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Author Topic: Calling top at $16500 (Even Newer!: $2483 bottom 19 Feb 2021 MtGox said so!)  (Read 20567 times)
sgbett
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January 28, 2018, 01:28:57 AM
 #221

I bolded the important part which invalidates the comparison to facebook: Facebook can block your message.

I think you've inferred something that isn't there as a result of not considering that Facebook is a central authority, whereas PoW creates a decentralised network, in which participants are increasingly incentivised to ensure it can be trusted en masse. It's distributed trust.


I know you said that, but no cigar.  Bitcoin's mining pools have hash majority with 3.  Let us say, 4.  The 4 biggest mining pools hold
65% hash rate under their knee.  See https://blockchain.info/pools  If these 4 entities decide that your transaction is not going to make it in the block chain, then you can transmit it as many times as you want, it won't make it into the block chain.

They will firstly not include your transaction in the block THEY make.  Moreover, they can decide NOT to mine on top of a block that contains your  transaction, as made by a minority miner.  If ever a minority miner includes your transaction, his block will get orphaned, and given that the 4 entities have 65% hash rate, his orphaned prong will always lose.  They may be friendly to these smaller pools, and inform them that they should exclude your transaction, or lose their blocks.  If these 4 guys maintain a blacklisted set of addresses, then the coins in these addresses are dead.  You'll never know.

Note that mining POOLS are the entities that decide on what block they mine, and what transaction they include.  The miners connected to the pool don't have anything to say in this decision, and don't even KNOW these decisions.

The only thing you can do is shout here, or on coindesk, or on national TV, or on Facebook (oh sweet irony) that your transactions always remain in the mem pool and never get confirmed, and in those cases they get confirmed once, that block gets orphaned.

There's your "decentralization". True, you need 4 guys (strictly speaking, 3 guys) to decide that together.  Zuckerberg can do it on his own.

Now, why isn't this happening ?  Well, maybe it IS happening. There is no way to know that amongst all the rejected transactions in the mempool, there is not one of a poor guy that is excluded. But if it isn't, it is not happening for exactly the same reason it is not happening on Facebook: because of the market.  If it would get known that the mining pools do this, they may lose business.  Miners may connect to another mining pool.  Bitcoin may plummet in the market.  And exactly for the same reason, you get your messages through on Facebook, because Zuckerberg doesn't want you to tell the press that Facebook is censoring you.  

In fact, there's more chance that Zuckerberg is afraid of this bad publicity, than the mining pools.  Remember that they played perfectly according to bitcoin's rules.  No node will complain.  So, your message is just as guaranteed (or even more) to get through on Facebook, than on the bitcoin network.  And not because of decentralization.  Because of fear for bad publicity.

There.  Be careful if you insult a Chinese king of bitcoin.  You may never transact again.  And note that it doesn't cost them a single hash, or a single fee (apart from yours, of course).  And now, re-read what I said above about "decentralization".  Because not only the mining pools have this power.   Core has that power too.  If they decide to blacklist your address in the next version of bitcoin core, then you can do what you want, your transactions will not any more be part of the official bitcoin protocol !  If you think that's a joke, that's more or less what Vitalik did with the DAO hacker.  Ethereum's protocol was modified so as to kill this guys' transactions and pretend they never happened.

All this "decentralization" talk is entirely bogus.  Salesmen snake oil.  But it is not needed (in most cases).  Because of the market and fear of bad publicity.  Like with openly centralized entities.  


Your walls of text are very trying. Your first paragraphs can be much more tersely expressed as "if >50% miners are dishonest then they can screw with the network"

This is not new information.

The subsequent 4 paragraphs can be surmised as "if these miners screw the network we have no recourse"

You need to learn to be succinct. I think you are confusing yourself with your own prose.

Miners dont screw with the network, because if they did, they wouldn't get paid. Zuck can do wtf he wants with impunity, because he is the god of facebook.

"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution" - Satoshi Nakamoto
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January 28, 2018, 06:38:14 AM
Last edit: January 28, 2018, 07:05:25 AM by dinofelis
 #222


As the URL said, I didn't have time to write a short letter.  If you want it terse, these services are paid-for.  You get the free, long version here.  Contact me for the paid-for short version  Grin

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Your first paragraphs can be much more tersely expressed as "if >50% miners are dishonest then they can screw with the network"

This is not new information.

Remember that we are talking about "decentralization".  By putting it so bluntly, you can say "if the boss of Facebook is dishonest, then he can screw Facebook communication.".  That's just as obvious.  What does this have to do with "decentralization" ?  

It has to do with the fact that in a "decentralized system", there needs to be massive collusion of independent and even competing entities to reach that 50%.  So the measure of the number of independent, competing entities is the measure of decentralization.  With Facebook, that number is "1": the boss of Facebook.  With bitcoin, that number is "3".  Ok, slightly better, true.

The whole idea of "decentralisation" was that the number of *independent* entities was so large, that the idea that sufficiently many of them to collude over the same "dishonesty" in the same way, that they can reach majority, is essentially unthinkable.  If you have 500 independent people all over the world with more or less equal voting rights, and opposed, competing interests, then the possibility of 250 of them to collude over the same dishonesty, is relatively small.  If you have 1 million of people with voting rights, all over the world, in different cultures, nations, .... then the chances that they are going to collude is zilch.   The whole idea of trustlessness was the idea that a large set of potentially dishonest participants are nevertheless obliged to follow the common rule set, even if each of them is potentially dishonest, simply because in order to deviate from it, they'd need such a large, common, identical conspiracy that it is not going to happen because impractical and improbable.  Each of them would conspire, but over different things, and they can never reach a majority conspiracy.

If you have 3 guys that see one another regularly at conferences, though, that's indeed SOMEWHAT more decentralized than if you have one guy that needs to agree with himself, but I'm not really impressed.

Quote
The subsequent 4 paragraphs can be surmised as "if these miners screw the network we have no recourse"

If these 3 guys screw us, we have no recourse.  In the same way that if Facebook's boss screws us, we have no recourse.  Or if 15 ministers of finance of the Euro zone screw us, we have no recourse.

Quote
Miners dont screw with the network, because if they did, they wouldn't get paid. Zuck can do wtf he wants with impunity, because he is the god of facebook.

Nope.  If Zuck screws with Facebook, another one will take his place ; shareholders can fire him ; you might attack him in court ; there are so many things that could screw up Facebook.  Yahoo was also the king of search results and now it is Google.  MySpace was the place to be, now it is Facebook. As a big boss of such a thing, you have to be very careful.   But we agree: the fear of the market is what keeps these monarchs or oligarchs more or less in check.  Not "decentralization".  Hell, the Euro is more decentralized than Bitcoin ! You need a 2/3 majority of finance ministers.  That's more than 3 miner pool owners !
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January 28, 2018, 12:47:50 PM
 #223

The whole idea of trustlessness was the idea that a large set of potentially dishonest participants are nevertheless obliged to follow the common rule set, even if each of them is potentially dishonest, simply because in order to deviate from it, they'd need such a large, common, identical conspiracy that it is not going to happen because impractical and improbable.  Each of them would conspire, but over different things, and they can never reach a majority conspiracy.

I really would like to emphasize this.  The entire idea of trustlessness is a reverse application of the tragedy of the commons.  

The tragedy of the commons is normally understood that people all agree that it would be better if everyone did X, except that it is individually more advantageous to do Y, even if everybody doing Y is worse in the end.   It is a matter of game theory and Nash equilibrium.  The definition of a Nash equilibrium is this:
"that set of strategies E of a set of N players in a game G, such that, for every player P, if player P changes strategy, and his N-1 peers keep their strategy in E, it is worse for P in the game G than if he applies his strategy in E".

The school example is the Prisoner's Dilemma https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma.  Many games have at least one Nash equilibrium.  The whole "tragedy" is that the Nash equilibrium can be far from the optimal global strategy.

"Decentralisation" pushes this thing somewhat further.  One can break out of a Nash equilibrium by collusion with other players.  E may be a Nash equilibrium of game G, if players P and Q collude, they can "game the system" and break out of a normal Nash equilibrium.  In the Prisoner's Dilemma, if the two prisoners collude, they can get away with a better solution than the single Nash equilibrium of the system.

So having a game with a simple Nash equilibrium doesn't protect that equilibrium against collusion.  However, collusion becomes harder and harder if more and more players need to be part of it.  If you can set up a game, in such a way that there's a "Nash++" equilibrium, that is stable against not just one pair of players colluding, but can only be broken if a very large set of players collude, you get an extremely stable system, even if most of the players "would like to leave it in a different way" - that is, would like to game the system in THEIR way.

THAT is decentralisation as a means to obtain trustlessness: having a system in which there is a Nash++ equilibrium, so that even with a large set of "dishonest" players, the equilibrium (the rules of the system) won't be broken.  Because to break it, such a large collusion is needed, that it is too hard to organize and to "trust".

It is like the Prisoner's Dilemma with 500 prisoners.  They will all speak.  Because the probability that not one single one of them will speak, is essentially zilch.  It is the tragedy of the commons from the point of view of the cheaters: even if a collusion would be better for them if they all colluded, it is simply not going to happen: some will cheat the cheaters and then it will be "worse" for those trying to collude.
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January 28, 2018, 04:24:54 PM
 #224

The betrayers will be betrayed by dishonesty within their own conspiracy to defraud, is that right.   The weakest point is surely from alternative blockchains not diverting this one, I prefer the proof of stake system which involves the largest holders in confirmation and makes it necessary to divert those funds simultaneously to defraud the whole chain.  The best security comes form open competition, I dont like that mining has come close to a closed system

Quote
That's more than 3 miner pool owners !

I agree but pool owners dont have perfect autonomy over every miner in their pool.   I would guess miners under the pool will detract from the admin decision.    Not many will want to mine by themselves but its not too hard to setup a new pool to consolidate a vote contrary to the owners.

It would be true in the short term though.

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dinofelis
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January 28, 2018, 07:08:14 PM
Last edit: January 29, 2018, 04:27:25 AM by dinofelis
 #225

I agree but pool owners dont have perfect autonomy over every miner in their pool.   I would guess miners under the pool will detract from the admin decision.

They don't know that decision.  If they knew the exact block (and more, the RULES that decided to make that block) on which they would be giving hash rate, then that sub-miner that would "find the hash" wouldn't send it to the pool, but would publish the block all by himself of course.  So it is essential for the good functioning of a pool, that the miners in the pool don't know on what block they are hashing, or they can screw the pool when they win.  As such, the miners of a pool don't have any "control" over what their pool decides to make as a block.  They could, at best, know on what previous block their pool is hashing, and hence, whether or not their pool has decided to orphan a block, because that's part of what they have to hash.  But the content of the block is hard to guess: they only get the top of the Merkle tree.

Miners are in fact just subcontractors that sell hashes for coins to the pool.    And most of them just configure gear and software, and let it run.  Not much "judgement" in there.
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January 28, 2018, 08:21:42 PM
Last edit: January 29, 2018, 04:47:46 AM by dinofelis
 #226

The betrayers will be betrayed by dishonesty within their own conspiracy to defraud, is that right.


Yes, that's the idea of trustlessness through decentralization.  The only common thing a large set of untrustworthy people can agree upon, is the original set of rules, even if all of them, individually, would like to deviate from it, but each one in his own way.  But the only way to deviate from it successfully, is to deviate from it in the same way as a majority.  For that, they need to set up a large conspiracy.  And, as you say, they can't trust one another within that conspiracy, to stick to that deviation and not do anything else.  If their conspiracy fails, they are worse off than if they had followed the common original rule set.  

This is also how you can get a large set of people to obey a rule set that they don't like.  This is how a general can get soldiers go dying on the front lines.  If a minority of soldiers rebels and tries to avoid their stupid fate, they will get shot as traitors or deserters.  If a majority of soldiers rebels, the general is done.  But how, as a soldier, to be sure that your majority mutiny will work out ?  If you don't reach majority, you're dead for sure.  If you just go to the front lines, you might survive.  It is the basis game theory of all repressive systems.

This is also the great danger that resides in crypto.  We might all be forced, by crypto, to obey rules we don't like.  Decentralized systems can become very dangerous.  If the King becomes nasty, you can go and kill him.  If a decentralized system starts behaving in a nasty way, there's nothing you can do.  Maybe one day, we may regret that we've shown some how they can lock in people in a decentralized rule set...

See also: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2786690.msg29143511#msg29143511

Maybe bitcoin is the "paperclip maximizer" that will destroy us, because it wants to turn everything into proof of work.  Even if all of us, we see it, but individually, we cannot get out of the decentralized rat race, there's nothing we can do: we will be mining, and nothing else !

Bitcoin's power consumption is, at this moment, several GW.  If all mining were done with the latest Antminer S9, which consumes 0.1 J/GH, and we're at 20 billion GH/s right now, bitcoin would consume 2 GW.  However, we see that the hash rate is strongly rising right now, because the price increase of bitcoin, and the new S9 miner's technology, haven't yet reached equilibrium, simply because hardware hasn't yet been installed fast enough to catch up.  Right at this moment, mining is very lucrative.  We can expect most probably a factor of 5 in hash rate.  So we can expect in a few months time, unless the price crashes, that bitcoin will consume 10 GW (or is already consuming this, because of older hardware running).

If bitcoin becomes world-wide accepted as a means of payment, its market cap should rise about x100 because that's the level of market cap of world-wide currencies (tens of trillions).  If bitcoin is not a currency, but a speculative asset (everything points in that direction), the market cap can even go much higher: the total market cap of speculative assets is rather 2 quadrillions.  That's another factor of x100.
So potentially, bitcoin has a factor of 10 000 to go still if it eats the entire speculative asset market.
But let us assume that it eats 1% of that.  That's still a factor of 100.  Now, that should imply also a factor of 100 in proof of work power consumption.  If now, we are at 10 GW, we will then be at about 1 TW.  World electricity production is 2.8 TW.  

So, if all financial investment systems invest 1% in bitcoin, bitcoin will force us to consume 1/3 of world electricity production for mining.
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January 29, 2018, 09:34:53 AM
 #227


As the URL said, I didn't have time to write a short letter.  If you want it terse, these services are paid-for.  You get the free, long version here.  Contact me for the paid-for short version  Grin

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Your first paragraphs can be much more tersely expressed as "if >50% miners are dishonest then they can screw with the network"

This is not new information.

Remember that we are talking about "decentralization".  By putting it so bluntly, you can say "if the boss of Facebook is dishonest, then he can screw Facebook communication.".  That's just as obvious.  What does this have to do with "decentralization" ?  

It has to do with the fact that in a "decentralized system", there needs to be massive collusion of independent and even competing entities to reach that 50%.  So the measure of the number of independent, competing entities is the measure of decentralization.  With Facebook, that number is "1": the boss of Facebook.  With bitcoin, that number is "3".  Ok, slightly better, true.

The whole idea of "decentralisation" was that the number of *independent* entities was so large, that the idea that sufficiently many of them to collude over the same "dishonesty" in the same way, that they can reach majority, is essentially unthinkable.  If you have 500 independent people all over the world with more or less equal voting rights, and opposed, competing interests, then the possibility of 250 of them to collude over the same dishonesty, is relatively small.  If you have 1 million of people with voting rights, all over the world, in different cultures, nations, .... then the chances that they are going to collude is zilch.   The whole idea of trustlessness was the idea that a large set of potentially dishonest participants are nevertheless obliged to follow the common rule set, even if each of them is potentially dishonest, simply because in order to deviate from it, they'd need such a large, common, identical conspiracy that it is not going to happen because impractical and improbable.  Each of them would conspire, but over different things, and they can never reach a majority conspiracy.

If you have 3 guys that see one another regularly at conferences, though, that's indeed SOMEWHAT more decentralized than if you have one guy that needs to agree with himself, but I'm not really impressed.

Quote
The subsequent 4 paragraphs can be surmised as "if these miners screw the network we have no recourse"

If these 3 guys screw us, we have no recourse.  In the same way that if Facebook's boss screws us, we have no recourse.  Or if 15 ministers of finance of the Euro zone screw us, we have no recourse.

Quote
Miners dont screw with the network, because if they did, they wouldn't get paid. Zuck can do wtf he wants with impunity, because he is the god of facebook.

Nope.  If Zuck screws with Facebook, another one will take his place ; shareholders can fire him ; you might attack him in court ; there are so many things that could screw up Facebook.  Yahoo was also the king of search results and now it is Google.  MySpace was the place to be, now it is Facebook. As a big boss of such a thing, you have to be very careful.   But we agree: the fear of the market is what keeps these monarchs or oligarchs more or less in check.  Not "decentralization".  Hell, the Euro is more decentralized than Bitcoin ! You need a 2/3 majority of finance ministers.  That's more than 3 miner pool owners !


There are ways to measure decentralisation, statistical methods to aggregate the minimum number of hops between network participants. The bitcoin network is, and tends towards a near complete ring.

You are arguing that decentralisation is to do with the number of participants, which is a naive and incorrect understanding.

Your Facebook analogy is flawed, as I have already outlined in an earlier post. Your defence is still flawed because zuck can censor and manipulate in secret. The blockchain is a public ledger.

Facts do not require lengthy diatribes. You think people would pay money for your opinions? Dude it’s a community where people discuss bitcoin. You stand on merit, and one if the ways in which you demonstrate credibility is having the decency to respect the value of others’ time.

Your wall of text posts merely indicate that you feel like your time is far more important than everybody else’s.


"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution" - Satoshi Nakamoto
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January 29, 2018, 10:41:11 AM
Last edit: January 29, 2018, 12:20:15 PM by dinofelis
 #228

There are ways to measure decentralisation, statistical methods to aggregate the minimum number of hops between network participants. The bitcoin network is, and tends towards a near complete ring.

The point is, bitcoin is not a network. It is a data set.  What happens on the network has no value in bitcoin.  Only what goes in the data set.  The network only serves to pass messages from the users, to those who write the data set to have it hopefully included, and back, to inform the users of the data set that was produced.  The network doesn't have any other function.  That data set is called the block chain.  The whole power of bitcoin's system is in who can write what stuff in the block chain.  Not who is doing what on a network.  So no network metric has any power distribution value.  You can get all the messages (about transactions) you want on the bitcoin network, they are of no value if they don't make it in the block chain.   You can easily send a payment over the network to the person you want to pay.  That person will see your message.  But it has no value. It is only if your message is registered in the block chain that it "exists".  So all power in bitcoin has to do with who can write what in that data set.  Bitcoin is not Tor.

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You are arguing that decentralisation is to do with the number of participants, which is a naive and incorrect understanding.

Decentralization has to do with how many independent, and a priori opposing/competing entities are needed to impose a decision.  If a decision is irreversibly imposed by majority, you can say that decentralization is the number of colluding entities that are needed to reach majority.  In bitcoin, that's 3.  As I explained above, the whole idea of trustlessness by decentralization was to have such a large set of participants, even dishonest participants, that by all practical means, a collusion would be too hard to set up.  With 3, that's simply not the case.

Quote
Your Facebook analogy is flawed, as I have already outlined in an earlier post. Your defence is still flawed because zuck can censor and manipulate in secret. The
blockchain is a public ledger.

There is no way you can see, in the block chain, that a transaction got censored.  It simply isn't there.  And even if you would see it, which you can't, what would you do ?  The only thing you can do, is exactly what you can do to Facebook: tell the news on (centralized) news channels.  Within the bitcoin system, there's no way to talk.

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January 29, 2018, 10:45:18 AM
Last edit: January 29, 2018, 12:10:44 PM by dinofelis
 #229

Facts do not require lengthy diatribes.

Wiles' proof of Fermat's last theorem is 129 pages long.

Sometimes it takes a building of an argument in order to make a point.  Depending on the reader's mileage, it can take some room.  Talking someone out of his delirium needs the deconstruction of a lot of beliefs which are taken for granted, or sold by cheap rhetoric.  All this can need arguments.

Einstein said: "one should make things as simple as possible, but not more so."  Making things simple, but not too simple, is a lot of work.

Simplistic facts do not require lengthy diatribes.  Beliefs do not require lengthy diatribes.  But arguments can need so.   This is why beliefs win over arguments in simple minds.
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January 29, 2018, 01:12:06 PM
 #230

There are ways to measure decentralisation, statistical methods to aggregate the minimum number of hops between network participants. The bitcoin network is, and tends towards a near complete ring.

The point is, bitcoin is not a network. It is a data set.  What happens on the network has no value in bitcoin.  Only what goes in the data set.  The network only serves to pass messages from the users, to those who write the data set to have it hopefully included, and back, to inform the users of the data set that was produced.  The network doesn't have any other function.  That data set is called the block chain.  The whole power of bitcoin's system is in who can write what stuff in the block chain.  Not who is doing what on a network.  So no network metric has any power distribution value.  You can get all the messages (about transactions) you want on the bitcoin network, they are of no value if they don't make it in the block chain.   You can easily send a payment over the network to the person you want to pay.  That person will see your message.  But it has no value. It is only if your message is registered in the block chain that it "exists".  So all power in bitcoin has to do with who can write what in that data set.  Bitcoin is not Tor.

Quote
You are arguing that decentralisation is to do with the number of participants, which is a naive and incorrect understanding.

Decentralization has to do with how many independent, and a priori opposing/competing entities are needed to impose a decision.  If a decision is irreversibly imposed by majority, you can say that decentralization is the number of colluding entities that are needed to reach majority.  In bitcoin, that's 3.  As I explained above, the whole idea of trustlessness by decentralization was to have such a large set of participants, even dishonest participants, that by all practical means, a collusion would be too hard to set up.  With 3, that's simply not the case.

Quote
Your Facebook analogy is flawed, as I have already outlined in an earlier post. Your defence is still flawed because zuck can censor and manipulate in secret. The
blockchain is a public ledger.

There is no way you can see, in the block chain, that a transaction got censored.  It simply isn't there.  And even if you would see it, which you can't, what would you do ?  The only thing you can do, is exactly what you can do to Facebook: tell the news on (centralized) news channels.  Within the bitcoin system, there's no way to talk.



Without the bitcoin network, there would be no dataset.

If you can't write the dataset has no value. It's like trying to separate BTC and the Blockchain. One cannot work without the other.

If you think that 2 of 3 collusion is possible, you aren't considering the economic incentives. You consider human behaviour with regards to miners trying to defraud users, but you seem to overlook human behaviour with regards to mitigating any threat.

It's happening now. BTC at 33% market dominance, from a coin that had it all going for it, because the users have lost faith in it. The market *always* has the final word.

You cannot censor a bitcoin tx. Even with a majority of miners colluding. I can broadcast to a minority miner. At which point it is publicly visible. As people realise what is happening the will move. The participants who are dishonest have just destroyed the value proposition of their chain.

There is a concrete demonstration of this principle taking place right now.

Facts do not require lengthy diatribes.

Wiles' proof of Fermat's last theorem is 129 pages long.

Sometimes it takes a building of an argument in order to make a point.  Depending on the reader's mileage, it can take some room.  Talking someone out of his delirium needs the deconstruction of a lot of beliefs which are taken for granted, or sold by cheap rhetoric.  All this can need arguments.

Einstein said: "one should make things as simple as possible, but not more so."  Making things simple, but not too simple, is a lot of work.

Simplistic facts do not require lengthy diatribes.  Beliefs do not require lengthy diatribes.  But arguments can need so.   This is why beliefs win over arguments in simple minds.


The bitcoin whitepaper is 9 pages long. It's very simple. It's your misunderstanding of it that requires so much explanation, because you are entrenched in a position that is becoming increasingly untenable due to empirical evidence that contradicts what you are saying.



"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution" - Satoshi Nakamoto
*my posts are not investment advice*
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January 29, 2018, 04:39:20 PM
Last edit: January 29, 2018, 06:45:55 PM by dinofelis
 #231


Without the bitcoin network, there would be no dataset.

Yes, there could even be.  You could even do bitcoin by email if you wanted to.  You send your transactions by e-mail to the mining pools.  They send you the blockchain back to you.  Or they post it on their FTP site.  Clumsy, but workable in principle.   The network is just a communication tool, but no power tool, and the only communication of importance is between a user (someone wanting to transact) and the mining industry (making the data set).

Quote
If you can't write the dataset has no value. It's like trying to separate BTC and the Blockchain. One cannot work without the other.

No, you cannot separate BTC and the blockchain.  They are the same.  But you could eventually use bitcoin without a bitcoin network.   Slightly less practical, true.  But doable.

Quote
If you think that 2 of 3 collusion is possible, you aren't considering the economic incentives. You consider human behaviour with regards to miners trying to defraud users, but you seem to overlook human behaviour with regards to mitigating any threat.

But the same arguments hold for Facebook.  As I said, no cigar.  Your argument was "decentralization".   Not "economic incentive".  Economic incentive works just as well with centralized entities as with decentralized ones.  

Quote
It's happening now. BTC at 33% market dominance, from a coin that had it all going for it, because the users have lost faith in it. The market *always* has the final word.

Sure.  I agree.  But that has nothing to do with decentralization.  Yahoo also lost market share.  MySpace too.  If the idea was that the market dictates, it has nothing to do with decentralization.  That's also why I told you that bitcoin can very well work, even though it is centralized ; in the same way that Facebook works well.  Until the market wants another toy.    But bitcoin is not dead yet.  And I consider all its forks also bitcoin.  True decentralization comes from alt coins and forking, not from a "network".  And it is, to be honest, terrifying.

Quote
You cannot censor a bitcoin tx. Even with a majority of miners colluding. I can broadcast to a minority miner. At which point it is publicly visible. As people realise what is happening the will move.  

Of course not.  The only thing you see, is an orphaned block containing other transactions than those in the winning chain.  Perfectly normal.  Orphaned blocks happen.  Did you verify yourself whether all the transactions in all orphaned blocks ended up in the main chain ?    Do you think miners (those having hardware) care ?  If they did, they would have moved already.  If you care about "decentralization" and you are a miner, you don't join a 25% hash rate pool.  If you do, it is because that's more profitable.  I've been mining also (not bitcoin of course).  I didn't even run a node.  I only ran the mining software.  Couldn't care less about what happened with my hashes, from the moment I got coins.

I've learned one thing in this world of crypto: there's no such thing as any ethos.  There have been some useful idiots of libertarians in the beginning, to get the stone rolling, but they are mostly gone now.  There's just profit.  As it should be, in a system that is trustless, in other words, that starts from the principle that all users are a bunch of scammers.  My first lesson in this has been the story of "ethereum classic".  Ethereum classic is the "true" ethereum, keeping with the principle of immutability and application of the rule set.  Well, the "true ethereum" lost in the market.  It still lives, but as a minority, at 3% of ethereum's value.  Because participants don't give a bloody damn about principles.  They want benefit and fancy stuff ; a leader, a narrative (no matter what) and perspectives of more benefit.  And benefit in this world is a Keynesian's beauty contest, not a matter of truth or principles.
The second lesson is bitcoin cash.  Bitcoin cash is the true "Satoshi style" bitcoin.  Nobody cares much.  It is doing somewhat better than ethereum classic, simply because bitcoin core is having self-inflicted technical problems to the point of having been almost unusable.  But Satoshi's true bitcoin, bitcoin cash, will also remain a minority thing.  Nobody cares about principles.   Because there are no fundamentals in this game.  It is all lies, deception and profit - again, as it should be in a trustless environment.

Quote
Facts do not require lengthy diatribes.

Wiles' proof of Fermat's last theorem is 129 pages long.

Sometimes it takes a building of an argument in order to make a point.  Depending on the reader's mileage, it can take some room.  Talking someone out of his delirium needs the deconstruction of a lot of beliefs which are taken for granted, or sold by cheap rhetoric.  All this can need arguments.

Einstein said: "one should make things as simple as possible, but not more so."  Making things simple, but not too simple, is a lot of work.

Simplistic facts do not require lengthy diatribes.  Beliefs do not require lengthy diatribes.  But arguments can need so.   This is why beliefs win over arguments in simple minds.


The bitcoin whitepaper is 9 pages long. It's very simple. It's your misunderstanding of it that requires so much explanation, because you are entrenched in a position that is becoming increasingly untenable due to empirical evidence that contradicts what you are saying.

Fermat's theorem's formulation took only half a margin.  Its proof, 400 years later, took 129 pages. It is not because there was a layout of a few principles, that all its implications were understood.

It is strange that you talk about empirical evidence, while reality is biting you: 3 bloody entities can decide (have the power to decide) what happens in your "decentralized" system.  Your "evidence" is that these 3 entities are most probably not abusing their power in a way.   Your counter argument is that Facebook COULD block messages (but doesn't).  Your argument is that the 3 entities are not doing so because of economic incentives - but Facebook also !  If Facebook COULD just as well stop your Facebook message, but cannot stop you from sending A message (there's e-mail, other social networks and so on) and finally doesn't, then my argument that these 3 entities COULD stop your transaction, but don't (because...) is just as valid.  Your bank COULD stop you from doing a payment, but doesn't (because economic and legal incentives).  Core COULD stop you but doesn't.  (Ethereum foundation DID stop someone).

This is why bitcoin, all being a centralized entity, is working correctly.  Like your bank is.  Like Facebook is.  Because, economic incentives.

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January 30, 2018, 02:23:57 PM
 #232

Look at your permissionless ledger, when coins are green or black  Grin

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January 30, 2018, 03:49:25 PM
 #233

...
If the correction is not over yet, then we can expect another large drop, but I doubt anything less than 6k$. And the recovery would take longer, maybe over a year, but eventually should reach over 50k$.
On the short term, 24h and 12h MACD are negative and won't cross into positive soon, but 6h could cross into positive in a couple of days (or it could be a fakeout, so be careful).

The current price action looks bearish, but it doesn't make much sense to me.
The evolution of the bid / ask sums on Bitstamp and Bitfinex supports a bullish scenario, only on GDAX it looks bearish.
But Bitfinex has by far the largest volume, since the volume on Korean exchanges has dried down a lot, so any bad news from Korea shouldn't affect price much.
I suppose the selling could be tether related, although Bitfinex is AFAIK not the most exposed exchange.

As for the TA, the 6h MACD cross into positive was short lived (a fakeout), and if the dumping will continue it's possible the 12h MACD divergence (12h MACD stayed negative) to turn into red.
Also, in the event of a large dump, the 3 day MACD would cross into negative, and this would mean that the recovery will take longer. I still doubt any dump below 6k$.

Sometimes, if it looks too bullish, it's actually bearish
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January 30, 2018, 04:14:10 PM
 #234


Without the bitcoin network, there would be no dataset.

Yes, there could even be.  You could even do bitcoin by email if you wanted to.  You send your transactions by e-mail to the mining pools.  They send you the blockchain back to you.  Or they post it on their FTP site.  Clumsy, but workable in principle.   The network is just a communication tool, but no power tool, and the only communication of importance is between a user (someone wanting to transact) and the mining industry (making the data set).

Quote
If you can't write the dataset has no value. It's like trying to separate BTC and the Blockchain. One cannot work without the other.

No, you cannot separate BTC and the blockchain.  They are the same.  But you could eventually use bitcoin without a bitcoin network.   Slightly less practical, true.  But doable.

Quote
If you think that 2 of 3 collusion is possible, you aren't considering the economic incentives. You consider human behaviour with regards to miners trying to defraud users, but you seem to overlook human behaviour with regards to mitigating any threat.

But the same arguments hold for Facebook.  As I said, no cigar.  Your argument was "decentralization".   Not "economic incentive".  Economic incentive works just as well with centralized entities as with decentralized ones.  

Quote
It's happening now. BTC at 33% market dominance, from a coin that had it all going for it, because the users have lost faith in it. The market *always* has the final word.

Sure.  I agree.  But that has nothing to do with decentralization.  Yahoo also lost market share.  MySpace too.  If the idea was that the market dictates, it has nothing to do with decentralization.  That's also why I told you that bitcoin can very well work, even though it is centralized ; in the same way that Facebook works well.  Until the market wants another toy.    But bitcoin is not dead yet.  And I consider all its forks also bitcoin.  True decentralization comes from alt coins and forking, not from a "network".  And it is, to be honest, terrifying.

Quote
You cannot censor a bitcoin tx. Even with a majority of miners colluding. I can broadcast to a minority miner. At which point it is publicly visible. As people realise what is happening the will move.  

Of course not.  The only thing you see, is an orphaned block containing other transactions than those in the winning chain.  Perfectly normal.  Orphaned blocks happen.  Did you verify yourself whether all the transactions in all orphaned blocks ended up in the main chain ?    Do you think miners (those having hardware) care ?  If they did, they would have moved already.  If you care about "decentralization" and you are a miner, you don't join a 25% hash rate pool.  If you do, it is because that's more profitable.  I've been mining also (not bitcoin of course).  I didn't even run a node.  I only ran the mining software.  Couldn't care less about what happened with my hashes, from the moment I got coins.

I've learned one thing in this world of crypto: there's no such thing as any ethos.  There have been some useful idiots of libertarians in the beginning, to get the stone rolling, but they are mostly gone now.  There's just profit.  As it should be, in a system that is trustless, in other words, that starts from the principle that all users are a bunch of scammers.  My first lesson in this has been the story of "ethereum classic".  Ethereum classic is the "true" ethereum, keeping with the principle of immutability and application of the rule set.  Well, the "true ethereum" lost in the market.  It still lives, but as a minority, at 3% of ethereum's value.  Because participants don't give a bloody damn about principles.  They want benefit and fancy stuff ; a leader, a narrative (no matter what) and perspectives of more benefit.  And benefit in this world is a Keynesian's beauty contest, not a matter of truth or principles.
The second lesson is bitcoin cash.  Bitcoin cash is the true "Satoshi style" bitcoin.  Nobody cares much.  It is doing somewhat better than ethereum classic, simply because bitcoin core is having self-inflicted technical problems to the point of having been almost unusable.  But Satoshi's true bitcoin, bitcoin cash, will also remain a minority thing.  Nobody cares about principles.   Because there are no fundamentals in this game.  It is all lies, deception and profit - again, as it should be in a trustless environment.

Quote
Facts do not require lengthy diatribes.

Wiles' proof of Fermat's last theorem is 129 pages long.

Sometimes it takes a building of an argument in order to make a point.  Depending on the reader's mileage, it can take some room.  Talking someone out of his delirium needs the deconstruction of a lot of beliefs which are taken for granted, or sold by cheap rhetoric.  All this can need arguments.

Einstein said: "one should make things as simple as possible, but not more so."  Making things simple, but not too simple, is a lot of work.

Simplistic facts do not require lengthy diatribes.  Beliefs do not require lengthy diatribes.  But arguments can need so.   This is why beliefs win over arguments in simple minds.


The bitcoin whitepaper is 9 pages long. It's very simple. It's your misunderstanding of it that requires so much explanation, because you are entrenched in a position that is becoming increasingly untenable due to empirical evidence that contradicts what you are saying.

Fermat's theorem's formulation took only half a margin.  Its proof, 400 years later, took 129 pages. It is not because there was a layout of a few principles, that all its implications were understood.

It is strange that you talk about empirical evidence, while reality is biting you: 3 bloody entities can decide (have the power to decide) what happens in your "decentralized" system.  Your "evidence" is that these 3 entities are most probably not abusing their power in a way.   Your counter argument is that Facebook COULD block messages (but doesn't).  Your argument is that the 3 entities are not doing so because of economic incentives - but Facebook also !  If Facebook COULD just as well stop your Facebook message, but cannot stop you from sending A message (there's e-mail, other social networks and so on) and finally doesn't, then my argument that these 3 entities COULD stop your transaction, but don't (because...) is just as valid.  Your bank COULD stop you from doing a payment, but doesn't (because economic and legal incentives).  Core COULD stop you but doesn't.  (Ethereum foundation DID stop someone).

This is why bitcoin, all being a centralized entity, is working correctly.  Like your bank is.  Like Facebook is.  Because, economic incentives.



Your hypothetical about some blockchain existing without a network do not reflect observable reality. Bitcoin is a network, with a Blockchain secured by way of economic incentives.

You're conflating a reduction on the number of mining entities with decentralisation. Decentralisation is measured by looking at the distance between network participants (hops).

3 entities all connected to each other are perfectly decentralised. No one entity can block the others from communicating. Scale this up and you have the bitcoin network.

You really need to understand this fundamental concept. It's the biggest false assumption in Bitcoin, and everyone (myself included) makes it.

"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution" - Satoshi Nakamoto
*my posts are not investment advice*
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January 30, 2018, 04:17:40 PM
 #235

...
If the correction is not over yet, then we can expect another large drop, but I doubt anything less than 6k$. And the recovery would take longer, maybe over a year, but eventually should reach over 50k$.
On the short term, 24h and 12h MACD are negative and won't cross into positive soon, but 6h could cross into positive in a couple of days (or it could be a fakeout, so be careful).

The current price action looks bearish, but it doesn't make much sense to me.
The evolution of the bid / ask sums on Bitstamp and Bitfinex supports a bullish scenario, only on GDAX it looks bearish.
But Bitfinex has by far the largest volume, since the volume on Korean exchanges has dried down a lot, so any bad news from Korea shouldn't affect price much.
I suppose the selling could be tether related, although Bitfinex is AFAIK not the most exposed exchange.

As for the TA, the 6h MACD cross into positive was short lived (a fakeout), and if the dumping will continue it's possible the 12h MACD divergence (12h MACD stayed negative) to turn into red.
Also, in the event of a large dump, the 3 day MACD would cross into negative, and this would mean that the recovery will take longer. I still doubt any dump below 6k$.

$6k is a way off to me. Whilst it looks like a short-mid term downtrend I think its unlikely to go below previous low of around $9200 without a serious disturbance in the force!

It *could* be accumulation.... History shows I have a terrible record of calling the bottom way to early though, so I'm gonna stuck to my guns. Still a long way off though.

"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution" - Satoshi Nakamoto
*my posts are not investment advice*
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January 30, 2018, 08:40:58 PM
 #236

Why would anyone use Bitcoin Cash over any of the other fast transaction coins? I just don't understand this.

It's Bitcoin.

Matilda can you explain to why you think Bitcoin Cash is so much better than BTC?
I am just trying to understand.

Agree with you. it will never happen. Suppose the bottom of Bitcoin was already reached and that was 9 thousand. The top cannot be foreseen.

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January 30, 2018, 10:05:56 PM
 #237

A top can be estimated so long as we are in a pattern of rises, right now the trend is down.
The target to beat the current negative price action is only about 10445 I think this would help slow down any decline.   However there is a longer duration trend of falling highs and lower lows


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February 01, 2018, 05:15:39 PM
 #238

I sense a serious disturbance in the force.

(That happened quicker than I thought!)

Can we agree a the top was in yet? Can we start trying to call the bottom now?

"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution" - Satoshi Nakamoto
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February 01, 2018, 05:28:46 PM
 #239

Unfortunately this has more to go, its been too orderly of a decline. We need a fast, large drop with heavy volume.
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February 01, 2018, 07:52:23 PM
 #240

Can we start trying to call the bottom now?

I am with you on your $4000.  Even though I keep a larger range, from something like $2000 to $4000.  This is because the two previous bitcoin bubbles, in 2011, and in 2013, crashed down respectively a factor of 10, and a factor of 6.  Coming down from $20 000 this time, that would bring us more or less in that range.  On the other hand, this up-run was less spectacular than the uprun in 2011 and 2013 (x300 and x400 respectively, this one was only x100), which could hint at a less severe crash.

Or it could have been the last bubble, and it is finally over, down to $1 or lower.  I think that if ever we go below $1200, it is over.  The last crash never crashed below the previous ATH.  The bubble of 2013 didn't crash down to the $30 (the 2011 ATH).  So if this one crashes below the 2013 ATH, it is most probably finished.
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