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Hello, everyone, It’s been a long time since you heard our team, someone thought we were gone, someone was waiting, and someone disappeared himself.
All this time we have worked hard to bring you good news. We will tell you what we have prepared for you, what events will be soon, what you can use right now and what else will be new in the year. And so, let’s go!
Preparing for listing on the exchange
The pandemic period played into the hands of the entire team and we managed to build beauty in our services. In anticipation of the exchange, the team tidied up the sites and services and connected new tools. First of all, we paid attention to the preparation of all services for a foreign audience, taking into account its mentality.
New sections, localizations, nice things, and much more to ensure the most efficient use of the TKEY resource. In addition to the new tabs, the services that we will talk about in this material, there is a special page for representatives of the exchange with the necessary documentation for listing — https://tkeycoin.com/en/documentation/
Already today the official website tkeycoin.com
available in 5 languages: Russian
, Chinese (Simplified)
, Chinese (Traditional)
We made adjustments to the Russian and English versions of the site, including support for Korean and Chinese for each section of the site. Professionals in their field, native speakers translated and adapted the information as it should be, and we, in turn, structured and framed it properly. So welcome!
We will update language support for the site, and soon it will include support for all languages that are available in the mobile app.
QR Codes for Asian Audience
Our friends and residents of Asian countries actively use QR codes in their lives, both when paying in stores and when working with websites. QR codes are used almost everywhere when renting a car or bike, we just open the phone, scan and the mode of transport becomes available for use, anything is available for rent, even a battery, even an umbrella.
“It was a hot May day. Seven-year-old Wang Jiaozui came out of school and saw his grandfather, who came to pick him up. He was standing in the sun, and his shirt was soaked with sweat. Jiaozui invited the grandfather to buy a cold Cola in the shop, but he forgot her purse at home. It turned out that this is not important — the boy took his grandfather’s smartphone and called the payment app with a QR code on the screen.” ©
What to say if QR codes are used even to identify entire farms. By pasting QR codes on farm buildings and then scanning them, government inspectors can quickly figure out who owns the building and whether its owners are violating any laws.
We must be on the trend! Now a special library generates QR codes for the desired page, any tab on the site tkeycoin.com
in Chinese and Korean-accompanied by a QR code that leads to the requested page: fast, convenient, and simple. https://preview.redd.it/73rscop3we151.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=c83229e56d612450370b43b06910225701454c60
Providing this opportunity to our colleagues and future users of Tkeycoin from Asia is a friendly approach and most importantly, a strategic step on our part. After implementing QR codes, we are undoubtedly drawn into the convenience of this function, which we recommend to You:) If you like it, we will make QR codes on the Russian and English versions of the site.
Buying and withdrawing cryptocurrency to a Bankcard
On the site, you can now buy Bitcoin for pound
, and any other currency. This is a powerful automated service for instant exchange of fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies. The system works around the clock and seven days a week, allowing everyone to conduct exchanges at any time of the day and in the shortest possible time.
Withdrawal to a Bank card will be available until the end of the month, we finish the details, the page is available now, and the withdrawal itself will be activated during this week. You can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other currency right now.
These features are the future for the function of purchasing any product or service for TKEY at any point of sale, which will form the basis of the mobile app, quickly, conveniently, and most importantly, observing the letter of the law.
All we do is build an Empire that is being built before your eyes. Every service and product is connected, so any update promises the appearance of even more cool and effective features than before.
Buying cryptocurrency for pound, dollars, euros, and other currencies
At the end of February, we told you that we are working on building a payment service
that will include the provision of services: buy cryptocurrencies
, sell a cryptocurrency
, withdraw cryptocurrency to Bank cards, etc.
This day has come, now you can buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether USDT, Basic Attention Token (BAT), Algorand (ALGO), Tron (TRX), OKB (Token Okex.com
The purchase is available in any currency: Russian ruble, US Dollar, Euro, British pound, Ukrainian hryvnia, Indonesian rupiah, South Korean won, Japanese yen, Turkish Lira, Argentine peso.
As you can see, the currency corridors are quite extensive, which allows you to make exchanges fast and at a favorable rate. Just choose the right pair to exchange or buy, available fiat currencies
: RUB, USD, EUR, GBP, UAH, IDR, KRW, JPY, TRY, ARS, available cryptocurrencies
: BTC, ETH, BAT, USDT, ALGO, TRX, OKB.
Even if this wide list does not include the currency you want to buy, such as Bitcoin or USDT, it’s okay — the service will automatically convert your currency into the payment currency and the Bank will make the exchange. Exchanges take place within 1–3 minutes, it is enough to pass quick verification once, which allows you to work with a volume of > 15,000 euros per month.
Exchange of cryptocurrencies for pound, dollars, euros, and withdrawal of Bankcard
In addition to the fact that you can now easily buy a cryptocurrency for fiat currencies
, pound, dollars or any other, during this week we will finish work on the withdrawal to a Bank card
and you can easily withdraw your profit to the card, the most important thing is that this is a completely legal method, and all operations pass through banks and jurisdictions where work with digital assets is legalized.
This means that when you buy or make a withdrawal to the card, you get legal funds that are credited to you by the Bank or payment system.
If you are used to working with effective tools that work in a new way, or rather correctly and legally, then this service is for you. Fast crediting, easy exchange, a large selection of currency pairs, that’s what the company is betting on.
We work with the most reliable third-party partners to make your cryptocurrency process easy and convenient, and most importantly safe for You. The service supports plastic and virtual Bank cards VISA, MasterCard, MIR, and other payment systems for fast payment processing.
On the exchange page, you can choose any currency pair to exchange in the opposite direction, for example, GBP
Choose a suitable pair for exchange, available fiat currencies
: RUB, USD, EUR, GBP, UAH, IDR, KRW, JPY, TRY, ARS, available cryptocurrencies for exchange
: BTC, ETH, BAT, USDT, ALGO, TRX, OKB. How it works
When buying cryptocurrency for the first time, your Bank reserves (holds) the requested amount, then this amount is transferred to the authorization waiting state. As soon as the Bank freezes the fiat funds, the service fixes the exchange rate at the time of creating the application, reserves the cryptocurrency, and provides you with 30–40 minutes to complete verification. After successful verification, the service charges cryptocurrency to the wallet.
Verification takes 2–3 minutes and requires only one time to perform operations every day. The “Know Your Customer” (KYC) procedure is necessary to exchange cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies.
As you understand, you need to pass verification 1 time, regardless of whether you withdraw funds or buy currency, after passing verification, all services are available to You without any further confirmation.
Support for other currencies, including TKEY, will be added gradually and highlighted through service updates. As for the TKEY exchange, it will become available in exchange services after listing on the exchange. Listing on an exchange allows you to automate the exchange process, link the necessary services, and most importantly, the exchange provides liquidity, which is key when we talk about exchanging for a particular currency.
We will tell you more about the operation of the service and its advantages, chips, in a separate material dedicated to the withdrawal and purchase of cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies, as well as touch on various banking issues and tell you how you can combine the SWAP service
for more efficient exchange and withdrawal to the card.
By making an exchange or purchase of cryptocurrency, you help children and people who need our help. We deduct 0.1% of the profit from each transaction to charity funds.
This is the fastest and most comfortable way of charity, which allows you to bring together people who are not indifferent to other people’s problems. TKEY enables people to do good deeds, and the resulting turnover profit of 0.1% is sent to charity funds every month. Together with You, we create new opportunities for people in need who need help — “Big things have small beginnings”. How does it work?
You have made an exchange or purchase operation, the company has accumulated the volume of these operations for a month->the company has chosen a charity Fund->sent funds to the charity Fund’s account. Priority charity funds are children’s aid funds. You can always suggest a candidate for a particular Fund by sending a message to [[email protected]
). Why do we write Funds and not a Fund?
This is the first launch of the service, so depending on the monthly volume, we will focus on distributing funds to one charity or several. For example, if we have accumulated $ 10,000, we can distribute $ 5,000 to 2 funds. if we have accumulated $ 100, it is logical that we will only send this amount to 1 Fund. With the development of the service, we will be able to focus on several funds, which we will actively help due to the received volume.
New sections, improvements for existing services
Menu logic and site structure
The menu logic has been revised. now more items are available on the menu and they are divided into sections. Navigation through the sections has become much easier and more convenient. for some sections, QR codes are available for Russian and English-speaking audiences, and for representatives of Asian countries, all sections are available by QR code.
TKEYSPACE Promo Page
New blocks were added, the entire page was fully localized and is available in Chinese, Korean, English and Russian, and QR codes were added for easy navigation for the Asian audience.
Documentation for the exchange
We have already mentioned that there is a section for exchanges with the necessary documentation for listing, now it is available in English. In the next updates, it will be translated into Russian, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and Korean.
Market Data (Coin Data)
The market data section has been optimized for mobile apps. Charts are expanded and optimized page borders for most mobile devices, and you can search for cryptocurrencies and tokens that interest you.
Added answers to frequently asked questions in various sections of the site, You can find the information directly on the section page, for example, TKEY-QT, SWAP or Core. Right on the page there is a FAQ section, in which we disclose answers to questions, for example: How are You going to solve the scalability problem, or why did you choose Phoenix as the logo and symbol of the project, or how do you exchange cryptocurrency for pound or dollars? As you can see, you can get answers to different questions, depending on the topic of the site section.
For convenience, the site’s footer has been expanded and new sections (quick tabs) are included, which are also available in the QR-code format. In addition to various details, the footer is now accompanied by the company’s coat of arms — the Phoenix, which is the symbol of the entire community, the Phoenix Alliance.
Added page 404, which is also an integral part of the site. now when you go to a non-existent site page, all the necessary menu items are fully available to us, which will quickly Orient You and direct you to the desired section.
What is waiting for us in the nearest future?
In addition to various improvements, connecting services, our team has been working every day on other main areas of the Tkeycoin project, which are already being prepared for the next release and we will tell you what updates, what plans, events, and what else will be interesting this year.
Online conference with management
An online conference in question-answer format will be organized. The main task of the conference, in addition to questions and answers, is to discuss plans, talk about new directions, touch on issues of legislation, and analyze current issues of users.
The online meeting format will allow you to get feedback and discuss a large number of issues in a short time. Questions related to technical support and other questions that can be answered through the administration will not be discussed.
The meeting involves the development, constructive, and suggestions from users for further development of the Tkeycoin project. If you are interested in participating in the conference, you can also make business proposals during it, please use the time to your advantage. We work for you.
New content: reports, new categories, useful information
Based on user feedback, we introduce new categories to our content plan: Reports
This section will be accompanied by information about the work done by the team for the month, the format of submission — abstracts, highlights. This format will help establish feedback between users and developers. Question-answer
In addition to the content that we produce ourselves, users have questions that arise during the process of working with the project’s services, as well as during interaction with the project itself. To avoid making guesses and making up stories, we have introduced the question-answer category.
Users ask questions in comments, and the company prepares answers based on the questions and they are published in the post. Depending on the number of questions, the post generates all the answers, or the post is divided into parts if the number of questions for the past period was the largest. In addition to asking questions, you can make suggestions to the project, for example, about new features or directions.
This format also builds feedback and helps to improve all services. the most important thing is that it can not only help us but also you, as the offer and questions will help you focus on the tasks that the end-user wants to see.
TKEY-POOL (Tkeycoin pool)
We are completing the work and debugging of the official pool for Tkeycoin, this is a completely new approach for mining Tkeycoin. The pool will feature higher performance and stable architecture, a light interface, and objective commissions.
A pool is a highly loaded system that works 24/7/365, it turns out that such a product hides a sufficient number of lines of code and, most importantly, is built on a reliable architecture that can withstand +50000–100000 miners, not to mention the number of connected devices for this number of miners.
A cryptocurrency pool is a combination of the hardware power of many miners at once to increase the probability of finding a block. The reward for a block obtained by the pool is distributed among all participants.
The TKEY pool is developed taking into account the features of the Tkeycoin blockchain, including multi-blockchain, transaction model, hashing, blocks, and other nuances that are an upgrade of the blockchain among others. Together with the pool, the TKEY network is being tested: high loads, attacks, and other tests that show positive results, proving that the TKEY blockchain can work under any loads and is protected from attacks. Our task was to:
1. Stable system for handling high loads; 2. Adaptation pool for any software; 3. Connecting any hardware for mining cryptocurrency Tkeycoin; 4. Fair remuneration calculation; 5. Security.
The main goal is for any user, regardless of the software and hardware used, to be able to connect to Tkeycoin mining via a pool. The first releases will be accompanied by a simple user-friendly interface, easy connection, instructions for various mining programs that can be connected.
In future releases, we will optimize the operation of the pool, add new features, as well as tracking functions and other nice things. any suggestions from miners and the community are interesting to us and will be implemented, so do not hesitate to send your suggestions after the launch.
Work on the TkeySpace mobile app is also not standing still. We will soon release updates for TkeySpace
on Android and iOS.
This release is a complete transition to the most stable version of the mobile wallet. This means that after the update, even with the largest changes, the user will not need to completely reinstall or restore to use the new features, as before, just update the app via the AppStore
Between the previous update has been a sufficient amount of time, on average, updates are released once a month. This update will be one of the major ones. We are finishing work on the code to prepare the app for the new features that will be available this year. Besides, we are improving the app’s logic, data processing speed, optimizing the code, restoring order, and preparing for the global market.
Exchange, purchase of cryptocurrency and withdrawal to the Debit/Credit Card
In addition to pleasant optimizations, the app will display the exchange and withdrawal to a Bankcard, tab with an optimized page for exchange, withdrawal, and the purchase will be available directly in the mobile app. This upgrade will also capture the cryptocurrency exchange SWAP page, which can be evaluated after the update. Other features and new features will be announced by the developers immediately after the release.
The development team is finishing work on optimizing the SWAP service
. Regardless of updates, it is available in working mode 24/7/365. The team is working on improving the operation, optimizing the page, changing the interfaces, improving navigation, and speeding up query processing. This update is also among the upcoming ones, along with the pool, mobile wallets, and other news that will excite.
In the network statistics section, there are several sections that will be fixed — this is the hash rate of the network and the volume of Tkeycoin. Now the volume of Tkeycoin is displayed by mTKEY, and the graph itself indicates M TKEY, the user may incorrectly understand the volume of transactions in the network, so, given the current volume, it is advisable to switch the display to TKEY, and in the future switch to mTKEY for large volumes.
TKEY is divided into cryptograms (CryptoGramm, cgr), uTKEY (keys), and mTKEY. 1 TKEY = 100 000 000 cryptograms. 1 mTKEY = 100,000 cryptograms. 1 TKEY contains 1000 mTKEY. 1 mTKEY = 0.00100000 TKEY 1 uTKEY =100 cryptograms 1 TKEY contains 1,000,000 utkeys. 1 uTKEY (keys) = 0.00000100 TKEY 1 cgr = 0.00000001 TKEY
This issue has become the cause of mass discussions, disputes, investigations, the subject of memes, kitchen, and online conversations, that just did not happen, that TKEY is not taken anywhere, someone made guesses that we are waiting for everyone to run away, or TKEY is a world conspiracy and around some actors, you can write a book or shoot a great series, not worse than Breaking Bad.
Jokes, jokes, but the question is serious. Since the 4th quarter of last year, the company has been actively working on the issue of listing, prepared the necessary platform for this, held several meetings, negotiations, released the necessary products, figured out various transfers of funds to the blockchain, worked out many small things, many major issues that were behind the scenes. Everything is ready, and it’s time to start soon. This will be a surprise, believe it or not, and we will meet you on the stock exchanges :)
What other plans does the company have?
Enabling payment at retail outlets
After entering the exchange, we will actively engage in connecting payments to implement them and link them to TKEY. The plan, strategy, and legal component are ready.
This implies the development of payments and services that will expand the use of digital currencies in the commercial sphere. Application on the territory of Russia will depend on the Federal law on the CFA, in any case, we plan to analyze the law, after its release, to find a legal way to implement payments based on blockchain and digital assets. Therefore, until the law is released, we are keeping this initiative in the future, and we will work on other jurisdictions that will support it.
We left some plans behind the scenes, because they will make the greatest impact on the market and the value of our asset, and this — likes silence.
What useful materials will be released soon?
How to effectively use the SWAP service together with the exchange and purchase of cryptocurrency from a Bank card?
We will tell you in detail how to use these 2 services, how to save on payments and purchases, how to exchange tokens that are very difficult to exchange, how to quickly get money for them to the card, and much more.
The law CFA
Our opinion about the law of cryptocurrencies in Russia, what to pay attention to, what to prepare for, how to act if there is a complete ban. Let’s talk about legal nuances and banking practices.
In this material, we will talk about the blockchain, analyze the issues of the system, expand the questions on attacks, payment processing, and touch on the system of multiple chains. The article suggests your suggestions, perhaps someone will have ideas that we will implement in the chain. At the end,
Don’t forget to ask questions in the comments or send suggestions to [[email protected]
) we will be happy to respond and consider your requests for any of our services. Collaboration, feedback, help us make the whole platform better.
Thank you for being with us! Until new meetings, stay tuned for news, updates, because the most unexpected news comes spontaneously.
12/20/13 K: Hey man, it's K. Is your name D? Anyway...getting money onto BTC-e can be tricky if you are trying to deposit USD. I kind of just had to learn by trial an error because I didn't know anyone that could teach me, because i am the only one that invests in crypto currency that I know. submitted by
Anyway, coinbase is probably the best bitcoin wallet service in the United States. It is definitely the largest and most reputable. Use this referral link: Once you sign up using this link, it will give us both some free money after you have purchased some bitcoins. The process takes a little while to get all started up, but it is worth it because it is so easy to use after. You can instantly buy bitcoins, and then use those bitcoins to send to BTC-E to purchase whatever other coins you want. I invest pretty heavily in LTC. The only way I have been able to do that is by buying bitcoins on coinbase, and then sending them to btc-e. Let me know if this works for you..
K: Let me know if the email reached you
D: Yep. I got it. Two to three days for the deposit verification into my bank account. Thanks for the advice. I take it you work in finance?
K: Yeah I do :). Coinbase takes a bit for the verification process but it is super easy to use after that. When you sell bitcoins, they just deposit the money right back into your bank account. It's the easiest service that I have found that is reputable.
D: Have you ever tried trading for small margins? I made about 0.60 USD since I started last night. I got my initial funding by mining FTC. I'm trading BTC.
D: Actually up to 10.81 after my last trade. Got in at 625 and sold at 639.
K: I mainly buy and hold for long term. I bought some NMC to flip, but it dropped in value steeply so im still holding it. I buy more every time it dips. Sent via wireless, please excuse any typos...
D: Cool. No worry about typos. I type all day at work so don't mind as well. I give up on accuracy at 5. My friends also aren't very much into crytpo currencies. I like the technical aspect but I'm more interested in trading on BTC-E. I must have watched about 12 hours of bitcoinwisdom since yesterday. It was my first time analyzing real time data. I can't believe how much info you can obtain just from identifying patterns. I have a quick question about a 401k if you don't mind. So far my year to date is 26%, is that good?
K: Yes, very good. You must have had it set up aggressively with the investing choices (which is better to do when you are young). Good stock market returns are around 12% so you are more than double, but don't be surprised if there is a correction to lower on the returns there too.
D: Yes. I'm over 50% in small cap and am young. Is there anyway to avoid that correction by reallocating?
K: Nah, just leave it. At least you have a 401k, most people are paycheck to paycheck
D: Defiantly. I can't imagine how some of my co-workers get by paying overdraft fees each month. Have a good night. I'll let you know when I buy some coins on that site.
K: Cool, let me know. Let's make some money! :)
12/22/13 D: Howdy K, I'm still waiting on the deposits in my bank account by Coinbase. Thanks for the referral link, I'm looking forward to that free $5 of BTC. Up to $12.30 USD on BTCE, looking to break $13 tonight. Can't wait to get some more trading funds.
K: It takes a bit for the initial deposit. I think it took my bank almost a week :(. Once you are done though everything is quick. If you add a credit card too, you can buy up to 10 btc instantly per week
D: Awesome. Have any suggestions? (pic) attaches picture of small gains trade history
K: What do you mean by sugggestions? Like on your trading?
K: Can you deposit more money? It looks like you aren't fully able to enjoy the full gains of your trades because the amounts that you are trading are a little small. If possible I would suggest buying 1 btc when the price is the lowest of the day, and then trade from there..
K: Also i would stay away from ftc for time being
12/24/13 K: Hey bud, i just got some free money from coinbase :) did you get it too? Pretty cool huh?
D: Yes sir. 4 days for my order to fill, can't wait.
12/25/13 D: Merry Christmas!
K: Merry xmas! If you add a credit card you can instant buy up to 10btc. What other coins are you buying right now? I mainly just have BTC and LTC
D: Does the credit card have to be a Visa? I'm mining about 8 FTC per day and trading for BTC at market. Then I trade BTC/USD for 0.10 - 0.40 profits. Working on a spreadsheet right now which you can see if you are interested.
D: spreadsheet sends corny orange and grey spreadsheet
K: Think it can be mastercard or amex too...
K: Nice LTC rally today :). I just picked up more LTC yesterday too
D: I tried adding a mastercard and discover but it wouldn't work. I've been watching the rally. Waiting to buy in to BTC at $656.
K: Shit that sucks, email support and ask if they accept mastercard? I find that odd that they would only accept visa
D: No worries. Deposit should clear 12/31
12/29/2013 K: Hows it going? Did you get your btc?
D: Hey K. Not yet, they will be deposited 12/31. Bought at $651
K: Nice so you are already up :)
K: How much did you buy? You should buy some and hold long term if possible too
1/2/2014 D: Happy New Year, K. I only bought 0.2 BTC for about $131. I'm at a total balance of $179.07. Started mining FTC again for the few extra dollars per day.
I think I read somewhere that there is a cap of 21 million BTC that will ever be in existence. 21 million on the internet is subtle considering how many views cat videos get on youtube. 21 million out 7 billion people is even smaller. Sometimes I find it hard to imagine millions and billions but I always think about this one thing: 1 million seconds is about 11 days, 1 billion seconds around 31 years. I'm very optimistic about the long term. Probably going to set aside at least 1 BTC in the near future.
Have you ever seen BTC listed on ebay? I created an auction yesterday for 0.1 BTC, $120.00. It sold within 3 hours but the buyer flaked out after I told them they would be receiving the BTC-E redeemable code in the mail. They created a dispute stating that the ebay/pal accounts were accessed by an unauthorized third party which is currently in process. I didn't lose anything and actually sold back the 0.1 at $775 after buying at $740 last night. I'm considering re-listing some BTC on Ebay but don't want to deal with reversed payments. Have any insight?
K: I heard ebay can be a nightmare with sellers getting scammed by buyers with chargebacks. If you are going to do it, I would recommend selling maybe paper wallets only, that you actually have to mail to them. That way you can have a tracking number for your shipping. If you want to sell through paypal, be careful, I think any mention of crypto currency can get your account frozen. Not positive about that though. Try selling to people on the forums, I think that would be easy. Honestly, I think just buying what you can and holding long is the best option to make the best returns. Look how the market has gone today D
K: 21 million BTC is not even enough btc for each person in my state to have 1, let alone the United States, or the entire world. As long as the demand stays high, the price could become astronomical if some major players like wall street enter the game. Just think, if Wall Street threw like 100 mill at Bitcoins (which is not that far-fetched), the price would probably jump to like 3-4k per BTC after that 1 day alone…
D: I don't think I'm going to sell anything else on Ebay until I come up with a better way of protecting against charge backs. The market has been awesome today.
D: That's very true. I think my next purchase will be 0.5 BTC to keep in my wallet.
K: Have you seen the stuff on zerocoin? Looks interesting, should be out this year...there has been a lotta hype around it..
D: Haven't heard anything about it until just reading an article now. Looks interesting and they make a good argument about anonymity. I only read over it briefly, but it appears what they're proposing would add an additional transaction fee the the process. Cool concept. Are you good with candlestick charts and patterns?
K: Somewhat. I learned them in college but stopped using them until now, so I am pretty rusty…I get the concepts and all, but I am not a professional at them by any means. I saw my buddies wallet the other day…he is pretty stacked. Over 250btc and over 1000 LTC!
D: That is pretty stacked. About 500k stacked, right? Are you familiar with the creator(s) of bitcoin "Satoshi Nakamoto"? Is it actually one person? There are quite a few claims as to who or whom Satoshi may be.
K: Im not familiar, i heard it was a team of people under that one name
D: I wonder if it was created by a goverment. Like some NSA type agency. Kinda like how the darknet started off as a Navy project.
K: Nah I doubt it. Government wouldn't create something that could possibly pose a threat to its own currency.
D: That's a good point. The future of BTC is exciting.
1/6/2014 D: Started trading NMC recently. Check ou the spreadsheet attaches another shitsheet Still just testing the water before I start making bigger trades. Buy any more BTC/LTC lately?
K: Cool man.. Year i got some LTC at $16 right before it went back up :)
1/7/2014 D: Nice buy. Catch the market today? China's equivalent of Ebay banned the sell of btc, ltc, mining gear, etc.
My understanding on of China: China’s central bank regulated the virtual currency for the first time on Dec. 5 by banning financial institutions and payment providers from conducting transactions in the virtual currency
Chinese central bank officials told third-party payment service providers to stop offering clearing services to online Bitcoin exchanges
China's Ebay bans sell of BTC in accordance to the central bank's ban effective Jan. 31. Acting as a clearing house of BTC.
I'm now $180 long NMC. I might invest 1k soon on BTC, any thoughts on an upcoming entry point?
K: Hmmm not quite sure on entry point. I am in the red as of today on NMC. Im trying to get it back to 0.01 btc to convert my nmc back to btc, i missed it on the last push. If you are investing 1k and holding long, then any of the daily ups and downs dont matter because in the long run we hope it will be way up. If i were you, i would just wait for a big red candle and then try to by at the bottom. Maybe $800/btc is good?
K: The part that sucks is that it seems like BTC value works so hard to creep up and up slowly, and right when it seems like it is going to pick up some momentum, BAM! More bad news comes out and slams the market. This cycle seems to keep repeating over and over right now…
1/9/14 K: I got 2 more btc :)
1/27/14 D: Sorry, haven't check this email account for a few weeks. Been working a lot of OT. What price did you buy in at on 1/9? I just sold a majority of my coins for cash. I picked up 3 LTC at 19.50 though. What's gonna happen 2/1/14?
Also, do you know how long it would take for a tax return check if you have your taxes in prior to the 31st? I finished those 2 weeks ago if it matters.
The other day the dow finished pretty low. Do you have any thoughts about the US economy over the next 6-12 months?
K: What’s up man…huge dump off of BTC right now on almost all exchanges (except gox which is bs anyway). I bought some more LTC at around $19 too.
I am holding all for long haul, although it would have been profitable to sell this morning, and re-buy after this dump off. I have no idea what is going to happen on 2/1. Last time when senate met, everyone thought the party was over, and then there was a huge rally in prices instead.
I am trying to figure out the right price to buy more btc right now… what do you think?
D: Sorry. Copied and pasted instead of attaching the pic. I think we'll have to see if it breaks that support. What about the arrest of that guy at bitinstant? *attaches picture of BTC 4h chart with a random line pointing downward
K: I don’t think that one arrest will tank the market like that. I am wondering if the confiscated silk road funds are being trickled through the exchanges by the feds. It seems weird the sell off right now. It almost seems systematic. Like there is a huge sell off that clears all the buy orders. Then it is calm for a few minutes, then repeat. Really strange…
D: But I wonder how they brought charges on him? Could they hold anyone accountable who sold BTC to a person using it to buy drugs on silk road? If the Feds are selling that would explain it. They seized 144,000 and they're saying the owner of silkroad may have 600,000 stashed in a wallet.
K: I think the number is more like 30,000 btc
D: The spokesperson says the approximately 26,000 Bitcoins seized are just the ones that were held in Silk Road accounts. In other words, it’s Silk Road users’ Bitcoin. The FBI has not been able to get to Ulbricht’s personal Bitcoin yet. “That’s like another $80 million worth,” she said, explaining that it was held separately and is encrypted. If that is indeed what he’s holding, that’s close to 600,000 Bitcoin all together or about 5% of all Bitcoin currently in existence. (Update 10-25: The FBI says it’s seized 144,000 Bitcoins, or about $28 million, that it believes belong to Ross Ulbricht.)
K: I don’t understand how they were able to confiscate them, when bitcoins are not yet considered money, so they shouldn’t fall under forfeiture rules…
1/17/18 - D: Wish you the best K and hope you held those coins longer than I did.
TLDR: Meet a friend in December 2013 that gave me advice to buy and hold BTC long term. This is one of our email threads from around that time, edited to remove personally identifying information. I used all my bitcoin for pizza following the fall of Mt. Gox and the subsequent bubble burst.
Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me? submitted by
I know, I know, a healthy debate is healthy and all - and maybe I'm just not used to the tumult and jostling which would be inevitable in a real live open major debate about something as vital as Bitcoin.
And I really do agree with the starry-eyed idealists who say Bitcoin is vital
. Imperfect as it may be, it certainly does seem to represent the first real chance we've had in the past few hundred years to try to steer our civilization and our planet away from the dead-ends and disasters which our government-issued debt-based currencies keep dragging us into.
But this particular debate, about the blocksize, doesn't seem to be getting resolved at all.
Pretty much every time I read one of the long-form major arguments contributed by Bitcoin "thinkers" who I've come to respect over the past few years, this weird thing happens: I usually end up finding myself nodding my head and agreeing
with whatever particular piece I'm reading!
But that should be impossible - because a lot of these people vehemently disagree!
So how can both sides sound so convincing to me, simply depending on whichever piece I currently
happen to be reading?
Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just a gullible idiot? Just Do It?
When you first look at it or hear about it, increasing the size seems almost like a no-brainer: The "big-block" supporters say just increase the blocksize to 20 MB or 8 MB, or do some kind of scheduled or calculated regular increment which tries to take into account the capabilities of the infrastructure and the needs of the users. We do have the bandwidth and the memory to at least increase the blocksize now, they say - and we're probably gonna continue to have more bandwidth and memory in order to be able to keep increasing the blocksize for another couple decades - pretty much like everything else computer-based we've seen over the years (some of this stuff is called by names such as "Moore's Law").
On the other hand, whenever the "small-block" supporters warn about the utter catastrophe that a failed hard-fork would mean, I get totally freaked by their possible doomsday scenarios, which seem totally plausible and terrifying - so I end up feeling that the only way I'd want to go with a hard-fork would be if there was some pre-agreed "triggering" mechanism where the fork itself would only actually "switch on" and take effect provided that some "supermajority" of the network (of who? the miners? the full nodes?) had signaled (presumably via some kind of totally reliable p2p trustless software-based voting system?) that they do indeed "pre-agree" to actually adopt the pre-scheduled fork (and thereby avoid any
possibility whatsoever of the precious blockchain somehow tragically splitting into two and pretty much killing this cryptocurrency off in its infancy).
So in this "conservative" scenario, I'm talking about wanting at least 95% pre-adoption agreement - not the mere 75% which I recall some proposals call for, which seems like it could easily lead to a 75/25 blockchain split.
But this time, with this long drawn-out blocksize debate, the core devs, and several other important voices who have become prominent opinion shapers over the past few years, can't seem to come to any real agreement on this. Weird split among the devs
As far as I can see, there's this weird split: Gavin and Mike seem to be the only people among the devs who really want a major blocksize increase - and all the other devs seem to be vehemently against them.
But then on the other hand, the users
seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major increase.
And there are meta-questions about governance, about about why this didn't come out as a BIP, and what the availability of Bitcoin XT means.
And today or yesterday there was this really cool big-blockian exponential graph based on doubling the blocksize every two years for twenty years, reminding us of the pure mathematical
fact that 210
is indeed about 1000 - but not really addressing any of the game-theoretic
points raised by the small-blockians. So a lot of the users seem to like it, but when so few devs say anything positive about it, I worry: is this just yet more exponential chart porn?
On the one hand, Gavin's and Mike's blocksize increase proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer to me.
And on the other hand, all the other devs seem to be against them. Which is weird - not what I'd initially expected at all (but maybe I'm just a fool who's seduced by exponential chart porn?).
Look, I don't mean to be rude to any of the core devs, and I don't want to come off like someone wearing a tinfoil hat - but it has to cross people's minds that the powers that be (the Fed and the other central banks and the governments that use their debt-issued money to run this world into a ditch) could very well be much more scared shitless than they're letting on. If we assume that the powers that be are using their usual playbook and tactics, then it could be worth looking at the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, to get an idea of how they might try to attack Bitcoin. So, what I'm saying is, they do have a track record of sending in "experts" to try to derail projects and keep everyone enslaved to the Creature from Jekyll Island. I'm just saying. So, without getting ad hominem - let's just make sure that our ideas can really stand scrutiny on their own - as Nick Szabo says, we need to make sure there is "more computer science, less noise" in this debate.
When Gavin Andresen first came out with the 20 MB thing - I sat back and tried to imagine if I could download 20 MB in 10 minutes (which seems to be one of the basic mathematical and technological constraints here - right?)
I figured, "Yeah, I could download that" - even with my crappy internet connection.
And I guess the telecoms might
be nice enough to continue to double our bandwidth every two years for the next couple decades – if we ask them politely?
On the other hand - I think we should be careful about entrusting the financial freedom of the world into the greedy hands of the telecoms companies - given all their shady shenanigans over the past few years in many countries. After decades of the MPAA and the FBI trying to chip away at BitTorrent, lately PirateBay has been hard to access. I would say it's quite likely that certain persons at institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and the Fed might be very, very motivated to see Bitcoin fail - so we shouldn't be too sure about scaling plans which depend on the willingness of companies Verizon and AT&T to double our bandwith every two years. Maybe the real important hardware buildout challenge for a company like 21 (and its allies such as Qualcomm) to take on now would not be "a miner in every toaster" but rather "Google Fiber Download and Upload Speeds in every Country, including China".
I think I've read all the major stuff on the blocksize debate from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Adam Back, and Jeff Garzick and several other major contributors - and, oddly enough, all
their arguments seem reasonable - heck even Luke-Jr seems reasonable to me on the blocksize debate, and I always thought he was a whackjob overly influenced by superstition and numerology - and now today I'm reading the article by Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - and I find myself agreeing with him too!
I say to myself: What's going on with me? How can I possibly agree with all
of these guys, if they all have such vehemently opposing viewpoints?
I mean, think back to the glory days of a couple of years ago, when all we were hearing was how this amazing unprecedented grassroots innovation called Bitcoin was going to benefit everyone from all walks of life, all around the world:
- wealthy individuals trying to preserve and transport their wealth across space and across time
- iPhone and Android users who want to buy a latte on their smartphone at Starbucks
- Venezuelans and Argentinians and Cypriots and Russian oligarchs and Greeks and anyone else whose state-backed currency sucks
- unbanked Africans who will someday be texting around money via SMS messages on their cellphones
- online content providers who will finally be able to get paid via micropayments
- smart contracts and stock brokering and lawyering and land deeding and the refrigerator calling out to order more milk and distributed anonymous corporations (DACs) automatically negotiating and adjusting driverless taxicab fares in the Uber-future of the Internet of Things
...basically the entire human race transacting everything into the blockchain.
(Although let me say that I think that people's focus on ideas like driverless cabs creating realtime fare markets based on supply and demand seems to be setting our sights a bit low as far as Bitcoin's abilities to correct the financial world's capital-misallocation problems which seem to have been made possible by infinite debt-based fiat. I would have hoped that a Bitcoin-based economy would solve much more noble, much more urgent capital-allocation problems than driverless taxicabs creating fare markets or refrigerators ordering milk on the internet of things. I was thinking more along the lines that Bitcoin would finally strangle dead-end debt-based deadly-toxic energy industries like fossil fuels and let profitable clean energy industries like Thorium LFTRs take over - but that's another topic. :=) Paradoxes in the blocksize debate
Let me summarize the major paradoxes I see here:
(1) Regarding the people (the majority of the core devs) who are against
a blocksize increase: Well, the small-blocks arguments do seem kinda weird, and certainly not very "populist", in the sense that: When on earth have end-users ever heard of a computer technology whose capacity didn't grow pretty much exponentially year-on-year? All the cool new technology we've had - from hard drives to RAM to bandwidth - started out pathetically tiny and grew to unimaginably huge over the past few decades - and all our software has in turn gotten massively powerful and big and complex (sometimes bloated) to take advantage of the enormous new capacity available.
But now suddenly, for the first time in the history of technology, we seem to have a majority of the devs, on a major p2p
project - saying: "Let's not scale the system up. It could be dangerous. It might break the whole system (if the hard-fork fails)."
I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, maybe someone else could enlighten me, but I don't think I've ever seen this sort of thing happen in the last few decades of the history of technology - devs arguing against
scaling up p2p technology to take advantage of expected growth in infrastructure capacity.
(2) But... on the other hand... the dire warnings of the small-blockians about what could happen if a hard-fork were to fail
- wow, they do seem really dire! And these guys are pretty much all heavyweight, experienced programmers and/or game theorists and/or p2p open-source project managers.
I must say, that nearly all of the long-form arguments I've read - as well as many, many of the shorter comments I've read from many users in the threads, whose names I at least have come to more-or-less recognize over the past few months and years on reddit and bitcointalk - have been amazingly impressive in their ability to analyze all aspects of the lifecycle and management of open-source software projects, bringing up lots of serious points which I could never have come up with, and which seem to come from long experience with programming and project management - as well as dealing with economics and human nature (eg, greed - the game-theory stuff).
So a lot of really smart and experienced people with major expertise in various areas ranging from programming to management to game theory to politics to economics have been making some serious, mature, compelling arguments.
But, as I've been saying, the only problem to me is: in many of these cases, these arguments are vehemently in opposition to each other! So I find myself agreeing with pretty much all of them, one by one - which means the end result is just a giant contradiction.
I mean, today we have Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, arguing (quite cogently and convincingly to me), that it would be dangerous to increase the blocksize. And this seems to be a guy who would know a few things about scaling out a massive global p2p network - since the protocol which he invented, BitTorrent, is now apparently responsible for like a third of the traffic on the internet (and this despite the long-term concerted efforts of major evil players such as the MPAA and the FBI to shut the whole thing down). Was the BitTorrent analogy too "glib"?
By the way - I would like to go on a slight tangent here and say that one of the main reasons why I felt so "comfortable" jumping on the Bitcoin train back a few years ago, when I first heard about it and got into it, was the whole rough analogy I saw with BitTorrent.
I remembered the perhaps paradoxical fact that when a torrent is more
popular (eg, a major movie release that just came out last week), then it actually becomes faster
to download. More people want it, so more people have a few pieces of it, so more people are able to get it from each other. A kind of self-correcting economic feedback loop, where more demand directly leads to more supply.
(BitTorrent manages to pull this off by essentially adding a certain structure to the file being shared, so that it's not simply like an append-only list
of 1 MB blocks, but rather more like an random-access or indexed array
of 1 MB chunks. Say you're downloading a film which is 700 MB. As soon as your "client" program has downloaded a single 1-MB chunk - say chunk #99 - your "client" program instantly turns into a "server" program as well - offering that chunk #99 to other clients. From my simplistic understanding, I believe the Bitcoin protocol does something similar, to provide a p2p architecture. Hence my - perhaps naïve - assumption that Bitcoin already had the right algorithms / architecture / data structure to scale.)
The efficiency of the BitTorrent network seemed to jive with that "network law" (Metcalfe's Law?) about fax machines. This law states that the more fax machines there are, the more valuable the network of fax machines becomes. Or the value of the network grows on the order of the square of the number of nodes.
This is in contrast with other technology like cars, where the more
you have, the worse
things get. The more cars there are, the more traffic jams you have, so things start going downhill. I guess this is because highway space is limited - after all, we can't pave over the entire countryside, and we never did get those flying cars we were promised, as David Graeber laments in a recent essay in The Baffler magazine :-)
And regarding the "stress test" supposedly happening right now in the middle of this ongoing blocksize debate, I don't know what worries me more: the fact that it apparently is taking only $5,000 to do a simple kind of DoS on the blockchain - or the fact that there are a few rumors swirling around saying that the unknown company doing the stress test shares the same physical mailing address with a "scam" company?
Or maybe we should just be worried that so much of this debate is happening on a handful of forums which are controlled by some guy named theymos who's already engaged in some pretty "contentious" or "controversial" behavior like blowing a million dollars on writing forum software (I guess he never heard that reddit.com software is open-source)?
So I worry that the great promise of "decentralization" might be more fragile than we originally thought. Scaling
Anyways, back to Metcalfe's Law: with virtual stuff, like torrents and fax machines, the more the merrier. The more people downloading a given movie, the faster it arrives - and the more people own fax machines, the more valuable the overall fax network.
So I kindof (naïvely?) assumed that Bitcoin, being "virtual" and p2p, would somehow scale up the same magical way BitTorrrent did. I just figured that more people using it would somehow automatically make it stronger and faster.
But now a lot of devs have started talking in terms of the old "scarcity" paradigm, talking about blockspace being a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" - which seems kinda scary, and antithetical to much of the earlier rhetoric we heard about Bitcoin (the stuff about supporting our favorite creators with micropayments, and the stuff about Africans using SMS to send around payments).
Look, when some asshole is in line in front of you at the cash register and he's holding up the line so they can run his credit card
to buy a bag of Cheeto's, we tend to get pissed off at the guy - clogging up our expensive global electronic payment infrastructure to make a two-dollar purchase. And that's on a fairly efficient centralized system - and presumably after a year or so, VISA and the guy's bank can delete or compress the transaction in their SQL databases.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if some guy buys a coffee on the blockchain, or if somebody pays an online artist $1.99 for their work - then that transaction, a few bytes or so, has to live on the blockchain forever?
Or is there some "pruning" thing that gets rid of it after a while?
And this could lead to another question: Viewed from the perspective of double-entry bookkeeping, is the blockchain "world-wide ledger" more like the "balance sheet" part of accounting, i.e. a snapshot
assets and liabilities? Or is it more like the "cash flow" part of accounting, i.e. a journal
revenues and expenses?
When I think of thousands of machines around the globe having to lug around multiple identical copies of a multi-gigabyte file containing some asshole's coffee purchase forever and ever... I feel like I'm ideologically drifting in one direction (where I'd end up also being against really cool stuff like online micropayments and Africans banking via SMS)... so I don't want to go there.
But on the other hand, when really experienced and battle-tested veterans with major experience in the world of open-souce programming and project management (the "small-blockians") warn of the catastrophic consequences of a possible failed hard-fork, I get freaked out and I wonder if Bitcoin really was destined to be a settlement layer for big transactions. Could the original programmer(s) possibly weigh in?
And I don't mean to appeal to authority - but heck, where the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto in all this? I do understand that he/she/they would want to maintain absolute anonymity - but on the other hand, I assume SN wants Bitcoin to succeed (both for the future of humanity - or at least for all the bitcoins SN allegedly holds :-) - and I understand there is a way that SN can cryptographically sign a message - and I understand that as the original developer of Bitcoin, SN had some very specific opinions about the blocksize... So I'm kinda wondering of Satoshi could weigh in from time to time. Just to help out a bit. I'm not saying "Show us a sign" like a deity or something - but damn it sure would be fascinating and possibly very helpful if Satoshi gave us his/hetheir 2 satoshis worth at this really confusing juncture. Are we using our capacity wisely?
I'm not a programming or game-theory whiz, I'm just a casual user who has tried to keep up with technology over the years.
It just seems weird to me that here we have this massive supercomputer (500 times more powerful than the all the supercomputers in the world combined) doing fairly straightforward "embarassingly parallel" number-crunching operations to secure a p2p world-wide ledger called the blockchain to keep track of a measly 2.1 quadrillion tokens spread out among a few billion addresses - and a couple of years ago you had people like Rick Falkvinge saying the blockchain would someday be supporting multi-million-dollar letters of credit for international trade and you had people like Andreas Antonopoulos saying the blockchain would someday allow billions of "unbanked" people to send remittances around the village or around the world dirt-cheap - and now suddenly in June 2015 we're talking about blockspace as a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" and partially centralized, corporate-sponsored "Level 2" vaporware like Lightning Network and some mysterious company is "stess testing" or "DoS-ing" the system by throwing away a measly $5,000 and suddenly it sounds like the whole system could eventually head right back into PayPal and Western Union territory again, in terms of expensive fees.
When I got into Bitcoin, I really was heavily influenced by vague analogies with BitTorrent: I figured everyone would just have tiny little like utorrent-type program running on their machine (ie, Bitcoin-QT or Armory or Mycelium etc.).
I figured that just like anyone can host a their own blog or webserver, anyone would be able to host their own bank.
Yeah, Google and and Mozilla and Twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp did come along and build stuff on top of TCP/IP, so I did expect a bunch of companies to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol as well. But I still figured the basic unit of bitcoin client software powering the overall system would be small and personal and affordable and p2p - like a bittorrent client - or at the most, like a cheap server hosting a blog or email server.
And I figured there would be a way at the software level, at the architecture level, at the algorithmic level, at the data structure level - to let the thing scale - if not infinitely, at least fairly massively and gracefully - the same way the BitTorrent network has.
Of course, I do also understand that with BitTorrent, you're sharing a read-only object (eg, a movie) - whereas with Bitcoin, you're achieving distributed trustless consensus and appending it to a write-only (or append-only) database.
So I do understand that the problem which BitTorrent solves is much simpler than the problem which Bitcoin sets out to solve.
But still, it seems that there's got
to be a way to make this thing scale. It's p2p and it's got 500 times more computing power than all the supercomputers in the world combined - and so many brilliant and motivated and inspired people want this thing to succeed! And Bitcoin could be our civilization's last chance to steer away from the oncoming debt-based ditch of disaster we seem to be driving into!
It just seems that Bitcoin has got
to be able to scale somehow - and all these smart people working together should be able to come up with a solution which pretty much everyone can agree - in advance - will
Right? Right? A (probably irrelevant) tangent on algorithms and architecture and data structures
I'll finally weigh with my personal perspective - although I might be biased due to my background (which is more on the theoretical side of computer science).
My own modest - or perhaps radical - suggestion would be to ask whether we're really looking at all the best possible algorithms and architectures and data structures out there.
From this perspective, I sometimes worry that the overwhelming majority of the great minds working on the programming and game-theory stuff might come from a rather specific, shall we say "von Neumann" or "procedural" or "imperative" school of programming (ie, C and Python and Java programmers).
It seems strange to me that such a cutting-edge and important computer project would have so little participation from the great minds at the other
end of the spectrum of programming paradigms - namely, the "functional" and "declarative" and "algebraic" (and co-algebraic!) worlds.
For example, I was struck in particular by statements I've seen here and there (which seemed rather hubristic or lackadaisical to me - for something as important as Bitcoin
), that the specification
of Bitcoin and the blockchain doesn't really exist in any form other than the reference implementation(s)
languages such as C or Python?). Curry-Howard anyone?
I mean, many computer scientists are aware of the Curry-Howard isomorophism, which basically says that the relationship between a theorem and its proof is equivalent to the relationship between a specification and its implementation. In other words, there is a long tradition in mathematics (and in computer programming) of:
- separating the compact (and easy-to-check) statement of a theorem from the messy (and hard-to-check) details of its proof(s);
- separating the specification of a system from its implementation(s); and
- being able to prove that an implementation does indeed satisfy its specification.
And it's not exactly "turtles all the way down" either: a specification is generally simple and compact enough that a good programmer can usually simply visually inspect it to determine if it is indeed "correct" - something which is very difficult, if not impossible, to do with a program written in a procedural, implementation-oriented language such as C or Python or Java.
So I worry that we've got this tradition, from the open-source github C/Java programming tradition, of never actually writing our "specification", and only writing the "implementation". In mission-critical military-grade programming projects (which often use languages like Ada or Maude) this is simply not allowed. It would seem that a project as mission-critical as Bitcoin - which could literally be crucial for humanity's continued survival - should also use this kind of military-grade software development approach.
And I'm not saying rewrite the implementations in these kind of theoretical languages. But it might be helpful if the C/Python/Java programmers in the Bitcoin imperative programming world could build some bridges to the Maude/Haskell/ML programmers of the functional and algebraic programming worlds to see if any kind of useful cross-pollination might take place - between specifications and implementations.
For example, the JavaFAN formal analyzer for multi-threaded Java programs (developed using tools based on the Maude language) was applied to the Remote Agent AI program aboard NASA's Deep Space 1 shuttle, written in Java - and it took only a few minutes using formal mathematical reasoning to detect a potential deadlock which would have occurred years later during the space mission when the damn spacecraft was already way out around Pluto.
And "the Maude-NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Protocol Analyzer (Maude-NPA) is a tool used to provide security proofs of cryptographic protocols and to search for protocol flaws and cryptosystem attacks."
These are open-source formal reasoning tools developed by DARPA and used by NASA and the US Navy to ensure that program implementations satisfy their specifications. It would be great if some of the people involved in these kinds of projects could contribute to help ensure the security and scalability of Bitcoin.
But there is a wide abyss between the kinds of programmers who use languages like Maude and the kinds of programmers who use languages like C/Python/Java - and it can be really hard to get the two worlds to meet. There is a bit of rapprochement between these language communities in languages which might be considered as being somewhere in the middle, such as Haskell and ML. I just worry that Bitcoin might be turning into being an exclusively C/Python/Java project (with the algorithms and practitioners traditionally of that community), when it could be more advantageous if it also had some people from the functional and algebraic-specification and program-verification community involved as well. The thing is, though: the theoretical practitioners are big on "semantics" - I've heard them say stuff like "Yes but a C / C++ program has no easily identifiable semantics". So to get them involved, you really have to first be able to talk about what
your program does (specification) - before proceeding to describe how
it does it (implementation). And writing high-level specifications is typically very hard using the syntax and semantics of languages like C and Java and Python - whereas specs are fairly easy to write in Maude - and not only that, they're executable, and you state and verify properties about them - which provides for the kind of debate Nick Szabo was advocating ("more computer science, less noise"). Imagine if we had an executable algebraic specification of Bitcoin in Maude, where we could formally reason about and verify certain crucial game-theoretical properties - rather than merely hand-waving and arguing and deploying and praying.
And so in the theoretical programming community you've got major research on various logics such as Girard's Linear Logic (which is resource-conscious) and Bruni and Montanari's Tile Logic (which enables "pasting" bigger systems together from smaller ones in space and time), and executable algebraic specification languages such as Meseguer's Maude (which would be perfect for game theory modeling, with its functional modules for specifying the deterministic parts of systems and its system modules for specifiying non-deterministic parts of systems, and its parameterized skeletons for sketching out the typical architectures of mobile systems, and its formal reasoning and verification tools and libraries which have been specifically applied to testing and breaking - and fixing - cryptographic protocols).
And somewhat closer to the practical hands-on world, you've got stuff like Google's MapReduce and lots of Big Data database languages developed by Google as well. And yet here we are with a mempool growing dangerously big for RAM on a single machine, and a 20-GB append-only list as our database - and not much debate on practical results from Google's Big Data databases.
(And by the way: maybe I'm totally ignorant for asking this, but I'll ask anyways: why the hell does the mempool have to stay in RAM? Couldn't it work just as well if it were stored temporarily on the hard drive?)
And you've got CalvinDB out of Yale which apparently provides an ACID layer on top of a massively distributed database.
Look, I'm just an armchair follower cheering on these projects. I can barely manage to write a query in SQL, or read through a C or Python or Java program. But I would argue two points here: (1) these languages may be too low-level and "non-formal" for writing and modeling and formally reasoning about and proving properties of mission-critical specifications
- and (2) there seem to be some Big Data tools already deployed by institutions such as Google and Yale which support global petabyte-size databases on commodity boxes with nice properties such as near-real-time and ACID - and I sometimes worry that the "core devs" might be failing to review the literature (and reach out to fellow programmers) out there to see if there might be some formal program-verification and practical Big Data tools out there which could be applied to coming up with rock-solid, 100% consensus proposals to handle an issue such as blocksize scaling, which seems to have become much more intractable than many people might have expected.
I mean, the protocol solved the hard stuff: the elliptical-curve stuff and the Byzantine General stuff. How the heck can we be falling down on the comparatively "easier" stuff - like scaling the blocksize?
It just seems like defeatism to say "Well, the blockchain is already 20-30 GB and it's gonna be 20-30 TB ten years from now - and we need 10 Mbs bandwidth now and 10,000 Mbs bandwidth 20 years from - assuming the evil Verizon and AT&T actually give us that - so let's just become a settlement platform and give up on buying coffee or banking the unbanked or doing micropayments, and let's push all that stuff into some corporate-controlled vaporware without even a whitepaper yet."
So you've got Peter Todd doing some possibly brilliant theorizing and extrapolating on the idea of "treechains" - there is a Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast from about a year ago where he sketches the rough outlines of this idea out in a very inspiring, high-level way - although the specifics have yet to be hammered out. And we've got Blockstream also doing some hopeful hand-waving about the Lightning Network.
Things like Peter Todd's treechains - which may be similar to the spark in some devs' eyes called Lightning Network - are examples of the kind of algorithm or architecture which might
manage to harness the massive computing power of miners and nodes in such a way that certain kinds of massive and graceful scaling become possible.
It just seems like a kindof tiny dev community working on this stuff. Being a C or Python or Java programmer should not be a pre-req to being able to help contribute to the specification (and formal reasoning and program verification) for Bitcoin and the blockchain.
XML and UML are crap modeling and specification languages, and C and Java and Python are even worse (as specification
languages - although as implementation
languages, they are of course fine).
But there are
serious modeling and specification languages out there, and they could be very helpful at times like this - where what we're dealing with is questions of modeling and specification (ie, "needs and requirements").
One just doesn't often see the practical, hands-on world of open-source github implementation-level programmers and the academic, theoretical world of specification-level programmers meeting very often. I wish there were some way to get these two worlds to collaborate on Bitcoin.
Maybe a good first step to reach out to the theoretical people would be to provide a modular executable algebraic specification of the Bitcoin protocol in a recognized, military/NASA-grade specification language such as Maude - because that's something the theoretical community can actually wrap their heads around, whereas it's very hard to get them to pay attention to something written only
as a C / Python / Java implementation (without an accompanying specification in a formal language).
They can't check whether the program does what it's supposed to do - if you don't provide a formal mathematical definition of what the program is supposed to do. Specification : Implementation :: Theorem : Proof
You have to remember: the theoretical community is very
aware of the Curry-Howard isomorphism. Just like it would be hard to get a mathematician's attention by merely showing them a proof
without telling also telling them what theorem
the proof is proving - by the same token, it's hard to get the attention of a theoretical computer scientist by merely showing them an implementation
without showing them the specification
that it implements.
Bitcoin is currently confronted with a mathematical or "computer science" problem: how to secure the network while getting high enough transactional throughput, while staying within the limited RAM, bandwidth and hard drive space limitations of current and future infrastructure. The problem only becomes a political and economic problem if we give up on trying to solve it as a mathematical and "theoretical computer science" problem.
There should be a plethora of whitepapers out now proposing algorithmic solutions to these scaling issues. Remember, all we have to do is apply the Byzantine General consensus-reaching procedure to a worldwide database which shuffles 2.1 quadrillion tokens among a few billion addresses. The 21 company has emphatically pointed out that racing to compute a hash to add a block is an "embarrassingly parallel" problem - very easy to decompose among cheap, fault-prone, commodity boxes, and recompose into an overall solution - along the lines of Google's highly successful MapReduce.
I guess what I'm really saying is (and I don't mean to be rude here), is that C and Python and Java programmers might not be the best qualified people to develop and formally prove the correctness of (note I do not say: "test", I say "formally prove the correctness of") these kinds of algorithms.
I really believe in the importance of getting the algorithms and architectures right - look at Google Search itself, it uses some pretty brilliant algorithms and architectures (eg, MapReduce, Paxos) which enable it to achieve amazing performance - on pretty crappy commodity hardware. And look at BitTorrent, which is truly p2p, where more demand leads to more supply.
So, in this vein, I will close this lengthy rant with an oddly specific link - which may or may not be able to make some interesting contributions to finding suitable algorithms, architectures and data structures which might help Bitcoin scale massively. I have no idea if this link could be helpful - but given the near-total lack of people from the Haskell and ML and functional worlds in these Bitcoin specification debates, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't throw this out - just in case there might be something here which could help us channel the massive computing power of the Bitcoin network in such a way as to enable us simply sidestep this kind of desperate debate where both sides seem right because the other side seems wrong. https://personal.cis.strath.ac.uk/neil.ghani/papers/ghani-calco07
The above paper is about "higher dimensional trees". It uses a bit of category theory (not a whole lot) and a bit of Haskell (again not a lot - just a simple data structure called a Rose tree, which has a wikipedia page) to develop a very expressive and efficient data structure which generalizes from lists to trees to higher dimensions.
I have no idea if this kind of data structure could be applicable to the current scaling mess we apparently are getting bogged down in - I don't have the game-theory skills to figure it out.
I just thought that since the blockchain is like a list, and since there are some tree-like structures which have been grafted on for efficiency (eg Merkle trees) and since many of the futuristic scaling proposals seem to also involve generalizing from list-like structures (eg, the blockchain) to tree-like structures (eg, side-chains and tree-chains)... well, who knows, there might be some nugget of algorithmic or architectural or data-structure inspiration there. So... TL;DR:
(1) I'm freaked out that this blocksize debate has splintered the community so badly and dragged on so long, with no resolution in sight, and both sides seeming so right (because the other side seems so wrong).
(2) I think Bitcoin could gain immensely by using high-level formal, algebraic and co-algebraic program specification and verification languages (such as Maude including Maude-NPA, Mobile Maude parameterized skeletons, etc.) to specify (and possibly also, to some degree, verify) what
Bitcoin does - before translating to low-level implementation
languages such as C and Python and Java saying how
Bitcoin does it. This would help to communicate and reason about programs with much more mathematical certitude - and possibly obviate the need for many political and economic tradeoffs which currently seem dismally inevitable - and possibly widen the collaboration on this project.
(3) I wonder if there are some Big Data approaches out there (eg, along the lines of Google's MapReduce and BigTable, or Yale's CalvinDB), which could be implemented to allow Bitcoin to scale massively and painlessly - and to satisfy all stakeholders, ranging from millionaires to micropayments, coffee drinkers to the great "unbanked".
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