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Author Topic: Newbie 51% question / solution  (Read 1396 times)
TheGlobber
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December 27, 2011, 04:58:34 PM
 #1

Its more of an idea than a solution but if it is viable then i guess it will upset a lot of people within the Bitcoin community.

Who will it upset? The big miners.

Why? Lets look at some stuff:

Idea
[/u][/b]

Since mining is needed to validate the whole concept, why not get everyone to mine instead of a few people that invest in hardware? I mean, lets enable automining from the official client and somehow (programmers contribution needed here) disable anyone from trying to mine using a different/separate mining client. Automining will be enabled for all users of Bitcoin and it will be solo. No pools or anything. Also it will be done from the CPU.

Advantages:

- More power in the network. Right not all the power comes from the miners. If everyone was a miner then the network would have more power and thus it would be more difficult to attack it.
- Electricity costs split evenly and will also be minimal.
- It will be exactly as it was conceived in the beginning. A lottery with even chances for everyone.
- Bitcoin users will turn from mining to actually using the currency and developing a network of businesses around it. If everyone concentrates on getting the word out and starting a new business and and and then success will come a lot easier than now.

Disadvantages:

- Mining for profit will not be possible but who cares (except for those who are making a profit out of mining  Grin)? I mean Bitcoin was created so that we can get away from centralized fiat currency. It was not created so that people with money to splash on hardware make more money out of it. I understand that most senior members mine profitably but if you want the coin to succeed then you need to use it not just print it.

Let me know your opinion and ideas.
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Once a transaction has 6 confirmations, it is extremely unlikely that an attacker without at least 50% of the network's computation power would be able to reverse it.
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DeathAndTaxes
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December 27, 2011, 05:08:28 PM
 #2

Advtanges:
None

Disadvantages:
Why would people want to mine as a loss?  You are essentially telling millions of potential users "Here is this "low cost" currency except if you want to use it you will end up paying hundreds of dollars a year in wasted electricity".  Not exactly low cost huh?

Also there is no way to prevent mining from other software.  Lastly there is no way to force anyone to mine.  Those who would be unprofitable would simply block the client from mining or not use the client.  Hypothetically even if all the impossible magically was possible the network wouldn't be anymore 51% resistant.  There is no limit of 1 client per user.  An attacker could simply run thousands of nodes and gain 51% of hashing power.

"It will be exactly as it was conceived in the beginning. A lottery with even chances for everyone."
It was never conceived to be "even chances" for everyone.

"Electricity costs split evenly and will also be minimal."
Electrical cost isn't minimal.  With GPUs the network gets roughly 2MH/W.  So current network's load is roughly 5MW.  At $0.10 per kwh that is 5000*24*365*0.1 = $4.38 million.  With CPU the network is about 1/20th as efficient.  So same hashing power based on CPU electrical consumption would be in the $100 mil range annually.

It isn't viable and it won't upset anyone.  I do recommend you read Satoshi paper, the wiki, and possibly bitcoin,stackexchange.com
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December 27, 2011, 05:38:47 PM
 #3

I think people dedicated to mining with powerful machines will probably beat a community of users who would probably kill the Bitcoin process to play games, or simply shutdown the computer. Not to mention the amount of people who would only use thin clients.

Moreover, AFAIK, once Bitcoins become popular, running fat clients will require monstruous amounts of processing power and bandwidth for the average user.

I like the idea of even coin distribution, but I think the network always does this the best it can.
TheGlobber
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December 27, 2011, 05:40:29 PM
 #4

Let me reply to each of the things you wrote as you misunderstood some of the things i wrote.

Quote
Advtanges:
None

The advantages are as i wrote them.

1. More power -> If everyone mines (eg 1 million people) its better than right now (eg 10,000 people).
2. Not paying attention to the "printing" procedure (eg mining) and paying more attention and giving more energy to make it acceptable and create a nice network of businesses around it and get it adopted even by stay at home moms (just an extreme example).

Quote
Why would people want to mine as a loss?  You are essentially telling millions of potential users "Here is this "low cost" currency except if you want to use it you will end up paying hundreds of dollars a year in wasted electricity".  Not exactly low cost huh?

Everything comes at a cost. They wont mine at a loss. It wont matter after all if the community reaches 1-10 million users and i ll explain below where you analyze the costs behind electricity.

Quote
Also there is no way to prevent mining from other software.  Lastly there is no way to force anyone to mine.  Those who would be unprofitable would simply block the client from mining or not use the client.  Hypothetically even if all the impossible magically was possible the network wouldn't be anymore 51% resistant.  There is no limit of 1 client per user.  An attacker could simply run thousands of nodes and gain 51% of hashing power.

I can tell you that there is a way to prevent mining from other software but as im not a programmer i ll keep it for myself. Lets just say i dont know what im talking about. As for forcing people to mine it can be done. For example a set of rules that would make it obligatory to mine to be able to use your computer as a wallet for Bitcoin.

As for someone getting more clients to attack Bitcoin, he would probably need at least an X number of clients that equals the number of Bitcoin users. So i guess a very big number that is probably not possible to reach.

Quote
It was never conceived to be "even chances" for everyone.

I meant is was conceived as a lottery. The "even chances" part is what my idea includes since everyone will be mining with around the same chances to get the reward.

Quote
Electrical cost isn't minimal.  With GPUs the network gets roughly 2MH/W.  So current network's load is roughly 5MW.  At $0.10 per kwh that is 5000*24*365*0.1 = $4.38 million.  With CPU the network is about 1/20th as efficient.  So same hashing power based on CPU electrical consumption would be in the $100 mil range annually.

I said CPU because i thought it is better for the miner to be as powerless as possible. So lets say GPU. From your calculations above we got $4.38 million per year to split equally.

With a community of 100,000 users this means: $43.8/year for each user which is $3.65/month! Is this a lot???

I am not trying to be offensive or disrespectful or anything but i think the biggest problem with Bitcoin is the miners. Again i want to see Bitcoin succeed as i truly like the idea behind it.

I would appreciate it if you reply to this post as well but with facts if possible. Not just a "it cant be done".

Lastly i would like to say that i have read most of what you suggest. Again im not a programmer and thats the reason for thinking like i do since i dont know things a programmer knows and are trivial.

Im trying to be friendly and help the community so please bear with me.

Thanks in advance.

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December 27, 2011, 05:49:39 PM
 #5

Mining is not that crucial to bitcoin. Seeding a blockchain is more crucial and the Bitcoin client is already doing that.

Spare some bitcoin?
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DeathAndTaxes
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Gerald Davis


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December 27, 2011, 05:50:56 PM
 #6

I can tell you that there is a way to prevent mining from other software but as im not a programmer i ll keep it for myself.

Your entire "system" is based on this.  It is like saying I can get to the moon for $20 so we should offer moon vacations.  Then you say "but you can't get to the moon for $20".  Then I say look respond with facts.  "Lets assume I can get to the moon for $20".  How about you show how you can:

a) force everyone to mine
b) do so efficiently (what about people lacking GPU or efficient CPU)?
c) ensure nobody mines except w/ the authorized client

how about you start by providing detailed information on how you will accomplish that without a central authority.

Still just for fun ...
Quote
1. More power -> If everyone mines (eg 1 million people) its better than right now (eg 10,000 people).
A false assumption.  The average CPU is good for maybe 10 MH/s.  My farm is 10,000 MH/s.  So 1 dedicated miner with a hashing farm can provide more security than a thousand casual users.  That also assumes those casual users will be on 24/7/365.  If they aren't.  Say average node is online 20% of the time it is more like 5,000.  So it is entirely possible that 10K entities in a free market can outmine 1 million nodes in a forced crippled network.

Quote
2. Not paying attention to the "printing" procedure (eg mining) and paying more attention and giving more energy to make it acceptable and create a nice network of businesses around it and get it adopted even by stay at home moms (just an extreme example).

Why does your mom need to mine.  She could make fridge magnets and sell them for Bitcoins.  Using something like Bitpay she wouldn't even need to know/care how mining works just that the network is protected by the largest computing system in the history of mankind.

Quote
As for someone getting more clients to attack Bitcoin, he would probably need at least an X number of clients that equals the number of Bitcoin users. So i guess a very big number that is probably not possible to reach.

No he wouldn't.  The attacker would simply need more hashing power.  Remove profit motive and the average defender node likely will be very weak and used on a part time basis.  Attacker simply needs more aggregate hashing power.

Quote
The "even chances" part is what my idea includes since everyone will be mining with around the same chances to get the reward.
 
Where do you get the idea that all hardware mines at the same speed?


Quote
I said CPU because i thought it is better for the miner to be as powerless as possible.
You are aware CPU are less power efficient than GPU when it comes to SHA-256 hashing right?

Quote
So lets say GPU. From your calculations above we got $4.38 million per year to split equally.
At current hashing power.  Hopefully w/ 100K users hashing power will be 10x maybe 20x as high.  Also if GPU mining is a requirement what happens to non-GPU users?  What about users who have a wallet on their android phone, what about users who want to use an ewallet or light wallet?


Quote
With a community of 100,000 users this means: $43.8/year for each user which is $3.65/month! Is this a lot???
With 100K users hopefully the network would be many magnitudes larger.  Also what happens to users without GPU?  They are excluded.

Quote
I might not trying to be offensive or disrespectful or anything but i think the biggest problem with Bitcoin is the miners. Again i want to see Bitcoin succeed as i truly like the idea behind it.

You aren't being disrepectful or offensive but the strength of Bitcoin comes from miners.  It is the huge cost of that hashing power that provides any value to the coins.    Also you scheme isn't well thought out at all.  

Quote
I would appreciate it if you reply to this post as well but with facts if possible. Not just a "it cant be done".

How about your use some facts in your "proposal" before demanding responses based on facts.  In related news I think vacations on the moon are a good idea.  Please only respond with facts (and for the sake of discussion you must accept the cost to go to the moon is $20).
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Gerald Davis


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December 27, 2011, 05:52:19 PM
 #7

Mining is not that crucial to bitcoin. Seeding a blockchain is more crucial and the Bitcoin client is already doing that.

LOLZ.  Yeah we will rely on trust and unicorns to prevent double spends.  Without mining no coin would have any value.  Mining is what makes Bitcoin more effective than sending IOU by email.
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December 27, 2011, 06:08:22 PM
 #8

Seriously, @TheGlobber and @bithobo, we could keep discussing those things here, but I think it would be *much* more productive if you just read more about Bitcoin on the wiki. You're clearly lacking understanding of Bitcoins.

And what DeathAndTaxes said is true; miners aren't bloodsuckers like banks or something. They really have an important role in the Bitcoin network, which can't be easily replaced, much less simply removed. Trust me, this is NOT as simple as you guys might be thinking.

With all due respect, obviously. I'm also new, and I could potentially be saying something wrong, but I can clearly remember I got this info from a very trusted source: the wiki (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/).
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December 27, 2011, 06:10:18 PM
 #9

I love the Newbie forum.  Every so often a genius comes up and offers a Solution to Everything (TM) and people waste time replying to it.

(BFL)^2 < 0
TheGlobber
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December 27, 2011, 06:13:35 PM
 #10

Ok i give up.  Grin

You have covered all issues i had in mind.  Wink

I fully understand everything you explained step by step above and why it isnt a viable solution. I still think that there are parts that should be discussed with more details to come up with a solution better than the current one.

I thought (and im pretty sure im right on this) that moving away from mining and concentrating on getting Bitcoin adopted by as many people as possible is what should be the case.

Also as you point out, you have a strong mining farm. I respect the fact that you have put in a lot of money to get it up and running but what if one day you have a dilemma like accepting a huge amount of money from someone to use your power to harm Bitcoin?

Im an avg. Bitcoin user and i might want to setup a large business around it. How do i know im safe from potential miners going rogue?
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December 27, 2011, 06:15:52 PM
 #11

Thats why there is a newbie forum. For us newbies to talk and learn.

As you can see in my thread title i included "question" as well together with "solution".

And since you are not a newbie you shouldnt be hanging around here.

You can waste your time elsewhere.

Btw you wasted time replying to this..  Wink


I love the Newbie forum.  Every so often a genius comes up and offers a Solution to Everything (TM) and people waste time replying to it.
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December 27, 2011, 06:26:33 PM
 #12

Thanks, I didn't know I was such a power user. I'll take that as a compliment.

But you know what's funny? You could be one too, and understand why your solutions are not very feasible if only you took half an hour to read a little about the technology before giving away flawed opinions and flaming people trying to help you.

Yeah, you're not being disrespectful or offensive, you were being SUPER offensive from the very beginning (although I think DeathAndTaxes could've been more friendly too).

(Ps.: I don't mine and I don't know anybody who mines, before you go on saying I'm covering something up)
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December 27, 2011, 06:48:18 PM
 #13

I think you have made a mistake. I have not responded to your posts so you might have misundrestood something or thought someone elses comment was mine.

My posts were a reply to DeathAndTaxes' posts.

As i wrote above, i fully understood why my idea is flawed. I wasnt being sarcastic or anything. I truly understood everything DaT said.

Also i dont think i offended someone (including you) anywhere.

Also i dont think you are covering something up as well as anyone else. Im just trying to understand the mechanics and posted an idea i had in mind. As i explained in the very beginning im not a programmer so i might be wrong and from what i read i was wrong. I can accept being wrong when someone more experienced explains why im wrong.

In any case, if i offended you (which i think i didnt), my sincere apology.

Im learning as well and i find Bitcoin something really intriguing.



Thanks, I didn't know I was such a power user. I'll take that as a compliment.

But you know what's funny? You could be one too, and understand why your solutions are not very feasible if only you took half an hour to read a little about the technology before giving away flawed opinions and flaming people trying to help you.

Yeah, you're not being disrespectful or offensive, you were being SUPER offensive from the very beginning (although I think DeathAndTaxes could've been more friendly too).

(Ps.: I don't mine and I don't know anybody who mines, before you go on saying I'm covering something up)
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Gerald Davis


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December 27, 2011, 07:19:31 PM
 #14

Also as you point out, you have a strong mining farm. I respect the fact that you have put in a lot of money to get it up and running but what if one day you have a dilemma like accepting a huge amount of money from someone to use your power to harm Bitcoin?

Im an avg. Bitcoin user and i might want to setup a large business around it. How do i know im safe from potential miners going rogue?

That is a risk.  However there is decentralized and then there is decentralized.  While having every single person be a miner is the maximum decentralized that doesn't mean that a large farm is much of a risk. If 99% of all the mining was done by 1000 people it is still very decentralized (just less decentralized then 100% of users mining). 

For example global gold production is decentralized however there are really only about 20 or so companies which supply most of the world market.  I have about 0.1% of global hashing power.  Someone buying me out wouldn't do much to hurt Bitcoin.   IMHO large pools represent a larger risk to the decentralized network than large miners.  There are potential solutions to that problem.
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December 27, 2011, 07:26:55 PM
 #15

@TheGlobber, I'm sorry for any misunderstandings and appreciate your last post. It really looked sarcastic when you said you understood everything since we haven't really been much instructive because we just pointed you to the wiki.

It's not that we want to discard ideas like yours upfront, it's just that it is so conflicting with the established technology that we just don't know where to start. Bitcoins don't just attract smart computer geeks for nothing; it truly is complex, well-thought, and beautiful, and from what I could tell, it's being implemented quite well so far (there are unimplemented things, but what's implemented is doing a good job, AFAIK).

That aside, I agree with you that Bitcoin isn't just algorithm/software, and that a lot more thought should be put into making it appealing to end-users. I have noticed that weakness (nerd people have a hard time understanding what it means to be a simple user) for a while now, and I'd certainly like to devote a lot to that in the future, since I'm not guru enough to help with Bitcoin's core aspects, and I think I have good "tact" as a user.

An important thing is that Bitcoin is far from being capable of handling mass adoption (it's something we certainly don't want right now). For that reason, it doesn't *need* to be too user-friendly right now, although I really think we should be putting a lot more effort on that, so that we're ready sooner for the big show Grin
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December 27, 2011, 11:22:20 PM
 #16

Bernard Lietaer makes a strong point in his lecture here: http://vimeo.com/6491175

Efficiency comes at the price of diversity and the whole point of decentralization is having differences between participants.

Your forced system wipes out diversity and as such will burn out in a short while or self destruct from people exploiting situations you did not consider.

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December 27, 2011, 11:41:58 PM
 #17

OP - I understand where you're coming from.

Without reading this entire thread, I don't agree with you - Bitcoin works great the way it is.
However, there is room for something that works like you outlined - it's called Litecoin (there are some other alternate currencies, Litecoin is the most promising one as a Bitcoin alternative)

Please do not pm me, use ron@bitcoin.org.il instead
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December 28, 2011, 12:12:51 AM
 #18

Seriously, @TheGlobber and @bithobo, we could keep discussing those things here, but I think it would be *much* more productive if you just read more about Bitcoin on the wiki. You're clearly lacking understanding of Bitcoins.

And what DeathAndTaxes said is true; miners aren't bloodsuckers like banks or something. They really have an important role in the Bitcoin network, which can't be easily replaced, much less simply removed. Trust me, this is NOT as simple as you guys might be thinking.

I didn't say we should remove miners, wtf?!? I said that it's not necessary for absolutely everyone to mine, but there should be seeding by as many people as possible

Spare some bitcoin?
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December 28, 2011, 12:29:24 AM
 #19

Thanks for all the informative posts.

I think i have learned a little bit more about Bitcoin now and can see why big miners have to be part of the whole scheme.

I hope i can find some viable solutions around other Bitcoin matters in the future and thus help the whole community develop into a widely adopted digital currency used instead of fiat.
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December 28, 2011, 12:58:31 PM
 #20


A false assumption.  The average CPU is good for maybe 10 MH/s.  My farm is 10,000 MH/s.  So 1 dedicated miner can be worth as much as 10,000 casual users.  That also assumes those casual users will be on 24/7/365.  If they aren't.  Say average node is online 20% of the time it is more like 40K.  So it is entirely possible that 10K users in a free market can outmine 1 million nodes in a forced crippled network.


10,000 MH/s / 10 MH/s = 1,000 not 10,000. But your point is still valid.
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