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  1. #21
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    Skinny is offline General More Posts Than Postman Pat
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    It looks like Im the only one that worried about the upcoming hardfork:



    $5846 !

    Talking to some newbies, many seem to buying because of the fork, as it gives them "twice as many coins". Not sure how well that will end this time, as this fork wont have replay protection and IMO is going to cause serious problems and confusion. Oh well.. not complaining .

  2. #22
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    Hoping the fork doesnt happen personally. Although if it is pushing the price up then fair enough I guess.
    Never trust a man who when left alone in a room with a tea cosey, doesn't put it on his head
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  3. #23
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    Pretty bonkers



    +$540 for the bitcoin cash fork that I still didnt sell because Im too lazy.

  4. #24
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    Its sliding back down last time I looked but I bet you have already got your order in for that super yacht Skinny!
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  5. #25
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    Yeah it slid back to $7300.

    I dont care for yachts. But I once said if bitcoin ever hits $10K, id buy a seat on virgin galactic. Of course, I had many more BTC back then and I havent been able to resist selling most of them. Maybe when it hits $100K

  6. #26
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    The way you are going you could build your own spaceship, one gauge at a time!
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  7. #27
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    My gauge only goes to +5m/s. Dont think thats enough to reach orbit .

  8. #28
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    Price is dropping now so I guess the can nerves are starting to kick in
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  9. #29
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    Segwitt 2X hardfork canceled:
    https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pi...er/000685.html

    Best news in years.

  10. #30
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    Just watching it on the youtube world crypto network.
    Suites me
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  11. #31
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    What a week. From a low of $5500 to a new high above $8000. Over $9000 if I include my bitcoin cash which I still didnt split from my wallet.
    I have no frigging idea what to do now.

  12. #32
    airdoc is offline Sergeant Major More Posts Than Postman Pat
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    I 've invested in IOTA and some on BTC. It was a hell of a week indeed. I don't think anyone knows what will happen next. Tbh Skinny, I 'm pessimistic about BTC. The multiple fork debacles have shown that BTC is not really decentralised. It is under the control of mining cartels. I don't see it going down soon, but I 'd be weary if it approached the psychological barrier of 10k.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by airdoc View Post
    I 've invested in IOTA and some on BTC. It was a hell of a week indeed. I don't think anyone knows what will happen next. Tbh Skinny, I 'm pessimistic about BTC. The multiple fork debacles have shown that BTC is not really decentralised. It is under the control of mining cartels. I don't see it going down soon, but I 'd be weary if it approached the psychological barrier of 10k.
    I couldnt disagree more; if anything, the (pretty catastrophic) failure of the 2X fork has proven that even a concerted attack by a conglomerate of the largest miners, exchanges and bitcoin CEO's doesnt work if bitcoin users dont go along. I cant think of a better proof that its decentralised. Of course, anyone can still fork bitcoin, like Bitcoin Jesus did with his Bitcoin cash. I have no problem with that in principle, its opensource software, may the best fork win. Its pretty obvious to me that isnt BCH, and the market seems to agree with me, but hey, I dont mind if Ver wants to give me free money.

    And if you think Bitcoin isnt decentralised, I hope you realize that IOTA's consensus currently depends on a "central coordinator". IOTA claim they will at some point turn that off, but Im highly skeptical that they ever will. Or if they do, that their network will remain secure. I'll take another look at IOTA after they turned off their coordinator and it survived a few meaningful attacks, or at least after some serious academic research has been done on their consensus algorithm. Until then, Im steering well clear of it.

  14. #34
    airdoc is offline Sergeant Major More Posts Than Postman Pat
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    I guess we 'll agree to disagree then. After a few months in cryptos, my understaning is that no blockchain-based crypto is truly decentralised, because of the mining that lies behind it. There are a few mining cartels that essentially compute all the transactions. They jump, everybody jumps. Their power over the coins is tremendous. So, BTC has a market cap of 130 billion right now. If it grows 8 times more, it will reach 1 trillion. I don't think that governments will ever allow mining farms to control the flow rate of 1 trillion dollars.

    One should also take into account that the current fees make BTC completely useless for everyday use (which is its eventual purpose). Plus the max rate of transactions is really small. What will happen say, in 10 years from now, when the backlog of BTC would be 1000 times bigger? As the mining cost increases, so should the fees. Unless the find a way to fix it; which I don't see, since this would mean that miners should accept a significant reduction in their revenue.

    As for the coordinator, you may have missed the recent announcement that its code will be made public this year. They also said that they will remove it soon (I know, its just a statement).
    There are many other interesting things about IOTA:
    - the CEO of Fujitsu tweeted about IOTA as "the only valid cryptocurrency". (its legit, check his official twitter, Fujitsu is working with IOTA behind the scenes most likely).
    - IOTA foundation gained legal status in Germany a few days ago as a non-profit organization, which unlocked tens of millions for them.Their non profit status is the reason that you don't see IOTA in ads, promotions or more exchanges, unlike other coins. They are not allowed to do this.
    - A new, very user friendly wallet getting rid of the common issues is about to be released. It is made by a UCL post-graduate as his thesis.
    Of course, I realise that IOTA may go completely bust. It's a risk I 'm willing to take. If it doesn't, it may become a giant. No fees, no mining, infinite scalability, orders of magnitude faster than BTC plus the ability to send 0-fee encrypted text messages (sort of like a completely secure, free, email or sms system).
    Last edited by airdoc; 19-11-2017 at 21:36.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by airdoc View Post
    I guess we 'll agree to disagree then. After a few months in cryptos, my understaning is that no blockchain-based crypto is truly decentralised, because of the mining that lies behind it. There are a few mining cartels that essentially compute all the transactions. They jump, everybody jumps. Their power over the coins is tremendous.
    Thats not accurate. Miners do create the blocks that hold transactions, but users running nodes (and other miners) validate those blocks, and will reject blocks that do not conform to the protocol. That means a malicious miners can do precious little. If they try to cheat, their blocks will be orphaned, which means their cheats get overturned AND they lose the blockreward and so they worked for nothing. At most they can refuse to mine certain transactions, but that just means they leave money on the table, and someone else will mine it, ie, include it in a block. And once its in a block, no miner can ever remove it. In theory a consortium of miners with 51% of the hashpower theoretically could overturn a valid transaction, by mining another, longer chain of blocks, but the cost of that is prohibitive.

    If you go on reddit and the like, you will be bombarded by false information, usually from people pushing their favorite altcoin which they will claim is asic resistant, or quantum resistant, or "more decentralised" because it uses Proof of Stake. Generally the opposite is true, those 'improvements' tend to increase the risk of centralisation, either by allowing botnets to mine, or because people with a lot of coins get to call the shots (ensuring they increase their stake), or because they allow blockchains to become so large, very few nodes can verify the transactions, or because the consensus mechanism is centralised by design.

    Bitcoin isnt perfect, but dont believe everything you read. Its still by far the most secure blockchain.

    One should also take into account that the current fees make BTC completely useless for everyday use (which is its eventual purpose). Plus the max rate of transactions is really small. What will happen say, in 10 years from now, when the backlog of BTC would be 1000 times bigger? As the mining cost increases, so should the fees. Unless the find a way to fix it; which I don't see, since this would mean that miners should accept a significant reduction in their revenue.
    Again, dont believe everything you read . Yes, bitcoin has a limited capacity. The same is true for every decentralised public blockchain. That capacity is not sufficient to reach paypal let alone visa levels. There are several approaches to this problem, but they all have their drawbacks.

    First, the easy solution is just allowing larger blocks. This is what Bitcoin Cash does. And Dash and many others. Make the blocks 10x larger, and you can process 10x more transactions. Of course; it doesnt really help. As long as the blocks are not not full, and transactions cheap, people will find uses for storing data in an ultra secure, immutable permanent public ledger. It can be pure spam, secure messaging, asset management, timestamping, ID, contracts, source code, heck, file backups and yes, of course, payments. Whatever blockchain size you chose, if you have cheap transactions, it will eventually fill up. And even if you manage to ensure its only used for payment transactions, whatever size you chose, it will still be (waay) too small to reach Visa levels. Worse than that, there is a drawback to big blocks, a big one; large blocks means large blockchains which means clients will eventually struggle to store and verify them. If you cant easily or realistically run your own full node, to verify transactions, then you can only depend on a third party to do this verification for you. That means one of the cornerstones of blockchain technolgy goes out the window: working decentralised and trustless. Thats why big blocks is a dumb idea; you sacrifice the one thing that made bitcoin unique and you gain pretty much nothing.

    The second approach, is the Ripple approach (and Neo, and iota for now, and countless others); dont make the consensus algorithm decentralised. If you dont mind that compromise, then doing lots of transactions cheaply and fast is nothing new and easy; just use a database.

    The third approach, is the layered approach. Its impossible to store every small payment that will ever occur on the planet in a super secure, decentralised blockchain. But you dont always need that. With a layered approach, you can do things like sidechains and payment channels. Those wont be as secure, or wont be as decentralised as a real bitcoin transaction, but you can chose to use them if and when it makes sense. Say one day, the bitcoin blockchain is used to prove my house ownership, I wouldnt mind paying a $10 fee to transfer that title to someone else using the main blockchain. But who would accept compromises to security or irreversibility of such a transaction? But when I pay for a pizza, I dont really care that the transaction is permissionless, irreverisble, public, super secure. The pizza joint is more likely to not deliver my pizza than come up with some cryptographic hack to steal my 10 payment. So why not use a bitcoin payment channel?

    That to me is the only way forward. And until Lightening Network and similar layered solutions arrive, I dont mind that we have to pay high fees. Id much rather have that, then allow the blockchain to bloat irreversibly, and over time, undermine its decentralisation. Which is btw, more or less what ethereum is doing. But they are betting on a technology called sharding to "divide" the blockchain so it doesnt become a problem. If they can make it work, it may be game changing. But sharding is exceptionally hard for any public blockchain and even more so for one like Ethereum that doesnt just store transactions. Im far from convinced they will be able to. And meanwhile its blockchain has become larger than bitcoins and is growing 600% per year....

    So yeah, I still think Bitcoin Core is taking the safest, and most sensible approach.

    As for the coordinator, you may have missed the recent announcement that its code will be made public this year. They also said that they will remove it soon (I know, its just a statement).
    I'll believe it, when I see it. Iota devs couldnt even pick a secure hashing algorithm, I have enormous doubts about their decentralised consensus mechanism (same for Neo btw, or for that matter, any blockchain that claims to have solved bitcoins scaling problems without compromising on its core features).

    IMO, three major features of blockchains can be:
    1 scalable, fast and cheap transactions
    2 decentralised, permissionless, trustless
    3 secure

    Pick any 2.
    If you want 1+2 pick any of dozens of altcoins that almost no one uses, so has empty blocks and low hashrate
    If you need 1+3, centralised solutions are your friend. Paypal, visa, Ripple, ..
    If you need 2+3, bitcoin is still your best bet

    But no one has solved all three yet. Iota now covers 1 and 3. Without the coordinator, Im pretty sure it will swap 2 for 3. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
    Last edited by Skinny; 19-11-2017 at 23:03.

  16. #36
    airdoc is offline Sergeant Major More Posts Than Postman Pat
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    I 'm fine with most of what you said. As I mentioned above, I 've invested in bitcoin and would like to see it grow. What I see as a problem is that, in order to maintain decentralization, one needs mining farms. Your view on this is that farms will always choose to mine, because if they don't, someone will fill in the gap and profit. If the number of farms was in the thousands (and dispersed all over the world), I 'd consider this as valid. Right now, they are not that many, and this brings up what to me is a cause of concern. During the S2X period, there were some 50k pending transactions because of the miners switching.

    Regarding the hash function, you 've probably not read the developer's reply. There was never a vulnerability. Narula fell for the trap that cfb (lead dev) had set in the code for attempted copycats. Although I cannot judge who is right technically, the published emails between Narula and cfb on this, convinced me that he was telling the truth. Along with the fact that she never replied when she was challenged publicly. Think of it as this: a respected person puts a lot of work into debunkig the security of a crypto. She goes public. Then the developer replies not only with facts, but with a statement that she got outsmarted falling for the trap he set. And then no reply from her.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by airdoc View Post
    I 'm fine with most of what you said. As I mentioned above, I 've invested in bitcoin and would like to see it grow. What I see as a problem is that, in order to maintain decentralization, one needs mining farms. Your view on this is that farms will always choose to mine, because if they don't, someone will fill in the gap and profit. If the number of farms was in the thousands (and dispersed all over the world), I 'd consider this as valid. Right now, they are not that many, and this brings up what to me is a cause of concern. During the S2X period, there were some 50k pending transactions because of the miners switching.
    Miners act in their self interest (by design) and switch to mine whichever chain is more profitable. Normally, this makes hashing power proportional with the value of the blockchain. Bitcoin cash, either through malice or incompetence made their network difficulty fluctuate wildly. This caused them rapid inflation and widely varying block times. This was never a serious problem for bitcoin though. The mempool backlog was more a result of network spam (probably by the big block camp) and simply hitting its inherent scaling limits.

    I cant really see a scenario where miners would just chose to stop mining in such quantities that difficulty adjustments wouldnt cope with the issue. But even if that would happen, we can still solve it with a hardfork.

    Then the developer replies not only with facts, but with a statement that she got outsmarted falling for the trap he set. And then no reply from her.
    And yet, they hardforked and changed the hashing algorithm immediately after getting the report. That this would be an intentional trap is therefore very, very hard to believe. If their claim was correct that the flawed algorithm had no impact on security, then what would it achieve as a trap? Finally, security through obscurity is also a terrible approach. In that light, the fact no one has been able to review the code and mechanism of their central coordinator should cause you great concern. How many "traps" did they include there? Iota saying iota is secure just isnt good enough.

  18. #38
    airdoc is offline Sergeant Major More Posts Than Postman Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinny View Post
    And yet, they hardforked and changed the hashing algorithm immediately after getting the report. That this would be an intentional trap is therefore very, very hard to believe. If their claim was correct that the flawed algorithm had no impact on security, then what would it achieve as a trap? Finally, security through obscurity is also a terrible approach. In that light, the fact no one has been able to review the code and mechanism of their central coordinator should cause you great concern. How many "traps" did they include there? Iota saying iota is secure just isnt good enough.
    They had to change it once it was exposed. It no longer served any purpose. CFB had already done the same thing in the past (introducing "dummy" algorithms). Also, Narula and her team scrutinized iota and were only able to come up with this as a potential vulnerability, which was an extremely unlikely scenario in reality. Even if I believe her, (disregarding the fact that she is affiliated with other coins and hence has a direct financial interest), the only vulnerability she was able to find is now gone. The code of the coordinator is a concern, but in the end it's all about taking a risk. The same thing could be said about bitcoin in its start. People tend to dismiss the fact that iota is still in beta. It has a long way ahead. Personally, 'm not hyped about it (or about any other coin, i am very skeptical about the future of cryptos) and I do think that there is a significant chance that it may turn out to be unsafe and collapse. But if it doesn't, it has the potential to make all other cryptos obsolete. No other cryptocurrency can claim something like this, they are essentially all variations of bitcoin. Time will tell.
    Last edited by airdoc; 20-11-2017 at 13:10.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by airdoc View Post
    They had to change it once it was exposed. It no longer served any purpose. CFB had already done the same thing in the past (introducing "dummy" algorithms). Also, Narula and her team scrutinized iota and were only able to come up with this as a potential vulnerability, which was an extremely unlikely scenario in reality. Even if I believe her, (disregarding the fact that she is affiliated with other coins and hence has a direct financial interest), the only vulnerability she was able to find is now gone. The code of the coordinator is a concern, but in the end it's all about taking a risk. The same thing could be said about bitcoin in its start. People tend to dismiss the fact that iota is still in beta. It has a long way ahead. As I said, it may turn out to be unsafe and collapse. But if it doesn't, it has the potential to make all other cryptos obsolete. No other cryptocurrency can claim something like this, they are essentially all variations of bitcoin. Time will tell.
    I have not seen anywhere that they did anything like a full validation of Iota. They were just intrigued when they noticed iota used a custom hashing algorithm and only looked in to that (and I find the "it was a trap" argument almost comically unbelievable).

    Now I would love to see some actual research being done on their consensus mechanism, but Ive not seen it. What I have seen about DAGs is never in the context of a trustless environment. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. For comparison, bitcoin was built on decades old concepts on which countless research papers where written like merkle trees and PoW. It used the most vetted hashing algorithm ever devised at that moment. Satoshi's genius was combining a few very well known, well well researched concepts to create something new. And it was still, rightfully, met with a lot of skepticism. Only after it had been researched and attacked for a few years did people begin to believe it could actually be secure.

    Now I do agree that IF it works, it could change everything. It just doesnt seem likely to me for loads of reasons. To name just two minor things; if you just invented a technology that would be better than bitcoin and ethereum at doing everything they do; would you market it as something focused on small machine2machine transactions in "the internet of things"? I sure as heck wouldnt. And if it cant work securely without coordinator today, I have a real hard time imagining without one, it could ever withstand attacks that will simply scale with the value/opportunity of the blockchain later on. Im no data scientist, but I dont see anything in their security model that scales exponentially.

    Here is a good discussion; its far from conclusive, but may be enough to give you some pause for thought:
    https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1799665.0;all

  20. #40
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    I 'll look into your link, thanks.

    Regarding the "internet of things" vs p2p money, I 've thought about this. I tend to think that the explanation is the following:

    There is never going to be a time in the future, where a completely decentralized coin will take over (at least not in the coming decades). Governments are never going to let one of their most fundamental mechanisms of sovereignty slip away from their hands. All "money" coins are going to be banned (if they don't crumble first on their own) if their market cap becomes a threat. Alternatively, they may become regulated, ensuring that adequate control is exerted over their value by governments. China moved against it; my guess is that other countries are allowing it for the time being, but monitoring the situation. Killing crypto entirely is rather easy for them. So, right now is for me a small window of opportunity for people to speculate on the value of coins, which is what 99% of holders are doing. Perhaps 1% truly believe and support the idea of decentralization, but, let's be real. It is the return of investment that makes people go crazy over bitcoin. I don't know when major news from governments will be announced, but I 'd think that if the market cap keeps rising at the same pace, it is going to be sometime next year (around 500 billion total).

    Iota market themselves as the coin for IOT. It is an industry of estimated 10 trillion according to journals like the economist. This is an adequate enough reason to choose m2m over p2p (which would mean competing with an established brand like btc). Also, m2m don't really need a public ledger with a backlog dating back to the renaissance in order to be functional.

    Now, considering what I mentioned above about the future of crypto, there is another possible scenario: in the event that all coins get banned, IOTA could still work. It could be the means of m2m communication. Companies using it could pay iota foundation a fee. This would mean that IOTA's value as a coin will go to zero, but the IOTA foundation would still be up and running. Current users serve as a test bed for its future adoption by companies. I tend to think that this is probably what the founders of IOTA have in mind and why they try to push for collaboration with companies instead of getting IOTA on exchanges.
    Last edited by airdoc; 20-11-2017 at 15:06.

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