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Author Topic: Larger Blockchain = less security?  (Read 597 times)
BNO
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August 30, 2015, 03:53:44 PM
 #1

"As such, the larger the Blockchain, the more hashpower is required to maintain the same level of security,”

Im having difficulties to understand why a larger Blockchain needs more hashing power Huh I thought the length of the ledger would be irrelevant. Can someone explain?


source of statement:
http://cointelegraph.com/news/115136/nick-szabo-block-size-increase-a-huge-security-risk?source=dogechain.info

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coinpr0n
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August 30, 2015, 04:42:30 PM
 #2

The idea of a walled city is a great visual but unfornately I think it falls on it's face. I too don't see how the size of the blockchain necessarily matters in terms of needing more hashpower to protect it. Unless it's tied to centralization of mining or something like that I don't see how that is true. (No expert though, so I'm open to being wrong.)

BNO
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August 30, 2015, 05:49:01 PM
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I would be really interested in an answer since even Nick Szabo (who might be Satoshi himself) talks about larger Blocksize and lower security in one sentence, but its not really explained...

The thinking that has led us to this point will not lead beyond - Albert Einstein
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August 30, 2015, 07:14:33 PM
 #4

"As such, the larger the Blockchain, the more hashpower is required to maintain the same level of security,”

I believe the statement is referring to relay nodes, not mining nodes. The size of the blockchain make running a node more difficult and costly. As people are less willing to run nodes, the number of nodes will drop making a less secure blockchain. The above statement could be taken out of context, "hashpower" was meant for the overall network power of verifying a hash.
BNO
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August 30, 2015, 07:24:23 PM
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Quote
I believe the statement is referring to relay nodes, not mining nodes. The size of the blockchain make running a node more difficult and costly. As people are less willing to run nodes, the number of nodes will drop making a less secure blockchain.


Makes sense. Its one of the biggest weaknesses of bitcoin: the nodes. I really don't get that they get no economic incentives. It should have been rigth from the beginnging a split of fees, like this Blockrewards is for miners and fees are for nodes. Otherwise one day we stand there without nodes.


The thinking that has led us to this point will not lead beyond - Albert Einstein
coinpr0n
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August 30, 2015, 07:44:49 PM
 #6

"As such, the larger the Blockchain, the more hashpower is required to maintain the same level of security,”

Just to clarify, this statement is not made by Nick Szabo but by Pete Dushenski. The walled city analogy comes from his blog post too. This article is sort of click-baity and really only has that one tweet as clearly a statement by Szabo and is mixed with quotes from others.

Quote
I believe the statement is referring to relay nodes, not mining nodes. The size of the blockchain make running a node more difficult and costly. As people are less willing to run nodes, the number of nodes will drop making a less secure blockchain.


Makes sense. Its one of the biggest weaknesses of bitcoin: the nodes. I really don't get that they get no economic incentives. It should have been rigth from the beginnging a split of fees, like this Blockrewards is for miners and fees are for nodes. Otherwise one day we stand there without nodes.

I agree that nodes on the network is the worrying part. And too large a blocksize will make it harder for anyone to run full nodes - partly because of disk space, but mostly because of bandwidth.

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August 30, 2015, 08:06:33 PM
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"As such, the larger the Blockchain, the more hashpower is required to maintain the same level of security,”

I believe the statement is referring to relay nodes, not mining nodes. The size of the blockchain make running a node more difficult and costly. As people are less willing to run nodes, the number of nodes will drop making a less secure blockchain. The above statement could be taken out of context, "hashpower" was meant for the overall network power of verifying a hash.

This situation could improve once merchants (who accept BTC directly) begin to realise that running a full node to accept customer transactions protects them against double spend attempts. In my experience, most retailers use SPV or web wallets (which are potentially better than SPV or on par with running your own full node, depending on the provider).

I believe that using chain pruning (which brings the minimum blockchain data stored to below 1GB) could also help encourage this. Does anyone know if the double spending protection offered by pruned nodes is the same for the fully contingent blockchain? My instinct would be that it is.

Vires in numeris
BNO
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August 30, 2015, 10:14:22 PM
 #8

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I believe that using chain pruning (which brings the minimum blockchain data stored to below 1GB) could also help encourage this. Does anyone know if the double spending protection offered by pruned nodes is the same for the fully contingent blockchain? My instinct would be that it is.

Yeah fully agree if pruning gets the data stored below 1GB thats very good.

But the main problem, that there is no "direct monetary" incentivation for running a node remains. One can see how big the difference is:
Hashingpower of Network developed 100fold (thats 10.000% !!) over the last 2 Years, while nodes keep detoriating and detoriating...

The thinking that has led us to this point will not lead beyond - Albert Einstein
Carlton Banks
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August 30, 2015, 10:29:44 PM
 #9

Direct monetary incentives for nodes is more difficult to achieve than it sounds. It certainly makes large sybil attacks more viable, and possibly opens the door to others also.

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BNO
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August 30, 2015, 11:16:01 PM
 #10

You are probably right, it seems to obvious that this causes problems, that there must have been other problems even more severe to drop it..

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August 30, 2015, 11:21:57 PM
 #11

Quote
I believe that using chain pruning (which brings the minimum blockchain data stored to below 1GB) could also help encourage this. Does anyone know if the double spending protection offered by pruned nodes is the same for the fully contingent blockchain? My instinct would be that it is.

Yeah fully agree if pruning gets the data stored below 1GB thats very good.

But the main problem, that there is no "direct monetary" incentivation for running a node remains. One can see how big the difference is:
Hashingpower of Network developed 100fold (thats 10.000% !!) over the last 2 Years, while nodes keep detoriating and detoriating...

That's because the nodes produce no revenue the way things are right now. If nodes would receive even a smallest amount of block reward, you would
see that number rising by many folds, as there would be incentive for running one.
The way it is now is that node number will continue to be counter proportional to blockchain size.


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VeritasSapere
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August 31, 2015, 12:39:26 AM
 #12

Quote
I believe that using chain pruning (which brings the minimum blockchain data stored to below 1GB) could also help encourage this. Does anyone know if the double spending protection offered by pruned nodes is the same for the fully contingent blockchain? My instinct would be that it is.

Yeah fully agree if pruning gets the data stored below 1GB thats very good.

But the main problem, that there is no "direct monetary" incentivation for running a node remains. One can see how big the difference is:
Hashingpower of Network developed 100fold (thats 10.000% !!) over the last 2 Years, while nodes keep detoriating and detoriating...

That's because the nodes produce no revenue the way things are right now. If nodes would receive even a smallest amount of block reward, you would
see that number rising by many folds, as there would be incentive for running one.
The way it is now is that node number will continue to be counter proportional to blockchain size.
However increased adoption of Bitcoin could offset this, since there will be more people potentially to run full nodes. Which is why I think that restricting the amount of people that can use Bitcoin would also severely impact node count. However the node count has been increasing recently because we now have more choices for alternative clients. Some people are running nodes just for the reason of having their voice heard on the network. We need more alternative clients with alternative development teams competing with each other, this is a great development for Bitcoin. Smiley
DannyHamilton
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August 31, 2015, 02:47:41 AM
 #13

I'm not sure who Pete Dushenski is, but if he thinks that "the larger the Blockchain, the more hashpower is required to maintain the same level of security", then he clearly doesn't understand how bitcoin works.

Furthermore, Nick Szabo isn't quoted in the article as saying that "larger block size will necessarily lead to lower security.  According to the article Mr. Szabo "has stated that a rapid block size increase is a huge security risk”.  Meanwhile, the article also states that Mr. Szabo is in favor of "A much more reasonable block size proposal, following historical growth rates".

So apparently an increase in block size is ok, but a rapid increase is not.  There is nothing in the article that indicates what the threshold is for declaring a particular increase to be "rapid".


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