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Author Topic: Satoshi's spare change?  (Read 8069 times)
amincd
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May 26, 2011, 12:26:31 AM
 #41



As far as early users using their bitcoins for ill, given there will always be people who are far wealthier than them, I don't think that's something we really need to worry about. Do you stay up all night thinking of all the things the oil sheiks in the Middle East can do when you buy gasoline?



Exactly. If twenty percent of the bitcoins in existence are controlled by a very few people, that's actually a very equitable distribution, a good and just start for the economy.

Globally, the top two percent of wealthy people control 50% of the world's riches. Bitcoin is a communist dream compared to the real world.

+1 ... take a look around, wise up, the evil elite are already in control.

And the percentage of bitcoins owned by the very early adopters will go down to seven percent as the total number of bitcoins reaches 20 million. Furthermore, the vast majority of the wealth in the world is in non-currency assets. It's control of TRADE that gives one a monopoly over the economy, not control of a fixed sum of currency.



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mcdett
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May 26, 2011, 12:38:54 AM
 #42



As far as early users using their bitcoins for ill, given there will always be people who are far wealthier than them, I don't think that's something we really need to worry about. Do you stay up all night thinking of all the things the oil sheiks in the Middle East can do when you buy gasoline?



Exactly. If twenty percent of the bitcoins in existence are controlled by a very few people, that's actually a very equitable distribution, a good and just start for the economy.

Globally, the top two percent of wealthy people control 50% of the world's riches. Bitcoin is a communist dream compared to the real world.

I think you're all missing the point.  There hasn't been this lopsided holding of equity since kings.  2% holding 50% of the wealth is far more desirable than 0.00000002% holding 25%.  I know you can all do the math.

This situation is a despot megalomaniacs wet dream.  Never in the history of human kind has one person controlled 25% of the economy.

I think we all WANT to believe that Satoshi is some humble quite person who only wants his bitcoins to go to helping poor kids down on their luck, but maybe, just maybe Satoshi gets corrupted (power corrupts), the point being is that there is tremendous amounts of risk piled into this one person.

I do think early adopters should be rewarded and this isn't some sort of jealousy thing.

Think of it this way.  If you want to believe that one day btc could represent the financial foundation of the world economy, then be VERY afraid of the person who controls 25% of it.
amincd
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May 26, 2011, 12:43:15 AM
 #43

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This situation is a despot megalomaniacs wet dream.  Never in the history of human kind has one person controlled 25% of the economy.

They don't control 25% of the economy. They own 25% of the currency currently in existence. The value of currency relative to all wealth is probably less than 1:50. As an example, the total value of assets in the world is estimated to be 30X global GDP, so ~2,000 trillion dollars. In comparison, the value of all the major world currencies is estimated to be $40 trillion. Wealth != just currency.
marcus_of_augustus
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May 26, 2011, 01:48:53 AM
 #44

I believe Gavin has the alert key now.

Personally, I find this more worrying. One person has access to a kill switch, huh? Was that in the wiki?

Talk about a central point of failure.

Maybe this could be arranged so that 4 or 5 people need to push the button simultaneously .... not that I doubt Gavin's integrity but evil forces know exactly where to apply pressure, and it ain't by building massive hashing machines.

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May 26, 2011, 01:52:54 AM
 #45

I believe Gavin has the alert key now.

Personally, I find this more worrying. One person has access to a kill switch, huh? Was that in the wiki?

What kill switch?

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John Tobey
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May 26, 2011, 01:55:15 AM
 #46

mcdett, I share your concern.  I don't think most posters here have thought it through, or their world view clouds their perception of the risk.

But I don't take you to mean that the bitcoin concept is flawed.  It seems reasonable that the first block chain (BTC) should acquire a sort of "beta" status, and now that the concept is (somewhat) proven, it is time to prepare the "production" currency with a high starting difficulty, perhaps 5% of the BTC difficulty.

To achieve a high initial hash rate, we could distribute and promote a policy (in the form of mining front-end software) that tries to create a genesis block for a new chain (call it "BC2") and, if it succeeds or receives such a block, keeps devoting X% (configurable, e.g., 25%) of mining power to the BC2 chain as long as the BC2 network hash rate exceeds Y% (e.g., 5%) of BTC's hash rate.  An attempt to start BC2 would occur after BTC block N (to be determined by agreement or by algorithm), and the validity of a BC2 genesis block would depend on its coinbase script containing the BTC Block N hash.

To determine N, one could simply coordinate with miners or, perhaps, establish a convention whereby a certain proportion (e.g., 5%) of a sequence of, say, 2016 consecutive blocks' coinbase output would have to go to addresses ending in the characters "BC2" to signal the start.  We have all seen "vanity" Bitcoin addresses that contain a few letters of someone's name.  This technique could be used to poll the mining community.  This sort of polling could go on indefinitely as support for the idea builds or wanes.

For ease of adoption and coexistence with BTC, BC2 could use the same network connections and protocols as BTC but a different magic number.  Nodes could query each other for BC2 support before block N.  (I don't know exactly how yet, but it seems like an easy problem.)  BC2 supporters could prefer to peer with other BC2 supporters or at least try to be connected to a few at N.

BC2's success wouldn't exactly wipe out BTC early adopters, provided that they pay attention to developments and trade some BTC for BC2 and/or BC2 mining shares early on.  But I think BC2 would be better positioned to take over world finance than BTC.

Would such a development allay your fear?  Do you see anything wrong with the plan I have outlined?

Can a change to the best-chain criteria protect against 51% to 90+% attacks without a hard fork?
theymos
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May 26, 2011, 02:01:01 AM
 #47

I believe Gavin has the alert key now.

Only Satoshi has an alert key.

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allinvain
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May 26, 2011, 02:43:03 AM
 #48

I agree with syn.  The questionable status of the early blocks weighs on the value of BTC in my mind.  If enough people feel the same way (especially in the example scenario of a Satoshi character wielding BTC for evil) then a competing chain could quickly arise and sap BTC's exchange value.  I might be willing to hash on one and/or sell some BTC to buy the new currency even now, because of the aforementioned weight of uncertainty.

By the way, 2009-12-30 was at block 32300, according to BE: http://blockexplorer.com/b/32300

BE shows (as of a few weeks ago when I checked) a lot of early coins not yet redeemed, and many others simply aggregated to 1000, 10000, 50000 BTC coins.  There was once a 400000: http://blockexplorer.com/t/6SRV1apueQ

-John


Are you joking me. You're worried about some dude with virtual play money having too much of it when there are a LOT more people in this world that have Billions upon billions of dollars - way more than Satoshi can ever hope to gain in a lifetime. 

This is like saying that you refuse to use the US dollar because there may be some unknown multi billionaire out there that you don't know about.

C'mon people grow up out of this jealousy of other people's wealth phase.




doublec
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May 26, 2011, 02:43:56 AM
 #49

Personally, I find this more worrying. One person has access to a kill switch, huh? Was that in the wiki?

See here: http://forum.bitcoin.org/?topic=898.0

I don't know what state it currently is in (whether it prints a message or shuts off the RPC interface).
error
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May 26, 2011, 02:44:29 AM
 #50

Personally, I find this more worrying. One person has access to a kill switch, huh? Was that in the wiki?

See here: http://forum.bitcoin.org/?topic=898.0

I don't know what state it currently is in (whether it prints a message or shuts off the RPC interface).

As I already said, I just looked at the source code, and all I see is "print a message".

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marcus_of_augustus
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May 26, 2011, 03:10:07 AM
 #51

Personally, I find this more worrying. One person has access to a kill switch, huh? Was that in the wiki?

See here: http://forum.bitcoin.org/?topic=898.0

I don't know what state it currently is in (whether it prints a message or shuts off the RPC interface).

As I already said, I just looked at the source code, and all I see is "print a message".

So not a "kill switch" ... what does it do exactly? (not being a programmer recently)

Edit: don't answer ..... thanks "doublec", just saw your link to the alert key actions now ....
Edit2: okay, it is a beta safety switch ... when does it get removed ... at the Jan 03 2013 party?

theymos
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May 26, 2011, 03:54:04 AM
 #52

It only prints a message. It used to shut off RPC, but this was removed. (IMO, it should have been left in as an opt-in feature.)

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wumpus
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May 26, 2011, 03:59:52 AM
 #53

(IMO, it should have been left in as an opt-in feature.)
Agreed. Of course, it should be voluntary, but it can come in handy in case things really get out of hand with the network for some reason, or an exploit is found in bitcoind.

Bitcoin Core developer [PGP] Warning: For most, coin loss is a larger risk than coin theft. A disk can die any time. Regularly back up your wallet through FileBackup Wallet to an external storage or the (encrypted!) cloud. Use a separate offline wallet for storing larger amounts.
Shortline
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May 26, 2011, 05:44:02 AM
 #54

I think you're all missing the point.  There hasn't been this lopsided holding of equity since kings.  2% holding 50% of the wealth is far more desirable than 0.00000002% holding 25%.  I know you can all do the math.

This situation is a despot megalomaniacs wet dream.  Never in the history of human kind has one person controlled 25% of the economy.


What economy? Despot megalomaniacs wet dream aside, there isn't a "situation;" there actually isn't much of anything.

If you think the current distribution of bitcoins is a problem, you have three choices - buy more, mine more, convince the rest of the world to stop using them. Start btc2, bitcoins are no longer your problem! Brilliant.

mcdett, I share your concern.  I don't think most posters here have thought it through, or their world view clouds their perception of the risk.

I'll admit, my worldview has been carefully constructed to isolate me from realistic risks. I rarely think about the possibility that our solar system exists in a false vacuum, that a dormant megavolcano could go off suddenly, that kind of thing. Sometimes I even think about the small stuff, like bitcoin. So I'm interested: what specifically are the risks that you refer to?

Quantumplation
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May 26, 2011, 05:45:15 AM
 #55

I think you're all missing the point.  There hasn't been this lopsided holding of equity since kings.  2% holding 50% of the wealth is far more desirable than 0.00000002% holding 25%.  I know you can all do the math.

This situation is a despot megalomaniacs wet dream.  Never in the history of human kind has one person controlled 25% of the economy.

I think we all WANT to believe that Satoshi is some humble quite person who only wants his bitcoins to go to helping poor kids down on their luck, but maybe, just maybe Satoshi gets corrupted (power corrupts), the point being is that there is tremendous amounts of risk piled into this one person.

I do think early adopters should be rewarded and this isn't some sort of jealousy thing.

Think of it this way.  If you want to believe that one day btc could represent the financial foundation of the world economy, then be VERY afraid of the person who controls 25% of it.

I think YOU'RE missing the point.

Tell me, what sinister things can he do with this 20% of bitcoins?  They don't grant power over your money.  They don't grant super powers.  Bitcoins, in and of themselves, are absolutely useless.  I could control 99.9999% of the economy, and they themselves would be useless.  I can't use them to alter the block-chain.  I can't use them to kill your unborn children or force you into slavery.  The worst I can do with them is spend them on some commodity, (and it's not like there are bitcoin-hitmen out there) or exchange them for another currency, which is limited by peoples willingness to do so.

Against my better judgement... 1ADjszXMSRuAUjyy3ShFRy54SyRVrNDgDc
John Tobey
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May 26, 2011, 12:47:17 PM
 #56

kjj, shackra, minute_of_angle, amincd, Shortline, allinvain, Quantumplation,

I don't feel the need to show each of you the risk that mcdett, syn, and I seem to agree about.  I accept that people have different world views, and diversity is great.  Of course, I do enjoy meeting someone who thinks like me.  If that's not you, no problem!  Maybe we have something else in common, like biking or chocolate!  Maybe not!

In brief: BTC has value, as judged by the market.  Some of its value derives from some people's belief that BTC may one day dominate world trade, largely replacing USD and the rest.  Some of us (apparently a minority--but that's okay!) value BTC less than if those early blocks had been generated at higher difficulty and/or appeared to be in circulation.  In our global, industrial culture, money can be leveraged into power (and often back into more money).  Some of us might want to implement the bitcoin concept with a chain other than BTC and see that chain compete with BTC.  I see no principled objection to this.  You are all free to ignore us if we actually do it.

Can a change to the best-chain criteria protect against 51% to 90+% attacks without a hard fork?
marcus_of_augustus
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May 26, 2011, 01:04:11 PM
 #57

kjj, shackra, minute_of_angle, amincd, Shortline, allinvain, Quantumplation,

I don't feel the need to show each of you the risk that mcdett, syn, and I seem to agree about.  I accept that people have different world views, and diversity is great.  Of course, I do enjoy meeting someone who thinks like me.  If that's not you, no problem!  Maybe we have something else in common, like biking or chocolate!  Maybe not!

In brief: BTC has value, as judged by the market.  Some of its value derives from some people's belief that BTC may one day dominate world trade, largely replacing USD and the rest.  Some of us (apparently a minority--but that's okay!) value BTC less than if those early blocks had been generated at higher difficulty and/or appeared to be in circulation.  In our global, industrial culture, money can be leveraged into power (and often back into more money).  Some of us might want to implement the bitcoin concept with a chain other than BTC and see that chain compete with BTC.  I see no principled objection to this.  You are all free to ignore us if we actually do it.


Or if you alternate BTC is gonna be really great I'll be buying with both fists .... I don't see what this big objection to the "early adopters" is all about. The forum archives are full of all the evidence you need that this wasn't some masterful conspiracy to accumulate great wealth and power .... basically nobody wanted the stuff 18 months ago and before that hardly anybody had heard about it, let alone assumed it was a road to riches ... go read the posts for yourself ... begin with the 10,000 BTC for 2 pizzas. How's that for a conspiratorial early adopter?

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May 26, 2011, 01:11:21 PM
 #58

Some of us might want to implement the bitcoin concept with a chain other than BTC and see that chain compete with BTC.  I see no principled objection to this.  You are all free to ignore us if we actually do it.

I'm pretty sure this is what we have been telling you to do. If you don't like the Bitcoin blockchain for whatever reason, feel free to start your own block chain. Just don't try to make us change ours.
ByteCoin
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May 26, 2011, 01:13:25 PM
 #59


It seems reasonable that the first block chain (BTC) should acquire a sort of "beta" status, and now that the concept is (somewhat) proven, it is time to prepare the "production" currency with a high starting difficulty, perhaps 5% of the BTC difficulty.

<snipped some well-thought-out ideas>


So jontobey253 outlines a way of "rebooting" the currency. Fortunately, people supporting this move can already achieve the same effect unilaterally using transaction "shunning" as outlined in http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=3441.msg50075#msg50075

If you think that people who were mining when the difficulty was low have unfairly acquired their bitcoins and you wish to take them out of the economy for some reason you could check that any payments you and your supporters accept (and obviously make) have never used any of the coins mined during the "too easy" period. If someone tries to pay you using these old coins or any transaction which was derived from the old coins then you return them and explain why they are not acceptable.

If sufficient people agree with you to shun certain coins then they are effectively unspendable and are removed from the economy even more effectively than if the associated private keys had been lost.

ByteCoin
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May 26, 2011, 01:35:42 PM
 #60

So if I end up with 50 BTC that satoshi generated, I will be unable to spend it? Fuck that!

I think it's hilarious that these guys are worried about early adopters, rather than the huge conglomerations of power and wealth that exist in the real world. The only way this viewpoint makes any sense to me is if you are one of the following:

  • a concern troll
  • economically ignorant
  • jealous
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