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Author Topic: Why aren't there any altcoins that use the Bitcoin blockchain?  (Read 946 times)
Lorenzo
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March 25, 2015, 10:23:36 AM
 #1

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at coins like BitcoinDark and Bitcoin Scrypt and realized that it should be possible to create an altcoin that uses the Bitcoin blockchain whilst pairing it with a completely new protocol (the examples I mentioned don't despite having "Bitcoin" in their name). If we called this new coin "Newcoin", then someone who already has 100 bitcoins would now have 100 newcoins in addition to their existing bitcoins and Satoshi would have 1,000,000 newcoins.

After a while, their blockchains would diverge since any transactions made in the Bitcoin blockchain after the fork wouldn't happen in the Newcoin blockchain and vice versa.

Why hasn't something like this never been attempted? Surely it would encourage adoption?

(I admit CLAMs comes pretty close, but instead of actually using the Bitcoin blockchain directly, according to their system you redeem coins by submitting your private key and you get a fixed amount of coins per address regardless of whether that address once held 0.1 BTC or 100 BTC. I was thinking more along the lines of a 1:1 copy of the Bitcoin blockchain but with a completely different protocol layer on top.)
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Lorenzo
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March 25, 2015, 10:44:29 AM
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You know what will happen when bitcoin fails some day ? You will regret using its blockchain.
Redundancy is a must in a decentral environment.

If Newcoin's blockchain is separate from Bitcoin's blockchain then any failure of Bitcoin shouldn't translate to a failure of Newcoin. My initial proposal was that Newcoin would use Bitcoin's blockchain as a form of "snapshot" in the sense that Newcoin's blockchain would be preloaded with addresses corresponding to addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain. So if you had the private keys to an address on the Bitcoin blockchain which held 100 bitcoins, you would now have an address on the Newcoin blockchain that holds 100 newcoins but their blockchains would diverge after that.

So for example, if you have 100 BTC and 100 NEW, you could choose to sell your 100 NEW for 1 BTC. Then you would have 101 BTC on the Bitcoin blockchain and 0 NEW on the Newcoin blockchain. Or alternatively, you could choose to sell 1 BTC for 100 NEW. Then you would have 99 BTC on the Bitcoin blockchain and 200 NEW on the Newcoin blockchain.
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March 25, 2015, 04:40:23 PM
 #3

This is nice idea, but again people that are rich and have a lot of BTC will now have even more NewCoins.
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March 26, 2015, 06:18:04 PM
 #4

The other issue is the relatively slow confirmation time of bitcoins. Most of the new coins are much faster.
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March 26, 2015, 10:30:24 PM
 #5

happened years ago

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=218388.0
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March 28, 2015, 01:45:35 PM
 #6

ALTcoins.

Try doing some reading before doing some posting



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unent
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March 28, 2015, 04:27:33 PM
 #7

The sheer size of the Bitcoin blockchain is one of its biggest problems. Any alt coin using its chain would require over 35GB of data downloading before its wallet could sync. There have been light Bitcoin wallets developed because few people want to download that much data, so you would need to develop a light wallet for the alt. Plus I doubt an alt would be popular if mining it required downloading the Bitcoin blockchain.
lucasjkr
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March 29, 2015, 02:27:34 PM
 #8

You mean like name coin?

One issue I see is block times. I'm of the belief that one of bitcoins major hindrances is the 10 minute block time; nearly every alt attempts to address that, but building an alt atop of Bitcoin means that it's also limited to 10 minute blocks and SHA256 as its proof of work algorithm. Doesn't allow for much differentiation
Lorenzo
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April 01, 2015, 10:41:02 PM
 #9

This is nice idea, but again people that are rich and have a lot of BTC will now have even more NewCoins.

This is true, although it does happen with other altcoins to a lesser extent.

The other issue is the relatively slow confirmation time of bitcoins. Most of the new coins are much faster.

You mean like name coin?

One issue I see is block times. I'm of the belief that one of bitcoins major hindrances is the 10 minute block time; nearly every alt attempts to address that, but building an alt atop of Bitcoin means that it's also limited to 10 minute blocks and SHA256 as its proof of work algorithm. Doesn't allow for much differentiation

It would be difficult, but not impossible to change both the algorithm used and the block time. You couldn't do this by simply transplanting the blockchain into the new coin but it could be done by extracting the data and copying this data over into the new blockchain. The only thing that really matters is that the private keys and addresses that existed on the old blockchain should match up with the same private keys and addresses on the new blockchain.

The Namecoin comparision doesn't hold since NMC's blockchain entries don't have anything in common with that of Bitcoin's.


That's not really an altcoin though since it's just an alternative client and the same coins are involved.

ALTcoins.

Try doing some reading before doing some posting

It would be an altcoin. The only thing that it shares with Bitcoin would be the fact that your old private keys and addresses would also be grafted onto the new coin's blockchain and so they would work with the new coin. After the launch, their blockchains would continue to diverge further and further apart.

The sheer size of the Bitcoin blockchain is one of its biggest problems. Any alt coin using its chain would require over 35GB of data downloading before its wallet could sync. There have been light Bitcoin wallets developed because few people want to download that much data, so you would need to develop a light wallet for the alt. Plus I doubt an alt would be popular if mining it required downloading the Bitcoin blockchain.

Good point. It might be possible to prune this blockchain to a more manageable size by deleting older spent outputs though.

Anyway, it's a pretty strange coincidence I admit but it seems that there was a project announced just four days before I made this thread which is aiming to do something very similar to what I proposed. It's called Qeditas and it uses a distribution model similar to CLAMs with the key difference that users' balances would be proportional to the amount they had in the old Bitcoin blockchain:

The current plan is to take a snapshot of the Bitcoin block chain up to (not iincluding) the block at height 350,000. At this point 2/3 of the Bitcoin distribution will be complete. This block should be published on (approximately) March 31, 2015. If you have bitcoins under your (sole) control, then you will have a corresponding initial distribution in Qeditas. Your part of the initial distribution will be easiest to claim if it is in an ordinary pay-to-public-key-hash (p2pkh) address. I will include pay-to-script-hash (p2sh) addresses as well, but the claim process will be more involved and in a small number of cases p2sh claims may fail if they make use of uncommon parts of the script language.

The primary reason for this pre-announcement is to give everyone a chance to ensure their bitcoins are under their control (not on exchanges) and (preferably) in a p2pkh address. If your bitcoins are not under your control as of block 350,000, then the corresponding Qeditas units will also not be under your control.

My understanding is that the CLAM project gave a fixed amount of clams (about 4) to each address with a "non-dust" amount of bitcoins, litecoins or dogecoins on a certain date in 2014. Those with many bitcoins in few addresses got few clams. Those with few millibits in many addresses got many clams. This means there was a significant redistribution of wealth. Qeditas will use a snapshot intended to preserve the wealth distribution in the Bitcoin block chain. That's the main difference between the approach of CLAM vs. a spin-off in the sense of Peter R. (Additionally, the snapshot will be only of Bitcoin, not Litecoin or Dogecoin.)
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