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plorph
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December 30, 2015, 08:42:13 PM
 #1

Im thoroughly confused. Does a bitcoin xt client still communicate with the bitcoin network or is it a seperate fork? If its a seperate fork, thats bad right?

Secondly, on the block size limit. Why would we be having limit issues? I though it was designed to handle stuff like this, I highly doubt the limit being reached wasnt thought about when bitcoin was created.

And to me it seems that the block size limit would be a problem right? Wont it either dramatically increase fees and/or causr transaction favoritism/selection? Bitcoin is special because all transactions are treated equally?

Thanks for any enlightenment.

puh-lorph
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December 30, 2015, 08:46:41 PM
 #2

I was under the impression that it wouldnt be the client creating a block chain fork, but the miners?  so bitcoin core and bitcoin xt both follow the same chain until the miners or a miner create/s bigger blocks which bitcoin core would not allow, at that point there will be a fork.... not sure im correct, someone will clarify.
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January 01, 2016, 08:33:01 PM
 #3

XT takes Bitcoin and modifies some of its core consensus rules. Right now, it happens to be compatible with Bitcoin in most cases. But because it uses different rules, it can (depending on what miners do) split into a totally separate currency. Therefore, XT is not Bitcoin. A similar sort of thing was done with Feathercoin, which split off from Litecoin.

Some sort of block-size limit is necessary because if miners make blocks too large for a long period of time, then this makes it difficult for people to run full nodes. (In other words, block size is a negative externality suffered by full nodes due to the actions of miners and transaction-makers.) If not enough of the economy is backed by independent full nodes, then Bitcoin is totally insecure for everyone (see here and here). And there's no reason to think that miners would voluntarily keep blocks small enough -- they don't have the right incentives. So the network needs to enforce some limit. In the long-run the limit can't stay at 1 MB forever (and Satoshi acknowledged this), but this works well enough for now.

People often think that Bitcoin is ruled by miners, but this is wrong. Miners are merely employees of the network. Even if every miner decided to make 2 MB blocks right now, everyone running a Bitcoin full node would simply ignore their blocks. Bitcoin is composed of immutable rules (called "consensus rules") that all full nodes enforce no matter what. Modifying these rules requires creating a separate currency and having everyone else move to this separate currency. If pretty much everyone agrees in advance that it's OK to do this, then this is a consensus hardfork, and the result is still Bitcoin. If there is significant controversy, then the new currency is not Bitcoin. See this diagram.

Quote
And to me it seems that the block size limit would be a problem right? Wont it either dramatically increase fees and/or causr transaction favoritism/selection? Bitcoin is special because all transactions are treated equally?

If blocks sometimes get full, then paying a too-low fee might significantly delay your transaction. If blocks are consistently full, then if you don't pay a sufficient fee, your transaction might never confirm. The exact fee required will depend on how many other transactions are being created and how much block space is left. Increasing the max block size will allow for lower fees.

Bitcoin is special because it is decentralized and to a very large extent incorruptible by humans, not because it might in some cases allow cheap transactions. If it can be done safely, the max block size should be increased if fees become a significant problem. But if the max block size is at the maximum safe size, then we shouldn't abandon the decentralization, security, etc. of the base Bitcoin system in order to achieve lower fees. We should instead look for some other solution. And there are in fact a variety of solutions in the works, both to make max block size increases safer (eg. IBLT and/or weak blocks) and to reduce the number of on-blockchain transactions that people need to perform (eg. Lightning). And if these "perfect" solutions are insufficient, there are various imperfect solutions which increase scalability at some security cost for its users. There might be some hiccups along the way, but I am very confident that the Bitcoin currency/ecosystem can both remain secure+decentralized and eventually scale to encompass all world transactions if necessary.

The max block size is planned to be effectively increased to about 2 MB sometime this year with the SegWit softfork. See: https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/capacity-increases . An increase to much more than this is not viewed as safe by many experts.

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January 01, 2016, 08:56:25 PM
 #4

Hi Theymos. Long time listener here. Do you think you could comment on the possible implications of having a private, for-profit corporation in a position to point development in its favour?

Thanks!

Forgive my petulance and oft-times, I fear, ill-founded criticisms, and forgive me that I have, by this time, made your eyes and head ache with my long letter. But I cannot forgo hastily the pleasure and pride of thus conversing with you.
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January 02, 2016, 01:07:35 AM
 #5

XT takes Bitcoin and modifies some of its core consensus rules. Right now, it happens to be compatible with Bitcoin in most cases. But because it uses different rules, it can (depending on what miners do) split into a totally separate currency. Therefore, XT is not Bitcoin. A similar sort of thing was done with Feathercoin, which split off from Litecoin.

Some sort of block-size limit is necessary because if miners make blocks too large for a long period of time, then this makes it difficult for people to run full nodes. (In other words, block size is a negative externality suffered by full nodes due to the actions of miners and transaction-makers.) If not enough of the economy is backed by independent full nodes, then Bitcoin is totally insecure for everyone (see here and here). And there's no reason to think that miners would voluntarily keep blocks small enough -- they don't have the right incentives. So the network needs to enforce some limit. In the long-run the limit can't stay at 1 MB forever (and Satoshi acknowledged this), but this works well enough for now.

People often think that Bitcoin is ruled by miners, but this is wrong. Miners are merely employees of the network. Even if every miner decided to make 2 MB blocks right now, everyone running a Bitcoin full node would simply ignore their blocks. Bitcoin is composed of immutable rules (called "consensus rules") that all full nodes enforce no matter what. Modifying these rules requires creating a separate currency and having everyone else move to this separate currency. If pretty much everyone agrees in advance that it's OK to do this, then this is a consensus hardfork, and the result is still Bitcoin. If there is significant controversy, then the new currency is not Bitcoin. See this diagram.

Quote
And to me it seems that the block size limit would be a problem right? Wont it either dramatically increase fees and/or causr transaction favoritism/selection? Bitcoin is special because all transactions are treated equally?

If blocks sometimes get full, then paying a too-low fee might significantly delay your transaction. If blocks are consistently full, then if you don't pay a sufficient fee, your transaction might never confirm. The exact fee required will depend on how many other transactions are being created and how much block space is left. Increasing the max block size will allow for lower fees.

Bitcoin is special because it is decentralized and to a very large extent incorruptible by humans, not because it might in some cases allow cheap transactions. If it can be done safely, the max block size should be increased if fees become a significant problem. But if the max block size is at the maximum safe size, then we shouldn't abandon the decentralization, security, etc. of the base Bitcoin system in order to achieve lower fees. We should instead look for some other solution. And there are in fact a variety of solutions in the works, both to make max block size increases safer (eg. IBLT and/or weak blocks) and to reduce the number of on-blockchain transactions that people need to perform (eg. Lightning). And if these "perfect" solutions are insufficient, there are various imperfect solutions which increase scalability at some security cost for its users. There might be some hiccups along the way, but I am very confident that the Bitcoin currency/ecosystem can both remain secure+decentralized and eventually scale to encompass all world transactions if necessary.

The max block size is planned to be effectively increased to about 2 MB sometime this year with the SegWit softfork. See: https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/capacity-increases . An increase to much more than this is not viewed as safe by many experts.

Thanks for the informative reply, that helps a lot.

puh-lorph
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January 02, 2016, 01:20:33 AM
 #6

Stupid question but if we double the block size do we double the block reward?

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January 02, 2016, 01:30:19 AM
 #7

Therefore, XT is not Bitcoin.

This sums it up rather nicely. Here on the forums you will get more accurate information, IMHO, than trying to filter through the noise that the lemmings produce on reddit. I stopped taking anything anyone says there seriously some time ago as it has devolved into a trolls den. How theymos deals with those idiots on r/bitcoin is beyond me.

I also applaud the decision to remove coinbase from the list, and on bitcoin.org. Coinbase won't be using bitcoin if it continues along this path.

As previously mentioned this is uncharted territory for sure but it is foolhardy to raise the blocksize limit at this time, considering there are more pressing issues with bitcoin in general. iirc mempool needs to be sorted before even considering block capacity increases.


Stupid question but if we double the block size so we double the block reward?

No, block reward does not increase by doubling block size.


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January 02, 2016, 01:51:46 AM
 #8

Stupid question but if we double the block size do we double the block reward?
Absolutely not, we are not changing rules of bitcoin here, all we talk about is scaling bitcoin to allow smooth working for more and more people coming.

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January 02, 2016, 04:33:15 AM
 #9

Stupid question but if we double the block size do we double the block reward?
Absolutely not, we are not changing rules of bitcoin here, all we talk about is scaling bitcoin to allow smooth working for more and more people coming.

OK thanks,  I thought maybe we should be collecting more blocks then reach the total btc sooner which would obviously not be great.

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January 02, 2016, 05:33:28 AM
 #10

Bitcoin XT is new altcoin..?
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January 02, 2016, 08:01:57 AM
 #11

Bitcoin XT is new altcoin..?

no it's nothing, it does not count anymore, forget about it completely, it was a failure since the beginning with that ip identification crap they added in
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January 02, 2016, 12:28:16 PM
 #12

@plorph
Remember that you are free to choose, and everyone has his own private interest, personal knowledge and experience.
So give the right weight at every words that you read everywhere, even here on Bitcointalk.

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January 02, 2016, 12:36:38 PM
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@plorph
Remember that you are free to choose, and everyone has his own private interest, personal knowledge and experience.
So give the right weight at every words that you read everywhere, even here on Bitcointalk.

Good advice!

Hi Theymos. Long time listener here. Do you think you could comment on the possible implications of having a private, for-profit corporation in a position to point development in its favour?

Thanks!

Forgive my petulance and oft-times, I fear, ill-founded criticisms, and forgive me that I have, by this time, made your eyes and head ache with my long letter. But I cannot forgo hastily the pleasure and pride of thus conversing with you.
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January 04, 2016, 08:58:59 AM
 #14

Bitcoin XT is new altcoin..?
No is not altcoin but some peoples are trying to discredit, if you want to get information visit their website https://bitcoinxt.software

A smartness bitcoin which will operate as the human brain can easily scale beyond the level of traffic VISA,Trainman pgp
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