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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 1907338 times)
brg444
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November 18, 2014, 03:49:38 PM
 #17421

I'm just trying to make incremental progress in my understanding by answering the question "on which ledger is the value stored?"  The probability that the 2-way peg is severed is a different discussion.

I think the probability of the 2-way peg being severed is actually central to the definition of "sidechain" vs. "altcoin," and for practical purposes determines investment behavior in the chain.

On one end of the spectrum, if a sidechain's 2-way peg can be severed at the whim of the sidechain devs, it would essentially be an altcoin and would presumably attract about as much investment as altcoins do (not a threat to Bitcoin).

At the other end of the spectrum, if it's mathematically impossible to sever the 2wp, then it is a true sidechain and the value seems to always remain with the Bitcoin ledger (not a threat to Bitcoin, at least not for this reason).

For cases in between, we cannot really call it a true sidechain, and by the same token we cannot really expect substantial portions of the bitcoin holders to just jump over to the sidechain.

In other words, there's a reasoning error to watch out for here: insofar as the value that could be funneled over to the sidechain relies on the certainty that the 2wp will remain, the concern is self-defeating. If there is any shadow of possibility that the 2wp could be broken, it won't attract that many bitcoins - not much more an any altcoin; and if any sidechain does attract a large portion of the bitcoins, it will only be because the 2wp is as certain of a thing in investors' minds as Bitcoin itself is, which is an extremely high bar.

(This does still leave the possibility that the devs could hamstring Bitcoin deliberately to reduce confidence in Bitcoin to bring it in line with confidence in a not completely solid 2wp so that many people would switch despite some uncertainty. However, this is a much smaller argument to be making.)

+1

good to see some reason and rationality in here. refreshing

"I believe this will be the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the "high-powered money" that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash." Hal Finney, Dec. 2010
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brg444
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November 18, 2014, 03:59:05 PM
 #17422

http://www.etf.com/sections/features/23846-winklevoss-bros-beware-bitcoin-etf-risks.html

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The brothers will speak more extensively about their plans at the upcoming Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Florida, in January.

So no further development until January it seems.... So much for fourth-quarter 2014....

"I believe this will be the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the "high-powered money" that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash." Hal Finney, Dec. 2010
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November 18, 2014, 04:30:22 PM
 #17423

On one end of the spectrum, if a sidechain's 2-way peg can be severed at the whim of the sidechain devs, it would essentially be an altcoin and would presumably attract about as much investment as altcoins do (not a threat to Bitcoin).

At the other end of the spectrum, if it's mathematically impossible to sever the 2wp, then it is a true sidechain and the value seems to always remain with the Bitcoin ledger (not a threat to Bitcoin, at least not for this reason).
From the description of the SPV proof, to get out of the sidechain it seems like you need to be able to create transaction in the sidechain which burns some sidechain units.

If it's possible to block transactions in the sidechains, then it would be possible to prevent sidechain holders from cashing out into the main chain.

In that case I'd expect a lot of people to pretty wary of investing in sidechains, especially as a store of value. It seems like they should just be considered "fortified altcoins" in that case. For many altcoin proponents it may become THE way to launch altcoins, and it may provide a powerful boost, but it seems like it will take years without incident for people to gain enough confidence in the pegging system to rely on it as a store of value.
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November 18, 2014, 04:46:35 PM
 #17424

On one end of the spectrum, if a sidechain's 2-way peg can be severed at the whim of the sidechain devs, it would essentially be an altcoin and would presumably attract about as much investment as altcoins do (not a threat to Bitcoin).

At the other end of the spectrum, if it's mathematically impossible to sever the 2wp, then it is a true sidechain and the value seems to always remain with the Bitcoin ledger (not a threat to Bitcoin, at least not for this reason).
From the description of the SPV proof, to get out of the sidechain it seems like you need to be able to create transaction in the sidechain which burns some sidechain units.

If it's possible to block transactions in the sidechains, then it would be possible to prevent sidechain holders from cashing out into the main chain.

In that case I'd expect a lot of people to pretty wary of investing in sidechains, especially as a store of value. It seems like they should just be considered "fortified altcoins" in that case. For many altcoin proponents it may become THE way to launch altcoins, and it may provide a powerful boost, but it seems like it will take years without incident for people to gain enough confidence in the pegging system to rely on it as a store of value.

To be able to block transactions would require centralization of the tx verification process or corruption of the miners.

Considering the proposition of SPVP sidechains is to MM the more valuable sidechains on the same level as BTC it would mean a situation where a miner goes rogue and attack the network.

Some have argued MM might open an incentive to do so that does not exist with Bitcoin itself. In my opinion the economic incentive for miners to behave is still very much in place and discourages most attempts.

"I believe this will be the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the "high-powered money" that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash." Hal Finney, Dec. 2010
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November 18, 2014, 04:53:28 PM
 #17425

Maybe you don't know this because you're young and new here and this may come as a shock to you, but soundbites don't actually prove anything.

In fact, those soundbites remind me of a conversation I had a little over two years ago:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=113400.msg1227012#msg1227012

I don't have to rely on soundbites.

Unlike most detractors in here, Adam Back and Austin Hill's track record speak for themselves.


"I believe this will be the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the "high-powered money" that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash." Hal Finney, Dec. 2010
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November 18, 2014, 04:59:06 PM
 #17426

Ukraine Admits Its Gold Is Gone: "There Is Almost No Gold Left In The Central Bank Vault"

Quote
Back in March, at a time when the IMF reported that Ukraine's official gold holdings as of the end of February, so just as the State Department-facilitated coup against former president Victor Yanukovich was concluding, amounted to 42.3 tons, and notably under the exiled president, Ukraine gold's reserves had constantly increased hitting a record high just before the presidential coup. We reported of a strange incident that took place just after the Ukraine presidential coup, namely that according to at least one source, "in a mysterious operation under the cover of night, Ukraine's gold reserves were promptly loaded onboard an unmarked plane, which subsequently took the gold to the US.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

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November 18, 2014, 05:17:04 PM
 #17427

it's becoming clearer to me everyday that what we are dealing with is Keynesian vs Austrian philosophy with this SC's debate.

heretofore, what has brought Bitcoin to where it is today is its Sound Money function.  and its been brilliant at that.  instant liquidity and transportation worldwide and p2p.  continuous growth in the economy and stellar, but volatile, increasing SOV.  gvts everywhere scrambling to figure out what this is and what role it has for their futures.  investment groups everywhere diving into a variety of Bitcoin investing schemes.  Bitcoin is the "Technology Singularity", as Daniel put it in the video above, that is the culmination of 4 decades of work by the cypherpunks.  we have achieved acceptance as a global, digital, cash money system that, imo, is in the process of replacing gold's function for the last 5000 yrs.  to me, an Austrian leaning Bitcoin proponent, that's all we should strive to be.  that's all we need to be.  my goal is to have Bitcoin have its own ticker symbol on the Forex exchange.  from there, as the only true Sound Money in the world, it can consume all fiat currency AND gold, which will take us To The Moon and way beyond as the sole globally accepted currency.  there only needs to be one money and Bitcoin can be "it".  the problem is, if it is even a problem, it will take time and some long hard fought battles.  the Keynesians don't want to help us.  they don't want to "buy in" to the system which would take the price up logarithmically.  they think a price of $376 is "too expensive".  well, to me the other view is that they just weren't paying attention back in 2009 and tough luck, that's how technology disrupts financial systems, as it has with many other industries.  i say "buy in" now and you can still join us on the way to the Moon.  we haven't even really taken off yet.

the Keynesian view is that Bitcoin needs to do more to gain acceptance and grow itself.  the protocol needs to be changed to incorporate all other forms of asset options; stocks, bonds, assurance contracts, smart contracts, insurance, etc.  by allowing BTC to be transformed into speculative assets via the spvp, that is by definition inflationary.  nevermind that if Bitcoin succeeds at the Austrian Sound Money function, it will force all those assets to trade in terms of Bitcoin eventually as well.  but that would be the hard battle and there are too many fiat vested interests that don't want to see that happen.  and there are too many Bitcoiner's who are impatient and can't stand price volatility.  and there are too many devs that gotta dev and get paid (in USD's).  and there are too many of all of those who missed out.  so what do they do?  they try to change Bitcoin.  change it by changing the source code which breaks the Sound Money function.  to me, that is what the spvp does, it creates an offramp into all manner of these assets.  after all, that is exactly what the Blockstream (Keynesian's) say as well; that being that the blockchain is too restrictive, it's prevents innovation, it's too risky, it's too slow, it's not big enough, yada yada yada.  so what is wrong with using SC's to incorporate all those assets?  it breaks the Sound Money function.  Bitcoin will no longer be viewed as solely a new form of money.  it will be viewed as a "trading platform" with which you can use to move back and forth btwn assets and BTC.  it would be like a Fidelity brokerage house, you deposit your money in a cash acct and then trade all manner of assets in and out. it also destroys the time preference of what money should be.  you see, stocks, bonds, contracts, insurance, etc are long term investments.  they are to be held.  and they are not used to provide seamless, instant, liquidity type functions like Bitcoin would be if it stays in its current form as sound money.  thus, we may NEVER see those assets be converted back to BTC in the future.  or at least if we do, it won't be for a long time, and then what does that do for Bitcoins money function?  answer:  it slows it down if not outright destroys it.  if that's true, where do Bitcoin miners get the tx fees they desperately need in the future to secure the mainchain?  what do we, as current Bitcoin holders, do if we see that many ppl are using this offramp to move into all these different SC's?  how do we interpret an especially popular SC?  Zerg and others say that we should trust Blockstream devs to incorporate any popular function back into the MC. but that would be to violate one of Bitcoins core principles; trust no man.  and incorporating other assets back into MC doesn't even make any sense when you are talking about SC's that offer completely different assets as defined above.  they would have to stay as SC's and i dare say there mere existence destroys Bitcoins liquidity and money function.  

Bitcoin is a simple system currently.  that's great for a simple money function.  we don't want complexity or risk.  but to add SC's into the equation introduces all sorts of risk and unpredictable consequences.  the price of Bitcoin has to move orders of magnitude higher to achieve its money status.  this is how miners will profit and how adoption will increase.  the only way to achieve this is to target the Forex and gold markets as a Sound Money; the exact same plan that has gotten us to where we are.  those are the Big Kahuna's we want to tap into and this is the strategy that the cypherpunks ultimately envisioned and this is what will take us to the Moon.  we need to force outsiders to buy in.  not allow them to insert an offramp to divert value into insignificant, undesirable or risky asset markets.  

if you've read this thread for any length of time, you can see that what i'm saying above is totally consistent with my positions in the past.  as well as my past memes:

"The blockchain may only ever be applicable to Bitcoin as Money".

"The BTC currency unit is forever inextricably linked to its blockchain.  you break that link and you break Bitcoin".
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November 18, 2014, 05:36:21 PM
 #17428

Ukraine Admits Its Gold Is Gone: "There Is Almost No Gold Left In The Central Bank Vault"

Quote
Back in March, at a time when the IMF reported that Ukraine's official gold holdings as of the end of February, so just as the State Department-facilitated coup against former president Victor Yanukovich was concluding, amounted to 42.3 tons, and notably under the exiled president, Ukraine gold's reserves had constantly increased hitting a record high just before the presidential coup. We reported of a strange incident that took place just after the Ukraine presidential coup, namely that according to at least one source, "in a mysterious operation under the cover of night, Ukraine's gold reserves were promptly loaded onboard an unmarked plane, which subsequently took the gold to the US.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/03/Ukraine%20goldjpg_0.jpg

Have to protect that gold from the mean bad Rooshins dontcha know.  Just like Germany's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF4JTd61xco


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November 18, 2014, 05:45:31 PM
 #17429

it's becoming clearer to me everyday that what we are dealing with is Keynesian vs Austrian philosophy with this SC's debate.

heretofore, what has brought Bitcoin to where it is today is its Sound Money function.  and its been brilliant at that.  instant liquidity and transportation worldwide and p2p.  continuous growth in the economy and stellar, but volatile, increasing SOV.  gvts everywhere scrambling to figure out what this is and what role it has for their futures.  investment groups everywhere diving into a variety of Bitcoin investing schemes.  Bitcoin is the "Technology Singularity", as Daniel put it in the video above, that is the culmination of 4 decades of work by the cypherpunks.  we have achieved acceptance as a global, digital, cash money system that, imo, is in the process of replacing gold's function for the last 5000 yrs.  to me, an Austrian leaning Bitcoin proponent, that's all we should strive to be.  that's all we need to be.  my goal is to have Bitcoin have its own ticker symbol on the Forex exchange.  from there, as the only true Sound Money in the world, it can consume all fiat currency AND gold, which will take us To The Moon and way beyond as the sole globally accepted currency.  there only needs to be one.  the problem is, if it is even a problem, it will take time and some long hard fought battles.  the Keynesians don't want to help us.  they don't want to "buy in" to the system which would take the price up logarithmically.  they think a price of $376 is "too expensive".  well, to me the other view is that they just weren't paying attention back in 2009 and tough luck, that's how technology disrupts financial systems, as it has with many other industries.  i say "buy in" now and you can still join us on the way to the Moon.  we haven't even really taken off yet.

the Keynesian view is that Bitcoin needs to do more to gain acceptance and grow itself.  the protocol needs to be changed to incorporate all other forms of asset options; stocks, bonds, assurance contracts, smart contracts, insurance, etc.  nevermind that if Bitcoin succeeds at the Austrian Sound Money function, it will force all those assets to trade in terms of Bitcoin eventually as well.  but that would be the hard battle and there are too many fiat vested interests that don't want to see that happen.  and there are too many Bitcoiner's who are impatient and can't stand price volatility.  and there are too many devs that gotta dev and get paid (in USD's).  and there are too many of all of those who missed out.  so what do they do?  they try to change Bitcoin.  change it by changing the source code which breaks the Sound Money function.  to me, that is what the spvp does, it creates an offramp into all manner of these assets.  after all, that is exactly what the Blockstream (Keynesian's) say as well; that being that the blockchain is too restrictive, it's prevents innovation, it's too risky, it's too slow, it's not big enough, yada yada yada.  so what is wrong with using SC's to incorporate all those assets?  it breaks the Sound Money function.  Bitcoin will no longer be viewed as solely a new form of money.  it will be viewed as a "trading platform" with which you can use to move back and forth btwn assets and BTC.  it would be like a Fidelity brokerage house, you deposit your money in a cash acct and then trade all manner of assets in and out. it also destroys the time preference of what money should be.  you see, stocks, bonds, contracts, insurance, etc are long term investments.  they are to be held.  and they are not used to provide seamless, instant, liquidity type functions like Bitcoin would be if it stays in its current form as sound money.  thus, we many NEVER see those assets be converted back to BTC in the future.  or at least if we do, it won't be for a long time, and then what does that do for Bitcoins money function?  answer:  it slows it down if not outright destroys it.  if that's true, where do Bitcoin miners get the tx fees they desperately need in the future to secure the mainchain?  what do we, as current Bitcoin holders, do if we see that many ppl are using this offramp to move into all these different SC's?  how do we interpret an especially popular SC?  Zerg and others say that we should trust Blockstream devs to incorporate any popular function back into the MC. but that would be to violate one of Bitcoins core principles; trust no man.  and incorporating other assets back into MC doesn't even make any sense when you are talking about SC's that offer completely different assets as defined above.  they would have to stay as SC's and i dare say there mere existence destroys Bitcoins liquidity and money function.  

Bitcoin is a simple system currently.  that's great for a simple money function.  we don't want complexity or risk.  but to add SC's into the equation introduces all sorts of risk and unpredictable consequences.  the price of Bitcoin has to move orders of magnitude higher to achieve its money status.  this is how miners will profit and how adoption will increase.  the only way to achieve this is to target the Forex and gold markets as a Sound Money; the exact same plan that has gotten us to where we are.  those are the Big Kahuna's and this is the strategy that the cypherpunks ultimately envisioned and this is what will take us to the Moon.  we need to force outsiders to buy in.  not allow them to insert an offramp to divert value into insignificant, undesirable or risky asset markets.  

if you've read this thread for any length of time, you can see that what i'm saying above is totally consistent with my positions in the past.  as well as my past memes:

"The blockchain may only ever be applicable to Bitcoin as Money".

"The BTC currency unit is forever inextricably linked to its blockchain.  you break that link and you break Bitcoin".

This is a wall of text cypher Wink

One minor neatpick: what will happen if you're wrong, what if bitcoin as is it is not enough to reach the goal you aimed to? I'm not saying that sidechain will be the "upgrade" tha will save bitcoin, though. I'm arguing the fact that bitcoin will succeed without any modifications.

Bitcoin is a participatory system which ought to respect the right of self determinism of all of its users - Gregory Maxwell.
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November 18, 2014, 05:54:13 PM
 #17430

it's becoming clearer to me everyday that what we are dealing with is Keynesian vs Austrian philosophy with this SC's debate.

heretofore, what has brought Bitcoin to where it is today is its Sound Money function.  and its been brilliant at that.  instant liquidity and transportation worldwide and p2p.  continuous growth in the economy and stellar, but volatile, increasing SOV.  gvts everywhere scrambling to figure out what this is and what role it has for their futures.  investment groups everywhere diving into a variety of Bitcoin investing schemes.  Bitcoin is the "Technology Singularity", as Daniel put it in the video above, that is the culmination of 4 decades of work by the cypherpunks.  we have achieved acceptance as a global, digital, cash money system that, imo, is in the process of replacing gold's function for the last 5000 yrs.  to me, an Austrian leaning Bitcoin proponent, that's all we should strive to be.  that's all we need to be.  my goal is to have Bitcoin have its own ticker symbol on the Forex exchange.  from there, as the only true Sound Money in the world, it can consume all fiat currency AND gold, which will take us To The Moon and way beyond as the sole globally accepted currency.  there only needs to be one.  the problem is, if it is even a problem, it will take time and some long hard fought battles.  the Keynesians don't want to help us.  they don't want to "buy in" to the system which would take the price up logarithmically.  they think a price of $376 is "too expensive".  well, to me the other view is that they just weren't paying attention back in 2009 and tough luck, that's how technology disrupts financial systems, as it has with many other industries.  i say "buy in" now and you can still join us on the way to the Moon.  we haven't even really taken off yet.

the Keynesian view is that Bitcoin needs to do more to gain acceptance and grow itself.  the protocol needs to be changed to incorporate all other forms of asset options; stocks, bonds, assurance contracts, smart contracts, insurance, etc.  nevermind that if Bitcoin succeeds at the Austrian Sound Money function, it will force all those assets to trade in terms of Bitcoin eventually as well.  but that would be the hard battle and there are too many fiat vested interests that don't want to see that happen.  and there are too many Bitcoiner's who are impatient and can't stand price volatility.  and there are too many devs that gotta dev and get paid (in USD's).  and there are too many of all of those who missed out.  so what do they do?  they try to change Bitcoin.  change it by changing the source code which breaks the Sound Money function.  to me, that is what the spvp does, it creates an offramp into all manner of these assets.  after all, that is exactly what the Blockstream (Keynesian's) say as well; that being that the blockchain is too restrictive, it's prevents innovation, it's too risky, it's too slow, it's not big enough, yada yada yada.  so what is wrong with using SC's to incorporate all those assets?  it breaks the Sound Money function.  Bitcoin will no longer be viewed as solely a new form of money.  it will be viewed as a "trading platform" with which you can use to move back and forth btwn assets and BTC.  it would be like a Fidelity brokerage house, you deposit your money in a cash acct and then trade all manner of assets in and out. it also destroys the time preference of what money should be.  you see, stocks, bonds, contracts, insurance, etc are long term investments.  they are to be held.  and they are not used to provide seamless, instant, liquidity type functions like Bitcoin would be if it stays in its current form as sound money.  thus, we many NEVER see those assets be converted back to BTC in the future.  or at least if we do, it won't be for a long time, and then what does that do for Bitcoins money function?  answer:  it slows it down if not outright destroys it.  if that's true, where do Bitcoin miners get the tx fees they desperately need in the future to secure the mainchain?  what do we, as current Bitcoin holders, do if we see that many ppl are using this offramp to move into all these different SC's?  how do we interpret an especially popular SC?  Zerg and others say that we should trust Blockstream devs to incorporate any popular function back into the MC. but that would be to violate one of Bitcoins core principles; trust no man.  and incorporating other assets back into MC doesn't even make any sense when you are talking about SC's that offer completely different assets as defined above.  they would have to stay as SC's and i dare say there mere existence destroys Bitcoins liquidity and money function.  

Bitcoin is a simple system currently.  that's great for a simple money function.  we don't want complexity or risk.  but to add SC's into the equation introduces all sorts of risk and unpredictable consequences.  the price of Bitcoin has to move orders of magnitude higher to achieve its money status.  this is how miners will profit and how adoption will increase.  the only way to achieve this is to target the Forex and gold markets as a Sound Money; the exact same plan that has gotten us to where we are.  those are the Big Kahuna's and this is the strategy that the cypherpunks ultimately envisioned and this is what will take us to the Moon.  we need to force outsiders to buy in.  not allow them to insert an offramp to divert value into insignificant, undesirable or risky asset markets.  

if you've read this thread for any length of time, you can see that what i'm saying above is totally consistent with my positions in the past.  as well as my past memes:

"The blockchain may only ever be applicable to Bitcoin as Money".

"The BTC currency unit is forever inextricably linked to its blockchain.  you break that link and you break Bitcoin".

This is a wall of text cypher Wink

One minor neatpick: what will happen if you're wrong, what if bitcoin as is it is not enough to reach the goal you aimed to? I'm not saying that sidechain will be the "upgrade" tha will save bitcoin, though. I'm arguing the fact that bitcoin will succeed without any modifications.

its a fair question.

but i can't see how it would not for 3 reasons.  the code has withstood attack, the fixed supply, and the price charts all indicate future success.  the latter being subjective of course.  
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November 18, 2014, 06:30:02 PM
 #17431

I'm just trying to make incremental progress in my understanding by answering the question "on which ledger is the value stored?"  The probability that the 2-way peg is severed is a different discussion.

I think the probability of the 2-way peg being severed is actually central to the definition of "sidechain" vs. "altcoin," and for practical purposes determines investment behavior in the chain.

On one end of the spectrum, if a sidechain's 2-way peg can be severed at the whim of the sidechain devs, it would essentially be an altcoin and would presumably attract about as much investment as altcoins do (not a threat to Bitcoin).

At the other end of the spectrum, if it's mathematically impossible to sever the 2wp, then it is a true sidechain and the value seems to always remain with the Bitcoin ledger (not a threat to Bitcoin, at least not for this reason).

For cases in between, we cannot really call it a true sidechain, and by the same token we cannot really expect substantial portions of the bitcoin holders to just jump over to the sidechain.

In other words, there's a reasoning error to watch out for here: insofar as the value that could be funneled over to the sidechain relies on the certainty that the 2wp will remain, the concern is self-defeating. If there is any shadow of possibility that the 2wp could be broken, it won't attract that many bitcoins - not much more than any altcoin; and if any sidechain does attract a large portion of the bitcoins, it will only be because the 2wp is as certain of a thing in investors' minds as Bitcoin itself is, which is an extremely high bar.

(This does still leave the possibility that the devs could hamstring Bitcoin deliberately to reduce confidence in Bitcoin to bring it in line with confidence in a not completely solid 2wp so that many people would switch despite some uncertainty. However, this is a much smaller argument to be making.)

Great post as usual, ZB.  I mostly1 agree: the amount of bitcoins that move to a sidechain will depend, in part, on the credibility of the 2-way peg.  And, realistically, it will probably take years for any sidechain to establish enough credibility to attract a significant amount of bitcoins (assuming OP_SIDECHAINPROOFVERIFY is implemented, and even this could take a few years if it happens at all).  So I suspect any migration of economic activity away from the Blockchain to be slow and anti-climactic.    

Hypothetical Question: If we assume (perhaps unrealistically) that the 2-way peg is unbreakable and if we also assume (again, perhaps unrealistically) that the security of Bitcoin's blockchain remains unchanged with sidechains, what additional risks do sidechains impose?  The risks I can see are (a) that sidechains could be used as an "excuse" to avoid addressing Bitcoin's scalability, thereby making the likelihood of an uber sidechain absorbing all the bitcoin more likely (along with the possible shenanigans that such an event might entail), and (b) that it sets a precedent that soft-forking changes to add new "features" are OK.

1I think even if one assumes the 2-way peg is unbreakable, that value is still stored on the sidechain ledger (at least) in the extreme case where the majority of coins and economic activity take place on that sidechain.  If everyone moves out of bitcoin and onto the sidechain, then the Blockchain no longer serves its memory function--it becomes superseded by the sidechain's ledger.

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November 18, 2014, 06:30:31 PM
 #17432

I would be against SCs if they broke sound money.  But they don't.  Gold is still sound money even though paper gold exists.

I didn't say "that we should trust Blockstream devs to incorporate any popular function back into the MC".  In fact I am scared that Blockstream will release their SC-capable test alt-coin and never "bother" to merge it back.  

With altcoins we have that fear.  But with Sidechains we don't even have to merge popular functions back into the MC, because they use a token scBTC that is pegged to BTC.  So if the sidechain becomes popular, it creates demand for BTC to be locked and represented by scBTC which drives up the price of BTC.

The real "off-ramp" here is if that peg doesn't exist.  Because then someone must SELL BTC to buy the altcoin.

  USD use internationally increases the value of a dollar without us having to import every foreign product to America.  Flying to the EU and exchanging your USD for Euros does not increase the dollar.  The Bitcoin blockchain will remain the "gold" standard, the authoritative source.  You fear that some sidechain will "take over" by getting (say) 90% of the market.  How is that going to happen if that sidechain isn't distributed, open source, transparent, sound money?  Nobody would move their coins.  But if a sidechain is invented that is truly better than BTC in all respects then at least you can always move your BTC to it at any time.  There's no rush because BTC will always == scBTC.

  But if an altcoin does the same thing, you'll have missed the boat.


There's no stopping "off-ramps" and its counter to the purpose of money (to facilitate trade) to do so so we shouldn't try.  If someone wants to sell BTC for GOOG they will do so.  The difference is can you do it directly or do you have to go thru USD first?  In other words, is BTC the most liquid most usable currency or will it still be USD?  And can you transfer it in a revolutionary trustless p2p fashion or do you need the old centralized intermediary model that has spawned the current highly flawed overly powerful financial system?

This has nothing to do with Austrian vs. Keynes or sound money.  Its about making BTC a better sound money...
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November 18, 2014, 06:40:17 PM
 #17433

it's becoming clearer to me everyday that what we are dealing with is Keynesian vs Austrian philosophy with this SC's debate.

...

"The blockchain may only ever be applicable to Bitcoin as Money".

"The BTC currency unit is forever inextricably linked to its blockchain.  you break that link and you break Bitcoin".

Cypher: in the past, you've imagined a future where governments hold bitcoins as reserves to back their own currency.  Could sidechains be a mechanism to implement such a scheme?

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November 18, 2014, 06:43:25 PM
 #17434

In no way is the "Bitcoin's bullet proof BTC/blockchain linkage" broken.  The coins aren't actually moved to the other chain, they are held on the mainchain like gold in a vault and a representation which is NOT BTC and can't be spent at coinbase for example, appears on the sidechain.

There is no way sidechains break the 21 million scarcity limit of real BTC.  And anything that a sidechain could do to "dilute" the space (that is by creating a new token type) can be done with an altcoin today, and that has gotten nowhere.  Any "betrayal" of the BTC "brand" that can be done with sidechains can equivalently be done much more easily (and with the same brand damage) with centralized solutions.  We've seen it over and over again; Gox ponzi didn't kill BTC, and SCponzi won't either.  But the risk of SCponzi will certainly make the mainchain the preferred place to hold and make large transfers.  Sidechains will make Bitcoin the preferred long term store of value, because tremendous utility is just a chain transfer away.

  And how is Gox going to go Ponzi when the GoxBTC and GoxUSD on its sidechain must match the BTC "locked" on the mainchain and the USD in their bank accounts (which can be audited)?

If a multi-token sidechain is created with scBTC and inflata-Coin-to-make-devs-rich, what do you think people will do?  Probably not even touch the sidechain.  But assuming they do, they will hold the scBTC and when they need to "use" the sidechain features the require inflata-coin, they'll buy the inflata-coin moments before spending it.

But without sidechains you really do risk a new token that comes along and takes massive market share.  We as a society are not ready to put stocks, mortgages, etc on a blockchain (because why have the risk of a new tech coupled with the return of an old stock).  But someday we WILL be.  And when we are, what's going to be the preferred payment?  Old stodgy BTC that you have to sign up for exchanges, do AML, etc to access real markets, or tradecoin which can be tranformed into GOOG 5 seconds after receipt?  There's a REASON gold shot up when ETFs appeared -- its called access to markets.  

What about the IOT (internet of things) token?  20 years from now, items in your house might be doing 500 txns per day for a total of < $5 automatically on your behalf... Sidechains allow BTC to scale beyond our wildest dreams to applications we can't even consider.

You are like the guy who said there's only use for 5 computers in the world.  

You should instead consider that the biggest risk to BTC right now is the sidechain-altcoin that Blockstream so "kindly" offered to build instead of integrating these technologies directly into BTC.  That altcoin has the potential to leave BTC in the backwaters of digital currencies (except that I believe in the core devs in Blockstream to move the tech over).

Ok, that's probably the end of my rant... but my subsequent silence does not mean that you are right :-).  Honestly, I miss the great insights you guys (and mostly cypherdoc) provide about the larger world economic picture on this thread and hope that we can eventually get back to it!  But I'll tell you this; I'm a technologist and I've skipped from one newly breaking technology to the next for my entire career in startups; gaming, telecom in 1995-2000, storage, wireless, OSHW, bitcoin.  I'm telling you if sidechains CAN be done (honestly I haven't really verified the gory details of the automated 2-way peg myself) they WILL eventually be the dominant coin.  I proposed them in early 2012 (the concept not the mechanism)...  but don't worry to much, BTC will not die; it'll be the Rolls Royce with a valuation above what we have today, while the sidechain-enabled coin takes 99% of the market.

EDIT: tl;dr. Bitcoin is the zerg.  It will take over everything thru sidechains.


This.  Decentralizing all business, including the ponzis, will let people keep an eye on things.  Federated sidechains don't go far enough because only a few centralized entities control the rules, and failure rate has traditionally been high in this space.

And Cypher, if you want wild conspiracy theory, how about blockstream is meant to divide the BTC community so that they can overtake it with such a sidechain-altcoin.  If it could be merged mined, miners would be stupid not to participate.  They have the capital, so the only way to win this one is ideas.  By making this one concession, we get to keep our hard money status, while allowing bitcoin funded innovation in a continuum of sidechains from fully decentralized through various levels of federated to fully centralized.  Let the market choose which sidechains to accept.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 18, 2014, 06:46:59 PM
 #17435

In no way is the "Bitcoin's bullet proof BTC/blockchain linkage" broken.  The coins aren't actually moved to the other chain, they are held on the mainchain like gold in a vault and a representation which is NOT BTC and can't be spent at coinbase for example, appears on the sidechain.

There is no way sidechains break the 21 million scarcity limit of real BTC.  And anything that a sidechain could do to "dilute" the space (that is by creating a new token type) can be done with an altcoin today, and that has gotten nowhere.  Any "betrayal" of the BTC "brand" that can be done with sidechains can equivalently be done much more easily (and with the same brand damage) with centralized solutions.  We've seen it over and over again; Gox ponzi didn't kill BTC, and SCponzi won't either.  But the risk of SCponzi will certainly make the mainchain the preferred place to hold and make large transfers.  Sidechains will make Bitcoin the preferred long term store of value, because tremendous utility is just a chain transfer away.

  And how is Gox going to go Ponzi when the GoxBTC and GoxUSD on its sidechain must match the BTC "locked" on the mainchain and the USD in their bank accounts (which can be audited)?

If a multi-token sidechain is created with scBTC and inflata-Coin-to-make-devs-rich, what do you think people will do?  Probably not even touch the sidechain.  But assuming they do, they will hold the scBTC and when they need to "use" the sidechain features the require inflata-coin, they'll buy the inflata-coin moments before spending it.

But without sidechains you really do risk a new token that comes along and takes massive market share.  We as a society are not ready to put stocks, mortgages, etc on a blockchain (because why have the risk of a new tech coupled with the return of an old stock).  But someday we WILL be.  And when we are, what's going to be the preferred payment?  Old stodgy BTC that you have to sign up for exchanges, do AML, etc to access real markets, or tradecoin which can be tranformed into GOOG 5 seconds after receipt?  There's a REASON gold shot up when ETFs appeared -- its called access to markets.  

What about the IOT (internet of things) token?  20 years from now, items in your house might be doing 500 txns per day for a total of < $5 automatically on your behalf... Sidechains allow BTC to scale beyond our wildest dreams to applications we can't even consider.

You are like the guy who said there's only use for 5 computers in the world.  

You should instead consider that the biggest risk to BTC right now is the sidechain-altcoin that Blockstream so "kindly" offered to build instead of integrating these technologies directly into BTC.  That altcoin has the potential to leave BTC in the backwaters of digital currencies (except that I believe in the core devs in Blockstream to move the tech over).

Ok, that's probably the end of my rant... but my subsequent silence does not mean that you are right :-).  Honestly, I miss the great insights you guys (and mostly cypherdoc) provide about the larger world economic picture on this thread and hope that we can eventually get back to it!  But I'll tell you this; I'm a technologist and I've skipped from one newly breaking technology to the next for my entire career in startups; gaming, telecom in 1995-2000, storage, wireless, OSHW, bitcoin.  I'm telling you if sidechains CAN be done (honestly I haven't really verified the gory details of the automated 2-way peg myself) they WILL eventually be the dominant coin.  I proposed them in early 2012 (the concept not the mechanism)...  but don't worry to much, BTC will not die; it'll be the Rolls Royce with a valuation above what we have today, while the sidechain-enabled coin takes 99% of the market.

EDIT: tl;dr. Bitcoin is the zerg.  It will take over everything thru sidechains.


That's a really persuasive argument  from someone I respect.

The other way to question this though is that somehow btc units are fed through the peg and through some magic stocks, bonds , smart contracts, altcoins, etc come out the other side and somehow this is not inflationary? What if it just breaks the entire system?

Why would they want to hold the inflationary altcoin when they could hold the btc-pegged coin?  If it was needed for functionality, they would buy it only as they needed to spend.  The alt would have to be backed by some actual service to be valuable.  Bitcoin would become the interchange mechanism and would primarily be used by arbitragers, speculators, and hodlers.  And Cypherdoc gets to keep his pile on the right.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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November 18, 2014, 06:52:03 PM
 #17436

it's becoming clearer to me everyday that what we are dealing with is Keynesian vs Austrian philosophy with this SC's debate.

...

"The blockchain may only ever be applicable to Bitcoin as Money".

"The BTC currency unit is forever inextricably linked to its blockchain.  you break that link and you break Bitcoin".

Cypher: in the past, you've imagined a future where governments hold bitcoins as reserves to back their own currency.  Could sidechains be a mechanism to implement such a scheme?

i would rather see gvts and orgs like the IMF have to buy BTC to use as reserves.  that would take us to the Moon:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2248419

i still see SC's as a way to break Bitcoin's money function by allowing a gvt sponsored currency to siphon BTC to SC w/o having to pay for them.  we need that the price ramps to sustain mining fees and establish Bitcoin as its own global independent currency.  forget asset toys.  as it is, Wall St is the only one who needs or wants those types of toys in the first place with a minority of Americans invested in these things.  even less by foreigners.  what ppl should want and need is Sound Money.  that is what this project is all about, imo.  and the nice thing is anyone who's currently in the Bitcoin system can just sit back, relax, and wait for it to happen.  the price charts still tell me we are destined for greatness.
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November 18, 2014, 06:53:17 PM
 #17437

Thought you would appreciate the 28 minute mark of this Cypher
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/barry-silbert-felix-salmon-debate-future-of-bitcoin-IJ2Wv3PdTduJ9k2iEdlxRw.html

Bro, do you even blockchain?
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November 18, 2014, 06:58:58 PM
 #17438

It becomes clearer everyday that you either insist on ignoring facts or simply do not understand the dynamics at stake.

we have achieved acceptance as a global, digital, cash money system that, imo, is in the process of replacing gold's function for the last 5000 yrs.  to me, an Austrian leaning Bitcoin proponent, that's all we should strive to be.  that's all we need to be.  my goal is to have Bitcoin have its own ticker symbol on the Forex exchange.  from there, as the only true Sound Money in the world, it can consume all fiat currency AND gold, which will take us To The Moon and way beyond as the sole globally accepted currency.

merely replacing gold is a very shortsighted view that ignores the limitless innovations & true paradigm shift that the creation of an immutable, global, distributed ledger entail. I understand the idea to redefine the concept of money and its applications is a very powerful one by itself but the blockchain should not limit itself to money. Value, property & trade is what we are looking to decentralize. This concept has much greater implications than even money.

to limit the blockchain to money implies that the need for trust in incumbent counterparties for anything but money is not significantly limited although we have a technology that absolutely can do that.

Quote
So, for the first time in history, we (or those of us with signing authority, at least) can now directly control what gets entered on an exchange's (and, in this case, a Universal Exchange's) books and records on our behalf.  We don't need anyone's permission to make an entry, nobody can bar us from entering a transaction on the exchange (though the system itself will prevent it if we don't have signing authority), and nobody can reverse or corrupt an entry once made.

...

In short, in a world with a Universal Exchange, the need for trust in humans (be they counter-parties, third parties, auditors, or regulators) is significantly diminished.  Not eliminated, but greatly lessened.

Quote
In short, bitcoins are valuable not because you can trade things for them (as money), but rather because you can trade things with (via) them by simply entering a transaction into the Universal Exchange. Thus, bitcoins are not (yet) the medium of exchange, they are the method by which things are exchanged in exchange for the medium of exchange.  Or, at least they will be once the Bitcoin infrastructure is more built out and widely known.

Bitcoins thus have value as a method for avoiding or diminishing the need for trust, and the expensive infrastructure built up to instill it, and not merely a collectible or as money.  Trust is valuable, and few things are more demonstrably trustworthy than a public blockchain

Sidecoins are, in a way, our best chance of fulfilling these promises of the blockchain.

the Keynesian view is that Bitcoin needs to do more to gain acceptance and grow itself.  the protocol needs to be changed to incorporate all other forms of asset options; stocks, bonds, assurance contracts, smart contracts, insurance, etc.  nevermind that if Bitcoin succeeds at the Austrian Sound Money function, it will force all those assets to trade in terms of Bitcoin eventually as well.

This is absolutely not a debate of Keynesian vs. Austrian. How do you propose we trade assets in terms of Bitcoin if they are not represented by units in the ledger? Remember that this scheme can only be implemented off the mainchain for obvious reason.

What you seem to suggest is that those "off-chain" applications be conceded to the trust of third-parties which defeats the very purpose of the blockchain. The blockchain is where all trust reside and where all forms of value should be exchanged. Granted it may not be practical to do that or even desirable in some cases but we should absolutely expect this level of decentralization in a majority of our exchange.

they try to change Bitcoin.  change it by changing the source code which breaks the Sound Money function.  to me, that is what the spvp does, it creates an offramp into all manner of these assets.

I sure hope Satoshi is not reading that. The nature of Bitcoin is open-source code, to suggest changing its source code is not desirable or should not be pursued goes against any conceivable logic.

Off-ramps a a reality of Bitcoin and exist already in numerous forms. We absolutely need off-ramps to scale the system and make it possible to reach mainstream adoption. For those of us who understand the implications, it is quite clear that sidechains are potentially the most secure and natural off-ramp possible. It offers the unique chance to preserve the integrity of the ledger and protect the Sound Money aspect of Bitcoin on the protocol level.

so what is wrong with using SC's to incorporate all those assets?  it breaks the Sound Money function.

This comment in itself is so naive and ignorant of our present reality I'm not even sure where to begin... The desire to represent these assets in BTC and the demand for such applications has been crystal clear for everyone who has been paying attention. It is the sole reason why Bitcoin 2.0 projects exist. The problem with most Bitcoin 2.0 projects is that they introduce in the majority of cases an additional third-party that demands an increased level of trust. These third-parties are by all chances, the most dangerous risk to the Sound Money function.

Bitcoin will no longer be viewed as solely a new form of money.  it will be viewed as a "trading platform" with which you can use to move back and forth btwn assets and BTC.  it would be like a Fidelity brokerage house, you deposit your money in a cash acct and then trade all manner of assets in and out.  it also destroys the time preference of what money should be.  you see, stocks, bonds, contracts, insurance, etc are long term investments.  they are to be held.  and they are not used to provide seamless, instant, liquidity type functions like Bitcoin would be if it stays in its current form as sound money.

Aside from some erroneous details or assumptions this is EXACTLY what we should aspire Bitcoin to become. THE Universal Exchange by which ANY trade is facilitated.

Quote
And this is especially true with the tool that makes all that possible, bitcoins themselves.  Since bitcoins represent the universal, inalienable (though transferable) right to enter a transaction, any transaction, into the Universal Exchange, and since bitcoins themselves are readily tradable on the exchange itself, an exponentially increasing number of things will come to be bought and sold for bitcoins, and not just with (that is, via) them.

You can call such trading of good and services for bitcoins "barter" if you want (so that you don't have to acknowledge bitcoins as "real" money or currency), but the result is the same either way.  They will be used to purchase goods and services regularly on the Universal Exchange.

In short, a Universal Exchange will facilitate a barter economy like the world has never seen.  For the first time, barter transactions will be nearly as easy as cash transactions (and in many cases even easier).  This will have a great many revolutionary impacts.  It will impact "trusted" third parties the most and soonest, but it will also impact governments, human relationships, law, accounting, economics, and a great many other fields.  And, perhaps most of all, it may just eventually make the whole concept of "money" unnecessary and obsolete.  With a Universal Exchange, a common currency, in the traditional sense of the word, isn't hardly necessary.

thus, we many NEVER see those assets be converted back to BTC in the future.  or at least if we do, it won't be for a long time, and then what does that do for Bitcoins money function?  answer:  it slows it down if not outright destroys it.  if that's true, where do Bitcoin miners get the tx fees they desperately need in the future to secure the mainchain?

They get it from MM the sidechains. The alternative you propose (off-chain/federated solutions) is provably worse in this scenario because it effectively strips from the miners the power or access to claim these tx fees.

they would have to stay as SC's and i dare say there mere existence destroys Bitcoins liquidity and money function.

What you constantly fail to realize is that if this demand is not fulfilled by SC's it will be through other schemes that are necessarily more dangerous to Bitcoins liquidity and money function.



  


"I believe this will be the ultimate fate of Bitcoin, to be the "high-powered money" that serves as a reserve currency for banks that issue their own digital cash." Hal Finney, Dec. 2010
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November 18, 2014, 06:59:31 PM
 #17439

Cypher, your cri de coeur is clearly sincere, and I urge you to maintain your optimism, your Austrian perspective. Nothing is lost - yet.

I have an open mind about the potential benefits of sidechains, by the taking of territory from altcoins. Bitcoin's percentage of the cryptocurrency monetary base hovers at 90%, down from a previous level of 95%, so there is a threat from alternative currency systems, which SC could mitigate.

However (and I pointed this out early on), there is a serious flaw with how scBTC are presented: while the scBTC and BTC can be numerically pegged, they cannot be successfully value pegged: there will be a floating exchange rate. The reason is SCs have a different risk-profile from the MC, so the market will inevitably price each type of scBTC differently. This is guaranteed because even the abstract of the Sidechains paper says:

Quote
Despite bidirectional transferability between Bitcoin and pegged sidechains, they are isolated: in the case of a cryptographic break (or malicious design) in a sidechain, the damage is entirely confined to the sidechain itself.

If an SC can implode, and BTC remains locked,  inaccessible, then pegging is indeed Keynesian madness, and won't be viable long-term. Of course, BTC which are permanently lost increases the scarcity of those that remain on the MC.

So, it is early days, and more important matters need attention, such as the 1MB constraint, implementation of IBLT, blockchain pruning, headers-first. As long as progress is made on these, I think its fine to wait and see how SC develops.

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November 18, 2014, 07:01:14 PM
 #17440

So, it is early days, and more important matters need attention, such as the 1MB constraint, implementation of IBLT, blockchain pruning, headers-first. As long as progress is made on these, I think its fine to wait and see how SC develops.

+1.

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