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Author Topic: How IPv6 will destroy bitcoins  (Read 2394 times)
xtoro
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August 17, 2011, 06:16:57 PM
 #1

EDIT : Just wanted to throw in here that I'm NOT trolling, I DON'T hate bitcoins, and I"M NOT trying to get people to stop mining!  I've been buying up hardware and mining, and I'm still mining, so don't take this post the wrong way, this is just something that popped into my head the other day...



I'm sure some of you are aware of the impending worldwide upgrade from IPv4 to IPv6 because we're simply running out of address space.  The 32-bit IP addresses we know today are close to complete exhaustion, and statistics say that we have less than year until we're out of addresses, especially with the recent boom in smartphones, of which each has it's own IP address...

Temporary solutions have been subnetting and NATing, but the address space has been stretched, far, and chopped into so many pieces that we're running out of fixes.

So, the solution is the long awaited IPv6 (128-bit), which will replace the current IPv4(32-bit) in the next few years, slowly.  How will this kill bitcoins?  Well, IPv6 will also have subnets.  The first and largest of the subnets will be the ones that divide countries and geographical locations according to the first few hexadecimal values.

Meaning, (and these aren't real numbers...) if the IPv6 address starts with 34 then the originating IP is from China, if it starts with A8 then the IP is from the USA, if it starts with 6F then it's from Germany and so on and so on.

So, this is how the governments or ISP's will kill bitcoins if they see fit.  By simply ensuring that ISP's and the like block access to the bitcoin network either outside of their subnet, or selectively block traffic to/from specific subnets.  Effectively creating a bubble around their slice of the internet.

This won't affect ONLY bitcoin, but can affect ANY internet traffic.  So it will be interesting to see what governments and ISPs do when they have their own piece of the internet which they can control.

I do know that yes, you can still use 256-bit encrypted VPN's and proxies, possibly, but to use them all the time for everyday surfing?  Yuck.

Don't mean to put a scare into anyone, because this whole change over is going to take years and years, but it's happening.  I'm already implementing IPv6<->IPv4 translating using TRT Cisco hardware at work since we're considering just getting it over with and switching our internal network to IPv6 now, just to stay ahead of the game.

But as the years pass, you'll notice more people and websites having IPv6 addresses, and IPv4 slowly disappearing...

Food for thought.  Thanks for reading!

And, woohoo! Post 69! Smiley

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August 17, 2011, 06:23:02 PM
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it is needed but I am not looking forward to it.. I'm old and used to ip4 and the addies.

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xtoro
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August 17, 2011, 06:25:42 PM
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it is needed but I am not looking forward to it.. I'm old and used to ip4 and the addies.

Yeah, me too, well, not THAT old, but been into computers/networks/programming since I was a young teen.  I can still draw up my subnet mask tables in a jiffy on scrap paper hahaha

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August 17, 2011, 07:14:38 PM
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It is already trivial to determine the country of an IPv4 address based on public information form IANA and the various RIRs.
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August 17, 2011, 07:42:25 PM
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It is already trivial to determine the country of an IPv4 address based on public information form IANA and the various RIRs.

Yeah, if your ISP really wanted to block your access to the Bitcoin network, they definitely wouldn't need IPv6 to do it.

IPv6 would actually help the network because no more NAT means more nodes accepting incoming connections. That's good because it means data travels faster from node to node.

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toasty
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August 17, 2011, 07:43:41 PM
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ipv6 allocations aren't made according to geographical region, and even then once a block of IPs has been assigned to an ISP/hosting company/corporation/whatever, they're free to use that block anywhere they want.

There are regional "registries" that are responsible for handing out blocks within their region (there's a north american registry called ARIN, one for europe called RIPE, etc) but as long as you have some tangentially related business presence within their region you can request space from any of them. They get assigned large blocks that they break up and give to people (like us) who request them. But once they're assigned, we can use them globally and unless we choose to make it obvious where a specific address is being used, it's very hard to tell.

For example, my company has a large single ipv6 allocation, which we've subnetted into giving addresses to our customers in the US, Europe and Asia. People will make databases of where they think addresses are by bulk WHOIS requests and trying to decipher hostnames in traceroutes, but that's no different than how ipv4 works now.

Further example: ARIN was given 2001:4800:* through 2001:49FF:*, which they broke up handed out to a bunch of different companies/ISPs. You can tell that one of those blocks came originally from ARIN to some company with a connection to North America, but just because the blocks came from that space doesn't mean the end user who got assigned that address is in the US or anything.

For us (slightly altered IPs so nobody gets any funny ideas):

IPv4: We have 99.5.16.0 through 99.5.32.255 assigned to us. 99.5.17.14 might be in the US, but we might have routed 99.5.22.(anything) to our datacenter in Amsterdam.
IPv6: We have 2001:4840:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 - 2001:4840:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF. Some of those addresses might be pointed at our datacenter in the US, some in Tokyo.

You can't tell just by looking at the numbers, and if we want to make it hard to tell we could.


Also, with the P2P nature of bitcoin, you don't need to connect to every person you want to send money to. As long as you can connect to someone, who can connect to someone, who can connect to someone who can eventually get the transaction to the recipient, it still works. If you're in the US and the government compiles a mostly accurate database of all Chinese IPs and blocks them, unless EVERY OTHER COUNTRY blocks china as well, your transaction will still get to China.
xtoro
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August 17, 2011, 08:19:02 PM
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Good info toasty.  I wondered about companies that operated globally!  But I was told again and again at conferences that the subnets(or blocks) will be divided geographically.  Perhaps this was only meant to be divided when it came down to the registries.  But the speakers specifically mentioned how you will be able to tell where an IP is originating from (geographically) solely by the first few digits.

I'm sure this is the latest idea and the intention, (which I was not a fan of), and the ball is still rolling, so I guess time will tell.  I remember TONS of people registering for IPv6 subnet space back in 2002 or 2003, which they were given, only for it to be taken away less than a year later when plans started to change.  Even my organization was given a massive chunk because we operate in most countries worldwide, and have our own satellites to extend our networks, but it was taken away and redistributed, taken away, changed to another range etc etc.  We still have a massive chunk of address space, but who knows if it will change again...

In a way, the idea could have some advantages.  Such as finally being able to "google" something relevant that is in your own region (website, online shop etc) and not what gets the most hits (or fake hits).

I kinda don't like the fact that there will be less NATing, and hope that ISP's retain NATing, since I like the fact that I'm partially protected behind my modem, and my computers' IP's can't be DIRECTLY accessed from across the net.

As for the P2P design being able to reach anywhere as long as there's enough nodes, yes, that works, however, it won't work if all traffic is blocked at the "borderline" for that protocol.  It would essentially break up the single large worldwide P2P network, into smaller independent P2P networks of the same breed that can't talk to eachother anymore.  And it could be done if a government or agency thought it was important enough to do, just look at the great firewall of China... 

If what I've heard at the conferences happens, IPv6 will only make this even easier for everyone to do.

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August 17, 2011, 08:22:49 PM
 #8


If what I've heard at the conferences happens, IPv6 will only make this even easier for everyone to do.

Yea, not meaning to attack your post but essentially this is the only difference IPv6 will make ie: It will just be easier to firewall.

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August 17, 2011, 10:28:22 PM
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Marginally easier, I must say. A "standing on a sheet of rice paper" kind of advantage.

'walling "geo-foreign" traffic is easy already.

P.S.:
And who the living hell connects to bitcoin network w/o TOR anyways :p ?

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August 18, 2011, 05:07:11 AM
 #10

IPv6 would actually help the network because no more NAT means more nodes accepting incoming connections. That's good because it means data travels faster from node to node.

IPv6 means no more NAT?  I think a lot of people will still put networks behind NATing firewalls just for some 'security by obscurity'.   If IPv6 means everyone just plugs every server, workstation and device up to the internet directly, oh boy... going to be a lot of job security for network security experts

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EricJ2190
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August 18, 2011, 05:45:51 AM
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IPv6 means no more NAT?  I think a lot of people will still put networks behind NATing firewalls just for some 'security by obscurity'.   If IPv6 means everyone just plugs every server, workstation and device up to the internet directly, oh boy... going to be a lot of job security for network security experts

It mean NAT is no longer needed. You can still set one up if you need to for some reason, though, in my opinion, a better solution is just a home router that firewalls incoming connections. You'd just configure it with what ports you want open on what host, kind of like port forwarding, but where every host gets a unique public IP so that you can "forward" the same port for two hosts.
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August 18, 2011, 07:09:14 AM
 #12

Also, keep in mind that Bitcoin only requires a trickle of a connection between two cut-off networks to remain synchronized. All it would take is one person to establish an outside connection, somehow. If it's only Bitcoin that's blocked, someone could make a node that encrypts it's connection to an outside node, or disguise the Bitcoin traffic as something else. If the entire internet is blocked, someone just needs a satellite connection (assuming those aren't blocked from connecting to other countries) or backdoor access to an international backbone router.

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August 18, 2011, 09:40:23 AM
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I generally find it doubtful that they will be able to enforce stronger "geographical" binding than already present, due to the fact that v6 addresses will be abundant and cheap if nothing else (I just bought meself a 12USD/year 128MB VPS for playing around with. It has ten v6 addresses "as a bonus" with the contract).

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August 19, 2011, 03:50:49 AM
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I don't see how you can't just use tor or another proxy with bitcoin....

Smiley ;/)
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August 19, 2011, 04:06:52 AM
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Um ... a traceroute gives you the path from you to another IP - so in reality, IPv6 obscurity is, well, a myth.
You just need to know where the router 1 or 2 (or n) steps away from an IP address is to get a pretty good idea where the IP address itself is
(and pretty much about as accurate as determining where an IPv4 address is now)

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xtoro
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August 19, 2011, 06:46:44 AM
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Some of you are missing my point, or I didn't explain it well.  IPv6 will make it MUCH easier to firewall based on location.  Yes, I know you can get geographical info of current IPv4 addresses now, but I'm saying with v6, it will be easier.  And like I also stated in my post, you will still be able to use VPN's/proxies/tunnels/tor to get around it.  My point was simply that the majority of people don't use vpn's or the like 24/7, including myself, even though I do have a really good VPN service which I pay for.  But I mostly use it for downloads, accessing one of my bank accounds, and watching HULU shows since it's blocked in Germany  Grin

My guess is the whole controversy about bitcoin being an "evil hacker's currency to buy drugs" together with national economies around the world becoming more unstable and likely getting worse in the future, is only going to get the attention of governments, bad attention.  And I'm sure there will be governments that will try to put a stop to crypto currency.  Keyword being "try".

Just have a look at Paypal.  They already made it clear that they want nothing to do with the currency right off the bat.

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August 19, 2011, 07:36:07 AM
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Some of you are missing my point, or I didn't explain it well.  IPv6 will make it MUCH easier to firewall based on location.  Yes, I know you can get geographical info of current IPv4 addresses now, but I'm saying with v6, it will be easier.

It might be easier with IPv6, but it is easy enough now with IPv4. If a government wants to restrict Internet by country of IP address, they will do it. In fact, the decision to do so would probably be made by people who neither know nor care exactly how the filtering works on a technical level.
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August 19, 2011, 08:19:59 AM
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...
Just have a look at Paypal.  They already made it clear that they want nothing to do with the currency right off the bat.
Coz it's competition for them.
They lose on people using 'it instead of them' so they will try to destroy it since it's a 'new' idea that they can attack without any legal consequences.
Pretty standard for most businesses these days.
Even Microsoft got the idea from someone else ... namely IBM ... and they got it from ... not sure Smiley

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xtoro
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August 19, 2011, 09:25:46 AM
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...
Just have a look at Paypal.  They already made it clear that they want nothing to do with the currency right off the bat.
Coz it's competition for them.
They lose on people using 'it instead of them' so they will try to destroy it since it's a 'new' idea that they can attack without any legal consequences.
Pretty standard for most businesses these days.
Even Microsoft got the idea from someone else ... namely IBM ... and they got it from ... not sure Smiley

Yes, just as new currencies operating within a country are competition for that nation's currency.

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August 19, 2011, 12:31:25 PM
 #20

Quote
So, the solution is the long awaited IPv6 (128-bit), which will replace the current IPv4(32-bit) in the next few years, slowly.  How will this kill bitcoins?  Well, IPv6 will also have subnets.  The first and largest of the subnets will be the ones that divide countries and geographical locations according to the first few hexadecimal values.

Meaning, (and these aren't real numbers...) if the IPv6 address starts with 34 then the originating IP is from China, if it starts with A8 then the IP is from the USA, if it starts with 6F then it's from Germany and so on and so on.

No it isn't. Not even close.

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