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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Happy Birthday Bitcoin! on: January 03, 2016, 12:21:03 AM
The genesis block is 7 years old today (timestamp: 2009-01-03 18:15:05).

"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks"

*raises glass* Here's to a productive 8th year.
2  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Why build on the longest chain? on: September 08, 2015, 08:59:44 AM
Two transactions are broadcast to the network, each with a whopping 5 BTC fee!  After a few minutes, AntPool finds a block and includes both the transactions.  Slush thinks that AntPool was greedy and begins to work on a parallel block.  Slush finds a block before anyone extends AntPool's chain and he includes just one of the two transactions, leaving the other in the mempool.  Discus Fish, BitFury, and KnCMiner all All other miners notice that AntPool's chain and Slush's chain have the same length and that they can get 5 BTC more by extending Slush's chain.  Soon enough, BitFury extends Slush's chain and AntPool's block is orphaned.

                     --->  AntPool (35 BTC)  ---| (Orphan)
   (Main chain) ---
                     --->   Slush (30 BTC)   --->  BitFury (30 BTC)  ---> (Main chain)

Is this an attack?  If so, who are the attackers?  Was AntPool greedy?  Was Slush clever or just lucky?  Should a miner always prefer the longest chain?

See also:


  • Added information about the behaviours of other miners.
3  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Measuring the cost of running a full node. on: August 30, 2015, 12:34:49 AM
We might approximate the total cost of all mining activity by summing all block subsidies and transaction fees.  If we'd like the entry barrier to mining to be low, we should surely like the cost of running a full node to be a tiny fraction of this total.  Can we automatically adjust block size limit to target a particular fraction?

Is it possible to measure the cost of running a full node?

One thought: Perhaps we could have a parallel, proof-of-work blockchain with no transactions.  A fraction of Bitcoin's mining reward could be channelled to this supporting chain.  The difficulties of the two chains could be used to calculate an approximation of the total "full-node costs" of all miners.

Does this work?  Can it be abused?  Is there an easier way to trustlessly measure the costs of running a full node?

Note: this type of block size limit targeting would be supply/decentralisation focussed (like BIP100) and so would be compatible with demand/fee-market focussed limits (like BIP100), acting simply as a ceiling.
4  Other / Off-topic / Would you share a flat with Ross Ulbricht? on: May 30, 2015, 12:02:53 AM
Assuming that his Silk Road days were behind him: Would you share a flat with Ross Ulbricht?  Would you trust him not to put a hit on you for drinking the last of the milk or spending too long in the shower?  Could you be his friend?

Assuming he'd left office: Would you share a flat with Barack Obama?  Could you be his friend?
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / How do you read "20 mBTC"? on: November 04, 2014, 02:55:17 PM
  • Options ordered alphabetically.
  • Poll closes in 2 weeks time.
  • Votes can be changed.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / What is a millibit? on: October 23, 2014, 12:28:40 PM
I'm trying to gauge the current state of Bitcoin's nomenclature from a different angle.
7  Economy / Speculation / The Line of Death on: October 08, 2014, 06:41:52 PM
Your attention please.

Bitcoin is about to die again.  Please return to your seats and fasten your seat-belts.  We are descending steeply today so please ensure that your bitcoins are securely stowed.

Thank you.

Chart from
8  Other / Off-topic / Regex Golf on: March 11, 2014, 01:29:50 PM
I created a set of 10 regex golf puzzles and am looking for people to try them out.

To the uninitiated: The aim of regex golf is to create a regex (we're using ECMAScript), as short as possible, which matches all strings from one list while not matching any of the strings from the other.  You can play the original version here which has easier puzzles.

For a short time, I'm offering small bitcoin rewards (order 20 mills) for what I consider novel and interesting solutions or cool custom problems.  I'm also offering rewards for robust solutions (solutions that follow the implicit pattern) which are shorter than those I currently have.

Please don't post solutions on page 1 of this thread (I will delete them); hints and scores are ok.  If you want to claim a reward before we reach page 2 then pm me or post the md5sum of your solution here and wait.

MD5sums of my current robust solutions:
Subtraction: 9b865d20497953a929057f11a35676bb
Typist: d82bbea89153aef7b7c59ef1b8162f82
Addition: 3a1f41d29904651397f5d3be0af026df
Anyway: ea913fef98314ee6655a174ff44e2d65
Tic-tac-toe: a5ed1fc5a8f6b18c2ae49c584c4d2ba2
Modulus: 3f4e8732b54806758181ac7db083d0cb
Matryoshka: 3ed18e72eda9f52e5664f77a6381669d
Euclid: 8d693dc7db1a222f4cc4a6bd2c0e9c75
Latin squares: 03d3c654c518a90ce2c1f8dcdc7ca13b
Dominoes: 65d728d08c01d3678d95f12bc8b8a443

Many thanks to Davidebyzero for help with refining the problems and for some excellent solutions.
9  Economy / Service Discussion / Why hold BTC on MtGox? on: January 27, 2014, 01:55:29 PM
One thing that puzzles me about the recent divergence of Mt.Gox's market rate from those of other exchanges is that there are still so many bitcoins being held on Mt.Gox.  I'm assuming that it's still possible to withdraw those bitcoins and that it's still possible to trade them for Mt.Gox dollars.  Is anyone able to explain an advantage to holding them?

If one wants to day-trade, why not do it on one of many other exchanges rather than take on the additional burden of Mt.Gox's questionable vitality?

If one has a greater confidence in Mt.Gox than has the market then why not hold Mt.Gox dollars instead of Mt.Gox bitcoins?  Mt.Gox dollars seem to share the same risk but, if things improve, then Mt.Gox dollars will certainly appreciate relative to Mt.Gox bitcoins.

Are people looking at the possibility of a failure in which Mt.Gox does not compensate people holding Mt.Gox dollars but does compensate people holding Mt.Gox bitcoins?  What would they have to gain from such a move?

Perhaps some people are day-trading on the volatility arising from changing public confidence in Mt.Gox, but 1400 BTC seems like an awful lot to ascribe to one side of this market.
10  Economy / Economics / Let's please stop using the term "inflation" on: December 05, 2013, 09:44:15 AM
Why is it that every thread here on the topic of inflation launches into a full-scale flame-war within 10 posts!?

I don't care which definitions of "inflation" are accepted elsewhere, it's crystal clear that on this forum the term is truly ambiguous.
I don't care which camp you're in, if you assert that the term has a particular meaning here, you are wrong!
I don't care what your intentions are, if you use the term here in knowledge of this ambiguity, you are a troll!

If you wish to discuss an increase in the supply of money, please use "monetary inflation".
If you wish to discuss a general increase in prices, please use "price inflation".
If you find someone using the term "inflation" ambiguously on this forum, please point them here.

If you care more about the definition war than the corresponding economics, please bitch here and leave the other threads alone.
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Technical Support / addresses without labels on: December 16, 2011, 10:41:00 PM
I've somehow managed to get myself in the situation where 4 or 5 of the addresses I have for receiving payments have no label.  Possibly addr.dat was overwritten by an older version at some point.

I'd love to add labels to these addresses to make it easier to understand my transaction history but I can't work out how to do this.  I've not found anything with the current client (0.5.1) that can do this and the (-rescan) option didn't help either.

Is there some way of adding labels to these addresses?  Maybe using Pywallet?

EDIT: I've just discovered I cannot change existing labels either.  I think I was able to do this with (0.4.0) so I'll keep a copy of the old software for this.  Perhaps I should look into using the command-line interface to organise and manage my addresses and labels.
12  Bitcoin / Pools / Income bonus for using merged mining: 20.64% (2011-10-24 20:39 UTC) on: October 09, 2011, 10:14:00 PM
As many of you are aware, Namecoin merged mining is now available giving miners the ability to mine both Bitcoin and Namecoin simultaneously (that is, with 100% of your shares counting for both Bitcoin and Namecoin).

Right now, the extra income that a miner would make by switching from a bitcoin pool to a merged mining pool is about 20% (that is if you sell your namecoins at as you collect them).  You can get an up-to-date figure at and can use for reliable future difficulty predictions.

To calculate this income bonus I use the formula:
[Highest Bitparking buy order rate] * ([Bitcoin difficulty] / [Namecoin difficulty])

As I understand, merged mining has been rushed out to patch Namecoin's high difficulty problem.  Most of the big pools are being prudent and waiting for a basic level of protocol documentation before implementing merged mining (see  Some smaller pools (including of course many Namecoin pools) started with the existing merged mining tools right away in an attempt to attract more miners.
13  Other / CPU/GPU Bitcoin mining hardware / Maximising MH/J on: July 15, 2011, 08:03:18 PM
My power meter finally arrived and so I finally have everything I need to try and maximise MH/J.

I've done some basic things like undervolting the CPU and GPUs slightly but would like to know more about maximising MH/J.  Just to be clear, this is not about maximising profit, and I would like to maintain a reasonable level of hashing speed (at least 75% of record hashing rates for the same cards).

Right now my miner (2 x Sapphire HD 5850 Xtreme) draws 307 Watts (at the wall) and manages 722 MH/s (so 2.35 MH/J).  Any ideas how I might improve this?

As usual, I will tip BTC for significant improvements.
14  Bitcoin / Mining software (miners) / Overclocking in Linux (bounty removed) [FAILED] on: July 08, 2011, 08:38:58 AM
I have a Sapphire HD5850 Xtreme.  The BIOS limit on the core clock is 900 MHz.

With Catalyst 11.6 I can easily increase the clock frequency beyond 900 MHz but in Catalyst 11.4 I'm not able to.  (Catalyst 11.4 is quite a bit faster than Catalyst 11.6 for me).

To the person that can help me to clock my card significantly beyond 900 MHz while using Catalyst 11.4 without resorting to WINE/Windows/DOS/BIOS-flash I offer 1 BTC.  I'll settle for a new limit of 1150 MHz or more.
15  Bitcoin / Mining support / solo mining to an offline wallet on: June 24, 2011, 12:20:03 AM
I read somewhere that the private keys in one's wallet are not needed for generating blocks with that wallet; that only the public keys are needed.  Is there a way I can cut out the private keys from a copy of my wallet and still run bitcoind for mining?  Would I have to edit the source for bitcoind to do this?

The goal is to create a solo miner such that a hacker with root access is unable to spend the mined coins.
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