Look at this address:
The last time this address was touched was 2009, and has an even 8,000 coins (back in the day, this only amounted to 320 mined blocks. You could do that in what?... a few hours/half days?)
The owner probably ran his system for a few hours, collected 8000 coins, thought it was a ridiculous concept and deleted everything from his system.
Let's say bitcoin is to last a century, over time, there will be gradual losses to all kinds of problems, like hardware failures, owner errors, etc that cause lost of wallets, and thus, coins, forever.
There's no way to replace these, so over time, the total number of coins it not only limited, but after the last bitcoin is mined, it must decrease.
This suggests to me that bitcoin is a marvelous experiment that finally proved that such a currency is possible on a wide scale, but as a foundational currency, it has serious flaws, and it sounds like it needs to ultimately be replaced by a Bitcoin 2.0.
However, creating a new Bitcoin that is incompatible with the old would massively destroy value in the old system, so it's an interesting proposition as to how you can 'version' the Bitcoin protocol over time while not causing great upheaval.
To switch to Bitcoin 2.0 all holders need to see no future in Bitcoin 1 and panic-sell into Bitcoin 2. If this happens, it's another huge bet (like going from USD to BTC), but the prerequisite is to Bitcoin 1 really be in trouble. Divisibility problem is not a fatal flaw, it can be patched, worked around, or counted in as an extra cost.
On the other hand, USD has tons of fatal flaws: it's being printed like crazy and it needs to be stored in banks that easily freeze, tax and censor accounts. Essentially, USD is not even an asset. It's always a chain of promises by bankers and presidents, who brake them constantly in various ways. Compared to USD, Bitcoin is infinitely better, so people are willing to make a bet that Bitcoin can replace USD. Imbalance like that is the requirement to start discussing a jump from BTC1 into BTC2.
Suppose that all bitcoins are lost except one.
Well, we just use fractions of the one remaining. While the protocol currently supports 8 decimals, there isn't any hard limit; we can continue dividing forever as needed.
I got myself 3 or 4 coins (I wasn't even in a pool at that point) but then the price crashed in late 2011 and I eventually forgot about it. Since then I've reformatted and I remember having that "Oh shit" moment as I was reformatting but after looking up the price I realized I was only out about $10. This was late 2011.
Now every time I see a HN post about a new price milestone I kick myself. Today I could have sold them for ~$1500-2000.
You shouldn't. You only lost $10 by reformatting that pc - your only loss is from not buying the bitcoins at that point, of which most of us are guilty.
Any economy built on a currency that fluctuates this wildly is going to be unpleasant.
I don't know how someone can genuinely believe that bitcoin is a currency with this kind of pricing turbulence. It is behaving like the focal point of rampant speculation.
You might be wrong ;) This week, Yi Gang (a very high-ranked chinese government official: no less than the Director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China), said he would personally adopt a long-term perspective on the currency! See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6782870
If you aren't in a pool the only way to get coins is to solve the block and in that case you would have had 50.
But I imagine the person that deleted the wallet back then is pretty pissed with himself now-a-days.
1. Bitcoin third-pary services security will get better.
2. People are now more aware of security concerns.
3. You can divide a BitCoin to smaller units.
Obviously when RSA's end nears, assuming bitcoin is still around then, we'll see some sort of managed transition to a newer cryptosystem. I imagine the network will probably support announcing transactions saying something like, "Wallet X will now be known as wallet Y" where Y uses the new cryptosystem. And presumably only the first valid signed announcement will count and make its way into the block chain. It's at this point that I think people with enough compute power might be able to "steal" lost wallets.
I'd be surprised if 30 years into the future (probably earlier given the incentives we have to break crypto today are so much than those we had in '98) if these algorithms weren't broken.
There is actually no precedent of a cryptographic system relying on computational hardness surviving for more than a generation. And given that our fundamental theoretical understanding hasn't really evolved beyond, "we think a bunch of these problems are hard", things are likely to stay that way for a while.
>There is actually no precedent of a cryptographic system relying on computational hardness surviving for more than a generation.
That's because cryptosystems relying on computational hardness aren't that old.
>And given that our fundamental theoretical understanding hasn't really evolved beyond, "we think a bunch of these problems are hard", things are likely to stay that way for a while.
These assumptions haven't really broken though. You give an example of DES, but that doesn't rely on computational hardness assumptions. Asymmetric crypto with a trapdoor function does. There hasn't even been a big breakthrough in the original prime number factorization assumptions of RSA/DH.
Similarly, if you found had preimage attack for ripemd160(sha256(x)) (you can find a public key with the same hash as any other hash), how could you not steal people's money?
If you found pre-image for ripemd160(sha256(x)), you still need to find a private key for it.
In block B, I make a transaction h -> 1 BTC -> s. Where s is a securely generated public key that I own. I then sign this transaction with my forged public key, which hashes to h.
How does this not give me x's money?
I'm curious which of these might be intermediary wallets for Coinbase and the like.
You basically delete the private key and won't be able to sign a transaction with it ever.
There's also an article with some interesting stories: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/06/2001-06-0...
[I'm not intending this as an argument about Bitcoin, but as something people might find interesting.]
(Or at least that's what I was told during a tour of a US Mint several years ago.) Money burned up in a fire is not replaceable.
And this is one of many reasons why it will become increasingly important to beef up the security and robustness of the Bitcoin network and ecosystem. It has some of the same failure modes as traditional bank/government-backed currency. But it also has a set of a different kind of failure modes that should also be minimized or mitigated.
It seems some people have mega riches, but is it actually feasible for me to realize that money (in US Dollars, deposited to my Chase bank account)?
There is an article here about that basically explains (this is my interpretation not his words) how the price of BTC is kindof like the sticker price on an item in the store. It doesn't represent the real value, it's simply the value as perceived by consumers and is, in a way, fixed -- http://falkvinge.net/2013/09/13/bitcoins-vast-overvaluation-...
But the fact that early adopters are psychotically rich for doing nothing is... one of the many signs of a flawed system. Basically if everyone started selling the market would destabilize because supply/demand curve would change & I'm pretty sure the value of what they're selling would plummet before they can unload most of their stack.
EDIT: Since I was immediately downvoted, please note that this happens regularly any time you speak ill of Bitcoin's pyramid scheme aspects and is completely expected/anticipated when I post these responses. It's a public service that I will drop eventually, but think about this -- even people who own a ton of BTC (article I linked to) criticize it as being insanely flawed. They only stay with it because as they point out, they believe the price will continue to rise. Speculators love it because they KNOW it's flawed, but still feel confident in a bet that the price will rise. I think it's why ultimately it will take gov intervention or a market catastrophe that screws over all the speculators to finally destroy such interest in Bitcoin and finally give it a chance to start over again... as a currency.
The price of everything is an illusion according to the Subjective Theory of Value .
No they risked their money with a speculation that had almost 0% chance of getting any return in the future. They took a huge risk, without this, bitcoin would not exist. And that's why they are rewarded: Taking a risk that almost no one would have taken to create something big.
> Basically if everyone started selling the market would destabilize because supply/demand curve would change & I'm pretty sure the value of what they're selling would plummet before they can unload most of their stack.
Bitcoin had already 2 big crashes (one time from $30 to $1-2 and one time from 200+$ to under 100$) and still recovered afterwards because there's people like me who see the potential in bitcoin.
And please tell me what your "real value" exactly is, because in my opinion their is only a perceived value for everything in the world.
Repeat each few weeks, and let's say there's 20 people that realized this and have enough bitcoins for this to be feasible.
End result = currency that's mostly owned by a few people. And when everybody realize this - bubble collapses.
At least that was my train of thought when I first learnt about bitcoin and now I hate myself for being too risk averse :)
If the highest standing offer to buy is at $700, it's not going to be an offer to buy all 120,000 of your BTC. It might be an offer to buy 100BTC. So you sell 30BTC at $700 and then move on to the next lowest OTB, which might be 20BTC@$699.95. You walk down a line of highest OTBs and the new market price is the highest OTB that you didn't manage to exhaust. The price is lowering as you sell out.
Similarly, you're not going to be able to buy in with your entire pot at the lowest standing offer-to-sell (market price). You'll exhaust the lowest offer-to-sell, then move on to the next highest offer-to-sell, etc. The price is rising as you buy in.
Assuming that the market is efficient, the decrease in price as you sell out and the increase in price as you buy in will be perfectly balanced against each other, and any extraneous gain or loss will reflect changes in market information that occurred while you were executing. Of course the market is not in practice perfectly efficient, but that applies to any other traded commodity.
i know thats kindof a tangent but.... seriously, i'm curious
How do you think an exchange rate between say USD->EUROS is decided? By the last trade price....
last trade price multiplied by number of units in circulation = total value of ecosystem
Bitcoiners do this CONSTANTLY
current trading price of something with no intrinsic value
However, non-voting common stock equities that do not grant dividends basically have no "intrinsic value" either I guess. It is just a proxy for the public opinion of the net worth of the underlying asset, similar to bitcoins.
I think this kind of "intrinsic value" line of reasoning isn't a very strong argument in general though because mostly the value of commodities is essentially based on the value people assign it via free market and psychological principles.
You sort of don't seem like you know much about econ/finance so I think it is strange that you are so outspoken about bitcoins.
BTC could still collapse, and it very well may. Even if we put the potential innovative benefits of btc aside though, things like this are more like cults vs religions. A cult is a cult until it has enough followers at which point it becomes a religion.
Cults and religions have a similar scam potential which is what it seems like you are feeling, however at this point I would say btc is reaching or possibly above Scientology levels of belief/followers. In fact the market cap of btc is possibly more than the market cap of Scientology right now. If btc is going to fall apart as a pyramid scheme it will likely be the largest to ever fall.
However btc is more than a pyramid scheme because it does offer some real benefits over the existing financial systems. The online blackmarket does require a currency similar to btc to operate. Right now sending money across borders is difficult and expensive. Right now buying things over the internet basically must be done with credit cards which has a lot of fees attached. Right now there is no real way to quickly send large sums of money to people without similar fees and specific hours of operation. You also have to go to a bank and deal with a lot of bullshit.
Whether btc will be the solution to these problems I am not sure, but it is a very big deal that it already has so many users/followers. That is the hardest part of changing things, getting large scale adoption.
It solves a real problem, yes, but not so much so that every Bitcoin should quadruple in value every 6 months, this is a bit ridiculous. After all, one could implement a BTC alternative (Litecoin for example) and achieve the same needs.
So essentially yes I see Bitcoin as a cult of naive investors who think that because of its theoretical underpinnings it will save us all. The truth is, huge stores of it are owned by black market operations and early adopters who had an exponential advantage in the ease of getting these things. Its basically like a free money machine for anyone who had change left in their pocket after spending their first crop of BTC.
If the system were ever to go down via cashout or crash or whatever, these people have as good a shot at grabbing the exit cash as anyone else, plus they can trivially buy a ton of real-world goods now through stores that accept Bitcoin, who themselves essentially send 3rd party processors the bill since presumably the processors are the ones storing Bitcoins while paying out the current exchange rate (or maybe they put them on an exchange soon after). The processors are assuming the risk because they want a foothold in the emerging shadow Wall St landscape. These are people who are putting their blood/sweat/tears into building the infrastructure that is essentially just magnifying the wealth of the founders / online gambling institutions / black market ops.
If instead all the rational people were to abandon the cult & quietly cash out, all that baggage could be left behind. The online casinos could instead foot the bill, and we could begin again with a new more stable cryptocurrency that has more utility as an actual currency. Market volatility adds some lure into the intrigue of the system but it's really just a vehicle for wealth redistribution to those who are prepared to take advantage of a flawed system.
Btw telling me it's gaining traction as a cult is not really endearing me to the ecosystem. I'm just not a big cult-lover. :P
But I guess it wouldn't work because if you sell a lot of bitcoins you couldn't sell all at the same price.
Eg. you want to sell 10k Bitcoins. The price is 750$ and the first 50 Bitcoins you can sell for 750$. Now after that there are not enough limit orders anymore available for that price category. So you would sell a lot of bitcoins for much less than the price was originally when you started selling.
And vice versa if you buy them. So I would doubt that you make a profit (because you can't sell/buy at price x and then afterwards the market price reacts. The market price reacts already while buying/selling in large quantities).
As I see it it's the same principle as if you own a large part of a stock, there you could argue the same.
Read the section in this article titled Enter the tape-painting “Shark Squad”. I've seen a few similar articles that document how simple it is to do market manipulations in Bitcoin that would get you immediately cuffed on Wall St. And it doesn't even take that many parties to pull them off! Because Bitcoin is actually transacted sooooo little.
I can't say for sure though. There are a lot of debates about transactional volume but impossible to tell because some of the big money Bitcoin holders just buy/sell to heighten the perception of its popularity.
1. Buy 1% of bitcoins
2. Price increases
3. Sell your bitcoins for more than you bought them
4. Goto 1
I commend you for not getting involved. I think Bitcoin speculators are immoral. Someone is going to end up footing the bill and it will ruin many lives.
This is also the case with rich families. It doesn't make the system unusable.
Bitcoiners are getting rich for designing a pump-and-dump scam & passing it along. It's called a pyramid scheme. You make a pitch that sounds convincing and then shop it out through "Multi-Level Marketing" strategies.
Why do Bitcoiners believe so much in a currency that allowed the originator to pull so much wealth out of thin air?
Say we estimate conservatively and say the Bitcoin ecosystem is only worth what was put into it. Well, now the founders own like 1/4 of all that money, for doing nothing but coming up with a convincing sounding scheme ("ummm... call it deflationary people will think that sounds intellectual"). A currency is not a currency if it is so distorted that it is radically reorganizing the wealth of those who convert to it.
They didn't just buy a few bytes of data & see the value appreciate by 9billion% just for sitting on their fat asses.
And that's the other issue. Land is an ACTUALLY limited resource. We don't know how to pull it out of thin air. The Bitcoin currency is artificially limited just to force a supply/demand situation. People can make other competing currencies just by forking the code.
Or really anyone who buys a stock early for a company that becomes huge.
I mean, if you buy bitcoins right now you are speculating that it will become a stable currency at some point. It offers a bunch of interesting and disruptive features that cut out a lot of middle men.
.com addresses appreciated in value because they are an actual good -- an address on the web that only 1 person can own. Bitcoin is a currency that isn't serving its purpose yet and whose function can be easily mimicked. All it is is an open source codebase & some infrastructure. If another coin (Litecoin, for example) were to take off, they would just add support for that too no big deal.
Point being, it isn't the sole implementation of this concept. .com addresses are by nature unique.
There are alt DNS systems as well.
IMO, the best analogy for Bitcoin is gold. Gold is valued way beyond its intrinsic value and yet, few people claim that gold is a pyramid scheme.
I don't want to get into the other thing. There are a ton of things that distinguish gold from BTC. For one, it has an intrinsic value. As in, "worst case scenario I have to sell this gold to a metalworker/scientist/jeweler/whoever who worse with gold".
If Bitcoin doomsday hits who is gonna pay a cent for one more file on their system. Useless bytes of data are not a commodity.
You helped out the king and he granted you a lot
of land. Several generations later, your descendents
are ridiculously wealthy because you got in on the
'ground floor' of what would later become the world
economy we have today.
They would fall under the rubric of what the parent comment said about "rose to political power." The old nobility got that way because they supported the king in military campaigns in exchange for titles, land, and protected agricultural or mercantile monopolies and warrants. (Incidentally, the origin of the word "entitled" dates back to the titling of the nobility by royal authority. A title is, in essence, the exclusive right to something. In many cases, that right was to specific regions or lands. When we say that someone is "entitled to" something, or "has a sense of entitlement," we are figuratively harkening back to an age when an "entitlement" was something very literal.)
For what it's worth, the fluidity of the nobility is vastly underreported in popular conception. Noble families rose, fell, were made, were broken, etc., about as often as in Game of Thrones. Today's "old old money" descends from the old old noble houses who, by some combination of luck and savvy, ended up on the right side of countless civil wars, uprisings, wars of succession, and dynastic transitions.
Did these families "earn" their fortunes? I'd say no more and no less than any of today's political elites. We're kidding ourselves if we believe the political patronage system in the US is all that different from the political patronage system of the Tudor dynasty, or that of Louis XIV. The mechanics of government are different; the rules of the "Game" are entirely unchanged. (Replace "King" with "Presidential Administration.")
"Crypto-Currency of the Future Promises a Return to Medieval Economics via Anonymous Self-Proclaimed King"
Even in those systems, people had to WORK to get that $$. We're kindof seeing that now with those setting up the Bitcoin infrastructure, but early adopters are richer than they at this point -- just by trading for a couple magic beans before the masses decided they HAVE TO HAVE THEM!!!
I think the coolest thing would be if cryptocurrency folks set up the Bitcoin ecosystem decided there was a BETTER digital currency, and just utilized that same tech stack with the better product. F--k Bitcoin it was an experiment and it can rot
It's just a more ingenious version of Amway, because rather than pushing products around & trying to have to prod people into trying their hand at sales, they are being sold THE IDEA OF MONEY! And if people decide to buy that money, the value of the originator's money increases. And to make them feel as if they are equals he says "Oh well if you want you can work on these hash equations and free money will appear" but as long as it's propelling the greed for this "money" it will never hurt the value of his stash.
Sad stuff. and the greatest beneficiaries are probably the criminal organizations who use it. Half the reason i wanna see it crash is because it will wipe a lot of bank accounts used by gambling organizations etc. who prey on misery to begin with.
Bitcoin is the risk I knowingly didn't take, because I didn't think it would amount to anything in the future.
All markets get created out of thin air. Everything you use now at one point had someone looking at it thinking, "what the hell is that ever going to be good for?"
Even if you don't believe in bitcoin, the problem with fiat currencies is that they are insecure.
> Baaaaaw Bitcoiners' wealth are disproportionate to their merit
Just like in fiat currency, in Bitcoin, lots of people who don't "deserve" anything are rich. Deal with it or go back to your imaginary universe that gives economical advantages to people based on "merit". Notice how I'm using quotes around the words that have no objective definition.
> A currency is not a currency if it is so distorted that it is radically reorganizing the wealth of those who convert to it.
What is your definition of currency?
Currency is something relatively stable, it's not a trading platform. I spoke about it in this way the other day --
One should not have to consult an exchange rate to figure out how much their currency is worth. They should know what it's worth by how much it costs for a dozen eggs. If that number changes rapidly (dozen eggs costs 1 BTC Monday, 3 on Friday, .5 next month, 100 in the future, .002 after that) well.... you don't have a currency, you have a speculative commodity.
The only reason Bitcoin users don't complain is because they're mostly hoarders/traders & the general trend is up.
This is just not true for many currencies that have undergone hyper-inflation and hyper-deflation. You are only comparing btc to the most dominant currencies in the world right now, and btc obviously is not one of the most dominant currencies.
When that happens, people tend to abandon them as currencies (though a currency undergoing hyperdeflation would be hoarded as a store of value).
Doing what amounts to a a "reverse split" on the currency is a measure issuers take to get the unit value of currency to a usable value.
This is true. But generally speaking, people go quite a bit out of their way to use currencies that are perceived to have a predictable future value.
This is why the dollar (and the Euro) is so popular the world over; it's value is pretty predictable, compared to most other commodities.
Please explain to me (or refer me to material explaining) how USD can possibly be stable when used by billions of people. Just because it's been stable from my point of view, doesn't mean it's stable for everyone. If your explanation relies on trusting a single person or organization, you see why I favor Bitcoin.
> The only reason Bitcoin users don't complain is because they're mostly hoarders/traders & the general trend is up.
The only reason fiat users don't complain is because from their perspective it looks like it's working.
He's the single person YOU rely on -- the one who designed the mining system, currency caps, etc. Ridiculous.
USD is more distributed than Bitcoin just because people are always watching theorizing monitoring USD. Bitcoin is at the mercy of market manipulators and there are no legal protections provided against even basic tricks.
I am assuming that you are fine with 90% loss in purchasing power of the US dollar in the last 100 years.
> He's the single person YOU rely on.
For security, no. The protocol is public. So I assume you mean only by market manipulation. But how so? Is this the same way I rely on Bill Gates not to trade all his money to a foreign currency?
Inflation figures for USD are readily available. That it is more stable when considered against most goods and services than bitcoin is not something about which there is any room for serious dispute.
This is not the observation of one person or perspective. It's the actual purchasing power of USD.
Consider tulip mania from the 1600s. Speculation drove up prices of tulip bulbs to the point where the only people buying tulips were other speculators who were willing to pay the high prices because they thought they could sell it for more later on--the exact reasoning you just posted. Speculators were just trading tulips--or worse, tulip futures--amongst themselves. When the time came to sell the tulips to people who wanted them for decoration, it was discovered that none of them actually valued tulips that much, and the bubble popped.
There are arguments for a bitcoin having an intrinsic value of $100k. If bitcoin were ever used for, say, something as large as the real estate market, it would be hard to imagine the price being any lower than that. But bitcoin is extremely far from being used as the dominant currency in any market that large.
51% attack publication didn't kill it.
Silk road bust didn't kill it.
Selfish miner attack publication didn't kill it.
I'm not saying that a flood of sellers won't lower the price dramatically. But to say a rumour is "all it will take" is to ignore recent history.
Are you talking about some new attack? The "51% attack" is a security property that fell out from the design of bitcoin: A cooperating group of people needs "51%" of the computing power to break bitcoin.
either one should do the trick, but right now greed is leading
Of course, anyone who has invested in BTC is highly interested to push the hype button and spread the word of BTC as universal payment system. This is the only way to bring more hard currency into the BTC cashflow.
The whole idea of Bitcoin transactions requiring special efforts to cash out is a sign of weak liquidity/weak infrastructure. If some bitcoin-exchange-house is limited to cashing out $10k/day, then how can you practically distinguish it from a Ponzi scheme that claims to have money but actually doesn't?
Have the money wired to your bank. If you're selling on bitstamp, even that step is easy.
Most of the bitcoin super-rich are the early adopters, who mined hundreds of bitcoins on their personal PCs while that was still possible.
And contrary to the popular folklore, you can get USD out of gox, it just costs you a fair amount to do so. If you're dealing in million dollar transactions, it can be arranged.
I wonder if it would be possible to come up with some kind of market indicator to detect when one of major holding addresses starts to sell off on one of the exchanges. This may be possible if the escrow/intermediary accounts are known. If one of these 'major holders' really felt like being evil, they could test out some of the BTC to USD processors to see how well their setup to handle large transactions and nuke them with 1000BTC conversions. Coinbase.... BOOM!... BTCQuick.... BOOM!
 Bitcoin Charts / Markets - http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/
Edit: turns out Coinbase has a 50BTC/day buy or sell limit.
Or you can move your Bitcoins to another exchange (which have a much lower valuation) and which are all foreign. Then cash out there. Then repatriate your USD. Which has tax implications. So in an amount as big as $10M you're going to lose a large amount of "money."
You also have to pray that somewhere along the way your anonymous untraceable Bitcoins aren't stolen.
Useful if you're a US citizen or resident and have bitcoins you want to sell.
So it works similar to trading.
So if you want $1million dollars at $700 per bitcoin you would have to find a market with enough people to buy at $700.
Probably would be more along the lines of a private sale than dumped on an exchange, though of late we've seen dumps/buys in the million dollar range.
Spreading the risk of loss by hack? And reducing their visibility as a target?
One of the core developers theorized that memory corruption at the exact time you sign a transaction could lock away all the bitcoins in a single address. However this has never been observed. (remember every transaction spends the entire balance of an address and returns your coins to the same/or change address, if that change address has 1 bit wrong the entire balance would be lost)
Also - there's 4 addresses with almost exactly the same number of coins (40000) who all last transacted on april 9. Surely connected.
Also also: why do so many btc balances end with ".0411"?
And 6 blocks of 10.000 bitcoin with a last transaction on the 4th. So it looks like that there are far less than 100 players in the bitcoin top 100.
If someone else make another BTC?
What's important to me is that money is hard. If you have it, it can't be printed out of value. It should not be very costly or risky to store or transfer (like gold or USD). I want to be sure that even the richest guys can't simply extract money from me. That they have to earn it by doing work. Or earn service from others by paying them, not forcing them. Bitcoin allows us to get to that kind of protection closer than ever.
Consider this: gold was always as hard to protect as to confiscate it. It's symmetrical. Therefore, most powerful and brutal were accumulating gold over time. Gold is now owned massively by largest governments and banks. Regular people can only own as much gold as they can hide in their pockets. Extra gold is too easy to take (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102). Bitcoin is much cheaper and easier to store and transfer than to extract it. It's asymmetrical. Now big guys with guns would have to work more and steal less to get some money, then before. Stuff that was stolen or destroyed will never come back to you, but at least, over time, distribution of wealth would match more closely actual merits of market participants, than amount of gunpowder that they have.
I tried to message him on twitter but no reply.
And what percentage of bitcoin nodes use Tor? With NSA-like global passive logging, I think even Tor could be vulnerable.
Can't be bothered to find the source atm but someone did some analysis on the mined blocks in 2009/2010 and found the likely blocks mined by the same person who mined the first block, all unspent.
I would think Satoshi is getting close to becoming the first Bitcoin billionaire.
Just as it has always happened in history.
Someone is probably manipulating the supply and demand to serve their own purposes. You might as well day trade something more liquid.
And better yet, everyone could just switch to a client that works exactly like the clients we use to day except that it allows a new wallet I just created containing 100,000 bitcoins. This one is better because I get rich.
And to make it work the only thing I need to do is convince everyone to use it. It's kind of like that guy who convinced everyone to allow little green slips of paper to be traded for goods and services -- ALL money has value only because society consents to value it, and society could change it's mind. We've done so before -- consider when the Euro was created and how after a transition period the currencies it replaced became worthless (except as collector's items).
The hard part is convincing everyone to use YOUR plan. The deftness with which Bitcoin has navigated that social dilemma is one of the most impressive things about it. Somehow we have all come to agree that certain bit patterns and secret keys are worth valuable goods and services.
Similarly, during the transition of clients accepting to clients not accepting those coins, what happens if there's a transaction from one of them? What if it's only partial, they spent 2k but left 2k, they're active but now out 2k BTC that they can't spend?
This is sort of like discussing blacklisting "stolen" BTC. Suppose I figure out 100 brainwallets and steal 1000 BTC. Before I get added to the blacklist, I transfer 1 BTC to each of 1000 addresses. Do you blacklist the whole chain of addresses going back? Do you only blacklist that one amount (essentially reducing the value of those addresses by 1 BTC each)? What if one of those addresses is yours and I'm just tainting every address I can find. You'll have 1BTC that you can't spend, and you don't know to whom it belongs. Which of the original 100 addresses do you send it back to if that's the intent of the system? Do you send it back to a known hacked address? Does the former owner have a mechanism to announce a valid new address for kindhearted souls to return their bitcoins to?
Some of the richest holders own multiple top addresses.
All just wild conjecture though.
You can see these addresses and speculate. Also some members of the community keep track of famous Bitcoin users that are known to have accumulated over 100,000 coins.
a 2012 paper by Ron and Shamir. (Adi Shamir of “RSA".)
Preprint available here: http://eprint.iacr.org/2012/584.pdf
(The "Rich List” seems obviously inspired by this paper.)
Sadly that paper is pretty poor. It's adequate for informing someone bitcoin isn't anonymous though— but the bitcoin.org website also does that without being littered with basic misunderstandings of how Bitcoin works.