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Author Topic: Are we at the point where we HAVE to pay tx fee?  (Read 3496 times)
hippich
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May 05, 2011, 06:01:53 PM
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I sent some bitcents to btcJack site few hours ago and transaction still not included in block chain.. Are we at the point where most transactions will require fee to be included into chain? If so - we definitely need to work on smaller divisibility, since 0.01 current smallest fee is to big for certain transactions.

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Garrett Burgwardt
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May 05, 2011, 06:15:51 PM
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Your transaction is just very low priority due to size and newness. Give it a little bit.
hippich
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May 05, 2011, 06:17:10 PM
 #3

I know it. It's just a point. Before all your transfers almost always were included into first generated block. Now you need to wait way more. And with more trading happening, this will happen more often.

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May 05, 2011, 06:23:41 PM
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I don't understand... are transactions really increasing faster than the GPU power available?  It seems like 1THash would be enough to keep up with all the transactions you ever wanted to make... but I guess I just don't know enough about it all.

How many MH/s of computational power does a single transaction take to complete?
Garrett Burgwardt
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May 05, 2011, 06:27:29 PM
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SgtSpike- it doesn't matter how much hashing power there is, it's a matter of how many transactions fit in a block. Currently the limit is at 1MB per block or so, and that's about 1000 transactions.

Might want to brush up on how the blockchain works Sgt Wink  https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Blocks
hippich
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May 05, 2011, 06:30:44 PM
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SgtSpike- it doesn't matter how much hashing power there is, it's a matter of how many transactions fit in a block. Currently the limit is at 1MB per block or so, and that's about 1000 transactions.

Might want to brush up on how the blockchain works Sgt Wink  https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Blocks

Hm. This means that either big pools ignore "free" transactions or that my client do not have connection to network.. I see 8 connections available to daemon. So it definitely connected to network but for some reason - very slow. And I had similar reports from people trying to deposit money to my room - getting 1st confirmation takes hours sometimes.

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May 05, 2011, 06:33:16 PM
 #7

Thanks Garrett.

So increases in the difficulty level also increases the amount of time it takes to compute a block?  Why don't we compute blocks as quickly as possible, then use a lottery system to award the 50 BTC "prize" to the first hasher of a random block in a 10 minute time period?  Seems like we're just wasting computing power that could be put to better use...

Unless the goal is to artificially limit the number of transactions that can take place in 10 minutes, to force people to eventually pay transaction fees.

But if that's the goal, what happens when adoption of bitcoins is 100x what it is at now?  If there can still only be X # of transactions per block, and the difficulty adjusts itself to where only one block is computed every 10 minutes, how in the world will the system be able to handle an increase in usage?  Transaction fees would have to increase to the point of fewer people wanting to use the system, which would be the opposite of what we all want, right?
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May 05, 2011, 06:35:39 PM
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Is your transaction in the unconfirmed transactions list? There are currently 612 of them, which is much higher than I've seen before...

http://bitcoincharts.com/bitcoin/
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May 05, 2011, 06:38:42 PM
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Thanks Garrett.

So increases in the difficulty level also increases the amount of time it takes to compute a block?  Why don't we compute blocks as quickly as possible, then use a lottery system to award the 50 BTC "prize" to the first hasher of a random block in a 10 minute time period?  Seems like we're just wasting computing power that could be put to better use...

Unless the goal is to artificially limit the number of transactions that can take place in 10 minutes, to force people to eventually pay transaction fees.

But if that's the goal, what happens when adoption of bitcoins is 100x what it is at now?  If there can still only be X # of transactions per block, and the difficulty adjusts itself to where only one block is computed every 10 minutes, how in the world will the system be able to handle an increase in usage?  Transaction fees would have to increase to the point of fewer people wanting to use the system, which would be the opposite of what we all want, right?

The point is for a block to "equal" ~10 minutes of computing time at a power equal to the size of the network. If blocks were found more quickly, an attacker could generate more blocks quickly, but they would represent the same amount of computer power. Additionally, network propagation must be taken into account. I think 10 minutes was chosen in part because it's more time than is necessary for a message to propagate to the entire network. This helps prevent constant forking of the block chain.
hippich
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May 05, 2011, 06:39:59 PM
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Is your transaction in the unconfirmed transactions list? There are currently 612 of them, which is much higher than I've seen before...

http://bitcoincharts.com/bitcoin/

Yeah. I can see my transaction in this list.

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May 05, 2011, 06:47:15 PM
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Thanks Garrett.

So increases in the difficulty level also increases the amount of time it takes to compute a block?  Why don't we compute blocks as quickly as possible, then use a lottery system to award the 50 BTC "prize" to the first hasher of a random block in a 10 minute time period?  Seems like we're just wasting computing power that could be put to better use...

Unless the goal is to artificially limit the number of transactions that can take place in 10 minutes, to force people to eventually pay transaction fees.

But if that's the goal, what happens when adoption of bitcoins is 100x what it is at now?  If there can still only be X # of transactions per block, and the difficulty adjusts itself to where only one block is computed every 10 minutes, how in the world will the system be able to handle an increase in usage?  Transaction fees would have to increase to the point of fewer people wanting to use the system, which would be the opposite of what we all want, right?

The point is for a block to "equal" ~10 minutes of computing time at a power equal to the size of the network. If blocks were found more quickly, an attacker could generate more blocks quickly, but they would represent the same amount of computer power. Additionally, network propagation must be taken into account. I think 10 minutes was chosen in part because it's more time than is necessary for a message to propagate to the entire network. This helps prevent constant forking of the block chain.
I understand that, but what happens when we have, say, 2000 transaction requests every 10 minutes, but the system can only process 1000 transactions every 10 minutes because of the block limitations?  And say that that number of transaction requests is consistent for a week straight. Then you have tens of thousands of transactions backlogged, that may never be processed.

Am I wrong?
BitterTea
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May 05, 2011, 06:59:20 PM
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I understand that, but what happens when we have, say, 2000 transaction requests every 10 minutes, but the system can only process 1000 transactions every 10 minutes because of the block limitations?  And say that that number of transaction requests is consistent for a week straight. Then you have tens of thousands of transactions backlogged, that may never be processed.

Am I wrong?

A few things...

I believe the maximum block size can be increased, so more transactions can fit into a block. The max size is low(ish) right now to prevent malicious entities filling up people's hard disks with huge numbers of small transactions.

As Bitcoin becomes more popular and there are more transactions, fees will become more prominent, so you'll have a way to prioritize your transaction if its necessary.

There could be alternate block chains for more localized or specialized spending, with large processors/banks/merchants settling out via the block chain periodically. Perhaps the use of services like MyBitcoin will become more widespread. When sending transactions internally, no data is written to the block chain. They could also settle debts between each other outside of the block chain, through some other communications channel.

Basically, there are lots of options for growth of network usage.
SgtSpike
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May 05, 2011, 08:01:38 PM
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I understand that, but what happens when we have, say, 2000 transaction requests every 10 minutes, but the system can only process 1000 transactions every 10 minutes because of the block limitations?  And say that that number of transaction requests is consistent for a week straight. Then you have tens of thousands of transactions backlogged, that may never be processed.

Am I wrong?

A few things...

I believe the maximum block size can be increased, so more transactions can fit into a block. The max size is low(ish) right now to prevent malicious entities filling up people's hard disks with huge numbers of small transactions.

As Bitcoin becomes more popular and there are more transactions, fees will become more prominent, so you'll have a way to prioritize your transaction if its necessary.

There could be alternate block chains for more localized or specialized spending, with large processors/banks/merchants settling out via the block chain periodically. Perhaps the use of services like MyBitcoin will become more widespread. When sending transactions internally, no data is written to the block chain. They could also settle debts between each other outside of the block chain, through some other communications channel.

Basically, there are lots of options for growth of network usage.
Interesting.  I did not know we could adjust the block size.  Is that something we should be looking in to now, since free transactions are often taking several hours to complete?  I've noticed the same thing as the OP in my recent transactions...

Also, since the entire block chain must be downloaded to a local machine before that machine can acquire a bitcoin address and utilize a wallet, it seems that some sort of "practical maximum" of the block chain should be defined, or at least thought about.

I mean, will new users of bitcoins really want to download a 20GB file just to start using bitcoins as a currency?

So say we pick an arbitrary number - 10GB - as a practical maximum for the block chain.  Currently, there are 290,000 blocks?  So 290MB?  Can we really expect this transaction model to last as long as is projected, for as many people as is projected, without some sort of problem?  If we've already "used up" 2.9% of the total available transaction history, what happens when the project is 10 times as popular as it is now?  How can it possibly support 10 times as many users for longer than a couple of years?

What am I missing here?
Garrett Burgwardt
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May 05, 2011, 08:08:00 PM
 #14

Thanks Garrett.

So increases in the difficulty level also increases the amount of time it takes to compute a block?  Why don't we compute blocks as quickly as possible, then use a lottery system to award the 50 BTC "prize" to the first hasher of a random block in a 10 minute time period?  Seems like we're just wasting computing power that could be put to better use...

Unless the goal is to artificially limit the number of transactions that can take place in 10 minutes, to force people to eventually pay transaction fees.

But if that's the goal, what happens when adoption of bitcoins is 100x what it is at now?  If there can still only be X # of transactions per block, and the difficulty adjusts itself to where only one block is computed every 10 minutes, how in the world will the system be able to handle an increase in usage?  Transaction fees would have to increase to the point of fewer people wanting to use the system, which would be the opposite of what we all want, right?

Difficulty only increases when we're finding blocks, on average, more than every 10 minutes. The 10 minute goal was just a best guess by Satoshi for how long it would take transactions to properly propagate, and to give people with slower connections a chance to help, and at the same time avoid chain splits.

Like was mentioned above, block size can be increased, it's only this small to avoid spam, etc. Already there has been an increase in the number of transactions lately, even with the pools now using sendmany rather than just send.

The blocks are created with the transactions because of the proof of work that the block is - it's hard to compute that stuff, look at how much computing power we're throwing at hashing out a sufficiently small number, and we get one every 7 minutes or so (difficulty is gonna go way up!). So if we just made a block every 10 minutes or every 10 seconds, there'd be no proof of work there, and double spending would be possible.
hippich
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May 05, 2011, 08:08:49 PM
 #15

The questions is - one block can contain 1k transactions, why last blocks contain only dozens of transactions when there is 600+ unconfirmed transactions in the queue?

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May 05, 2011, 08:11:34 PM
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The questions is - one block can contain 1k transactions, why last blocks contain only dozens of transactions when there is 600+ unconfirmed transactions in the queue?

Indeed. Shouldn't we just accept free transactions if there's leftover space in the block?

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May 05, 2011, 08:52:55 PM
 #17

What would happen if someone spammed the network with millions of transactions?

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May 05, 2011, 09:36:26 PM
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What would happen if someone spammed the network with millions of transactions?

Reminds me of a similar question I'm mesmerizing about:

Who sets the price of transactions? The network or the miners?

If it's the miner, could an entity set up a massive supercomputer, mine most blocks and then set the transaction fees to 99%?
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May 05, 2011, 09:52:30 PM
 #19

sorry what does mean unconfirmed transactions, means that there are double payment or lost, i am new.

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May 05, 2011, 10:35:24 PM
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sorry what does mean unconfirmed transactions, means that there are double payment or lost, i am new.
no it doesn't.

confirmations pretty much mean that it's "protected", because it's in a block.

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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