Cryptocurrencies


#101

I think it has something to do with the idea that with specialized hardware the miners get a very centralized control over the currency in practice, when the whole point of the thing was to be decentralized. So it’s an ideology issue, I guess.


#102

Pool resources between a large number of people to invest in your own ASICs then?


#103

I’m not one of those people complaining, I’m just… well I guess I’m advocating for them pro bono.

I can see two potential ideology based arguments against having to pool with a large number of people together to compete:

1: Shouldn’t have to. If I can’t compete as an individual it’s not decentralized (enough).
2: If we pool a bunch of people, we’re just adding to the problem of centralization.

This ends the top of my head analysis.


#104

Oh I wasn’t addressing “you” as “you specifically” there. Just… the general you!


#105

The one alternative I heard to proof-of-work is proof-of-stake, but it also has some problems that need to be worked out.


#106

#107

Guys, I am trying to figure out how blockchain works. I watched a dozen of videos but still don’t understand. Do you know any blogs or utube channels? I have found only one https://bitcoinbestbuy.com/ Can you help me? It begins annoying me :angry:


#108

The best way it’s been described to me is “It’s a giant excel spreadsheet that we all just kinda vote on what it contains”.


#109

It’s a decentralized database that can only ever be added to, nothing can ever be removed


#110

If there is any chance to break this system? some kind of hacks or something liek that?


#111

It’s a “decentralised” database, mainly to stop anyone gaining control of 50.01% of the system, and then controlling it all.

Except, because this is Bitcoin, three of the largest mining syndicates can join forces to reach about 55% control.

And, of course, because this is Bitcoin, there is nothing in place to either guarantee this doesn’t happen, or even know if this collusion isn’t already taking place!

“There are about 20 major mining pools. Broken down by the percent of hash power controlled by a pool, and the location of that pool’s company, we estimate that Chinese pools control ~81% of the network hash rate:
China - 81%
Czech Republic - 10%
Iceland - 2%
Japan - 2%
Georgia - 2%
Russia - 1%”

So three entities control more than 50%, and 81% is controlled by entities in a single country.

Tell me again about this being decentralised!


#112

It’s “Decentralized” in the sense that the database isn’t stored in any one specific location like a traditional database would be. It doesn’t occupy a specific server.


#113

Right. But if three entities decided what is “true” or not on all of those copies, does it really make a difference?

I’m not saying three syndicates ARE colluding to control all of the Bitcoin database, my point is there is no way to know if they are, and no way to stop it, and no way to punish anyone even if everyone else disagrees with them.


#114

Here’s a thing I don’t get, when you say bitcoin, are you referring to bitcoin specifically or all public spreadsheets?


#115

His original question was “What is a blockchain?” Who owns BitCoin specifically is beside the point.


#116

Right. But if someone begins an enquiry with a link to a website that wants you to give them money to buy BitCoins, the responsible thing to do isn’t to give them technical answers, but steer them clear of the whole concept.


#117

I’ve been thinking of this stupid idea. A cryptocurrency that has no mining, is only semi-distributed, and still has a blockchain-ish mechanism. Here is how it works.

Step one. Someone creates a public/private keypair and a spreadsheet. They put one entry on the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has the following columns.

transaction id, datetime, amount, sender public key, receiver public key, senders cryptographic signature.

The very first entry will be the person who creates the currency giving themselves currency. Basically, they made it, so they print money. They print all of it at once, and can never print anymore ever. They have all of it at the start. They can print 1 or 10000000. Doesn’t matter.

From then on, people get currency by exchanging it with the originator. If you want to make an account, you just have to make a keypair. Then you can exchange currency. All you have to do is share copies of the updated sheet as more lines are added to it. Verifying it is faster and easier. Just make sure the digital signatures are correct, and that the sender has the money they say they have.

You can determine the balance of every account by simply going back to the beginning and calculating. You can also create checkpoints where you know everything before transaction X is valid, so you don’t redo the work. You just have to validate the signatures and balances of transactions since the last known valid transaction. Everyone can independently verify it since the file is completely public.

There could be conflicts though. I have 100 and I try to send 100 to two people at once. Which one wins? Well, it’s distributed in a hierarchy like DNS. Servers above are more authoritative than ones below, so eventually something gets back to the root server and gets corrected. One transaction will be valid, the other one will fail because I don’t have enough balance. This is fine because it is no different than our system today of writing a check that bounces. It can be handled the same way.

That’s it.


#118

Welcome to how many of the other cryptocurrencies work. There are many non-mining non-proof-of-work ledgers out there.


#119

Are people actually using them? Is it worth it?


#120