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RIP HAL FINNEY "His last post on a BTC Forum"
I thought I'd write about the last four years, an eventful time for Bitcoin and me. For those who don't know me, I'm Hal Finney. I got my start in crypto working on an early version of PGP, working closely with Phil Zimmermann. When Phil decided to start PGP Corporation, I was one of the first hires. I would work on PGP until my retirement. At the same time, I got involved with the Cypherpunks. I ran the first cryptographically based anonymous remailer, among other activities. Fast forward to late 2008 and the announcement of Bitcoin. I've noticed that cryptographic graybeards (I was in my mid 50's) tend to get cynical. I was more idealistic; I have always loved crypto, the mystery and the paradox of it. When Satoshi announced Bitcoin on the cryptography mailing list, he got a skeptical reception at best. Cryptographers have seen too many grand schemes by clueless noobs. They tend to have a knee jerk reaction. I was more positive. I had long been interested in cryptographic payment schemes. Plus I was lucky enough to meet and extensively correspond with both Wei Dai and Nick Szabo, generally acknowledged to have created ideas that would be realized with Bitcoin. I had made an attempt to create my own proof of work based currency, called RPOW. So I found Bitcoin facinating. When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away. I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run bitcoin. I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them. Today, Satoshi's true identity has become a mystery. But at the time, I thought I was dealing with a young man of Japanese ancestry who was very smart and sincere. I've had the good fortune to know many brilliant people over the course of my life, so I recognize the signs. After a few days, bitcoin was running pretty stably, so I left it running. Those were the days when difficulty was 1, and you could find blocks with a CPU, not even a GPU. I mined several blocks over the next days. But I turned it off because it made my computer run hot, and the fan noise bothered me. In retrospect, I wish I had kept it up longer, but on the other hand I was extraordinarily lucky to be there at the beginning. It's one of those glass half full half empty things. The next I heard of Bitcoin was late 2010, when I was surprised to find that it was not only still going, bitcoins actually had monetary value. I dusted off my old wallet, and was relieved to discover that my bitcoins were still there. As the price climbed up to real money, I transferred the coins into an offline wallet, where hopefully they'll be worth something to my heirs. Speaking of heirs, I got a surprise in 2009, when I was suddenly diagnosed with a fatal disease. I was in the best shape of my life at the start of that year, I'd lost a lot of weight and taken up distance running. I'd run several half marathons, and I was starting to train for a full marathon. I worked my way up to 20+ mile runs, and I thought I was all set. That's when everything went wrong. My body began to fail. I slurred my speech, lost strength in my hands, and my legs were slow to recover. In August, 2009, I was given the diagnosis of ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the famous baseball player who got it. ALS is a disease that kills moter neurons, which carry signals from the brain to the muscles. It causes first weakness, then gradually increasing paralysis. It is usually fatal in 2 to 5 years. My symptoms were mild at first and I continued to work, but fatigue and voice problems forced me to retire in early 2011. Since then the disease has continued its inexorable progression. Today, I am essentially paralyzed. I am fed through a tube, and my breathing is assisted through another tube. I operate the computer using a commercial eyetracker system. It also has a speech synthesizer, so this is my voice now. I spend all day in my power wheelchair. I worked up an interface using an arduino so that I can adjust my wheelchair's position using my eyes. It has been an adjustment, but my life is not too bad. I can still read, listen to music, and watch TV and movies. I recently discovered that I can even write code. It's very slow, probably 50 times slower than I was before. But I still love programming and it gives me goals. Currently I'm working on something Mike Hearn suggested, using the security features of modern processors, designed to support "Trusted Computing", to harden Bitcoin wallets. It's almost ready to release. I just have to do the documentation. And of course the price gyrations of bitcoins are entertaining to me. I have skin in the game. But I came by my bitcoins through luck, with little credit to me. I lived through the crash of 2011. So I've seen it before. Easy come, easy go. That's my story. I'm pretty lucky overall. Even with the ALS, my life is very satisfying. But my life expectancy is limited. Those discussions about inheriting your bitcoins are of more than academic interest. My bitcoins are stored in our safe deposit box, and my son and daughter are tech savvy. I think they're safe enough. I'm comfortable with my legacy.
Hal Finney, while paralyzed by ALS, wrote code for a bitcoin wallet using only his eyes
It's important to remember Bitcoin's roots, and the amazing effort from brilliant people, like Hal, who contributed to this new technology. If you're feeling down, this is an absolute must read. I have it saved, and read it every once in awhile, enjoy.
"And of course the price gyrations of bitcoins are entertaining to me. I have skin in the game. But I came by my bitcoins through luck, with little credit to me. I lived through the crash of 2011. So I've seen it before. Easy come, easy go." - Hal Finney, March 19, 2013, 08:40:02 PM
Bitcoin and me (Hal Finney) Copied from https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=155054.0 I thought I'd write about the last four years, an eventful time for Bitcoin and me. For those who don't know me, I'm Hal Finney. I got my start in crypto working on an early version of PGP, working closely with Phil Zimmermann. When Phil decided to start PGP Corporation, I was one of the first hires. I would work on PGP until my retirement. At the same time, I got involved with the Cypherpunks. I ran the first cryptographically based anonymous remailer, among other activities. Fast forward to late 2008 and the announcement of Bitcoin. I've noticed that cryptographic graybeards (I was in my mid 50's) tend to get cynical. I was more idealistic; I have always loved crypto, the mystery and the paradox of it. When Satoshi announced Bitcoin on the cryptography mailing list, he got a skeptical reception at best. Cryptographers have seen too many grand schemes by clueless noobs. They tend to have a knee jerk reaction. I was more positive. I had long been interested in cryptographic payment schemes. Plus I was lucky enough to meet and extensively correspond with both Wei Dai and Nick Szabo, generally acknowledged to have created ideas that would be realized with Bitcoin. I had made an attempt to create my own proof of work based currency, called RPOW. So I found Bitcoin facinating. When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away. I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run bitcoin. I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them. Today, Satoshi's true identity has become a mystery. But at the time, I thought I was dealing with a young man of Japanese ancestry who was very smart and sincere. I've had the good fortune to know many brilliant people over the course of my life, so I recognize the signs. After a few days, bitcoin was running pretty stably, so I left it running. Those were the days when difficulty was 1, and you could find blocks with a CPU, not even a GPU. I mined several blocks over the next days. But I turned it off because it made my computer run hot, and the fan noise bothered me. In retrospect, I wish I had kept it up longer, but on the other hand I was extraordinarily lucky to be there at the beginning. It's one of those glass half full half empty things. The next I heard of Bitcoin was late 2010, when I was surprised to find that it was not only still going, bitcoins actually had monetary value. I dusted off my old wallet, and was relieved to discover that my bitcoins were still there. As the price climbed up to real money, I transferred the coins into an offline wallet, where hopefully they'll be worth something to my heirs. Speaking of heirs, I got a surprise in 2009, when I was suddenly diagnosed with a fatal disease. I was in the best shape of my life at the start of that year, I'd lost a lot of weight and taken up distance running. I'd run several half marathons, and I was starting to train for a full marathon. I worked my way up to 20+ mile runs, and I thought I was all set. That's when everything went wrong. My body began to fail. I slurred my speech, lost strength in my hands, and my legs were slow to recover. In August, 2009, I was given the diagnosis of ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the famous baseball player who got it. ALS is a disease that kills moter neurons, which carry signals from the brain to the muscles. It causes first weakness, then gradually increasing paralysis. It is usually fatal in 2 to 5 years. My symptoms were mild at first and I continued to work, but fatigue and voice problems forced me to retire in early 2011. Since then the disease has continued its inexorable progression. Today, I am essentially paralyzed. I am fed through a tube, and my breathing is assisted through another tube. I operate the computer using a commercial eyetracker system. It also has a speech synthesizer, so this is my voice now. I spend all day in my power wheelchair. I worked up an interface using an arduino so that I can adjust my wheelchair's position using my eyes. It has been an adjustment, but my life is not too bad. I can still read, listen to music, and watch TV and movies. I recently discovered that I can even write code. It's very slow, probably 50 times slower than I was before. But I still love programming and it gives me goals. Currently I'm working on something Mike Hearn suggested, using the security features of modern processors, designed to support "Trusted Computing", to harden Bitcoin wallets. It's almost ready to release. I just have to do the documentation. And of course the price gyrations of bitcoins are entertaining to me. I have skin in the game. But I came by my bitcoins through luck, with little credit to me. I lived through the crash of 2011. So I've seen it before. Easy come, easy go. That's my story. I'm pretty lucky overall. Even with the ALS, my life is very satisfying. But my life expectancy is limited. Those discussions about inheriting your bitcoins are of more than academic interest. My bitcoins are stored in our safe deposit box, and my son and daughter are tech savvy. I think they're safe enough. I'm comfortable with my legacy. [edited slightly] - Hal Finney
I am stepping down as a moderator of r/btc and exiting the bitcoin community and entering the Ethereum community.
I am stepping down as a moderator of btc and exiting the bitcoin community. Thank you all for fighting until the end. I know I am going to get a lot of hate from pretty much everyone for this post, but I felt the need to post it anyway.
Why Give Up?
I think bitcoin is past the point of no return. There are a number of different routes that bitcoin could take this year, and as far as I can see, they all end up at the same destination; failure. I know I am going to get a lot of flack for this post, and I understand that. I have witnessed bitcoin being announced “dead” many many times throughout its history and I absolutely could be wrong, but almost every one of their predictions were based on a lack of understanding of bitcoin. I don’t feel my prediction is has a lack of understanding. If I am wrong, then I feel it will be through sheer luck that bitcoin survives. I was a bitcoin early adopter in 2011 and have invested far more time into bitcoin than is reasonable. I truly hope bitcoin does survive, but what I think will happen is not predicated on what I want to happen.
How might bitcoin fall?
I am not going to go through everything that has lead us up to this point. Many of your are well aware of what has brought us here. Bitcoin up until the beginning of 2014 was an unparalleled success. For those of you who weren’t around at the time, there was a huge amount of excitement in the community at all times. It felt like every month there was some announcement that had a positive impact on bitcoin. A new major company offering bitcoin payments, a bitcoin company offering a new service, a new piece of software being added to clients to make them more useful. Bitcoin was making continual progress and the community was unified. Compare the situation back then to day. We have now had 2 years of stagnation, and in many cases degradation of the network.
The network is now slow and expensive (and getting slower and more expensive), companies have been leaving bitcoin at an exponential rate. No new major companies have adopted bitcoin and there are no signs of this changing in the future. The community is irreparably divided and is at war with itself. Development has stalled. Where bitcoin has stalled, other cryptocurrencies have been making enormous ground. Bitcoin does not exist in a vacuum. It has competition. Other cryptocurrencies already offer significantly more advance features than bitcoin. The only thing bitcoin has left over other cryptocurrencies is it’s network effect. The inertia of network effect is truly enormous. Bitcoin has been coasting on it for 2 years now. Technology develops rapidly though, and many people are always looking for the next big thing. Investors want to make money and developers want to work on the most advance and growing technology. There has been very little investment into new bitcoin specific companies over the past 2 years. The only new bitcoin company I know of that has received significant investment in the past two years is Blockstream. There has been a very large amount of investment into blockchain companies in general though. The money is there, it’s just not going into bitcoin. Ethereum has now reached close to 1/3 of bitcoin’s market cap and there is no sign that it is going to let up any time soon. The ethereum community is a breath of fresh air compared to the current bitcoin community and it feels very nostalgic there. It feels very much like the bitcoin community did 3-4 years ago. They have showed that they are not afraid of using hard forks to upgrade the protocol. They have a leader who is intelligent, pragmatic and good at communicating and IMO who is likely to get the network through the early volatile years. The community showed that they value pragmatism and reality over ideology when they stopped a theft of a large percentage of the currency supply and did so without having any adverse affects on anyone other than the thief. They also achieved this while under attack from bitcoin. They have been working with major organisations and companies to promote and forward the use of the network and they listen to the users of the network to find out what problems they have and which features they want, and then work towards satisfying the needs of their users. The developers of the network have known large holdings of the currency, which means conflicts of interest are less likely to arise and protocol development can directly correlate increased returns for the developer’s investment.
There are a number of possibilities, but I believe all end with very similar outcomes.
Scenario 1 - BU/EC gains 75% of the network hash rate
If BU gains 75% of the network hash rate, a hard fork will become likely (although not certain). Core and their supporters will start to try and burn down the network. All communication channels will overflow with FUD (some real, some fake). Core supporters with large bitcoin holdings will start dumping them on the market in ways that will cause the most damage to price. Core will start recommending at the very minimum a difficulty readjustment and quite likely also a POW change. Price will fall extremely far as speculators adjust their risk exposure and wait out the storm, traders will short the market to make as much money as possible during the fall, and core supporters try to get the BTC price to go as low as possible on the BU/EC side of the fork and BU/EC supporters try to get the price to BCC price to go as low as possible. Whatever the price is before the fork is certain, I think it is likely to reach 50% of that between the time a fork becomes certain and when the fork actually happens. After the fork happens the price could go down to literally any level. While this is happening, the Ethereum market cap is going to overtake bitcoin even if the Ethereum price does not increase (which it will). Bitcoin will not survive this. The moment Ethereum overtakes bitcoin as the biggest cryptocurrency, everyone will find out. It will be posted in articles in every technology news website on the internet. Once the casual bitcoin holders/users find out (hint most do not even pay attention to what is going on in bitcoin) they will quickly panic and either sell to fiat, or sell into Ethereum to speculate. Mining will almost instantly become unprofitable at that point. Monumentally unprofitable in fact. The payout of 12.5 per block will not even slightly cover the cost of electricity and because miners have no direct control over the price of bitcoin they will be absolutely powerless to do anything other than mine at a loss for a very long period of time. If bitcoin price drops to $100, which IMO is very conservative, then it is likely that 90% of the miners will have to turn their hardware off. This means that the difficulty adjustment periods will increase by a factor of 10 to 20 weeks. These miners that are left will need to mine at a huge loss for up to 20 weeks, or hope that somehow the price recovers. I don’t think even the biggest miners could survive that. Further difficulty reset hard forks will be proposed and it will be chaos. While all of this is happening, Ethereum is likely to be running fine and price will likely be rising significantly as money from bitcoin pours into it.
Scenario 2 - BU/EC never gains 75% of the network hash rate
In this scenario there will be absolutely stalemate. Core will not be able to implement Segwit and therefore will not be able to change bitcoin into a settlement network, but also the transaction throughput will not be increased through larger blocks. The debate will have become so vitriolic that no further progress can be made within bitcoin. Bitcoin simply will not scale on OR off-chain. In this scenario the end is not so violent like in scenario 1 but then end result is the same. Ethereum (and other cryptocurrencies in general) will continue to gain market share throughout the year as Bitcoin remains stuck in stalemate. The bitcoin price continues decreasing and the Ethereum price keeps on increasing until Ethereum overtakes bitcoin. Once the flip happens, it will accelerate significantly as people realise what is happening. The end result is the same as the later part of scenario 1.
Scenario 3 - BU/EC lose most/all of the network hash rate
In this scenario Core manages to get Segwit accepted by the network. Most people in btc simply leave bitcoin for good. Fees will remain high and transaction throughput low. Core will not increase the block size limit until after LN has been proven to work and users have been forced/coerced into using it. LN is not anywhere near ready for production and it is likely to take at least 2 more years until it is released and working and another year or two until it is fully implemented into wallets, and then another year until businesses are able to understand and use it in their backend. I.e. in an ideal world where everything works as intended in this theoretical system it will take 4-5 years until bitcoin has similar properties to what it had 2 years ago. This obviously ignores the fact that there has been no analysis on whether this would even work on an economic level, let alone a technological level. As transaction fees rise users and business will be pushed into using other cryptocurrencies and fiat and at some point bitcoin’s network effect will be overcome by Ethereum’s. This scenario is essentially the same as scenario 3, but there maybe some initial price pump when Segwit activates and people enjoy and end to the debate. This will likely be short lived though.
What is most likely to happen (IMO)
If BU/EC is to continue to gain further market share of the hash rate and reach the 75% requirement that many parties have suggested. It is likely to take at least a couple more months of deliberations. For this to happen, a number of large pools will need to switch over. Bitfury has stated that they will not support BU and are mining Segwit and have even started mining UASF blocks. HaoBTC is still sticking to the HK agreement (which literally no one else is) and will not be running anything other than Core. This means it is really down to F2Pool and some of the smaller Pools. F2Pool has stated that it will stop signalling for classic and there is no indication that it will start signalling for anything other than Core (not segwit), and has stated that he thinks BU is dead. This suggests that the most likely scenario is scenario 2. BU/EC will not activate, but nor will Segwit. There are some things that may or may not happen in this scenario. For example it seems that Core are willing to do a UASF to push Segwit through under the pretence that any of the miners that are not mining Segwit are illegitimate as they are against the “consensus”. This will force the miners into making some kind of decision either way. Many are likely to side with Core but I think a significant portion will side with BU initially. A number of different things could happen in this scenario depending on the ratio of hash power on each side of the split. If the split is mostly equal, I expect that two coins will survive for some amount of time. What happens with bitcoin from that point I have no idea. If BU/EC gains the most hash power then the debate will rage on as the BU/EC will refuse to attack the minority chain out of moral reasons. What happens with bitcoin from that point I have no idea. If Core gains the majority share then the BU minority chain will be attacked by some of the majority miners. Core and their supporters do not have any moral objections against this kind of attack. The minority BU miners will then switch back to Core and it will likely play out like in scenario 3.
So this is BU’s fault for forcing a hard fork?
No, this is Core’s fault by making a hard fork dangerous by telling everyone a hard fork is dangerous for the past two years and blocking every conceivable compromise. They have petrified the bitcoin community and convinced them that any kind of hard fork for any reason that does not come from them is dangerous. They have done this to hold onto the power they should not even have in the first place. They have become the self appointed kings of bitcoin. They have achieved this by threatening to burn down the network instead of making a compromise, and by attacking anyone who threatens to take this power away from them. Unfortunately, when Gavin stepped down, he handed to keys to the bitcoin house to the wolves and once they are inside, it seems it is not possible to get them out again. The only way to make them totally irrelevant is to exit and let them be kings of nothing.
Why did you even become a mod in the first place?
I have known bitcoin was on a negative trajectory for quite some time but I felt that one last push to save it was worth my effort. I wanted to help btc be the best bitcoin subreddit to overcome some of the damage that bitcoin has done to the community. IMO btcis the best bitcoin subreddit, but it is far from perfect. I feel very strongly that the moderation of btc is a microcosm of the situation in the bitcoin community in general. I feel there is far too much weight put on idealogical decision making rather pragmatism and realism. The moderation policies of btc are ‘hands-off’ to a point I think is actually detrimental to the sub and to bitcoin. The issue is that, trolls overwhelm the sub and cause constant controversy. They act like a fire under the community and purposely rile everyone up. There is a reason for this. bitcoin was controlled mostly through censorship. Censorship alone was enough to create an echo chamber. They do not have control of the btc moderation team (well actually they managed to get two mods on here who have since left/been removed) so they must turn it into an echo-chamber by other means. They have achieved this by making sure every single post has comments from trolls that try to rile up the community. This makes the btc community have more tunnel vision as they/we try to insulate ourselves from the trolls. The problem is that it means that the community becomes highly idealogical and focused on only one goal. IMO it is a failure of this sub to not remove comments from trolls. This is pretty much a standard policy across the whole of reddit and the only reasons for not employing it are idealogical. Removing trolling is not the same as banning specific ideas or topics being genuinely discussed. Not doing so just makes btc a frustrating place to try and discuss things. It also means that any actual discussions outside the block size debate get very little traction as everyone gets dragged into the angry posts. I should be clear though, the other mods of this sub are great and absolutely want what is best for bitcoin.
Isn’t this all just FUD
I am not writing this to sway anyone. This is what I genuinely think will happen, but of course I could be wrong about every single prediction. It saddens me enormously to write this. The current trajectory for Bitcoin is down and the the trajectory for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies is up. There will likely be people who say “but Ethereum doesn’t have any uses cases”, my argument to that is; what use-cases does bitcoin have right now that could not immediately be adopted by Ethereum today? There will also be people who say “but if bitcoin dies then all other cryptocurrencies will die with it, because how could anyone trust their money if it might just disappear”? My argument to that is; all cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy, even bitcoin. The writing has been on the wall for Bitcoin for quite some time. I do think there will likely be one ‘great’ cryptocurrency, but until that cryptocurrency is adopted by the masses, that title is still available. If the title of ‘biggest cryptocurrency’ can be taken then it was likely never meant to have it very long anyway. If/When a cryptocurrency manages to achieve mass adoption then it will have hundreds of millions of people, companies, organisations and even countries defending it. At that point the entire system will be working towards it’s success. At that point, the current moral ambivalence towards attacking a minority chain will be seen as ridiculous. After mass adoption of a cryptocurrency (for example Ethereum) has occurred, grandma’s will be writing to their local MP in support of the cyberwar against the Ethereum competitor ‘Othereum’. That is decentralisation. Huge numbers of diverse entities working to defend it. This will never happen on a network as limited as bitcoin’s is. In fact bitcoin is actively losing allies.
I’m out. Ethereum is likely to take over this year as bitcoin becomes myspace. This may happen very rapidly. I hope I am wrong.
I hold both Bitcoin and Ethereum. I have held a number of different cryptocurrencies over the years, but my holdings were almost always 90-100% bitcoin until recently.
How To Reduce Energy Consumption In The Midst Of Crypto Popularity
How To Reduce Energy Consumption In The Midst Of Crypto Popularity Electrical energy has become an integral part of everyday modern life. It’s used to power our bulbs and home appliances, trains, and even charge electric vehicles. Globally, its use is rising rapidly as different economies across the globe develop. Therefore, there is a growing need for energy which in turn continually drives the demand for electricity generation. For years now, most of the electricity consumed on a global scale has been generated from three energy sources: fossil fuel, nuclear, and hydro. Renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic (solar power), offer an alternative, albeit small, a share of the world’s electricity. However, our energy sources can have significant environmental impacts. Cryptocurrency Mining, Then Versus Now Back in the day, 2009 to be precise, Bitcoin mining was nothing more than a lucrative hobby for several crypto enthusiasts. Miners could leverage their CPUs to mine Bitcoin as they were enough. It was possible because the only hardware needed for mining was a simple computer and the number of miners was significantly low. In fact, in the early stages, Hal Finney and Satoshi were the only ones mining BTC through the use of several computers simultaneously. Satoshi mined 1,000,000 Bitcoins in the first week of the project, courtesy of several computers. At that time, the difficulty of mining was extremely low. However, over time, the problem has shot up drastically courtesy of Bitcoin’s rules and a change in new and advanced mining hardware. At the start, individuals would use CPUs (Central Processing Units) to mine BTC. CPUs represent the electronic circuitry within a computer. Back in 2009, a miner would generate bitcoins at a rate of 50 per block. Gradually, people made the shift to GPU mining which was comfortable and lucrative to use. Due to this, GPU mining became extremely popular, and in 2011, people started using them. Soon after, the mining difficulty increased, and by June 2011, people began using FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). Shortly after that, in 2013, FPGAs gave way to ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) that have made BTC mining industrious. Currently, the Bitcoin mining process requires about 73.04 TWh of computational power to solve complex mathematical equations per year. This equates to about 0.33% of the total global electricity consumption. One Bitcoin transaction on average consumes about 916 KWh of electricity that could power about 31 US households. Mining is no longer lucrative for individual miners as setting up needs specialized mining rigs that are expensive to buy and operate. For instance, it would set a single Bitcoin miner back around $15,861 to mine one bitcoin in the Cook Islands near New Zealand. The cost rises to about $16,209 in the Solomon Islands located near Papua New Guinea. The prices of mining one Bitcoin further rise in Bahrain, Niue, and South Korea with amounts of $16,773, $17,566, and $26,170 respectively. Mining creates enormous electricity bills through energy consumption and cooling (and that’s on top of the cost of mining equipment and, nowadays, a facility to house your rows and towers of machines). The current BTC network is estimated to be consuming about 2.55 gigawatts (GW) of electricity annually which is enough to power a whole country. For context, the entire state of Ireland consumes an average of 3.1 GW of electricity. Potential Consequence of High Non-Renewable Energy Usage Greenhouse Gas Emissions The most well-known impact of increased non-renewable sources usage is the production of greenhouse gases mainly CO2 that is believed by many to contribute to climate change (though much of this is politicized hype). Different types of non-renewable energies produce different levels of greenhouse gases. For example, coal provides the highest amount of CO2 emission. It’s important to note that CO2 is plant food (and plants produce oxygen), is what every breathing creature emits when exhaling, and climate change (formerly Global Cooling, formerly Global Warming) is not agreed upon by scientists to be caused by human activity, as there are a myriad of other, likely much more influential factors, such as solar cycles. It’s also worth noting that climate change has always happened, with warmer and colder periods, and what has been hyped up in the last decade is a tiny percentage of what humanity has witnessed, without industry. Predictions of the world ending disastrously in a few short years if we don’t do something politically have fallen flat. It is worth noting that the above factor will also depend upon how efficient the engines using these fuels are, and filtering systems to reduce emissions. Modern technology can produce very efficient, low emission engines which use fossil fuels. Token Creation (PoW/PoS/DPoS) Proof-of-Work (PoW) is a term that’s usually used to denote the kind of concept that the Bitcoin network uses to validate and add transactions to the blockchain. It involves the use of ASICs in mining to solve complex mathematical algorithms otherwise known as PoW problems. Although PoW is excellent against cyber-attacks, it has a major limitation of high electricity consumption. Furthermore, mining rigs require top computing hardware that’s expensive to attain. Some of the projects using the PoW consensus algorithm include Bitcoin, Monero, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash, Litecoin, and DogeCoin. Ethereum is intended to make the change from PoW to PoS via the Casper protocol. Proof-of-Stake (PoS), on the other hand, is an alternative way of validating transactions or blocks. It was engineered as an alternative to the PoW process that consumes an immense amount of energy. Unlike Proof-of-Work, coins are no longer mined but are forged or minted. Block validation is done by a select group of individuals known as validators. They are chosen depending on the age and amount of stake they hold within the blockchain network. Some of the projects using the PoS algorithm include Dash, QTUM, NEO, NavCoin, Stellar Lumen, Zcoin, and Stratis. Benefits of the PoS system include: Less expensive hardware is required. Transaction times are much faster. It is energy efficient as it doesn’t consume a lot of energy. Delegated Proof-of-Stake, otherwise known as DPoS, is a new and alternative protocol to both the PoW and PoS consensus algorithms. It’s mostly considered to be the most decentralized consensus model in existence today. This is mostly because every token holder has a degree of influence about what happens in the network. DPoS uses the power of stakeholder approval voting to promote consensus in a fair and democratic manner. Projects using DPoS include Lisk, Ark, Rise, Tezos, OxyCoin, Shift, Lightning BTC, and EOS, among others. Conclusion Blockchain projects around the world can help reduce energy consumption by taking alternative routes in the cryptocurrency mining process. First, blockchain projects can make the switch from the PoW system to the PoS system which is much cheaper and consumes less energy. Secondly, cryptocurrency miners can make the switch to cleaner and friendly renewable sources of energy such as solar energy. Lastly, blockchain networks can incentivize miners to use renewable energy resources by offering additional rewards for those that utilize them.
Hey all, GoodShibe here! Well, it seems we've sailed out through another Summer storm - the cloud cover has broken and it seems like there are some calmer waters ahead. It's hard to watch sometimes, when things get shaken up around us - when things that once seemed immovable are proven otherwise, when even the floor beneath your feet seems to be roiling around you. Storms are inherently transformative things, bringing both destruction and creation, forcing the world we know to change despite our will. In the end, we did the best we could. We battened down the hatches and held on tight, kept each other company -- sharing tales and laughter by lamplight as FUD-winds whipped and wailed, as drama cracked like lightning. And here we are, on the other side of it -- a little better, a little worse but undoubtedly changed. Those of us who rode it out, all brought a little bit closer together by the experience. Sometimes it's good to be given a stark reminder of what we don't want to become. To see ships breaking on the rocks and thus become better navigators ourselves. I look around and see that we are already in the process of rebuilding. Our front page is fun again and our valuation is starting to rise. And, well, as it should. There are great things in store for us. Our third halvening is about 5 Days away, expected to hit around July 14th and that will cut our mining rewards in half from 125000 per block to 62500. This will help to relieve the amount of constant sell-pressure on the market, hopefully, it will allow those of us who are buying DOGE to soak up what is laying around. Dogecoin is only getting more scarce, my friends. ;D) This Friday, mohland will be making a rather grand announcement in regards to Metatron (at GaymerX2, I believe). And couchdive has been working hard on Hackadoge which is a 24-hour dogecoin hackathon in San Francisco on July 26th and 27th at PubNub. You can register for that event here (In Dogecoin!). Or in Fiat. The prize pools are currently at 1 million doge for first and 750k for second and third place and lots of vendors have sent merchandise that will be given away to attendees! Apparently vAsic.io will be sending some miners and there will be lots of physical copies of VeryMuchWow magazine, shirts from Yipptee, coins from Shibemint, Prypto cards, much more! Sounds like a lot of fun ;D) This has been our first Summer together and no one really knew what to expect out of it. I had originally been hoping that we'd see a summer surge as people got out there and worked to spread Dogecoin into the physical world a bit more, but as it turns out, that's not really what happened. We grow, we learn. Much of what's been going on here is uncharted territory for all but the most experienced Shibes (those who've been involved since Bitcoin's early days). But, by and large, we've done well in an incredibly slow period. We're all so used to running at a break-neck pace that having these lazier summer days, well, it can sometimes feel like we're laying down to die... instead of just, well, lolling around and enjoying the weather. All is as it should be. And as we get better at this, as we figure out what's 'normal' and what's not, we'll come to realize that all these things we've endured thus far are but ripples in the pond in the scope of the big picture. I can't, of course, say that it will be smooth sailing from here on out. But, for now, the sky is clear and the moon hangs fat and round. So take a moment to breathe in the sweet air with me, my friends. To look skyward and believe. Because the moon is closer than you think. It's 8:39AM EST and we've found 86.48% of our initial 100 Billion DOGEs -- only 13.52% remains until our period of Hyper-inflation ends! Our Global Hashrate is on the rise from ~95 to ~99 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is up as well from ~1496 to ~1573. (thanks to cdeverett for the idea to add the 'initial 100 Billion DOGEs' layer of scope!) Looks like there's the usual mad rush is in full swing as folks try and get as many Dogecoins as they can before the halving kicks in. As always, I appreciate your support! GoodShibe EDIT: More good news! helix09 has shared that their new Dogecoin INFO app has just gone live on the Google Play App store. Check it out in their thread over here. EDIT 2: Even more good news! cpt_merica has shared some great news about Coinplay.io as well! EDIT 3: Even even more more good news! takerone shared this fantastic update/article about Doge4Teacher!
Ever wonder what those numbers mean? The relationship between difficulty, shares, hashrate, etc. explained.
After being confused for a long time myself, I went and crunched some figures, and found out where all those numbers came from. To save fellow shibes from having to do the same, I'm making this guide. First of all, what is difficulty? It is a number d such that the expected number of hashes required to find a block is d * 232. That is to say, the individual probability of each hash finding a block is 1 / (d * 232 ). (You can read up on how a geometric distribution based on a Bernoulli random variable of probability p has a mean of 1/p.) So if the difficulty is 1, then a valid hash would require 32 binary zeros at the beginning (usually represented as 8 zeros in hex). If the difficulty is 1024, then 32 + 10 = 42 binary zeros are required. For a difficulty that's not a power of two, you're going to have an odd mix (e.g. the first digits of the hex must be less than 000000000c8.) Now how is difficulty calculated? For Dogecoin, difficulty is recalibrated every 240 blocks. It is adjusted so that a block would be found every minute, on average. Example: The average hashrate was 100 GH/s over the last 240 blocks. We want a block found every 60 seconds, or every 1011 * 60 = 6 x 1012 hashes. So d = 6 x 1012 / 232 = 1397, and the difficulty will be set to 1397. The pool difficulty (also known as share difficulty) is a closely related concept. It is up to the pool operator, but almost all define it as being difficulty * 216. That is, pool difficulty is a number d' such that the expected number of hashes required to find a share on the pool is d' * 216 (since 32 - 16 = 16). It is basically there for notational convenience, because no one wants to talk about mining at a difficulty of 0.000244 (translated to pool difficulty, that would be 16), just like how people use kilodoge or millibitcoin. What about a share? Pool operators may vary, but usually a share is defined as a valid hash at pool difficulty 16. Pools may set a pool difficulty that everyone mines at, automatically adjust pool difficulty for each individual miner depending on their hashrate (called vardiff), or allow users to set their own difficulty. They might even create different strata with different pool difficulty levels. A share at a higher pool difficulty is harder to find but worth more. Basically, if you're currently mining at pool difficulty 16 and switch to 32, you'll mine shares half as often but every share you mine is worth two shares. (Unfortunately, the definition of "share" appears to be overloaded - it can mean either each thing a miner submits to a pool or its equivalent for a pool difficulty of 16. It's like how a "standard drink" is 0.6 oz alcohol - if you had a 24 oz beer at 5% ABV, you could say you had a drink, but technically you had two drinks in terms of alcohol content.) A round is the period of time since the last block was found by a pool to the next time a block is found by the pool. Round shares are shares (i.e. equivalent shares for difficulty 16) that have been found by pool miners. Estimated shares is an estimate of how many shares it will take for a pool to find a block. This number is the same for each pool regardless of hashrate, and only depends on the current difficulty. It is equal to d * 212. Why? Note that a share at pool difficulty 16 is 16 times as difficult as a share at pool difficulty 1, and pool difficulty 1 is 216 times easier than difficulty 1, so the overall effect is 216 / 16. (PPS only: The baseline PPS rate is the amount a miner is paid for each share at difficulty 1; pools PPS rate is the amount a miner is paid for each share at difficulty 16. Pools PPS rate is calculated by dividing the block reward by the estimated shares. So for Dogecoin currently, you divide 500,000 by 5,645,699 to get pools PPS rate 0.088563.) The Bitcoin wiki has a page on difficulty, but it's somewhat technical and doesn't really talk about mining pools, so I created this post because I couldn't find anything better on Google and ended up using a bit of math and common sense to figure these things out. Though I do recommend reading it for the technically inclined. For other things like Prop, PPLNS, PPS, etc. there are many existing well-written resources, so I'm saving my breath. This page lists pretty much every single pool structure you might encounter. PPLNS (basic guide, advanced) is probably the most common but also somewhat difficult to understand.
The Crypto industry is going to keep stealing Tezos ideas until they get it right. What if they are able to implement the new Velvet protocol? What if any company can implement this and no Crypto ever hard forks? All the things that make Tezos unique are being stolen. And we don't even have first mover advantage! Read this article and comment if this worries you Velvet has always been a sign of nobility, but in the crypto space, it's now the name adorning a new and promising way for upgrading blockchain software. At least that's the hype behind "velvet forks," a mechanism for upgrading cryptocurrency code that has some high-profile crypto enthusiasts intrigued. "We think the most interesting part is the idea that you can introduce some new concepts to permissionless blockchains without necessarily having a majority of consensus participants agree to do so," said Imperial College London research assistant Alexei Zamyatin. And that complex statement cuts to the core of why Zamyatin and others believe velvet forks might be beneficial. In short, in the cryptocurrency space, there have long been two types of forks that people generally discuss - soft forks and hard forks. While soft forks are seen as less disruptive in that they're backwards-compatible, they can still be controversial when used to initiate changes not all cryptocurrency users agree with. Further, hard forks are generally seen in a dubious light since they can split a blockchain in two if not all users decide to update to the new rules. With velvet forks, however, some researchers think the cryptocurrency world can get around some of the disruptive politics that generally bog down major code changes. First coined by computer scientists working on building proofs that can potentially be used to improve sidechains, a layer-two cryptocurrency technology for pushing transactions off-chain, a velvet fork allows developers to add new rules to a blockchain without full support from the entire ecosystem. According to Zamyatin, "It's not rocket science. It's a pretty simple concept." As such, Zamyatin and several other researchers co-authored a new paper that dives deeper into where the mechanism can be applied, which he presented during the Financial Crypto 2018 conference in Curacao at the beginning of the month. The new paper states: "The velvet fork [...] does not require support of a majority of participants and can potentially avoid rule disagreement forks from happening altogether." In the wild Simply, a fork is a way to upgrade a cryptocurrency system to support important new rules, and throughout the history of multiple cryptocurrency protocols, forks have been used often. From the hard fork that split ethereum into a competing cryptocurrency ethereum classic to less controversial forks like the one used to move bitcoin to a new signature scheme to the ever-growing number of forks designed to not only create new cryptocurrencies with new features, but also make entrepreneurs (or scammers) substantial amounts of money, forks have become a part of life in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. But these mechanisms come with a fair amount of controversy much of the time, which is partly why Zamyatin and other academics are so interested in the velvet fork approach. In the December 2017 paper where velvet forks were first mentioned, the mechanism is described as one that allows for "gradual deployment" without harming the miners that haven't upgraded to the new rules. In this way, it acts similar to a soft fork in that clients that upgrade to new rules are still compatible with those that don't. Further, the paper states that velvet forks require "no rule modifications to the consensus layer," what some see as advantageous since these are the rules everyone in the system needs to agree with, or everything will break. While it hasn't become widely-used as a way of upgrading, velvet forks exist in the wild today in various forms (although researchers argue there wasn't an official name for the mechanism before this recent wave of research). For example, the decentralized mining pool P2pool regularly uses a velvet fork of sorts. Since there is no one entity (replacing that with code instead) that controls the payments dispersed to the miners of the pool for their work, the pool created a second blockchain with an easier difficulty that only miners part of the pool can contribute to. This blockchain is used to gauge how much computing power each miner is contributing, so the protocol can pay them out proportionally. Even though the blocks generated by P2pool use these extra rules, miners that don't play by these same rules still accept P2pool's blocks. As such, P2pool is an example of a "velvet fork" because the blocks (from both their proprietary blockchain and the bitcoin blockchain) live side-by-side in harmony, without causing a split. Bias and bribery Still, velvet forks are a potential vulnerability. Namely, the paper describes possible ways that velvet forks could be abused by bad actors for their own gain. For instance, say a velvet is deployed. Zamyatin's paper describes a scenario where some miners, called "velvet miners," upgrade to new rules while others ignore the new rules. If the blocks that the velvet miners create are somehow more lucrative than regular blocks, the paper argues other miners could be "biased towards accepting upgraded over legacy blocks." "This, in turn, can have an unclear impact on the security assumptions of such systems, as current attack models mostly do not assume a variable utility of blocks," the paper continues. And Zamyatin himself described another attack vector, which involves "selfish mining." Selfish mining is a process whereby miners hide the fact that they've found a block, keeping other miners searching for that block while they move on to searching for the next block. This gives them a head start of sorts in also winning the next block. And according to Zamyatin, velvet forks could enable new opportunities here. He told CoinDesk: "I can bribe people to work on my chain. There's no guarantee that I'll win, but it could potentially offer an incentive to deviate from the protocol rules." Still, more research is needed, as Zamyatin admits he isn't sure how serious these problems are in practice. Opening the door But both these vulnerabilities and the thought of the changes velvet forks might enable are reasons Zamyatin wants researchers to spend more time looking into velvet forks. Although, Zamyatin acknowledges that velvet forks aren't a silver bullet. "This doesn't work for something like Segregated Witness (SegWit) of course," he said, referring to a bitcoin code change that fueled a two-year debate in the community over the technical direction of the protocol. That said, it's still potentially useful for other types of changes. Zamyatin noted that he's looking into how it might be possible to use a velvet fork for bringing GHOST, the protocol that ethereum was originally modeled after, to bitcoin. Because it completely restructures the system to try to speed things up, it likely wouldn't get enough support for a soft or hard fork, and as such a velvet fork where some get to opt in while staying in consensus with those that don't could be the only way. And velvet forks might also help breath new life into older proposed innovations. Cornell associate professor Emin Gün Sirer, for instance, said he "very much" likes the idea of using a velvet fork for adding the long-stalled Bitcoin-NG (standing for "next-generation") protocol, an idea he pioneered which looks to improve throughput by rearranging the bitcoin blockchain, to the cryptocurrency. "While [the paper is] short on the details, the overall idea of adding new functionality without incurring the risks and complication of either a soft or a hard fork is quite compelling," Sirer told CoinDesk. And perhaps most far-fetched but interesting of all, Zamyatin believes an even bigger vision could be realized with velvet forks. He told CoinDesk: "You could even have multiple versions running in parallel, perhaps even compatible to each other, and all this without necessitating often controversial soft or hard forks."
Can the blockchain "tell time" or is the concept of time/date based purely on block numbers and the expected 10 min. interval? If time/date can be determined, could that be used as a complementary method to scaling? i.e., could the 1MB cap be scaled to a 1MB per 10 minute cap?
I've been bouncing back between both Bitcoin subreddits lately, trying to "make cents" of the world... and one of the proposed "attacks" coming up could allow for some potentially malicious behaviour on the part of the BCH chain. In case you have a life and thus haven't been waiting with bated breath on each new conspiracy theory or FUD-of-the-day being served up, the gist of it is that a group of malicious miners, i.e., the Wu Tang Clan, could pump up the hash rate leading into the upcoming difficulty adjustment -- which is currently 3 days away, and runs on a 2 week cycle - and upon the difficulty being adjusted, the malicious miner(s) could pull all their hash power from the Bitcoin network and the time between blocks would come to a halt. Side question related to that: does half the hash power simply mean 20 minute blocks, or does it adjust in a somehow exponential way? Regarding this potential attack: the issue seems to be that a malicious actor could SPAM the mempool to the point of raising fees to ridiculous levels and creating a huge backlog of transactions; nothing new, we're used to the SPAM and its by-product of higher fees required to bypass the noise, but the headache could be worsened by increased delay between block times. What I'm wondering because of this, is how the blockchain tells time, because couldn't the potential effect of this sort of attack be mitigated if a block could scale 1MB per 10 minutes? That way the real world need of real-world-tx/s versus theoretical-tx/s could be satisfied, while still maintaining the predicted growth of the blockchain. Maybe something like this would have to wait until thin/compact blocks of some sort are implemented, but assuming nodes could agree within a decided +/- as to what time each block was broadcast and accepted, we'd still be averaging just 6MB per hour. Also, I'm not an expert on game theory, but if the good actors truly suspected this is what was happening, wouldn't it make sense for them to drop in-and-out as needed to maintain a level of difficulty where they could maintain a reasonable level of hash rate to maintain the expected 10 minute block delay, even if a certain % of the hash power dropped out? This is one of those areas I think Bitcoin has a long way to go. Mining power is almost purely for profit right now, but something of this nature wouldn't make sense... no one will invest in a miner to keep it offline. This is where I could potentially see mining at a state-sponsored level, when the integrity of the network itself becomes worth more than the mining reward.
Bitcoin network difficulty self-adjusts once every 2,016 blocks, or roughly once every two-week period. This difficulty adjustment is to compensate for block production speed discrepancies and, thus, network hash rate fluctuations. Bitcoin network hash rate (Th/s) compared to difficulty, April 2015 to April 2020. Checkatrade: find a tradesperson you can trust. Checkatrade: find a tradesperson you can trust. Ap computer science principles explore sample commentary. Bitcoin miner machine price. Bitcoin's major problem is that it's a - investorplace. Bitcoin private btcp rewards block half. The more hashing power (computing power) a miner contributes to the network, the higher his chances of winning the block reward, a specific sum of Bitcoin that is halved every four years. The difficulty of this lottery, in other words the miners chance of winning , is re-calibrated every 2016th block so that the average time it takes to find the next block is always roughly ten minutes. If Bitcoin SHA-256 can now only realistically be mined using specialised expensive ASIC hardware surely this means that as a currency it is no longer decentralised and has completely lost its original defining principles. Bitcoin Scrypt however, with its fair and fast difficulty adjustment system, means that all miners get a chance to mine. By ... The "leading zeros" are a simplification. The difficulty is encoded as a target which is essentially a 256 bit number. Since block hashes are produced by SHA-256, they're also a string of 256 bits. If a block candidate's hash interpreted as a number is numerically smaller than the target, the block candidate is a valid block.
Bitcoin Q&A: Why Can't Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Adjust a Little Quicker?
http://bitcoinpoet.com Bitcoin is a software-based payment system described by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and introduced as open-source software in 2009. Payme... #Mining #BitCoin #Cryptocurrency Visuals by https://visualdon.uk/ Check out there work, it's radical. TRack - Depression Drive - Fla.mingo Welcome to the 16th episode of CCMDL , Feburary 8 2020 We ... How does difficulty targeting work? What determines the desired pattern? Should difficulty re-targeting still happen every 2016 blocks? Could difficulty chan... Explanation of Bitcoin Mining & Difficulty for lay people. Canadian billionaire predicts end of US Dollar as world's reserve currency - Ned Goodman lecture - Duration: 7:23. Cambridge House ... This is a variable that the Bitcoin system is using to keep the growth of new Bitcoins on a controllable rate. It started as 1 and changes once in every 2016 calculated blocks. Finding the current ...