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Author Topic: Bitcoin fork for a small town  (Read 9744 times)
TradersEdgeDice
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May 28, 2011, 10:22:22 PM
 #1

I want to fork the bitcoin code for a small town of 36,000 people.

Basically, the people I am working with want to foster barter in the town.

I think it's obvious that we cannot ride the coattails of the bitcoin project with the first mover BTC.  Too much chaos in the exchange rate.

One thing I would add to this fork is to control IP addresses that are allowed to mine.

I want to keep the difficulty low enough for CPU mining.  That means no random entries to the network.  Everything beyond mining is encouraged to be as anonymous as possible.

I cannot, and do not want, to stop a verified miner from going nuts with a farm.  I think it's highly unlikely that this project would suffer the same mining chaos of the main branch.

The key is white listing IP addresses.

Can this be done?

This post is short and I have to go for the moment but I would really like opinions on how to make this project work.

Thanks.

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May 28, 2011, 11:46:47 PM
 #2

I want to fork the bitcoin code for a small town of 36,000 people.

 Cheesy.  You are a local tyrant or something?
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May 28, 2011, 11:49:39 PM
 #3

This can be done, but we aren't going to help you do it.  If you try it, change your currency's name and start with an entirely new genesis block on a different port number and different IRC channel.

This is doomed to an epic failure, but you are welcome to try as long as you don't intefere with Bitcoin doing it. 

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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May 29, 2011, 12:01:02 AM
 #4

This is doomed to an epic failure, but you are welcome to try as long as you don't intefere with Bitcoin doing it. 

Some other attempts:

 - http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=10278.9
    (see the post suggesting the instructions from Freecoin)
 - http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=9493.0
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May 29, 2011, 12:40:01 AM
 #5

Why don't you want to stop a miner from going crazy with a farm?

If you want CPU mining to work reasonably even just one miner using a GPU instead of a CPU is a kind of "going crazy" isn't it? I thought I'd read somehwere of GPU power being thousands of times faster at this than CPUs? So you would need over a thousand people using their CPU just to match one miner using one GPU?

Of course if you issue all the coins right in the genesis block instead of having them minted with each block the town council or the barter network organisers or whoever has a better ability to ensure the system doesn't get upset by new coins magically appearing from nowhere / anywhere and also there will be less incentive for someone to "go crazy with a farm". Instead of "going crazy" anyone with a bunch of GPUs can become a highly respected pillar of the community merely as a deterrent to attackers by having power in reserve ready to bring online at any moment if the difficulty is observed to be rising higher than one, or higher than whatever normal power-conserving level of diffficulty the town finds it needs to allow due to some of the participants not understanding exactly how to keep their node from processing too fast.

You might even be able to keep difficulty so low that when someone does a transaction they turn on processing on their node for a half hour or so so that their node can generate a block to contain that transaction, if not enough other people are currently already doing the same thing.

Any time the difficulty starts to climb, promptly start auditing everyone's connections to find out where the rogue processing is coming from, maybe also turning on the town's cyber-defense GPU-equipped unit that can all by itself match the power of all the CPUs of all the verified / authorised participants.

It would be lovely to work this out, because various blockchains already in existence face similar concerns. So far many of them have settled for all sharing just one machine using just one CPU to "mine" so that between the lot of them sharing that one CPU none of them have any worry about their difficulty climbing higher than one (1) and in fact it has turned out that by this means they also are not having to deal with 7200 new coins each day but far less than 7200 new coins each day. This means they also hopefully will not be facing the kind of complaints about early adopters getting too much of the pie that we keep seeing in these forums, because they are in fact keeping the issuing of new coins very low even compared to what just one CPU not sharing its power across many blockchains could achieve.

If you have access to people willing to dedicate only one CPU or less to "mining",  that could be great to co-operate with.

A lot of electricity could be conserved by having the majority of the available hashing power not actually in use during periods of not being under attack, so that any attacker would not be able to actually know just how much power they would be up against if they attacked until they actually do mount an attack.

-MarkM-

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TradersEdgeDice
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May 29, 2011, 01:16:29 AM
 #6

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

A town of 36,000 has a 0% chance of affecting bitcoin in any way, up to and including the name "bitcoin."

It is easier to sell the concept from scratch than it is to explain why bitcoin is over $8.00.

Seriously, cool your jets. Nobody is stepping on your turf. If I was planning to interfere with bitcoin, why would I tell you about it?  If telling you is part of your logical conclusion, you have epic Asperger's. 

Introducing cryptocurrency without the yakuza, Russian mafia or the CIA in the background can only help the main project.

Yes, I need to establish a genesis block and choose a different port, IRC channel etc., etc.,  etc.

I doubt I will get to 1000 miners.  My biggest concern is keeping the universe of miners in this town.  There won't be an incentive for a gpu farm like there is with bitcoin.  Is there a way to white list IP addresses?  If not, my second thought is to somehow limit mining to a pool.

It's a very low key operation.  It will be introduced through the barter site rather than a political statement about alternative currencies.

Why the hostility?


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May 29, 2011, 01:32:04 AM
 #7

Why not use Bitcoin? A lot of people in that small town are going to be pissed off at you when they find out about the "real" Bitcoin.

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May 29, 2011, 01:33:12 AM
 #8

How is there no incentive for a GPU farm?

Even with game currencies valued by no-one outside the game GPU farms are a very real threat.

Why would anyone in your town who does have a GPU refrain from using it instead of or as well as their CPU?

Are you maybe not mining coins with each block?

Or are you valuing your coins very very very low, so low that even with a CPU they do not really cover the cost of electricty so even CPU mining will only be done by people who think of their electricity as free or maybe feel they are not using as much electricity as their landlord computed into their power-included rent so running a miner is a way to help get their money's worth instead of overpaying for their bundled electricity or who simply like the idea of donating electricity to the effort?

Even with no "real money" to be made by running a GPU farm I already see people trying to come up with ways to win games, win wars against other game nations in game wars, and so on by running a bunch of GPUs. It is hard to believe a town's teenagers, or even adult citizens, are going to refrain from making use of what GPUs they have on hand if by doing so they can grab more of the town's new barter credits than the Joneses next door.

Skeptics or cynics might even go so far as to suggest the reason you want to deliberately not rule out GPU farms is because you plan to use one yourself!

-MarkM-

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May 29, 2011, 01:36:35 AM
 #9

Satoshi's little fortune interferes with sound sleep pattern of some noobs apparently...

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MoonShadow
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May 29, 2011, 01:37:49 AM
 #10

What I think that he is really looking to do is start a LETS system that is somewhat distributed, entirely digital and automatic.  Modifying Bitcoin is a good way to do this, because it's already pretty close to a LETS for the Internet as it is.  A blockchain for a LETS need not be secured in the same fashion, however.  There is no need for a currency limit if transactions are based upon mutual credit, nor any kind of currency distribution process as in Bitcoin.  The blockchain would only serve as a distributed ledger system for the LETS, and the difficulty would be largely irrelevent.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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May 29, 2011, 01:42:56 AM
 #11

...
Any time the difficulty starts to climb, promptly start auditing everyone's connections to find out where the rogue processing is coming from, maybe also turning on the town's cyber-defense GPU-equipped unit that can all by itself match the power of all the CPUs of all the verified / authorised participants.
...


Now what will they do when someone rents and unleashes some awesome hashing power from me and others which would dwarf their GPU defences.

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May 29, 2011, 01:50:58 AM
 #12

...
Any time the difficulty starts to climb, promptly start auditing everyone's connections to find out where the rogue processing is coming from, maybe also turning on the town's cyber-defense GPU-equipped unit that can all by itself match the power of all the CPUs of all the verified / authorised participants.
...


Now what will they do when someone rents and unleashes some awesome hashing power from me and others which would dwarf their GPU defences.


That is why I am aiming at using games instead of local LETS systems as a way of starting up new blockchains.

I feel no need to defend a town's local LETS blockchain so won't rush to answer on behalf of such a blockchain.

On behalf of game currency blockchains though I suggest to players that they compare the price you charge for such massive hashing power to the price the game(s) charge for game currency and consider whether they would be better off in game currency by directly buying the currency instead of buying hashing power from you.

If they would not, the game currency is maybe being overpriced and should lower its price before someone does perform the arbitrage of buying your hashing power to apply  to the game-currency.

-MarkM- (Hey, did I just say in effect "let the market decide"? Wink)

P.S. Weak Blockchain Insurance Corp. though should probably look into your pricing... Wink


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May 29, 2011, 02:54:01 AM
 #13

There won't be an incentive for a gpu farm like there is with bitcoin.

Of course there is.  

But maybe you can force mining to be dispersed in some way.  

Here's an idea:

Require miners to register with you, in person, with a photo ID.  Give each miner his own private key, publish the public keys where all the nodes can see them.  Modify the software so a miner has to sign a block with his private key, all other nodes can verify with a public key, limit the portion of blocks that can be signed by any individual ID over some time window, and reject the rest.




 
markm
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May 29, 2011, 03:12:05 AM
 #14

Why do you even need to allow just anyone in the town to mine?

All that does is create un-needed vulnerability.

The only reason to allow open season on mining is to quickly achieve a huge amount of hashing at a price that might well seem cheap to the originators of the system simply because they personally have no need plan or desire to ever hand over any goods or services of their own in return for the coins so they do not care who gets coins all they are really after is to convince someone somewhere - someone else, not themself - to hand over real goods or services in return for such coins.

You can in effect whitelist IP addresses that connect directly to you, but you cannot stop them from allowing more people you know nothing about from connecting to them.

Maybe you could run separate daemons, one per approved connection, each with its own copy of the blockchain, compare the difficulty on each of them to see if any of them are bringing more than one CPU worth of hashing to the task and if so disconnect them, then later connect all your daemons for a nightly clearing run kind of thing to resolve all those forks against each other to form one central blockchain containing all the transactions from all the chains that did not violate the one-CPU-power rule.

Here is another idea that might be better: run one GPU yourself for 36 days to generate as many coins as 36000 people using one CPU each would have generated, then give people the coins their CPU would have generated instead of giving them any ability to generate coins using their CPU.

In other words, avoid the whole can of worms about who generates the coins by generating them yourself and giving them out to anyone who you would have allowed to generate them had you taken the route of opening up the generating to the entire criminal underworld then tried to limit which of them were from your town.

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May 29, 2011, 03:13:20 AM
 #15

I want to fork the bitcoin code for a small town of 36,000 people.

Awesome.

I was wondering when someone would try something like this.

Can't wait for First Nations or Native Reservations down in the states to get wind of Bitcoin.

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May 29, 2011, 03:19:30 AM
 #16

Why do you even need to allow just anyone in the town to mine?

If you are going to run the system yourself, just do an online bank with book entry.  Cheaper and easier.

The point of mining is to distribute the transaction processing where no one controls it and therefore everyone can trust it.

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May 29, 2011, 03:40:19 AM
 #17

Why do you even need to allow just anyone in the town to mine?

If you are going to run the system yourself, just do an online bank with book entry.  Cheaper and easier.

The point of mining is to distribute the transaction processing where no one controls it and therefore everyone can trust it.

Transaction processing, yes, fine. The problems mostly arise when mining also mints coins. Leave out that minting of coins and all of a sudden you don't care whether the miners are in your town or anywhere else, who cares, anyone who wants to help secure the nework for you is welcome to do so, IF enough will do so to secure it against attackers.

Maybe the fixed address that minted coins go to would work best, if one of those addresses is the address of the Weak Blockchain Insurance Corp-or-Org.

That way the insurance body would always have plenty of coin ready to finance defence measures in the event of an attack, and attackers would have little incentive to mine other than if they thought they could achieve some attack other than simply mining more coins than the entire town's own citizens manage to mine.

-MarkM-

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May 29, 2011, 04:58:21 AM
 #18

Why do you even need to allow just anyone in the town to mine?

If you are going to run the system yourself, just do an online bank with book entry.  Cheaper and easier.

The point of mining is to distribute the transaction processing where no one controls it and therefore everyone can trust it.


But in this fork they have to trust a central entity to keep GPUs out. Might as well just trust that entity to keep the books.

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May 29, 2011, 05:03:37 AM
 #19

Why do you even need to allow just anyone in the town to mine?

If you are going to run the system yourself, just do an online bank with book entry.  Cheaper and easier.

The point of mining is to distribute the transaction processing where no one controls it and therefore everyone can trust it.


But in this fork they have to trust a central entity to keep GPUs out. Might as well just trust that entity to keep the books.

Not if you take other measures to disperse hashing power on the network (as I mentioned earlier by requiring them to register).  If you limited the fraction of blocks any one miner is allowed to solve over time, it doesn't matter if they are using a GPU or not.  They can run a GPU for a small amount of time per day or a CPU for the entire day. Either way they are going to have the same amount of control over the network.

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May 29, 2011, 05:17:01 AM
 #20

I want to fork the bitcoin code for a small town of 36,000 people.

Basically, the people I am working with want to foster barter in the town.

If fostering barter is the goal, why not just print up some scrip or tokens?  The disadvantages of running a private Bitcoin network for this purpose far outweigh the advantages.  Trying to convert a town to using Bitcoins when the Bitcoin client is very much in its infancy, will be about as fruitless as trying to convince the existing Bitcoin community to switch to the "tonal" numbering system in pursuit of illusory advantages that appeal to nobody.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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