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Author Topic: With no alert system, how do you "alert" nodes now?  (Read 524 times)
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July 25, 2017, 06:56:40 AM
 #1

Is it just through the "social media"?
What if someone never visits any of these sites? This is not a proper method for a decentralized network like bitcoin anyways!

Sorry if this question is asked a lot of times, I am trying to understand why it was removed without a proper substitute (unless there already is a substitute and I am not aware of it).

Edit (for more clarification):
They call it a point of centralization. But then the substitute is the Mailing List, and that seems like an additional step and also a point of centralization!
And again my concern is what if someone doesn't want to subscribe to the Mailing List or visit Bitcoin.org, ... and just wants to run bitcoin core.
This seems like a reasonable change instead of removing: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/6260#issuecomment-110986856 for example.

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Each block is stacked on top of the previous one. Adding another block to the top makes all lower blocks more difficult to remove: there is more "weight" above each block. A transaction in a block 6 blocks deep (6 confirmations) will be very difficult to remove.
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July 25, 2017, 08:41:02 AM
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I'm not aware of any alternatives as well (at least the blog post[1] didn't mention any) and I may be wrong but I believe the alert system targets everyone and not those who run nodes only but let's be realistic here, do you actually believe that someone would actually take the time and resources to run a full node and support the network without being updated of what's going on the bitcoin scene? It's very unlikely.

[1] https://bitcoin.org/en/alert/2016-11-01-alert-retirement

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July 29, 2017, 03:55:44 AM
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Does anyone have anything to add?

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July 29, 2017, 07:45:03 AM
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 #4

The alert system was removed for several reasons. First of all, it is a source of centralization. It was something which, as a protocol message, burdened other developers who needed to write in support for the alert system and the alerts could only be issued by few people. Secondly, it is actually not known who holds the alert key (even by those who are known to hold the key). Since there is only one key, as the key is given out to more people, the more people can get their hands on the key (by attacking someone who has it) and potentially cause trouble for the network. Lastly, the alert system actually has several DoS vulnerabilities which can be exploited by whoever has a copy of the alert key.

The alert system was a centralized source which imposed things on users, which is against the ideals of decentralization. Instead of forcing users to use the alerts system, a more decentralized approach has been adopted. Users are now supposed to choose where they wish to receive their information from. These can be from various Bitcoin news outlets, websites, forums, Reddit, etc. The user gets to choose how he wishes to stay up to date on the latest Bitcoin news. If there is a network emergency event, it is extremely likely that users will learn of it very quickly as all platforms will be warning of that event as soon as it is found out about. There is no need for an alert system when such information about network wide events will be posted to all Bitcoin forums and Bitcoin news sites will be publishing stories about it as soon as they hear of it. Even mainstream media may write stories about network-wide emergencies as Bitcoin is becoming popular enough for that to happen.

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