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Author Topic: Bitcoin amount limit  (Read 3655 times)
TheEnglishMonarchist
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July 03, 2011, 10:05:18 AM
 #1

Why would the code of bitcoins be so of which limits the total amount, Or what ever is causing this to be so. Would a market of bitcoins with an infinite amount of possible bitcoins not be better? Wallstreet flucuates, Yet it hold to a limitless currency. There is no pre-set limit to an currency of any country. Something my be bought for a trillion dollars, Why should something not be able to be bought for a trillion bitcoins?
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July 03, 2011, 12:05:49 PM
 #2

Why would the code of bitcoins be so of which limits the total amount, Or what ever is causing this to be so.

yes, the currency is issued at a relatively fixed rate.  there is source code which issues it in this manner:
 

Would a market of bitcoins with an infinite amount of possible bitcoins not be better?

some agree.  some don't.  perhaps bitcoins arent't for you.  might the u.s. dollar be ineresting to you instead?
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July 03, 2011, 12:28:59 PM
 #3

due to the generation of btc being coupled to energy consumption i think it makes sense to not attribute 50btc/10 minutes in 20 years from now. imagine how big mining would grow if each lucky winner gets worth 10,000,000$.

I would favour 10-20% volume growth distributed evenly to all participants per year (right now we are at 30%/a distributed based on CPU) but agree that in a peer to peer anonymous system there is no way of implementing that.

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July 04, 2011, 05:28:27 AM
 #4

due to the generation of btc being coupled to energy consumption i think it makes sense to not attribute 50btc/10 minutes in 20 years from now. imagine how big mining would grow if each lucky winner gets worth 10,000,000$.
We need a lot of mining to keep the currency secure. It's the computing capacity of the honest miners exceed that of any attackers that prevents double spending.

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I would favour 10-20% volume growth distributed evenly to all participants per year (right now we are at 30%/a distributed based on CPU) but agree that in a peer to peer anonymous system there is no way of implementing that.
That would be 100% equivalent to doing nothing at all. If everyone's bitcoin amount goes up 20%, nothing has changed. It's the same as creating a new unit, say the BITCoin equivalent to .833 bitcoins and pretending all accounts are in that units. "I have 1 bitcoin." and "I have 1.2 BITcoins" mean the same thing.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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imperi
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July 04, 2011, 05:40:22 AM
 #5

Take Bitcoin's code and create an open source currency without a limit. See if it catches on.
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July 04, 2011, 09:58:51 AM
 #6

due to the generation of btc being coupled to energy consumption i think it makes sense to not attribute 50btc/10 minutes in 20 years from now. imagine how big mining would grow if each lucky winner gets worth 10,000,000$.
We need a lot of mining to keep the currency secure. It's the computing capacity of the honest miners exceed that of any attackers that prevents double spending.
Yes, but we achieve this goal with 10,000$/10minutes already. It's ecologically insane to put 1000x the amount of resources into mining.

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I would favour 10-20% volume growth distributed evenly to all participants per year (right now we are at 30%/a distributed based on CPU) but agree that in a peer to peer anonymous system there is no way of implementing that.
That would be 100% equivalent to doing nothing at all. If everyone's bitcoin amount goes up 20%, nothing has changed. It's the same as creating a new unit, say the BITCoin equivalent to .833 bitcoins and pretending all accounts are in that units. "I have 1 bitcoin." and "I have 1.2 BITcoins" mean the same thing.
Huh? No! "distributed evenly to all participants" is not equal to everyones BTC going up by x%. What I'm suggesting is that with 1M participants and 1M BTC in circulation, every non-miner gets 0.2BTC in that year regardless of what he had before. Actually if there were a proof of being a person I would do as follows:
* everybody gets 1BTC + 1.1^time (in years since start of the currency) BTC
* miners get their fraction of another 1.1^time BTC
* a person joining after the 3rd year would start off with 1+1.331BTC.
* The average miner will have 1+1.331+1.331BTC
* Those doing business will have significantly more but also have an incentive to spend over time their 5BTC would become 15 while the other guy with 1.1331 would have 11.1331 by then.

(Some guy had suggested to connect DNA with BTC addresses somehow but this way everybody who finds one of my hairs would be able to capture any further income ... Proof of being a living person is not feasible anonymously without solving captchas non stop.)

RogerR
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July 04, 2011, 10:33:00 AM
 #7

Do the developers possess the power to arbitrarily raise the final bitcoin amount (later on)?
myrkul
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July 04, 2011, 10:37:30 AM
 #8

That is an excellent question. If it is possible (and since plenty of people have suggested forking the project to those who want to remove the cap, I assume it is), I doubt it would be used, since doing so would ruin the point of Bitcoin.

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July 04, 2011, 12:35:23 PM
 #9

Do the developers possess the power to arbitrarily raise the final bitcoin amount (later on)?

No, this is a common misunderstanding - developers don't possess any power except that of nomination.

The network has to come to a consensus about any change in rules. The developers could change the client to change one of these rules, and people would vote by using that client, or keeping the old one (or forking the old client to keep updating it without the rule change). It's actually happened before.

Your client will reject any block chain that doesn't conform to the rules as it understands them - so a massive change in rules will simply fork the blockchain into two different chains, obviously with the most popular chain being the one people use but it's entirely plausible to end up with two distinct networks that started out as Bitcoin itself.

So there's pretty much no incentive for the developers to make such a drastic change to the rules unless it's obvious the community would be 99% behind them. So everyone who tells you "well the developers hold all the power so it's not decentralized" doesn't grok Bitcoin at all.

^_^
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July 04, 2011, 03:07:45 PM
 #10

Your client will reject any block chain that doesn't conform to the rules as it understands them - so a massive change in rules will simply fork the blockchain into two different chains, obviously with the most popular chain being the one people use but it's entirely plausible to end up with two distinct networks that started out as Bitcoin itself.

Regarding forking the block chain, this is interesting. Would the new chain always start at zero? could it be used as a more local version of a currency? Would it have an independent supply rate?

If you have some reference to point me to I would appreciate that!
giszmo
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July 04, 2011, 03:17:18 PM
 #11

you can fork the block chain at 0 and for introducing an alternative currency that's the only way that would make sense i guess..

i think it might be fun to see what happens if a subset of the community decides to accept only blocks with ... an "@" as a prefix but based on the existing block chain.
such a change would render these blocks invalid for the rest of the clients. conversely the @-subchain would contain all transactions prior to the fork and, if enough people love @, people would accept coins from that chain so effectively I could double spend all coins that were mined before the fork by spending them here and there. wonder if there is a use case for such a scenario Smiley

ribuck
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July 04, 2011, 03:20:08 PM
 #12

Would the new chain always start at zero? ... Would it have an independent supply rate?
The new chain works in any way that it is programmed to work in the modified software. You could write software that requires a new chain, or you could write software that branches off the existing chain by applying the current rules up to a certain block number and new rules (e.g. a different generation rate) for later blocks.

I think it will be extremely difficult to attract a large number of users to any branch of the existing chain.
hugolp
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July 04, 2011, 03:25:18 PM
 #13

Why do people complain about Bitcoin not being inflationary with the amount of inflationary currencies around the world? Almost all of them are inflationary. Its not like you dont have a choice...
Tx2000
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July 04, 2011, 03:55:33 PM
 #14

Why do people complain about Bitcoin not being inflationary with the amount of inflationary currencies around the world? Almost all of them are inflationary. Its not like you dont have a choice...

Yea, seems people have been preprogrammed to want more of the same.  Spoon or the Fork.

Fork the spoon.

But inevitably, there is no spoon.  It's what you make of it.
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July 05, 2011, 12:44:37 AM
 #15

In a sense, Bitcoins do not actually have a limit.

If the market grows big, and more is printed you are essentially stealing from those who already hold bitcoin because you are diluting their coins.

But instead the decimal point can be moved over so that you have 10x the # of bitcoins, of course each bitcoin is now worth 1/0 of the original price.  This way we always have enough, but no one has their funds diluted.
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July 05, 2011, 01:04:09 AM
 #16

In a sense, Bitcoins do not actually have a limit.

If the market grows big, and more is printed you are essentially stealing from those who already hold bitcoin because you are diluting their coins.

But instead the decimal point can be moved over so that you have 10x the # of bitcoins, of course each bitcoin is now worth 1/0 of the original price.  This way we always have enough, but no one has their funds diluted.

Not quite. The decimal is never moved. 1 bitcoin will always be 1 bitcoin. but if we 'run out', we can start denominating prices in smaller increments. ie, .1 BTC instead of 1.0 Essentially, every bitcoin is now worth 10x more (at least at that store, there's no central bank deciding that)

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July 05, 2011, 01:05:18 AM
 #17

Why do people complain about Bitcoin not being inflationary with the amount of inflationary currencies around the world? Almost all of them are inflationary. Its not like you dont have a choice...

Yea, seems people have been preprogrammed to want more of the same.  Spoon or the Fork.

Fork the spoon.

But inevitably, there is no spoon.  It's what you make of it.

There is a fundamental difference between a central bank issuing new currency and a p2p network asking for the issuance of new currency. One relies on those in power to determine what's best; the other is based on demand. But sure, they are the same thing. Inflation is the debilllll and so on.

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July 05, 2011, 01:26:45 AM
 #18

In a sense, Bitcoins do not actually have a limit.

If the market grows big, and more is printed you are essentially stealing from those who already hold bitcoin because you are diluting their coins.

But instead the decimal point can be moved over so that you have 10x the # of bitcoins, of course each bitcoin is now worth 1/0 of the original price.  This way we always have enough, but no one has their funds diluted.

Not quite. The decimal is never moved. 1 bitcoin will always be 1 bitcoin. but if we 'run out', we can start denominating prices in smaller increments. ie, .1 BTC instead of 1.0 Essentially, every bitcoin is now worth 10x more (at least at that store, there's no central bank deciding that)

The FAQ says otherwise: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ#But_if_no_more_coins_are_generated,_what_happens_when_Bitcoins_are_lost?_Won_t_that_be_a_problem?

Quote

Not at all. Because of the law of supply and demand, when fewer Bitcoins are available the ones that are left will be in higher demand, and therefore will have a higher value. So when Bitcoins are lost, the remaining Bitcoins will increase in value to compensate. As the value of Bitcoins increase, the number of Bitcoins required to purchase an item decreases. This is known as a deflationary economic model. Eventually, if and when it gets to the point where the largest transaction is less than 1BTC, then it's a simple matter of shifting the decimal place to the right a few places, and the system continues.

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July 05, 2011, 01:30:42 AM
 #19

I stand corrected. But that is so far in the future as to be a non-issue. In the short term, we'll use smaller denominations. Moving the decimal would require a re-write of the client, and would likely cause a fork, as above.

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DamienBlack
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July 05, 2011, 01:31:08 AM
 #20


It is a figure or speech. It does not mean anything. Actual implementation will be decided later. I think most people are in favor of leaving a bitcoin where it is and using a different denomination, like a microbitcoin, as the default.

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