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surebet
Jan 10, 2013




Cojawfee posted:

I'm surprised there aren't bitcoins in Bioshock.

It would kill the flow of the game having to wait 10 minutes every time you wanted to buy ammo.

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eSports Chaebol
Feb 22, 2005

Support the International Campaign to Ban Spider Mines

CampingCarl posted:

This talk about how people with a lot of money could effectively destroy bitcoin, although it would be more profitable to own bitcoins, and I half suggested Soros would do it for kicks got me wondering. Is it actually possible to short bitcoins or any other fun financial method? I am not an expert but with so many people with their mind on what bitcoin will be worth in the future it seems like there might be potential for all sorts of neat things especially with how miners and exchanges work.

With no central authority to ensure that your counterparty doesn't abscond with the funds, there's really no way short-selling can work. It would be a guaranteed clusterfuck if Mt Gox tried to set it up. Even with complex financial instruments denominated in good old USD it turns out nobody knows what the gently caress they're doing and it requires a legal system to sort it out (and even then, a government to step in and just kind of set aside the laws from time to time). Consider it a feature rather than a bug if you will that it won't happen with bitcoin.

davestones
May 7, 2009


phosdex posted:

You know it just occurred to me that a lot of talk is made about the buyers and sellers on Silk Road but what about Dread Pirate Roberts himself? Before the recent price jumps it took a lot more butts to buy stuff on SR, of which he takes a cut, he could be holding quite a few coins.

Could well be one and the same, knowing BitCoin.

makomk
Jul 16, 2011


Greyhawk posted:

You can make the fee as low as you want already (unless you use the default client). However miners are going to leave your transactions by the wayside to grab more profitable ones. So your 10 minute transaction will instead of minutes take hours or even days.
Any fee below the minimum is essentially the same as paying no fee at all, though.

Greyhawk
May 30, 2001




makomk posted:

Any fee below the minimum is essentially the same as paying no fee at all, though.

Pretty much, yeah.

That delayed transaction I linked to earlier turned out to be pretty funny. The guy used vanity adresses so I could go sniff around some more what he was trying to accomplish with that. Turns out he was apparently trying to sweep "dust" into a single account. Ultimately he opted to include fees with his transactions which were high enough they wiped out half his holdings.

Lolie
Jun 4, 2010


CampingCarl posted:

This talk about how people with a lot of money could effectively destroy bitcoin, although it would be more profitable to own bitcoins, and I half suggested Soros would do it for kicks got me wondering. Is it actually possible to short bitcoins or any other fun financial method? I am not an expert but with so many people with their mind on what bitcoin will be worth in the future it seems like there might be potential for all sorts of neat things especially with how miners and exchanges work.

There's not really a way for Joe average to short Bitcoins at the moment, but a couple of comments by "influential" players in the Bitcoin community lately make me suspect that they've taken a short position.

Jesse Powell's Kraken is supposed to be offering more trading alternatives when it opens, but it's not clear how they're going to get around the problem of people ending up with negative balances on their accounts which cannot be recovered - something which happened with Bitcoinica.

A big enough player could absolutely gently caress with the price just for poo poo and giggles and even make a profit doing so.

Marenghi
Oct 16, 2008


Cojawfee posted:

I doubt anyone on Silk Road would be in too much trouble if bitcoin ended. They probably cash out their coins immediately after receiving them. Bitcoin is just a way of laundering money to them.

Bitcoin just gets dumber and dumber the more I learn about it. I thought it was created by some smart guy or a group of people that actually put thought into it. Turns out it's more than just a scam, it's a scam to force idiots to spend all their money for nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if Foxconn invented bitcoin to sell GPUs.

I was more curious about how they're gonna launder money after bitcoin evaporates. They can't use paypal or wire transfers, too much of a trail the authorities could get a warrant for.
I remember back in the day there was a canadian site which accepted e-gold and sold weed worldwide. I don't think e-gold exists anymore, I think it was shut down by the authorities for facilitating money laundering.

Avulsion
Feb 12, 2006
I never knew what hit me

Lolie posted:

Nope. They just keep trying to convince charities to accept Bitcoin donations.

When it was thought ASICs were going to hit the market last year, there were a couple of projects based on the idea of hiring out GPU capacity to research and commercial projects but as far as I know these have folded (GPUMax closed and CoinLab was looking at this but has taken a different direction).

ASIC users can't donate their power to anything because ASICs literally only do one thing so there's no "spare" capacity to be used for something else.

My understanding of this whole mess is fairly rudimentary, but as it stands now, bitcoin mining turns electricity and cpu cycles into waste heat and long strings of numbers that are only useful for recording who has how many bitcoins.

Would it be possible to design a replacement cryptocurrency in which the mining process produced some kind of output that was beneficial to society (ie the cure for cancer) in addition to *coins? The idea being to convince bitcoin miners that getting in on the ground floor of this new currency would be more profitable that continuing to mine bitcoins with decreasing block rewards, and then harness their combined processing power in a way which satisfies their greed and makes the world a better place.

Since I don't know anything about cryptography or high level mathematics, my fear is that such a system would be vulnerable to people sabotaging one output (the cure) in order to increase the rate at which it produces the second (the coin). Is it possible to make such a system greed-proof?

Ashenai
Oct 5, 2005

You taught me language;
and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse.

Avulsion posted:

My understanding of this whole mess is fairly rudimentary, but as it stands now, bitcoin mining turns electricity and cpu cycles into waste heat and long strings of numbers that are only useful for recording who has how many bitcoins.

Would it be possible to design a replacement cryptocurrency in which the mining process produced some kind of output that was beneficial to society (ie the cure for cancer) in addition to *coins? The idea being to convince bitcoin miners that getting in on the ground floor of this new currency would be more profitable that continuing to mine bitcoins with decreasing block rewards, and then harness their combined processing power in a way which satisfies their greed and makes the world a better place.

Since I don't know anything about cryptography or high level mathematics, my fear is that such a system would be vulnerable to people sabotaging one output (the cure) in order to increase the rate at which it produces the second (the coin). Is it possible to make such a system greed-proof?

Well, a system like that wouldn't work as a cryptocurrency, because of the lack of the whole "crypto" part. The point of the Bitcoin system is that the work is self-verifying; the fact that you have the numbers is proof that you (or someone else) put in the work. There's no real way to cheat or to fake it. With a folding@home type of deal, the work would need to be verified and approved by a central agency, which is exactly the sort of thing that would give a libertarian conniptions.

Sephiroth_IRA
Mar 31, 2010


Tubgirl Cosplay posted:

Bitcoin has no actual value beyond as a speculative chit, so what would it stabilize around?


This is roughly correct if you note that in Bitcoin's case, the "smart money" and "institutional investors" phases are entirely comprised of the handful of "inventors" reserving themselves roughly half of the bitcoin market before they became publicly traded at all, and that the 'return to the mean' still denotes a net loss of value to anyone who arrived after that point.

When I heard the guys on the Marketplace Morning Report going on about Bitcoin I knew there would be a crash.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011
CARDIOVORAX BELIVES A POLICEMAN WHO GROPES A WOMAN SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB, AND DO A HUNDRED HOURS OF COMUNITY SERVICE UNDER THE PAIN OF GOING TO PRISON IF HE BREAKS HIS PAROLE


Ashenai posted:

Well, a system like that wouldn't work as a cryptocurrency, because of the lack of the whole "crypto" part. The point of the Bitcoin system is that the work is self-verifying; the fact that you have the numbers is proof that you (or someone else) put in the work. There's no real way to cheat or to fake it. With a folding@home type of deal, the work would need to be verified and approved by a central agency, which is exactly the sort of thing that would give a libertarian conniptions.
Plus folding@home is actually good for something, so burying it in a deluge of fake results by people who want to harvest coins would kill the whole project.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


Marenghi posted:

I was more curious about how they're gonna launder money after bitcoin evaporates. They can't use paypal or wire transfers, too much of a trail the authorities could get a warrant for.
I remember back in the day there was a canadian site which accepted e-gold and sold weed worldwide. I don't think e-gold exists anymore, I think it was shut down by the authorities for facilitating money laundering.

Well they could always do what the Chinese do: Open up a buffet or restaurant.

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.

Greyhawk posted:

What you're seeing on those "listen to" sites are not Mtgox buy/sells (mtgox api is broken). They are blockchain transactions. There's no "buying/selling in/out" of Bitcoins there. It's all shuffling from wallet to wallet, Satoshidice and the occassional drug sale.

Some things could be just moving around, consolidating different accounts. But in additon to just shuffling around, there could be buying and selling in/out of bitcoins, as long as they're OTC transactions.

Yes, the main bitcoin - USD transactions happen on mtcox. But that guy who sold his Porsche for bitcoins? That would have showed up on cosboycoins as a single transaction of all those coins, right? That IS a buying/selling transaction, without going through mtgox. Those have to be verified and added to the blockchain, too.

Although I'd wager those kinds of transactions are extremely rare. Who wants to buy something and then wait an hour to get the receipt? Credit card processors perform transactions in less than a second.

Cardiovorax posted:

Plus folding@home is actually good for something, so burying it in a deluge of fake results by people who want to harvest coins would kill the whole project.


As much as I would love to see all this computing power put into something worthwhile like folding@home or SETI@home, isn't the whole point that you need miners to verify the blockchain in order to keep the transactions legitimate?

Like, if they all ran folding@home like people are suggesting (ignoring why that would be bad for other reasons), wouldn't that pretty much disrupt the ability of the bitcoin protocol to work as a currency?

If everybody is running folding@home, what computers where are processing the transactions? The whole brilliance of this system was that you're getting people to run the servers for the bitcoin system for you as a mesh network; If miners are being rewarded for running SETI@home, that would mean somebody like mtgox would have to run the bitcoin infrastructure, right?

Zaphod42 fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 14:36

Zack_Gochuck
Jan 3, 2007

Stupid Wrestling People


Ashenai posted:

Well, a system like that wouldn't work as a cryptocurrency, because of the lack of the whole "crypto" part. The point of the Bitcoin system is that the work is self-verifying; the fact that you have the numbers is proof that you (or someone else) put in the work. There's no real way to cheat or to fake it. With a folding@home type of deal, the work would need to be verified and approved by a central agency, which is exactly the sort of thing that would give a libertarian conniptions.

This is the part that's always confused me. What work? I really don't understand. It sounds like computers are just programmed to calculate math formulas for no reason other than to get bitcoins, and they call those calculations work. This sounds more like getting a candy for getting a math problem right in grade 6 than doing actual useful work. Like, they're not taking a weekend and filling in potholes for the county and getting $50 for their couple hours work, it's literally the same thing as, "You solved a math problem, have a candy." How do you attach a value to mindless busywork? Should I be rewarded if I wrote a novel no one wants to read? Should I get paid to pick up a rock and move it across the yard and back? I don't see how any of these are different than bitcoin mining.

Zack_Gochuck fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 14:42

Vir
Dec 14, 2007

Does it tickle when your Body Thetans flap their wings, eh Beatrice?


^^^^ You could actually make a feasible p2p currency based on proof of useful computing work. The chosen problem would just need to
1: Make it much easier to confirm a result than to initially calculate the result
2: Be computationally bound, rather than memory/storage bound
3: Be easily divisible

Condition 1 would disqualify stuff like Seti@Home, since the only way to confirm results from that would be to have more peers do the same calculation over again. But things like prime number factorizations or elliptic curve calculations might be more promising in that it would be much easier to confirm a result than to initially calculate it. This would let one miner find a result, and all the other peers would trivially confirm that the calculation was correct when accepting a block.

Condition 2 would disqualify stuff like searching for simple things in datasets, since CPU use would be trivial next to the bandwidth and storage costs needed to shuffle around the datasets.

Condition 3 would disqualify stuff like calculating weather forecasts, or other fluid simulations, since neighboring nodes need to communicate with each other constantly due to the many-to-many dependencies in such models.

This is a few pages back:

Kilmers Elbow posted:

Therein lies a tale.

There was a bet made on Betsofbitcoin that BFL wouldn't ship before April 1st.

On April 1st BFL let Luke-Jr come and play with a barely working prototype and so according to BFL and their cheerleaders they shipped an ASIC before the deadline.

Now in any other milieu the idea that someone fiddling with a prototype equates to shipping a product would be absurd. But this is Bitcoin - we're through the looking glass, here.....so, Betsofbitcoin promptly declared the bet a 'draw'.

Honestly the whole loving enterprise is just scummy as gently caress.
It was even worse than that. While Luke-Jr had visited their offices on a previous occasion, with expenses paid and all that, Luke-Jr wasn't even in the same country when the supposed delivery took place. At best BFL directed the block reward payouts to an address under Luke-Jr's control, or gave him remote login to the device as it was sitting on the test bench. I'm not sure they even did those things, but we do know that Luke-Jr hasn't even laid hands on it.

Also riding on the shipping before April 1st was a charity payment from BFL - I don't know if they've honored that either.

Now there's a Swedish company called KNCminer that may join Avalon and ASICMINER in beating BFL to market.

Vir fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 14:53

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.

Ursine Asylum posted:

Is that how it worked? I thought that in one (15,000 BTC) transaction, for it to show up like that it would require one person selling 15,000 BTC and one person buying 15,000 BTC (or more).

wikipedia posted:

Although it would be possible to handle coins individually, it would be unwieldy to make a separate transaction for every cent in a transfer. To allow value to be split and combined, transactions contain multiple inputs and outputs. Normally there will be either a single input from a larger previous transaction or multiple inputs combining smaller amounts, and at most two outputs: one for the payment, and one returning the change, if any, back to the sender.
It should be noted that fan-out, where a transaction depends on several transactions, and those transactions depend on many more, is not a problem here. There is never the need to extract a complete standalone copy of a transaction's history.

blowfish
Oct 10, 2012



Zack_Gochuck posted:

This is the part that's always confused me. What work? I really don't understand. It sounds like computers are just programmed to calculate math formulas for no reason other than to get bitcoins, and they call those calculations work. This sounds more like getting a candy for getting a math problem right in grade 6 than doing actual useful work. Like, they're not taking a weekend and filling in potholes for the county and getting $50 for their couple hours work, it's literally the same thing as, "You solved a math problem, have a candy." How do you attach a value to mindless busywork? Should I be rewarded if I wrote a novel no one wants to read? Should I get paid to pick up a rock and move it across the yard and back? I don't see how any of these are different than bitcoin mining.

Repeat after me: Wasting processing power is the whole point of buttcoin.

blowfish fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 14:47

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.

Zack_Gochuck posted:

This is the part that's always confused me. What work? I really don't understand. It sounds like computers are just programmed to calculate math formulas for no reason other than to get bitcoins, and they call those calculations work. This sounds more like getting a candy for getting a math problem right in grade 6 than doing actual useful work. Like, they're not taking a weekend and filling in potholes for the county and getting $50 for their couple hours work, it's literally the same thing as, "You solved a math problem, have a candy." How do you attach a value to mindless busywork? Should I be rewarded if I wrote a novel no one wants to read? Should I get paid to pick up a rock and move it across the yard and back? I don't see how any of these are different than bitcoin mining.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin pretty sick of the same questions being asked over and over
They're not just doing random math for fun and then getting money. Comeon, how hard is it to google?

The servers that are "mining" (this term has massively confused everybody) are really just selling their processing power to the bitcoin network. These are bitcoin's protocol authentication servers. In exchange for giving up your computing power, you get bitcoins for free over time, as part of transaction fees and as part of "mining rewards". Don't be confused by the math, that's just very advanced computer science in order to make bitcoin a reliable, secure service.

The fact is that Bitcoin requires tons of servers to operate, and whoever Satoshi or whatever created this service isn't shelling out the money to run the massive infrastructure that this world-wide "currency" requires. So instead people who are willing to give up their computers for free, all over the world, in exchange for some small free money.

They ARE doing work. The servers can't be running folding@home or SETI@home, because they're running bitcoin@home.

That massive computing power is what gives bitcoin its reliability and authenticity. If everybody was running folding@home instead, it'd be trivially easy to "print money" or "double spend" or whatever.

This is how lots of computer science works. How do you think SSL works? Math. Useless math? Nope. The math is makes it secure. Same as any encryption protocol.

Ashenai posted:

Think of it like the money and resources needed to add anti-counterfeiting watermarks and holograms and poo poo to dollar bills. It adds nothing of value to anything, so in a sense it's "pointless busywork"... but it's necessary to make the currency work like it's supposed to.

That's a pretty decent analogy. Mints cost money to make USD; but without them, USD would be worthless because anybody could counterfeit.

Zaphod42 fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 14:54

Blade_of_tyshalle
Jul 12, 2009

If you think that, along the way, you're not going to fail... you're blind.

There's no one I've ever met, no matter how successful they are, who hasn't said they had their failures along the way.



surebet posted:

It would kill the flow of the game having to wait 10 minutes every time you wanted to buy ammo.

And what rational Splicer would authenticate any of the hero's transactions? That man is trying to buy bullets to kill you.

Ashenai
Oct 5, 2005

You taught me language;
and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse.

Zack_Gochuck posted:

This is the part that's always confused me. What work? I literally don't understand. It sounds like computers are just programmed to calculate math formulas for no reason other than to get bitcoins, and they call those calculations work. It sounds more like getting a candy for getting a math problem right in grade 6 than actual useful work.

The difference is that the teacher knows the answer to the 6th grade math problem. No one knows the answer to a Bitcoin problem. That's (partly) why it works as crypto.

quote:

Like, they're not taking a weekend and filling in potholes for the county and getting $50 for their couple hours work. This sounds like it's literally the same thing as, "You solved a math problem, have a candy." How do you attach a value to mindless busywork?

Think of it like the money and resources needed to add anti-counterfeiting watermarks and holograms and poo poo to dollar bills. It adds nothing of value to anything, so in a sense it's "pointless busywork"... but it's necessary to make the currency work like it's supposed to.

Aihwa
Feb 1, 2012

If you pretend I'm listening, I'll pretend I care.


Klyith posted:


The only other alternative is that BTC becomes an accepted and useful currency.

If by "currency" you mean a means to semi-safely purchase drugs online, then I agree.

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.

Cojawfee posted:

I'm surprised there aren't bitcoins in Bioshock.

I guess you were joking but except for Minerva's Den, they didn't really have the hardware for buttcoins

That said, Fallout's bottle-cap economy was surprisingly sound...

Aihwa posted:

If by "currency" you mean a means to semi-safely purchase drugs online, then I agree.

This was always the point of buttcoin. Its for online money laundering. Anybody who says differently is selling something.

Samsquamsch
Jun 6, 2011

Mexican touchdown, Mexican touchdown, Mexican touchdooooown!

Vir posted:

This is a few pages back:

It was even worse than that. While Luke-Jr had visited their offices on a previous occasion, with expenses paid and all that, Luke-Jr wasn't even in the same country when the supposed delivery took place. At best BFL directed the block reward payouts to an address under Luke-Jr's control, or gave him remote login to the device as it was sitting on the test bench. I'm not sure they even did those things, but we do know that Luke-Jr hasn't even laid hands on it.

Also riding on the shipping before April 1st was a charity payment from BFL - I don't know if they've honored that either.

Now there's a Swedish company called KNCminer that may join Avalon and ASICMINER in beating BFL to market.

I don't know if it was said yet in this thread, but I found the best part to be that the Bets of Bitcoin site that was hosting the bet, after much clamoring by both sides, called the bet a "draw"...and took their 5% cut of the total pooled money before returning it to all parties.

Greyhawk
May 30, 2001




Zaphod42 posted:

The fact is that Bitcoin requires tons of servers to operate,

No, it doesn't. This would suffice by far.



In fact it's overpowered by a factor of 100.

Vir
Dec 14, 2007

Does it tickle when your Body Thetans flap their wings, eh Beatrice?


Zaphod42 posted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin pretty sick of the same questions being asked over and over
They're not just doing random math for fun and then getting money. Comeon, how hard is it to google?

The servers that are "mining" (this term has massively confused everybody) are really just selling their processing power to the bitcoin network. These are bitcoin's protocol authentication servers. In exchange for giving up your computing power, you get bitcoins for free over time, as part of transaction fees and as part of "mining rewards". Don't be confused by the math, that's just very advanced computer science in order to make bitcoin a reliable, secure service.

(....)

That massive computing power is what gives bitcoin its reliability and authenticity. If everybody was running folding@home instead, it'd be trivially easy to "print money" or "double spend" or whatever.

This is how lots of computer science works. How do you think SSL works? Math. Useless math? Nope. The math is makes it secure. Same as any encryption protocol.
No, this is wrong. It's you who has been staring into the abyss for too long. A 1/400th of a NES would be enough to run the transactions through. And the computing power in the network is already thousands of times too large for anyone with ownership of a supercomputer to be interested in loving with it.

It really is like if you put your kids to work making fractal images seeded with your grocery receipts and bank statements, and giving them a candy for the fractal that bares the most resemblance to the family dog's right ear. It produces no additional value.

It did make some sense when it was an experiment run by crypto nerds on their spare CPU time. It stopped making sense years ago though.

Samsquamsch posted:

I don't know if it was said yet in this thread, but I found the best part to be that the Bets of Bitcoin site that was hosting the bet, after much clamoring by both sides, called the bet a "draw"...and took their 5% cut of the total pooled money before returning it to all parties.
Bets of Bitcoin gave back people their fees actually, but it does look like they were paid by the losing side to call a draw. The excuse was so bad that foul play is obvious; it would be a bit like if a referee in the World Cup annulled 20 goals in a match or something because there was a spectator wearing a blue jersey watching the game and he thought he was part of the match and standing off side.

Vir fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 15:07

Guavanaut
Nov 27, 2009


Zack_Gochuck posted:

This is the part that's always confused me. What work? I really don't understand. It sounds like computers are just programmed to calculate math formulas for no reason other than to get bitcoins, and they call those calculations work. This sounds more like getting a candy for getting a math problem right in grade 6 than doing actual useful work. Like, they're not taking a weekend and filling in potholes for the county and getting $50 for their couple hours work, it's literally the same thing as, "You solved a math problem, have a candy." How do you attach a value to mindless busywork? Should I be rewarded if I wrote a novel no one wants to read? Should I get paid to pick up a rock and move it across the yard and back? I don't see how any of these are different than bitcoin mining.
The proof of work system is intended more to regulate entry onto the network. Take, for example, one of the earliest proposed uses of computable proof of work, email regulation.

It was proposed that a function that is computationally expensive (taking say 20 seconds of CPU time) to generate but trivial to check would function as an electronic postage stamp. You want to send an email to your grandpa, 20 seconds isn't really a lot of time to wait. You want to send a newsletter to 1,000 customers, that's 5 and a half hours, not insurmountable if you have a server and are only sending one a week. You want to send Latvian dick pill spam to 20,000 people every day, then it becomes a problem for you, and is good news for everyone else (this was in the days before botnets).

In that way, even though the proof of work is valueless busy work, the hash has a value as an electronic postage stamp. The value comes because they take a certain amount of computer-seconds to produce, because if not I could just make a hundred trillion stamps in advance and spam to my heart's content. Theoretically, if I wanted to run a newsletter without using those computer-seconds, I could buy completed hashes from someone else, like postage stamps, giving them a value related to their quantity and utility.

Bitcoin uses the same definition of work, i.e. a computational difficulty that stops people from giving themselves all 21 million bitcoins in the first hour, but instead of having any inherent utility attached to them it just uses them as electronic pogs in a decentralized IOU database. The arbitrary limitations and complete divorce from any direct utility like stamping an email is one reason why they have ridiculous volatility and all production is controlled by a hashing arms race.

Caufman
May 7, 2007
Long time listener; first time caller.

Zaphod42 posted:

This was always the point of buttcoin. Its for online money laundering. Anybody who says differently is selling something.

Yeah, drugs, hopefully.

JohnSherman
Feb 29, 2012

So what do you want to be called?

Zaphod42 posted:

This was always the point of buttcoin. Its for online money laundering. Anybody who says differently is selling something.

So, if this is where we are, why hasn't someone just dropped the pretense and built an alternative solely for this purpose?

If you asked me, I'd basically copy Bitcoin, except instead of spergs mining in basements, I'd just have a central website that serves the dual purpose of buying and selling these JohnCoins at a set price, and scaring away libertarians. Every JC is backed by money that exists in an account somewhere. If someone offers them as payment, you know you can take it and cash it without some dipshit crashing the market in the meantime. Boom, clean money anywhere in the world. Until the US Government freezes the account with the money, I guess.

JohnSherman fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 15:16

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.

Greyhawk posted:

No, it doesn't. This would suffice by far.

In fact it's overpowered by a factor of 100.

Vir posted:

No, this is wrong. It's you who has been staring into the abyss for too long. A 1/400th of a NES would be enough to run the transactions through. And the computing power in the network is already thousands of times too large for anyone with ownership of a supercomputer to be interested in loving with it.

Only if it was a centralized, trusted server. If you can't trust the server, then the issue becomes far more complicated.

You guys are massively oversimplifying.


VVVVVVVVV An NES couldn't even handle all the connection requests, much less do the math required. And again, that completely ignores the whole loving point in the first place; that it is decentralized and run on a peer-to-peer network of possibly compromised, possibly malicious servers. You guys are massively oversimplifying.

Now, if you had a normal server rack handling the connections and requests and you had a centralized server system that you owned and kept safe and secure, then yeah, sure, it'd make the whole thing A TON easier and a 6502 (NES) could handle it. But that isn't the loving point, is it?

You're comparing apples to oranges. Its pointless.

Zaphod42 fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 15:18

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011
CARDIOVORAX BELIVES A POLICEMAN WHO GROPES A WOMAN SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB, AND DO A HUNDRED HOURS OF COMUNITY SERVICE UNDER THE PAIN OF GOING TO PRISON IF HE BREAKS HIS PAROLE


Greyhawk posted:

No, it doesn't. This would suffice by far.



In fact it's overpowered by a factor of 100.
In the old thread, someone proved that you can easily run the entire Bitcoin network on one Nintendo Entertainment System. The original "grey brick" sort.

Zaphod42 posted:

You guys are massively oversimplifying.
No, you just don't know what you're talking about. Yes, the protocol assumes a lot of redundancy will be in place to make double spending more difficult. Processing power, though? Absolutely superfluous.

Cardiovorax fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 15:16

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.

JohnSherman posted:

So, if this is where we are, why hasn't someone just dropped the pretense and built an alternative solely for this purpose? I'm

If you asked me, I'd basically copy Bitcoin, except instead of spergs mining in basements, I'd just have a central website that serves the dual purpose of buying and selling these JohnCoins at a set price, and scaring away libertarians. Every JC is backed by money that exists in an account somewhere. If someone offers them as payment, you know you can take it and cash it without some dipshit crashing the market in the meantime. Boom, clean money anywhere in the world. Until the US Government freezes the account with the money, I guess.

If you want to do that and deal with the investment to set up the back-end and the legality problems, then go for it, you can probably make a fortune. May have trouble living in the states from now on, though.

kierrie
Jun 7, 2010


Maybe this has been discussed before, but why don't they just fix the price of bitcoins to the price of USD? Surely that would give a lot more confidence to the currency and make everything far simpler.

Sure, a few people would no longer be able to get rich from exploiting dumb people but we could all live with that.

Heresiarch
Oct 6, 2005

Whosoever would undertake some atrocious enterprise should act as if it were already accomplished, should impose upon himself a future as irrevocable as the past.



The difference is that bitcoin, by design, increases or decreases the difficulty level of the cryptography depending on the current total power of the network. This difficulty increase or decrease does nothing to change the security of the system, as even the lowest difficulty is sufficient to prevent double-spending, etc. It does this because of the competitive nature of the distributed network; by scaling the difficulty, the network attempts to prevent a single large entity from doing all of the work and thereby gaining control of the system.

That's why bitcoin mining is "busywork", because the overwhelming majority of the cryptography being done is not actually required to keep the network secure. It's only required because of bitcoin's deliberately competitive design, and it doesn't even do a very good job at that, as demonstrated by how a handful of mining groups have de facto control over things like how to solve the .7/.8 conflict. It's a design decision based on ideology and not any technical reason.

This is one of numerous reasons why bitcoin is never going to actually become a useful currency for real-world activity. The moment it actually becomes important (if ever), the distributed nature of the network will become its Achilles's heel, as it will be trivial for any sufficiently large entity (public or private) to simply overwhelm the difficulty safeguards through sheer computational power.

Ashenai
Oct 5, 2005

You taught me language;
and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse.

kierrie posted:

Maybe this has been discussed before, but why don't they just fix the price of bitcoins to the price of USD? Surely that would give a lot more confidence to the currency and make everything far simpler.

Sure, a few people would no longer be able to get rich from exploiting dumb people but we could all live with that.

That would be both entirely pointless, and completely impossible. How do you fix the price of something without a central authority? Who exactly would the "they" in your question be?

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.


You just contradicted yourself, and just like everybody else, you seem to be missing the point. You say that difficulty has to be increased to make it secure, and then you say that does nothing to make it more secure. What?

Yes, if it was a single, trusted server, this would be busy work.

But it isn't, is it? By your own admission, with this system, with decentralized peer-to-peer servers, the only way to trust them is to increase the difficulty so that no one person can gain control of the system. That is the entire loving point of the bitcoin protocol. And you seem to understand it, and yet you can't put 2 and 2 together and see why its necessary.

"It's only required because of bitcoin's deliberately competitive design" DUH!

That's like saying guns only need gunpowder because of their deliberately explosive design.

Zaphod42 fucked around with this message at Apr 15, 2013 around 15:28

babies havin rabies
Feb 24, 2006



Just wait until I invent a machine to convert mechanical energy into electricity and then into a bitcoin miner. I will singlehandedly solve the nation's obesity epidemic and accept my crown as the swole captain-king of industry,

Vir
Dec 14, 2007

Does it tickle when your Body Thetans flap their wings, eh Beatrice?


Guavanaut posted:

Bitcoin uses the same definition of work, i.e. a computational difficulty that stops people from giving themselves all 21 million bitcoins in the first hour, but instead of having any inherent utility attached to them it just uses them as electronic pogs in a decentralized IOU database. The arbitrary limitations and complete divorce from any direct utility like stamping an email is one reason why they have ridiculous volatility and all production is controlled by a hashing arms race.
This is why the new Ripple is interesting to me. Rather than using the [pointless proof of work] as an IOU, they use it just for spam prevention/transaction costs. They've called the "stamps" XRP or "Ripples" and you can buy them from Ripple or get some free ones, and they get spent on transaction costs. When you want to transfer money between people, you do that in IOUs for USD, NOK, ounces of gold, hours of work or whatever currency or pseudo-currency you want to use. Even Cosbycoins (you can type your own currency definitions into the client).

Of course the buttcoiners get angry that the XRPs didn't take any pointless proof of work to generate on mining rigs, but were all pre-generated by the creators of Ripple, using just a couple of tiny watt-hours on a regular computer. This is why you'll hear them scream "pre-mine", as if the US Postal Service shouldn't be allowed to print their own stamps, or the phone company not be allowed to sell their own pre-paid phone minutes.

I guess to the sperglords, an IOU for 1 USD issued by your friend or by some e-finance website that sells them for 1 USD, seems too much like dirty fiat; they just hate the "money as debt" idea, except when it represented a debt of a certain amount of gold.

Chosing bitcoiners as the early adopters for Ripple might help reveal any security issues or systemic flaws in it, but it could also doom Ripple again by marrying it to a community full of idiots and frauds.

SonicBoom
Jul 12, 2010


babies havin rabies posted:

Just wait until I invent a machine to convert mechanical energy into electricity and then into a bitcoin miner. I will singlehandedly solve the nation's obesity epidemic and accept my crown as the swole captain-king of industry,

An alternator?

EDIT: This is now my idea, do not steal. There's a new captain of industry in town.

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012


I appear out of nowhere and yell "HIPSTER!". It's kinda my thing. Well, that and My Little Pony.

^^^^ I guess somebody likes AC over DC

babies havin rabies posted:

Just wait until I invent a machine to convert mechanical energy into electricity and then into a bitcoin miner. I will singlehandedly solve the nation's obesity epidemic and accept my crown as the swole captain-king of industry,

Generator + ASIC ? Hand-cranked miners, lol.

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kierrie
Jun 7, 2010


Ashenai posted:

That would be both entirely pointless, and completely impossible. How do you fix the price of something without a central authority? Who exactly would the "they" in your question be?

The bitcoin illuminati. You haven't heard of them?

How many exchanges are there that are actually converting bitcoins to cash, they could easily cartel up and fix the price, much like other products in the world, without central authorities, have their prices fixed.

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