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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?
1.  yes
2.  no

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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 1803509 times)
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December 31, 2014, 10:17:00 PM
 #19261

short term Dow Theory non-confirmation right on time corresponding to a complex double bottom in Bitcoin after an overextended year long downturn.  i really like this setup:



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December 31, 2014, 10:32:19 PM
 #19262

if natural gas was supposed to be the new bull market in energy to replace that of oil, why is it plunging along with it?

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December 31, 2014, 10:34:35 PM
 #19263

with energy stocks hot on their heels to the downside:

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December 31, 2014, 10:38:58 PM
 #19264

creeping fear.  trendline holding:

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December 31, 2014, 10:47:41 PM
 #19265

[A majority cartel] can only force soft-forks, hard-forks are ignored by full-nodes and clients.  An attempted forced-hard fork results in hostile miners forming an alt-coin with no users.  The limiting factor is soft-forks are quite flexible and can do a lot, some of which could be undesirable.

Perhaps I did not explain myself clearly.  Here is a more detailed scenario:
http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/2qdfat/without_downvoting_me_to_hell_can_someone_explain/cn5s41z

Is there anything wrong with that, technically or economically?

(Summary being from the reddit attack described at the above link that a miner with > 50% DoS's transactions on bitcoin chain (ie does not accept any transactions just mines empty blocks on the main chain people are trying to use) until people either abandon bitcoin or capitulate and adopt the rules the DoS miner is threatening.) 

Yeah that is kind of logical, there are some caveats.  The miner has a lot of capital invested maybe > $300m to do that now.  (You can be sure most pool miners would abandon a pool that did that.)  This is going to be disruptive to bitcoin confidence and price and that affects the value of bitcoins they are mining, or the equipment itself which is worthless if bitcoin fails or crashes badly as a result.  Dangerous game to play with a $300m good behaviour bond.  Secondly while they are DoSing bitcoin, they are not mining coins nor on their proposed alternative chain at any kind of usable speed as they have almost no hashpower left (if they have 55% and they're using 53% to DoS bitcoin that gives them 500min blocks if the new chain has the same difficulty.  If the new chain has reset difficulty the honest miners might DoS it in retaliation (block transactions there).  Now if the attacker had maybe 70% they could dominate both chains reliably.

This is beyond mining a new hard-fork protocol version (which honest users and full nodes would ignore) and more DoS warfare to kill the main chain to give users a choice of no transactions or to fold and use the new chain.  I would imagine users would be annoyed enough about that so as to be a scenario where the bit red button might get pushed - destroying the $300m capital of the attacker (and the $245m of the rest of the miners who probably are going to sue the attacker, and its not easy to hide the delivery and location of $300m worth of mining equipment drawing perhaps a GW of power.)

Quote
Quote from: adam3us
the nuclear big-red-button [...] MAD argument that keeps miners somewhat sensible as if that button is pushed they are sitting on $500m of scrap electronics

[...] Putting it more simply: an entity that can jam some process for sufficiently long time can force the people who depend on that process to accept changes to it, as long as the changes are not as bad as the jamming itself.

Yep its a unfortunate.  This is why decentralisation of mining is important.

Quote
Quote from: adam3us
Outside of spam limits which could be protocol enforced, its caveat emptor, you shouldnt put money into a chain unless there is some assurance that security & bitcoin protocol knowledgeable people have audited it.  

That is my understanding, and that is I why I cannot see any technical content in the sidechains proposal.  Unless it specifies some things that every sidechain must do (or must not do), with a mechanism to enforce those constraints, it will not bring any new tools or ideas to cryptocurrency technology.  So far it is only a nomenclature proposal: "let's use the word 'sidechain' for any project or entity that could 'own' some bitcoins for some time".

I dont think you cant really technically enforce freedom from security issues or freedom from bad economic parameter choices kind of stuff, thats probably AI / halting-problem type difficulty which we dont know how to do.  You could certainly make some best practices statement about how security should be achieved, and acceptable parameters and configurations for user safety, and have someone competent audit that and certify their audit.

Quote
Why wouldn't Bitstamp be already a sidechain, for example?

Well bitstamp isnt trying to algorithmically peg - they're saying trust our host security, cold wallet physical security, audit, governance / separation of duty etc.  Ie you are trusting humans to manage an IOU.  (Not saying bitstamp is a bad exchange).

Adam

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December 31, 2014, 10:51:31 PM
 #19266

I have some first hand knowledge that some companies are patenting things related to bitcoin, and probably much more I dont know about.

Thats another reason to want to be cautious about side chains and all this blossoming innovation. Every new improvement creates new openings for patents. If it is broken, then by all means fix it. But if it isn't broken, it might be best to leave well enough alone and let the patent clock on the existing methods run out.


Patent trolls dont feel the need to be concrete - there are patents on how to run a CPU on top of homomorphic encryption before there is usable performance FHE.

The world badly needs patent reform.  Ban patents, copyright cant be too soon IMO.

Adam

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December 31, 2014, 10:59:03 PM
 #19267

[A majority cartel] can only force soft-forks, hard-forks are ignored by full-nodes and clients.  An attempted forced-hard fork results in hostile miners forming an alt-coin with no users.  The limiting factor is soft-forks are quite flexible and can do a lot, some of which could be undesirable.

Perhaps I did not explain myself clearly.  Here is a more detailed scenario:
http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/2qdfat/without_downvoting_me_to_hell_can_someone_explain/cn5s41z

Is there anything wrong with that, technically or economically?

(Summary being from the reddit attack described at the above link that a miner with > 50% DoS's transactions on bitcoin chain (ie does not accept any transactions just mines empty blocks on the main chain people are trying to use) until people either abandon bitcoin or capitulate and adopt the rules the DoS miner is threatening.)  

Yeah that is kind of logical, there are some caveats.  The miner has a lot of capital invested maybe > $300m to do that now.  (You can be sure most pool miners would abandon a pool that did that.)  This is going to be disruptive to bitcoin confidence and price and that affects the value of bitcoins they are mining, or the equipment itself which is worthless if bitcoin fails or crashes badly as a result.  Dangerous game to play with a $300m good behaviour bond.  Secondly while they are DoSing bitcoin, they are not mining coins nor on their proposed alternative chain at any kind of usable speed as they have almost no hashpower left (if they have 55% and they're using 53% to DoS bitcoin that gives them 500min blocks if the new chain has the same difficulty.  If the new chain has reset difficulty the honest miners might DoS it in retaliation (block transactions there).  Now if the attacker had maybe 70% they could dominate both chains reliably.

This is beyond mining a new hard-fork protocol version (which honest users and full nodes would ignore) and more DoS warfare to kill the main chain to give users a choice of no transactions or to fold and use the new chain.  I would imagine users would be annoyed enough about that so as to be a scenario where the bit red button might get pushed - destroying the $300m capital of the attacker (and the $245m of the rest of the miners who probably are going to sue the attacker, and its not easy to hide the delivery and location of $300m worth of mining equipment drawing perhaps a GW of power.)

Quote
Quote from: adam3us
the nuclear big-red-button [...] MAD argument that keeps miners somewhat sensible as if that button is pushed they are sitting on $500m of scrap electronics

[...] Putting it more simply: an entity that can jam some process for sufficiently long time can force the people who depend on that process to accept changes to it, as long as the changes are not as bad as the jamming itself.

Yep its a unfortunate.  This is why decentralisation of mining is important.

Quote
Quote from: adam3us
Outside of spam limits which could be protocol enforced, its caveat emptor, you shouldnt put money into a chain unless there is some assurance that security & bitcoin protocol knowledgeable people have audited it.  

That is my understanding, and that is I why I cannot see any technical content in the sidechains proposal.  Unless it specifies some things that every sidechain must do (or must not do), with a mechanism to enforce those constraints, it will not bring any new tools or ideas to cryptocurrency technology.  So far it is only a nomenclature proposal: "let's use the word 'sidechain' for any project or entity that could 'own' some bitcoins for some time".

I dont think you cant really technically enforce freedom from security issues or freedom from bad economic parameter choices kind of stuff, thats probably AI / halting-problem type difficulty which we dont know how to do.  You could certainly make some best practices statement about how security should be achieved, and acceptable parameters and configurations for user safety, and have someone competent audit that and certify their audit.

Quote
Why wouldn't Bitstamp be already a sidechain, for example?

Well bitstamp isnt trying to algorithmically peg - they're saying trust our host security, cold wallet physical security, audit, governance / separation of duty etc.  Ie you are trusting humans to manage an IOU.  (Not saying bitstamp is a bad exchange).

Adam


Jorge, your answer is here.  notice how much of what you fear as Unknown is actually known. mining is naturally evening out as i predicted long ago according to Nash Equilibrium.  pro-tip:  don't use blockchain.info for pool stats:

http://mempool.info/pools

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December 31, 2014, 11:31:16 PM
 #19268

Adam, how can you possibly say you're not "for-profit" when in fact that is precisely what Blockstream is?  do you seriously expect us to believe that Reid Hoffman, et al invested $21M while not expecting at least a 10x return on their investment?

I read somewhere that they invested personally instead of via organized venture funds specifically because they are bitcoin supporters and the investment didn't really meet the usual criteria for the funds (roughly described by you as a 10x return). I can't vouch for any of this being actually true or relevant, but I did read it.

That doesn't jive with this from their blog:

The round was led by Reid Hoffman, Khosla Ventures and Real Ventures, with investments from Nicolas Berggruen, Crypto Currency Partners, Future\Perfect Ventures, Danny Hillis, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Max Levchin, Mosaic Ventures, Ray Ozzie, Ribbit Capital, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures and several others.

http://www.blockstream.com/2014/11/17/blockstream-closes-21m-seed-round/

Well maybe it isn't true then.

I agree with you that a for profit entity should be assumed to be in business to generate profits, and unless they can convincingly tell us how they plan to do that, ulterior (though not necessarily nefarious) motives should be assumed. That is just common sense.

The quote didnt say not to make a profit it said to have a dual objective and compared the approach to Mozilla.  Mozilla made plenty of profit (and is a hybrid incorporating both a for profit and a not-for-profit) and also did a good job of making the firefox browser a leading source of user ethos focussed innovation and features.

Greg Maxwell (nullc on reddit) wrote some about how blockstream plans to make profit.  

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2k3u97/we_are_bitcoin_sidechain_paper_authors_adam_back/clhoo7d

I dont think making a profit is a bad thing - to hire developers & QA and UX designers and maintain software and design protocols and figure out how to use smart-contracts and find business partnerships to make those available to users all takes money.  As those are good outcomes, and require more money, you have to have a profit to fuel it, you cant rely on investors to keep putting in more rounds!

Its quite feasible to make money without being controlling, proprietary, centralising or evil.  We certainly aim to try.

Adam

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December 31, 2014, 11:35:46 PM
 #19269

How come the thread was locked a while ago?

that's what happens when you hit the wrong button on your Android while biking  Wink
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December 31, 2014, 11:40:33 PM
 #19270

We've already gone over this with your poor memory. Gavin works for a  non profit and gets paid modestly I'd  bet.  Certainly not the $500k Adam was throwing around earlier (which makes me wonder what Blockstream is paying their core devs).

Yeah that figure comes from memory if you google around there was someone offering Jackson Palmer $500 or $600k to develop and market dogecoin.  He told them to go away as it was a joke.  Unfortunately the dogecoiners havent realised the joke yet Smiley  I believe I heard others were offered similar amounts to develop an alt-coin.  (I dont think that would be no-strings - they'd own a defined share of the premine, and there would be multiple developers to run the project for a period of time in the budget).

However its very likely the case that people working at blockstream, including myself, could've made more pay going to the dark side and starting their own alts, or taking money from unscrupulous people to start pyramid pump & dump scams.  However they have ethical problems with that.  It also probably helps them avoid sharing a jail cell with the pump & dumpers Smiley

We also want to be constructive and think bitcoin is where the future is.  Good things dont magically happen someone has to design and code them.  Thats why we co-founded blockstream to go do those things.

So that was partly why I mentioned it because people were saying, but they'll be beholden to the company for pay so they can eat etc.  Screw that they walked away from more money doing alt-coin crap - ie they already demonstrated willingness to walk away from things they think are unethical.

Adam

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December 31, 2014, 11:53:09 PM
 #19271

We've already gone over this with your poor memory. Gavin works for a  non profit and gets paid modestly I'd  bet.  Certainly not the $500k Adam was throwing around earlier (which makes me wonder what Blockstream is paying their core devs).

Yeah that figure comes from memory if you google around there was someone offering Jackson Palmer $500 or $600k to develop and market dogecoin.  He told them to go away as it was a joke.  Unfortunately the dogecoiners havent realised the joke yet Smiley  I believe I heard others were offered similar amounts to develop an alt-coin.  (I dont think that would be no-strings - they'd own a defined share of the premine, and there would be multiple developers to run the project for a period of time in the budget).

However its very likely the case that people working at blockstream, including myself, could've made more pay going to the dark side and starting their own alts, or taking money from unscrupulous people to start pyramid pump & dump scams.  However they have ethical problems with that.  It also probably helps them avoid sharing a jail cell with the pump & dumpers Smiley

We also want to be constructive and think bitcoin is where the future is.  Good things dont magically happen someone has to design and code them.  Thats why we co-founded blockstream to go do those things.

So that was partly why I mentioned it because people were saying, but they'll be beholden to the company for pay so they can eat etc.  Screw that they walked away from more money doing alt-coin crap - ie they already demonstrated willingness to walk away from things they think are unethical.

Adam


sure but that's all subject to interpretation.  Greg has said that you guys have been granted stock options.  clearly there is an incentive to make those go up and that means making a profit.  why didn't you guys consider forming a non-profit at reasonable salaries.  that way no one could accuse you of any of this in the first place.
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January 01, 2015, 12:08:07 AM
 #19272

Sidechains are not a proprietary technology.  Everything is FOSS, open IP.  And we invested a fair bit of mental energy and legal review already into making sure it stays that way, even if blockstream management were someone replaced or blackmailed

[...]

Its not our softfork - its a softfork to enable a generic extension mechanism.  We have no monopoly (and wouldnt want one) on use of the op code.  Our only defence is meritocracy - if we build better, more secure sidechains and people prefer to use them.  We wont be getting the fees off the sidechain either because those go to miners.  If we have the technical edge and people use our stuff that seems sort of fair enough to me.

What I see in this answer is statements that safeguards have been established, without any description of what they are or why we should assume they'll be effective.

The primary safe guard is what I said Everything is FOSS, open IP.   Thats just like bitcoin right.  If the company changes management later down the road after investment rounds or whatever, and it tries to do something bad (which would sabotage its investment as the ecosytem would reject it), we could all leave (which would cripple its ability to maintain code nor execute its plan).  Or if it was us under blackmail or some legal threat, the same logic as applies to bitcoin applies: if the core does bad things, a new core can fork it and undo the bad things.

Clear enough?

We also did a bunch of stuff in terms of GMaxwell and Pieter Wuille's contract that was mentioned (can walk and continue to get paid if company does bad stuff) as was mentioned, and chose investors with similar and compatible ethos (understanding of FOSS, need for decentralisation, need for open IP, etc. they get it and get bitcoins value hinging on its decentralisation. )  Reid Hoffman is you might notice Chairman of the Mozilla foundation and you can find videos online where you can see he's enthused about bitcoin potential himself pre-blockstream.

Quote
I also see a lot of appeal to past performance which amount to, "trust us."

Well kind of what we said is "dont trust us" Smiley  ie if we succeeded in the cant be evil you dont have to trust us, and we cant be coerced because we have no control or power.  And if you think about it, its in our interests individually to not have a position of power or control as potentially even governments or organised criminals (there's a difference) might get interested in abusing control.


You know not to troll you, but Justus you also work for a for profit company - Monetas/Open Transactions - right? Nothing is known about the funding of that company.  We dont know what your motives are.  The OT network voting trusts escrow everyones bitcoins so are a form of trust.  Should we trust you.  You dont have to answer.. just illustrating the sorts of questions you're asking so you can think about them and see the perspective on the receiving end.

I am quite happy for people to ask tough questions.  Indeed it would be kind of surprising and disappointing if they did not given how important it is for bitcoin to remain decentralised, neutral and free from proprietary control.

I am also quite happy to voice my opinion if I see bad stuff (take a look at the coinvalidation redlist thread for example).  You might notice Greg doing the same.

I suppose the cipherdoc version of such questions is that he's biased to the value of his bitcoin hoard.  Personally I think thats a pretty healthy bias.  And as maybe Greg said or maybe implied (or not) everyone at blockstream has some bitcoins.  Anyway Daniel Krawisz view is that the investors are driving bitcoin so the extent he's right and certain things about bitcoin must not change or it isnt bitcoin.

Adam

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January 01, 2015, 12:18:18 AM
 #19273

You know not to troll you, but Justus you also work for a for profit company - Monetas/Open Transactions - right? Nothing is known about the funding of that company.  We dont know what your motives are.  The OT network voting trusts escrow everyones bitcoins so are a form of trust.  Should we trust you.  You dont have to answer.. just illustrating the sorts of questions you're asking so you can think about them and see the perspective on the receiving end.

Let me save you some time

"We're not asking to change the sourcecode to the "disadvantage" of competitors ; We don't have core developers on board"

"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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January 01, 2015, 12:35:45 AM
 #19274

they'll be beholden to the company for pay so they can eat etc.  Screw that they walked away from more money doing alt-coin crap - ie they already demonstrated willingness to walk away from things they think are unethical.

sure but that's all subject to interpretation.  Greg has said that you guys have been granted stock options.  clearly there is an incentive to make those go up and that means making a profit.  why didn't you guys consider forming a non-profit at reasonable salaries.  that way no one could accuse you of any of this in the first place.

I quit a job paying plenty more than I am paid now.  I think everyone took a pay cut relative to US listed company rates of pay.  I wouldnt say we are poorly paid for a seed startup, but software development is expensive, and there are limits to how far below market rates you can expect people with living costs to go.

What you are saying is sort of analogous to me suggesting you donate your bitcoins to charity so no one can accuse you of bias?

I dont think a kickstarter or donations would've raised enough money to do it.  Mark Friendenbach has first hand experience of trying to work for a year on bitcoin donations, that didnt work out very well.  We could probably have implemented the core part in our spare time, but we figured that isnt enough for people to actually use it.  You need mining software, wallets that understand sidechains, you need a sample sidechain or two, a sidechain explorer, tools to issue assets (if thats in the sidechain feature set), etc etc.  Thats a ton of work and in our estimation if you drop a library or patch over the wall it lands with a thunk and sits there unused.  You have to minimally demonstrate a useable system.

You should view blockstream as a sort of hybrid.  We are developing FOSS open IP much as a not-for-profit would.  But we are also aiming to make a profit by selling services, doing partnerships, advising integrators etc this is all complicated stuff and people need help to make it work.  Like was said its kind of like Mozilla.

We also had opinions about the correct uses, and maintaining bitcoin ethos.  If you drop a patch you dont have any strategic input into maintaining bitcoin ethos in the deployment.

We're also individuals with a community voice independent from the company.  I dont think you see most companies nor individuals working for companies in the bitcoin space giving the kind of detailed rationale or insight into plans.

Not to OpenTransactions, not conformal/btcd, not bitfury, not 21e6 etc.  I understand we're the only company to propose actually extending the core so there's a higher standard - but really btcd is kind of opaque which to my mind is a bit of a concern given that its proposed as a full node and creates risk of network fork as it has a reimplementation of consensus critical code.

Adam

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January 01, 2015, 12:53:15 AM
 #19275

Adam, what are your thoughts on increasing Bitcoin's blocksize limit?  Does Blockstream have a position on this topic?

Thank you for all of your comments in this thread.

Run Bitcoin Unlimited (www.bitcoinunlimited.info)
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January 01, 2015, 01:12:55 AM
 #19276

Nothing is known about the funding of that company.  We dont know what your motives are.
Monetas is funded by investors. Mostly from outside the US, so far completely without involving venture capitalists.

It's been a lot harder than it should have been, because Monetas was apparently the only company not building a scamcoin for the VCs to pump and dump.

The OT network voting trusts escrow everyones bitcoins so are a form of trust.  Should we trust you.  You dont have to answer.. just illustrating the sorts of questions you're asking so you can think about them and see the perspective on the receiving end.
I've spent a considerable amount of time documenting what we are building, exactly what kind of trust model is involved, and have been consciously meticulous about making realistic claims about the security guarantees.

The fact that you're trolling me like this just means you haven't bothered to read any of it.

Anyway Daniel Krawisz view
I'm willing to bet that I see Daniel in person far more frequently, and am more involved with the brainstorming leading up to his articles, that you are.

You know not to troll you, but Justus you also work for a for profit company - Monetas/Open Transactions - right? Nothing is known about the funding of that company.  We dont know what your motives are.  The OT network voting trusts escrow everyones bitcoins so are a form of trust.  Should we trust you.  You dont have to answer.. just illustrating the sorts of questions you're asking so you can think about them and see the perspective on the receiving end.

Let me save you some time

"We're not asking to change the sourcecode to the "disadvantage" of competitors ; We don't have core developers on board"

Mark Friendenbach has first hand experience of trying to work for a year on bitcoin donations, that didnt work out very well.

It would have worked out better for him if it would have ever answered an email every once in a while.
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January 01, 2015, 01:15:09 AM
 #19277

Greg Maxwell (nullc on reddit) wrote some about how blockstream plans to make profit.  

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2k3u97/we_are_bitcoin_sidechain_paper_authors_adam_back/clhoo7d

His comments were frankly quite vague. That is understandable. Startups don't normally disclose the details of the monetization plans. I meant ulterior motives in the literal sense (as I so qualified).

But as I said, this leads to a natural and healthy caution from the community as to what the real plan might be. People don't like to get on board something until they know where the train is going. The same was true of Mozilla, BTW (though their early years were such a disaster really, there was little to worry about).

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January 01, 2015, 01:16:24 AM
 #19278

PS. The sidechains project may have also another goal:

(3) give hope to those who own large quantities of bitcoins that, if bitcoin is to be superseded by some other cryptocoin, there will be a way to move their fortune to that cryptocoin, at a fixed exchange rate.

Yes.  I argue altcoins and appcoins are fooling themselves as they imagine that the feature they are selling creates value.  It is the network effect and liquidity that creates value.  And their feature if it were really really killer awesome, would actually get copied and patched into bitcoin core (ignoring sidechains for the moment).  Fact is as far as I know, no one created a feature useful enough to qualify (for the rather high bar of patching bitcoin) because bitcoin is awesome already and its really hard to improve strongly enough to overcome the risk cost.

What sidechains do is make it easier, trivial even to fork the altcoins with perhaps useful features and put them in a sidechain.

Also many of the altcoins are making mistakes that cause the technical failure of the network in ways cataloged by Andrew Poelstra, https://download.wpsoftware.net/bitcoin/alts.pdf so they also arent typically safe to use.  

Adam

hashcash, committed transactions, homomorphic values, blind kdf; researching decentralization, scalability and fungibility/anonymity
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January 01, 2015, 01:20:22 AM
 #19279

Blockstream and Monetas are essentially competitors, no?
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January 01, 2015, 01:27:44 AM
 #19280

Blockstream and Monetas are essentially competitors, no?

Nop, Monetas will just end up using sidechains  Wink

"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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