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Question: Will you support Gavin's new block size limit hard fork of 8MB by January 1, 2016 then doubling every 2 years?
1.  yes
2.  no

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Author Topic: Gold collapsing. Bitcoin UP.  (Read 1994985 times)
cypherdoc
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May 01, 2015, 06:35:09 PM
 #23321

what is a "graduated limit" in the pole?

is that what we have, or is that like a limit determined by a quantifiable metric?

A staged unspecified increase over time.

would it be automated, not requiring a hard fork to adjust?

I guess I made it purposely vague to get a general sense of the sentiment out there.
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May 01, 2015, 07:04:01 PM
 #23322

SPV clients don't  normally carry the UTXO set around in their memory, correct?

Right the "UTXO client" we've been talking about is a different animal with a stronger security model...

2) SPV Clients

SPV clients only request information on transactions involving addresses that they care about (well actually they ask for a range of address to preserve some level of anonymity).

Using the merkle tree an SPV is able to link a single transaction up the tree to the block's header. Since they do maintain the header chain of the longest blockchain, this mechanism allows them to verify for themselves the validity of a transaction. However since they do not keep data on other addresses or transactions, they are not able to verify blocks or other new transactions on the P2P network. Think of them as leaves to the network. SPV clients take information, but do not contribute to the P2P network's security in any way, they are leaches.

1) "Archival nodes" [Full nodes operating with full history] &
3) "Pruned nodes" or "UTXO hash started nodes" [Full nodes operating without full history]


All full nodes maintain the full UTXO set. This is what enables them to verify blocks and new transactions on the network.

The UTXO hash clients mentioned before are still full clients. The only difference is how the node obtains the current UTXO set from the longest blockchain. One method is to download and process the complete history (i.e. 1 - Archival nodes; 3 - Pruned nodes) , another method is to download only the UTXO set (current as of block xxx) and verify that UTXO set within the current block with a hash embedded in the block (i.e. 3 - UTXO hash started nodes). Once done, such a node would be in the same state as another who processed the complete history and would contribute to the P2P network as a full node.

I would argue that a UTXO hash would be as secure as a coinbase transaction, which is very secure. The risk to UTXO hashes is that a miner might insert an invalid hash for a new incorrect UTXO set. Miners can do the same thing with coinbase transactions, i.e. reward themselves 1000 BTC instead of 25 BTC. But they don't because such a block is invalid and would be rejected. Same with a UTXO hash, a miner could insert an incorrect hash, but such a block is invalid and would be rejected. And if you were still worried you could always scan the complete history, there will always be some nodes who do so and who would scream if there was a falsification.

You're doing a great job articulating this but what's a bit confusing, at least for me, is from which type of node's perspective you're arguing from;  namely 1. Archival nodes, 2. SPV clients, or 3. Pruned nodes.

I think it matters because I don't think that current SPV clients have the capability to download the UTXO set to verify the UTXO hash embedded in their block headers. Do you think it would just be a small additional implementation detail that these wallet providers will insert once this protocol change gets enacted? Do smartphones have that memory capability?

Ah OK, I think I now see what you were getting at.

In the post above I was contrasting all three types, sorry if that was confusing. I edited the quoted text above to hopefully make the post more clear.

If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if thin clients such as smartphones could utilize some form of a UTXO set to verify transactions and blocks on the P2P network. That is an interesting possibility.

The reason smartphone type devices can't be full nodes today is due to both the storage and the bandwidth requirements. In terms of storage both 3) Pruned nodes and 3) UTXO hash started nodes could run on a smartphone since neither have to store the full blockchain. Bandwidth would still be an issue though. Pruned nodes would still need to download the full blockchain, over a mobile connection that would be expensive. UTXO hash started nodes however would only have to download the UTXO set, probably reasonable today, but it keeps growing. And that is just to get started, once started the node would need to transmit transactions & blocks. At over 1MB every 10 minutes, that will eat through any wireless plan's data allowances pretty fast.

Here is a chart on the current UTXO set size. We are already at 650MB and growing. High end smartphones today only have 2-3GB of memory, and some of that is needed for other apps.
http://statoshi.info/#/dashboard/file/default.json?panelId=5&fullscreen&from=now-24h&to=now

So my guess is pretty soon the size of the UTXO set will be large enough that smartphone like devices couldn't run a full node, even if you ignore the bandwidth and storage limitations. Node memory requirements will become too large.
cypherdoc
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May 01, 2015, 08:25:49 PM
 #23323

SPV clients don't  normally carry the UTXO set around in their memory, correct?

Right the "UTXO client" we've been talking about is a different animal with a stronger security model...

2) SPV Clients

SPV clients only request information on transactions involving addresses that they care about (well actually they ask for a range of address to preserve some level of anonymity).

Using the merkle tree an SPV is able to link a single transaction up the tree to the block's header. Since they do maintain the header chain of the longest blockchain, this mechanism allows them to verify for themselves the validity of a transaction. However since they do not keep data on other addresses or transactions, they are not able to verify blocks or other new transactions on the P2P network. Think of them as leaves to the network. SPV clients take information, but do not contribute to the P2P network's security in any way, they are leaches.

1) "Archival nodes" [Full nodes operating with full history] &
3) "Pruned nodes" or "UTXO hash started nodes" [Full nodes operating without full history]


All full nodes maintain the full UTXO set. This is what enables them to verify blocks and new transactions on the network.

The UTXO hash clients mentioned before are still full clients. The only difference is how the node obtains the current UTXO set from the longest blockchain. One method is to download and process the complete history (i.e. 1 - Archival nodes; 3 - Pruned nodes) , another method is to download only the UTXO set (current as of block xxx) and verify that UTXO set within the current block with a hash embedded in the block (i.e. 3 - UTXO hash started nodes). Once done, such a node would be in the same state as another who processed the complete history and would contribute to the P2P network as a full node.

I would argue that a UTXO hash would be as secure as a coinbase transaction, which is very secure. The risk to UTXO hashes is that a miner might insert an invalid hash for a new incorrect UTXO set. Miners can do the same thing with coinbase transactions, i.e. reward themselves 1000 BTC instead of 25 BTC. But they don't because such a block is invalid and would be rejected. Same with a UTXO hash, a miner could insert an incorrect hash, but such a block is invalid and would be rejected. And if you were still worried you could always scan the complete history, there will always be some nodes who do so and who would scream if there was a falsification.

You're doing a great job articulating this but what's a bit confusing, at least for me, is from which type of node's perspective you're arguing from;  namely 1. Archival nodes, 2. SPV clients, or 3. Pruned nodes.

I think it matters because I don't think that current SPV clients have the capability to download the UTXO set to verify the UTXO hash embedded in their block headers. Do you think it would just be a small additional implementation detail that these wallet providers will insert once this protocol change gets enacted? Do smartphones have that memory capability?

Ah OK, I think I now see what you were getting at.

In the post above I was contrasting all three types, sorry if that was confusing. I edited the quoted text above to hopefully make the post more clear.

If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if thin clients such as smartphones could utilize some form of a UTXO set to verify transactions and blocks on the P2P network. That is an interesting possibility.

The reason smartphone type devices can't be full nodes today is due to both the storage and the bandwidth requirements. In terms of storage both 3) Pruned nodes and 3) UTXO hash started nodes could run on a smartphone since neither have to store the full blockchain. Bandwidth would still be an issue though. Pruned nodes would still need to download the full blockchain, over a mobile connection that would be expensive. UTXO hash started nodes however would only have to download the UTXO set, probably reasonable today, but it keeps growing. And that is just to get started, once started the node would need to transmit transactions & blocks. At over 1MB every 10 minutes, that will eat through any wireless plan's data allowances pretty fast.

Here is a chart on the current UTXO set size. We are already at 650MB and growing. High end smartphones today only have 2-3GB of memory, and some of that is needed for other apps.
http://statoshi.info/#/dashboard/file/default.json?panelId=5&fullscreen&from=now-24h&to=now

So my guess is pretty soon the size of the UTXO set will be large enough that smartphone like devices couldn't run a full node, even if you ignore the bandwidth and storage limitations. Node memory requirements will become too large.

Great explanation.

So I see we really  have 4 types of node's:

1. Archival
2. Pruned
3. UTXO hash started
4. SPV

As for smartphones, I just got my Samsung S6 with 64GB. Could've have gotten the 128 GB.  Plenty of space for even an archival node. So storage isn't an issue anymore. Also, as far as download and verification of the blockchain, to save bandwidth, you could download on your home pc and transfer to the phone later. This could be done for a pruned chain as well. As for relaying tx's and blocks, most of my day is at work connected to the office router. With the blockchain loaded, you could act   as a temporary full node. Full nodes work fine with just  1GB of RAM (with some swap) and definitely with 2GB. With all the phones out there owned by Bitcoiners that might be willing to do this we could logarithmically  increase the number of full nodes and thus security of the network significantly, I'd  think.
_mr_e
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May 01, 2015, 08:36:20 PM
 #23324

SPV clients don't  normally carry the UTXO set around in their memory, correct?

Right the "UTXO client" we've been talking about is a different animal with a stronger security model...

2) SPV Clients

SPV clients only request information on transactions involving addresses that they care about (well actually they ask for a range of address to preserve some level of anonymity).

Using the merkle tree an SPV is able to link a single transaction up the tree to the block's header. Since they do maintain the header chain of the longest blockchain, this mechanism allows them to verify for themselves the validity of a transaction. However since they do not keep data on other addresses or transactions, they are not able to verify blocks or other new transactions on the P2P network. Think of them as leaves to the network. SPV clients take information, but do not contribute to the P2P network's security in any way, they are leaches.

1) "Archival nodes" [Full nodes operating with full history] &
3) "Pruned nodes" or "UTXO hash started nodes" [Full nodes operating without full history]


All full nodes maintain the full UTXO set. This is what enables them to verify blocks and new transactions on the network.

The UTXO hash clients mentioned before are still full clients. The only difference is how the node obtains the current UTXO set from the longest blockchain. One method is to download and process the complete history (i.e. 1 - Archival nodes; 3 - Pruned nodes) , another method is to download only the UTXO set (current as of block xxx) and verify that UTXO set within the current block with a hash embedded in the block (i.e. 3 - UTXO hash started nodes). Once done, such a node would be in the same state as another who processed the complete history and would contribute to the P2P network as a full node.

I would argue that a UTXO hash would be as secure as a coinbase transaction, which is very secure. The risk to UTXO hashes is that a miner might insert an invalid hash for a new incorrect UTXO set. Miners can do the same thing with coinbase transactions, i.e. reward themselves 1000 BTC instead of 25 BTC. But they don't because such a block is invalid and would be rejected. Same with a UTXO hash, a miner could insert an incorrect hash, but such a block is invalid and would be rejected. And if you were still worried you could always scan the complete history, there will always be some nodes who do so and who would scream if there was a falsification.

You're doing a great job articulating this but what's a bit confusing, at least for me, is from which type of node's perspective you're arguing from;  namely 1. Archival nodes, 2. SPV clients, or 3. Pruned nodes.

I think it matters because I don't think that current SPV clients have the capability to download the UTXO set to verify the UTXO hash embedded in their block headers. Do you think it would just be a small additional implementation detail that these wallet providers will insert once this protocol change gets enacted? Do smartphones have that memory capability?

Ah OK, I think I now see what you were getting at.

In the post above I was contrasting all three types, sorry if that was confusing. I edited the quoted text above to hopefully make the post more clear.

If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if thin clients such as smartphones could utilize some form of a UTXO set to verify transactions and blocks on the P2P network. That is an interesting possibility.

The reason smartphone type devices can't be full nodes today is due to both the storage and the bandwidth requirements. In terms of storage both 3) Pruned nodes and 3) UTXO hash started nodes could run on a smartphone since neither have to store the full blockchain. Bandwidth would still be an issue though. Pruned nodes would still need to download the full blockchain, over a mobile connection that would be expensive. UTXO hash started nodes however would only have to download the UTXO set, probably reasonable today, but it keeps growing. And that is just to get started, once started the node would need to transmit transactions & blocks. At over 1MB every 10 minutes, that will eat through any wireless plan's data allowances pretty fast.

Here is a chart on the current UTXO set size. We are already at 650MB and growing. High end smartphones today only have 2-3GB of memory, and some of that is needed for other apps.
http://statoshi.info/#/dashboard/file/default.json?panelId=5&fullscreen&from=now-24h&to=now

So my guess is pretty soon the size of the UTXO set will be large enough that smartphone like devices couldn't run a full node, even if you ignore the bandwidth and storage limitations. Node memory requirements will become too large.

Great explanation.

So I see we really  have 4 types of node's:

1. Archival
2. Pruned
3. UTXO hash started
4. SPV

As for smartphones, I just got my Samsung S6 with 64GB. Could've have gotten the 128 GB.  Plenty of space for even an archival node. So storage isn't an issue anymore. Also, as far as download and verification of the blockchain, to save bandwidth, you could download on your home pc and transfer to the phone later. This could be done for a pruned chain as well. As for relaying tx's and blocks, most of my day is at work connected to the office router. With the blockchain loaded, you could act   as a temporary full node. Full nodes work fine with just  1GB of RAM (with some swap) and definitely with 2GB. With all the phones out there owned by Bitcoiners that might be willing to do this we could logarithmically  increase the number of full nodes and thus security of the network significantly, I'd  think.

But what we are missing are incentives to run any such nodes. Altruism can only take us so far.
cypherdoc
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May 01, 2015, 08:43:34 PM
 #23325

SPV clients don't  normally carry the UTXO set around in their memory, correct?

Right the "UTXO client" we've been talking about is a different animal with a stronger security model...

2) SPV Clients

SPV clients only request information on transactions involving addresses that they care about (well actually they ask for a range of address to preserve some level of anonymity).

Using the merkle tree an SPV is able to link a single transaction up the tree to the block's header. Since they do maintain the header chain of the longest blockchain, this mechanism allows them to verify for themselves the validity of a transaction. However since they do not keep data on other addresses or transactions, they are not able to verify blocks or other new transactions on the P2P network. Think of them as leaves to the network. SPV clients take information, but do not contribute to the P2P network's security in any way, they are leaches.

1) "Archival nodes" [Full nodes operating with full history] &
3) "Pruned nodes" or "UTXO hash started nodes" [Full nodes operating without full history]


All full nodes maintain the full UTXO set. This is what enables them to verify blocks and new transactions on the network.

The UTXO hash clients mentioned before are still full clients. The only difference is how the node obtains the current UTXO set from the longest blockchain. One method is to download and process the complete history (i.e. 1 - Archival nodes; 3 - Pruned nodes) , another method is to download only the UTXO set (current as of block xxx) and verify that UTXO set within the current block with a hash embedded in the block (i.e. 3 - UTXO hash started nodes). Once done, such a node would be in the same state as another who processed the complete history and would contribute to the P2P network as a full node.

I would argue that a UTXO hash would be as secure as a coinbase transaction, which is very secure. The risk to UTXO hashes is that a miner might insert an invalid hash for a new incorrect UTXO set. Miners can do the same thing with coinbase transactions, i.e. reward themselves 1000 BTC instead of 25 BTC. But they don't because such a block is invalid and would be rejected. Same with a UTXO hash, a miner could insert an incorrect hash, but such a block is invalid and would be rejected. And if you were still worried you could always scan the complete history, there will always be some nodes who do so and who would scream if there was a falsification.

You're doing a great job articulating this but what's a bit confusing, at least for me, is from which type of node's perspective you're arguing from;  namely 1. Archival nodes, 2. SPV clients, or 3. Pruned nodes.

I think it matters because I don't think that current SPV clients have the capability to download the UTXO set to verify the UTXO hash embedded in their block headers. Do you think it would just be a small additional implementation detail that these wallet providers will insert once this protocol change gets enacted? Do smartphones have that memory capability?

Ah OK, I think I now see what you were getting at.

In the post above I was contrasting all three types, sorry if that was confusing. I edited the quoted text above to hopefully make the post more clear.

If I understand your question correctly, you're asking if thin clients such as smartphones could utilize some form of a UTXO set to verify transactions and blocks on the P2P network. That is an interesting possibility.

The reason smartphone type devices can't be full nodes today is due to both the storage and the bandwidth requirements. In terms of storage both 3) Pruned nodes and 3) UTXO hash started nodes could run on a smartphone since neither have to store the full blockchain. Bandwidth would still be an issue though. Pruned nodes would still need to download the full blockchain, over a mobile connection that would be expensive. UTXO hash started nodes however would only have to download the UTXO set, probably reasonable today, but it keeps growing. And that is just to get started, once started the node would need to transmit transactions & blocks. At over 1MB every 10 minutes, that will eat through any wireless plan's data allowances pretty fast.

Here is a chart on the current UTXO set size. We are already at 650MB and growing. High end smartphones today only have 2-3GB of memory, and some of that is needed for other apps.
http://statoshi.info/#/dashboard/file/default.json?panelId=5&fullscreen&from=now-24h&to=now

So my guess is pretty soon the size of the UTXO set will be large enough that smartphone like devices couldn't run a full node, even if you ignore the bandwidth and storage limitations. Node memory requirements will become too large.

Great explanation.

So I see we really  have 4 types of node's:

1. Archival
2. Pruned
3. UTXO hash started
4. SPV

As for smartphones, I just got my Samsung S6 with 64GB. Could've have gotten the 128 GB.  Plenty of space for even an archival node. So storage isn't an issue anymore. Also, as far as download and verification of the blockchain, to save bandwidth, you could download on your home pc and transfer to the phone later. This could be done for a pruned chain as well. As for relaying tx's and blocks, most of my day is at work connected to the office router. With the blockchain loaded, you could act   as a temporary full node. Full nodes work fine with just  1GB of RAM (with some swap) and definitely with 2GB. With all the phones out there owned by Bitcoiners that might be willing to do this we could logarithmically  increase the number of full nodes and thus security of the network significantly, I'd  think.

But what we are missing are incentives to run any such nodes. Altruism can only take us so far.

Right now I'm paying $38/yr/vps to run a bunch of full nodes. I have plenty of motivation despite not being paid.

But my point above is that if we can have WiFi connected phones running as full nodes at no cost to the user except for a little effort to set it up, that would be huge and is think allot of us wouldn't mind doing that.

MOST of the time my phone is WiFi connected at work during the day and at home at night. Even at coffee shops where I'm sitting right now.
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May 01, 2015, 10:59:25 PM
 #23326

But if it drains your already scarce battery resource I doubt many people would keep it running when there's little incentive.
rocks
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May 01, 2015, 11:18:51 PM
 #23327

Great explanation.

So I see we really  have 4 types of node's:

1. Archival
2. Pruned
3. UTXO hash started
4. SPV

As for smartphones, I just got my Samsung S6 with 64GB. Could've have gotten the 128 GB.  Plenty of space for even an archival node. So storage isn't an issue anymore. Also, as far as download and verification of the blockchain, to save bandwidth, you could download on your home pc and transfer to the phone later. This could be done for a pruned chain as well. As for relaying tx's and blocks, most of my day is at work connected to the office router. With the blockchain loaded, you could act   as a temporary full node. Full nodes work fine with just  1GB of RAM (with some swap) and definitely with 2GB. With all the phones out there owned by Bitcoiners that might be willing to do this we could logarithmically  increase the number of full nodes and thus security of the network significantly, I'd  think.

I like the 4 types categorization. Today we have 1, 2 & 4. Adding UTXO hashes would give another method to participate.

A Galaxy type smartphone has the storage space to run a full node (64GB or 128GB). It also has enough memory today, but probably not in a couple years. The UTXO set today is 650MB and an S6 has 3GB memory (as in RAM). So it would work today, but expect to stay plugged in to the wall most of the time...

Smartphone & tablet memory (RAM) is not scaling much going forward. Desktop PCs today generally ship with 4GB or 8GB, mobile clients need less and most roadmaps I've seen have 3GB for the high end for a bit and then maybe 4GB, point is RAM content is definitely not doubling every two years. More RAM means more DRAM bits that need refreshing, which means worse battery life. So in a couple years I wouldn't be surprised to see the UTXO set no longer fitting into a high end smartphone.
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May 01, 2015, 11:22:21 PM
 #23328

But if it drains your already scarce battery resource I doubt many people would keep it running when there's little incentive.

mine is plugged in most of the time as well.  i'm not saying everyone would be altruistic, but i think alot of ppl would be especially since there would be no cost except for minor wear and tear on the phone.  for me, i replace my phones once a year so it's not a big deal. 

no doubt there are always those who ask not what they can do to help the network but only what the network can do to help them.
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May 01, 2015, 11:52:24 PM
 #23329

But if it drains your already scarce battery resource I doubt many people would keep it running when there's little incentive.

mine is plugged in most of the time as well.  i'm not saying everyone would be altruistic, but i think alot of ppl would be especially since there would be no cost except for minor wear and tear on the phone.  for me, i replace my phones once a year so it's not a big deal. 

no doubt there are always those who ask not what they can do to help the network but only what the network can do to help them.
Leave an old phone plugged in in the corner instead of gathering dust in a drawer somewhere.  Small, cheap (paid for) node.
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May 01, 2015, 11:59:41 PM
 #23330

But if it drains your already scarce battery resource I doubt many people would keep it running when there's little incentive.

mine is plugged in most of the time as well.  i'm not saying everyone would be altruistic, but i think alot of ppl would be especially since there would be no cost except for minor wear and tear on the phone.  for me, i replace my phones once a year so it's not a big deal. 

no doubt there are always those who ask not what they can do to help the network but only what the network can do to help them.
Leave an old phone plugged in in the corner instead of gathering dust in a drawer somewhere.  Small, cheap (paid for) node.

leave a few old phones plugged into a wall socket at work as full nodes.  no one will ever guess.
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May 02, 2015, 12:14:39 AM
 #23331

With UTXO merkle tree the whole thing does not need to be in phone RAM.  Or even on the phone.  phone clients could validate and fwd txns iff they are connected to wifi.  The only parts of the UTXO merkle tree that needs to be processed is the logn route from each UTXO involved in a txn to the tree root.  So very doable on today's mid range smart phone esp with a good sized uSD expansion.
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May 02, 2015, 12:19:32 AM
 #23332

With UTXO merkle tree the whole thing does not need to be in phone RAM.  Or even on the phone.  phone clients could validate and fwd txns iff they are connected to wifi.  The only parts of the UTXO merkle tree that needs to be processed is the logn route from each UTXO involved in a txn to the tree root.  So very doable on today's mid range smart phone esp with a good sized uSD expansion.

You are absolutely right. The current transaction rate is something like 1-2 tx/sec. That's perfectly feasible to validate even with the UXTO stored on flash instead of RAM. Likely still going to be CPU bound on the actual validation. In fact that's probably still true even scaling it up an order of magnitude or two.
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May 02, 2015, 03:56:11 AM
 #23333

what is a "graduated limit" in the pole?

is that what we have, or is that like a limit determined by a quantifiable metric?

A staged unspecified increase over time.

would it be automated, not requiring a hard fork to adjust?

I guess I made it purposely vague to get a general sense of the sentiment out there.

I guess I'm open to both options, so long as neither is representative of the status quo.

Thank me in Bits 12MwnzxtprG2mHm3rKdgi7NmJKCypsMMQw
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May 02, 2015, 03:59:39 AM
 #23334

Bitcoin price has gone down even more than gold in the last 12 months.

Risk of holding bitcoin is high as it has no fundamental value with many competitions.
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May 02, 2015, 07:03:33 AM
 #23335

Bitcoin price has gone down even more than gold in the last 12 months.

Risk of holding bitcoin is high as it has no fundamental value with many competitions.

... gold went down yesterday too, so there.  Roll Eyes

who opened this board to pre-schoolers?

lexuz
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May 02, 2015, 10:30:09 AM
 #23336

Bitcoin price has gone down even more than gold in the last 12 months.

Risk of holding bitcoin is high as it has no fundamental value with many competitions.

So investment gold is guarantee profit or the price will be high when you sell?
For example: when you buy $1 in 1 year price will be $2. No offense
cypherdoc
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May 02, 2015, 10:54:01 AM
 #23337

scryptasicminer, hmm lemme guess. Litecoin much?
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May 02, 2015, 03:17:24 PM
 #23338

It is true that we can't simply rely on charity for full nodes. There has to be an incentive structure.
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May 02, 2015, 03:39:26 PM
 #23339

Bitcoin price has gone down even more than gold in the last 12 months.

Risk of holding bitcoin is high as it has no fundamental value with many competitions.

... gold went down yesterday too, so there.  Roll Eyes

who opened this board to pre-schoolers?

Touchy touchy.

You don't have to disavow 5000 years of gold-based civilization in order to hype Bitcoin.

In fact, it makes you look fanatical.

Trolling cypherdoc when his OP thesis looks shaky is a time-honored tradition on this thread, so lighten up.   Smiley


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Monero
"The difference between bad and well-developed digital cash will determine
whether we have a dictatorship or a real democracy." 
David Chaum 1996
"Fungibility provides privacy as a side effect."  Adam Back 2014
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May 02, 2015, 03:41:41 PM
 #23340

On incentives...

If you take seriously Daniel Krawisz's point here, it starts to become clear that none of the parameters in the Bitcoin protocol are anything more than first approximations. As the protocol runs up against real world use cases and limitations, some things will have to change. It sounds scary, thinking that even the coin limit could change..."What about hard money?" Here's the thing: Bitcoin is always at the mercy of the market, it is always controlled by the market, always shaped by the market. Sure the presets matter, they function like Schelling points and the market is wont to change them lightly. But it will if absolutely necessary.

As gold's price history shows, "hard money" is still always subject to the market. If the market decides Bitcoin needs 23 million coins instead of 21 million, it will be done. You can keep your coins on the original 21M fork as their price plummets because, ex hypothesi, the market only endorsed the change if it was absolutely necessary, meaning the old fork is pretty useless. Most like this will never happen, and for the very reasons that we wouldn't want it to happen. But it could, if and only if circumstances are so dire that it *should*. None of this should be disturbing, though, because almost everything in our lives already depends on the market. People don't push you into traffic, even though they could. The free market doesn't price for your daily necessities at tens times more than usual, at least without a damn good reason that you would ultimately agree with.

Bitcoin will be restructured as necessary to make it work, to preserve the value of the Universal Ledger of Civilization at all costs. Because that's what the market wants. Insofar as that means no change, it will undergo no change; insofar as it means change, there will be change.

Every classic document of Voice and Exit references this reality. In the Declaration of Independence it says, "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes." This is analogous to the fact that the market will not readily deviate from what was set in stone by Satoshi at the start, but that this should not be mistaken for an absolute guarantee. The market simply guarantees that changes will only be made when they are beneficial, according to the wisdom of the entire investing population weighted by those best understand it, which has the legendary accuracy of a prediction market (for example, in 2012 the Intrade prediction market correctly predicted 49 out of 50 electoral outcomes in the US states).

Hence really taking Krawisz's point seriously, considering all its ramifications, we find that Bitcoin is solely controlled by the market, and will be whatever the market deems most useful, with the initial presets as only one factor, albeit an important one. We haven't seen this come to the fore yet simply because the limits of scarcity and so forth have not yet been approached. As rubber meets road, more and more this way of thinking will become critical to adopt. It will confuse and disturb many, but really we have all been at the mercy of the market all along, and this is just the full revelation of the extent of that reality.

In the case of full nodes, for instance, any changes that may be necessary to incentivize them will be made, if and only if needed. Nothing is really set in stone: it is better than set in stone; it is maintained by the wisdom of the market, even the wisdom to guard against the vicissitudes of temporary market swings by reacting with appropriate ponderosity, except in a true emergency when the change can be lightning fast. There only need to be infrastructural changes to enable fork arbitrage on exchanges so that the market can work with minimal friction when the time comes. And probably these infrastructural changes will not be made until a small crisis has forced them. Antifragility works in this way.
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