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Author Topic: Is the number of blocks going to get bigger and bigger ever?  (Read 669 times)
calista
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June 21, 2011, 09:48:37 AM
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like 2 million blocks in 2012?

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techwtf
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June 21, 2011, 09:57:24 AM
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the number of blocks is linear increasing, about one per every 10 min.
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June 21, 2011, 10:00:05 AM
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like 2 million blocks in 2012?

Yes.
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June 21, 2011, 10:36:43 AM
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Is my math wrong? There are about 130,000 blocks now. We are generating a new block about every 400 seconds. That's about 80,000 blocks per year. That's 170,000 in the beginning of 2012 and 250,000 in the end of 2012.

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TerraHertz
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June 21, 2011, 10:47:36 AM
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Still trying to get my head around all this. But it seems like the philosophy of trying to maintain perpetual traceability of all bitcoin transactions must imply an evr-growing body of data. Doesn't matter that the records are encrypted to prevent falsification of the records, they still have to get bigger forever.

Can it really be true that these ever-growing records must be constantly processed to maintain the system?
This seems unworkable in the long run to me.

Here's another problem:
Quoting from http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=7269.0[/url
New to BitCoin? Start here!

"In conclusion:  All this mathematical technology may be a bit of a mouthful, but what it means in practice is that BitCoin works just like cash.  Bitcoin transactions are intentionally irreversible--unlike credit cards or PayPal where chargebacks  can invalidate a payment that has already been made.  And there are no middlemen.  Transactions are completed directly between the sender and the receiver via the peer to peer network."

Well apparently that is all flat out untrue. If MtGox can 'roll back' a series of transactions they don't like, then clearly Bitcoin transactions ARE reversible. Which also means Bitcoins do not 'work just like cash'. Also that MtGox ARE acting as a middleman, with all that implies.
The reasons MtGox decided to rollback are irrelevant. Sure, they were hacked and 500K bitcoins sold into the market by someone who didn't own them. Doesn't make any difference, MtGox is still doing something that was supposed to be impossible, and so one has to wonder. What _else_ is untrue in the theory of Bitcoin?

"The price good people pay for their indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." -- Plato
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June 21, 2011, 11:28:31 AM
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Mt. Gox didn't roll back *bitcoin* transactions. They rolled back Mt. Gox transactions. The bitcoins (except for about $1,000 worth) never left Mt Gox's internal accounts. So Mt. Gox can give them to whoever they please. There is no mechanism for rolling back bitcoin transactions other than convincing their present owner to give them back or convincing everyone else to pretend that they have done so.

And a new client only needs to validate the entire block chain when it first starts up. After that, it only needs to keep its database up to date. There has been discussion of the ability to create a 'lite' version of the client that wouldn't ever need to do this but in exchange would have slightly weaker security properties. This is a problem that will likely be solved long before it's a real problem.

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luxgladius
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June 21, 2011, 11:50:45 AM
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Is my math wrong? There are about 130,000 blocks now. We are generating a new block about every 400 seconds. That's about 80,000 blocks per year. That's 170,000 in the beginning of 2012 and 250,000 in the end of 2012.

The target is a new block every 600 seconds. If it turns out to be different than that, every 2016 (about two weeks) blocks the difficulty is adjusted to make it harder to generate blocks in order to push it toward that level. It's a time of rapid network growth, so we might be due for a large jump in difficulty at the next retarget. In theory though, 1008 blocks should be a week, so a year should be 52,416 blocks, nowhere near a million.  I think your math is wrong. Even assuming a rate of 400 seconds, which would only hold as long as the network strength keeps ramping up, a year would be about 78840 blocks.
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June 21, 2011, 12:30:52 PM
 #8

Still trying to get my head around all this. But it seems like the philosophy of trying to maintain perpetual traceability of all bitcoin transactions must imply an evr-growing body of data. Doesn't matter that the records are encrypted to prevent falsification of the records, they still have to get bigger forever.

Can it really be true that these ever-growing records must be constantly processed to maintain the system?
This seems unworkable in the long run to me.

I believe it is possible for Bitcoin to only have to download relevant branches of the Merkle tree in respect to your transactions. I think in the whitepaper I read something like 4MB/yr increase in the database file ?
Even so if you downloaded it in its entirety initially, you shouldn't have to worry about size/workability considering the rapid pace of advancements in technology (Moore's law).

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Vocabulary
Quote
Merkle root:
Every transaction has a hash associated with it. In a block, all of the transaction hashes in the block are themselves hashed (sometimes several times -- the exact process is complex), and the result is the Merkle root. In other words, the Merkle root is the hash of all the hashes of all the transactions in the block. The Merkle root is included in the block header. With this scheme, it is possible to securely verify that a transaction has been accepted by the network (and get the number of confirmations) by downloading just the tiny block headers and Merkle tree -- downloading the entire block chain is unnecessary. This feature is currently not used in Bitcoin, but it will be in the future.

Quote
Bitcoin transactions are intentionally irreversible--unlike credit cards or PayPal where chargebacks  can invalidate a payment that has already been made.  And there are no middlemen.  Transactions are completed directly between the sender and the receiver via the peer to peer network."

As said earlier, MtGox didn't roll back the transaction log your implying, but I can see why its confusing.
However, there are benefits and drawbacks to irreversible transactions for both seller and buyer parties.

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