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Author Topic: People should get the full story of r/bitcoin, one of the strangest subs  (Read 553 times)
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October 08, 2017, 08:37:14 PM

I have corrected this stuff many times, so those who keep posting it must be intentionally trying to deceive.

Theymos not only controls r/bitcoin, but also and These are top three communication channels for the bitcoin community, all controlled by just one person.

Wrong. is ultimately controlled by Cobra, who was given it by Sirius, who was given it by Satoshi. The domain name is similarly controlled by Cobra, while I administrate the site.

It was in fact put in place afterwards as a measure to stop a bloating attack on the network.

It was put in place by Satoshi because the software clearly couldn't handle it. There were no tx spam attacks occurring at the time. In fact, we now know that Satoshi's original software couldn't handle even 1MB blocks. This caused the BIP50 incident, where nodes running the older database code written by Satoshi started randomly failing once miners started creating larger blocks. Satoshi's original software had soft limits which made it never produce blocks over 500kB, and very rarely over 250kB.

When bitcoin was released, transactions were actually for free

Wrong. The very first versions set aside some portion of blocks for free transactions. If that was full, then they started requiring fees. The fee logic worked much the same as today's code; it's just that free transactions were sometimes possible/allowed because there was essentially no tx volume. The same situation exists today on most altcoins.

There was significant support from the users and businesses behind a simple solution put forward by the developer Gavin Andreesen.

Gavin had already resigned as Bitcoin Core lead dev at that point, and had not contributed in any significant way to Bitcoin Core for about a year.

XT had very little support.

Gavin was the lead developer after Satoshi Nakamoto left bitcoin and he left it in his hands.

If you want to use this ridiculous feudalism argument, I can "draw authority from Satoshi" in four separate ways: as head admin (originally Satoshi), as owner of (originally owned by Satoshi), as one of the old alert key trustees (originally created by Satoshi), and as the backup domain administrator of (originally owned by Satoshi). Gavin on the other hand voluntarily resigned as Bitcoin Core lead developer in favor of Wladimir.

(The above is not a good argument; I don't use it except in response to similar arguments.)

Gavin initially proposed a very simple solution of increasing the limit which was to change the few lines of code to increase the maximum number of transactions that are allowed.

Gavin's original solution, which was to push through 20MB block sizes ASAP, was later shown in research by bigblockers to have been unsafe.

A certain group of bitcoin developers decided that increasing the limit by this amount was too much and that it was dangerous

More like almost all experts.

The theory was that a miner of the network with more resources could publish many more transactions than a competing small miner could handle and therefore the network would tend towards few large miners rather than many small miners.

This has never been a concern of mine -- I believe that mining is already hopelessly centralized and beyond saving --, and it's at most a tangential concern of other decentralists.

The group of developers who supported this theory were all developers who worked for the company Blockstream.

Absolutely false. All developers who worked for Blockstream rejected 20MB blocks, just like all developers who worked for Blockstream would've rejected the idea that the sky is green. But Blockstream employees are only a small percentage of Bitcoin Core devs, and almost all Bitcoin Core devs as well as almost all experts opposed Gavin's ridiculous 20MB proposal and the later still-ridiculous 10MB and 8MB proposals.

For example, at the time the total size of the blockchain was around 50GB. Even for the cost of a 500GB SSD is only $150 and would last a number of years.

With Gavin's original proposal of 20MB blocks, the block chain would grow by up to ~1TB per year.

But storage is generally a straw-man argument -- due to pruning, storage is mostly solved, and has been for years. Storage is way down on the list of concerns for large block sizes. See my post here for the actual concerns. (Back in 2014-2015, bandwidth was also a very major concern, but since then compact blocks -- roughly the same thing as IBLTs mentioned by Gavin -- have been added to Core, improving this a lot.)

They promised that they would release code that would offer an on-chain scaling solution hardfork within about 4 months

This agreement was between some miners and a handful of notable devs: Peter Todd, Luke-Jr, BlueMatt, and Adam Back IIRC. Those people were only representing themselves, not anyone else, and this was made extremely clear in the agreement. Even if they had been representing Blockstream or Bitcoin Core as a whole, a little group of people like this can't make decisions on behalf of Bitcoin. If every Core dev met with the main miners and agreed on behalf of Bitcoin as a whole to some "compromise" (ie. something technically bad, but done for political reasons), I would oppose it.

This has meant that all control of bitcoin development is in the hands of the developers working at Blockstream.
It has hired most of the main and active bitcoin developers and is now synonymous with the "Core" bitcoin development team.

Funny how the Bitcoin Core lead developer works for MIT, then.

In reality, only a few Bitcoin Core devs are Blockstream employees. See for example this comment by the person who currently has the most commits to Bitcoin Core, and who does not work for Blockstream.

Every single thing they do is supported by /u/theymos.

Blockstream is a for-profit company. I respect several of their employees, but I don't care about the company itself. I've actually always been critical of SPV-secured sidechains, which is one of Blockstream's flagship ideas, since it strikes me as being too insecure to be useful in most cases.

I recently warned against trusting any organization, as every organization will eventually be corrupted. I owe no allegiance to Core or Blockstream (which is separate from Core); I support good ideas.

Regarding /r/Bitcoin moderation: my position has always been that if you don't like how we do it, then you can leave. We try to make /r/Bitcoin as good as possible in spite of Reddit's many inherent flaws, but it's not going to please everyone. Reddit is a flawed platform, and in order to make a large subreddit useful, aggressive moderation is sometimes necessary. But we've never taken the position of banning all bigblockers or anything like that. When people get banned, it's usually for behaving in a way that would get you banned on a great many other subreddits.

/r/Bitcoin does not allow the dangerous and deceptive practice of trying to get people to run non-consensus software. This includes things like links to binaries of BIP148, since that was non-consensus software, even though I mostly agreed with what BIP148 was trying to do. If you don't agree with this policy, again, you're free to leave /r/Bitcoin. on the other hand has (and needs) much less moderation than /r/Bitcoin.

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