I might monitor that sub for more bounties, I had no idea there was one this large floating around.
Power consumption is related to difficulty and the rewards, which is linked to the price of a Bitcoin.
Difficulty is determined by the hash rate of the network. One would expect there to be a link between hash rate and price but that's correlation not causation.
Lots of people mine for other reasons.
So if you pay $0.2 in fees, you will burn around $0.2 / ($0.1/kWh) = 2kWh of electricity. Note that this is an upper limit since it ignores miner profit (but that will tend towards zero over time).
This is ignoring the block subsidy, but that is independent of the number of transactions will forcibly solve itself over time.
The problem was deciding whether there really was the correct private key encoded in the picture.
I mean how do you ensure that this is not a wild goose chase?
It would be roughly analogous to an anonymous millionaire showing a pot of gold on TV (with respectable jewelers certifying that it really is gold) and then saying it will be buried somewhere in Arizona desert, here's the puzzle with the location.
(I believe there are some real life treasure hunts still ongoing based on the above premise)
In this case what stopped me from even trying were the discrepancy in the amounts. 0.1BTC and 0.2 BTC and 0.31BTC seemed like reasonable amounts and then the sudden jump to 310 BTC seemed unreal.
Yes the guy had the private key to 310BTC but was it in the picture? In fact, how do we know that 'Marc' is not someone affiliated with him/her?
That's real - it's still out there.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masquerade_(book) which then lead into the Hareraiser game which is unofficially the officially worse computer “game” to ever be created.
For more info about the affair in video form there is this talk from the Norwich Game Festival a few years back https://youtu.be/ouvi-fwrfIY
Reminds me of the movie "Kumiko the Treasure Hunter"
There are 18 three digit hexadecimals in the puzzle. If the answer is a permutation of these, then that's just 18 factorial which is 6.4 * 10^15. That is totally bruteforcable without even thinking about the puzzle (and totally worth spinning up a cluster for).
I don't know anything about bitcoin though and 54 characters seems too short to be a private key? You can also brute force 10 more interspersed characters for a slowdown factor of 16^10 * (64 choose 10) = 9.9 * 10^15. So then it's a total cost of 6.3*10^31. Still bruteforceable but more expensive if you're wrong about it.
(I would never in a million lifetimes have guessed that bip thing. How do people even know this?)
Looking at 426 252 813 1535 1935 1603 1068 1479 1168 756 878 1083 I sure as heck would not think, oh that's bip39 indexes.
True believers and zealots will of course "HODL".
That won't be true if the price goes high enough. By realistic counter example:
So you start when BTC is at about 10c. You mine around 2000 bitcoins (not bad, $200 for using your old 5870 that was collecting dust). Your card burns out so you quit mining, but implement the above strategy.
You sell 500 at 20c, 375 at 40c, 280 at 80c, etc.
Once bitcoin hits $13k, you have about 10btc left and have made $32k out of your possible gains of $20M.
I would say that less than 1 percent is not a sizeable fraction.
Of course, you would make a sizeable fraction if the price weren't able to double so many times, but the above example is actually quite realistic for some.
Proposed amendment: once you start fearing that bitcoin will crash and wipe out your crypto wealth, begin to implement the "2x 1/4" algorithm. This rule will prevent excessive bleeding at the tail.
I posit in your scenario I would start worrying at $50/btc ($100k), so that's 8 doublings till 13k and by that time I am still holding 10% [(3/4)^8] of my coins (worth $2.6m) plus I have 1.9M in cash  I took off the table for a total of $4.5m. Worst case (btc drops instead of going up) I still made $25k.
At about 30c, I was pretty sure bitcoin would crash, wiping out several hundred dollars which would recover the sunk cost of the GPU.
At $7 was another point I was pretty sure it would crash (and hey, getting $10k out to pay down a car seems like a heck of a lot of money for an internet peculiarity I did no work for).
After $30 when it dropped and Mt. Gox was dying, I was pretty sure it would be dead for good, as were many others.
I don't think your amendment really helps because of two facts:
1. "Fearing it will crash" is something that is difficult to gauge, and I felt since day 1 of bitcoin it was likely to crash and wipe out enough money to pay for a few months of rent or more.
2. Your assumption about that working still fails if it simply doubles more, e.g. if bitcoin goes to $1M/btc, we now have a similar "less than a percent" of possible profit, so you still don't get a significant fraction... And in fact if BTC takes off like that, it likely means the USD will have crashed and thus your previous gains are even less useful.
It's easy to look in hindsight and say "selling fractions from the 10s or 100s would have been a good strategy if we knew bitcoin would stabilize in the 1000s", but such hindsight didn't exist back then, and we still can't be sure it's fully stabilized.
I'm not saying it's a bad strategy; it does seem pretty reasonable. I'm just claiming that it won't guarantee that you end up with a significant fraction of the maximum possible gains, and in fact I don't think any such strategy exists.
And on the upper end I am restricting myself with "diminishing marginal utility of money" (aka FU money). The range between "too little" and "FU money" is quite narrow, logarithmically speaking.
Let's say that the lower boundary is $100k and FU money is $20m, and same starting conditions as before. 12 iterations would give me $9.7m in cash plus $13m in BTC [2000(3/4)^1250*2^12].
I admit I have deviated from my original "sizable fraction" statement, and I no longer believe in it. But having shifted the goal posts I proclaim these new ones are better - just as satisfying, but a lot more achievable.
Then again, I've been beset with illness and medical bills, needing to pay for multiple surgeries, so I had little choice.
I also presume that you mean, the second time, that you sell 1/4 of the 3/4 you have left.
That strategy works for something like Bitcoin, if you got in near the beginning. It's a really nice strategy for that situation.
But let's say your employer gave you got stock options at $1/share which, at the time they were granted, was exactly the stock price. The stock slowly goes up to $2.50, then slowly falls to below $1.
There are two problems with your strategy in this scenario: First, when has it "doubled"? You were given these options for free, and (on the day they were granted), they are worth zero. As soon as the stock goes to $1.01, they've more than doubled... but you don't want to sell then. (This is also true of Bitcoins that you mined back when that was easy. They were essentially free, so when was the first doubling?)
But if you wait until the stock is worth $2 ("doubling" in another sense), then you only sell once, and only a quarter of your holdings. That's much less gain than you could have made.
Your strategy is a good one for a rocketship like Bitcoin. But you often don't know that you're on that kind of a rocketship until it's doubled several times. If you wait for confirmation that you're on a rocketship, you could miss some much smaller, but still really sweet gains.
What I did when I had the options scenario is essentially your strategy, but with much lower numbers. When the stock went up maybe 25% or 50%, I sold off some of the options. And some more when it went up another 25%. That worked very well for me. But if the stock had been a rocketship, I would have missed out on a lot.
At that point think of it as a math problem.
Suppose you own a stock that’s never going to issue a dividend, but will do buybacks until eventually the company fails. In such situations you can expect 0-X doublings and a final price of zero.
Now, what strategy works best depends on X, buy and hold is clearly a losing strategy in all situations. Further you don’t know X but you can come up with a reasonable bounds as nothing is going to be worth say 10^30$.
Another approach is to simply constantly sell a fixed percentage each month. That’s very useful if you only have one large investment that does not nessisarily fail, just stop growing exponentially.
I always remind myself that most public information is already priced into a stock & for every buyer of a stock there is a seller too.
I paid for a month's rent with a wallet I'd found with only a transaction fee inside which somehow didn't get deducted from a few years back.
But then again, if we're talking about cashing out for an amount of money on which you can pursue hobbies, live comfortably, and never have to work for another person again... I can't imagine I would regret it that much.
I never calculated the actual potential amount, because I figured it would be depressing, but 9-figures would be beyond depressing.
I’m not sure what I actually paid because I bought it from a friend directly. It was somewhere around 100 BTC. Definitely a cautionary tale about backups and bad luck. But on the other hand, I’ve in whole been the recipient to more than my share of good fortune.
If everyone had perfect information... markets wouldn't even function in a recognizable way. If everyone sold before the peak there wouldn't be any peaks.
"I will most certainly do so <provide a solution> but at this moment the 0.31 BTC wallet is still unsolved. I'm surprised because I thought the solution to the 310 BTC wallet was the most complex one." - author
I had a lot of fun making a Bitcoin "treasure hunt" last year , and I'm going to do another one in the next few months. I think this time it will be more of a coding challenge than a puzzle. And I'm only giving away $500, not $2M! But if that sounds fun, you can sign up for the mailing list at the bottom. I'll also be posting it on https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoinpuzzles/
> Puzzle start: October 2 2018
Are you going around saying "why don't these rich people stop buying yachts!".
At least this guy did something that wasn't entirely selfish. Which is more than can be said about most people in the world.
What about all of those highly skilled technicians and engineers who dedicate years to building said yacht who aren't building rockets or faster trains for us all or designing better schools? Etc, etc...
Any argument rooted in "these other people should do X instead of Y because I think X is more important and want to see them do it" fails from inherent selfishness.
Whether X is indeed better than Y is moot.
Actually it's probably one of the most worthwhile questions, philosophically and practically. If this question doesn't get properly considered, we end up with blind glorification of activities whose main selling point is revenue generation and shitty feedback loops in society over generations.
Not inherently. Only in the cases where it's a true choice between something revenue generating, and something people are doing for social good.
Your perception of social good (people dedicating their time to intellectual puzzles you deem worthy vs people wasting their time on these meaningless displays of skill), is different to someone else's.
My point was perhaps too broad - but deigning to tell someone their pursuit isn't as worthy as one you think they should be pursuing is, frankly, pointless.
That seems to assume immutable human values, and/or a postmodern view of the world. Promoting thoughtfulness about the meaning of human activity seems pretty valuable, regardless of the conclusion.
Perhaps it's the medium of this discussion, but the reason your comment was downvoted was because it came across as judgemental and dismissive.
I've been CMO of a startup, and could spend my free time developing marketing plans for NGOs looking after sick kids to get them more donations, but I spend my talents and time watching arbitrary funny cat videos.
I know it's not the highest order use of abilities, but assuming people should only pursue what you deem to be the most worthy, and dismissing other pursuits, is a thought process so academic it's almost pointless to real-world discourse.
Cogently dismissing other pursuits is an incredibly effective form of recruitment, so there's nothing inherently academic about it.
"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
The ancient Greeks developed a ton of geometry. I'm not sure how we could ever know for sure why they did it, but a clue might be in the name of the field: geo-metria, earth-measurement. (And it's known that some of them made use of geometry for practical purposes, or at least proposed doing so.)
Newton (so far as I can tell) developed calculus in order to do physics. Neither arbitrary puzzle-solving nor religion (though I'm sure Newton enjoyed solving puzzles and he was a religious believer).
Cantor certainly had some peculiar religious ideas that may have motivated his work on the beginnings of set theory. On the other hand, his first publication on the subject looks as if its goal is to provide a beautiful short proof of a theorem already proved by Liouville (on the existence of transcendental numbers); I suppose you could call that a "puzzle" on the grounds that everything in pure mathematics is puzzles, but I think Cantor would have viewed it as a practical application -- in the sense that it's useful for something else in mathematics. Puzzle-solving, perhaps, but not arbitrary puzzle-solving.