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Question: Can a blockchain be whatever your (altcoin) community defines it to be?
Yes, a blockchain is whatever you want it to be. - 6 (31.6%)
No, a blockchain is specific and already defined. - 13 (68.4%)
Total Voters: 19

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Author Topic: Is the blockchain's purpose being redefined by the forked Ethereum Community?  (Read 2824 times)
AgentofCoin
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August 04, 2016, 06:02:13 PM
 #1

Can a blockchain be whatever your community defines it to be?

I think one of the real takeaways from this Ethereum chain split issue, is that the Ethereum HF
community has no problem changing defined terms and the original intentions of a blockchain
system. Though it is now roughly 7 years old and established within the crypto-currency world,
a blockchain may now be revised for future terminology (due to this specific type of HF).

For example this is my impression of the ETH community's current viewpoint:

1. Immutability is a choice within a blockchain, and not a inherent function.
2. In a "trustless" system, we can have human parties intervene that we trust.
3. Original social contract can change when the new social group "majority" votes to.
4. Attacks on the network are not lessons and do not improve the system, but hurt the system.
5. Support for the originally intended purpose is support for criminals, hackers, crime, theft, etc.


Maybe it is just me, but aren't those (except 4 & 5) against the intention of using a blockchain?

Can Ethereum still be a "blockchain" if it violates the reason why Satoshi had to "invent" the blockchain?

Is it possible that Ethereum HF is actually no longer a crypto-currency (or crypto-contractor)?
If not, what is it?

Vote and discuss.

(Please remember to vote in the above poll, thanks)

---

UPDATE: 8/15/16 - Revisionist Wikipedia Edits Over Definition of "blockchain".
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1575487.msg15935700#msg15935700

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August 04, 2016, 08:07:13 PM
 #2

It didn't start with them. It started with people pushing for a hardfork in Bitcoin making the factually unsupported claim that whatever "the most" hashpower says is what happens.

The fact that Bitcoin software has _never_ worked like that (nor any altcoin that I'm aware of) hasn't phased them. Ethereum has just been running what that misunderstanding. It'll be pretty interesting to see what happens when ETC ends up with more hashpower.

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August 04, 2016, 08:26:57 PM
 #3

a blockchain. is just a block of data that is tethered (like a chain) to another block of data..

there are various forms of blockchains..
private blockchains
these can be internal systems by corporations where the validation is not done by mining but instead signing data (reference blockstreams Liquid)
these can be internal systems by corporations where old block data can be edited because the hashed data can be separated from the tool that validates it... EG the hashed data of segwit txdata is separate from the witness(signature) data so in a emphasis: private network that does not hold the witness data after a block is formed.. the data could be manipulated later due to lack of witness to confirm it after the fact

public blockchains
such as bitcoin, litecoin ethereum. all of with have different "scripts" to validate blocks, different block validation times and many other things. harder to manipulate because these chains are spread out via hundreds/thousands of node. and secured by multiple computations that one single person cannot normally replicate alone.

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August 04, 2016, 08:43:56 PM
 #4

a blockchain. is just a block of data that is tethered (like a chain) to another block of data..
...

Some would argue that Satoshi didn't create the blockchain to group and chain data, but to prove a historical fact.
To prove that historical fact, he needed to use a timestamped grouping system that is verified and finalized.
If you can (or do) "change" that (or a) "historical fact" (txs) you are defeating the original intention of the innovation.
Thus, isn't that a redefining of Satoshi's blockchain?

In addition, Satoshi originally called the blockchain the "proof of work chain". Thus it is more than just groupings.
If you can edit, change, reverse, or void the proofs or work or txs, is it still a "proof of work chain"?


I think that a new term should be created for "editable blockchains".
I propose calling them "blockgates", since gates can allow access in chain fences.

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franky1
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August 04, 2016, 10:32:16 PM
 #5

a blockchain. is just a block of data that is tethered (like a chain) to another block of data..
...

Some would argue that Satoshi didn't create the blockchain to group and chain data, but to prove a historical fact.

sorry but satoshi did infact design bitcoin where the blockheader data contained data from the previous header which made each block harder to manipulate the more blocks are created ontop of it. (more confirms=more trust)

the whole point of blockchains is that once created. its locked and the next block in the chain reinforces that lock, and so on and so on..
if you were to allow editable datasets where maybe you can change the data of something created last year.. you might aswell just have the list of unspents.. and just store some different method of verifying current balances of the unspents

some people have even thought of copying banks.. where there are clusters of people all grouped together.. like bank branches have sort codes/routing numbers to manage a certain group of bank customers balances.
where there is a hub that verifies movements and sends a batch file of "unspents" around the network so everyone has a copy of all the unspents verified by the cluster hub
that way its not a chain of data. but instead separate blocks of data not tethered to each other that can be updated at any given time

this should be something people can create as an altcoin if they want but in no way would/should it be proposed to ruin bitcoins blockchain security

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August 04, 2016, 11:27:47 PM
 #6

I believe the big test will be what does Ethereum do when the next big hack occurs. They cant hard fork every time some coins are stolen, will end up with ETC 2.0 and so on. The hard fork was a mistake and ETC is not helping things.

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August 05, 2016, 12:34:50 AM
 #7

a blockchain. is just a block of data that is tethered (like a chain) to another block of data..
...

Some would argue that Satoshi didn't create the blockchain to group and chain data, but to prove a historical fact.

sorry but satoshi did infact design bitcoin where the blockheader data contained data from the previous header which made each block harder to manipulate the more blocks are created ontop of it. (more confirms=more trust)

the whole point of blockchains is that once created. its locked and the next block in the chain reinforces that lock, and so on and so on..
if you were to allow editable datasets where maybe you can change the data of something created last year.. you might aswell just have the list of unspents.. and just store some different method of verifying current balances of the unspents

some people have even thought of copying banks.. where there are clusters of people all grouped together.. like bank branches have sort codes/routing numbers to manage a certain group of bank customers balances.
where there is a hub that verifies movements and sends a batch file of "unspents" around the network so everyone has a copy of all the unspents verified by the cluster hub
that way its not a chain of data. but instead separate blocks of data not tethered to each other that can be updated at any given time

this should be something people can create as an altcoin if they want but in no way would/should it be proposed to ruin bitcoins blockchain security

I think there may be a misunderstanding.
Are you agreeing with my original post or disagreeing with it?

So you think Satoshi made the blockchain without needing something to prove first?
Or he needed something to prove and thus created the blockchain for that?

When I said he needed to prove a historical fact, I'm referring to things like previous block headers.
Technically, the Genesis block (and its blockheader) would be the first "historical fact".



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August 05, 2016, 01:06:45 AM
 #8

"Is it possible that Ethereum HF is actually no longer a crypto-currency (or crypto-contractor)?
If not, what is it?"

I do not know what it is now. It is a forked ledger with a tweaked transaction history known by the public. That for me is like a bank that doctored their books to hide something. But with blockchains they cannot hide it. The funny thing is some people in their community supported it out of desperation that the value of their ETH coins might disappear. How can you listen to such naive people with only profit in their minds.

ETC supporters double up your efforts and show them no one can just fork it and get their way. Not even the founders and leaders.

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August 05, 2016, 09:22:03 AM
 #9

a blockchain. is just a block of data that is tethered (like a chain) to another block of data..
...

Some would argue that Satoshi didn't create the blockchain to group and chain data, but to prove a historical fact.
To prove that historical fact, he needed to use a timestamped grouping system that is verified and finalized.
If you can (or do) "change" that (or a) "historical fact" (txs) you are defeating the original intention of the innovation.
Thus, isn't that a redefining of Satoshi's blockchain?

In addition, Satoshi originally called the blockchain the "proof of work chain". Thus it is more than just groupings.
If you can edit, change, reverse, or void the proofs or work or txs, is it still a "proof of work chain"?


I think that a new term should be created for "editable blockchains".
I propose calling them "blockgates", since gates can allow access in chain fences.


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August 05, 2016, 11:22:55 PM
 #10

The  Ethereum fork is fundamentally different from the kinds of forks that have occurred in Bitcoin in the past or have been proposed for Bitcoin. It is also fundamentally from the kinds of forks that have occurred in other major alt-coins. What makes this fork so special is that this is not about fixing vulnerabilities or adding improvements. It is about changing the ownership of coins on the blockchain. In this case the objective was to effectively reverse transactions. This is specifically the very action that Bitcoin was originally designed to prevent. I refer the reader to the introduction in Satoshi's original whitepaper. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
Quote
... While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. ...
When one considers Satoshi's own words we see the fatal trap that the Ethereum Foundation has fallen into. They have become  the mediator of disputes, which Satoshi describes as an unavoidable characteristic of financial institutions.

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
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August 06, 2016, 12:30:08 AM
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The  Ethereum fork is fundamentally different from the kinds of forks that have occurred in Bitcoin in the past or have been proposed for Bitcoin. It is also fundamentally from the kinds of forks that have occurred in other major alt-coins. What makes this fork so special is that this is not about fixing vulnerabilities or adding improvements. It is about changing the ownership of coins on the blockchain. In this case the objective was to effectively reverse transactions. This is specifically the very action that Bitcoin was originally designed to prevent. I refer the reader to the introduction in Satoshi's original whitepaper. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
Quote
... While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. ...
When one considers Satoshi's own words we see the fatal trap that the Ethereum Foundation has fallen into. They have become  the mediator of disputes, which Satoshi describes as an unavoidable characteristic of financial institutions.

Yes. The fork is because there is an agenda behind it that is beneficial only to a few. This brings me to a question. If the bitcoin XT fork occurred will it have the same outcome as Ethereum's fork. Will there be a split in the community? Because the XT people say it will be fine.

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August 06, 2016, 03:40:45 AM
 #12

...
Yes. The fork is because there is an agenda behind it that is beneficial only to a few. This brings me to a question. If the bitcoin XT fork occurred will it have the same outcome as Ethereum's fork. Will there be a split in the community? Because the XT people say it will be fine.

I doubt it. The Bitcoin XT fork does not violate what many would say is the most critical social covenant of blockchains. The issue with Bitcoin XT and the Bitcoin blocksize is fundamentally a technical one. In reality Bitcoin XT does not solve the issue of scalability in Bitcoin it simple kicks the can down the road. My take is that a fork in Bitcoin with the support of the core team, 75% of the hash rate (the minimum required to trigger Bitcoin XT) and the kind of support for bigger blocks that currently exists in the Bitcoin community world not have the same outcome as what happened in Ethereum. Let us not forget this is in effect the kind of support that the Ethereum fork had. My take is that there has not been a big block fork in Bitcoin simply because a solution that addresses all the technical issues in particular the situation when the Bitcoin block reward becomes minimal to zero has not been found.

What has occurred in Ethereum is the few persuading the many to accept a fork that was in reality only for the benefit of the few. One can even call it a 51% attack by persuasion and salesmanship. A significant portion of what we are witnessing now is the many having buyer's remorse after the sales job that was done on them.  

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
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August 06, 2016, 04:30:19 AM
 #13

...
Yes. The fork is because there is an agenda behind it that is beneficial only to a few. This brings me to a question. If the bitcoin XT fork occurred will it have the same outcome as Ethereum's fork. Will there be a split in the community? Because the XT people say it will be fine.

...

What has occurred in Ethereum is the few persuading the many to accept a fork that was in reality only for the benefit of the few. One can even call it a 51% attack by persuasion and salesmanship. A significant portion of what we are witnessing now is the many having buyer's remorse after the sales job that was done on them.

The many you mean that also include the miners? Or is it only the community minus the miners. Because if it includes also the miners then I suspect that we should be seeing ETC hash power overtaking ETH hash power. If the miners do not really care much and just mine the more profitable chain then we should exclude them from the "many".

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August 06, 2016, 06:12:29 AM
 #14

...

The many you mean that also include the miners? Or is it only the community minus the miners. Because if it includes also the miners then I suspect that we should be seeing ETC hash power overtaking ETH hash power. If the miners do not really care much and just mine the more profitable chain then we should exclude them from the "many".

The many includes the miners. When we see a miner going from threatening an attack on ETC to actually mining the coin, I would say that someone changed their mind. The miners will follow how the community votes with their wallets and that is how it should be in a POW coin.

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
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August 06, 2016, 06:24:54 PM
 #15

...

The many you mean that also include the miners? Or is it only the community minus the miners. Because if it includes also the miners then I suspect that we should be seeing ETC hash power overtaking ETH hash power. If the miners do not really care much and just mine the more profitable chain then we should exclude them from the "many".

The many includes the miners. When we see a miner going from threatening an attack on ETC to actually mining the coin, I would say that someone changed their mind. The miners will follow how the community votes with their wallets and that is how it should be in a POW coin.

Ethereum Foundation prior to the current HF and now after, have been looking into the possibility
of changing their network from a PoW to a PoS. If the Devs think they have resolved the issues associated
with it and decide to indeed change to PoS, many PoW miners (as of the time of writing, 3645 GH/s) would
be dropped and forced to find revenue somewhere else.

I assume that certain miners are thinking way ahead and see that they might be left behind if a PoS change
takes place. So when that one miner wanted to attack but now supports the coin, I think he finally thought
things through. ETC gives the miners somewhere to go with good volume and good price, if that day comes.

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August 06, 2016, 06:34:30 PM
 #16

Not at all. If anything, it's proving how much smarter an autonomous entity is than the ETH team

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August 06, 2016, 09:51:44 PM
 #17

It didn't start with them. It started with people pushing for a hardfork in Bitcoin making the factually unsupported claim that whatever "the most" hashpower says is what happens.

The fact that Bitcoin software has _never_ worked like that (nor any altcoin that I'm aware of) hasn't phased them. Ethereum has just been running what that misunderstanding. It'll be pretty interesting to see what happens when ETC ends up with more hashpower.

What? Ethereum HF started with people pushing for a block size increase HF in Bitcoin, causing Ethereum to HF to rewrite their history and turn their blockchain into a mutable blockchain?

In Bitcoin "the most" hashpower does confirm what happens. Different software must convince hashpower to run it.
Of course you mean something like 80% hashpower when you say "the most"?

Ethereum did not fork on a misunderstanding of that. Ethereum forked because Vitalic called for it.
Ethereum has a block time of seconds, and a difficulty adjustment different to Bitcoin.

If "the most" hashpower in Bitcoin forked to "bigger block size" it would be a completely different outcome to any Ethereum hardfork.
(as I have tried to explain to "RealBitcoin" https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1556202.60)

You must know all this.



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August 07, 2016, 02:46:13 AM
 #18

...

The many you mean that also include the miners? Or is it only the community minus the miners. Because if it includes also the miners then I suspect that we should be seeing ETC hash power overtaking ETH hash power. If the miners do not really care much and just mine the more profitable chain then we should exclude them from the "many".

The many includes the miners. When we see a miner going from threatening an attack on ETC to actually mining the coin, I would say that someone changed their mind. The miners will follow how the community votes with their wallets and that is how it should be in a POW coin.

Ethereum Foundation prior to the current HF and now after, have been looking into the possibility
of changing their network from a PoW to a PoS. If the Devs think they have resolved the issues associated
with it and decide to indeed change to PoS, many PoW miners (as of the time of writing, 3645 GH/s) would
be dropped and forced to find revenue somewhere else.

I assume that certain miners are thinking way ahead and see that they might be left behind if a PoS change
takes place. So when that one miner wanted to attack but now supports the coin, I think he finally thought
things through. ETC gives the miners somewhere to go with good volume and good price, if that day comes.

The it would be good to declare that the original Ethereum classic backers to delay or even junk the switch to POS depending on the outcome of it on the forked chain. This will leverage ETC's position as the chain for the miners to point their hashing power. It will also make the fork an "experimental" chain. All successful upgrades will be ported to ETC discarding the rest. This is all slowly going the original chain's way.

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August 16, 2016, 02:26:52 AM
 #19

Update: August 15, 2016

I have been made aware that there is currently a war to redefine what a blockchain is on the
Wikipedia page of "blockchain (database)".


Here is the link to the page as it was before the Ethereum DAO was attacked and drained:
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blockchain_(database)&direction=prev&oldid=725898196

Here is the link to the page as how someone has been trying to change it, now post-ETH/DAO hardfork:
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blockchain_(database)&direction=prev&oldid=734669468

If you notice, someone is attempting to redefine the first section. They are deleting (among other parts) that
blockchains are "data records secured from tampering and revision".


If a blockchain's true purpose was not to secure txs against tampering and revision, what did Satoshi "create" it for?

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August 16, 2016, 05:21:41 AM
 #20

I think the answer to the poll is a factual "yes".  Of course a "community" (that is, at least one miner) can mess with a block chain as much as he wants.  Whether he "should" is a silly question, because by definition, in a trust less environment, there is no "should".

That said, the original cryptographic IDEA of a block chain was that it would remain immutable.  But not because this is a moral law, but rather because it was thought that the non-collusion of interests and the individual greed of participants would have AS AN EMERGING PROPERTY that the block chain would remain immutable.

The ETH/ETC debacle has factually proved that this emergent property doesn't always hold.  In other words, that the supposed cryptographic function of a block chain, namely immutability, is not always guaranteed.

Your question is somewhat like: "can secret keys be stolen ?"
Of course they can.  But if so, then the cryptographic security of what they intended to protect, this cryptographic function, is broken.

"should secret keys be stolen" ?  Of course not.  But that was not the idea of secret keys.  The idea was that one wouldn't steal them even though opponents would try so.
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