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Author Topic: Inviting reasoned and civil criticism of my big-block position please?  (Read 1672 times)
thoughtfan
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April 03, 2017, 10:32:19 PM
 #1

Preamble you can skip if you want: I'm as guilty as many on both sides of snarky, smart-arse comments but tonight I just spent a very enjoyable hour (doing a face-to-face trade) with two who hold different opinions than me. I think we all learned something and I'm confident we all had more respect for the legitimacy of holding a different view from ourselves.

My primary point is that a technical expertise does not make one an economics expert and therefore there's a danger in trusting the technical experts to make the decisions that risk what has proven to work thus far i.e. enough space to accommodate almost all transactions.

I wanted, since visiting Sudan in the mid nineties, a currency that would protect people in countries from government actions that truly screw them over such as the monthly doubling the money supply to pay the army (that doubled the price of everything on the day the army was paid).
I had figured out in the years after that public key cryptography might be the basis of an independent currency and was hoping someone smarter than me might figure it out. But even though I was kinda expecting it I was still blown away by the elegance of Satoshi's solution.

One of the exciting things was that the same currency served the needs of so many different groups of people including: the Austrians / gold-bug types, libertarians / ancaps and others including me who see value in an incorruptible currency, people screwed by high remittance fees or by gov't restrictions of internal or international currency transfer, the unbanked who are cut off from financial services most here take for granted, its use for contracts such as with Factom - even those, such as me - who liked to give small amounts away* or raise intrigue with shopkeepers, restaurant owners by offering physical (or later wallet app) bitcoins for my meal etc. etc. The fact that there were, in addition, so many use cases that we could not even imagine what they might be was just mind-blowing for me.

The failure to do something about the transaction bottleneck before it started to nudge fees up and (and/or cause delays orders of magnitude higher than before) is and will continue to have an impact. This isn't about laying blame today. I think it's fair to say all stakeholders (in the wider use of the term) including developers, miners, other users and moderators jointly - if not equally - have to-date failed to make a change a user can use today.
I am looking forward to seeing 2nd layer off-chain solutions bringing all kinds of new use cases. I also mourn the loss of the use of the blockchain for the other use cases as their viability is eroded to nothing by fees and delays.

As I see it, those whose judgement on Bitcoin's future has apparently earned the respect of the majority on this sub due to their technical merit, have a plan that accepts the loss of the multitude of use cases (on-chain) as a price worth paying to have Bitcoin be as strong as possible for the three use cases they deem worthy: censorship-resistant-currency, store-of-value, settlement-layer.

If this argument continues to prevent the increase of the block-size limit, as much as I'd like to see them proven wrong, I genuinely hope that Bitcoin will continue to be of value to enough for merely those three use cases to survive and to thrive. The fact is we don't know. Nobody can know. The combination of use cases and unlimited potential use cases was what got us to where we are today. How long can we chip away at the other use cases and still have something that holds value? Maybe indefinitely? It depends entirely on the faith and the preparedness of those who stay in to pull us out of whatever next big dip is. It is still a significantly inflationary currency and the higher up the price goes, with more coming on board at higher prices, the further it has to fall. And we ought not forget it is not the only player in the crypto space.

From what I understand of 2nd layer channels, they're not going to serve the Sudanese and those in the many countries where the spread of mobile telephony means they could potentially exchange what for us are small amounts to protect themselves. My hope is that Bitcoin can still do this - as I believe was the vision of Satoshi and as I understand some with a much better technical understanding than me (GA, for one) believe is still possible.

But if it's not Bitcoin, I'm kinda hoping for the sake of what it once was that it survives and continues to reward those who believed in it but more importantly, if it's not Bitcoin, I'm really hoping another currency will take up the baton for those who most need use of this technology - and if that is at the cost of Bitcoin falling by the wayside, so be it. We - jointly, as a whole community - will only have ourselves to blame.

*Those many, many 25mBTC paper wallets I gave away may, unless their owners figure it out soon, be sums that are forever not be economically viable to move.

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
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Carlton Banks
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April 03, 2017, 10:40:53 PM
 #2

It's very simple


There is more than one way to increase on-chain capacity. Scaling is the best way. Blocksize increases do not scale.


So, blocksize increase are the worst way to increase capacity. It's simple, but not smart. Scaling is better. It's sometimes simple, sometimes complex, and always smart.

Vires in numeris
thoughtfan
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April 03, 2017, 11:16:27 PM
 #3

Thank you.

Would you elaborate please what you mean by 'it doesn't scale'?

I believe I am more open to put the politics to one side and to be persuaded that the Core roadmap has more merit than my ideas*

Rather than just asking, I just brushed up on the arguments according to https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Block_size_limit_controversy but I'm still not sure I know what you mean.

I recollect talk of a technical issue that, as things stand, means an increased block size causes a disproportionately high demand on bandwidth. Is it this you're referring to? Or maybe that given the potential demand, there's no way the blockchain would suffice on its own, thereby requiring off-chain scaling? Or something else?

On the first, even with my low technical understanding, I can see that there would be sense in addressing this prior to increasing the block size. However, on technical issues, I look to see to others whose judgement I trust who have better understanding - such as Gavin & Mike - and on this I don't recollect this issue as being seen as a big problem.

On potential demand, I have no argument with the blockchain not being able to hold it all in the long term. It could, however, hold more and I am given to understand that technical minds outside of Core see very little risk in increasing current capacity, allowing continuity of the growth as we've experienced so far whilst allowing time for technology, ideas and development to continue.

If it is something else you mean, I'm genuinely interested.

Whilst I have given my current responses to my two guesses as to what you meant, it doesn't mean I'm dismissive of what you write. Responding as I have helps air and articulate where I'm at at the moment whilst keeping the door open to being persuaded otherwise.

Thanks again Carlton Banks Smiley

* this very same post got shadowbanned on r/bitcoin within 10 mins (https://www.ceddit.com/r/Bitcoin/new/) but despite this, though disappointed, I'm not angry and not deterred in pursuing the most reasoned conclusion of which I'm capable, whatever that may be.

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
iamnotback
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April 03, 2017, 11:29:20 PM
 #4

Would you elaborate please what you mean by 'it doesn't scale'?

https://www.reddit.com/r/litecoin/comments/631ffe/pools_that_block_litecoin_development/dfr3weo/

Focus on this specific post:

https://www.reddit.com/r/litecoin/comments/631ffe/pools_that_block_litecoin_development/dfsd1yp/
franky1
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April 03, 2017, 11:41:55 PM
 #5

PoW has nothing to do with blocksize.

ASICS have no hard drive. they never touch the blockchain or validate transactions.
all they receive is a 256bit hash and a few rules to comply too (difficulty)

a 0.000250mb block and a 0.999750mb block send the exact same amount of data to a PoW asic,

arguments that PoW cant scale is a fake narrative just to try making sheep think its ok to ruin security purely for the sake of greedy people thinking they can get some free bitcoins from running a node in their basement

dont beleive me..
unscrew an ASIC and look for a hard drive

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April 03, 2017, 11:43:21 PM
 #6

PoW has nothing to do with blocksize.

Dude you really don't understand the math of propagation. That is an idiotic claim.

Without verification of transactions in the prior block, PoW can't be safely devoted to mining the next block.

Scaling of block size is all about the fact that all miners have to verify all transactions. Which intimately tied to PoW.

If miners start trusting other miners by reputation instead of verifying, then you no longer need PoW. You can based the consensus proof-of-maximum-trust, i.e. trust is centralization.
franky1
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April 03, 2017, 11:48:00 PM
 #7

PoW has nothing to do with blocksize.

Dude you really don't understand the math of propagation. That is an idiotic claim.

the propagation is a different matter that has nothing to do with PoW

validating transactions and making a hash, and transmitting a block to other nodes is the same if it was PoW or PoS

the actual work of PoW and PoS is a separate thing.

once PoW has a solution. the new hash is added to the block data. and funnily enough to check that the PoW solution (hash with so many 000 at the start) actually takes less milliseconds to verify than it does to chck signatures of 'stake' holders block header data.

again the Proof_of_..
and the tx data inside a block are 2 separate things

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Carlton Banks
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April 03, 2017, 11:50:45 PM
 #8

Thank you.

Would you elaborate please what you mean by 'it doesn't scale'?

By example let's say we increase the blocksize from 1MB to 2MB, that's increasing the average amount of transactions from 300,000 per day to 600,000 per day.

So, 1MB:300,000, 2MB:600,000.

And that's the same ratio, for 1MB or 2MB. i.e. 1:3 is exactly equivalent to 2:6

So that's not scaling, the scale is identical. All blocksize increases do to change the capacity is that they change the amount of resources the Bitcoin network uses at the exact same scale, no matter how much the blocksize changes.


On the first, even with my low technical understanding, I can see that there would be sense in addressing this prior to increasing the block size. However, on technical issues, I look to see to others whose judgement I trust who have better understanding - such as Gavin & Mike - and on this I don't recollect this issue as being seen as a big problem.

I actually agreed with Gavin (but not Mike) on his 2015 ideas to improve Bitcoin's transaction capacity, except for 1 very crucial point.

Gavin had all the right ideas, except he wanted to schedule the changes in the wrong order. He wanted to increase the blocksize 1st, then bring in the changes that counter-balance the impact of blocksize increases after that. Which is odd, but Gavin expressed it pretty much that way, perhaps without even realising the logical inconsistency. He's since gone full retard though, advocating BU's aggressive destruction of the Bitcoin Core blockchain, which was particularly appalling coming from someone who made good contributions to Bitcoin in the past (and also from someone who claimed to be in favour of the free market/open competition).

Vires in numeris
franky1
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April 03, 2017, 11:53:18 PM
 #9

PoW has nothing to do with blocksize.

Dude you really don't understand the math of propagation. That is an idiotic claim.

Without verification of transactions in the prior block, PoW can't be safely devoted to mining the next block.

Scaling of block size is all about the fact that all miners have to verify all transactions. Which intimately tied to PoW.

If miners start trusting other miners by reputation instead of verifying, then you no longer need PoW. You can based the consensus proof-of-maximum-trust, i.e. trust is centralization.

validating data..
no matter what, takes time agreed.
but the bit after validation... whther its PoW PoS or whatever doesnt change if its 0.000250byte block or a 2gb block.
the hash that needs to be signed or SHA'd is the same length and takes the same time no matter what size the block is


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iamnotback
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April 03, 2017, 11:53:32 PM
 #10

By example let's say we increase the blocksize from 1MB to 2MB, that's increasing the average amount of transactions from 300,000 per day to 600,000 per day.

So, 1MB:300,000, 2MB:600,000.

And that's the same ratio, for 1MB or 2MB. i.e. 1:3 is exactly equivalent to 2:6

So that's not scaling, the scale is identical. All blocksize changes do to change the capacity is change the amount of resources the Bitcoin network uses at the exact same scale, no matter how much the blocksize changes.

That is incorrect.

Block size increases, exponentially increase hashrate wastage due to exponential orphan rate increase.

It doesn't scale because the frictional costs of raising the block size are exponentially bad.

Have you guys ever looked at the equation for orphan rate. It relates block size to block period in an exponential relationship.
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April 03, 2017, 11:57:33 PM
 #11

PoW has nothing to do with blocksize.

Dude you really don't understand the math of propagation. That is an idiotic claim.

Without verification of transactions in the prior block, PoW can't be safely devoted to mining the next block.

Scaling of block size is all about the fact that all miners have to verify all transactions. Which intimately tied to PoW.

If miners start trusting other miners by reputation instead of verifying, then you no longer need PoW. You can based the consensus proof-of-maximum-trust, i.e. trust is centralization.

validating data..

No. Propagation of data. And the equation of orphan rate applies. And different miners see a different orphan rate. This is what causes centralization and impacts scaling.
franky1
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April 04, 2017, 12:00:00 AM
 #12

By example let's say we increase the blocksize from 1MB to 2MB, that's increasing the average amount of transactions from 300,000 per day to 600,000 per day.

So, 1MB:300,000, 2MB:600,000.

And that's the same ratio, for 1MB or 2MB. i.e. 1:3 is exactly equivalent to 2:6

So that's not scaling, the scale is identical. All blocksize changes do to change the capacity is change the amount of resources the Bitcoin network uses at the exact same scale, no matter how much the blocksize changes.

That is incorrect.

Block size increases, exponentially increase hashrate wastage due to exponential orphan rate increase.

It doesn't scale because the frictional costs of raising the block size are exponentially bad.

Have you guys ever looked at the equation for orphan rate. It relates block size to block period in an exponential relationship.

doesnt matter if its PoS or PoW.
the orphan rate due to block data is a separate thing.

infact by costing so much electric. pools are probably going to do a better job at validating the data before creating a has that needs to be SHA'd ..
compared to a block that just needs to be signed thus decreasing orphan risk because they know how much work is involved in securing the data

oh. and here is the fnny part

if you have a block with 10 transactions or 1000 transactions. does not mean the PoW difficulty changes or the amount of hashes needed.

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franky1
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April 04, 2017, 12:01:01 AM
 #13

No. Propagation of data. And the equation of orphan rate applies. And different miners see a different orphan rate. This is what causes centralization and impacts scaling.

"centralisation"??

hmm 2013.. blocks 0.5mb ... 5 pools
2017 blocks 0.999mb... 20+pools

goodluck in your research

p.s
i do like how you now stepped aside the PoW statement.
and are now trying to meander it to being about tx validation.

EG
if PoW algo was to change. and only PoW was to change
if it took 2 sconds to validate tx data before
it will take 2 seconds to validate tx data after.

the PoW is not about tx data. is about the block hash's security lock that comes AFTER tx validation.

and that security lock is always going to be based on a 256bit piece of data no matter how many tx's are included or not.



anyway to gt to the OP's opinion
LN has a niche for some people that do spend more than once a week, such as faucet raiders, gamblers etc. but LN requires a deposit and eventual withdrawal (2 onchain tx's) by which due to uncertainty of how often some people wish to spend bitcoin would not want to waste 2 tx's to lock funds into a contract they may not use for that fortnight.

yes LN can have a 1 year contract. but then there is the issue of. can people predict their spending habits of a year to know how much to put in at the start. can they really trust having their whole hoard locked in for a year.
there are actual issues with LN.
such as address-reuse signing and blackmail, CSV changebacks etc. which is where even LN devs have suggested only use $60 amounts with ~2week contracts.

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thoughtfan
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April 04, 2017, 12:43:23 AM
 #14

Thanks for the responses to-date. Plenty food for thought for me to sleep on. I'll respond to the extent I understand and am capable of coherently expressing my thoughts tomorrow.

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
iamnotback
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April 04, 2017, 12:47:47 AM
 #15

hmm 2013.. blocks 0.5mb ... 5 pools
2017 blocks 0.999mb... 20+pools

Pools can be a Sybil attack from the same whale miners.

You are writing a lot of nonsense and I am not going to waste my time.

the orphan rate due to block data is a separate thing.

...

if you have a block with 10 transactions or 1000 transactions. does not mean the PoW difficulty changes or the amount of hashes needed.

PoW difficulty has nothing to do what we are discussing.

You are not competent for me to have a discussion with.

i do like how you now stepped aside the PoW statement.
and are now trying to meander it to being about tx validation.

There was no meandering. I stated the relevant facts. You are meandering into incoherent nonsense.
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April 04, 2017, 04:40:09 AM
 #16

Why are you against segwit though, which will directly help the problem. Even if it doesnt solve it, it will still help it.

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Amph
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April 04, 2017, 05:41:42 AM
 #17

PoW has nothing to do with blocksize.

Dude you really don't understand the math of propagation. That is an idiotic claim.

Without verification of transactions in the prior block, PoW can't be safely devoted to mining the next block.

Scaling of block size is all about the fact that all miners have to verify all transactions. Which intimately tied to PoW.

If miners start trusting other miners by reputation instead of verifying, then you no longer need PoW. You can based the consensus proof-of-maximum-trust, i.e. trust is centralization.

then miners like antpool must be stupid, seeing how they signaling for a straight block size increase without knowing this or maybe what you are saying it's not 100% correct or partially missing something

no one still have correctly explained without flaming and be pretentious, why simply increase the block size MB do not scale, unless "scale" doesn't simply mean having more transaction per second
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April 04, 2017, 08:18:09 AM
 #18

Why are you against segwit though, which will directly help the problem. Even if it doesnt solve it, it will still help it.

I'll answer this one first but I'm aware of the risk that more than one aspect of my response may trigger a derailing of the thread into something which was deliberately de-emphesised in my OP. So I'll request restraint here!

To be clear, I did not state I am against segwit.

I have my concerns based on technical objections I've heard for which I've not seen responses that satisfy me. However this may simply be down to the following phenomenon: that it's often easier to follow and to be convinced by the reasoning of an objection than to follow and to be convinced by what for experts may be a satisfactory response but not for me - not because of a potential weakness in the argument but because its following requires a deeper technological understanding than I possess. I realise this response opens a whole can of worms but my request here is that you accept the openness of my expression of where I am with it and not jump on the fact of my not being convinced to turn this into something else! The context is the OP please?

One of the things I'm trying to overcome when it comes to Core and Segwit is my negative emotional response to it. How do I put this?! The culture into which segwit was born is one of high toxicity. If I were to trace back to one root cause for that I'd say - in the context of my experience real face-to-face contact last night - that we are soooooooo much more likely in written discussions to assume bad faith, stupidity, corruption etc. and to respond accordingly with accusations and insults in we are in real-life conversation. I think if most of the debate had happened by the presentation of ideas followed by meetups of small groups to discuss them, we - and Bitcoin - would be in a veeery different place by now.

We saw a culture within Core (since before it was known by that name) that made some prior key contributors and respected figures in the community feel they were too at odds with where it was going that they no longer had a part in it. And I get the impression it was a small number of  convinced, possibly stubborn individuals who determined the current direction Core (it's much easier for someone passionate for the general cause and for contributing by coding to select project areas that are less controversial with the core strong-arm).

We have the possibly irreparable schism in the community which I see largely due to a choice made and followed to this day of taking a particular definition of an altcoin and using it to prevent open, balanced discussion about possible ways forward (says I, hoping my tangential reference is clear enough to make my point whilst being obscure enough for it not to derail the topic). Part of me screams that I simply don't want to see those who played a part (or who failed to take a stand) succeed - and a truly unreasonable side of me even says: '...even at the cost of the failure of Bitcoin'!

Another unhelpful human trait in this regard is the contrast between true experts in any field being quietly confident and happy to explain to those who are open to their ideas v. those who falsely believe they are experts who have an apparent need to shout loudest, to be confrontational, to accuse etc. Guess which group has the biggest influence on the directions of forums such as here and Reddit? Related to this, but I think slightly different, is another human trait - the gap between our belief of the absent or tiny role of emotion in our apparently reasoned arguments versus the actual role of emotion in those same arguments. So whilst my current quest includes trying to disentangle the merits of Core and segwit from my emotional response to them, I'm not asking here to be convinced of segwit right now. I'm asking that the points I raise in the OP to be addressed - I'm looking for things that will help me be able to see past those - and then, possibly to look at segwit differently in time.

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
K128kevin2
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April 04, 2017, 08:34:07 AM
 #19

Would you elaborate please what you mean by 'it doesn't scale'?
The time taken to process a block doesn't increase linearly with the size, it's quadratic.
If you double the blocksize, you multiply the time taken to process it by 4.
It gets very slow very quickly.
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April 04, 2017, 08:50:32 AM
 #20


no one still have [...] explained [...] why simply increase the block size MB do not scale, unless "scale" doesn't simply mean having more transaction per second

Carlton Banks did explain to my satisfaction what he meant by it. If I understood him correctly, another way I'd describe it is if you change the scale of a map you get a lot more area shown for each increment increased. According to Carlton Banks's argument, this means at best, we get 'only' double transaction volume by doubling the block chain. For (I'll avoid the word scaling) increasing the potential transaction throughput to a number that would satisfy potential demand, we need something that does more than linear growth.

From the other heated argument above I can see there may be a reasonable case to be made that you don't even get 1-1 (throughput / blocksize) which if true, makes it even more important to find longer-term solutions - of which segwit may be one.

However, not everything has to be addressed at once and to me - as to Gavin and others - 'kicking the can down the road' by having an increase that would have prevented us from getting to what we have today - a currency dropping off on-chain use cases by the day. To this day I fail to see how it can be worth risking the totally unknown consequences of the presently worsening situation - deliberately letting it get to the stage of a ceiling-hit-forced-fee-market - in order to 'encourage' or speed up the development of second-tier solutions.

Talking of Gavin, I omitted your references to 'flaming and pretentious' and dismiss the oft-repeated 'Gavin [having gone] full retard' as an example of some of the phenomena I talk about in the last post. I'm trying to put such statements to one side and not let it colour my preparedness to listen to the reasoned arguments people who are saying such things are making. At the risk of sounding patronising, I suggest others participating here do likewise.

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
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