As the world’s leading regulatory compliant digital asset exchange, Coinbase sets one of the most stringent requirements for digital asset listing which includes technical evaluation of projects, legal and risk analysis, market supply and demand analysis, and crypto-economics. Coinbase holds a strong reputation in the digital asset industry, and thus the “Coinbase Standard” is considered as the industry benchmark for other digital asset projects, and the market has even seen the “Coinbase effect”.
On July 25 2020, Coinbase quietly launched the pricing chart of a decentralized oracle project, NEST Protocol (NEST), into its portal. Although Coinbase has yet to announce the inclusion of the project in its evaluation list, it represents a keen interest in the DeFi sector, and particularly in the DeFi price oracle projects.
NEST Protocol is the rising star in the decentralized price oracle sector
Decentralized financial services offered by the current mainstream DeFi platforms such as MakerDAO, Compound, dYdX, etc. rely heavily on the market data provided by the oracle projects. Oracle projects act as reliable information sources to feed these price data to other DeFi Projects, connecting the price data from the centralized world to the DeFi space. As such, the price oracle is an integral part of the decentralized financial services infrastructure.
Traditionally, the price oracle collects data from different platforms and feeds these data points to the DeFi space to create data reference points to enable them to function properly. However, many problems currently exist in the DeFi space, for example, blockchain network congestion, malicious attacks, wild market fluctuations, and other factors that may cause the data given by the price oracle to deviate from the true market data. These ultimately cause users to trade on wrong information in the DeFi space and increases such transaction costs.
Decentralized finance requires a fast, secure, and reliable price oracle. The birth of the decentralized price oracle is the embodiment of the blockchain industry’s thinking, and the current market projects offering decentralized price oracle services which includes NEST Protocol, Chainlink, Band Protocol, Tellor, Witness, Oraclize, and many others.
The innovation of NEST-Price is that every data point has been agreed upon by market validators, in line with the blockchain consensus mechanism. NEST-Price synchronizes the off-chain price in a highly decentralized manner, creating real and valid price data on-chain. This is the unique differentiator between NEST-Price and other price oracles.
Compared with other price oracle projects, NEST also has other features and advantages, such as the proposed peer-to-peer quotation matching as well as its unique verifier verification structure, making NEST more resilient to malicious attacks, resulting in a more decentralized network, and it’s on-chain prices closer to the fair market price. All of this has resulted in the NEST Protocol becoming a rising star in the DeFi price oracle sector. HBTC.com selects high-quality projects to list and partnering with NEST to promote the development of DeFi ecosystem
During the selection of quality assets, exchanges like [HBTC.com]1
and Coinbase adhere to the principle of a rigorous selection of assets from different projects to enable a proper range of digital assets. At the same time, in order to solve existing pain points in the digital asset industry, which currently lacks a market-making management solution, HBTC.com also has launched its own “coin listing crowdsourcing [liquidity initiative]2
“, redefining the exchange market making model.
HBTC.com, through its coin listing strategy, effectively reduces the problem of low liquidity in the early stages of high-quality projects, ensuring the smoothness of the user experience, and achieves a win-win situation for traders, the community, and the respective trading platform. These initiatives, coupled with reliable user protection and a responsible attitude, have earned a positive reputation among users.
Since its inception, the HBTC.com exchange has been committed to the discovery of both quality and promising digital asset projects. At a time when DeFi is growing rapidly, HBTC.com has a unique perspective for the decentralized price oracle sector and has prioritized NEST as a premium partner to debut the project alongside with its global branding upgrade. In addition, HBTC.com has [100% proof of reserves]3
for traders to validate the existence of assets via the Merkle tree, which brings transparency to the extreme.
In May 2020, NEST token delivered a 883.29% of return, at its peak, after its global debut on HBTC.com. At present, HBTC Exchange addresses holding NEST token accounts in a total of 141 million, ranked first in the overall network. At the same time, the HBTC Exchange network exclusively releases NEST staking mining and data show that NEST 24-hour turnover has reached $20.4 million.
Post-listing of the NEST token, HBTC.com has also listed DeFi projects such as DF, OKS, NEST, SWTH, JST, NVT, and other DeFi projects with market potential; some projects have achieved astonishing performance in the secondary market.
HBTC.com’s path to DeFi: developing public chains to prepare for the future ecosystem breakout.
In terms of the DeFi product and ecosystem infrastructure, HBTC has deployed HBTC Chain since launched in 2018, an infrastructure designed for decentralized finance and DeFi business with patented Bluehelix decentralized cross-chain clearing and custody technology.
The HBTC Chain is the DeFi ecosystem infrastructure that the team has spent a significant amount of effort to build. It is based on decentralization and community consensus and integrates cryptography and blockchain technologies to support decentralized association-based governance capabilities at the technical level. Based on decentralized key management, combining various cryptography tools including ECDSA, commitment, zero-knowledge proof, and multi-party computation, It implements the distributed private key generation and signature for cross-chain assets among all validators. On top of that, this technology can realize light-weight and non-intrusive cross-chain asset custody. On the clearing layer, HBTC Chain employs BHPOS consensus and horizontal sharding mechanisms to achieve high-performing transaction clearing, and implementation of OpenDex protocol to help the development of the DeFi ecosystem.
In addition, with the success experience of Bluehelix Cloud SaaS and white label solutions and the HBTC Brokerage system, HBTC’s public chain also innovatively supports CEX+DEX mixed matchmaking model and OpenDex protocol and proposes the three-tier node system which consists of standard node + consensus node + core node. This structure provides HBTC public chain certain advantages in terms of performance and cross-chain transactions. Users can easily establish a DEX with OpenDex protocol at nearly zero cost, and all DEX will share the liquidity and support customized user interface and trading parameters. The trading experience can be completely comparable to centralized spot exchanges.
With the launch of its test network, it is now possible to develop various DeFi applications on the HBTC public chain, such as decentralized swap, so that private keys are not controlled by any party; no KYC, which can prevent personal information leakage; and asset security through the setting of invalidation, cancellation of transactions and other functions, cross-chain asset mappings, such as the ability to issue cross-chain cBTC or other chain tokens, fully decentralized asset mapping contracts, and 100% reserves.
In the past few months, the DeFi market has been extremely active, the price of DeFi tokens has been rising, and a new round of competition with the centralized exchanges has started. HBTC Chain relies on the powerful technology of Bluehelix and [HBTC.com]1
, giving all public chains the ability to interconnect, and put into both DeFi and SaaS levels. Undoubtedly, as one of the first exchanges to build the DeFi ecosystem, HBTC is leading the breakout in the current DeFi craze and has now become the first choice of users to engage with quality DeFi projects.
From BITCOIN news([[link]6
''' Building the Infrastructure for the Future Decentralized Financial Market, Coinbase Included HBTC.Com Debut DeFi Project - Nest Protocol Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link
1: *btc*com/ 2: m*diu**com/hbt***ficia*/hbt*-launches-ba**liquidi*y***owd*unding-li*ti*g-plan-redefine-t*e*exch*nge-*i*tin**m*d*l***6*58f*f1d* 3: hbtc.ze**e*k*co*/hc/*n-us/a**icles/3***46287754-HBT*-10*-*ro***of*Reserve 4: hb*c.co*/ 5: n*ws.bitcoin.c*m*bu*ld*ng-t**-infr***ructur*-f*r-the*fut*re*decen**ali**d-*inanc*a*-market-coi**as*-*ncluded-h*t*-*o*-*ebut-de**-p*oject-n*st-**otocol* 6: n**s.bit*oin*com/building-th*-infrast*u*ture*for-t*e-fut****decen**a**zed**inancia*-m*rket-coinbase-**c*uded-*b*c-c***deb***defi-**oject-*est**r**ocol/]^^5
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
Note: New Reddit look may not highlight links. See old look here. A copy is hosted on GitHub for better reading experience. Check it out, contains photo of the month! Also on Medium submitted by
dcrd: Significant optimization
in signature hash calculation, bloom filters support was removed
, 2x faster startup thanks to in-memory full block index
, multipeer work advancing
, stronger protection
against majority hashpower attacks. Additionally, code refactoring and cleanup, code and test infrastructure improvements.
In dcrd and dcrwallet developers have been experimenting
with new modular dependency and versioning schemes using vgo. @orthomind is seeking feedback for his work on reproducible builds
Decrediton: 1.2.1 bugfix release
, work on SPV has started
, chart additions are in progress. Further simplification of the staking process is in the pipeline (slack
Politeia: new command line tool
to interact with Politeia API, general development is ongoing. Help with testing will soon be welcome: this issue
sets out a test plan, join #politeia
to follow progress and participate in testing.
dcrdata: work ongoing on improved design
, adding more charts
and improving Insight API support.
Android: design work advancing
Decred's own DNS seeder (dcrseeder
) was released
. It is written in Go and it properly supports service bit filtering, which will allow SPV nodes to find full nodes that support compact filters.
Ticket splitting service by @matheusd entered
beta and demonstrated
an 11-way split on mainnet. Help with testing is much appreciated, please join #ticket_splitting
to participate in splits, but check this doc
to learn about the risks. Reddit discussion here
Trezor support is expected
to land in their next firmware update
Decred is now supported
by Riemann, a toolbox from James Prestwich to construct transactions for many UTXO-based chains from human-readable strings.
Atomic swap with Ethereum on testnet was demonstrated
at Blockspot Conference LATAM.
Two new faces were added
Dev activity stats for May: 238 active PRs, 195 master commits, 32,831 added and 22,280 deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart
Hashrate: rapid growth from ~4,000 TH/s at the beginning of the month to ~15,000 at the end with new all time high of 17,949. Interesting dynamic in hashrate distribution
across mining pools: coinmine.pl share went down from 55% to 25% while F2Pool up from 2% to 44%. [Note: as of June 6, the hashrate continues to rise and has already passed 22,000 TH/s]
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 91.3 DCR (+0.8), stake participation is 46.9% (+0.8%) with 3.68 million DCR locked (+0.15). Min price was 85.56. On May 11 ticket price surged to 96.99, staying elevated for longer than usual after such a pump. Locked DCR peaked at 47.17%. jet_user on reddit suggested
that the DCR for these tickets likely came from a miner with significant hashrate.
Nodes: there are 226 public listening and 405 normal nodes per dcred.eu
. Version distribution: 45% on v1.2.0 (up from 24% last month), 39% on v1.1.2, 15% on v1.1.0 and 1% running outdaded versions.
Obelisk team posted
an update. Current hashrate estimate of DCR1 is 1200 GH/s at 500 W and may still change. The chips came back at 40% the speed of the simulated results, it is still unknown why. Batch 1 units may get delayed 1-2 weeks past June 30. See discussions on decred
and on siacoin
that 7940 DCR1 units were sold in Batches 1-5, while Lynmar13 shared
his projections of DCR1 profitability (reddit
A new Chinese miner for pre-order was noticed by our Telegram group. Woodpecker WB2 specs 1.5 TH/s at 1200 W, costs 15,000 CNY (~2,340 USD) and the initial 150 units are expected to ship on Aug 15. (pow8.com
Another new miner is iBelink DSM6T: 6 TH/s at 2100 W costing $6,300 (ibelink.co
). Shipping starts from June 5. Some concerns and links were posted in these two threads
A new mining pool is available
. It uses PPLNS model and takes 1% fee.
Another infrastructure addition is tokensmart.io
, a newly audited stake pool with 0.8% fee. There are a total of 14 stake pools
- Upbit added DCKRW and DCUSDT pairs. A user reported that DCR deposits and withdrawals are now available.
- CoinEx announced the launch of DCBTC and DCBCH pairs.
- Bleutrade added DCUSDT pair. Note their reply to our tweet. It was the first exchange to list Decred minutes after launch.
- Brazilian exchange OmniTrade added DCBRL fiat pair following a poll. Worth noting that it is one of the first to integrate Trezor sign-in.
- Bittrex added DCUSDT pair. Withdrawal fee was lowered to 0.01 DCR per user's report.
- Cryptopia enabled DCUSDT pair too.
- There are reports that DCR was added to Abucoins and Tor Exchange but we don't know much about them.
an update that allows one to trade cryptocurrencies, including
@i2Rav from i2trading
is now offering two sided OTC market liquidity on DCUSD in #trading
, payments solution for point of sale and e-commerce, integrated
Decred. (missed in April issue)
CoinPayments, a payment processor supporting Decred, developed
an integration with @Shopify
that allows connected merchants to accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for goods.
An update from VotoLegal:
michae2xl: Voto Legal: CEO Thiago Rondon of Appcívico, has already been contacted by 800 politicians and negotiations have started with four pre-candidates for the presidency (slack, source tweet)
Blockfolio rolled out Signal Beta with Decred in the list
. Users who own or watch a coin will automatically receive updates pushed by project teams. Nice to see this Journal made it to the screenshot!
Placeholder Ventures announced
that Decred is their first
public investment. Their Investment Thesis
is a clear and well researched overview of Decred. Among other great points it noted the less obvious benefit of not doing an ICO:
By choosing not to pre-sell coins to speculators, the financial rewards from Decred’s growth most favor those who work for the network.
Alex Evans, a cryptoeconomics researcher who recently joined Placeholder, posted
his 13-page Decred Network Analysis
March–April survey results (pdf
). It analyzes 166 responses and has lots of interesting data. Just an example:
"I own DECRED because I saw a YouTube video with DECRED Jesus and after seeing it I was sold."
May targeted advertising report released
. Reach @timhebel for full version.
More creative promos by @jackliv3r: Contributing
, Stake Now
, The Splitting
, Forbidden Exchange
, Atomic Swaps
Reminder: Stakey has his own Twitter account
where he tweets about his antics and pours scorn on the holders of expired tickets.
"Autonomy" coin sculpture is available
in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Jake Yocom-Piatt presented "Decentralized Central Banking". Note the mini stakey on one of the photos. (article
, photos: 1 2 album
) Wicked Crypto Meetup
in Warsaw, Poland. (video
, photos: 1 2
) Decred Polska Meetup
in Katowice, Poland. First known Decred Cake. (photos: 1 2
) Austin Hispanic Hackers Meetup
in Austin, USA. Consensus 2018
in New York, USA. See videos in the Media section. Select photos: booth
, moon boots
, giant stakey
. Many other photos and mentions were posted
on Twitter. One tweet summarized Decred pretty well:
One project that stands out at #Consensus2018 is @decredproject. Not annoying. Real tech. Humble team. #BUIDL is strong with them. (@PallerJohn) Token Summit
in New York, USA. @cburniske
from Placeholder talked "Governance and Cryptoeconomics" and spoke highly of Decred. (twitter coverage: 1 2
(from 32 min)) Campus Party
in Bahia, Brazil. João Ferreira aka @girino and Gabriel @Rhama were introducing Decred, talking about governance and teaching to perform atomic swaps. (photos
Decred was introduced
to the delegates from Shanghai's Caohejing Hi-Tech Park, organized by @ybfventures
Second Decred meetup in Hangzhou, China. (photos
) Madison Blockchain
in Madison, USA. "Lots of in-depth questions. The Q&A lasted longer than the presentation!". (photo
) Blockspot Conference Latam
in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (photos: 1
- Decred Australia Meetup in Melbourne, Australia on June 12. Organized by YBF Ventures, all backgrounds are welcome.
- Brazil: meetup in Brasilia on June 13, meetup in Belo Horizonte on June 16 and Campus Party Brasilia on June 27.
- O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, USA on July 18-19. Unlike many "regular" events this one is developer focused. @raedah's team will attend.
- If you are interested in Decred event in San Francisco Bay Area please check this thread.
There is a community initiative by @vj to organize information related to events in a repository
. Jump in #event_planning
channel to contribute.
Decred scored B (top 3) in Weiss Ratings
and A- (top 8) in Darpal Rating
Chinese institute is developing
another rating system for blockchains. First round included
). Upon release
Decred ranked 26. For context, Bitcoin ranked 13.
- Team Spotlight: Decred, Pedal Steel Guitar, and Thoughts on Bitcoin From an Exodus Developer (medium.com, missed in April issue)
- Decred: A Cryptocurrency That Combines PoW, PoS (investopedia.com, translated to Spanish and Russian)
- Decred Price Booms on Consensus 2018 Publicity (cryptovest.com)
- Decred Leads By Example With Fair Governance (cryptodaily.co.uk)
- Graph showing your ticket's chance to vote on any given day (twitter)
- Decred: More Steps to Fame, as Price Shoots Above $110 (cryptovest.com)
- Sole Survivor: Decred Unaffected in Latest Market Downturn (cryptovest.com)
- Placeholder VC Puts Money on Decred to Rival Bitcoin (btcmanager.com)
- Decred Is The Most Undervalued Cryptocurrency With A 15% Dividend-Like Yield, Possibly The Next Bitcoin (seekingalpha.com)
- Decred Coin News: What makes Decred coin price to go over $100? (theoofy.com)
- Asian Cryptocurrency Trading Update: Only Decred Showing a Gain (newsbtc.com)
- Why Decred? Let the community tell you! by Noah Pierau (medium.com)
- A post by @DecredKing arguing being first in crypto is not enough (medium.com)
- Why Decred is the new Bitcoin (globalcoinreport.com)
- The Long-Term Bullish Case for Decred by Ben Davidow (medium.com)
- Hardware Companies Are Launching Dedicated ASIC Miners for Decred (btcmanager.com)
- Iterative Capital partner Chris Dannen and journalist Ben Schiller speak with Marco and Jonathan from Decred at Consensus 2018 (soundcloud)
- Decred Review: What is DCR, the Decred Community & Possible Challenges by BitBoy Crypto (youtube)
- Decred Founder: Bitcoin Paved Way, Phase 2 Will Shock You! (Marco Peereboom) by Pure Blockchain Wealth (youtube)
- Decred & Blocknet: Revolutionary governance for every community feat. JZ at Consensus 2018 (youtube)
- Decred coin - Will it be better than Bitcoin? by Bitassist (youtube)
Community stats: Twitter 39,118 (+742), Reddit 8,167 (+277), Slack 5,658 (+160). Difference is between May 5 and May 31.
Reddit highlights: transparent up/down voting
on Politeia, combining
LN and atomic swaps, minimum viable superorganism
, the controversial debate
on Decred contractor model (people wondered
about true motives behind the thread), tx size and fees discussion
, hard moderation case
of ASICs on price, another "Why Decred?" thread
with another excellent pitch by solar, fee analysis
showing how ticket price algorithm change was controversial with ~100x cut in miner profits, impact
of ticket splitting on ticket price, recommendations
on promoting Decred, security against double spends
and custom voting policies.
@R3VoLuT1OneR posted a preview of a proposal
from his company for Decred to offer scholarships for students. dcrtrader
gained a couple of new moderators, weekly automatic threads were reconfigured to monthly and empty threads were removed. Currently most trading talk happens on #trading and some leaks to decred
. A separate trading sub offers some advantages: unlimited trading talk, broad range of allowed topics, free speech and transparent moderation, in addition to standard reddit threaded discussion, permanent history and search.
Forum: potential social attacks
Slack: the #governance
channel created last month has seen many intelligent conversations on topics including: finite attention of decision makers, why stakeholders can
make good decisions (opposed to a common narrative than only developers are capable of making good decisions), proposal funding and contractor pre-qualification, Cardano and Dash treasuries, quadratic voting, equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity, and much more.
One particularly important issue being discussed is the growing number of posts arguing that on-chain governance and coin voting is bad. Just a few examples from Twitter: Decred is solving an imagined problem
by @jm_buirski), we convince
ourselves that we need governance and ticket price algo vote was not controversial, on-chain governance hurts
node operators and it is too early
for it, it robs
node operators of their role, crypto risks being captured
by the wealthy, it is a huge threat
to the whole public blockchain space, coin holders should not
own the blockchain.
Some responses were posted here
on Twitter, as well as this article
by Noah Pierau.
The month of May has seen Decred earn some much deserved attention in the markets. DCR started the month around 0.009 BTC and finished around 0.0125 with interim high of 0.0165 on Bittrex. In USD terms it started around $81 and finished around $92, temporarily rising to $118. During a period in which most altcoins suffered, Decred has performed well; rising from rank #45 to #30 on Coinmarketcap.
The addition of a much awaited KRW pair on Upbit saw the price briefly double on some exchanges. This pair opens up direct DCR to fiat trading in one of the largest cryptocurrency markets in the world.
An update from @i2Rav:
We have begun trading DCR in large volume daily. The interest around DCR has really started to grow in terms of OTC quote requests. More and more customers are asking about trading it.
Like in previous month, Decred scores high by "% down from ATH" indicator being #2 on onchainfx
as of June 6.
David Vorick (@taek) published
lots of insights into the world of ASIC manufacturing (reddit
). Bitmain replied
an ASIC for Equihash (archived
), an algorithm thought
to be somewhat ASIC-resistant 2 years ago. Three pure PoW coins
this month, one attempting to be ASIC resistant. This shows the importance of Decred's PoS layer that exerts control over miners and allows Decred to welcome ASIC miners for more PoW security without sacrificing sovereignty to them.
Upbit was raided
over suspected fraud and put under investigation. Following news reported
no illicit activity was found and suggested
and raid was premature and damaged trust in local exchanges.
Circle, the new owner of Poloniex, announced
a USD-backed stablecoin and Bitmain partnership. The plan is to make USDC available as a primary market on Poloniex. More details in the FAQ
lower trading fees.
to offer USD trading pairs.
@sumiflow made good progress on correcting Decred market cap on several sites:
speaking of market cap, I got it corrected on coingecko, cryptocompare, and worldcoinindex onchainfx, livecoinwatch, and cryptoindex.co said they would update it about a month ago but haven't yet I messaged coinlib.io today but haven't got a response yet coinmarketcap refused to correct it until they can verify certain funds have moved from dev wallets which is most likely forever unknowable (slack)
About This Issue
Some source links point to Slack messages. Although Slack hides history older than ~5 days, you can read individual messages if you paste the message link into chat with yourself. Digging the full conversation is hard but possible. The history of all channels bridged to Matrix is saved in Matrix. Therefore it is possible to dig history in Matrix if you know the timestamp of the first message. Slack links encode the timestamp: https://decred.slack.com/archives/C5H9Z63AA/p1525528370000062 => 1525528370 => 2018-05-05 13:52:50.
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Your feedback is precious. You can post on GitHub
, comment on Reddit or message us in #writers_room
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Richard-Red, snr01 and solar.
Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me? submitted by
I know, I know, a healthy debate is healthy and all - and maybe I'm just not used to the tumult and jostling which would be inevitable in a real live open major debate about something as vital as Bitcoin.
And I really do agree with the starry-eyed idealists who say Bitcoin is vital
. Imperfect as it may be, it certainly does seem to represent the first real chance we've had in the past few hundred years to try to steer our civilization and our planet away from the dead-ends and disasters which our government-issued debt-based currencies keep dragging us into.
But this particular debate, about the blocksize, doesn't seem to be getting resolved at all.
Pretty much every time I read one of the long-form major arguments contributed by Bitcoin "thinkers" who I've come to respect over the past few years, this weird thing happens: I usually end up finding myself nodding my head and agreeing
with whatever particular piece I'm reading!
But that should be impossible - because a lot of these people vehemently disagree!
So how can both sides sound so convincing to me, simply depending on whichever piece I currently
happen to be reading?
Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just a gullible idiot? Just Do It?
When you first look at it or hear about it, increasing the size seems almost like a no-brainer: The "big-block" supporters say just increase the blocksize to 20 MB or 8 MB, or do some kind of scheduled or calculated regular increment which tries to take into account the capabilities of the infrastructure and the needs of the users. We do have the bandwidth and the memory to at least increase the blocksize now, they say - and we're probably gonna continue to have more bandwidth and memory in order to be able to keep increasing the blocksize for another couple decades - pretty much like everything else computer-based we've seen over the years (some of this stuff is called by names such as "Moore's Law").
On the other hand, whenever the "small-block" supporters warn about the utter catastrophe that a failed hard-fork would mean, I get totally freaked by their possible doomsday scenarios, which seem totally plausible and terrifying - so I end up feeling that the only way I'd want to go with a hard-fork would be if there was some pre-agreed "triggering" mechanism where the fork itself would only actually "switch on" and take effect provided that some "supermajority" of the network (of who? the miners? the full nodes?) had signaled (presumably via some kind of totally reliable p2p trustless software-based voting system?) that they do indeed "pre-agree" to actually adopt the pre-scheduled fork (and thereby avoid any
possibility whatsoever of the precious blockchain somehow tragically splitting into two and pretty much killing this cryptocurrency off in its infancy).
So in this "conservative" scenario, I'm talking about wanting at least 95% pre-adoption agreement - not the mere 75% which I recall some proposals call for, which seems like it could easily lead to a 75/25 blockchain split.
But this time, with this long drawn-out blocksize debate, the core devs, and several other important voices who have become prominent opinion shapers over the past few years, can't seem to come to any real agreement on this. Weird split among the devs
As far as I can see, there's this weird split: Gavin and Mike seem to be the only people among the devs who really want a major blocksize increase - and all the other devs seem to be vehemently against them.
But then on the other hand, the users
seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major increase.
And there are meta-questions about governance, about about why this didn't come out as a BIP, and what the availability of Bitcoin XT means.
And today or yesterday there was this really cool big-blockian exponential graph based on doubling the blocksize every two years for twenty years, reminding us of the pure mathematical
fact that 210
is indeed about 1000 - but not really addressing any of the game-theoretic
points raised by the small-blockians. So a lot of the users seem to like it, but when so few devs say anything positive about it, I worry: is this just yet more exponential chart porn?
On the one hand, Gavin's and Mike's blocksize increase proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer to me.
And on the other hand, all the other devs seem to be against them. Which is weird - not what I'd initially expected at all (but maybe I'm just a fool who's seduced by exponential chart porn?).
Look, I don't mean to be rude to any of the core devs, and I don't want to come off like someone wearing a tinfoil hat - but it has to cross people's minds that the powers that be (the Fed and the other central banks and the governments that use their debt-issued money to run this world into a ditch) could very well be much more scared shitless than they're letting on. If we assume that the powers that be are using their usual playbook and tactics, then it could be worth looking at the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, to get an idea of how they might try to attack Bitcoin. So, what I'm saying is, they do have a track record of sending in "experts" to try to derail projects and keep everyone enslaved to the Creature from Jekyll Island. I'm just saying. So, without getting ad hominem - let's just make sure that our ideas can really stand scrutiny on their own - as Nick Szabo says, we need to make sure there is "more computer science, less noise" in this debate.
When Gavin Andresen first came out with the 20 MB thing - I sat back and tried to imagine if I could download 20 MB in 10 minutes (which seems to be one of the basic mathematical and technological constraints here - right?)
I figured, "Yeah, I could download that" - even with my crappy internet connection.
And I guess the telecoms might
be nice enough to continue to double our bandwidth every two years for the next couple decades – if we ask them politely?
On the other hand - I think we should be careful about entrusting the financial freedom of the world into the greedy hands of the telecoms companies - given all their shady shenanigans over the past few years in many countries. After decades of the MPAA and the FBI trying to chip away at BitTorrent, lately PirateBay has been hard to access. I would say it's quite likely that certain persons at institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and the Fed might be very, very motivated to see Bitcoin fail - so we shouldn't be too sure about scaling plans which depend on the willingness of companies Verizon and AT&T to double our bandwith every two years. Maybe the real important hardware buildout challenge for a company like 21 (and its allies such as Qualcomm) to take on now would not be "a miner in every toaster" but rather "Google Fiber Download and Upload Speeds in every Country, including China".
I think I've read all the major stuff on the blocksize debate from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Adam Back, and Jeff Garzick and several other major contributors - and, oddly enough, all
their arguments seem reasonable - heck even Luke-Jr seems reasonable to me on the blocksize debate, and I always thought he was a whackjob overly influenced by superstition and numerology - and now today I'm reading the article by Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - and I find myself agreeing with him too!
I say to myself: What's going on with me? How can I possibly agree with all
of these guys, if they all have such vehemently opposing viewpoints?
I mean, think back to the glory days of a couple of years ago, when all we were hearing was how this amazing unprecedented grassroots innovation called Bitcoin was going to benefit everyone from all walks of life, all around the world:
- wealthy individuals trying to preserve and transport their wealth across space and across time
- iPhone and Android users who want to buy a latte on their smartphone at Starbucks
- Venezuelans and Argentinians and Cypriots and Russian oligarchs and Greeks and anyone else whose state-backed currency sucks
- unbanked Africans who will someday be texting around money via SMS messages on their cellphones
- online content providers who will finally be able to get paid via micropayments
- smart contracts and stock brokering and lawyering and land deeding and the refrigerator calling out to order more milk and distributed anonymous corporations (DACs) automatically negotiating and adjusting driverless taxicab fares in the Uber-future of the Internet of Things
...basically the entire human race transacting everything into the blockchain.
(Although let me say that I think that people's focus on ideas like driverless cabs creating realtime fare markets based on supply and demand seems to be setting our sights a bit low as far as Bitcoin's abilities to correct the financial world's capital-misallocation problems which seem to have been made possible by infinite debt-based fiat. I would have hoped that a Bitcoin-based economy would solve much more noble, much more urgent capital-allocation problems than driverless taxicabs creating fare markets or refrigerators ordering milk on the internet of things. I was thinking more along the lines that Bitcoin would finally strangle dead-end debt-based deadly-toxic energy industries like fossil fuels and let profitable clean energy industries like Thorium LFTRs take over - but that's another topic. :=) Paradoxes in the blocksize debate
Let me summarize the major paradoxes I see here:
(1) Regarding the people (the majority of the core devs) who are against
a blocksize increase: Well, the small-blocks arguments do seem kinda weird, and certainly not very "populist", in the sense that: When on earth have end-users ever heard of a computer technology whose capacity didn't grow pretty much exponentially year-on-year? All the cool new technology we've had - from hard drives to RAM to bandwidth - started out pathetically tiny and grew to unimaginably huge over the past few decades - and all our software has in turn gotten massively powerful and big and complex (sometimes bloated) to take advantage of the enormous new capacity available.
But now suddenly, for the first time in the history of technology, we seem to have a majority of the devs, on a major p2p
project - saying: "Let's not scale the system up. It could be dangerous. It might break the whole system (if the hard-fork fails)."
I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, maybe someone else could enlighten me, but I don't think I've ever seen this sort of thing happen in the last few decades of the history of technology - devs arguing against
scaling up p2p technology to take advantage of expected growth in infrastructure capacity.
(2) But... on the other hand... the dire warnings of the small-blockians about what could happen if a hard-fork were to fail
- wow, they do seem really dire! And these guys are pretty much all heavyweight, experienced programmers and/or game theorists and/or p2p open-source project managers.
I must say, that nearly all of the long-form arguments I've read - as well as many, many of the shorter comments I've read from many users in the threads, whose names I at least have come to more-or-less recognize over the past few months and years on reddit and bitcointalk - have been amazingly impressive in their ability to analyze all aspects of the lifecycle and management of open-source software projects, bringing up lots of serious points which I could never have come up with, and which seem to come from long experience with programming and project management - as well as dealing with economics and human nature (eg, greed - the game-theory stuff).
So a lot of really smart and experienced people with major expertise in various areas ranging from programming to management to game theory to politics to economics have been making some serious, mature, compelling arguments.
But, as I've been saying, the only problem to me is: in many of these cases, these arguments are vehemently in opposition to each other! So I find myself agreeing with pretty much all of them, one by one - which means the end result is just a giant contradiction.
I mean, today we have Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, arguing (quite cogently and convincingly to me), that it would be dangerous to increase the blocksize. And this seems to be a guy who would know a few things about scaling out a massive global p2p network - since the protocol which he invented, BitTorrent, is now apparently responsible for like a third of the traffic on the internet (and this despite the long-term concerted efforts of major evil players such as the MPAA and the FBI to shut the whole thing down). Was the BitTorrent analogy too "glib"?
By the way - I would like to go on a slight tangent here and say that one of the main reasons why I felt so "comfortable" jumping on the Bitcoin train back a few years ago, when I first heard about it and got into it, was the whole rough analogy I saw with BitTorrent.
I remembered the perhaps paradoxical fact that when a torrent is more
popular (eg, a major movie release that just came out last week), then it actually becomes faster
to download. More people want it, so more people have a few pieces of it, so more people are able to get it from each other. A kind of self-correcting economic feedback loop, where more demand directly leads to more supply.
(BitTorrent manages to pull this off by essentially adding a certain structure to the file being shared, so that it's not simply like an append-only list
of 1 MB blocks, but rather more like an random-access or indexed array
of 1 MB chunks. Say you're downloading a film which is 700 MB. As soon as your "client" program has downloaded a single 1-MB chunk - say chunk #99 - your "client" program instantly turns into a "server" program as well - offering that chunk #99 to other clients. From my simplistic understanding, I believe the Bitcoin protocol does something similar, to provide a p2p architecture. Hence my - perhaps naïve - assumption that Bitcoin already had the right algorithms / architecture / data structure to scale.)
The efficiency of the BitTorrent network seemed to jive with that "network law" (Metcalfe's Law?) about fax machines. This law states that the more fax machines there are, the more valuable the network of fax machines becomes. Or the value of the network grows on the order of the square of the number of nodes.
This is in contrast with other technology like cars, where the more
you have, the worse
things get. The more cars there are, the more traffic jams you have, so things start going downhill. I guess this is because highway space is limited - after all, we can't pave over the entire countryside, and we never did get those flying cars we were promised, as David Graeber laments in a recent essay in The Baffler magazine :-)
And regarding the "stress test" supposedly happening right now in the middle of this ongoing blocksize debate, I don't know what worries me more: the fact that it apparently is taking only $5,000 to do a simple kind of DoS on the blockchain - or the fact that there are a few rumors swirling around saying that the unknown company doing the stress test shares the same physical mailing address with a "scam" company?
Or maybe we should just be worried that so much of this debate is happening on a handful of forums which are controlled by some guy named theymos who's already engaged in some pretty "contentious" or "controversial" behavior like blowing a million dollars on writing forum software (I guess he never heard that reddit.com software is open-source)?
So I worry that the great promise of "decentralization" might be more fragile than we originally thought. Scaling
Anyways, back to Metcalfe's Law: with virtual stuff, like torrents and fax machines, the more the merrier. The more people downloading a given movie, the faster it arrives - and the more people own fax machines, the more valuable the overall fax network.
So I kindof (naïvely?) assumed that Bitcoin, being "virtual" and p2p, would somehow scale up the same magical way BitTorrrent did. I just figured that more people using it would somehow automatically make it stronger and faster.
But now a lot of devs have started talking in terms of the old "scarcity" paradigm, talking about blockspace being a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" - which seems kinda scary, and antithetical to much of the earlier rhetoric we heard about Bitcoin (the stuff about supporting our favorite creators with micropayments, and the stuff about Africans using SMS to send around payments).
Look, when some asshole is in line in front of you at the cash register and he's holding up the line so they can run his credit card
to buy a bag of Cheeto's, we tend to get pissed off at the guy - clogging up our expensive global electronic payment infrastructure to make a two-dollar purchase. And that's on a fairly efficient centralized system - and presumably after a year or so, VISA and the guy's bank can delete or compress the transaction in their SQL databases.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if some guy buys a coffee on the blockchain, or if somebody pays an online artist $1.99 for their work - then that transaction, a few bytes or so, has to live on the blockchain forever?
Or is there some "pruning" thing that gets rid of it after a while?
And this could lead to another question: Viewed from the perspective of double-entry bookkeeping, is the blockchain "world-wide ledger" more like the "balance sheet" part of accounting, i.e. a snapshot
assets and liabilities? Or is it more like the "cash flow" part of accounting, i.e. a journal
revenues and expenses?
When I think of thousands of machines around the globe having to lug around multiple identical copies of a multi-gigabyte file containing some asshole's coffee purchase forever and ever... I feel like I'm ideologically drifting in one direction (where I'd end up also being against really cool stuff like online micropayments and Africans banking via SMS)... so I don't want to go there.
But on the other hand, when really experienced and battle-tested veterans with major experience in the world of open-souce programming and project management (the "small-blockians") warn of the catastrophic consequences of a possible failed hard-fork, I get freaked out and I wonder if Bitcoin really was destined to be a settlement layer for big transactions. Could the original programmer(s) possibly weigh in?
And I don't mean to appeal to authority - but heck, where the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto in all this? I do understand that he/she/they would want to maintain absolute anonymity - but on the other hand, I assume SN wants Bitcoin to succeed (both for the future of humanity - or at least for all the bitcoins SN allegedly holds :-) - and I understand there is a way that SN can cryptographically sign a message - and I understand that as the original developer of Bitcoin, SN had some very specific opinions about the blocksize... So I'm kinda wondering of Satoshi could weigh in from time to time. Just to help out a bit. I'm not saying "Show us a sign" like a deity or something - but damn it sure would be fascinating and possibly very helpful if Satoshi gave us his/hetheir 2 satoshis worth at this really confusing juncture. Are we using our capacity wisely?
I'm not a programming or game-theory whiz, I'm just a casual user who has tried to keep up with technology over the years.
It just seems weird to me that here we have this massive supercomputer (500 times more powerful than the all the supercomputers in the world combined) doing fairly straightforward "embarassingly parallel" number-crunching operations to secure a p2p world-wide ledger called the blockchain to keep track of a measly 2.1 quadrillion tokens spread out among a few billion addresses - and a couple of years ago you had people like Rick Falkvinge saying the blockchain would someday be supporting multi-million-dollar letters of credit for international trade and you had people like Andreas Antonopoulos saying the blockchain would someday allow billions of "unbanked" people to send remittances around the village or around the world dirt-cheap - and now suddenly in June 2015 we're talking about blockspace as a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" and partially centralized, corporate-sponsored "Level 2" vaporware like Lightning Network and some mysterious company is "stess testing" or "DoS-ing" the system by throwing away a measly $5,000 and suddenly it sounds like the whole system could eventually head right back into PayPal and Western Union territory again, in terms of expensive fees.
When I got into Bitcoin, I really was heavily influenced by vague analogies with BitTorrent: I figured everyone would just have tiny little like utorrent-type program running on their machine (ie, Bitcoin-QT or Armory or Mycelium etc.).
I figured that just like anyone can host a their own blog or webserver, anyone would be able to host their own bank.
Yeah, Google and and Mozilla and Twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp did come along and build stuff on top of TCP/IP, so I did expect a bunch of companies to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol as well. But I still figured the basic unit of bitcoin client software powering the overall system would be small and personal and affordable and p2p - like a bittorrent client - or at the most, like a cheap server hosting a blog or email server.
And I figured there would be a way at the software level, at the architecture level, at the algorithmic level, at the data structure level - to let the thing scale - if not infinitely, at least fairly massively and gracefully - the same way the BitTorrent network has.
Of course, I do also understand that with BitTorrent, you're sharing a read-only object (eg, a movie) - whereas with Bitcoin, you're achieving distributed trustless consensus and appending it to a write-only (or append-only) database.
So I do understand that the problem which BitTorrent solves is much simpler than the problem which Bitcoin sets out to solve.
But still, it seems that there's got
to be a way to make this thing scale. It's p2p and it's got 500 times more computing power than all the supercomputers in the world combined - and so many brilliant and motivated and inspired people want this thing to succeed! And Bitcoin could be our civilization's last chance to steer away from the oncoming debt-based ditch of disaster we seem to be driving into!
It just seems that Bitcoin has got
to be able to scale somehow - and all these smart people working together should be able to come up with a solution which pretty much everyone can agree - in advance - will
Right? Right? A (probably irrelevant) tangent on algorithms and architecture and data structures
I'll finally weigh with my personal perspective - although I might be biased due to my background (which is more on the theoretical side of computer science).
My own modest - or perhaps radical - suggestion would be to ask whether we're really looking at all the best possible algorithms and architectures and data structures out there.
From this perspective, I sometimes worry that the overwhelming majority of the great minds working on the programming and game-theory stuff might come from a rather specific, shall we say "von Neumann" or "procedural" or "imperative" school of programming (ie, C and Python and Java programmers).
It seems strange to me that such a cutting-edge and important computer project would have so little participation from the great minds at the other
end of the spectrum of programming paradigms - namely, the "functional" and "declarative" and "algebraic" (and co-algebraic!) worlds.
For example, I was struck in particular by statements I've seen here and there (which seemed rather hubristic or lackadaisical to me - for something as important as Bitcoin
), that the specification
of Bitcoin and the blockchain doesn't really exist in any form other than the reference implementation(s)
languages such as C or Python?). Curry-Howard anyone?
I mean, many computer scientists are aware of the Curry-Howard isomorophism, which basically says that the relationship between a theorem and its proof is equivalent to the relationship between a specification and its implementation. In other words, there is a long tradition in mathematics (and in computer programming) of:
- separating the compact (and easy-to-check) statement of a theorem from the messy (and hard-to-check) details of its proof(s);
- separating the specification of a system from its implementation(s); and
- being able to prove that an implementation does indeed satisfy its specification.
And it's not exactly "turtles all the way down" either: a specification is generally simple and compact enough that a good programmer can usually simply visually inspect it to determine if it is indeed "correct" - something which is very difficult, if not impossible, to do with a program written in a procedural, implementation-oriented language such as C or Python or Java.
So I worry that we've got this tradition, from the open-source github C/Java programming tradition, of never actually writing our "specification", and only writing the "implementation". In mission-critical military-grade programming projects (which often use languages like Ada or Maude) this is simply not allowed. It would seem that a project as mission-critical as Bitcoin - which could literally be crucial for humanity's continued survival - should also use this kind of military-grade software development approach.
And I'm not saying rewrite the implementations in these kind of theoretical languages. But it might be helpful if the C/Python/Java programmers in the Bitcoin imperative programming world could build some bridges to the Maude/Haskell/ML programmers of the functional and algebraic programming worlds to see if any kind of useful cross-pollination might take place - between specifications and implementations.
For example, the JavaFAN formal analyzer for multi-threaded Java programs (developed using tools based on the Maude language) was applied to the Remote Agent AI program aboard NASA's Deep Space 1 shuttle, written in Java - and it took only a few minutes using formal mathematical reasoning to detect a potential deadlock which would have occurred years later during the space mission when the damn spacecraft was already way out around Pluto.
And "the Maude-NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Protocol Analyzer (Maude-NPA) is a tool used to provide security proofs of cryptographic protocols and to search for protocol flaws and cryptosystem attacks."
These are open-source formal reasoning tools developed by DARPA and used by NASA and the US Navy to ensure that program implementations satisfy their specifications. It would be great if some of the people involved in these kinds of projects could contribute to help ensure the security and scalability of Bitcoin.
But there is a wide abyss between the kinds of programmers who use languages like Maude and the kinds of programmers who use languages like C/Python/Java - and it can be really hard to get the two worlds to meet. There is a bit of rapprochement between these language communities in languages which might be considered as being somewhere in the middle, such as Haskell and ML. I just worry that Bitcoin might be turning into being an exclusively C/Python/Java project (with the algorithms and practitioners traditionally of that community), when it could be more advantageous if it also had some people from the functional and algebraic-specification and program-verification community involved as well. The thing is, though: the theoretical practitioners are big on "semantics" - I've heard them say stuff like "Yes but a C / C++ program has no easily identifiable semantics". So to get them involved, you really have to first be able to talk about what
your program does (specification) - before proceeding to describe how
it does it (implementation). And writing high-level specifications is typically very hard using the syntax and semantics of languages like C and Java and Python - whereas specs are fairly easy to write in Maude - and not only that, they're executable, and you state and verify properties about them - which provides for the kind of debate Nick Szabo was advocating ("more computer science, less noise"). Imagine if we had an executable algebraic specification of Bitcoin in Maude, where we could formally reason about and verify certain crucial game-theoretical properties - rather than merely hand-waving and arguing and deploying and praying.
And so in the theoretical programming community you've got major research on various logics such as Girard's Linear Logic (which is resource-conscious) and Bruni and Montanari's Tile Logic (which enables "pasting" bigger systems together from smaller ones in space and time), and executable algebraic specification languages such as Meseguer's Maude (which would be perfect for game theory modeling, with its functional modules for specifying the deterministic parts of systems and its system modules for specifiying non-deterministic parts of systems, and its parameterized skeletons for sketching out the typical architectures of mobile systems, and its formal reasoning and verification tools and libraries which have been specifically applied to testing and breaking - and fixing - cryptographic protocols).
And somewhat closer to the practical hands-on world, you've got stuff like Google's MapReduce and lots of Big Data database languages developed by Google as well. And yet here we are with a mempool growing dangerously big for RAM on a single machine, and a 20-GB append-only list as our database - and not much debate on practical results from Google's Big Data databases.
(And by the way: maybe I'm totally ignorant for asking this, but I'll ask anyways: why the hell does the mempool have to stay in RAM? Couldn't it work just as well if it were stored temporarily on the hard drive?)
And you've got CalvinDB out of Yale which apparently provides an ACID layer on top of a massively distributed database.
Look, I'm just an armchair follower cheering on these projects. I can barely manage to write a query in SQL, or read through a C or Python or Java program. But I would argue two points here: (1) these languages may be too low-level and "non-formal" for writing and modeling and formally reasoning about and proving properties of mission-critical specifications
- and (2) there seem to be some Big Data tools already deployed by institutions such as Google and Yale which support global petabyte-size databases on commodity boxes with nice properties such as near-real-time and ACID - and I sometimes worry that the "core devs" might be failing to review the literature (and reach out to fellow programmers) out there to see if there might be some formal program-verification and practical Big Data tools out there which could be applied to coming up with rock-solid, 100% consensus proposals to handle an issue such as blocksize scaling, which seems to have become much more intractable than many people might have expected.
I mean, the protocol solved the hard stuff: the elliptical-curve stuff and the Byzantine General stuff. How the heck can we be falling down on the comparatively "easier" stuff - like scaling the blocksize?
It just seems like defeatism to say "Well, the blockchain is already 20-30 GB and it's gonna be 20-30 TB ten years from now - and we need 10 Mbs bandwidth now and 10,000 Mbs bandwidth 20 years from - assuming the evil Verizon and AT&T actually give us that - so let's just become a settlement platform and give up on buying coffee or banking the unbanked or doing micropayments, and let's push all that stuff into some corporate-controlled vaporware without even a whitepaper yet."
So you've got Peter Todd doing some possibly brilliant theorizing and extrapolating on the idea of "treechains" - there is a Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast from about a year ago where he sketches the rough outlines of this idea out in a very inspiring, high-level way - although the specifics have yet to be hammered out. And we've got Blockstream also doing some hopeful hand-waving about the Lightning Network.
Things like Peter Todd's treechains - which may be similar to the spark in some devs' eyes called Lightning Network - are examples of the kind of algorithm or architecture which might
manage to harness the massive computing power of miners and nodes in such a way that certain kinds of massive and graceful scaling become possible.
It just seems like a kindof tiny dev community working on this stuff. Being a C or Python or Java programmer should not be a pre-req to being able to help contribute to the specification (and formal reasoning and program verification) for Bitcoin and the blockchain.
XML and UML are crap modeling and specification languages, and C and Java and Python are even worse (as specification
languages - although as implementation
languages, they are of course fine).
But there are
serious modeling and specification languages out there, and they could be very helpful at times like this - where what we're dealing with is questions of modeling and specification (ie, "needs and requirements").
One just doesn't often see the practical, hands-on world of open-source github implementation-level programmers and the academic, theoretical world of specification-level programmers meeting very often. I wish there were some way to get these two worlds to collaborate on Bitcoin.
Maybe a good first step to reach out to the theoretical people would be to provide a modular executable algebraic specification of the Bitcoin protocol in a recognized, military/NASA-grade specification language such as Maude - because that's something the theoretical community can actually wrap their heads around, whereas it's very hard to get them to pay attention to something written only
as a C / Python / Java implementation (without an accompanying specification in a formal language).
They can't check whether the program does what it's supposed to do - if you don't provide a formal mathematical definition of what the program is supposed to do. Specification : Implementation :: Theorem : Proof
You have to remember: the theoretical community is very
aware of the Curry-Howard isomorphism. Just like it would be hard to get a mathematician's attention by merely showing them a proof
without telling also telling them what theorem
the proof is proving - by the same token, it's hard to get the attention of a theoretical computer scientist by merely showing them an implementation
without showing them the specification
that it implements.
Bitcoin is currently confronted with a mathematical or "computer science" problem: how to secure the network while getting high enough transactional throughput, while staying within the limited RAM, bandwidth and hard drive space limitations of current and future infrastructure. The problem only becomes a political and economic problem if we give up on trying to solve it as a mathematical and "theoretical computer science" problem.
There should be a plethora of whitepapers out now proposing algorithmic solutions to these scaling issues. Remember, all we have to do is apply the Byzantine General consensus-reaching procedure to a worldwide database which shuffles 2.1 quadrillion tokens among a few billion addresses. The 21 company has emphatically pointed out that racing to compute a hash to add a block is an "embarrassingly parallel" problem - very easy to decompose among cheap, fault-prone, commodity boxes, and recompose into an overall solution - along the lines of Google's highly successful MapReduce.
I guess what I'm really saying is (and I don't mean to be rude here), is that C and Python and Java programmers might not be the best qualified people to develop and formally prove the correctness of (note I do not say: "test", I say "formally prove the correctness of") these kinds of algorithms.
I really believe in the importance of getting the algorithms and architectures right - look at Google Search itself, it uses some pretty brilliant algorithms and architectures (eg, MapReduce, Paxos) which enable it to achieve amazing performance - on pretty crappy commodity hardware. And look at BitTorrent, which is truly p2p, where more demand leads to more supply.
So, in this vein, I will close this lengthy rant with an oddly specific link - which may or may not be able to make some interesting contributions to finding suitable algorithms, architectures and data structures which might help Bitcoin scale massively. I have no idea if this link could be helpful - but given the near-total lack of people from the Haskell and ML and functional worlds in these Bitcoin specification debates, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't throw this out - just in case there might be something here which could help us channel the massive computing power of the Bitcoin network in such a way as to enable us simply sidestep this kind of desperate debate where both sides seem right because the other side seems wrong. https://personal.cis.strath.ac.uk/neil.ghani/papers/ghani-calco07
The above paper is about "higher dimensional trees". It uses a bit of category theory (not a whole lot) and a bit of Haskell (again not a lot - just a simple data structure called a Rose tree, which has a wikipedia page) to develop a very expressive and efficient data structure which generalizes from lists to trees to higher dimensions.
I have no idea if this kind of data structure could be applicable to the current scaling mess we apparently are getting bogged down in - I don't have the game-theory skills to figure it out.
I just thought that since the blockchain is like a list, and since there are some tree-like structures which have been grafted on for efficiency (eg Merkle trees) and since many of the futuristic scaling proposals seem to also involve generalizing from list-like structures (eg, the blockchain) to tree-like structures (eg, side-chains and tree-chains)... well, who knows, there might be some nugget of algorithmic or architectural or data-structure inspiration there. So... TL;DR:
(1) I'm freaked out that this blocksize debate has splintered the community so badly and dragged on so long, with no resolution in sight, and both sides seeming so right (because the other side seems so wrong).
(2) I think Bitcoin could gain immensely by using high-level formal, algebraic and co-algebraic program specification and verification languages (such as Maude including Maude-NPA, Mobile Maude parameterized skeletons, etc.) to specify (and possibly also, to some degree, verify) what
Bitcoin does - before translating to low-level implementation
languages such as C and Python and Java saying how
Bitcoin does it. This would help to communicate and reason about programs with much more mathematical certitude - and possibly obviate the need for many political and economic tradeoffs which currently seem dismally inevitable - and possibly widen the collaboration on this project.
(3) I wonder if there are some Big Data approaches out there (eg, along the lines of Google's MapReduce and BigTable, or Yale's CalvinDB), which could be implemented to allow Bitcoin to scale massively and painlessly - and to satisfy all stakeholders, ranging from millionaires to micropayments, coffee drinkers to the great "unbanked".
On the Bitcoin blockchain, every block holds the total of the transactions of that block plus a block header. Miners distribute data to blocks through their mining activity subsequently hashed through the Merkle tree protocol. This generates the “Merkle root” that is captured within the block header. As opposed to submitting individual transaction data onto the root chain, the child chain bundles transactions into a Merkle tree and submits the root hash. Beyond these core elements, there is no prescribed configuration for a Plasma chain. They can take on different consensus protocols, block validation mechanisms, or fraud proofs. The design is adaptable to the use case. OMG Network is ... Merkle Tree, also called hash tree, is a name for an imperative unit of the blockchain. Simply put, this is a structure that allows the verification of content contained within a large information set. It is also one of the most important aspects of this technology, as it ensures the security of the verification process. For example, Bitcoin SPV wallets use merkle trees to save bandwidth by verifying that individual received transactions are a member of a block without downloading the full block. Example merkle tree To generate a merkle tree, each member is individually hashed, producing a short unique identifier for that member. Each of those identifiers is ... Sobald du dich über verschlüsselte Währungen informierst, wirst du über den Begriff Merkle Root oder Merkle Tree stoßen. Es wird in Bitcoin als elementare Funktion, um Blöcke zu bauen, verwendet. Darüber Bescheid zu wissen, wie ein Merkle Tree gebaut wird, ist unbedingt erforderlich, um Blöcke bauende Anwendungen wie Pool- oder Mining-Software zu entwickeln.
About Merkle Trees, used for Efficient Data Verification. In today's episode Nick... branches out and discusses Merkle Tree, that's all I've got for this one. ===== I'm not a financial adviser. Do ... Bitcoin 101 - Merkle Roots and Merkle Trees - Bitcoin Coding and Software - The Block Header - Duration: 24:18. CRI 41,575 views. 24:18. Joseph Poon- Plasma and the Public Ethereum Chain ... Today I talk about Merkle Trees and their application in crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. If you liked this video please help support the creation of more. Editing Monitors : https://amzn.to/2RfKWgL https://amzn.to/2Q665JW https://amzn.to/2OUP21a. Check out our website: http://www.telusko.com Follow Telusko on T... Using a concept called a Merkle tree - in this video I break it down in depth with a simple example and show how a SPV node (Simple Payment Verification) node that does not keep a full copy of the ...