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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 1805158 times)
smooth
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April 09, 2015, 12:21:11 AM
 #22641



that's not at all what is happening.  BTC deposited on an exchange are parked in an address owned by the exchange.  all the trading is just on its own internal DB.  when an owner wants to withdraw from the exchange, it simply draws from the pooled address and sends back to the owner's personal address.  none of the BTC has EVER left the blockchain.


BTC deposited on an sidechain are parked in an address owned by the sidechain, all the trading is just on its own public side-blockchain.  when an owner wants to withdraw from the sidechain, it simply draws from the pooled address and sends back to the owner's personal address.  none of the BTC has EVER left the blockchain.


You're neglecting the friction I mentioned above. Also, when mtgox blows up, "someone" has  those coin. When a SC blows,  those coins will be gone.

Let me also introduce  another concept that represents my assessment of what will occur. Miners will not support SC's because ultimately SC's will be an unknown risk to their business model. They won't support that uncertainty. That's just my opinion.

You can withdraw from mtGox only if Karpeles allow it. You can withdraw from SC if you can create proof that you own pKey in SC.  It is human's will vs proof of math.

SC does not need a lot of miners. SC can timestamp transactions(whole side-blockchain) in bitcoin blockchain. (Same as CP does)

SC's require ideally 100% of current Bitcoin miners to MM to equal the security of the MC itself.  anything less represents a security vulnerability.  SC's are also based on POW (at least the spvp model is which is what i'm talking about)

I don't think the "security" is "equal" even with 100% merge mining. Yes the hash rate is equal which makes it equally secure against the specific case of a pure outside hash rate attack. But the fact remains that at any time those MC miners can decide to stop merged mining at little to no cost to themselves, making the merge mined coin insecure. If I'm an attacker the first thing I do is give a bribe to pools to stop their merged mining, and it won't take a lot because they're not making much/anything on the merge mining to begin with. Perhaps this can even be done in an anonymous trustless manner with some sort of smart contract (seems likely if scripts allow SPV proofs)

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April 09, 2015, 12:27:32 AM
 #22642

listen to this bullshit Karen Gifford of Ripple Labs spews forth to the Calif Assembly @14:00.
Chris Larson also says he doesn't believe we need a new currency:

https://clyp.it/zdpzphmd

Ripple is the enemy.
Does David Schwartz still hangs out on this forum?

The last time I talked to him was at the 2013 San Jose conference.

I wonder if he knew back then he was going to sell out.
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April 09, 2015, 12:29:39 AM
 #22643

listen to this bullshit Karen Gifford of Ripple Labs spews forth to the Calif Assembly @14:00.
Chris Larson also says he doesn't believe we need a new currency:

https://clyp.it/zdpzphmd

Ripple is the enemy.
Does David Schwartz still hangs out on this forum?

The last time I talked to him was at the 2013 San Jose conference.

I wonder if he knew back then he was going to sell out.

he was manning the Ripple booth at the time.
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April 09, 2015, 12:45:32 AM
 #22644

Here's another way to think of bitcoin, and sidechains. Picture that bitcoins are like digital real estate and you can already add features/improvements to your plot of real estate; create coloured coins, burn bitcoins (lock irretrievably) to prove mastercoin/counterparty ownership, multisig (P2SH), smart scripting conditions, etc. People are already building things on their bitcoin plots that increase the value of their own piece, but also the whole value. A sidechain is just another "building project" that is anticipated to increase the value of their piece of sand, and most likely everyone elses.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Tc_fhTPqbdlvApnWQWsgzG1U6NwN9lgkQsTdm5O-9iA/edit#slide=id.g6eb72e55c_0395
see slide 15-19 specifically.

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April 09, 2015, 12:51:37 AM
 #22645

Here's another way to think of bitcoin, and sidechains. Picture that bitcoins are like digital real estate and you can already add features to your plot of real estate; create coloured coins, burn them (lock irretrievably) to prove mastercoin/counterparty ownership, multisig, smart scripting conditions, etc. People are already building things on their bitcoin plots that increase the value of their own piece, but also the whole value. A sidechain is just another "building project" that is anticipated to increase the value of their piece of sand, and most likely everyone elses.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Tc_fhTPqbdlvApnWQWsgzG1U6NwN9lgkQsTdm5O-9iA/edit#slide=id.g6eb72e55c_0395
see slide 15-19 specifically.


i just referenced that talk above.

i have a real problem with slide 19 that shows "reversion" or getting your BTC back from the scBTC.  as i said above, during a 51% SC attack, the last thing the attacker (miner) will do is include your proof of lock in a block to let you off the SC.  he either wants to steal the scBTC or destroy them.  most likely the latter, b/c the mere happenstance of the attack will likely destroy all exchange value of scBTC.
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April 09, 2015, 01:02:32 AM
 #22646

Here's another way to think of bitcoin, and sidechains. Picture that bitcoins are like digital real estate and you can already add features to your plot of real estate; create coloured coins, burn them (lock irretrievably) to prove mastercoin/counterparty ownership, multisig, smart scripting conditions, etc. People are already building things on their bitcoin plots that increase the value of their own piece, but also the whole value. A sidechain is just another "building project" that is anticipated to increase the value of their piece of sand, and most likely everyone elses.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Tc_fhTPqbdlvApnWQWsgzG1U6NwN9lgkQsTdm5O-9iA/edit#slide=id.g6eb72e55c_0395
see slide 15-19 specifically.


i just referenced that talk above.

i have a real problem with slide 19 that shows "reversion" or getting your BTC back from the scBTC.  as i said above, during a 51% SC attack, the last thing the attacker (miner) will do is include your proof of lock in a block to let you off the SC.  he either wants to steal the scBTC or destroy them.  most likely the latter, b/c the mere happenstance of the attack will likely destroy all exchange value of scBTC.

Without knowing the specific mechanics of the peg it is meaningless to discuss whether or not the reversion would be successful in the case of mining (or other) attacks. E.g. there might be a timelock on the whole sidechain, so that it is like a 10 year or 99 year leasehold arrangement. There are many ways this could go, dismissing SC outright is denying experimenting and innovation that could solve some of bitcoins problems in tangential ways, even if sidechains are never a success. To me, getting militant against SC seems a bit like the goldbuggery with respect to bitcoins being able to have value as a monetary unit. Keeping an open mind can pay huge dividends, dangers and risks can be mitigated when they are apparent, knowable and quantified.

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April 09, 2015, 01:08:04 AM
 #22647

Here's another way to think of bitcoin, and sidechains. Picture that bitcoins are like digital real estate and you can already add features to your plot of real estate; create coloured coins, burn them (lock irretrievably) to prove mastercoin/counterparty ownership, multisig, smart scripting conditions, etc. People are already building things on their bitcoin plots that increase the value of their own piece, but also the whole value. A sidechain is just another "building project" that is anticipated to increase the value of their piece of sand, and most likely everyone elses.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Tc_fhTPqbdlvApnWQWsgzG1U6NwN9lgkQsTdm5O-9iA/edit#slide=id.g6eb72e55c_0395
see slide 15-19 specifically.


i just referenced that talk above.

i have a real problem with slide 19 that shows "reversion" or getting your BTC back from the scBTC.  as i said above, during a 51% SC attack, the last thing the attacker (miner) will do is include your proof of lock in a block to let you off the SC.  he either wants to steal the scBTC or destroy them.  most likely the latter, b/c the mere happenstance of the attack will likely destroy all exchange value of scBTC.

Without knowing the specific mechanics of the peg it is meaningless to discuss whether or not the reversion would be successful in the case of mining (or other) attacks. E.g. there might be a timelock on the whole sidechain, so that it is like a 10 year or 99 year leasehold arrangement. There are many ways this could go, dismissing SC outright is denying experimenting and innovation that could solve some of bitcoins problems in tangential ways, even if sidechains are never a success. To me, getting militant against SC seems a bit like the goldbuggery with respect to bitcoins being able to have value as a monetary unit. Keeping an open mind can pay huge dividends, dangers and risks can be mitigated when they are apparent, knowable and quantified.

fair enough.  but the flipside is also true; holding out unrealistic promises & capabilities should not be used as an excuse to block or derail much needed MC development that may in fact be more ideal.  it never hurts to discuss these concepts.
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April 09, 2015, 01:40:00 AM
 #22648

Here's another way to think of bitcoin, and sidechains. Picture that bitcoins are like digital real estate and you can already add features to your plot of real estate; create coloured coins, burn them (lock irretrievably) to prove mastercoin/counterparty ownership, multisig, smart scripting conditions, etc. People are already building things on their bitcoin plots that increase the value of their own piece, but also the whole value. A sidechain is just another "building project" that is anticipated to increase the value of their piece of sand, and most likely everyone elses.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Tc_fhTPqbdlvApnWQWsgzG1U6NwN9lgkQsTdm5O-9iA/edit#slide=id.g6eb72e55c_0395
see slide 15-19 specifically.


i just referenced that talk above.

i have a real problem with slide 19 that shows "reversion" or getting your BTC back from the scBTC.  as i said above, during a 51% SC attack, the last thing the attacker (miner) will do is include your proof of lock in a block to let you off the SC.  he either wants to steal the scBTC or destroy them.  most likely the latter, b/c the mere happenstance of the attack will likely destroy all exchange value of scBTC.

Without knowing the specific mechanics of the peg it is meaningless to discuss whether or not the reversion would be successful in the case of mining (or other) attacks. E.g. there might be a timelock on the whole sidechain, so that it is like a 10 year or 99 year leasehold arrangement. There are many ways this could go, dismissing SC outright is denying experimenting and innovation that could solve some of bitcoins problems in tangential ways, even if sidechains are never a success. To me, getting militant against SC seems a bit like the goldbuggery with respect to bitcoins being able to have value as a monetary unit. Keeping an open mind can pay huge dividends, dangers and risks can be mitigated when they are apparent, knowable and quantified.

fair enough.  but the flipside is also true; holding out unrealistic promises & capabilities should not be used as an excuse to block or derail much needed MC development that may in fact be more ideal.  it never hurts to discuss these concepts.

absolutely, e.g; a chunk of MC dev work is currently being funded by a sidechain research company Wink, and appears to be the only company funding core infrastructure of MC with a long term view (besides Bitpay's jgarzik) and stated commitments to open, permissionless platforms for innovation, in fact, that is their view of what SC will also allow to stop the energy bleed into alts.

this makes an interesting listen in retrospect (also before Blockstream was announced or fully gestated i expect)
https://letstalkbitcoin.com/e99-sidechain-innovation/

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April 09, 2015, 01:56:51 AM
 #22649

Here's another way to think of bitcoin, and sidechains. Picture that bitcoins are like digital real estate and you can already add features to your plot of real estate; create coloured coins, burn them (lock irretrievably) to prove mastercoin/counterparty ownership, multisig, smart scripting conditions, etc. People are already building things on their bitcoin plots that increase the value of their own piece, but also the whole value. A sidechain is just another "building project" that is anticipated to increase the value of their piece of sand, and most likely everyone elses.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Tc_fhTPqbdlvApnWQWsgzG1U6NwN9lgkQsTdm5O-9iA/edit#slide=id.g6eb72e55c_0395
see slide 15-19 specifically.


i just referenced that talk above.

i have a real problem with slide 19 that shows "reversion" or getting your BTC back from the scBTC.  as i said above, during a 51% SC attack, the last thing the attacker (miner) will do is include your proof of lock in a block to let you off the SC.  he either wants to steal the scBTC or destroy them.  most likely the latter, b/c the mere happenstance of the attack will likely destroy all exchange value of scBTC.

Without knowing the specific mechanics of the peg it is meaningless to discuss whether or not the reversion would be successful in the case of mining (or other) attacks. E.g. there might be a timelock on the whole sidechain, so that it is like a 10 year or 99 year leasehold arrangement. There are many ways this could go, dismissing SC outright is denying experimenting and innovation that could solve some of bitcoins problems in tangential ways, even if sidechains are never a success. To me, getting militant against SC seems a bit like the goldbuggery with respect to bitcoins being able to have value as a monetary unit. Keeping an open mind can pay huge dividends, dangers and risks can be mitigated when they are apparent, knowable and quantified.

fair enough.  but the flipside is also true; holding out unrealistic promises & capabilities should not be used as an excuse to block or derail much needed MC development that may in fact be more ideal.  it never hurts to discuss these concepts.

absolutely, e.g; a chunk of MC dev work is currently being funded by a sidechain research company Wink, and appears to be the only company funding core infrastructure of MC with a long term view (besides Bitpay's jgarzik) and stated commitments to open, permissionless platforms for innovation, in fact, that is their view of what SC will also allow to stop the energy bleed into alts.

this makes an interesting listen in retrospect (also before Blockstream was announced or fully gestated i expect)
https://letstalkbitcoin.com/e99-sidechain-innovation/

well, once again, it's all in the eye of the beholder.

in that LTB interview, Adam talks about altcoin dilution of Bitcoin. while true at the time, i believe it has become much less so.  many are dying out in this bear mkt w/o SC's and that is good for Bitcoin. 

also, i don't see Gavin going anywhere despite whatever happens to TBF and he confirms this here:  https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/31rgtb/when_the_foundation_shuts_down_who_pays_gavin/cq4cqq5  and i'd bet this applies to Wladimir as well.  being a Bitcoin core dev is a coveted position whether you're formally paid or not.

if Blockstream weren't a for profit entity that has openly stated a desire to create all sorts of SC's, even for gvt currencies, based on a needed source code change then i might understand the concept.  but that's not how it is.  and no one can accuse me of being an altcoin proponent as an excuse for my objections.

and as far as premature discussions are concerned, it's not like we don't know about the majority of what will be be presented.  i mean, Adam was here in this very thread openly discussing all their plans for like a month and a half?  we know alot about the concepts involved.  why not debate them?
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April 09, 2015, 02:21:37 AM
 #22650

Disregarding completely any motives (real or imagined) behind people implementing SC consider the following (which i haven't seen elsewhere).

In terms of economic incentives toward SC bleeding value out of MC, which appears to be a major misgiving with SCs; it has already happened with alts less so now (but I think it will accelerate again when a bull phase returns) and also with counterparty, mastercoin and bitshares that are in essence one-way pegged assets.

So we already have it in the protocol to create 1-way pegs, you can't stop that and they have shown how they siphon value out of the main chain, e.g. mastercoin has been many multiples of its btc 'cost' at times. In all probability, making a 2-way peg facility available that makes it more efficient to go in and out of the MC makes it less likely than it currently is for value in total to exit the MC via super successful 1-way pegged assets. Therefore in that analysis, as the protocol currently exists it is more vulnerable than one allowing for 2-way pegs. You could consider it as the 2-way peg closing the economic value loophole for an attack with very successful 1-way pegged assets ... shhhhh. After a successful soft-fork allowing for 2-way pegged assets any entity proposing 1-way pegged assets will be viewed skeptically and economically disadvantaged by the market perception of losing interoperability with the MC. The market will prefer 2-way pegged assets over 1-way pegged every time, and that is a net benefit to the total value proposition of bitcoin surely.

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April 09, 2015, 02:36:23 AM
 #22651

After a successful soft-fork allowing for 2-way pegged assets any entity proposing 1-way pegged assets will be viewed skeptically and economically disadvantaged by the market perception of losing interoperability with the MC. The market will prefer 2-way pegged assets over 1-way pegged every time, and that is a net benefit to the total value proposition of bitcoin surely.

There is no loss of "interoperability" as long as exchanges (centralized or otherwise) exist. Non-pegged alts have floating value, but they aren't unconvertible currencies. Those are two different concepts.

It remains to be seen whether the friction of conversion is preferable to the friction of pegging, but isn't clear in the abstract.
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April 09, 2015, 02:53:56 AM
 #22652

After a successful soft-fork allowing for 2-way pegged assets any entity proposing 1-way pegged assets will be viewed skeptically and economically disadvantaged by the market perception of losing interoperability with the MC. The market will prefer 2-way pegged assets over 1-way pegged every time, and that is a net benefit to the total value proposition of bitcoin surely.

There is no loss of "interoperability" as long as exchanges (centralized or otherwise) exist. Non-pegged alts have floating value, but they aren't unconvertible currencies. Those are two different concepts.

It remains to be seen whether the friction of conversion is preferable to the friction of pegging, but isn't clear in the abstract.

1 way pegged alts also have exchange values facilitating interoperability.  i don't see any loss for Bitcoin to these.  in fact, i see the opposite:





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April 09, 2015, 03:10:07 AM
 #22653


Absolutely true. Value is a "nominalization" to borrow a term from NLP: http://youtu.be/1sceRsmT1yc


Good vid thanks. Feel like I could have wrote much of that myself! but Worth has lucidly expounded and expanded on it thoroughly ... and it is a much needed topic that people need to learn about, kudos.

Edit: here's another great, clear vid re: What is Bitcoin wonder if these have made it on top r/Bitcoin yet?


Thanks! To my knowledge, none of my videos have made it to /r/Bitcoin - I'm not very good at self-promotion, unfortunately.

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April 09, 2015, 03:47:55 AM
 #22654

In terms of economic incentives toward SC bleeding value out of MC, which appears to be a major misgiving with SCs; it has already happened with alts less so now (but I think it will accelerate again when a bull phase returns) and also with counterparty, mastercoin and bitshares that are in essence one-way pegged assets.

So we already have it in the protocol to create 1-way pegs, you can't stop that and they have shown how they siphon value out of the main chain, e.g. mastercoin has been many multiples of its btc 'cost' at times. In all probability, making a 2-way peg facility available that makes it more efficient to go in and out of the MC makes it less likely than it currently is for value in total to exit the MC via super successful 1-way pegged assets. Therefore in that analysis, as the protocol currently exists it is more vulnerable than one allowing for 2-way pegs. You could consider it as the 2-way peg closing the economic value loophole for an attack with very successful 1-way pegged assets ... shhhhh. After a successful soft-fork allowing for 2-way pegged assets any entity proposing 1-way pegged assets will be viewed skeptically and economically disadvantaged by the market perception of losing interoperability with the MC. The market will prefer 2-way pegged assets over 1-way pegged every time, and that is a net benefit to the total value proposition of bitcoin surely.

That is an interesting way to look at it, thanks
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April 09, 2015, 04:00:07 AM
 #22655

listen to this bullshit Karen Gifford of Ripple Labs spews forth to the Calif Assembly @14:00.
Chris Larson also says he doesn't believe we need a new currency:

https://clyp.it/zdpzphmd

Ripple is the enemy.
Does David Schwartz still hangs out on this forum?


Yup: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=profile;u=27870



The last time I talked to him was at the 2013 San Jose conference.


Me too. At the Ripple booth.



I wonder if he knew back then he was going to sell out.

Interesting question. Ripple's outward marketing language flip flops quite a bit:

2013: "We do not intend for XRP to be a valuable currency" (I forget where this was noted; probably in all the discussion around the launch)
2014: "We do intend for XRP to be a valuable currency" (language from their website, iirc, said as much)
2015: "We do not think the world needs more currencies" (Chris Larson, to CA regulators)

But whatever. Once people figure out that Ripple is just a linear advance in database tech, and that database-instance-agreement in trusted environments is possible in cleaner ways (tokenless ledgers; eg, hyperledger), it may not matter what Ripple says about XRP.

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
But Bitcointalk & /r/bitcoin are heavily censored. bitco.in/forum, forum.bitcoin.com, and /r/btc are open.
Best info on Casascius coins: http://spotcoins.com/casascius
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April 09, 2015, 04:15:02 AM
 #22656

Somewhat related to my post above, on this blockchain-without-bitcoin business:

There are several things going on here:

1) Bitcoin's blockchain data-structure with POW-voting was created to allow a completely permissionless network.

2) We think that the permissionless quality is desirable for money (and more general global record-of-authority use), in that it makes the money unconfiscatable and uncensorable.

3) We tolerate the practical inelegances of blockchain systems because of #2.

4) One *can* create a blockchain in a permissioned environment and therefore eliminate the native unit of account, since the native unit is only technically necessary to create the incentive for the permissionless aspect to be credible. But then by definition ("permissioned env"), you don't have #2, so we're talking about something *completely* different than bitcoin.

5) #4 is essentially a linear advance in database tech. Cool, but totally without any of the ramifications of bitcoin (global currency, open platform for innovation, etc). Hyperledger, Eris, and Ripple all pretty much fall into this category, and it's totally different than bitcoin. We shouldn't even consider it all that related.

Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
But Bitcointalk & /r/bitcoin are heavily censored. bitco.in/forum, forum.bitcoin.com, and /r/btc are open.
Best info on Casascius coins: http://spotcoins.com/casascius
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April 09, 2015, 04:31:40 AM
 #22657

In terms of economic incentives toward SC bleeding value out of MC, which appears to be a major misgiving with SCs; it has already happened with alts less so now (but I think it will accelerate again when a bull phase returns) and also with counterparty, mastercoin and bitshares that are in essence one-way pegged assets.

So we already have it in the protocol to create 1-way pegs, you can't stop that and they have shown how they siphon value out of the main chain, e.g. mastercoin has been many multiples of its btc 'cost' at times. In all probability, making a 2-way peg facility available that makes it more efficient to go in and out of the MC makes it less likely than it currently is for value in total to exit the MC via super successful 1-way pegged assets. Therefore in that analysis, as the protocol currently exists it is more vulnerable than one allowing for 2-way pegs. You could consider it as the 2-way peg closing the economic value loophole for an attack with very successful 1-way pegged assets ... shhhhh. After a successful soft-fork allowing for 2-way pegged assets any entity proposing 1-way pegged assets will be viewed skeptically and economically disadvantaged by the market perception of losing interoperability with the MC. The market will prefer 2-way pegged assets over 1-way pegged every time, and that is a net benefit to the total value proposition of bitcoin surely.

That is an interesting way to look at it, thanks

it sure is.

so we have supposedly all these one way 2.0's siphoning value out of the MC, so i have an even better idea:  we'll make a change to the protocol to make it even easier to facilitate a thousand more at least.  but it'll be better b/c the value can come back if it wants to!
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April 09, 2015, 04:57:00 AM
 #22658

1- I don't see anything unexpected (or directly related to crypto) in the FOMC minutes released today:
http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/fomcminutes20150318.pdf


2- Microsoft becoming a licensed money transmitter in all US states sounds rather interesting.

On the one hand, obtaining these licenses is a prohibitive barrier to entry for new competitors in the financial sector (e.g., it is presently a big challenge for Coinbase, probably plain unfeasible for smaller US exchanges like Coinsetter, while AFAIK BitPay is only licensed in Georgia). Meanwhile a MS taskforce can get it done, no problem.

On the other hand, it seems clear we are not going to end up with ApplePay, GooglePay, SamsungPay and MicrosoftPay, each working piecemeal across jurisdictions, platforms, and participating merchants. Money just does not work that way. Surely Microsoft understands this and, for once, is not going to get burned in a pointless deployment (Bing, Zune, Windows Mobile ...). Instead, they have the opportunity to skip the failure their competitors are already facing (cf. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=68655.msg11026372#msg11026372), and instead build their payments system from the get go around bitcoin (which they already accept and grok), towards achieving a solution that works across the board.

Since such a solution requires for payments to be denominated in USD (and eventually other national currencies), acquiring BitPay, which has worked out the merchant side of the mechanism, would indeed give them a huge headway in that direction. The solution is trivial:

a. Customer deposits USD with MS Finance, a licensed money transmitter everywhere, via check, credit card, bank xfer, BTC.

b. Customer pays for stuff online or IRL in USD from her MS Finance balance using streamlined, universal, Redmond-coded interface.

c. MS Finance settles with merchant in USD and moves money around in BTC, à la BitPay.  

If MS Finance can do this and make a profit while charging merchants ~1.5% of the cost of each transaction, the model is viable (it provides significant savings to merchants, an amount of which will be competitively passed on to customers, sufficient to offset incentives like frequent credit card flyer miles). The model does not serve all existing customers (those buying on credit), but can bring in new ones (those who can't engage in commerce online because they don't have credit).
 
sidhujag
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April 09, 2015, 05:05:05 AM
 #22659

Im sure airmiles will come once they see customers flocking to it..
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April 09, 2015, 06:23:23 AM
 #22660

now that the concept of the Bitcoin unit being inextricably linked to the blockchain is finally being better understood, the next logical extension of that concept is that sidechains make no sense.  for all of the reasons i, and Adrian, have been arguing for months on end late last year.
what do you think about payment channels (e.g. lightning.network) as a way to scale up in terms of txs throughput?

i half listened to the first lecture video on the concept a couple of weeks ago while in the car.  but nothing else since.  it seems interesting but i do remember that it will require a soft fork.  getting all the core devs onboard for a change like that will be tough.  

Yes you're right implementing lightning network paper requires a softfork, but the related changes  are less controversial than the one needed for e.g. sidechains, imho (I could be wrong obviously).

That said if you're interested in exploring the concept of lightning net look at the Rusty Russel's series about it, you can start from the first one of the four pieces here: http://rusty.ozlabs.org/?p=450.
 
I'm going to quote a quite telling part of the last ep (http://rusty.ozlabs.org/?p=477):

Quote from: Rusty Russell
The key revelation of the paper is that we can have a network of arbitrarily complicated transactions, such
that they aren’t on the blockchain (and thus are fast, cheap and extremely scalable), but at every point are
ready to be dropped onto the blockchain for resolution if there’s a problem.  
This is genuinely revolutionary.

...

I’ll leave you with a brief list of requirements to make Lightning Networks a reality:

- A soft-fork is required, to protect against malleability and to allow new signature modes.

- A new peer-to-peer protocol needs to be designed for the lightning network, including routing.

- Blame and rating systems are needed for lightning network nodes.  You don’t have to trust them, but it sucks if they go down as your money is probably stuck until the timeout.

- More refinements (eg. relative OP_CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY) to simplify and tighten timeout times.

- Wallets need to learn to use this, with UI handling of things like timeouts and fallbacks to the bitcoin network (sorry, your transaction failed, you’ll get your money back in N days).

- You need to be online every 40 days to check that an old HTLC hasn’t leaked, which will require some alternate solution for occasional users (shut down channel, have some third party, etc).

- A server implementation needs to be written.

That’s a lot of work!  But it’s all simply engineering from here, just as bitcoin was once the paper was released.  I look forward to seeing it happen (and I’m confident it will).

... me too :-)

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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