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Author Topic: Bitcoin press hits, notable sources  (Read 401811 times)
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May 10, 2011, 11:01:07 AM
 #221

http://apenwarr.ca/log/?m=201105#08

Anybody see this? It been nuked several times from HN people.

Hehe, this author actually got me to stop reading by saying the following:

If you honestly believe that abandoning the gold standard was a bad idea - and there are indeed people who believe this - then you might as well stop reading now. Wiser men than I have explained in excruciating detail why you're an idiot. This article will not convince you, it will just make you angry.

Unbelievable, usually an author saying "stop here if xzy" just keeps me going.

Did anyone read it to the end. Does it continue like it started off?

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May 10, 2011, 02:26:40 PM
 #222

http://apenwarr.ca/log/?m=201105#08

Anybody see this? It been nuked several times from HN people.

Hehe, this author actually got me to stop reading by saying the following:

If you honestly believe that abandoning the gold standard was a bad idea - and there are indeed people who believe this - then you might as well stop reading now. Wiser men than I have explained in excruciating detail why you're an idiot. This article will not convince you, it will just make you angry.

Unbelievable, usually an author saying "stop here if xzy" just keeps me going.

Did anyone read it to the end. Does it continue like it started off?

I kept reading.  You've really got to read this part, it's awesome:

Quote from: herpderp
FAIL #3: The whole technological basis is flawed.

Bitcoin is, fundamentally, a cryptosystem. Some people argue that it's "as strong as SHA256" and that "if someone could break SHA256, then banks would be in trouble as it is."

Wrong on both counts.


First of all, I admit, I don't totally understand the bitcoin algorithms and systems. I don't really need to. I understand only this: the road to crypto hell is paved with the bones of people who thought that a good cryptosystem can be designed by combining proven algorithms in unproven ways. SHA256 may be the strongest part of bitcoin, but a cryptosystem is only as strong as its weakest link.

You want to replace the world economy with a hard-to-guess math formula? Where's your peer review? Where are the hordes of cryptographers who have spent 30+ years trying to break your algorithm and failed? Come talk to me in 30 years. Meanwhile, it's safe to assume that bitcoin has serious flaws that will allow people to manufacture money, duplicate coins, or otherwise make fake transactions. In that way, it's just like real dollars.

But what's *not* like real dollars is the cost of failure. With real dollars, when people figure out how to make counterfeit bills, we find those people and throw them in jail, and eventually we replace our bills with newer-style ones that are more resistant to failure. And the counterfeiters are limited by how many fake bills their printing press can produce.

With bitcoin, a single failure of the cryptosystem could result in an utter collapse of the entire financial network. Unlimited inflation. Fake transactions. People not getting paid when they thought they were getting paid. And the perpetrators of the attack would make so much money, so fast, that they could apply their fraud at Internet Scale on Internet Time.

(Ha, and don't even talk to me about how your world-changing financial system would of course also be protected by anti-fraud laws so we could still punish people for faking it. If we still need the government, what is the point of your currency again?)

The current financial system is slow, and tedious, and old, and in many ways actually broken or flawed. But one thing we know is that it's *resilient*. One single mathematical error will not send the whole thing into a tailspin. With bitcoin, it will.

And no, a break in SHA256 would not break the current financial system or ruin any banks. How could it? What would even be the mechanism for such an attack? How would it make the paper bills in my pocket stop working for buying hot dogs? Can't we just hunt down and arrest the people who forged the fake transactions?
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May 10, 2011, 03:22:40 PM
 #223


So is it in today's print edition?

I'd really love to see a scan or photo or something. Does anyone have access to US print media and can facilitate this?

Hey, could anyone please scan this article?

Bitalo.com coming soon!

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Garrett Burgwardt
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May 10, 2011, 05:20:59 PM
 #224


So is it in today's print edition?

I'd really love to see a scan or photo or something. Does anyone have access to US print media and can facilitate this?

Hey, could anyone please scan this article?

Working on it Grin
Garrett Burgwardt
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May 10, 2011, 11:55:29 PM
 #225







Here you are!

Would greatly appreciate donations to help cover the cost of gas/magazine, though I'm not too worried about it Smiley
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May 11, 2011, 12:32:34 AM
 #226

Wow..I am impressed that the article is so well written and clearly not biases. No bitcoin bashing here and I'm am very happy to see it.


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May 11, 2011, 11:19:32 AM
 #227

Bitcoin cited in an article about Flattr:
http://www.nytimes.com/external/gigaom/2011/05/09/09gigaom-can-flattr-plus-twitter-make-micropayments-a-real-63991.html?ref=technology

Blog posts about Bitcoin - 1KdRBbhjo72CqKTrFsQed6s9NMrvwvrUkq
molecular
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May 11, 2011, 11:28:53 AM
 #228







Here you are!

Would greatly appreciate donations to help cover the cost of gas/magazine, though I'm not too worried about it Smiley

NICE! Thanks for scanning!

Where should I send my donation?

EDIT: I would increase my donation if you posted direct links to the images... can't seem to find that easily on imageshack.

EDIT2: never mind about the direct links:

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Garrett Burgwardt
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May 11, 2011, 11:31:39 AM
 #229

Link in my sig Wink
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May 11, 2011, 03:34:28 PM
 #230

Link in my sig Wink

Why do I have to click and load a page? Why not just put an address right there?

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May 11, 2011, 03:44:25 PM
 #231

1PxYTyEJ5oEDzK52yMWdQ2NhUE3rUof9cC Roll Eyes

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May 12, 2011, 08:12:23 AM
 #232

http://apenwarr.ca/log/?m=201105#08

Anybody see this? It been nuked several times from HN people.

Hehe, this author actually got me to stop reading by saying the following:

If you honestly believe that abandoning the gold standard was a bad idea - and there are indeed people who believe this - then you might as well stop reading now. Wiser men than I have explained in excruciating detail why you're an idiot. This article will not convince you, it will just make you angry.

Unbelievable, usually an author saying "stop here if xzy" just keeps me going.

Did anyone read it to the end. Does it continue like it started off?

I kept reading.  You've really got to read this part, it's awesome:

Quote from: herpderp
FAIL #3: The whole technological basis is flawed.

Bitcoin is, fundamentally, a cryptosystem. Some people argue that it's "as strong as SHA256" and that "if someone could break SHA256, then banks would be in trouble as it is."

Wrong on both counts.


First of all, I admit, I don't totally understand the bitcoin algorithms and systems. I don't really need to. I understand only this: the road to crypto hell is paved with the bones of people who thought that a good cryptosystem can be designed by combining proven algorithms in unproven ways. SHA256 may be the strongest part of bitcoin, but a cryptosystem is only as strong as its weakest link.

You want to replace the world economy with a hard-to-guess math formula? Where's your peer review? Where are the hordes of cryptographers who have spent 30+ years trying to break your algorithm and failed? Come talk to me in 30 years. Meanwhile, it's safe to assume that bitcoin has serious flaws that will allow people to manufacture money, duplicate coins, or otherwise make fake transactions. In that way, it's just like real dollars.

But what's *not* like real dollars is the cost of failure. With real dollars, when people figure out how to make counterfeit bills, we find those people and throw them in jail, and eventually we replace our bills with newer-style ones that are more resistant to failure. And the counterfeiters are limited by how many fake bills their printing press can produce.

With bitcoin, a single failure of the cryptosystem could result in an utter collapse of the entire financial network. Unlimited inflation. Fake transactions. People not getting paid when they thought they were getting paid. And the perpetrators of the attack would make so much money, so fast, that they could apply their fraud at Internet Scale on Internet Time.

(Ha, and don't even talk to me about how your world-changing financial system would of course also be protected by anti-fraud laws so we could still punish people for faking it. If we still need the government, what is the point of your currency again?)

The current financial system is slow, and tedious, and old, and in many ways actually broken or flawed. But one thing we know is that it's *resilient*. One single mathematical error will not send the whole thing into a tailspin. With bitcoin, it will.

And no, a break in SHA256 would not break the current financial system or ruin any banks. How could it? What would even be the mechanism for such an attack? How would it make the paper bills in my pocket stop working for buying hot dogs? Can't we just hunt down and arrest the people who forged the fake transactions?

While I don't fully agree with all of his points - he is right in the parts that you bolded. By proving that one part of the Bitcoin  protocol is strong you don't prove that it is strong as a whole.  And he does not need to know the protocol to find a logical mistake in the reasoning trying to establish that Bitdoin is as strong as SHA256 (if it is not identical to SHA256).  "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link" - this is spot on.
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May 12, 2011, 08:35:21 PM
 #233

http://apenwarr.ca/log/?m=201105#08

Anybody see this? It been nuked several times from HN people.

Hehe, this author actually got me to stop reading by saying the following:

If you honestly believe that abandoning the gold standard was a bad idea - and there are indeed people who believe this - then you might as well stop reading now. Wiser men than I have explained in excruciating detail why you're an idiot. This article will not convince you, it will just make you angry.

Unbelievable, usually an author saying "stop here if xzy" just keeps me going.

Did anyone read it to the end. Does it continue like it started off?

I kept reading.  You've really got to read this part, it's awesome:

Quote from: herpderp
FAIL #3: The whole technological basis is flawed.

Bitcoin is, fundamentally, a cryptosystem. Some people argue that it's "as strong as SHA256" and that "if someone could break SHA256, then banks would be in trouble as it is."

Wrong on both counts.


First of all, I admit, I don't totally understand the bitcoin algorithms and systems. I don't really need to. I understand only this: the road to crypto hell is paved with the bones of people who thought that a good cryptosystem can be designed by combining proven algorithms in unproven ways. SHA256 may be the strongest part of bitcoin, but a cryptosystem is only as strong as its weakest link.

You want to replace the world economy with a hard-to-guess math formula? Where's your peer review? Where are the hordes of cryptographers who have spent 30+ years trying to break your algorithm and failed? Come talk to me in 30 years. Meanwhile, it's safe to assume that bitcoin has serious flaws that will allow people to manufacture money, duplicate coins, or otherwise make fake transactions. In that way, it's just like real dollars.

But what's *not* like real dollars is the cost of failure. With real dollars, when people figure out how to make counterfeit bills, we find those people and throw them in jail, and eventually we replace our bills with newer-style ones that are more resistant to failure. And the counterfeiters are limited by how many fake bills their printing press can produce.

With bitcoin, a single failure of the cryptosystem could result in an utter collapse of the entire financial network. Unlimited inflation. Fake transactions. People not getting paid when they thought they were getting paid. And the perpetrators of the attack would make so much money, so fast, that they could apply their fraud at Internet Scale on Internet Time.

(Ha, and don't even talk to me about how your world-changing financial system would of course also be protected by anti-fraud laws so we could still punish people for faking it. If we still need the government, what is the point of your currency again?)

The current financial system is slow, and tedious, and old, and in many ways actually broken or flawed. But one thing we know is that it's *resilient*. One single mathematical error will not send the whole thing into a tailspin. With bitcoin, it will.

And no, a break in SHA256 would not break the current financial system or ruin any banks. How could it? What would even be the mechanism for such an attack? How would it make the paper bills in my pocket stop working for buying hot dogs? Can't we just hunt down and arrest the people who forged the fake transactions?

While I don't fully agree with all of his points - he is right in the parts that you bolded. By proving that one part of the Bitcoin  protocol is strong you don't prove that it is strong as a whole.  And he does not need to know the protocol to find a logical mistake in the reasoning trying to establish that Bitdoin is as strong as SHA256 (if it is not identical to SHA256).  "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link" - this is spot on.


No, he is still wrong on this point as well because he started by misrepresenting the argument altogether.  He simply burned a strawman.  Online banking regularly uses 128 bit SSL session encryption,(between the customer and the bank, not between each other) which is different enough from the way Bitcoin works to be apples to ornages, but the argument is usually, "Won't Bitcoin be broken by faster/quantum computers?"  "No, because if that were to ever become a problem for bitcoin, encryption for the finance industry would also be under threat long before Bitcoin was, and new algoritims would be found that Bitcoin could use."

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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May 12, 2011, 08:42:15 PM
 #234

I expect the worst that could happen from a way to find collisions in SHA256 would be that difficulty would rise, as it would then (in theory) be easier to find a hash below the target. But the double SHA256 hash used in Bitcoin makes this unlikely even if such a break existed.

Someone correct me if I've gotten anything wrong.

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May 12, 2011, 09:46:16 PM
 #235



No, he is still wrong on this point as well because he started by misrepresenting the argument altogether.  He simply burned a strawman.  Online banking regularly uses 128 bit SSL session encryption,(between the customer and the bank, not between each other) which is different enough from the way Bitcoin works to be apples to ornages, but the argument is usually, "Won't Bitcoin be broken by faster/quantum computers?"  "No, because if that were to ever become a problem for bitcoin, encryption for the finance industry would also be under threat long before Bitcoin was, and new algoritims would be found that Bitcoin could use."
[/quote]

Well he writes:
Quote
Some people argue that it's "as strong as SHA256" and that "if someone could break SHA256, then banks would be in trouble as it is."
I don't know - maybe he read it somewhere.  Or maybe he misinterpreted what he read.  Personally I would not assume that he built a straw man purposefully, and I would not try to ridicule him by bolding his seemingly paradoxical statement - it looks like a quick win, but it backfires if found out.
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May 12, 2011, 09:53:20 PM
 #236

I expect the worst that could happen from a way to find collisions in SHA256 would be that difficulty would rise, as it would then (in theory) be easier to find a hash below the target. But the double SHA256 hash used in Bitcoin makes this unlikely even if such a break existed.

Someone correct me if I've gotten anything wrong.

Yes, the difficulty would rise, but there would also be a disconnect from the difficulty and the real security.  But the hashing algorithm could be swapped out for something not-yet-broken.  For that matter, one of the two hashing cycles could be exchanged for a different secure hashing system now, and the system would remain secure even if one or the other were broken.  But then all of ArtForz's ASICs would become worthless.

And even if the hashing algorithim were broken, that doesn't necessarily expose the whole of Bitcoin to exploitation.  That would depend upon how it was broken, and still only expose the blockchain to manipulation in the worst case.  The vast majority of users would still not lose their coins.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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May 12, 2011, 09:58:18 PM
 #237



No, he is still wrong on this point as well because he started by misrepresenting the argument altogether.  He simply burned a strawman.  Online banking regularly uses 128 bit SSL session encryption,(between the customer and the bank, not between each other) which is different enough from the way Bitcoin works to be apples to ornages, but the argument is usually, "Won't Bitcoin be broken by faster/quantum computers?"  "No, because if that were to ever become a problem for bitcoin, encryption for the finance industry would also be under threat long before Bitcoin was, and new algoritims would be found that Bitcoin could use."

Well he writes:
Quote
Some people argue that it's "as strong as SHA256" and that "if someone could break SHA256, then banks would be in trouble as it is."
I don't know - maybe he read it somewhere.  Or maybe he misinterpreted what he read.  Personally I would not assume that he built a straw man purposefully, and I would not try to ridicule him by bolding his seemingly paradoxical statement - it looks like a quick win, but it backfires if found out.
[/quote]

I told him that on twitter, but in context I meant that currently it is as strong as SHA256, so currently a break is not likely, and when one did happen there would be time to switch to something else (a preemptive move)
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May 14, 2011, 09:55:24 AM
 #238

If SHA256 were to fall completely it would allow for double spending, until node software was upgraded to lock in the last agreed reliable block and switch to a different algorithm. It would not allow you to steal peoples coins, create value out of nothing etc. By the time this is actually a risk the Bitcoin network will probably look very different. I don't think the risk of this is worth worrying about.

Anyway, I'm not sure it's worth debating the security of Bitcoin with people who admit they don't understand it. The breakthrough that could destroy it as a currency would be finding a way to compute the multiplicands of an EC point given the original and product points. It's not got much to do with SHA256.

Comparisons of security to the existing system are tricky. Regular banking doesn't rely on cryptography to the same extent Bitcoin does. On the other hand, the banking systems in use today are horrifically insecure and fail regularly. Just read the archives of krebsonsecurity.com to see case after case in which the bank accounts of schools, companies and charities are drained of huge sums by viruses submitting fraudulent wire transfer orders. Many of these US banks don't even use 2-factor authentication! And that's ignoring the fun and games that can occur when banks gamble with their customers money.

If you keep your private keys safe, today Bitcoin is dramatically more secure than any other financial system. I'm not sure it makes sense to stick with insecure banking on the grounds that somebody might find a way to break elliptic curve cryptography in future. It's been over 20 years now and nobody even came close to doing so.
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May 14, 2011, 10:50:56 AM
 #239

If SHA256 were to fall completely it would allow for double spending, until node software was upgraded to lock in the last agreed reliable block and switch to a different algorithm. It would not allow you to steal peoples coins, create value out of nothing etc. By the time this is actually a risk the Bitcoin network will probably look very different. I don't think the risk of this is worth worrying about.

I doubt SHA256 will be broken (and not just one collision found!) any time soon, but if it was to happen, don't underestimate the consequences on bitcoin, as anyone could create a longer block chain "from scratch", thus totally destroy the current one.

We would have to switch to another hash function, but we would also have to start an other block chain, thus a new currency.

IMHO
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May 14, 2011, 11:03:03 AM
 #240

... if it was to happen ... we would have to switch to another hash function, but we would also have to start an other block chain, thus a new currency.
If 50% of the hashing power agreed (which they would), the new block chain would be initialized to include all the transactions from the old block chain prior to the breakage of SHA256.
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