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Author Topic: Why the maximum of 21.000.000 bitcoins cannot be enforced  (Read 10498 times)
AntiVigilante
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June 12, 2011, 11:26:14 AM
 #21

And even if they do get their act together, how will they know merchants will accept their new bitcoin instead of the old one? If you are a merchant would you accept a currency whose supporters are inflationists or a currrency whose supporters want sound money?

None of these complaints require forks. None. This is what drives me up the wall about these threads.

Thank god ideas like this can wait until the OPs learn the problem is only perceived.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
Means: Code, donations, and brutal criticism. I've got a thick skin. 1Gc3xCHAzwvTDnyMW3evBBr5qNRDN3DRpq
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Rob P.
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June 12, 2011, 02:34:59 PM
 #22

But please do understand, I'm not speaking of a situation of two co-existent currencies. I'm speaking of the current block-chain being taken over.

Did you mention HOW the current block-chain would be taken over?

The only way this can happen is for a single individual (or group in collusion) to own more than 50% of the hashing power of the network, as that is the only way that forged blocks can be added to the legitimate block chain.

Even if that happens, it only gives you the power to double-spend your coins, as you can put new transactions in the block and then verify them yourself.

However, you have to also then decide which is more profitable, double spending your own coins, or making more, as with 51% of the hashing power of the network, you're also reaping 51% of the bitcoins being produced by adding legitimate blocks to the block chain if you stay legitimate.

Forged blocks can also be identified by the community by looking at previous blocks and showing that the coins were in fact spent twice.  That will invalidate your impartial status, and will most likely result in the loss of miners to your pool, which will drop it below 50% of the hashing power of the network.

Also, new pools will also constantly come online, offering better reward methods to miners, which will result in miners leaving more established pools, thus further distributing the hashing power of the network.

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June 12, 2011, 03:02:35 PM
 #23

I'm a newcomer with scant resources and a humble wallet, and I prefer the original system because while it is better.  So some early adopters got rich cashing in on the flood.  Good for them!
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June 12, 2011, 03:19:52 PM
 #24

I'm a newcomer with scant resources and a humble wallet, and I prefer the original system because while it is better.  So some early adopters got rich cashing in on the flood.  Good for them!

I agree.  Throughout time, the early adopters took the risks and if successful, reaped the rewards.

Guess what else isn't "fairly distributed":
Facebook stock.
LinkedIn stock.
Apple stock.
Gold.
The US Dollar.

All of them are, and will continue to be, distributed based on your ability to generate new ideas, and wealth.  You can buy gold, it's just expensive.  You can earn dollars, it just requires work.

How is that ANY different than Bitcoins?  Yep, the first people that mined them got them cheap and easy.  The founders of Apple also got all that Apple Stock to themselves.  That's so unfair.   Cry

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Stevie1024
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June 12, 2011, 04:16:02 PM
 #25

1. Most important to understand is that a perfectly natural system for distributing a cryptocurrency in a fair, envy-less way exists. There is no need for a cryptocurrency to have an artificial limit. There will be inflation, yes. The second coin will cause 100% inflation, the 3rd coin 50%, the 4th coin 33%, etc. If inflation kicks in, mining will become less attractive and will be supported by mainly transaction fees (that are not newly created coins and don't drive up inflation further).

2. If it were not possible for a cryptocurrency to exist without an artificial limit, latecomers might accept a system where early-adopters have a slight advantage. Because a perfect alternative exists, early adopters (that we in fact all are at this moment) will not be able to explain the absurd reward they allocated to themselves.

3. Way, way more people than 50% will be latecomers, getting their hands on only (an unreasonable) part of the original distribution. It won't be so hard for the "Fair Bitcoin Initiative" to find supporters. With over 50% of the hashing power, you decide what is the rules. Not every clients needs to immediately follow, but why wouldn't they? They're the minority then.

4. It doesn't really have to happen at once, but there's no disaster if an attempt to synchronize fails. Sure, some bitcoins are lost. How hard would it be to slowly replace clients and synchronize the overtaking? With software that is all connected to the internet?

I'm out of here!
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June 12, 2011, 04:25:19 PM
 #26

Couple of things.

1)  There are 8 decimal points in bitcoins, and I've read that they could add more in the future if needed.  Any currency total debates need to focus on this key fact, since most are used to a 2 decimal point currency they don't realize the impact on totals.   21 million total bitcoins only means that if it's reached and more need to be used their value will increase and people will take advantage of the extra divisibility to effectively "create" more coins passed the set limit.

2) In any emerging market there will always be huge advantages for early adopters IF(and its a big if) the market becomes successful.   Now if you're still living in a world where "that's not fair" has meaning, then you've got some growing up to do.  However if you've come to the conclusion that life isn't fair by design, you'll understand that people who are early adopters are also taking huge amounts of risk to be the first players in this market.   There is still a chance that bitcoins could become illegal in some areas and effectively useless for some of those who've invested alot of time and money, but that's just the risk you take to give yourself a chance at enjoying the potential advantages of being a early adopter.
Rob P.
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June 12, 2011, 04:25:47 PM
 #27

1. Most important to understand is that a perfectly natural system for distributing a cryptocurrency in a fair, envy-less way exists.

While there may be, why bother?  This one is working quite well.  In fact, people coming to Bitcoins today have a better experience then those that came on Thursday of last week, because they can enter the market at a lower price.  No one is saying it can't be done, we're arguing that it isn't a problem.

2. If it were not possible for a cryptocurrency to exist without an artificial limit, latecomers might accept a system where early-adopters have a slight advantage. Because a perfect alternative exists, early adopters (that we in fact all are at this moment) will not be able to explain the absurd reward they allocated to themselves.

The "artificial limit" issue has been dealt with.  Move the decimal.  This has the same impact to the economy as a stock split, we've been using those for a very long time, and they allow for predictable growth of the commodity.  Bitcoin can use the same philosophy and just issue a "split" by having the entire network move the decimal one place to the right.  Now there are 210,000,000 coins in the network.

3. Way, way more people than 50% will be latecomers, getting their hands on only (an unreasonable) part of the original distribution. It won't be so hard for the "Fair Bitcoin Initiative" to find supporters. With over 50% of the hashing power, you decide what is the rules. Not every clients needs to immediately follow, but why wouldn't they? They're the minority then.

This is different from an IPO stock how?  You seem hung up on this concept of "fair", but have not shown why the current system is unfair.  You can get "your hands on" whatever size of the Bitcoin market you are able to afford at a given point in time.  

The best way to ensure a "fair" environment is to Mine solo.  I assume you're doing so?  That way your hashing power cannot become "corrupted".

4. It doesn't really have to happen at once, but there's no disaster is an attempt to synchronize fails. Sure, some bitcoins are lost. How hard would it be to slowly replace clients and synchronize the overtaking? With software that is all connected to the internet?

How did you replace my client?  I'm under no compulsion to upgrade my client.  Also the client source is open.  You can have it inspected to make sure that this "overtaking" isn't present in the code before you run it.  All of the clients are backwards compatible.  So you could still be running the very first client if you so chose.  This isn't Microsoft or Apple, this is an open source project.  Review away.

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stick_theman
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June 12, 2011, 04:43:42 PM
 #28

Yes, can anyone also address what prevents the developers of Bitcoin increase the upper limit to let's say, 50 million?
imperi
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June 12, 2011, 04:45:45 PM
 #29

Yes, can anyone also address what prevents the developers of Bitcoin increase the upper limit to let's say, 50 million?

Bad publicity to say the least, and they want it to succeed rather than stealing from people, and I'm sure technical reasons as well (not everyone will upgrade their client). What prevents a taxi driver from crashing you into a wall on purpose? It's called trust.
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June 12, 2011, 04:48:24 PM
 #30

Yes, can anyone also address what prevents the developers of Bitcoin increase the upper limit to let's say, 50 million?

Bad publicity to say the least, and they want it to succeed rather than stealing from people, and I'm sure technical reasons as well (not everyone will upgrade their client). What prevents a taxi driver from crashing you into a wall on purpose? It's called trust.

So true.  Faith has everything to do with it.  Just like the Fiat.  I hope this will keep the developers honest or else, we will see a massive exodus into other BTC forks.

Thanks Imperi.
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June 12, 2011, 04:59:39 PM
 #31

I missed buying linkedIn's IPO day last week. Does that mean no one should buy their stock? I have made money in stocks getting in late, but I have made sick money when I get in early. With BTC it is still relatively early. IMO.

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

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June 12, 2011, 05:22:01 PM
 #32

Yes, can anyone also address what prevents the developers of Bitcoin increase the upper limit to let's say, 50 million?

Just change:
Code:
static const int64 MAX_MONEY = 21000000 * COIN;
in the main.h file on your client to:
Code:
static const int64 MAX_MONEY = 50000000 * COIN;
You'll also have to change:
Code:
if (dAmount <= 0.0 || dAmount > 21000000.0)
To:
Code:
if (dAmount <= 0.0 || dAmount > 50000000.0)
In the rpc.cpp file.

Now your max coins are 50,000,000.  Of course, you need to do this to everyone's client.  The question isn't why can't we, the question is why should we?


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June 12, 2011, 05:51:00 PM
 #33

So the 21 million limit is a joke? Wow that's huge. Getting to smell really like a pump a dump scam extremely hyped and overpriced.

People like to think 'oh people early took a risk', well you know, in pyramid scams the early guys also take a risk, it's the same thing.

This argument is backed up by proof of big dumpers currently on the MtGox markets, those big dumpers are the top of the pyramid. Selling to the late suckers that are buying. This is 100% compliant to the definition of a pump and dump scam.

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June 12, 2011, 05:53:18 PM
 #34

Bitcoin is IMHO a lot more fair than the current fiat money system, where the banks always get all the newly created money.

Anyway, there's nothing stopping you from creating a Bitcoin2. The software is there for anyone to use.

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June 12, 2011, 05:56:07 PM
 #35

So the 21 million limit is a joke? Wow that's huge.

Did you miss the bit where he said you'd have to do that to everyone's client?

If you had the mythical power to alter everyone's client you could do a heck of a lot more than up the coin limit..
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June 12, 2011, 05:57:19 PM
 #36

Ya know releasing updates for clients isnt hard at all, and since Bitcoin is centralized to bitcoin.org, its even easier.

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June 12, 2011, 06:00:14 PM
 #37

Ya know releasing updates for clients isnt hard at all, and since Bitcoin is centralized to bitcoin.org, its even easier.

Why would they want to? Also if Bitcoin becomes big, there will be many other clients.
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June 12, 2011, 06:03:11 PM
 #38

Oh and if the limits gets raised just like that there will be a rush on the new client especially by miners

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June 12, 2011, 06:08:11 PM
 #39

With over 50% of the hashing power, you decide what is the rules.

*facepalm*  Wrong.  If major miners deviate from what the rest of the network accepts, then they are simply self-selecting themselves away from their client population.

If 80% of the hash power suddenly decides to start minting 100 BTC per block, that does not imply that clients will follow their lead.

The entire community, including holders of bitcoin, must decide on major network changes.


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June 12, 2011, 06:52:15 PM
 #40

Ya know releasing updates for clients isnt hard at all, and since Bitcoin is centralized to bitcoin.org, its even easier.

Please.

Any whiff of a change like that to a new client, and I'm not downloading it. I haven't even upgraded to 0.3.22, and won't until I see a need too.

So yeah, good luck with the whole "arbitrarily change the rules" thing. Not what I signed up for.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
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