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Author Topic: WARNING! Bitcoin will soon block small transaction outputs  (Read 56614 times)
jgarzik
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May 06, 2013, 03:09:30 PM
 #281

In the end of the day if you are not a significant miner you have no say whatsoever in how much to charge for any transaction and whether it is better to patch and recompile bitcoind to get what you want or to use some command line switches. All you can decide on is whether you prefer a higher fee for quicker transaction or not. This is so by design. It always was so. It always will be so. If you are not happy with it go and create a fork where users decide how much miners are to charge for finding blocks.

Close.

It is true that miners choose which transactions get into blocks.

However, every client chooses what to relay, or not.


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May 06, 2013, 03:57:16 PM
 #282

It is not a data storage service. Bitcoin would be a very bad design for a storage service
That's your - and mine too - opinion.
Some people apparently see the blockchain as useful for data storage, or for message sending, whatever.
It's isn't just an opinion— it's what people signed up for.  Satoshi didn't advertise Bitcoin as "p2p storage for uncle fester's preteen porn collection", he advertised it as a currency.

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The clever response is to imagine how could Bitcoin profit from it. And I can see no better way than to make them pay for such unconventional usage.
As I explained, making the txouts have greater value makes them pay all Bitcoin users for it— it still doesn't make it good: Someone who takes from you isn't freed of their wrongdoing simply because they leave a few bucks behind, but it's better— especially because it should discourage some of the abusive behavior in total.

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As far as fees go— there is no automatic moral righteousness that comes from paying fees: If I pay a big enough fee to your neighbor should I be able to show up and drill holes in your head?  Why not?? I paid a fee!!!!
Don't be ridiculous (or troll harder). There's consent in Bitcoin usage. Apart from botnets and alike, nobody forces you to install Bitcoin in your computer.
The comment there isn't about the force— though thats an issue too— it was a response to you saying "they paid for it".  I install Bitcoin to participate in a distributed currency, I didn't consent to storing whatever garbage you can trick the system into storing.   You can't say you paid me for my trouble and I accepted— you didn't you paid some random third parties who aren't me, I might not even be mining at all— but I support Bitcoin and run a full node because a p2p decentralized currency is important to me, and making it stay inflation free is very important.  Thus my silly analogy about paying your neighbor for permission to drill holes in your head.

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And yeah, that's part of the "game": the remuneration is diluted in this lottery-like thing popularly called mining. That's known in advance. You know you'll only get the fees of a transaction if you get to produce the block that contains it. As long as the remuneration you collect (inflation + fee) pays for the overall effort and costs you need to bear, you should be fine.
Except that mining, necessarily, has nothing to do with the cost of validation. To be decenteralized its important that as many _non miners_ fully validate as possible, otherwise there is nothing to keep the miners honest as a group.

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and these miners won't be able to fully validate the block in which they get included - if they get included by someone-, pretty much like SPV nodes. But they'll still be able to validate and mine all others, more "interesting" transactions.
Awesome, so I just make up a transaction that never existed with an output of a billion bitcoins— and split it between myself and a couple other parties that I know have complete records and mine that. Whos to be the wiser? Obviously that example is a bit silly— but the point remains, validation isn't useful unless its done completely. If someone can predict how you won't validate they can create inflation producing, thieving transactions which meet that criteria.

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Anyway, I really doubt UTXO will ever get that big so this is likely a non-issue)
I guess you haven't looked at the rate of utxo growth?

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Great, at least people can safely opt-out. I still think it should be an opt-in though.
As has been written dozens of times here by a dozen people. I'm glad you took the time to inform yourself on the subject before posting. Sad

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I insist: banning like this is dumb. Charging for it is more reasonable, and much more use-case-neutral.

Uh. If you're such a fan of charging for things then you should realize that thats exactly what this does. It charges for it by making you increase the size of your outputs.  The clever thing about charging for it this way is that is that it focuses the charge on the specific usage that adds the expensive perpetually unprunable data to the blockchain (because that creates outputs which cannot be redeemed).

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I wouldn't call that "discouraging", I'd call that censoring them on bitcoind. Discouraging would be to make them pay.
Bitcoind will still happily accept blocks with these transactions. There are many kinds of non-standard transactions which are rejected in the same way. For example, transactions which create 0 value outputs, or ones which create outputs less than 0.01 without a fee, or ones that use random opcodes, or have more than a couple parties in a multisig.

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May 06, 2013, 03:59:22 PM
 #283

Not a file sharing, but distributed DHT-like database HASH=BLOCK
What you're looking for is Freenet. Aside from the anonymity (which is neither needed or maybe even desired for blockchain storage) Freenet is a large operating content-addressed, redundant distributed filesystem with some unique properties such as good resistance to data loss even under the condition of nodes coming and going randomly, with no explicit coordination or configuration. The Freenet developers are aware of Bitcoin and are aware of how Freenet and the potential synergy between the two projects, and I think they only thing that's missing is interest for some type of collaboration to happen is some programmers on the Bitcoin side to take an interest in them.

best talk to da2ce7 and/or xelister. They have been thinking about "bitcoin over freenet" 2 years ago. xelister actually started an implementation, but progress seemed slow. I've tried myself but got stuck. It's not as straight-forward as one might first think but I think this kind of thing is important going forward.

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May 06, 2013, 04:03:56 PM
 #284

This discussion would be much more productive and pleasant if people would stop with the personal attacks. Gavin and other developers are making this change because they think it is intelligent to do so, and they've given reasoning for this. If you disagree, then discuss your reasoning and engage in a professional dialogue.

If you care about Bitcoin, and about how it develops, then allowing your commentary to devolve into personal insults and hyperbolic rhetoric is counterproductive - you sabotage your own goals, unless your goal is just to be mean or cause superficial uproar.

The merit of your argument is diminished to the extent it is wrapped in anger. A wise person, confident in his ideas, needn't resort to shouting.
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May 06, 2013, 04:42:18 PM
 #285

Not a file sharing, but distributed DHT-like database HASH=BLOCK

This "DHT" call comes up frequently.  This is fine for experiments, and as a backup method akin to the recent blockchain-over-twitter project.  But it is woefully less secure and resilient than the current scheme.

Bitcoin uses a "D1HT"... a fancy term for "everybody has a copy of the database."  Currently the entire blockchain is massively replicated, perhaps 20,000+ times or more.  This is larger than all but the largest torrent swarms.

Benefits:  More secure and resilient.  Far more decentralized.  Better chance of useful work, if one honest peer is found.  100% provable for any node; no "holes" in the history.   Costs:  Network and disk resources required to store the blockchain, and provide it to others for download.

Going from that, a DHT is quite a step down, quite a bit less secure.  DHTs are vulnerable to hot spots -- where the whole world queries just a few nodes -- and sybil attacks[1].  On sybil attacks, bitcoin's current peer finding mechanism does a better job of intentionally spreading itself widely across networks; a DHT tends to concentrate on a few nodes.

It becomes much easier to attack a portion of the blockchain, if it were stored as (hash,block) key-value pairs as commonly suggested.  If an attacker may DoS even a single (hash,block) pair, you prevent the entire world from downloading or verifying the entire bitcoin blockchain, because the chain is thus broken.  The time spent looking up each hash across a worldwide DHT would be quite slow; that is the equivalent of downloading 234,831 different torrents, not one big torrent.

Storage via DHT is a fun toy idea, but it's stupid, slow and insecure as a primary method.  Massive replication is far more secure and decentralized.

Hard drive technology has no problems keeping up with blockchain growth.  Network technology is probably the same, though I think there will be some amount of balancing on-chain versus off-chain transactions.

It is also thought that the nodes bearing the brunt of the blockchain downloads in the future will be a few professional and volunteer "archive nodes", that store the entire blockchain.  And certainly the blockchain torrent will continue to exist as an alternate method.




[1] Remains an active area of DHT research, and several mitigation mechanisms are deployed in the field.  Even with these new techniques, the DoS-a-block, DoS-all-of-bitcoin implications make DHTs an inferior solution.

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May 06, 2013, 04:52:07 PM
 #286

Hard drive technology has no problems keeping up with blockchain growth.  Network technology is probably the same, though I think there will be some amount of balancing on-chain versus off-chain transactions.

Anonymous network technology is just barely good enough to support mining anonymously with 1MB blocks. (not hashing! I mean being a mining pool, solo-mining, or running p2pool) That isn't going to get better quickly, and could easily get worse if we see attacks on the Tor and I2P networks.

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May 06, 2013, 05:06:33 PM
 #287

Hard drive technology has no problems keeping up with blockchain growth.  Network technology is probably the same, though I think there will be some amount of balancing on-chain versus off-chain transactions.

Anonymous network technology is just barely good enough to support mining anonymously with 1MB blocks. (not hashing! I mean being a mining pool, solo-mining, or running p2pool) That isn't going to get better quickly, and could easily get worse if we see attacks on the Tor and I2P networks.

Indeed.

The more people who run a full node, the greater the decentralization[1][2].

Using the chain as data storage, rather than currency, costs everybody, because it increases the rate at which people are discouraged from running full nodes.  It increases the costs of that dataset that cannot be pruned, and must be carried for eternity: the unspent transaction output set (UTXO), the list of coins available for spending.

Right now, it remains within the realm of a hobbyist to run a full node, especially with the recent memory usage improvements in bitcoind.  But one day, that will not be the case.

By pushing back on data spam, we reduce the rate-of-increase on blockchain resource costs, and reduce the disincentive to run a full node.  We push back the day at which there are just a handful of archive nodes with a copy of the full block chain.



[1] Probably.
[2] Though "decentralized" does not necessarily imply "private", as your message indicates.

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May 06, 2013, 05:50:35 PM
 #288

If this isn't a protocol change, but merely a CLIENT change, then this is essentially a non-issue. If we ( and I include myself in this) don't like it, then it should incentivize us to create competing bitcoin clients.

I agree with you, but it's still sad to see biased behavior being embedded in the reference implementation. It's like bitcoin.org. Not a monopoly, but still, the "reference". I'd very much prefer if it remained the most unbiased possible.

I agree. But like I said earlier, perhaps this is Gavin and team's way of pissing us off enough to create alternate full node clients.

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May 06, 2013, 05:56:25 PM
 #289

I think Gavin has alluded to possibly rewarding those who run full nodes, which I think is the way to go. I don't see any reason why miners should get rewarded, yet those who run full nodes and eat the bandwidth/disk space get nothing.

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May 06, 2013, 06:35:54 PM
 #290

I think Gavin has alluded to possibly rewarding those who run full nodes, which I think is the way to go. I don't see any reason why miners should get rewarded, yet those who run full nodes and eat the bandwidth/disk space get nothing.
You get the reward of having a secure, inflation proof, interference resistant, decentralized currency _actually existing_. I can't think of any better reward than that.

It would certainly be great if Bitcoin could distinguish participants based on independent people-ness. But alas... no one has discovered a way to make that workable. Keep in mind that it's the same fundamental underlying problem that had people saying that something like Bitcoin was impossible all those years. Satoshi's dodge was to replace independent-peopleness with computational-scarcity which makes the whole thing workable, but doesn't result in a way to directly reward decentralization.

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May 06, 2013, 07:38:26 PM
 #291

I think Gavin has alluded to possibly rewarding those who run full nodes, which I think is the way to go. I don't see any reason why miners should get rewarded, yet those who run full nodes and eat the bandwidth/disk space get nothing.

I replied in the main forum: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=197169.0

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May 06, 2013, 07:54:11 PM
 #292

Going from that, a DHT is quite a step down, quite a bit less secure.  DHTs are vulnerable to hot spots -- where the whole world queries just a few nodes -- and sybil attacks[1].  On sybil attacks, bitcoin's current peer finding mechanism does a better job of intentionally spreading itself widely across networks; a DHT tends to concentrate on a few nodes.

It becomes much easier to attack a portion of the blockchain, if it were stored as (hash,block) key-value pairs as commonly suggested.  If an attacker may DoS even a single (hash,block) pair, you prevent the entire world from downloading or verifying the entire bitcoin blockchain, because the chain is thus broken.  The time spent looking up each hash across a worldwide DHT would be quite slow; that is the equivalent of downloading 234,831 different torrents, not one big torrent.

Storage via DHT is a fun toy idea, but it's stupid, slow and insecure as a primary method.  Massive replication is far more secure and decentralized.
You should look into Freenet's datastore. They have managed to implement a secure, distributed, redundant content-addressed filesystem that avoids most of those pitfalls. It's resistant to attack by malicious nodes and maintains good data persistence even though storage nodes come and go randomly. Right now the Freenet datastore is several orders of magnitude larger than the blockchain.

Their network is slow because it's being careful to anonymize who is inserting and requesting data, but you could get the other benefits at a much better performance with those constraints removed.
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May 06, 2013, 08:20:50 PM
 #293

Using the chain as data storage, rather than currency, costs everybody, because it increases the rate at which people are discouraged from running full nodes.  It increases the costs of that dataset that cannot be pruned, and must be carried for eternity: the unspent transaction output set (UTXO), the list of coins available for spending.

Just a quick intermediate question interrupting this interesting discussion:

I've been using the blockchain for a "proof of existance at point x in time" using the hash of a scan of a casascius coin as private key to generate a bitcoin address. I sent 1 satoshi to that address.

Is that to be considered "misuse of the blockchain"?

If that satoshi is spent (which can be done because the private key has been published) the "data" is "prunable", right?

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May 06, 2013, 10:06:49 PM
 #294

As much as I dislike SD's (and other's) abuse of the blockchain, this is a bad idea.  First, any idea that is admitted to be "temporary" should be suspected of being a bad idea.  Second, IMHO, it is philosophically wrong -- at best a band-aid for a bigger problem that needs a different solution.  Third, it's debatable whether or not this change will alter the behavior of those (ab)using the blockchain.  The motivation of gamblers is different.  I don't see how it will have any impact on them, other than to change the "dust" amount from 1 unit to 5430 units.  Those storing data in the blockchain will just move data around in units of 5430 Satoshi, rather than disposing of units of 1 Satoshi.  But fourth, I fear the technical issues have not been fully considered, and that's my main objection to this scheme...

One technical problem noted somewhere in this thread is how do you deal with change that's under the limit.  If you are a "bitcoin millionaire", it's probably not much of a problem.  If you are just starting out, it might be a significant problem.  Say you have 0.01005429 BTC to your name.  One rule says you can't spend less than 0.01.  This new rule says you can't spend between 0.01000000 and 0.01005428.  (I haven't looked at the code.  Does the client fail?  Are you forced to overpay the recipient?  Are you forced to pay your change as part of your "fee"?)

If you overpay the recipient, I suspect there are some automated systems that either (1) won't accept the payment or (2) might attempt to send your change back.  You are requiring modification to any such automated system that now exists.  You are also requiring modification to every other standard bitcoin client (else some transactions that used to go through will not go through).  And you are requiring potential modification to every application that generates its own transactions.  This proposed modification has consequences far beyond the official Satoshi client, and as far as I can tell, there has been no general solicitation of comments.

Similarly, what if you have one account with just slightly more funds than needed for a transaction.  Does the client automatically choose a second account to make sure the change is at least 5430 Satoshis?  I thought one of the goals of the client was to avoid mixing payment sources as much as possible to maintain some "privacy".  Although this shouldn't happen often, if you are dealing with random amounts between a bitcent or two, it seems this would occur about 1 in 300 such transactions.  (Again, not a problem for "bitcoin millionaires", but a potential problem for those just starting out.)

Another technical problem noted (but dismissed as irrelevant by some developers) is the increased window for double-spends.  Deny it if you want, but when each mining pool (and each full node) can choose parameters to decide whether or not a transaction is to be relayed, I think the surface area for double-spends has increased significantly.

Related to the above is the question of a node's "banscore".  I haven't examined the code.  If node B receives a transaction from node A, which node B thinks is non-standard, does node B bump node A's banscore?  I won't speculate on the implications until I look at the code, because this might be a red herring.

Finally, in many respects, you are trying to achieve results similar to that of a "5430 to 1 reverse stock split".  Of course, I'm not actually proposing this!  But some of the things corporations and stock exchanges go through when handling a reverse stock split might be considered in handling this proposed change.  Do you want to consider making every transaction output a multiple of 5430 Satoshis?  If it were a more round number, such as 5000 Satoshis, this might actually make sense.  For your very small "stockholders", the way I see it, you are changing the value of very small balances from "economically unspendable" to "practically unspendable".  To avoid a perceived hit in public confidence, the Bitcoin Foundation should send up to 5429 Satoshis to every address now containing 1 Satoshi of "dust".  (Or whatever amount is necessary to bring every address up to the minimum spendable amount.)

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May 06, 2013, 11:18:31 PM
 #295

When that runs out, the system can support transaction fees if
needed.  It's based on open market competition, and there will
probably always be nodes willing to process transactions for free.

Satoshi Nakamoto

I'm going to thank the Developers for implementing this change, It definitely saved me having to recompile it myself. I hope other people notice that too.

Now I can simply update my bitcoin.conf file with mintxfee command.

kudos now I can control what I allow my miners to process, I do intend to make a living doing this, so I can adjust my fees according to where I live; Though I do think it was a little cheeky to create this much controversy, but now a whole swath of people are a little more informed and the dialogue has started.

Here is how much 0.00005430 BTC is in USD: .0065 dollars... that's half a cent.

and for..

0.632   Yen
0.0065 CAD
0.124   Lempiras
63.18   Rupiah
0.26     Pesos

As you can see being able to change this fee is very useful, depending on what part of the world you are in, setting limits creates a regional mining community; It also increases transaction speed by limiting number of relays it has to go through... very important, there are 17 major worldwide relay centres that monitor all traffic on the internet... avoiding them is key.

As for the Data being put into the block chain, very sneaky Smiley but definitely if you are using Bitcoin for that,
https://freenetproject.org/  should work a lot better, or use TOR. The blockchain solution is great, it can be used for all sorts of things, time to startup a new project, the power of the CypherPunk movement is limitless.

Need to do a search under TOR use YaCy  http://yacy.net/en/index.html your own personal search engine.

I am new to Bitcoin, but as far as I understand the changes, if you want to upgrade go ahead, no one is forcing you to, just keep running the old client. I like being able to change the limit of the transaction fees, so I will be making mine go to 1 centavo Lempira, I was born in Honduras so, that will be my limit.  .000005 bitcoin minimum for me personally.

If you do have a problem with this new re-compile of bitcoin, set the  MIN_TX_FEE to .00000001  That way you can still reap the benefits of Satoshi Dice, who doesn't want to make some cash off those transactions fees? Smiley

The better solution will be thought up later, for now, we just got to educate and get people to run FreeNets blockchain instead of using Bitcoins; Trust me it is way more secure.


I just found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2OBbK-7qPc

Amazing! so many people working on Bitcoin. I'm quite shocked to see how much work Satoshi did, worked all alone for so long, holy $h*+!

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May 06, 2013, 11:57:24 PM
 #296

The more people who run a full node, the greater the decentralization[1][2].

I can't run a full node full time right now because there is no upload throttling. The Bitcoin client slows my Internet down to literally unusable (4sec+ pings).

Not because of hard drive space. I've got 900 GB free right now.

CryptFolio lets you keep track of your cryptocurrencies (BTC/LTC/NMC/FTC/XPM/DOGE/...), investments, securities and miners using public addresses and read-only APIs. https://cryptfolio.com
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May 07, 2013, 12:18:54 AM
 #297

There's a lot of theory here. I've never done any transaction of less than 1 cent, and I don't think I will ever. Faucets? Websites that give free money? They're all doomed. Can anyone seriously believe they will keep on giving money forever? When we will have reached the 21 millions limit, nobody will give out satoshis anymore.

That make gambling sites the ones with the most to lose here, but I'm sure they can adapt. Right now, in Las Vegas, you can't play less than a dollar.
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May 07, 2013, 12:25:04 AM
 #298

There's a lot of theory here. I've never done any transaction of less than 1 cent, and I don't think I will ever. [...]
That make gambling sites the ones with the most to lose here, but I'm sure they can adapt. Right now, in Las Vegas, you can't play less than a dollar.
No such sites exist, they all have minimum plays larger than the value in question— no one has identified any actual currency usage believed to be affected by this.

The outputs impacted this generally cost more to redeem than they're worth... so there is basically no sane reason to create them except to add load to the system.

you are changing the value of very small balances from "economically unspendable" to "practically unspendable".  To avoid a perceived hit in public confidence, the Bitcoin Foundation should send up to 5429 Satoshis to every address now containing 1 Satoshi of "dust".  (Or whatever amount is necessary to bring every address up to the minimum spendable amount.)
The bitcoin system doesn't have "accounts" every individual payment to you is totally separate as far as the system is concerned.  If txout value of X is economically unspendable (meaning it costs you more in fees marginally then it returns) then it's still economically unspendable no matter what other coins you have. You can think of them as coins with negative value: spending it makes you poorer because adding it to your transaction increases that transaction's fees by more than the value of Bitcoin it returns.  Giving you _more_ negative value coins doesn't help you productively spend your initial negative value coin.

The dust change doesn't change what you can spend— it just changes what outputs you can create— no more freaky costs more-to-spend-than-you-get-outputs, unless you can get cooperation from a miner or mine them yourself. For people who have less than that amount in total— well, they were already unable to spend them: transactions without any output value of less than 0.01 that doesn't pay a fee of at least 0.0005 BTC is has been non-standard for a long time (and previously required a 0.01 fee).

I can't run a full node full time right now because there is no upload throttling. The Bitcoin client slows my Internet down to literally unusable (4sec+ pings).
If you disable listening (listen=0 in the bitcoin.conf) that works around that pretty much entirely. That is not a replacement for additional flexibility in the long term, but it's really easily done. Things like adjusting client traffic can be twiddled over time, but unspendable data storage outputs are forever. As an aside— you might want to google bufferbloat, as it sounds like your local network could use some tuning.

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May 07, 2013, 05:28:07 AM
 #299

I think it is fair enough to block this.

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May 07, 2013, 06:35:24 AM
 #300

The Achilles Heel of Bitcoin is being swamped by transactions worth less than a cent because, unlike fiat coinage transactions, Bitcoin transactions are stored on thousands of servers for years or forever.

The storing of the entire "ledger" is one of the main problem with bitcoin, and really can only be solved by shifting to a time-based-balances summary.

The reason it takes bitcoin "users" 4 days to get started is the collection, unpack and interpretation of the blockchain.

Having a full chain only at "miners" as part of the "cost" to maintain the network (and profit from it through mining) is fine, but for global adoption, the client needs to become lightweight and portable - so so "balances as at last sync to the network" and "transaction since" is one solution - for those who *want* the whole lot (for whatever reason) should always be able to get it, but most people dont (and I can see "trusted nodes" for mobile apps becoming more prevalent over time)

Another "needed" feature is a solution to the "empty pocket" problem - having multiple addresses for receipt of bitcoins and then consolidating them and *abandoning* those addresses. In the "real" world you dont pay fees to take money from your multiple moneyboxes and spend them in one go - from a ledger (and therefore bitcoin) point of view they're logically transferred to one "Box" and then spent from there

Is the current change a good idea - IMHO as a temporary measure while proper solutions to the issues of bitcoin growing are found, then yes.

Is the amount being suggested (5430 satoshis) right - probably not - as it will discourage small miners from pools where they're not submitting lots of shares, so get small "payouts" - which ultimately hurts the network not helps it.



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