curious at 2 things:
1) Is the XT node running correctly, even though it is reported as up by https://bitnodes.21.co/, is it running degraded, will it crash etc. 2) How do I monitor the health of the node? What commands should I use to report on it and what configuration changes can I make?
I am a developer, I've been into bitcoin for a while and I've recently read a lot about the technical side of bitcoin including re-reading the white paper and Mastering bitcoin by Andreas M. Antonopoulos. It's time for me to dig a little deeper.
Also, I figured this may be an area of interest for other people. Care to join me?
Edit slight formatting change
submitted by redditchampsys to bitcoin_nodes [link] [comments]

Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
submitted by kcbitcoin to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Subreddit Stats: btc top posts from 2017-01-09 to 2017-02-07 22:40 PDT

Period: 29.80 days
Submissions Comments
Total 999 28052
Rate (per day) 33.52 904.13
Unique Redditors 409 2067
Combined Score 56126 117584

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 3835 points, 41 submissions: Egon_1
    1. "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority" (529 points, 262 comments)
    2. Charlie Shrem: "Oh cmon. @gavinandresen is the reason we are all here today. Stop attacking people, ...." (256 points, 61 comments)
    3. The core developers don't care about you. Let's fire them by hard fork to Bitcoin unlimited! (231 points, 83 comments)
    4. Bitcoin Core Hashrate Below 80% (211 points, 27 comments)
    5. "Bitcoin is an P2P electronic cash system, not digital gold. If Bitcoin's usefulness as cash is undermined, its value will be undermined too." (198 points, 196 comments)
    6. I like these ads (194 points, 25 comments)
    7. "ViaBTC Transaction Accelerator already help more than 5K delayed transactions got confirmed." (142 points, 27 comments)
    8. Bitcoin Unlimited: Over 800 PH/s (128 points, 21 comments)
    9. ViaBTC produces ZERO empty block in the last month. Best in SPV base mining pool. (117 points, 2 comments)
    10. New ATL (All Time Low) For Bitcoin Core Blocks (114 points, 59 comments)
  2. 2876 points, 24 submissions: ydtm
    1. The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE? (354 points, 116 comments)
    2. BU-SW parity! 231 vs 231 of the last 1000 blocks! Consensus will always win over censorship! MARKET-BASED blocksize will always win over CENTRALLY-PLANNED blocksize! People want blocksize to be determined by the MARKET - not by Greg Maxwell & his 1.7MB anyone-can-spend SegWit-as-a-soft-fork blocks. (271 points, 66 comments)
    3. The number of blocks being mined by Bitcoin Unlimited is now getting very close to surpassing the number of blocks being mined by SegWit! More and more people are supporting BU's MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE - because BU avoids needless transaction delays and ultimately increases Bitcoin adoption & price! (185 points, 80 comments)
    4. "Notice how anyone who has even remotely supported on-chain scaling has been censored, hounded, DDoS'd, attacked, slandered & removed from any area of Core influence. Community, business, Hearn, Gavin, Jeff, XT, Classic, Coinbase, Unlimited, ViaBTC, Ver, Jihan, Bitcoin.com, btc" ~ u/randy-lawnmole (176 points, 114 comments)
    5. "Why is Flexible Transactions more future-proof than SegWit?" by u/ThomasZander (175 points, 110 comments)
    6. "You have to understand that Core and their supporters eg Theymos WANT a hardfork to be as messy as possible. This entire time they've been doing their utmost to work AGAINST consensus, and it will continue until they are simply removed from the community like the cancer they are." ~ u/singularity87 (170 points, 28 comments)
    7. Blockstream/Core don't care about you. They're repeatedly crippling the network with their DEV-CONTROLLED blocksize. Congestion & delays are now ROUTINE & PREDICTABLE after increased difficulty / time between blocks. Only we can fix the network - using MARKET-CONTROLLED blocksize (Unlimited/Classic) (168 points, 60 comments)
    8. 3 excellent articles highlighting some of the major problems with SegWit: (1) "Core Segwit – Thinking of upgrading? You need to read this!" by WallStreetTechnologist (2) "SegWit is not great" by Deadalnix (3) "How Software Gets Bloated: From Telephony to Bitcoin" by Emin Gün Sirer (146 points, 59 comments)
    9. This trader's price & volume graph / model predicted that we should be over $10,000 USD/BTC by now. The model broke in late 2014 - when AXA-funded Blockstream was founded, and started spreading propaganda and crippleware, centrally imposing artificially tiny blocksize to suppress the volume & price. (143 points, 97 comments)
    10. Now that BU is overtaking SW, r\bitcoin is in meltdown. The 2nd top post over there (sorted by "worst first" ie "controversial") is full of the most ignorant, confused, brainwashed comments ever seen on r\bitcoin - starting with the erroneous title: "The problem with forking and creating two coins." (142 points, 57 comments)
  3. 2424 points, 31 submissions: realistbtc
    1. Remember this picture ? It was a very strong and cool message from around 2014 . Well, sadly it's not true anymore. But it was universally liked in the Bitcoin space , and probably brought here some of us . I remember even luke-jr reposting it somewhere (oh , the hypocrysis!! ). (249 points, 55 comments)
    2. Emin Gun Sirer on Twitter ' My take is the exact opposite: we are now finding out that Segwit isn't necessary and we can get the same benefits via simpler means. " (248 points, 46 comments)
    3. Gavin Andresen on Twitter : ' The purpose of a consensus system is to arrive at one outcome. Participating means accepting the result even if you initially disagree. ' (204 points, 56 comments)
    4. enough with the blockstream core propaganda : changing the blocksize IS the MORE CAUTIOUS and SAFER approach . if it was done sooner , we would have avoived entirely these unprecedented clycles of network clogging that have caused much frustrations in a lot of actors (173 points, 15 comments)
    5. Gavin Andresen on Twitter - 'This can't be controversial... can it? - a definition of Bitcoin' (136 points, 38 comments)
    6. adam back on twitter "contentious forks are bad idea for confidence & concept of digital scarcity. wait for the ETFs. profit. mean time deploy segwit & lightning" - no! a corrupt company like blockstream with a washed out ex cypherpunk like adam are what's bad for Bitcoin . (122 points, 115 comments)
    7. "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" - if you stray from that , you don't get to keep calling it Bitcoin. call it blockstreamcoin, adamcoin, gregcoin, theymoscoin or whatever and go fork off yourself . (112 points, 19 comments)
    8. soon 21 will have to change the scale , because 180 satoshi/KB won't be enough anymore - madness - feel free to send your complaints to greg maxwell CTO of blockstream (112 points, 31 comments)
    9. PSA : if you use a ledger wallet , you risk paying an absurdly high free - see here : 10$ for a 225 bytes 150$ tx - but remember , it's all fine for your elitist and gregonomic friends at blockstream (109 points, 111 comments)
    10. Luke 'the liar' Dashjr : ' My BIP draft didn't make progress because the community opposes any block size increase hardfork ever. ' -- yes , he wrote exactly that !! (96 points, 33 comments)
  4. 2129 points, 43 submissions: increaseblocks
    1. After failing to get 10K bitcoins for stolen NSA exploits, Shadow Brokers post farewell message, dump a cache of Windows hacking tools online (181 points, 23 comments)
    2. Coinbase and the IRS (146 points, 69 comments)
    3. Ryan X. Charles on Twitter - There is a leadership gap in bitcoin left by technical community members who didn't listen to miners, businesses or users. (117 points, 44 comments)
    4. Blockstream Core developer says you should "pay a $5 fee" to get your transaction to go through! (116 points, 32 comments)
    5. $2.50 transaction FEE paid on $37 transaction, still unconfirmed for 24 hours!! (109 points, 37 comments)
    6. Blockstream shareholder gives a little more insight into the company (107 points, 33 comments)
    7. Finished setting up my Unlimited full node. Took just over 24 hrs to sync with a 5 yr old laptop and standard U.S. connection + $50 1TB hard drive! (96 points, 46 comments)
    8. Matt Corallo/TheBlueMatt leaves Blockstream to go work for Chaincode Labs... is the Blockstream house of cards beginning to crumble? (86 points, 175 comments)
    9. 53,000 transactions in the backlog! (75 points, 79 comments)
    10. Doctor ₿ Goss on Twitter: Spending a year on #segwit instead of coordinating blocksize increase may not have been wise. Money that doesn't work is worthless (70 points, 11 comments)
  5. 1590 points, 9 submissions: parban333
    1. Dear Theymos, you divided the Bitcoin community. Not Roger, not Gavin, not Mike. It was you. And dear Blockstream and Core team, you helped, not calling out the abhorrent censorship, the unforgivable manipulation, unbecoming of supposed cypherpunks. Or of any decent, civil persons. (566 points, 87 comments)
    2. nullc disputes that Satoshi Nakamoto left Gavin in control of Bitcoin, asks for citation, then disappears after such citation is clearly provided. greg maxwell is blatantly a toxic troll and an enemy of Satoshi's Bitcoin. (400 points, 207 comments)
    3. Remember: while the blockstream trolls take Peter R out of context, Peter Todd really think Bitcoin should have a 1%/security tax via inflation. (146 points, 92 comments)
    4. So, Alice is causing a problem. Alice is then trying to sell you a solution for that problem. Alice now tell that if you are not buying into her solution, you are the cause of the problem. Replace Alice with Greg & Adam.. (139 points, 28 comments)
    5. SegWit+limited on-chain scaling: brought to you by the people that couldn't believe Bitcoin was actually a sound concept. (92 points, 47 comments)
    6. Remember: the manipulative Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, want to fool every newcomer that doesn't know better into thinking that he practically invented Bitcoin. (91 points, 22 comments)
    7. Not only segwit support is laughable at the moment for something targeting 95% adoption, but it's actually diminishing. Wallet devs and people that spent resources implementing that ridiculous contraption must feel a bit silly at the moment.... (83 points, 143 comments)
    8. It's ironic that blockstream's concerns about hard forks security are what's actually caused concerns about hard forks security. (46 points, 5 comments)
    9. The Intercept - "Hidden loopholes allow FBI agents to infiltrate political and religious groups" - Just something to consider, right? (27 points, 2 comments)
  6. 1471 points, 10 submissions: sandakersmann
    1. Charlie Shrem on Twitter: "If we don't implement bigger blocks ASAP, Paypal will be cheaper than #bitcoin. I already pay a few dollars per tx. Stop hindering growth." (472 points, 254 comments)
    2. Olivier Janssens on Twitter: "Do you like Bitcoin? Then you like an unlimited block size. The limit was put in place as a temp fix and was never hit before last year." (252 points, 189 comments)
    3. Ryan X. Charles on Twitter: "Bigger blocks will allow more people access to every aspect of bitcoin, enhancing decentralization" (213 points, 179 comments)
    4. Is Bitcoin Unlimited Headed for Activation? (149 points, 38 comments)
    5. Marius Kjærstad on Twitter: "High fees push real economy out of #Bitcoin and makes price driven by speculation. Result is a lower real economy floor to catch the knife." (132 points, 37 comments)
    6. No Primary Litecoin Pool Will Upgrade to Segwit, Says LTC1BTC's Founder (103 points, 60 comments)
    7. Charlie Shrem: "Bitcoin is been built to appreciate or die. That's how it is. It has to continue to grow. If it doesn't grow then it's just gonna go away." (76 points, 15 comments)
    8. G. Andrew Stone & Andrew Clifford: Bitcoin Unlimited (Episode 166) (36 points, 1 comment)
    9. Joseph VaughnPerling on Twitter: "#SegWit on $LTC's safe b/c low TX vol. AnyoneCanSpend TX UTXO unlikely to hit 51% attack cost. On $BTC it'd be insidiously fatal. @SegWit" (21 points, 8 comments)
    10. Bitcoin Plummets After China Launches "Market Manipulation" Investigations Of Bitcoin Exchanges (17 points, 0 comments)
  7. 1408 points, 7 submissions: BeijingBitcoins
    1. LOL - /bitcoin user claims that people aren't being actively silenced; is actively silenced. (307 points, 142 comments)
    2. Reality check: today's minor bug caused the bitcoin.com pool to miss out on a $12000 block reward, and was fixed within hours. Core's 1MB blocksize limit has cost the users of bitcoin >$100k per day for the past several months. (270 points, 173 comments)
    3. Satoshi: "The eventual solution will be to not care how big [block size] gets." (250 points, 75 comments)
    4. Top post on /bitcoin about high transaction fees. 709 comments. Every time you click "load more comments," there is nothing there. How many posts are being censored? The manipulation of free discussion by /bitcoin moderators needs to end yesterday. (229 points, 91 comments)
    5. Bitcoin Unlimited blocks at all time high! (143 of last 1000) (191 points, 56 comments)
    6. Censored in bitcoin: "Bitcoin Core hashrate reaches 79.7%" (91 points, 61 comments)
    7. Bitcoin Transaction Fees - All Time (70 points, 18 comments)
  8. 1235 points, 40 submissions: chinawat
    1. Julian Assange just used the bitcoin block number 447506 as a proof of life. (199 points, 42 comments)
    2. "$3000 donated anonymously to the @internetarchive in bitcoin just now. Made our day!" -- Brewster Kahle on Twitter (97 points, 3 comments)
    3. ‘Barclays took my £440,000 and put me through hell’ | Money (76 points, 22 comments)
    4. Venezuelan Police Arrest Eight Bitcoin Miners in Two Weeks, and the Country's Leading Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Operations (52 points, 2 comments)
    5. The Path To $10,000 Bitcoin (46 points, 11 comments)
    6. How Deutsche Bank Made a $462 Million Loss Disappear (44 points, 6 comments)
    7. "The plan (#mBTC units) has been discussed amongst local #Chinese exchanges, & we believe it will appease the regulators, w/ "lower" prices." -- Bobby Lee on Twitter (43 points, 36 comments)
    8. "Everyone knows that we need to reduce the max block size, but is a one-time drop to 300 kB really the best way?" -- theymos (40 points, 68 comments)
    9. Buy bitcoin from any 7-11 in the Philippines (36 points, 0 comments)
    10. The Race Is On for a Bitcoin ETF (31 points, 14 comments)
  9. 1010 points, 17 submissions: 1and1make5
    1. Last 1000 Blocks - Bitcoin Unlimited overtakes soft-fork-segwit signaling (165 points, 25 comments)
    2. Again: Bigger Blocks Mean More Decentralization - Roger Ver (101 points, 59 comments)
    3. cnLedger on Twitter - "@todu77 Contacted http://BTC.TOP . A different logic was used when dealing w/ (very occasional) empty blc. They'll update to BU only" (94 points, 6 comments)
    4. Controlling your own wealth as a basic human right - Brian Armstrong (93 points, 30 comments)
    5. Last 1000 Blocks - 20% of the Bitcoin mining network supports Bitcoin Unlimited (89 points, 4 comments)
    6. BTC.top current hashrate: ~100 Ph/s (71 points, 5 comments)
    7. Throwback Thursday: BTC.top mined their first BU block 1 month ago with ~31 Ph/s, today they have ~149 Ph/s (68 points, 6 comments)
    8. Epicenter Bitcoin 166 - G. Andrew Stone & Andrew Clifford: Bitcoin Unlimited (63 points, 50 comments)
    9. Coinbase Obtains the Bitlicense (53 points, 19 comments)
    10. Fun fact (doesn't mean anything): In the last 24 hours more blocks have signaled support for Bitcoin Unlimited than soft-fork-segwit (53 points, 5 comments)
  10. 984 points, 20 submissions: seweso
    1. Bitcoin unlimited is an expression of freedom. And freedom will always be misconstrued by paternalists/statists as something dangerous. (120 points, 64 comments)
    2. My hope for Bitcoin Unlimited is not to force a hardfork upon everyone, but to break through the censorship, to open minds. (106 points, 88 comments)
    3. Core threatening a POW change makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. (97 points, 58 comments)
    4. "We will run a SegWit release in production by the time [a 2MB hardfork] is released in a version of Bitcoin Core." (94 points, 84 comments)
    5. Blocked by Peter Todd for pointing out he started the propaganda war with his slippery slope video. (92 points, 41 comments)
    6. I can't wait to spend everyone's SegWit funds on a hard-forked >1Mb chain. ~ Seweso (72 points, 72 comments)
    7. BashCo putting his Bitcoin ignorance on display by stating "60,000 #Bitcoin transactions don't just magically appear out of thin air. #spam" (66 points, 12 comments)
    8. Bitcoin Core developers discussing and deciding on Bitcoin economics again (47 points, 13 comments)
    9. Reaction to: why-bitcoin-unlimiteds-emergent-consensus-gamble (46 points, 9 comments)
    10. "@seweso Show me an instance where core pushed out a change and cost miners a block reward." ~ I can do that ;) (37 points, 6 comments)
  11. 883 points, 16 submissions: Shock_The_Stream
    1. Emin Gün Sirer: Finally getting to the crux of the battle. LN/Segwit/fee-market are a synonym for "high fees." Nothing about this tech requires high fees. (155 points, 78 comments)
    2. BTC.TOP !! - New Alltime High for BU blocks @199 ! BTC.TOP alone just mined 4 BU blocks within 47 minutes (115 points, 26 comments)
    3. The great halvening of Samson's Segwit Pool: Mission accomplished! 1 yr: 12.50%, 6 month: 11.10%, 1 month: 7.83%, 1week: 6.67%, 4 days: 6% (107 points, 56 comments)
    4. Surpise: SegWit SF becomes more and more centralized - around half of all Segwit signals come from Bitfury ... (107 points, 45 comments)
    5. BS of the week by Rusty Russell: "If segwit doesn't activate, something is badly broken in Bitcoin" (102 points, 97 comments)
    6. Slush pool: Incredible bad luck for the Bitcoin Unlimited voters (43 points, 26 comments)
    7. The Bitfury Attack (43 points, 38 comments)
    8. 799! Jiang Zhuo'er teared down this wall! (40 points, 13 comments)
    9. Did Slush just stop mining segwit with the 'don't care' voters? (39 points, 36 comments)
    10. Fortune favours the bold: BTC.TOP with 300% luck today (30 points, 2 comments)
  12. 754 points, 10 submissions: AQuentson
    1. Price Shoots Up as Miners Checkmate and Bitcoin Unlimited Surpasses Segwit. (113 points, 28 comments)
    2. One Transaction Will Cost $400 if Bitcoin Hits $10,000 According to Jameson Lopp (104 points, 39 comments)
    3. Bitcoin Core Developer: Satoshi's Design Doesn't Work (100 points, 78 comments)
    4. Wow! Had no idea the BitcoinMarkets subreddit is completely censored. (90 points, 29 comments)
    5. F2Pool Will Not Upgrade Its Bitcoin Pool to Segwit "Anytime Soon" (89 points, 21 comments)
    6. The Bitcoin Market Needs Big Blocks, Says Founder of BTC.TOP Mining Pool (82 points, 21 comments)
    7. Almost $1 Billion Worth of Bitcoins Stuck in Transaction Backlog (72 points, 8 comments)
    8. ViaBTC's Hashrate Increases to 12 Percent (58 points, 2 comments)
    9. “The protocol debate is not my priority." - Jihan Wu, Bitmain's Founder (24 points, 13 comments)
    10. Wow! Almost $1 Billion Worth of Bitcoin is Stuck, Can't Move - What Happens if no Block is Found in One Hour (as has happened before) Will Bitcoin Literally Break Down? (22 points, 14 comments)
  13. 744 points, 10 submissions: BobsBurgers3Bitcoin
    1. Bitcoin Unlimited 1.0.0 has been released (274 points, 130 comments)
    2. Censored in r\Bitcoin: "35.8 Cents: Average Transaction Fee so far in 2017. The Average Transaction Fee in 2016 was 16.5 Cents" (260 points, 123 comments)
    3. 35.8 Cents: Average Transaction Fee so far in 2017. The Average Transaction Fee in 2016 was 16.5 Cents (74 points, 18 comments)
    4. Former Fed Employee Fined $5,000 for Using Computer for Bitcoin (37 points, 5 comments)
    5. Bitcoin: Why It Now Belongs in Every Portfolio (26 points, 0 comments)
    6. Bitcoin is 'a great hedge against the system' and could be the new gold (18 points, 1 comment)
    7. Bitcoin Will Change Money Like the Internet Changed Video (15 points, 0 comments)
    8. Is Warren Buffett Wrong About Bitcoin? (14 points, 3 comments)
    9. Bitseed Review – A Plug & Play Full Bitcoin Node (13 points, 2 comments)
    10. Bitcoin is soaring (and Business Insider does not change the title of the almost identical article published 3 weeks ago by the same author) (13 points, 1 comment)
  14. 732 points, 10 submissions: specialenmity
    1. Fantasy land: Thinking that a hard fork will be disastrous to the price, yet thinking that a future average fee of > $1 and average wait times of > 1 day won't be disastrous to the price. (209 points, 70 comments)
    2. "Segwit is a permanent solution to refuse any blocksize increase in the future and move the txs and fees to the LN hubs. The chinese miners are not as stupid as the blockstream core devaluators want them to be." shock_the_stream (150 points, 83 comments)
    3. In response to the "unbiased" ELI5 of Core vs BU and this gem: "Core values trustlessness and decentralization above all. Bitcoin Unlimited values low fees for on-chain transactions above all else." (130 points, 45 comments)
    4. Core's own reasoning doesn't add up: If segwit requires 95% of last 2016 blocks to activate, and their fear of using a hardfork instead of a softfork is "splitting the network", then how does a hardfork with a 95% trigger even come close to potentially splitting the network? (96 points, 130 comments)
    5. luke-jr defines "using bitcoin" as running a full node. Dictates that the cost of moving money ( a transaction) should exceed "using bitcoin". Hah (38 points, 17 comments)
    6. If it's not activating that is a strong evidence that the claims of it being dire were and continue to be without substance. nullc (36 points, 23 comments)
    7. I'm more concerned that bitcoin can't change than whether or not we scale in the near future by SF or HF (26 points, 9 comments)
    8. "The best available research right now suggested an upper bound of 4MB. This figure was considering only a subset of concerns, in particular it ignored economic impacts, long term sustainability, and impacts on synchronization time.." nullc (20 points, 4 comments)
    9. At any point in time mining pools could have increased the block reward through forking and yet they haven't. Why? Because it is obvious that the community wouldn't like that and correspondingly the price would plummet (14 points, 14 comments)
    10. The flawed mind of jstolfi (13 points, 17 comments)
  15. 708 points, 7 submissions: knight222
    1. BTC.TOP operator: “We have prepared $100 million USD to kill the small fork of CoreCoin, no matter what POW algorithm, sha256 or scrypt or X11 or any other GPU algorithm. Show me your money. We very much welcome a CoreCoin change to POS.” (241 points, 252 comments)
    2. For those who missed it, this is how the hardfork with Bitcoin Unlimited will happen. (173 points, 79 comments)
    3. Blocks mined with Bitcoin Unlimited reaching 18% (133 points, 28 comments)
    4. Bitcoin Unlimited is less than 1% away from outpacing Segwit for the last 1000 blocks mined (90 points, 44 comments)
    5. BU nodes peaked in the last days (28 points, 6 comments)
    6. Blockstream never tried to compromise but they will (too late). This is why: (22 points, 4 comments)
    7. BTC.TOP is having a good day (21 points, 6 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. Adrian-X (3622 points, 821 comments)
  2. H0dl (3157 points, 563 comments)
  3. Bitcoinopoly (2732 points, 345 comments)
  4. knight222 (2319 points, 361 comments)
  5. MeTheImaginaryWizard (2043 points, 429 comments)
  6. Ant-n (1818 points, 387 comments)
  7. todu (1756 points, 265 comments)
  8. seweso (1742 points, 328 comments)
  9. awemany (1690 points, 401 comments)
  10. Shock_The_Stream (1647 points, 217 comments)
  11. Helvetian616 (1578 points, 206 comments)
  12. Egon_1 (1478 points, 162 comments)
  13. realistbtc (1299 points, 95 comments)
  14. BitcoinIsTehFuture (1231 points, 139 comments)
  15. LovelyDay (1226 points, 196 comments)
  16. thcymos (1172 points, 117 comments)
  17. BeijingBitcoins (1098 points, 58 comments)
  18. Yheymos (1061 points, 69 comments)
  19. steb2k (1058 points, 238 comments)
  20. ydtm (987 points, 132 comments)
  21. dontcensormebro2 (975 points, 106 comments)
  22. chinawat (972 points, 223 comments)
  23. increaseblocks (934 points, 73 comments)
  24. segregatedwitness (921 points, 101 comments)
  25. Annapurna317 (874 points, 146 comments)
  26. DaSpawn (817 points, 162 comments)
  27. insette (808 points, 91 comments)
  28. TanksAblazment (803 points, 150 comments)
  29. blockstreamcoin (787 points, 133 comments)
  30. MeatsackMescalero (774 points, 95 comments)
  31. satoshis_sockpuppet (745 points, 126 comments)
  32. BitcoinXio (739 points, 50 comments)
  33. jstolfi (734 points, 183 comments)
  34. singularity87 (720 points, 90 comments)
  35. Richy_T (704 points, 163 comments)
  36. redlightsaber (690 points, 138 comments)
  37. Leithm (686 points, 74 comments)
  38. ErdoganTalk (668 points, 252 comments)
  39. BitcoinPrepper (665 points, 89 comments)
  40. reddaxx (664 points, 105 comments)
  41. r1q2 (660 points, 110 comments)
  42. papabitcoin (653 points, 79 comments)
  43. 2ndEntropy (632 points, 76 comments)
  44. FormerlyEarlyAdopter (608 points, 92 comments)
  45. Coolsource (595 points, 116 comments)
  46. Peter__R (589 points, 43 comments)
  47. timepad (570 points, 62 comments)
  48. Rawlsdeep (564 points, 109 comments)
  49. themgp (560 points, 46 comments)
  50. ForkiusMaximus (558 points, 89 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Dear Theymos, you divided the Bitcoin community. Not Roger, not Gavin, not Mike. It was you. And dear Blockstream and Core team, you helped, not calling out the abhorrent censorship, the unforgivable manipulation, unbecoming of supposed cypherpunks. Or of any decent, civil persons. by parban333 (566 points, 87 comments)
  2. "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority" by Egon_1 (529 points, 262 comments)
  3. Charlie Shrem on Twitter: "If we don't implement bigger blocks ASAP, Paypal will be cheaper than #bitcoin. I already pay a few dollars per tx. Stop hindering growth." by sandakersmann (472 points, 254 comments)
  4. nullc disputes that Satoshi Nakamoto left Gavin in control of Bitcoin, asks for citation, then disappears after such citation is clearly provided. greg maxwell is blatantly a toxic troll and an enemy of Satoshi's Bitcoin. by parban333 (400 points, 207 comments)
  5. The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE? by ydtm (354 points, 116 comments)
  6. LOL - /bitcoin user claims that people aren't being actively silenced; is actively silenced. by BeijingBitcoins (307 points, 142 comments)
  7. Massive censorship on "/bitcoin" continues by BitcoinIsTehFuture (296 points, 123 comments)
  8. Charlie Shrem on Twitter: "You can talk about anything in BTC and it won't be auto deleted" by BitcoinXio (291 points, 69 comments)
  9. Bitcoin Unlimited blocks exceed Core for first time, 232 vs. 231 of last 1,000 by DNVirtual (282 points, 84 comments)
  10. As relevant as it's always been by iopq (276 points, 15 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 151 points: nicebtc's comment in "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority"
  2. 123 points: 1DrK44np3gMKuvcGeFVv's comment in "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority"
  3. 117 points: cryptovessel's comment in nullc disputes that Satoshi Nakamoto left Gavin in control of Bitcoin, asks for citation, then disappears after such citation is clearly provided. greg maxwell is blatantly a toxic troll and an enemy of Satoshi's Bitcoin.
  4. 117 points: seweso's comment in Roger Ver banned for doxing after posting the same thread Prohashing was banned for.
  5. 113 points: BitcoinIsTehFuture's comment in Dear Theymos, you divided the Bitcoin community. Not Roger, not Gavin, not Mike. It was you. And dear Blockstream and Core team, you helped, not calling out the abhorrent censorship, the unforgivable manipulation, unbecoming of supposed cypherpunks. Or of any decent, civil persons.
  6. 106 points: MagmaHindenburg's comment in bitcoin.com loses 13.2BTC trying to fork the network: Untested and buggy BU creates an oversized block, Many BU node banned, the HF fails • /Bitcoin
  7. 98 points: lon102guy's comment in bitcoin.com loses 13.2BTC trying to fork the network: Untested and buggy BU creates an oversized block, Many BU node banned, the HF fails • /Bitcoin
  8. 97 points: bigboi2468's comment in contentious forks vs incremental progress
  9. 92 points: vbuterin's comment in [Mark Friedenbach] There is a reason we are generally up in arms about "abusive" data-on-blockchain proposals: it is because we see the potential of this tech!
  10. 89 points: Peter__R's comment in contentious forks vs incremental progress
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Bitcoin Q&A: What is the role of nodes? Bitcoin Q&A: Why running a node is important Bitcoin Q&A: Rules versus Rulers Andreas Antonopoulos: The Essence of Money

Nodes could be ran by small individuals, maintaining decentralization, yet Bitcoin could still scale. In fact, Bitcoin would scale more elegantly this way. WIN-WIN! However, this solution doesn't exist in working form today, so we are forced to either wait, or implement a less elegant solution. Andreas Antonopoulos has written a section about CLTV in his book Mastering Bitcoin. CLTV is described as an example of a soft-fork in Blockchain Technology Overview published by NIST. 112 CHECKSEQUENCEVERIFY CSV enables making an address (starting with 3) which can't spend bitcoin received, for a specified amount of time after receiving. In today’s roundup of crypto chatter, Andreas Antonopoulos explains rolling checkpoints and how consensus is achieved between miners, developers, exchanges, merchants, and wallets. Chris DeRose believes new Bitcoin pundits are toxic compared to the old ones. Also, Tone Vays defends Jimmy Song’s position on using credit cards over bitcoin. In 2015-16 nodes not conforming to Blockstream’s edicts in Bitcoin Core were repeatedly DDoS attacked; eliminating big block competitors like Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic from the network entirely. Mike Hearn said of the attacks, The attacks were so large that they disconnected entire regions from the internet: I was DDoS’d. Bitcoin XT was a fork of Bitcoin Core, the reference client for the bitcoin network. In mid-2015, the concept achieved significant attention within the bitcoin community amid a contentious debate among core developers over increasing the block size cap. The current reference implementation for bitco

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Bitcoin Q&A: What is the role of nodes?

Andreas is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; and “The Internet of Money,” a book about why ... Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and respected figures in bitcoin. ... Bitcoin Q&A: Full node and home network security ... Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in bitcoin. Follow on Twitter: @aantonop https://twitter.com ... How important is it to be running a normal Bitcoin node or a Lightning Network node, as a user of bitcoin? ... Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one ... Andreas Antonopoulos speaking about Bitcoin phenomenon and the Blockchain technology from the perspective of Bitcoin mining. Speech recorder at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014.

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