Bitcoin XT nodes being DDOSed? – BitCoin News On Air

/u/theymos: -249 points from last 1000 comments. Worst Comment (-752 points): "Right. If Coinbase promotes XT to customers on and/or switches all of its full nodes to BIP 101 software, then Coinbase is no longer using the Bitcoin currency, and it doesn't belong on /r/Bitcoin."

theymos: -249 points from last 1000 comments. Worst Comment (-752 points): submitted by BobsBurgers3Bitcoin to btc [link] [comments]

Bitcoin XT Nodes and BIP 101 Mined Blocks Show Substantial Growth

Bitcoin XT Nodes and BIP 101 Mined Blocks Show Substantial Growth submitted by joseph_young_ to btc [link] [comments]

/u/theymos: -249 points from last 1000 comments. Worst Comment (-752 points): "Right. If Coinbase promotes XT to customers on and/or switches all of its full nodes to BIP 101 software, then Coinbase is no longer using the Bitcoin currency, and it doesn't belong on /r/Bitcoin."

theymos: -249 points from last 1000 comments. Worst Comment (-752 points): submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

Bitcoin XT Nodes and BIP 101 Mined Blocks Show Substantial Growth

Bitcoin XT Nodes and BIP 101 Mined Blocks Show Substantial Growth submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

Reminder: Cobra-Bitcoin assisted and supported Theymos with agenda driven moderation that was designed to stop Bitcoin from functioning as a cash system.

Theymos implicitly said that Cobra was working with him to implement their agenda driven moderation campaign:
You must be naive if you think it'll have no effect. I've moderated forums since long before Bitcoin (some quite large), and I know how moderation affects people. Long-term, banning XT from /Bitcoin will hurt XT's chances to hijack Bitcoin. There's still a chance, but it's smaller. (This is improved by the simultaneous action on,, and
(emphasis added)
Notes for those out of the loop:
So: 16th June 2015 was when Bitcoin XT was upgraded to include the change that would increase the block size thus allowing Bitcoin to continue to function as a cash system in the future.
Here is a snapshot of the wallet page on 16th July 2015. Notice the absence of Bitcoin XT (a popular, safe and compatible version of Bitcoin).
If you have any doubt that Cobra-Bitcoin supported Theymos and agreed with him please see Cobra's comments in this December 2015 pull request (archived backup) to learn about what Cobra thought about Bitcoin XT.
I made this post because Cobra-Bitcoin is making positive remarks about Bitcoin Cash from time to time. People need to understand that this snake cannot be trusted. I also wanted to share a little of Bitcoin's history with the new comers here.
submitted by hapticpilot to btc [link] [comments]

How Bitcoin BTC Was Hijacked, and Why Bitcoin Cash Was Created.

From 2009-2015, Bitcoin BTC was run by programmers like Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, and promoted by people like Roger Ver. Most in this community tended to lean libertarian, and liked Bitcoin BTC's potential to take power away from governments & central banks.
Satoshi left the project. In the spirit of openness & freedom, Gavin & Mike naively made the mistake of letting too many bad actors (like Blockstream) gain access to the Bitcoin BTC project.
The Blockstream side had more money, and they had Theymos (who controls the #1 & #2 Bitcoin communities - rBitcoin & As a result, they were able to push enough of the community into believing that small blocks were the way to go.
As Gavin & Mike were being pushed out, they tried to create the first "big block" fork of Bitcoin, called Bitcoin XT. The Blockstream / Bitcoin Core side hired a botnet operator to DDoS Bitcoin XT to death in its infancy.
From Mike Hearn:
"..After Blockstream successfully took over Bitcoin Core and expelled anyone who opposed them, Gavin and I forked Bitcoin Core to create Bitcoin XT, the first alternative node implementation to gain any serious usage. The creation of XT led to the imposition of censorship across all Bitcoin discussion forums and news outlets, resulted in the creation of this sub, and Core supporters paid a botnet operator to force XT nodes offline with DDoS attacks.."
Gavin & Mike were pushed out.
Even Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, was censored by rBitcoin back in 2015:
"I just unsubscribed rBitcoin and subscribed /btc" - Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase (largest fiat gateway for crypto), Nov 2015
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin talks about the absurd censorship on rBitcoin:
By 2016, the Bilderberg Group & AXA funded Blockstream, and the takeover was complete.
Any talk about "big blocks" and "low fees" was banned.
In August 2017, another attempt to create a "big block" fork happened, thus creating Bitcoin Cash (BCH). And learning from the defeat of Bitcoin XT, this time around, Bitcoin Cash made sure they had the support of big miners, so the Blockstream / Bitcoin Core side couldn't use a botnet to DDoS it to death in the cradle.
So that is where we are today.
submitted by normal_rc to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

Please audit my explanation of how Bitcoin BTC was hijacked, and why Bitcoin Cash was created.

How Bitcoin BTC Was Hijacked, and Why Bitcoin Cash Was Created.
From 2009-2015, Bitcoin BTC was run by programmers like Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, and promoted by people like Roger Ver. Most in this community tended to lean libertarian, and liked Bitcoin BTC's potential to take power away from governments & central banks.
Satoshi left the project. In the spirit of openness & freedom, Gavin & Mike naively made the mistake of letting too many bad actors (like Blockstream) gain access to the Bitcoin BTC project.
The Blockstream side had more money, and they had Theymos (who controls the #1 & #2 Bitcoin communities - rBitcoin & As a result, they were able to push enough of the community into believing that small blocks were the way to go.
As Gavin & Mike were being pushed out, they tried to create the first "big block" fork of Bitcoin, called Bitcoin XT. The Blockstream / Bitcoin Core side hired a botnet operator to DDoS Bitcoin XT to death in its infancy.
From Mike Hearn:
"..After Blockstream successfully took over Bitcoin Core and expelled anyone who opposed them, Gavin and I forked Bitcoin Core to create Bitcoin XT, the first alternative node implementation to gain any serious usage. The creation of XT led to the imposition of censorship across all Bitcoin discussion forums and news outlets, resulted in the creation of this sub, and Core supporters paid a botnet operator to force XT nodes offline with DDoS attacks.."
Gavin & Mike were pushed out.
Even Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, was censored by rBitcoin back in 2015:
"I just unsubscribed rBitcoin and subscribed /btc" - Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase (largest fiat gateway for crypto), Nov 2015
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin talks about the absurd censorship on rBitcoin:
By 2016, the Bilderberg Group & AXA funded Blockstream, and the takeover was complete.
Any talk about "big blocks" and "low fees" was banned.
In August 2017, another attempt to create a "big block" fork happened, thus creating Bitcoin Cash (BCH). And learning from the defeat of Bitcoin XT, this time around, Bitcoin Cash made sure they had the support of big miners, so the Blockstream / Bitcoin Core side couldn't use a botnet to DDoS it to death in the cradle.
So that is where we are today.
submitted by normal_rc to btc [link] [comments]

The Dirty, Nasty History of Bitcoin

From 2009-2015, Bitcoin BTC was run by programmers like Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, and promoted by people like Roger Ver. Most in this community tended to lean libertarian, and liked Bitcoin BTC's potential to take power away from governments & central banks.
Satoshi left the project. In the spirit of openness & freedom, Gavin & Mike naively made the mistake of letting too many bad actors (like Blockstream) gain access to the Bitcoin BTC project.
The Blockstream side had more money, and they had Theymos (who controls the #1 & #2 Bitcoin communities - rBitcoin & As a result, they were able to push enough of the community into believing that small blocks were the way to go.
As Gavin & Mike were being pushed out, they tried to create the first "big block" fork of Bitcoin, called Bitcoin XT. The Blockstream / Bitcoin Core side hired a botnet operator to DDoS Bitcoin XT to death in its infancy.
From Mike Hearn:
"..After Blockstream successfully took over Bitcoin Core and expelled anyone who opposed them, Gavin and I forked Bitcoin Core to create Bitcoin XT, the first alternative node implementation to gain any serious usage. The creation of XT led to the imposition of censorship across all Bitcoin discussion forums and news outlets, resulted in the creation of this sub, and Core supporters paid a botnet operator to force XT nodes offline with DDoS attacks.."
Gavin & Mike were pushed out.
Even Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, was censored by rBitcoin back in 2015:
"I just unsubscribed rBitcoin and subscribed /btc" - Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase (largest fiat gateway for crypto), Nov 2015
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin talks about the absurd censorship on rBitcoin:
By 2016, the Bilderberg Group & AXA funded Blockstream, and the takeover was complete.
Any talk about "big blocks" and "low fees" was banned.
In August 2017, another attempt to create a "big block" fork happened, thus creating Bitcoin Cash (BCH). And learning from the defeat of Bitcoin XT, this time around, Bitcoin Cash made sure they had the support of big miners, so the Blockstream / Bitcoin Core side couldn't use a botnet to DDoS it to death in the cradle.
So that is where we are today.
submitted by normal_rc to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Bitcoin XT nodes being DDOSed?

We run and a couple of days ago received a DDOS attack against one of our customers (as we sometimes do). Upon investigation, the customer explained he had been using the server as a bitcoin node for the backend for a bitcoin ATM for over a year with no issue. He just recently switched to XT to show support for BIP 101, and was summarily attacked!
Has anybody else seen this running XT?
submitted by zhoujianfu to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

My draft for a new /r/btc FAQ explaining the split from /r/Bitcoin to new users

If /btc is going to actually compete with /Bitcoin, it needs to be just as friendly and informative to new users, especially given its position as the “non default” or “breakaway” sub. The current /btc sticky saying "Welcome to the Wiki" doesn't even have any content in it and I feel this is a bit of a wasted opportunity to create an informative resource that new users will see by default and everyone else can link to instead of retyping things over and over about the history and difference between the subs.
Here's what I've written as a starting point. I've done my best to keep it as concise and relevant as possible but in all honesty it is a complicated issue and a short but effective explanation is basically impossible. I hope the community can expand/improve on it further.
Quick bit about me
I got into Bitcoin in October 2013, when /Bitcoin had around 40k subscribers if I remember correctly, so by now I've actually personally experienced a large portion of Bitcoin's history - including the events preceding and since the creation of this sub. I have been an active and popular poster on /Bitcoin for almost all of that time, until the split and my subsequent banning. With the recent censorship fiasco, I'm finding I have to reiterate the same points over and over again to explain to newer users what happened with the /Bitcoin vs /btc split, questions about hard forks, what is likely to happen in the future and so on. So I put a couple of hours into writing this post to save myself the trouble in future.

/btc FAQ - Historical split from /Bitcoin megathread - v0.1

There is a TL:DR; at the bottom, but it is exactly that. If you skip straight to the TL:DR; then don’t expect sympathy when you post questions that have already been covered in the lengthy and detailed main post.

New to Bitcoin?

I am totally new to Bitcoin. What is it? How does it work? Can/should I mine any? Where can I buy some? How do I get more information?
All of these questions are actually really well covered in the /Bitcoin FAQ. Check it out in a new tab here. Once you've got a bit of a handle on the technology as a whole, come back here for the rest of the story.

History: /btc vs /Bitcoin

What's the difference between /btc and /Bitcoin? What happened to create two such strongly opposed communities? Why can't I discuss /btc in /Bitcoin?
Historically, the /Bitcoin subreddit was the largest and most active forum for discussing Bitcoin. As Bitcoin grew close to a cap in the number of transactions it could process, known as the 1MB block size limit, the community had differing opinions on the best way to proceed. Note that this upcoming issue was anticipated well ahead of time, with Satoshi's chosen successor to lead the project Gavin Andresen posting about it in mid 2015. Originally, there was quite a broad spread of opinions - some people favoured raising the blocksize to various extents, some people favoured implementing a variety of second layer solutions to Bitcoin, probably most people thought both could be a good idea in one form or another.
This topic was unbelievably popular at the time, taking up almost every spot on the front page of /Bitcoin for weeks on end.
Unfortunately, the head moderator of /Bitcoin - theymos - felt strongly enough about the issue to use his influence to manipulate the debate. His support was for the proposal of existing software (called Bitcoin Core) NOT to raise the blocksize limit past 1MB and instead rely totally on second layer solutions - especially one called Segregated Witness (or SegWit). With some incredibly convoluted logic, he decided that any different implementations of Bitcoin that could potentially raise the limit were effectively equivalent to separate cryptocurrencies like Litecoin or Ethereum and thus the block size limit or implement other scaling solutions were off-topic and ban-worthy. At the time the most popular alternative was called Bitcoin XT and was supported by experienced developers Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, who have since both left Bitcoin Core development in frustration at their marginalisation. Theymos claimed that for Bitcoin XT or any other software implementation to be relevant to /Bitcoin required "consensus", which was never well defined, despite it being seemingly impossible for everyone to agree on the merits of a new project if no one was allowed to discuss it in the first place. Anyone who didn't toe the line of his vaguely defined moderation policy was temporarily or permanently banned. There was also manipulation of the community using the following tactics - which can still be seen today:
This created enormous uproar among users, as even many of those in favour of Bitcoin Core thought it was authoritarian to actively suppress this crucial debate. theymos would receive hundreds of downvotes whenever he posted: for example here where he gets -749 for threatening to ban prominent Bitcoin business Coinbase from the subreddit.
In an extraordinary turn of events, Theymos posted a thread which received only 26% upvotes in a sample size of thousands announcing that he did not care if even 90% of users disagreed with his policy, he would not change his opinion or his moderation policy to facilitate the discussion the community wanted to have. His suggested alternative was instead for those users, however many there were, to leave.
Here are Theymos' exact words, as he describes how he intends to continue moderating Bitcoin according to his own personal rules rather than the demands of the vast majority of users, who according to him clearly don't have any "real arguments" or "any brains".
Do not violate our rules just because you disagree with them. This will get you banned from /Bitcoin , and evading this ban will get you (and maybe your IP) banned from Reddit entirely.
If 90% of /Bitcoin users find these policies to be intolerable, then I want these 90% of /Bitcoin users to leave. Both /Bitcoin and these people will be happier for it. I do not want these people to make threads breaking the rules, demanding change, asking for upvotes, making personal attacks against moderators, etc. Without some real argument, you're not going to convince anyone with any brains -- you're just wasting your time and ours. The temporary rules against blocksize and moderation discussion are in part designed to encourage people who should leave /Bitcoin to actually do so so that /Bitcoin can get back to the business of discussing Bitcoin news in peace.
/btc was therefore born in an environment not of voluntary departure but of forced exile.
This forced migration caused two very unfortunate occurrences:
  1. It polarised the debate around Bitcoin scaling. Previously, there was a lot of civil discussion about compromise and people with suggestions from all along the spectrum were working to find the best solution. That was no longer possible when a moderation policy would actively suppress anyone with opinions too different from Theymos. Instead it forced everyone into a "with us or against us" situation, which is why the /btc subreddit has been pushed so far in favour of the idea of a network hard fork (discussed below).
  2. It has distracted Bitcoin from its mission of becoming a useful, global, neutral currency into a war of information. New users often find /Bitcoin and assume it to be the authoritative source of information, only to later discover that a lot of important information or debate has been invisibly removed from their view.
Since then, like any entrenched conflict, things have degenerated somewhat on both sides to name calling and strawman arguments. However, /btc remains committed to permitting free and open debate on all topics and allowing user downvotes to manage any "trolling" (as /Bitcoin used to) instead of automatic shadow-banning or heavy-handed moderator comment deletion (as /Bitcoin does now). Many users in /Bitcoin deny that censorship exists at all (it is difficult to see when anyone pointing out the censorship has their comment automatically hidden by the automoderator) or justify it as necessary removal of "trolls", which at this point now includes thousands upon thousands of current and often long-standing Bitcoin users and community members.
Ongoing censorship is still rampant, partially documented in this post by John Blocke
For another detailed account of this historical sequence of events, see singularity87 s posts here and here.
/btc has a public moderator log as demonstration of its commitment to transparency and the limited use of moderation. /Bitcoin does not.
Why is so much of the discussion in /btc about the censorship in /Bitcoin? Isn't a better solution to create a better community rather than constantly complaining?
There are two answers to this question.
  1. Over time, as /btc grows, conversation will gradually start to incorporate more information about the Bitcoin ecosystem, technology, price etc. Users are encouraged to aid this process by submitting links to relevant articles and up/downvoting on the /new and /rising tab as appropriate. However, /btc was founded effectively as a refuge for confused and angry users banned from /Bitcoin and it still needs to serve that function so at least some discussion of the censorship will probably always persist (unless there is a sudden change of moderation policy in /Bitcoin).
  2. The single largest issue in Bitcoin right now is the current cap on the number of transactions the network can process, known as the blocksize limit. Due to the censorship in /Bitcoin, open debate of the merits of different methods of addressing this problem is impossible. As a result, the censorship of /Bitcoin (historically the most active and important Bitcoin community forum) has become by proxy the single most important topic in Bitcoin, since only by returning to open discussion would there be any hope of reaching agreement on the solution to the block size limit itself. As a topic of such central importance, there is naturally going to be a lot of threads about this until a solution is found. This is simply how Bitcoin works, that at any one time there is one key issue under discussion for lengthy periods of time (previous examples of community "hot topics" include the demise of the original Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, the rise to a 51% majority hash rate of mining pool and the supposed "unveiling" of Bitcoin's anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto).

Bitcoin Network Hard Forks

What is a hard fork? What happens if Bitcoin hard forks?
A network hard fork is when a new block of transactions is published under a new set of rules that only some of the network will accept. In this case, Bitcoin diverges from a single blockchain history of transactions to two separate blockchains of the current state of the network. With any luck, the economic incentive for all users to converge quickly brings everyone together on one side of the fork, but this is not guaranteed especially since there is not a lot of historical precedent for such an event.
A hard fork is necessary to raise the block size limit above its 1MB cap.
Why is /btc generally in favour of a hard fork and /Bitcoin generally against?
According to a lot of users on /Bitcoin - a hard fork can be characterised as an “attack” on the network. The confusion and bad press surrounding a hard fork would likely damage Bitcoin’s price and/or reputation (especially in the short term). They point to the ongoing turmoil with Ethereum as an example of the dangers of a hard fork. Most of /Bitcoin sees the stance of /btc as actively reckless, that pushing for a hard fork creates the following problems:
According to a lot of users on /btc - a hard fork is necessary despite these risks. Most of /btc sees the stance of /Bitcoin as passively reckless, that continuing to limit Bitcoin’s blocksize while remaining inactive creates the following problems:
Bitcoiners are encouraged to examine all of the information and reach their own conclusion. However, it is important to remember that Bitcoin is an open-source project founded on the ideal of free market competition (between any/all software projects, currencies, monetary policies, miners, ideas etc.). In one sense, /btc vs /Bitcoin is just another extension of this, although Bitcoiners are also encouraged to keep abreast of the top posts and links on both subreddits. Only those afraid of the truth need to cut off opposing information.
What do Bitcoin developers, businesses, users, miners, nodes etc. think?
There are developers on both sides of the debate, although it is a common argument in /Bitcoin to claim that the majority supports Bitcoin Core. This is true in the sense that Bitcoin Core is the current default and has 421 listed code contributors but misleading because not only are many of those contributors authors of a single tiny change and nothing else but also many major figures like Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn and Jeff Garzik have left the project while still being counted as historical contributors.
Businesses including exchanges etc.
A definite vote of confidence is not available from the vast majority of Bitcoin businesses, and wouldn't be binding in any case. The smart decision for most businesses is to support both chains in the event of a fork until the network resolves the issue (which may only be a day or two).
Exact user sentiment is impossible to determine, especially given the censorship on /Bitcoin.
Miners and Nodes hosts some excellent graphical representations of the current opinion on the network.
Node Support Information
Miner Support Information
What do I do if the network hard forks?* Do we end up with two Bitcoins?
Firstly, in the event of a hard fork there is no need to panic. All Bitcoins are copied to both chains in the case of a split, so any Bitcoins you have are safe. HOWEVER, in the event of a fork there will be some period of confusion where it is important to be very careful about how/why you spend your Bitcoins. Hopefully (and most likely) this would not last long - everyone in Bitcoin is motivated to converge into agreement for everyone's benefit as soon as possible - but it's impossible to say for sure.
There isn't a lot of historical data about cryptocurrency hard forks, but one example is alternative cryptocurrency Ethereum that forked into two coins after the events of the DAO and currently exists as two separate chains, ETH (Ethereum) and ETC (Ethereum Classic).
The Ethereum fork is not a good analogy for Bitcoin because its network difficulty target adjusts every single block, so a massive drop in hash rate does not significantly impede its functioning. Bitcoin’s difficult target adjusts only every 2100 blocks - which under usual circumstances takes two weeks but in the event of a hard fork could be a month or more for the smaller chain. It is almost inconceivable that a minority of miners would willingly spend millions of dollars over a month or more purely on principle to maintain a chain that was less secure and processed transactions far slower than the majority chain - even assuming the Bitcoins on this handicapped chain didn't suffer a market crash to close to worthless.
Secondly, a hard fork is less likely to be a traumatic event than it is often portrayed in /Bitcoin:

What Happens Now

How do I check on the current status of opinion? hosts some excellent graphical representations of the current opinion on the network.
Node Support Information
Miner Support Information
Users are also welcome to engage in anecdotal speculation about community opinion based on their impression of the commentary and activity in /btc and /Bitcoin.
Haven't past attempts to raise the blocksize failed?
There is no time limit or statute of limitations on the number of attempts the community can make to increase the block size and scale Bitcoin. Almost any innovation in the history of mankind required several attempts to get working and this is no different.
The initial attempt called Bitcoin XT never got enough support for a fork because key developer Mike Hearn left out of frustration at trying to talk around all the censorship and community blockading.
The second major attempt called Bitcoin Classic gained massive community momentum until it was suddenly halted by the drastic implementation of censorship by Theymos described above.
The most popular attempt at the moment is called Bitcoin Unlimited.
/btc is neutral and welcoming to any and all projects that want to find a solution to scaling Bitcoin - either on-or off-chain. However, many users are suspicious of Bitcoin Core's approach that involves only SegWit, developed by a private corporation called Blockstream and that has already broken its previous promises in a document known as the Hong Kong Agreement to give the network a block size limit raise client along with Segregated Witness (only the latter was delivered) .
What if the stalemate is irreconcilable and nothing ever happens?
Increasing transaction fees and confirmation times are constantly increasing the pressure to find a scaling solution - leading some to believe that further adoption of Bitcoin Unlimited or a successor scaling client will eventually occur. Bitcoin Core's proposed addition of SegWit is struggling to gain significant support and as it is already the default client (and not censored in /Bitcoin) it is unlikely to suddenly grow any further.
If the stalemate is truly irreconcilable, eventually users frustrated by the cost, time and difficulty of Bitcoin will begin migrating to alternative cryptocurrencies. This is obviously not a desirable outcome for long standing Bitcoin supporters and holders, but cannot be ignored as the inevitable free market resort if Bitcoin remains deadlocked for long enough.


I don’t know anything about Bitcoin. Help me?
What’s the /btc vs /Bitcoin story?
  • Bitcoin is at its transaction capacity and needs to scale to onboard more users
  • The community was discussing different ways to do this until the biased head moderator of /Bitcoin Theymos got involved
  • Theymos, started an authoritarian censorship rampage which culminated in telling 90% of /Bitcoin users to leave. /btc is where they went. Here is the thread where it all started. Note the 26% upvoted on the original post, the hundreds of upvotes of community outcry in the comments and the graveyard of [removed] posts further down the chain. Highly recommended reading in its entirety.
  • To this day, /Bitcoin bans all discussion of alternative scaling proposals and /btc
  • Bitcoin is about freedom, and can’t function effectively with either an artificially restricted transaction cap or a main community forum that is so heavily manipulated. This subreddit is the search for solutions to both problems as well as general Bitcoin discussion.
What’s the deal with hard forks?
  • No TL:DR; possible, read the whole post.
What happens now?
  • Node Support Information
  • Miner Support Information
  • Debate continues in /btc, and generally doesn't continue in /Bitcoin - although posts referencing /btc or Bitcoin Unlimited regularly sneak past the moderators because it is such a crucial topic
  • Eventually one side or the other breaks, enough miners/nodes/users get on one side and Bitcoin starts scaling. This may or may not involve a hard fork.
  • If not, fees and average confirmation times continue to rise until users migrate en masse to an altcoin. This is not an imminent danger, as can be seen by the BTC marketcap dominance at its historical levels of 80+% but could change at any time
submitted by Shibinator to btc [link] [comments]

Our BlockStream Saviours and XT Infidels!

Dear Bitcoin community, we (your BlockStream Saviours) working hard to improve Bitcoin by getting rid of XT Infidels!
Here is what we have done so far!
  1. Successful DDOS against XT Nodes, you can see nice drop here:
  2. Successful DDOS against Slush Pool ( Slush, this is what you get for ignoring our memo. For rest of you miner's, pay attention to what happened to Slush. We will let you know which blocks to mine. Keep voting for BIP100. It will soon be ready.
  3. Created “authentic” letter from Satoshi Very proud of this :) Got Gregory Maxwell to bless it! Thanks Gregory, we can always count on you (nice note on headers, pure gold).
  4. Kicked Mike Hearn out of #bitcoin-dev, he was talking too much anyway.. Good Job Wladimir J. Van, you should come join us at BlockStream!
  5. Censored Gavin out bitcoin-dev mailing list :) That was awesome! Unfortunately Evil BitcoinXT Infidels noticed.
  6. Started character assassination against Gavin and Mike Hearn (so far so good).
  7. Started successful censorship campaign at /bitcoin and with our Top Lieutenant Theymos. Theymos, you make us all proud.
  8. Had Theymos teach lesson to BIP101 supporters Theymos, you have our permission to merge pull request 1028. Coinbase, see section #2 (Slush learned their lesson). To make it more clear - We will erase you from Internet!
  9. Almost removed Gavin from Foundation (he refuses to cooperate)...
  10. Halted block-size increase nonsense-madman-talk by starting Scaling Bitcoin Workshop x2. Kudos to our great leader Adam Back for this brilliant idea!
  11. Our Plan is simple!
  12. Our Plan is working!
  13. Please return to /bitcoin and where it is safe and peaceful. We will make you feel comfortable!
  14. Please avoid and /btc at all costs.
Together We Will Succeed!
Your friends at BlockStream. XOXO
submitted by blockstream_fan to btc [link] [comments]

Amanda from The Daily Decrypt here. I'm looking to do a video special on what's going on with BIP 101, BitcoinXT/Bitcoin Unlimited, and potential hard forks. Answers to my questions here would help tremendously. Thanks for your time.

1 - Does Bitcoin Unlimited support BIP 101 natively, or can it be made to do so?
2 - If a Bitcoin Unlimited node sets their max accepted block size to 8MB or above, does that mean they are automatically "supporting" BIP 101?
3 - It looks like XT+BU nodes currently make up almost 13% of the network. Does anything like a fork happen at a certain threshold? If so, what is that percentage?
4 - What does a fork look like, in short?
5 - The block size has been just one contentious issue in Bitcoin. There are certainly more to come. Do you foresee that competing reference clients will be how problems are again solved in the future, a.k.a. vote by node?
6 - Which mining pools have made the switch to either XT or BU already?
7 - What decides what the "main chain" is in Bitcoin -- "hashing power" or node majority? Please explain.
Thanks so much!
-Amanda @TheDailyDecrypt
submitted by The_Daily_Decrypt to btc [link] [comments]

BIP 101 = KISS ("Keep It Simple, Stupid")

It's better (ie: safer) to just...
... rather than inventing a whole new level-1 protocol such as Lightning Network.
BIP 100 is more complicated than BIP 101 in terms of game theory, economics, or predictability - which means that BIP 101 is better - ie safer - than BIP 100.
LN is a non-trivial engineering task, with no guarantee of success. LN might be a great idea and we should be happy that people are working on it - but it sure ain't KISS.
Evolving viewpoints
A few years ago, I was actually suspicious of Mike (because of proof-of-passport) and Gavin (because of that meeting with the CIA) - and I preferred the idealistic and speculative mathematical and game-theory scenarios discussed by guys like Adam Back and Peter Todd. It was just so much more “clever” and hence more appealing to the side of me that likes complicated puzzles and idealized solutions in the realms of mathematics and programming.
I have the greatest respect for Adam Back as a cryptographer, mathematician and innovator. For example, his proposals for "homomorphic encryption" which he shared on could provide the groundwork someday for much more anonymity in Bitcoin.
And I have read and liked a lot of stuff from Peter Todd - from back when he dumped a bunch of his coins when got close to triggering a 51% mining threat, and his more complicated stuff regarding RBF. I like math and programming and I like clever complicated solutions!
But, after reading everything I could find in the past few months on both sides of the block size debate, I've finally been getting some serious reminders about how starry-eyed and idealistic and impractical mathematicians and programmers can be. (I include myself in this group by the way – although I’m not great at math or programming, I have studied and worked a lot in these areas.)
Mike has a lot of practical experience dealing with security and scaling at Google (plus also implementing LevelDB in Bitcoin, and implementing a Java client BitcoinJ paving the way for clients on Android), and Gavin has a lot of practical experience from his time as the lead maintainer of the original Bitcoin client - and they both show the kind of maturity and practicality and common sense (and understanding of scaling and game theory and economics and threat modeling) which are most important for ensuring the success of an open-source project.
Some reference material
If you have time, I recommend perusing Mike's posts at the link below, where you see that not only has he done some important coding on Bitcoin (changing from Berkeley DB to LevelDB, writing BitcoinJ) but he also has a solid experience and understanding of how to prioritize issues involved in major programming projects:
And I also recommend the recent video from Gavin, where he shows a clear understanding of governance and consensus on open-source projects:
Meanwhile, although I was enthralled for a while with some of the innovative mathematical ideas from Adam and exotic game-theory threats from Peter, I no longer think that these things should be prioritized - to use a word which occurs frequently in Mike Hearn's discussion of threat models on Google Groups:!searchin/bitcoin-xt/threat$20model/bitcoin-xt/zbPwfDf7UoQ/4uySXHVZCAAJ
I myself can get heavily into mathematics and programming (and can often spend way too much time pursuing things in those areas which are not a priority), so I appreciate the "managerial" common sense and maturity displayed by people like Mike and Gavin to establish priorities and deal with the most important things first.
I also think that Mike and Gavin have a much more realistic and practical understanding of "governance" and "consensus": namely, for a network running open-source code, there is no such thing as "developer consensus". Anyone (including an anonymous developer - anyone remember Satoshi Nakamoto?) can release anything they want - and then it is up to the network to decide to adopt it or not. This is the only real meaning of consensus.
And, as Mike has stated elsewhere: if the code cannot be forked, then it's not open-source.
The biggest priority in the short term (for the next few years at least) is to provide a simple scaling solution to support more user adoption, making maximal leverage of the stuff we already have: the existing code base and the available hardware and infrastructure. This is the direction that Gavin and Mike have been focusing on.
(By the way, as Mike has also pointed out elsewhere: user adoption itself is a very important metric of decentralization. If hundreds of millions more people start using the block chain directly in the next few years, this grassroots popularity really strengthens the system against many significant threats, such as interference from hostile state or corporate actors.)
Meanwhile, I think Adam's work on LN is something which could be important for the longer term - while some of the areas which Peter have focused on (such as RBF and "scorched earth") might be merely marginal improvements - or might actually make the system worse.
Shower thought: What if Adam had been more of an early adopter?
The other day I had a "shower thought" where I wondered what would happen if 1,000 people all donated 1 BTC each to Adam Back right now.
Evidently Adam, while being a fine mathematician / cryptographer and the inventor of the Bitcoin forerunner HashCash, was actually not a big-time early adopter of Bitcoin, so he apparently doesn't have very much "skin in the game" in terms of actual stake as a holder on the current level-0 block chain.
I sometimes wonder how things would be now if Adam had "gotten in on the ground floor" as an early "hodler". It might make him more inclined to work on providing improvements to level-0 (the block chain), instead of going off in some other direction trying to invent some complicated new level-1 system (Lightning Network).
Regarding the block size debate, we should apply the "KISS" principle here: "Keep It Simple, Stupid".
BIP 101 follows this KISS approach, while LN and BIP 100 (and side-chains and other interesting proposed projects such as RBF) are non-KISS, and hence more risky, and hence should be deprioritized (or perhaps even deprecated). This is simply practical common sense based on the experience of successful managers of big projects including scaling open-source software.
In a nutshell: if space on the block chain is starting to look like it might get congested in the near future, and more hardware and infrastructure are available right now and in the foreseeable future, then we have a choice between...
...then it's a no-brainer that the first option is the safer choice to scale the network in the short term.
Yes I've heard all the arguments that increasing the maximum block size could lead to more centralization - but this is something we can keep an eye on in advance.
Meanwhile, LN represents in some sense a kind of "hard fork" of an entirely different (ie much more complex) nature: Instead of simply changing just a single parameter while keeping 99% of the code and throwing more hardware at the problem, LN proposes making deep, major, "clever", non-KISS and unstudied changes in the architecture and topology (and game theory and economics) of the whole system itself.
And BIP 100 proposed a more-complicated voting procedure - giving miners too much say regarding the block size, and introducing more unpredictability (since the votes could lead to a wildly fluctuating max block size over the years).
Managers (and users and venture capitalists) love simple solutions where you can get 10x - 1000x - 10,000x scaling for the next few years (or decades) simply by throwing some more hardware and infrastructure at the problem, while leaving the existing codebase 99% unchanged. This is what BIP 101 does, and this is why people will adopt it instead of unproven, untried, untested, un-coded (vaporware) alternatives such as LN - or more complicated, unproven, untried, untested, riskier game-theory approaches such as BIP 100.
TL;DR: BIP 101 = KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.
Just change a parameter and throw some more hardware at the problem and don't change anything else - ie, go with BIP 101.
submitted by ydtm to bitcoinxt [link] [comments]

Jeff Garzik is killing it on the mailing list!

I thought that the mailing list is now completely brainwashed by pro fee-market folks. But Jeff is such a refreshing participant that I haven't lost all hope. However, there is a risk that Jeff will be the next person alienated from Bitcoin Core (maybe he would join the XT/BIP 101 efforts then?).
Anyways, some quotes with links:
The core design of bitcoin is that trustless nodes validate the work of miners, not trust them.
Soft forks move in the opposite direction. Each new soft-forked feature leans very heavily on miner trust rather than P2P network validation.
For that reason, I've proposed, and am working hard, on an approach that includes Segregated Witness as a first step. It shows the ecosystem that something is being done, it kicks the can down the road, it solves/issues half a dozen other issues at the same time, and it does not require the degree of certainty needed for a hardfork.
Segregated Witness does not kick the can, it solves none of the problems

1, #3 - #8 explicitly defined and listed in email #1.

1) A plan of "SW + no hard fork" is gambling with ECE risk, gambling there will be no Fee Event, because the core block size is still heavily contended -- 100% contended at time out SW rollout.
2) We are only 100% certain that bitcoin works in the blocks-not-full-on-avg state, where there is a healthy buffer between the hard limit and the average block size.
There is remains major ECE risk due to the core block size freeze, possibly pushing the system into a new, untried economic state and causing major market and actor disruption. Users of the Service can still drift randomly and unpredictably into a Fee Event.
SW mitigates this - only after several months - only assuming robust adoption rates by up-layer ecosystem software, and - only assuming transaction volume growth is flat or sub-linear
Those conditions must go as planned to fulfill "SW kicked the can" -- a lot of if's.
As stated, SW is orthogonal to the drift-into-uncharted-waters problem outlined in email #1, which a short term bump does address.
But what you're arguing for is that - despite being completely expected - blocks grew fuller, and people didn't adapt to block size pressure and a fee market, so the Core committee now needs to kick the can down the road, because we can't accept the risk of economic change. That sounds very much like a bailout to me.
I am arguing for continuing what we know works. We are 100% certain blocks-not-full-on-avg works, where a "buffer" of space exists between avg block size and hard limit.
Any other avenue is by definition speculation and risk. You think you know what a healthy fee market should be. Massive damage occurs to bitcoin if you are wrong - and I listed several
vis expectation, there is clear consensus and expectation that block size would increase, from 2010 onward. It was always a question of when not if.
Sticking with 1M presents clear risk of (a) economic fracture and (b) community fracture. It quite clearly risks massive change to an unknown system at an unknown, unpredictable date in the future.
submitted by BIP-101 to btc [link] [comments]

Dr Peter R. Rizun, managing editor of the first peer-reviewed cryptocurrency journal, is an important Bitcoin researcher. He has also been attacked and censored for months by Core / Blockstream / Theymos. Now, he has now been *suspended* (from *all* subreddits) by some Reddit admin(s). Why?

Dr. Peter R. Rizun is arguably one of the most serious, prominent, and promising new voices in Bitcoin research today.
He not only launched the first scientific peer-reviewed cryptocurrency journal - he has also consistently provided high-quality, serious and insightful posts, papers and presentations on reddit (in writing, at conferences, and on YouTube) covering a wide array of important topics ranging from blocksize, scaling and decentralization to networking theory, economics, and fee markets - including:
It was of course probably to be expected that such an important emerging new Bitcoin researcher would be constantly harrassed, attacked and censored by the ancien régime of Core / Blockstream / Theymos.
But now, the attacks have risen to a new level, where some Reddit admin(s) have suspended his account Peter__R.
This means that now he can't post anywhere on reddit, and people can no longer see his reddit posts simply by clicking on his user name (although his posts - many of them massively upvoted with hundreds of upvotes - are of course still available individually, via the usual search box).
  • What Reddit admin(s) are behind this reddit-wide banishing of Peter__R?
  • What is their real agenda, and why are they aiding and abbeting the censorship imposed by Core / Blockstream / Theymos?
  • Don't they realize that in the end they will only harm itself, by forcing the most important new Bitcoin researchers to publish their work elsewhere?
(Some have suggested that Peter__R may have forgotten to use 'np' instead of 'www' when linking to other posts on reddit - a common error which subs like /btc will conveniently catch for the poster, allowing the post to be fixed and resubmitted. If this indeed was the actual justification of the Reddit admin(s) for banning him reddit-wide, it seems like a silly technical "gotcha" - and one which could easily have been avoided if other subs would catch this error the same way /btc does. At any rate, it certainly seems counterproductive for to ban such a prominent and serious Bitcoin contributor.)
  • Why is willing to risk pushing serious discussion off the site, killing its reputation as a decent place to discuss Bitcoin?
  • Haven't the people attempting to silence him ever heard of the Streisand effect?
Below are some examples of the kinds of outstanding contributions made by Peter__R, which Core / Blockstream / Theymos (and apparently some Reddit admin(s)) have been desperately trying to suppress in the Bitcoin community.
Peer-Reviewed Cryptocurrency Journal
Bitcoin Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal ‘Ledger’ Launches
Blocksize as an Emergent Phenonomen
The Size of Blocks: Policy Tool or Emergent Phenomenon? [my presentation proposal for scaling bitcoin hong kong]
Peter R's presentation is really awesome and much needed analysis of the market for blockspace and blocksize.
In case anyone missed it, Peter__R hit the nail on the head with this: "The reason we can't agree on a compromise is because the choice is binary: the limit is either used as an anti-spam measure, or as a policy tool to control fees."
Bigger Blocks = Higher Prices: Visualizing the 92% historical correlation [NEW ANIMATED GIF]
Miners are commodity producers - Peter__R
Fees and Fee Markets
“A Transaction Fee Market Exists Without a Block Size Limit” — new research paper ascertains. [Plus earn $10 in bitcoin per typo found in manuscript]
"A Transaction Fee Market Exists Without a Block Size Limit", Peter R at Scaling Bitcoin Montreal 2015
An illustration of how fee revenue leads to improved network security in the absence of a block size limit.
Greg Maxwell was wrong: Transaction fees can pay for proof-of-work security without a restrictive block size limit
Networks and Scaling
Bitcoin's "Metcalfe's Law" relationship between market cap and the square of the number of transactions
Market cap vs. daily transaction volume: is it reasonable to expect the market cap to continue to grow if there is no room for more transactions?
In my opinion the most important part of Scaling Bitcoin! (Peter R)
Visualizing BIP101: A Payment Network for Planet Earth
A Payment Network for Planet Earth: Visualizing Gavin Andresen's blocksize-limit increase
Is Bitcoin's block size "empirically different" or "technically the same" as Bitcoin's block reward? [animated GIF visualizing real blockchain data]
New blocksize BIP: User Configurable Maximum Block Size
A Block Size Limit Was Never Part Of Satoshi’s Plan : Draft proposal to move the block size limit from the consensus layer to the transport layer
Truth-table for the question "Will my node follow the longest chain?"
Peter R: "In the end, I believe the production quota would fail." #ScalingBitcoin
Decentralized Nodes, Mining and Development
Centralization in Bitcoin: Nodes, Mining, Development
Deprecating Bitcoin Core: Visualizing the Emergence of a Nash Equilibrium for Protocol Development
What is wrong with the goal of decentralizing development across multiple competing implementations? - Peter R
Potentially Unlimited, "Fractal-Like" Scaling for Bitcoin: Peter__R's "Subchains" proposal
"Reduce Orphaning Risk and Improve Zero-Confirmation Security With Subchains" — new research paper on 'weak blocks' explains
A Visual Explanation of Subchains -- an application of weak blocks to secure zero-confirmation transactions and massively scale Bitcoin
New Directions in Bitcoin Development
Announcing Bitcoin Unlimited.
"It's because most of them are NOT Bitcoin experts--and I hope the community is finally starting to recognize that" -- Peter R on specialists vs. generalists and the aptitudes of Blockstream Core developers
It is time to usher in a new phase of Bitcoin development - based not on crypto & hashing & networking (that stuff's already done), but based on clever refactorings of datastructures in pursuit of massive and perhaps unlimited new forms of scaling
Peter__R on RBF
Peter__R on RBF: (1) Easier for scammers on Local Bitcoins (2) Merchants will be scammed, reluctant to accept Bitcoin (3) Extra work for payment processors (4) Could be the proverbial straw that broke Core's back, pushing people into XT, btcd, Unlimited and other clients that don't support RBF
Peter__R on Mt. Gox
Peter R’s Theory on the Collapse of Mt. Gox
Censorship and Attacks by Core / Blockstream / Theymos / Reddit Admins against Peter__R
Peter__R's infographic showing the BIP 101 growth trajectory gets deleted from /bitcoin for "trolling"
"Scaling Bitcoin" rejected Peter R's proposal
After censoring Mike and Gavin, BlockStream makes its first move to silence Peter R on bitcoin-dev like they did on /bitcoin
Looks like the censors in /bitcoin are at it again: Peter_R post taken down within minutes
I've been banned for vote brigading for the animated GIF that visualized the possible future deprecation of Bitcoin Core.
An example of moderator subjectivity in the interpretation of the rules at /bitcoin: animated pie chart visualizing the deprecation of Bitcoin Core
"My response to Pieter Wuille on the Dev-List has once again been censored, perhaps because I spoke favourably of Bitcoin Unlimited and pointed out misunderstandings by Maxwell and it is for those who are interested" -- Peter R
To those who are interested in judging whether Peter R's paper merits inclusion in the blockchain scaling conference, here it is:
The real reason Peter_R talk was refused (from his previous presentation) (xpost from /btc)
[CENSORED] The Morning After the Moderation Mistake: Thoughts on Consensus and the Longest Chain
Core / Blockstream cheerleader eragmus gloating over Peter__R's account getting suspended from Reddit (ie, from all subreddits) - by some Reddit admin(s)
[PSA] Uber Troll Extraordinaire, Peter__R, has been permanently suspended by Reddit
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

It has taken me a long time, but I finally committed ALL of my resources to BIP 101 - bitcoin xt

I run two full nodes and a small miner. I switched on full node to xt when all of this started, but now I'm fed up. I switched my miner back to slush's pool today and I updated my other node to bitcoinxt. Sometimes it just feels refreshing to do the right thing.
If you want to move your miners to slush's pool and show your support for 8mb blocks (aka: bitcoinxt, BIP 101), set up an account at and use these mining addresses:
stratum+tcp:// - General
stratum+tcp:// - USA
stratum+tcp:// - Europe
Slush is re-enabling BIPB101:
If you want to set up bitcoixt, it's pretty easy to just remove bitcoind and run the binary linked here:
You can find more information about bitcoinxt blocks here:
submitted by secret_bitcoin_login to btc [link] [comments]

"Eppur, se muove." | It's not even about the specifics of the specs. It's about the fact that (for the first time since Blockstream hijacked the "One True Repo"), *we* can now actually once again *specify* those specs. It's about Bitcoin Classic.

Right now, there's been a lot of buzz about Bitcoin Classic.
For the first time since Blockstream hijacked the "one true repo" (which they basically inherited from Satoshi), we now also appear to have another real, serious repo - based almost 100% on Core, but already starting to deviate every-so-slightly from it - and with a long-term roadmap that also promises to be both responsive and robust.
The Bitcoin Classic project already has some major advantages, including:
"When in the course of Bitcoin development ... it becomes necessary (and possible) to set up a new (real, serious) repo with a dev and a miner and a payment processor who are able to really understand the code at the mathematical and economical level, and really interact with the users at the social and political level...
(unlike the triad of tone-deaf pinheads at Blockstream, fueled by fiat, coddled by censorship, and pathologically attached to their pet projects: Adam Back and Gregory Maxwell and Peter Todd - brilliant though these devs may be as C/C++ programmers)
...then this will be a major turning point in the history of Bitcoin."
Bitcoin Classic
What is it?
Right now, it's probably more like just an "MVP" (Minimal Viable Product) for:
  • governance or
  • decentralized development or
  • a-new-codebase-which-has-a-good-chance-of-being-adopted-due-to-being-a-kind-of-Schelling-point-of-development-due-to-having-a-top-mineresearcher-on-board-JToomin-plus-a-top-dev/researcher-on-board-GavinAndresen-plus-a-really-simple-and-robust-max-blocksize-algorithm-BitPay's-Adaptive-Block-Size-Limit-which-empowers-miners-and-not-developers
Call it what you will.
But that's what we need at this point: a new repo which is:
  • a minimal departure from the existing One True repo
  • safe and sane in the sense that it empowers miners over devs
Paraphrasing the words of Paul Sztorc on "Measuring Decentralization", "decentralization" means "a very low cost for anyone to add...":
  • one more block,
  • one more verifying node,
  • one more mining node,
  • one more developer,
  • one more (real, serious) repo.
And this last item is probably what Bitcoin Classic is really about.
It's about finally being able to add one more (real, serious) repo...
...knowing that to a certain degree, some of the specific specs are still-to-be-specified
...but that's ok, because we can see that the proper social-political-ecomomic requirements for responsibly doing so finally appear to be in place: ie, we are starting to see the coalescence of a team...
...who experiment and observe - and communicate and listen - and respond and react accordingly that they can faithfully (but conservatively) translate users' needs & requirements into code that can achieve consensus on the network.
As it's turned out, it has been surprisingly challenging to create this kind of bridge between users and devs (centered around a new, real, serious codebase with a good chance of adoption)...
...because (sorry for the stereotype) most users can't code, and many devs can't communicate (well enough), many devs can't (optimally) figure out what to code.
We've seen how out-of-touch the devs can be (particularly when shielded by censors and funded by venture capitalists), not only in the "blocksize wars", but also with decisions such as the insistence of Blockstream's devs to prioritize things like RBF and LN over the protests of many users.
But now it looks like, for the first time since Blockstream hijacked the one real, serious repo, we now have a new real, serious repo where...
(due to being a kind of "Schelling point of development" - ie a focal point many people can, well, "focus" on)
(due to having a responsive expert scientific miner like JToomim on-board - and a responsive expert scientific dev like Gavin on-board - with stated preference for a simple, robust, miner-empowering approach to block size - eg: BitPay's Adaptive Block Size)
... this repo actually has a very good chance of achieving:
  • rough consensus among the community (the "social" community of discussing and debating and developing), and
  • actual consensus on the network (eg 750 / 1000 of previous blocks, or whatever ends up being defined).
In the above, the words "responsive" and "scientific" have very concrete meanings:
  • responsive: they elicit-verify-implement actual users' needs & requirements
  • scientific: they use the scientific method of proposing-testing-and-accepting-or-rejecting a hypothesis
  • (in particular, they don't have hangups about shifting priorities among projects and proposals when new information becomes available - ie, they have the maturity and the self-awareness and the egolessness to not become pathologically over-attached to proving irrelevant points or pursuing pet projects)
So we could have the following definition of "centralization of development" (à la Paul Sztorc):
The "cost" of anyone adding a new (real, serious) repo must be kept as minimal as possible.
(But of course with the caveat or condition that: the repo still must be "real and serious" - which implies that it will have to overcome a high hurdle in order to be seriously entertained.)
And it bears repeating: As we've seen from the past year of raging debates, the costs and challenges of adding a new (real, serious) repo are largely social and political - and can be very high and exceedingly complex.
But that's probably the way it should be. Because adding a new repo is the first step on the road towards doing a hard fork.
So it is a journey which must not be embarked upon with levity, but with gravity - with all due deliberation and seriousness.
Which is one quite legitimate reason why the people against such a change have dug their heels in so determinedly. And we should actually be totally understanding and even thankful that they have done so.
As long it's a fair fight, done in good faith.
Which I think many of us can feel generous enough to say it indeed has been - for the most part.
Note: I always add the parenthetical "(real, serious)" to the phrase "a new (real, serious) repo" here the same way we add the parenthetical "(valid)" to the phrase: "the longest (valid) chain".
  • In order to add a "valid" block to this chain, there are algorithmic rules - purely mathematical.
  • In order to add a "real, serious" repo to the ecosystem - or to the website for example, as we recently saw in the strange spectacle of CoinBase diplomatically bowing down to theymos - the rules (and costs) for determining whether a repo is "real and serious" are not purely mathematical but are social-political and economical - and ultimately human, all-too human.
But eventually, a new real serious repo does get added.
Which is what we appear to be seeing now, with this rallying of major talent around Bitcoin Classic.
It is of course probably natural and inevitable that the upholders / usurpers of the First and Only Real Serious Repo might be displeased to see any other new real serious repo(s) arising - and might tend to "unfairly" leverage any advantages they enjoy as "incumbents", in order to maintain their power. This is only human.
But all's fair in love in consensus, so we probably shouldn't hold any of these tendencies against them. =)
"Eppur, si muove."
"But eventually, inexorably, a new 'real, serious' repo does get added."
[Sorry I spelled a word wrong in the OP title: should be "si" not "se"!]
(For some strange delicious reason, I hope luke-jr in particular reads the above lines. =)
So a new real serious repo does finally get set up on Github, and eventually downloaded and compiled to a new real serious binary.
And this binary gets tested on testnet and rolled out on mainnet and - if enough users adopt it (as proven by some easy-to-observe "trigger" - eg 750 of the past 1000 blocks being mined with it) - then this real serious new Bitcoin client gains enough "consensus" to "activate" - and a (hard) chainfork then ensues (which we expect and indeed endeavor to guarantee should only take a few hours at most to resolve itself, as all hashpower should quickly move to the longest valid chain).
Yes this process must involve intensive debate and caution and testing, because it is so very, very dangerous - because it is a "hard fork": initially a hard codefork which takes months of social-political debating to resolve, hopefully guided by the invisible hand of the market, and then a (hard) chainfork which takes only a few hours to resolve (we dearly hope & expect - actually we try to virtually guarantee this by establishing a high enough activation trigger eg "such-and-such percentage of the previous number of blocks must have been mined using the new program).
For analogies to a hard codefork in football and chess, you may find the the same Paul Sztorc article in the section on the dangers of hard forks interesting.
So a "hard fork" is what we must do sometimes. Rarely, and with great deliberation and seriousness.
And the first step involves setting up a new (real, serious) repo.
This is why the actual details on the max-blocksize-increments themselves can be (and are being) left sort of vague for the moment.
There's a certain amount of hand-waving in the air.
Which is ok in this case.
Because this repo isn't about the specifics of any particular "max blocksize algorithm" - yet.
Although we do already have an encouraging statement from Gavin that his new favorite max blocksize proposal is BitPay's Adaptive Block Size Limit - which is very promising, since this proposal is simple, it gives miners autonomy over devs, and it is based on the median (not the average) of previous blocks, and the median is known to be a "more robust" (hence less game-able) statistic.
So, in this sense, Bitcoin Classic is mainly about even being allowed to seriously propose some different "max blocksize" (and probably eventually a few other) algorithms(s) at all in the first place.
So far, in amongst all the hand-waving, here's what we do apparently know:
  • Definitely an initial bump to 2 MB.
  • Then... who knows?
At this point, it's not even the specificity of those specs that matter.
It's just that, for the first time, we have a repo whose devs will let us specify those specs.
  • evidently using some can-kick blocksize-bumps initially...
  • probably using some more "algorithmic" approach long-term - still probably very much TBD (to-be-determined - but that should be fine, because it will clearly be in consultation with the users and the empirical data of the network and the market!)...
  • and probably eventually also embracing many of the other "scaling" approaches which are not based on simply bumping up a parameter - eg: SegWit, IBLTs, weakblocks & subchains, thinblocks
This is what Bitcoin Classic mainly seems to be about at this point.
It's one of the first real serious moves towards decentralized development.
It's a tiny step - but the fact that we can now even finally take a step - after so many months of paralysis - is probably what's really important here.
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

Hearn: "I know there are other companies that would like to be more overt [re block size preferences] but they're scared of theymos erasing them..."

Today, we got the news of Bitstamp's intention to move towards supporting BIP101. Accordingly, the other forum has promised1 a ban of Bitstamp discussion.
Earlier this month, during an AMA, Mike Hearn said this:
"Industry has been pretty quiet over the past 7-8 months or so. Mostly I think they were hoping this whole [blocksize] nightmare would just go away. In recent days you saw Coinbase start to get more aggressive because they realised nothing was happening. I know there are other companies that would like to be more overt too but they're scared of theymos erasing them from because they rely on referral traffic there."2
Consider that the forces opposing larger blocks have created an incentive for industry and miners to keep quiet until the last possible minute. That way, for businesses, censorship can be postponed (maximizing referral revenues), and for nodes/miners, DDoS attacks can be deferred (unfortunately, DDoS attacks have already been waged against early XT nodes).
Therefore: fascinating times. We're approaching a tipping point where the free market will make its voice heard. In so doing, these contributors to the ecosystem will make a collective exit, and get banned / excised from the world of Core.
Core-owned discussion venues, once lively with open discussion of the ecosystem, will have nothing left to talk about. Let's be cautiously optimistic: the appeal of a free, open, and valuable currency seems stronger than the appeal of closed systems.
When has censorship ever been preferred to the alternative?
submitted by SteadySandstorm to btc [link] [comments]

The harvesting of passive supporters

This is a theory sketch of a feeling I developed as an observer of both Bitcoin attempt to raise the block size limit, and now the Ethereum hard-fork attempt to recover stolen DAO funds. In these cases two groups arise, one pro and other against the change. Lets call people* in these groups active supporters, and we expect that the side that is going to win is the side with most active supporters. What I argue is, in truth, active supporters are not the deciding players, and the real outcome is decided by the passive supporters.
Passive supporters are those people who are either ignorant of the issue, or don't care (and they are frequently ignorant because they don't care). They represent that 90% majority that doesn't vote on the pools' pools. Those who simply upgrade the software when the auto-upgrades pops up. They are those who activates a switch if they read that they must activate a switch, otherwise they will lose money, and don't question why there is a switch in the first place.
And what side gets to win such a dispute? The side with key people in position to herd and harvest most of the passive supporters. The role of active supporters is not to convince the other side, their role manage to reap the passive supporters, by any means they can. For instance, pro-HF active supporters in Ethereum mining pools managed to get the passive supporters in that pool by voting on what side the pool must take.
The "do nothing" side always begin with a distinct advantage, because this side, in principle, already have all the passive supporters. The side that requires all users to update their clients starts losing. If only the miners are required to update their clients, the disadvantage is smaller, but exists. Of course, for pool user, do nothing may be going with the side the pool took. Thus, pools choosing a side provides the greatest opportunity for reaping passive supporters: they don't have to do nothing, the choices was made for them.
Also, very relevant in Ethereum case, is the default setting of the client, in case of auto-update. Updating a software is not an action perceived as actively taking a political stance, although it can be in case of cryptocurrencies. Many users have their software updated automatically, like Ubuntu's PPA users, and for them, the "do nothing" position is just to let the auto-updater do their job (or manually upgrading, ignorant of the political consequences). Such passive supporters will end up following the "official stance".
After the "do nothing", what seems to be the most influential factor in passive supporters is leadership (particularly important to Chinese, it seems), or probably related, the "official stance". That seemed to be the single reason the Chinese reject the 8 MB block increase fork on Bitcoin (according to a biased account), and probably makes a huge difference when Vitalik goes about speaking for a hard fork. An e-mail allegedly from Satoshi Nakamoto criticizing Bitcoin XT fork made a huge attention, ironically undeserved, because using that name to voice a personal opinion stood against all the culture create by Satoshi Nakamoto himself in Bitcoin's mailing list: that is to value the content, not the author.
It is possible that there is nothing wrong with this state of things, but for me it just doesn't seem to be fair. I think that every such contending decision should be engineered to minimize the role of passive supporters.
Here follows some (probably unrealistic) proposals taking this issue into account:
As I said, some of these proposals may be unrealistic, or very hard to get, or wrong and unfair, but my goal here is to solve the problem, but make people aware of it, that the "passive supporters" are the majority, and consider their role in decision making processes. How fair and just that process really is in this perspective?
(*) In our case, "people" is actually hashrate, but the reasoning follows.
submitted by lcvella to ethereum [link] [comments]

BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen on argues *against* a "simplistic plan" for scaling Bitcoin with "popular support" among "people who don't know any better" and want a "simple fix". He favors "people doing actual development who aren’t particularly good at talking". Here's why he's wrong.

Sorry Bram, but part of "real engineering work" often involves actually interacting with real users to solve their real problems, as quickly and as simply as possible (or as you prefer to dismissively put it in your essay: "people who don’t know any better" who are looking for a "simple fix").
This is why Bitcoin Classic is rapidly gaining consensus among major Bitcoin stakeholders, who are rejecting the needlessly slow & complicated roadmap from Core / Blockstream devs - who, as you yourself admit in your essay, "aren’t particularly good at talking" (or listening, for that matter).
Experience on successful real projects in the real world has shown us (with Satoshi's initial release of Bitcoin being a case in point) that the fastest, simplest and most popular solutions are actually often the best.
In the above essay, Bram Cohen, inventor of BitTorrent, makes the following arguments:
Mike Hearn, Jeff Garzik, and Gavin Andresen ... are doing a good job of whipping up popular support ...
They have a simplistic plan which appeals to people who don’t know any better or want to be told that technical problems can be made to magically go away with a simple fix.
On the other side are the people doing actual development, who aren’t particularly good at talking to the press or whipping up support on reddit and have a plan which requires real engineering work moving forwards.
There are several things seriously wrong with the Bram Cohen's central argument above:
(1) The first part of his statement above is obsolete and hence irrelevant.
Mike and Gavin did indeed previously support BIP 101 (smoothly scaling from 8 MB to 8 GB max blocksize by doubling every 2 years for 20 years) - but in the past week, things have changed dramatically, and the community has moved on:
  • Mike is gone, and it's become clear that support for BIP 101 / XT has dried up;
  • Gavin and Jeff support Bitcoin Classic, which is not BIP 101.
So Bram's comparison of Core's current roadmap with a deprecated roadmap (BIP 101) is now irrelevant.
All the buzz is around a recent new competing repo: Bitcoin Classic.
(2) The second part of Bram's statement above is wrong because it is precisely the simplicity and "appealingness" of Bitcoin Classic which are its strengths.
He dismisses those factors as if they were bad things - but they're actually good things.
The main reason for the past year of impasse is that all previously proposed solutions weren't simple and appealing enough to gain any actual consensus (among the actual users themselves - I don't mean among the devs at a single, out-of-touch and ultimately replaceable team: Core / Blockstream).
Bitcoin Classic's only initial change is to do an immediate bump to merely 2 MB - while also providing, long-term, a more democratic, transparent means of governance - based not on Core / Blockstream devs ACKing and NACKing pull-requests on the GitHub repo - but rather on a much more inclusive and deliberative multi-phase process.
The fact of being simple and inclusive (which Bram erroneously dismisses as being "simplistic" and "popular" by which he presumably means "populist") is precisely why Bitcoin Classic has been rapidly gaining consensus among all stakeholders in the Bitcoin community: miners, users, devs and businesses:
Bram can talk all he wants on about what might have been, and about how his favorite dev team knows better than actual users (who he insultingly dismisses as "people who don't know any better").
But figuring out how to safely and quickly and simply scale Bitcoin (which is the main issue right now) might not be the exclusive province of C/C++ devs who code in isolation all day.
In fact, as we are now seeing, it turns out that there are other stakeholders in the Bitcoin space who might actually have better ideas on how to do this kind of scaling.
So it's wrong (as well as being elitist) for Bram to dismissively insult such stakeholders as "people who don't know any better" - particularly because in many cases, what we're actually talking about here are major companies with annual revenues in the millions of dollars, with qualified dev teams of their own.
To take just one obvious example: look at Coinbase. They were banned from /Bitcoin and by Theymos for daring to announce that they were testing XT - in order to serve better serve their users under all possible scenarios in the future.
Coinbase, as we know, also happens to be one of the major on-ramps for many new Bitcoin users, since they're a major US-registered financial institution.
And Coinbase also happens to have the technical and engineering expertise to have written their own open-source fully-validating Bitcoin node from scratch based on Ruby and PostgreSQL.
This is kind of Bitcoin stakeholders that Bram is insulting and dismissing when he talks about "people who don't know any better": a company which basically produced a clone of the full-node part of Core. And note that Coinbase wrote this from scratch in different langauges (Ruby and PostgreSQL), instead of inheriting (some would say "hijacking") Satoshi's orignal C/C++ codebase.
So Bram is simply being rude and mean when he dismisses a major company like Coinbase as being merely "people who don't know any better". Bitcoin expertise is not confined to Core / Blockstream devs.
In fact, there is new breed of Bitcoin experts emerging now - people who know more about the challenges Bitcoin faces today (eg, scaling and network topology) rather than the challenges Bitcoin faced in the past (eg, hasing and crypto).
Two names are worth mentioning among this new wave of experts:
  • Dr Peter R. Rizun - who has also joined Bitcoin Classic now - and who has been terribly maligned and censored by Core / Blockstream:
Dr Peter R. Rizun, managing editor of the first peer-reviewed cryptocurrency journal, is an important Bitcoin researcher. He has also been attacked and censored for months by Core / Blockstream / Theymos. Now, he has now been suspended (from all subreddits) by some Reddit admin(s). Why?
  • Cornell researcher Emin Gün Sirer
Miners produce a generic COMMODITY: transactions included in blocks on the chain. If certain miners refuse to produce ENOUGH of this commodity, then they CAN and WILL be REPLACED. (Important reminders from Cornell researcher Emin Gün Sirer)
Look, I really like the stuff that Pieter Wuille is doing with SegWit - and I also really like the stuff that Greg Maxwell could contribute with Confidential Transactions (but please just ignore the few posters in this search-link who worry that CT is "dangerous" because quantum computing might come along someday.). (Although I think that any such major upgrades should be done as a hard-fork, which is more explicit and thus safer than a soft-fork).
So there is room for many types of devs in Bitcoin, and there is exciting work to be done long-term.
But Bram's essay is really about scaling now. And Core / Blockstream has not provided any solutions available now, nor have they researched what users really want and need now.
Thus it's understandable that users are gravitating towards a new dev team which can deliver a "simple fix" - in this case, Bitcoin Classic. And that's normal and healthy.
(3) Finally, there's plenty of owners of major multi-million-dollar mining operations who Bram also dismisses as "people who don’t know any better", people who believe in "magic" or a "simple fix".
At the same time, Bram inexplicably praises a bunch of devs who - as he himself admits - "aren't particularly good at talking" or "whipping up support" - while ignoring the fact that it is is precisely this lack of communication skills which got us into this whole mess. Core / Blockstream are screwing up the short-term and long-term project management of Bitcoin, because they have shown that they are totally incapable of coming up with a realistic roadmap which the community could actually support. (They may have their own reasons for the strange way they prioritized their roadmap, but we don't really know - there's lots of theories out there.)
On the other hand, the people behind Bitcoin Classic (not mentioned by Bram here, as he focuses instead on the obsolete strawman of Mike Hearn / BIP 101), have proven themselves to be "particularly good at talking" (and more important: listening) to actual users and major businesses, in order figure out a a safe, reasonable and practical "simple fix" to satisfy users' needs and requirements now.
Specifically, jtoomim (founder of Bitcoin Classic) has done extensive research, interacting with miners all over the world - on both sides of the Great Firewall of China.
As it turns out (and as stated by Gavin, another lead dev on Bitcoin Classic) the Great Firewall of China, and the concentration of so much mining on the "other" side of it, is one of the main obstacles to simple "blocksize-based" scaling solutions.
So Gavin previously experimented with 20 MB blocks, and more recently jtoomim experimented with 2-3 MB - in the field - producing empirical evidence that 2-3 MB blocks are feasible and acceptable to miners now.
This is the very definition of a "simple fix", with massive "support" from the people who matter: the miners themselves.
And this kind of research with users in the field is exactly what Bitcoin needs now - despite the fact that it might not a sexy enough engineering-based solution to satisfy Bram Cohen and the out-of-touch devs at Core / Blockstream, who have proven themselves time and time again to be unable and/or unwilling to do deliver a simple, popular scaling solution.
So by isolating themselves in their bubble of censorship to focus on elegant engineering, and avoiding the messy public forums where open debate actually occurs - and openly scorning their users (Greg Maxwell calling /btc a "cesspool" and more recently supporting Luke-Jr's attempt to sabotage Bitcoin Classic by injecting a poison-pill pull request to change the PoW and kick all miners off the network, Peter Todd releasing RBF over massive protests and recently doing a gray-hat double-spend against major US-registered Bitcoin financial processor Coinbase) - Core / Blockstream have shown themselves to be arrogant and out of touch, and have alienated the Bitcoin community by being willing jeopardize the network as they chant their mantra that "there's no emergency yet".
This is people are rejecting Core / Blockstream's so-called "scaling" roadmap (which unfortunately includes no "simple fix" - ie a minimal blocksize-based solution acceptable to the community - and instead relies on complicated, untested, fancy code such as SegWit and LN - which be might good later but which aren't ready now).
It's too little and too late, too slow and too complicated (and possibly vaporware).
Instead, people want the simpler, faster and field-tested solutions researched and developed by the devs over at the new repo: Bitcoin Classic.
Bram Cohen is needlessly focusing in his essay on what used-to-be and what might-have-been and what could-be-someday.
Meanwhile the researchers and developers at Bitcoin Classic, like Gavin and JToomim, have been focusing on the here-and-now.
In this sense, the Bitcoin Classic researchers and developers are closer to Satoshi, with his preference for practical solutions which work "good enough" to be implemented now, instead of "perfect" solutions which are so complicated that they might never get implemented at all.
Also recall that several major Core / Blockstream devs didn't believe Bitcoin would work:
  • Gregory Maxwell "mathematically proved" that Bitcoin would be "impossible" (ignoring a little thing like "complexity" - which shows that he might not be that well-rounded, since many mathematicians are indeed familiar with "complexity theory", involving termination, NP, and all that fun stuff).
  • Adam Back missed out on being an earlier adopter of Bitcoin even when tipped off by Satoshi (Adam had invented an earlier prototype called HashCash, but in his case he ignored how inflation might work - which shows that he also might not be that well-rounded, since many economists in the real world do indeed know how currency inflation works).
  • Peter Todd is an odd case, focusing on breaking things that aren't broken in order to petulantly prove a point (so he might be good in Testing or Threat Assessment, but he's probably not the kind of guy you want in Project Management).
These are the kinds of people Bram is arguing we should to support - people whose track record of being right on Bitcoin has been spotty at best, often because they're more interested in spending ages solving complicated engineering problems rather than in providing "simple fixes" for real users in the real world.
Meanwhile, guys like Gavin, JGarzik, and JToomim - all of whom are involved with Bitcoin Classic - are operating more in the spirit of Satoshi - they've been working closely with real users in the real world, figuring out what they really need and want and getting ready to actually deliver it, soon - which is why consensus among users, miners, devs and businesses has been rapidly coalescing around the new competing repo Bitcoin Classic.
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

How I learned to stop worrying and love bigger blocks

(1) The main driver of centralization isn't block size - it's other things such as electricity costs. One mid-size miner in Washington state has said: "Our facility spends about 80x as much on electricity as it does on internet connectivity".
(2) The biggest centralization threat is actually the 3-to-7-transaction-per-second bottleneck - not a possible decrease in the number of full nodes due to bigger blocks. Tiny transaction throughput means hardly anyone can actually use Bitcoin - making it much more vulnerable to being attacked, sabotaged or shut down.
(3) Big projects always involve trade-offs between multiple bottlenecks and threats, so we need to prioritize which problems we're going to handle and in which order - addressing the most serious and easiest-to-fix threats and bottlenecks first, while also trying to change the least amount of code. This is exactly what big blocks do: leave the code 99% unchanged, just increase the block size so that most people can still use the software using their existing hardware and infrastructure.
More info here:
I have been following the block size debate for the past few months, and for a long time I was undecided, because both sides made a lot of sense.
If I understand correctly, the people favoring small blocks are saying that jurisdictional risk due to centralization, presumably due to larger bandwidth requirements due to larger blocks, is unacceptable. This does seem to be a very valid concern. My home internet is actually slow, and I want to have direct access to the block chain – not to do mining, but at least to be able to directly control my wallet and transact using it.
So the people who favor small blocks do seem to have a point, and do sound genuinely concerned and worried. I know I certainly felt exactly this way about this issue.
Eventually however I became more convinced by the arguments favoring bigger blocks, such as the following:
(1) Centralization risk is probably due more to other factors such as electricity costs, heat dissipation requirements, and other mining economies of scale - not due to bandwidth requirements due to block size. This has been convincingly argued by Mike in his blog, as well as by a miner with a mid-size operation in Washington State.
(2) The current bottleneck of 3-7 transactions per second worldwide itself represents a kind of centralization risk. Mike has argued very convincingly about this in his blog [I can’t find the link now – can anyone help?] saying that probably the biggest risk to Bitcoin right now is this bottleneck, because adoption by an insufficiently high number of users could mean that the powers-that-be, if they wanted to, could still try to strangle Bitcoin while it's still in its cradle - without enough of an outcry to really stop them, simply due to this arbitrarily (and dangerously low) 3-7-transactions-per-second bottleneck.
(3) The only responsible approach, when dealing with so many trade-offs, is to always talk in terms of a comprehensive threat model, listing and prioritizing / ranking all (or most) of the recognized threats. An initial threat model has actually been proposed by Mike on the XT Google Group:!searchin/bitcoin-xt/threat$20model/bitcoin-xt/zbPwfDf7UoQ/4uySXHVZCAAJ
This is the kind of thing that successful managers do: list and prioritize the threats, and deal with the most important ones and the "lowest hanging fruit" first.
On the other hand, a lot of the arguments I've seen against increasing the maximum block size seem to be made in isolation: bigger blocks means slower propagation / higher bandwidth requirements, centralization is already a risk we want to avoid, therefore no max block size increase.
Also we can compare what Adam and Peter are doing: Adam is working on an ambitious new project, Lightning Network, which will add a vast amount of new code, will require a certain kind of centralization, and we don't even know if it will work yet.
Meanwhile Peter seems to be focusing on more "exotic" threats (ie, less likely ones), and is also proposing more "exotic" solutions (eg, RBF / scorched earth). This is all interesting stuff - but we should bear in mind that it has nothing to do with our top current threat: congestion.
I agree that bigger blocks probably do tend - to some degree - to reduce decentralization - but this is a multi-factorial situation we're dealing with here, and there is no sense in making an argument based on a single isolated factor. We have to weigh all the factors together, and focus on the most important ones, with a clear understanding of how to move from ideas to implementations to acceptance on the network. Right now, Gavin and Mike are the only two who seem to be doing this.
So these are the considerations which, after many months of reading and worrying a lot, have "brought me around" from my initial fears:
(1) Mining is already centralized and the main driver does not appear to actually be block size;
(2) The 3-7 transaction-per-second bottleneck is probably the biggest centralization threat we need to address right now (since it forces us to have a tiny user base – vulnerable to being attacked); and
(3) The simplest approach (to prevent the network from getting congested in the near future), based on the experience of projects and programmers who have a track record of success in the real world, is to go with guys like:
-- attempting to alleviate the worst bottleneck,
-- to address the most dangerous centralization risk,
-- based on a comprehensive, prioritized threat model, and
-- supported by an actual software release,
-- consisting of a minimal modification to a single parameter (maximum block size),
-- subject to a simple and carefully designed fork trigger (two weeks after over 750 of 1000 of previous blocks).
-- who seems to have a very clear notion of what "governance" (and "consensus") really mean in a this sort of situation, involving open-source p2p software running on a worldwide network involving financial incentives.
In other words, I have listened to pretty much everything from various devs and other stakeholders over the past few months, and the stuff from Mike and Gavin wound up convincing me (even though that had both quite definitely initially been on my shit list: Mike due to the passport thing, and Gavin due to the CIA thing).
Meanwhile, the other offerings seem to be worse:
I'm not saying that Peter's stuff is necessarily wrong - I just know that if I were a programmer proposing these solutions, and if I were working under a mature and experienced manager, then the manager would reject these solutions (and eventually I'd come around to accepting and understanding why).
In other words, Peter tends to introduce a bit too much complexity to the overall system, merely to handle lower-priority edge cases - both in his analysis and in his solutions - and I think experience tends to show that the simpler and more generally applicable approaches tend to be more successful.
So I'm a person who was initially wary of guys like Mike (because of proof-of-passport) and Gavin (because of the CIA meeting) - and I was way more into Adam (because he's a great cryptographer) and Peter (because he is able to think up all kinds of really hard-for-me-imagine threat vectors).
Later I found out that Mike's proof-of-passport would have been some kind of anonymous zk-SNARK thing - so maybe it wasn't such a red flag after all.
And if I were a recent college grad living in Amherst, involved with local town meetings and such (as Gavin is), working publicly under my own name on major open-source financial software projects, and I got an "invitation" to talk to the CIA - well, I probably wouldn't be too thrilled - but I'd probably end up going and trying to make the best of it. So Gavin's meeting with the CIA - troubling as it was to me at first - might very well not be a red flag at all either.
So what I'm saying is - I no longer feel paranoid about Mike and Gavin. They just seem like not-quite-radical programmer dudes, who aren't living in Belize or in a squat in London - and I feel ok using their open-source software (which is all auditable anyways).
Later, after reading Mike's posts on his blog, and after seeing that he actually released something workable - and after seeing Gavin's recent video on governance - and after seeing repeated occasions where Adam and Peter have tended to focus on more-complicated solutions for lower-priority risks (and meanwhile JGarzik proposed an overly-complicated and less-predictable scaling solution with BIP 100, and Greg Maxwell has tended to engage in unnecessary attacks), I just feel that the simplest and safest next step is BIP 101 as implemented and released in the form of Bitcoin XT.
Elsewhere I have also stated why I think BIP 101 = "KISS" - Keep It Simple Stupid:
By the way, if you are interested in forming an opinion about Gavin, I would highly recommend watching his recent YouTube video, where he gives a very decent explanation of his understanding of governance.
It's not the kind of thing that seems really possible to argue against really: he's basically saying that given an open-source p2p project, governance is pretty much various developers doing their best to release the best software, and then seeing what the network adopts.
I would also recommend reading Mike’s posts on They are well-thought-out and reflect the kind of maturity and experience you would expect from a guy who has successfully managed scaling and security issues for major software projects.
Also Gavin has a very good post on his blog here:
I know we're not supposed to need to "trust" anyone in this situation, be it Adam or Peter or Mike or Gavin - but I do in some sense "trust" Gavin and Mike much more now than Adam and Peter. I don't think Adam and Peter want to harm Bitcoin - I think they really want to help, and have and will continue to do so. At any rate, the only thing we really need to trust is the code – and Mike’s pretty much the only guy who’s actually released code implementing BIP 101 – and it seems to be the most minimal change from the current code base, and it seems like it should run on most people’s infrastructure – so it seems like it would be the thing most people will adopt, as congestion starts to occur with the 1 MB limit.
At this specific juncture - with the network starting to get congested in terms of transactions-per-second - some simple practical realistic solutions are needed, based on some simple practical realistic approaches to governance
We're seeing that from Mike and Gavin more than from anyone else - which is why I feel fairly confident that the next steps for Bitcoin should and will be in the direction outlined by Mike and Gavin - again, not directly because Mike and Gavin are some how "more cool" or somehow “more trustworthy” - but simply because they recognize the natural direction a network like Bitcoin is going to tend to take anyways - optimizing the tradeoffs between the most significant threats and bottlenecks currently affecting it in the real world - and they've done the things which matter the most in this kind of situation: they've communicated clearly and convincingly about the major risks and tradeoffs involved and how we should prioritize them, as well as releasing actual working code which is minimally different from existing code and which seems like it should be able to run on most people's infrastructure, and outlining a realistic scenario for how this code could be adopted.
Nobody else has even come close to this - no comprehensive communication prioritizing the various trade-offs and focusing on the most important ones requiring the least changes for the most payoff, no realistic understanding of how the development and upgrade and roll-out process for an open-source p2p financial network actually works in the real world, and no code released.
The first time I actually breathed a sigh of relief in all these months of following the block size debate was when listening to Mike and Gavin's simple and realistic and pragmatic solutions.
I'm also pretty sure that managers and investors who understand how major projects and markets actually work will also tend to gravitate towards Mike's and Gavin's solutions - since these kind of people also tend to favor things that are simple and realistic and pragmatic.
submitted by ydtm to bitcoinxt [link] [comments]

The Big Blocks Mega Thread

Since this is a pressing and prevalent issue, I thought maybe condensing the essential arguments into one mega thread is better than rehashing everything in new threads all the time. I chose a FAQ format for this so a certain statement can be answered. I don't want to re-post everything here so where appropriate I'm just going to use links.
Disclaimer: This is biased towards big blocks (BIP 101 in particular) but still tries to mention the risks, worries and fears. I think this is fair because all other major bitcoin discussion places severely censor and discourage big block discussion.
What is the block size limit?
The block size limit was introduced by Satoshi back in 2010-07-15 as an anti-DoS measure (though this was not stated in the commit message, more info here). Ever since, it has never been touched because historically there was no need and raising the block size limit requires a hard fork. The block size directly limits the number of transactions in a block. Therefore, the capacity of Bitcoin is directly limited by the block size limit.
Why does a raise require a hard fork?
Because larger blocks are seen as invalid by old nodes, a block size increase would fork these nodes off the network. Therefore it is a hard fork. However, it is possible to downsize the block limit with a soft fork since smaller blocks would still be seen as valid from old nodes. It is considerably easier to roll out a soft fork. Therefore, it makes sense to roll out a more ambitious hard fork limit and downsize as needed with soft forks if problems arise.
What is the deal with soft and hard forks anyways?
See this article by Mike Hearn:
Why do we need to increase the block size?
The Bitcoin network is reaching its imposed block size limit while the hard- and software would be able to support more transactions. Many believe that in its current phase of growth, artificially limiting the block size is stifling adoption, investment and future growth.
Read this article and all linked articles for further reading:
Another article by Mike Hearn: (this article is a little outdated since both Bitcoin Core and XT now have mempool limits)
What is the Fidelity Effect?
It is the Chicken and Egg problem applied to future growth of Bitcoin. If companies do not see how Bitcoin can scale long term, they don't invest which in turn slows down adoption and development.
See here and here.
Does an increase in block size limit mean that blocks immediately get larger to the point of the new block size limit?
No, blocks are as large as there is demand for transactions on the network. But one can assume that if the limit is lifted, more users and businesses will want to use the blockchain. This means that blocks will get bigger, but they will not automatically jump to the size of the block size limit. Increased usage of the blockchain also means increased adoption, investment and also price appreciation.
Which are the block size increase proposals?
See here.
It should be noted that BIP 101 is the only proposal which has been implemented and is ready to go.
What is the long term vision of BIP 101?
BIP 101 tries to be as close to hardware limitations regarding bandwidth as possible so that nodes can continue running at normal home-user grade internet connections to keep the decentralized aspect of Bitcoin alive. It is believed that it is hard to increase the block size limit, so a long term increase is beneficial to planning and investment in the Bitcoin network. Go to this article for further reading and understand what is meant by "designing for success".
BIP 101 vs actual transaction growth visualized:
Note that the actual growth in BIP 101 is piece-wise linear and does not grow in steps as suggested in the picture.
What is up with the moderation and censorship on, and /bitcoin?
Proponents of a more conservative approach fear that a block size increase proposal that does not have "developeexpert consensus" should not be implemented via a majority hard fork. Therefore, discussion about the full node clients which implement BIP 101 is not allowed. Since the same individuals have major influence of all the three bitcoin websites (most notably theymos), discussion of Bitcoin XT is censored and/or discouraged on these websites.
What is Bitcoin XT anyways?
More info here.
What does Bitcoin Core do about the block size? What is the future plan by Bitcoin Core?
Bitcoin Core scaling plan as envisioned by Gregory Maxwell:
Who governs or controls Bitcoin Core anyways? Who governs Bitcoin XT? What is Bitcoin governance?
Bitcoin Core is governed by a consensus mechanism. How it actually works is not clear. It seems that any major developer can "veto" a change. However, there is one head maintainer who pushes releases and otherwise organizes the development effort. It should be noted that the majority of the main contributors to Bitcoin Core are Blockstream employees.
BitcoinXT follows a benevolent dictator model (as Bitcoin used to follow when Satoshi and later Gavin Andresen were the lead maintainers).
It is a widespread believe that Bitcoin can be separated into protocol and full node development. This means that there can be multiple implementations of Bitcoin that all follow the same protocol and overall consensus mechanism. More reading here. By having multiple implementations of Bitcoin, single Bitcoin implementations can be run following a benevolent dictator model while protocol development would follow an overall consensus model (which is enforced by Bitcoin's fundamental design through full nodes and miners' hash power). It is still unclear how protocol changes should actually be governed in such a model. Bitcoin governance is a research topic and evolving.
What are the arguments against a significant block size increase and against BIP 101 in particular?
The main arguments against a significant increase are related to decentralization and therefore robustness against commercial interests and government regulation and intervention. More here (warning: biased Wiki article).
Another main argument is that Bitcoin needs a fee market established by a low block size limit to support miners long term. There is significant evidence and game theory to doubt this claim, as can be seen here.
Finally, block propagation and verification times increase with an increased block size. This in turn increases the orphan rate of miners which means reduced profit. Some believe that this is a disadvantage to small miners because they are not as well connected to other big miners. Also, there is currently a large miner centralization in China. Since most of these miners are behind the Great Firewall of China, their bandwidth to the rest of the world is limited. There is a fear that larger block propagation times favor Chinese miners as long as they have a mining majority. However, there are solutions in development that can drastically reduce block propagation times so this problem will be less of an issue long term.
What is up with the fee market and what is the Lightning Network (LN)?
Major Bitcoin Core developers believe that a fee market established by a low block size is needed for future security of the bitcoin network. While many believe fundamentally this is true, there is major dispute if a fee market needs to be forced by a low block size. One of the main LN developers thinks such a fee market through low block size is needed (read here). The Lightning Network is a non-bandwidth scaling solution. It uses payment channels that can be opened and closed using Bitcoin transactions that are settled on the blockchain. By routing transactions through many of these payment channels, in theory it is possible to support a lot more transactions while a user only needs very few payment channels and therefore rarely has to use (settle on) the actual blockchain. More info here.
How does LN and other non-bandwidth scaling solutions relate to Bitcoin Core and its long term scaling vision?
Bitcoin Core is headed towards a future where block sizes are kept low so that a fee market is established long term that secures miner incentives. The main scaling solution propagated by Core is LN and other solutions that only sometimes settle transactions on the main Bitcoin blockchain. Essentially, Bitcoin becomes a settlement layer for solutions that are built on top of Bitcoin's core technology. Many believe that long term this might be inevitable. But forcing this off-chain development already today seems counterproductive to Bitcoin's much needed growth and adoption phase before such solutions can thrive. It should also be noted that no major non-bandwidth scaling solution (such as LN) has been tested or even implemented. It is not even clear if such off-chain solutions are needed long term scaling solutions as it might be possible to scale Bitcoin itself to handle all needed transaction volumes. Some believe that the focus on a forced fee market by major Bitcoin Core developers represents a conflict of interest since their employer is interested in pushing off-chain scaling solutions such as LN (more reading here).
Are there solutions in development that show the block sizes as proposed via BIP 101 are viable and block propagation times in particular are low enough?
Yes, most notably: Weak Blocks, Thin Blocks and IBLT.
What is Segregated Witness (SW) and how does it relate to scaling and block size increases?
See here. SW among other things is a way to increase the block size once without a hard fork (the actual block size is not increased but there is extra information exchanged separately to blocks).
Feedback and more of those question/answer type posts (or revised question/answer pairs) appreciated!
ToDo and thoughts for expansion:
@Mods: Maybe this could be stickied?
submitted by BIP-101 to btc [link] [comments]

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r/btc: /r/btc was created to foster and support free and open Bitcoin discussion, Bitcoin news, and exclusive AMA (Ask Me Anything) interviews from … Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. r/btc. log in sign up. User account menu. 22. Bitcoin XT Nodes and BIP 101 Mined Blocks Show Substantial Growth. Close. 22. Posted by. u/joseph_young ... Bitcoin XT nodes being DDOSed? We run and a couple of days ago received a DDOS attack against one of our customers (as we sometimes do). Upon investigation, the customer explained he had been using the server as a bitcoin node for the backend for a bitcoin ATM for over a year with no issue. He just recently switched to XT to show support for BIP 101, and was summarily attacked ... BIP 101 was implemented in Bitcoin XT on August 6, 2015, and released on August 15. If 75% of the last 1000 blocks were observed to have particular version bits set, it would have ceased enforcing the 1 MB block size limit and also have added a few new rules. However, this threshold was never achieved and no new XT blocks are being created today. In January 2016, BIP 101 was removed from ... Currently, Bitcoin XT and unlimited nodes (BIP 101) account for over 12.6% of the Bitcoin network’s node count, demonstrating a significant and consistent growth rate for the past few months. An increasing number of established bitcoin startups including, Bitpay, Itbit and KnCMiner have also begun to support Gavin Andresen’s 8 megabyte block-size increase proposal since ... Bitcoin XT, also known as BIP-101 (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal -101) has been making a gradual progress. Bitcoin XT was introduced by two Bitcoin Core developers – Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn. It is supposed to be one of the answers to the prevailing Bitcoin block size issue. Bitcoin XT or BIP-101 proposes the block size ...

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what is a Bitcoin brain wallet

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