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    It’s not true that no-one thought the early internet was rubbish. I did, and a lot of my peers did too. We just saw a slow and clunky technology filled with problems and didn’t have the imagination to see further. Strikes me that this is exactly like blockchain. Also, the title talks about Bitcoin, but then discusses blockchain, which is confusing. It’s like dismissing Yahoo, and then dismissing the internet because of it. Very odd.

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      Email was already faster than physical post in 1992 when I got on the internet as a student.

      Mailing lists and Usenet presented an awesome opportunity for interaction with people all over the world.

      Bitcoin purports to be a better payment system. I can go online now, find a widget on Alibaba, pay for it with my credit card and get it delivered in a week or so. In what way does BTC improve on this scenario?

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        Bitcoin purports to be a better payment system.

        Bitcoin is a technology. Many people have worked on it for various reasons, and it’s used by many people for various purposes. It doesn’t make sense to talk about its purport as if that were a single unified thing.

        At least for now it’s an alternate payment system, with its own pros and cons.

        Cryptocurrencies are still actively iterating different ideas. Many obscure ideas are never tried for lack of a network effect. Bitcoin and its brethren are young technology. I don’t think we can truly understand its potential until people have finished experimenting with it. That day hasn’t come.

        I think there is an innate human tendency to rush to judgment, to reduce the new to the seen before. When we do so, I think we miss out on the potential of what we judge. This is particularly true for young technology, where the potential is usually the most important aspect.

        Email was faster than physical post in 1992 but without popular usage lacked general utility. In hindsight it all seems so obvious however.

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          I wrote:

          Bitcoin purports to be a better payment system.

          You write:

          Bitcoin is a technology. Many people have worked on it for various reasons, and it’s used by many people for various purposes. It doesn’t make sense to talk about its purport as if that were a single unified thing.

          I’m going off the whitepaper here:

          Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System

          Abstract. A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

          I’ve been following the cryptocurrency space since I first installed a miner on my crappy laptop and got my first 0.001 BTC from a faucet, and the discussion has overwhelmingly been about Bitcoin as a payment system, or the value of the token itself, or how the increasing value of the token will enable societal change. Other applications, such as colored coins, or the beginnings of the Lightning Network, have never “hit it off” in the same way.

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            Hmm, I’m not sure how that abstract is supposed to show how bitcoin purports to be a “better” payment system, just that it was originally envisioned as a payment system.

            Anyway, since then the technology presented in that paper has been put to other uses besides payments. Notarization, decentralized storage and decentralized computation are some examples. A technology is more than the intention of an original inventor.

            Other applications, such as colored coins, or the beginnings of the Lightning Network, have never “hit it off” in the same way.

            Evaluating the bitcoin technology, if that’s what we’re discussing, requires more than looking at just the bitcoin network historically. It’s requires looking at other cryptocurrencies, which run under similar principles. It also requires that we understand how the bitcoin network itself might improve itself in the future. It doesn’t make sense to write off bitcoin technology simply for slow transaction times, when there remains a chance that the community will fix it in time, or when there are alternatives with faster transaction times.

            Besides that, there are the unthought-of uses that the technology may have in the future. And even ideas that people have had that have never been seriously tried. With all that in mind, the potential of bitcoin technology can’t really be said to be something we can grasp with much certainty. We will only understand it fully with experimentation and time.

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              Notarization, decentralized storage

              There was quite a bit of tech predating Bitcoin that used hashchains with signatures or distributed checking. I just noted some here. So, people can build on tech like that, tech like whatever counts as a blockchain, tech like Bitcoin’s, and so on. Many options without jumping on the “blockchain” bandwagon.

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                Well the advantage of a cryptocurrency blockchain vs the ones you cite is that:

                • you have a shared, “trustless”, appendable database including an ability to resolve version conflicts
                • the people who provide this database are compensated for doing so as part of the protocol

                A cryptocurrency blockchain has drawbacks, sure, but it’s not like it doesn’t bring anything to the table.

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                Unfortunately, what you said can be applied to every emerging tech out there. See VR and AR. The difference is that VR and AR has found enterprise-y niches like furniture preview in your home or gaming. Likewise, crypto-currency has one main use case which is to act as a speculative tool for investors. Now, crypto currency’s main use case is becoming threatened from regulation on a national level (see China, South Korea). Naturally, it’s practicality is being called into question. No one can predict the future and say with 100% certainty that X tech will become the next internet. But, what we’re saying is that the tech did not live up to it’s hype and it’s pointless to continue speculating until block chain has found real use cases.

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                  Unfortunately, what you said can be applied to every emerging tech out there.

                  Yes, probably.

                  The difference is that VR and AR has found enterprise-y niches like furniture preview in your home or gaming.

                  Personally I’m skeptical that furniture preview and gaming truly explore the limits of what these technologies can do for us.

                  Likewise, crypto-currency has one main use case which is to act as a speculative tool for investors.

                  I mean, right now you can send money electronically with it.

                  Now, crypto currency’s main use case is becoming threatened from regulation on a national level (see China, South Korea).

                  You seem to be saying that regulation is going to happen everywhere. How could you know that?

                  No one can predict the future and say with 100% certainty that X tech will become the next internet.

                  I’m not talking about the difference between 99% certainty and 100% certainty. My argument is that we don’t understand the technology because we haven’t finished experimenting with it, and it’s through experimentation that we learn about it.

                  But, what we’re saying is that the tech did not live up to it’s hype

                  The life of new technology isn’t in its hype - its in its potential, something which I think we haven’t uncovered. There’s tons of crazy ideas out there that have never even seen a mature implementation - programs running off prediction markets, programmable organizations, and decentralized lambda, storage, and compute.

                  it’s pointless to continue speculating until block chain has found real use cases.

                  Not sure what you mean by speculating - financially speculating? I’m not advocating for that. Perhaps you mean speculating in the sense of theorizing - in that case I think there is value in that since the “real use cases” that you are demanding only get discovered through experiment, which is driven by speculation.

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            And if we shift now the debate on blockchain as a whole and not just bitcoin?

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          Personally, I’m getting really close to filtering cryptocurrencies.

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            My side of the debate predicts you won’t miss anything. ;)

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            The author continues to post contrarian articles about Bitcoin here on Lobste.rs. That’s fine, I personally don’t think Bitcoin is everything it’s cracked up to be, but his arguments are strangely weak and lack quantifiable substance. There are real problems with Bitcoin. Is the author afraid a more pragmatic approach might help that devil of Bitcoin? I dislike American football, but I don’t see how that justifies an argument, “it’s a fad like Sea Monkeys”.

            My larger criticism is why is this being upvoted on Lobste.rs, a community with BSD advocates who created foundational cypherpunk technology like OpenSSH? If we are going to criticize Bitcoin, I would hope this community could do better. Or maybe Lobste.rs is too hipster for Bitcoin, thus the upvotes.

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              My larger criticism is why is this being upvoted on Lobste.rs, a community with BSD advocates who created foundational cypherpunk technology like OpenSSH?

              Perhaps it’s because BSD advocates don’t tend to shy away from criticism in the way most Silicon Valley techbros do. If David’s points have the potential to make for better cryptoeconomics, then that’s a good thing. Personally, I think an argument that because the Internet was a success, $crypto will be too is a ridiculously flawed argument. I think his counterpoints are fairly weak too, but the only disappointment I have is that he reverts to attacks on the technology’s failings rather than sticking to the argument.

              To be fair, the failings he raises are also valid criticisms, but I think the technology point distracts from the core counterpoint about the Internet’s success == $crypto success. But opinions are like assholes, this is just mine.

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                My point is that I have no problem with Bitcoin criticism, as it deserves a lot, but this article is just plain terrible.

                David doesn’t have points, just weak regurgitations everyone that has been involved has heard since 2011 while making straw men. Even the first quote, Erik’s point is that just like the Internet, he believes that a few people understand cryptocurrency’s potential. These few are the entrepreneurs that will build the new systems into the future. It’s not “this was big so this will be too”. His point is, “brilliant minds built this, and this too is also attracting brilliant minds”.

                Erik had done some brilliant work. He’s not the best subject for characterization into straw men.

                Base on the volume of code, education, and interest in security and cryptography, Erik’s prediction has been 100% right.

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                  this is your asshole?

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                    No, it’s my opinion, although the two may smell somewhat similar.

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                  “My larger criticism is why is this being upvoted on Lobste.rs, a community with BSD advocates who created foundational cypherpunk technology like OpenSSH?”

                  I don’t see the connection. Lobsters are more likely to be working on the kind of tech using the kind of currencies that Bitcoin says can’t get the job done or it can do it better. If anything, I’d expect more support of anti-Bitcoin articles from Lobsters given its failings. Whereas, some sites jump on any cool, hipster trend. They’d praise or defend it endlessly despite it’s problems. Maybe cite a 100 proposals or projects that should solve them which aren’t getting momentum but should happen any day now.

                  I think his write-up is good at least in that it addressed its main counter about the Internet. People seeing the Mother of all Demos would know exactly why doing things with computers over Internet might be profoundly better. Then each of the services they built on top of it solved a pressing need with some implementations spreading far and wide since users saw their value. In Bitcoin’s case, they’re creating something we don’t have an obvious need for that performs worse than our current systems on a lot of metrics users care about. So, it’s quite opposite of the Internet in both perceived and actual utility whether we’re talking initial introduction or where it is today.

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                  These are probably the weakest arguments against Bitcoin I’ve seen. But the coolest bit about Bitcoin is that it is completely voluntary, so you do your thing, and we’ll do ours.

                  Real arguments against Bitcoin are:

                  And I’m sure there are others but literally none of the ones presented here are valid.

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                    These are probably the weakest arguments against Bitcoin I’ve seen.

                    As it says, this is in response to one of the weakest arguments for Bitcoin I’ve seen. But one that keeps coming up.

                    But the coolest bit about Bitcoin is that it is completely voluntary, so you do your thing, and we’ll do ours.

                    When you’re using literally more electricity than entire countries, that’s a significant externality that is in fact everyone else’s business.

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                      I would also like to be able to upgrade my gaming PC’s GPU without spending what the entire machine cost.

                      This is getting better though.

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                        For what it’s worth, Bitcoin mining doesn’t use GPUs and hasn’t for several years. GPUs are being used to mine Ethereum, Monero, etc. but not BItcoin or Bitcoin Cash.

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                        When you’re using literally more electricity than entire countries, that’s a significant externality that is in fact everyone else’s business

                        And yet, still less electricity than… Christmas lights in the US or gold mining.

                        https://coinaccess.com/blog/bitcoin-power-consumption-put-into-perspective/

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                          When you reach for “Tu quoque” as your response to a criticism, then you’ve definitely run out of decent arguments.

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                        Bitcoin (and all blockchain based technology) is doomed to die as the price of energy goes up.

                        It also accelerates the exaustion of many energy sources, pushing energy prices up faster for every other use.

                        All blockchain based cryptocurrencies are scams, both as currencies and as long term investments.
                        They are distributed, energy wasting, ponzi scheme.

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                          wouldn’t an increase in the cost of energy just make mining difficulty go down? then the network would just use less energy?

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                            No, because if you reduce the mining difficulty, you decrease the chain safety.

                            Indeed the fact that the energy cost is higher than the average bitcoin revenue does not means that a well determined pool can’t pay for the difference by double spending.

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                              If energy cost doubles, a mix of two things will happen, as they do when the block reward halves:

                              1. Value goes up, as marginal supply decreases.
                              2. If the demand isn’t there, instead the difficulty falls as miners withdraw from the market.

                              Either way, the mining will happen at a price point where the mining cost (energy+capital) meets the block reward value. This cost is what secures the blockchain by making attacks costly.

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                                Either way, the mining will happen at a price point where the mining cost (energy+capital) meets the block reward value.

                                You forgot one word: average.

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                                  It is implied. The sentence makes no sense without it.

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                                    And don’t you see the huge security issue?

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                            Much of the brains in the cryptocurrency scene appear to be in consensus that PoW is fundamentally flawed and this has been the case for years.

                            PoS has no such energy requirements. Peercoin (2012) was one of the first, Blackcoin, Decred, and many more serve as examples. Ethereum, #2 in “market cap”, is moving to PoS.

                            So to say “ [all blockchain based technology] is doomed to die as the price of energy goes up” is silly.

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                              Much of the brains in the cryptocurrency scene appear to be in consensus that PoW is fundamentally flawed and this has been the case for years.

                              Hum… are you saying that Bitcoin miners have no brain? :-D

                              I know that PoS, in theory, is more efficient.
                              The fun fact is that all implementation I’ve seen in the past were based on PoW based crypto currencies stakes. Is that changed?

                              As for Ethereum, I will be happy to see how they implement the PoS… when they will.

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                                Blackcoin had a tiny PoW bootstrap phase, maybe weeks worth and only a handful of computers. Since then, for years, it has been purely PoS. Ethereum’s goal is to follow Blackcoin’s example, an ICO, then PoW, and finally a PoS phase.

                                The single problem PoW once reasonably solved better than PoS was egalitarian issuance. With miner consolidation this is far from being the case.

                                IMHO, fair issuance is the single biggest problem facing cryptocurrency. It is the unsolved problem at large. Solving this issue would immediately change the entire industry.

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                                  Well, proof of stake assumes that people care about the system.

                                  It see the cryptocurrency in isolation.

                                  An economist would object that a stake holder might get a lot by breaking the currency itself despite the loss in-currency.

                                  There are many ways to gain value from a failure: eg buying surrogate goods for cheap and selling them after the competitor’s failure has increased their relative value.

                                  Or by predicting the failure and then causing it, and selling consulting and books.

                                  Or a stake holder might have a political reason to demage the people with a stake in the currency.

                                  I’m afraid that the proof of stake is a naive solution to a misunderstood economical problem. But I’m not sure: I will surely give a look to Ethereum when it will be PoS based.

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                              doomed to die as the price of energy goes up.

                              Even the ones based on proof-of-share consensus mechanisms? How does that relate?

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                                Can you point to a working implementation so that I can give a look?

                                Last time I checked, the proof-of-share did not even worked as a proof-of-concept… but I’m happy to be corrected.

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                                  Blackcoin is Proof of Stake. (I’ve not heard of “Proof of Share”).

                                  Google returns 617,000 results for “pure pos coin”.

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                                    Instructions to get on the Casper Testnet (in alpha) are here: https://hackmd.io/s/Hk6UiFU7z# . No need to bold your words to emphasize your beliefs.

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                                      The emphasis was on the key requirement.

                                      I’ve seen so many cryptocurrencies died few days after ICO, that I raised the bar to take a new one seriously: if it doesn’t have a stable user base exchanging real goods with it, it’s just another waste of time.

                                      Also, note that I’m not against alternative coins. I’d really like to see a working and well designed alt coin.
                                      And I like related experiments as GNU Teller.

                                      I’m just against scams and people trying to fool other people.
                                      For example, Casper Testnet is a PoS based on a PoW (as Etherum currently is).

                                      So, let’s try again: do you have a working implementation of a proof of stake to suggest?

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                                        It’s not live or open-source, so I’d understand if you’re still skeptical, but Algorand has simulated 500,000 users.

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                                          Again I don’t seem to understand your anger. We’re on a tech site discussing tech issues. You seem to be getting emotional about something that’s orthogonal to this discussion. I don’t think that emotional exhorting is particularly conducive to discussion, especially for an informed audience.

                                          And I don’t understand what you mean by working implementation. It seems like a testnet does not suffice. If your requirements are: widely popular, commonly traded coin with PoS, then congratulations you have built a set of requirements that are right now impossible to satisfy. If this is your requirement then you’re just invoking the trick question fallacy.

                                          Nano is a fairly prominent example of Delegated Proof of Stake and follows a fundamentally very different model than Bitcoin with its UTXOs.

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                                            No anger, just a bit of irony. :-)

                                            By working implementation of a software currency I mean not just code and a few beta tester but a stable userbase that use the currency for real world trades.

                                            Actually that probably the minimal definition of “working implementation” for any currency, not just software ones.

                                            I could become a little lengthy about vaporware, marketing and scams, if I have to explain why an unused software is broken by definition.
                                            I develop an OS myself tha literally nobody use, and I would never sell it as a working implementation of anything.

                                            I will look to Nano and delegated proofs of stake (and I welcome any direct link to papers and code… really).

                                            But frankly, the sarcasm is due to a little disgust I feel for proponents of PoW/blockchain cryptocurrencies (to date, the only real ones I know working, despite broken as actual long term currency): I can understand non programmers that sell what they buy from programmers, but any competent programmer should just say “guys Bitcoin was an experiment, but it’s pretty evident that has been turned to a big ponzi scheme. Keep out of cryptocurrencies! Or you are going to loose your real money for nothing.”

                                            To me, programmers who don’t explain this are either incompetent enough to talk about something they do not understand, or are trying to profit from those other people, selling them their token (directly or indirectly).

                                            This does not means in any way that I don’t think a software currency can be built and work.

                                            But as an hacker, my ethics prevent me from using people’s ignorance against them, as does who sell them “the blockchain revolution”.

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                                          The problem is that in the blockchain space, hypotheticals are pretty much worthless.

                                          Casper I do respect, they’re putting a lot of work in! But, as I note literally in this article, they’re discovering yet more problems all the time. (The latest: the security flaws.)

                                          PoS has been implemented in a ton of tiny altcoins nobody much cares about. Ethereum is a great big coin with hundreds of millions of dollars swilling around in it - this is a different enough use case that I think it needs to be regarded as a completely different thing.

                                          The Ethereum PoS FAQ is a string of things they’ve tried that haven’t quite been good enough for this huge use case. I’ll continue to say that I’ll call it definitely achievable when it’s definitely achieved.

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                                    ASICboost was fixed by segwit. Bitcoin isn’t subject to ASICboost anymore, but Bitcoin Cash is.

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                                      Covert asicboost was fixed with segwit, overt is being used: https://mobile.twitter.com/slush_pool/status/977499667985518592

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                                    This article is pretty hollow. I mean yeah, Bitcoin failed. There’s no doubt about that. The weird balance of power between the developers/miners is poorly designed and there really is no incentive to use Bitcoin/Ethereum/Monero/etc other than for speculation and buying drugs.

                                    However these are just design flaws, the germ of the idea is out there and I’m sure someone will iron out these edge cases. Personally I think it involves consolidating the developers and miners together so that they are one (probably anonymous) entity. You need to trust the developers already, might as well put that into the design instead of also having to trust randos who can afford massive GPU farms.

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                                      So your solution to achieving a trustless design is … a design with trust in?

                                      What bit of the cryptocurrency promise is left?

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                                        I mean, it basically boils down to what kind of political system you think would work best. Bitcoin is clearly anarchist, personally I think a monarchy is the way to go.

                                        So your solution to achieving a trustless design is … a design with trust in?

                                        How can we be sure a trustless design is even possible? With what’s available now, you have to trust the developers to ensure the protocol works as advertised, and to distribute software updates. You have to trust the miners to not pull a 51% attack.

                                        What bit of the cryptocurrency promise is left?

                                        A frictionless, resilient, (hopefully) non-corruptible financial system.

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                                          personally I think a monarchy is the way to go

                                          Why do you favor a monarchy?

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                                            I think, with the right ruler, it’s the best you can get.

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                                              That’s what the people I know in Singapore tell me. They tell me all kinds of messed up stuff about their little surveillance/police state. They also tell me the main rulers are smart people that at least want to take care of the people. The younger one is also a bit tech savvy I’m told. About the closest thing to a monarchy or surveillance state I could tolerate. Close to. Call me paranoid. ;)

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                                                That’s interesting, I’ll have to visit Singapore at some point :D

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                                        You need to trust the developers already

                                        no, you can verify their code or write your own alternative client.

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                                          In practice, about 0 users actually do this, and it should be reasonably obvious that this won’t change - particularly for a system aspiring to general adoption. Civilisation runs on division of labour; the universally competent Heinleinian individual is a fictional construct.

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                                            I think at least a few hundred people review each change, perhaps thousands. Then you’re not trusting the developers, you’re trusting that if something were wrong then one of the people who reviewed it would make a fuss about it.

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                                              I presume you’re not familiar with Ethereum Classic, and why it came into being?

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                                                I’m guessing your point is that not all open source code is bug free? I don’t see how that contradicts anything I’ve said.

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                                                  Nope, the DAO hack was a bug in the contract, not Ethereum itself.

                                                  My point it’s not just about bugs in the software and verifying that the software does as advertised. The developers are BDFL and are at the sole discretion of how the cryptocoin evolves. The Ethereum devs decided that they wanted their money back and forked the blockchain to reverse this DAO hack. Lots of users protested, to the point of creating an entirely different cryptocoin with the original blockchain in-tact, but it clearly failed, look at their prices. Most people just don’t care.

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                                                    Exactly. So much for immutable, decentralized, and trustless.

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                                                      It’s not like the Ethereum project can do whatever they want. They were able to do that fork because enough people thought it was reasonable. Any changes they want to make are at the mercy of public opinion.

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                                                        Sure, what they can do is limited. But as we have seen, they have enough power to do some pretty nepotistic stuff, with little protest.

                                                        enough people thought it was reasonable

                                                        I don’t think so, most people just weren’t aware of what was going on or didn’t care. There have been other hacks since the DAO, with lots of money at stake, that didn’t see a fork.

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                                                          My contrast, your idea of consolidating miners and developers seems that they could do whatever they want. Unless I’ve misunderstood your proposal.

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                                                            Yep, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I don’t think centralization isn’t inherently bad, as long as the people in charge have good intentions.

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                                                              have you thought through how to select people who have good intentions, and how to ensure that they aren’t corrupted or replaced by people with bad intentions?

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                                                                I’ve thought about it but haven’t really figured anything out yet. The other thing you have to consider is competence, they can be well-intentioned but if they don’t know how to lead then things could go bad as well.

                                                                As far as specific people go I thought about Scott Forstall and Smealum, but I’m not 100% sure they would check both boxes. There’s always a risk, I guess.

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                                            So much ignorance in one post… It’s hard to know where to begin.

                                            Bitcoin has a market cap of $117 billion. N64N64, if that’s your idea of “failed” you have great aspirations indeed!

                                            “there really is no incentive to use Bitcoin/Ethereum/Monero/etc other than for speculation and buying drugs” - Bitcoin was originally designed by Satoshi Nakamoto as a response to the bank failures of 2008. He wanted to disintermediate online transactions, removing banks from the equation altogether. Today thousands of online merchants accept Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, and it’s growing. International remittance is the really big application for cryptocurrencies right now though with millions of dollars being transferred internationally every day. Banks aren’t a party to these transactions so to that extent Satoshi’s vision has succeeded.

                                            “buying drugs” - Bitcoin is uniquely poorly suited to confidential transactions given its public ledger. These days the NSA routines tracks all Bitcoin transactions so only the most foolish would use it for illegal purposes.

                                          3. 1

                                            What a bad article. The author seems illinformed on the subject. The very reason to why Bitcoin (core) has failed are not mentioned at all. Here is the deal: Bitcoin is currently not what Bitcoin was when it was created. Slow peer-to-peer transactions and high processing fees. The current blocksize limit of 1MiB or thereabouts is the sole reason for this. The system can’t handle enough transactions… and when that happens the fees rise fast and the while system become boggled and slow. Currently the fees are much lower than they were in December 2017. Why? Because people have moved to other better alternatives and some have completely stopped using any crypto. It as a bad experience and I don’t blame them for having that stance. I think there is a real possibility of a “death spiral of the blockchain”. Fees will increase and it will become impossible to move coins on the blockchain besides the upper 10% of bitcoin holders. For traders on exchanges bitcoin seems fast; because no transactions are taking place. When you actually decide to move your bitcoins to a wallet you own you’ll pay high fees… if not your transaction could take months to clear or never actually clear.

                                            The fork that occurred on 1st August created Bitcoin Cash. This fork is much closer to what the Bitcoin was. Bitcoin Cash is this today. Removal of the segwit code (which hasn’t solved anything), disabling of RBF (replace-by-fee) enabling 0-confirmation transactions again. A new DAA (difficulty adjustment algorithm). Finally increase the block size to 8MiB.

                                            The Bitcoin has been crippled on purpose by Blockstream deep in the pockets of bankers and insurance companies. Blockstream is the main contributor to the Bitcoin development. Look at the sponsors; https://www.blockstream.com/about/#investors

                                            Before the bankers, and their followers, got indirectly involved in Bitcoin development there never was any discussion about limiting the block size to 1MiB; in fact the opposite was discussed. See; https://twitter.com/adam3us/status/636410827969421312?lang=e https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1314.msg15143#msg151https://np.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/71h884/pieter_wuille_im_in_favor_of_increasing_the_block/

                                            Now all of this has led to a complete divide and clusterfuck of the community. It is an very ugly and toxic environment and is sad to look at. On top of that we now have thousands of alternative coins and blockchains. It’s a mess and it will take time to recover (if ever).

                                            The current version of bitcoin is crippled and completely unusable as a currency as is.

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                                              Author has literally written a book on the subject.

                                              The linked article doesn’t address all the arguments about Bitcoin (the book takes a stab at it). It addresses one very specific “meme” prevalent in the Bitcoin booster community - that the technology is akin to the early days of the internet and that it will therefore automatically become as world-changing as the internet is.

                                              This is a dumb argument for the reasons listed in the linked article and I will be happy to link to it if I ever have the misfortune to discuss Bitcoin with someone who brings it up.

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                                                Why do you see it as a misfortune to talk about Bitcoin? The topic is extremely interesting because of its history of events and the technology. That’s at least my take on it.

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                                                  I should have qualified “discussing online, and not here” ;)

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                                                That comment is literally spam for Bitcoin Cash, with added banker conspiracy theories.

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                                                  The linked article doesn’t address all the arguments about Bitcoin (the book takes a stab at it). It addresses one very specific “meme” prevalent in the Bitcoin booster community - that the technology is akin to the early days of the internet and that it will therefore automatically become as world-changing as the internet is.

                                                  Now I feel really bad about my comment. Was not intended as spam for Bitcoin Cash. I just stated what has actually happened. Banks or not someone has purposefully crippled the Bitcoin. This is hard to deny. There are many alternatives to Bitcoin Cash. Cash is just interesting because it has the original blockchain from before it split 1. August and has many active developers split on many different teams. No Ill-natured attempts like other forks (Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond to name a few).

                                                  Have a nice weekend!

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                                                    Banks or not someone has purposefully crippled the Bitcoin.

                                                    I don’t agree with this premise. I don’t believe any one entity or entities colluded in crippling Bitcoin. The effects we are observing now (Bitcoin Core under centralized development, Bitcoin Cash under centralized mining) are simply the natural effects of an open source project with purposefully weak governance.

                                                    Most open source projects don’t make money directly off their work however. The potential effect on the price of the tokens leads to an even more poisonous atmosphere and debate.

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                                                      simply the natural effects of an open source project with purposefully weak governance.

                                                      Yep. Ethereum has at least as many technical crises - but it holds together because the community more or less trusts the dev team to keep pulling rabbits out of the hat. (Ethereum Classic notwithstanding.) And I think they understand that, and know they need some spectacular new achievements in computer science before Ethereum clogs the way Bitcoin did.

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                                                        Fair enough. We are all entitled to our own opinion. I’d look more carefully into the whole history of events. I’m not sure how involved you are in this matter. I’ve been following Bitcoin development since early 2011 and my view is that something did happen to the original idea that is Bitcoin. Conspiracy or not I’m convinced that foul play has diverted or detailed the project. Look at segwit, lightning and re-enabled RBF… it hasn’t really solved anything; only introduced new overly complicated code. Lightning network is a mess currently and it actually makes it harder to do transactions. You have to be online to receive and send payments. You also have to pay for payments. All of this already works without lightning or segwit. In early stages there was not even a blocksize limit. It was later introduced by Satoshi and his view was that the blocksize should increase with usage. Now Bitcoin Cash has 8MiB blocks and it works (blocks are very small today though, but 8MiB blocks have been mined). Why go so far to re-enable RBF, introduce segwit (essentially just changing what counts as space in blocks) and then introduce a whole new transaction paradigm (lightning network; a old-school mesh-network which we know are not got at scaling). All of this instead of changing a hardcoded blocksize limit. It all makes very little sense to me. Look at Satoshi explaning the limit and how easy it would be to change it if needed; https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1347.msg15139#msg15139 and https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1347.msg15366#msg15366. There is a great talk about 1GiB blocks by Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone on why it is feasible to have very large blocks; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SJm2ep3X_M&t=805s

                                                        What is your take on segwit and lightning network?

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                                                          Frankly, I lost the plot back when Bitcoin XT was proposed…. that’s when /u/Theymos instituted the infamous “altcoin ban”. After that most of the “discussion” on Reddit has been obscured by namecalling and kvetching about who censors who.

                                                          As to whether the blocksize should be raised… it’s clear that even if the blocksize were raised across the board, the same issue would only occur a few months or years later. The number of transactions in a block is an inherently limited resource. LN and segwit are attempts to address this reality - by treating Bitcoin itself a bit like gold reserves, that are not easily moved, and adding a network on top of it that can handle the day to day transactions but still being 100% covered by the underlying BTC asset reserves.

                                                          Conceptually the idea makes sense, but in practice it’s yet another UI/UX layer on top of a system that’s already fairly user hostile. It’s not clear whether the routing will work, and it seems pretty clear that the end result will be a bunch of “supernodes” that will act a lot like traditional banks, and which will extract fees.

                                                          That said, I don’t see why there couldn’t have been a compromise raise of the blocksize while LN was being worked on (the “New York agreement”). This is where the conspiracy theories come in (segwit required removing the configuration that allowed ASICBOOST, Blockstream was in the hands of Big Fees), and, given the generally very opaque nature of the Bitcoin community it’s inevitable that they appear.

                                                          Edit: wording

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                                                    high processing fees

                                                    BTC fees are about $0.04 at the moment. Plus the lightning network is in beta.

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                                                      Yes. I stated why that is and how easy it can increase to a very high fee again.