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1  Other / Off-topic / I'll bet you 25,000[btc] about it. on: October 05, 2017, 07:19:49 AM
Any takers?
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Vitalik's Quest to Conquer Bitcoin: The Earlier Years on: August 17, 2016, 11:52:44 AM

Keep in mind that this is all well before Ethereum and the Ether crowd sale that Buterin would later participate in. This is a glimpse into an alternate reality that could have been, a reality where we all used our bitcoins to pay Vitalik to dominate and kill Bitcoin!
3  Other / Off-topic / Satoshi: "All The Handicapped Should Disappear" on: July 29, 2016, 05:55:15 PM
The suspect, Satoshi Uematsu, 26, who had sent a letter to a politician five months ago outlining his plan, calmly turned himself in at a nearby police station a half-hour after the attacks. As he confessed, he told the authorities, “All the handicapped should disappear.”

I don't approve of this!
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Technical Support / Core Command Line Functions on: July 25, 2016, 09:45:33 PM
So I've just started running Core.
Can anybody give me/us a rundown of the command line flags/functions? I don't plan to poke about much, but I'm curious:

I see nothing. Hey is Core supposed to take hours and hours to sync with the network? My datacenter's in my other pants.

You're downloading and verifying every transaction that has happened in Bitcoin, ever. About the size of two blu-ray movies now.

If you have a decent amount of ram on the system... try increasing your dbcache to speed up verification.

-dbcache=<n>    say n = 2500, would allow the process to use 2.5GB of ram vs the default of 100MB.

You can explain it to me, but you can't understand it for me. This is what makes learning new things so difficult. Embarrassed

Thanks in advance!
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Miners Behaving Badly? on: March 11, 2016, 08:31:08 PM
I’ve been reading the RSCoin white paper, Centrally Banked Cryptocurrencies. Beyond its scalability problems, of which I’m grimly aware, the authors mention that recent research suggests that Bitcoin's miners are incentivized to produce blocks without fully validating all the transactions they contain.

Can someone elaborate on this problem?
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Why Bitcoin's Decentralization Matters on: February 25, 2016, 05:09:35 PM

Bitcoiners, from Bitcoin Core developers to long-time Bitcoin enthusiasts to recent /r/Bitcoin discoverers, love to talk about how Bitcoin’s decentralization is its ultimate feature. Rarely, however, do you see anyone explain why decentralization matters - surely it’s an interesting property from a computer science perspective, but why should consumers, businesses or investors care? This post is an attempt to write out why decentralization is foundational to Bitcoin’s utility and, somewhat more importantly, set up future posts talking about when it isn’t.

When Bitcoiners talk about decentralization, the first thing that comes up is Bitcoin’s oft-touted lack of inherent third-party trust. While well-placed trust is a requirement for many systems to operate efficiently, when trust has been misplaced systems can become incredibly fragile. Take, for example, trust in US banks before the establishment of the FDIC. While access to banking services allowed for more convenience and allowed many companies to operate more efficiently, banks were known to collapse, taking all customer funds with them. While the introduction of the FDIC and similar programs decentralized trust in financial institutions from one party to two, transactions in much of the world do not offer such protections. Even with such programs, individuals are not universally protected from loss across borders and over certain value.

More recently, regulations which allow individual government officials to seize assets unilaterally have become common. Especially in the US, the now infamous Operation Choke Point and civil asset forfeiture programs have allowed law enforcement officials and private institutions to seize financial assets and deny financial services with little to no oversight. Thus, removing trusted custodians and creating a system with liquid, unseizable assets has the potential to provide more reliable financial services to many who might otherwise not be able to operate efficiently, or at all. This unseizability of Bitcoin is made possible only through its lack of a centralized trust requirement. While centralized e-cash and financial systems have tried to provide such reliability, regulations and business realities have nearly universally prevented it.

A highly-related property that is equally important to the ability of Bitcoin to provide financial services to whistleblowers, foreign dissidents, and porn stars is its transaction censorship resistance. While the ability of third parties to seize assets results in direct and clear monetary loss, freezing assets can have a similar effect. When an individual or organization is no longer able to make transactions to use their assets to pay for goods and services, their financial assets quickly lose their value. While Bitcoin has a very solid unseizeability story (namely that every party in the system enforces the inability of anyone to spend Bitcoin without the associated private key), its censorship resistance story is a bit more nuanced.

In a world where no Bitcoin miners have more than 1% of total hash power (or something else equivalently decentralized), it should be easy to find a miner which is either anonymous and accepting all transactions or in a jurisdiction which is not attempting to censor your transactions. Of course this isn’t the world we have today, and transaction censorship is one of the bigger reasons to be seriously concerned with mining centralization (for full nodes). Still, the ability of an individual to purchase hashpower (in the form of readily-available old hardware or in the form of renting it) to mine their otherwise-censored transaction is an option as long as the longest-chain rule remains in place across miners. While significantly more expensive than it would be in a truly-decentralized Bitcoin, this does allow Bitcoin to retain some of its anti-censorship properties.

If you’ve been around Bitcoin for long enough, you may recognize the above properties as critical to fungibility. A key property in any monetary instrument, fungibility refers to the idea that the value of one unit should be exactly equivalent to every other unit. Without unfreezeability/censorship-resistance and unseizeability, Bitcoin (and any monetary system) starts to lose fungibility. Without it, merchants and payment processors are no longer able to reasonably accept Bitcoin without checking it against a series of blacklists and jumping through hoops to ensure they will be able to spend the Bitcoin they are accepting. If confidence in Bitcoin’s fungibility erodes, its utility could be significantly eroded.

Another property that Bitcoin derives from its decentralization is its open-access. Often exclaimed as one of the most interesting properties of Bitcoin by silicon valley investors, many like to refer to Bitcoin as “permissionless”. The ability of anyone, anywhere in the world, with little more than an internet connection, to accept Bitcoin for goods and services and use Bitcoin to purchase goods and services without significant hassle is exciting. Again, this property hinges on Bitcoin’s decentralization. While many centralized financial service providers exist, many of which tout their availability to anyone, their very presence as a centralized authority which may deny service arbitrarily makes them susceptible to future policy changes for any number of reasons. PayPal, for example, was founded on the ideals of universal access to ecash. However, due to its position as a central authority, it quickly changed its policies in order to comply with the pressure placed on them both by regulators and the policies of the existing financial system, on which PayPal relied. These days, PayPal is widely known to freeze accounts and seize assets with little or no warning. Fundamentally, reliance on centralized parties for service is incompatible with universal open-access in the financial world.

You’ll note that all of the critical features above, the ones that make Bitcoin so exciting to all of us, can be effectively implemented, for some time, by a centralized system. And, in fact, this has been done before, in much more efficient systems than Bitcoin. Of course they’ve never lasted, losing critical properties after tweaks to fix one thing or another, implementing regulatory censorship systems directly into the base layers, limiting access to grow profits and shutting down entirely. Really, decentralization in Bitcoin is not itself a feature, but is instead the only way we know of to obtain the features we want in human-operated systems (with a single class of exceptions, but that’s for another post :p).
7  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Blockstream vs. Altcoins? on: February 20, 2016, 03:04:10 AM
Blockstream has over $60mil in funding to develop side chains. With Confidential Transactions coming to Bitcoin, do you think privacy-centered altcoins like XMR will suffer a decline in demand against new side chains?
8  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Criminal Smart Contracts on: February 13, 2016, 12:03:44 PM
Do Smart Contracts enable a wider range of significant new crimes than earlier cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin)? How practical will such
new crimes be? What key advantages/disadvantages do you see?
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bloq Appreciation Thread on: February 05, 2016, 11:36:02 PM
For anyone wishing to appreciate further:

10  Other / Off-topic / Pigeon Talk - Forum Rules of Conduct on: January 27, 2016, 12:51:56 AM
Participation in the Pigeon-Talk forums implies agreement with the following:

1. Pigeon Talk forums offer support, empowerment, education and entertainment to pigeon enthusiasts in every aspect of this fancy. Since each user is responsible for their own posts, please use discretion when weighing the value of information found in these forums.

2. This is a pigeon advocate thread. Topics relating to the advocacy of hunting, killing, eating, torturing or any cruel treatment of pigeons and/or any animal, will not be tolerated on this website. While we encourage an exchange of opinions in these forums, please note that there are specific 'Off Limit' topics that are PROHIBITED and any such posts will be be immediately removed without discussion. Off Limit topics include:

    Lethal means of control - Our discussions encourage 'humane habitat modifications'. We reject all discussions about 'lethal' means of control.
    Lethal culling. We advocate only 'responsible culling' of unwanted pigeons or doves. 'Responsible culling' is defined as: Taking the responsibility for finding proper homes for your unwanted pigeons. Please do not try to give us your 'justifications' for 'lethal culling', we have heard it all. If you hold an opinion about your 'right' to 'lethal culling' of unwanted pigeons and/or any animal, please keep it to yourself.Please just go away.
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    Cruelty or torture of any animals.

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Thank you for your cooperation,

11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin Core Won’t Split the Community on: January 25, 2016, 03:25:46 PM
“I think — [I’m] not sure. And I’m not speaking for Bitcoin Core here; I’m speaking for myself here. If it [turns out] that Classic takes off — everybody’s running Classic — and if there’s a hard fork on the road, I think Core would probably need to follow because I think Core won’t risk splitting the whole community. But that’s my personal opinion; I don’t want to say that for every Bitcoin Core developer.”
Jonas Schnelli is a contributor to Bitcoin Core whose first pull request was merged into the codebase in April of 2013. He has made 220 commits in total, which puts him in the number six spot of the contributors list, right behind Blockstream Core Tech Engineer Matt Corallo.
12  Other / Politics & Society / The Censorship Debate on: January 23, 2016, 06:26:36 AM

[–]evoorhees 9 points 12 hours ago
Bitcoin has an ethos, not perfectly shared by everyone, but reasonably universal in the community. Part of that ethos is opposition to censorship. We can debate what constitutes "unreasonable censorship," but I think most people, and importantly most of Core, felt the reddit censorship was wrong. Most people in Core denounced it privately, but not publicly, and the public largely misperceived that as Core endorsing, or even causing, the censorship. This is again a matter of communication. Core made enemies because of its silence, over an issue that wasn't' even contentious, largely.

Was anybody on Theymos's side?

13  Economy / Economics / Is This The Bitcoin You Want? Because This Is The Bitcoin You Have on: January 23, 2016, 06:00:45 AM
Here's a transaction with a ten dollar transaction fee


submitted an hour ago by Falkvinge
This transaction was a consolidation of many small transactions that had gone into a multisig address. It's a real-life business scenario and not a hypothetical use case. The first time this transaction was tried after all signatures had been painstakingly collected from cold storage from signers across the planet, Armory displayed a failure dialog I had never seen before - "this transaction was not accepted by the bitcoin network".

Looking at the data that went around people to collect the signatures, I realized those files were 180kB large, so the transaction itself could be as large as 90 kB. (It turned out to be 52 kB large, and I had no way of knowing that.) 90 kB meant a minimum fee - using the previous rules - would be 0.009 coins. But in the current climate, you need as much as twice that. Given how hard it is to gather offline multisig signatures from different time zones, we went with 2.5x.

So this transaction has a fee of 0.025 coins, ten US dollars. When creating it, Armory put up a warning dialog - "WARNING EXCESSIVE FEE: This transaction has a very large fee, 0.025 bitcoin, compared to the required amount which is zero bitcoin".

Uhm, yeah, no. Requiring zero fees for a multisig transaction was yesterday.

Now, the situation with a typical business and choosing a transcation fee goes beyond affording or not affording the transaction itself. In many use cases, you also can't risk even being in a gray area where the transaction may or may not get through, and discover 72 hours later that it was dropped from the mempool without ever being picked up by a miner.

Hence, ten-dollar transaction fees merely for consolidating funds. Welcome to the new bitcoin. Can I have the old bitcoin back now, please?
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / The Lightning Network Reality Check on: January 19, 2016, 09:59:01 PM
Do you ever feel like you are in a conversation with someone and they are not really telling you the whole truth?

There is one way that the Lightning Network numbers do work; and that is if individual people don't get to access the blockchain at all.  If the only ones opening and closing channels on the main blockchain are banks and wealthy individuals, everyone else can just operate on layer-2 or 3rd party networks 100% of the time.
15  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Is "Bitcoin Classic" really an attempt at a hostile takeover? Really?? on: January 19, 2016, 07:56:02 PM
16  Other / Beginners & Help / What's a Node? on: January 19, 2016, 02:55:22 AM
Being a Hero member clearly I know the answer to this already. But my friend, Mr Snrub, is a beginner and I promised I'd ask for him.
Snrub: What's a node? What's a full-node? If Bitcoin goes to 2 MB will I be able to run one?

Full nodes download every block and transaction and check them against Bitcoin's core consensus rules. Here are examples of consensus rules, though there are many more:

    Blocks may only create a certain number of bitcoins. (Currently 25 BTC per block.)
    Transactions must have correct signatures for the bitcoins being spent.
    Transactions/blocks must be in the correct data format.
    Within a single block chain, a transaction output cannot be double-spent.

If a transaction or block violates the consensus rules, then it is absolutely rejected, even if every other node on the network thinks that it is valid. This is one of the most important characteristics of full nodes: they do what's right no matter what. For full nodes, miners actually have fairly limited power: they can only reorder or remove transactions, and only by expending a lot of computing power. A powerful miner is able to execute some serious attacks, but because full nodes rely on miners only for a few things, miners could not completely change or destroy Bitcoin.

Nodes that have different consensus rules are actually using two different networks/currencies. Changing any of the consensus rules requires a hard fork, which can be thought of as creating a new currency and having everyone move to it. Consensus rules are different from policy rules, which specify how a node or miner prioritizes or discourages certain things. Policy rules can be changed freely, and different nodes can have different policy rules. Because all full nodes must use exactly the same consensus rules in order to remain compatible with each other, even duplicating bugs and oddities in the original consensus rules, creating a full node from scratch is extremely difficult and dangerous. It is therefore recommended that everyone who wishes to run a full node use software based on the reference client, which is the only client guaranteed to behave correctly.

At minimum, a full node must download every transaction that has ever taken place, all new transactions, and all block headers and Merkle trees. Additionally, full nodes must store information about every unspent transaction output until it is spent. Modern-day full nodes are inefficient in that they download each new transaction at least twice, and they store the entire block chain (>30 GB) forever, even though only the unspent transaction outputs (<1 GB) are required.
17  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Replace-By-Fee: A Counter Argument on: January 06, 2016, 11:30:12 PM
Just no. Angry

Repeating past statements, it is acknowledged that Peter’s scorched
earth replace-by-fee proposal is aptly named, and would be widely
anti-social on the current network
—Jeff Garzik
RBF is irrational and harmful to Bitcoin.
 — Charlie Lee, engineering manager at Coinbase

Replace-by-fee is a bad idea.
 — Gavin Andresen

I agree with Mike & Jeff. Blowing up 0-confirm transactions is vandalism.
— Adam Back (a founder of Blockstream)
18  Other / Off-topic / Toasted Almonds or Rope? (Daily Thread) on: January 03, 2016, 12:39:24 PM
 Roll Eyes
19  Other / Politics & Society / The Human In-Group Is Expanding on: January 02, 2016, 01:52:23 AM
Our conceptual in-group is becoming larger to include more and more humans. National bounderies have never been more porous, rates of international adoption and humanitarian aid are high; the social and cognitive benefits of intermingling are undeniable. The Information Age has laid bare the internal inconsistencies of our natural tribalism. One day a lack of empathy for any human will be an aberration, a social problem treated with virtual reality. And Soma. Smiley

Peace.On.Earth. Purity.Of.Essence.
20  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Double My BTC??? on: December 28, 2015, 09:55:20 PM
Such new investards. Very new ponzi! Shocked

Warning: don't do ponzis, mmm'kay? Ponzis are bad! Mmm'kay?!
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