I disagree. SegWit2x is a misguided attempt to make Bitcoin "more efficient" without realizing that it puts at risk the core value proposition of Bitcoin: censorship resistance.
At the root of this debate is a disagreement about what the blockchain is for. On one side, you have all the developers working on the Core project and activists like Amir Taaki or "crypto-economists" like Paul Sztorc (creator of the decentralized prediction market which Augur is trying to re-implement), who believe the blockchain is for financial sovereignty. Bitcoin mining is a way to decentralize transaction validation, after all, such that no central authority can tell you which transaction is valid or not. Therefore, if you cannot run a full node and validate the mined blockchain yourself, Bitcoin is basically pointless because you have lost your ability to transact with censorship resistance. Increasing the size of blocks makes full blockchain validation more difficult. The risk then is miners mining a blockchain and you are not being able to contest it. The miners can decide not to include your transaction, they can require KYC for you to submit a transaction, etc., and you will have little leverage against this because you won't be able to validate the work they are doing.
On the other side, you have businesses and corporations (BitPay, BitMain, etc.) who believe that the blockchain can replace VISA, essentially, so they will do anything to make the system more efficient. This includes sacrificing decentralization and making it more difficult for users to validate the blockchain. They believe that being a full node doesn't matter and all that matters is replacing whatever current financial institutions are running with a blockchain.
What the second side of the debate is missing, however, is that the blockchain will never be as efficient as VISA. There is a reason why when over 70 of the world's largest banks got together at R3 and assessed how Bitcoin can help them transact, they came up with a distributed database called Corda and not a blockchain: blockchains are not efficient . They are inefficient but they are useful because they are decentralized and enable permissionless transactions.
I think the issue is that people have a vision of what Bitcoin is, that doesn't align with the reality of a proof-of-work system with a computation bound hash. The block size is basically orthogonal to the proof-of-work, and the proof-of-work is distributed in the sense that anyone can do it. There is nothing stopping any entity from doing the proof-of-work if they have the resources and capabilities. So this idea that there will be one company that is the only one doing Bitcoin doesn't really make sense if it's cost competitive for other companies to be involved, regardless of the computation or bandwidth requirements.
End users can still validate transactions via SPV, which is completely valid and provable without storing the entire block chain. Consensus relay nodes can do the same thing, although they will start dropping off the network when the bandwidth costs become prohibitive. So in a small block system we have an extremely limited amount of space for transactions, which means the cost will eventually be excessively high and result in settlement between big players. That's the choke point that allows for KYC and AML. You can submit a transaction to the network, but you can't afford to because there isn't enough bandwidth to service your request so you are forced into regulated channels, onto exchanges, or through third party choke points that can be audited. To a certain extent this is already happening.
People who want small blocks for Bitcoin really need to be thinking about using an Alt coin, it was never in the plans to have an extremely low bandwidth pipe to keep things decentralized when the proof-of-work is by default a centralizing force.
fraud proofs don't work because if you want to prevent someone from creating a fraud proof, you never send them the data that would be necessary to prove a fraud ("the block is too big! nobody (but some list of companies) have the bandwidth to support the enormous bitcoin network!"). SPV users don't require (nor check) the block data-- exactly the kind of scenario where you need in place so as to hide fraudulent double spends or other rule violations.
> the proof-of-work is by default a centralizing force
sounds like a good argument for regular pow change hard-forks. also to be watchful for economies of scale-- but economies of scale can hide pretty well i think, even after significant capital accumulation, it's an interesting problem.
here's a recent one: https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-0180.mediawi...
But why would a miner give an SPV user the data that proves a fraudulent double spend in the same block?
2. There is no non-blockchain alternative to online censorship resistant cash. So if the price to use it is high, you will either pay the fee for censorship resistance or use your credit card (which is faster, cheaper, gives you rewards or cash back, provides consumer protection, etc., but is not censorship resistant). Altcoins basically act as market forces which allow us to discover what the world is willing to pay for censorship resistant digital cash, and you see this when markets which actually need censorship resistance (eg. Silk Road, AlphaBay, etc.) talk about considering Monero or something else when Bitcoin's fees get too high.
2. There are already alternatives which have better censorship resistance than Bitcoin, limiting the block size does little to fix those issues. I also don't think the market actually values censorship resistance in their digital cash as much as you think.
Alphabay processed $600,000 to $800,000 per day . This is economic activity for tangible goods. In the list of other top uses of the blockchain might be ICOs, which are a way to leverage censorship resistance to raise money without permission from the SEC. On the high end, these accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars within minutes.
Please show me a use case for a blockchain-based cryptocurrency that even comes close to these numbers and that does not need censorship resistance.
The estimate of daily volume provided by blockchain.info obscures our discussion, especially if you consider that the daily volume for BTC/USD pair is around $1B. There could be $1B-worth of outputs in a day all dedicated to providing liquidity to exchanges, but entering/exiting the network is not an application of the network itself.
As for anonymity and fungibility: I believe tumbling services are good enough today, which is why buying on a dark market works. However, it is not perfect and this is why projects like Monero, ZCash, MimbleWimble, TumbleBit and Xim are important.
This isn't the most accurate thing, but looks to me like several millions USD worth of volume just in Bitpay. That doesn't account for all of the other payment processors, or the peer to peer payments, or the exchange trading, etc. I'm not saying dark markets aren't an early driver of Bitcoin, but it's not where the majority of the action is now at all.
Exchange trading is not really using bitcoin, it is buying/selling bitcoin. This is like saying buying a car is an application of cars...
Having said that, Bitpay is processing more than I thought. The data in that article would mean it's about $5M per day... I'd love to see a breakdown of this to figure out why people are spending bitcoin for everyday things if it'd be better for them to just use a credit card (to get rewards, to not have to hold a volatile currency, for consumer protection, for faster payments, etc.)
That and you can buy cash-like goods like gold bars which would be prohibitively expensive or impossible to purchase via credit card.
Bitcoin is almost 10 years old. We have enough data now to be able to build strong cases for what it's actually useful for. It is no longer sufficient to talk about what Bitcoin will do without talking about why it has not done so yet.
Bitcoin as a high throughput transaction network for buying things like coffee is not a good goal. It should be for much larger transactions, but optimized for decentralization and sound money.
Derivative blockchains can be spun off of Bitcoin, and settled periodically to the "reference" blockchain, which is Bitcoin, through lightning networks or other off chain developments (perhaps some sort of forked derivative pegged chains).
Bitcoin only has value as either a distributed non-centrally controlled international settlement network for countries and large banks , and/or as a digital Gold.
Optimizing this value out of bitcoin to achieve transaction throughput destroys the necessity of Bitcoin for existing.
Bitcoin proper should remain resistant to change, distributed, unable to be coopted or controlled by a few organizations, and above all, to have the properties of sound money (so resistant to changes to expand the money supply). If it doesn't have these qualities, it has no reason to be valuable. It cannot be all things to all people, but it can to "one" thing very well.
Maybe Ethereum will pick up the slack on the transactional side and Bitcoin will be only for "investment".
I am not saying we should never increase the block size, but I am saying we should try all alternatives that make the network more efficient (more tx throughput for same total resource cost) without making it harder for users to validate the blockchain.
What? They had first release like yesterday, the project has released one tarball, no packaging, no very good marketing etc. The biggest marketers seem to be the tinfoil hat opponents who fear the fork so much that they speak about it everywhere.
I don't think it is at all likely that segwit2x client will gain support. Or if it will gain support, it will take years at this point for it to gain any considerable support.
The whole thins is totally exaggerated. People have nothing to talk about, so they will invent tinfoil hat scenarios and discuss those. Bitcoin protocol has staid fundamentally the same for many years and it is pretty likely that it will stay that way.
It's going to be 2 legitimate currencies that are going to differ in value in exchanges. And each current BTC holder will be able to spend 2 coins (provided they take precautions against replayability; like making at first a double-spend to different wallets on the two chains separately)
Now the question is: what will the most BTC-rich people do?
BTC rich people are on both sides of the debate, expect to see some dumping all around as they make their positions known.
If one chain has 10% hashing power, for less or equal to 14 days the transactions could take 10 times more to validate. But that's assuming markets aren't correcting miners in the "right" direction in the meantime. Who wants to waste electricity on undervalued coins?
Considering most of BTCs have been mined at the time bitcoin core had no competition; I'd say BTC rich people would tend to side with them. Because of emotional attachment, economic ties, and most importantly the dumb but very real reason of software maintenance.
I don't know if non-miners also check the difficulty or difficulty calculations, but if they do, even the minority chain can't fork without affecting existing users.
In that case everyone would need to fork in which case you're back to square one: what to do with the users that can't or don't want to fork. And if you need to fork anyway, it makes little sense to go with the minority chain.
In the end, miners mine what people buy. It's that simple.
Any speculation as to what happens if all miners move as one, motivated by ideology instead of economics, is just that.
I'm pretty sure the backlash against both the hostile miner and all of Bitcoin combined would not be worth it, except in a Joker 'Let's burn all this cash' kind of way.
The worst a majority can do, is to create a new longest chain without any transactions. But in that case the transactions would still exist and can be mined again later (and supplanted again later).
But that would require a miner to want to spend resources to hurt the minority fork.
If the minority fork is big enough to be a threat, that would require a lot of 'majority' miners to work together to pull off this attack, which would lead to a tragedy of the commons situation. Any majority miner who doesn't participate in the attack would gain.
If the minority fork is small enough to be a toy for a single miner, it still doesn't make sense to put in the still substantial effort.
Just look at the Ethereum fork. Afaik there have been no shenanigans pulled of by a majority miner on the minority fork, even though it's only about 10% of the size.
If majority of hashpower would start mining invalid blocks, there would still be some amount of hashpower mining the real chain. Transactions would confirm, albeit more slowly. For the miners mining the real chain the situation would be very good, because less competition from other miners -> more found blocks, more money. Probably the hash rate would grow pretty quickly, and if it wouldn't, the difficulty target would adjust after the 2 week difficulty adjustment period, and confirmation speeds would be back to normal.
Then when the difficulty has fallen enough to make mining profitable and have a consistent 10 minute block time the larger hash power chain will be able to mine at a significantly faster rate on the lower hash power chain and that will make it susceptible to a %51 attack.
The only way to avoid that scenario will be for them to switch the proof-of-work or manage to get a lot more hash power back on their chain. Being on the minority chain in that situation is frankly dangerous, the value should be discounted appropriately.
The blocks would happen farther apart, but it would also mean that the remaining miners would have much higher change of actually finding a block, since there would be less competition. Also as there would be the same amount of transactions and less blocks, the blocks would have more collected transaction fees -> bigger reward. Also probably people/exchanges would increase the fees since competition would be bigger to get the transaction to a block.
Also, it would make sense for exchanges etc to buy some mining power. That would make blocks appear faster, and also they would get the mining reweards, so it might be net positive. Or just simply bribe some miners to mine the valid chain. Very easy way to do that would be just to increase the transaction fees that they put to transactions.
That's not true. The chance of finding a block is the same for every hash given a certain difficulty, regardless of competition. So a miner with a certain amount of hashing power will always have the same chance of finding a block until the difficulty changes.
The remaining miners make the same amount per day, until difficulty is adjusted, and then much more.
Consider this: one pool with 20% hash power. They only get every 5th block, i.e. 1 coinbase reward every 50 minutes.
Now all the other miners fall away. Now this pool will still take about 50 minutes to find a block, but it will get 100% of them, thus still being rewarded a block every 50 minutes.
However, 2 to 10 weeks later (depending when the last difficulty adjustment was) (or longer, if difficulty adjustment is capped), a block is found every 10 minutes again, and the pool gets 100% of them, thus 5 rewards in 50 minutes.
On the other hand, gp also said:
> Also as there would be the same amount of transactions and less blocks, the blocks would have more collected transaction fees -> bigger reward.
If I understand correctly, that the hypothetical 20% mining pool would immediately get 100% rather than 20% of all transaction fees when the other miners fall away.
However, AFAIK the coinbase (mining reward) dwarfs the transaction fees (for now), so that should not be that relevant.
From what I understood, a valid SegWit block will appear valid to an old client.
Certain invalid SegWit blocks will also appear valid to old clients, but those blocks will be rejected by SegWit-enabled miners, so they have little chance to be included should the miners change.
You're correct. However, I'm fairly sure OP was talking about Segwit (with 2x).
If most users/exchanges/services don't get on board by the time the scheduled segwit2x hardfork happens, then those blocks would be considered invalid.
So by the time the 2x fork comes up, the segwit-enabled chain will already be in use for several months.
Another point I'm wondering (sorry if that's a noob question) : Assume that some of the forks actually lead to a chain split with hashpower distributed 90%/10%.
At some point, the difficulty of the chains will adjust to bring both of them back to the "one block every 10 minutes" rate. However, this will not happen immediately but only when the current difficulty period would complete. Before that happens, the minority chain will still have the difficulty from before the split - the one that assumes 10x as much hash power as now is actually available. That sounds as if the minority chain could become effectively unminable for the rest of the difficulty period. Worse, as the period durations are measured in mined blocks, if blocks are mined slower, the difficulty period will also go on for a longer time.
Does that make any sense?
> So by the time the 2x fork comes up, the segwit-enabled chain will already be in use for several months.
Correct. But there's an asterisk here: most people (78%) are running bitcoin core, some run Core/UASF (5%), and some run bitcore (2%). Together, that's 85% of nodes. Core 0.14, Core/UASF, and bitcore are all compatible with segwit, but not with the blocksize increase. Even if you wait multiple months, if people stick with Core (a possible outcome) then they will see 2x blocks as invalid.
> That sounds as if the minority chain could become effectively unminable for the rest of the difficulty period.
The chain wouldn't be unmineable, it would just get mined slower (mining profitability wouldn't be impacted for miners staying on the chain provided the price stays the same). But you're right, blocks will come slower, throughput will be lower, and the adjustment will take longer.
Thanks for replying at all! That was really interesting and informative.
Yep, you're 100% right.
Thanks for being interested, haha.
Additionally, if the split of hash power is highly asymmetric, then the difficulty of the majority fork will become much higher than that of the minority fork, over time. This opens the minority fork up to 51% attacks. Say the split is 90/10, then just 15% of the miners from the majority could team up and switch back to the minority fork to wreak havoc.
So, no, hashing power is not "all you need" to take over Bitcoin. For many people, Bitcoin is whatever their wallet supports.
In the exchanges runs will take place. The actual economic users will vote this issue out.
In the end spreadsheets will be updated, and miners won't want to spend their electricity on a chain that went unprofitable.
Miners may have the software coming from segwit2x, and be the ones who actually provide the technical consensus. But the economic consensus will trump everything else; and late software along with questionable roadmap does not inspire confidence.
This makes their opposition to Segwit2X clear:
Its clear the opposition is to Segwit-- and Segwit2X contains Segwit.
As for the hashpower, it doesn't matter what clients miners run. You can't force the nodes to run specific client with hashpower.
You can see the signalling process here: https://coin.dance/blocks
90% are signalling the NYA intent to support Segwit2x. Since the software release 20% have signalled with segwit2x blocks.
You can see business support here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Segwit_support#Businesses
I'm not sure if you consider Coinbase a major bitcoin company yourself, but I think they qualify.
If I was to make a prediction, everyone will be running segwit2x or another client faking segwit2x support, to get segwit passed by Aug 1st. Then once October comes along we'll have another fight over the actual blocksize hardfork.
That doesn't look like a very good proof. If coinbase plans to adopt segwit2x, why haven't they released an announcement? I wouldn't trust that wiki list very much.
And don't trust the wiki, no need to. Trust the hash power. The NYA signal was just a promise, so don't trust that one. But the BIP91 signals are coming in already. Just need to get that over 80% for just over 2 days. Then we'll see the original segwit signals jump to the 95%+ it needs.
But the truth is, you don't have to worry about finding any support proof or anything. We'll know what happens over the next week or two for sure. I don't care whatever direction it goes in, I just want it to go smoothly.
They were an original signer of the new york agreement, which is how segwit2X was created.
If you want a link, just read the new york agreement announcement.
The digital currency group (dcg.co) includes Coinbase in its portfolio.
People are just making this bullshit up.
You can also check out the SegWit2x mailing list archive  for companies actively testing SegWit2x. From there I've seen BitGo, Blockchain, Bloq, OB1 (Open Bazaar), Purse.. these are significant companies in the Bitcoin economy.
Testing is very different from actually running it in production. Companies test out a lot of different things. I think with consensus code companies will be very careful and if they plan to do something regarding that, they will announce it clearly, not in some half-assed wiki site or medium post.
That's... you're woefully out of touch with how people communicate in this space.
Show me where on these companies' sites it says "We run 0.14.2 of the reference client, with this patch set, and don't plan to ever change"?
Anyway, we'll see what happens in the next two weeks I guess. I'm expecting we lock-in SegWit via the SegWit2x client and then have another debate in a few months about the hard fork. Hoping not too many sw2x supporters get cold feet in the meantime.
You seem to have taken sides against BitcoinCore team, following the typical conspiracy theories. But FYI, Blockstream is not Core, Core is not Blockstream. More info: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/622bjp/bitcoin_cor...
Wrong. What's the choice you have when you disagree with what the maintainers of an opensource project do? You can fork. You're welcome to fork at any time. And in fact this is what we're seeing these days: an attempt of a fork. I believe that, as with the majority of the forks in the opensource world, the fork will not succeed, because the alternative developers are less capable.
I can fork Linux right now, make some random changes and I have a fully functioning equivalent system with those minor changes.
I can fork Bitcoin right now, make some random changes to the consensus code, and I have a useless token that has absolutely no value.
These two things, are not the same. How can you possibly refute that?
The value and usefulness of the token you would create is directly proportional to how good your change (divergence) to the software is.
It's the same as forking facebook's website code if they allowed that. You have a product you can use but without the scale of people and data it would give you a similiar level of value.
Any update to the network that is able to take away from it's value storage characteristics is bad, and core deeply understands this, unlike many other teams.
No one has hard-control over bitcoin, but the leading dev group has some manner of soft/non-coercive control (by momentum alone).
That is not how power works.
For one thing, it isn't a binary value. It is not that either have power or don't. It is a very complicated thing; even calling it a "continuum" greatly oversimplifies because power is much more nuanced than can be mapped to a mere straight line.
If that is not something you already deeply know, consider replacing all instances of the word "power" with "influence", which is much closer.
It is safe to say that the core developers have had some power/influence. It is safe to say that certain large minors have also had power/influence. Small minors also have small amounts of power/influence, it's just dominated by other concerns, but it exists.
Decentralized doesn't mean nobody has any power or influence, it means a lot of people have power and influence, and nobody is supposed to have enough to simply dictate the result. And while I'm not involved with this and don't care, it definitely sounds like a classic power struggle. Bitcoin was never premised on the idea that there would never be power struggles... indeed, the promise of extreme decentralization is all but a promise that there will be lots of power struggles. The question is, which do you prefer: A system which attempts to structure things so that one central authority can not arise and every thus question is settled by a power struggle, or one in which power struggles are resolved by the rise of a central authority who simply wins them all?
(And if you conceive of "power struggle" as always being a vicious war, that may sound very dystopian. However, bear in mind that all voting systems, agreements to follow Robert's Rules of Order, mostly-hierarchial system such as most companies use, and any number of other structures are all systems for resolving "power struggles". Power struggles can be vicious and disproportional, or polite, genteel, and not a major hassle for anyone. But they're all still "power struggles".)
Now that Bitcoin hit a scaling ceiling and a competitor who can scale way beyond Bitcoin is rapidely taking the lead, they finally realize why Core/Blockstream strategy is bad for them, and bad for Bitcoin. Hence they came up with setwit2x, wich is a weak attempt to get ride of Blockstream (because its segwit first, then 2Mb blocks, then... not much), but a strong signal that something is changing.
You need consensus on the blockchain, but you need a benevolent dictator, coupled with good communication, to make great opensource software.
While the Blockchain is democratic in nature, a dev team is oligarchic - an open technocracy. You want the best idea to win, not the most popular one.
Maybe in 100 years we will make great software by group vote, its a much harder problem to solve.
Isn't "wherever the market is" wherever spending power is?
In the new world, everyone has their own universe. The sooner one believes, the stronger their position in the 2030 economy.
Imagine a "Confederacy Coin" that forks from a "US Federal Coin". You don't think that cold survive?
> No one has control
Also true. For now.
> it's weird to see so many people applying authoritarian concepts to an anti-authoritarian system.
Not true. First of all, it's a system and you can't get more authoritarian than a system.
Then are externalities called people. And people collude and cooperate and form factions. That's because they're people and that's what people do.
So while they don't have control directly, if they form a majority they will. The minority are free to vacate this virtuality if they don't like the new rules.
You see, BitWorld really isn't so different from the real world.
There's the corporate faction: BitMain plus Bloq and the ones who want to embed KYC and AML into the bitcoin protocol. Their heavy hitter is Jihan Wu who controls %70 of the hash power, via his mining chips and his pools, and his customers being amenable to his wishes (because they want to remain customers). No visible engineering expertise, and has has backed a series of code projects over the past two years all of which have been spectacular failures: BU, XT, Classic, ABC and BTC1-- all have had significant vulnerabilities.
Their goal: Very large blocks that cannot cross the Great Firewall of China easily, increasing Chinese centralization.
On the other side you have The Engineers: Hundreds of engineers who have contributed to Core, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto and going forward to the present day. They are called "corporate" because Blockstream hired some of them, but the blocksteram engineers are prominent only because of their contributions and smarts, not because they exercise any control.
These engineers for the past 8 years have delivered quality software and 2 years ago delivered Segwit-- a misnomer that covers a large number of improvements for bitcoin that require a soft fork to activate. Segwit enables scaling and so many more applications to be built on Bitcoin, including smart contracts and side chains.
However, Segwit also reveals an exploit. An exploit that Jihan Wu has been using to give him a competitive advantage and which is in part why he has been able to gain centralized control over bitcoin hashing. This exploit is called ASICBOOST and segwit would put a stop to it.
This is why Jihan has opposed it.
Worse the corporates have spent millions on a 50-cent army of shills to spread FUD and misinformation and conspiracy theories to discredit core.
At the end of the day-- its the engineers who know what they are doing vs the corporate shills who sneer and think it can't be that hard to deliver bitcoin software -- but have so far completely failed to deliver anything that wasn't unmitigated crap.
How it's going to play out:
Jihan Wu has declared he will hard fork his own coin (and remove Segwit) because the real bitcoin industry and core agreed on Segwit2X .... he has hash power, so he may be able to make his coin dominant... for awhile. But core has solutions to this, and at the end of the day we will likely see chain split with the hash power on one side and the engineering resources on the other. That hash power advantage can be fixed within a few weeks.... the lack of engineering talent can't be fixed for love nor money-- as any engineer worth a damn understands what is at stake and will never join Jihan's Jihad.
Second of all, the great firewall of china isn't crap, a significant amount of data can pass through it, and actually if the block size gets to be too large this actually damages their ability to effectively process blocks quickly. The miners are not interested in SegWit because it completely changes the economic structure of incentives around mining. It pulls control into channels and reduces direct fees into some hand wavy future about settlement. It's an attack on their real economic interests, i.e the interests that have driven the entire ecosystem of proof-of-work.
If we are worries about centralization in China, then we should just compete outside of China. If you are saying we can't compete than why are we trying to change the system so that we can? Both sides are about corporate control of the protocol to a certain extent with a bunch of useful idiots drawn in on the basis of arguments that are tangentially related.
Right, because your narrative is "righter" than his.
> First off, Gavin, Jeff, Mike Hearn, you know the guys that have spent a lot of time working on Bitcoin since the beginning aren't in the core project, and in the case of Jeff are actively working on the alternative.
With little to no input outside of Jeff and the miners that are funding him. This is the nth (where n > 4) iteration of Bitcoin that Bitmain has funded with the intent of maintaining some degree of control over the reference client. As of yet, he hasn't been successful.
> Trying to draw back some unbroken line of succession to Satoshi Nakamoto whose paper basically completely spells out a big block vision is ridiculous.
I agree, particularly since there's been 100s of contributors to the project. Which makes Blockstreams impact much less valuable than the original comment implied.
> Second of all, the great firewall of china isn't crap, a significant amount of data can pass through it, and actually if the block size gets to be too large this actually damages their ability to effectively process blocks quickly.
That's actually false. Block sizes aren't really an issue for the miners, they are an issue for the nodes. Each miner only needs single full node. What increasing the block size does is make running a full node (which has to store the entire block chain) extremely expensive. The larger the block sizes, the more expensive a full node becomes.
> The miners are not interested in SegWit because it completely changes the economic structure of incentives around mining.
SegWit does nothing of the sort. Lightning Network and Sidechains, which can be built on top of SegWit, certainly reduces off-chain fees. SegWit itself only reduces the fees on witness data, but that's moot for the time being. SegWit will have little impact on fees right now.
> It pulls control into channels and reduces direct fees into some hand wavy future about settlement.
See, this implies you have limited technical knowledge on the subject. That's LN, potentially SC. But that has nothing to do with SegWit.
> It's an attack on their real economic interests, i.e the interests that have driven the entire ecosystem of proof-of-work.
PoW is just the security policy, it's not the ecosystem. The economy is the ecosystem. Miners mine, the economy chooses what they mine.
Long-term, miners need to adapt. Instead of looking at off-chain solutions as a bad thing, they need to consider that they are best suited as a Lightning Node. But that requires a longer vision than the miners have.
No one is EVER going to buy coffee on-chain. No amount of increasing block sizes are going to make instant transactions. It's either off-chain transactions or some other altcoin.
> If we are worries about centralization in China
I don't care about where the centralization occurs, I care about the nature of it. Centralizing mining is bad because it gives them power they shouldn't hold. Centralizing nodes gives governments power over Bitcoin. That is dangerous.
> Both sides are about corporate control of the protocol to a certain extent with a bunch of useful idiots drawn in on the basis of arguments that are tangentially related.
LN is an opensource implementation of something not dissimilar to smart contracts. Calling that control is laughable.
This always get's bandied about. There are less than 20 people responsible for the vast majority of the commits in the last year, the other 90+ are small scattered changes. Easy to verify, go look at the commit logs. Oh, and 3 of the top Contributors aren't even working on core anymore.
>SegWit does nothing of the sort. Lightning Network and Sidechains, which can be built on top of SegWit, certainly reduces off-chain fees. SegWit itself only reduces the fees on witness data, but that's moot for the time being. SegWit will have little impact on fees right now.
Segwit is all about sidechains, that's the main application, and the real purpose. Side chains mean transactions off chain. Transactions off chain mean less fees for Bitcoin miners. It's not rocket science. The only way they make it back is if the settlement costs become huge.
> That's actually false. Block sizes aren't really an issue for the miners, they are an issue for the nodes. Each miner only needs single full node. What increasing the block size does is make running a full node (which has to store the entire block chain) extremely expensive. The larger the block sizes, the more expensive a full node becomes.
The reason nodes are expensive is because they are doing full historical validation which is almost completely useless and unnecessary. Minor changes to the Bitcoin block header would make that completely irrelevant. The nodes need all data ever argument is total junk.
>LN is an opensource implementation of something not dissimilar to smart contracts. Calling that control is laughable.
How much does it cost to open and close a channel on the main bitcoin blockchain at a 1 megabyte limit with millions of users? It's not a free thing, it's very expensive. To say that won't result in centralization is ridiculous. LN is not a solution without larger block sizes.
You're just wrong. Segwit is about a major malleability bug. It happens to open the way for sidechains, but do you honestly think we shouldn't fix the bug purely because it happens to make sidechains more feasible?
> Side chains mean transactions off chain. Transactions off chain mean less fees for Bitcoin miners. It's not rocket science.
Correct, but you don't seem to be following the problem the same way I am. Your major concern is how much miners get paid. My major concern is network adoption and decentralization. Pretending that your values are the only values is what makes your position distasteful.
> The reason nodes are expensive is because they are doing full historical validation which is almost completely useless and unnecessary. Minor changes to the Bitcoin block header would make that completely irrelevant. The nodes need all data ever argument is total junk.
You just literally dismissed how an open block chain works. If nodes don't have the entire history attacks become arbitrary.
> How much does it cost to open and close a channel on the main bitcoin blockchain at a 1 megabyte limit with millions of users? It's not a free thing, it's very expensive.
And guess whose in the best position to implement channels (and collect the fees associated with it)? miners.
> To say that won't result in centralization is ridiculous.
Less than would exist by big blocks.
The obvious problem is both sides can make a claim to Satoshi while forking. I'm commenting here because the one thing I do know about Bitcoin is that Satoshi apparently suggested increases in block size to compensate for an increased number of transactions.
Whatever Satoshi wanted is irrelevant, but the only thing I can gleam from your amateur propaganda attempts (Satoshi is only one of your mistakes above) is that you shouldn't be trusted.
I think its possible Jihan and many others are acting in the best interests of Bitcoin community, on behalf of future potential users of crypto-currencies, not purely out of self interest. Many early adopters and evangelists support this view, they clearly care about bitcoin as a human technology, not just its monetary value.
I genuinely feel it is immoral to limit widespread bitcoin use by keeping the blocksize artificially small. Just as it would be to limit the distance a person can travel, or how many books one is allowed to read.
As someone who has put money into Blockstream, I can assure you I'm following the situation very close.
Blockstream has few developers contributing to Core and associating with it is a very partial and poor view.
It is not a conventional company and the actual CEO (recently nominated) has the ability to keep such a group of talented minds together.
I humbly consider Blockstream the best investment I have done in my life under many aspects but the main one is the quality of the people working in it.
As someone who has put money into Blockstream I must say:
1. I follow the situation very close
2. The CEO was nominated not long ago
3. He has got the ability to keep such a group of talented minds together
4. Blockstream is not a conventional company
5. Core is an independent group of talented developers and FEW of Blockstream founders are part of it
6. I humbly admit that Blockstream is the best investments of my life under many aspects the main of which being the quality of the people working in it.
He was. http://www.montrealintechnology.com/austin-hill-out-as-block...
One side of the fight (Core / blockstream) wants to scale off-chain, pushing transactions to side-chains and/or lighting networks, and want to profit from off-chain solutions.
The other side of the fight (segwit2x / miners) wants to scale on-chain, making the blocks bigger, and profit from block fees.
Both sides have pros and cons.
Pros of off-chain solutions - more scalable, don't need expensive confirmations for each transaction, more long-term. Cons: the solutions don't exist yet and might be vaporware; segwit etc are just stepping stones.
Pros of on-chain solutions - making the blocks larger can be done now, no need to wait for new software and new networks. Cons - makes the blocks larger, which makes running bitcoin nodes harder. Also cannot scale this way infinitely (you need to keep all the transactions on a disk forever).
The discussion about segwit is in reality just discussion about how to scale, and who profits.
As for me, I don't really care, Bitcoin is inefficient either way
The whitepaper itself mentions that the Merkle tree can be pruned so that doesn't need to be the case. Do you know why there hasn't been more effort towards implementing that yet?
But you still need full nodes who maintain all historical data. Because, AFAIK, there's no way other way to trustlessly establish a UTXO without rescanning the whole blockchain. Maybe there are ways; I'm not that deep into Bitcoin's internal at the moment.
If you're growing by an order of magnitude every few years, it's just buying you an extra few years lead time.
See UTXO here: https://blockchain.info/charts/utxo-count
See total TX here: https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions-total
Every block for the near future will include one new UTXO, but it can increase, decrease or keep the total number of UTXO the same.
I think the size of the node is a consideration, but not a huge one -- before we started butting up against the limit, blocks were naturally much smaller than the 1MB limit -- the fear of spam and dust transactions never materialized, so there's no reason to expect that the economics are fundamentally different now.
The biggest con by far is the hard-forking nature of the change. Changing the limit means that clients will have to accept blocks that they currently don't accept. This applies to core, of course, but also to the innumerable other implementations of the bitcoin protocol. Don't make the mistake of thinking that core is the only player here -- a hard fork is trouble for everyone, miners included, and has a substantial risk of causing two viable chains to appear, which is much more of a disaster for Bitcoin (because of how long it takes to adjust difficulty) than it was for Ethereum. With sufficient consensus, this becomes less of a problem for the same reason -- the defunct 5% chain (with 95% consensus) will take 280 days to converge on a new difficulty, during which time that network will be extremely congested. But if miners are misconfigured, etc., even if there is consensus there may be an unintentional hard fork.
The second biggest problem is the rise in the risk of orphaned blocks. This, I think, is probably what holds most miners back -- the longer it takes to transmit and verify a block, the greater the chance of a block being orphaned is. Orphans hurt the security of the network by making it so that a smaller fraction of the net hashing power is actually being applied to the problem of securing the network. As much as people complain that the proof-of-work is "wasteful" in the ecological sense, wasting even that wasted work would make nobody happy.
Segwit, on the other side of the debate, has the attachment to off-chain scaling, but also offers a solution to transaction malleability, which is a huge problem for bitcoin businesses as it can be difficult to tell whether a transaction ever made it to the network, much less rely on features like child-pays-for-parent. Since the current version of segwit is a soft fork, it should, in theory, work with existing non-core clients, and the Litecoin adoption should give us some information on how that works in practice, but Litecoin doesn't have nearly the adoption that Bitcoin does, so it's hard to generalize.
I think that gives the wrong impression. First off, Core != Blockstream.
Secondly, the consensus amongst Core developers, as I read it, is they want as much on-chain as possible. Their definition of possible is what can a Bitcoin client handle on the average user's PC. The problem is that, today, the answer is not much. Increasing the blocksize to allow more transactions requires an exponential increase in the computational requirements of the Bitcoin client. So it's not really feasible to just "scale on-chain", as of today.
SegWit accomplishes two things. 1) It's a stopgap. It's an effective blocksize increase to 2MB, and it enables lightning network which should hopefully reduce congestion on the Bitcoin network. 2) It's an optimization; SegWit transactions are cheaper than traditional transactions.
SegWit is just a stopgap while developers implement a series of optimizations to the Bitcoin network that allow it to handle more capacity, without increasing the computational resources to the point where average users can't run the software.
But those optimizations are going to take a long time.
The overlap is very large. In the same way, segwit2x != Chinere miners, but come on, there is an clear overlap.
> It's an effective blocksize increase to 2MB
If all users start using segwit addresses and segwit transactions, and if all wallets software will know how to send and receive it. And that will mean users will need to send their money to their segwit-enabled addresses first, which might, you know, clog the network. (In reality, nobody knows what will happen. Almost nobody uses segwit on litecoin right now, but litecoin is a toy currency...)
hardfork would solve that issue immediately - no need to upgrade wallets, no need to figure out how do segwit-inside-P2SH addresses work (they are different from normal addresses!).
> enables lightning network which should hopefully reduce congestion on the Bitcoin network
Again nobody knows. Lightning network might be a vaporware. Literally nobody is using it, since it does not exist.
> SegWit transactions are cheaper than traditional transactions
Well, that's a matter of "policy", and I am not sure if segwit2x nodes will implement the segwit discount or not. There were some issues about that, but I think they didn't have time to remove the segwit discount yet. But they plan to.
(Again I am not advocating big blocks, increasing blocks that way is not something that can be done forever. Segwit is fine, it solves some issues like maleability, but it's overhyped IMO. There is no scaling solution for bitcoin yet. And maybe there will not be?)
there's more overlap with core developers and chaincode labs.
> Lightning network might be a vaporware. Literally nobody is using it, since it does not exist.
it does exist, https://github.com/lightningnetwork/lnd and http://lightning.community/release/software/lnd/lightning/20... and other implementations of lightning also exist.
BUT you have to admit it is still in research and not widely used/accepted/tested by users
SegWit blocks can vary from 1MB in non-ideal conditions to near 4MB in ideal conditions. 2MB is just the average.
You're right, yes, ideally we'd want everyone using SegWit transactions. But we don't need all users to start using them to start seeing congestion relief.
I would expect 90% of transactions are generated by 10% of Bitcoin's users. Maybe even more skewed than that. (That 10% is likely businesses, power users, etc). Getting those 10% to switch to SegWit transactions will be relatively easy; they'll feel the value of reduced fees more readily.
It's likely Bitcoin Core would start using SegWit addresses by default some time after SegWit is activated. Since the majority of users use Bitcoin Core, the shift wouldn't take too long.
> hardfork would solve that issue immediately - no need to upgrade wallets, no need to figure out how do segwit-inside-P2SH addresses work (they are different from normal addresses!).
Hardfork _does_ require upgrading wallets. In fact, it requires upgrading _all_ wallets. Anyone who hasn't upgraded cannot participate in Bitcoin any longer if a hardfork is used.
Contrast that with SegWit. SegWit doesn't require that everyone upgrade. And yet everyone will benefit from the increased block capacity, even those not using SegWit addresses, because the fees overall will go down.
> Again nobody knows. Lightning network might be a vaporware. Literally nobody is using it, since it does not exist.
The plan was for SegWit to activate, providing a more immediate ~2MB increase in block size, and then mid-term we'd see things like the lightning network come online and provide further relief. Long term developers would continue improving network efficiency which means the existing blocks can carry more transactions, and also eventually a hardfork to add some mechanism for increasing blocksize (that doesn't require further hardforks).
> Well, that's a matter of "policy"
I didn't mean that SegWit transactions were inherently cheaper in terms of fees. Sure, fees are always policy. But, AFAIK, SegWit transactions are actually cheaper in terms of network load. The discount on SegWit transactions is not just to expand the blocksize; they're also discounted because they put less strain on the network compared to old-style transactions.
EDIT: And to be clear, the SegWit discount we're talking about is a discount on the weight of a SegWit transaction's size in calculating the total blocksize. AFAIK, there is no fee discount on SegWit transactions; they pay the same per byte fee. SegWit2X has no way to remove that discount without changing consensus rules. So that specifically is not a matter of policy; it's matter of consensus. It would thus required another hardfork to change those rules.
I'm curious if you have some sources on this -- most of the anti-big-block claims that I have seen tend to settle on the hard fork being problematic, which is a very legitimate criticism (thought I need to dig up citations to play by my own rules here). There's also a significant group (I think unaffiliated with Core) that worries about the increase in orphanage that big blocks can lead to.
But quotes from developers are not particularly interesting anyway. What's far more interesting is what the Core developers have actually accomplished. Actions speak louder than words.
They released SegWit which _is_ a 2MB upgrade to blocksize, as a softfork. It's exactly what the community wanted at the time (2MB), without any of the downsides (hardforking).
In addition to that, it increased transaction efficiency, fixed bugs, and enhanced the protocol.
SegWit is a thoughtfully designed protocol upgrade that accomplishes an order of magnitude more than any "upgrade" proposed by any of the alternative clients (Bitcoin-XT, Bitcoin Unlimited, and now SegWit2X).
Post-SegWit the developers are already looking at Schnorr signatures to further increase throughput. They've worked tirelessly to optimize signature verification times and improve the efficiency of the P2P protocol.
Why would they make all those efficiency improvements if their "evil plan" was to move everyone over to a lighting network?
EDIT: To be clear, yes I realize not providing sources is a total cop out :P But not everyone has limitless time to peruse the mailing lists for quotes. I just try to provide my best understanding of things, given my experience working with Bitcoin and keeping eyes on the community and ecosystem.
Would I like Bitcoin to support 10,000x more transactions per second than it does now? Of course. But just because I _want_ it to, doesn't mean it's magically going to be able to. Bitcoin is what it is.
I'd like ships that can go faster than the speed of light, but physics isn't going to bends its rules just because I want it to.
We cannot, physically, increase Bitcoin's throughput 10,000x. We could change one constant, the max blocksize, make it 10GB and ... oops, now the network is broken. No one on Earth can actually validate 10GB blocks in the span of 10 minutes. And even if they could, who could handle 1.4 TB of increasing disk space per day?
10,000x is an extreme example of principals that apply to any blocksize increase. If we increase the blocksize, it means less and less PCs are capable of actually running the Bitcoin software. And it won't take much before the exponential complexity of validating blocks eats everything.
Whether we like it or not, we are dependent on optimizing the Bitcoin network if we want any kind of scale. It will take time and it will take innovation. In the meantime, we have SegWit which enables lightning networks, which we can use for anything we don't need the full guarantees of a Bitcoin transaction for.
Except for Lightning Network, which is this software that somehow routes transactions on a separate network, and it's not bitcoin; it doesn't have the same assurances, there are some third-party channels that route the transactions. (I admit, I haven't studied LN in detail.)
It uses bitcoin as a "backbone", sort of like you have SWIFT which is slow and expensive, and then you have credit card payments/paypal/whatnot that is built on top of it.
LN specifically requires segwit (the main issue of this "civil war").
lightning clients pass around bitcoin transactions to each other, check the protobufs: https://github.com/ElementsProject/lightning/blob/2bf92c9063...
admittedly the protobufs have changed since i last looked, here's the canonical diagram describing the hashed timelock bitcoin transaction concept: https://github.com/ElementsProject/lightning/blob/2bf92c9063...
or read the paper https://lightning.network/lightning-network-paper.pdf
> LN specifically requires segwit
false, see http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/scalingbitcoin/hong-kong/o...
I don't take FlexTrans as serious attempt at malleability fixing
There is a contingency plan in place should the Core-supported User Activated Soft Fork become activated.
Segwit2X has working code, has been tested in beta, and is now in RC.
Without commenting on the merits of the different approaches, the current situation is thrilling to watch as a spectator. To call it a "Civil War" is not an exaggeration.
Is there a good "live-thread" where I can follow the events?
Once the BIP91 hits 80%, an as long as it does so before August 1st, this issue is going to go dormant until November.
I totally disagree. The whole discussion is totally overblown when you consider what is actually happening. I would bet 99% of services accepting bitcoin are running core, and the rest 1% maybe with minor patches which doesn't affect consensus code. That is very unlikely to change.
Miners can run whatever they want and probably already are running custom code. However for the rest of the network matters if they mine core compatible blocks or not. Some miners can choose to mine 2MB blocks or whatever, but the rest of the network will ignore those, since they are not compatible with core.
Any press or "talks" that say otherwise are either being influenced with serious bias or are simply reporting false information.
I like DLT tech, however, if bitcoin has shown us anything it's that once you solve the double-spend problem you're still left with an even more grotesque problem of governance.
People pick fun at ETH since it has a "single leader", but Vitalik is more of a back-seat conductor than a "grand leader". Also, most arguments of "bitcoin being a truly decentralized platform because our devs are decentralized" can easily be diffused by vaguely looking into how BlockStream operates...
The political shit-storm being paraded by BTC needs to end soon, we really don't need another 2-3 years of douchey BTC core devs arguing on the internet and bad-mouthing any project that isn't BTC.
It's ugly, bitter, and has real costs, but the way it's playing out gives me confidence that cryptocurrencies are truly a novel form of human communication about value.
The whole point of bitcoin is that it is stable, trustworthy software. You don't have to worry about the latest fad screwing up your ability to use the financial system.
Democracy can easily be achieved with rigid protocols: just have multiple coins! (Bitcoin, ethereum, etc), and if you prefer one over the other, use the one you prefer. Then make a system that keeps them mostly interoperable (they already are, it's very easy to change funds between them), and viola! Nobody becomes victim to the will of the majority, while the majority can still pick between multiple options.
This might be a dumb question, but the majority of what?
Existing power structures (wealth & access to GPU) translates to power over BTC.
Compare with how our usual currencies are handled. Behind closed doors with powerful banks or private companies deciding for our governments.
Miners: Hashing power has little influence. As long as there are miners, and two chains rejecting each other transactions will be processed. At first, transactions processing might take a while, but difficulty will adapt. This will create two legitimate currencies. Now everybody in possession of 1 BTC would have 1 BTCa + 1 BTCb.
Exchanges: Little power. They will trade both BTCa and BTCb, and accept commissions.
Trader of goods, in embedded devices: They might have to modify their client to accept both currencies, but they would have to follow the market rates. Otherwise they would have to suffer income loss from people using them to profit from arbitrating the markets.
BTC-rich individuals: They have now 1 BTCa + 1 BTCb. But there is transaction replayability. If they spend 1 BTCa, their BTCb can also get spend the same way. And they lose their BTCb. Chains have a strategic advantage to replay transactions getting to the other one because: 1) they get to keep the commission, 2) they ascertain themselves as more encompassing economically (not sure on this one maybe, they want to stay neutral).
Now, if BTC-holders can wallet-emptying-double-spend them to 2 different addresses they control on the 2 chains. And, compared to the ones who got their transaction replayed, they have kept both their BTCa and BTCb.
TL;DR: IMHO, come the technical fork, some BTC-holders will be tumbling until they irrevocably acquire their BTCa + BTCb, and use them to make runs on the markets, effectively materializing the economic fork.
I'd love the opinion of someone who lived through the ETH-ETC split, especially about the transaction replayability part.
After doing that (and because valid transaction execution was contingent on the actual chain you were in) each wallet became independent and you were free to use funds in each as desired.
This is the contract:
And this is the related helper that checks which chain you are in:
I'm not clear on what a BTC equivalent of this operation would be. Seems like smart contracts saved the day, as trying to move BTC to 2 different wallets on split chains by hand risks a race condition.
I got to say, Ethereum really is showing the way to Bitcoin here. The smart contract ecosystem surrounding it is astounding.
The BTC equivalent would be to do it by hand; and I don't think it is all that risky, as long as you keep control of all three addresses.
Or, ... maybe a BTC smart contract could help us do it easily? What do we need to enable smart contracts on BTC?
Oh wait, that's right. We need Segwit. The thing potentially causing a fork itself.
We're supposed to have it by the time Segwit2x's double-sized blocks hardfork come, though ^^.
By "doing it by hand" I meant the following:
- Original wallet A holds BTC before hard fork
- Chain splits and forks coexist (lets call them C1 and C2)
- New wallet W1 is created for use in the new chain C1 exclusively
- New wallet W2 is created for use in the new chain C2 exclusively
- You connect to network that uses C1, and move all the funds from A to W1
- You connect to network that uses C2, and move all the funds from A to W2
Now get the block reward from B2, or some other coin which depends on it. This block reward, and any coin which depends on it, will never be accepted by C1. Mix it somehow with your coins from wallet A, and send the result to W2. Wait a few confirmations for it to stick.
Now you have in C2 all your coins in W2, and in C1 all your coins are still in A (the A->W2 transaction can't be replayed in C1, since it depends on an invalid block). All that's left is to move all funds from A to W1; this will happen only on C1, since it would be a double-spend in C2.
As you can see, it's not that complicated. The only hard part, if you aren't a miner, is to get the "one-sided" coin, but I'd expect either a service to pop up soon to do the mixing for you, for not much more than the transaction fee (the "one-sided" coin can be recycled indefinitely), or a "faucet" to pop up on C2 to give out tiny "one-sided" coins for anyone who needs them, for free.
Indeed, but this is the kind of technical annoyance that cripples the "it just works" perception/marketing of BTC. I guess this is what makes people look forward to BTC ETFs as opposed to the real thing for their investo-gambling.
The miners in the two chains gain from listening to what is going on in the other chain, and could just copy transactions and take the commission.
Have no miner attempted to grab some fees? Or maybe the price of ETC is so low that it would be unprofitable?
It is addressed in EIP #155 , where they changed the signing of transactions and put some sort of chain identity to be included in the transaction signatures.
Which brings the question: Is there something changed in transaction signatures in the segwit2x hard fork? Is there already some chain identity in it?
- They have twice as much money (yay!)
- They have twice as much money but the value is split, so it's worth approximately the same.
- One of the branches wins or mostly wins.
- The split does so much damage that some (all?) value of coins is lost.
Also, by "users", I don't mean holders. I mean entities that actually transact bitcoin on a daily basis. Exchanges and merchants. They can't afford to lose any time (money) on waiting for their favorite chain to win. They have to use the longest chain (and they are the only ones that matter).
Seeing that there is no way in hell the initial split will be anything worse than 75-25 (against Core), I predict that the price will quickly stabilize on the markets after the initial panic (which is already underway, IMHO).
The value of "bitcoin" (the winning side) after the split (and recovery from panic) will have lost an amount equivalent to what "minority coin" is worth at the time (if anything).
This assumes enough hashpower where people can still transact on the legacy chain, and with some sort of replay protection to where exchanges can safely actually convert the funds to have two separate tradable tokens. Right now that doesn't exist, so exchanges won't touch it. This is a huge reason why Bitcoin Unlimited was a non-starter.
I hold some BTC and ETH, is it a case that what I have is no longer holding the value I believed it has?
Right now, the risk isn't that high as the worst case (added uncertainty breaks bitcoin completely) is very unlikely. Instead, (a) one side wins you still have the same amount of coins or (b) both sides win and you probably have +2x the value long term.
A while back there was a BTC marketplace where among other things, I spent 1 BTC on a steam key for the game Portal (a poor trade in hindsight).
But they shut down and the only other place that I can think of that accepts BTC is humblebundle.com - and presumably they convert it to USD right away.
> Bitcoin payments have been disabled for the Humble Capcom Rising Bundle.
So, yea, who accepts BTC right now?
People like to say this but it just isn't true. Nobody is laundering large amounts of money buy buying Bitcoin for cash and almost by definition you don't need to launder small amounts of money.
Quite a few domain/web hosting/VPS companies accept it, like Namecheap and Namesilo.
Online gambling sites accept it for obvious reasons.
It's hardly ubiquitous, but for some things it's fairly practical.
It's kind of odd that there is still so much FUD about segwit, as it has already activated on LTC. It hasn't appeared to open any security holes.
Why is that a problem, so long as it is enabled, not mandated?
On one side you have Chinese miners and one developer gunning for segwit2x because it gives them a significant advantage related to their hardware.
On the other side you have the other dozen or so core developers who want a more conservative approach. As a side-effect this version levels the playing field for miners.
What are you talking about? Pretty sure this is false. Please don't say ASICBoot.
But I'm probably wasting my time with you, looking at your comment history you seems to be a typical pro-Blockstream troll.
I'm sure given just enough time the "community" will structure itself into a perfect replica of a modern bureaucracy.
edit: I'm not just extrapolating from this one post a gander over at /r/btc or /r/bitcoin shows the same lovely trend
I reject this form of behavioral nihilism and prefer to believe that ideas can exact change in this world and move people up and out of the status quo, and lament the failure of even efforts I think were doomed from the beginning.
 Which isn't to say I reject the notion that a large portion of people are just out to get theirs and to hell with the rest
Is there any need for this kind of incivility? Around here we don't call people with differing opinions a 'troll', we just respect the differences. This could easily have been written as "based on your posting history, I don't expect to change your mind".
I know there are still people believing in Blockstream because of the intense censure and (paid?) trolls in /r/bitcoin and bitcointalk.org. But this bullshit show is going for more than 3 years now, if you still can't see through that, I'm sorry, but you deserve to be called a "pro-Blockstream troll". If calling things the way they are is incivility, then I'm happy to be incivil!
Also, with XT there wasn't really n alternative scaling solution to a blocksize increase, as far as I know. This time we have SegWit as an alternative and with the threat of UASF, the community is being forced to compromise on SegWit + a 2MB hardfork.
Personally it seems like smart contracts and other similar services beget an ecosystem that could swell the market cap by a significant amount, I assume miners would have a long term goal of doing just that.
As a disclaimer, I own Bitcoin, but I'm definitely a layman and I don't really have a horse in the race. What I'm most concerned is what these changes are going to accomplish when looking back 10 years from now. I'm in BTC for the long-term, and this whole thing stinks of petty bias and tribal power plays.
By both you mean, SegWit + Bigger blocks?
It's not possible today to raise the blocksize without exponentially increasing the computing resources required to run a Bitcoin node. So it's not a parameter that can be easily tweaked without drastic consequences.
Also, increasing the blocksize requires what's called a hardfork. That's a backwards incompatible change. Anyone who hasn't updated their Bitcoin software will be left in the dust, and potentially dangerously so.
SegWit, on the other hand, raises the effective blocksize to 2MB, patches a bunch of issues, and provides a means to safely enable off-chain transactions on top of Bitcoin. It does all this as a soft fork; backwards compatible.
That doesn't mean a blocksize increase isn't appropriate; it needs to happen at some point. But because hardforking is so disruptive, it would be best to roll in other breaking changes while we're at it. We should have a solution to the exponential computation issue, and we should have a mechanism to increase blocksize again in the future without another hardfork. Those are hard problems to solve that will take time. SegWit was meant to be a stop-gap.
All that said, I'm not personally opposed to the idea of a more immediate hardfork, ala SegWit2X. I don't think it's the _best_ idea, and I think the hardfork should happen at least 12 months down the road, not 3 months as SegWit2X plans, but the perfect is the enemy of the good. The big issue with SegWit2X is that the developers working on it are not competent for the task at hand, and it's being pushed by parties with perverse incentives.
Why do you lack confidence in the SegWit2X developers? It seems the miners would be the last ones wanting a potentially fatal bug. Do they have less to lose if an exploit/honest bug burns the blockchain?
Again, apologies if these are uninformed questions- I have only a layman's understanding of BTC.
I think the fact that they're pushing a hardfork 3 months after SegWit activates says a lot. We're talking about making all existing clients on a 40 billion dollar network obsolete and open to abuse. Giving only 3 months time to upgrade is absurd. Also, I believe SegWit2X was spawned some time in May? Being generous, that's only been 3 months of development so far.
When it comes to software like Bitcoin, where the slightest bug can result in catastrophe, I want the most conservative developers imaginable.
The development of btc1 (the SegWit2X client), AFAIK, has not been open. Most of it has occurred behind closed doors, with only the merges to the public repo being visible.
Another notable concern is there was a pull request submitted recently against the SegWit2X client (btc1). It changes the "seed nodes" list; adding in nodes that will run SegWit2X software. That's fine, except one of the nodes belongs to a company who's goal is to monitor and de-anonymize the Bitcoin network. For those not familar, seed nodes are the nodes the Bitcoin client initially connects to, from which they can learn about other nodes on the network. Giving a company that is actively trying to make Bitcoin unfungible is ... concerning to say the least.
> It seems the miners would be the last ones wanting a potentially fatal bug. Do they have less to lose if an exploit/honest bug burns the blockchain?
Just because you have a massive mining farm under your belt, doesn't mean you know the first thing about the ins-and-outs of Bitcoin. Mining is such a small part of what is otherwise a massive ocean of domain knowledge needed to understand Bitcoin. The people who contribute to Bitcoin Core have been doing it for 8+ years! And they're a band of cutthroats who aggressively review each other's code. The developers working on SegWit2X have no of those advantages.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/6h612o/can_someone... and https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/6hkuze/greg_maxwel...
and a long-term view i guess https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/6h612o/can_someone...
more broadly-- although with less explanation-- https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Segwit_support
In my opinion the problem here is the network was built so that it operated only by people acting on incentives and those incentives being aligned with the good of the network, and it turned out that miners acting in their own interest wasn't actually good for scaling past a certain size and operating on certain types of transactions.
Miners are the only entities that have a continued incentive to improve bitcoin directly.
THAT'S the real conflict, everything else is BS.
This is less about the tech and more about the politics, at this point.
"So it looks to me like the actual out-of-pocket cost of running a full node in a datacenter won’t change with a 20 megabyte maximum block size; it will be on the order of $5 or $10 per month."
It's like a guy showing that we can get humans to Mars eailsy just by greatly increasing the amount of fuel in the rocket. Any rocket scientist would have heart attack if such a notion became broadly popular, because it's so naive.
A lot of this debate can be summarized by saying that the popular opinion is being propagated by non-experts spouting incorrect ideas that seem correct to the general population because they are accessible, because they ignore the hard (but important) parts of blockchain design.
Here is some background:
https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/bitcoin-unlimited-miner... or https://medium.com/@WhalePanda/verified-chatlogs-why-jihan-a...
how about some peer review yo, https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2017... and https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2017...
This should result in an immediate transaction capacity increase of at least ~3x. On top of this, the new transaction serialization format allows for technologies such as the in-progress "lightning network", which allows for very very substantial transaction volume off-blockchain. (Think on the order of thousands of times higher volume at the very least. Probably on the order of millions is attainable.)
Unfortunately, signaling is more like a bumper sticker you slap on your blocks. The rules you deploy and actively use don't really have to conform to what values you place in the blockheader. It's supposedly a way to communicate your intentions regarding your future enforcement of certain rules...
Especially considering Satoshi clearly got caught off guard by the quick rise in GPU mining-- which led to the bootstrapping mechanism putting Bitcoin in fewer hands than it otherwise would have. But I never saw Satoshi call GPU mining an exploit.
The real problem is simply that the blocksize is way too small. At peak daily loads we are trying to put 20MB of transactions into a single 1MB block. Of course the unprocessed transactions pool up in the 'mempool' waiting for the next block, and are eventually cleared later in the day in off-peak times.
The reason they don't just pool up indefinitely, and crash the server, is due to economics - people pay higher transaction fees to get their important transactions into the next block. Miners earn part of their income from those fees, so they put the best paying transactions into the block first.
Most people who might like to use Bitcoin to pay for actual things, will balk at paying 3$ to send 500$, which means less people use the system, or they only use it for important big trades - thus, an equilibrium is set up where transaction volume is kept low.
Keep in mind bitcoin blocks occur on average every 10 minutes. A global rate of 3 trans/sec is clearly not a large number for a system used by millions, all across the globe.
Litecoin has the same architecture, but doesn't have this bottleneck problem - they have 3/4 the blocksize, process 4x as frequently and handle less that 1/10th the volume of transactions. So there is no mempool, fees are low etc.
The max blocksize is set to 1MB in code [ think #define or static const ], so increasing it means releasing new software - old versions will not be able to process large blocks, so this means a "hard fork".
I would argue that a blocksize increase is urgently needed and justifies a prudent hardfork - because it is currently preventing Bitcoin from growing. Not only do we need a 2MB block yesterday [ some say 8MB ], but we need a clear block size upgrade schedule for the next few years so Bitcoin can handle steady growth, without the need for many future hardforks.
Blocksize increase over the next few years could yield a 20x to 200x increase in throughput using the current architecture ... this releases the stranglehold on transaction flow and user growth, and buys time to build out all the other nice new technologies that can augment, or scale beyond, the linear architecture of the blockchain.
This issue has been delayed and debated for 2.5 years, so now it really is urgent and people on both sides are pretty angry. Sadly, its metastasized into an ugly political civil war .. but I think at heart it is a fairly normal engineering issue that could have been resolved routinely. Maybe having a ton of cash riding on your code makes easy choices hard.
I personally got out @2600 and am probably done with cryptos for a while. Was a good 3 year hold and appreciate though.
I'd say the use of 'paradigm' is more taken as overused bullshit in general. Frist used by business-types as a buzz word (or at least gaining popularity within that population).
Even in a situation like yahoo, because there are real assets, even though they didn't leverage on the dream, the were still parted and sold for scrap because there was real value behind the stock. That won't happen with BTC.
Just like the the USD is not a commodity, neither is BTC, so that's a bit disingenuous to compare it to gold, or a publicly traded and regulated stock. It's not even close.
But for Bloomberg to use a 'civil war' hyperbole signals fear from the establishment. Established capital more specifically. And really, that is bitcoin's biggest threat.
Disclosure: I own bitcoin.
That may or may not be true, but it's definitely a non sequitur narrative. In this situation, it doesn't matter whether or not "the establishment" is fearful of Bitcoin. All that will ultimately matter is whether or not the "winners" of this debacle end up killing Bitcoin in the process, and that will necessarily play out in terms of markets.
>And really, that is bitcoin's biggest threat.
Only if it survives long enough to truly compete at the level of "established capital".
People are talking about doing a freaking proof of work change, so I'm not sure how much more nuclear you can get.
Go on a holiday, enjoy the sun, do nothing.