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Author Topic: Development - Thought - Change Block payout amount and lower difficulty  (Read 557 times)
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July 10, 2011, 01:27:59 AM

(I would post this in Development, but apparently I've just been lurking too much and not posting.)

Has the development team considered decreasing the number of coins earned for solving a block versus increasing the difficulty?

Reason: It would be better to decentralize the network's computational power. With the DDOS of the mining pools and the 50%+1 problem, distributed would be better.

Example: If blocks were only worth 1 BTC, then the difficulty could be lowered, and bitcoin production would still achieve the same rate of generation.

Even with my 1Gh/s (total) mining rigs, I really can't mine on my own and expect a payout, so I have to join a pool(s), where I earn around 1BTC per day.  But I'd happily mine on my own if I could achieve the same rate of return.

Just thinking.

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July 10, 2011, 01:46:07 AM

This isn't a development "problem", its a protocol problem, it a problem at all. The protocol is set in solid stone, and cannot be changed.

The 50+1% problem is not really that bad. To begin with it would only disrupt the last block, at the most two while the network reorganizes itself when people (actual people, not machines) realize something is amiss. Secondly it would be extremely hard to reach this state even with a huge pool in operation.

What would be more feasable is that the deep bit pool agrees to divide itself in two or three entities ('deepbit1, deepbit2, etc).

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July 10, 2011, 01:53:07 AM

Has the development team considered decreasing the number of coins earned for solving a block versus increasing the difficulty?
There are so many disadvantages to this, they completely outweigh the advantages.

First, many more blocks would be generated. That would tremendously increase the network, CPU, and storage overhead of operating the bitcoin network.

Second, a change in the protocol would upset settled expectations of how bitcoins behave. They would increase fears that future changes would upset other settled expectations. (By analogy, how would you feel if you worked hard for years to save up $75,000 and then next year the government prints $250,000 for each family? You'd be kind of pissed, wouldn't you?)

Third, the speed of block generation would not be much closer to the speed of network propagation. Many more blocks that are generated would fail to become part of the public block chain. Many more confirmations would be needed before a transaction could be considered stable. The number of reorganizations would go up by orders of magnitude.

I am an employee of Ripple.
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