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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / The ONLY power that miners have.. on: July 11, 2013, 10:49:34 PM
is to self-destruct their own capital.

This post is inspired by Brother Jon's latest video where it's obvious to me way too many people still don't get how Bitcoin works.


The real power of control over what is Bitcoin and how it works does not lie with miners. The real power over and autonomy in Bitcoin lies with EVERY FULL NODE (maybe even some SPV nodes) that check and relay new transactions and check new blocks for whether or not they follow the rules. It is these nodes that decide how Bitcoin works.

IF miners go their separate way and the vast majority of full nodes disagree the only thing that miners can possibly achieve is self-destruct their capital by self-destructing Bitcoin. That's it, that's all they can do. Why? Because no matter what new rules* they start to validate new transactions and blocks by, they can't force full nodes to accept those same rules. Period. And if full nodes don't follow in their direction it would mean a hard fork and possibly grave consequences for the confidence in Bitcoin i.e. it's destruction (at the very least severe damage).




Now can we put this topic to rest already and focus on more important stuff like scalability and the blocksize limit which still isn't solved and yet IS an actual major problem?


*here I mean rules that would require a hard fork, the above is not true for soft fork rule changes, i.e. for new rules that make the current rules stricter
2  Other / Politics & Society / The private sector can NOT provide a benevolent police/security service [proof] on: July 06, 2013, 01:35:54 PM
Proof!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onWC8nNpIco


Discuss.
3  Other / Politics & Society / I think I figured it out (a post only for liberty minded peaceful people) on: June 30, 2013, 05:57:13 PM
I had a realization the other day and I want to share it.

First a little context. I'm unbelievably frustrated, frustrated at all the arguing, at all the bickering not just with statists but also between ourselves, frustrated at no visible and tangible change being achieved when it comes to my personal freedom and a life in peace and prosperity. I mean it's a good thing there's Bitcoin otherwise I'd be totally depressed at the world right now. So this is the frame of mind that I'm coming from and when I look for solutions I'm Interested only in those that would ease some of this frustration by actually providing some tangible results.

And if you're honest for a second, aside from our folk activism(you can read what I mean by that here: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/06/patri-friedman/beyond-folk-activism) having a few more people starting to see that the principles we hold dear would actually benefit them and how destructive the status quo principles really are we haven't made any real progress. The state is still as powerful as ever and it's getting more powerful and it appears no scandal no matter how attractions (where are the people in the streets over PRISM?) will hold those psychopaths back.

The reason for this post is that I'm here to tell you hat I figured out why. And it's oh so simple. Think about it, if our principles are that much better for a society, why then hasn't the market gravitated towards them yet? Why does the market still support and even encourage the current state of affairs?? Simple. Being a violent thug is massively profitable! Yes. That's all there is to it. Our principles are loosing because they aren't as profitable as being a violent psychopath willing to pull the trigger and destroy lives for their own benefit. Just remember Stef's very successful "The story of your enslavement" video, I mean isn't that the main takeaway? Yes we're slaves, but we're slaves to violent thugs and they enslave us because it's highly beneficial to do so. That's why the market also gravitates towards this violence, there's profit to be made and some people don't mind doing the dirty deed in order to realize this profit.

If I'm right, then the solution to all of our problems is very simple, and it's not peaceful parenting or through logic derived objective morality theories. It's market forces.

How can we make it unprofitable to be a violent thug? That is the question that the correct answer to will solve all of our problems.

I have a few ideas already but I wont go into that in this post. I just wanted to get this realization off my chest and see what others think about it first.
4  Economy / Currency exchange / [WTS] XRP retail on: April 18, 2013, 09:35:07 PM
Hello everyone,

I am writing this post today on behalf of a friend who is trying to break on the market as a XRP seller. Even though he has no OTC rep, from my experience with him I think you should give him a chance to be satisfied by doing business with him.

If you are interested and you'd like to learn his going rate and his terms:

his name is Luca and

you can reach him on skype: luka.xrp
or via email: luka.xrp@gmail.com





5  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-04-09 What Bitcoin Is Teaching Us on: April 09, 2013, 06:10:38 PM
A brilliant article By Jeffrey Tucker:

http://dailyreckoning.com/what-bitcoin-is-teaching-us/

Quote
“Thanks to Bitcoin, I am now living debt-free, just today managed to pay off all of my credit card debt!” — so reports a poster on Reddit, and the statement was echoed by many others. A currency that not only discourages debt, but earns enough money to pay off previous debt, plus encourages saving?

It seems unthinkable to people today.

Read more: What Bitcoin Is Teaching Us http://dailyreckoning.com/what-bitcoin-is-teaching-us/#ixzz2PzVqNg3m
6  Bitcoin / Press / 2013-04-09 Coinsetter Lands $500K To Help Bring Leverage, Shorting To Bitcoin on: April 09, 2013, 03:03:54 PM
Margin trading is a coming. TO DA MOON:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/09/coinsetter-lands-500k-from-secondmarket-founder-others-to-help-bring-leverage-shorting-to-bitcoin-trade/

Quote
Today, Coinsetter, a New York City-based startup looking to launch a new Forex trading platform for Bitcoin, announced today that it has raised $500,000 in seed capital. The round was led by Tribeca Venture Partners and SecondMarket founder and CEO Barry Silbert (through his Bitcoin Opportunity Fund), with participation from angel investors like Jimmy Furland, a London-based technology entrepreneur, Microsoft Head of Corporate Strategy, Charles Songhurst, and Facebook Product Lead, Ben Davenport.

The investment comes at a time when there’s been a flurry of new interest in Bitcoin, given that the crypto-currency just officially became a billion-dollar market at the end of March. Since then, venture capitalists have weighed in on what they love about Bitcoin, including its potential to not only “disrupt multi-billion-dollar markets, but in doing so also create new big markets,” Lightspeed Ventures’ Jeremy Liew wrote in TechCrunch this weekend.


And how cool is this, they linked my blog post? Cheesy
7  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Altcoin Discussion / My ideal cryptocurrency on: February 27, 2013, 09:25:16 PM
There is no question Bitcoin is an ingenious innovative technology but there also is no question that despite it's brilliant design it still has issues that can be improved upon. What I want to do with this thread is to make an appeal to savvy developers who would like to make a name for themselves to take the Bitcoin code and improve upon it and come up with a serious Bitcoin competitor. I would try to do this on my own but I'm not a dev so this is the best that I can do right now.

First my ideal cryptocurrency is built upon the same principles as Bitcoin. Don't change anything aside maybe a few parameters (max coins, coins per block, blocks per min..), but never the rules. It needs a limited supply issued at a predictable rate and it needs to be as decentralized.

Second it needs to solve or at the very least significantly improve the 51% vulnerability while keeping the proof of work mechanism. I know it can be done, someone clever enough just needs to figure it out.

Third it needs to solve the scalability issue with a prunable yet just as secure blockchain.

Fourth it needs to set a fixed relationship between fees and the block size making sure there will be enough collected to serve as an incentive to secure the network before increasing the capacity.

Fifth.. call it something without the word coin in it.  Cheesy


That's it. If you can develop that it I will certainly switch to it and advocate for it just as hard as I'm advocating for Bitcoin right now.
8  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Why the Bitcoin rules can't change (reading time ~5min) on: February 20, 2013, 06:47:13 PM
Well the title is a lie. Of course they can change and they already have changed in the past. But if this is bad news to you and you were lead to believe something else, don't fret, it's not all bad. Here, let me try and give you the bigger picture about rules in Bitcoin and who it is that you need to trust that they won't change to something you won't like.

First there's a myths that I want to address. I also want to make sure the community pays attention to this issue. Because as Ben Franklin told a woman the Americans got a republic if they can keep it (turns out they couldn't) so too I'm here to tell you that you have an excellent money system on your hands, if you can keep it.

Myth: Miners set the rules by voting

False. Miners do not vote, they validate. They check that transactions meet the rules and then they add them into a block and add it to the blockchain. If a subset of miners decide that a certain rule should be changed what happens ISN'T that all miners now validate transactions according to the new rule even if the subset has the majority of hashing power, instead a so called hard fork happens and some miners validate transactions that obey the new rules and those who stick with the old rules ignore them and by virtue of ignoring each other they split into two peer to peer networks.

But what if all miners suddenly switch to new rules? Can they do this? Is there something that stops them? Answer: YES, EVERY NON MINING FULL NODE

I mean this is critical for every Bitcoin user to understand. Bitcoin is a decentralized system, in which if you run a full node YOU HAVE A SAY in what rules are to be followed. Because once the miner adds a new block they send it around across the network and when it gets to you, your client also validates. It validates that the miner validated the transactions and added them into a block and into the blockchain following the right rules, rules that you gave your EXPLICIT consent to when you downloaded the Satoshi client. If all of the sudden all miners started validating according to some new rules, your client is coded to simply ignore them and as soon as just 1 miner following rules your client accepts as valid shows up, the network can continue to operate under these same rules.

The ONLY way for rules to ever change for you is if YOU PERSONALLY download a new client version with new rules. I cannot stress enough how important this is. This so important that it should be paramount for anyone who has any significant wealth in Bitcoin to run your own full node regardless of the costs that brings to you. I myself do it too even though I don't even use the client for anything else.

Now this doesn't mean you should never accept new rules in a new client. In fact you already did because those new rules solved a technical problem. But if you want to keep the Bitcoin money system running under the principles that it is built upon today (FINITENESS, TANGIBILITY, TRANSPARENCY, ANONYMITY, SECURITY, DECENTRALIZATION, SELF-OWNERSHIP, INTEGRITY, PRACTICALITY, RATIONALISM) it is paramount that any such rule changes do not immediately or down road preclude you from being able to run a full node. Because if you can't run a full node and you trust someone else to do it for you, then you have effectively given away your power to have say about what rules Bitcoin follows.

Right now you are a sovereign in Bitcoin. You should never give that up, under any circumstance.

What do I mean with sovereign? Well there's nothing anyone could possibly do that can make you accept rules you didn't agree with. Nothing. You yourself have to decide to consent to a rule change. But if running a full node becomes impossible for you then all that which you were told about Bitcoin, that rules virtually can't change, that it has a strict limit of 21million, ect, all these rules will then be left to be decided by a small number of super nodes and the people who control them. The second this becomes reality Bitcoin will be no different than simply a slightly more transparent Paypal. And if you don't want that you better make damn sure you can run a full node.
9  Bitcoin / Hardware / Malicious ASIC - What's the cost? on: February 14, 2013, 05:48:12 PM
Someone please answer me this: Does an ASIC have to be built differently if one wants to use it for malicious purposes, specifically a 51% attack?


I'm not entirely sure how ASICs work but I thought the chips have the mining code backed in meaning if someone would want to change that code to do something malicious they'd need new chips with the new code backed in? Is this so?

If not, how hard is it to use ASICs for malicious purposes? Are there any barriers?
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Wrapping your head around Bitcoin (a guide) on: February 14, 2013, 12:39:25 PM
I decided to write up a guide to help people grasp what roughly Bitcoin is and why roughly it works and why it is valued and used in a layman friendly way.

Feel free to download, copy, edit, share, do what ever with it. The only request I have is that if you spot a typo or a grammar error to please let me know so I can correct it. Thanks!

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6bqlVfJOOWsRHphT3E1NmVXUjQ/edit?usp=sharing  (reading time ~10min)


EDIT: Here's a slightly updated black and white version if that is what you prefer: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6bqlVfJOOWsZUxtUGU2cUpHd0E/edit?usp=sharing
11  Bitcoin / Meetups / UNsystem Bitcoin Conference 27. 1. 2013 in Bratislava on: January 17, 2013, 12:46:45 PM
I'll be here:

 https://progressbar.sk/en/calendar/unsystem-bitcoin-conference-preview-2013

Who else is coming?  Cool
12  Economy / Economics / Regression theorem & Bitcoin revisited on: January 14, 2013, 02:25:50 AM
This is a discussion I had on another forum:

Him:
Quote
Bitcoin violates the regression theorem. Bitcoin is purely synthetic, it was never tied to any consumer good, nor was it derived from any other currency that was tied to a consumer good.

Me:
Quote
You are misinformed. I think it's best you read http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Regression_theorem yourself cause it seems like you don't understand what it means.

Him:
Quote
Nope.

Why are people willing to accept money as payment for goods today: i.e. why does it have purchasing power? Because those people expect it will have purchasing power tomorrow, and this expectation is grounded in their knowledge that money had purchasing power yesterday. So why did it have purchasing power yesterday...and so we begin the regress. But it's not an infinite regress, it concludes when the answer to the question "why does money have purchasing power today" is "because this 'money' is a consumer good, something valued in its own right."

But, as I said, bitcoin is not a consumer good, nor does it have any connection (present or historical) to any consumer good.

Me:
Quote
Ok seems like you get the regression theorem but you are misapplying it to Bitcoin.

I don't know if you know this but back in early 2010 when 1 bitcoin was theoretically valued a fraction of a fraction of a cent (this was just an approximation of how much it cost to produce it, no actual trades happened that would set this price) something strange happened. Some guy decided to put up a forum ad asking to exchange 10.000 BTC for 2 pizzas. And then something "stupid" happened, someone said yes and they carried out this transaction.

But what exactly did happen there? There was this guy with two perfectly good pizzas and he decided to exchange them for 10000 bitcoins?! Now why would he do that if not because he personally saw "something valuable in their own right" in them? And I argue that's exactly what he saw back then. To him bitcoins were a digital token, digital jewellery like gold earrings.

And then something even more stupid happened, there were more and more people who showed up wanted to "wear" this digital "jewellery". Now why is that, why would all these people show up and want to own these tokens worth practically nothing?? Was it just because it was a novelty? Was it because they were speculating they might get filthy rich one day if Bitcoin happened to catch on. Remember there was no trading back then and the currency was used by so few in effect it was dead so any expectation of a higher exchange rate were a lot less likely than merely a long shot.

But it doesn't matter why more and more people showed up wanting to hold them and exchange something of value for them. The important fact is they did and this is what drew the initial demand. Bitcoins, to them, for what ever reason were valuable in their own right.

And voila, regression theorem satisfied.

Did I get any of the facts wrong? Is my reasoning flawed?
13  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / The 10 principles in Bitcoin on: January 12, 2013, 11:38:29 PM
What would you say to the following list and descriptions of the principles Bitcoin is built upon:

  • finiteness - unlike the infinite supply of fiat currencies the total supply of bitcoins to ever exist is forever arbitrarily limited and fixed
  • tangibility - issuing new bitcoins requires labor in the form of finding a specific number by solving a cryptographic math problem
  • transparency - all Bitcoin transactions are public and forever stored in the blockchain for anyone to see
  • anonymity - all Bitcoin transaction are only between cryptographical pseudonyms without the need to have their true identity revealed
  • security - all confirmed Bitcoin transactions are with mathematical certainty irreversible, all bitcoins are with mathematical certainty non-counterfeitable
  • decentralization - Bitcoin has no central authority and is voluntarily run by consenting autonomous peers in a peer to peer network
  • self-ownership - only the owner of a pseudonym gets the password to spend his bitcoins in effect making them his property unless he chooses otherwise
  • integrity - all bitcoins are counted equally(are fungible), virtually can’t be frozen or blocked from being spent
  • practicality - Bitcoin works anywhere, for anyone, non-stop, and the protocol allows for many practical layers on top, just like email, http..
  • rationalism - the Bitcoin software is written under the MIT open source license and is not a logically inconsistent intellectual property of anyone but merely organized information everyone can use as they wish

Did I miss/too loosely describe anything?
14  Other / Politics & Society / The "Will kill" society! on: December 30, 2012, 11:37:42 PM
I'd just love to see how you who are anti gun can possibly argue against this:

http://media.freedomainradio.com/feed/FDR_719_Will_Kill.mp3
15  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin making inroads with the hardcore gold bugs? on: December 28, 2012, 12:03:46 PM
Check it!: https://www.lewrockwell.com/donate/
Quote
LRC now accepts Bitcoin donations!

Man it sure seems we're just on the cusp of new and bigger avalanche of users that are about to (re)discover and finally adopt Bitcoin! Cheesy

Let's not keep this quite either. Donate some if you can to show our support (I made a small contribution myself) and comment here if you can: http://www.dailypaul.com/267728/check-out-lewrocwellcom-donate and even send contact@mises.org a mail!

If you ask me, it's time. We can now start asking them "So.. what are you waiting for?"
16  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Core Development Status Report #2 - Discussion on: December 21, 2012, 03:12:21 PM
Today Gavin released a Core Development Status Report #2:

https://bitcoinfoundation.org/blog/?p=85

Quote
Core Development Status Report #2

Gavin Andresen    Dec 21 2012

Since my last status update the core development team has continued to make steady progress. We have no spectacular new world-changing features to announce, but that should be expected– in my experience, the best way to be successful is to try to make steady progress towards your goals every day. But expect that reaching your goals almost always takes longer than you expect, because you always run into unexpected setbacks and detours.

It was a pretty good month for making steady progress on the reference code; the only setback was a little time taken to roll out a 0.7.2 minor bug-fix release (release notes and binary downloads at SourceForge).
..
..
..

Continue at the link above.


While I'm happy that things are moving along I am personally very disappointed that he is saying he intends to spend a lot of time on something that other services as layers on top of Bitcoin like bitpay or paysius can easily solve instead of solving the number one issue that the majority of new people to Bitcoin have to deal with: the reference client.

bitcoin.org still primarily directs them to the full node reference client which means that even though this will get quite a bit better with 0.8.0 it's still a huge pain, especially for the mainstream "I want to use it right now!" userbase that I'm pretty sure we'd all like to see adopt Bitcoin ASAP. Not to mention it still has serious holes in wallet security that malware can easily abuse.

Gavin, do you not know it's better to focus and do one thing and do it great instead of spreading out your attention on many things and doing them marginally?


Unfortunately he isn't regulated by consumption i.e. his work does not depend on profit/loss incentives so I doubt he'll change his mind about his priorities. I strongly think I'm right about this issue and I just hope someone else will come a long willing to develop the reference client to do just one thing and do that spectacularly so it can start appealing to the masses.
17  Other / Meta / Mining - transaction validation / issuance of bitcoins on: December 06, 2012, 01:11:24 PM
I've been thinking.. A strong case can be made against the word mining that Satoshi chose to use for transaction validation / issuance of new bitcoins in Bitcoin. I think you'll agree that it has often if not the majority of the time been a disadvantage when it comes to explaining Bitcoin to laymen. Mining is quite a concrete and fairly clearly defined activity that most people already have an idea about how it should look and what it is suppose to be so it often confuses them because we as a community rarely stress that this is just an analogy in Bitcoin and there is no actual mining or anything similar going on.

We all know that what is really going on however is transaction validation and the issuance of new bitcoins.

So I had an idea, maybe we could benefit when it comes to mitigating the confusion that the word mining can cause if we changed the name of the forum section

"Mining" to

"Mining i.e. transaction validation/issuance of bitcoins"


I agree it's not as short and sweet but I think it could go a long way towards making things clearer to anyone new to Bitcoin.

What do you think?
18  Other / Off-topic / Passwords and security on: December 01, 2012, 09:30:17 PM
Did anyone read http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/11/ff-mat-honan-password-hacker/all/ and what did you think of it?
19  Other / Off-topic / Ernesto Sirolli: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! [TED talk] on: November 27, 2012, 04:18:38 PM
Even though this talk does not mention Bitcoin at all I still feel like it's message is immensely relevant to this community and that's why I decided to share this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXsLtHqfdM

Watch it share it and learn from it!

(After a bit of time I'll move this to off topic)
20  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Why Bitcoin Is Tangible – Digging Into The Guts Of Bitcoin [by Trace Mayer] on: November 08, 2012, 04:49:41 PM
I just read this is one excellently awesome monster of an article on Bitcoin written by our favorite philosopher/economist/finance/privacy guru Trace, which I really think everyone should read, understand and spread as far and as wide as possible. I really enjoyed the entire thing, my jaw simply dropped when I saw Udacity lessons on Bitcoin which is something I didn't know about and can be discussed and read about here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=83011.0

Here's a snippet of the article that can be found here: http://www.runtogold.com/2012/11/why-bitcoin-is-tangible-digging-into-the-guts-of-bitcoin/


Quote
Why Bitcoin Is Tangible – Digging Into The Guts Of Bitcoin

by Trace Mayer, J.D. on November 8, 2012

Reading time: 16 – 26 minutes

Some supposed monetary theorists assert that Bitcoin is not tangible. This is no doubt a problem due to the prison house of language the human mind dwells in when trying to convey ideas. But this conclusion is either the result of either confused definitions or incorrect being based on several faulty premises and flawed logical reasoning. Bitcoins are tangible assets.
...
..

Continue reading at the link above.



Trace my friend, you have once again outdone yourself with this one. Please, do not ever stop spreading your message that I so vehemently believe in!  Cool
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