RT @GeniaMiinko: 11 years ago today an anonymous person (or group) submitted a paper to the cryptography mailing list stating.
Enclosed, were the blueprints for a decentralized, non sovereign, global, immutable hard money that we call #Bitcoin.
Today the dream lives on.
Guy, I have news: the original version of Satoshi's papers was not in English. Was in Summerian... but we were too blind to see it, only after thousands of years, a bored Summerian decided to translate it for us in English and posted as "Satoshi papers". :)
We need a translation in TAs, memes, bulls/bears, charts, video-predictions and so on... so all those hoards of "traders" here, finally will read those papers... and maybe understand what really is Bitcoin.
Otherwise they will never understand not even their own native language.
Bitcoin is still p2p. It depends on how you define p2p. In my opinion, "p2p" is not derived from *how* the system functions, but rather p2p occurs as a result of how the system functions.
If you're using a "layer 1" bitcoin wallet, and I'm using one as well, then we can transact together. It doesn't matter if you're using a core wallet, and I'm using a breadwallet. It doesn't matter which continent the wallet server is located on. A property of layer 1 bitcoin is that everyone can send to everyone else. The fact that the actual transactions themselves are not going from literally person to person is irrelevant.
Lightning Network using this same definition is not completely p2p. It is possible that the lightning node my wallet connects to, and the lightning node that your wallet connect to may not have connections amungst themselves, therefore we can't transact.
The paper was written 8 years ago. It is still important, but it is not the best resource for newbies to learn about Bitcoin. One of the most common points of confusion is that at the time of the paper, the terms "miner" and "full node" hadn't even been invented yet; Satoshi considered nodes and miners to be more-or-less the same thing. He hadn't considered pooled mining, and although he might've recognized that it was unsustainable long-term, the picture he had in his mind at the time of the paper was of widespread CPU mining by individuals. Therefore, whenever you see Satoshi use the word "node" in the paper and in his forum posts, you have to determine from context whether he's referring to full nodes, lightweight nodes, miners, or some combination of these. For example, take a look at this important part of the paper and my annotated modern terminology:
As such, the verification is reliable as long as honest nodes [miners] control the network, but is more vulnerable if the network is overpowered by an attacker. While network nodes [full nodes] can verify transactions for themselves, the simplified method [lightweight nodes] can be fooled by an attacker's fabricated transactions for as long as the attacker can continue to overpower the network. One strategy to protect against this would be to accept alerts [fraud proofs] from network nodes [full nodes] when they detect an invalid block, prompting the user's software to download the full block and alerted transactions to confirm the inconsistency. Businesses that receive frequent payments will probably still want to run their own [full] nodes for more independent security and quicker verification.
I recommend that newbies read bitcoin.org and bitcoin.it to understand Bitcoin, and only afterward take a look at the paper for a more historical perspective.
> One of the most common points of confusion is that at the time of the paper, the terms "miner" and "full node" hadn't even been invented yet; Satoshi considered nodes and miners to be more-or-less the same thing. He hadn't considered pooled mining, and although he might've recognized that it was unsustainable long-term, the picture he had in his mind at the time of the paper was of widespread CPU mining by individuals.
I agree the terms can be confusing.
However you make an interesting point that gets to the heart of why I made this post. As you correctly state, Satoshi envisioned "widespread CPU mining by individuals" - that was the sort of decentralization that was supposed to keep everyone "honest-mining." It's true that we have yet to truly solve this problem, although other coin projects have made valuable developments along these lines (ie by using ASIC-resistant algos that keep mining feasible on consumer hardware). The point is: if we don't agree that it's a problem to be solved, then it won't get solved.
And thus - it's really important that people understand this original vision for the network. Everyone interested should understand what Satoshi was trying to achieve, and why aspects like "widespread mining" are integral parts of making the system work correctly. It's a problem for me when people argue "the white paper is just a historical document with no relevance anymore because Satoshi was wrong about some things" because with a single hand-wave these people throw the baby out with the bathwater.
> derives revenue from bitcoin.it
bitcoin.it's only revenue is registration fees, which are optional (you can ask for whitelisting on IRC instead), and AFAIK the fees don't even cover monthly costs.
bitcoin.org likewise doesn't make any money.
You're thinking of bitcoin.com, which is a cash-grab clone of bitcoin.org owned by Roger Ver. bitcoin.org is the original Bitcoin website created by Satoshi -- it now contains extensive Bitcoin documentation.
No. You're missing the context.
Satoshi used the whitepaper to communicate the ideas used in Bitcoin design to the cryptographer community. It explains what he was trying to achieve, why he made particular design decisions and what he got in the result.
It shouldn't be regarded as a Bible of Bitcoin, it's more like a starting point.
Obviously, Satoshi didn't had a perfect understanding of Bitcoin's properties, he was basically inviting others to analyze it in a more thorough way.
> every user will be an approximately-equal miner.
Yes, Satoshi didn't see the future of mining very clearly.
But shouldn't we agree that if it were possible to get appreciably closer to the vision of "approximately-equal miners", that would increase the decentralization and health of the whole ecosystem?
This is the point of hewing to the vision of the white paper: it establishes a goal-state that we should be working toward.
Re the mining issue - is there any possible protocol change that might work to incentivize or force mining decentralization? Just a thought experiment.
I realize this would be a significant move. But it would be an example of a major change to the protocol that I think everyone could rally behind, and would actually push Bitcoin closer to its intended design, rather than away from it. /u/nullc opinion too?
I don't think we'll ever get back to "everyone can be a miner", but IMO you could improve decentralization by changing it so:
* If the block number mod 3 = 0, the PoW uses the current algorithm (or similar).
* If the block number mod 3 = 1, an ASIC-resistant PoW is used, like cuckoo.
* If the block number mod 3 = 2, some sort of proof-of-stake is used. (Proof-of-stake is pretty much completely discredited when used alone, but I think that it adds value in a hybrid scheme like this with real PoW.)
There'd be three different difficulties, and the subsidy probably shouldn't be split evenly among the PoW types.
Then an attacker would need to control all three groups to perform a many-confs "51% attack", which would be a lot more difficult than today because the three PoWs are backed by very different things (ASICs vs probably botnets vs BTC).
I don't think this will work. No matter the PoW, the mining will centralize with miners that pay the least for electricity. Nothing stops them buying equipment for each PoW. And as for PoS, that's never going to happen.
Well cuckoo itself was created with Bitcoin in mind. And fraud proofs, which would reduce the influence of miners, is being actively worked on, I think. The hybrid PoW I mentioned is largely just my idea, not a mainstream idea, and is not being actively worked on.
> The hybrid PoW I mentioned is largely just my idea
I've heard others discuss this as well. I've never paid a lot of attention to it, but it's interesting to hear your take on it.
Isn't there an alt that does something like this?
For example, you've suggested PoW forks on several occasions.
Isn't a PoW change considered to be the "prescription" for what we should do when mining centralizes past a certain point? Couldn't a flexible PoW algo of the sort that [Theymos just proposed](https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/4vgrhi/psa_most_common_misunderstandings_about_bitcoin/d5zbrz1) help?
That's an oversimplification.
First off, not all PoWs scale equally easy. PoWs that are hard to scale should be expected to centralize more slowly.
Secondly, PoW change sends a lasting shock through the centralized mining community and their custom-hardware manufacturing partners. By making these deep investments in hardware suddenly worthless by changing PoW, *future* high-capitalization players become *much* more wary about making huge investments in hardware. The result is that the biggest mining participants either exit mining altogether, or must resign themselves to much smaller investments in hardware combined with hedges in case of another PoW change.
Yeah a decentralized pool ofcourse, with the protocol as the "pool operator", keeping tally of everyone's mining efforts and paying out in weekly intervals.
I see a lot of engineering challenges, but just wondering what would be the showstopper.
Although I agree in principle that not every idea in the white paper is likely to hold forever, it would make sense to outline what are the major defects and then have open and free debate as to whether these are actually defects or just "unsolved problems."
For example I've heard "Bitcoin can't scale onchain" since the very beginning, but clearly, technologies like thinblocks, pruning, sharding, etc definitely provide the possibility of significant onchain scaling without sacrificing the principles of the white paper.
The white paper was what brought many many early adopters like myself onboard, as it represented a clear vision statement.
The point being: to the extent that we can maintain this vision instead of tossing it overboard, we can heal divisions and strengthen the human consensus that underpins hashpower consensus.
It doesn't really matter what the white paper says, nor what any individual wants bitcoin to be. It's a consensus algorithm, it'll be whatever the miner majority wants it to be, no matter how much anyone attempts to impose and rationalize the constraints they'd prefer to put it under.
Interesting analogy. Why so extreme?
Maybe major deviations from the intended design are simply undesirable to those who signed on *based* on that intended design.
I see no correlation with religious fanaticism and I see no reason this makes Satoshi a "religious figure" - as many here often say to dismiss and mock these individuals.
In fact, one might say that it's perfectly reasonable to feel that major deviations from the intended design are bad.
Tim Minchin captures it: "Science changes its views based on what's observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved."
The point being, any improvement that fixes a real world problem in an agreeable way, should be adopted by consensus, because the white paper does not and can not know about the real problems bitcoin will face.