I'm Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of "Mastering Bitcoin

Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
submitted by kcbitcoin to btc [link] [comments]

Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
submitted by kcbitcoin to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Subreddit Stats: btc top posts from 2017-01-09 to 2017-02-07 22:40 PDT

Period: 29.80 days
Submissions Comments
Total 999 28052
Rate (per day) 33.52 904.13
Unique Redditors 409 2067
Combined Score 56126 117584

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 3835 points, 41 submissions: Egon_1
    1. "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority" (529 points, 262 comments)
    2. Charlie Shrem: "Oh cmon. @gavinandresen is the reason we are all here today. Stop attacking people, ...." (256 points, 61 comments)
    3. The core developers don't care about you. Let's fire them by hard fork to Bitcoin unlimited! (231 points, 83 comments)
    4. Bitcoin Core Hashrate Below 80% (211 points, 27 comments)
    5. "Bitcoin is an P2P electronic cash system, not digital gold. If Bitcoin's usefulness as cash is undermined, its value will be undermined too." (198 points, 196 comments)
    6. I like these ads (194 points, 25 comments)
    7. "ViaBTC Transaction Accelerator already help more than 5K delayed transactions got confirmed." (142 points, 27 comments)
    8. Bitcoin Unlimited: Over 800 PH/s (128 points, 21 comments)
    9. ViaBTC produces ZERO empty block in the last month. Best in SPV base mining pool. (117 points, 2 comments)
    10. New ATL (All Time Low) For Bitcoin Core Blocks (114 points, 59 comments)
  2. 2876 points, 24 submissions: ydtm
    1. The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE? (354 points, 116 comments)
    2. BU-SW parity! 231 vs 231 of the last 1000 blocks! Consensus will always win over censorship! MARKET-BASED blocksize will always win over CENTRALLY-PLANNED blocksize! People want blocksize to be determined by the MARKET - not by Greg Maxwell & his 1.7MB anyone-can-spend SegWit-as-a-soft-fork blocks. (271 points, 66 comments)
    3. The number of blocks being mined by Bitcoin Unlimited is now getting very close to surpassing the number of blocks being mined by SegWit! More and more people are supporting BU's MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE - because BU avoids needless transaction delays and ultimately increases Bitcoin adoption & price! (185 points, 80 comments)
    4. "Notice how anyone who has even remotely supported on-chain scaling has been censored, hounded, DDoS'd, attacked, slandered & removed from any area of Core influence. Community, business, Hearn, Gavin, Jeff, XT, Classic, Coinbase, Unlimited, ViaBTC, Ver, Jihan, Bitcoin.com, btc" ~ u/randy-lawnmole (176 points, 114 comments)
    5. "Why is Flexible Transactions more future-proof than SegWit?" by u/ThomasZander (175 points, 110 comments)
    6. "You have to understand that Core and their supporters eg Theymos WANT a hardfork to be as messy as possible. This entire time they've been doing their utmost to work AGAINST consensus, and it will continue until they are simply removed from the community like the cancer they are." ~ u/singularity87 (170 points, 28 comments)
    7. Blockstream/Core don't care about you. They're repeatedly crippling the network with their DEV-CONTROLLED blocksize. Congestion & delays are now ROUTINE & PREDICTABLE after increased difficulty / time between blocks. Only we can fix the network - using MARKET-CONTROLLED blocksize (Unlimited/Classic) (168 points, 60 comments)
    8. 3 excellent articles highlighting some of the major problems with SegWit: (1) "Core Segwit – Thinking of upgrading? You need to read this!" by WallStreetTechnologist (2) "SegWit is not great" by Deadalnix (3) "How Software Gets Bloated: From Telephony to Bitcoin" by Emin Gün Sirer (146 points, 59 comments)
    9. This trader's price & volume graph / model predicted that we should be over $10,000 USD/BTC by now. The model broke in late 2014 - when AXA-funded Blockstream was founded, and started spreading propaganda and crippleware, centrally imposing artificially tiny blocksize to suppress the volume & price. (143 points, 97 comments)
    10. Now that BU is overtaking SW, r\bitcoin is in meltdown. The 2nd top post over there (sorted by "worst first" ie "controversial") is full of the most ignorant, confused, brainwashed comments ever seen on r\bitcoin - starting with the erroneous title: "The problem with forking and creating two coins." (142 points, 57 comments)
  3. 2424 points, 31 submissions: realistbtc
    1. Remember this picture ? It was a very strong and cool message from around 2014 . Well, sadly it's not true anymore. But it was universally liked in the Bitcoin space , and probably brought here some of us . I remember even luke-jr reposting it somewhere (oh , the hypocrysis!! ). (249 points, 55 comments)
    2. Emin Gun Sirer on Twitter ' My take is the exact opposite: we are now finding out that Segwit isn't necessary and we can get the same benefits via simpler means. " (248 points, 46 comments)
    3. Gavin Andresen on Twitter : ' The purpose of a consensus system is to arrive at one outcome. Participating means accepting the result even if you initially disagree. ' (204 points, 56 comments)
    4. enough with the blockstream core propaganda : changing the blocksize IS the MORE CAUTIOUS and SAFER approach . if it was done sooner , we would have avoived entirely these unprecedented clycles of network clogging that have caused much frustrations in a lot of actors (173 points, 15 comments)
    5. Gavin Andresen on Twitter - 'This can't be controversial... can it? - a definition of Bitcoin' (136 points, 38 comments)
    6. adam back on twitter "contentious forks are bad idea for confidence & concept of digital scarcity. wait for the ETFs. profit. mean time deploy segwit & lightning" - no! a corrupt company like blockstream with a washed out ex cypherpunk like adam are what's bad for Bitcoin . (122 points, 115 comments)
    7. "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" - if you stray from that , you don't get to keep calling it Bitcoin. call it blockstreamcoin, adamcoin, gregcoin, theymoscoin or whatever and go fork off yourself . (112 points, 19 comments)
    8. soon 21 will have to change the scale , because 180 satoshi/KB won't be enough anymore - madness - feel free to send your complaints to greg maxwell CTO of blockstream (112 points, 31 comments)
    9. PSA : if you use a ledger wallet , you risk paying an absurdly high free - see here : 10$ for a 225 bytes 150$ tx - but remember , it's all fine for your elitist and gregonomic friends at blockstream (109 points, 111 comments)
    10. Luke 'the liar' Dashjr : ' My BIP draft didn't make progress because the community opposes any block size increase hardfork ever. ' -- yes , he wrote exactly that !! (96 points, 33 comments)
  4. 2129 points, 43 submissions: increaseblocks
    1. After failing to get 10K bitcoins for stolen NSA exploits, Shadow Brokers post farewell message, dump a cache of Windows hacking tools online (181 points, 23 comments)
    2. Coinbase and the IRS (146 points, 69 comments)
    3. Ryan X. Charles on Twitter - There is a leadership gap in bitcoin left by technical community members who didn't listen to miners, businesses or users. (117 points, 44 comments)
    4. Blockstream Core developer says you should "pay a $5 fee" to get your transaction to go through! (116 points, 32 comments)
    5. $2.50 transaction FEE paid on $37 transaction, still unconfirmed for 24 hours!! (109 points, 37 comments)
    6. Blockstream shareholder gives a little more insight into the company (107 points, 33 comments)
    7. Finished setting up my Unlimited full node. Took just over 24 hrs to sync with a 5 yr old laptop and standard U.S. connection + $50 1TB hard drive! (96 points, 46 comments)
    8. Matt Corallo/TheBlueMatt leaves Blockstream to go work for Chaincode Labs... is the Blockstream house of cards beginning to crumble? (86 points, 175 comments)
    9. 53,000 transactions in the backlog! (75 points, 79 comments)
    10. Doctor ₿ Goss on Twitter: Spending a year on #segwit instead of coordinating blocksize increase may not have been wise. Money that doesn't work is worthless (70 points, 11 comments)
  5. 1590 points, 9 submissions: parban333
    1. Dear Theymos, you divided the Bitcoin community. Not Roger, not Gavin, not Mike. It was you. And dear Blockstream and Core team, you helped, not calling out the abhorrent censorship, the unforgivable manipulation, unbecoming of supposed cypherpunks. Or of any decent, civil persons. (566 points, 87 comments)
    2. nullc disputes that Satoshi Nakamoto left Gavin in control of Bitcoin, asks for citation, then disappears after such citation is clearly provided. greg maxwell is blatantly a toxic troll and an enemy of Satoshi's Bitcoin. (400 points, 207 comments)
    3. Remember: while the blockstream trolls take Peter R out of context, Peter Todd really think Bitcoin should have a 1%/security tax via inflation. (146 points, 92 comments)
    4. So, Alice is causing a problem. Alice is then trying to sell you a solution for that problem. Alice now tell that if you are not buying into her solution, you are the cause of the problem. Replace Alice with Greg & Adam.. (139 points, 28 comments)
    5. SegWit+limited on-chain scaling: brought to you by the people that couldn't believe Bitcoin was actually a sound concept. (92 points, 47 comments)
    6. Remember: the manipulative Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, want to fool every newcomer that doesn't know better into thinking that he practically invented Bitcoin. (91 points, 22 comments)
    7. Not only segwit support is laughable at the moment for something targeting 95% adoption, but it's actually diminishing. Wallet devs and people that spent resources implementing that ridiculous contraption must feel a bit silly at the moment.... (83 points, 143 comments)
    8. It's ironic that blockstream's concerns about hard forks security are what's actually caused concerns about hard forks security. (46 points, 5 comments)
    9. The Intercept - "Hidden loopholes allow FBI agents to infiltrate political and religious groups" - Just something to consider, right? (27 points, 2 comments)
  6. 1471 points, 10 submissions: sandakersmann
    1. Charlie Shrem on Twitter: "If we don't implement bigger blocks ASAP, Paypal will be cheaper than #bitcoin. I already pay a few dollars per tx. Stop hindering growth." (472 points, 254 comments)
    2. Olivier Janssens on Twitter: "Do you like Bitcoin? Then you like an unlimited block size. The limit was put in place as a temp fix and was never hit before last year." (252 points, 189 comments)
    3. Ryan X. Charles on Twitter: "Bigger blocks will allow more people access to every aspect of bitcoin, enhancing decentralization" (213 points, 179 comments)
    4. Is Bitcoin Unlimited Headed for Activation? (149 points, 38 comments)
    5. Marius Kjærstad on Twitter: "High fees push real economy out of #Bitcoin and makes price driven by speculation. Result is a lower real economy floor to catch the knife." (132 points, 37 comments)
    6. No Primary Litecoin Pool Will Upgrade to Segwit, Says LTC1BTC's Founder (103 points, 60 comments)
    7. Charlie Shrem: "Bitcoin is been built to appreciate or die. That's how it is. It has to continue to grow. If it doesn't grow then it's just gonna go away." (76 points, 15 comments)
    8. G. Andrew Stone & Andrew Clifford: Bitcoin Unlimited (Episode 166) (36 points, 1 comment)
    9. Joseph VaughnPerling on Twitter: "#SegWit on $LTC's safe b/c low TX vol. AnyoneCanSpend TX UTXO unlikely to hit 51% attack cost. On $BTC it'd be insidiously fatal. @SegWit" (21 points, 8 comments)
    10. Bitcoin Plummets After China Launches "Market Manipulation" Investigations Of Bitcoin Exchanges (17 points, 0 comments)
  7. 1408 points, 7 submissions: BeijingBitcoins
    1. LOL - /bitcoin user claims that people aren't being actively silenced; is actively silenced. (307 points, 142 comments)
    2. Reality check: today's minor bug caused the bitcoin.com pool to miss out on a $12000 block reward, and was fixed within hours. Core's 1MB blocksize limit has cost the users of bitcoin >$100k per day for the past several months. (270 points, 173 comments)
    3. Satoshi: "The eventual solution will be to not care how big [block size] gets." (250 points, 75 comments)
    4. Top post on /bitcoin about high transaction fees. 709 comments. Every time you click "load more comments," there is nothing there. How many posts are being censored? The manipulation of free discussion by /bitcoin moderators needs to end yesterday. (229 points, 91 comments)
    5. Bitcoin Unlimited blocks at all time high! (143 of last 1000) (191 points, 56 comments)
    6. Censored in bitcoin: "Bitcoin Core hashrate reaches 79.7%" (91 points, 61 comments)
    7. Bitcoin Transaction Fees - All Time (70 points, 18 comments)
  8. 1235 points, 40 submissions: chinawat
    1. Julian Assange just used the bitcoin block number 447506 as a proof of life. (199 points, 42 comments)
    2. "$3000 donated anonymously to the @internetarchive in bitcoin just now. Made our day!" -- Brewster Kahle on Twitter (97 points, 3 comments)
    3. ‘Barclays took my £440,000 and put me through hell’ | Money (76 points, 22 comments)
    4. Venezuelan Police Arrest Eight Bitcoin Miners in Two Weeks, and the Country's Leading Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Operations (52 points, 2 comments)
    5. The Path To $10,000 Bitcoin (46 points, 11 comments)
    6. How Deutsche Bank Made a $462 Million Loss Disappear (44 points, 6 comments)
    7. "The plan (#mBTC units) has been discussed amongst local #Chinese exchanges, & we believe it will appease the regulators, w/ "lower" prices." -- Bobby Lee on Twitter (43 points, 36 comments)
    8. "Everyone knows that we need to reduce the max block size, but is a one-time drop to 300 kB really the best way?" -- theymos (40 points, 68 comments)
    9. Buy bitcoin from any 7-11 in the Philippines (36 points, 0 comments)
    10. The Race Is On for a Bitcoin ETF (31 points, 14 comments)
  9. 1010 points, 17 submissions: 1and1make5
    1. Last 1000 Blocks - Bitcoin Unlimited overtakes soft-fork-segwit signaling (165 points, 25 comments)
    2. Again: Bigger Blocks Mean More Decentralization - Roger Ver (101 points, 59 comments)
    3. cnLedger on Twitter - "@todu77 Contacted http://BTC.TOP . A different logic was used when dealing w/ (very occasional) empty blc. They'll update to BU only" (94 points, 6 comments)
    4. Controlling your own wealth as a basic human right - Brian Armstrong (93 points, 30 comments)
    5. Last 1000 Blocks - 20% of the Bitcoin mining network supports Bitcoin Unlimited (89 points, 4 comments)
    6. BTC.top current hashrate: ~100 Ph/s (71 points, 5 comments)
    7. Throwback Thursday: BTC.top mined their first BU block 1 month ago with ~31 Ph/s, today they have ~149 Ph/s (68 points, 6 comments)
    8. Epicenter Bitcoin 166 - G. Andrew Stone & Andrew Clifford: Bitcoin Unlimited (63 points, 50 comments)
    9. Coinbase Obtains the Bitlicense (53 points, 19 comments)
    10. Fun fact (doesn't mean anything): In the last 24 hours more blocks have signaled support for Bitcoin Unlimited than soft-fork-segwit (53 points, 5 comments)
  10. 984 points, 20 submissions: seweso
    1. Bitcoin unlimited is an expression of freedom. And freedom will always be misconstrued by paternalists/statists as something dangerous. (120 points, 64 comments)
    2. My hope for Bitcoin Unlimited is not to force a hardfork upon everyone, but to break through the censorship, to open minds. (106 points, 88 comments)
    3. Core threatening a POW change makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. (97 points, 58 comments)
    4. "We will run a SegWit release in production by the time [a 2MB hardfork] is released in a version of Bitcoin Core." (94 points, 84 comments)
    5. Blocked by Peter Todd for pointing out he started the propaganda war with his slippery slope video. (92 points, 41 comments)
    6. I can't wait to spend everyone's SegWit funds on a hard-forked >1Mb chain. ~ Seweso (72 points, 72 comments)
    7. BashCo putting his Bitcoin ignorance on display by stating "60,000 #Bitcoin transactions don't just magically appear out of thin air. #spam" (66 points, 12 comments)
    8. Bitcoin Core developers discussing and deciding on Bitcoin economics again (47 points, 13 comments)
    9. Reaction to: why-bitcoin-unlimiteds-emergent-consensus-gamble (46 points, 9 comments)
    10. "@seweso Show me an instance where core pushed out a change and cost miners a block reward." ~ I can do that ;) (37 points, 6 comments)
  11. 883 points, 16 submissions: Shock_The_Stream
    1. Emin Gün Sirer: Finally getting to the crux of the battle. LN/Segwit/fee-market are a synonym for "high fees." Nothing about this tech requires high fees. (155 points, 78 comments)
    2. BTC.TOP !! - New Alltime High for BU blocks @199 ! BTC.TOP alone just mined 4 BU blocks within 47 minutes (115 points, 26 comments)
    3. The great halvening of Samson's Segwit Pool: Mission accomplished! 1 yr: 12.50%, 6 month: 11.10%, 1 month: 7.83%, 1week: 6.67%, 4 days: 6% (107 points, 56 comments)
    4. Surpise: SegWit SF becomes more and more centralized - around half of all Segwit signals come from Bitfury ... (107 points, 45 comments)
    5. BS of the week by Rusty Russell: "If segwit doesn't activate, something is badly broken in Bitcoin" (102 points, 97 comments)
    6. Slush pool: Incredible bad luck for the Bitcoin Unlimited voters (43 points, 26 comments)
    7. The Bitfury Attack (43 points, 38 comments)
    8. 799! Jiang Zhuo'er teared down this wall! (40 points, 13 comments)
    9. Did Slush just stop mining segwit with the 'don't care' voters? (39 points, 36 comments)
    10. Fortune favours the bold: BTC.TOP with 300% luck today (30 points, 2 comments)
  12. 754 points, 10 submissions: AQuentson
    1. Price Shoots Up as Miners Checkmate and Bitcoin Unlimited Surpasses Segwit. (113 points, 28 comments)
    2. One Transaction Will Cost $400 if Bitcoin Hits $10,000 According to Jameson Lopp (104 points, 39 comments)
    3. Bitcoin Core Developer: Satoshi's Design Doesn't Work (100 points, 78 comments)
    4. Wow! Had no idea the BitcoinMarkets subreddit is completely censored. (90 points, 29 comments)
    5. F2Pool Will Not Upgrade Its Bitcoin Pool to Segwit "Anytime Soon" (89 points, 21 comments)
    6. The Bitcoin Market Needs Big Blocks, Says Founder of BTC.TOP Mining Pool (82 points, 21 comments)
    7. Almost $1 Billion Worth of Bitcoins Stuck in Transaction Backlog (72 points, 8 comments)
    8. ViaBTC's Hashrate Increases to 12 Percent (58 points, 2 comments)
    9. “The protocol debate is not my priority." - Jihan Wu, Bitmain's Founder (24 points, 13 comments)
    10. Wow! Almost $1 Billion Worth of Bitcoin is Stuck, Can't Move - What Happens if no Block is Found in One Hour (as has happened before) Will Bitcoin Literally Break Down? (22 points, 14 comments)
  13. 744 points, 10 submissions: BobsBurgers3Bitcoin
    1. Bitcoin Unlimited 1.0.0 has been released (274 points, 130 comments)
    2. Censored in r\Bitcoin: "35.8 Cents: Average Transaction Fee so far in 2017. The Average Transaction Fee in 2016 was 16.5 Cents" (260 points, 123 comments)
    3. 35.8 Cents: Average Transaction Fee so far in 2017. The Average Transaction Fee in 2016 was 16.5 Cents (74 points, 18 comments)
    4. Former Fed Employee Fined $5,000 for Using Computer for Bitcoin (37 points, 5 comments)
    5. Bitcoin: Why It Now Belongs in Every Portfolio (26 points, 0 comments)
    6. Bitcoin is 'a great hedge against the system' and could be the new gold (18 points, 1 comment)
    7. Bitcoin Will Change Money Like the Internet Changed Video (15 points, 0 comments)
    8. Is Warren Buffett Wrong About Bitcoin? (14 points, 3 comments)
    9. Bitseed Review – A Plug & Play Full Bitcoin Node (13 points, 2 comments)
    10. Bitcoin is soaring (and Business Insider does not change the title of the almost identical article published 3 weeks ago by the same author) (13 points, 1 comment)
  14. 732 points, 10 submissions: specialenmity
    1. Fantasy land: Thinking that a hard fork will be disastrous to the price, yet thinking that a future average fee of > $1 and average wait times of > 1 day won't be disastrous to the price. (209 points, 70 comments)
    2. "Segwit is a permanent solution to refuse any blocksize increase in the future and move the txs and fees to the LN hubs. The chinese miners are not as stupid as the blockstream core devaluators want them to be." shock_the_stream (150 points, 83 comments)
    3. In response to the "unbiased" ELI5 of Core vs BU and this gem: "Core values trustlessness and decentralization above all. Bitcoin Unlimited values low fees for on-chain transactions above all else." (130 points, 45 comments)
    4. Core's own reasoning doesn't add up: If segwit requires 95% of last 2016 blocks to activate, and their fear of using a hardfork instead of a softfork is "splitting the network", then how does a hardfork with a 95% trigger even come close to potentially splitting the network? (96 points, 130 comments)
    5. luke-jr defines "using bitcoin" as running a full node. Dictates that the cost of moving money ( a transaction) should exceed "using bitcoin". Hah (38 points, 17 comments)
    6. If it's not activating that is a strong evidence that the claims of it being dire were and continue to be without substance. nullc (36 points, 23 comments)
    7. I'm more concerned that bitcoin can't change than whether or not we scale in the near future by SF or HF (26 points, 9 comments)
    8. "The best available research right now suggested an upper bound of 4MB. This figure was considering only a subset of concerns, in particular it ignored economic impacts, long term sustainability, and impacts on synchronization time.." nullc (20 points, 4 comments)
    9. At any point in time mining pools could have increased the block reward through forking and yet they haven't. Why? Because it is obvious that the community wouldn't like that and correspondingly the price would plummet (14 points, 14 comments)
    10. The flawed mind of jstolfi (13 points, 17 comments)
  15. 708 points, 7 submissions: knight222
    1. BTC.TOP operator: “We have prepared $100 million USD to kill the small fork of CoreCoin, no matter what POW algorithm, sha256 or scrypt or X11 or any other GPU algorithm. Show me your money. We very much welcome a CoreCoin change to POS.” (241 points, 252 comments)
    2. For those who missed it, this is how the hardfork with Bitcoin Unlimited will happen. (173 points, 79 comments)
    3. Blocks mined with Bitcoin Unlimited reaching 18% (133 points, 28 comments)
    4. Bitcoin Unlimited is less than 1% away from outpacing Segwit for the last 1000 blocks mined (90 points, 44 comments)
    5. BU nodes peaked in the last days (28 points, 6 comments)
    6. Blockstream never tried to compromise but they will (too late). This is why: (22 points, 4 comments)
    7. BTC.TOP is having a good day (21 points, 6 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. Adrian-X (3622 points, 821 comments)
  2. H0dl (3157 points, 563 comments)
  3. Bitcoinopoly (2732 points, 345 comments)
  4. knight222 (2319 points, 361 comments)
  5. MeTheImaginaryWizard (2043 points, 429 comments)
  6. Ant-n (1818 points, 387 comments)
  7. todu (1756 points, 265 comments)
  8. seweso (1742 points, 328 comments)
  9. awemany (1690 points, 401 comments)
  10. Shock_The_Stream (1647 points, 217 comments)
  11. Helvetian616 (1578 points, 206 comments)
  12. Egon_1 (1478 points, 162 comments)
  13. realistbtc (1299 points, 95 comments)
  14. BitcoinIsTehFuture (1231 points, 139 comments)
  15. LovelyDay (1226 points, 196 comments)
  16. thcymos (1172 points, 117 comments)
  17. BeijingBitcoins (1098 points, 58 comments)
  18. Yheymos (1061 points, 69 comments)
  19. steb2k (1058 points, 238 comments)
  20. ydtm (987 points, 132 comments)
  21. dontcensormebro2 (975 points, 106 comments)
  22. chinawat (972 points, 223 comments)
  23. increaseblocks (934 points, 73 comments)
  24. segregatedwitness (921 points, 101 comments)
  25. Annapurna317 (874 points, 146 comments)
  26. DaSpawn (817 points, 162 comments)
  27. insette (808 points, 91 comments)
  28. TanksAblazment (803 points, 150 comments)
  29. blockstreamcoin (787 points, 133 comments)
  30. MeatsackMescalero (774 points, 95 comments)
  31. satoshis_sockpuppet (745 points, 126 comments)
  32. BitcoinXio (739 points, 50 comments)
  33. jstolfi (734 points, 183 comments)
  34. singularity87 (720 points, 90 comments)
  35. Richy_T (704 points, 163 comments)
  36. redlightsaber (690 points, 138 comments)
  37. Leithm (686 points, 74 comments)
  38. ErdoganTalk (668 points, 252 comments)
  39. BitcoinPrepper (665 points, 89 comments)
  40. reddaxx (664 points, 105 comments)
  41. r1q2 (660 points, 110 comments)
  42. papabitcoin (653 points, 79 comments)
  43. 2ndEntropy (632 points, 76 comments)
  44. FormerlyEarlyAdopter (608 points, 92 comments)
  45. Coolsource (595 points, 116 comments)
  46. Peter__R (589 points, 43 comments)
  47. timepad (570 points, 62 comments)
  48. Rawlsdeep (564 points, 109 comments)
  49. themgp (560 points, 46 comments)
  50. ForkiusMaximus (558 points, 89 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Dear Theymos, you divided the Bitcoin community. Not Roger, not Gavin, not Mike. It was you. And dear Blockstream and Core team, you helped, not calling out the abhorrent censorship, the unforgivable manipulation, unbecoming of supposed cypherpunks. Or of any decent, civil persons. by parban333 (566 points, 87 comments)
  2. "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority" by Egon_1 (529 points, 262 comments)
  3. Charlie Shrem on Twitter: "If we don't implement bigger blocks ASAP, Paypal will be cheaper than #bitcoin. I already pay a few dollars per tx. Stop hindering growth." by sandakersmann (472 points, 254 comments)
  4. nullc disputes that Satoshi Nakamoto left Gavin in control of Bitcoin, asks for citation, then disappears after such citation is clearly provided. greg maxwell is blatantly a toxic troll and an enemy of Satoshi's Bitcoin. by parban333 (400 points, 207 comments)
  5. The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE? by ydtm (354 points, 116 comments)
  6. LOL - /bitcoin user claims that people aren't being actively silenced; is actively silenced. by BeijingBitcoins (307 points, 142 comments)
  7. Massive censorship on "/bitcoin" continues by BitcoinIsTehFuture (296 points, 123 comments)
  8. Charlie Shrem on Twitter: "You can talk about anything in BTC and it won't be auto deleted" by BitcoinXio (291 points, 69 comments)
  9. Bitcoin Unlimited blocks exceed Core for first time, 232 vs. 231 of last 1,000 by DNVirtual (282 points, 84 comments)
  10. As relevant as it's always been by iopq (276 points, 15 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 151 points: nicebtc's comment in "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority"
  2. 123 points: 1DrK44np3gMKuvcGeFVv's comment in "One miner loses $12k from BU bug, some Core devs scream. Users pay millions in excessive tx fees over the last year "meh, not a priority"
  3. 117 points: cryptovessel's comment in nullc disputes that Satoshi Nakamoto left Gavin in control of Bitcoin, asks for citation, then disappears after such citation is clearly provided. greg maxwell is blatantly a toxic troll and an enemy of Satoshi's Bitcoin.
  4. 117 points: seweso's comment in Roger Ver banned for doxing after posting the same thread Prohashing was banned for.
  5. 113 points: BitcoinIsTehFuture's comment in Dear Theymos, you divided the Bitcoin community. Not Roger, not Gavin, not Mike. It was you. And dear Blockstream and Core team, you helped, not calling out the abhorrent censorship, the unforgivable manipulation, unbecoming of supposed cypherpunks. Or of any decent, civil persons.
  6. 106 points: MagmaHindenburg's comment in bitcoin.com loses 13.2BTC trying to fork the network: Untested and buggy BU creates an oversized block, Many BU node banned, the HF fails • /Bitcoin
  7. 98 points: lon102guy's comment in bitcoin.com loses 13.2BTC trying to fork the network: Untested and buggy BU creates an oversized block, Many BU node banned, the HF fails • /Bitcoin
  8. 97 points: bigboi2468's comment in contentious forks vs incremental progress
  9. 92 points: vbuterin's comment in [Mark Friedenbach] There is a reason we are generally up in arms about "abusive" data-on-blockchain proposals: it is because we see the potential of this tech!
  10. 89 points: Peter__R's comment in contentious forks vs incremental progress
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submitted by subreddit_stats to subreddit_stats [link] [comments]

Establishing consensus by upgrading software is seriously inefficient - can we get a BIP to support consensus building backed by actual data and statistics?

What we have now: a “pure democracy” a la “voting by selectively updating software”, impassioned, armchair discussion on a myriad of internet forums, and a developer technical consensus, with a critical disconnect between these two groups. --Pantera Capital https://medium.com/@PanteraCapital/the-governance-of-anarchists-blockchain-letter-january-2016-798842f468de#.kkr3mek6k
the well-intentioned must step up to the plate and facilitate the establishment of a scalable Bitcoin . Pantera Capital @medium.com
After watching the bitcoin community have a collective fit over the block size debate I have a few observations.
The one I'd like to offer today is that a consensus driven network should have a simple, clear, and well established framework for communication, especially regarding consensus changes. With such a framework in place, hard and soft data on consensus changes can be aggregated and made public such that economic actors within the bitcoin ecosystem can make informed choices for themselves.
Think about it. If you were going to design a globally distributed and decentralized network that could only be hard forked smoothly if everyone agreed, the first thing you might think about doing would be setting up clear and easy framework for communication amongst nodes about future consensus changes.
In addition, you really want to be able to ignore actors (attackers) who are not generally supportive of the smooth and functional operation of said decentralized system.
It should be noted that any such framework is of course subject to the Sybil attack, however the abstract of the Sybil attack white paper explicitly lists "coordination among entities" as the only way to to mitigate Sybil attacks. I contend that while the coordination among entities doesn't make a Sybil attack impossible, it can clearly mitigate the efficacy of any such attack, possibly to the point of making it a non-issue.
"Sybil attacks are always possible except under extreme and unrealistic assumptions of resource parity and coordination among entities." -- John R. Douceur (http://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/the-sybil-attack.pdf)
As it stands, the default method of communication seems to be to wait for developers to compile new versions of software which then can be installed and queried as to their version (i.e. Classic, Unlimited, Satoshi, XT, etc.)
Having a productive discussion about future consensus changes (hard forks) via software upgrades leaves a lot to be desired.
I assert that this is a suboptimal design (and is probably not a "design" at all).
Proposal: all bitcoin node software should implement a new standard (similar to BIP9) that allows users to edit config files, or command line arguments, or knobs in the GUI in order to communicate responses to upcoming consensus issues. Responses to specific questions can be a lot more useful than opinions on reddit, slack, youtube, medium, etc.
For example, an effective set of questions is:
  1. Do you now have enough bandwidth, or are you willing/able to upgrade your bandwidth to support 8MB blocks?
  2. If you are not willing/able, what is the blocking factor? Money or lack of availability?
  3. If not willing/able and the network upgrades anyway, will you be negatively impacted financially, or just philosophically/emotionally?
As a node operator, I'm willing to upgrade if a few nodes will get shut out due to their 500k/s upload limit, as long as I can see the larger picture and its positive overall.
Other questions:
  1. How much lead time do you need to support X hard fork feature if consensus is reached?
  2. Does your node support an wallet that is in use?
  3. Who are you? (which is completely optional, but major players like exchanges, web-wallets, and miners may choose to verify their identity in order to further the consensus discussion. Node operators may choose who they trust if they care to use that information in their own decisions.)
In addition, perhaps nodes should be enabled to collect and publish statistics on their connections with other nodes, effectively measuring network and node performance, and node age (maybe this exists but I've never seen it published).
When it comes time to suggest that certain consensus or design choices will impact decentralization by making it harder, more expensive, or impossible to run nodes, the discussion can rest on the performance stats, and node age can be used to gauge how many new nodes exist purely to skew the stats.
This technical functionality would enable a data based discussion around hard forks and consensus changes, that I feel is sorely lacking, and desperately needed. Individual node operators need to make informed decisions about their own nodes. This could lead to a situation in which critical mass of consensus is obvious, or consensus is obviously non-existant to the entire developer, node, miner, exchange, and user community.
A closely related issue to this data based discussion capability is that community is currently in the dark when it comes to distinguishing abandoned nodes from nodes trying to reach consensus.
How many nodes have been abandoned? There are nodes running old, insecure versions of bitcoind. Are they still running because someone forgot to shut down a VPS on their company's network? Are they associated with a wallet that is in use or an application that requires that particular version? This distinction is extremely important. In the former, that node can be hard forked off the network with no loss to anyone. In the latter, a benign community should work to find out how to get that node back on an intelligent upgrade path and avoid imposing a hard fork on that node.
I'd venture that no one in the bitcoin community who wants to see it succeed would argue that a forgotten and unused VPS running an old version of bitcoind should be a reason to not give bitcoin that awesome upgrade coming down the pipe that requires a hard fork. Right???
So no amount of awesome technical wizardry thrown at creating a consensus platform will help if the node operators are asleep at the wheel or are running nodes they forgot about.
This leads me to believe that Bitcoin needs a node operators guide that deals directly with this weakness. e.g. in all the places where there are instructions on installing bitcoin nodes, in the README and INSTALL notes of distributions, make it explicit that if you set and forget a bitcoin node install, you're running 100% risk of that node ceasing to operate as intended due to a hard fork. In addition, if you go dark for X months in terms of responding to upcoming consensus polls, you loose the right to complain if you get forked off the network, lose money, or are subject to fraud.
There's a level of responsibility required if you're an honest node operator and want to have control over your own digital assets backed by decentralized trust/verification. Taking that responsibility seriously strengthens the network by making it simple to detect the difference between an attacker who attacks by withholding consensus and an operator who is merely indifferent.
The only way to know that node operators are paying a minimum level of attention is that they are running a recent version. There's no way to prove that they aren't paying attention if they are running an out dated version on their node(s).
OPTION: Certainly bitcoin client software can be written to install automatic updates from the software authors by default, and operators who want to be set-and-forget (run a node purely to support resilience and decentralization) accept that refusing to participate in the consensus process means relinquishing their voice in that process. There's no discernible difference between remaining silent and attacking the network when it comes to change of consensus. If node operators don't want to change, they need to voice that, and then all the other network players need to decide for themselves what to do in response.
Let this be a simple principle: It's effectively impossible to operate a consensus network where the consensus rules are dynamic without establishing an effective communication method about change of consensus.
Bitcoin’s network affect is absolutely incredible, In fact, I think the bigger problem we’re going to have is that we’re going to find it harder and harder to upgrade bitcoin. …. It will become increasingly difficult to achieve consensus for hard fork upgrades”
-- Andreas Antonopoulos, “The Future of Cryptocurrencies” talk at Texas Bitcoin Conference, 2014 27:00
It seems beyond silly that the communities best working definition of "consensus" is "you'll know it when you see it." I run a full node and a couple ASIC miners in a mining pool, and I have very little to go on when it comes to what/who to trust when evaluating the overall network's level of consensus on the current block size debate, or any future consensus change proposal. Maybe key Bitcoin developers and exchange and mining operation heads have the visibility to confidently claim we have or don't have "know it when you see it" consensus, but that visibility isn't available to me (and probably hundreds of other node operators as well.)
All I can see is version numbers of software running on network nodes (and lots of opinions and speculation on all sides), and that's pretty lame.
(Aside: I also deeply appreciate the arguments that hard forks must be done carefully and with as much cooperation as possible, but I see that the actual path from today to hard fork needs a lot of refinement in order to be efficient and safe, and to resist attack and fraud. It seems to me that a defined path doesn't even exist, and I've seen core devs essentially admitting that as well.)
The social networking innovations available today, including reputation points, up-voting, trust established via age of accounts/nodes, peer trust (i.e. social graph), etc, can all be brought to bear on effectively running a decentralized p2p network that protects millions/billions in value for all of us. It's time for a higher level of communication, plainly visible to all.
submitted by netkn0t to btc [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Q&A: Can Bitcoin Get Stuck & Lost in a Lightning Channel? Andreas Antonopoulos Use DeFi Contracts for BTC Passive Income Bitcoin 101. A Beginner's Guide, Part 3 Andreas M. Antonopoulos Bitcoin Q&A January 2020 compilation Bitcoin Q&A: How do miners decide which pool to use?

The Bitcoin Forum Index Bitcoin Bitcoin Discussion Press [2015-09-30] Video: Andreas Antonopoulos: "50 currencies today have less intrinsic value than goat shit" 2 posts • Page 1 of 1 Andreas Antonopoulos (@aantonop) tweeted about Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash coexisting and serving different purposes, while Andresen tweeted about what Bitcoin Cash means to him: 2017–11–12 The Hashrate of Bitcoin had fallen precipitously, the mempool had 167K pending transactions, and miners had apparently switched over to focusing on Bitcoin The bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. It is implemented as a chain of blocks, each block containing a hash of the previous block up to the genesis block of the chain. A network of communicating nodes running bitcoin software maintains the blockchain.:215–219 Transactions of the form payer X sends Y bitcoins to payee Z are broadcast to this network using Andreas M. Antonopoulos became famous, Bitcoin Classic, XT, Unlimited Nodes, Blocks, Graphs, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power Andreas Antonopoulos. Antonopoulos is a consultant on several Bitcoin-related startups and permanent host of the Let’s Talk Bitcoin podcast. He served as head of the Bitcoin Foundation’s anti-poverty committee until 2014, resigning due to disagreements with its management.

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Bitcoin Q&A: Can Bitcoin Get Stuck & Lost in a Lightning Channel?

Bitcoin 101 - Elliptic Curve Cryptography ... CRI Recommended for you. 21:22 "How Bitcoin Protocol Works" - Andreas Antonopoulos - Duration: 1:22:48 ... Continuing the ITN with Charles and Pool ... Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and respected figures in bitcoin. ... Bitcoin Q&A: Miners, pools, and consensus ... Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a best-selling author, speaker, educator, and highly sought after expert in Bitcoin and open blockchain technologies. Andreas has written two best-selling technical ... Andreas Antonopoulos discussing The Death of Money. #Bitcoin #BlockChain #XeCoin. Make 6 Figures With No College Degree. ... Bitcoin Wallet for Paypal and Credit Card Users Globally: ... Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) is a best-selling author, speaker, educator, and one of the world’s foremost bitcoin and open blockchain experts. He is k...

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