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Author Topic: Bitcoins on Mars  (Read 1458 times)
RHorning
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July 21, 2010, 04:00:54 AM
 #1

I mentioned this in another thread, but I think it has some validity in a general discussion here:

How would you move Bitcoins between the Earth and Mars?

I think the short answer:  You can't.  At least with the current design of the network.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting here that we need to deal with a science fiction eventuality that won't happen for years or even centuries, but I think it may have other side applications even for more mundane uses here on the Earth.  I'm suggesting this mainly as a thought experiment and perhaps a work around for something constrained under these kind of conditions.

The main issue here is the several minutes it takes for round-trip communications (up to about a half-hour or perhaps a bit more with relays) between the Earth and Mars.... constrained by the speed of light.  Unless you have a non-Einsteinian physics that allows you to do communications at FTL velocities, this is something that simply has to be dealt with in that sort of situation.

I could imagine for a more mundane terrestrial application to be trying to carry on a transaction where networks might be separated at some point  (a couple of "different" bitcoin networks get put into temporary "islands" before they can merge their transaction/coin generation data together) or perhaps you are trying to conduct a transaction "off network" where the transaction wouldn't get recorded on the larger network as a whole.

For the sake of this discussion, consider that most of the nodes involved here are "honest" and trying in earnest to conduct real transfers of Bitcoins, so this isn't necessarily a direct attack by any particular node.  This perhaps could be an attack on the network itself or a natural/man-made disaster of some sort (nuclear war, hurricanes, tsunami, mega-volcano, meteor strike) that causes significant communications disruptions where communications between groups of nodes is broken off for an extended period of time.

How would two groups of nodes "re-sync" to each other in a situation like this if some sort of communication bridge could be established but would take significant periods of time to happen?

Yes, I'm being serious here too, and the issues involved have an impact on the performance and stability of this as an alternate currency.

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July 21, 2010, 04:07:34 AM
 #2

I'd imagine that Mars would have a separate Bitcoin network. It would be a (very) foreign currency, after all.

Exchange points (automated edge systems, not people manually moving coins) could be designed to handle the laggy conversions between planets.
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July 21, 2010, 04:23:03 AM
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Doesn't work interplanetarily... what a useless system Tongue

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July 21, 2010, 04:55:31 AM
 #4

I have an answer for this.It is called quantum entanglement and has already successfully transported data over 89miles.So with moore's law we could actually have a situation where bitcoin would be viable on Mars - instantly and with no break in the block chain.I imagine by that point bitcoin might be the only way of transacting interplanetarily (thanks sirius  Tongue).Unless they can transport gold or fiat currency at will. Cheesy

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/breakthrough-brings-star-trek-teleport-a-step-closer-451673.html
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July 21, 2010, 06:27:07 AM
 #5

Generating bitcoins sure does seem like it would be problematic, but you could certainly spend and receive payments. I don't think that the earth network would mind accepting transactions that were a little bit old so long as those funds haven't yet been spent. Of course, I'm not familiar with the specifics of the code, so it might require a little modification. If all else fails, you could just use a free online wallet such as Vekja or MyBitcoin. Although, then the bitcoins wouldn't technically be located on Mars. Of course you could back up your wallet on a hard drive running on mars. It would be a few blocks behind, but your bitcoins would still be on Mars. Come to think of it, that gives me an another idea, if you the person on Mars controlled a computer on both planets, he could just store his wallet on Mars and then when he wanted to spend some bitcoins, he could send his whole wallet to Earth, update his blocks, send the bitcoins, wait for a few confirmations and then send the whole wallet back to Mars.

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July 21, 2010, 07:07:41 AM
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Yeah, generation would be challenging / impossible, unless we decreased the generated block rate to something like once an hour, but that brings more problems. The time per block is targeted at 10 minutes to balance transaction speed with latency concerns. I think The MadHatter is right, Mars would have its own Bitcoin network for Mars-Mars transactions.

However, Mars-Earth transactions could happen on either network. The Mars client would send his transaction to Earth. Ten minutes later, an Earth node sees that transaction, checks for double spending, decides it's ok, and puts it into a block. Ten minutes after that, the Mars client sees that his transaction was confirmed by at least one block. Earth-Mars transactions would be even simpler. An Earth client broadcasts his transaction to Earth nodes, who check it and include it in their blocks. Eventually one of them wins the race and the transaction gets confirmed. Ten minutes later, the Mars client gets the new block and sees that he has received the money.

Transactions on either planet could happen in either Terracoin or Marscoin. It would be silly for people on Mars to conduct local transactions in Earth's Bitcoin (and vice versa), but it would be technically possible.

I see no need for dedicated edge nodes or anything similar. Today's Bitcoin could handle this situation (unless I'm missing something big).

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July 21, 2010, 08:42:44 AM
 #7

I have an answer for this.It is called quantum entanglement and has already successfully transported data over 89miles.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/breakthrough-brings-star-trek-teleport-a-step-closer-451673.html

Actually, quantum entangelement can't transport information at superluminal speeds, don't ask me why, I tried to ask my brother who has a degree in physics and he rapidly lost me into quantum weirdness Tongue

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July 21, 2010, 11:28:42 AM
 #8

Transactions on either planet could happen in either Terracoin or Marscoin. It would be silly for people on Mars to conduct local transactions in Earth's Bitcoin (and vice versa), but it would be technically possible.

I see no need for dedicated edge nodes or anything similar. Today's Bitcoin could handle this situation (unless I'm missing something big).

I considered that there would be perhaps completely independent networks on other planets if this situation would happen, with some sort of "exchange rate" between the two currencies and some sort of gateway (exchange) between the two that could take care of interplanetary exchanges.

Here is another analogous situation:  I happen to live in a mountain valley in a city with a bit over 100k people (including the corporate HQ for a fortune 500 company and a major internationally noted research university.... to note network bandwidth involved here).  In a fit of horrible planning, it turns out that the communications into this valley were 100% dependent upon a single fiber optic cable bundle that was accidentally cut one day when some idiot on a road construction project ran a backhoe through the bundle.  Yes, it was buried about 20' underground in a very deep trench and other precautions, but sometimes even that can't be helped.  For the 2-3 days that it took to get the cable repaired again, all outside network and even telephone communications outside of the valley simply stopped.  Internal communications were just fine and I could talk to the university, other companies, and even other residential customers.... but it was as if the entire outside world ceased to exist.

How does Bitcoins deal with a situation of that nature where perhaps some of the clients could talk to each other and set up a temporary sub-net (perhaps even creating bitcoins and certainly other transactions)?  When the communications is restored to the larger network, I would imagine all generated coins would be essentially ignored, but I think it would still mess up transactions from the sub-net from previously generated coins (coins created prior to the disruptions and acknowledged by the network).

So what happens to transactions that include mixed "new" and "old" bitcoins in a disruption like this?  The "new" bitcoins are the ones that were generated during the isolation and then spent, but the "old" coins are those which are recognized by the network as a whole.

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July 21, 2010, 09:06:52 PM
 #9

I have an answer for this.It is called quantum entanglement and has already successfully transported data over 89miles.So with moore's law we could actually have a situation where bitcoin would be viable on Mars - instantly and with no break in the block chain.
Moore's Law: The number of transistors on a microprocessor doubles every eighteen months.

What does this have to do with this?  Transistors on a chip != quantum entanglement distance.

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July 21, 2010, 09:49:28 PM
 #10

I have an answer for this.It is called quantum entanglement and has already successfully transported data over 89miles.So with moore's law we could actually have a situation where bitcoin would be viable on Mars - instantly and with no break in the block chain.
Moore's Law: The number of transistors on a microprocessor doubles every eighteen months.

What does this have to do with this?  Transistors on a chip != quantum entanglement distance.
If quantum entanglement got entangled with Moore's Law, you could have a mesh of quantum entangled relay transistors to transfer data quickly. Actually, if they were incorporated into microchips, it could be a way of increasing the transistors. The computer in one room has so many transistors and the computers in the other room has so many transistors, but as the quantum entangled transistor technology improves, it allows the two to be combined into a single processing unit, thus prolonging Moore's Law. Cheesy

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July 22, 2010, 12:05:36 AM
 #11

I have an answer for this.It is called quantum entanglement and has already successfully transported data over 89miles.So with moore's law we could actually have a situation where bitcoin would be viable on Mars - instantly and with no break in the block chain.
Moore's Law: The number of transistors on a microprocessor doubles every eighteen months.

What does this have to do with this?  Transistors on a chip != quantum entanglement distance.
..quantum entangled relay transistors to transfer data quickly. Actually, if they were incorporated into microchips, it could be a way of increasing the transistors. The computer in one room has so many transistors and the computers in the other room has so many transistors, but as the quantum entangled transistor technology improves, it allows the two to be combined into a single processing unit, thus prolonging Moore's Law. Cheesy

I agree that physically disparate but quantum-entangled processing units would mimic a single, spatially-local block of logic gates...but I still fail to see what Moore's Law has to do with the distance over which data may be transmitted by quantum entanglement.

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July 22, 2010, 02:50:52 AM
 #12

Transactions on either planet could happen in either Terracoin or Marscoin. It would be silly for people on Mars to conduct local transactions in Earth's Bitcoin (and vice versa), but it would be technically possible.

I see no need for dedicated edge nodes or anything similar. Today's Bitcoin could handle this situation (unless I'm missing something big).

I considered that there would be perhaps completely independent networks on other planets if this situation would happen, with some sort of "exchange rate" between the two currencies and some sort of gateway (exchange) between the two that could take care of interplanetary exchanges.

Here is another analogous situation:  I happen to live in a mountain valley in a city with a bit over 100k people (including the corporate HQ for a fortune 500 company and a major internationally noted research university.... to note network bandwidth involved here).  In a fit of horrible planning, it turns out that the communications into this valley were 100% dependent upon a single fiber optic cable bundle that was accidentally cut one day when some idiot on a road construction project ran a backhoe through the bundle.  Yes, it was buried about 20' underground in a very deep trench and other precautions, but sometimes even that can't be helped.  For the 2-3 days that it took to get the cable repaired again, all outside network and even telephone communications outside of the valley simply stopped.  Internal communications were just fine and I could talk to the university, other companies, and even other residential customers.... but it was as if the entire outside world ceased to exist.

How does Bitcoins deal with a situation of that nature where perhaps some of the clients could talk to each other and set up a temporary sub-net (perhaps even creating bitcoins and certainly other transactions)?  When the communications is restored to the larger network, I would imagine all generated coins would be essentially ignored, but I think it would still mess up transactions from the sub-net from previously generated coins (coins created prior to the disruptions and acknowledged by the network).

So what happens to transactions that include mixed "new" and "old" bitcoins in a disruption like this?  The "new" bitcoins are the ones that were generated during the isolation and then spent, but the "old" coins are those which are recognized by the network as a whole.

Once the connection is restored it is likely that the larger network has a longer block chain, so that would be considered the official chain. All of the transactions made on the smaller chain would revert to 0/unconfirmed and eventually be reincorporated to the block chain. At least that's how I understand it.

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Anonymous
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July 22, 2010, 03:26:09 AM
 #13

I have an answer for this.It is called quantum entanglement and has already successfully transported data over 89miles.So with moore's law we could actually have a situation where bitcoin would be viable on Mars - instantly and with no break in the block chain.
Moore's Law: The number of transistors on a microprocessor doubles every eighteen months.

What does this have to do with this?  Transistors on a chip != quantum entanglement distance.
..quantum entangled relay transistors to transfer data quickly. Actually, if they were incorporated into microchips, it could be a way of increasing the transistors. The computer in one room has so many transistors and the computers in the other room has so many transistors, but as the quantum entangled transistor technology improves, it allows the two to be combined into a single processing unit, thus prolonging Moore's Law. Cheesy

I agree that physically disparate but quantum-entangled processing units would mimic a single, spatially-local block of logic gates...but I still fail to see what Moore's Law has to do with the distance over which data may be transmitted by quantum entanglement.

The stargate could lock on faster? Cheesy
Anonymous
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July 22, 2010, 03:29:28 AM
 #14

I have an answer for this.It is called quantum entanglement and has already successfully transported data over 89miles.So with moore's law we could actually have a situation where bitcoin would be viable on Mars - instantly and with no break in the block chain.
Moore's Law: The number of transistors on a microprocessor doubles every eighteen months.

What does this have to do with this?  Transistors on a chip != quantum entanglement distance.
If quantum entanglement got entangled with Moore's Law, you could have a mesh of quantum entangled relay transistors to transfer data quickly. Actually, if they were incorporated into microchips, it could be a way of increasing the transistors. The computer in one room has so many transistors and the computers in the other room has so many transistors, but as the quantum entangled transistor technology improves, it allows the two to be combined into a single processing unit, thus prolonging Moore's Law. Cheesy

That would do it....
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