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markm
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May 29, 2011, 05:35:50 AM
 #21

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.

All the more reason to not give them the client.

Tell them all about how bitcoin works, fine. Tell them to go use bitcoin itself if they want to get into the complicated techie stuff like the bitcoin daemon and client. Great, those ho do can even maybe earn barter-points by serving as local exchangers exchanging local barter points for global bitcoins and vice-versa.

But for the everyday normal citizen or merchant, have them use the town''s modified MyBitCoin site that interfaces onto the town's barter-point blockchain.

There *is* a usefulness in going with a blockchain even while a short-sighted observer might imagine a daabase based system would be as good, and that is so you are ready to open it up in 140 years or maybe even less as a fully P2P system.

(Also of course as an excuse to tell them all about how Bitcoin works so you can tell them go use real bitcoin if the way you are locally using the code currently lacks parts of the full bitcoin benefits that they feel are important enough to be worth going to real bitcoin for instead of using your local thing.)

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May 29, 2011, 06:53:12 AM
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If  a  community  has  a  shortage  of  cash,  ripplepay.com  is  an  excellent  barter/credit  exchange  if  there  are  no  shortage  of  goods  nor  talents.  Don't  know  about  the  anonymity  you  require  though,  because  is  a  reputation  system  where  your  credibility  means  everything.

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May 29, 2011, 12:27:30 PM
 #23

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.

I do have a model on how to do this, with bitcoin no less.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
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May 29, 2011, 12:43:05 PM
 #24

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.

To implement such a system you would just need to do a "endgame scenario" with all 21 Million (or however many you want to have) BTC (or "towncoins") in the genesis block and miners only get income from transactions.

You then can in the beginning 100% make sure that the initial conversion rate stays stable (1 cent or 10 cents per genesis-towncoin for example) and then let the economy develop on it's own. This might also be beneficial to convince others in the town council etc. (as in the end you hand out something similar to gift tokens).

To gain a few coins every once in a while, ppl. can mine themselves and to cover your own operation costs you can also run a few dedicated mining rigs permanently to make sure you have at least enough hashing power for difficulty 1.


I only see problems for implementing a highly deflationatory currency that is also very limited in the beginning - and people might not like it that much too.
If they however can earn a little bit through transactions (where fees could be as high as 1 towncoin, depending on th initial conversion rate) and otherwise play a little bit with electronic money adoption might be much easier + smoother.

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May 29, 2011, 01:55:39 PM
 #25

I don't want a centralized entity.  Lord knows what these people will do.  It's a seaside town where the preferred smoke is not tobacco.  :-) Anonymity is a at the top of the list.

Let me address some points that were written since the last time I checked in…

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.

I am an open source preacher.  Not hiding a thing.  If people would prefer to work in BTC that's great. I want nothing to do with telling people what to ask for an exchange for what they're offering.  I think, however, they would prefer to avoid official exchanges (like mtgox) for cash.  I think that is where digital currencies collide with governments.

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.

I don't want to keep GPUs out as much as I want CPUs to stay in as long as possible. A big deterrent to hashing farms is the power company.  One of the most expensive in the country.  With 310 sunny days per year, I wouldn't be surprised if the miners we get attempt to use solar.  Nobody in the town works for ATI, newegg or the power company to miners will be advised not to do these organizations any favors -especially the power company.


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-


Then it seems that letting the difficulty adjust itself to a set amount of coins per hour is indeed the best way to regulate this problem. Leaving the mining out if it also kills the incentive to verify all transactions.

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.


Right.  I don't want anyone to feel they have to trust me at all.  That's part of the appeal of P2P distributed verification. 

Online bank with book entry is neither cheaper nor easier.  That scenario also leaves the organizers highly liable to all kinds of nasty government behavior.

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.

Matter of time.  The wealth of reservations can vary dramatically.  Would they be better served with BTC as it is or implementing a variation as I'm doing? I am almost certain that there's nothing in the treaties to prevent this.  The BIA might even be compelled to fund some of the buildout.  I'd love to spend BTC at the seminole nation hardrock.  :-)  I think it would be a great thread to open up.

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.


Haven't looked over the freecoin code yet.  How much modification are we talking about?

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.

That's how I see it.  Thank you, creighto.

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May 29, 2011, 02:17:10 PM
 #26

I think I can connect three systems for you:
Community-exchange.org a LETS type system for posting work.
"Do bit" or millcoin (.001 BTC) trading platform for lubricating the barter system.
Some kind of Bitcoin credit union.

I have a model just let me know, I'll write it up as a proposal.


Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
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May 29, 2011, 02:23:13 PM
 #27

So why try to limit who can use it? If you open it up to the world then the townfolk, as earliest adopters, could bring a lot of wealth into the town as out of town people discover it and adopt it.

It would even have one advantage over bitcoin: an entire town that accepts it in return for real goods and services.

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May 29, 2011, 02:59:55 PM
 #28

I think I can connect three systems for you:
Community-exchange.org a LETS type system for posting work.
"Do bit" or millcoin (.001 BTC) trading platform for lubricating the barter system.
Some kind of Bitcoin credit union.

I have a model just let me know, I'll write it up as a proposal.


I'd be grateful to read your model and proposal.

So why try to limit who can use it? If you open it up to the world then the townfolk, as earliest adopters, could bring a lot of wealth into the town as out of town people discover it and adopt it.

It would even have one advantage over bitcoin: an entire town that accepts it in return for real goods and services.

-MarkM-


There's a lot to be said for organic growth.  The endgame scenario is too problematic.  Unrestricted mining is a problem we're all familiar with.  I think the official exchanges and easy speculation will defeat any alternative currency.  Printing it is a fool's game in the United States of America. 

It will be introduced here as a way to lubricate barter without relying FRNs.  If it spreads to nearby towns, that will be because of the advantage of being accepted first for real goods and services, and second, for the big idea, and far behind, for the technical aspect.



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May 29, 2011, 04:13:07 PM
 #29

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.

I just can not see how this is a good thing.  The person controlling the whitelist can then be subject to cheating by allowing friends (ones even outside the town) to mine.  With such a small community the mining being controlled would allow some to profit greatly from the creation of new coins.  There would be no impartial market based control of mining as there is with bitcoin.

Just set up a barter system between your town, or convince them to use bitcoin as is.

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May 29, 2011, 07:25:25 PM
 #30

Wait, if you're trying to run a new block chain to avoid FRNs, why not just use Bitcoin? Nobody is forcing people to exchange Bitcoins for USD or vice versa.

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May 29, 2011, 08:02:05 PM
 #31

If  a  community  has  a  shortage  of  cash,  ripplepay.com  is  an  excellent  barter/credit  exchange  if  there  are  no  shortage  of  goods  nor  talents.  Don't  know  about  the  anonymity  you  require  though,  because  is  a  reputation  system  where  your  credibility  means  everything.

How can this be? Are they running out of pennies?

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May 29, 2011, 08:29:07 PM
 #32

I don't want a centralized entity.  Lord knows what these people will do.  It's a seaside town where the preferred smoke is not tobacco.  :-) Anonymity is a at the top of the list.

They could pay in cash...?  Roll Eyes

If you want to create something exactly like Bitcoin, it might be more useful to just use Bitcoin itself.

To me it just seems YOU want to be an "early adopter". In 36.000 ppl one or two will be smart enough to google how bitcoin works, invest a few bucks in GPUs and mine the sh*t out of that village! As you could be happy to have a few hundred participants mining at home, if they only CPU mine, a single strong GPU miner might even be able to do 50% attacks...

Sorry, but first mining the towncoins out of thin air (and algorithms) doesn't seem very intelligent/useful to me. Besides there is NO anonymous way to guarantee that only townfolk have "mining licenses".

You could do something similar as the bitbill people did: Send batches of towncoins to addresses and print their private keys on cards or something. These then can be easily used to create a wallet and withdraw the money from there and also anonymously traded before. This would again look very similar to an already known concept (gift cards that are accepted in multiple local stores) but be more anonymous and if someone wants to, they even can mine along and earn a few towncoins from transaction fees.

It will be hard enough to convince even the town council (or however your hippie commune calls it Tongue) of doing an experiment like this, adoption might be even more risky. The more you can relate to known models, the better I guess.

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May 29, 2011, 09:00:28 PM
 #33

I don't want a centralized entity.  Lord knows what these people will do.  It's a seaside town where the preferred smoke is not tobacco.  :-) Anonymity is a at the top of the list.

They could pay in cash...?  Roll Eyes

If you want to create something exactly like Bitcoin, it might be more useful to just use Bitcoin itself.

To me it just seems YOU want to be an "early adopter". In 36.000 ppl one or two will be smart enough to google how bitcoin works, invest a few bucks in GPUs and mine the sh*t out of that village! As you could be happy to have a few hundred participants mining at home, if they only CPU mine, a single strong GPU miner might even be able to do 50% attacks...

Sorry, but first mining the towncoins out of thin air (and algorithms) doesn't seem very intelligent/useful to me. Besides there is NO anonymous way to guarantee that only townfolk have "mining licenses".

You could do something similar as the bitbill people did: Send batches of towncoins to addresses and print their private keys on cards or something. These then can be easily used to create a wallet and withdraw the money from there and also anonymously traded before. This would again look very similar to an already known concept (gift cards that are accepted in multiple local stores) but be more anonymous and if someone wants to, they even can mine along and earn a few towncoins from transaction fees.

It will be hard enough to convince even the town council (or however your hippie commune calls it Tongue) of doing an experiment like this, adoption might be even more risky. The more you can relate to known models, the better I guess.

I would use bitcoin but there's a little problem with the numbers…

Approximately six million btc at $8.00 for 10,000 people.  I have not been able to convince one person that that is not a scam in progress.

I don't care about being an early adopter.  I see a problem with the system for the people who asked me to look into developing a local currency.  This is going to arise out of the barter project, not mining.

I don't mind anybody disagreeing with the merits of the idea but to accuse me of dishonesty is completely out of line.  That kind of attitude is just going to egg people on for truly forking this in the way that mambo was buried by joomla. 

"Mine the shit out of that village." Is that your bitcoin rapist threat? Are you 12?

Does anybody in the audience really fault me for exploring limiting *who* can mine in our town with morons like that on the loose?

To repeat: nobody in this town owes the power company any favors.  Nobody in this town owes ATI any favors.  Nobody in this town owes newegg/provantage/tigerdirect/etc any favors.

Furthermore, nobody in this town needs to share their local currency with luminary organizations like the [$ethnic_group] mafia or [$country] intelligence services.

Maybe I will do this straight bitcoin rules on a new chain under a different name.  I don't know yet.  I'm exploring the implications of changing certain points.  That's the point of this thread.

So you love bitcoin under 0.3.  Congratulations.  Some people don't.  I happen to like it quite a bit as is but it simply does not fit for the group of people I'm working with and I need to keep things a little less chaotic than the main project.

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May 29, 2011, 09:17:33 PM
 #34

You can try whatever you want. But something like bitcoin with an entity that excludes people is not anything like bitcoin at all.

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May 30, 2011, 01:28:30 AM
 #35

Approximately six million btc at $8.00 for 10,000 people.  I have not been able to convince one person that that is not a scam in progress.

I don't care about being an early adopter.  I see a problem with the system for the people who asked me to look into developing a local currency.  This is going to arise out of the barter project, not mining.



You're really better off going with an electronic LETS system. 

"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 30, 2011, 04:43:49 AM
 #36

Approximately six million btc at $8.00 for 10,000 people.  I have not been able to convince one person that that is not a scam in progress.

I don't care about being an early adopter.  I see a problem with the system for the people who asked me to look into developing a local currency.  This is going to arise out of the barter project, not mining.



You're really better off going with an electronic LETS system. 

Which operates entirely on people forgiving the initial debt which gets passed around like a hot potato. Yes it's time based which is relevant, but it also isolates.

I got involved in LETS type things and the service development speed pales in comparison to bitcoin.

I think I have a few interested individuals looking forward to "towncoins". After tomorrow expect a formal proposal. The beast is coming down.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
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May 30, 2011, 04:51:11 AM
 #37

Approximately six million btc at $8.00 for 10,000 people.  I have not been able to convince one person that that is not a scam in progress.

I don't care about being an early adopter.  I see a problem with the system for the people who asked me to look into developing a local currency.  This is going to arise out of the barter project, not mining.



You're really better off going with an electronic LETS system. 

Which operates entirely on people forgiving the initial debt which gets passed around like a hot potato. Yes it's time based which is relevant, but it also isolates.

Isn't that the point of a localized barter currency?
Quote

I got involved in LETS type things and the service development speed pales in comparison to bitcoin.

There is a very good reason for that.  The potential market for a localized currency of any sort is, by intent, limited.  A bitcoin derivitive isn't going to change that.

Quote
I think I have a few interested individuals looking forward to "towncoins". After tomorrow expect a formal proposal. The beast is coming down.

Be careful what you wish for.

"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 30, 2011, 05:15:57 AM
 #38

Another "just use bitcoin" suggestion:

You buy 1 bitcoin and donate it for the entire town to use and just trade everything in your town at around 0.000001 (or some other low value.)

If you really wanted to restrict it you could release a modified client that would only honor transactions based on the "town origin coin" (but I don't think this is a good idea - it brings back the scam angle.)
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May 30, 2011, 05:33:48 AM
 #39

Since it is so very easy to start a new blockchain, maybe you just start one up and have everyone use it with the -noirc switch or even disable IRC entirely in the cline (or in the config file if using freecoin client for convenience of configuring in config files instead of by hacking code).

Then if someone *does* let some foreigner connect to them, who lets more foreigners connect to *them* and so on, just issue new clients to the townsfolk using a new blockchain, leaving the foreigners to honour the now-foreign chain if they wish, and arrange among the locals to get their balances in the new chain set up right, accepting old coin from local on site at physical exchanges in town.

After a few iterations maybe foreigners will either have fun with the chains they hijacked or get tired of hijacking chains that no-one honours after they have been hijacked.

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May 30, 2011, 05:43:36 AM
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Another "just use bitcoin" suggestion:

You buy 1 bitcoin and donate it for the entire town to use and just trade everything in your town at around 0.000001 (or some other low value.)

If you really wanted to restrict it you could release a modified client that would only honor transactions based on the "town origin coin" (but I don't think this is a good idea - it brings back the scam angle.)


Another idea I'm working on Smiley Glad to know I'm not the only one who understands 1 internet is worth 1000 internets.

Since it is so very easy to start a new blockchain, maybe you just start one up and have everyone use it with the -noirc switch or even disable IRC entirely in the cline (or in the config file if using freecoin client for convenience of configuring in config files instead of by hacking code).

Then if someone *does* let some foreigner connect to them, who lets more foreigners connect to *them* and so on, just issue new clients to the townsfolk using a new blockchain, leaving the foreigners to honour the now-foreign chain if they wish, and arrange among the locals to get their balances in the new chain set up right, accepting old coin from local on site at physical exchanges in town.

After a few iterations maybe foreigners will either have fun with the chains they hijacked or get tired of hijacking chains that no-one honours after they have been hijacked.

-MarkM-


With a series of water level locks you can go to and fro from lake to ocean and back.

A global reasonable system for negotiating different difficulties would not only mean there are no "foreign" blocks but it would mean the path to BTC = $100 by the productivity of the town.

The system of locks also results in bootstrapping / kickstarts caused by vendors trying to negotiate dollar value in mainline blockchains versus productivity in townchains.

Again it comes down to whether mining pools merely hide from fiat insanity or grow community.

I have a model that can work with very little change in the client/daemon. In fact I would suggest not even touching the client/daemon if possible and just adding a plugin. Pools who want to confirm the subnets can add it. The distribution can grow rather than force any philosophy on anyone.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
Means: Code, donations, and brutal criticism. I've got a thick skin. 1Gc3xCHAzwvTDnyMW3evBBr5qNRDN3DRpq
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