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Question: Is the OP correct?
yes - 77 (38.5%)
no - 100 (50%)
yes and no (my logic is posted in the thread) - 23 (11.5%)
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Author Topic: "Failure to Understand Bitcoin Could Cost Investors Billions" (Bitcoin's flaws)  (Read 42132 times)
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AnonyMint
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February 08, 2014, 11:18:27 AM
 #1

Update: please read this post for a clarification of the meaning of this "OP" (opening post).


(Doug) Casey Research's Alex Daley (a former high ranked executive at Microsoft) penned a myopic rebuttal to internet pioneer, now venture capitalist Marc Andreessen's myopic fanboy regurgitation of the often repeated incorrect theories about Bitcoin's key innovation and future. It is important to read Alex's article first. These two and most of the Bitcoin community are far from understanding what is really going on. Thus expect the majority to vote "No" here, to reaffirm their myopia.

Daley essentially incorrectly argues that money can't exist without top-down corporate and government control (although he admits it could in a "wild west" mad max world which I think is to some extent where we are headed after 2016), yet correctly argues that Bitcoin has insurmountable (also) flaws for consumer payment without top-down take over while he failed to enumerate many of the reasons Bitcoin is vulnerable to top-down take over. Copying the myopia of most of the Bitcoin community, Andreessen fails to understand the reasons Bitcoin is doomed to a future of top-down control analogous to the top-down global money solutions being patented recently by the major banks.

Before enumerating the specifics, I want to first address the factors driving interest and adoption of Bitcoin. Foremost is the desire to end the mismatch of the fact that the internet enables bottom-up, decentralized freedom (of speech and enterprise) yet payment being top-down controlled by a few large corporations which also translates to control by the various governments, e.g. AML and KYC laws since the false-flag farce of terrorism was foisted on the world to fool the sheep. Not only does this mean more layers of tsuris and parasites when starting up and maintaining enterprise on the internet and a fractured global internet payment system, e.g. many sellers in third world countries can't accept Paypal nor credit card payments or have severe limits, it also means we fundamentally don't have any individual freedom without relying on governments and society remaining functional and sane. Unfortunately history has shown that periodically throughout all recorded history since Mesopotamia ALL governments and society eventually go insane (more on that later).

Secondly, given this breathtaking potential to fundamentally bring payment into coherence with the decentralized freedom of the internet, there is immense investment demand for the killer crypto-currency. This sustains an investment boom until everyone that is going to use or be involved with that ecosystem is already fully invested. During that investment boom, the payment system doesn't need to be superior in every way to existing fiat solutions that Daley mentioned, because the investment demand along with the myopic dream of that breathtaking potential creates demand and interest. Daley is correct in another way which he did not mention. If the underlying payment capabilities are not superior (nor have a killer feature such as anonymity [2] to make them more compelling) thus not scaling with the investment demand then when that investment demand is saturated, there is a bubble that will burst. Even CoinCube, Gary North (Ron Paul adviser), Henry Blodget, Peter Schiff, and others agree.

Bitcoin Take Over Threats

  • Coming $Trillion(s) bubble burst will demand world government intervention & cooperation [1] (Bernie Madoff is so much smaller)
  • Selfish mining attack confirmed by skeptics
  • Those who were anonymous lose it ex post facto, when tax & law enforcement attack a.k.a. "coin taint" the numerous non-anonymous [2]
  • 51% attack because mining is concentrated in a few pools
  • 51% attack because mining is ASICs concentrated and ASICs foundries could be purchased with unlimited fiat. Note also ASICs can't be re-purposed as PCs can, i.e. each ASIC only works for a specific coin design.
  • 51% attack because mining is not funded with perpetual debasement (new coins) to remain proportional to market value, instead transaction fees can not scale to market cap because even debit cards & ACH charge a flat-fee not a percentage of transaction value. Thus the world's rich (denominated in coin) grow more wealthy relative to the income of the miners.
  • Non-zero transaction fees allows cartel take over via Transactions Withholding Attack and Spiraling Transaction Fees tragedy of the commons.
  • Lack of perpetual debasement means 51% attack gets less expensive (proportional to market cap) over time.
  • Pools can be attacked with Share Withholding Attack fixable with oblivious shares
  • Blockchain requires increasingly powerful full clients as scale to billions of transaction, thus more centralization and vulnerability to 51% attack.
  • Superior altcoin

Bitcoin Killer Altcoin

The Bitcoin killer will thus have at least the following features.

  • provably cpu-only mining with botnet resistance (current proof-of-stake can't redistribute new coins to masses & I posit it isn't secure)
  • built-in anonymity (to minimize non-anonymous users)
  • small, reasonable perpetual debasement
  • zero transaction fees (with economic transaction spam resistance)
  • economically limited pool sizes
  • oblivious shares
  • selfish-mining fix
  • mini block-chain design
  • faster 1-confirmation block chain, e.g. 1 minute instead of Bitcoin's 10 min delay, if the orphan rate can be contained

Note the argument of an absolute network effect advantage for Bitcoin is illogical. The network effect can lead to more mass for Bitcoin but it can't entirely shut out altcoins, not in the way that for example an internet standard shuts out alternatives due to the inertia of modifying millions of servers. For example, my coolpage.com was first in 1998 with a million users by 2001 (roughly 1% of the internet at the time), Friendster followed 2002 later peaking with 100+ million, Myspace 2006, and then Facebook 2008. Last year Bitcoin was only at an estimated 350,000 users. We have a long way to go to 7 billion.

Since the Knowledge Age is rising [3], socialism is peaking into an economic collapse soon (maybe to rise even higher in future), thus we headed into a crazy period where the governments will try to fund the $150 trillion global debt bubble [4] by hunting down all private capital (G20 announced a database for this today, NSA will contribute and note this is the bankster business model for them to own everything), then as Bitcoin is taken over top-down then the alternative coin with the above features will take over and become the surviving private sector. For this new virtual economy, e.g. downloaded 3D printing designs which we print at home instead of going to store (and 3D printers can print numerous materials on the same object), there are many cases that don't need the consumer protection charge backs. You won't likely be paying a high enough price for a download to justify the hassle of charging it back any way. A 7 billion person market is huge, prices will decrease while profits for individual designers will rise! Prosperity!

Also Alex Daley apparently isn't aware of the scripting capability in Bitcoin which enables multi-party contracts, off-chain activity a.k.a. colored coins, and thus escrows and other forms of consumer protection are also possible.

Near-term it pays to hold the crypto-currency as a store-of-value as investment demand rises over perhaps the next decade or more, and after that as I explained [3] that Knowledge Age workers will prefer to store their capital in knowledge, e.g. offering bounties to more developers than storing in money, so money will shift more to a unit-of-exchange and away from a store-of-value (because new knowledge can't be driven in large-scale by usury finance of large, dumb capital) and in fact only Dark Ages have been associated with non-debased, hard, money as a store-of-value, thus the crypto-currency can be our unit-of-account and we won't need to exchange it in real-time to the dollar or SDR socialism world currency (as many merchants currently do with Bitpay for Bitcoin to get paid in fiat instead of bitcoins). The Knowledge Age economy can find sufficient scale to keep commerce denominated in the crypto-currency and rarely exchange out to fiat for those rarer physical purchases as the physical industrial economy fades away.

Footnotes

[1] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg4869474#msg4869474

4. What other solution can you propose for Europeans to hide their wealth from the coming IMF suggestion "financial repression" of confiscating money from Euro bank accounts? Sure they are busy buying land in the USA and else where to hide this money, but of course the G20 is planning to cooperate to track down all of this and confiscate it together (the formation of world governance).

[2] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=351712.msg3837816#msg3837816
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=351712.msg3845771#msg3845771
http://hackingdistributed.com/2013/11/19/why-da-man-loves-bitcoin/#untraceability-versus-anonymity
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=195275.msg3385368#msg3385368
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg3944395#msg3944395
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=279650.msg3525312#msg3525312

Gonzalo Lira explains why anonymity is so important but Bitcoin doesn't make most users anonymous.

Quote
Also, actually acquiring bitcoins is remarkably complex—and completely negates the supposed anonymity of bitcoin. Here’s a Reddit editor discussing how tough it was for him to get bitcoins, which is fairly typical of retail customers: A whole lot of hassles, and he still couldn’t buy any. And for all the talk of “bitcoin’s anonymity”, you need a whole truckload of verifiable documents making clear who you are in order to buy your first bitcoin. So the bitcoin-anonymity argument is a chimera.

The failure to meet that condition—“buy or sell exclusively and necessarily with bitcoin”—is what makes bitcoin essentially useless.

[3] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg4926212#msg4926212
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=355212.0
https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=oxford+university+predicts+47%25+technological+unemployment
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg4165741#msg4165741
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg4192799#msg4192799

[4] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg3902083#msg3902083

Errata

I am in the process of gathering links to my prior explanations of and math on why the people lose and wealth is concentrated under both deflation and inflation, and that debasement is not correlated to whether the people attain greater or less prosperity. Check back in this section later, as I will add them below.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg4379076#msg4379076
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=222998.msg3615848#msg3615848 (math)
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=195275.msg3357270#msg3357270
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/01/10/why-hyperinflation-is-nonsense/

It is centralized control over debasement that is very detrimental to the people (because for example the Fed can make a hockey stick of the money supply chart at-will), whereas decentralized debasement is a boon to the people as explained in the above links. Unlike in the 1800s when we had more frequent bank runs and depressions, central banking has enabled delaying the debt defaults and write-downs so now even the IMF admits we are at a 200 year debt peak and thus is recommending that massive confiscation of wealth is required. Most people don't realize we had a depression in the USA in 1919, but we recovered in 2 years because the government did not delay the defaults. Whereas, the 1929 Great Depression lingered for decades and required a World War to resolve, because of FDR's New Deal and preventing the defaults and chaotic correction. Frequent defaults correct the economy before it gets "too big to fail" (TBTF). Now we potentially face an Apocalyptic or Mad Max outcome because we grew our debt to a 200 year high. My hope is that the better crypto-currency could help protect private capital from "socialism gone insane" so that the worst outcome can be avoided.

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February 08, 2014, 06:02:37 PM
 #2

Yes votes are in the lead?

Bet that wont last long Cool

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February 08, 2014, 08:04:38 PM
 #3

My answer: NO

Bitcoin is the the first cryptocurrency ever and it will continue to expand as long as its protocol is not compromised (which is very unlikely even in a distant future).

Do not underestimate the importance of network effect.
It's like VISA, which launched in 1950s as revolutionary payment service. Although now it's too primitive comparing to hundreds of new electronic payment systems, it still covers the most of the market.

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February 08, 2014, 08:15:05 PM
 #4

Nice post.

Now I'd really like to get a discussion going on this alt crypto coin saver. Could it be zerocoin? What about Anonymint's own coin, how's that going? The sooner this coin hits the market the better.

Another question, couldn't precious metals be a good alternative for saving wealth anonymously out of reach from confiscation?

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February 08, 2014, 09:17:25 PM
 #5

I have not yet read a competent technical rebuttal to the threats of Bitcoin becoming more centralized and losing coherence with the decentralized internet or perhaps even someone will argue that the internet giants will also succeed in centralizing the internet and we lose the freedoms that empowered the individual.

I am an engineer, programmer, mathematician, and logician. I want to see concrete technical arguments at the level of my OP. Frankly I am disappointed with the quality of the (rebuttal) posts thus far.

Update on Feb 20: Note I apparently deleted blablahblah's upthread rebuttal (or he deleted it, I can't remember), which I have quoted and replied to below.


Bitcoin is the the first cryptocurrency ever and it will continue to expand as long as its protocol is not compromised (which is very unlikely even in a distant future).

I provided specific technical attack threats. You have not refuted them.

Do not underestimate the importance of network effect.
It's like VISA, which launched in 1950s as revolutionary payment service. Although now it's too primitive comparing to hundreds of new electronic payment systems, it still covers the most of the market.

The government regulation that must be hurdled to compete with VISA is why we don't see global competition. Any one who has tried to compete has been raided and shutdown by the government, e.g. e-gold, the Liberty Dollar, and other one in Panama I forget the name.

As far as I know, we don't need to break any law to create the alternative coin design outlined in the OP. The legalities will fall on the exchanges, but with a cpu-only proof-of-work coin with built-in anonymity, one can mine the coins if they want to anonymous. Imagine you are a European trapped behind the coming capital controls iron curtain and so you go buy some PCs and mine your way out. Unlike specialized ASICs, you are likely to find PCs for sale person-to-person locally.


Now I'd really like to get a discussion going on this alt crypto coin saver. Could it be zerocoin?

No.

  • Validation is too slow, thus can't work technically.
  • Might be back-doored (although this might be fixable)
  • Unproven, very complex new crypto. Needs many years to become trusted and stable.
  • Storage size needed for full clients is impractical if it is mandatory for all users
  • Mixers, laundries, and exchanging between coins which are not mandatory fail for the ex post facto reason I provided in the 3rd item in the Threats section and footnote [2] of the OP
  • Subject to timing attacks, i.e. timing when inputs go in and outputs come out
  • Doesn't obscure the IP address of the participants, and Tor + VPN are inadequate, this will be explained further at the appropriate time

What about Anonymint's own coin, how's that going?

I hope you can appreciate why I would never want to be provably the KEY developer of a such an anonymous coin. One doesn't need to break any law to be a target for assasination. The USA and Europe are not far behind in terms of having laws and executive orders to assassinate citizens without a trial if they are categorized as a "terrorist". I could see myself publicly contributing in a minor refinement bounty work role on such an altcoin, for as long as I am not the creator.

Another question, couldn't precious metals be a good alternative for saving wealth anonymously out of reach from confiscation?

Yes I expect them to locally, but more risky if you need to move them stealthy across a border or checkpoint.

And you can't send them as payment over the internet. Given my expectation of the Knowledge Age taking over the economy, then the global economy would implode if we can only use physical gold. This is what caused prior Dark Ages, the velocity of money plummets (already has fallen 50% since 2008) and gold coins get buried. We are still finding buried stashes from prior Dark Ages today.


Your prejudice against all things centralised or structured "top down" (aka: weasel words for social structures that you emotionally dislike),

I shouldn't need to point out the blatantly obvious...

The premise of the OP is the internet is decentralized and their is a huge demand for a decentralized money to enable internet enterprise to be as freedom-oriented as the decentralized publishing of web pages and other internet activity.

If you prefer a centralized internet, then please feel free to continue to using Paypal, VISA and other centralized payment systems.

fits right in with the 'myopic' Libertarian euphoria surrounding Bitcoin... in 2011 - 2012.

You conflate orthogonal issues. The premise of the OP has nothing to do with the irrational exuberance which caused the early Bitcoin price bubble to $30s then crash. This was due to the fact that early adopter geeks are not experienced investment speculators (technical analysis traders). They didn't understand the maturation and adoption cycle of new technologies.


In defence of the Libertarians here, most seem to have quite moderate views in advocating "small" governments and seeing their ideology as a "guiding principle" rather than a hard set of rules.

I am not a wishy-washy, fence-straddling Libertarian who accomplishes nothing. I am an anarchist, who makes it happen by releasing software that enables individual freedom.

Specifically I am some what near to being a polymath (although I am a poor writer and communicator), e.g. I probably connect to all clusters on the Dark Enlightenment map (if following image doesn't display, then click that link to see it at top of page). Note for example I've exchanged communications on his blog with James A. Donald (who was the first person to communicate publicly with Satoshi!).



Bitcoin is doomed to a future of top-down control and thus can't compete with the top-down global money solutions

That's BS. Central control implies a cohesive group of vested interests -- much more dangerous to legacy financial systems than a disorganised collective of FOSS enthusiasts.

You have not technically refuted the Threats section of the OP which drive Bitcoin to a centralized control. If Bitcoin can be taken over by vested interests, then we are back in the same predicament, just a different set of slave masters.

Decentralized means the vested interests can't take control, only contribute in a decentralized competition. Centralized means it gets swept into the power vacuum of democracy.

Re: the $150T bubble collapsing?
Not gonna happen unless levels of mutual distrust in society reach a crisis point.

Eventually you run out of other people's money and productive lifespans. Then comes the outcome that has repeated throughout recorded human history, as linked in the OP.

That most people believe it is impossible for history to repeat, is why we are nearly doomed to an Apocalyptic or Mad Max outcome outcome. The people expect the government and the collective system can take care of them, but in fact it turns on itself like a cancer and eats itself because the money has to come from some where to continue to pay for all the entitled expectations of the people.

Look up the causes of hyperinflation. There doesn't even need to be an increase in the money supply -- hyperinflation is fundamentally a runaway collapse in the amount of trust the average person has in the underlying system.

We are headed into massive deflation, and perhaps you fundamentally don't understand that hyperinflation only occurs in peripheral economics, not in the core of the global economy.

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/01/28/here-we-go-again-hypreinflation/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/01/14/hyperinflation-is-it-even-possible/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/11/20/hyperinflation-all-just-hype/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/01/14/hyperinflation-impossibility-in-private-sector/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/08/11/defining-hyperinflation-the-coming-new-currency/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2012/07/04/hyperinflation/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/02/24/the-untold-truth-about-the-german-hyperinflation/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/06/24/12703/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/12/29/law-of-unintended-consequences/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/the-taxman-cometh/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/10/30/world-trade-turning-negative-same-as-protectionism/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/11/14/the-coming-deflation/
http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/11/09/deflation-the-great-equalizer-now-greece-was-there-a-different-tested-response-in-history-yes/

My point in the Errata section of the OP about centralized control over debasement isn't that hyperinflation results. I never wrote the word hyperinflation. Rather my point is those who have captured the government gain the fruits of that debasement, or it is wasted by the poor fitness of top-down allocation of resources.

Mining is a temporary bootstrapping thing.

No other proof system (i.e. only proof-of-work a.k.a. "PoW") solves the Byzantine Generals Problem which is necessary for decentralized trust over an untrusted network like the Internet. No other proof system distributes new coins to users to both avoid exchange AML and KYC laws, and redistribute capital from the wealthy (dumb, usury parasitic capital) to the masses which is the role socialism was formerly doing.
 
As a feature of money, the 'costliness' of the tokens has near zero utility. Calling that cost "intrinsic value" is just a distraction for people who haven't quite wrapped their heads around more advanced ideas that cash is a symbolic pointer to a web of trust. Smiley
Mining is a (maybe) necessary evil so that trust can be built on immature networks where no naturally trustworthy leaders have emerged yet. Bitcoin allows proof-of-stake to be added. Whereas perpetual POW crappyness is implausible.

I strongly posit proof-of-stake will be proven insecure. It lacks the expanding entropy of proof-of-work.

Trust via reputation (i.e. social capital) or stake (i.e. capital share) inherently degrades to centralization and low entropy outcomes.

I had written in more detail about this. I will try to find my old post, but it is getting extraordinarily difficult for me to find such posts as they are buried in 1000s of posts I have written.

Remember that in March 2013, I was researching the possibility of a proof-of-diskspace alternative, and did some discussion in the Decrits thread to learn more about the issues of how entropy relates to proof of trust in an untrusted network. That is when I had the epiphany that entropy is a critical factor. And I abandoned proof-of-diskspace.

Quote
built-in anonymity (to minimize non-anonymous users)
meh.

You didn't comprehend thoroughly the 3rd item in the Threats section of the OP. Without widespread anonymity, the entire coin can be forced to be non-anonymous and thus take over by the government and right back to fiat again.

Quote
zero transaction fees (with economic transaction spam resistance)
So you want to reinvent hashcash? How? Perhaps a small fee to prevent ddos? Maybe all the miners get together and vote to determine fee levels?... You haven't thought this through, have you?

You are blind, see in the OP where I wrote "with economic transaction spam resistance".

And you ignored the other Threats that derive from non-zero transaction fees and declining debasement coin rewards.

Quote
faster 1-confirmation block chain, e.g. 1 minute instead of Bitcoin's 10 min delay, if the orphan rate can be contained
2nd gen cryptos like Ethereum could make that issue completely irrelevant. E.g.: Ethereum would allow you to set up any centralised cash or share system inside a contract, and the "decentralised cloud server mining" nonsense is outsourced and non-intrusive. Your server just runs seamlessly until it runs out of funds.

Off-chain solutions don't entirely replace all on-chain use cases. (Novice readers, we are referring to transactions that occur on the coin's decentralized block chain which requires trusting no one i.e. Satoshi's new technology of proof-of-work, versus those that are done by "trusted" third parties i.e. right back to the fractional reserve private banking model of the 1800s)

Btw, that name Ethereum is not going to work. It is extremely difficult to select a name for the next currency of the world. I understand "it lives in the ether" but that isn't going to work for most people. It needs to sound like money, but not "coin".

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February 08, 2014, 09:28:25 PM
 #6

Following.
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February 08, 2014, 10:32:29 PM
 #7

Agreed with OP, too many people have invested not knowing of the many risks. It won't be long before a more comprehensive coin is released.

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February 09, 2014, 11:02:22 AM
 #8

Anonymint, I'm disapointed you are letting the work with your coin go, although i understand you.

Couldn't you try to work together with a team (like zerocoin) and together work towards your goals?

I personally think you were just to active in these forums and should just have released your coin anonymously. As is now I see the problem in doing that.

Too bad nonetheless since it seems like not many appreciate what you are saying. We might never see a coin that has your requirements..

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February 09, 2014, 11:07:30 AM
 #9

I personally think you were just to active in these forums and should just have released your coin anonymously. As is now I see the problem in doing that.

Indeed.  Sad

However I am not as pessimistic on the possibility of the market need being fulfilled soon.   Smiley

Listen to this audio to see in their own words how totalitarian the US government has become behind the curtain. Wikipedia says she was the prime suspect in the Benghazi fiasco which is part of this push Middle East towards the world currency.

http://armstrongeconomics.com/2013/09/04/syria-benghazi-connection/


I see no need to reply to blablahblah's latest (naive or intentional?) post. He has a preference for centralized outcomes. I am sure readers have enough information already to formulate an accurate appraisal.

Your prejudice against all things centralised or structured "top down" (aka: weasel words for social structures that you emotionally dislike),

I shouldn't need to point out the blatantly obvious...

The premise of the OP is the internet is decentralized

It's geographically distributed and that's what makes the Internet useful.

Because no nation controls it, i.e. decentralized. And there are other freedoms that come from it being decentralized, e.g. free speech of self-publishing such as blogs. And many other decentralized freedoms. The rest of your post shows you still don't understand how centralization destroys freedom, fitness, and leads to horrific failure. We already had that debate in the Mad Max thread. I will not tolerate the redundancy (thus noise) of unnecessarily repeating the same debate in this thread.

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February 09, 2014, 11:18:18 AM
 #10

Bitcoin Take Over Threats

  • Coming $Trillion(s) bubble burst will demand world government intervention & cooperation [1] (Bernie Madoff is so much smaller)
  • Selfish mining attack confirmed by skeptics
  • Those who were anonymous lose it ex post facto, when tax & law enforcement attack a.k.a. "coin taint" the numerous non-anonymous [2]
  • 51% attack because mining is concentrated in a few pools
  • 51% attack because mining is ASICs concentrated and ASICs foundries could be purchased with unlimited fiat. Note also ASICs can't be re-purposed as PCs can, i.e. each ASIC only works for a specific coin design.
  • 51% attack because mining is not funded with perpetual debasement (new coins) to remain proportional to market value, instead transaction fees can not scale to market cap because even debit cards & ACH charge a flat-fee not a percentage of transaction value. Thus the world's rich (denominated in coin) grow more wealthy relative to the income of the miners.
  • Non-zero transaction fees allows cartel take over via Transactions Withholding Attack
  • Pools can be attacked with Share Withholding Attack fixable with oblivious shares
  • Blockchain requires increasingly powerful full clients as scale to billions of transaction, thus more centralization and vulnerability to 51% attack.
  • Superior altcoin
So basically barring the first and the last, all the threats you are listing are related to the Proof of Work mining. Despiste what you are saying, I think Proof of Stake mining address these problems.

The first threat - government cooperation - is highly speculative and I prefer put my money on Bitcoin rather than on this eventually.

So it's boils down to: will Proof of Stake overtake Proof of Work. The market will decide. The only thing investors have to do is hedging by capturing the same portion of the PoS coin supply that they have in Bitcoin (Bitshares and NXT being the most serious PoS coins from my point of view)
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February 09, 2014, 11:25:59 AM
 #11

Bitcoin Take Over Threats

  • Coming $Trillion(s) bubble burst will demand world government intervention & cooperation [1] (Bernie Madoff is so much smaller)
  • Selfish mining attack confirmed by skeptics
  • Those who were anonymous lose it ex post facto, when tax & law enforcement attack a.k.a. "coin taint" the numerous non-anonymous [2]
  • 51% attack because mining is concentrated in a few pools
  • 51% attack because mining is ASICs concentrated and ASICs foundries could be purchased with unlimited fiat. Note also ASICs can't be re-purposed as PCs can, i.e. each ASIC only works for a specific coin design.
  • 51% attack because mining is not funded with perpetual debasement (new coins) to remain proportional to market value, instead transaction fees can not scale to market cap because even debit cards & ACH charge a flat-fee not a percentage of transaction value. Thus the world's rich (denominated in coin) grow more wealthy relative to the income of the miners.
  • Non-zero transaction fees allows cartel take over via Transactions Withholding Attack
  • Pools can be attacked with Share Withholding Attack fixable with oblivious shares
  • Blockchain requires increasingly powerful full clients as scale to billions of transaction, thus more centralization and vulnerability to 51% attack.
  • Superior altcoin
So basically barring the first and the last, all the threats you are listing are related to the Proof of Work mining. Despiste what you are saying, I think Proof of Stake mining address these problems.

The first threat - government cooperation - is highly speculative and I prefer put my money on Bitcoin rather than on this eventually.

So it's boils down to: will Proof of Stake overtake Proof of Work. The market will decide. The only thing investors have to do is hedging by capturing the same portion of the PoS coin supply that they have in Bitcoin (Bitshares and NXT being the most serious PoS coins from my point of view)

I refuted the security of Bitshares.

PoS and proof-of-primes (e.g. Primecoin) do not solve the anonymity take over Threat. See the 3rd item.

Proof-of-primes can not be mathematically as secure as PoW. The entropy security issue always applies to all the non-PoW systems.

Proof systems which attempt to do useful computational work can not be secure.

PoS can not redistribute new coin in way that rewards individual effort and ingenuity as proof-of-work can. For example, I've explained that stream microhydropower is the least expensive electricity on the planet. Of course any non-PoW coin can redistribute coins equally or based on share, but that is just Communism (a very failed economic concept of course!). Thus we are right back to needing socialism to redistribute coin from slow large capital to faster smaller capital for us. Otherwise the wealthy accumulate all of the wealth. I covered this in great detail in the MadMax thread. See the links in Errata section of the OP and my first rebuttal to blablahblah.

Proof-of-stake requires no significant computation thus runs on any PC, but it can't be a coin of the masses because it can't distribute new coin in any competitive manner accessible to those only with a PC. Wealth is power law distributed¹ thus transactions will never do the job that socialism does to redistribute wealth to the masses and prevent the wealthiest 1% from owning everything. For money to not end up fiat where it can be debased top-down by socialism, the decentralized crypto-currency must be able to do the redistribution job that socialism is doing.

¹Dragulescu & Yakovenko. Exponential and power-law probability distributions of wealth and income in the United Kingdom and the United States

PoS means the elite control the transaction processing, i.e. the 51% attack is built-in by design. We are right back to same problem again. Only proof-of-work solves the Byzantine Generals Problem. See my first rebuttal to blablahblah.

Sorry.

P.S. I am confident PoS is not secure. If I put some time on that, I bet I can write down a proof. Will do at some point in future.

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February 09, 2014, 11:42:37 AM
 #12

Note the following quoted posts were deleted only because I have retained all their comments in my reply. Keeping the thread concise as possible.

I think your concerns about the distribution and the anonymity are your own concerns - that honors you - but not those of the market.

The market doesn't care what is fair, if that wase the case the world would be fair. And anonymity is a secondary need (see how Facebook was thriving). If that need is not fullfill by Bitcoin the market will just say "so be it". And the truth is that with mixing services this need can still be address.

I already explained that if mixing is not mandatory for all, then all anonymity is destroyed. See footnote [2] in the OP. Please you are not knowledgeable enough and you need to do some reading first.

Most people don't realize what is coming, i.e. the market is currently wrong. Once they realize, they will run for the hills to save themselves.

=================AnonyMint==================
Since the Knowledge Age is rising [3], socialism is peaking into an economic collapse soon (maybe to rise even higher in future), thus we headed into a crazy period where the governments will try to fund the $150 trillion global debt bubble by hunting down all private capital (G20 announced a database for this today, NSA will contribute, and note this is the bankster business model for them to own everything), then as Bitcoin is taken over top-down then the alternative coin with the above features will take over and become the surviving private sector.

Most people don't realize we had a depression in the USA in 1919, but we recovered in 2 years because the government did not delay the defaults. Whereas, the 1929 Great Depression lingered for decades and required a World War to resolve, because of FDR's New Deal and preventing the defaults and chaotic correction. Frequent defaults correct the economy before it gets "too big to fail" (TBTF). Now we potentially face an Apocalyptic or Mad Max outcome because we grew our debt to a 200 year high. My hope is that the better crypto-currency could help protect private capital from "socialism gone insane" so that the worst outcome can be avoided.
=================AnonyMint==================

For those who didn't click all the links in my OP, you probably missing this chart on what happened to the population of Rome:



Note that collapse was slower then because the government confiscation and citizenry fleeing was physical. Whereas now the G20 is planning digital confiscation of wealth, they will just zap your bank account. So the fleeing will be also nearly instantaneous digital actions.

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February 09, 2014, 03:33:55 PM
 #13

Note the following quoted posts were deleted only because I have retained all their comments in my reply. Keeping the thread concise as possible.

I am not technical person and I don't know how PoS is secure but at first glance it seems to remove the 51% attack problem. If the viability of the coin depends on people which have the most of it, then it's very secure (fairness concerns put aside).

PoS means the elite control the transaction processing, i.e. the 51% attack is built-in by design. We are right back to same problem again.

No, "Proof of Stake" is a synonym for "trusted central entity". Security is only a concern to the extent that you can't trust the rich guy to competently manage money.

If blablahblah makes me repeat this again, I will delete his post and not reply to it. You are repeating the same claim that we don't need decentralization. I already replied to you twice upthread as follows. Trust in centralization is precisely the power vacuum that leads to abuse of power that causes the individuals to lose their freedom, money, and lives. Thus it is synonymous with no (false sense of) security. I provided enough examples already in the Max Mad thread which is linked from the OP. We don't need to redo that debate you and I already did in the Mad Max thread. You like centralization. Understood. So you go that way, and those of us who want to bet on decentralization will go the other direction. We will see in a few years when we are on the rim of the cliff staring at you down in the abyss (if you are still discernible down there).

=================AnonyMint==================
...blablahblah ... has a preference for centralized outcomes.

Your prejudice against all things centralised or structured "top down" (aka: weasel words for social structures that you emotionally dislike),

I shouldn't need to point out the blatantly obvious...

The premise of the OP is the internet is decentralized and their is a huge demand for a decentralized money to enable internet enterprise to be as freedom-oriented as the decentralized publishing of web pages and other internet activity.

If you prefer a centralized internet, then please feel free to continue to using Paypal, VISA and other centralized payment systems.
=================AnonyMint==================

A "51% attack" is a theatrical assault on the public ledger. I.e.: actual damage is caused, and it appears to be caused by some evil elite, so that people panic and are herded into other markets.

2 completely different things.

When the sheep are asleep, a 51% attack could also be insidious similar to the horrific power vacuum with "trusted" centralization outcome. The attack would be noticed by experts, but the sheep might not care.

Only proof-of-work solves the Byzantine Generals Problem. See my first rebuttal to blablahblah.

Proof of work does not solve the Byzantine Generals Problem. You still have to trust that the majority chain is honest. Hence the so-called 51% attack vectors.
But if you disagree, be a good sport and tell us how the Generals would:
a) agree on which Bitcoin-like system they should all use,
b) be sure that the majority coordinator is honest.

In decentralized PoW the majority chain has no coordinator. There is absolutely no trust. Any participant who doesn't follow the protocol is rejected by the protocol. All participants are competing for highly random entropy to be the chosen winner of the next block confirmation. Perhaps you need to read Satoshi's seminal Bitcoin whitepaper again.


Too much 'not so useful text', a simple answer would be no. Bitcoin won't be replaced by a random altcoin regardless of its features.

This sounds marvellous. Will it also do my shopping and change the wheel on my car when it gets a puncture?

This will be the only warning.

Posts such as the above which add no substantive reasoning, will be deleted. We can probably assume and attribute 2 of the "No" votes came from these two. This is not a thread for lazy "because we want it to be so regardless of logic and technical understanding" spammers and fanboys.

As usual, LaudaM's post have 0 information content (its usually more a feeling of empathy than angst, at least in a self-moderated thread where I can block him). I can assume that davidgdg is implying that anonymity should be up to each individual user and not mandatory, which I already explained in footnote [2] in the OP causes all anonymous users of and thus Bitcoin to be subject to easy control by the government (taxation and law enforcement). If he has another implied meaning, he needs to write it. I will not tolerate posts which are not a sincere attempt to convey information clearly.

Update davidgdg replied:

Sure I will spell it out. Your argument seems to be that Bitcoin will be replaced by some hypothetical Perfectcoin. But Perfectcoin does not exist. So your argument really amounts to "bitcoin will fail because it will be replaced by something much better". Well maybe. But that depends when, how much better, whether bitcoin can evolve, so on and so forth.  You don't address any of these points.

The "how much better", why Bitcoin can't "evolve" were specifically addressed in the OP (c.f. the links where it says "insurmountable (also) flaws" in the OP). Read again more carefully, read the linked threads, read and read and think. Sorry the OP has a very high information content and it is not for the lazy readers.

Those who vote "No" are going to miss an opportunity to attain massive fortunes. I am very happy if 99% vote "No". Leave more wealth for me  Kiss

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February 09, 2014, 06:13:25 PM
 #14

Note the following quoted post was deleted only because I have retained all the comments in my reply. Keeping the thread concise as possible.

Concretely how do you think governements would take control over Bitcoin?

That would necessite to take control of the Internet and totalitarian measures. In this apocalyptic context altcoins would have the same fate than Bitcoin.

I already explained in the linked threads in OP. Doesn't require takeover of internet. Totalitarian measures have already started. I proposed an altcoin that would not face the same doom.

I am not going to repeat all the discussion that is linked from the OP. Lazy readers are not important to me. And if I had to repeat every discussion I already did for every new reader that can't read the prior discussion, I would be a slave to lazy readers. I would never get any other productive work done. I would spend my entire life re-writing over and over again for each new lazy reader, because there are billions of them.

No single government controls all of the internet. The protocols of the internet are highly decentralized and self-repairing. The government can not shut down the entire internet, because for one reason they rely on it to function. Not only their daily functions, but it is also the greatest data collection system on citizens they ever had. One week with the internet shutdown would result in total chaos for the western governments. They could try to filter certain traffic, but we can hide our traffic in HTTPS and SSL such that they can not discern which traffic should be filtered. If the governments push too hard, the youth will simply create a new internet and say "F U" to the boomers who are running the governments. The youth are addicted to internet and there is no way they will tolerate even a week without their connectivity.

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February 10, 2014, 08:13:15 AM
 #15

From the Mad Max thread...

Anonymint - your last post contained 46 links.

That just shows how motivated and enthusiastic he is...

The "Yes" votes on this thread and the other one are surprisingly high.  Tongue

I did not expect such a high percentage of the readers would agree with me. I am accustomed to being far ahead of the crowd, and my views don't become mainstream until a decade after I start to capitalize on them.

So this could mean I have a found a filter (topic of Bitcoin and decentralization) for people more like me, and/or it could mean I've been much too slow to capitalize on these sort of macro-economic, geopolitical insights that I started contemplating after 9/11 and researching seriously since 2005.

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February 10, 2014, 02:34:06 PM
 #16

However I am not as pessimistic on the possibility of the market need being fulfilled soon.   Smiley

Sir kindly check your Messages. Our group is working on a similar design.
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February 10, 2014, 03:59:26 PM
 #17

To show I am fair, I acknowledge that blahbermouth created an alternative noise thread.

Self moderated threads are for pansies.

Should I waste my time replying, just to serve his attention-whoring needs?

One last set of rebuttals from me to this jealous idiot. While he is masturbating with useless noise, self-moderated threads can be all about filtering spam to focus on serious discussion and work to actually release new software.

I received a PM earlier explaining the quotes were kept, just the original deleted to keep things concise...

Indeed you did.

So I made my own thread. Problem solved! Cheesy

Oh the irony of you using decentralized freedom to circumvent my top-down managed thread. (don't you think I am smart enough to have done this on purpose so you would prove my point!) Yet upthread you claimed the internet is not about decentralization (i.e. individual independence) and you didn't understand why individual control is "freedom-oriented". Sigh.  Roll Eyes

Finally, regarding the topic at hand:
Where did I say that I 'like' centralisation? I didn't.

For the love of Christy, just read what you wrote upthread.  Wink

I already explained that trust is a fundamental issue concerning the design of money...

And I explained upthread why only PoW allows decentralized trust of the protocol without needing to trust the reputation of the participants.

You are so fucking slow minded! Stay away from my threads. I am tired of your tiny brain wasting my time.

Who in their right mind would even download the source code, if they can't even be sure they're getting the right software because NONE of the participants can be trusted?

Don't conflate the trust of open source due to the Linus Law "given enough eyeballs, every bug is shallow", with the type of proof scheme chosen to remove the need to trust reputations of individual participants.

You fucking conflate everything. Your IQ is too low. I don't want your posts, and take your low IQ cohorts with you. Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.

P.S. Your low IQ cohorts can repost their deleted spam posts in your thread. I have already provided a link to it above. Readers can follow that link to read posts which I deemed to be political grandstanding noise and not sincere discussion. Or repeating debates that were already made in other threads which are linked from the OP. If they want to continue those orthogonal debates, they can put their posts in those orthogonal threads which are already linked in the OP. For example, I deleted Rassah's political grandstanding re-posting his interpretation of the Transactions Withholding Attack here, because I would have to repost all my comments from that thread in this thread too which would be an inane duplication of effort and burying this thread. He already posted in that thread and I refuted him already in that linked thread. Readers can go read the entire thread if they want to see the debate.

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February 10, 2014, 04:12:45 PM
 #18

However I am not as pessimistic on the possibility of the market need being fulfilled soon.   Smiley

Sir kindly check your Messages. Our group is working on a similar design.

I noticed before your name choice poll, but I didn't like the choices much except perhaps silicoin. I like unigit because it isn't lost in the dozens of "coin" altcoins, but it is not obvious that it means money.

Btw, that name Ethereum is not going to work. It is extremely difficult to select a name for the next currency of the world. I understand "it lives in the ether" but that isn't going to work for most people. It needs to sound like money, but not "coin".

Ethereum is too difficult to pronounce and spell.

Another problem is the units of the currency, i.e. "I own 3 ethereums" because it is not clear that an etheruem is a unit, i.e. 3 ethers. Whereas "I own 3 bitcoins" is clearly 3 coins.

Some people might be tempted to pronounce it as "uni-get" instead of "uni-jet", yet that isn't the phonetics of the spelling in english words so they would be clearly in error except that I think people mispronounce github as "get-hub" instead of "jet-hub"?

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February 11, 2014, 10:52:18 AM
 #19

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg5075050#msg5075050

B) Technical critique of Bitcoins flaws:
Undecided: I don't have sufficient technical knowledge of bitcoin to judge for myself. All those who do have said knowledge have either an agenda or a vested interest.

It doesn't matter if they think the Transactions Withholding Attack won't happen, because 0 transaction fees are more popular.  Tongue

They think there is a problem with transaction spam if transaction fees are 0, but that is because they haven't thought out-of-the-box of how to design a system that is different than Bitcoin in very amazing ways.

One day soon these guys are going to read some whitepapers that are going to make them walk away with their tail between their legs.

Also mining can't be funded from transaction fees proportional to the growth in the market cap of Bitcoin unless transactions grow as fast (and they are not) and transaction fees are a percentage (and they are not or better not because debit cards and ACH are flat fee), thus it is logically irrefutable that the value of attacking Bitcoin will increase faster than the funding for mining to protect against a 51% attack.

You don't need to be technical to understand that simple math.

C) Need for Anonyminity:
In Agreement (reluctantly): This has some major major downsides but I have been unable to think of a better solution to the power vacuum.

We always had it in the past with cash and gold, it only now we need to add it to digital age because the government is gaining an unfair advantage and can now track everything.

We are just restoring the balance that had always been there before but which is being lost currently and helping socialism to go into an insane peak.

Have you voted in moolaching's naming poll?

Let me expound on that math.

If tx fees increase proportional to the rise in the BTC price, then Bitcoin becomes uncompetitive with debit cards, ACH, Swift, and wire transfers, which all have a flat fee.

If tx fees don't scale porportional the rise in the BTC price, then because the annual rate of new coin rewards diminish over time, then the funding for mining is declining proportional to the rise of the Bitcoin market cap over time.

Thus Bitcoin is becoming less expensive to 51% attack over time relative to the market value of Bitcoin.

For an attacker such as the government, the market value of Bitcoin determines the value of taking control of it.

For miners, the revenue paid out for mining determines the amount of processing power they can apply to the security against a 51% attack.

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February 11, 2014, 09:58:31 PM
 #20

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=365141.msg5087444#msg5087444

So, who is the benevolent dictator of TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP, BitTorrent, VOIP? Nice theory, but it doesn't really apply to protocols.

Duh, the point in my prior post and the quoted one below was TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP have not continued to evolve in drastic ways. They are stuck by vested interests in their original feature set that was set by the original key designers. Just as Bitcoin is.

BitTorrent designs such as Azureus have had the same developer. I was interacting with him technically in 2008.

VoIP is not one protocol. Skype originally had a key development team, not a committee.

===============================
Note the argument of an absolute network effect advantage for Bitcoin is illogical. The network effect can lead to more mass for Bitcoin but it can't entirely shut out altcoins, not in the way that for example an internet standard shuts out alternatives due to the inertia of modifying millions of servers. For example, my coolpage.com was first in 1998 with a million users by 2001 (roughly 1% of the internet at the time), Friendster followed 2002 later peaking with 100+ million, Myspace 2006, and then Facebook 2008. Last year Bitcoin was only at an estimated 350,000 users. We have a long way to go to 7 billion.
================================

We're not all morons down here.

But you are.


Quite a bit of competition you got now with NXT and Ethereum.

NXT is proof-of-stake which means crap. I told you before that I studied the proof-of-work algorithm for Ethereum and it will not remain cpu-only.

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