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Author Topic: Bitcoin is not as advertised  (Read 12111 times)
andrew
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November 08, 2010, 03:53:28 PM
 #101

Because it's peer-to-peer, you connect to multiple other nodes, each one of which will send you info about the chain they see as valid, your client picks the longest, simple and beautiful =)

This would never work. You could screw this up simply by disconnecting a lot of nodes from the network and having the most computing power. Case in point many Asian countries which often get disconnected or blocked from international connections.

Also taking the checks out leaves new clients vulnerable if they begin by downloading from bad peers. It would also be extremely slow again to download everything.
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Gavin Andresen
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November 08, 2010, 03:59:24 PM
 #102

I think we want bitcoin to be stable before all else, so if somebody wants to use different chain or different network, perhaps simply a forked client should be made for that.

The test network (run bitcoin with the -testnet flag) is a different block chain, implemented so that the two chains never get confused.  If anybody wants to start yet another block chain, it isn't technically hard, and won't cause any problems for "real bitcoin".

The hard part would be getting anybody to use your alternative; it would have to be better in some way other than just "I started the new chain, so I've got a lot of the easy-to-generate-at-the-beginning-coins."

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
ribuck
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November 08, 2010, 04:23:48 PM
 #103

...it would have to be better in some way other than just "I started the new chain, so I've got a lot of the easy-to-generate-at-the-beginning-coins."
You say that now, but if bitcoin really takes off I can see lots of get-rich-quick imitators coming on the scene: gitcoin, nitcoin, witcoin, titcoin, shitcoin... Some of them are sure to attract users with promises like "Why use bitcoin, where you can only generate 50 bitcoins every few months? Use shitcoin instead, and you'll get 51 shitcoins every 2 minutes".

Of course the cheap imitators will disappear as quickly as those 1990s "internet currencies" like flooz and beenz, but lots of people will get burned along the way.
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November 08, 2010, 05:08:33 PM
 #104

Of course the cheap imitators will disappear as quickly as those 1990s "internet currencies" like flooz and beenz, but lots of people will get burned along the way.

I agree-- we're in the Wild West days of open-source currency.  I expect people will get burned by scams, imitators, ponzi schemes and price bubbles..

I tend not to worry about things that are out of my control; I don't think there's a whole lot that can be done about scammers, imitators, and ponzi schemes besides warning people to be careful with their money (whether dollars, euros or bitcoins).

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
ShadowOfHarbringer
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November 08, 2010, 06:03:43 PM
 #105

I think we want bitcoin to be stable before all else, so if somebody wants to use different chain or different network, perhaps simply a forked client should be made for that.

The test network (run bitcoin with the -testnet flag) is a different block chain, implemented so that the two chains never get confused.  If anybody wants to start yet another block chain, it isn't technically hard, and won't cause any problems for "real bitcoin".

The hard part would be getting anybody to use your alternative; it would have to be better in some way other than just "I started the new chain, so I've got a lot of the easy-to-generate-at-the-beginning-coins."


Well it's good as long as the user is required to enter some "advanced hardcore settings", but it shoould never be in a way, where You install bitcoin, and the first thing that pops up is "would you like to use the official chain or one of the less-official chains X, Y or Z" window.

Sure, official client can support multiple chains, but only through some hardcore/advanced configuration option i think. Also, multiple warnings like "do you really know what are you doing" should appear if user chooses another chain.

MoonShadow
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November 08, 2010, 07:18:28 PM
 #106

The way things are now you could theoretically be taken over by an entity with massive computational resources creating the largest proof of work blockchain and this means "might is right".

Weird. Even with the locks in source code ?
I thought we were talking that the "checkpoints" in source make that kind of attack impossible.


It's still not impossible, but it is astronomicly unlikely.  At least beyond the last checkpoint honored by the majority of the nodes on the network.

But yes, that is the point of it.


"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'
MoonShadow
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November 08, 2010, 07:25:10 PM
 #107

I had some thoughts about this.

It is my observation that the current block chain has a "reputation". The combined transaction history and proof of work give it a unique identity similar to DNA or fingerprints. Everyone who uses bitcoin will therefore have exactly the same block chain and you should be able to check it somehow.

If paypal started its own chain it would have a different DNA as would one started by microsoft or the governement. There is nothing wrong with someone starting a competing currency,in fact that is the beauty of open source and bitcoin - voluntary association of individuals. The issue is how do you know the block chain you have on your computer is the same as the one you have trusted in the past ?


By checking that genesis block matches the one that you already trust, and by a full blockchain re-check.  No honest alternative blockchain will use a matching genesis block, because they want to be different.  No dishonest alternative blockchain using the same genesis in an attempt to deceive nodes should survive a total re-check of the blockchain, even without the blockchain checkpoints that have been argued about on this thread.

It is not neccessary to have a trust structure, just keep a copy of your desired blockchain's genesis block separately.

"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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November 08, 2010, 11:26:50 PM
 #108

I had some thoughts about this.

It is my observation that the current block chain has a "reputation". The combined transaction history and proof of work give it a unique identity similar to DNA or fingerprints. Everyone who uses bitcoin will therefore have exactly the same block chain and you should be able to check it somehow.

If paypal started its own chain it would have a different DNA as would one started by microsoft or the governement. There is nothing wrong with someone starting a competing currency,in fact that is the beauty of open source and bitcoin - voluntary association of individuals. The issue is how do you know the block chain you have on your computer is the same as the one you have trusted in the past ?


By checking that genesis block matches the one that you already trust, and by a full blockchain re-check.  No honest alternative blockchain will use a matching genesis block, because they want to be different.  No dishonest alternative blockchain using the same genesis in an attempt to deceive nodes should survive a total re-check of the blockchain, even without the blockchain checkpoints that have been argued about on this thread.

It is not neccessary to have a trust structure, just keep a copy of your desired blockchain's genesis block separately.

Doesn't that mean whoever controls the genesis block can control the entire block chain?

ie:A hit squad can take out that person and introduce a new blockchain  Cheesy

It would be enough to export the latest hash from the chain and compare it to the latest hash on theymos's block chain explorer site. A simple script to do this would be helpful .
theymos
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November 08, 2010, 11:52:48 PM
 #109

It would be enough to export the latest hash from the chain and compare it to the latest hash on theymos's block chain explorer site. A simple script to do this would be helpful .

Here's a text-only version of that information from Bitcoin Block Explorer, for anyone writing a script:
http://theymos.ath.cx:64150/q/latesthash

BBE is not "released" yet, so I certainly don't guarantee that this will be accurate all the time.

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ByteCoin
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November 09, 2010, 12:03:02 AM
 #110

BBE is not "released" yet, so I certainly don't guarantee that this will be accurate all the time.

I have used it a little and I think it's great. Minor observation: If I enter 111111111111111111111 it doesn't come up with anything but if I enter 000000000000000000000 it does. There seems to be a problem searching for addresses.
I used this link http://theymos.ath.cx:64150/bbe

Doesn't that mean whoever controls the genesis block can control the entire block chain?
The genesis block is one of the few pieces of arbitrary data that is coded into the client. Nobody controls it. It was specified when bitcoin was first generated and it can nobody can change it without throwing away the block chain and the current client.

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MoonShadow
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November 09, 2010, 12:06:42 AM
 #111

I had some thoughts about this.

It is my observation that the current block chain has a "reputation". The combined transaction history and proof of work give it a unique identity similar to DNA or fingerprints. Everyone who uses bitcoin will therefore have exactly the same block chain and you should be able to check it somehow.

If paypal started its own chain it would have a different DNA as would one started by microsoft or the governement. There is nothing wrong with someone starting a competing currency,in fact that is the beauty of open source and bitcoin - voluntary association of individuals. The issue is how do you know the block chain you have on your computer is the same as the one you have trusted in the past ?


By checking that genesis block matches the one that you already trust, and by a full blockchain re-check.  No honest alternative blockchain will use a matching genesis block, because they want to be different.  No dishonest alternative blockchain using the same genesis in an attempt to deceive nodes should survive a total re-check of the blockchain, even without the blockchain checkpoints that have been argued about on this thread.

It is not neccessary to have a trust structure, just keep a copy of your desired blockchain's genesis block separately.

Doesn't that mean whoever controls the genesis block can control the entire block chain?

ie:A hit squad can take out that person and introduce a new blockchain  Cheesy

It would be enough to export the latest hash from the chain and compare it to the latest hash on theymos's block chain explorer site. A simple script to do this would be helpful .

There is no one to "control" the genesis block.  Once a unique genesis block has been created, presumedly with the intent of starting a new and separate blockchain, the genesis block simply is.  There is no way to alter the genesis block in the official Bitcoin blockchain to any gainful (or malicious) purpose, nor even in the test blockchain.  If some way is ever discovered, Bitcoin will fail completely, as this is central to the security of the system.  If you did so on your own client, your client would simply break; or if you rigged it so that it would not break, no new clients would accept your genesis block beyond block #2.  The clients don't assume that the first copy of a block received is correct, even upon startup.  The only way for the client to choose an alternative blockchain would be to force the client to use a particular genesis block, so that the "longest" (i.e. greatest totoal proof of work) blockchain couldn't overide it.

"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'
MoonShadow
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November 09, 2010, 12:08:15 AM
 #112

I had some thoughts about this.

It is my observation that the current block chain has a "reputation". The combined transaction history and proof of work give it a unique identity similar to DNA or fingerprints. Everyone who uses bitcoin will therefore have exactly the same block chain and you should be able to check it somehow.

If paypal started its own chain it would have a different DNA as would one started by microsoft or the governement. There is nothing wrong with someone starting a competing currency,in fact that is the beauty of open source and bitcoin - voluntary association of individuals. The issue is how do you know the block chain you have on your computer is the same as the one you have trusted in the past ?


By checking that genesis block matches the one that you already trust, and by a full blockchain re-check.  No honest alternative blockchain will use a matching genesis block, because they want to be different.  No dishonest alternative blockchain using the same genesis in an attempt to deceive nodes should survive a total re-check of the blockchain, even without the blockchain checkpoints that have been argued about on this thread.

It is not neccessary to have a trust structure, just keep a copy of your desired blockchain's genesis block separately.

Doesn't that mean whoever controls the genesis block can control the entire block chain?

ie:A hit squad can take out that person and introduce a new blockchain  Cheesy

It would be enough to export the latest hash from the chain and compare it to the latest hash on theymos's block chain explorer site. A simple script to do this would be helpful .

This requires trust in both Theymos and the ongoing security of his explorer site.  I was simply pointing out that trust in any particular party isn't required.

"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'
theymos
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November 09, 2010, 12:14:59 AM
 #113

I have used it a little and I think it's great. Minor observation: If I enter 111111111111111111111 it doesn't come up with anything but if I enter 000000000000000000000 it does. There seems to be a problem searching for addresses.
I used this link http://theymos.ath.cx:64150/bbe

Fixed. Thanks.

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