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Question: Will you support Gavin's new block size limit hard fork of 8MB by January 1, 2016 then doubling every 2 years?
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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 1995651 times)
cypherdoc
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October 02, 2014, 04:21:08 PM
 #13141

So in practice it solves 99.99% of the problem

by "it", do you mean the timeclock?
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cypherdoc
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October 02, 2014, 04:38:42 PM
 #13142

excellent interview:

We have no tradition in this country of holding our intelligence community officials legally responsible for law-breaking.

https://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/pull-back-to-reveal/
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October 02, 2014, 04:40:52 PM
 #13143


Given that we know the BGP is mathematically unsolvable

i've heard this a few times already.

can u give a simple layman's description to why this is?

Allright I took fischer's provability class so I'll give it a go:

First of all whether BGP is solvable or not depends on the "powers" given to the honest vs. lying generals.  Can the honest generals "broadcast" a message to everyone else?  Can lying generals "intercept" and rewrite messages?  Do you have a mostly-synchronized clock, or even a local sense of time?  So papers basically define these "powers" and then prove a yes or no result based on them.

Let me try to couch why BGP is sometimes unsolvable in what you are familiar with: bitcoin.  Let's just say we choose one node to grab all txns and add them to the blockchain.  That node can't steal $ because it can't sign the txns.  But it could insist that there are no txns, or disappear.  If it insists there are no txns (but there are) then no progress is made (algorithm is halted).  If it disappears, can you just choose another?  No because you can't prove that it is really gone vs just slow.  That is, it could seem to disappear causing the rest of the network to pick another "issuer".  Then both nodes post a block at the exact same moment resulting in half the nodes using block A and the other half B [1].  Could you then get the network to "settle" on one of the 2 blocks?  Well, doing so is equivalent to solving the original problem (picking a block in the first place), so the above strategy made zero progress solving this problem.  

But note that if you had some relatively consistent sense of elapsed time (an additional "power"), say all nodes have time accuracy within an interval E (say 5 min), you could do something like:  the announcer has until time X to announce a block, at time X+E, we choose another announcer [2].  Ok that works but it requires a synchronized clock.  No clock is ever synchronized perfectly.  So in practice it solves 99.99% of the problem, but what happens if the announcer issues the block exactly at time X+E.  So half of the nodes will think that it is valid, the other half will reject.  So now we have to decide whether to accept the proposed block or not.  Doing so is equivalent to the original problem.  We have made no progress.

How about you use a "fitness function" to choose the best block?  Perhaps use the longest block (most txns in it).  This doesn't work because at any time someone could add a few more txns to a very old block and reissue it, wiping out the blockchain up to that point.  That is, an uncooperative node could cause the algorithm to never make progress.  Ok so let's say once the block is issued it can't be "unissued".  But what if 2 nodes "issue" conflicting blocks simultaneously.  We have to pick one.  Oops, we are back to square one!  (and what does "issued" mean anyway -- in fact it is not definable in a p2p network).

Bitcoin itself does not even solve the problem.  At any time, someone could show up with an alternate blockchain that is full of empty blocks since 2009 (say he's secretly been racing with the public chain) and all clients would switch to that chain where no transactions have happened.  So in fact from a theoretical perspective the algorithm can be proved to never make progress.  However, from a practical perspective this is unlikely to happen, and if it did, I as a community we could throw in some kind of hard coded change (essentially a centralized decision hard-coded in a new client) that forces "our" chain to be chosen.  

So what's cool about Bitcoin is if it breaks down it can essentially "devolve" into (worst case) a centralized scheme.  No worse then we had before Bitcoin (and actually a whole lot better in other metrics).


[1] http://cs-www.cs.yale.edu/homes/arvind/cs425/doc/fischer.pdf
[2] http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/lamport/pubs/reaching.pdf


Quoted For Truth
...
In the smaller chains of the alt coin world, these concerns are dealt with more commonly.  Some of them show promise as ways to deal with what might happen if Bitcoin faced existential threats from major powers.  Some of these innovations ultimately do matriculate into Bitcoin.

By way of example, A week or two ago such an existential threat materialized in one of the up and coming alt coins with savvy devloper team, (Monero), in which an issued threat of a hostile fork using massive hashpower (and maybe some clever hacks against clocks) was met with an innovative solution.  That solution decentralized the chain-fork choice with the option of individual manual interventions, allowing miners/generals to swiftly select a chain without requiring (but still allowing for) the devolution to a centralized scheme.

In effect, this raises the hostility-cost in the battle to be the issuing miner/general, by allowing the other miner/generals an easy tool to select an alliance if the need arises, without waiting for a recompiled code from their HQ to resolve it.  This innovation expands individual liberty in time of crisis.  It lets the miner/generals act in response to threat if they are cut off from HQ.  It also serves to increase the confidence that these crypto currencies are truly 'antifragile' and cleave true to Wei Dai's cypherpunk entreaty to make "the threat of violence impossible because violence is impossible..."  

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October 02, 2014, 04:40:58 PM
 #13144

Oh man, what a joker: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-02/extended-interview-with-jeffrey-robinson/5787140
cypherdoc
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October 02, 2014, 05:27:21 PM
 #13145


that was bad.

another layman who's swallowed the "blockchain is great, the currency is bad" meme of Andreas, et al.

they are inextricably linked.
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October 02, 2014, 05:50:10 PM
 #13146

So in practice it solves 99.99% of the problem

by "it", do you mean the timeclock?

Yes.  A semi-reliable time allows a bunch of entities to collectively decide that another entity is "dead".  This makes non-Byzantine distributed consensus easy (by non-Byzantine, I mean it handles "normal" failures -- node death, network split -- but not pathological cases where a node is deliberately trying to break the election).  This is all that is needed for distributed consensus in most tightly coupled distributed systems.

EDIT: I want to say one more thing about this which is about physics. 

The BGP and Bitcoin's solution problem is fascinating because there are parallels with quantum mechanics which is also incapable of making a decision.  Particles are modeled as probability fields until that is collapsed by observation.  Block/txn validity is probabilistic and collapsed by work (building on the chain).   

But another way to think of that collapse is simply that you have been incorporated into a specific case in the probability field but an outside observer is now unaware of your state (schrodinger's cat).  From the outside observer's case, the probability field still exists; you are just now part of it.

So the universe only has state because it observes itself.  Bitcoin is the same... it only has state (validated txns) in the eyes of observers within the system.

oda.krell
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October 02, 2014, 06:06:01 PM
 #13147

So in practice it solves 99.99% of the problem

by "it", do you mean the timeclock?

Yes.  A semi-reliable time allows a bunch of entities to collectively decide that another entity is "dead".  This makes non-Byzantine distributed consensus easy (by non-Byzantine, I mean it handles "normal" failures -- node death, network split -- but not pathological cases where a node is deliberately trying to break the election).  This is all that is needed for distributed consensus in most tightly coupled distributed systems.

Very interesting post.

Question: would the problem of the time interval case you describe (with an imprecise time signal) possibly be solvable by having the clients decide on a time to accept the block in the form of a probability distribution, peaking around the agreed upon time point? that way, assuming a majority of clients would use that rule, we could assume a majority of clients would accept the block issued *around* time E, even if it is not issued at the *exact* time.

Not sure which Bitcoin wallet to use? I suggest to take a look at Electrum.
Electrum is an open-source lightweight client: user friendly, fast, and one of the safest ways to store, send or receive bitcoins.
For executables (Windows, OSX, Linux, Android), source code and documentation, see the Electrum homepage.
justusranvier
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October 02, 2014, 06:07:18 PM
 #13148

This is all that is needed for distributed consensus in most tightly coupled distributed systems.
Maybe this would be better written as: "This is all that is needed for consensus in systems where one entity exercises control over all portions of the distributed system."

When Amazon builds a distributed system where they own all the pieces, that's one problem.

When a group of independent actors are trying to build a distributed system to agree on something, when anyone is free to join or depart at any time, and no actors may be treated as privileged or trusted, the problem is just a little bit harder.
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October 02, 2014, 09:36:00 PM
 #13149

Quote
BREAKING: JPMorgan says data breach affects 76 million households, 7 million businesses



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Monero
"The difference between bad and well-developed digital cash will determine
whether we have a dictatorship or a real democracy." 
David Chaum 1996
"Fungibility provides privacy as a side effect."  Adam Back 2014
Buy and sell XMR near you
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cypherdoc
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October 02, 2014, 09:46:30 PM
 #13150

forming a base...
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October 02, 2014, 10:00:49 PM
 #13151

Anyone have any good links to Metcalfs law vs btc price?

What is the downride risk of a decrease in adoption transactions?



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ETHERPARTY














Peter R
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October 02, 2014, 10:08:36 PM
 #13152

Anyone have any good links to Metcalfs law vs btc price?

What is the downride risk of a decrease in adoption transactions?

Here's the latest graphs (just made now).




Run Bitcoin Unlimited (www.bitcoinunlimited.info)
cypherdoc
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October 02, 2014, 10:42:56 PM
 #13153

Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be. Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and of course for large transactions currency can get pretty inconvenient. The customers we’re talking about aren’t trying to be anonymous. You know they’re willing to be known so the Bitcoin technology is key and you could add to it or you could build a similar technology where there’s enough attribution that people feel comfortable this is nothing to do with terrorism or any type of money laundering.

don't hold your breath Bill.  part of the reason Bitcoin has such a large mining/security contingent is b/c of the privacy or pseudonymity it offers:

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/bill-gates-bitcoin-is-exciting-because-it-s-cheap-dQ4qHV4~TLSnUIuIRfZBVA.html
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October 02, 2014, 11:00:43 PM
 #13154

Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be. Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and of course for large transactions currency can get pretty inconvenient. The customers we’re talking about aren’t trying to be anonymous. You know they’re willing to be known so the Bitcoin technology is key and you could add to it or you could build a similar technology where there’s enough attribution that people feel comfortable this is nothing to do with terrorism or any type of money laundering.

don't hold your breath Bill.  part of the reason Bitcoin has such a large mining/security contingent is b/c of the privacy or pseudonymity it offers:

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/bill-gates-bitcoin-is-exciting-because-it-s-cheap-dQ4qHV4~TLSnUIuIRfZBVA.html

I'm sure he is bitcoin supporter.
mr.coinstrader
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October 03, 2014, 04:27:43 AM
 #13155

I was wondering if it  a good time to invest a few bucks on bitcoins
right now ? ... The bitcoin price is stable in moment
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October 03, 2014, 04:33:45 AM
 #13156

I was wondering if it  a good time to invest a few bucks on bitcoins
right now ? ... The bitcoin price is stable in moment

Put it this way. Has there been a better time to buy in 2014? Isn't the Bitcoin ecosystem bigger and stronger now than at the start of the year?

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October 03, 2014, 05:32:37 AM
 #13157

I was wondering if it  a good time to invest a few bucks on bitcoins
right now ? ... The bitcoin price is stable in moment

Put it this way. Has there been a better time to buy in 2014? Isn't the Bitcoin ecosystem bigger and stronger now than at the start of the year?

It is not about the price being stable it is about Bitcoin being stronger and bigger while the price is very low relatively to the average price for the last 10months

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October 03, 2014, 07:35:03 AM
 #13158

Bitcoin is art, check this out:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/933b4e62-f824-11df-8875-00144feab49a.html#axzz3F45k5w30

 Roll Eyes

BTC: 1K9atu5zgz7izCMAynk5adBJ8Qn2YgS6nT
wachtwoord
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October 03, 2014, 08:55:07 AM
 #13159


Well .... art is overvalued. Especially those artworks made by the most famous of artists. I'll take a double spend (copy Wink any day.

I don't want a copy of a Bitcoin Wink

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October 03, 2014, 09:39:45 AM
 #13160


Well .... art is overvalued. Especially those artworks made by the most famous of artists. I'll take a double spend (copy Wink any day.

I don't want a copy of a Bitcoin Wink

Agreed
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