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Author Topic: Bitcoin - The Libertarian Introduction (a primer on Bitcoin)  (Read 6405 times)
Gabi
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April 19, 2012, 04:31:08 PM
 #81

Currently making a 51% attack is not so expensive for rich people/banks/governments/whatelse
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Make sure you back up your wallet regularly! With Bitcoin-Qt, it needs to be backed up at least as often as every 100 transactions (both sends and receipts) or new addresses.
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Foxpup
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April 19, 2012, 10:23:47 PM
 #82

there's no other way it profit from such an attack
This statement isn't factually correct. There may be many additional incentives.
For example, a bank could profit financially from destroying Bitcoin's image because people would return to the traditional financial system. At $84,349.58 for a one-day 51% attack*, I'd say it's chump change for financial institutions; add in a couple of double-spends, and you'll not only fuck Bitcoin permanently, but even profit!

* Cost amortized over a year of operation. (Caveat will be removed for conciseness.)

You can't add in a couple of double-spends, you can only pull of one double-spend before everyone on the network realises there is something very wrong, at which point everybody will stop accepting bitcoins until the attack is over. Once the attack is over, the network will resume functioning as normal. A one-day 51% attack doesn't fuck Bitcoin permanently, it only fucks Bitcoin for one day.

Will pretend to do unverifiable things (while actually eating an enchilada-style burrito) for bitcoins: 1K6d1EviQKX3SVKjPYmJGyWBb1avbmCFM4
terrytibbs
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April 20, 2012, 09:08:59 AM
 #83

there's no other way it profit from such an attack
This statement isn't factually correct. There may be many additional incentives.
For example, a bank could profit financially from destroying Bitcoin's image because people would return to the traditional financial system. At $84,349.58 for a one-day 51% attack*, I'd say it's chump change for financial institutions; add in a couple of double-spends, and you'll not only fuck Bitcoin permanently, but even profit!

* Cost amortized over a year of operation. (Caveat will be removed for conciseness.)

You can't add in a couple of double-spends, you can only pull of one double-spend before everyone on the network realises there is something very wrong, at which point everybody will stop accepting bitcoins until the attack is over. Once the attack is over, the network will resume functioning as normal. A one-day 51% attack doesn't fuck Bitcoin permanently, it only fucks Bitcoin for one day.
One double-spend can contain multiple double-spent transactions, fucking over multiple merchants... I don't see your point.

It does fuck Bitcoin permanently. People would lose trust in Bitcoin, and I doubt many would hang around.

Edit: Because the attacker is only mining on top of their own chain, mining profitability would plummet and miners would be forced to leave the game, initiating a vicious cycle where the attack becomes cheaper and cheaper.

One of my favorite posters, SgtSpike, sums this up nicely:
I, for one, would leave Bitcoins altogether if someone was trying to forceably control the Bitcoin network with > 51% of the hashing power.  And I know I'm not the only one...
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April 20, 2012, 05:12:42 PM
 #84

Just now getting around to reading it. This is one great article, albeit I did find an error.

Quote
Bitcoin is thus the only currency and money system in the world which has no counter-party risk to hold and to transfer. This is absolutely revolutionary and you should read the preceding sentence again.


Actually this particular paragraph might contain a slight overstatement: it's more accurate to write that bitcoin allows us for the first time in history to spread the counter-party risk on the entire community (of miners) instead of relying on a single counter-party (single point-of-failure).
As such, bitcoin can be said the first ever "community based" monetary system, one that cannot be easily hijacked by a small group of people.

I don't think the miners qualify as counter-party risk. In fact, if they all stopped, I could mine myself Wink

Of course, we could also say Bitcoin has counter-party risk in the internet infrastructure itself... I rely on the cables and electricity and servers. But I think that starts becoming a meaningless definition of "counter party risk".

It is the fact that no single entity or organization is vulnerable or can halt the payment or holding of Bitcoin. THAT is the breakthrough and I thus I think the statement "no counter party risk" is valid.

That’s true: you can replace elusive miners with your own mining rigs, thereby mitigating the counter-party risk.
However that amounts to acknowledging that such risk exists, even with the bitcoin network.

That is the point I was trying to make: bitcoin does not remove the counter-party risk but what bitcoin does is put you in control of the risk.

terrytibbs
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April 20, 2012, 05:34:18 PM
 #85

As such, bitcoin can be said the first ever "community based" monetary system, one that cannot be easily hijacked by a small poor group of people.
Fixed that for you.
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Democracy is the original 51% attack


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April 20, 2012, 06:16:42 PM
 #86


To be perfectly fair, I can see how Erik feels the need to make Bitcoin seem like the ultimate thing with absolutely no flaws, seeing how he has a vested interest in seeing it prosper so that he can profit from the increased exchange rate.

Ahh! Heaven forbid one have a vested interest in building something!  One ought not profit from what one builds!  It is a crime against polite society to advocate superior alternatives, for by doing so, matters may be improved and people made better off! To be sure, the only projects worthy of advocacy are those which benefit no person at all, or better yet, let us strive to only advance the creations which reduce profits, wealth, and gains entirely!
terrytibbs
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April 20, 2012, 06:31:43 PM
 #87


To be perfectly fair, I can see how Erik feels the need to make Bitcoin seem like the ultimate thing with absolutely no flaws, seeing how he has a vested interest in seeing it prosper so that he can profit from the increased exchange rate.
It is a crime against polite society to advocate superior alternatives, for by doing so, matters may be improved and people made better off!
But how can the readers know whether it is superior when you intentionally and purposefully exclude any negative details, while including completely false information (which you have yet to address and/or edit, incidentally).

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