I like the concept of BitCoin, and I was just recently introduced to it. One of the key points I found interesting was anonymous transactions. I haven't dvelved deep into all the details yet, as my schedule is too busy, but I've read a few forum threads and poked a bit around in the source, and today I successfully set up mining with the GPU on my system. I poked around in the log files, and I noticed that when I ran the daemon that was included in the windows binary package bitcoin-0.3.20.01 that I downloaded from this site, I get automatically connected to pelican.heliacal.net. I entered this server manually and found that there was a lot of users on this server:
Channel Users Topic
#bitcoin 3160 see #bitcoin-dev or #bitcoin-dev on freenode
#bitcoin-dev 6 We've been slashdotted! Yay! | http://bitcoin.org/
- Bitcoin Development - We're here to help support the Bitcoin system and its use.
I can't remember that I ever approved that any software I downloaded should be used for this purpose, neither can I remember anywhere that there were any warnings. As it is now, a lot of users can be tracked on this server, and a lot of information can be extracted, such as ip-adresses.
Is this desirable? I am just wondering.
I found this in the FAQ:
How does the peer finding mechanism work?
Bitcoin finds peers primarily by connecting to an IRC server (channel #bitcoin on irc.lfnet.org). If a connection to the IRC server cannot be established (like when connecting through TOR), an in-built node list will be used and the nodes will be queried for more node addresses.
What happens when this centralized server goes down? And isn't the whole point of Bitcoin to be desentralized with no hub that any government or malicious hackers can attack and shut down?
Excuse me for all these questions but I did a search on this forum for pelican.heliacal.net and did not get any hits. I realize the domain is registered to developer Laszlo Hanyecz and is probably very legit.
But I don't get it why clients are connecting to a irc-server. That reminds me somehow of how bot-nets are organized. Is the reason that everyone gets connected to this central server that there is so few users at this moment? I saw there was only about 3k+ users on this channels, so maybe it is just the deamon (bitcoind.exe) that connects to the irc-server?
I am aware that programming is a tedious task, so my hat's goes off to all the programmers that makes this happen. But I was just wondering about these issues.