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Author Topic: Any realistic risks on price decrease/hashrate decrease?  (Read 450 times)
d5000
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December 03, 2018, 05:20:19 PM
Last edit: December 03, 2018, 05:31:43 PM by d5000
 #21

Your point about 'destructive attacker" being capable of buying/hiring commodity computing devices is correct but ProgPow for instance is gpu friendly and gpus are rare enough to make it very hard for the attacker and interestingly they are far more distributed than ASICs.
Well, the attacker has a lot of time to buy the equipment. While the time slot is not infinitely long because of new hardware generations, I guess GPUs are a tool with massive enough production to give the attacker a real possibility to succeed in buying enough units.

But I agree with your other statement:

Quote
Actually I think it is a good assumption to make that we won't face such an attack unless bitcoin is adopted like 100 times more. But more adoption is not feasible without higher prices and it implies a network with an order of magnitude higher hash power, hence orders of magnitude higher attack costs.

... and so I also agree that even a destructive attack is very unlikely. It's not more likely than a massive crash in fiat currencies or other assets. Yep, I agree that Bitcoin is secure - and the recent price crash hasn't changed anything about that.

Regarding a hypothetical hash algorithm change: There are two problems in an emergency situation (colluding SHA256-Miners attacking the network continuously, and we need another algo to stop it):
1) the change needs to be carried out fastly (we don't have the time for a smooth transition, as otherwise miners would have, probably, ways to interfere in the transition period)
2) the attackers could have prepared for the change. So maybe they're already hoarding GPUs to attack the nascent (and thus relatively unsecure) Asic-unfriendly coin.
If this situation emerges, Bitcoin could have a hard time - I don't see convincing solutions for this scenario. Maybe the Bitcoin devs could choose a random algorithm from a group of candidates, to prevent a fast GPU attack? (I think I remember a discussion about that topic in another thread related to the Segwit change).

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aliashraf
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December 03, 2018, 06:02:01 PM
Last edit: December 03, 2018, 06:17:10 PM by aliashraf
 #22

Your point about 'destructive attacker" being capable of buying/hiring commodity computing devices is correct but ProgPow for instance is gpu friendly and gpus are rare enough to make it very hard for the attacker and interestingly they are far more distributed than ASICs.
Well, the attacker has a lot of time to buy the equipment. While the time slot is not infinitely long because of new hardware generations, I guess GPUs are a tool with massive enough production to give the attacker a real possibility to succeed in buying enough units.
New generations of gpus take too long to be introduced and commercially justifiable for mining, typically they start with very high prices, more attractive for game enthusiasts. The time window would be large enough to wait for other socioeconomic and political factors to help bitcoin for surviving brutal actions.

Regarding a hypothetical hash algorithm change: There are two problems in an emergency situation (colluding SHA256-Miners attacking the network continuously, and we need another algo to stop it):
1) the change needs to be carried out fastly (we don't have the time for a smooth transition, as otherwise miners would have, probably, ways to interfere in the transition period)
2) the attackers could have prepared for the change. So maybe they're already hoarding GPUs to attack the nascent (and thus relatively unsecure) Asic-unfriendly coin.
1) It is why I'm proposing a hybrid dual algorithm fork, right now. Please refer to my previous post above thread.

2) Being prepared for both ASIC and GPU dominance is more costly, it is not an ultimate solution, I do agree but it de-incentivizes such an attack even more. Although governments have huge resources available they need to justify their actions somehow, somewhen.
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December 04, 2018, 08:45:40 AM
 #23

But in a realistic scenario, how can Bitcoin hard fork to a new POW algorithm, with consensus, if what it will do is amputate the network of full nodes and hashing power? It will reduce the network's security by a lot.

The proposal of the idea itself is already stupid, unless the mining cartel started to censor transactions.

I seem to remember proposals of doing a gradual shift from SHA-256 to whatever hash Bitcoin would use next, precisely as to avoid (or at least alleviate) this issue, however I can't find the respective threads right now. IIRC this would include a transitional period of hybrid mining. AFAIK these proposals haven't been discussed in earnest though and I'm not quite sure about their viability.
it was me who proposed this in few contexts, not in a dedicated topic tho. For instance, discussing Chinese pools/ASIC manufacturers 50%+1 threats in a topic started by myself:
@theymos, thanks for the contribution ...
...
From a pure technical viewpoint, unlike what most people in bitcoin ecosystem are used to say, implementing an Anti-ASIC algorithm and integrating it into bitcoin, is not impossible or that hard. We have ProgPoW and a few talented people who could offer even more effective alternatives. But for bitcoin such a transition is not feasible overnight. Nobody would be happy, security will drop, price will drop, ... a lot of chaotic consequences are predictable and should be addressed. Nobody is interested in following the path bitcoin Gold went through.

I have this idea for a long time, a 2-way concurrent PoW algorithm with a 2-3 years smooth migration from ASICs to the alternate cpu/gpu PoW method e.g. ProgPoW. I'm thinking of starting with a 10:1 ratio in favor of sha2 ASICs and a gradual transition to 1:10 ratio against them.

But as we have already experienced with SegWit reaching to a consensus and adopting above or any other hypothetical solution raises another challenge: Pools.

....


But what made you believe that such a proposal will not be contentious, or be supported by the miners? Like franky1 said, miners are also part of the Bitcoin community.

Quote

Unfortunately, I didn't receive enough support for it.


Because it would be contentious.

Quote

Apparently people are busy trading bitcoin rather than developing it, the true reason behind bitcoin recent fall, imo.


Whose fault is it? You must be trolling.

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aliashraf
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December 04, 2018, 10:46:48 AM
 #24

But in a realistic scenario, how can Bitcoin hard fork to a new POW algorithm, with consensus, if what it will do is amputate the network of full nodes and hashing power? It will reduce the network's security by a lot.

The proposal of the idea itself is already stupid, unless the mining cartel started to censor transactions.

I seem to remember proposals of doing a gradual shift from SHA-256 to whatever hash Bitcoin would use next, precisely as to avoid (or at least alleviate) this issue, however I can't find the respective threads right now. IIRC this would include a transitional period of hybrid mining. AFAIK these proposals haven't been discussed in earnest though and I'm not quite sure about their viability.
it was me who proposed this in few contexts, not in a dedicated topic tho. For instance, discussing Chinese pools/ASIC manufacturers 50%+1 threats in a topic started by myself:
@theymos, thanks for the contribution ...
...
From a pure technical viewpoint, unlike what most people in bitcoin ecosystem are used to say, implementing an Anti-ASIC algorithm and integrating it into bitcoin, is not impossible or that hard. We have ProgPoW and a few talented people who could offer even more effective alternatives. But for bitcoin such a transition is not feasible overnight. Nobody would be happy, security will drop, price will drop, ... a lot of chaotic consequences are predictable and should be addressed. Nobody is interested in following the path bitcoin Gold went through.

I have this idea for a long time, a 2-way concurrent PoW algorithm with a 2-3 years smooth migration from ASICs to the alternate cpu/gpu PoW method e.g. ProgPoW. I'm thinking of starting with a 10:1 ratio in favor of sha2 ASICs and a gradual transition to 1:10 ratio against them.

But as we have already experienced with SegWit reaching to a consensus and adopting above or any other hypothetical solution raises another challenge: Pools.

....


But what made you believe that such a proposal will not be contentious, or be supported by the miners? Like franky1 said, miners are also part of the Bitcoin community.
By miners you mean pools, right? And I got a solution for getting rid of pools.  Wink

Quote
Apparently people are busy trading bitcoin rather than developing it, the true reason behind bitcoin recent fall, imo.

Whose fault is it? You must be trolling.
Whose fault is what? Ignoring ever changing environment and the threats for bitcoin?
I guess people who resist change because they have "invested" too much and spread FUD about serious improvements in bitcoin, no matter how critical would be the situation, they think 'short' about bitcoin and guess what, they are losing even more because of their stupidity.

By the way, how is it possible to call the same post as an act of trolling when it is merited by two respected forum member besides its absolute relevance to the topic and the discussion. Your vanity post looks to be more adequate for such a label!
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December 04, 2018, 04:05:50 PM
 #25

New generations of gpus take too long to be introduced and commercially justifiable for mining, typically they start with very high prices, more attractive for game enthusiasts. The time window would be large enough to wait for other socioeconomic and political factors to help bitcoin for surviving brutal actions.
I don't know if I understand you correctly, but doesn't that confirm the danger of a malicious GPU attack? If nobody mines with the newest GPUs, then the attacker has time to wait until GPUs are cheap, start to buy them, and start an attack some months later. That's why in an anterior post I wrote that it's maybe better to change to an alternative Asic-friendly algorithm instead of a GPU/CPU algo.

Quote
1) It is why I'm proposing a hybrid dual algorithm fork, right now. Please refer to my previous post above thread.
Yes, I read it. The problem I pointed out is exclusive to short-term "emergency" changes. Unfortunately, after a gradual transition to a new algorithm, the risk for a need for an "emergency exit to another algo" does not disappear completely. What disappears, however, is the dependency on major ASIC manufacturers - and that could be positive, as it's not entirely clear if big players like Bitmain will stay honest, and if not, Antbleed may be a danger.

For now, I (cautiously) support your idea of a gradual change to a ProgPoW-like algo, but it needs more research, I think.

Quote
2) Being prepared for both ASIC and GPU dominance is more costly, it is not an ultimate solution, I do agree but it de-incentivizes such an attack even more. Although governments have huge resources available they need to justify their actions somehow, somewhen.
In a "fast emergency algo change" scenario, the problem is the first phase after the hardfork when hashrate is low - as GPUs are standard hardware their power could even be rented more easily than current "cloud mining" power.  I guess that for an entity having attacked the (ASIC-secured) Bitcoin successfully in a "destructive" fashion, the additional cost for the attacker in this first GPU phase should be relatively low.

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December 04, 2018, 08:54:35 PM
 #26

@d5000
Here is my thoughts about a destructive irrational attack against bitcoin:
1- A destructive attack against bitcoin is unlikely to happen but is more possible when hashrate drops significantly because of price falling deep. it is theoretically possible for governments (US, China) to buy cheap retired ASICS and attack the network just to prove some political agenda.

2- If hypothetically bitcoin was gpu mined, a no more profitable mining situation is more tolerable for gpu owners as they are still usable for game, rendering, ML, ... applications. Dump happens but not to the extents that ASICs would be dumped.

3- GPUs have more uniform distribution across the planet and have a lot more inertia than ASICS. It is much harder to have a secret GPU  manufacturing and preparation phase unlike ASICs because they use high quality RAM which is a rare global resource actively monitored by heterogeneous stakeholders all around the world. It is very unlikely for an adversary to compete with the rest of the planet in terms of equipment.

4- Technological improvements does not linearly increase gpu hashing performance because they need to improve memory unit as well and it is already pushed to its edges of optimization and is not expected to experience sharp developments in foreseeable future.

5- In my proposal, we will never eliminate SHA256 instead we gradually decrease its weight in an scheduled time table, when it comes to emergency, it would be easy to postpone or expedite the process properly.


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December 05, 2018, 06:06:08 AM
 #27

But in a realistic scenario, how can Bitcoin hard fork to a new POW algorithm, with consensus, if what it will do is amputate the network of full nodes and hashing power? It will reduce the network's security by a lot.

The proposal of the idea itself is already stupid, unless the mining cartel started to censor transactions.

I seem to remember proposals of doing a gradual shift from SHA-256 to whatever hash Bitcoin would use next, precisely as to avoid (or at least alleviate) this issue, however I can't find the respective threads right now. IIRC this would include a transitional period of hybrid mining. AFAIK these proposals haven't been discussed in earnest though and I'm not quite sure about their viability.
it was me who proposed this in few contexts, not in a dedicated topic tho. For instance, discussing Chinese pools/ASIC manufacturers 50%+1 threats in a topic started by myself:
@theymos, thanks for the contribution ...
...
From a pure technical viewpoint, unlike what most people in bitcoin ecosystem are used to say, implementing an Anti-ASIC algorithm and integrating it into bitcoin, is not impossible or that hard. We have ProgPoW and a few talented people who could offer even more effective alternatives. But for bitcoin such a transition is not feasible overnight. Nobody would be happy, security will drop, price will drop, ... a lot of chaotic consequences are predictable and should be addressed. Nobody is interested in following the path bitcoin Gold went through.

I have this idea for a long time, a 2-way concurrent PoW algorithm with a 2-3 years smooth migration from ASICs to the alternate cpu/gpu PoW method e.g. ProgPoW. I'm thinking of starting with a 10:1 ratio in favor of sha2 ASICs and a gradual transition to 1:10 ratio against them.

But as we have already experienced with SegWit reaching to a consensus and adopting above or any other hypothetical solution raises another challenge: Pools.

....


But what made you believe that such a proposal will not be contentious, or be supported by the miners? Like franky1 said, miners are also part of the Bitcoin community.
By miners you mean pools, right? And I got a solution for getting rid of pools.  Wink


Will the "solution" get consensus?

Quote

Quote
Apparently people are busy trading bitcoin rather than developing it, the true reason behind bitcoin recent fall, imo.

Whose fault is it? You must be trolling.

Whose fault is what? Ignoring ever changing environment and the threats for bitcoin?
I guess people who resist change because they have "invested" too much and spread FUD about serious improvements in bitcoin, no matter how critical would be the situation, they think 'short' about bitcoin and guess what, they are losing even more because of their stupidity.


But you are talking under the hypothesis that ProgPow will be ASIC-resistant. Reality has already shown that companies like Bitmain will make ASICs for any mining algorithm if a cryptocurrency is succesful enough because they are good at it, and it is profitable.

Plus also under the belief that it will get consensus. Don't you know how dangerous contentious hard forks are? Have we not learned from Ethereum.

Quote

By the way, how is it possible to call the same post as an act of trolling when it is merited by two respected forum member besides its absolute relevance to the topic and the discussion. Your vanity post looks to be more adequate for such a label!


Which "people" were in your mind when you said, "Apparently people are busy trading bitcoin rather than developing it, the true reason behind bitcoin recent fall, imo." The developers?

Do you believe those "people" really caused the crash?

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aliashraf
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December 05, 2018, 07:28:51 AM
 #28

@Wind_FURY

I'm pretty much sure, you are derailing this topic. Bitcoin hashrate is dropping sharply and you are worried about your beloved devs not to be criticized even indirectly. Take it easy and move on.

FYI: my criticism target was mainly the investment sector, the people who are concerned about and interested in price to "skyrocket" and do not understand for this to happen we need bitcoin to improve.
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December 05, 2018, 09:03:10 AM
 #29

@Wind_FURY

I'm pretty much sure, you are derailing this topic.


Sorry, but it wasn't my intention.

Quote

Bitcoin hashrate is dropping sharply


I am confident that Bitcoin's difficulty adjustment feature will work as Satoshi intended it to be. We might also be experiencing longer intervals between blocks now, but it will be back to the normal average of 10 minutes after some time.

Quote

and you are worried about your beloved devs not to be criticized even indirectly. Take it easy and move on.


You can criticize, but they are the rightful stewards of the network because they have Bitcoin's interest at heart in my opinion. They will not be pressured to make stupid changes to the protocol that might break it, or cause a chain-split, simply because someone wants to change it.

Quote

FYI: my criticism target was mainly the investment sector, the people who are concerned about and interested in price to "skyrocket" and do not understand for this to happen we need bitcoin to improve.


Will you criticize them in a bull market? Cool

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December 05, 2018, 05:42:45 PM
Merited by Wind_FURY (1)
 #30

I have relaized this is nonsense and has happened after every big crash. Please refer to this:


https://twitter.com/matt_odell/status/1006968132001517584

Then months later we have this:

https://coingape.com/bitcoin-price-predictions-got-wilder-predicts-bitcoin-will-die/

The guy on that tweet predicted it.

There's also a good article that debunks the mining downward spiral collapse:

https://coinjournal.net/debunking-the-bitcoin-death-spiral-theory/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

It couldn't happen due the incentives breaking, I only see a deliberate attack by TPTB looking for a weaker network moment with decreased hashrate. However if they haven't done it years ago, I don't see how can they pull it anymore, the amount of hashrate is ridiculously high.

Even if after massive expenses they managed to break something, they would just get forked off as no one would support an attacker's blockchain.
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