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Author Topic: What's the need for Litecoin's shorter blocks?  (Read 900 times)
Moshi
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January 22, 2013, 04:48:00 AM
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One of the features that I've seen featured on Litecoin were the shorter rounds - 2.5 minutes, on average, rather than Bitcoin's 10. This is supposed to speed up the confirmation of transactions if I'm not mistaken, but I find that it really does nothing of the sort, in theory.

Confirmations are generally referred to for security's sake to avoid being caught up in a double-spend - or something of the like. Assuming some level of comparability, one would still need four confirmations in Litecoin to achieve the same level of security as a single transaction in Bitcoin, as the same hashing power (again, assuming there's some comparability) would be able to solve blocks four times faster... Correct? Or, is my logic wrong in some way? Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, the shorted blocks don't provide any real advantage.

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January 22, 2013, 05:07:27 AM
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Need: Send my litecoins faster to and from the exchange...and sellers and buyers of goods.

I hate waiting for bitcoin....so slooooooooooow.  Cheesy

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Atruk
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January 22, 2013, 07:22:17 AM
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One of the features that I've seen featured on Litecoin were the shorter rounds - 2.5 minutes, on average, rather than Bitcoin's 10. This is supposed to speed up the confirmation of transactions if I'm not mistaken, but I find that it really does nothing of the sort, in theory.

Confirmations are generally referred to for security's sake to avoid being caught up in a double-spend - or something of the like. Assuming some level of comparability, one would still need four confirmations in Litecoin to achieve the same level of security as a single transaction in Bitcoin, as the same hashing power (again, assuming there's some comparability) would be able to solve blocks four times faster... Correct? Or, is my logic wrong in some way? Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, the shorted blocks don't provide any real advantage.

Generally you want to think about confirmations as protection against getting pain in a double spend or having your transaction contained in a blockchain fork that loses and gets pruned then forgotten. It's all about the number of confirmations.

That being said generally a confirmation on the bitcoin blockchain can be considered stronger than one on the alternate chains, because the network is stronger. What that doesn't mean is that you can come up with some equivalence where X LTC confirmations is equivalent to Y Bitcoin confirmations, because there is no reasonable way to compare multiples of confirmations between the different altchains.

Time doesn't play into it that much.

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January 22, 2013, 07:43:43 AM
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There is some nonlinearity.  The shorter blocks decrease variance; that reduces the chance of opportunistic attacks like Finney.  After 7 minutes you probably have three LTC confirms and you can be reasonably certain your transaction is permanent.  On BTC you have only one confirm, maybe zero, and it's very easy for a hidden block to be released.

This assumes equal hashrate and all bets are off if they have access to enough hashpower for a true 51% attack.

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January 22, 2013, 07:47:29 AM
 #5

Need: Send my litecoins faster to and from the exchange...and sellers and buyers of goods.

I hate waiting for bitcoin....so slooooooooooow.  Cheesy

Granted the wait times are a bit of a nuisance, but it's still better than waiting for a bloody bank to do anything LOL Tongue
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January 22, 2013, 09:58:38 AM
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One of the features that I've seen featured on Litecoin were the shorter rounds - 2.5 minutes, on average, rather than Bitcoin's 10. This is supposed to speed up the confirmation of transactions if I'm not mistaken, but I find that it really does nothing of the sort, in theory.

Confirmations are generally referred to for security's sake to avoid being caught up in a double-spend - or something of the like. Assuming some level of comparability, one would still need four confirmations in Litecoin to achieve the same level of security as a single transaction in Bitcoin, as the same hashing power (again, assuming there's some comparability) would be able to solve blocks four times faster... Correct? Or, is my logic wrong in some way? Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, the shorted blocks don't provide any real advantage.

You're wrong.

Security is pretty much unrelated to the time taken to solve a block, just to the number of blocks.

If someone has 50% of hashing power they have a 50% chance of solving a block (ANY block) - irrespective of how long (on average) that takes.  They have a 25% chance of solving any given 2 blocks in a row - again, irrespective of how long each one (on average) takes, a 12.5% chance for 3 in a row, 6.25% chance for 4.  So four fast blocks is a LOT more secure than one slow one.
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January 22, 2013, 04:27:34 PM
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One of the features that I've seen featured on Litecoin were the shorter rounds - 2.5 minutes, on average, rather than Bitcoin's 10. This is supposed to speed up the confirmation of transactions if I'm not mistaken, but I find that it really does nothing of the sort, in theory.

Confirmations are generally referred to for security's sake to avoid being caught up in a double-spend - or something of the like. Assuming some level of comparability, one would still need four confirmations in Litecoin to achieve the same level of security as a single transaction in Bitcoin, as the same hashing power (again, assuming there's some comparability) would be able to solve blocks four times faster... Correct? Or, is my logic wrong in some way? Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, the shorted blocks don't provide any real advantage.

You're wrong.

Security is pretty much unrelated to the time taken to solve a block, just to the number of blocks.

If someone has 50% of hashing power they have a 50% chance of solving a block (ANY block) - irrespective of how long (on average) that takes.  They have a 25% chance of solving any given 2 blocks in a row - again, irrespective of how long each one (on average) takes, a 12.5% chance for 3 in a row, 6.25% chance for 4.  So four fast blocks is a LOT more secure than one slow one.

So I was tripping my logic a bit. I guess I was assuming that 1/4 the time = 1/4 the power, but thanks for the correction.

You too, Atruk.

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January 22, 2013, 09:35:57 PM
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In a bob tech related reason. I believe the shorter cycle allows for more open options in useing coin in offline situations. Such as in example a crypto coin op machine. Slots and Arcade Games powered by crypto/accepting crypto would not really work in the case of Bitcoin. However if one used LTC it might actually see some stick time.

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January 22, 2013, 10:02:04 PM
 #9

In a bob tech related reason. I believe the shorter cycle allows for more open options in useing coin in offline situations. Such as in example a crypto coin op machine. Slots and Arcade Games powered by crypto/accepting crypto would not really work in the case of Bitcoin. However if one used LTC it might actually see some stick time.



It could probably work with Bitcoin as long as the machine is online to resolve the results of play at the end of the session (as long as it wants to output the results of play as a single transaction), using the Satoshi Dice method of using the player's input transactions to construct the output where any coins won would depend on the player's coins not being double spent. (note: there's probably better ways to do this)

With the pervasiveness of wireless data connectivity and the assumption a cryptocoin operated gaming or vending machine would be permanent enough to maybe merit a wired connection, there are probably a sufficient number of ways to allow for relatively safe zero-confirmation transactions. Making sure payments include a fee, broadcasting outbound transactions only while peering with well connected vendor controlled nodes, selling Coca-Cola and not Cristal, etc.

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