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Author Topic: What exactly are we mining?  (Read 3302 times)
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June 05, 2013, 12:05:10 AM
 #1

Ok simple question, It’s my understanding that SHA256/MD5 and any other hash cannot be reversed hashed..?
So… What are all these ASCI/video cards hashing/hacking.. ?
Main reason I am asking was talking to someone today and was telling him about Bitcoin and what was going on but when it came to the hashing part I was stumped. Didn’t understand enough to explain it to him.

All that I learned from bitcon and how I got started was from this podcast  http://twit.tv/sn287.

Lastly one other thing if anyone say 15 years from now wants to start mining solo/other and they need the bitcoin block chain. Can you imagine how much data is going to be downloaded? Let along say 50+ years from now the storage/bandwidth needed just to get started to mine.

Thanks for the info/help.
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June 05, 2013, 12:13:48 AM
 #2

I have always been a little fuzzy on this myself. I would love it if someone could explain this.
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June 05, 2013, 12:18:30 AM
 #3

This has been spoken about many time and can be found in the forums.
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June 05, 2013, 12:18:57 AM
 #4

You are mining blocks of transactions.

Would you like to know more?  Wink

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Block
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining


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June 05, 2013, 12:30:58 AM
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Bitcoins.

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June 05, 2013, 12:31:33 AM
 #6

What a miner is doing is generating hashes and trying to find one that is lower than the current network difficulty.

A miner gets all unconfirmed transactions (that have paid correct tx fees!) and packages them up into a "block", this block now needs to be inserted into the "blockchain" with all the other blocks of bitcoin tx's.

To get the block into the blockchain the miner has to solve a mathematical puzzle. It gets the hash of the data in the block, plus a 0 (nonce) and checks if its lower than the difficulty, if it is, then it has solved the puzzle. If it isn't lower than the difficulty, then it increments the nonce, so this time it gets the hash of the data in the block, plus a 1, which gives a completely different hash.

It repeats this and keeps increasing the nonce for a while until it solves the puzzle, then it broadcasts the solution + the block and gets 25BTC + all tx fee's in the block as a reward, if the miner is a pool then this reward will be split between all the pool members.
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June 05, 2013, 01:54:32 AM
 #7

It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.
Matthew N. Wright
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June 05, 2013, 01:58:52 AM
 #8

It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

This. Unfortunatey, proof of work concepts for bitcoin are hard to come up with for useful work and we are currently using a modified version of Adam Back's Hashcash to delay people from getting too many bitcoins (his is used to delay people from spamming emails and comments primarily).

Luckily, Bitcoin is not yet a consolidated effort of the brightest minds in the world so there is plenty of room for vital improvements (including removing the proof-of-work requirements of hashing blocks). Unless I'm mistaken, it's also possible to find a solution through Open Transactions.

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June 05, 2013, 02:38:54 AM
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It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

It is not pointless, it serves to process the transactions in the bitcoin network so that everybody can say with certainty which order transactions were posted so anybody can verify their own transactions.

If you do not see why we need mining, it might be helpful to read the original bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi.

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June 05, 2013, 05:16:51 AM
 #10

Ok simple question, It’s my understanding that SHA256/MD5 and any other hash cannot be reversed hashed..?
So… What are all these ASCI/video cards hashing/hacking.. ?
Main reason I am asking was talking to someone today and was telling him about Bitcoin and what was going on but when it came to the hashing part I was stumped. Didn’t understand enough to explain it to him.

All that I learned from bitcon and how I got started was from this podcast  http://twit.tv/sn287.

Lastly one other thing if anyone say 15 years from now wants to start mining solo/other and they need the bitcoin block chain. Can you imagine how much data is going to be downloaded? Let along say 50+ years from now the storage/bandwidth needed just to get started to mine.

Thanks for the info/help.


Just 8 little pages:

Bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Bitcoin analytics: blog.oleganza.com / 1TipsuQ7CSqfQsjA9KU5jarSB1AnrVLLo
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June 05, 2013, 11:31:24 PM
 #11

It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

It is not pointless, it serves to process the transactions in the bitcoin network so that everybody can say with certainty which order transactions were posted so anybody can verify their own transactions.

If you do not see why we need mining, it might be helpful to read the original bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi.

You might want to actually read it yourself; yes the round winner will process the aggregated transactions but the actual hashing is solving nothing in particular, though a scaling nothing in particular.

The whole network could be run on a NES if it was only about the transactions.
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June 06, 2013, 12:08:29 AM
 #12

The whole network could be run on a NES if it was only about the transactions.

But its not about the transactions, its about the trust.

Bitcoin is a human project, not a machine. Psychology is what matters.

Modern currency is fiat. It exists only through the trust of its users. But Wall Street and the Square Mile are not cheap to run. So bitcoin can afford its overheads. But as for the future, sci-fi writers could come up with some interesting dystopias based on feeding the unsatiable maw of the great deity BTICNOI.

1Jest66T6Jw1gSVpvYpYLXR6qgnch6QYU1 NumberOfTheBeast ... go on, give it a try Grin
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June 06, 2013, 01:28:53 AM
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The network throws out a transaction every 3 seconds on a good day. I could almost run that by hand with enough coffee in me.

As for the rest of what you're saying, what? Psychology doesn't change the fact that the network is doing absurd amounts of pointless busywork to decide you gets this round's shiny coins.

The whole network could be run on a NES if it was only about the transactions.

But its not about the transactions, its about the trust.

Bitcoin is a human project, not a machine. Psychology is what matters.

Modern currency is fiat. It exists only through the trust of its users. But Wall Street and the Square Mile are not cheap to run. So bitcoin can afford its overheads. But as for the future, sci-fi writers could come up with some interesting dystopias based on feeding the unsatiable maw of the great deity BTICNOI.
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June 06, 2013, 02:03:15 AM
 #14

It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

Mining gold is pointless busywork; we already have all we'll ever likely need for industrial production, but people continue to do it because it has value.

I consider most of what goes on in Washington, D.C. to be pointless busywork.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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June 06, 2013, 03:13:58 AM
 #15

It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

Mining gold is pointless busywork; we already have all we'll ever likely need for industrial production, but people continue to do it because it has value.

I consider most of what goes on in Washington, D.C. to be pointless busywork.

The difference of course is that we don't purposely pour rocks and dirt over top the gold, put on a blindfold while digging and spin around 3 times in a circle to make it more difficult to retrieve and thus claim it's more valuable, we simply dig when we believe there is gold to be found. We understand that if you agree with bitcoin in it's entirety and have drank the coolaid, that "mining" coins is necessary and thus acceptable. Bitcoin's code however is not a law of nature but a constructed set of rules that can be changed with consensus, leaving absolutely no excuse not to find more intelligent and less wasteful replacements for proof-of-work concepts later on.

I admit it; Cultist defenders of energy waste are a sort of pet peve of mine.

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June 06, 2013, 05:17:21 AM
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Bitcoin's code however is not a law of nature but a constructed set of rules that can be changed with consensus, leaving absolutely no excuse not to find more intelligent and less wasteful replacements for proof-of-work concepts later on.

Then search we shall; meanwhile, consensus still maintains that there isn't currently a better way, all things considered.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
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June 06, 2013, 09:24:52 AM
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It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

Mining gold is pointless busywork; we already have all we'll ever likely need for industrial production, but people continue to do it because it has value.

I consider most of what goes on in Washington, D.C. to be pointless busywork.

The difference of course is that we don't purposely pour rocks and dirt over top the gold, put on a blindfold while digging and spin around 3 times in a circle to make it more difficult to retrieve and thus claim it's more valuable, we simply dig when we believe there is gold to be found. We understand that if you agree with bitcoin in it's entirety and have drank the coolaid, that "mining" coins is necessary and thus acceptable. Bitcoin's code however is not a law of nature but a constructed set of rules that can be changed with consensus, leaving absolutely no excuse not to find more intelligent and less wasteful replacements for proof-of-work concepts later on.

I admit it; Cultist defenders of energy waste are a sort of pet peve of mine.

You're right, we do it with diamonds, not gold.
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June 06, 2013, 09:49:45 AM
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Uh, no. There's is a tangible relation between the actions going in and the results coming out.

You're not doing a bunch of sodoku puzzles while hoping that this time you'll be the lucky one who gets to process the transactions of the block.

It's pointless busywork because all that computing power doesn't do shit except try to win the round, not process the transaction, and that would happen whether it's only a single NES running the network or the sum total of every electronic device made by man.

It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

Mining gold is pointless busywork; we already have all we'll ever likely need for industrial production, but people continue to do it because it has value.

I consider most of what goes on in Washington, D.C. to be pointless busywork.
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June 06, 2013, 10:19:22 AM
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It's pointless busywork designed to scale according to how many other people are doing the same pointless busywork.

Mining gold is pointless busywork; we already have all we'll ever likely need for industrial production, but people continue to do it because it has value.

I consider most of what goes on in Washington, D.C. to be pointless busywork.

The difference of course is that we don't purposely pour rocks and dirt over top the gold, put on a blindfold while digging and spin around 3 times in a circle to make it more difficult to retrieve and thus claim it's more valuable, we simply dig when we believe there is gold to be found. We understand that if you agree with bitcoin in it's entirety and have drank the coolaid, that "mining" coins is necessary and thus acceptable. Bitcoin's code however is not a law of nature but a constructed set of rules that can be changed with consensus, leaving absolutely no excuse not to find more intelligent and less wasteful replacements for proof-of-work concepts later on.

I admit it; Cultist defenders of energy waste are a sort of pet peve of mine.

You completely miss the point. Mining is what miners do to prove(albeit usually without their awareness) to the Bitcoin investors/users their commitment to maintain and secure the payment network,  the bitcoins you mined is the proof itself, every payment network requires substantial infrastructure investment, you can't build a Paypal/WU competitor with no solid hardware.

https://tlsnotary.org/ Fraud proofing decentralized fiat-Bitcoin trading.
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June 06, 2013, 10:22:18 AM
 #20

You completely miss the point. Mining is what miners do to prove(albeit usually without their awareness) to the Bitcoin investors/users their commitment to maintain and secure the payment network,  the bitcoins you mined is the proof itself, every payment network requires substantial infrastructure investment, you can't build a Paypal/WU replacement with no solid hardware.






Bitcoin miner capable of handling the entire Bitcoin network workload
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