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Author Topic: Ok, this is what i don't understand...  (Read 2125 times)
proverb
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June 09, 2011, 03:00:14 PM
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I'm familiar with the mathematic principles and computer technology behind bitcoin. However, even with reading alot of the beginner's topics and other forums and such, I'm still left with a couple questions about the implementation of the currency.

A few questions:

1. Work done: I understand that my computer (mining at 250 Mhash/s) is chugging away to find a nonce for the hashing algorithm that yeilds a solution that fits in the current difficulty level. However my question is: As I watch the block count go up on the bitcoin client, does my computer have to start from scratch each time?? Or am I still working to find one of the predicted 2016 (or whatever it is) blocks for the current difficulty level?

2. "Accepted": What is a Difficulty 1 hash? And when my computer "finds" one, is it a solution to a block that wasn't under the difficulty target, Or is it some other incremental calculation?

3. Remembering: Does my solo miner remember the work it has done if I close it or my computer turns off but I get it back to work within a reasonable timeframe and before the difficulty level goes up?? I ask because the "accepted" number resets each time..

Thanks for reading.. I would greatly appreciate someone clearing this up for me as alot of this seems to be assumed knowledge almost everywhere i read..

If i've missed the obvious answers in some thread i missed, please direct me.

Thank you very much fellow miners. Wink
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June 09, 2011, 03:18:30 PM
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Welcome to the forum proverb. I'm kind of new as well, but have been reading as much as I can over the past couple of weeks.

1. Once a block is found, the problem changes and your computer does have to change what it is looking for. This isn't a big deal because you have the same probability to hit a block so long as the difficulty remains the same.

2. Accepted is the response from a pool for a piece of the work (or share) your machine has done. You will see how many shares you have completed and this number is used to compute your payout when the pool hits a block.

3. Your miner will always need to check with the pool to get the latest work. There is no need to remember because your probability of hitting a block remains the same if difficulty remains the same.

Hope that helps.

SteveA

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Luke490
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June 09, 2011, 03:38:56 PM
 #3

...
because your probability of hitting a block remains the same if difficulty remains the same.
...
This is a recurring theme in all the significant conversations I have had regarding BitCoin.

Some how this "BitCoin" system has an "infinite" number of ...  blocks, addresses ... whatever.

But if this is true how can the number of coins max at 21 bl?
...Difficulty. I know.
But let's say I'm running a pool that is "big", could I not make a full list of all block for all Difficulty levels?
If the size of a block is limited than it is possible to store every block, when computers get that good(some time in the next 5 years).
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June 09, 2011, 04:02:19 PM
 #4

There will be 21 billions of BTC awarded to miners. No more.

However, block will have to be generated, forever. The miners will do that because of transactions fees.

You cannot "generate" blocks in advance, because each new block contains some information from the previous. Your "stored" block would not "attach" to current block chain.

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June 09, 2011, 04:04:13 PM
 #5

Currently every block generated creates 50BTC + transaction fee for the person or pool who generated it. Every 210,000 blocks (about 4 years), this is reduced by half. Until eventually creating a block generates 0BTC. The idea is when it reaches this point the transaction fees should be enough to make it worth wild for the network to keep generating blocks.

I think you are missing a point. The next block in the series is based off the previous block. So if we are currently at block N, I can only compute block N + 1. I can not compute N + 2 until I know what N + 1 is. Also the difficult changes are based off the computing power of the network. We can make a guess of what the next difficulty will be, but won't know for sure until the last of the 2016 blocks from the previous difficulty is created. So it would be impossible to start generating at the next difficulty level until the previous on has ended.

Basically there is no way to compute future blocks until the current block is completed.

-SteveA

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
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June 09, 2011, 04:05:35 PM
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...
But let's say I'm running a pool that is "big", could I not make a full list of all block for all Difficulty levels?
...

I can answer that.

You COULD create a full list of all the solutions... in fact... that's what you are doing by mining.

Miner's computers are performing millions of rounds of a cryptographic hash called SHA256. The thing is, is that the computation you are doing to find these solutions are in fact what gives bitcoin its value. There is literally no other way to do it other than these computational workloads.

The difficulty is what decides "which" solutions are valid. This technically involves finding a solution to the hashing algorithm that falls under a certain number (determined by all the blocks before it). The "number" decreases over time limiting the space of possible solutions thereby making it more difficult.

By design, the system slowly increases the difficulty thereby exponentially making it more difficult to create bitcoins until the system reaches the limit of the binary granularity built it which gives you the arbitrary maximum amount of bitcoins in circulation.
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June 09, 2011, 04:21:55 PM
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...
But let's say I'm running a pool that is "big", could I not make a full list of all block for all Difficulty levels?
...

I can answer that.

You COULD create a full list of all the solutions... in fact... that's what you are doing by mining.

Miner's computers are performing millions of rounds of a cryptographic hash called SHA256. The thing is, is that the computation you are doing to find these solutions are in fact what gives bitcoin its value. There is literally no other way to do it other than these computational workloads.

The difficulty is what decides "which" solutions are valid. This technically involves finding a solution to the hashing algorithm that falls under a certain number (determined by all the blocks before it). The "number" decreases over time limiting the space of possible solutions thereby making it more difficult.

By design, the system slowly increases the difficulty thereby exponentially making it more difficult to create bitcoins until the system reaches the limit of the binary granularity built it which gives you the arbitrary maximum amount of bitcoins in circulation.

Ah, no. This wuold not work beacuse it would render bitcoins useless when no moreblocks canbe generated.

Bitcoin distribution has nothing to do with difficulty. every block gets 50BTC, every 210.000 blocks or so the reward halves. Difficulty is adjusted every 2100 blocks so that 10 blocks are gnearated per hour, so it CAN become EASIER in someyears, theoretically.

Difficulty makes sure blocks are not solved too fast. New bitcoins are a hardcoded intrinsic reward, not related to difficulty.
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June 09, 2011, 04:49:56 PM
 #8

...
because your probability of hitting a block remains the same if difficulty remains the same.
...
This is a recurring theme in all the significant conversations I have had regarding BitCoin.

Some how this "BitCoin" system has an "infinite" number of ...  blocks, addresses ... whatever.

But if this is true how can the number of coins max at 21 bl?
...Difficulty. I know.
But let's say I'm running a pool that is "big", could I not make a full list of all block for all Difficulty levels?
If the size of a block is limited than it is possible to store every block, when computers get that good(some time in the next 5 years).

If a block is ~256 Bytes of data than the total number of possible blocks is ~3*10^616, assuming a Byte is 8 bits not 16 or 32.
The size of a hard drive storing all the possible blocks would be ~8*10^618 Bytes or 8*10^606 GB
Though this would seem to be a daunting request as time moves on it will not be so impossible making this system of BitCoins obsolete.
However if a system was set up with variable block sizes....
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June 09, 2011, 04:53:26 PM
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This is what i'm talking about... where is the definitive guide/FAQ/Wiki that breaks all this down.

I want a flash animation or something that puts it all into perspective..

I wish someone would make something available so i don't have to sift through the code myself and really get to the nitty gritty...
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June 09, 2011, 05:54:25 PM
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This is what i'm talking about... where is the definitive guide/FAQ/Wiki that breaks all this down.

I want a flash animation or something that puts it all into perspective..

I wish someone would make something available so i don't have to sift through the code myself and really get to the nitty gritty...

If you need help decrypting the blocks I recommend starting at:
http://blockexplorer.com/
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June 09, 2011, 06:30:46 PM
 #11

This is what i'm talking about... where is the definitive guide/FAQ/Wiki that breaks all this down.

I want a flash animation or something that puts it all into perspective..

I wish someone would make something available so i don't have to sift through the code myself and really get to the nitty gritty...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page

Flash guides are made simple. If you want the deep understanding you gotta do the work. And you don't have to sift through the code, there's plenty of human language equivalent explanations.

Speaking of which offtopic, I wonder if you could get a savant, show him the latest blocks information, ask for a nonce related to current difficulty and have him spit it out. Infinite hash/second brain.
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June 09, 2011, 06:39:52 PM
 #12

This is what i'm talking about... where is the definitive guide/FAQ/Wiki that breaks all this down.

read the white paper on the main page under docs.  If you don't understand the white paper, no flash animation is going to help.  You will not understand it the first couple of times that you read it, but hopefully it will click eventually.  I was literally asleep and dreaming about it back in July woke up with a start with the thought, "That's f*cking genuis!"

"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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June 09, 2011, 06:45:08 PM
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A hashing savant would just drive up the difficult to the speed in which he could solve the blocks. If he could solve the blocks faster than 50% of the network, he could cause some issues. Do I think it is likely that there is a hashing savant that would be able to come even close to the current network hashing ability? Absolutely not.

SteveA

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
MoonShadow
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June 09, 2011, 06:47:37 PM
 #14

I'm familiar with the mathematic principles and computer technology behind bitcoin. However, even with reading alot of the beginner's topics and other forums and such, I'm still left with a couple questions about the implementation of the currency.

A few questions:

1. Work done: I understand that my computer (mining at 250 Mhash/s) is chugging away to find a nonce for the hashing algorithm that yeilds a solution that fits in the current difficulty level. However my question is: As I watch the block count go up on the bitcoin client, does my computer have to start from scratch each time?? Or am I still working to find one of the predicted 2016 (or whatever it is) blocks for the current difficulty level?


All miners are working on each block, one at a time.  There is a designed delay of about 10 minutes between each block to allow for future network latency of spreading blocks and transactions.  There is no "starting from scratch" however, your computer is repeatedly hashing the 80 block header, all miners have equal odds of success with each hash performed.

Quote

2. "Accepted": What is a Difficulty 1 hash? And when my computer "finds" one, is it a solution to a block that wasn't under the difficulty target, Or is it some other incremental calculation?


"Difficulty" is a relative metic.  It's the number of times more hashes (on average) it takes to find a solution than it would be if the "target" number were it's highest possible setting.  The system will not permit a target of greater than 32 leading zeros of the 256 bit hash.  Thus a difficulty 1 hash would not solve teh currency difficulty.

Quote

3. Remembering: Does my solo miner remember the work it has done if I close it or my computer turns off but I get it back to work within a reasonable timeframe and before the difficulty level goes up?? I ask because the "accepted" number resets each time..


No, and it doesn't need to.  It doesn't matter because there is no begining or end to the work.



"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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June 09, 2011, 06:54:55 PM
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I believe he is solo mining with GUIminer, NOT pool mining, and wants to know if it is working.

That is the only time I have ever seen a "difficulty 1 hash"

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June 09, 2011, 06:59:17 PM
 #16

This is what i'm talking about... where is the definitive guide/FAQ/Wiki that breaks all this down.

I want a flash animation or something that puts it all into perspective..

I wish someone would make something available so i don't have to sift through the code myself and really get to the nitty gritty...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page


How Cliche.

I'm sure proverb already visited every one of those pages.
Why don't you point him to the page that explains how many bytes are in a hash and how many hashes it takes to find a block.
What about how blocks are used when fractions of Bitcoins are made, used and tracked.
I can go on and on with loads of stuff not mentioned on those pages.
bcpokey
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June 09, 2011, 07:11:24 PM
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This is what i'm talking about... where is the definitive guide/FAQ/Wiki that breaks all this down.

I want a flash animation or something that puts it all into perspective..

I wish someone would make something available so i don't have to sift through the code myself and really get to the nitty gritty...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um63OQz3bjo

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page


How Cliche.

I'm sure proverb already visited every one of those pages.
Why don't you point him to the page that explains how many bytes are in a hash and how many hashes it takes to find a block.
What about how blocks are used when fractions of Bitcoins are made, used and tracked.
I can go on and on with loads of stuff not mentioned on those pages.

Cliche? Not sure you know what that word means. You ask for a faq and suggest that posting faqs isn't enough. You ask for more information and suggest a wiki is too much information. Sounds like you just want to complain.

As to what proverb has or has not done, well... in order: bytes in hash -because I don't think he actually cares? How many bytes in a block don't affect anyone except maybe if you are some crazy paranoid network engineer. If he wanted more information I gave him the wiki, e.g. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Protocol_specification#Hashes
Fractions of bitcoins - they are not "made", so that's an easy one. It's made clear that used/tracked transactions are verified by mining blocks and that's the whole point of bitcoin.
Loads of other stuff -- that's pretty helpful, I could go on about loads of stuff about loads of stuff. But I don't make posts about that.
MoonShadow
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June 09, 2011, 07:42:24 PM
 #18

I believe he is solo mining with GUIminer, NOT pool mining, and wants to know if it is working.

That is the only time I have ever seen a "difficulty 1 hash"


The only situation that I can think of that the client would report a difficulty of one is if you are trying to solo mine without a connection to the bitcoin p2p network, and thus do not have the blockchain.   If you start a client without a blockchain, and tell it to mine, it will attempt to start the whole thing over again with the genesis block, which is hard coded into the client.

"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'
Luke490
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June 10, 2011, 02:01:46 PM
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Cliche? Not sure you know what that word means. You ask for a faq and suggest that posting faqs isn't enough. You ask for more information and suggest a wiki is too much information. Sounds like you just want to complain.

As to what proverb has or has not done, well... in order: bytes in hash -because I don't think he actually cares? How many bytes in a block don't affect anyone except maybe if you are some crazy paranoid network engineer. If he wanted more information I gave him the wiki, e.g. https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Protocol_specification#Hashes
Fractions of bitcoins - they are not "made", so that's an easy one. It's made clear that used/tracked transactions are verified by mining blocks and that's the whole point of bitcoin.
Loads of other stuff -- that's pretty helpful, I could go on about loads of stuff about loads of stuff. But I don't make posts about that.

How typical?
Well not the website you gave this time. Thank you.

You don't care how it works, or what actually makes it reliable?
So you don't even care how many hashes it will take to make a block?
Or, what process makes bitcoins fractionated, and the fractions exchangeable between computers?

Well I hope you are not planning on making Bitcoin your primary income.
It's good for helping trade, bad for making money in the long run.

That said I would not mind having my employer pay me in Bitcoins.


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