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Author Topic: A lot of users dislike altcoins but are pro sidechains, why?  (Read 3122 times)
anderson00673
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June 10, 2015, 12:34:35 AM
 #41

This is why I think pushing side chains, which are unproven in practice, is not the best solution right now.  It is the hard way, the easy way is increasing the block size limit.  Sidechains might be great in the future but they need lots of work to deal with the problems mentioned above.
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June 10, 2015, 03:26:29 AM
 #42

On the face of it, it seems sidechains are an excellent way to get sorely needed technical innovations going.

Also, analogous to (but not entirely identical to) the dolloar benefiting from other currencies being pegged to it, Bitcoin should enjoy a free ride on increased demand if any of the sidechains succeed, but be protected if they fail.  (A sidecoin may flourish where Bitcoin doesn't, e.g. by being fast and lightweight for small and frequent transactions.  So let a hundred flowers bloom.)

The only possible problem I can see is this: we've all seen code that reads fine to developers, compiles fine, tests fine and works fine in production.  But there is a subtle design bug that causes entirely unexpected things to happen when a special set of inputs occur.  What is to prevent a dishonest developer or institution from writing a sidechain with such a "bug" planted?  It seems the sidechain should be verifiable by software as honest, and that the design of the sidechain should have this testability built in.
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June 10, 2015, 03:45:45 AM
 #43

the design of the sidechain should have this testability built in.

Having testability built in sounds like solving the Halting Problem to me.

An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.
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June 10, 2015, 03:46:14 AM
 #44

On the face of it, it seems sidechains are an excellent way to get sorely needed technical innovations going.

Also, analogous to (but not entirely identical to) the dolloar benefiting from other currencies being pegged to it, Bitcoin should enjoy a free ride on increased demand if any of the sidechains succeed, but be protected if they fail.  (A sidecoin may flourish where Bitcoin doesn't, e.g. by being fast and lightweight for small and frequent transactions.  So let a hundred flowers bloom.)

The only possible problem I can see is this: we've all seen code that reads fine to developers, compiles fine, tests fine and works fine in production.  But there is a subtle design bug that causes entirely unexpected things to happen when a special set of inputs occur.  What is to prevent a dishonest developer or institution from writing a sidechain with such a "bug" planted?  It seems the sidechain should be verifiable by software as honest, and that the design of the sidechain should have this testability built in.

I see dealing with this problem as being where Blockstream would likely have a promising business model.  I could see them putting a 'stamp of approval' on their client's sidecoin and it being worth a lot to do so.  If they were commissioned to implement the sidechain in the first place they would be extra well positioned to do so efficiently.  Of course if they screw up then their reputation and thus their ability to command a good fee for their services would suffer.

This is not a full solution to the problem, and the problem is a very legitimate concern.  As with so many things it is ultimately up to the individual to protect themselves.  As I've said before, I won't likely be putting any significant value into any particular sidechain for some time and maybe not ever.


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June 10, 2015, 02:11:32 PM
 #45

On the face of it, it seems sidechains are an excellent way to get sorely needed technical innovations going.

Also, analogous to (but not entirely identical to) the dolloar benefiting from other currencies being pegged to it, Bitcoin should enjoy a free ride on increased demand if any of the sidechains succeed, but be protected if they fail.  (A sidecoin may flourish where Bitcoin doesn't, e.g. by being fast and lightweight for small and frequent transactions.  So let a hundred flowers bloom.)

The only possible problem I can see is this: we've all seen code that reads fine to developers, compiles fine, tests fine and works fine in production.  But there is a subtle design bug that causes entirely unexpected things to happen when a special set of inputs occur.  What is to prevent a dishonest developer or institution from writing a sidechain with such a "bug" planted?  It seems the sidechain should be verifiable by software as honest, and that the design of the sidechain should have this testability built in.

I see dealing with this problem as being where Blockstream would likely have a promising business model.  I could see them putting a 'stamp of approval' on their client's sidecoin and it being worth a lot to do so.  If they were commissioned to implement the sidechain in the first place they would be extra well positioned to do so efficiently.  Of course if they screw up then their reputation and thus their ability to command a good fee for their services would suffer.

This is not a full solution to the problem, and the problem is a very legitimate concern.  As with so many things it is ultimately up to the individual to protect themselves.  As I've said before, I won't likely be putting any significant value into any particular sidechain for some time and maybe not ever.


I don't like companies having that much influence over the blockchain or even sidechains, that just seems like a weird path to go down, soon we could have them almost like an agency that checks and approves and could alter the code before giving their stamp or nobody would use the sidechain.














 

 

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ebliever
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June 10, 2015, 08:34:56 PM
 #46

One conclusion I come to after reading this thread is that the concept of sidechains really needs to be explored in a (major) test environment or with some minor altcoin sprouting sidechains, before doing it with bitcoin. It's not a simple concept at all, and I'd hate to watch our investments in BTC vanish because of a remarkable scam or an ugly bug or runaway inflationary effect or something else that didn't quite get caught in time.

Perhaps one way to clarify things is to ask: What CAN'T be done with side chains? Once we grasp those points, it becomes easier to identify what good or bad things can be done, and how sidechains could be manipulated.

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June 11, 2015, 01:53:54 AM
 #47

On the face of it, it seems sidechains are an excellent way to get sorely needed technical innovations going.

Also, analogous to (but not entirely identical to) the dolloar benefiting from other currencies being pegged to it, Bitcoin should enjoy a free ride on increased demand if any of the sidechains succeed, but be protected if they fail.  (A sidecoin may flourish where Bitcoin doesn't, e.g. by being fast and lightweight for small and frequent transactions.  So let a hundred flowers bloom.)

The only possible problem I can see is this: we've all seen code that reads fine to developers, compiles fine, tests fine and works fine in production.  But there is a subtle design bug that causes entirely unexpected things to happen when a special set of inputs occur.  What is to prevent a dishonest developer or institution from writing a sidechain with such a "bug" planted?  It seems the sidechain should be verifiable by software as honest, and that the design of the sidechain should have this testability built in.

I see dealing with this problem as being where Blockstream would likely have a promising business model.  I could see them putting a 'stamp of approval' on their client's sidecoin and it being worth a lot to do so.  If they were commissioned to implement the sidechain in the first place they would be extra well positioned to do so efficiently.  Of course if they screw up then their reputation and thus their ability to command a good fee for their services would suffer.

This is not a full solution to the problem, and the problem is a very legitimate concern.  As with so many things it is ultimately up to the individual to protect themselves.  As I've said before, I won't likely be putting any significant value into any particular sidechain for some time and maybe not ever.


I guess another possible solution is to let things be.  (This has its rough counterpart in the fiat world: many countries which peg their currencies to the dollar from time to time are the worst printers.  Britain that pegged sterling to gold for centuries turned out the same way, in slow motion.)  Let the market decide how much people want to leave in sidechains at any one time.  Bitcoin should do well in any case, and especially if there is a massive movement into one of the successful sidechains, maybe for its technical features, which turns out to be a major scam.
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June 11, 2015, 02:09:46 PM
 #48

Sounds like these sidechains put a third party in control of your Bitcoins. It's interesting because it can be used to issue stocks and bonds paid with Bitcoin, but I think there will be losses most of the time, if not total loss of value due to the person in charge stealing or getting hacked.
That's why tvbcof was suggesting a seal of approval by the bitstream team, but this would require them eventually turning into an agency like group that goes through the code and evaluates it and to have a successful sidechain you would have to go through a third party and I am sure pay them and make any changes they mandate. Seems like way too many third parties involved for Bitcoin when it was supposed to be trustless.














 

 

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TPTB_need_war
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June 11, 2015, 03:16:14 PM
 #49

I can't wait for the multitude of sidechain forks that all compete with each other. Sidechains themselves require incentives to operate securely, such as fees and the continued security of the Bitcoin network, so I'd guess we'll start to see a lot of the same issues in sidechain space as we do in altchain space. I really don't think there's any difference between the two. You can also issue your own assets already on Bitcoin (e.g. coinprism, counterparty), so the notion of token issuance for use in general scamming will surely appear on sidechains as well. You can't out-technology human speculation in finance.

There is no speculation incentive because all investments are denominated in BTC. Thus this will force consolidation. Unless there are revenue models and/or dividends for side chains.

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June 11, 2015, 04:00:02 PM
 #50


Sounds like these sidechains put a third party in control of your Bitcoins. It's interesting because it can be used to issue stocks and bonds paid with Bitcoin, but I think there will be losses most of the time, if not total loss of value due to the person in charge stealing or getting hacked.

That's why tvbcof was suggesting a seal of approval by the bitstream team, but this would require them eventually turning into an agency like group that goes through the code and evaluates it and to have a successful sidechain you would have to go through a third party and I am sure pay them and make any changes they mandate. Seems like way too many third parties involved for Bitcoin when it was supposed to be trustless.

Both of these comments are incorrect enough to make one suspicious that they are fairly blatant FUD of the synthetic kind, but I don't know that.

In the first case, there are technically possible ways for transactions to auto-revert.  Thus, if one put a stake into a sidechain which simply vanished off the face of the earth it still might be possible to have one's Bitcoin come home.  As always, if Bitcoin itself cannot be defended and is destroyed it won't matter very much.  Interestingly, the sidechain guys (which has a very strong overlap with 'the Bitcoin guys') seem to have impressed a lot of people, myself included, with their progress on some of these fronts at this early phase of their existence.

To the second point, I would never use anything for anything important which I cannot compile myself.  Everything is open-source and anyone can look at it.  Blockstream currently consists of people who have a demonstrated disposition to 'getting off' on doing high quality security conscious software (as evidenced by a very significant fraction by lines-of-code in Bitcoin core itself not to mention some of the most critical of the support systems.)

I lack the skill and time to evaluate complex cryptographic code and perform system analysis and testing myself.  I would value a solution which has been looked over by these people at this time.  Long before Blockstream became some sort of and 'agency like group' I would have moved on to trusting others to provide this service for me.


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June 11, 2015, 04:21:47 PM
 #51

I can't wait for the multitude of sidechain forks that all compete with each other. Sidechains themselves require incentives to operate securely, such as fees and the continued security of the Bitcoin network, so I'd guess we'll start to see a lot of the same issues in sidechain space as we do in altchain space. I really don't think there's any difference between the two. You can also issue your own assets already on Bitcoin (e.g. coinprism, counterparty), so the notion of token issuance for use in general scamming will surely appear on sidechains as well. You can't out-technology human speculation in finance.

There is no speculation incentive because all investments are denominated in BTC. Thus this will force consolidation. Unless there are revenue models and/or dividends for side chains.

Ah... just like all alt coins are merge mined with Bitcoin to support the entire network hash rate? After Elements adds explicit tokenization it'll be easy for anyone to make a sidechain fork and issue "Sidechain Funbux" on their fork, pre-sale them, etc. Bilateral two-way peg also means that Bitcoin might inadvertently end up supporting a number of pre-existing alt. coins anyway; especially since we can now explicitly tokenize them in a 1:1 peg on the elements sidechain and transfer them there.

You can change the tech, but you can't change the underlying issue.

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June 11, 2015, 05:39:21 PM
 #52

I see dealing with this problem as being where Blockstream would likely have a promising business model.  I could see them putting a 'stamp of approval' on their client's sidecoin and it being worth a lot to do so.  If they were commissioned to implement the sidechain in the first place they would be extra well positioned to do so efficiently.  Of course if they screw up then their reputation and thus their ability to command a good fee for their services would suffer.



That's why tvbcof was suggesting a seal of approval by the bitstream team, but this would require them eventually turning into an agency like group that goes through the code and evaluates it and to have a successful sidechain you would have to go through a third party and I am sure pay them and make any changes they mandate. Seems like way too many third parties involved for Bitcoin when it was supposed to be trustless.

Both of these comments are incorrect enough to make one suspicious that they are fairly blatant FUD of the synthetic kind, but I don't know that.

To the second point, I would never use anything for anything important which I cannot compile myself.  Everything is open-source and anyone can look at it.  Blockstream currently consists of people who have a demonstrated disposition to 'getting off' on doing high quality security conscious software (as evidenced by a very significant fraction by lines-of-code in Bitcoin core itself not to mention some of the most critical of the support systems.)

I lack the skill and time to evaluate complex cryptographic code and perform system analysis and testing myself.  I would value a solution which has been looked over by these people at this time.  Long before Blockstream became some sort of and 'agency like group' I would have moved on to trusting others to provide this service for me.


Your solutions are so extremely specific that in actuality we can not see them happening, it would have to be controlled by a single entity to get all of these things changed is the exact way you want things to work.

You're logic is good but the implantation of it just isn't viable, from each corporation having their own chain and it still being open source, to the bitstream team giving seal of approvals for tons of chains without making changes, and for chains to auto convert and with all these things a small fee, the man power to get all this to happen and avoid bugs, scams and high fee's is just insane when compared to increasing the block size and using alt coins if you want other coin styles.














 

 

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Carlton Banks
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June 11, 2015, 05:46:46 PM
 #53

Sidechains are best used not as alts, but as other hash-chain secured information services:

  • Decentralised TLD/DNS resolution (Namecoin without the coin)
  • Ownership title (land, vehicles, businesses)
  • Cryptographic contracts
  • Identity/reputation system/s
  • Votes

The key thing is that the whole bitcoin hashing power could potentially choose to mine a successful sidechain, and that's alot of hashing assurance you're getting. Sure, there are going to be side-coin chains too, but many of those ideas may just end up getting merged into the main chain if they're suitable for that. Most will die pretty quickly, I would expect.

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June 11, 2015, 06:05:40 PM
 #54

Sidechains are best used not as alts, but as other hash-chain secured information services:

  • Decentralised TLD/DNS resolution (Namecoin without the coin)
  • Ownership title (land, vehicles, businesses)
  • Cryptographic contracts
  • Identity/reputation system/s
  • Votes

The key thing is that the whole bitcoin hashing power could potentially choose to mine a successful sidechain, and that's alot of hashing assurance you're getting. Sure, there are going to be side-coin chains too, but many of those ideas may just end up getting merged into the main chain if they're suitable for that. Most will die pretty quickly, I would expect.
This would be a great use of sidechains, I am not anti sidechain at all but I am anti the thought of replacing Bitcoin with sidechains instead of increasing the blocksize.














 

 

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Carlton Banks
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June 11, 2015, 08:45:41 PM
 #55

Sidechains are best used not as alts, but as other hash-chain secured information services:

  • Decentralised TLD/DNS resolution (Namecoin without the coin)
  • Ownership title (land, vehicles, businesses)
  • Cryptographic contracts
  • Identity/reputation system/s
  • Votes

The key thing is that the whole bitcoin hashing power could potentially choose to mine a successful sidechain, and that's alot of hashing assurance you're getting. Sure, there are going to be side-coin chains too, but many of those ideas may just end up getting merged into the main chain if they're suitable for that. Most will die pretty quickly, I would expect.
This would be a great use of sidechains, I am not anti sidechain at all but I am anti the thought of replacing Bitcoin with sidechains instead of increasing the blocksize.

It's not a straight choice like that IMO. Bigger blocks do one thing. Side chains do another. Both have pros and cons. Both will end up happening, in one form or another.

Vires in numeris
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June 11, 2015, 09:27:57 PM
 #56

Because you still keep using bitcoin and its snet effect it is spread around the people in the world

you don't need to accept a bunch of altcoins,just accept bitcoin
Pretty much this. Altcoins are just a hindrance, people are creating them as pump and dump in order to earn quick money almost in 100% cases.
Most of them are copy paste or existing code without any changes beside name of the coin. Instead on focusing our attention on altcoins why don't we focus and upgrade bitcoin?
It would beneficial for us a lot more than creating new altcoin everyday. I think going pro sidechains are also not the way to evolve... Only pure bitcoin is the way. Stop deviations.

The fundamentals of the Bitcoin core doesn't need to change for sidechains to have any sort of configurations. I think sidechains have a place. A country that wants to use Bitcoin technology but under their own rules, could create their own coin through a sidechain, and still operate within the safe Bitcoin ecosystem instead of being some weak alt exposed to attacks.

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R2D221
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June 11, 2015, 10:28:25 PM
 #57

Sidechains are best used not as alts, but as other hash-chain secured information services:

  • Decentralised TLD/DNS resolution (Namecoin without the coin)
  • Ownership title (land, vehicles, businesses)
  • Cryptographic contracts
  • Identity/reputation system/s
  • Votes

The key thing is that the whole bitcoin hashing power could potentially choose to mine a successful sidechain, and that's alot of hashing assurance you're getting. Sure, there are going to be side-coin chains too, but many of those ideas may just end up getting merged into the main chain if they're suitable for that. Most will die pretty quickly, I would expect.
This would be a great use of sidechains, I am not anti sidechain at all but I am anti the thought of replacing Bitcoin with sidechains instead of increasing the blocksize.

It's not a straight choice like that IMO. Bigger blocks do one thing. Side chains do another. Both have pros and cons. Both will end up happening, in one form or another.

Yes, but we need things happening for the right reasons. Trying to solve scalability with sidechains is not right, as far as I understand.

An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.
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June 11, 2015, 11:06:48 PM
 #58

...
You're logic is good but the implantation of it just isn't viable, from each corporation having their own chain and it still being open source, to the bitstream team giving seal of approvals for tons of chains without making changes, and for chains to auto convert and with all these things a small fee, the man power to get all this to happen and avoid bugs, scams and high fee's is just insane when compared to increasing the block size and using alt coins if you want other coin styles.

Just FWIW, I have a decent hands-on insight into how corporations tend to get software.  They very rarely write core systems in-house, and usually contract out even fairly basic adaptations.  For tricky cryptographic code it will almost always be the case that it is commissioned from experts.

If Blockstream develops various sidechains for various customers there is some chance that they will demand to have it be open-source.  There is also a fair chance that in many cases the client themselves will wish to have it open-source as a method of instilling confidence.

If a sidechain is closed-source I still might use it for non-trivial needs if it were released by some entity I trust, but this would be a strike against it in my book (though I'm a bit of an odd-ball in these things so it may not matter much to most people.)

I would even use closed source from an entity I didn't trust when only trivial values which I can afford to walk away from (and laugh) are involved.  Indeed, I entrust significant sums to Coinbase at times (out of necessity) and I have no idea what their back-office looks like.  From my experience in the commercial software industry I figure it's probably a mess held together with shoe-strings and bubblegum.  Most closed-source commercial software fits that description.


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June 13, 2015, 08:20:29 PM
 #59

I can't wait for the multitude of sidechain forks that all compete with each other. Sidechains themselves require incentives to operate securely, such as fees and the continued security of the Bitcoin network, so I'd guess we'll start to see a lot of the same issues in sidechain space as we do in altchain space. I really don't think there's any difference between the two. You can also issue your own assets already on Bitcoin (e.g. coinprism, counterparty), so the notion of token issuance for use in general scamming will surely appear on sidechains as well. You can't out-technology human speculation in finance.

There is no speculation incentive because all investments are denominated in BTC. Thus this will force consolidation. Unless there are revenue models and/or dividends for side chains.

Ah... just like all alt coins are merge mined with Bitcoin to support the entire network hash rate? After Elements adds explicit tokenization it'll be easy for anyone to make a sidechain fork and issue "Sidechain Funbux" on their fork, pre-sale them, etc.

But what you've described above is not different than what we already have. I thought you were implying pegged side chains would increase speculation and especially in a way that might dilute Bitcoin more than presently.

Bilateral two-way peg also means that Bitcoin might inadvertently end up supporting a number of pre-existing alt. coins anyway; especially since we can now explicitly tokenize them in a 1:1 peg on the elements sidechain and transfer them there.

I am unclear on how pegged side chains prevent a BTC pegged side chain from creating more BTC fungible monetary units than were transferred into the side chain from another BTC chain?

Assuming debasement of BTC can be cryptographically prevented (but I can't fathom how that can be possible in a decentralized context  Huh ... however I haven't yet entirely digested the Blockstream whitepaper), then I don't see how you justify your claim that Bitcoin might end up supporting altcoins?

(actually I see another way, and it appears to be a win-win paradigm for all involved)

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