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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 1920234 times)
cypherdoc
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January 01, 2015, 01:40:38 AM
 #19281


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 hope you can see that isn't even close.  there's a mighty big difference in me taking a chance on a risky investment by pouring in my own hard earned fiat back in 2011 when Bitcoin was on death's door step.  you were nowhere to be seen at the time  Wink  everyone was accusing me as a "speculator" for being the problem, believe it or not.  nowhere in their brains was the alternative word of "investor" apparent.  for reals as price descended from 32 to 1.98 there was all sorts of allegations being thrown about.  the argument went something like "b/c you're not a geek or techy, you don't truly believe in what we're doing here and the price must be falling b/c you're manipulating!"  i kid you not. they even accused me of being a "hoarder" back before the term "hodler" became popular.  hoarders were generally viewed as bad at the time b/c geeks insisted that BTC had to circulate or have monetary velocity for Bitcoin to become successful.  as a self admitted hoarder (i prefer saver) at the time, i took enormous flack for that position. fortunately with time, and guys like Daniel, that position has softened.

contrast that with what Blockstream is doing.  sure, you say you're forgoing income via pay cuts to be a part of BS.  first off, we can't verify that and there is really no risk like i took in possibly losing it all.  at least you have the salary.  there's a part of me that thinks that gmax and lukejr are unemployable due to their recalcitrance as evidenced by the now well know Press Center debacle where he misbehaved even by Andreas's standards.  that's pretty hard to do and that's not the only incident.:  

https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin.org/pull/162

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=181168.msg1973084#msg1973084

from what you're saying, this isn't the case, so i'll have to take your word on that.  but the fact still remains that BS is for-profit and you've all been awarded stock options and decent pay which could go ballistic depending on how well BS does profit wise.  so there is really no risk on your part and plenty of incentive to do bad things. lots of ppl besides me are worried about the perverse incentives that might develop as a result. even to the point of subverting any backports of successful SC tech to Bitcoin Core due to profit incentives.  it's quite unbelievable that the high profile investors you've attracted, some of whom heretofore like Schmidt & Kosla (iirc) have publicly disavowed Bitcoin to a degree, will be in a all out philanthropic mode towards Bitcoin.  i'd expect that none of them have made any profit from Bitcoin to this day even if they started personally investing a year ago as they've probably been caught by the unexpected year long decline in the price.  i'd even expect you have been caught similarly and might be in a loss position.  this to me is a red flag.  the key for BS to turn that all around is to insert a source code change that benefits your profit model via the marketing and selling of SC's to any willing taker.
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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.

will you sell SC's to govt's if asked?
Quote

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.

i posted above that there are several venture funds that have invested.  how can they not want the std 10x return of their investment? those fund constituents do not just represent the viewpoint of their founder.

Quote

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


yeah, the spvp insertion is a sticking point for me.  it's clear this is the critical piece for your success as a company.  i'd really prefer to see SC's implemented through the federated server model first though to get a better sense of how this is all going to work out.  couching it as "us"  trying to "prevent" you from offering something you perceive of as valuable to the community is counter-productive though, imo.  it's not "us" wanting to change the ruleset.  it's you; and for a for-profit.  
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justusranvier
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January 01, 2015, 01:43:09 AM
 #19282

But I do find it pretty funny that you jump on me as trolling when I replay your own questions to you

The trolling part is when you pretend that what we're doing is anything at all like what you're doing.

We're building products which any future customers will need to trust are built correctly and everyone else can ignore.

You're trying to change the Bitcoin protocol and are asking all present and future Bitcoin users to trust you.

Your (and others) questions about our investors were far more pointy and detailed than I asked you also.  You didnt name them.

I actually don't know, except in extremely general terms. I've been designing products, not fundraising.

You didnt say why we should trust you.  You didnt give your backup plan for what'd happen if Monetas went evil.

Again, I'm didn't answering that question since nobody has to trust Monetas, because we aren't putting ourselves in that position of asking for or requiring trust.
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January 01, 2015, 01:45:56 AM
 #19283

yeah, the spvp insertion is a sticking point for me.  it's clear this is the critical piece for your success as a company.

That is actually not clear to me. Aside from the fact that pivoting is common (and a $21 million seed round with no obviously large source of burn gives a fair amount of room to pivot), it is entirely possible that sidechains are a lot of sizzle and the steak is closer to just being the premier bitcoin software and services company (which may or may not work out depending on how big bitcoin gets -- at present the scale really isn't there for this to be a big deal).
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January 01, 2015, 01:46:45 AM
 #19284

Nobody forced Blockstream into a position where your actions would draw greater scrutiny than other companies - that's a choice you made all on your own.

Asking why companies which did not choose to take the same route aren't subject to the same scrutiny is obfuscation.
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January 01, 2015, 01:47:30 AM
 #19285

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

I am not sure its a blockstream position as there are multiple independent minded bitcoin-protocol aware people that compose blockstream who dont always agree on everything.

But my view is increasing blocksize increases centralisation so you'd want to be careful about that.

I guess the current tx throughput is about 3-4x away from the 1MB limit with current average tx sizes?

It may also not be as close to the limit as it looks because once there was actual block space scarcity, maybe the economics will push out some stuff that is currently basically spam.  But you dont want that to go too far or actual transactions will back up.

Maybe the interim solution is to increase it a little bit or be prepared to, as it takes time to be ready.

If sidechains were ready, for people who like the security tradeoff, it offers another degree of freedom, because you can have different blockchains with different blocksizes.  eg you could have a lower value transaction blockchain where people can better tolerate the small extra centralisation risk (centralisation being if the bandwidth is 10x or 100x fewer nodes have the bandwidth to validate all tx.)   You might even make the argument bitcoin main blocksize could be reduced to improve its decentralisation.  It decouples from the one-size fits all aspect of bitcoin, which I think is a good thing - we can have more decentralisation where it matters, and more and faster transactions where it doesnt as much.

ps As its not always obvious to people a sidechain could also have a shorter block interval for faster clearing of lower valued transactions.  I'm sure you know that, but not everyone does.

Adam

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cypherdoc
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January 01, 2015, 01:50:48 AM
 #19286

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

Clearly false, if their features includes different monetary rules. In fact this is the case for most of the moderately "successful" (if you even want to call them that) altcoins right now. I'm not familiar with Paycoin (it is pretty new), but this is true for every single one of the top 10 altcoins right now except LTC, and most of the top 20 (and also Ethereum).



yep, this is the argument i made to brg444 way back.  representing SC's as some sort of altcoin killer via assimilation thru a SC makes no sense at all.  no dev would take the time and no bitcoiner would move BTC to it.
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January 01, 2015, 01:51:51 AM
 #19287

Blockstream and Monetas are essentially competitors, no?

Sounds like Monetas will soon be more of a customer of Blockstream.  Paying them to consult on how to make whatever they are trying to cook up into a viable sidechain.

After the likes of Justus's attacks here, there is at least one person who wouldn't touch Monetas's stuff with a 10' pole even when it is just another sidechain.  That would be me.


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January 01, 2015, 01:56:16 AM
 #19288

yeah, the spvp insertion is a sticking point for me.  it's clear this is the critical piece for your success as a company.

That is actually not clear to me. Aside from the fact that pivoting is common (and a $21 million seed round with no obviously large source of burn gives a fair amount of room to pivot), it is entirely possible that sidechains are a lot of sizzle and the steak is closer to just being the premier bitcoin software and services company (which may or may not work out depending on how big bitcoin gets -- at present the scale really isn't there for this to be a big deal).

i think in one of my discussions with nullc he admitted to that fact.  certainly it would help BS from a marketing standpoint as those SC's would be viewed as integrated and part of Bitcoin.  which is probably why we don't hear any buzz about any existing federated SC's as Odalv is quick to point out are already functioning.
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January 01, 2015, 02:04:28 AM
 #19289

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

That's quite an assertion.  In what way is it opaque?  The code is ISC licensed, freely available on github, and the issues are openly tracked via the github tracker.   It also has has high quality comments and code documentation (frankly I would even contend that means btcd is actually _less_ opaque in that regard as the code is generally more modular and easier to follow).
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January 01, 2015, 02:05:02 AM
 #19290

Nobody forced Blockstream into a position where your actions would draw greater scrutiny than other companies - that's a choice you made all on your own.

Asking why companies which did not choose to take the same route aren't subject to the same scrutiny is obfuscation.

I could persist, and I think you are glossing over questions that could and should be asked of monetas (it is also some kind of offchain thing and brings its own risks - if people wanted to get concerned about economic models, sucking fees out of bitcoin, encouraging lower security transactions - they could call OpenTransactions a kind of sidechain and with full justification make all the same observations that you just saw on this thread), but I think I made my point - there are hard questions that could and should be asked to companies and individuals proposing changes or architectures/trust-models for handling bitcoin.

And its better to be open, clear and non-confrontational in your responses - people have a right to ask.  I think I handled it more openly and gracefully than you did.  So there Tongue

Adam

ps the correct response is touche not deflection.

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January 01, 2015, 02:08:36 AM
 #19291

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

That's quite an assertion.  In what way is it opaque?  The code is ISC licensed, freely available on github, and the issues are openly tracked via the github tracker.   It also has has high quality comments and code documentation (frankly I would even contend that means btcd is actually _less_ opaque in that regard as the code is generally more modular and easier to follow).

Oh boy, thats another can of worms.  You dont happen to work for conformal do you btw?

So (it a long story) but a) no one knows who's funding them; b) most of them seem to have ex-defence contractor profiles; c) no one knows why they are coding it; d) if there is one off by even a single bit interpretation bug in it it breaks consensus and forks bitcoin, which can likely be systematically abused, to create a massive accounting/double-spend mess that will be too expensive to repair as last time - that could create a mega fork worse than the leveldb bug, and kill bitcoin or force some really harsh choices to best effort cleanup where there are innocent losers; e) it apparently took a lot of effort by the core devs to persuade them that this was a problem; f) it still has that problem.

I think that about covers it.

Adam

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January 01, 2015, 02:13:33 AM
 #19292

After the likes of Justus's attacks here, there is at least one person who wouldn't touch Monetas's stuff with a 10' pole even when it is just another sidechain.  That would be me.

Nah Justus is the good guy.  He just flames a little, so what.

Adam

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January 01, 2015, 02:16:15 AM
 #19293

yep, this is the argument i made to brg444 way back.  representing SC's as some sort of altcoin killer via assimilation thru a SC makes no sense at all.  no dev would take the time and no bitcoiner would move BTC to it.

I think thats wrong, lets say bytecoin with its ringsigs.  That provides some interesting privacy properties, not quite zerocoin, but safer crypto and more compact.  I could imagine a number of people would be interested to use that as a sidechain.

Adam

ps checkout cryptonote https://cryptonote.org/whitepaper.pdf and http://cryptonote.org for explanations (seems they've been busy making a nice web site with explanations).

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January 01, 2015, 02:25:01 AM
 #19294

ps the correct response
Is that you're still not off the hook.

You've acknowledged that Blockstream is trying to change the protocol.

You've acknowledged that other companies which are not trying to change the protocol aren't subject to the same levels of legitimate scrutiny as those which are.

You haven't given a better answer than "trust us to to the right thing" for why Bitcoin users shouldn't be concerned about your plans for the protocol.

Which basically means we're at the same point today we were this morning, and at the months leading up to today, and where I expect things will remain for the foreseeable future.
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January 01, 2015, 02:28:32 AM
 #19295

yep, this is the argument i made to brg444 way back.  representing SC's as some sort of altcoin killer via assimilation thru a SC makes no sense at all.  no dev would take the time and no bitcoiner would move BTC to it.

I think thats wrong, lets say bytecoin with its ringsigs.  That provides some interesting privacy properties, not quite zerocoin, but safer crypto and more compact.  I could imagine a number of people would be interested to use that as a sidechain.

Adam

ps checkout cryptonote https://cryptonote.org/whitepaper.pdf and http://cryptonote.org for explanations (seems they've been busy making a nice web site with explanations).

no, you missed the point.  take Dogecoin which is an inflationary alt.

try building a SC with an inflationary coin; no Bitcoiner would move their BTC to it b/c they don't believe in inflation.
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January 01, 2015, 02:31:43 AM
 #19296

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

Clearly false, if their features includes different monetary rules. In fact this is the case for most of the moderately "successful" (if you even want to call them that) altcoins right now. I'm not familiar with Paycoin (it is pretty new), but this is true for every single one of the top 10 altcoins right now except LTC, and most of the top 20 (and also Ethereum).

Hmm so it took me a while to see this, but actually most economic differences can be mathematically modelled and opted into on a sidechain.  For example demurrage could be implemented.  Or different block intervals.  Or different tapering of block reward, or ongoing block reward.  Those define a deterministic calculable difference.

Sidechain pegs do not have to be 1:1 nor silly things like 1:1000 just mean sidecoins are milli bitcoins, but also the rate can be deterministically time-changing.

Now the even more interesting realisation once you see this, is it provides a formula to value altcoins.  If you wouldnt opt into the sidechain with that behaviour, if you had to pay above par, you probably are just seeing more clearly that you similarly shouldnt buy that altcoin.  An alt-coin is a watermarked bitcoin sold above par with a marketing story.


Using the really high level definition that bitcoin is an abstract model for converting electricity into proofs of work, where in all of these proofs globally define the total electrical expenditure, which then adjusts the J/proof to hold block interval on target at 10mins.  When you look at it like that, and if bitcoin cant quite do that its an implementation limitation, that maybe we can fix with quantum sci-fi in the future, then you can see that mining an alt-coin is sort of like watermarking a bitcoin and calling it a foo and expecting people to be suckered into paying above-par for it.

Or like gold bars but making them into triangular shapes or stamping them with a doge and expecting people to pay more.  A gold atom is a gold atom.  A proof of electrical consumption is a proof of electrical consumption.  That not many people are stamping doges on their gold bars doesnt mean doge stamped bars are more valuable, once the fad wears off, someone will realise they are being ripped off for gold or buy their own doge stamping machine and buy basic gold.

Adam

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January 01, 2015, 02:44:07 AM
 #19297

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

Clearly false, if their features includes different monetary rules. In fact this is the case for most of the moderately "successful" (if you even want to call them that) altcoins right now. I'm not familiar with Paycoin (it is pretty new), but this is true for every single one of the top 10 altcoins right now except LTC, and most of the top 20 (and also Ethereum).

Hmm so it took me a while to see this, but actually most economic differences can be mathematically modelled and opted into on a sidechain.  For example demurrage could be implemented.  Or different block intervals.  Or different tapering of block reward, or ongoing block reward.  Those define a deterministic calculable difference.

Sidechain pegs do not have to be 1:1 nor silly things like 1:1000 just mean sidecoins are milli bitcoins, but also the rate can be deterministically time-changing.

Now the even more interesting realisation once you see this, is it provides a formula to value altcoins.  If you wouldnt opt into the sidechain with that behaviour, if you had to pay above par, you probably are just seeing more clearly that you similarly shouldnt buy that altcoin.  An alt-coin is a watermarked bitcoin sold above par with a marketing story.


Using the really high level definition that bitcoin is an abstract model for converting electricity into proofs of work, where in all of these proofs globally define the total electrical expenditure, which then adjusts the J/proof to hold block interval on target at 10mins.  When you look at it like that, and if bitcoin cant quite do that its an implementation limitation, that maybe we can fix with quantum sci-fi in the future, then you can see that mining an alt-coin is sort of like watermarking a bitcoin and calling it a foo and expecting people to be suckered into paying above-par for it.

Or like gold bars but making them into triangular shapes or stamping them with a doge and expecting people to pay more.  A gold atom is a gold atom.  A proof of electrical consumption is a proof of electrical consumption.  That not many people are stamping doges on their gold bars doesnt mean doge stamped bars are more valuable, once the fad wears off, someone will realise they are being ripped off for gold or buy their own doge stamping machine and buy basic gold.

Adam


hmm, it took me until about 2013 when i first heard about SC's to realize that one of the beauties of Bitcoin is its simplicity.  Tongue

i mean, look, we have unencumbered BTC units traveling freely on an ultra secure blockchain whose value involves no counterparty and no other asset.

now, you're asking us to accept an unprecedented change to the protocol which will allow BTC units to intermingle with all sorts of assets limited only by our imaginations all while traveling on a less secure SC.  

serious question.  what kind of revolutionary tech, ie spvp, relies on "convincing" an entire industry called "mining" to support and secure itself?  b/c in the absence of close to 100% MM'ing support, i see SC's failing miserably from attacks.  there is no way you'll get 100% of miners to MM one, let alone dozens of SC's.  that's a huge risk to the entire Bitcoin system.
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January 01, 2015, 02:45:00 AM
 #19298

ps the correct response
Is that you're still not off the hook.

You've acknowledged that Blockstream is trying to change the protocol.

You've acknowledged that other companies which are not trying to change the protocol aren't subject to the same levels of legitimate scrutiny as those which are.

Agreed.  But you're also not completely off the hook.  There are also economic implications from offchain and voting-pools version of offchain.  People also have a right to ask about that similarly.  There are actually economic implications.  If OpenTransactions sucks a bunch of transactions off-chain that deprives bitcoin of transaction fees, and so it lowers bitcoin security.  I am not saying this is a bad tradeoff, just point out that nothing is free of implications.

Quote from: justusranvier
You haven't given a better answer than "trust us to to the right thing" for why Bitcoin users shouldn't be concerned about your plans for the protocol.

You did see this reply?  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=68655.msg9997546#msg9997546

Quote
Which basically means we're at the same point today we were this morning, and at the months leading up to today, and where I expect things will remain for the foreseeable future.

Was that really called for?  I am trying to be responsive here...

I said its a very valid question.  I tried several times to answer.  Feel free to pick apart the answer but dont just say I didnt answer, or I cant really reply short of reiterating as I wont know what it is you found unclear or unconvincing about the argument.

Adam

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January 01, 2015, 02:50:43 AM
 #19299

now, you're asking us to accept an unprecedented change to the protocol which will allow BTC units to intermingle with all sorts of assets limited only by our imaginations all while traveling on a less secure SC.  

serious question.  what kind of revolutionary tech, ie spvp, relies on "convincing" an entire industry called "mining" to support and secure itself?  b/c in the absence of close to 100% MM'ing support, i see SC's failing miserably from attacks.  there is no way you'll get 100% of miners to MM one, let alone dozens of SC's.  that's a huge risk.

Well there is the federated peg that doesnt need miner support.  There is the one way peg that also doesnt (but is more limited than 2wp).  And also most of the miners we've talked to informally seemed pretty keen on the idea.

I mean for example namecoin gets a pretty high Merge Mine rate and thats not really actively used even.  Mining profits are quite thin right now with difficulty reaching equilibrium for the price range so another percent or two makes all the difference.  I got the idea they were also interested in future potential for more transactions and more types of transactions as they considered this a source of bitcoin price upside, and they are mining bitcoins and living off the margin.

Plus a price uptick is a big deal to current miners, its a kind of derivative on bitcoin price.  They get to cash in for 3months at a higher price with too low difficulty until the manufacturers can ramp new manufacturing pipelines and get lots of new equipment to market.

I think the bigger picture though is its premature - we have not yet released code, nor BIP draft for community discussion and picking apart and redesigning etc before there is something to merge mine.  Its also useful (maybe you said it yourself also I think) for a federated peg to operate for a while in parallel with that open design discussion for people to see how it works.  You can view the federated peg as a protocol adaptor - there can still be mining occuring on the sidechain with the federated peg, just the return peg is translated into a multisig for bitcoin by the federation servers.

After that if the community can settle on a op-code for extensibility everyone is happy with people including us can try to stand up a few sidechains.  If no one likes them then they wont get mined.  So as you can see sidechains and the op_spv really depend on community and economic majority approval, and thats a good thing.

Adam

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January 01, 2015, 02:57:26 AM
 #19300

Agreed.  But you're also not completely off the hook.  There are also economic implications from offchain and voting-pools version of offchain.  People also have a right to ask about that similarly.  There are actually economic implications.  If OpenTransactions sucks a bunch of transactions off-chain that deprives bitcoin of transaction fees, and so it lowers bitcoin security.  I am not saying this is a bad tradeoff, just point out that nothing is free of implications.
Fair enough.

It is true that if Open-Transactions could be use to transact in Bitcoin substitutes, and that would suck fee revenue away from Bitcoin.

It is also true that outcome is 100% avoidable.

The only reason OT would suck transaction fee revenue away from Bitcoin is if the Bitcoin blockchain is forbidden for processing those transaction.

If Bitcoin won't process the transactions, they'll be processed somewhere else.

It's up to the core developers and Bitcoin community at large whether or not OT ends up sucking fee revenue away from Bitcoin mining.

I'm not a core developer, so I can't stop them from making changes to Bitcoin that would increase the blockchain's transaction processing capability.

In fact, it would be extremely out of character for me to even argue against such a change given that I've spent three years arguing for more transactions to happen on chain, to the point of saying that's the only way Bitcoin can economically survive in the long term.

It's also a perfectly viable future for OT to handle financial instrument contracts (BTC-denominated and otherwise) that aren't appropriate for the blockchain anyway while leaving all monetary transactions to the blockchain. It might even be the case that a high percentage of OT transactions end up causing a blockchain transaction anyway so that OT transaction volume helps drives Bitcoin transaction volume.

But if real monetary transactions aren't allowed to happen on the Bitcoin blockchain, then Bitcoin substitutes will trade in OT.



As far as the voting pool concept itself goes, I've always thought (and said many times) that people shouldn't leave their Bitcoins in the custody of a third party such as an exchange.

However, since they're going to do it anyway no matter how many times I say that you don't own Bitcoins if you don't control the private key, and since I'm tired of seeing people lose money to incompetent and/or corrupt exchanges, I guess I have to fix the exchanges.
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