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Author Topic: Research on Bitcoin  (Read 1361 times)
Sedo
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August 08, 2011, 08:19:18 AM
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Hi everyone,

this is a thread where we can collect topics to research on and (maybe) discuss their relevance.

I for example am studying Computer Science and am going to write my bachelor thesis in the near future. I am considering making it Bitcoin-related, but am lacking ideas. Maybe there are others.

For example, there was a paper published about anonymity in Bitcoin several days ago: http://anonymity-in-bitcoin.blogspot.com/2011/07/bitcoin-is-not-anonymous.html

Any ideas are welcome.
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kokjo
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August 08, 2011, 08:26:30 AM
 #2

some stuff on blocks.
like the reorg.
or block chaining.

it might not look so hard, but really it is.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
bitrebel
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August 08, 2011, 08:40:49 AM
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What type of personality make of the majority of bitcoin users?
What is the average wealth and social status of a bitcoin user?
how many bitcoin miners does it take to plug in a lightbulb?

Why does Bitrebel have 65+ Ignores?
Because Bitrebel says things that some people do not want YOU to hear.
kokjo
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August 08, 2011, 08:42:19 AM
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What type of personality make of the majority of bitcoin users?
What is the average wealth and social status of a bitcoin user?
how many bitcoin miners does it take to plug in a lightbulb?

yes they are good questions. but they are more sociological, then Computer Science.
and OP is studying Computer Science

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
bitrebel
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August 08, 2011, 08:45:35 AM
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What type of personality make of the majority of bitcoin users?
What is the average wealth and social status of a bitcoin user?
how many bitcoin miners does it take to plug in a lightbulb?

yes they are good questions. but they are more sociological, then Computer Science.
and OP is studying Computer Science

At what point will Artificial Intelligence induce a home computer to steal it's owners bitcoins and go on a self determined shopping spree for hardware upgrades?

Why does Bitrebel have 65+ Ignores?
Because Bitrebel says things that some people do not want YOU to hear.
qikaifu
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August 08, 2011, 08:46:27 AM
 #6

How to audit a 3rd party bitcoin bank have the bitcoin they claim to have.
make it 100% sure, without any possible cheating method
make it 100% safe, not allowing the auditor take away the bitcoins.

If you see any of my suggestions useful, please donate me. http://btc.to/ec
Stephen Gornick
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August 08, 2011, 10:56:34 AM
 #7

this is a thread where we can collect topics to research on and (maybe) discuss their relevance.

Related:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Research

Sedo
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August 08, 2011, 11:44:28 AM
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What type of personality make of the majority of bitcoin users?
What is the average wealth and social status of a bitcoin user?
how many bitcoin miners does it take to plug in a lightbulb?

yes they are good questions. but they are more sociological, then Computer Science.
and OP is studying Computer Science

No problem. It is not just about my research. Maybe there are people from other fields than Computer Science willing and able to research.

some stuff on blocks.
like the reorg.
or block chaining.

Yeah that is a pretty interesting part. You mean the "Processing Power"-democracy and its robustness, security and implications? Maybe a researcher could abstract into Blockchain-based systems in general. Or describe scenarios and possible outcomes if there is a conflict between two or more "miner"-groups about the bitcoin protocol. Or research, how much of a democracy it will really be (in case of mass adoption of Bitcoin), meaning, is there not going to be a "elite" of few big miners that have all the power?

Good stuff so far, keep it up!
Vio
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August 08, 2011, 11:54:19 AM
 #9

What about the security aspects of bitcoin and how to make it safe for non-IT people to use for example.

or

you discribe how bitcoin the first distributed electronic currency works
http://bitcoinweekly.com/articles/bitcoin-decentralization-and-the-nash-equilibrium
phatsphere
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August 08, 2011, 12:03:34 PM
 #10

if you want to introduce some new ideas, you can look into merging blocks. currently, just the longest blockchain wins if there is more than one new block. you can investigate into a "merging" block, that collects and resolves all transactions from the >2 previous blocks. I.e. this wouldn't discard too many transactions. I don't know how to handle the newly created bitcoins and also, TX fees of the previous conflicting blocks probably would also be part of this merging block…
o
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August 09, 2011, 02:27:32 PM
 #11

You can sure do all kind of the analysis on the block chains and the network between the bitcoin transfer. . But I have one interesting top on my mind that certainly will be useful for the bitcoin.

The research is to setup a bitcoin monitor node that collect all kinds of information, say for a year. For examples,
  • the delay between the transaction and the receiving time by the node
  • how fast the propagation of transaction within all nodes
  • what is the typical number of connectivity
  • the location of all other nodes in the world, resolving by the IP
  • how many people are sending invalid transaction
  • what is the drop rate of transactions
  • how many branches of blockchain
All kind of statistics that does not embedded in the block chain would be very useful to the grow of bitcoin. Since the information would disappear with time. This information would be very useful to support the analysis of all attack vectors such as those stated in the https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Weaknesses .

I am sure these type of research will get much attention at this early state of bitcoin, preferably you can find collaborators to set few monitoring nodes at different part of the world.
Gavin Andresen
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August 09, 2011, 02:45:56 PM
 #12

Alternative algorithms for determining the "best" block chain would be a good research topic, I think.

Model or simulate either a 'natural' block-chain splits (X% of the network gets disconnected for time T) or attacks (attacker with 51+% of hashing rate double-spends a transaction by surprising the network with a N-length better block chain).

Then see what the behavior is like under different potential algorithms for determining the best chain-- the one we have now (most difficulty always wins) or some variant (like more recent blocks are given greater weight).

And think really hard about potential attacks, especially mixed-mode attacks (what if the attacker can mount a Sybil attack on one of the big mining pools?  Or can DOS one or more of the big mining pools? etc)

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
cunicula
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August 09, 2011, 02:53:39 PM
 #13

Alternative algorithms for determining the "best" block chain would be a good research topic, I think.

Model or simulate either a 'natural' block-chain splits (X% of the network gets disconnected for time T) or attacks (attacker with 51+% of hashing rate double-spends a transaction by surprising the network with a N-length better block chain).

Then see what the behavior is like under different potential algorithms for determining the best chain-- the one we have now (most difficulty always wins) or some variant (like more recent blocks are given greater weight).

And think really hard about potential attacks, especially mixed-mode attacks (what if the attacker can mount a Sybil attack on one of the big mining pools?  Or can DOS one or more of the big mining pools? etc)


Algorithms which mix proof-of-stake and proof-of-work. Essentially, something that would allow people holding large volumes of coin to benefit from a difficulty subsidy.

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