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Author Topic: Chain Archaeology - Answers from the early blockchain  (Read 8696 times)
Taras
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March 09, 2014, 01:12:03 AM
Last edit: March 11, 2014, 10:14:13 PM by Taras
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #1


Just look at the extra nonce in the coinbase field of the coinbase transaction.

The counter is monotonically incrementing at a constant pace.

Also this can be used to find how many computers/threads where mining at  some  time (until they get powered-off). Each thread has another monotonically incrementing ExtraNonce variable.
Absolutely undeniable stuff:
We know Hal mined block 78.
We know Satoshi mined blocks 0 and 9.

Given the extraNonce is incremented by the bitcoin client, the upward trends above sergio theorized as being single clients. This is sound.
The extraNonce seems to reset time to time, but I have no idea why or at what occasion.
Perhaps only satoshi's client did this? Maybe everyone else's extraNonces are just pseudorandom?
I'm going to look into this some more.
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Taras
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March 09, 2014, 01:17:31 AM
 #2


Once I find a better way of telling which blocks were spent and unspent, we will have a better idea of which blocks were satoshi's and which blocks weren't.
If anyone mined a block with a height less than 1,000 please let me know. Smiley
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March 09, 2014, 01:54:43 AM
 #3

You know, with all those blue spheres, they kind of look like a particular male organ when stacked like that, if you know what I mean.

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March 09, 2014, 01:57:55 AM
 #4

You know, with all those blue spheres, they kind of look like a particular male organ when stacked like that, if you know what I mean.

I was going to say the same thing. Get your smut out of here  Grin

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March 09, 2014, 02:00:17 AM
 #5

You know, with all those blue spheres, they kind of look like a particular male organ when stacked like that, if you know what I mean.

I was going to say the same thing. Get your smut out of here  Grin
Maybe this was a message intended by Satoshi Shocked
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March 09, 2014, 03:19:09 AM
 #6

I've done my best to trace down the people who mined the blocks with spent coinbases between height 0 and 450.

More extensive research is imminent.
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March 09, 2014, 04:29:38 AM
 #7


Look at these cryptic patterns. I can't wait to separate spent from unspent.
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March 09, 2014, 04:42:32 AM
 #8

This is not the first time this has been attempted via the extranonce:

http://www.bitcoinrumors.com/2013/04/18/the-well-deserved-fortune-of-satoshi-nakamoto-bitcoin-creator-visionary-and-genius/

The standing theory is that back in the early days Satoshi had a "blind miner" running to keep the network ticking over until enough people joined and stayed connected continuously to keep it running and allow the net-work effect to take hold.

Regardless, it's undeniable we can see Satoshi's footprint in those early blocks but whether or not anyone bothered to keep the coins being generated by the "blind miner" process is another question. After all, they had no value beyond academic interest back then.


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March 09, 2014, 05:00:34 AM
 #9

Curious, what is your drawing/graph software/library?

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March 09, 2014, 02:58:58 PM
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Curious, what is your drawing/graph software/library?
OpenOffice Calc Smiley
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March 09, 2014, 03:11:59 PM
 #11

This is not the first time this has been attempted via the extranonce:

http://www.bitcoinrumors.com/2013/04/18/the-well-deserved-fortune-of-satoshi-nakamoto-bitcoin-creator-visionary-and-genius/

The standing theory is that back in the early days Satoshi had a "blind miner" running to keep the network ticking over until enough people joined and stayed connected continuously to keep it running and allow the net-work effect to take hold.

Regardless, it's undeniable we can see Satoshi's footprint in those early blocks but whether or not anyone bothered to keep the coins being generated by the "blind miner" process is another question. After all, they had no value beyond academic interest back then.


I'm basing this on that original research. I'm looking for not only a way to identify "satoshi" but as many miners as possible.
I will search for any patterns at all. Not just the extraNonce either, I'm going to look into everything.
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March 09, 2014, 03:19:07 PM
 #12

Here's what I have so far.

0 - Satoshi - Genesis block
1 - Satoshi - Premining starts
2 - Satoshi
3 - Satoshi
4 - Satoshi
5 - Satoshi
6 - Satoshi
7 - Satoshi
8 - Satoshi
9 - Satoshi - First block to be spent
10 - Satoshi - Premining ends, Bitcoin client released
11 - Satoshi - extraNonce pattern continues
12 - Unknown - Pattern disrupted
13 - Satoshi - Pattern continues
14 - Satoshi - This is the block in the first incremental pattern
78 - Hal - Coins traced to his paper wallet, personally claimed to mine "block 70-something"
163 - Unknown - There is no pattern at all it seems until about 190 (see chart below) Has satoshi stopped mining here?
193 - Unknown - Probably satoshi, incremental extraNonce starts
235 - Unknown - Coins spent, possibly identifiable
268 - Vaga
309 - |)ruid - Coins spent in conjunction with coins from 12hrp
317 - Unknown - Coins moved to another address, but are still there today
320 - |)ruid
417 - Vaga - Vaga's extraNonce pattern starts
431 - Vaga
442 - Vaga
450 - Vaga - Pattern ends, Vaga's coins move to one address, Vaga disappears forever

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March 09, 2014, 03:33:09 PM
Last edit: March 09, 2014, 03:58:20 PM by Taras
 #13

From now on I'm going to monologue my research.

Block 12 as was said by the guy in the paper was mined by another client. More likely than not a cipherpunk on the mailing list. Whether or not this was that person's only block remains unknown and will stay unknown until the block is spent, which could be forever.

Satoshi's block 14 is the peak of his first eN pattern. It resets for block 15.

Edit. Next twenty blocks below.

I should assume that blocks 15 to 25 were all satoshi's, since it's his distinct (so far) pattern, but I'm not going to jump to conclusions yet.
It resets again after 25. Now, this is interesting. It looks like someone else mined at least one block between block 27 and 29, but I don't think we'll ever know which. The pattern resets again on block 37.

Edit. If the miner anon who mined a block between 27 and 29 mined block 28, they would have had to mine 29 as well so as not to disrupt satoshi's pattern. They also could have mined 26, meaning satoshi's pattern started at anywhere between 26 and 29. These four blocks are the most confusing so far. We'll probably never get a conclusion on them. Not with this data.

Edit. Next twenty below.

This looks like it was exclusively satoshi's pattern.

Edit. Next twenty below.

Block 64 disrupts the pattern and is unspent. We will never know who mined it; Only that it wasn't satoshi.
Block 73 is where satoshi's pattern resets again. The next blocks are interesting:
Block 78, which we already know was mined by Hal Finney, fits into the pattern from 73 to 78.
Were blocks 73-77 mined by someone else? This makes no sense to me yet.
They weren't mined by Hal. His first block was 78, or "block 70-something" in his words.
COULD be satoshi. It fits his pattern, but it's really short, and why would it reset after Hal's block?
Maybe we will never know.

Edit.

The next 20 were mined with satoshi's pattern starting at 79.
This is nuts. Either satoshi was the only one mining at this time, or his hashrate was significantly higher than anyone else.

Edit.
To put things into perspective, here's the global share of mined blocks from 1 to 100.

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March 09, 2014, 04:05:13 PM
 #14

The above post is getting a bit crowded. I think I'll start a fresh one.
Below are blocks 80 to 162.

Every single block on this graph follows satoshi's pattern...
Except block 131. Unspent, we won't know who mined it. Until it is spent. Which by the way could never ever happen, ever, but we'll see.

Edit.
Below are blocks 150 to 200.

Uhm... Did satoshi turn off his miner? Look at that jumbled mess of blocks.
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March 09, 2014, 04:08:38 PM
 #15

What do you hope to achieve by this?

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March 09, 2014, 04:11:53 PM
 #16

What do you hope to achieve by this?
I'm trying to determine:
1) Who mined early blocks, for historical purposes
2) Just how many bitcoins Satoshi has
3) The behavior of the network in 2009
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March 09, 2014, 04:16:21 PM
 #17


This seems to be a bunch of random anons. It's wholly possible satoshi stopped mining during this time. There's no pattern whatsoever.

Edit. Looking at the big picture:

The giant leaning towers of pisa are one blind miner, which we are still speculating to be satoshi.
The other blocks down below were early adopters; solo miners.
The four spent blocks on the far right were all mined by the same entity, which I refer to as Vaga.
The extraNonce is incremental. Maybe it's not a pattern exclusive to satoshi? Or it's blind luck.
We are going to need more information to come to a conclusion.
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March 09, 2014, 04:31:32 PM
 #18

Regarding the extra nonce the early mining code always incremented the extra nonce until the application is restarted (in hindsight it would have been better to use a random number).  You can find this is the earliest copies of the bitcon software (which still had mining integrated in the client, you were always mining when the client was running). 

So all miners will show an incrementing extra nonce.  However the lower the particular hashrate of a given miner the less steep the slope. For example in the graph immediately above you will see that the red blocks between 400 and 450 were probably all from the same miner.  Even the utterly "random" blocks by unaligned solo miners are using incrementing nonces however if they have a very low hashrate and/or restarted frequently they would never operate long enough (measured in hashes) to find a block with a large extra nonce. 
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March 09, 2014, 04:37:38 PM
 #19

This is nuts. Either satoshi was the only one mining at this time, or his hashrate was significantly higher than anyone else.

Edit.
To put things into perspective, here's the global share of mined blocks from 1 to 100.



Your evidence that Satoshi had a higher hashrate does make sense and support the "blind miner" theory. Satoshi didn't refer to hash rates in the white paper so much as CPU power (See abstract in: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf ) so this definitely lines up with him running more than one system. And it would make sense he had a daemon process running somewhere to ensure every 10 minutes a block was found and transactions processed, leaving him free to work on and run other instances on demand as he was developing and testing the software for all we know the "unknown" was also Satoshi experimenting with other approaches.

Interesting work, keep it up.

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March 09, 2014, 05:19:47 PM
 #20

For example in the graph immediately above you will see that the red blocks between 400 and 450 were probably all from the same miner.
They were Smiley
https://blockchain.info/tx/4d6edbeb62735d45ff1565385a8b0045f066055c9425e21540ea7a8060f08bf2
Regarding the extra nonce the early mining code always incremented the extra nonce until the application is restarted (in hindsight it would have been better to use a random number).  You can find this is the earliest copies of the bitcon software (which still had mining integrated in the client, you were always mining when the client was running). 
So, satoshi wasn't a special case; He just had a lot more power than everyone else it seems.

If all the early blocks are incremental we may be able to draw a lot of lines, not just for satoshi but for all identifiable early miners.
What still confuses me is the blocks in the 70s range. Hal mined 78. It appears to be at the end of a chain of incremental extra nonces, but Hal didn't mine those. I'll look into it.
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