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Author Topic: Why Bitcoin Core Developers won't compromise  (Read 11069 times)
jbreher
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May 26, 2017, 12:30:06 AM
 #221

<<wall o' text>>

"They vote with their CPU proof-of-worker, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism."
- S. Nakamoto

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I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a known extortionist. Read my Trust for details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sglyFwTjfDU
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May 26, 2017, 03:35:48 AM
 #222

Many who want to compromise let's find the operator.
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May 26, 2017, 06:33:52 AM
 #223

I'm going to reply in pieces to this Smiley

And we are talking about users that want/need to transact.  So what you are imagining, is that users are going to download, themselves, new software of which they KNOW that it will not agree with what miners are producing, to stop their own ability to transact, and think that:
1) they will do so and put themselves out of the system that way
2) this will affect the miners in any way
is totally misguided.  
Please cite in any of my prior statements where users or verifying node
operators are downloading ad implementing protocol violating rules.
This is the very idea of a UASF.

Again, I ask you cite where I stated anything that would need new rules
or new nodes. Everything I stated is occurring as we speak and has occurred
since 2010. I'm talking about verifying nodes, not UASF.

I know you are paranoid of UASF, but I'm not talking about that.


If there is only one centralized entity that makes the single software ran by miners and nodes alike, this is the central authority that decides by writing lines of code and pushing it to the miners (and also the verifying nodes which do the same).  So, duh.  That's why a system that has only one code base is centralized in the hands of the coders.  First Satoshi, of course, and later, Core.  That's no different from Microsoft being the central authority of what windows does, or Apple being the central authority of what Apple devices do.  

The only choice left to the software user is: keep old version, or upgrade.

If everything is done by soft forks, moreover, the only thing that the software monopolist needs to do, is to convince >50% of the mining nodes to adopt the software.  Then this soft fork is imposed upon the rest of the miners (or all their blocks get orphaned sooner or later).  And the users, we don't care.  Because soft forks are accepted by older nodes (even if they don't understand them).

==> soft forks are the way for the software monopolist to keep its power if it can push its upgrades to more than half of the miner pools.

This is why this has been "working" since 2010.  Bitcoin was centralized on a software monopolist which was smart enough to use soft forks.

Quote
Well I disagree with your interpretation of things.
Satsohi clearly thought those things were attacks.
Security experts would consider those things attacks.

Quote
Your argument is comparable to "when hackers or malware enter into nuclear
power plants in order to implement code actions that will cause that facility
to go into an uncontrolled systematic meltdown, which will affect tens of
thousands of people somewhat immediately, and tens of millions to
hundredths of millions for multiple generations with diseases and
environmental effects, you are saying that isn't an attack on that nuclear
facility, humans, or the environment, but is only the "behavioral definition
of that nuclear system." With such a viewpoint of things, even murder of
another human being is the behavioral definition of humans, so according to
your argument, murder is natural and not an attack on that other individual
and their rights. From this point forward, no one should take any of your
arguments seriously or legitimately contemplate it's soundness.

You (and you're not alone) seems to have serious conceptual difficulties with the notion of a decentralized system.   A decentralized system has no authority, has no laws, has no government, has no justice, has, in other words, no notion of "morality", of "good" and "bad", of "valid" and "invalid".

Yes, if we were living in a decentralized society, "murder" would not have any notion of good or bad.  Like in nature, when the lion murders the antelope.  It happens or it doesn't happen.  Visibly, for the lion, killing the antelope was "good" ; for the antelope, we imagine that it was "bad", and nature being decentralized, there's no single authority to put the "bad" of the antelope over the "good" of the lion, and decide that it was globally bad.

This total absence of authority, of good and bad, and of valid and invalid, makes that the system has a dynamical behaviour.

You could say the same, in more restricted terms, of "market price".  The price, in a market, is also something that is decentralized if it is an efficient and competitive market.  There is no "valid" and "invalid" price.  There is no "good" and "bad" price.  The price is whatever the market determines, it is.

In the same way, in a decentralized system, whatever happens on the system, is what the system is doing, and that is not "good" or "bad". It can correspond, or deviate, from the PURPOSE you had IN MIND that the system WAS MADE FOR, but that's just illusion.  The system is whatever it is doing.  A "51% attack" is part of its possible behaviours, like "murder" is part of the possible behaviours of a system made of lions and antelopes.

From the moment you would like to define "good" and "bad" in such a system, you need to introduce centralization, because a single authority needs to even define what are the boundaries of "good" and "bad", and needs to have privileged force to impose this upon all its participants.   You need, in other words, a government that makes rules, judges that verify the respect of the rules, and a police and prison to punish with force, those that want to transgress the rules.

If you say "majority vote", well, a 51% attack was a majority vote !  So clearly, if you want to define the evilness of an act you will need to chose between two possibilities:

1) there is a *dynamical* way to define good and bad, and whatever that dynamical way does, is what is good and bad (= decentralized system)
2) there is an undisputed central authority that is recognized by all to say what is good and bad (the King = centralized system) and who can enforce it.

I'm just explaining that in a true decentralized system, only what emerges dynamically as "good" and "bad", IS what is good and bad.

In bitcoin (and most crypto) that's the block chain.  The block chain is what is good/true/valid.  All the rest is bad/false/invalid.   Simply because that's the fundamental assumption to be able to make a decentralized ledger.  It's in there -> valid ; it's not in there -> not valid ; the rules that make the ledger are per definition valid, and whatever other rules that are not compatible with the actual sole ledger out there are dynamically determined to be false, EVEN if they told you that they should have been valid.

The OTHER way of doing things, is: the King.  Here, the software monopolist, that tells you to use their software (because nobody else ever made anything else, or because everyone ACCEPTS the ultimate authority of the King).  The software, being in only one version, is then what determines what is good and what is bad, what is valid and what is invalid.


Quote
This argument type, in order to circumvent my argument, should be reexamined
since it leads down a road that is not healthy for Bitcoin, nor for life in general.
This thinking is neither creative nor genius, it is blatantly malicious to life and
intelligent advancements. It is no wonder you would take the position that PoW
is the only "power" system within Bitcoin
, your thinking is already twisted.

It IS the only power in bitcoin, and this thinking is the fundamental basis of anarchist society.  Personally, I'm in favour of it, but I measure its full implication of "immorality" (which is why I'm in favour of it, actually).  But I think most people declaring themselves anarchist don't measure this to their full extend.  It is a society without good or bad.  But my political opinion doesn't matter.  

What matters is that bitcoin is designed to be decentralized, so, without any central form of authority, and hence IS an anarchist system, if ever the code monopolist loses its monopoly.   And then this is a natural and logical consequence.  Whether that is desired, healthy, "good", "valid" or anything else with moral judgement, doesn't matter, and that's exactly the whole point of decentralization: no morality, but dynamics !

You could just as well say: "if gravity is keeping the moon on orbit that's OK, but if it makes me also fall off the mountain, I don't know if that is desirable".  Well, it is part of the *dynamical laws* because gravity too, has no "morality" or no "validity".  Whatever it does, is what gravity does.

Quote
No, you are very incorrect in multiple areas.

Valid and Invalid is defined by the rules that which we all currently abide by
in Bitcoin. Saying that valid or invalid work is only based upon the whims of
what decision a miner builds on another miner's block, is very simplistic at
the least.

Well, the genius of bitcoin's designer was to build a system in which the rules he laid down (as King) became or were supposed to become a Nash equilibrium, which means, that deviating from it for a single entity was not in that entity's advantage, meaning that the rules were immutable.  But it seems that Satoshi didn't understand the genius of his own design, so he still was thinking in terms of the King.

Bitcoin was laid down by its  King and his heirs, Core, as long as they are/were the software monopolist.  They are the central deciders on bitcoin.  They could even decide, like Vitalik did on ethereum, to reverse some irreversible things.  As such, bitcoin is like windows: a central software monopolist decides on everything.    They also decide, through their software, what is valid and invalid, good and bad, right and wrong.  Nobody can oppose them, because they make the only software that can run bitcoin.  There's no difference between core on one hand, and windows and apple on the other.  There are, indeed, rules of validity and of invalidity.

However, once that monopoly is gone in practice, who's going to decide what version of software is going to define what is valid and invalid ?   What is now "valid" ?  Where does that notion even come from ?

Bitcoin was designed to decide this by majority vote, majority of hash rate.  So yes, the original design exactly decided that "validity" was exactly what miners decided, by building upon the blocks they "signed off" as valid.  That's the core of bitcoin's PoW consensus mechanism.  So that's the definition of "valid".  If there are no software monopolists any more that can, also on a whim, decide this or that, because everybody NEEDS their software, then that's all that is left as a decision mechanism, because there's no central authority any more.

==> bitcoin becomes decentralized, and hence without "morals", without "good" and "bad" apart from its very own definition of good and bad: the block chain.
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May 26, 2017, 07:57:17 AM
 #224

<<wall o' text>>

"They vote with their CPU proof-of-worker, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism."
- S. Nakamoto

The question to me is: What exactly  is an  'invalid block'.  The final protocol could be very flexible here. Major rules should be: 21 Mio fix, no double spending,... ??

Carpe diem  -  cut the down side  -  be anti-fragile
A feature that needs more than one convincing argument is no and Satoshi owes me no proof.
My coding style is legendary but limited to 1MB, sorry but cannot come much over my C64, Bill Gates and Tom Bombadil
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May 26, 2017, 08:07:51 AM
 #225

<<wall o' text>>

"They vote with their CPU proof-of-worker, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism."
- S. Nakamoto

The question to me is: What exactly  is an  'invalid block'.  The final protocol could be very flexible here. Major rules should be: 21 Mio fix, no double spending,... ??

You see, you also think in terms of "should".   But any "should" is a "constitution" that determines what is "good" and what is "bad", and hence, that has been set up by a central entity ; or is dynamically arising, and in that case, you cannot say "should".  It is what it is.

I think, for instance, that the 21 M limit is one of the biggest stupidities in bitcoin ; others think that it is its major value proposition.  

So, essentially, the choices are:

a) central authority that can dictate whatever is the rule set.

b) dynamical happening that determines what is the rule set.

I think the whole concept of a crypto currency is that there is initially a central authority that determines what is the rule set, and that afterwards, if any claim on decentralization makes sense, that from this initial rule set, a dynamical happening follows.  

My personal theory is that the only dynamical rule that guarantees decentralization, is that the original rule set is a Nash equilibrium, making it impossible to deviate from it, apart from going back to (a).   But one could design more subtle systems in which, in a decentralized way, modifications to the rules can be made without collusion.   In fact, hard forking is the standard way of doing that, but maybe there are less violent ways to do so ; or maybe, it is exactly part of the immutability dynamics, that the only decentralized way to change something, is to hard fork.

The whole question, hence, is not so much of what bitcoin "should" do, but rather, whether it is decentralized (and hence, immutable) or whether it is centralized ; and if, in that last case, in who's hands is the central power.  Until very recently, bitcoin was centralized in the hands of Core, being the software monopolist, and hence the de facto master of the rules (backed into the software).  This goes in fact against the consensus mechanism in bitcoin, that puts the power to decide in the hands of those with most hash rate.  These last ones start to get aware of their final say, and it is no wonder that both are fighting - but this exact fighting is exactly what is to be expected in a decentralized system, imposing immutability.  So this would point finally, to the observation that bitcoin is starting to get decentralized from Core.  We'll see.

Note that jbreher is perfectly right that a valid block is simply by definition, that block on which miners decide to build the rest of the chain.  And implicitly, hence, that the valid protocol is the protocol that considers that block as valid.  Whether that corresponds to any white paper or not !

If tomorrow, all miners start mining blocks in which the block reward rises to 200 BTC, and they build blocks on one another, then the bitcoin protocol has de facto changed, and is now such that block rewards are 200 BTC.  Because miners built on top of such blocks, so they decided collectively that that was the valid protocol.
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May 26, 2017, 08:30:34 AM
 #226

a valid block is simply by definition, that block on which miners decide to build the rest of the chain.
This directly contradicts the text of the whitepaper-- which specifically talks about an attacker overpowering with invalid blocks:

Quote
As such, the (simplified) verification is reliable as long as honest nodes control the network, but is more vulnerable if the network is overpowered by an attacker. While network nodes can verify transactions for themselves, the simplified method can be fooled by an attacker's fabricated transactions transactions for as long as the attacker can continue to overpower the network. One strategy to protect against this would be to accept alerts from network nodes when they detect an invalid block,

But more importantly, it contradicts the behavior of every version of Bitcoin ever released, including all those released by Satoshi. It also contradicts the behavior of every blockchain like altcoin that I'm aware of.


Bitcoin will not be compromised
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May 26, 2017, 09:06:12 AM
 #227

a valid block is simply by definition, that block on which miners decide to build the rest of the chain.
This directly contradicts the text of the whitepaper-- which specifically talks about an attacker overpowering with invalid blocks:

Quote
As such, the (simplified) verification is reliable as long as honest nodes control the network, but is more vulnerable if the network is overpowered by an attacker. While network nodes can verify transactions for themselves, the simplified method can be fooled by an attacker's fabricated transactions transactions for as long as the attacker can continue to overpower the network. One strategy to protect against this would be to accept alerts from network nodes when they detect an invalid block,

Yes, the white paper was still talking in terms of absolute rules (this is why I said that Satoshi did a genius invention, and didn't realize it himself), in terms of what the King decided, and had hence an undefined notion of "honest".  His "to accept alerts from the network nodes if they detect an invalid block" is actually a poor way of killing the consensus decision process by a "vote by majority of nodes" which can easily be Sybil-attacked, and which was the original reason to base consensus upon PoW and not "vote by node" !

Satoshi didn't realize that the immutability and the consensus mechanism he was thinking applied only to the HISTORY of the block chain, was also the mechanism that decided about the protocol.  He thought that he, or his heirs, would remain the central deciders concerning the "laws of the system" (the King and its aristocracy that can dictate the law, say), but that the users of the system including the miners, would be subject to a game-theoretical decentralization, which would keep them on the Nash equilibrium of the rule set the King and his aristocracy decided upon with their de facto software monopoly that contained the Law.  This is why he talked about "honest" nodes, that is to say, nodes that run correctly HIS software with HIS rule set.  So Satoshi was still thinking as himself or his heirs as the central deciders about what is valid and what is invalid, and impose it through their software.

However, the consensus mechanism (the genius invention of Satoshi) applies to EVERYTHING, not only the binary data of the block chain history, but to the protocol too, if the software becomes decentralized too and the central deciders lose their power.

But what you say is evidently not true, in the following sense: suppose that I have 10 times the hash rate of the network under my thumb without anyone knowing, and tomorrow, I fire up my hardware and I orphan the last 100 blocks and replace them by 200 empty blocks (rewinding all the transactions of today).  I can produce 200 empty blocks simply because of my hash rate.  Suppose I keep on mining these blocks for the next 10 weeks.  I will have outpaced all others.  I will have made by far the longest chain with the most PoW.  Difficulty will have gone very high.  All software that is running bitcoin, including all miner software, will mine on top of my blocks after that.  The transactions have been rewound because the only growing block chain is the one which is the "true history" by definition.  The orphaned blocks containing the "real" transactions are now considered non-existing or false blocks.

Quote
But more importantly, it contradicts the behavior of every version of Bitcoin ever released, including all those released by Satoshi. It also contradicts the behavior of every blockchain like altcoin that I'm aware of.


Of course, but that is exactly because there's a software monopoly (in alt coins even more than in bitcoin).  So evidently, the single software running out there cannot contradict its very own protocol, so with a software monopoly defining the protocol, this situation can of course not happen.

The whole point is that if there is a single block chain out there which has a modified protocol, and if miners all agree amongst themselves to continue mining that chain, using whatever software to do so, then that modified protocol is the true protocol of bitcoin, or of whatever you want to call the coin that goes with it.   If miners are not bound by the central software decider, they are the deciders of the consensus, not only concerning the transaction history, but also of the protocol.

The whole difficulty for miners is to come to any other agreement than the current protocol, because the current protocol is, for them, a Nash equilibrium.  If they know that all their peers are bound by the software monopolist, they can simply follow, and the software monopolist is the true central decider of bitcoin.  But if they are not certain that their peers will run all the same DEVIATION of the actual rule set, then the current status is a Nash equilibrium out of which they cannot escape, unless they collude themselves to decide upon something else.  In that case, their cartel is now the new central decider on bitcoin, because the software monopolist lost its monopoly.  

EDIT: BTW, one should make a distinction between two different notions:

a) hash rate majority
b) hash rate consensus

Hash rate majority can impose history modifications (the famous 51% attack) and protocol modifications that are soft forks onto the entire network.  A typical soft fork imposed upon the network is a blacklist of addresses.  If a majority of hash rate decides to blacklist addresses, and orphan blocks that contain those addresses, then this black list is imposed upon the whole system.

But hash rate majority cannot impose various protocol changes which are hard forks.  This leads us to:

Hash rate consensus.  Hash rate consensus is when all miners accept one-another's consensus decisions, that is when they make one single chain.  Apart from timing problems and accidental orphaning, they accept one-another's blocks and build on top of them.  This hash rate consensus is what I'm talking about when I say that it also determines protocol.

Hash rate consensus can be broken, when a certain part of the miners decide upon one protocol or history, and another part decides upon something else.  Obviously, this can not happen if there is a software monopoly !   But if there is no software monopoly, such consensus breach can happen.  If miners split in two or more groups, and only recognize their peers' blocks as consensual, we simply have a forked chain.

When there is hash rate consensus, the emerging protocol is the "valid" protocol, whatever it is.  If there is no hash rate consensus, there is a fork in the chain, and users can pick one or both of the prongs to do things with, like transact on it, or consider received transactions on it.   When there is hash rate consensus, there only being one block chain out there, there' s nothing else.
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May 26, 2017, 11:58:44 AM
 #228

Your argument that there is no valid or invalid behavior in Bitcoin, contradicts
what Satoshi attempted to create.

==> you see the error in your reasoning: it is not because Satoshi "attempted to create" something, that the something he created, will behave the way he intended it !  Taking the desired outcome of a design as a logical consequence of the functioning of the design is a known error which happens frequently in discussions about bitcoin.

Quote
If Satoshi envisioned
the Miner's to have 100% control to determine validity, there is no need for
public proofs
. The system could have been designed to be private without blocks.
The purpose for a public blockchain contradicts your whole argument in many ways.

I think you're slowly getting it.  The public proofs are not to "show that the miners behave well", but only are there to prove your transaction to someone else, in order to obtain value against it (an IOU on an exchange, drugs on a dark market, whatever you want to use your transaction for).  Because if you, as a user, owning a lot of bitcoins, are not happy with the single ledger out there, and find that that single ledger is not built according to how you think it should be built, then you have only one single option: leave your bitcoin holdings for what they are, and go farming or sailing and forget bitcoin.   
Indeed, the ONLY MEANS you have to obtain value against your bitcoin holdings, of which the sole proof resides in the sole chain that is being made out there, is for that single chain out there to record your transaction, with the hope that the recipient is going to be willing to consider it as valid.  If he doesn't, you've simply lost your coins on that chain.  If you don't consider that sole chain as valid, you're foregoing your "right to spend" of your coins, because it is the only place where you can spend them.

I know that Satoshi *intended* it otherwise, but that's how the system that he designed, is designed to behave.  This is because Satoshi saw the whole network as mining or at least, as the miners embedded in a P2P network.  But if the mining nodes are not very numerous, and have a backbone connection, then the P2P filtering doesn't affect them in their building of a chain.

So essentially, if "users" on one hand, and "miners" on the other hand, are united, and miners make only one chain, and users refuse that chain, then:

1) users forego all their rights to spend, as if they didn't hold any coins
2) miners are making coins nobody will buy

I think SOME users will give in first.  Because they are more numerous (millions against 20) ; because they have individually no cost in "leaving their camp" (while miners do, especially with the very slow difficulty adaptation of bitcoin).  Users remaining united against miner consensus is a "tragedy of the commons": the user that switches behaviour WINS (can buy cheap coins from miners and can transact!).  The miner is in a Nash equilibrium with other miners, and forking off is expensive for him (his chain may not survive).

Game-theoretically it seems quite obvious that "united users" against "miners in consensus" makes the miners win.

What is tricky, for miners, is to get into this different consensus.  There, most probably, they can only do so with cartel formation, because they are in a Nash equilibrium in the current protocol.  But we are talking about the hypothetical clash between the miner protocol and the user "verification". 

Quote
You are trying to argue that in
Bitcoin, and possibly all simple and complex systems that exist in this universe,
there are no truths or falsehoods (though an argument can be made in other
discussion types, when it applies to physical reality that humans accept as being
concrete/"real", we can not argue this type of argument, especially in sciences
and likewise in Bitcoin). So, this example is worthless and a distraction.

No, that's not what I'm saying.  I'm saying that a dynamical system behaves the way it is observed to behave, most probably according to the emergent properties of the dynamical laws of its constituents, and NOT according to some pre-conceived ideas from how it SHOULD behave because it was the DESIRE of the founder or something.   I'm not saying that there are no true laws of gravity.  I'm saying that the laws of gravity are whatever we observe gravity to do, and even if we would think that gravity SHOULD behave differently for moral reasons, that's not necessarily going to happen.

In other words, bitcoin has dynamical rules built into it, which are game-theoretical and cryptographic/techical.  These rules will determine how bitcoin will behave ; and not some or other white paper.  That said, in as much as the author of the white paper correctly estimated the emergent properties of his design, that design will work as designed ; and in as much as he made mistakes, his opinions don't matter, but the real behaviour does.  Real behaviour which must find its explanation in the behavioural rules of each of its entities, as confronted to the "rules of engagement" (cryptographic and game-theoretical).  Whatever results from these interactions as emergent property, is what we call bitcoin's behaviour, and hence, the "valid" way in which bitcoin acts.

Quote
The only reason why you are arguing this is so that Miners can determine all
actions 100% of the time, in 100% of all possible scenarios. What you failed to
realize is that in majority of those scenarios, there is no value in that new Bitcoin
system or it's token.

This is not necessarily true.  After all, are you really going to say that if miners start mining 20 MB blocks tomorrow, that nobody is going to value a bitcoin any more ?  The value of bitcoin has only to do with the belief in the value of the buyer of the coin. 
Do you think that big owners of bitcoin are going to let their stash become worthless, because some or other protocol changed ?  Of course they will try to convince greater fools to buy their coins, exactly like they are doing right now.

That said, you are right that miners will be sensitive to the valuation of their block rewards (coin value times how many of them they can obtain, fees, and block rewards). 
In fact, if they would estimate that the price of a coin would divide by 10, but they would be able to obtain 20 times more of them, that would be a smart move on their part, doubling their income.

But it would be difficult for them to make that move, because they are individually locked into a Nash equilibrium with the current protocol.  Only cartel formation would let them do so.
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May 26, 2017, 10:37:48 PM
 #229

<<wall o' text>>

"They vote with their CPU proof-of-worker, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism."
- S. Nakamoto

The question to me is: What exactly  is an  'invalid block'.  The final protocol could be very flexible here. Major rules should be: 21 Mio fix, no double spending,... ??

Well, in a decentralized system, the rules could be anything. The miners have the power to set them to what ever the majority of them want. We, the users, merely have the power to either participate or not participate.

As for me, the two rules you mention are indeed dealbreakers for me. If ever they become violated, I will not participate. As would, I imagine, the vast majority. Which is the only power offsetting the miners' greed.

So far, so good on that point. And I imagine shall always be.

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I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a known extortionist. Read my Trust for details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sglyFwTjfDU
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May 26, 2017, 10:52:33 PM
 #230

a valid block is simply by definition, that block on which miners decide to build the rest of the chain.
This directly contradicts the text of the whitepaper-- which specifically talks about an attacker overpowering with invalid blocks:

Quote
As such, the (simplified) verification is reliable as long as honest nodes control the network, but is more vulnerable if the network is overpowered by an attacker. While network nodes can verify transactions for themselves, the simplified method can be fooled by an attacker's fabricated transactions transactions for as long as the attacker can continue to overpower the network. One strategy to protect against this would be to accept alerts from network nodes when they detect an invalid block,

No, Gregory, your whitepaper quote does not contradict the notion that blocks that are built atop are the very definition of block validity.

Quote
But more importantly, it contradicts the behavior of every version of Bitcoin ever released, including all those released by Satoshi.

Not at all. Are you saying that there are invalid blocks included in the blockchain at this point? Manifestly this notion is untrue.

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a known extortionist. Read my Trust for details. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sglyFwTjfDU
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May 26, 2017, 11:16:15 PM
 #231

a valid block is simply by definition, that block on which miners decide to build the rest of the chain.
This directly contradicts the text of the whitepaper-- which specifically talks about an attacker overpowering with invalid blocks:

Quote
As such, the (simplified) verification is reliable as long as honest nodes control the network, but is more vulnerable if the network is overpowered by an attacker. While network nodes can verify transactions for themselves, the simplified method can be fooled by an attacker's fabricated transactions transactions for as long as the attacker can continue to overpower the network. One strategy to protect against this would be to accept alerts from network nodes when they detect an invalid block,

No, Gregory, your whitepaper quote does not contradict the notion that blocks that are built atop are the very definition of block validity.

Quote
But more importantly, it contradicts the behavior of every version of Bitcoin ever released, including all those released by Satoshi.

Not at all. Are you saying that there are invalid blocks included in the blockchain at this point? Manifestly this notion is untrue.

Maybe he means the "scrubbed" version of the whitepaper (http://themerkle.com/blockstream-wants-to-rewrite-the-bitcoin-whitepaper/). And LOL that gmax is suddenly the person "staying true to Satoshi's vision"...
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May 27, 2017, 03:20:02 AM
 #232


First, I'd like to point out that you once again take small paras where I state nothing
of any value and address those instead of attacking my main paras directly. Instead
of arguing where my reasoning is wrong, you just argue simple statements I make in
passing or in the preamble.



And we are talking about users that want/need to transact.  So what you are imagining, is that users are going to download, themselves, new software of which they KNOW that it will not agree with what miners are producing, to stop their own ability to transact, and think that:
1) they will do so and put themselves out of the system that way
2) this will affect the miners in any way
is totally misguided. 
Please cite in any of my prior statements where users or verifying node
operators are downloading ad implementing protocol violating rules.
This is the very idea of a UASF.
Again, I ask you cite where I stated anything that would need new rules
or new nodes. Everything I stated is occurring as we speak and has occurred
since 2010. I'm talking about verifying nodes, not UASF.

I know you are paranoid of UASF, but I'm not talking about that.
If there is only one centralized entity that makes the single software ran by miners and nodes alike, this is the central authority that decides by writing lines of code and pushing it to the miners (and also the verifying nodes which do the same).  So, duh.  That's why a system that has only one code base is centralized in the hands of the coders.  First Satoshi, of course, and later, Core.  That's no different from Microsoft being the central authority of what windows does, or Apple being the central authority of what Apple devices do.   

The only choice left to the software user is: keep old version, or upgrade.

If everything is done by soft forks, moreover, the only thing that the software monopolist needs to do, is to convince >50% of the mining nodes to adopt the software.  Then this soft fork is imposed upon the rest of the miners (or all their blocks get orphaned sooner or later).  And the users, we don't care.  Because soft forks are accepted by older nodes (even if they don't understand them).

==> soft forks are the way for the software monopolist to keep its power if it can push its upgrades to more than half of the miner pools.

This is why this has been "working" since 2010.  Bitcoin was centralized on a software monopolist which was smart enough to use soft forks.

The purpose of Satoshi's client, and today's client (Core), was that there was a baseline
standard rule set that all other clients and systems could rely upon. That is why it is
considered the "reference client" (Dev Gavin understood this very well at the time).
At some point in the future, the reference client will never again be changed unless in
emergencies or serious bug fixes. The rules will be set in stone forever. Simply,
eventually the system will not need additions or etc since everything could be done
without needing direct modifications to the protocol. If the rules are changed after that
future point that are not to fix serious issues, it is always an attack on the base rules.

Satoshi intended the reference client to be "the center", because that is how all systems
within this universe work. There is no simple or complex system that exists that has no
center point. Your belief that this may be a problem (since 2010) is not the fault of
Satoshi or Core or the limitations of the human mind, but the limitations of this universe,
and because of that, your argument is distraction and is a waste of time. Thinking that the
reference client needs to also be “decentralized” is a perversion created from blind hate
and not logic. Satoshi understood there would always be a reference client that all other
system would build from and he understood that at a certain point that client would never
need changing (this contradicts emergent mechanisms).

There must be a center always, there is no long term stable system with two centers.
Even with galaxies or black holes which circle the other, one or both will always be
obliterated. Even if Core Client is supplanted by another, that new one becomes centralized
and then your argument continues ad infinitum. There will always be rules and they will
always be dictated through a single center client. That is natural. The protocol must be
represented in physical form and that form is by the reference client. Competition with
such system is not healthy, that is a human delusion, competition over time is slow
erosion/destruction. If you do not like it, you must change it from within the system,
not from the outside by competition. Your faith in human markets will be your ruin.



Well I disagree with your interpretation of things.
Satsohi clearly thought those things were attacks.
Security experts would consider those things attacks.

Your argument is comparable to "when hackers or malware enter into nuclear
power plants in order to implement code actions that will cause that facility
to go into an uncontrolled systematic meltdown, which will affect tens of
thousands of people somewhat immediately, and tens of millions to
hundredths of millions for multiple generations with diseases and
environmental effects, you are saying that isn't an attack on that nuclear
facility, humans, or the environment, but is only the "behavioral definition
of that nuclear system." With such a viewpoint of things, even murder of
another human being is the behavioral definition of humans, so according to
your argument, murder is natural and not an attack on that other individual
and their rights. From this point forward, no one should take any of your
arguments seriously or legitimately contemplate it's soundness.
You (and you're not alone) seems to have serious conceptual difficulties with the notion of a decentralized system.  A decentralized system has no authority, has no laws, has no government, has no justice, has, in other words, no notion of "morality", of "good" and "bad", of "valid" and "invalid".

Yes, if we were living in a decentralized society, "murder" would not have any notion of good or bad.  Like in nature, when the lion murders the antelope.  It happens or it doesn't happen.  Visibly, for the lion, killing the antelope was "good" ; for the antelope, we imagine that it was "bad", and nature being decentralized, there's no single authority to put the "bad" of the antelope over the "good" of the lion, and decide that it was globally bad.

This total absence of authority, of good and bad, and of valid and invalid, makes that the system has a dynamical behaviour.

You could say the same, in more restricted terms, of "market price".  The price, in a market, is also something that is decentralized if it is an efficient and competitive market.  There is no "valid" and "invalid" price.  There is no "good" and "bad" price.  The price is whatever the market determines, it is.

In the same way, in a decentralized system, whatever happens on the system, is what the system is doing, and that is not "good" or "bad". It can correspond, or deviate, from the PURPOSE you had IN MIND that the system WAS MADE FOR, but that's just illusion.  The system is whatever it is doing.  A "51% attack" is part of its possible behaviours, like "murder" is part of the possible behaviours of a system made of lions and antelopes.

From the moment you would like to define "good" and "bad" in such a system, you need to introduce centralization, because a single authority needs to even define what are the boundaries of "good" and "bad", and needs to have privileged force to impose this upon all its participants.   You need, in other words, a government that makes rules, judges that verify the respect of the rules, and a police and prison to punish with force, those that want to transgress the rules.

If you say "majority vote", well, a 51% attack was a majority vote !  So clearly, if you want to define the evilness of an act you will need to chose between two possibilities:

1) there is a *dynamical* way to define good and bad, and whatever that dynamical way does, is what is good and bad (= decentralized system)
2) there is an undisputed central authority that is recognized by all to say what is good and bad (the King = centralized system) and who can enforce it.

I'm just explaining that in a true decentralized system, only what emerges dynamically as "good" and "bad", IS what is good and bad.

Your definition of a "true decentralized system" does not exist in this universe.
You are talking in philosophical ways that does not apply to what we are actually
dealing with in Bitcoin. We learn nothing from your statements other than your
personal philosophy of life.

This is not Bitcoin and never was. It can not be its future either, since that would defy
our reality now. Your definition of "decentralization" is comparable to the word "death".
Everything you listed also exists within the term "death" and what "death" may be.
Your definition of a “true decentralized system” is not what Satoshi was designing. He did
not want what you outlined because Satoshi was smart enough to understand that what
you outlined is philosophical garbage designed to argue things that are malicious and yet
portray them as a nature state. In reality, they defy our known rules and Bitcoin reality. 

When you consider Satoshi to be like a “King”, that is an incorrect representation. Satoshi
was a “clockmaker”. He set the gears and wound the key, he then left us to see how the
clock would operate based upon the gear design and rules he preselected. If you don’t like
that he selected rules that we must abide by, and instead you want to create your own
rules, even rules based on the will of the miners or markets, you are destroying Satoshi’s
clock and creating a monstrosity where everything becomes an illusion.



In bitcoin (and most crypto) that's the block chain.  The block chain is what is good/true/valid.  All the rest is bad/false/invalid.   Simply because that's the fundamental assumption to be able to make a decentralized ledger.  It's in there -> valid ; it's not in there -> not valid ; the rules that make the ledger are per definition valid, and whatever other rules that are not compatible with the actual sole ledger out there are dynamically determined to be false, EVEN if they told you that they should have been valid.

The OTHER way of doing things, is: the King.  Here, the software monopolist, that tells you to use their software (because nobody else ever made anything else, or because everyone ACCEPTS the ultimate authority of the King).  The software, being in only one version, is then what determines what is good and what is bad, what is valid and what is invalid.

I disagree with your thinking. It is much more complicated that how you convey it.

The reference client is the singularity that which our universal laws are based upon.
When you make arguments that the singularity is "the King" or etc, it is a lack of acceptance
of your position with this universe (or the Bitcoin system). You don't like your reality so you
wish to change the singularity. Satoshi intended the reference client to be singular and
contain the rules.

The truth is that your viewpoint is maladjusted. You do not understand what
decentralization actually means within Bitcoin. You have taken it to an extreme that
doesn't even actually exist within this universe and a way that Satoshi didn’t want.
Satoshi envisioned the reference client to be frozen at a certain point for security
reasons. Bitcoin has nothing to do with governance; it is a digital currency first. Your
desire for change and emergent mechanism is governance based, not currency nor
security. You wish to make Bitcoin a political governmental system, instead of an
asset that was in opposition of the current financial worlds political governmental
cohort.  You advocate subversion of one of the last special things in this world.
Almost all other things have become fully corrupted. Bitcoin still holds though.



This argument type, in order to circumvent my argument, should be reexamined
since it leads down a road that is not healthy for Bitcoin, nor for life in general.
This thinking is neither creative nor genius, it is blatantly malicious to life and
intelligent advancements. It is no wonder you would take the position that PoW
is the only "power" system within Bitcoin
, your thinking is already twisted.

It IS the only power in bitcoin, and this thinking is the fundamental basis of anarchist society.  Personally, I'm in favour of it, but I measure its full implication of "immorality" (which is why I'm in favour of it, actually).  But I think most people declaring themselves anarchist don't measure this to their full extend.  It is a society without good or bad.  But my political opinion doesn't matter.   

What matters is that bitcoin is designed to be decentralized, so, without any central form of authority, and hence IS an anarchist system, if ever the code monopolist loses its monopoly.   And then this is a natural and logical consequence.  Whether that is desired, healthy, "good", "valid" or anything else with moral judgement, doesn't matter, and that's exactly the whole point of decentralization: no morality, but dynamics !

You could just as well say: "if gravity is keeping the moon on orbit that's OK, but if it makes me also fall off the mountain, I don't know if that is desirable".  Well, it is part of the *dynamical laws* because gravity too, has no "morality" or no "validity".  Whatever it does, is what gravity does.

Anarchism can bugger off. It has nothing to do with what Bitcoin is or it's
decentralization. 

If anarchists wish to use the token for their own personal beliefs and etc, that is fine.
But if you wish to change the system into something that is not sustainable, just to
prove your personal beliefs are valid to yourself and society, that is an attack on the
current system, whether in your mind attacks exist or not. The truth is that you have
perverted what Satoshi wanted.

If Satoshi wanted to create an anarchistic governance model in Bitcoin or have a
decentralized reference client he could have done so by creating three systems with
three different rules and required that the network’s miners always have the 3 in
competition at all times as per the rules of block building, where the 3 groups could
control their own rules and compete to gain majority over the 3 to determine the current
rule set for a set time interval (possibly till the next halving time). Instead, Satoshi
specifically stated he only wanted one main client and was opposed to having two or
more.  It created an unstable system and he clearly understood that part.

Your beliefs and desire leads to Bitcoin's destruction. Continuing to argue that Bitcoin
isn't supposed to have any center is wrong and was never true. In fact, that is impossible.
You wish to change a working system to test an impossibility that Satoshi specifically
didn’t want to manifest due to the problems it would cause.



No, you are very incorrect in multiple areas.
Valid and Invalid is defined by the rules that which we all currently abide by
in Bitcoin. Saying that valid or invalid work is only based upon the whims of
what decision a miner builds on another miner's block, is very simplistic at
the least.
Well, the genius of bitcoin's designer was to build a system in which the rules he laid down (as King) became or were supposed to become a Nash equilibrium, which means, that deviating from it for a single entity was not in that entity's advantage, meaning that the rules were immutable.  But it seems that Satoshi didn't understand the genius of his own design, so he still was thinking in terms of the King.

Bitcoin was laid down by its  King and his heirs, Core, as long as they are/were the software monopolist.  They are the central deciders on bitcoin.  They could even decide, like Vitalik did on ethereum, to reverse some irreversible things.  As such, bitcoin is like windows: a central software monopolist decides on everything.    They also decide, through their software, what is valid and invalid, good and bad, right and wrong.  Nobody can oppose them, because they make the only software that can run bitcoin.  There's no difference between core on one hand, and windows and apple on the other.  There are, indeed, rules of validity and of invalidity.

However, once that monopoly is gone in practice, who's going to decide what version of software is going to define what is valid and invalid ?   What is now "valid" ?  Where does that notion even come from ?

Bitcoin was designed to decide this by majority vote, majority of hash rate.  So yes, the original design exactly decided that "validity" was exactly what miners decided, by building upon the blocks they "signed off" as valid.  That's the core of bitcoin's PoW consensus mechanism.  So that's the definition of "valid".  If there are no software monopolists any more that can, also on a whim, decide this or that, because everybody NEEDS their software, then that's all that is left as a decision mechanism, because there's no central authority any more.

==> bitcoin becomes decentralized, and hence without "morals", without "good" and "bad" apart from its very own definition of good and bad: the block chain.


No, you are incorrect as usual. You live in a maladjusted parallel world.
Bitcoin was not designed to determine valid or invalid by majority of hash rate.
The rules of valid or invalid are already encoded with the protocol, miners follow that.
Miners either are in compliance or are in violation of that rule set. You are rewriting
history.

What you are talking about is a system that has no rules since the rules are always
in a liquid state. That would be consistent with your anarchist beliefs, so it is no wonder
this is your argument type. Satoshi never intended this, in fact he specifically stated that
Bitcoin would reach a point where the reference client would never need changing, thus
the rules are set. That fact alone contradicts your argument that Satoshi intended "Miner
voting" into the future. This is a lie crafted to subvert Bitcoin and weaken it's security. 

Your argument is philosophical, contradicts universal laws, and is destructive to the
actual system Satoshi tried to design. Though it was not as perfect as he intended, with
patching and other things, the system still runs effectively and proves his overall argument
(though with some currently unknown elements, it could be entirely autonomous and sound).
You on the other hand are arguing things that will never be because if they did come true,
the system would just fall apart. You want human market intervention and redirection
of the protocol itself.

Your argument is just blind idealism. Again, you never address any of my points, only my
passing simple statements and then you pontificate upon your political ideologies.

I support a decentralized & unregulatable ledger first, with safe scaling over time.
Request a signed message if you are associating with anyone claiming to be me.
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May 27, 2017, 04:44:23 AM
 #233

Your argument that there is no valid or invalid behavior in Bitcoin, contradicts
what Satoshi attempted to create.
==> you see the error in your reasoning: it is not because Satoshi "attempted to create" something, that the something he created, will behave the way he intended it !  Taking the desired outcome of a design as a logical consequence of the functioning of the design is a known error which happens frequently in discussions about bitcoin.

Did you even read what I am writing beyond your simple sentence quotation of
mine? Is your only job to deflect what my full argument is, while not addressing
my specifics? Very plainly again: Satoshi created valid and invalidity, this is a fact
from day one rules. Without acknowledging that, everything else you are saying is
garbage. When I say “attempted to create”, that is not an admission that Satoshi
failed in his goal to establish validity and invalidity, that is absurd and it is plain
that Satoshi succeeded in that goal, otherwise the whole system wouldn’t have
functioned past day one.  Miners defer to the protocol. Very plain.

I do not understand why you would even bother to respond in such a way since it
is so empty and worthless to the larger argument.  Instead you resort to philosophy
and word games. What the real error is that you think what you're saying is actually
worthy of contemplation.



If Satoshi envisioned
the Miner's to have 100% control to determine validity, there is no need for
public proofs
. The system could have been designed to be private without blocks.
The purpose for a public blockchain contradicts your whole argument in many ways.
I think you're slowly getting it.  The public proofs are not to "show that the miners behave well", but only are there to prove your transaction to someone else, in order to obtain value against it (an IOU on an exchange, drugs on a dark market, whatever you want to use your transaction for).  Because if you, as a user, owning a lot of bitcoins, are not happy with the single ledger out there, and find that that single ledger is not built according to how you think it should be built, then you have only one single option: leave your bitcoin holdings for what they are, and go farming or sailing and forget bitcoin.  

Lol. Thanks for telling me I’m finally getting the point I have been making since I
participated in this thread and thanks for taking a small section of my argument
again and only addressing it in a superficial fashion without directly explaining
anything. You just say anything without backing it up. You take snips here and
there and only address superficialities and ignore the complexaties.

The blockchain is not simply for users, since that would be redundant in your
argument (which is clearly oblivious to you) it is for proof of block/tx/protocol
compliance by all parties.  As I stated prior, and is now clear why you didn’t quote
that part of my response, is that your understanding of blockchain is that of a
simpleton. If you think the blockchain is only for Alice to transact with Bob, then
you need to think about the blockchain more. As I have already stated, if your
argument was correct, the blockchain is not needed and thus users wouldn’t need
it for proofs, the miners would perform all that privately amongst themselves and
certify to each individual user. So by simple deduction from your argument,
blockchain serves a larger purpose then you wish to accept or purposefully
ignoring.

Your argument centers around Miners being trusted and left to determine validity
without rules and then you complain about centralized reference client? You
contradict yourself constantly because your argument is not yet fully formed or
because you are a paid/unpaid entity designed to spread worthless garbage about
Bitcoin. Since majority of your argument are in favor of miner totalitarianism, as
well as past statements about how the miners graciously perform actions for us,
I would conclude that you work for or are a miner who is a disinfo shiller and not
a true forum member trying to understand the system we participate in. Your
agenda become apparent the more you attempt to explain your belief. Your
anarchism in conjunction with totalitarianism is very confused.



Indeed, the ONLY MEANS you have to obtain value against your bitcoin holdings, of which the sole proof resides in the sole chain that is being made out there, is for that single chain out there to record your transaction, with the hope that the recipient is going to be willing to consider it as valid.  If he doesn't, you've simply lost your coins on that chain.  If you don't consider that sole chain as valid, you're foregoing your "right to spend" of your coins, because it is the only place where you can spend them.

I know that Satoshi *intended* it otherwise, but that's how the system that he designed, is designed to behave.  This is because Satoshi saw the whole network as mining or at least, as the miners embedded in a P2P network.  But if the mining nodes are not very numerous, and have a backbone connection, then the P2P filtering doesn't affect them in their building of a chain.

So essentially, if "users" on one hand, and "miners" on the other hand, are united, and miners make only one chain, and users refuse that chain, then:

1) users forego all their rights to spend, as if they didn't hold any coins
2) miners are making coins nobody will buy

I think SOME users will give in first.  Because they are more numerous (millions against 20) ; because they have individually no cost in "leaving their camp" (while miners do, especially with the very slow difficulty adaptation of bitcoin).  Users remaining united against miner consensus is a "tragedy of the commons": the user that switches behaviour WINS (can buy cheap coins from miners and can transact!).  The miner is in a Nash equilibrium with other miners, and forking off is expensive for him (his chain may not survive).

Game-theoretically it seems quite obvious that "united users" against "miners in consensus" makes the miners win.

To the contrary, in Game-theoretics, the Miners must follow the money, so
“united users” have more power than you are willing to entertain. It is basically
the same theory as to why people form "working unions". You are purposefully
disregarding that in order to make a conclusion that doesn’t follow normal logic
or past historical world events. It would have been better for you not to even
argue this position since history clearly shows why the opposite of your conclusion
comes about.  If a sizable amount of users with exchanges decide to boycott and
unionize, the miners will be forced to follow or fire all the users and get new users,
lol. So, this is inevitable whether you see it or not. All the paragraphs you wrote
lead ultimately to a blatantly incorrect conclusion because of your bias and
wishful fantasy.



What is tricky, for miners, is to get into this different consensus.  There, most probably, they can only do so with cartel formation, because they are in a Nash equilibrium in the current protocol.  But we are talking about the hypothetical clash between the miner protocol and the user "verification".  

I disagree. The miners are currently not in a Nash Equilibrium. You assume this
and so does the human markets, but that is not reality. Nash Equilibrium can not
exist if the PoW algo is allowed to be exploited from different angles. Nash Equilibrium
between the miners assumes they are playing by the same rules, and by your logic,
there is no rules other than what the miners decide. So over all, your argument is
disjointed and performed in a shotgun fashion. You will say and argue anything in
order to facilitate your end goal which is to misrepresent what Satoshi tried to do
and then change it into a ponzi scam controlled by human markets who will very
easily and quickly destroy the novel aspects and replace them with government
insurance and regulation as it’s new security mechanism.

If a miner can compel other miners (by being their hardware provider), or is using
secret exploits to the PoW that other miners are not aware of, the Nash Equilibrium
theory is an illusion. It can only be valid under my argument type in a patched form,
yet you are now arguing its existence is in effect now, which also contradict your
original argument.



You are trying to argue that in
Bitcoin, and possibly all simple and complex systems that exist in this universe,
there are no truths or falsehoods (though an argument can be made in other
discussion types, when it applies to physical reality that humans accept as being
concrete/"real", we can not argue this type of argument, especially in sciences
and likewise in Bitcoin). So, this example is worthless and a distraction.
No, that's not what I'm saying.  I'm saying that a dynamical system behaves the way it is observed to behave, most probably according to the emergent properties of the dynamical laws of its constituents, and NOT according to some pre-conceived ideas from how it SHOULD behave because it was the DESIRE of the founder or something.   I'm not saying that there are no true laws of gravity.  I'm saying that the laws of gravity are whatever we observe gravity to do, and even if we would think that gravity SHOULD behave differently for moral reasons, that's not necessarily going to happen.

In other words, bitcoin has dynamical rules built into it, which are game-theoretical and cryptographic/techical.  These rules will determine how bitcoin will behave ; and not some or other white paper.  That said, in as much as the author of the white paper correctly estimated the emergent properties of his design, that design will work as designed ; and in as much as he made mistakes, his opinions don't matter, but the real behaviour does.  Real behaviour which must find its explanation in the behavioural rules of each of its entities, as confronted to the "rules of engagement" (cryptographic and game-theoretical).  Whatever results from these interactions as emergent property, is what we call bitcoin's behaviour, and hence, the "valid" way in which bitcoin acts.

Well good thing Bitcoin is not a dynamical system and Satoshi tried to prevent
that. So your argument is even worse that I assumed it to be.

What you are saying is that the nature of the beast is contingent on the nature
of the beast at different points in time as well as based on whether that beast has
been mutated by outside means. That is not Bitcoin, that is ever-changing
amorphous intangible fantasy. Nothing in this universe fits into the mold that
you have crafted. That has never been Bitcoin and Bitcoin is no where as dynamic
as you are attempting to portray.

In fact, everything that has occurred so far, besides a few issues, has occurred as
anticipated and predesigned. There have been no major surprises that proves that
Bitcoin is itself evolving or dynamic. That is what you are trying to do with things such
as “Emergent Protocol Changes”, but the fact is Satoshi did not design the system to
do that. Satoshi was against that which is pretty clear by all the things he did to prevent
dynamic aspects. The only thing that is dynamic in Bitcoin today is the fee market, which
only exists currently as a block attack vector mitigator. Otherwise dynamic aspects were
purposefully denied by Satoshi for inclusion, as evident by all the OP Codes he removed.
Not even Ethereum can be held to the misrepresentation you have spoken. Bitcoin is a
simple experiment in online currency, not governance, that is a modern day perversion.
Governance is not and will likely never be “dynamical” since that is more dangerous than
you have clearly contemplated.

Ultimately, Satoshi implemented rules. You do not like these rules because it does not
fit within your personal world view and belief how Bitcoin should function. If you wish to
change this, you need high Consensus from the ecosystem. Your argument is of a new
Bitcoin experiment which has not occurred yet, and IMO likely will never occur since it is
not commensurate with a secure decentralized unregulated digital currency.




The only reason why you are arguing this is so that Miners can determine all
actions 100% of the time, in 100% of all possible scenarios. What you failed to
realize is that in majority of those scenarios, there is no value in that new Bitcoin
system or it's token.
This is not necessarily true.  After all, are you really going to say that if miners start mining 20 MB blocks tomorrow, that nobody is going to value a bitcoin any more ?  The value of bitcoin has only to do with the belief in the value of the buyer of the coin.  
Do you think that big owners of bitcoin are going to let their stash become worthless, because some or other protocol changed ?  Of course they will try to convince greater fools to buy their coins, exactly like they are doing right now.

That said, you are right that miners will be sensitive to the valuation of their block rewards (coin value times how many of them they can obtain, fees, and block rewards).  
In fact, if they would estimate that the price of a coin would divide by 10, but they would be able to obtain 20 times more of them, that would be a smart move on their part, doubling their income.

But it would be difficult for them to make that move, because they are individually locked into a Nash equilibrium with the current protocol.  Only cartel formation would let them do so.

Yes, I am going to say that. (20MB Blocks alone may be fine by 2030).
Unless the system as a whole can balance and still maintain the current
decentralized and unregulatable network security it has today, then a 20MB
chain is a failure. Transactions and utility only comes from its ability to resist
the control of the network by governmental institutions or large attackers.  
“Perceived value” is what Satoshi was against. The value comes from the utility
space that it fills in society. If you destroy it so that it mimics current payment
systems that already exist, like paypal, then it will fail since paypal is a superior
product. Bitcoin is only superior now because of what it is already doing that
others are forbidden by law to do. If you harm that to prove human ideological
or philosophical armchair theories, then you are the greater fool and you are
already prepared to eat your own shit token.

The Bitcoin system and the blockchain that it relies upon is not needed if we
are dealing with illusionary value, we can just go back to fiat and credit. The
experiment was currency valued by its ability not to be directly manipulated
by changing the rules after they are set. The static rules are the value. The
financial collapse in 2008-2009, which “inspired” Satoshi, was because rules
were not concrete and were changeable. Your argument is to change those
rules, in fact, you want them to be an emergent and a dynamic system. That
is a spit in the face of Satoshi and is nothing that Satoshi wanted.

The Miners will always follow the Users and Exchanges in majority of the
possible outcomes. You never once outlined why my reasoning was incorrect,
instead you just state your wishful thinking and blind support of obvious
attack vectors of the network’s security and future. You are not concerned
with truth since you live in a parallel world were truth is only in the eye of
the beholder, and your eyes see nothing but devastation, which you wish to
bring to Bitcoin.


I support a decentralized & unregulatable ledger first, with safe scaling over time.
Request a signed message if you are associating with anyone claiming to be me.
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May 27, 2017, 07:25:32 AM
 #234


First, I'd like to point out that you once again take small paras where I state nothing
of any value and address those instead of attacking my main paras directly. Instead
of arguing where my reasoning is wrong, you just argue simple statements I make in
passing or in the preamble.


Given the amount of text, the rather unstructured logical construction, it is difficult for me to know what exactly you want to say, in what way it contradicts what I'm saying, and in what way it is the logical culmination of rational steps of reasoning.  So I pick out things I want to react to when I read them.  If those are not the points you want to discuss, you should maybe not write them, or structure it somewhat better.   I will continue to do what I usually do: react to the pieces that I read and of which I think they are erroneous, unfounded or whatever.  If those are not your main points, that doesn't really matter to me.  If it does to you, point them out better then.

Quote
The purpose of Satoshi's client, and today's client (Core), was that there was a baseline
standard rule set that all other clients and systems could rely upon. That is why it is
considered the "reference client" (Dev Gavin understood this very well at the time).
At some point in the future, the reference client will never again be changed unless in
emergencies or serious bug fixes. The rules will be set in stone forever. Simply,
eventually the system will not need additions or etc since everything could be done
without needing direct modifications to the protocol. If the rules are changed after that
future point that are not to fix serious issues, it is always an attack on the base rules.

First of all, "purpose" has no meaning in a decentralized system, because each entity in the system has a different purpose, and is assumed to act according to his view of the pursuit of his own purpose.  In order for there to be a "global purpose", there has to be an entity singled out of whose own purpose is the "global purpose".  Different entities can have opposing purposes: if I want to steal you, and you want to steal me, we have opposite purposes (an action and a result that is in agreement with my purpose, namely that I stole from you, is not going to be perceived by you as such positive action and vice versa).

But moreover, you clearly see that your very statement is self-contradictory.  There is a "baseline standard rule", but which can be "modified", until it won't be modified any more at an unknown point in the future.  Attacks are defined as being modifications after the unknown point in the future ; needed modifications are modifications before that unknown point in the future ; who's to define that point in the future ??  Is core attacking bitcoin with Segwit ?  Are big blockers attacking bitcoin ?  Is that point in the future already in the past, and has bitcoin been attacked already successfully many times ?

"a standard is unmodifiable at a certain unknown point in the future, but in the mean time some of us can modify it".  I hope you see that such a statement is entirely impossible in a system that claims to be a decentralized system but is even entirely impossible without a King whose whims are the Law, including His decision of when the famous point in the future is reached (his death ?  His abdiction ?)  If ever such a point made sense, it would have been if Satoshi said "bye bye now".  But he didn't, even.  Maybe he was hit by a bus, nobody knows.  

Quote
Satoshi intended the reference client to be "the center", because that is how all systems
within this universe work.

All systems in this universe are subject to the laws of physics and the emergent properties they induce.  We can only *discover* them, not *dictate* them.  Bitcoin is a system that is just as well subject to the laws of physics, of which the emergent properties are the game theory with the cost functions of the entities that "play its game".   Bitcoin's initial protocol is just part of the *initial state*, not its "dynamics".  The dynamics of bitcoin is game theory, it is not "the protocol of bitcoin".  The protocol of bitcoin is part of its state.

This is why my reference to gravity is pertinent.  The laws of gravity are part of the core laws of this universe.   Now, you can set off specific systems using gravity, like the Solar system.  Maybe your intention is that the solar system is a stable system "under the laws of gravity".  Maybe.  However, the planets running in stable orbits (the "initial protocol of the Solar system") is just an initial state.  It turns out that nothing guarantees this structure to remain so for ever: first of all, its stability over the long term internally is not guaranteed, but moreover, any external event can modify it.  The laws of gravity remain valid.  But the "protocol of the solar system" not.  It was an island of supposed stability under an approximate understanding of gravity, namely Kepler's laws, which are approximate when we understand Newton, and which is itself only approximate when we understand general relativity.

The "laws of bitcoin" are NOT the protocol but is game theory.  Whether its protocol remains stable (immutability) or not is to be seen, and is a consequence of its dynamical laws, not because of a "desired design".  And we can only *discover* them.  Not dictate them.  You don't dictate game theory.  You discover it.



Quote
There is no simple or complex system that exists that has no
center point. Your belief that this may be a problem (since 2010) is not the fault of
Satoshi or Core or the limitations of the human mind, but the limitations of this universe,
and because of that, your argument is distraction and is a waste of time. Thinking that the
reference client needs to also be “decentralized” is a perversion created from blind hate
and not logic. Satoshi understood there would always be a reference client that all other
system would build from and he understood that at a certain point that client would never
need changing (this contradicts emergent mechanisms).

Ok, but then this is nothing else but a centralized system.  If there's only one reference client, and the devs of it do two things:

1) build in an "end of life" into every reference client, to oblige a hard fork after X blocks (like monero does)

2) once everyone is running this one, they give themselves a huge amount of coins in the next release,

then, by definition, this is the sole reference client, and the devs become immensely rich in BTC.  It would not be an "attack" because the authors of the reference client are those that have the sole right to dictate the rules (they are the aristocracy).  In fact, anyone trying to run *other* software would then have to be considered as an attacker.

I hope you see that your concepts you are advancing, are entirely ill-defined.

Quote
There will always be rules and they will
always be dictated through a single center client. That is natural.

Then bitcoin doesn't make much sense. It is a central bank, and the center you are talking about is the board of governors of the FED. We have that already.  But moreover, whether bitcoin makes sense or not doesn't even matter: it is now a system that is "up and running" and it will follow the laws of its game theory, whether we think that's OK or not.

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May 27, 2017, 08:54:16 AM
 #235

Your argument centers around Miners being trusted and left to determine validity
without rules and then you complain about centralized reference client? You
contradict yourself constantly because your argument is not yet fully formed or
because you are a paid/unpaid entity designed to spread worthless garbage about
Bitcoin. Since majority of your argument are in favor of miner totalitarianism, as
well as past statements about how the miners graciously perform actions for us,
I would conclude that you work for or are a miner who is a disinfo shiller and not
a true forum member trying to understand the system we participate in. Your
agenda become apparent the more you attempt to explain your belief. Your
anarchism in conjunction with totalitarianism is very confused.

You could just as well say that Newton was a paid or an unpaid shill of the laws of gravity.  As I said, bitcoin is a dynamical system, and we have to discover its dynamical laws (of which we know its basis: game theory, but we don't know the cost functions of the entities, although we can make reasonable assumptions about it).  

If I'm complaining about anything, it is about people's lack of rational insight, and emotional ties to certain positions - usually based upon the confusion between intend and consequence, and their total lack of insight into the *actual* workings of the system they talk about.  This leads them to propagate opposition to certain solutions on the basis of false arguments.  The principal one is of course the idea that one shouldn't increase block size because that would drop the number of Joe's running full nodes in their basement "to keep bitcoin decentralized", while the number of Joe's running full nodes in their basement is absolutely of no importance what so ever in the power structure of the system.

Quote
To the contrary, in Game-theoretics, the Miners must follow the money, so
“united users” have more power than you are willing to entertain.

I think you are missing the principal basis of game theory, which is the *individual decision* of an entity as a function of his own advantages and disadvantages ; the behaviour of the overall system is a consequence of these individual decisions, and individual decisions are not taken as a function of the overall desired consequence (call it the tragedy of the commons).

The only users that matter for miners, are BUYERS of coins.  The OWNERS of coins are not the ones that are going to pay miners.  A miner will individually make the decision to change the block chain he is making (change the protocol) if he thinks that his individual change will let him obtain more value for the coins he obtains this way, than if he doesn't change his protocol.  There is a very strong incentive for miners to stick to the protocol the rest of the miners is sticking to: changing *on your own* is almost always a losing proposition, because most probably, the chain you will be making, with minority hash rate and modified protocol, will most probably NOT find a lot of buyers.  This is where your *miners follow the money* comes in.

Users in the sense of stake holders, are more victims than market players in fact.  The stash they own on a chain, is dependent on their ability to transact, for which they are dependent on the miners including the transactions in a chain they are willing to make.  For that, these users have to "bribe" the miners with a fee, and be willing to use the chain the miners are offering.  These users are totally at the mercy of miners, because the miners can decide over their possession, and the miners are not interested in their possession ; the only thing miners want, is NEW users buying their coins, not "old users" needing to transact.

If you have a million coins in BTC, you have to pray that a miner is going to be willing to include your transactions in a chain of his liking he's making for you.  The miner doesn't care about your possession, but you do.  The miner cares about people buying the coins he's making on the chain, not about the owners of coins that are going to transact ; apart from the fact that these owners need to pay for the favour of including a transaction in the chain they make.


Quote
It is basically
the same theory as to why people form "working unions". You are purposefully
disregarding that in order to make a conclusion that doesn’t follow normal logic
or past historical world events.

Yes, but worker unions can only obtain stuff because the legal system intervenes.  Worker unions without any legal backing break up, because some workers want to eat and break the cartel.  BTW, that's also why you have employer's syndicates.  But all these things are centralized entities.   In fact, miner "worker unions" (miner cartels) are much, much more probable than "bitcoin users forming a worker's union", simply because the miners don't care about most of the bitcoin OWNERS.  They only care about bitcoin BUYERS.   The owners are at their mercy.  Not the other way around.

A miner cartel, to be made of, say, 20 entities, is way, way, way easier to form than a user cartel, made of millions of new users/buyers.  In any  case, if such a cartel is working, the system has lost its decentralized aspect.  

The only thing that is still holding back the power of miners, is the visible incapacity of them finding a decent group of developers.  That's scary because a crypto is not really a big or difficult software project once you lay out the protocol to implement.

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May 27, 2017, 09:44:16 PM
 #236

First, I'd like to point out that you once again take small paras where I state nothing
of any value and address those instead of attacking my main paras directly. Instead
of arguing where my reasoning is wrong, you just argue simple statements I make in
passing or in the preamble.
Given the amount of text, the rather unstructured logical construction, it is difficult for me to know what exactly you want to say, in what way it contradicts what I'm saying, and in what way it is the logical culmination of rational steps of reasoning.  So I pick out things I want to react to when I read them.  If those are not the points you want to discuss, you should maybe not write them, or structure it somewhat better.   I will continue to do what I usually do: react to the pieces that I read and of which I think they are erroneous, unfounded or whatever.  If those are not your main points, that doesn't really matter to me.  If it does to you, point them out better then.

If that is how you see my responses, that is fine and your opinion.
But everything I say leads into my next statement, so when you say
it is "the rather unstructured logical construction" I find that to be what
you are doing since your conclusions are not based on your prior statements.
It is as if your conclusions are found first and then you attempt to backtrack
them by philosophy.

In order to stop wasting both of our time, I will just state what i think
without much elaboration and I will try to keep it as brief as I am possible.



The purpose of Satoshi's client, and today's client (Core), was that there was a baseline
standard rule set that all other clients and systems could rely upon. That is why it is
considered the "reference client" (Dev Gavin understood this very well at the time).
At some point in the future, the reference client will never again be changed unless in
emergencies or serious bug fixes. The rules will be set in stone forever. Simply,
eventually the system will not need additions or etc since everything could be done
without needing direct modifications to the protocol. If the rules are changed after that
future point that are not to fix serious issues, it is always an attack on the base rules.
First of all, "purpose" has no meaning in a decentralized system, because each entity in the system has a different purpose, and is assumed to act according to his view of the pursuit of his own purpose.  In order for there to be a "global purpose", there has to be an entity singled out of whose own purpose is the "global purpose".  Different entities can have opposing purposes: if I want to steal you, and you want to steal me, we have opposite purposes (an action and a result that is in agreement with my purpose, namely that I stole from you, is not going to be perceived by you as such positive action and vice versa).

I disagree. The "purpose" of Bitcoin is that the "separate entities", which may
have "separate purposes", when working as a whole in accordance to the base
rules, create a larger reinforcing decentralizing system that Satoshi intended.
Each separate entity is not really separate, but feeds into the other and
ultimately they all have the same purpose, and that is to resist and survive
only for the benefit to the whole.



But moreover, you clearly see that your very statement is self-contradictory.  There is a "baseline standard rule", but which can be "modified", until it won't be modified any more at an unknown point in the future.  Attacks are defined as being modifications after the unknown point in the future ; needed modifications are modifications before that unknown point in the future ; who's to define that point in the future ??  Is core attacking bitcoin with Segwit ?  Are big blockers attacking bitcoin ?  Is that point in the future already in the past, and has bitcoin been attacked already successfully many times ?

If you think it is contradictory, take it up with Satoshi. He seriously believed
that at a certain point, the reference client would never need changing, since
if it could change in the future or through time (emergence), the value of the
token is never true or finalized. The token becomes amorphous.

Attacks are defined by "an action that violates the current base rule set
WITHOUT majority Consensus
". SegWit can not be an attack, unless it is
forced upon all others. Big blocks are not an attack, unless it is forced upon all
others. Attacks only occur when "one entity is attempting to force the other
entities to follow
". Simply, if Miners and Non-Miners are in "Consensus", there
is never an attack, there is never a "follow", there is always a "together". But if
any "follow me" situations occur, it is by design an attack on the whole.



"a standard is unmodifiable at a certain unknown point in the future, but in the mean time some of us can modify it".  I hope you see that such a statement is entirely impossible in a system that claims to be a decentralized system but is even entirely impossible without a King whose whims are the Law, including His decision of when the famous point in the future is reached (his death ?  His abdiction ?)  If ever such a point made sense, it would have been if Satoshi said "bye bye now".  But he didn't, even.  Maybe he was hit by a bus, nobody knows.  

No, some of us cannot modify Bitcoin. It has only ever been modified by
"Consensus" alone. If the separate entities (Miners, Non-Miner Verifying
Nodes, Exchanges, Services, Devs, Users) all agree to "move together" then
a modification occurs. Without that, there is never a modification. The rule set
is always secured until a "Consensus" type is performed. Anything other than
a "Consensus" is always an attack by one of the entities.

The time in which the protocol never changes is determined when the time
arrives in which it becomes impossible to do so by Consensus. If that time
has arrived, then so be it. If not, and we can reach a "Consensus" soon, then
we clearly have not reached that the point Satoshi envisioned.



Satoshi intended the reference client to be "the center", because that is how all systems
within this universe work.
All systems in this universe are subject to the laws of physics and the emergent properties they induce.  We can only *discover* them, not *dictate* them.  Bitcoin is a system that is just as well subject to the laws of physics, of which the emergent properties are the game theory with the cost functions of the entities that "play its game".   Bitcoin's initial protocol is just part of the *initial state*, not its "dynamics".  The dynamics of bitcoin is game theory, it is not "the protocol of bitcoin".  The protocol of bitcoin is part of its state.

Game theory is not an emergent property. If it becomes emergent, that
means it has been exploited and the experiment's original theory failed.
Game theory with humans assumes they are constrained within rules in
accordance with their animalistic nature. That base nature is not dynamic.
It is considered predictable under normal circumstances.

Bitcoin is not dynamic nor emergent. Our understanding of its parts may
be dynamic and emergent in our attempt to fully grasp its full meaning,
but that does not make the system itself that. The source code does not
evolve and transform on its own, only by human hand through collective
Consensus. Anything else is an misunderstanding, an exploit, or an attack.

When you say that Bitcoin's protocol is just in an initial state that changes
in time, you neglect to add that the change is always done so by Consensus.
At no point in the past has Consensus changes been made that outright
violate the rule set, other than when Satoshi himself added the 1MB Cap.
Otherwise everything else has been non-violating additions to the rule set.



This is why my reference to gravity is pertinent.  The laws of gravity are part of the core laws of this universe.   Now, you can set off specific systems using gravity, like the Solar system.  Maybe your intention is that the solar system is a stable system "under the laws of gravity".  Maybe.  However, the planets running in stable orbits (the "initial protocol of the Solar system") is just an initial state.  It turns out that nothing guarantees this structure to remain so for ever: first of all, its stability over the long term internally is not guaranteed, but moreover, any external event can modify it.  The laws of gravity remain valid.  But the "protocol of the solar system" not.  It was an island of supposed stability under an approximate understanding of gravity, namely Kepler's laws, which are approximate when we understand Newton, and which is itself only approximate when we understand general relativity.

You are conflating the universe's laws of gravity with solar systems and
their individual planetary evolutions through time. They are two separate
things in actuality. The proper representation by using your example type
is this:

Reference Client = Universal Laws of Gravity
Miner, Nodes, Devs, Exchanges, Etc, = All bodies subject to Gravity.

The dynamics and emergence of the Universe does not actually exist.
Only it subsystems (planets and other bodies) can be consider dynamic and
emergent. In addition, even space/time is a subsystem of the laws. The rules
set of this universe is clearly not changing currently.

So, I disagree with your perspective on this issues.



The "laws of bitcoin" are NOT the protocol but is game theory. Whether its protocol remains stable (immutability) or not is to be seen, and is a consequence of its dynamical laws, not because of a "desired design".  And we can only *discover* them.  Not dictate them.  You don't dictate game theory.  You discover it.

No, I disagree. Your belief assumes that Bitcoin is dependent on humans.
In reality, when thinking machines become more common and human miners
are replaced, immutability will remain as a byproduct of the base rule set,
where as human game theory will be considered an obsolete aspect of the
original experiment. Game theory is not actually dynamic nor emergent upon
the Bitcoin system and was only added because the current human element
needs incentives to not violate the rule set outright.



There is no simple or complex system that exists that has no
center point. Your belief that this may be a problem (since 2010) is not the fault of
Satoshi or Core or the limitations of the human mind, but the limitations of this universe,
and because of that, your argument is distraction and is a waste of time. Thinking that the
reference client needs to also be “decentralized” is a perversion created from blind hate
and not logic. Satoshi understood there would always be a reference client that all other
system would build from and he understood that at a certain point that client would never
need changing (this contradicts emergent mechanisms).
Ok, but then this is nothing else but a centralized system.  If there's only one reference client, and the devs of it do two things:

1) build in an "end of life" into every reference client, to oblige a hard fork after X blocks (like monero does)

2) once everyone is running this one, they give themselves a huge amount of coins in the next release,

then, by definition, this is the sole reference client, and the devs become immensely rich in BTC.  It would not be an "attack" because the authors of the reference client are those that have the sole right to dictate the rules (they are the aristocracy).  In fact, anyone trying to run *other* software would then have to be considered as an attacker.

I hope you see that your concepts you are advancing, are entirely ill-defined.

No you jump to wild conclusions that do follow what is actually occurring and
occurred in the past. No one, not even the devs of the reference client, has the
power you claim they do. The power only comes through "Consensus", anything
outside of "Consensus" is an attack.

If an attack was performed and successful, the reference client code prior to the
attack will be used and redistributed to all non-attacking parties who will use the
original reference client code instead. Basically, if the devs performed such an
action, the whole community moves back without them. The devs can not perform
actions upon the rule set without majority consent from all other subsystems and
participants. For some reason, you don't understand that. You actually think
someone solely within the system or outside system has total power. That is
wrong and isn't based in anything. Even if Satoshi returned, he has no direct
power over the system, only the minds of it's human participants.

Bitcoin's rules are almost always resistant, since if violating base rules are created
and enforced somehow (which is impossible outside Consensus), all dissenters just
fork the code and fork the chain and leave the attackers behind. Its very simple.
Attackers can not "steal" the chain or token, without our consent to be "stolen"
from. That was the simple answer to the puzzle.



There will always be rules and they will
always be dictated through a single center client. That is natural.
Then bitcoin doesn't make much sense. It is a central bank, and the center you are talking about is the board of governors of the FED. We have that already.  But moreover, whether bitcoin makes sense or not doesn't even matter: it is now a system that is "up and running" and it will follow the laws of its game theory, whether we think that's OK or not.

You are semi-correct.

Bitcoin is a central bank like system, but the "governors" are all the network
subsystems and other participants who decide rules by Consensus. We do not have
that already in our current society. Satoshi created Bitcoin so that "everyone" could
determine the rules together, not by a handful of individuals. That is why majority
Community Consensus is important in Bitcoin. If those decisions are left to human
markets or just the miners soley, then you have created a central bank that is
equally to the current world central banks.



I support a decentralized & unregulatable ledger first, with safe scaling over time.
Request a signed message if you are associating with anyone claiming to be me.
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May 28, 2017, 01:31:42 AM
 #237

Your argument centers around Miners being trusted and left to determine validity
without rules and then you complain about centralized reference client? You
contradict yourself constantly because your argument is not yet fully formed or
because you are a paid/unpaid entity designed to spread worthless garbage about
Bitcoin. Since majority of your argument are in favor of miner totalitarianism, as
well as past statements about how the miners graciously perform actions for us,
I would conclude that you work for or are a miner who is a disinfo shiller and not
a true forum member trying to understand the system we participate in. Your
agenda become apparent the more you attempt to explain your belief. Your
anarchism in conjunction with totalitarianism is very confused.
You could just as well say that Newton was a paid or an unpaid shill of the laws of gravity.  As I said, bitcoin is a dynamical system, and we have to discover its dynamical laws (of which we know its basis: game theory, but we don't know the cost functions of the entities, although we can make reasonable assumptions about it).  

That is fine to believe, but that has nothing to do with the rule set.
Those are all secondary systems that facilitate the rule set's existence.



If I'm complaining about anything, it is about people's lack of rational insight, and emotional ties to certain positions - usually based upon the confusion between intend and consequence, and their total lack of insight into the *actual* workings of the system they talk about.  This leads them to propagate opposition to certain solutions on the basis of false arguments.  The principal one is of course the idea that one shouldn't increase block size because that would drop the number of Joe's running full nodes in their basement "to keep bitcoin decentralized", while the number of Joe's running full nodes in their basement is absolutely of no importance what so ever in the power structure of the system.

If the "Joes in their basement" has no importance or power within the
whole Bitcoin system, then Miners do not need to sign agreements with
companies, exchanges, and services. It is as simple as that. If you don't
want to accept that there is something more going on with non-mining
verifying nodes, then so be it. I'm not advanced enough nor have the
time to try to convince you of otherwise. Time will reveal which one of
our beliefs was correct.



To the contrary, in Game-theoretics, the Miners must follow the money, so
“united users” have more power than you are willing to entertain.
I think you are missing the principal basis of game theory, which is the *individual decision* of an entity as a function of his own advantages and disadvantages ; the behaviour of the overall system is a consequence of these individual decisions, and individual decisions are not taken as a function of the overall desired consequence (call it the tragedy of the commons).

The Game Theory aspect for Miners you describe was prevented since
2010. Can you give an example where this has occurred in Bitcoin since
the 1MB Cap? (Softcap is not actual game theory emergence since the
rule was maxed to 1MB.)

Since 2010, when Miners perform a change of chain, it is based upon a
majority Consensus with non-mining entities (some not bound to game
theory), and after a set future date only then does the Miner enact that
agreed change. That is entirely different than what you are describing,
which is full autonomy bound by game theory alone. Centralization within
the miner subsystem prevents that part of the original experiment from
being fully tested today. Consensus by miners alone died over 7 years ago.



The only users that matter for miners, are BUYERS of coins.  The OWNERS of coins are not the ones that are going to pay miners.  A miner will individually make the decision to change the block chain he is making (change the protocol) if he thinks that his individual change will let him obtain more value for the coins he obtains this way, than if he doesn't change his protocol. There is a very strong incentive for miners to stick to the protocol the rest of the miners is sticking to: changing *on your own* is almost always a losing proposition, because most probably, the chain you will be making, with minority hash rate and modified protocol, will most probably NOT find a lot of buyers.  This is where your *miners follow the money* comes in.

Users in the sense of stake holders, are more victims than market players in fact.  The stash they own on a chain, is dependent on their ability to transact, for which they are dependent on the miners including the transactions in a chain they are willing to make.  For that, these users have to "bribe" the miners with a fee, and be willing to use the chain the miners are offering.  These users are totally at the mercy of miners, because the miners can decide over their possession, and the miners are not interested in their possession ; the only thing miners want, is NEW users buying their coins, not "old users" needing to transact.

I agree with most of these statements in general, but I think you have
come to an incorrect conclusion. Since you assume that monetary value
must always increase to offset the miners hash and expenses over time
(ignoring disinflation), as opposed to decreasing or stabilizing, the conclusion
is that Bitcoin is a simplistic ponzi scheme designed for the benefit of Miners
alone and not for the users benefit. That is clearly not the purpose.

On the contrary, this is where Verifying Node come in. Their existence
prevents Miners from unilateral chain control, and stops those miners from
perpetrating what you have outlined. Your argument is one of the reasons why
Satoshi added the 1MB Cap and why today Miners are still waiting before
performing a hardfork. Without Verifying Nodes (especially Economic one),
your premise does become our reality. But currently, the miners must comply
in balance with the rest of the system otherwise the whole organism stops, but
you can't accept that. You wish to now reverse 7 years of history.

If you think your beliefs are valid, the Miners will perform a contentious hardfork
within the next year or so and we should expect all subsystems, including the
exchanges, following close behind. IMO that won't ever occur.



If you have a million coins in BTC, you have to pray that a miner is going to be willing to include your transactions in a chain of his liking he's making for you.  The miner doesn't care about your possession, but you do.  The miner cares about people buying the coins he's making on the chain, not about the owners of coins that are going to transact ; apart from the fact that these owners need to pay for the favour of including a transaction in the chain they make.

This is a very simplistic understanding of the whole ecosystem and how it
works. It also ignore all the years in which the token had no monetary value
or very little.

If the Miners stop allowing transactions or blacklist certain txs, then the
system stops. If new users stop buying bitcoins, the system still functions
just as it did in the early days. What you are ignoring is that major miners may
die off and fall away as a result of less new users and their increasing profits.
The miners should assume there will be times of stagnation in profits and even
times of great losses. In the past, some miners went bankrupt because of these
and other associated reasons (over extension). Ultimately, your conclusion is
that "Miners are too big to fail and we need an ever increasing group of new
users to keep them afloat through time". That is a classic ponzi, not a
digital truth being used as a currency/asset.

The truth is that big miners will fail and home mining or the like will increase
like the old days, but will ultimately be centralized again and create a new
generation of large miners. This ebb and flow is natural and healthy for the
system over time



It is basically
the same theory as to why people form "working unions". You are purposefully
disregarding that in order to make a conclusion that doesn’t follow normal logic
or past historical world events.
Yes, but worker unions can only obtain stuff because the legal system intervenes.  Worker unions without any legal backing break up, because some workers want to eat and break the cartel.  BTW, that's also why you have employer's syndicates.  But all these things are centralized entities.   In fact, miner "worker unions" (miner cartels) are much, much more probable than "bitcoin users forming a worker's union", simply because the miners don't care about most of the bitcoin OWNERS.  They only care about bitcoin BUYERS.   The owners are at their mercy.  Not the other way around.

No, I disagree with every statement.

First, legalities do not apply here nor in regular unions (unless you're referring to
unionbusters being prevented from physically harming union members).

Second, if you threaten the old buyers then the new buyers never manifest.
That is like saying people who went to a movie and left and told others it was crap
has no bearing on anything, and new people (their friends and family) will go it
anyway to watch the crap. The reality is that the new users only exists because
the old users are currently still satisfied and providing "outside support". If you
disregard old users, then you disregard your future (simple ex. recent Ghostbuster
movie bombed because they purposefully disregarded the old audience/"users",
plus those who actually did see it told others it was crap and not bother.).



A miner cartel, to be made of, say, 20 entities, is way, way, way easier to form than a user cartel, made of millions of new users/buyers.  In any  case, if such a cartel is working, the system has lost its decentralized aspect.  

Only time will tell. A "user cartel" may be easier to form since the exchanges and
services are the proxies to the users, in this particular case of USAF. The exchanges
and services are incentivized to follow their users, not the "miner cartel". But, it is
true that the "Miner cartel" could organize faster and take action before a "User cartel"
could ever do.



The only thing that is still holding back the power of miners, is the visible incapacity of them finding a decent group of developers.  That's scary because a crypto is not really a big or difficult software project once you lay out the protocol to implement.

I disagree.
Even if the miners got the world's best developers on their payroll or "took over
the reference client" and implemented rules without the non-mining consensus
(violation and thus an attack by default), then all the non-mining subsystems will
just stop participating in that version of Bitcoin. Some exchanges (some controlled
by the miners themselves) will still sell that token as they come in from "leaving
users" and new ignorant ones, but the community overall will leave and its users
and token value will be near worthless. Majority of the crypto-community will at
that point move to another Bitcoin implementation or an altcoin that is ASIC resistant.

---

The major disagreement I have with your overall argument is that you wish to change
Bitcoin back into the Whitepaper version that Satoshi understood had a fatal flaw.
He implemented the 1MB Cap to balance the problems his lack of foresight anticipated
and then "placated" the dissenters who understood what the far reaching consequences
of this patch would be. They made appropriate arguments to him and tried to
convince him that over time it would be almost impossible to remove. Satoshi
understood that since he intended a future freeze, but listened and decided that
the patch was more important. The consequences was that the original experiment
from the whitepaper was restricted (or died) when the 1MB Cap became the main
chain. Then the new experiment began using independently decentralized non-mining
verifying Nodes to share the "Consensus" for serious rule set changes. It has been
that way since. It is that simple. Majority of your arguments about game theory,
decentralization, anarchism, markets determine protocol, and emergence has not
applied to Bitcoin, if it ever did, since 2010. The truth is Satoshi changed his mind
& version of the Whitepaper within 1 year of testing and never made it plainly
obvious through written gospel for certain ideological participants to digest.
Majority of those people only started understanding this around late 2015.



I support a decentralized & unregulatable ledger first, with safe scaling over time.
Request a signed message if you are associating with anyone claiming to be me.
dinofelis
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May 28, 2017, 07:19:45 AM
 #238


If I'm complaining about anything, it is about people's lack of rational insight, and emotional ties to certain positions - usually based upon the confusion between intend and consequence, and their total lack of insight into the *actual* workings of the system they talk about.  This leads them to propagate opposition to certain solutions on the basis of false arguments.  The principal one is of course the idea that one shouldn't increase block size because that would drop the number of Joe's running full nodes in their basement "to keep bitcoin decentralized", while the number of Joe's running full nodes in their basement is absolutely of no importance what so ever in the power structure of the system.

If the "Joes in their basement" has no importance or power within the
whole Bitcoin system, then Miners do not need to sign agreements with
companies, exchanges, and services. It is as simple as that. If you don't
want to accept that there is something more going on with non-mining
verifying nodes, then so be it. I'm not advanced enough nor have the
time to try to convince you of otherwise. Time will reveal which one of
our beliefs was correct.


Companies, exchanges and services have nothing to do with Joe's full node in his basement, but rather with people putting money in bitcoin.  As another joker said in another thread, he's firing up 4 nodes, and is going to fire up 4 more nodes, in order to help decentralization in bitcoin  Grin

Miners ARE sensitive to people buying their coins.  They want, logically, to optimize the extraction of value from the eco-system.  That can be by selling few coins at high value, or selling a lot of coins at lower value.  But on top of that, miners are locked up into a Nash equilibrium of steady-state.  It is not simple for them to leave the existing consensus unless they can be in a cartel and decide upon something.

Quote
The Game Theory aspect for Miners you describe was prevented since
2010. Can you give an example where this has occurred in Bitcoin since
the 1MB Cap? (Softcap is not actual game theory emergence since the
rule was maxed to 1MB.)

Core was the central authority until a few years ago, writing the only code out there.  So there was no game theory, it was a totally centralized system until recently.    The only "game-theoretical" aspect that was in there for miners, was the signalling system, which was essentially Core taking the lead in the cartel formation.  And ONLY miners voted on signalling.  In other words, Core being the software monopolist, had total power over the rules.  

On top of that, they only used soft forks, of which it is known that a majority (> 50%) of hash rate IMPOSES the rule onto everyone.  They decided about the possible soft forks, because they had the code monopoly, that miners used too.  They were the moral authority, inherited from Satoshi.   The changes they wanted to implement, were proposed as soft forks on which a MINER signalling was applied ; when they reached 95%, the soft fork "fired", and even if a significant fraction of miners would try to step back, they were then locked into the Nash equilibrium of the new rule set.

So essentially, Core always got what it wanted ; except for ONCE: segwit.  Their tactics didn't work, the MINERS didn't signal 95%.  The former core leader, Gavin, broke the software monopoly with Classic.   These two events signalled the start of the end of the code monopoly.  From that moment on, bitcoin started to decentralize, and game theory starts to set in.  Until the block debate, bitcoin was an entirely centralized entity.

Quote
Since 2010, when Miners perform a change of chain, it is based upon a
majority Consensus with non-mining entities (some not bound to game
theory), and after a set future date only then does the Miner enact that
agreed change.

Nope.  Core decided on what to signal on, and miners voted.  No "negociations" with anybody else.  Core was used to miners just run their software and accept everything they put in there.  But the block debate showed them the end of their central power to an extend.

Quote
That is entirely different than what you are describing,
which is full autonomy bound by game theory alone. Centralization within
the miner subsystem prevents that part of the original experiment from
being fully tested today. Consensus by miners alone died over 7 years ago.

On the contrary, it is exactly part of the design of the system.  Consensus by miners alone, under the proposition of the central power, Core, has ALWAYS been the sole path to protocol modifications.  The "boss of the miner cartel" was Core.  The cartel voted by signalling, and that was a smart system, because their vote engaged them ; they couldn't just vote and not act, because the sole software that was out there was also the software that counted the miner votes.  Soft forks imposed the majority wish on all.  What happens now is that the miner cartel sees that it doesn't need the Core to be the boss of the cartel.

From the moment the miners don't need to run the sole Core software, core loses its central authority and bitcoin becomes decentralized ; the game theory kicks in.  Until now, it was a parliamentary monarchy, where only the King could propose laws, and the parliament (the miners) voted.  There's not much game theory in that.  From the moment the King is gone, it starts.  It is only starting now in fact.

Quote
I agree with most of these statements in general, but I think you have
come to an incorrect conclusion. Since you assume that monetary value
must always increase to offset the miners hash and expenses over time
(ignoring disinflation), as opposed to decreasing or stabilizing, the conclusion
is that Bitcoin is a simplistic ponzi scheme designed for the benefit of Miners
alone and not for the users benefit. That is clearly not the purpose.

It is maybe not the purpose, but it is the consequence.  Yes, I think bitcoin is a gigantic pyramid game because it was designed that way, even if that was not its "purpose".  It could have been different if it were designed differently.   Again the confusion between purpose and consequence.

Quote
On the contrary, this is where Verifying Node come in. Their existence
prevents Miners from unilateral chain control, and stops those miners from
perpetrating what you have outlined. Your argument is one of the reasons why
Satoshi added the 1MB Cap and why today Miners are still waiting before
performing a hardfork.

They are "waiting" to perform a hard fork because:

1) core hasn't yet completely lost its dominance on software.  In reality, most miners wouldn't trust software on another basis for the moment.  Only Gavin was smart enough to write modifications of the code.  

2) but the principal reason is simply that miners are locked up in the Nash equilibrium of steady state.  Individually, forking off is a losing proposition.  As long as they don't form a strong cartel, they cannot change individually.

At no point, they need Joe's node in his basement for that.  The validators of miner action, are other miners.  They keep one another in check, and this is the Nash equilibrium I'm talking about.  It is only when there's a concerted effort to fork with large majority, together, that this equilibrium can be left for another one.

Quote
Without Verifying Nodes (especially Economic one),
your premise does become our reality. But currently, the miners must comply
in balance with the rest of the system otherwise the whole organism stops, but
you can't accept that. You wish to now reverse 7 years of history.

Indeed, the "system stops" and this is not acceptable, but it is MUCH LESS acceptable for the myriads of economic actors than for the miners.  This is why the economic actors will comply much much faster than the miners.  If the miners can find a majority agreement (cartel formation) and they ALL switch to another Nash equilibrium, the economic actors are all INDIVIDUALLY pushed to switch too.  The economic actors are NOT locked into a Nash equilibrium on the old protocol ; on the contrary, their individual switch to the new protocol is highly advantageous to them.

In fact, the FIRST SWITCHERS (of economic actors) will make HUGE BENEFITS.    The first exchange that "starts working again" will get the lion's part of bitcoin trading.  The exchange that stubbornly refuses to switch and hence cannot allow deposits or withdrawals, because it refuses to upgrade its node to the miner's protocol, will kill its business.  
The whale that has a lot of coins, will be able to transact if he upgrades to the miner's protocol ; he can only lock up his holdings if he refuses.

So the game theoretical motivations for miners and for economic actors are ENTIRELY DIFFERENT.   Miners, keeping one another in check, are locked into a Nash equilibrium ; only a concerted action (formerly done by Core, the software monopolist and central decider of bitcoin) can move them all  together to another equilibrium (change of protocol).   Economic actors, individually, have everything to gain in following the miner's protocol.  Their Nash equilibrium follows that of the miners.  They are out of equilibrium if they decide upon anything else.

Quote
If you think your beliefs are valid, the Miners will perform a contentious hardfork
within the next year or so and we should expect all subsystems, including the
exchanges, following close behind. IMO that won't ever occur.

Yes, that's game-theoretically to be expected IF miners can form a cartel and decide together, and IF they have sufficient code independence from Core.

This is not "me day-dreaming".  It is simple game theory.  You know that a Nash equilibrium is when every actor is adopting such strategy, that if all others were to keep their strategy, and only this actor changed, that he'd be worse off for every choice he'd make.  This is why economic actors will always follow miners and not vice versa.  A miner cannot make an individual deviation from his peers (fork off with small minority).  He has to agree with a large number of peers.  But an economic actor can switch easily.  He's in the most profitable individual position when he follows the miners protocol.  All his other choices are less profitable to him.

Quote
If the Miners stop allowing transactions or blacklist certain txs, then the
system stops. If new users stop buying bitcoins, the system still functions
just as it did in the early days. What you are ignoring is that major miners may
die off and fall away as a result of less new users and their increasing profits.

If a lot of miners leave the system fast, bitcoin dies.  Because of the slow difficulty adjustment.

There are many subtle ways in which miners could apply covert soft forks, getting new users to buy coins, and killing off old users.  They are not yet doing such sophisticated strategies, but it would not be difficult for them.

For instance, a soft fork could be, to always include transactions that are only, say, 20 transactions away from recent block rewards, and require higher and higher fees for transactions that are "older".  This would give a very fluid impression of bitcoin for all those buyers of newly mined coins (including fees !) ; and it would only piss off older whales or older bitcoin users, who most probably are NOT buying new coins.   As such, that strategy would induce newcomers to buy coins, and would put a lot of friction on older coins, decreasing bitcoin's velocity, and hence pumping up its price.
If you buy "new miner coins" you would have a great experience with bitcoin, and hence buy more of them ; if you have old coins, you would almost never get a transaction through, and have to pay huge fees.

In the beginning, miners could just apply those rules to their own block building, but they could even start orphaning blocks that are not complying to their rules -> soft fork, imposed by majority.  No "code change", just block selection.
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May 30, 2017, 05:51:32 AM
 #239

Huh. This is a funny thread. Let me chime in.

But on top of that, miners are locked up into a Nash equilibrium of steady-state.  It is not simple for them to leave the existing consensus unless they can be in a cartel and decide upon something.

And what exactly locks them up into this equilibrium?

Core was the central authority until a few years ago, writing the only code out there.  So there was no game theory, it was a totally centralized system until recently.    The only "game-theoretical" aspect that was in there for miners, was the signalling system, which was essentially Core taking the lead in the cartel formation.  And ONLY miners voted on signalling.  In other words, Core being the software monopolist, had total power over the rules.

So had Core released a version with a 1000 BTC block subsidy everyone would have followed along?

librium ; only a concerted action (formerly done by Core, the software monopolist and central decider of bitcoin) can move them all  together to another equilibrium (change of protocol).   Economic actors, individually, have everything to gain in following the miner's protocol.  Their Nash equilibrium follows that of the miners.  They are out of equilibrium if they decide upon anything else.

On one hand you propose that miners are kings and rulers, disparage the role of validating nodes but then suggest that the economic actors have a choice of whether or not to follow miners.

You realize that those statements both contradict each other?

"I believe this will be the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the "high-powered money" that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash." Hal Finney, Dec. 2010
brg444
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May 30, 2017, 06:13:28 AM
 #240

In fact dinofelis it seems clear to me you are simply suffering from a strong Mining Delusion

"I believe this will be the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the "high-powered money" that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash." Hal Finney, Dec. 2010
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