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Author Topic: Bitcoin May Be Doomed  (Read 4728 times)
dissipate
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February 08, 2011, 10:06:55 AM
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Folks, I'm sorry to say it but Bitcoin may be doomed, as well as all other cryptographically based Internet communications outside the sanction of government. The reason is simple: centralized government controlled cloud computing could take over the Internet (as we know it). The concept is this. The Internet is currently a decentralized mash up of independent servers and clients. In the cloud data center model all significant data processing takes place in a data center, with only the peripheral inputs of keyboard, mouse etc. going into the data center and fully baked peripheral outputs coming out (video, sound etc.). So basically, you connect with a thin client PC to the data center. Your keystrokes and mouse movements are transmitted to the data center which processes them based on whatever application you are currently running in your data center 'user space.' Then, it transmits back to your thin client the video and sound that resulted from those inputs and running application.

A current example of this is the online cloud gaming service Onlive. A user goes out and buys a 'micro console' that simply transmits the game controller input to the data center and decodes the sound and video data transmitted to it back from the onlive data center. The micro console is for the TV, while for a laptop or PC, they have a browser plugin. However, they are already doing deals with TV manufacturers to build the micro console chips directly into the TVs. So in the case of onlive, they already have high definition video from their running games being transmitted back with relatively low latency. If they can do this with high definition games they can pretty much do it with any application.

So the scenario will eventually be that Joe Six Pack goes out and buys a large screen 'TV'. But this large screen 'TV' has chips built directly into it just like the onlive chips described above that allows Joe to connect his 'TV' up to his town's local data center. After he is connected up, he can access any desktop application he could ever dream of, all of his files and pretty much everything he ever had on his PC plus tons more.

So the question becomes: what will the Internet look like in this scenario? The Internet would basically become data centers talking to each other, and that's about it. All data being stored in the data centers would be monitored and sanctioned by the government. That means all encrypted data would be detected and erased with potential penalties for scofflaws. Personal computing equipment would be outlawed as well (hard drives, CPUs, motherboards etc.).

What evidence do I have that this is going to take place? China is already building a massive centralized data center to replace the Internet for their citizens:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9208398/China_building_a_city_for_cloud_computing

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"I got a sense that the cloud is going to be huge in China for both efficiency reasons as well as the ability to control," said Sartor. "If everything was cloud computing and the government owns it, it's much easier to keep your finger on the Internet and other issues than [by using] a very distributed model."



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February 08, 2011, 10:48:52 AM
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Thoughts? Not a problem.

dissipate
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February 08, 2011, 10:55:12 AM
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Thoughts? Not a problem.

Please explain.
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February 08, 2011, 11:02:48 AM
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You don't point out any facts that would "doom" bitcoin, I don't really see how to explain further.

I won't use a data center, so I can still keep using bitcoin.
The adoption by Joe whatever is irrelevant to the success of bitcoin.

Most people fail to see that bitcoin is already successful, it works, period.
Some people trade stuff for them, some people speculate with them, some people save with them.

What else do you want ? It will simply grow in scale over time *if* the properties of bitcoin make it possible no matter how controlled chinese citizens are, and no matter how brainwashed some masses can be.

dissipate
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February 08, 2011, 11:16:23 AM
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You don't point out any facts that would "doom" bitcoin, I don't really see how to explain further.

I won't use a data center, so I can still keep using bitcoin.
The adoption by Joe whatever is irrelevant to the success of bitcoin.

Most people fail to see that bitcoin is already successful, it works, period.
Some people trade stuff for them, some people speculate with them, some people save with them.

What else do you want ? It will simply grow in scale over time *if* the properties of bitcoin make it possible no matter how controlled chinese citizens are, and no matter how brainwashed some masses can be.

So you are saying that the medium upon which Bitcoin is transacted on can disappear as we know it and Bitcoin will be fine... Interesting.

srb123
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February 08, 2011, 11:16:55 AM
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I suppose a good example of this you a looking for would be Google Apps for Business + Googles CR-48 prototype laptops.


Is cloud computing a here to stay? Heck Yeah.
Is cloud computing going to take over completely? Most likely not.
Are they a threat to Bitcoin? Nah.

For consumers, using bitcoin will very likely be via cloud services, like MyBitcoin.
But for a business (or government) they will continue to use and manage their own equipment.

Why? Latency. The size of our planet vs the speed of light will dictate that companys and goverments will always require their data close to home.

Now if they figure our Quantum Entanglement, maybe Bitcoin will be under threat, but im not to worried about that.

ribuck
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February 08, 2011, 12:05:31 PM
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First post from a new user, promoting a high-value commercial site (OnLive), equals a high chance of spam.

Dissipate, as a show of good faith why not delete that link from your original post.

[edit: thank you!]
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February 08, 2011, 12:39:55 PM
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I just want to remark that the "OnLive" service doesn't work very good unless you are under optimal conditions (MHO: less than maybe 1% gaming population out there?), and the whole concept of cloud is more productivity-oriented that user-oriented.
AKA: not everyone wants his brain seized for optimal ads.

On a more serious point of view, we have finally the opportunity to use tecnology on our own, without the need for central servers: we don't need old-style terminals any more. Why would one be back to terminals for everything? Including gaming and "personal" office productivity?
If there are people that still think that being on your own is better than depending completely from some central authority, then cloud computing won't be excessively widespread for bitcoin to keep going

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February 08, 2011, 01:03:34 PM
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You don't point out any facts that would "doom" bitcoin, I don't really see how to explain further.

I won't use a data center, so I can still keep using bitcoin.
The adoption by Joe whatever is irrelevant to the success of bitcoin.

Most people fail to see that bitcoin is already successful, it works, period.
Some people trade stuff for them, some people speculate with them, some people save with them.

What else do you want ? It will simply grow in scale over time *if* the properties of bitcoin make it possible no matter how controlled chinese citizens are, and no matter how brainwashed some masses can be.

So you are saying that the medium upon which Bitcoin is transacted on can disappear as we know it and Bitcoin will be fine... Interesting.


I see no reason to bank on "thin clients" being that widely adopted. The "thin clients will take over" meme makes its rounds every few years. Thin clients are great. They were great in the mid 90s when XTerminals allowed entire labs of students to work on a few really powerful and expensive machines. They are great now.

However, the idea that simply everyone will adopt them for everything well... it remains to be seen as even the beginings of a trend. Not only does it mean losing control of your data, it means being locked in, and once you are locked in, they can jack the prices on you. None of this will mean the loss of what we have now, just another option that we can take advantage of, or not.
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February 08, 2011, 01:06:34 PM
 #10

So you are saying that the medium upon which Bitcoin is transacted on can disappear as we know it and Bitcoin will be fine... Interesting.
I do not say that.
If what you're saying is that "If the Internet as it is disappears, then bitcoin is doomed" then kudos, you're a genius.

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February 08, 2011, 01:19:48 PM
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Why? Latency. The size of our planet vs the speed of light will dictate that companys and goverments will always require their data close to home.

Now if they figure our Quantum Entanglement, maybe Bitcoin will be under threat, but im not to worried about that.



good point, quantum entanglement may ruin the existing bitcoin, we can just create a new currency Smiley
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February 08, 2011, 01:29:46 PM
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Where do I start.

Firstly the article about the data center in China, it is a data center, there is demand for them here because services and websites are growing very quickly, there are a lot of people here you know, and more every day are getting internet access. It's just a big data center, not to force everyone to use it as a server, even if it was so, it would fail because it would not be nearly powerful enough for a small country, never mind China!

Secondly again about this article, it's very poor. It says "China is building..." What is this China? Is it the entire country, with government, citizens and corporations enlisted to build this monster? It doesn't say. Maybe it is the government (probably), which part of the government? In Beijing? at provincial or city level? if so it will be a failure even as a simple data center. If not the government then a company, and it is doing this for profit.

And finally who is going to give up their home computer for a .... TV? Anyone would want to use this would probably have both. Can you share the medicine that you are taking with the group it seems like some good stuff.

I'm in China by the way.

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February 08, 2011, 03:48:34 PM
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I do not see any democratic society that would put up with an outlaw of hard drives, mobos, cpus or otherwise. If that assumption is about China alone, bitcoin is what will become part of the underground market for those who do not want to rely solely on the government. I don't see any western civilization even considering something like this in my lifetime. Centralized servers will inevitably change the world but to say that it will entirely rule out, abolish, and outlaw personal computing anytime within the next 100 years is just plain ridiculous

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February 08, 2011, 03:56:12 PM
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If centralized governments take over the Internet as we know it (which may well happen, think of Wikileaks and Egypt), we build another Internet based on a global distributed federation of local, ad-hoc, open P2P mesh networks.
http://spacecollective.org/giulio/6633/We-must-protect-the-Internet

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February 08, 2011, 04:09:28 PM
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How long has various governments and a lot of companies tried to stop The Pirate Bay?  They can't.  It's on the Internet.  AFAIK no one has been able to stop any information on the Internet yet.  The protocol is robust, and can easily be made more robust.  No, Bitcoin can not be stopped by any realistic means.  In principle it is possible to make ownership or usage of bitcoins illegal, but that is completely unrealistic in most legislations.  Bitcoins are not harmful in any way.

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February 08, 2011, 04:13:43 PM
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How long has various governments and a lot of companies tried to stop The Pirate Bay?  They can't.  It's on the Internet.  AFAIK no one has been able to stop any information on the Internet yet.  The protocol is robust, and can easily be made more robust.  No, Bitcoin can not be stopped by any realistic means.  In principle it is possible to make ownership or usage of bitcoins illegal, but that is completely unrealistic in most legislations.  Bitcoins are not harmful in any way.

Well if they do... then I, for one, would expect that the prohibition on bitcoins will every bit as effective as the prohibitions on pot, prostitution, tax evasion, and gambling.

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February 08, 2011, 05:04:03 PM
 #17

Your keystrokes and mouse movements are transmitted to the data center which processes them based on whatever application you are currently running in your data center 'user space.' Then, it transmits back to your thin client the video and sound that resulted from those inputs and running application.

You cannot change the laws of physics.

To reduce latency the data centres would need to be close to peoples' homes which would prevent too much centralisation. There are more are more applications for which low latency is  essential from a user experience point of view. Thin clients are a horrible experience when you try to do anything real-time, interactive with them.  I doubt people will be willing to give up their general purpose computers completely, even if most of their storage moves to data centers.

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Personal computing equipment would be outlawed as well (hard drives, CPUs, motherboards etc.).

They will sooner outlaw personal transportation (cars, motorcycles) before they outlaw personal computing equipment.

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February 08, 2011, 05:08:06 PM
 #18

Wow, the headline is a bit sensationalist. You probably put a shiver down several spines.
Anonymous
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February 09, 2011, 03:27:52 AM
 #19

The headline should read "Governments may be doomed " because the internet makes geographic boundaries irrelevent. Bitcoin makes central banks irrelevent. Is there anything else ?

Government is inneficient at running our lives.The End.
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February 09, 2011, 04:06:02 AM
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the internet makes geographic boundaries irrelevent. Bitcoin makes central banks irrelevent.

Unfortunately this does not comfort me.  What it means is there are only two options going forward: politicians in individual countries will recognize the power of the internet and will allow their countries to become freer economically and more open and responsive politically, or politicians in individual countries will recognize the power of the internet and will subsume their power to an authority with worldwide jurisdiction.

I don't see how the first option can win.  The public's impulse to get something for nothing (healthcare, education, pensions), and their fear of terrorism and economic collapse will have them begging for one world government.

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Government is inneficient at running our lives.The End.

Innefficiency is only a problem if you're in a competition.  If there's only one government, it won't matter.

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