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Author Topic: Does the Bitcoin technology scale?  (Read 600 times)
GabrielZ
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August 12, 2011, 12:41:09 PM
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I have just a few days ago installed the bitcoin client.
I have also read up quite a lot about Bitcoins and the Bitcoin technology.

My question now is: does the technology really scale?

In more detail: imagine 70% of all worldwide monetary transactions being done using Bitcoin, including all the transactions at the stock markets as well as all the small purchases at your local grocery or newspaper store.

How will new Bitcoin clients ever be able to catch up with the chain of blocks?

Best regards,
Gabriel.
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nmat
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August 12, 2011, 12:48:01 PM
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70%?! Bitcoin would have problems handling just 1% of Visa payments I think. There was a lot of buzz recently about that because of Dan Kaminsky's talk. Check the wiki: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability
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August 12, 2011, 12:56:50 PM
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I guess if it was that mainstream, they could increase the amount of transactions per block.
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August 12, 2011, 01:44:40 PM
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Three reasons why it would:

1. Moore's law - disk space is cheap and getting cheaper
2. They use Merkle trees (yeah, I don't get them either)
3. They periodically update the official client to use a 'key block' - so newer clients don't need the whole block chain
cronopio
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August 12, 2011, 03:01:30 PM
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Some interesting thoughts from Dan Kamisky about bitcoin.

http://www.slideshare.net/dakami/bitcoin-8776098

http://www.slideshare.net/dakami/black-ops-of-tcpip-2011-black-hat-usa-2011

12FKPNwQUS6Em7Ar6wc1GnzpU4NWBKhTAK

WARNING! This game its so addictive
cbeast
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August 12, 2011, 04:02:24 PM
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Dan Kaminsky brings up good points. These are all security and engineering issues. I still don't see how the existing banking system can compete with a fully automated and highly secure bitcoin network after the long block-chain issue has been resolved, QED. In essence he is saying that the transaction traffic will get too large for peer-to-peer to work. Dan seems to think that gigabytes per second is a lot of traffic and only "banks" can handle it. I'm not sure that even Visa is anywhere near as big a network as torrent (which is bigger than Netflix and Hulu combined). He is looking at the instability of the current bitcoin network and presuming it can be somehow taken over by 51% control, which is untrue. I absolutely disagree that a "banking" model is needed. In fact, even the pool model is only a convenience, nothing more. There isn't an optimal size for a pool, so any size pool will work fine, even solo mining.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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