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Author Topic: Is a monopoly on the full working Blockchain possible?  (Read 1249 times)
lunarboy (OP)
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February 19, 2013, 09:36:00 PM
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Thanks to piramida and xcsler dowstairs on the speculation floor.

They piqued my interest in a topic that i'm sure has been discussed before, but recently seems to be perhaps more important?

Pan forward many years to a time when the Blockchain is Terabytes large, most solo miners and in fact nearly all regular users have all but given up on downloading the full version so now only an handful of exchanges and mining pools  keep a full working copy.

Whats to prevent this consortium of elite, the last holders of a full working copy of the Blockcahin from conspiring together and "editing" the transactions to their advantage.... A little zero here a little 1000 there? probably from old and inactive addresses now suddenly emptied?

I'm thinking Libor scandal of the 22 century  Shocked

I'm no cryptographer, nor do I claim more than a rough working knowledge of the Bitcoin ecosystem, but I've been following the story for over 2 years now and have yet to get bored of this forum so go easy on any stupidity.




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February 19, 2013, 09:39:19 PM
 #2

Thanks to piramida and xcsler dowstairs on the speculation floor.

They piqued my interest in a topic that i'm sure has been discussed before, but recently seems to be perhaps more important?

Pan forward many years to a time when the Blockchain is Terabytes large, most solo miners and in fact nearly all regular users have all but given up on downloading the full version so now only an handful of exchanges and mining pools  keep a full working copy.

Whats to prevent this consortium of elite, the last holders of a full working copy of the Blockcahin from conspiring together and "editing" the transactions to their advantage.... A little zero here a little 1000 there? probably from old and inactive addresses now suddenly emptied?

I'm thinking Libor scandal of the 22 century  Shocked

I'm no cryptographer, nor do I claim more than a rough working knowledge of the Bitcoin ecosystem, but I've been following the story for over 2 years now and have yet to get bored of this forum so go easy on any stupidity.






I will do my duty and still host a full blockchain copy .

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wormbog
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February 19, 2013, 09:46:20 PM
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I'd wager that most major universities, payment-related tech companies, and monied uber-nerds will continue to host the full blockchain for the foreseeable future. Why? Because they can.
debianlinux
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February 19, 2013, 09:51:12 PM
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Pan forward many years to a time when the Blockchain is Terabytes large, most solo miners and in fact nearly all regular users have all but given up on downloading the full version

Once upon a time, in a not so distant past, 1 gigabyte was an unheard of hard disk drive capacity and network speeds were measured in bits per second. I think one fundamental flaw in your vision of the blockchain future is that you do not envision storage and network capacity scaling as well. Another oversight is the idea that the blockchain can be pruned.

The true question is, does the growth of the blockchain outpace the natural progression of storage and network capacities?
JoelKatz
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February 19, 2013, 09:52:58 PM
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Pan forward many years to a time when the Blockchain is Terabytes large, most solo miners and in fact nearly all regular users have all but given up on downloading the full version so now only an handful of exchanges and mining pools  keep a full working copy.
If that happens, at that point Bitcoin will be broken and shouldn't be used until it's fixed. Fortunately, we should have plenty of warning.

But you don't turn the wheel of the car when you're 50 miles from the curve in the road.

I am an employee of Ripple. Follow me on Twitter @JoelKatz
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lunarboy (OP)
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February 19, 2013, 09:58:58 PM
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Pan forward many years to a time when the Blockchain is Terabytes large, most solo miners and in fact nearly all regular users have all but given up on downloading the full version

Once upon a time, in a not so distant past, 1 gigabyte was an unheard of hard disk drive capacity and network speeds were measured in bits per second. I think one fundamental flaw in your vision of the blockchain future is that you do not envision storage and network capacity scaling as well. Another oversight is the idea that the blockchain can be pruned.

The true question is, does the growth of the blockchain outpace the natural progression of storage and network capacities?

 I had considered this, but not really built it into the question. Perhaps there will come a time when the blockchain size increase outpaces Moores law or more importantly the ability of most;  except an elites fews ability to keep up with it?
Vernon715
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February 20, 2013, 12:07:39 AM
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I think this is something that should be addressed via some sort of data compression technology.

It could also be addressed by eliminating some stuff that is stored on the block chain; maybe delete the ip address a transaction was sent from 100000 blocks after the transaction occurred?

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debianlinux
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February 20, 2013, 01:21:43 AM
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I think this is something that should be addressed via some sort of data compression technology.

It could also be addressed by eliminating some stuff that is stored on the block chain; maybe delete the ip address a transaction was sent from 100000 blocks after the transaction occurred?

ahem

IP addresses are not stored in the blockchain
Dabs
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February 20, 2013, 01:38:43 AM
 #9

We'd all be dead before this is even remotely a possibility. I am just speculating though. By that time, whoever are the developers of Bitcoin would have thought of a practical solution for this, or implement one of those "starting balance" schemes that eliminate really old transactions and consolidate them into a new block chain, which could be a moving block chain.

On the technical and security side, they could make it long enough so that cracking the previous blocks would still take too much computational effort.

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February 20, 2013, 12:21:52 PM
 #10

No, it is very unlikely to happen and probably impossible.
lunarboy (OP)
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February 20, 2013, 05:08:12 PM
 #11

Sage answers thanks.

I'm guessing it comes down to the same level as many other potential threats like increasing the block size limit.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=144895.0.


 Identify them and steer slowly away from any form of centralisation, whilst remaining true to the core philosophy.
markm
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February 20, 2013, 05:39:15 PM
 #12

It pretty much *is* "increasing the block size limit".

Don't increase that limit and the total full blockchain will keep seeming a tinier and tinier little database as improvements in technology keep making larger and larger storage systems the norm of the day.

So such a monopoly is pretty much ruled out right now, unless/until someone does start increasing the max block size limit.

Then it becomes initially qualitative: is it a monopoly of the 90% over the rest of everyone? Or of the 80% over the rest of everyone? Maybe it is of the horrible 10% over the rest of everyone, or even the atrocious 1% the anti banking protesters go on about?

Maybe we should try to keep it a monopoly of the more-than-50%, so it is a monopoly of the majority over the minority instead of a monopoly held by a minority over the majority?

Max block size can choose that percent for us; leaving it forever unchanged could keep the the "monopoly" in the hands of an ever-growing majority; allowing it to change over time, whether smoothly or simply by changing more than once, could let the "monopoly" be in the hands of an ever-smaller minority.

That is why max block size is such a "sensitive" issue. Do we want to create a 1% or a 2% or a 99% or what as the holders of that "monopoly"? Do we want it in an ever growing number of hands or an ever decreasing number of hands?

-MarkM-

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