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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
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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 2011196 times)
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January 03, 2015, 07:35:43 PM
 #19461


I'm curious to know what you (and others btw) make of Mircea Popescu and his crew's position that blocksize should not (arguably never) be increased

Anyone who can manage to get kicked out of trolltalk is worth listening to in my book.  For instance, Atlas was the ass-clown's ass-clown but he actually produced some very insightful peals if one looked closely enough.  MP (of his sock-puppet pimpette thing or whatever it was) was wildly amusing to me in general, and often enough cast pearls.

And I am natively closer to that view of blocksize anyway of course.

edit - spellchecker: naively --> natively (is that a word?)  Ya, ya, Freudian slip.  yuck-yuck.

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JorgeStolfi
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January 03, 2015, 08:09:23 PM
 #19462

i have a question for the computer scientists in the crowd. 

i've noticed some things about the WP's over the last coupla years, including Satoshi's, that i wasn't aware of. first, there doesn't seem to be any peer review.  not only that but what strikes me is that it seems that authors come up with a particular logic pattern that makes sense to them and then construct maths to support that logic.  i often don't even see large data sets, testing, or simulations performed.  that supposedly is a standard for proof of a theory.  is this correct?  this is not a criticism of the CS field but just an inquiry to help me understand your field.

in many fields, a hypothesis is asked, then an experiment with blinded investigators along with large #'s of subjects and controls is carried out over a statistically significant time period to rule out investigator bias (can never do that completely) and prove that the hypothesis is correct within a std dev often of p<0.05 or 5%.  i realize these are different methods in different fields so it's hard to determine which is more rigorous.

Satoshi's whitpaper is not a "scientific" paper but a good "technology advance" paper.  It specifies a concrete real-world problem (build an e-cash system that does not depend on trusted 3rd parties) and an open sub-problem of that (how to motivate the volunteers to maintain and secure the ledger).  It then describes a proposed solution for that sub-problem, with enough detail that any competent programmer could implement it.  The paper concludes with some logical arguments and computations showing that the proposed solution does not have some flaws that one may think of.  Then Satoshi built an implementation that would be sufficient to prove the soundness of the solution.  He set that implementation running, and recruited enough interested people to make the test meaningful.

The Sidechains whitepaper is nothing like that.  It does not define concrete real-world problem(s) to be solved, and then develop suitable solution(s) for it/them.  Instead, the "problem" that it sets to solve is how to save bitcoin from being superseded by centralized payment systems and other altcoins.  The "solution" they propose is basically to rebrand the best  altcoins plus some unspecified array of other network services as "sidechains of bitcoin",  in exchange for some unspecified advantages involving merged mining and the prestige of bitcoin.  However, there are no details in the paper to even tell what applications could be "sidechains", how the integration would work, what concrete benefits they would derive from that, why other projects could not obtain the same benefits without being "sidechains of bitcoin" -- and why would bitcoin be saved as a result.  Needless to say, there is also no analysis of possible failure modes.

Just as bitcoin reminds me of the Wright Brothers' Flyer One, the sidechains proposal reminds me of their unsuccessful efforts to commercialize their invention.  (AFAIK, the first commercially successful series-produced airplane, still only a toy for aeronautics nerds, was this one.)

"Dear investors, you are all aware of the hard times that Ford Motor Co. has been going through, because of competition from manufacturers of cars that are cheaper, faster, more beautiful, or more reliable than ours.  You know that, while we could incorporate their advantages in our Model T, modifying our assembly lines is very expensive and would take too long.  But we have come up with an idea that will surely save us.  We will allow the other manufacturers to rebrand themselves: "Ford Jeep" instead of "Jeep", "Ford Jaguar" instead of "Jaguar", "Ford Mercedes" instead of "Mercedes", etc..  We will allow them to use our great assembly lines, as long as they don't require any special change or interfere with our production.  We will also build a yard where our customers will be able to safely trade their Model Ts for cars of our competitors, at values established by the latter.  Thus we expect to turn our most formidable competitors into our allies, and, with their help, retain our dominant share of the billion-dollar revenue to be made in the car market."

Academic interest in bitcoin only. Not owner, not trader, very skeptical of its longterm success.
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January 03, 2015, 08:14:49 PM
 #19463

However, there are no details in the paper to even tell what applications could be "sidechains", how the integration would work, what concrete benefits they would derive from that, why other projects could not obtain the same benefits without being "sidechains of bitcoin" -- and why would bitcoin be saved as a result.  Needless to say, there is also no analysis of possible failure modes.

So I take it you didn't read the paper  Undecided

"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 03, 2015, 08:50:28 PM
 #19464

However, there are no details in the paper to even tell what applications could be "sidechains", how the integration would work, what concrete benefits they would derive from that, why other projects could not obtain the same benefits without being "sidechains of bitcoin" -- and why would bitcoin be saved as a result.  Needless to say, there is also no analysis of possible failure modes.
So I take it you didn't read the paper  Undecided
I did read it, and also the "sidechains for dummies" blogpost that people recommended, and some more posts.

So what you are saying is that I did not understand it at all.  Perhaps.  But then I ask, for example, why Bitstamp is not already a "sidechain".  OK, it is not decentralized nor merge-mined, but does the whitepaper say that a sidechain must be those things?

My impression is that the paper did not want to rule out anything, for fear that it might prevent co-opting a possible "bitcoin killer".

Academic interest in bitcoin only. Not owner, not trader, very skeptical of its longterm success.
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January 03, 2015, 08:55:31 PM
 #19465

i have a question for the computer scientists in the crowd. 

i've noticed some things about the WP's over the last coupla years, including Satoshi's, that i wasn't aware of. first, there doesn't seem to be any peer review.  not only that but what strikes me is that it seems that authors come up with a particular logic pattern that makes sense to them and then construct maths to support that logic.  i often don't even see large data sets, testing, or simulations performed.  that supposedly is a standard for proof of a theory.  is this correct?  this is not a criticism of the CS field but just an inquiry to help me understand your field.

in many fields, a hypothesis is asked, then an experiment with blinded investigators along with large #'s of subjects and controls is carried out over a statistically significant time period to rule out investigator bias (can never do that completely) and prove that the hypothesis is correct within a std dev often of p<0.05 or 5%.  i realize these are different methods in different fields so it's hard to determine which is more rigorous.

Satoshi's whitpaper is not a "scientific" paper but a good "technology advance" paper.  It specifies a concrete real-world problem (build an e-cash system that does not depend on trusted 3rd parties) and an open sub-problem of that (how to motivate the volunteers to maintain and secure the ledger).  It then describes a proposed solution for that sub-problem, with enough detail that any competent programmer could implement it.  The paper concludes with some logical arguments and computations showing that the proposed solution does not have some flaws that one may think of.  Then Satoshi built an implementation that would be sufficient to prove the soundness of the solution.  He set that implementation running, and recruited enough interested people to make the test meaningful.

The Sidechains whitepaper is nothing like that.  It does not define concrete real-world problem(s) to be solved, and then develop suitable solution(s) for it/them.  Instead, the "problem" that it sets to solve is how to save bitcoin from being superseded by centralized payment systems and other altcoins.  The "solution" they propose is basically to rebrand the best  altcoins plus some unspecified array of other network services as "sidechains of bitcoin",  in exchange for some unspecified advantages involving merged mining and the prestige of bitcoin.  However, there are no details in the paper to even tell what applications could be "sidechains", how the integration would work, what concrete benefits they would derive from that, why other projects could not obtain the same benefits without being "sidechains of bitcoin" -- and why would bitcoin be saved as a result.  Needless to say, there is also no analysis of possible failure modes.

Just as bitcoin reminds me of the Wright Brothers' Flyer One, the sidechains proposal reminds me of their unsuccessful efforts to commercialize their invention.  (AFAIK, the first commercially successful series-produced airplane, still only a toy for aeronautics nerds, was this one.)


I get it. Early adopters call you a troll because you are right. This is a problem

Forgive my petulance and oft-times, I fear, ill-founded criticisms, and forgive me that I have, by this time, made your eyes and head ache with my long letter. But I cannot forgo hastily the pleasure and pride of thus conversing with you.
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January 03, 2015, 09:01:11 PM
 #19466

However, there are no details in the paper to even tell what applications could be "sidechains", how the integration would work, what concrete benefits they would derive from that, why other projects could not obtain the same benefits without being "sidechains of bitcoin" -- and why would bitcoin be saved as a result.  Needless to say, there is also no analysis of possible failure modes.
So I take it you didn't read the paper  Undecided
I did read it, and also the "sidechains for dummies" blogpost that people recommended, and some more posts.

So what you are saying is that I did not understand it at all.  Perhaps.  But then I ask, for example, why Bitstamp is not already a "sidechain".  OK, it is not decentralized nor merge-mined, but does the whitepaper say that a sidechain must be those things?

My impression is that the paper did not want to rule out anything, for fear that it might prevent co-opting a possible "bitcoin killer".

For a thing to be a sidechain I guess it would need to first be a chain. Can you point me to Bitstamp's blockchain?

"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 03, 2015, 09:02:08 PM
 #19467

i have a question for the computer scientists in the crowd.  

i've noticed some things about the WP's over the last coupla years, including Satoshi's, that i wasn't aware of. first, there doesn't seem to be any peer review.  not only that but what strikes me is that it seems that authors come up with a particular logic pattern that makes sense to them and then construct maths to support that logic.  i often don't even see large data sets, testing, or simulations performed.  that supposedly is a standard for proof of a theory.  is this correct?  this is not a criticism of the CS field but just an inquiry to help me understand your field.

in many fields, a hypothesis is asked, then an experiment with blinded investigators along with large #'s of subjects and controls is carried out over a statistically significant time period to rule out investigator bias (can never do that completely) and prove that the hypothesis is correct within a std dev often of p<0.05 or 5%.  i realize these are different methods in different fields so it's hard to determine which is more rigorous.

Satoshi's whitpaper is not a "scientific" paper but a good "technology advance" paper.  It specifies a concrete real-world problem (build an e-cash system that does not depend on trusted 3rd parties) and an open sub-problem of that (how to motivate the volunteers to maintain and secure the ledger).  It then describes a proposed solution for that sub-problem, with enough detail that any competent programmer could implement it.  The paper concludes with some logical arguments and computations showing that the proposed solution does not have some flaws that one may think of.  Then Satoshi built an implementation that would be sufficient to prove the soundness of the solution.  He set that implementation running, and recruited enough interested people to make the test meaningful.

The Sidechains whitepaper is nothing like that.  It does not define concrete real-world problem(s) to be solved, and then develop suitable solution(s) for it/them.  Instead, the "problem" that it sets to solve is how to save bitcoin from being superseded by centralized payment systems and other altcoins.  The "solution" they propose is basically to rebrand the best  altcoins plus some unspecified array of other network services as "sidechains of bitcoin",  in exchange for some unspecified advantages involving merged mining and the prestige of bitcoin.  However, there are no details in the paper to even tell what applications could be "sidechains", how the integration would work, what concrete benefits they would derive from that, why other projects could not obtain the same benefits without being "sidechains of bitcoin" -- and why would bitcoin be saved as a result.  Needless to say, there is also no analysis of possible failure modes.

Just as bitcoin reminds me of the Wright Brothers' Flyer One, the sidechains proposal reminds me of their unsuccessful efforts to commercialize their invention.  (AFAIK, the first commercially successful series-produced airplane, still only a toy for aeronautics nerds, was this one.)

"Dear investors, you are all aware of the hard times that Ford Motor Co. has been going through, because of competition from manufacturers of cars that are cheaper, faster, more beautiful, or more reliable than ours.  You know that, while we could incorporate their advantages in our Model T, modifying our assembly lines is very expensive and would take too long.  But we have come up with an idea that will surely save us.  We will allow the other manufacturers to rebrand themselves: "Ford Jeep" instead of "Jeep", "Ford Jaguar" instead of "Jaguar", "Ford Mercedes" instead of "Mercedes", etc..  We will allow them to use our great assembly lines, as long as they don't require any special change or interfere with our production.  We will also build a yard where our customers will be able to safely trade their Model Ts for cars of our competitors, at values established by the latter.  Thus we expect to turn our most formidable competitors into our allies, and, with their help, retain our dominant share of the billion-dollar revenue to be made in the car market."

I'm going to stop calling you a troll despite our differences about Bitcoin. I can respect that .

The 2 papers that come to mind are Sirer's Selfish Mining paper and the Red Balloon paper from Microsoft. I've listened to Sirer talk before which is even more puzzling that he can be so pedantic about it. For Christ's sake, if you're going to stake your academic reputation on such a  theory, at least attack the network to prove it or release the code to meet everyone inspect it for flaws in reasoning or assumptions. He won't do either which should show you what the quality of his thesis is.

My problem with BS is that i think they represent the "entrepreneurs"  in Daniel's article. Those who are either underwater on their bitcoin holdings or are late to the game and feel they need to change Bitcoin in some fundamental way that will lower their risk all the while screaming everything wrong about the current system. The difficulty is in determining whether they're right, of course, as the price drop always makes everyone question their original thesis. ButiI have seen this before several time. 

To me though, as through the 5 other bubbles we've had, is the protocol still hasn't been hacked, tx's are going up, time has advanced (6yrs), dev is getting done, user adoption is growing worldwide, VC's investment continues to accelerate, and huge companies like Microsoft are coming on board.

I think the entrepreneurs need patience and need to buy in to the MC.
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January 03, 2015, 09:19:44 PM
 #19468

The SC's WP was disjointed to me. On the one hand, parts of it complain about alcoins, but them turns right around and gives a whole section to Freicoin, of all things. Talk about a screwed up economic policy. Adam even mentioned it again just the other day.  This tells me they are not on board with Bitcoins sound or hard money principles. Probably different guys on their team contributed different sections or thi  was a bone thrown to one of them. I seem to recall that Poelstra might be the one into demurrage. 
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January 03, 2015, 10:21:58 PM
 #19469

who knows how much further MC achievements might have been accomplished if BS core devs were spending all that time working on Bitcoin Core that they undoubtedly have been dedicating to the spvp for the last year and a half.  forget that shit and get behind Gavin and increase blocksize.  now is the time to do this.
A hard fork to increase blocksize may be needed, but the proposed exponential blocksize growth is both unnecessary and harmful to propagation of the sufficient bitcoin nodes desired for resilience.  

I'm curious to know what you (and others btw) make of Mircea Popescu and his crew's position that blocksize should not (arguably never) be increased

People who argue that the block size limit should never be increased are arguing from a position of ideology, not practicality. They want as many nodes as possible, helped by low volume overhead, thinking that limiting transaction throughput can maintain Bitcoin as a guerrilla enterprise outside mainstream finance. They want it to be the financial system for the "Unsystem".

Anyone who has read my posts for the last 2 years will know that I rail against the global corruption of central banks, their fiat FRB system, inflation targeting, interest rate manipulation, crony capitalism, asset bubbles, and stealth wealth transfers from the majority to the 0.1%. I see Bitcoin is a reset button for this 100-year mess, a river to flush out the Augean Stables of central banking. However, that river can never be diverted when it is a trickle, dammed upstream.

Answer the question "Is blockchain PoW (or its variants, perhaps even PoS) a better basis for a monetary system than the existing debt-money of CB fiat?"
If "yes", then the inexorable nature of science and technology will ensure that blockchain money prevails in the long run, 10, 20, 30 years from now. So the second question is "Will the future globally successful blockchain money be Bitcoin or some other alt coin?"

The answer to the second question is "Bitcoin, unless its first mover advantage is thrown away by an unresolved fundamental failing." Failure to scale is a fundamental failing which can consign Bitcoin forever to the margins of world finance. But, why would a marginalized Bitcoin be used even by its unsystem adherents when Darkcoin or Monero offer better anonymity?

Constraining the block size, therefore transaction volumes, ignores several important aspects of the situation:

1. The quality of nodes is much better than 5 years ago. There might have been 20,000 PCs and notebooks as nodes in 2010, cpu mining and supporting the network, but was that network better than the 6500 (known) nodes of today? Many of which are owned by companies now earning a living in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Corporate nodes are much more tolerant of volumes than hobbyist nodes.

2. Bandwidth is improving in many countries at up to 40% per year, so volume increases should be acceptable up to that level, or until another constraint is seen such as cpu signature verification. Limiting it at a 2010 baseline means it is being unnecessarily constrained as computing technology is still improving.

3. Block compression techniques exist to reduce propagation overhead. IBLT was only described in 2011, a year after Satoshi put the 1MB limit in place.

4. If Bitcoin fails to scale then I-Can-Scale-Coin will incorporate the necessary changes and the ecosystem will move across to that alt instead. Sidechains do not help with scaling because SC volume still needs to be handled somewhere.

5. Despite the long bearmarket of 2014, and price down at $290 right now, a large percentage of the price assumes that Bitcoin has future scalability. That it can grow to handle a reasonable percentage of world commerce. Its SoV is predicated upon being able to scale.

Accepting the block size limit as it stands is to do the central banks a massive favor by crippling this new emerging monetary system, giving them more years to screw up the world economy, before a new alt coin can eventually prevail.

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January 03, 2015, 10:30:55 PM
 #19470

The 2 papers that come to mind are Sirer's Selfish Mining paper and the Red Balloon paper from Microsoft. I've listened to Sirer talk before which is even more puzzling that he can be so pedantic about it. For Christ's sake, if you're going to stake your academic reputation on such a  theory, at least attack the network to prove it or release the code to meet everyone inspect it for flaws in reasoning or assumptions. He won't do either which should show you what the quality of his thesis is.

Well, Ph. D. theses are often like that. Cheesy  Speaking as an advisor, after I have stolen five of the best years of someone's life, it would be a crime to send him/her away with empty hands.

Seriously, I did not quite understand how Sirer's Selfish Mining attack works either, but I did not spend much time trying to.
Anyway, even if it works, it does not seem to be fatal, but only make life less fair for miners.  Or is it claimed to be worse than that?

I haven't seen the other paper you mention.

Quote
To me though, as through the 5 other bubbles we've had, is the protocol still hasn't been hacked, tx's are going up, time has advanced (6yrs), dev is getting done, user adoption is growing worldwide, VC's investment continues to accelerate, and huge companies like Microsoft are coming on board.

Well, I am not so optimistic about those things:

* By my understanding of the past bubbles, a new large bubble would require a new large market, comparable to that of the Chinese speculators who adopted Bitcoin in Nov/2013.

* The cryptographic security of the basic protocol, properly implemented, is assured as long as the basic tools are.  However, people can easily make mistakes when using or even implementing it.  See the recent BCI fiasco, for example.  Claiming that those problems are not bugs "in the protocol" is a weak argument; for prospective users, what matters is the system's security, not the security of the central part.  It is not reassuring to know that Chernobyl, TMI, and Fukushima were not caused by flaws in the physics of nuclear fusion, but to errors in its use.

* The blockchain traffic has been falling recently: tx/day down 18% last week, BTC/day down 44% last month, USD/day down 55%.

* VC investment is almost all in ventures that will make money no matter what happens to the price.  Most merchants who "accept bitcoin", including the large ones, do not want to touch it, they want dollars.  When asked about its future plans for bitcoin, Microsoft dodged the question.  The few minimally reliable data on bitcoin usage for e-payment through BitPay show stagnation in BTC amount over 2014, drop in USD amount.

Academic interest in bitcoin only. Not owner, not trader, very skeptical of its longterm success.
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January 03, 2015, 10:41:59 PM
 #19471

The 2 papers that come to mind are Sirer's Selfish Mining paper and the Red Balloon paper from Microsoft. I've listened to Sirer talk before which is even more puzzling that he can be so pedantic about it. For Christ's sake, if you're going to stake your academic reputation on such a  theory, at least attack the network to prove it or release the code to meet everyone inspect it for flaws in reasoning or assumptions. He won't do either which should show you what the quality of his thesis is.

Well, Ph. D. theses are often like that. Cheesy  Speaking as an advisor, after I have stolen five of the best years of someone's life, it would be a crime to send him/her away with empty hands.

Seriously, I did not quite understand how Sirer's Selfish Mining attack works either, but I did not spend much time trying to.
Anyway, even if it works, it does not seem to be fatal, but only make life less fair for miners.  Or is it claimed to be worse than that?

I haven't seen the other paper you mention.

Quote
To me though, as through the 5 other bubbles we've had, is the protocol still hasn't been hacked, tx's are going up, time has advanced (6yrs), dev is getting done, user adoption is growing worldwide, VC's investment continues to accelerate, and huge companies like Microsoft are coming on board.

Well, I am not so optimistic about those things:

* By my understanding of the past bubbles, a new large bubble would require a new large market, comparable to that of the Chinese speculators who adopted Bitcoin in Nov/2013.

* The cryptographic security of the basic protocol, properly implemented, is assured as long as the basic tools are.  However, people can easily make mistakes when using or even implementing it.  See the recent BCI fiasco, for example.  Claiming that those problems are not bugs "in the protocol" is a weak argument; for prospective users, what matters is the system's security, not the security of the central part.  It is not reassuring to know that Chernobyl, TMI, and Fukushima were not caused by flaws in the physics of nuclear fusion, but to errors in its use.

* The blockchain traffic has been falling recently: tx/day down 18% last week, BTC/day down 44% last month, USD/day down 55%.

* VC investment is almost all in ventures that will make money no matter what happens to the price.  Most merchants who "accept bitcoin", including the large ones, do not want to touch it, they want dollars.  When asked about its future plans for bitcoin, Microsoft dodged the question.  The few minimally reliable data on bitcoin usage for e-payment through BitPay show stagnation in BTC amount over 2014, drop in USD amount.

hmm, I wonder if there are any of those left *scratches head* Wink

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January 03, 2015, 10:59:43 PM
 #19472

For a thing to be a sidechain I guess it would need to first be a chain. Can you point me to Bitstamp's blockchain?

That seems to be an assumption some people make, but I did not see that stated in the paper.  To be meaningful, that statement would require a defintion of what is a "blockchain" and what is not.  Without such definition, I can give several "stupid answers" to that question:

* The sofa in Bitstamp's lounge is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp's internal ledger, where the accounts are kept, is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp can create some junk altcoin, say a bitcoin clone, that can be traded on their site; set up an old laptop to start mining its blockchain; and call that "Bitstamp's blockchain".

And also an answer that may not be so stupid:

* Bitstamp could implement @GMaxwell's scheme for "proof of solvency", using a Merkle tree (not linear, but bushy) of the account balances, updated once a day, secured by strategically inserting some hashes in the bitcoin chain; and call that tree "Bitstamp's blockchain".

The last example may show that trying to restrict what a sidechain can be and do is pointless (because there is no practical way to enforce those restrictions) and stupid (because it would arbitrarily exclude many interesting systems, perhaps even the feared "bitcoin killer")

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January 03, 2015, 11:02:31 PM
 #19473

The 2 papers that come to mind are Sirer's Selfish Mining paper and the Red Balloon paper from Microsoft. I've listened to Sirer talk before which is even more puzzling that he can be so pedantic about it. For Christ's sake, if you're going to stake your academic reputation on such a  theory, at least attack the network to prove it or release the code to meet everyone inspect it for flaws in reasoning or assumptions. He won't do either which should show you what the quality of his thesis is.

Well, Ph. D. theses are often like that. Cheesy  Speaking as an advisor, after I have stolen five of the best years of someone's life, it would be a crime to send him/her away with empty hands.

Seriously, I did not quite understand how Sirer's Selfish Mining attack works either, but I did not spend much time trying to.
Anyway, even if it works, it does not seem to be fatal, but only make life less fair for miners.  Or is it claimed to be worse than that?

I haven't seen the other paper you mention.

is Sirer the advisor or a co-grad student with co-publisher Eyal?
Quote
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To me though, as through the 5 other bubbles we've had, is the protocol still hasn't been hacked, tx's are going up, time has advanced (6yrs), dev is getting done, user adoption is growing worldwide, VC's investment continues to accelerate, and huge companies like Microsoft are coming on board.

Well, I am not so optimistic about those things:

* By my understanding of the past bubbles, a new large bubble would require a new large market, comparable to that of the Chinese speculators who adopted Bitcoin in Nov/2013.

that's possible.  but Bitcoin advances in waves.  we are ebbing right now awaiting the next tidal wave.  probably flight from some currency somewhere.
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* The cryptographic security of the basic protocol, properly implemented, is assured as long as the basic tools are.  However, people can easily make mistakes when using or even implementing it.  See the recent BCI fiasco, for example.  Claiming that those problems are not bugs "in the protocol" is a weak argument; for prospective users, what matters is the system's security, not the security of the central part.  It is not reassuring to know that Chernobyl, TMI, and Fukushima were not caused by flaws in the physics of nuclear fusion, but to errors in its use.

what part of the current financial system has been trouble free for the last 100 yrs?  no part.  i wouldn't make that huge a deal of the R value problem of BCI.  most of those coins got returned as well so there haven't been great losses.
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* The blockchain traffic has been falling recently: tx/day down 18% last week, BTC/day down 44% last month, USD/day down 55%.

that's a short term occurence
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* VC investment is almost all in ventures that will make money no matter what happens to the price.  Most merchants who "accept bitcoin", including the large ones, do not want to touch it, they want dollars.  When asked about its future plans for bitcoin, Microsoft dodged the question.  The few minimally reliable data on bitcoin usage for e-payment through BitPay show stagnation in BTC amount over 2014, drop in USD amount.

all those examples are too negative imo.  it's not simply a matter of wanting dollars.  many are holding back some BTC and Bitpay did confirm that.
http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/2oypbo/bitpay_employee_here_around_50_of_our_merchants/

MS just accepted BTC even after their Red Ballon paper back in 2012.  i guarantee you they aren't going to tell you or i what their long range plans are but this is a turnaround:
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/?id=156072
Odalv
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January 03, 2015, 11:04:46 PM
 #19474

For a thing to be a sidechain I guess it would need to first be a chain. Can you point me to Bitstamp's blockchain?

That seems to be an assumption some people make, but I did not see that stated in the paper.  To be meaningful, that statement would require a defintion of what is a "blockchain" and what is not.  Without such definition, I can give several "stupid answers" to that question:

* The sofa in Bitstamp's lounge is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp's internal ledger, where the accounts are kept, is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp can create some junk altcoin, say a bitcoin clone, that can be traded on their site; set up an old laptop to start mining its blockchain; and call that "Bitstamp's blockchain".

And also an answer that may not be so stupid:

* Bitstamp could implement @GMaxwell's scheme for "proof of solvency", using a Merkle tree (not linear, but bushy) of the account balances, updated once a day, secured by strategically inserting some hashes in the bitcoin chain; and call that tree "Bitstamp's blockchain".

The last example may show that trying to restrict what a sidechain can be and do is pointless (because there is no practical way to enforce those restrictions) and stupid (because it would arbitrarily exclude many interesting systems, perhaps even the feared "bitcoin killer")


I think, you are right.
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January 03, 2015, 11:08:11 PM
 #19475

who knows how much further MC achievements might have been accomplished if BS core devs were spending all that time working on Bitcoin Core that they undoubtedly have been dedicating to the spvp for the last year and a half.  forget that shit and get behind Gavin and increase blocksize.  now is the time to do this.
A hard fork to increase blocksize may be needed, but the proposed exponential blocksize growth is both unnecessary and harmful to propagation of the sufficient bitcoin nodes desired for resilience.  

I'm curious to know what you (and others btw) make of Mircea Popescu and his crew's position that blocksize should not (arguably never) be increased

I've published on this matter extensively already.  Block size stagnation to preserve TOR is not sufficient reason.  (Block size is the decompressed size, network layer issues can be resolved at network layers rather than at application layer.)  I also disagree with Mircea P that Block size should be limited as an incentive to increase tx fees in order to support miners.  Miners need no such support.  We have more mining and fewer nodes than we need.

Gavin's proposal is naive wrt security, and prejudiced against increasing nodes (something the network does need), it is likely to decrease them instead.  The notion that market forces rule all and that block size will be constrained by the incremental risk of orphaning a block vis a vis the prospect of a competitive advantage from economies of scale knocking out smaller opposition is short sighted.  It creates a perverse incentive to increase block sizes and stuff them with junk to kill off smaller competitors.  
There are other technical solutions in play which may mitigate this with storage advancements and databasing and UTXO search but with the current state of things, his proposal breaks more than it fixes.  

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January 03, 2015, 11:09:06 PM
 #19476

For a thing to be a sidechain I guess it would need to first be a chain. Can you point me to Bitstamp's blockchain?

That seems to be an assumption some people make, but I did not see that stated in the paper.  To be meaningful, that statement would require a defintion of what is a "blockchain" and what is not.  Without such definition, I can give several "stupid answers" to that question:

* The sofa in Bitstamp's lounge is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp's internal ledger, where the accounts are kept, is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp can create some junk altcoin, say a bitcoin clone, that can be traded on their site; set up an old laptop to start mining its blockchain; and call that "Bitstamp's blockchain".

And also an answer that may not be so stupid:

* Bitstamp could implement @GMaxwell's scheme for "proof of solvency", using a Merkle tree (not linear, but bushy) of the account balances, updated once a day, secured by strategically inserting some hashes in the bitcoin chain; and call that tree "Bitstamp's blockchain".

The last example may show that trying to restrict what a sidechain can be and do is pointless (because there is no practical way to enforce those restrictions) and stupid (because it would arbitrarily exclude many interesting systems, perhaps even the feared "bitcoin killer")


Jorge brings up an interesting point. 

Odalv, perhaps you can comment on whether all these federated server SC's that are in action already involve a true blockchain that are MM'd?  i doubt it.  they're probably just internal ledgers.  that doesn't sound like a true SC to me.
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January 03, 2015, 11:15:29 PM
 #19477

hmm, I wonder if there are any of those left *scratches head* Wink

If the COIN ETF is approved, perhaps it will open a large market of private investors in the US (savings and retirement accounts, etc.) 

Latin America could be such a market, but there does not seem to be a population of commodities speculators like the Chinese one.  Africa has the same problem, and is much poorer than China.  India seems to be wary of bitcoin (perhaps by memories of Mavrodi's scams).

Academic interest in bitcoin only. Not owner, not trader, very skeptical of its longterm success.
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January 03, 2015, 11:17:22 PM
 #19478

It's not that I'm feeding anybody but for everyone interested in keeping this thread signal/noise ratio as high as possible, I've taken the liberty to quote the excellent Peter R's categorization of a particular kind of user:


A Taxonomy of the Troll

Class C bitcoin troll (lat. trollus minimus):

-How to recognize: Simple-minded FUD spreading, and juvenile insults.  

-Recommended response: ignore, their trolling is obvious to everyone and occasionally humorous.  

-Examples: falllllling, Chuckee, fonzie (in the earlier part of his career)

Class B bitcoin troll (lat.  trollus averagus)

-How to recognize: bait-and-switch thread titles and well-executed concern trolling; methods designed to fool the reader into thinking the troll is a non-troll.  

-Recommended response: agree with everything they say in a satirical way.  Their arguments are usually so flawed that simply rephrasing back what they said will reveal their lunacy.  This technique is especially effective if the troll doesn't recognize this attack vector until he's already sunken his ship.

-Examples: Nagle, JorgeStolfi, Edward50

Class A bitcoin troll (lat. trollus maximus)

-How to recognize: usually hold an esteemed position or a PhD.  

-Recommended response: Engage in logical and polite debate.  These are the most difficult trolls to defeat, so you must be patient.  The truth will prevail.  

-Examples: Mark Williams, Paul Krugman, Richard Murphy

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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January 03, 2015, 11:33:56 PM
 #19479

The spv verify opcode looks to me like to me to be in the class of a generically useful inclusions which anyone is free to use for a variety of developments or optimizations of existing developments.

Right.

Do you suppose that anyone involved with Bitcoin dev had any ideas or involvement in efforts which could have made use pay-to-script-hash when it was integrated?  I don't remember you pitching a bitch about that.

Well its interesting you should say that - there were discussions that the script language could have been extended during the p2sh discussion at the time.  eg there was no reason the script inside p2sh couldnt have been a different script language.  Lets say that script had been done, then sidechains might've been possible without a separate change.

Also as I mentioned a few times its already very close to possible to implement a compact SPV verify in bitcoin script.  Anyone of dozens of minor changes to slightly improve expressiveness of bitcoin script would allow it.  It seems close to inevitable that sooner or later an expressiveness or refactor or clean up of bitcoin script will happen, for its own sake and reason: to make it easier or safer to write smart-contracts etc.

About cypherdoc particularly he said this:

Quote from: cypherdoc link=https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=68655.msg9989162#msg9989162
Quote from: adam3us
I am not sure if you are aware sidechains are nearly possible with zero changes to bitcoin.  Its already programable via the script language.  It may even be doable with zero changes with some chained contorted big script to validate compact SPV proofs.

great, then do it if it doesn't involve a source code change.  i have no problem with that.


So that seems a little inconsistent to me.  ie if this is really a bad idea why would cypherdoc not have a problem with it regardless of whether it required changes or not.  I mean if its a principle you'd be arguing to please not do it even though its possible.  Or to remove something from the language to prevent it, or put a technical defense preventing it if such a thing existed (seems unlikely but I havent explored it much).  Not saying "I have no problem with that."

fundamentally, none of the technical enhancements to Bitcoins money function couldn't be done on the MC.  not easy to gain consensus but it CAN be done.  i'm all for that.  this is what we have testnet and federated server SC's for.  experimentation.  esp when we're only at the $4B market cap.

While its possible, its very much harder, and when changes are made its very much riskier and less secure.  If you care about the security of your coins you should be for having a firewalled live beta and firewalled extension mechanism (if you support improvements "i'm all for that." you said).

Quote from: cypherdoc
it also looks like CP and colored coins will bring us other assets to MC.  that's good too.

CP = CounterParty.  That doesnt bring anything to the chain, other than bloat, its a layered consensus system with its own alt-coin.  If you valued the price of bitcoin, probably you'd be better pushing for sidechains than CP because its bitcoin denominated and increases demand and features for bitcoin.

(Not sure whats up with bitcoin price - maybe its time for reverse psychology: big negative news, generates lots of free press, and there's no such thing as bad press?)

Quote from: cypherdoc
who knows how much further MC achievements might have been accomplished if BS core devs were spending all that time working on Bitcoin Core that they undoubtedly have been dedicating to the spvp for the last year and a half.  forget that shit and get behind Gavin and increase blocksize.  now is the time to do this.

No they spent more time on core than before, because they quit their full time jobs/occupation and Mark said somewhere else on reddit he figured they'd spent 50% of their time at blockstream on core.  (Unrelated to sidechains most of it .. eg in Pieter's case the headers-first speed up you were mentioning, though he's been working on that for a long time).  You could check by looking at bitcoin github, there's a stats page.

Quote from: cypherdoc
fundamentally, i think allowing an offramp for BTC units over to insecure SC's is economically and technically flawed for all the Sound Money reasons i've already articulated.

I fail to see the connection between sound money and an ability to freeze coins with an spv-multisig instead of a multisig.
Bitcoin is protected with a firewall from features on the sidechain.  The bitcoins never leave the chain, they're just frozen in an spv-multisig instead of a multisig.  Lots of people are using multisigs, daily, to effectively do the same thing, its more secure to do it with an spv-multisig.  Lots of people are not even doing that, they're using pure offchain in a shared wallet, for reasons that in time could be fixed on sidechains and then with a year of live testing with $1b on it kind of assurance, ported back into bitcoin main.

Quote from: cypherdoc
improve the MC; it's not that hard.

Yes, it is that hard.  Maybe I dont know do you follow bitcoin-dev, look at github, follow wizards and dev irc?  Making changes to a $4b system is very risky.  op-spv can avoid and reduce that risk, once it is done.

Adam

hashcash, committed transactions, homomorphic values, blind kdf; researching decentralization, scalability and fungibility/anonymity
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January 03, 2015, 11:35:02 PM
 #19480

For a thing to be a sidechain I guess it would need to first be a chain. Can you point me to Bitstamp's blockchain?

That seems to be an assumption some people make, but I did not see that stated in the paper.  To be meaningful, that statement would require a defintion of what is a "blockchain" and what is not.  Without such definition, I can give several "stupid answers" to that question:

* The sofa in Bitstamp's lounge is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp's internal ledger, where the accounts are kept, is "Bitstamp's blockchain".

* Bitstamp can create some junk altcoin, say a bitcoin clone, that can be traded on their site; set up an old laptop to start mining its blockchain; and call that "Bitstamp's blockchain".

And also an answer that may not be so stupid:

* Bitstamp could implement @GMaxwell's scheme for "proof of solvency", using a Merkle tree (not linear, but bushy) of the account balances, updated once a day, secured by strategically inserting some hashes in the bitcoin chain; and call that tree "Bitstamp's blockchain".

The last example may show that trying to restrict what a sidechain can be and do is pointless (because there is no practical way to enforce those restrictions) and stupid (because it would arbitrarily exclude many interesting systems, perhaps even the feared "bitcoin killer")


Jorge brings up an interesting point. 

Odalv, perhaps you can comment on whether all these federated server SC's that are in action already involve a true blockchain that are MM'd?  i doubt it.  they're probably just internal ledgers.  that doesn't sound like a true SC to me.

I think we can create blockchain (sidechain) from any data.

There are 2 orthogonal things.
 1) create chain (it can be done by single server .. e.g. Bitstamp trade engine => no MM, no federated server )
 2) verify chain and unlock bitcoins (this can be done by bitcoin network)

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