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Author Topic: Should there be Three Laws of Bitcoin?  (Read 3720 times)
Desu
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June 22, 2011, 05:48:07 AM
 #21

Do you know what happens to bank accounts after seven years of inactivity?

Yes. And, of course, we want Bitcoin to emulate the modern banking system when it grows up to be 'real money'.

You missed the point completely.  Was that on purpose?

The point was not to say that bitcoin should be like a banking system.  It was to show that the kinds of problems that people are proposing with this system ("but people who ignore common knowledge can get screwed!") are already accepted by people in entrenched systems.  If such rules are not already too onerous for people to deal with, why would they be too onerous when implemented in bitcoin?


But, you see, all these problems have already been solved. Shouldn't Bitcoin build on the success of an already established monetary system? This is our chance to prove that we really understand how real money works and start doing things the way the big banks do. Then people will start to believe in Bitcoin and it can be successful too.
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June 22, 2011, 11:34:05 AM
 #22

Guys, the intention of my original post wasn't arguing for or against any of those plausible improvements, they are merely examples. What I was asking was: shouldn't there be constitution-like laws that define the essential characteristics of the "bitcoin" concept?

We all know what requirement creep can do to a project, for bitcoin, little upgrades and improvements over the time can chip away the very foundation on which bitcoin exist today.

Without these explicitly written rules (i.e. red lines), bitcoin is at the mercy of whoever gains dominant influence to the project, it can morph into something very different during a relatively short period of time. Development lead and members will come and go,the threshold of making important changes needs to be raised. Just throw some random thoughts out there:

Rule #1: No change to the coin generation algorithm shall be allowed
Rule #2: All coins are created equal, system shall not discriminate against any coins, old or new, stolen or legit.
...
Rule #10: Any proposed amendment to these rules must have unanimous approval from the core development team and accepted by 2/3 majority of the users.

This will instill stability to the concept of bitcoin, adopters will have better idea what they are buying into.
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June 22, 2011, 12:23:29 PM
 #23

The first rule of Bitcoin is: You don't change the protocol
The second rule of Bitcoin is: You don't change the protocol
The third rule is: If you are new to Bitcoin, you have to think of ways the protocol should be changed...

Rule number zero: You can change the protocol. Any time you want. It's a peer to peer system.

The issue just is: If not enough users pull your change into their version, you just damage yourself by improving your protocol and losing acceptance.

Rule numer minus one: At every moment, you can roll your own bitcoin. It's an open source system.

There are numerous regional alternative and parallel currencies, cupons, voucher systems. Their value depend on the acceptance and on the stamina of their originators to make 7 billion people accept them.
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June 22, 2011, 01:20:58 PM
 #24

There is really only one "Law of Bitcoin":

In the long run, anything that is wanted by more than 50% of the connected hashing power, happens.
ByteCoin
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June 22, 2011, 01:52:15 PM
 #25

There is really only one "Law of Bitcoin":

In the long run, anything that is wanted by more than 50% of the connected hashing power, happens.

That's not really true. The clients have to approve of the blocks which the miners produce. If the miners start creating "bad" blocks or if the client is altered to reject certain blocks then it just looks to the client as if that portion of the hashing power has disappeared.

If there were any real difference in interests there would be an uneasy truce between miners and clients.
Miners need the clients to give their transactions value.
Clients need the miners to give their transactions security.

I think the clients have the upper hand though as in the past Bitcoin operated without dedicated miners and could do so in future (with appropriate client software changes) if the miners held the network to ransom.

ByteCoin
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June 22, 2011, 02:06:06 PM
 #26

the first one looks legit, blacklist of coins. but... YOU CANT ISSUE NEW BITCOINS.
at some point governments will force a blacklist upon merchants, bitcoin-banks and exchanges.

im not a fan of it, but i see it can be done. and i think will be done. sadly Cry

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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July 03, 2011, 05:50:31 AM
 #27

There should be no change in the protocol it is working, and people investing in the bitcoin economy what something stable.
Bitcoins should never expire, that way they can be used for retirement, savings, and emergencies.
The 21 million dollar limit is more than enough, with a total of 8 digits for decimals, and 8 digits to the right of the decimal point, it creates a total of 16 digits, in other words you can represent 2.1 thousand trillion  bitcoins, the world population is 7 billion, if we divide we get 300000 bitcoins per person, most of us are not even close of having that type of money, and average the current amount of money per person is the world is a lot smaller than that.
Do not ever compare Bitcoins to Banks policy, Banks are corrupt inflate money, charge huge fees, buy politicians, etc, Bitcoins represent a very honest system created by very clear rules, we want to keep rules simple so everyone understands them and that way they are clear and precise, Banks are like courts, the reason you need a lawyer when in trouble, is because laws are very complex, unclear, they contradict each other, and even though the law says not knowing the law is not an excuse, I am sure no one in this planet knows all the laws that exist, not even a tiny percentage of the ones that exist.

Someday far away we will have a p2p legal system, and that will be great, clear and precise like math.

Bitcoin is a very clean design, it is lean and mean and it should stay that way, if a lot of bogus stuff is added on the protocol, you risk having security issues, in the computer world it is well known that secure programs are usually small  with few features, complex programs with millions of lines of code and many features, very often have security holes, the reason for that is human nature is a program is small it is easy for someone to go though the code and detect a flaw, if it is a huge program it will require many persons going though the code, but the persons going though the code will most likely go over the code that they consider important.

Simplicity for security is critical in a program that represents a currency.

I have a lot more trust in Bitcoins than I do with any bank, banks change their policy all the time, it is nice that Bitcoins is very stable in this regards.

We should always compare the Bitcoin with good things, paypal is terrible we should never compare bitcoin with paypal, banks are bad.







gigabytecoin
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July 03, 2011, 11:21:31 AM
 #28

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The first rule of Bitcoin is: You don't change the protocol
The second rule of Bitcoin is: You don't change the protocol
The third rule is: If you are new to Bitcoin, you have to think of ways the protocol should be changed...

Which is why I suspect there will probably be a bitcoin2 one day with a migration path to transfer bitcoin1's into it.  Bitcoin is really in beta still.  It's a very neat design with a number of checks and balances built into it but it's really only starting to be tested properly in the last couple of months.  Both the code and rules of the system need to withstand a lot of external factors that it won't face until the economy gets bigger and many which may never be predicted before they happen.  This will inevitably highlight weaknesses in the design that can be rectified by tweaking it.  You can't realistically keep tweaking the current bitcoin, it will undermine confidence if the rules keep changing.  So the best solution is to eventually come up with a bitcoin2 standard and migrate.  Leave the existing bitcoin in place and people can migrate as they see fit.  Market forces will determine whether btc 1 or 2 will prevail and then the loser will die out completely.  As it becomes clear that bitcoin2 is going to become the standard bitcoin1 value will start to drop and motivate people to migrate.

I find it very suspicious that all BTC addresses currently start with a 1. That makes me think that there will be a "2".
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July 03, 2011, 11:29:49 AM
 #29

Quote
The first rule of Bitcoin is: You don't change the protocol
The second rule of Bitcoin is: You don't change the protocol
The third rule is: If you are new to Bitcoin, you have to think of ways the protocol should be changed...

Which is why I suspect there will probably be a bitcoin2 one day with a migration path to transfer bitcoin1's into it.  Bitcoin is really in beta still.  It's a very neat design with a number of checks and balances built into it but it's really only starting to be tested properly in the last couple of months.  Both the code and rules of the system need to withstand a lot of external factors that it won't face until the economy gets bigger and many which may never be predicted before they happen.  This will inevitably highlight weaknesses in the design that can be rectified by tweaking it.  You can't realistically keep tweaking the current bitcoin, it will undermine confidence if the rules keep changing.  So the best solution is to eventually come up with a bitcoin2 standard and migrate.  Leave the existing bitcoin in place and people can migrate as they see fit.  Market forces will determine whether btc 1 or 2 will prevail and then the loser will die out completely.  As it becomes clear that bitcoin2 is going to become the standard bitcoin1 value will start to drop and motivate people to migrate.

I find it very suspicious that all BTC addresses currently start with a 1. That makes me think that there will be a "2".
no it just likely that is the address format. like a "1" for ECDSA, and "2" for RSA, 3 for new unknown scheme.  using RSA instead of ECDSA, will not break bitcoin, or fork the chain. just giving people more flexibly

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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July 04, 2011, 01:05:00 AM
 #30

I also think that they should expire after a certain time, but they shouldn't be recreated. At some point in the future we could end up in a situation where only 0.1% of the BTC economy has actually been circulated in the past 10 years, and nobody knows whether the remaining 99.9% is hoarded or lost forever.

This will cause instability and I would certainly move my BTC to BTC2 or whatever new system doesn't have this problem. It's inevitable that this will cause problems in the future, we should recognise this rather than childishly bury our heads in the sand.
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July 04, 2011, 05:19:29 AM
 #31

I have a nice little gold bullion in my hand.

I have no certainty of how much more there is in the world, simply a gross estimate.

Of this number, I don't know how much have been lost. I don't know how much is hoarded.

Is this an argument against gold?

No.
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July 04, 2011, 07:24:31 AM
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2. Why there can't be a time limit of inactivity, if a coin hasn't been touched in the past 10 or 20 years, can the program just mark it as "lost" in the blockchain and issue a replacement?

Awful idea.  If I've been jailed for 10+ years after my magnificent heist went wrong by some malevolent regime who doesn't like my politics,
I'd like my loot savings to be safely hidden in the form of an encrypted bitcoin wallet.


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July 04, 2011, 03:52:48 PM
 #33

Edit:  Sorry I mucked up the quotes.  Wink
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July 04, 2011, 03:56:08 PM
 #34


3. If a majority of bitcoin users have reached a consensus that the deflationary aspect is bad to the currency, development team will likely be under pressure to modify the coin generation algorithm, e.g. lifting the 21M cap.


Absolutely not.  Get out.  And go start your own currency.


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