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Author Topic: A Public Plea to Bitcoin Developers and Supporters alike  (Read 9862 times)
ice_chill
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June 21, 2012, 09:04:04 PM
 #81

There is nothing wrong with only one company developing ASICs right now for 2 reasons.
1. We don't know when a second company will come up with their own ASIC.
2. ASIC is the natural evolution from FPGA, and it would take a lot of luck and great coincidence to have 2 different companies develop or release ASICs at the same time, it's logical that one company will be the first and the only one for a while, before other companies step in.

Regarding having only a few MegaMiners, these are smart and successful business men (if they have the money to invest) and they will be interested in making a profit.
This is where it gets interesting, the more trust there is in Bitcoin, the more people use it and the more the price of each Bitcoin goes up, thus if the people with 1TH rigs start messing about, then they are destroying their own wealth.

Also you'll be surprised how many people around the world are more than happy to make $500 per year from mining, I think the $150 unit will sell in enough quantities to make Bitcoin well decentralized.
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David_Benz
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June 21, 2012, 09:17:50 PM
 #82

asic is SO bad for bitcoin.  NOT good at all!!!!!!

I am the Bitcoinica Hacker.
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June 21, 2012, 09:36:57 PM
 #83


Ideally, Bitcoin mining should always be done on equipment that has a different primary use. For example, mining on GPUs.
Sure, if it's competitive. Otherwise, why bother?

If the algorithm was changed to be hostile to specific hardware, it would still only be a matter of time before someone finds a new approach
to make specific hardware successful again. So, what does that leave us?
Like the OP proposed: The algorithm would need to be altered on a periodic basis or from time to time. This would discourage anybody from making specific hardware.
This comes with its own set of challenges. A trustworthy source by the community would have to lead the way in order for each change to be successful. Changing the core components to Bitcoin is extremely difficult. I just don't see this happening.

Changing the proof of work algorithm periodically would do nothing more than promote centralization. Why? Simple: I don't know of any developer that will continually rewrite a GPU kernel or FPGA bitstream from scratch "just because". They need a damn good reason because they put a lot of time and effort into it. Therefore, the only ones with optimized hardware would be those like ArtForz who own the hardware already and are capable of writing fast kernels to run on it.

We even saw previously him (and others?) selling access to faster kernels, just because he had the expertise to write them in the first place. Don't kid yourself that an algorithm change periodically just for the fun of it would in any way promote decentralization - even though a kernel may be written to support the new proof of work and distributed to the miners, it will never be the fastest available in the first iteration.

Thanks for adding that. That was kind of the conclusion I had reached after more thought, but failed to write because I had already rambled far too long.
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June 21, 2012, 09:42:46 PM
 #84

There is nothing wrong with only one company developing ASICs right now for 2 reasons.
1. We don't know when a second company will come up with their own ASIC.
2. ASIC is the natural evolution from FPGA, and it would take a lot of luck and great coincidence to have 2 different companies develop or release ASICs at the same time, it's logical that one company will be the first and the only one for a while, before other companies step in.

Regarding having only a few MegaMiners, these are smart and successful business men (if they have the money to invest) and they will be interested in making a profit.
This is where it gets interesting, the more trust there is in Bitcoin, the more people use it and the more the price of each Bitcoin goes up, thus if the people with 1TH rigs start messing about, then they are destroying their own wealth.

Also you'll be surprised how many people around the world are more than happy to make $500 per year from mining, I think the $150 unit will sell in enough quantities to make Bitcoin well decentralized.

Ice_chill - Thank you.   I understand your point of view.  

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June 21, 2012, 09:43:47 PM
 #85

maybe they will only sell the coffee warmers at first to slowly ramp up the difficulty rather than release the 1TH units straight away.

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June 21, 2012, 09:44:58 PM
 #86

asic is SO bad for bitcoin.  NOT good at all!!!!!!
Are you trolling right?
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June 21, 2012, 09:45:16 PM
 #87

maybe they will only sell the coffee warmers at first to slowly ramp up the difficulty rather than release the 1TH units straight away.

This would be the best scenario and if they made that policy, it would make me feel much better.

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June 21, 2012, 09:51:58 PM
 #88

maybe they will only sell the coffee warmers at first to slowly ramp up the difficulty rather than release the 1TH units straight away.

This would be the best scenario and if they made that policy, it would make me feel much better.

You might be wrong thinking that would be the best scenario. If BFL will slowly but constantly ramp their sales, people will constantly be misguided about the speed at which difficulty will go up, so they will buy "too many" asics and risk to all make losses.

The best scenario is that BFL makes their production and delivery schedule public. Simply state we will sell no more than x TH over the next Y months. Then, and only then can potential customers make a somewhat informed purchase decision. I say somewhat, because of course any other asic coming to market or mining in the dark could still kill them.

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June 21, 2012, 09:53:28 PM
 #89

maybe they will only sell the coffee warmers at first to slowly ramp up the difficulty rather than release the 1TH units straight away.

This would be the best scenario and if they made that policy, it would make me feel much better.

You might be wrong thinking that would be the best scenario. If BFL will slowly but constantly ramp their sales, people will constantly be misguided about the speed at which difficulty will go up, so they will buy "too many" asics and risk to all make losses.

The best scenario is that BFL makes their production and delivery schedule public. Simply state we will sell no more than x TH over the next Y months. Then, and only then can potential customers make a somewhat informed purchase decision. I say somewhat, because of course any other asic coming to market or mining in the dark could still kill them.

I stand corrected,  THIS would be the best case scenario.

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muyuu
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June 21, 2012, 09:55:51 PM
 #90

Sorry peeps. There is no such thing as safe high-yield investments.

You won't know difficulty beforehand with certainty. Deal with it.

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June 21, 2012, 10:05:47 PM
 #91

I don't see the big deal with this as other manufacturers are sure to move in if there's so much profit to be made there. Though is it possible to patent something like 'ASIC SHA-256 hashing' in general, so nobody else is even legally allowed to compete? That could be disastrous for Bitcoin as BFL could then have >51% at any time, and nobody would be legally allowed to challenge it by producing their own ASICs. I assume this isn't a potential problem though, or somebody would have mentioned it already?
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June 21, 2012, 10:06:14 PM
 #92

Sorry peeps. There is no such thing as safe high-yield investments.

You won't know difficulty beforehand with certainty. Deal with it.

You are correct sir.   

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June 21, 2012, 10:13:17 PM
 #93

I don't see the big deal with this as other manufacturers are sure to move in if there's so much profit to be made there. Though is it possible to patent something like 'ASIC SHA-256 hashing' in general, so nobody else is even legally allowed to compete? That could be disastrous for Bitcoin as BFL could then have >51% at any time, and nobody would be legally allowed to challenge it by producing their own ASICs. I assume this isn't a potential problem though, or somebody would have mentioned it already?

The problem I see here is that the increase is so great and the mechanics of Bitcoin, there won't be too much profit motive to get into ASIC once the first products gets out, especially with the large cap-ex investment in development.  I don't think we will see a competitor for this in plain words.

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June 22, 2012, 03:04:55 AM
 #94

My theory is that the people against ASICs are botnet owners as their whole network of zombies will suddenly become a lot less profitable and they won't be able to find any zombies with ASICs idling.

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June 22, 2012, 03:36:39 AM
 #95

I don't see the big deal with this as other manufacturers are sure to move in if there's so much profit to be made there. Though is it possible to patent something like 'ASIC SHA-256 hashing' in general, so nobody else is even legally allowed to compete? That could be disastrous for Bitcoin as BFL could then have >51% at any time, and nobody would be legally allowed to challenge it by producing their own ASICs. I assume this isn't a potential problem though, or somebody would have mentioned it already?
It currently takes just under 10 years for the USPTO to approve a patent. In Bitcoin time that is an eternity. There has also been a recent trend to reject patent applications with little merit. I would imagine a hardware implementation of SHA-256 falls under such a category.
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June 22, 2012, 07:14:32 AM
 #96


Your concerns about centralisation are unjustified.
  • 3.5 GH/s for $149 is $42 per GH/s
  • 40 GH/s for $1,299 is $32 per GH/s
  • 1 TH/s for $29,899 is $29 per GH/s
Perfectly reasonable economies of scale; and all in the same order of magnitute.  There is nothing to stop 1000 small investors either buying one mega rig between them, or 1000 mini rigs of their own.  Either of which will represent "decentralisation".
++1

Not to mention several other projects including an open source one in the forum.

Someone might even be bright enough to build a CPU designed with multiple algorithms on the silicon and outdo BFL, it would hardly cost any more and folk would pay extra for the future-proofing. Like realnowhereman said it looks like a pretty ordinary business model and an open market where quick witted cpu manufactures can make the Fiat they want so much and quickly, even if the application is extra-ordinary.  Wink

It was a cunning plan to have the funny man be the money fan of the punning clan.
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June 22, 2012, 07:21:23 AM
 #97

My theory is that the people against ASICs are botnet owners as their whole network of zombies will suddenly become a lot less profitable and they won't be able to find any zombies with ASICs idling.
This sounds entirely plausible and is now on my list of reasons for ASIC!
Thank you.

It was a cunning plan to have the funny man be the money fan of the punning clan.
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June 22, 2012, 08:58:07 AM
 #98

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June 22, 2012, 09:27:54 AM
 #99

BFL is speculating, by pricing their asic product to reflect their idea of where the price of Bitcoin will be after the halving. They show they don't understand Bitcoin or other markets that are affected by supply and demand. If total oil production goes down by half, what happens to the price of oil? Bitcoin is no different. Also, projected value of Bitcoin places it in the $12 per BTC range just before halving time.

For Bitcoin to be a true global currency the value of BTC needs always to rise.
If BTC became the global currency & money supply = 100 Trillion then ⊅1.00 BTC = $4,761,904.76.
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June 22, 2012, 09:31:49 AM
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If total oil production goes down by half, what happens to the price of oil? Bitcoin is no different.
Difference here being oil is burned and bitcoins aren't. You need new oil being produced, no one "needs" new bitcoins being mined - old bitcoins will be traded over and over again.
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