Bitcoin is slow because the block size was left at 1MB - 2MB with Witness Data on the SEGWIT network - after throwing the entire "team" developer of GitHub and being occupied by developers of what is now known as Blockstream. This size has been maintained and keeps referring to two issues: Mining in China and the decentralization of the nodes or transaction validators that you point out in the article. Mining in China occupies a good part of the pie that miners distribute - in turn these are the ones that confirm the transactions and undermine the blocks - since 2011 and these Chinese farms are behind something that in the West call "The Great Firewall "that prevents a stable connection and slows down the propagation of the block, its mining and confirmation of the transaction over 3 minutes   causing a large part of the mining coming from China and therefore the power of 'Hash' decreased drastically affecting the security of Bitcoin; The less Hash the greater the possibility of being attacked by the Bitcoin network through a 51% attack that could cause double spending - although this gives rise to many debates since the 51% attack on an already "mature" network like Bitcoin requires a Considerable expenditure on mining equipment to control 51% of the mining power and receiving the block reward and the commissions for confirmed transfer on each block would make it less likely that said miner or mining group would like to make a double expense upon receiving sufficient economic compensation. So only a malicious agent with the intentions of destroying the network and assuming the total losses on the investment of equipment would be willing to carry out such operation. Possibilities exist but these are reduced by being the miner compensated for their activity. In the same references to Chinese mining farms but in another more economical field; Bitcoin has 21 million that are obtained through mining and commissions on transfers. These 21 million are achieved over time and from there it becomes a deflationary element as there is no possibility of printing more coins. The question of the Bitcoin block costly and the influence of Chinese mining goes through the Bitcoin subsidy or, currently called as, block reward: When a miner puts a block in the chain he receives the Bitcoin reward that is "inside" "of that block and which is currently encrypted in 12.5. Every 210000 blocks the reward is reduced by half so in less than a year (312 days from today ) it will be reduced to 6.25 so the miners will see their subsidy fall in half unless Bitcoin's price per coin increases considerably or the mining farms begin to close or reduce mining equipment thus decreasing the power of the network's Hash. If Bitcoin reduces by half every 210000 blocks the subsidy per block to miners will come a time when they can only live and maintain their equipment for transaction fees and in a Bitcoin network with 7 transactions per second and a commission that tends to Increase the higher the number of movements in it makes it unfeasible for miners to continue in said 1MB network and above all that people want to use this payment method that is expensive and slow - more even than gold paper - Because remember that Bitcoin born as Peer 2 peer cash, not gold-. Therefore, if in time the subsidy or reward is going to be 0 or unable to cover the mining equipment expense, it is necessary to find a solution if the developers do not want to touch the block size. And this goes through three issues already raised in BIPs and about the community: RPF (Replace By Fee), Lightning Network and Increase in the number of Bitcoin since the demand for Bitcoin does not rise because it offers a quality service but for security and above all for the manipulation of Tether (USDT) and the large exchange houses: - The RBF consists in the substitution of a transaction without confirmations for another that would replace it with a higher commission eliminating the previous one of the mempool - the limbo of the transactions to be confirmed in Bitcoin -. Although this system seems effective, it does not eliminate the long-term problem of continuing to maintain the reduced block, but rather removes the problem of financing miners, but does not eliminate it and, above all, kills the operation of Bitcoin transactions by not eliminating the increase in commissions that would distance the user from its use. In addition to more easily allowing double spending  . - Lightning Network is a side-chain or second layer, that is, a software development not implemented in the Bitcoin network itself and therefore is not an element of the block chain so this should already be repudiated since being a External and non-auditable element such as Bitcoin gives rise to "blanks" and therefore lack of existence and possibility of auditing accounts  and even the loss of money or cancellation of the transaction  . It also faces the problem of routing since in a network in constant change with the openings and closures of payment channels it is unfeasible to establish a total and rapid diffusion to the nodes of LN - other than those of Bitcoin - so it comes into play Another new element of this network is the watchtowers in charge of ensuring compliance in open channels and over the entire LN network of payments. Obviously it requires an additional cost to hire this service and it is not yet implemented  and taking into account the pace at which Lightning Network is developed, it is doubtful that it will become available . In short, to use properly - which is not successful - LN you need a node valued at $ 300 , a watchtower, have a channel open 24/7 and with sufficient funds to carry out transactions    . - The increase in the Bitcoin offer was raised fleetingly by developer Peter Todd   and will become an open debate in a few years when the mining block reward is low and the price of Bitcoin cannot be sustained only with uncontrolled printing of Tether and the manipulation on the price of the currency   next to the collusion of the exchange houses headed by BitFinex  and personalities of the world 'crypto'  - if he survives long enough to see that moment since they are already behind Bitfinex for money laundering . When that moment arrives I am sure that a BIP - Bitcoin Improvement Proposal - will be launched by Blockstream or directly notified of the measure destroying the essence of Bitcoin and the TRUE DECENTRALIZATION: THE PROTOCOL. This brings us to the second reason for the slowness of Bitcoin. The correct and true decentralization goes through the code and the team of developers and maintainers, not any other. The protocol must be engraved in stone  and that the action of the miners distribute and decentralize the network and they maintain the nodes and the transactions in a completely capitalist economic relationship. Investing in machines and communication improves access, speed and spread of transactions and blocks and makes miners true competitors as well as facilitating the transmission of money and all kinds of transactions . The decentralization of the nodes was the other great reason to prevent the increase of the block and therefore the speed in the transaction. It is based on a false premise to base the decentralization of Bitcoin - which is nowhere on the whitepaper - on the raspberry nodes. The dispersion of the transaction and all the stages of the transaction and the blocks depend on the miner and his team, as well as the search for excellence in communications to avoid orphan blocks - which are stipulated in the Nakamoto consensus and are part of Bitcoin and not they throw no problem in the transactions only in the resolution of the reward of the block that affects the miners and should seek greater efficiency - and reorganizations. The audit on the Bitcoin network can be perfectly performed without there being a Bitcoin node in each house, in fact it would cause the same routing problems that occur / will occur in the LN network. Decentralization should not go through nodes but through developers and to a lesser extent by miners. If a protocol is continually being altered by developers they have the power of the network and it must be in constant struggle by the miners through the commission on transactions. Due to these two factors, the BIP0101 proposed by the developers that Satoshi left in charge  and that originated the creation of Bitcoin Unlimited was rejected, later it was attacked due to its recent creation through DDoS attacks in a statement of intentions of the network Blockstream bitcoin   remaining as a residual element. These two reasons are the cause of the drowning suffered by the Bitcoin network - including many other elements that were eliminated and that corresponded to the initial code completely changing the nature and destiny of Bitcoin that are not relevant and I will not enumerate -, Any other reason is propaganda by those who want to keep Bitcoin drowned in order to enrich themselves with mining sub-subsidies and second-layer software like LN. Bitcoin has a structure similar to gold and can collect certain attributes of it but its destination in efficient and fast transmission as effective - among other transactions. Bitcoin was designed to professionalize miners and create a new industry around them, so mining centers will become datacenters  and they will replicate all transaction logs and even this professionalization will eventually lead to specialization in other types of transactions born new industries around you that will support the nodes according to specialization - Data, asset transfers, money, property rights, etc ... - Bitcoin scales to infinity if they leave the protocol FREE enough to do so. P.D: Core, since the departure of Hearn and Andersen, they know perfectly well what they are doing: The worst breed from the Cyberpunk movement has been combined with the worst breed of the current synarchy; The ends always touch.  https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3ygo96/blocksize_consensus_census/cye0bmt/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivgxcEOyWNs&feature=youtu.be&t=2h36m20s  https://www.bitcoinblockhalf.com/  https://petertodd.org/2016/are-wallets-ready-for-rbf  https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-atm-double-spenders-police-need-help-identifying-four-criminals/  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4905430.0 https://www.trustnodes.com/2018/03/26/lightning-network-user-loses-funds || https://www.trustnodes.com/2019/03/13/lightning-network-has-many-routing-problems-says-lead-dev-at-lightning-labs  https://diar.co/volume-2-issue-25/  https://blockonomi.com/watchtowers-bitcoin-lightning-network/  https://twitter.com/starkness/status/676599570898419712  https://store.casa/lightning-node/  https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/81906/to-create-a-channel-on-the-lightning-network-do-you-have-to-execute-an-actual-t  https://blog.muun.com/the-inbound-capacity-problem-in-the-lightning-network/  https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-capacity-cliff-586d1bf7715e  https://dashnews.org/peter-todd-argues-for-bitcoin-inflation-to-support-security/  https://twitter.com/peterktodd/status/1092260891788103680  https://medium.com/datadriveninvestotether-usd-is-used-to-manipulate-bitcoin-prices-94714e65ee31  https://twitter.com/CryptoJetHammestatus/1149131155469455364  https://www.bitrates.com/news/p/crypto-collusion-the-web-of-secrets-at-the-core-of-the-crypto-market  https://archive.is/lk1lH  https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/ViewDocument?docIndex=8W00ssb7x5ZOaj8HKFdbfQ==  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=195.msg1611#msg1611  https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/mastebip-0101.mediawiki  https://www.reddit.com/bitcoinxt/comments/3yewit/psa_if_youre_running_an_xt_node_in_stealth_mode/  https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/3yebzi/coinbase_down/ https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=532.msg6306#msg6306"
Newbs might not know this, but bitcoin recently came out of an intense internal drama. Between July 2015 and August 2017 bitcoin was attacked by external forces who were hoping to destroy the very properties that made bitcoin valuable in the first place. This culminated in the creation of segwit and the UASF (user activated soft fork) movement. The UASF was successful, segwit was added to bitcoin and with that the anti-decentralization side left bitcoin altogether and created their own altcoin called bcash. Bitcoin's price was $2500, soon after segwit was activated the price doubled to $5000 and continued rising until a top of $20000 before correcting to where we are today. During this drama, I took time away from writing open source code to help educate and argue on reddit, twitter and other social media. I came up with a reading list for quickly copypasting things. It may be interesting today for newbs or anyone who wants a history lesson on what exactly happened during those two years when bitcoin's very existence as a decentralized low-trust currency was questioned. Now the fight has essentially been won, I try not to comment on reddit that much anymore. There's nothing left to do except wait for Lightning and similar tech to become mature (or better yet, help code it and test it) In this thread you can learn about block sizes, latency, decentralization, segwit, ASICBOOST, lightning network and all the other issues that were debated endlessly for over two years. So when someone tries to get you to invest in bcash, remind them of the time they supported Bitcoin Unlimited. For more threads like this see UASF
Peter Todd's RBF (Replace-By-Fee) goes against one of the foundational principles of Bitcoin: IRREVOCABLE CASH TRANSACTIONS. RBF is the most radical, controversial change ever proposed to Bitcoin - and it is being forced on the community with no consensus, no debate and no testing. Why?
Many people are starting to raise serious questions and issues regarding Peter Todd's "Opt-In Full RBF", as summarized below: (1) RBF violates one of the fundamental principles of the Bitcoin protocol: irrevocable cash transactions.
Interesting point! Th[is] really is [a] drastically different vision of what Bitcoin according to the core dev team... It would be nice [if] they [wrote their] own "white paper" so we know where they are going...
"From a usability / communications perspective, RBF is all wrong. When the main function of your technology is to PREVENT DOUBLE SPENDING, you don't add an "opt-in" feature which ENCOURAGES DOUBLE SPENDING."
Intentionally doing zero-conf for any reason other than expediting a payment to the same recipients is nothing more than attempted fraud. There needs to be a good reason for enabling this, and last time I looked the case has not been made. People with a black and white view of the world who believe "0 conf bad, 1 conf good" simply do not understand how bitcoin works. By its random nature, bitcoin never makes final commitment to a transaction. Even with six confirmations there is still a chance the transaction will be reversed. In other words, bitcoin finality is not black and white. Instead, there is a probability distribution of confidence that a transaction will not be reversed. Software changes that make it easier to defraud people who have been reasonably accepting 0 conf transactions are of highly questionable value, as they reduce the performance (by increasing delay for a given confidence). If transactions with appropriate fees start failing to ever confirm because of "block size" issues, then bitcoin is simply broken and, if it can not be fixed bitcoin will end up as dead as a doornail.
Transactions spending the same utxo were (until now) not relayed (except by XT nodes). So it wasn't as simple as just sending a double spend, because the transaction wouldn't propagate. FSS-RBF seemed like a good option to get your tx unstuck if you paid too little. Pure RBF I'm not sure what the point of it is. What problem is it solving?
When F2Pool implemented RBF at the behest of Peter Todd they were forced to retract the changes within 24 hours due to the outrage in the community over the proposed changes. So the opposite is actually true. The community actively do not want this change. Has there been any discussion whatsoever about this major change to the protocol?
My business accepts bitcoin and helps people with minor cash transfers and purchases. Fraud has NEVER been an issue as long as the transactions have been broadcast on the blockchain with appropriate fees. We usually send people their cash as soon as the transaction is broadcast. Now we have to wait 10 minutes to avoid getting cheated out of hundreds of dollars, vastly increasing the service cost of accepting bitcoin. And we have to tell customers we promote bitcoin to that they are likely to be cheated if they don't wait 10 minutes while buying their bitcoin. It is such a spectacularly stupid thing to do, adding uncertainty and greater potential for fraud at every link of the transaction chain. Thanks a lot, Peter.
Jeez, we need to give this "zero-conf was never safe" meme a rest already. Cash was also "never safe", but it's widely used because it works reasonably well in the context it's used. These people would probably advocate for a cashless society as well.
I believe it'll be possible for a payment processing company to provide as a service the rapid distribution of transactions with good-enough checking in something like 10 seconds or less. The network nodes only accept the first version of a transaction they receive to incorporate into the block they're trying to generate. When you broadcast a transaction, if someone else broadcasts a double-spend at the same time, it's a race to propagate to the most nodes first. If one has a slight head start, it'll geometrically spread through the network faster and get most of the nodes. A rough back-of-the-envelope example: 1 0 4 1 16 4 64 16 80% 20% So if a double-spend has to wait even a second, it has a huge disadvantage. The payment processor has connections with many nodes. When it gets a transaction, it blasts it out, and at the same time monitors the network for double-spends. If it receives a double-spend on any of its many listening nodes, then it alerts that the transaction is bad. A double-spent transaction wouldn't get very far without one of the listeners hearing it. The double-spender would have to wait until the listening phase is over, but by then, the payment processor's broadcast has reached most nodes, or is so far ahead in propagating that the double-spender has no hope of grabbing a significant percentage of the remaining nodes.
Zero conf was always dangerous, true, but the attacker is rolling a dice with a double spend. And it is detectable because you have to put your double spend transaction on the network within the transaction propagation time (which is measured in seconds). That means in the shop, while the attacker is buying the newspaper, the merchant can get an alert from their payment processor saying "this transaction has a double spend attempt". Wrestling them to the ground is an option. Stealing has to be done in person... No different then from just shop lifting. The attacker takes their chance that the stealing transaction won't be the one that is mined. With rbf, the attacker has up to the next block time to decide to release their double spend transaction. That means the attacker can be out of the shop and ten minutes away by car before the merchant gets the double spend warning from their payment processor. Stealing is not in person and success is guaranteed by the network. Conclusion: every merchant and every payment processor will simply refuse to accept any rbf opt in transaction. That opt in might as well be a flag that says "enable stealing from you with this transaction"... Erm no thanks. There might be a small window while wallet software is updated, but after that this " feature " will go dark. Nobody is going to accept a cheque signed "mickey mouse", and nobody is going to accept a transaction marked rbf. Strangely, that means all this fuss about it getting merged is moot. It will inevitably not be used.
This opens up a new kind of vandalism that will ensure that no wallets use this feature. The way it works is that if you make a transaction, and then double spend the transaction with a higher fee, the one with the higher fee will take priority.
RBF as released is a really, really stupid policy change that will open up Bitcoin to blackmail and wholesale theft of transactions. Bitcoin XT can easily be better than the confused, agenda-ridden rubbish being released by Blockstream and their fellow-travellers.
"opt-in" is a bit of a red-herring. As I understand: say I'm a vendor who doesn't want to accept RBF transactions. So I don't opt-in. I'm still stuck accepting RBF transactions because the sender, not the receiver, has the control.
Yes it is opt-in, which means I have to anticipate ... congestion beforehand to use it. This has caused me troubles recently. Normally I use low-fee mode to transact and switch mode when the network is congested. A few times either I did not know about the congestion or forgot to switch mode and my txn got stuck for 12-48h. So for me this opt-in does nothing of help. If I was conscious about the congestion I would have switch to high-fee mode, no RBF needed. ...Or I have to enabled RBF for all my txns. Then there's problem of receivers have to all upgrade their wallet after the wallet devs choose to implement it. And just to add one more major complication when consider 0-conf.
It seems to me like RBF is addressing a problem (delays due to too-low fees) which would not exist if we had larger blocks. It seems fishy to make this and lightning networks to solve the problem when there's a much simpler solution in plain view. We should set the bar for deceit and mischief unusually high on this one bc there is so much at stake, an entire banking empire.
PT [Peter Todd] is part of a group of devs who propose to create artificial scarcity in order to drive up transaction fees. IOW [In other words], he's a glorified central planner. A free market moves around such engineered scarcity. See also: the music business. tl;dr stop running core.
This maybe a needed feature if Bitcoin get stuck with 1MB.. You might need to jack-up the fee several time to get your fees in a blocks in the future.. It seems that 1MB crrippecoin is really part of their vision.
RBF makes sense in a world where blocks are small and always full. It creates a volatile transaction pricing market where bidders try to outbid each other for the limited space in the current block of txns. It serves the dual goals of limiting transactions and maximizing miner revenue resulting from the artificial scarcity being imposed by the block size limit. The unfortunate side effect is that day to day P2P transactions on the Bitcoin network will become relatively expensive and will be forced onto another layer, or coin.
To say it a bit harsher but IMO warranted: P. Todd seems to be busy inventing useless crap and making things complicated for wallet devs...
— awemany https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/3ujc4m/consensus_jgarzik_rbf_would_be_antisocial_on_the/cxfkwvi (8) Why is the less-safe version of RBF the one being released ("Full") rather than the "safe(r)" version (FSS - First-Seen Safe)? Peter Todd had proposed two different versions of RBF: "Full" vs "FSS" (First-Seen Safe). "Full" is the more dangerous version, because it allows general double-spending (I can't even believe we're even saying things like "allows general double-spending" - but that's the kind of crap Peter Todd is trying to foist on us). "FSS" is supposedly a bit "safer", because is only allows double-spending a transaction with the same output. What's being released now is "Opt-In Full RBF".
First-seen-safe restricts replace-by-fee to only replacing transactions with the same output (prevents double spending). The reason this feature is being added is they see Bitcoin as a settlement network, so when there's a backlog users should be able to replace their transaction with a higher-fee one so it's included. It's to deal with the cripplingly low blocksizes. Someone should just implement and merge first-seen-safe, since that's much more non-controversial. Keeps 0-confs safe(r) while enabling re-submitting transactions.
Ok, so if the only benefit of RBF is to unstick stuck transactions by increasing the fee; why did you use "Full RBF" instead of "FSS RBF"? Full RBF allows the sender to increase the fee and change who the receiver is. FSS (First-Seen-Safe) RBF only allows the sender to increase the fee, but does not allow the sender to change who the receiver is. Tldr: FSS RBF should be enough to enable your wanted benefit of being able to resend stuck transactions by increasing their fee, but you chose Full RBF anyway. Why?
The benefit of opt-in RBF: Now, when a transaction is not going through because fee was accidentally made too low or if there is a spam attack on the network, a user can "un-stuck" his/her transaction by re-sending it with a higher fee. No more being held to the mercy of miners maybe confirming your transaction, or not. The user gets some power back.
If this was the actual problem at hand, why not restrict the RBF to only increasing the fee, but not changing the output addresses. RBF in it's current form is nothing but a tool to facilitate double spending. That is, it lowers the bar for default nodes to assist facilitating double spending. Which is VERY BAD for Bitcoin, imho. Serisouly, I don't know what's gotten into those devs ACK'ing this decrease in Bitcoin's trustwortiness.
And what if some/all miners simply hold RBF-enabled transactions into a separate pool and extract maximum value per transaction i.e. wait until senders cough up more & more ... A very dangerous change that will actively encourage miners to collaborate on extracting higher fees or even extorting senders trying to 'fix' their transactions.
A miner could simply separate all RBF-enabled TX into a separate list and wait for higher and higher fees to be paid. It's kind of like putting a "Take my money, Pls!!!" sign on your forehead and and going shopping.
It's not uncontroversial. There is clearly controversy. You can say the concerns are trumped up, invalid. But if the argument against even discussing XT is that the issue is controversial, the easy ACK'ing of this major change strikes many as hypocritical. There is not zero impact. Someone WILL be double spent as a result of this. You may blame that person for accepting a transaction they shouldn't, or using a wallet that neglected to update to notify them that their transaction was reversible. But it cannot be said that no damage will result due to this change. And in my view most importantly, RBF is a cornerstone in supporting those who believe that we need to keep small blocks. The purpose for this is to enable a more dynamic fee market to develop. I fear this is a step in the direction of a slippery slope.
(12) How does the new RBF feature activate?
Does anyone know how RBF activates? I mean if wallets are not upgraded this could be very dangerous for users. Because even if its opt-in this could kill zero confirmation for good.
the solution to all this, is actually rather simple. Take the power away from these people. Due to the nature of bitcoin, we've always had that power. There never was a need for an "official" or "reference" implementation of the software. For a few years it was simply the most convenient, the mo[s]t efficient, and the best way to work out all the initial kinks bitcoin had. It was also a sort of restricted field in that (obviously) there were few people in the world who truly understood to the degree required to make a) design change proposals, and b) code for them (and note that while up until now this has been the case, it's not necessary for these 2 roles to be carried out by the same people). The last few months' debates over the blocksize limit have shown and educated thst a lot of people now truly understand what's what. And what's more one of the original core-devs (Gavin), already gave us the gift of proving in the real world that democracy in bitcoin can truly exist via voting with the software one (or miners) runs, without meaning to. BitcoinXT was a huge gift to the community, and it's likely to reach its objective in a few months. It seems an implementation of bitcoin UL will test the same principle far sooner than we thought. So the potential for real democracy exists within the network. And we're already fast on our way to most of the community stop[p]ing using core as the reference client. Shit like what Peter pulled yesterday, I predict, will simply accelerate the process. So the solution is arriving, and it's a far better solution th[a]t it would be to, say, locking Peter out of the project. Thi[s] will be real democracy. I also predict in a couple of years a lot of big mining groups/companies/whatever will have their own development teams making their internal software available for everyone else to use. This will create an atmosphere of true debate of real issues and how to solve them, and it will allow people (miners) to vote with their implementations on what the "real" bitcoin should be and how it should function. Exciting times ahead, the wheels are already in motion for this future to come true. The situation is grave, I won't deny that, but I do believe it's very, very temporary.
This post covers what happened in Decred last month. Let's get down to business and have About section at the end.
Wallet and node software version 1.2.0 has been released. Decrediton wallet highlights: improved startup experience, redesigned overview page, added basic graphs to visualize statistics and an export to CSV (helpful for tax reporting). dcrd node software highlights: significantly faster startup and compact filters to support light clients. See full release notes and downloads here, for Decrediton use 1.2.1 bugfix release. The release process has been improved. Instead of announcing a release date and trying to meet it, a Release Candidate 1 (RC1) will now be posted. After it has been tested an bugfixed with the help of the community, a second candidate (RC2) will be released. This is repeated until an RC version with no apparent bugs becomes the final release. The new process removes a ton of pressure from developers and users and gives more time for testing. As our primary consumer-facing product, Decrediton, is growing in features and complexity, more testing will be required for new releases. Politeia is "Getting close to a public beta of voting" (slack). Decred plugin merged, paywall and voting are in the testing stage. Ticket voting works on testnet via CLI. Trezor support got closer as Decred patch was merged. Please note this is only firmware support, to be usable it also needs wallet integration. WooCommerce Decred plugin alpha version is ready for testing. Decred.org received a new sleek exchanges page. The contributors page has been updated to add 10 new faces. Some of them are new to the project but others have been contributing for a while. Dev activity stats for April: 152 active PRs, 125 commits, 21,656 added and 10,288 deleted lines spread across 7 repositories done by 2-7 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: April started at 2.0-2.7 PH/s range and seen a general increase with some big fluctuations between lows at 2.2 and new all time high above 5.2 PH/s. Nodes: there are 200 public listening and 500 normal nodes per dcred.eu as of May 1. 169 nodes already upgraded to version 1.2.0. Some 30 nodes were observed to be testing Release Candidate versions before the final release. Ticket price 30-day average has seen a steady rise to 87.5 DCR. Stake participation is solid 46.1% with 3.53 million DCR as of May 1.
Updates from Obelisk's Taek:
We got results back. They are more or less on line with the simulations I didn't realize this, but we don't get the real chips back for 3 more weeks. The ones we've been testing are hacked together into a DIP package (they are BGA chips) that really screws up the results There's a decent chance that the full bga chips perform better For the time being though, we're pretty much on track for the hashrates estimated on the website (slack, Apr 12)
And regarding the June delivery date:
We're still on track for batch 1. We've ordered most of the parts we'll need, including the chips. We've got working chips, we've got test boards, test units, test everything. We've signed manufacturers to produce everything. Obelisk is going strong. (reddit, Apr 23)
We are thankful for his updates in our #pow-mining channel and hope other ASIC manufacturers will also join. Fellow Sia miners are discussing the design of Obelisk SC1 case. Halong: B29 units are shipping. The amount of units in first batch was estimated 450-600 by our community member. Review of DragonMint B29 published, people are discussing shipping and running the miners. By surprise, Innosilicon announced the sale of D9 DecredMaster ASIC miner with specs identical to Halong B29 while being much cheaper ($6800 Inno vs $10499 Halong). Expected shipping date of the first batch is April 28-30. The company is active on their bitcointalk thread, also see our reddit. Just 9 days later Innosilicon announced second batch with delivery on May 7-11 and same price of $6800. (reddit)
Decred's Brazilian community made good progress with integrations this month.
emiliomann: On April 2nd @Rhama will launch the first BR exchange of altcoins with fiat market and totally within the laws of the Brazilian government. Decred will have the two markets DCBTC and DCBRL. It’s very difficult to fulfill all the legal requirements and get authorization to work with FIAT here.
The exchange turned out to be Profitfy. Profity is innovating by using dcrtime for their blockchain ID login via Original My. Great to see this deeper engagement with the tools that Decred provides, and not a surprise that it comes from @Rhama, who has been a community member since day one. This seems to have spurred another exchange, Braziliex, to bring forward their launch of DCBRL and DCBTC pairs, coming just 2 hours after Profitfy launched. Not stopping there,
viniciusfrias: We're excited to announce PagueCripto.com, a Brazilian crypto-to-fiat payment gateway which accepts Decred among other cryptocurrencies for Brazilians to pay daily bills, such as credit cards, energy, rent, etc, and also to make local bank transfers. Our service is both a web platform and an Android app, and as our community is relevant in Brazil, we are offering a discount coupon (50%) in service fees using DCR until May 14, 2018. Check it out at paguecripto.com and in Google Play Store. (slack)
Moving to other countries, good news from Canada:
michae2xl: Decred is now available on @ezBtcCanada, an exchange with DCCAD trading pair. From Toronto – ezbtc.ca
Eventually we hope to offer the pair in GBP and YEN as well
changenow.io, a non-custodian exchange for fast conversions, added DCR. You can see all exchanges known to support Decred in a spreadsheet maintained by snr01. Many of them are missing from coinmarketcap.
RAurelius: I think that a law firm accepting Decred is a worthy distinction from other previously publicized companies that accept Decred for typical consumer products. Legal services are severely lacking in the Crypto-sphere, so the publicity is good for everyone in this arena.
Great to see business owners reaching us directly in chat. VotoLegal is migrating from Ethereum to Decred blockchain:
emiliomann: VotoLegal, a Brazilian project that uses blockchain technology to allow election campaign funding to be transparent and that all transactions conducted are tracked and made available to the citizens, now uses dcrtime and Decred blockchain. https://twitter.com/decred_bstatus/986610826051276800 (slack)
YBF Ventures and Decred announced partnership in building a blockchain-focused development and business hub in Australia.
With the YBF Ventures partnership, Decred hopes to grow their Australian contractor network and scale their operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. (btcmanager.com) We specifically chose Decred for a more robust corporate partnership, and it is the first time that a decentralised autonomous organisation is partnering with a ‘traditional’ organisation in such a capacity. (ybfventures.com)
Dustorf joined on the marketing front and is conducting a brand discovery analysis:
Decred is soliciting the input of our user community. In order to better understand you, what you think of Decred, and where you would like it to focus its efforts, we've come up with a short (4 minute) survey. Your input of all varieties is most appreciated https://www.surveymonkey.com/2LHK3FV
April targeted advertising report released (previous March report here). Reach @timhebel for full version. The iconic "Not Overly Scammy" t-shirt by cryptograffiti is available for purchase. For those wondering, the meme originates from @fluffypony. Some hilarious promos by @jackliv3r: onetwothree.
Community event at YBF Ventures in Australia. Meetup in Wroclaw, Poland. BBQ with @scalarcapital team in Austin, USA. Blockchain Expo in London, UK. Decred was well represented at this large-scale industry event. Project Lead Jake took part in several interview and the Decred stand manned by community members was flooded with inquisitive visitors. (video, photo 123) First Decred meetup in Hangzhou, China. (slack) Business of Blockchain at MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, USA. Presentation: Blockchain Sovereignty and Blockchain Integration for Businesses by Jake Yocom-Piatt. (event, reddit, photo 123) Cambridge Blockchain Meetup in Cambridge, USA. Talk: Cutting the Head off the Snake by Jake Yocom-Piatt. (event, photo 123) Upcoming events:
Madison Blockchain Meetup in Madison, USA on May 21
Second episode of Lightning Network educational series is out, exploring topics such as payment channels, onion routing, centralization risk, and challenges that still lie ahead. (youtube) A user’s perspective and introduction to blockchain governance (Richard Red) The Importance of Governance: Analyzing the Aftermath of the Monero Hard Fork by Noah Pierau (btcmanager.com) The Crypto Show w/ Marco from Decred (youtube) Interview with Jake at @Blockchain_Expo by Crypto Coin Growth (youtube) Interview with Jake at @Blockchain_Expo by Cryptocurrency Academy (youtube) Alternative Blockchain Governance Systems With Jake & Kyle From Decred at @Blockchain_Expo by Crypto Disrupt (youtube) Decred Looks Ahead: An Interview with Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt (Exclusive) (sludgefeed.com) How Complex Bitcoin Politics Led to the Creation of Decred (btcmanager.com) Interview with Decred’s Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt on Crypto Ad Bans and Market Volatility (cryptoslate.com) Decred’s Jonathan Zeppettini: The Industry Is Going To Be Displacing Wall Street (blocktribune.com) On Chain VS. Off Chain Governance: The Ins And Outs (coinjournal.net) Decred: On true decentralisation, Bitcoin communities, and avoiding the ICO route [Video] (blockchaintechnology-news.com) Marco in shitcoin talk episode 54 (youtube)
Reddit highlights: A debate on Decred protocol security and attack cost, a comparison of expected and actual block production times, a write-up on distribution of powers and how Monero could benefit from a PoS governance layer, twoother threads on ASIC resistance, and one discussing different types of decentralization. Very thoughtful discussion on whether it is appropriate to use half naked photos in marketing, followed by meta-discussion how to handle very polarizing issues and unwanted contributions to the marketing efforts of a decentralized project. (slack, continued) A new #governance channel was created to discuss governance in Decred and other projects. politeia subreddit was recovered for Decred community. Thanks to Tivra for filing the request. Politeia can bring a lot of value outside Decred so it well deserves its own sub. A new Slack invite page has been setup and onboarded 40 people in 48 hours. Decred StackExchange site proposal was closed due to inactivity in a 7 day period, according to Area 51 rules.
In April Decred showed a confident recovery after previous months. DCUSD moved from below $40 to nearly $90 and the more liquid DCBTC from 0.0058 to 0.0093. OOOBTC showed unexpectedly huge DCR trading volume of $19 m on April 10 (reddit), it went back to normal 2 weeks later. On April 25 a wild rush took the price from 0.00777 to 0.0177 BTC in under 30 minutes on Poloniex, setting a new USD all time high of ~$165 ($141 world average). Prices on other exchanges followed to a lesser degree. Possible causes were discussed on reddit. Talking about all time highs, an indicator tracking difference between ATH and current price shows Decred is competitive at retaining USD value.
Bittrex finally opened registrations again. ASIC debates are raging after Bitmain stealth-launched ASICs for Sia, Monero and Ethereum. Most opinions reflect on whether and how to resist ASICs, but some are recognizing the Decred way, like this excellent piece. The importance of governance is gaining recognition as well. One notable example is Mike Hearn's AMA where it was a hot topic.
About This Issue
This project was motivated by the desire to expose just how much is happening in Decred and save the time for people unable to actively follow our channels. It aims to cover all relevant developments with a short description and links to read further. It shows the depth of the project and the involvement of the community. We also plan to launch a newsletter and consider a shorter version if there is such a demand. This is the first issue and feedback is welcome to discover what is best for our readers. Please join our Slack and write us on #writers_room or comment directly on GitHub. Any help is welcome too. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, jazzah, Richard-Red, snr01 and vj.
Are miners simply insane? These capacity problems are going to DESTROY Bitcoin!
I can't get my head around this, it must be clear to anybody at least half-intelligent that not increasing the block size limit ASAP is going to destroy Bitcoin. The current unacceptable delays to confirm legitimate transactions is so bad experience for new users that they'll probably never try Bitcoin again, what's worse, they're going to tell their friends about the experience - it's creating a negative network effect where many people get discouraged to use it for a long long time if not forever. Do the miners not see that this destroys the future price of Bitcoin and therefore their earnings? Are they this blind? Do they not see that SegWit is NOT a scaling solution at all and is bloatware  that will redirect their earnings to a 2nd layer "solutions" which are years away from being even potentially in widespread use (if Bitcoin would exist by then). Why do they let this trojan horse into their gates? The Core team was warned about this long time ago and knew about the issue, they've pushed away the devs who were warning us this would happen (Gavin Andersen , Mike Hearn  ...) A year ago, you could say they were just incompetent, I do not think one can reasonably believe so now - they're simply malicious. We knew state actors would try to disrupt and destroy Bitcoin, is this it? I don't know but it surely looks like it . The only sane option is to completely amputate this cancerous "dev team" and replace it with Bitcoin Unlimited  team/implementation which has the original vision of Bitcoin as its goal. And for those who believe Core brought many improvements to Bitcoin - it does not need any improvements, it needs to work! It is years before any exotic new uses need to be implemented, it needs to follow its original vision and work well first and foremost. Do not fall for this smokescreen, ordinary Joe and Bitcoin businesses do not care about SegWit or Lighting Network, they need reliable, consistent experience! Don't let me even get started on the decentralization issue, if they valued decentralization so much, they'd welcome another implementations, instead they fight them tooth and nail - so another smokescreen. Is this so hard to see? So the question considering all the above - are the miners actually insane and suicidal? Why are they not switching to Bitcoin Unlimited ASAP as a matter of survival?  http://www.deadalnix.me/2016/10/17/segwit-is-not-great/  http://gavinandresen.ninja/why-increasing-the-max-block-size-is-urgent  https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-resolution-of-the-bitcoin-experiment-dabb30201f7#.yfsh5zt3s  https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/57vwvp/a_page_taken_out_of_the_national_security_report/  https://www.bitcoinunlimited.info/
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.
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.
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 bothleft 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:
Default thread sorting changed to "controversial" in selected threads instead of "best" like nearly every other subreddit
Comment/upvote scores hidden by default (combined with the previous point this prevented theymos and other unpopular mods like StarMaged and BashCo from ending up at the bottom of every thread they posted in)
The implementation of a custom CSS sheet that disguises long threads of [removed] comments. This was especially effective at the time as the censorship was obvious since threads were becoming wastelands of hundreds of deleted comments, similar to other Reddit throw downs like GamerGate
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:
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).
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.
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).
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 GHash.io 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:
The possibility of an irrevocable community divergence, as has happened in Ethereum (discussed below)
The chance of introducing new code bugs by forcing a network update without totally comprehensive software developer review
The possibility of reducing decentralisation in the network as higher hardware requirements puts greater strain on network nodes and miners
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:
Transaction fees are continuously rising as transactions compete for the limited space in each block
Confirmation times for any given transaction are also increasing, especially ones without a rapidly escalating fee attached
Fee and confirmation times is making BItcoin hostile to new users, who are confused by their difficulties with this “revolutionary” new technology
Restricting Bitcoin’s growth increases the likelihood it will be overtaken by another unrestricted cryptocurrency
Passively validating the stance of /Bitcoin to continue censoring the debate about this important issue
Bitcoiners are encouraged to examine all of the information and reach their own conclusion. However, it is important to remember that Bitcoin is anopen-source projectfounded on the ideal offree 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? Developers 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). Users Exact user sentiment is impossible to determine, especially given the censorship on /Bitcoin. Miners and Nodes Coin.dance 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:
The Bitcoin Core and /Bitcoin stated policy is to avoid a hard fork at all costs. So there is no risk of a hard fork on that side.
The Bitcoin XT/Classic/Unlimited and /btc side is prepared for a hard fork if necessary, but it will only come to pass if a clear majority of miners (and presumably users, although that's harder to determine) are already signalling that they would be onboard. There is no exact threshold value, but no miner is going to risk publishing a block larger than 1MB until they are very confident the network will follow them.
What Happens Now
How do I check on the current status of opinion? Coin.dance 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.
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 /BitcoinTheymos 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.
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
Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained
Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned includes examples of the censoring.) Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well. BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war. Who are they fighting against? The government and central banks. There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software. BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker. Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”. Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre. Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs. ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government. Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks. Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared after 2010, but we can refer to his writings. He wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years. Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology. One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government. Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s) This must have angered Ver a lot. Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war. Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies. More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com). HOW TO WIN THE WAR To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
steal wealth from its citizens by printing money (When a government prints money, it is no different than when a criminal counterfeits money. Both are stealing wealth from the other people holding the same currency.)
tax wherever it pleases (and then squander the money or spend it on activities that the population does not agree with, such as wars)
continue exploding the size of government
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it. IS BITCOIN WINNING? Yes and no. Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals. Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold. However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency. If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies. BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. SatoshiDice, Yours.org and Bitmain switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times? Because of small blocks. SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT Why isn't the block size increased? Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.) Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused. The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
Small Blockers, who did not want to increase the block size
They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos. He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased? He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future. Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores. Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later. CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain? DIFFERENT AGENDAS It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas. Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!” Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good." Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.” Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later” Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.” Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.” Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed” Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.” Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.” Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome." Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.” Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system” Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia. Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions. An analogy of this scaling debate is this: You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph. Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built. CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users). Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin. Roger Ver's companies use use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table. In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) is IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream. But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream. Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems. BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers. Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08) According to this video, Luke-jr believes that the government should tax you and the government should execute heretics. Luke-jr's values are diametrically opposed to libertarians'. Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this, so he pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited. MIKE HEARN EXPLAINS BLOCKSTREAM Mike Hearn is one of the first Bitcoin developers. He explained how Core/Blockstream developers (source):
never want to increase block size
required consensus to stop other people’s changes, but not their own
hijacked control of Bitcoin
are incentivized to sell their off-chain product called Liquid
"work for a company that makes more money the worse the block chain gets"
THE DIVORCE To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC. After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash and has the symbol BCH. Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while. Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash. Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money. This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different. Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways. Both parties have what they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
The Bitcoin network has scalability problems. To increase its transaction rate and speed, micropayment channel networks have been proposed; however, these require to lock funds into specific channe... Hearn, released a new version of the Bitcoin client software (Bitcoin XT) with the latent capacity ... This section will describe the specificities of the two-layered structure of the Bitcoin ... What Hearn described is one dream use case for a decentralized autonomous organization, or a DAO, an idea that swirled through the community not long after bitcoin was released in 2009. Frustrated by the reluctance expressed by the other Bitcoin developers to officially raise the block size limit (Hearn, 2015), two core developers, Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, released a new version of the Bitcoin client software (Bitcoin XT) with the latent capacity of accepting and producing an increased block size of eight megabytes. Bitcoin transactions by private individuals will be as rare as… well, as Bitcoin-based purchases are today. The answers Hal Finney received have been a little, gentle foretaste of the toxicity this topic contains. A bitcointalk user replied: Sounds like a fractional reserve system, one of the fiat money pitfall bitcoin claims it can avoid.
The Bitcoin Group #84 -- Mike Hearn tries to kill Bitcoin - Segregated Witness - Robocoin - Netflix
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