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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / How much decentralization is "enough?" on: January 26, 2016, 02:54:19 AM
A lot of arguments I'm reading against the block size increase is that it will make running a full node too expensive for a lot of people, reducing the number of full nodes and making bitcoin more centralized.

So how much decentralization is "enough"? Why not reduce the blocksize to half, for more decentralization, if it was so important?

Did we really somehow reach the optimal amount of decentralization with 1 MB blocks, just like that?



I'm genuinely curious to what people think, I don't really have a stance on this either way.
2  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / Novacoin $23,000,000+ volume in 24 hours?! on: August 09, 2015, 11:49:21 AM
http://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/novacoin/#markets

What happened here? It doesnt' seem like there was a huge pump or a huge dump, how could there be such a high volume?
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin Chat with Gavin andresen, Fred Wilson, and Nathaniel Popper 4pm PDT LIVE on: May 19, 2015, 08:36:44 PM
Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but i figured some people might be interested in watching this live stream.

Quote from: Fred Wilson @AVC.com
Nathaniel Popper‘s Digital Gold, a history of the people who built Bitcoin into a global distributed transaction network that is not controlled by any person or any company, is available for purchase today. I’ve been reading it and enjoying it very much. Even though I have been involved in and closely following the sector since 2011, I did not know all the details of the early days and Nathaniel captured them well.

In celebration of the book being out, The New York Public Library is hosting a conversation between Nathaniel, Gavin Andresen, and me tonight. It will be moderated by Andrew Ross Sorkin. The event is sold out and has been for a long time, but the details are here. The livestream for the event tonight is here.

A lot of people ask me “are you still bullish on Bitcoin” and that question irritates me. Because it suggests that Bitcoin is simple. Bitcoin is not simple, it is not going away, and it continues to fascinate me more than almost anything out there in the tech sector. I’m excited to have a chance to talk about it in public with people who understand it better than I do.

The link to the livestream: http://livestream.com/theNYPL/bitcoin
4  Economy / Trading Discussion / How friendly is HSBC with bitcoin? on: May 16, 2015, 05:42:48 PM
Sorry if this is the wrong section. I was wondering, is HSBC okay with bitcoin?

In particular, I want to make a wire transfer from HSBC to OKcoin. Will they give me a lot of trouble? Or will it be smooth? Thanks in advance, guys.
5  Economy / Economics / Can a coin that is primarily a store-of-value succeed? on: April 14, 2015, 05:13:34 AM
Sorry if this should go into the alt section. But it's not just about alts, and I figured there are more people here. If it should be moved, sorry for giving you more work, mods.

Can a coin that is primarily a store-of-value succeed? What I mean is, a lot of people have been comparing bitcoin to gold. Some, like me, believe that it will be very hard for bitcoin to overtake current national currencies (I avoid fiat, because it doesn't matter whether they're fiat or not, the point is the governments of the world recognize these currencies, thus they're "legitimized" in a way) in terms of being a spending currency. But bitcoin could also carve out a niche in other areas, particularly as a store-of-value, since it was even modeled after gold. If bitcoin goes mainstream, because of the deflationary nature, many people will want to save and hold instead of use.

So if bitcoin becomes a primarily store-of-value coin, or if an altcoin that pops up in the future decides to make itself primarily for the use of storing value, will the amount of transactions be able to support miners, when the block reward drops off, and only transaction fees are left? If not enough transactions happen, what will happen to the network security? Will the big players spend their own money to secure the network to make sure the value they have in the coin is safe? Or will transaction fees be very high? Or will the network be vulnerable?


-Just two points to end; yes, I understand, for the libertarians among us, the hope is that bitcoin will work as a currency. I'm just talking about a hypothetical question here. Or perhaps, if bitcoin goes mainstream, there will surely be more people making altcoins for various niches. So no need to tell me that bitcoin will kill fiat for sure, blah blah blah.

Also, if an altcoin is too inflationary, obviously it won't work well as a store of value. But perhaps a small amount of inflation could work; if we could estimate the amount of coins lost (through mistakes, death, or whatever else) per year, and have the emissions match that amount, we are essentially keeping the amount of coins constant (or close to it). Miners will still get rewards, and we won't end up with a grand total of 1 satoshi that isn't lost, from 21mil coins in the future.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Success rate for Game Changing Technology/Food for thought on: April 09, 2015, 02:07:19 AM
We always compare bitcoin with the early personal computer, or the early internet, or the early automobile or electricity. We say how there were many people who were against these inventions, but they ended up changing the world. These were the success stories.


How many such potentially world-changing technology did not make it past that stage? Is the success rate really 100% or close to it? On one hand, that seems to be possible, given the world-changing nature of it. But if a potentially world-changing technology didn't get past a certain stage, most of us would have never heard of it anyway, so we don't know that it failed.

It's kind of like how we only hear of the successful entrepreneurs like Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, but in reality many more fail.

This question brings two discussions.

1. If the success rate of world-changing technology is actually not that high, can we really be confident that bitcoin will pull through? Of course we're under the assumption here that bitcoin really is a world-changing technology.

2. Are we, as humans, potentially hundreds of years behind where we could've been, had all the potentially world-changing technology became mainstream? Maybe we'd be all living lives we can only dream of now. Think of how many great opportunities you missed in your life, and how that would've changed your life. Perhaps those missed opportunities are completely insignificant compared to the missed opportunities of man-kind. And it's not like how we don't yet have the technology to create a perfect AI, or cure aging. Rather these are opportunities that could've happened. Someone really developed it, but we, as humans, simply failed to see the benefits and threw it away.
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin's Edge - How will bitcoin fight off competitors? on: March 13, 2015, 04:42:54 AM
So far most (all?) of bitcoin's competitors, i.e 'altcoins' are created by random groups of people who aren't that influential in the grand scheme of things. As such, bitcoin's first mover advantage is huge; it is almost impossible to overcome. Another common argument for bitcoin, is that whatever features altcoins come up with, it can be implemented in bitcoin as well, if it's beneficial enough.

But what if bitcoin's competitors are not random 'altcoins' but cryptocurrencies designed and controlled by large governments or corporations? In the Economics sub-forum, we see threads like Canada trying to make its own cryptocoin pegged to the Canadian dollar, and IBM is possibly going to make their own as well. How will bitcoin fight against these competitors? Though bitcoin already has some infrastructure set up, for many bitcoin companies, they can probably switch to a government controlled crypocurrency easily. Bitcoin's first mover advantage can be easily overshadowed by governments trying to promote their own currencies, while making it harder for bitcoin to succeed.

So how will bitcoin edge out against these competitors? Before you say "well, bitcoin is decentralized so centralized government cryptocurrencies will not succed", are you sure about that? The majority of bitcoin supporters are either huge techies or motivated by their political beliefs, thus they see value in decentralization, getting rid of fiat, and stuff like that. But even for someone like me, who has read a lot about crypto, its benefits and effects, I'm not wholly convinced that decentralization is such a big advantage. Heck, I'm not even convinced it's a good thing. And I believe the majority of the world is like me, and not like you guys. If a government based crypto gets better infrastructure, approval from the government, ease of use, etc, I just don't see how the normal Billy Bob Joe will care for or understand the benefits of decentralization. I think a good example is Ripple. Though it's centralized, it's still bigger than most alt coins. Now imagine what a government backed Ripple can do.

I am bullish on bitcoin, and I hope that bitcoin will succeed versus a government/large corporation controlled coin. But I think we need to critically look at bitcoins strengths and weaknesses, and how exactly bitcoin will edge out all competitors, including huge goliath's like the government. If bitcoin's technology proves to be as innovative and revolutionary as promised/hoped in the next few years, I think we can be sure that governments will seriously try to promote their own crypto instead. If we don't want centralization, if we don't want government controlled money, we have to take steps now to prevent that from happening.

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