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Author Topic: Can the rules of Bitcoin ever be changed?  (Read 2053 times)
Etlase2
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May 08, 2012, 05:42:00 AM
 #21

Actually, in 1978, computer scientist Leslie Lamport wrote an extremely influential paper linking the order of events in distributed systems to relativity. In my opinion, Lamport is one of the most important computer scientists, though he hasn't won a Turing Award yet.

Linking, sure, but not saying that relativity is actually the cause of distributed system mayhem. It just conveniently works to think that way. On the other hand, bitcoin cares very, very little for accurate clocks and specific ordering of events. It is just a binary "did it happen yet?" which is determined by whether or not a block has been found with the tx included.

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May 08, 2012, 11:56:35 AM
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Actually, in 1978, computer scientist Leslie Lamport wrote an extremely influential paper linking the order of events in distributed systems to relativity. In my opinion, Lamport is one of the most important computer scientists, though he hasn't won a Turing Award yet.

Linking, sure, but not saying that relativity is actually the cause of distributed system mayhem. It just conveniently works to think that way. On the other hand, bitcoin cares very, very little for accurate clocks and specific ordering of events. It is just a binary "did it happen yet?" which is determined by whether or not a block has been found with the tx included.

Yes, bitcoin solves the problem Lamport describes, by switching us to eventual consistency over blocks from trying to achieve a true distributed consensus on the total order of transactions.  But the problem is fundamental, which was my point, and specific order is absolutely very important in Bitcoin— when there is potential competition between conflicting transactions, but its why we have the block chain at all.

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