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Author Topic: Freezing BitCoin addresses by regulating miners  (Read 14808 times)
FandangledGizmo
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January 16, 2014, 02:42:14 PM
 #61

It's not just mining. The general trend over time is centralisation of everything. That's because professionalism is important but takes a lot of work, and the most obvious way to fund it is through offering services and charging a fee. Right now for a lot of Bitcoin users, their experience is like:

- Buy some coins on coinbase (essentially a bitcoin bank)
- Send them to a friend who uses blockchain.info
- Mine on a big pool like BTC Guild or GHash.io
- From time to time, buy things from a merchant who is using BitPay

It varies by region of course. Here in Europe I see a lot of people using the Android SPV wallet, so that's at least fairly decentralised. But it takes huge and constant effort to keep the decentralised solutions competitive with the more centralised forms. Cracking that problem is something I've spent a lot of time thinking about.

Agreed.

Some people just fail to observe the universe and verify that centralization of forces is a natural phenomenon.

The idea was to have solo "mining" (decentralized), but it became pooled "mining" (centralized).

The idea was to every end user have a client (decentralized), but in reality it is more feasible use blockchain.info (centralized).

The idea was to each user trade directly with another user (decentralized), but it turn out that exchange platforms are more reliable (centralized).



I have to disagree.

The Exchange of Bitcoins is becoming more and more decentralised. From the all powerful MTGox, to 4/5+ main exchanges in just 12 months. Last year saw the introduction of the first Bitcoin ATM's and this year mobile bitcoin vending machines costing less than $1000 will erupt onto the scene, all of this in less than 12 months too.This year we will also see 'decentralised exchanges' for the first time ever. It is literally an EXPLOSION OF DECENTRALISATION.

Bitpay exists not because of centralisation but because of slow bitcoin confirmation times and volatility. Both of which will ultimately be addressed in this or another crypto-currency making those centralised intermediaries obsolete.

The internet itself is a manifestation of the decentralisation evolution of man. After information the next steps are money and power.

The fact that BC was even an idea, was created and has rapidly grown shows that the decentralisation of money is taking place.
Furthermore the most valuable crypto-currencies after Bitcoin are the ones that have evolved the decentralisation model even further.
(LC and faster confirm times and more ASIC resistant mining and other coins have POW etc.)

In fact the easiest thing to do would be to create a coin that was more centralised and had all the features the current centralised bases of power would like. But why out of the hundreds of crypto-currencies that have been made since Bitcoin has none been created yet? Generation Y would never use it.

No doubt the current institiutions of power made up of Gen X and Baby-Boomers will try to bring crypto-currencies into their centralised model, but they will fail. I only wish the community could effectively pre-emptively respond to the centralisation of mining threat rather than waiting for it to be attacked and set Bitcoin back a few years or have it replaced by something more centralised mining resistant.

The future is decentralised.  
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January 16, 2014, 04:41:00 PM
 #62

I have to disagree.

The Exchange of Bitcoins is becoming more and more decentralised. From the all powerful MTGox, to 4/5+ main exchanges in just 12 months. Last year saw the introduction of the first Bitcoin ATM's and this year mobile bitcoin vending machines costing less than $1000 will erupt onto the scene, all of this in less than 12 months too.This year we will also see 'decentralised exchanges' for the first time ever. It is literally an EXPLOSION OF DECENTRALISATION.

From one exchange to five exchanges is not a change which could be used to establish your argument. Moreover, the tendency is more and more exchanges complying with government policies. Since such policies are similar across different jurisdictions the exchanges dealing with BTC will adopt practices defined by a central body of governance.

Quote
Bitpay exists not because of centralisation but because of slow bitcoin confirmation times and volatility. Both of which will ultimately be addressed in this or another crypto-currency making those centralised intermediaries obsolete.

Bitpay exist because they want to obtain marginal profit from the BTC/fiat currency exchange markets. Period.

Quote
The internet itself is a manifestation of the decentralisation evolution of man. After information the next steps are money and power.

This sounds idiotic, sorry. No, it is not.

Quote
Furthermore the most valuable crypto-currencies after Bitcoin are the ones that have evolved the decentralisation model even further.

(LC and faster confirm times and more ASIC resistant mining and other coins have POW etc.)

In fact the easiest thing to do would be to create a coin that was more centralised and had all the features the current centralised bases of power would like. But why out of the hundreds of crypto-currencies that have been made since Bitcoin has none been created yet? Generation Y would never use it.

What the other electronic medium of exchanges had evolved was the capacity of man to speculate with money.
FandangledGizmo
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January 16, 2014, 07:50:16 PM
 #63

I have to disagree.

The Exchange of Bitcoins is becoming more and more decentralised. From the all powerful MTGox, to 4/5+ main exchanges in just 12 months. Last year saw the introduction of the first Bitcoin ATM's and this year mobile bitcoin vending machines costing less than $1000 will erupt onto the scene, all of this in less than 12 months too.This year we will also see 'decentralised exchanges' for the first time ever. It is literally an EXPLOSION OF DECENTRALISATION.

From one exchange to five exchanges is not a change which could be used to establish your argument. Moreover, the tendency is more and more exchanges complying with government policies. Since such policies are similar across different jurisdictions the exchanges dealing with BTC will adopt practices defined by a central body of governance.

Um yes it is it's a huge difference! You are completely wrong.

Having 5 major exchanges in 5 different jurisdictions vs. 1 main exchange a year ago, a 500% increase, does establish my argument.

Last year China virtually shut down the biggest exchange BTC China but because Bitcoin had 5 other exchanges in 5 other Jurisdictions, Bitcoin was able to absorb even that blow.

What about the open source < $1000 mobile Bitcoin vending machines? The equivalent of thousands of mini-exchanges in hundreds of countries? Will all of them have to comply with your 'similar across different jurisdictions, government policies?'

What about the new decentralised exchanges, will they have to comply with your 'similar across different jurisdictions, government policies?'

Also you only have to look at gold to see that BTC will never 'adopt practices defined by a central body of governance.' 

They are trying to ban and tax certain gold imports into India, though they can limit it to an extent it has just resulted in a 1000% increase in smuggling and decentralised the market.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpdoRUMeshw Some Indians are even willing to sift and swim through literally miles of faeces to mine/bring gold into the country, if they can't stop gold they can't stop a crypto-currency that's dealt with the centralisation of mining issue.)

More and more secure decentralised solutions are being developed everyday.

Decentralisation is the future.



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January 16, 2014, 08:02:18 PM
 #64

Bitpay exist because they want to obtain marginal profit from the BTC/fiat currency exchange markets. Period.

How Bitpay makes a profit and why there is a market for them are two different things.


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January 16, 2014, 08:26:30 PM
 #65

Um yes it is it's a huge difference! You are completely wrong.

Having 5 major exchanges in 5 different jurisdictions vs. 1 main exchange a year ago, a 500% increase, does establish my argument.

Last year China virtually shut down the biggest exchange BTC China but because Bitcoin had 5 other exchanges in 5 other Jurisdictions, Bitcoin was able to absorb even that blow.

I would guess that this five exchange markets are in jurisdictions where they have to follow AML polices defined by a central body of governance.

Quote
What about the open source < $1000 mobile Bitcoin vending machines? The equivalent of thousands of mini-exchanges in hundreds of countries? Will all of them have to comply with your 'similar across different jurisdictions, government policies?'

They will have to follow the local legislation of the place where the machine will operate, which is defined by a central body of governance.

Quote
What about the new decentralised exchanges, will they have to comply with your 'similar across different jurisdictions, government policies?'

If they operate with fiat currency they will have to comply with polices defined by a central body of governance.

Quote
Also you only have to look at gold to see that BTC will never 'adopt practices defined by a central body of governance.'

Gold ≠ BTC

Even so, trade of precious metal can be regulated by a central body of governance.

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More and more secure decentralised solutions are being developed everyday.

You mean the "decentralized" exchanges markets which not operate with fiat currency.
FandangledGizmo
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January 16, 2014, 09:07:08 PM
 #66



I would guess that this five exchange markets are in jurisdictions where they have to follow AML polices defined by a central body of governance.

They will have to follow the local legislation of the place where the machine will operate, which is defined by a central body of governance.

If they operate with fiat currency they will have to comply  with polices defined by a central body of governance.


I think you are confusing 'required to' with 'have to'...

They don't 'have to' do anything and the smaller the exchanges become (E.g. BTC vending machines) the harder it will be for a central body to enforce 'requirements.' 
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January 17, 2014, 07:55:40 AM
 #67

Bitcoin Foundation isn't my job actually. It's just something I volunteer with.

It's easy to assume that if someone explores an idea, they must ipso-facto believe in it. I guess in our society it's rare for people to talk about ideas they understand but haven't got a strong opinion on. But, I do it a lot.

...

Basically, I'm interested in how group consensus algorithms, democracy and social problems can interact. And I'm not going to stop thinking about these topics, sorry ....

By 'job' I simply meant your duties and responsibilities at your post.  Whether you are paid is of no consequence here.  And...

I am extremely sympathetic to the method of exploring concepts from as many different angles as possible, especially ones which one is naturally opposed to.  I try to do this, and find it invaluable in understanding a complex situation.

What I and I think retep and probably a great many others find troubling is that your concrete actions in terms of coding and project direction are objectionable insofar as they foster evolution toward an end point that we disagree with and detract from some of the properties of Bitcoin that we value.  They also often map pretty well to your 'flights of fancy' into theoretical solutions we find troubling.

I don't want to make this a personal attack, and I'm sure that none of my statements are especially surprising to you.  I respect your work immensely...even a lot of it which I disagree with.  More than anything I appreciate that you will, at least on occasion, argue your case(s) and explore concepts in public.  Again, I hope this persists.  As I say, I think that a backlash against lack of transparency could have significant and rapid consequences in a project such as Bitcoin.  We'll see.  Getting beat up over unpopular views/actions would be preferable to finding out the hard way that secrecy has led to a collapse in trust since the latter would likely be irrecoverable.


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January 17, 2014, 09:25:04 AM
 #68

Do you have any code in mind? I don't think I've actually programmed anything of relevance to any of the decentralised investigation/crime fighting ideas. Actually in the past few weeks I've been focusing on HD wallets (privacy) and exploring activating Tor for bitcoinj wallets by default (privacy).
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January 17, 2014, 01:02:02 PM
 #69

Do you have any code in mind? I don't think I've actually programmed anything of relevance to any of the decentralised investigation/crime fighting ideas. Actually in the past few weeks I've been focusing on HD wallets (privacy) and exploring activating Tor for bitcoinj wallets by default (privacy).

That you wind up writing such code is something I keep pointing out to the less sympathetic members of the community - even if you are on the NSA payroll engaging with you technically means Bitcoin comes out ahead and has some decent libraries that at worst can be fixed up relatively easily to fit our privacy goals. Any sane NSA subversion project would realize that you have to at least write stuff that looks like it aligns with community goals to have any plausibility, which helpfully means the ways it doesn't can be fixed relatively easily and we all get a bunch of free high-quality code.

What you write on so many topics may be considered harmful, but without leaked slides of a crappy powerpoint presentation about the HOUSEHIPPO Mike/Gavin subversion project, personal accusations aren't going to work outside of scoring brownie points in a tiny group. So disengage and get some work done instead. Notably saying crap like:

retep:  Whether one is bored by Mike or not, I don't think that it is a stretch to consider him THE most critical individual in the Bitcoin universe at this point.  My arguments:

is incredibly counter-productive. Even if it were true you wouldn't put that out publicly, and since it's not it just makes you (tvbconf) look like a crank that doesn't understand how the politics of Bitcoin work (hint: no-one is that important) while creating a silly flamewar about a guy that just tells outsiders "Gee, this Mike person must be important!"


Mental note: at my meeting in Maryland next week suggest the idea of creating a sock puppet army of ostensibly pro-privacy cranks obsessed with Mike and Gavin. We could haze the junior agents by forcing them to write fan-fic about the relationship...

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January 17, 2014, 05:45:13 PM
 #70

Peter Todd: Very good, we support you. Keep standing up against him, the majority of users is behind you.
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January 17, 2014, 06:08:19 PM
 #71

...
What you write on so many topics may be considered harmful, but without leaked slides of a crappy powerpoint presentation about the HOUSEHIPPO Mike/Gavin subversion project, personal accusations aren't going to work outside of scoring brownie points in a tiny group. So disengage and get some work done instead. Notably saying crap like:

retep:  Whether one is bored by Mike or not, I don't think that it is a stretch to consider him THE most critical individual in the Bitcoin universe at this point.  My arguments:

is incredibly counter-productive. Even if it were true you wouldn't put that out publicly, and since it's not it just makes you (tvbconf) look like a crank that doesn't understand how the politics of Bitcoin work (hint: no-one is that important) while creating a silly flamewar about a guy that just tells outsiders "Gee, this Mike person must be important!"

I should think that the suggestion that open-source efforts consist of some individuals who are more likely to shape the direction of the project than others is one of the more obvious and less contentious concepts.  Saying 'the' is a relative statement which doesn't describe magnitude (and one that I continue to stand by.)

(Remembering that most of my contemplation are forward looking...)  To comment on the magnitude of Mikes influence, I'll bet that it will be very high.  He'll be seen as the 'good boy' of Bitcoin.  Popular with the Bitcoin Foundation-centric types who are in it to get rich (which, I'm looking forward to myself) and trusted by the authoritarian types who will want methods of controlling the solution...and make laws, BTW...

I put forth my take on this stuff mostly because it is a natural reaction of readers to consider than anyone who is actually doing anything with Bitcoin must be doings something 'good'.  Most people are going to go with an instinct if the option is to expend the effort otherwise necessary to develop a unique perspective.  By calling out some of the concerns that I have I hope mainly to deaden this undesirable gut reaction on the part of readers.  And I do believe that it has been somewhat effective, and I don't believe that it has been or will be 'incredibly counter-productive.'  The more capable devs are not likely to unduly impacted by such petty things.

Mental note: at my meeting in Maryland next week suggest the idea of creating a sock puppet army of ostensibly pro-privacy cranks obsessed with Mike and Gavin. We could haze the junior agents by forcing them to write fan-fic about the relationship...

Good to see you throw your hat into the ring in the competition to come of with the 'best' conspiracy.  Actually, the wild conspiracy about sock puppet armies was converted into a fact with the HB Gary Federal hack long before Snowden.  Whether the strategy and the software (purchased with my tax dollars) to facilitate it is employed within the Bitcoin project, I have no idea.  Certainly I would not rule it out, and sowing discontent and hard feelings within the dev community would probably have some utility.  Or might be seen by some as having value.


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January 17, 2014, 07:44:55 PM
 #72

Peter Todd: Very good, we support you. Keep standing up against him, the majority of users is behind you.

Don't get into the mindset of this being a personal fight. If I'm "standing up" to anything, it's an idea, not a person. Among other things, people change their ideas.

edit: Incidentally, don't read too much into that statement: my advice applies in the context of the politics of Bitcoin and I'd suggest completely different strategies in other situations.

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January 19, 2014, 06:17:23 AM
 #73

I should think that the suggestion that open-source efforts consist of some individuals who are more likely to shape the direction of the project than others is one of the more obvious and less contentious concepts.  Saying 'the' is a relative statement which doesn't describe magnitude (and one that I continue to stand by.)

(Remembering that most of my contemplation are forward looking...)  To comment on the magnitude of Mikes influence, I'll bet that it will be very high.  He'll be seen as the 'good boy' of Bitcoin.  Popular with the Bitcoin Foundation-centric types who are in it to get rich (which, I'm looking forward to myself) and trusted by the authoritarian types who will want methods of controlling the solution...and make laws, BTW...

I put forth my take on this stuff mostly because it is a natural reaction of readers to consider than anyone who is actually doing anything with Bitcoin must be doings something 'good'.  Most people are going to go with an instinct if the option is to expend the effort otherwise necessary to develop a unique perspective.  By calling out some of the concerns that I have I hope mainly to deaden this undesirable gut reaction on the part of readers.  And I do believe that it has been somewhat effective, and I don't believe that it has been or will be 'incredibly counter-productive.'  The more capable devs are not likely to unduly impacted by such petty things.

Like I say, you're missing the psychology of it: you saying he's important is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hell, it's nearly as self-fufilling as the way people are starting to call me a core developer now.

Incidentally, this is the kind of thing when I say that many see his efforts at maddeningly, yet subtlety, wrong. Note how I've got nothing against X.509 technology and think it should be integrated into the OpenPGP WoT using whatever hacks are required, while Mike's taking the usual top-down approach. But that's the kind of thing where malice is indistinguishable from stupidity, so until you've got that smoking gun you look like a crank pushing that angle. (heh, I'm pushing my luck with gmaxwell's quote there!)

Mental note: at my meeting in Maryland next week suggest the idea of creating a sock puppet army of ostensibly pro-privacy cranks obsessed with Mike and Gavin. We could haze the junior agents by forcing them to write fan-fic about the relationship...

Good to see you throw your hat into the ring in the competition to come of with the 'best' conspiracy.  Actually, the wild conspiracy about sock puppet armies was converted into a fact with the HB Gary Federal hack long before Snowden.  Whether the strategy and the software (purchased with my tax dollars) to facilitate it is employed within the Bitcoin project, I have no idea.  Certainly I would not rule it out, and sowing discontent and hard feelings within the dev community would probably have some utility.  Or might be seen by some as having value.

Oh I can do better than that: http://www.mail-archive.com/bitcoin-development@lists.sourceforge.net/msg03705.html

A bit technical, but gmaxwell is criticizing my approach to stealth addresses and blockchain data query privacy on the grounds that I'm making life easier for an attacker, under certain assumptions. I justify it elsewhere for nice simple-sounding but maybe fundamentally wrong reasons... just the sort of thing a NSA agent would do wouldn't they? Like I say, sometimes malice is indistinguishable from stupidity.

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January 24, 2014, 02:50:38 AM
 #74

It's not just mining. The general trend over time is centralisation of everything. That's because professionalism is important but takes a lot of work, and the most obvious way to fund it is through offering services and charging a fee.

Do you believe that the only professional solutions to Bitcoin's problems are centralized solutions? Do you believe "offering services and charging a fee" cannot be done in a decentralized way?
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January 24, 2014, 09:00:22 AM
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No, I do not believe that. But alternatives require some creativity.
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January 26, 2014, 05:56:32 AM
 #76

If I might be so presumptuous to get back to blacklisting... WHAT ARE YOU FRICKING NUTS!?Huh You want to destroy Bitcoin? If we blacklist some coins then how can anyone trust that their's won't be next?! If someone (gov) can come along and say "these coin were once used in a crime, maybe not by you (but maybe you) so now you have to give them up even though you earned them legitimately more recently" then that would MURDER any hope of this being a circulating currency. If there can be such thing as dirty coin no one takes the risk of transacting. I sure as sh't hope everyone starts using dark wallets and blacklisting dies a horrible death as an idea.

Sanity in BTC is insanity in the history of trading.
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February 07, 2014, 05:18:02 AM
 #77

Unwilling coercion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne8-mUibhc4

Willful compliance:

But here's a question to ponder. If the NSA came along and offered to run a few thousand Obelisk servers, what would you tell them?

You sound compromised.

What kind of man avoids his moral duty to save himself from prison. This isn't even in your own self interest unless you're paid well.

I bet you think Satoshi was misguided.
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June 12, 2015, 10:47:53 PM
 #78

...

retep:  Whether one is bored by Mike or not, I don't think that it is a stretch to consider him THE most critical individual in the Bitcoin universe at this point.  My arguments:

is incredibly counter-productive. Even if it were true you wouldn't put that out publicly, and since it's not it just makes you (tvbconf) look like a crank that doesn't understand how the politics of Bitcoin work (hint: no-one is that important) while creating a silly flamewar about a guy that just tells outsiders "Gee, this Mike person must be important!"

Mental note: at my meeting in Maryland next week suggest the idea of creating a sock puppet army of ostensibly pro-privacy cranks obsessed with Mike and Gavin. We could haze the junior agents by forcing them to write fan-fic about the relationship...

Yo, Pete:

Who's the guy who is making a credible threat to subsume Bitcoin under his personal project and is for all intents and purposes the acting 'benevolent dictator' of Bitcoin at this point?  Oh right...Mike Hearn.  Who could have predicted that and assigned status as appropriate???


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June 14, 2015, 12:24:46 AM
 #79

Yo, Pete:

Who's the guy who is making a credible threat to subsume Bitcoin under his personal project and is for all intents and purposes the acting 'benevolent dictator' of Bitcoin at this point?  Oh right...Mike Hearn.  Who could have predicted that and assigned status as appropriate???

Credible? We'll see. Smiley

Re: benevolent dictator, nah, we don't have one of those - maybe Wladimir.

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June 14, 2015, 04:32:06 AM
 #80

How long until BitcoinXT implements features to make it easier for miners to blacklist addresses?

that's a provocative question.  Seems the ideal answer might be "who cares as long as we have many Bitcoin implementations, of which XT is only one."
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