You might be better served learning how bitcoin actually works before trying to "fix" it.
Agreed. I'll be the first to admit am not too much of a techie, I have read the majority of the material on the bitcointalk newbie (getting started)thread, the bitcoin.it wiki, and bitcoin.org whitepaper.
I do have experience in business, basic mechanical engineering, and logic. So although we may use different symbols to describe an event, if it is explained in a simple and logical flow, i can usually follow along.
Your ideas fall into either (already planned), (impossible without a hard fork), or (dubious value)
For example there are huge security implications for a node that doesn't have entire blockchain, especially a new node. If you don't want to be a full node then be a lite node and rely on a TRUSTED third party. Using only a portion of the blockchain is the worst of both worlds. You are relying on the honesty of 3rd parties but the third parties you are connecting to are unknown and unverified. Bitcoin treats all incoming data as "suspect" until proven valid. To do that requires the ability to independently validate and you can't do that with a fragment of the blockchain. If you aren't going to validate incoming data then why even have part of the blockchain. Keep 0 GB worth and be a lite node.
I understand the need for the whole blockchain. I was originally thinking more along the lines of one-time use only. Like western union or fedex. Once the receiver picks up the item and this is confirmed, the transaction history technically is no longer needed and could be discarded. Of course there may be other secondary (usually legal) reasons to hold on to the record for a longer period, but the primary function (Point A to Point B delivery) was achieved. Traditional bittorrent files, like a movie remain alive as long as there are seeders. The idea is that enough people will reseed the torrent to keep it alive. A bittorrent file size is fixed, so the user is limited partially in hard drive space, but more so in bandwidth. Then that space can be reused when the file no longer needs to be seeded.
Bitcoin wallets also double as a stored value container (holding Bitcoins)with no expiration date. Because of the non-expiring nature, you need the whole blockchain history from the first bitcoin to verify the authenticity of every coin that ever passes through the system. This type of accounting system works well when there are only a few daily transactions or a few stock items in inventory. In order to keep records of every transaction, you need physical disk space
to hold the entire history of transactions. And it must be in one continuous sequence; you cannot break up the blockchain into 1000 rar files and scatter them on different drives (can you?) Because of the nature of bitcoin, this disk space in the form of a node needs to be constantly connected to the internet in order to add any real value to itself (to remain up to date) and to other users (to facilitate validating, mining, etc). Or it would at least require daily connection for, say 4-8 hours a day and less for people depending on their level of dedication to the bitcoin network.
We cannot "reuse" the space where the blockchain already exists, except through pruning or other methods of compression. Not for 1 central node, but for all nodes. This will increase the need for cloud disk space, which is not unlimited. The low barrier of entry will not be so low, as the blockchain growth is approaching exponential levels.
There are a lot of flawed assumptions. Transaction fees can never be a % of the sale amount. The network doesn't know the intended sale/tx amount. Fees shouldn't be based on tx value. They should (and are) based on tx size. The critical resource is size thus pricing should be based on size. Fees don't go to node who confirm. It would be nearly impossible to determine which node relayed a tx first. Fees goes to miners as they are doing the significant work of created a block not just tx validation. Coins aren't send to the receiver. There are broadcast to the entire network. There is no way to know if/when the receiving user/client/wallet is aware of the transaction.
- What is the difference between the total bitcoin amount sent and the transaction size? I thought they were one in the same.
- Maybe a receiving fee or a fee for maintaining wallet for xx days with no transaction may be in order.
- What stops someone from doing a bloat attack, where they make lots of small (or large)transactions to themselves, increasing the size of the blockchain?
There is already a mechanism planned for reducing block size called pruning. Miners can reject any tx for any reason (including insufficient fees). If you want to not relay "no fee" tx patching the client to do that is trivial, however remember bitcoin is a mesh network. Transactions will simply route around you.
If a transaction is 'confirmed' x number of times, is there still a reason to keep the original record past a certain amount of future transactions count (or n many months)?
Yes. If you don't understand why then how can you propose fixes? It would be like a mechanic not understanding how a car works but proposing methods to fix problems which don't exist.
I woke up today and had all these thoughts about bitcoin and felt the need to express them. Not sure how much longer I can be a free node.
Still regardless of if you remain a node (no such thing as "free") it might be useful to learn how things work before deciding they need to change. If you aren't a full node then you need to rely on a third party. It is that simple. Most businesses likely will choose to be a full node. Having direct peer access to the network and full verifiable record of all transactions and blocks is worth more than the trivial cost to run a node. If it isn't worth that then you should consider being a light node. There is essentially no cost with the caveat that you no longer are a peer.
You claim disk space is a trivial cost, yet it is not so trivial, for the reasons I mention above. is It's trivial now because it's 'only' 3GB large. Trivial would have been correct back at the hobby stage of 3-30MB But historically speaking, it is growing exponentially.
Another person wrote using Electrum or other client that hosts the blockchain separately. I may very well have to do this in a few months. Too bad everyday people will not be able to host their own node. We will have to rely on 3rd parties. Some consolidation is natural for 'on-demand' services, but doesn't this defeat one of the original goals of bitcoin, which is to make it accessible to masses with decentralized authority? If pruning will not allow significant re-use of disk space, the blockchain that is the the very heart of the bitcoin network will have to be placed into the hands of trusted 3rd parties
to get any practical use out of it.
I want this bitcoin idea to work, which is why I placed the wallet on my server to begin with. I'm sure I've confirmed thousands of transactions already with my short usage. I guess we will have to wait and see what becomes of the blockchain. I certainly hope pruning and/or other consolidation techniques do fix the blockchain bloat problem.
Commercial Network Services (affiliate link)
My windows 2008 R2 64 bit VPS which is guaranteed 100% uptime in a major USA backbone is appx $40/mo ...
Can you give me a link to the provider that guarantees 100% uptime for only 40$ per month?
. They have servers in New York City, NY USA, San Diego, CA USA, and London, UK. They cater primarily to financial traders and related services which demand always on connections to the financial markets. Zero forced reboots or forced windows updates on hyper-v; I've personally gone 6+ months without rebooting. And whatever resources you pay for are YOURS; they don't oversell their services or over-promise resources. They used to have dedicated servers, but got rid of them when hyper-v stabilized and their VPS setup was just as dedicated and more scalable. They do have linux servers.....you may have to ask.
Barry is a great person to work with; and they make the uptime thing look easy. I don't think they accept bitcoin (yet), but they do accept liberty reserve as well as traditional visa/mc/paypal/wire.
The only thing you cannot do is dedicated bittorrent/seedbox service. A shame, because the VPS have multiple high quality 1-10Gbps connections. But pretty much anything else is fair game. I streamed video from the desktop using a hack where you link two user accounts and livestream.com streaming software. The lag was 3-10 seconds. There are other hacks to recover 3-5Gb from windows installation.
You can't use the cheap $2 webhosting for blockchain hosting (they don't usually allow downloading or torrent sites anyway); you need something more dedicated.