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Round up of Cryptocurrency News #2 Week 13/07 - 19/07

Round up of Cryptocurrency News #2 Week 13/07 - 19/07
Important/Notable/Highlights:
- https://cointelegraph.com/news/binances-swipe-powered-crypto-debit-card-debuts-in-europe
- https://news.bitcoin.com/twitter-apple-joe-biden-elon-musk-bill-gates-jeff-bezos-uber-bitcoin-giveaway-scam/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/16/twitter-reveals-cause-of-unprecedented-security-hack-placing-bitcoin-and-cryptocurrency-in-the-crosshairs/
- https://cointelegraph.com/news/paypal-letter-seems-to-confirm-crypto-capability-rumors
- https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-hash-rate-hits-new-all-time-high
- https://news.bitcoin.com/youtube-helps-scammers-steal-130000-in-bitcoin-from-investors-daily-report/
- https://defirev.com/twitter-hack-2020-bitcoin/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-difficulty-touches-all-time-high-120-exahash-of-hashpower-remains-strong/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/emerging-markets-drive-paxful-first-half-2020-bitcoin-volume-to-1-1-billion/
- https://www.stellar.org/press-releases/stellar-blockchain-now-available-on-samsung-galaxy-smartphones
- https://news.bitcoin.com/aggregate-erc20-market-cap-outpaces-valuation-of-eth-in-circulation-by-2-billion/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/bank-of-england-still-debating-creation-of-central-bank-digital-currency-says-bailey/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/bank-of-thailand-enters-third-phase-of-cbdc-development-now-using-cbdc-with-big-businesses/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/15/number-of-crypto-merchants-accepting-xrp-has-surged-46-so-far-this-yea
- https://news.bitcoin.com/european-digital-bank-revolut-expands-bitcoin-trading-services-to-49-us-states/

Special Mentions:
- https://news.bitcoin.com/us-dept-of-homeland-security-buys-coinbase-analytics-software/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/tether-freezes-millions-of-dollars-usdt-40-addresses/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/crypto-exchange-cashaa-loses-336-bitcoin-worth-3-million-to-hackers/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/14/heres-why-institutional-interest-in-bitcoin-btc-and-crypto-markets-is-rising-according-to-huobi-global/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/13/binance-says-altcoins-taking-center-stage-names-five-top-crypto-assets-as-bitcoin-btc-prepares-for-big-move/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/advocacy-group-claims-irs-issued-crypto-warning-letters-violated-taxpayers-rights/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/south-africa-proposes-new-rules-regulate-cryptocurrencies-alignment-fatf-standards/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/freebitcoins-com-is-open-again-with-three-helpful-tools-for-new-and-old-cryptocurrency-users/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/18/heres-how-twitter-hackers-are-trying-to-hide-their-trail-of-stolen-bitcoin-btc/
Other:
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/12/crypto-giant-grayscale-boosts-bitcoin-and-ethereum-exposure-at-expense-of-xrp-bch-and-ltc-in-large-cap-fund/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/17/bitcoin-btc-goliath-grayscale-reveals-1400000000-invesment-in-crypto-funds-in-2020/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/altseason-imminent-most-altcoins-should-gain-on-bitcoin-soon-says-veteran-analyst/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/japanese-listed-company-globalway-plans-to-build-sharing-economy-protocol-and-launch-ieo/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/13/prominent-crypto-strategist-goes-viral-says-bitcoin-ethereum-and-xrp-poised-for-epic-rally-that-will-put-2017-to-shame/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/13/binance-says-altcoins-taking-center-stage-names-five-top-crypto-assets-as-bitcoin-btc-prepares-for-big-move/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/13/dissecting-bitcoins-electricity-consumption/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/abra-crypto-app-sec-transactions-thousands-us-stocks-etfs/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/iran-licenses-bitcoin-mining-farms-cuts-electricity-tariff/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/14/will-tezos-be-the-altcoin-to-unseat-ethereum-on-the-crypto-market/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/15/new-class-of-crypto-assets-will-outperform-bitcoin-and-ethereum-in-new-bull-run-says-luke-martin/
- https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/16/guarda-wallet-launches-new-version-of-the-mobile-app/
- https://news.bitcoin.com/best-defi-interoperability-solutions-exploring-fusion-vs-cosmos-vs-polkadot/
-https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/18/venture-capitalist-says-flurry-of-fundamental-crypto-events-will-trigger-crazy-q4/
-https://news.bitcoin.com/news-bitcoin-com-lead-writer-jamie-redman-named-one-of-the-best-crypto-bloggers/
-https://dailyhodl.com/2020/07/19/top-analyst-says-bitcoin-ethereum-and-xrp-poised-to-breakout-end-lengthy-consolidation/
So much has happened this week! We saw a capitulation point of bitcoin before bears took over and we saw the selling pressure push Bitcoin down toward the $9000USD mark then move back up above $9100USD So far it has been a stable hold, however we may see some more action within the coming weeks.
Widespread scamming within the Twitter-sphere, Youtube and other platforms as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may seem like fair game. Cryptocurrencies providing big payouts for scammers without the ability for reversals of accounts. Remember if something seems too good to be true, do some research or just plain do not respond/believe it. Stay safe and careful with your funds!
On the brightside, there has been even more adoption of cryptocurrencies as rumours of Paypal utilising cryptocurrency has been confirmed as they are developing crypto capabilities. In addition to this we received exciting news at the start of this week about Binance partnering with Swipe (SXP) and offering a debit card to spend BNB, SXP, BTC and BUSD. ( I will be keeping a swift eye on BNB and Swipe as its utilisation as tokens has just increased 43 fold).
Positive news for the Bitcoin network as its hashrate reaches all time high which helps to secure the network further even though mining profits have dropped by 50% from the recent halving. If you didn't know already the last Bitcoin will be expected to be mined in 2140 with its difficulty ever increasing and each time securing the network further. Processing units will have to become faster, stronger and most importantly more cost effective to continue to entice miners for the block rewards and further renewable energy practices.
Furthermore we can see Central banks and countries discussing and developing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). Read more about it here https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/central-bank-digital-currency-cbdc.asp and check out some of the developments in the world above. This shows the popularity and strong nature of cryptocurrencies. As the saying goes "If you cant beat them, JOIN them".
Overall, very solid week full of adoption, animation and anticipation. Another post next week for a weekly round up! See you then but in the mean time join us at our Gravychain Discord.
- DISCORD LINK: https://discord.gg/zxXXyuJ 🍕 Bring some virtual pizza to share 🍕
Come have a chat, stimulate a discussion, ask a question or share some knowledge. We are all friendly crypto enthusiasts up for a chat, supportive and want to help each other with knowledge and investments!
Big thanks to our Telegram and My Crypto HQ for the constant news updates! - The Gravychain Collective: https://t.me/gravychain - My Crypto HQ: https://t.me/My_Crypto_HQ
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Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

In relation to this post:
https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/eupegk/technical_review_of_the_past_10_years_and_how_the/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended to help increase public understanding of BTC and thus increase it's adoption. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on? - we are really excited about this project and hope to make it to the best of our abilities.
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1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value*, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many* bubbles*, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What* utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none*. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.*
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations*. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the* blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to btc [link] [comments]

Introduction and overview of the Bitcoin system

Based on this post I made a bit earlier:
https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinBeginners/comments/euozq4/blockchain_and_btc_technical_review_of_the_past/
We put together an introductory overview of the Bitcoin System. As this is intended for beginners I think this subreddit would be a good place to get some feedback. What will you learn from the text:
If you do decide to go through the text would love some feedback. Was it clear? Did you get any value from it? Anything that needs to be expanded on?
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1 Introduction to the Bitcoin System

1.1 Introduction and General Description

There are many definitions and descriptions of Bitcoin. Some describe it as an innovative virtual or crypto currency, some as the system for peer-to–peer electronic cash payment transactions, and some others as decentralized platform and infrastructure for anonymous payment transactions using any type of crypto currency.
In this Report we will adopt the concept that the Bitcoin system is a payment system. It has its own features, its own currency, its own protocols and components, and with all that Bitcoin supports payment transactions. In other words, the core function of the Bitcoin system is to support payments between two parties – the party that makes a payment and the party that receives the payment.
Based on the original concept and the description of the Bitcoin [Bitcoin, 2016], “it is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network”.
The system is decentralized since its supporting platform blockchain, comprises an infrastructure of multiple distributed servers, mutually linked by an instantaneous broadcasting protocol. Users perform transactions within the open and distributed community of registered users. Digital currency used in the system is not electronic form of fiat currency, but a special form of the currency generated and used only within the Bitcoin system. This concept is based on the notion that money can be interpreted as any object, or any sort of record, that is accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context. Bitcoin system is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.
There are several important requirements when making any type of payment and with any currency. The best example of a “perfect” payment transaction that meets all these requirements is payment using cash over-the-counter. When a consumer pays to a merchant using cash over-the-counter, such transaction satisfies all requirements and expectations of both parties. First, the transaction is instantaneous, as the paper bill is transferred hand-to-hand, from the consumer to the merchant. The transaction is cheap, in fact there is no overhead charge to perform transaction, so the merchant receives the full amount. The transaction is irreversible, what is the property beneficial to merchants. The transaction is legal, as the merchant can verify the legality of the paper bill. And, finally, the transaction is anonymous for the consumer as he/she does not need to reveal his/her identity.
The only “problem” with cash over-the-counter is the cash itself, as using and handling cash has many disadvantages.
Bitcoin concept and system solves all issues and problems with the use of cash, but at the same time provides all advantages when performing transactions using digital and communication technologies. So, paying with Bitcoins is effectively payment transaction that uses “digital cash over-the-counter”. The concept of the Bitcoin system provides all advantages and benefits mentioned above with payments using cash over-the-counter, but eliminates the problems of using cash. That is the reason why Bitcoins are often referred to as “digital cash”.
One of significant features of payments using cash over-the-counter is that there are no third parties to participate or assist in the execution and validation of a transaction. This feature makes Bitcoin transactions very efficient and also very cheap to perform. Other types of todays payment systems, for instance using bank-to-bank account transfers or using bankcards, use many additional intermediate parties and use very complicated background infrastructure to validate and clear payment transactions. These infrastructures are complex to establish and operate, they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to attacks and penetrations by hackers. Bitcoin does not use such complex infrastructures, what is the reason that its transactions are efficient and cheap. An additional problem with third-party transaction players is that transaction parties must put the complete trust in all these parties without any means to verify their functionality, correctness, or security.
Bitcoin system uses public-key cryptography to protect the currency and transactions. Logical relationships between transaction parties is direct, peer-to-peer, and the process of validating transactions is based on cryptographic proof-of-work. When performing a transaction, the net effect is that certain amount of Bitcoins is transferred from one cryptographic address to another. Each user may have and use several addresses simultaneously. Each payment transaction is broadcast to the network of distributed transaction processing servers. These servers collect individual transactions, package them into blocks, and send them for validation.
Each block is cryptographically processed by the large number of so called “miners”. They each attempt to create cryptographic hash value that has special form. This is computationally very difficult and time-consuming task, therefore, it is very difficult to perform and repeat. Individual blocks are validated using cryptographic processing procedures that require substantial amount of work and computing power.
Approximately an hour or two after submitting the transaction for validation, each transaction is locked in time and by cryptographic processing by the massive amount of computing power that was used to complete the block. When the block is validated, it is added to the chain of all previous blocks, thus forming a public archive of all blocks and transactions in the system.
One of the most important problems with uncontrolled digital currency, where there are no third parties to validate and approve transactions, is so called double spending. Since the currency is digital, stored at user’s local workstations, in mobile phones, or on network servers, it can be easily copied and sent to multiple recipients multiple times.
Bitcoin system solves this problem with a very interesting approach. It is the first effective example of the solution for the double-spending problem without the need for assistance of any third party. Bitcoin solves this problem by keeping and distributing an archive of all transactions among all the users of the system via a peer-to-peer distribution network. Every transaction that occurs in the Bitcoin system is recorded in that public and distributed transactions ledger. Since the components in that ledger are blocks with transactions and the blocks are “chained” in time and in a cryptographic sequence, the ledger in the Bitcoin system is called blockchain.
That full blockchain of all transactions that were performed in the Bitcoin system before the specific transaction can be used to verify new transactions. The transactions are verified against the blockchain to ensure that the same Bitcoins have not been previously spent. This approach eliminates the double-spending problem. The essence of the verification procedure for a single transaction in fact is the test of the balance of the sending account. The test is very normal and natural: payment of a certain amount of the currency can be made only of the balance of the outgoing account is equal or larger than the payment amount. Current balance of an account is established by tracing all incoming and outgoing transactions for that account.
The procedure to verify the validity of individual transactions and to prevent double-spending is based on the use of special type of cryptographic protocol called public-key cryptography. With this type of cryptographic systems each user has two cryptographic keys. They are mutually related in the sense that, what ever the one key encrypts, the other key can decrypt. One of the two keys is a private key that is kept secret, and the other key is public key that can be shared with all other users in the system. When a user wants to make a payment to another user, the sender transfers certain amount of Bitcoins from his/her account to the account of the receiver. This action is performed by the sender by creating a payment message, called a “transaction,” which contains recipient’s public key – receiving address and payment amount. The transaction is cryptographically processed by the sender’s private key, the operation called digital signing, and as the result digital signature is created and appended to the transaction.
By using sender’s private key every user in the system can verify that the transaction was indeed created by the indicated sender, as his/her private key can successfully decrypt the content of the digital signature. The exchange is authentic, since the transaction was also cryptographically processed with the recipient’s public key, the operation which is called digital enveloping. This transformation guarantees that the transaction can be accepted and processed only by the holder of the corresponding private key, which is the intended recipient.
Every transaction, and thus the transfer of ownership of the specified amount of Bitcoins, is inserted, then time-stamped, and finally displayed in one “block” of the blockchain. Public-key cryptography ensures that all computers in the network have a constantly updated and verified record of all transactions within the Bitcoin network, which prevents double-spending and fraud.

1.2 The Concept and Features of the Bitcoin System

There are many concepts and even more operational payment systems today in the world. Some are standard paper–based, some are digital and network based. What makes Bitcoin unique and distinctive, compared with all other payment systems that are in use today, are several of its core features.
The first of them is that the system uses its own currency. The reason for using its own currency is to make the system independent of financial institutions as trusted third parties. The unit of the currency is called Bitcoin. The currency is so called crypto currency, because it is generated and used based on execution of certain cryptographic algorithms and protocols. Performing specific cryptographic protocols is in the heart of operations to create new Bitcoins, to transfer them between transaction parties, and to validate the correctness of transactions.
Since appearance of Bitcoins, several new systems were introduced that use cryptography to manage its own currency, so all such currencies represent the category of crypto currencies. Later in this Report, some other digital / virtual currencies will be described that are created and managed using some other principles, so they are not called crypto currency. At the time of writing this Report, all such digital virtual currencies were called with general term tokens, sometimes also digital assets tokens. The reason is that they were created by the process called collateralization and therefore they are related to the value of some categories of real world assets which is expressed in digital tokens units.
The second interesting and important feature of the Bitcoin system is that the logical relationship between the two transaction parties is direct, peer-to–peer, i.e. there are no other parties that participate in the transaction. This is an important feature and benefit / advantage of the system that contributes to its efficiency when compared with the todays complex and expensive financial payment infrastructures and protocols. However, for distribution of transactions to their validators and later to all other members in the Bitcoin system the physical flow of each transaction is very complex and includes many parties.
It should be emphasized that performing transactions as direct, peer-to–peer transfers is one of the key features and the most significant reason for many benefits and advantages of the Bitcoin system. This approach is the key feature of the Bitcoin system as it enables security and anonymity of parties, efficiency in performing transactions, scaling of the system, and instantaneous settlement of payments. Therefore, supporting execution and validation of serious business peer–to–peer transactions is one of the core benefits of the blockchain concept, as it changes the current paradigm of Internet applications and transactions. Currently all Internet applications are organized and performed as client–server transactions. Such transactions are not efficient, do not provide sufficient privacy of participants, have dependencies on third parties and usually are vulnerable due to attacks of functional problems with large centralized application servers.
The next very important characteristic of the Bitcoin system is anonymity of users, their accounts, and transactions. This property means that the identities of the participants in the system are not known even to the partners performing a payment transaction. All other system operations – receiving payments, making payments, validating transactions, etc. are also performed anonymously. Interpreting this property correctly, the anonymity of transaction participants is so called pseudo-anonymity. Namely, in the process of validating transactions, all previous transactions of the sender are traced back to the original initial transaction. If that initial transaction was the purchase of Bitcoins at some Bitcoin Exchange, then the identity of the original owner of Bitcoins is known. Most if not all service providers in the Bitcoin system today require very strict identification of participants for the purpose of enforcing legal and regulated transactions and include certain restrictions of transaction frequency and amounts. This procedure, although understandable from the legal and regulatory point of view, has in fact in essence changed one of the core principles of the original concept of the Bitcoin system – full anonymity of users.
Better solution for fully anonymous payment transactions is so called zero–knowledge protocol, where the identity and authorization to perform Bitcoin transactions, is validated by anyone without revealing any identity information of the parties. The only problem with this approach is revealing the identity of transaction participants to law enforcement authorities in case of illegal transactions. But, such authorities have special authorization under the law and they should be enabled to get identifying information about transaction participants in the process of legal law enforcement procedures. But, all other service providers do not have such status, so if Bitcoin principles are strictly followed, they should not be able to have identifying information about system participants.
This approach and potential improvement of the Bitcoin system implies that the system needs one of the classical security services: role–based authorization. In such arrangement, there would be at least two categories of system participants: those that are authorized to maintain and access identifying information about the participants and those that are only authorized to perform transactions. In the first category are legal authorities, like police, driving license authorities, tax authorities, etc. In the context of the standard Identities Management Systems, such participants are called Identity Providers. All others are Identity Verifiers. Therefore, one of the main conclusions about true anonymity in the Bitcoin system is establishment of a sophisticated and multi-role Identities Management System, where some parties will be authorized Identity Providers and all others will be Identity Validators. Finally, referring back to the infrastructure of the Bitcoin system to perform and validate transactions – blockchain, the conclusion is that what is needed, as one of the most important extensions of the current concept of anonymity of Bitcoins participants, is an Identity Management System based itself on the use of blockchain and without Identity Providers as trusted third parties. Creation, distribution, use and validation of identities are transactions in the system, equivalent to payment transactions, so they should also be performed using blockchain protocol. Such system, that can provide reliable identities of all participants may be called Blockchain Identity Management System.
Another very important feature of the original concept of the Bitcoin system is that it is not controlled by any financial institution, by any regulatory body or by any legal financial authority when it comes to issuing Bitcoins and determining their value. This means that the currency used in the system and all transactions are exempted from any legal and financial rules and regulations. The rules controlling Bitcoin system are built in its code. This property is usually called “rule by the technical code”, as the rules of system operations, built in the code of its operational components, control and rule the operations of the system [UK, 2016], Chapter 3. This property is sometimes described as “control by the community”, i.e. the participating users.
This property implies that the value of Bitcoins is determined solely on the market – based on its supply and demand. This is quite natural approach, as the value of shares of companies are also determined on an open trading market. However, such approach implies that the value of Bitcoin, as crypto currency, is volatile related to fiat currencies. This property represent serious problem to perform payments using Bitcoin. It is well-known that volatile currencies are not suitable for payments. The practice of all the years while Bitcoins are in use has shown that its volatility represents one of the major obstacles for its main purpose – to be used as the payment system. In fact, it was announced that in 2019 the total value of Bitcoin transactions performed was about $ 11 T. However, unfortunately, only about 1.3% of those transactions were payments, all others were trading manipulations on exchanges. Based on that, it may be clearly stated that Bitcoin today is not used as the payment system, but as currency manipulation system. This is one of the main problems with the concept and current implementation and deployment of Bitcoin system and in near future may represent the main reason for its decline in popularity.

1.3 Innovative Contributions of the Bitcoin System

Besides an effective procedure to transfer an amount of crypto currency from one user (account) to another user (account), the major and indeed an essential contribution of the concept of the Bitcoin is the solution to the general problem how to establish trust between two mutually unknown and otherwise unrelated parties to such an extent and certainty that sensitive and secure transactions can be performed with full confidence over an open environment, such as Internet. In all current large scale and not only financial systems that problem is solved by using the assistance of third parties. For many (may be even all) current Internet applications and transactions those third parties are integrated and linked into a large, complex, expensive and vulnerable operational infrastructures. Examples of such infrastructures today are bankcard networks supporting global international payments, global international banking networks supporting international financial transfers, Public–Key Infrastructures (PKI), Identity Management Systems, and many others. It is a general consent that such infrastructures are expensive and, more important, vulnerable to external and internal attacks.
In addition to the complexity and vulnerabilities of such current operational supporting infrastructures, another requirement and prerequisite to use their services is that users must put the complete trust in these third parties. Accepting to trust those third–party service providers is the necessary and mandatory prerequisite to use their services.
Therefore, one of the most important contributions of the concept of Bitcoin is that it solves the issue how two parties, mutually unknown to each other in advance and otherwise completely unrelated, can perform sensitive and secure transactions, such as transfer of money – payments, but without assistance of any third party and without the need to place trust in any component of the system.
The practical benefits of solving this problem and the most important consequence of the solution for this problem – Bitcoin system, is that it provides the possibility for one Internet user to transfer not only Bitcoins, but also any other form of digital asset to or shared with another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, that everyone knows that the transfer has been performed, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.
This feature of the Bitcoin system generated many very new, creative and innovative ideas where the concept equivalent to the Bitcoin can be used to perform secure and reliable transactions between users in an open community handling any type of digital asset ([Andreesen, 2014], [Sparkes, 2014], [UniCredit, 2016], [BitID, 2015], [PoE, 2015]). The examples of such applications and transactions range from commercial transitions, real estate transactions, energy trading, electronic voting, medical applications, and many others ([Kounelis, 2015], [Muftic, 2016]). The concept of blockchain as technology supporting validation of all such transactions is therefore called disruptive technology.
As the conclusion in this section, we may give a definition of blockchain:
Blockchain is an innovative concept, implemented as an infrastructure comprising multiple and distributed servers, mutually linked by special broadcasting and synchronization protocols, managing immutable objects with the purpose to enable and protect secure peer–to–peer transactions in a global and open environment.

1.4 Summary of Problems and Potential Solutions

In section 1.2 several problems of the Bitcoin system were mentioned and potential solutions for these problems were outlined. Recently, at the time of writing this Technical Report, several sources, mainly personal blogs and articles, appeared with very interesting opinions and statements regarding some other serious Bitcoin problems. Some of them are problems with the concept of the system, some problems of its design, and some problems of operations. In this section some of these problems are briefly summarized including suggestions for their potential solutions. The source of some problems was the article [Ein, 2018].
Problem 1: Complex Crypto Algorithms
Problem: Bitcoins is crypto currency and cryptographic algorithms used in the current version are very complex, based on the concept of proof–of–work, and require long time, special hardware and a lots of energy to perform
Potential Solution: Potential solution fro this problem is to use cryptographic algorithms that are simpler and therefore more efficient to execute and need less energy
Problems with Potential Solution: Lowering the complexity of crypto algorithms introduces vulnerability to hackers. Therefore, what is needed are strong algorithms and simple to perform for regular users and complex to break by hackers
Problem 2: Indirect Transactions, not Peer–to–Peer
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays implementation Bitcoin payment transactions are not performed as direct, peer–to–peer transactions. They are performed indirectly, submitted to the Bitcoin network, and recipients receive them indirectly, by downloading validated transactions from the ledger
Potential Solution: Transactions should be performed directly, by transferring them directly between two users
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is validation of transaction for proof of possession of Bitcoins by the sender and for prevention of double-spending. Therefore, what is needed is the protocol to validate peer–to–peer transactions.
Problem 3: Anonymity of Users not provided
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed, in todays deployments of additional system components, mainly exchanges, users are not anonymous
Potential Solution: Blockchain–based Distributed Identity Management System with Role-based Authorizations
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with potential solution is that it depends on trusted third parties with authorized roles. Therefore, what is needed is blockchain-based Identity Management System using hybrid (permissioned and unpermissioned) blockchain
Problem 4: Volatile Value, not suitable for Payments
Problem: Contrary to the concept claimed that Bitcoin is payment system, volatile value of the currency makes it inconvenient for payments
Potential Solution: Crypto currency with stable value
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that the value of Bitcoins is determined on the secondary market, during its trading (cash-in / cash-out). Therefore, what is needed is crypto currency that does not have volatile value
The remaining problems in this section are quoted from [Ein, 2018]:
Problem 5: Negative Environmental Impact
Problem: Mining algorithms and operational facilities (“mining farms”) consume too much electrical energy, based on the “proof-of-work” protocol
Potential Solution: Using mining algorithms that consume less energy, either as simpler / lighter crypto algorithms or using alternative crypto protocols to protect transactions integrity (“proof-of-stake”)
Problems with Potential Solution: The problem with the potential solution is that simpler / lighter algorithms open vulnerabilities to hackers while alternative crypto protocols are not backward compatible with the current system
Problem 6: Slow Performance (Delays) / Low Throughput
Problem: Due to blocking and the designed time for protection of transactions (10 minutes) Bitcoin system has very slow performance – transactions are validated in about an hour and transaction processing throughput is about 7 transactions per second
Potential Solution: Using transaction validation algorithms and protocols that do not need blocking of transactions, but transactions should be validated individually
Problems with Potential Solution: There are no serious problems with the proposed potential solution
Problem 7: Limited Number of Bitcoins
Problem: Due hardware and other types of failures, the number of available Bitcoins in the system is constantly reducing
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to use smaller portions of Bitcoin (“Satoshi”) or introduce hard-fork by splitting the amount of available Bitcoins
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the first solution that it is not user-friendly and the problem with the second solution is backwards compatibility.
Problem 8: Real Value of Bitcoins
Problem: The value of Bitcoins is purely psychological and reflects only pure market speculations
Potential Solution: Potential solution could be to peg the value of Bitcoin to local fiat currencies in countries of deployments
Problems with Potential Solution: The problems with the potential solution is that such Bitcoins would be a new class of Bitcoins, not traded on exchanges and not volatile
At the end of this section, it is very interesting to quote two opinions about the future of Bitcoin and blockchain:
[Ein, 2018]: “It seems that Bitcoin will likely cease to have meaningful value, defeating the whole point and philosophy imagined by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin. Its current value appears to be purely psychological, and the hype seems to be driven by irrational exuberance, greed and speculation. Modern human history has seen many bubbles, including the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble and even the tulip bubble. However, when these bubbles exploded, many excellent dot-com companies survived, most houses regained their value and tulips still have meaning and carry value in our lives today. But what will happen when the Bitcoin bubble bursts? What utility or residual value will Bitcoin have to consumers and businesses? Most likely none. And this is the real problem with Bitcoin and crypto currencies.
Bitcoin will likely go down in history as a great technological invention that popularized blockchain yet failed due to its design limitations. Just like the industrial revolution was fueled by the combustion engine, Nakamoto’s most valuable contribution is the blockchain polymorphic engine that will further accelerate innovation in the post-information age and immensely affect our lives”.
This quote makes two very important and far–reaching predictions:
(1) Bitcoin, as the payment system will disappear (“. . . will go down in history”), and
(2) The most valuable contribution of the Bitcoin system is blockchain
This article was written in 2018. It is very interesting to notice that at the time of writing this Technical Report, (1) Bitcoin was still “alive” and (2) the concept and deployments of blockchain were in serious trouble.
Based on the principle of positive and creative approach, in the rest of this Technical Report, besides description of all technical details of the Bitcoin system, some potential solutions for its improvement will also be discussed.
However, contrary to the predicted status of Bitcoin, it seems that the predicted status of blockchain, in 2020 was still facing serious problems.
[Barber, 2019]: What's Blockchain Actually Good for, Anyway? For Now, Not Much
“Not long ago, blockchain technology was touted as a way to track tuna, bypass banks, and preserve property records. Reality has proved a much tougher challenge”.

[Lucanus, 2020]: Has Blockchain Failed Before It Even Really Began?

“Just as everyone was getting really excited about its potential, it appears blockchain is dead. For a technology that was supposed to transform and solve seemingly every problem in the world, the enthusiasm is fading pretty quickly”.
At the time of writing this Technical Report, there were many new blockchain – concepts, design and even several deployed and operational instances. Some of them are even very popular, but only among enthusiastic developers. The overall trends with real life deployments, and more and more comments about the capabilities and features of blockchains are appearing with negative connotation. Therefore, seems that even for blockchain some innovative concepts and approaches are needed. They are beyond the scope of this Technical Report and will be addressed in some of our follow-up reports.
submitted by Theus5 to u/Theus5 [link] [comments]

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIAT AND CRYPTO

• Fiat Currency is backed by Governments/Countries itself. What determines the value of a currency is the economic health, demand, growth, political stability to name a few, of the respective country. Before 1930, most fiat currencies were backed by gold and silver.
• Since 1971, U.S. citizens have been able to utilize Federal Reserve Notes as the only form of money that for the first time had no currency with any gold or silver backing. This is where you get the saying that U.S. dollars are backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. Government - quoted in google.com.
• What backs crypto value is purely supply and demand. The demand creation of a crypto is its sole objective. To create demand, the crypto has to have a purpose. And most purpose commonly promoted is utility. The number of ways you can utilize the said crypto. The more utilization factors the more demand there is for it.
• There are other ways to substantiate value of a crypto and that is to back the crypto with a 1 to 1 ratio in assets or in USD. Then the question is, how 3,000 crypto currencies in circulation be monetary eco sustainable? Can anyone imagine walking into McDonald and view a chart of 3,000 different pricing? Which also means the crypto is a payment gateway pegging against USD instead of bearing any true characteristic of a currency.
• A country’s currency is in its own legit form of legal tender, the only currency acceptable under financial sovereigns of a country. People in the world must be made to understand that. Retailers in Thailand cannot put up products price tags in EUROS/USD, it is illegal. It has to be in Thai Baht.
• It is hardly imaginable for everyone in the world to retail with a Crypto-Currencies at a rate of 7 transactions per second. When mining nodes are reduced due to non-performing mining ratio, mining blocks in the Blockchain will significantly be limited too, rendering delays in transactions while usage increases.
• In time to come, as trends of crypto picks up, Thailand can issue BAHT COIN or UK the STERLING COIN, exactly what China wishes to do. Digital RMB, but would such crypto currencies be fully decentralized? We all have our answers. Absurd to even think of producing Thai Baht, Pound Sterling or Chinese Yuan at the cost of electricity. It is currencies in digital forms.
KRATSCOIN is not meant for that purpose. In some opinion, apart from utilization, a crypto can be for safekeeping, an entity for keeping money while allowing easy liquidation, at a click of a mobile button, not to mention sending or transferring without the trouble of going to banks, which was the original purpose of Bitcoin to begin with. Therefore, KRATSCOIN would be better termed as Crypto Commodity, sharing similarities as Metal Commodities.
An individual cannot use gold to make a purchase, neither can one eat gold. It can only be kept or invest in for appreciative value over time. Gold is being exampled for its scarcity which reasons for its higher value over its cousin, silver or bronze. Who or what determines the value of gold? Just like any other crypto, demand by humanity. As in all other commodities, it must also be placed in checks by governments. To put in checks, serial numbers are introduced to protect a country’s commodities outflows or illegal exports.
Humanity made Bitcoin a reality. Acceptance by the majority members of the public made Bitcoin to what is it today with the trust they entrusted it with, or is the majority public hopping on the band wagon to make a few quick extra bucks? Whatever the reasons are, the characteristics of Crypto Currencies are only matched by the behavior of Commodities.
SERIALIZED COINS - WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE PUBLIC: Every currency has its own remarkable name, design and colors. Dollars, Euros, Pound, Tugrik, Peso, Rupee, Rupiah, Dina, Ringgit, Baht and the list carries on. One thing every currency have in common - Serial Numbers.
In any crime, investigators will firstly establish motives and mode of operation, both of which are very likely related to money. So following the money trial is a natural thing to do for investigators/authorities and it has become a common practice. Crimes require funding ie robbers need money to buy guns to carry out its robbing activities. Cutting off financing will reduce criminal activities. That’s the approach governments of the WORLD have adopted for crime fighting.
Perhaps people do not realize this while most do not feel the pinch. Humanity tends to take life for granted until apocalypse happens. Take a minute to visualize the tallest tower in your homeland collapse into a pile of dust with thousands of casualties effecting everything else that comes to mind. Imagine a family member, just 1 is enough, is among those casualties.
• Imagine if monetary system is not in place and drug dealers, among many, roam the earth freely distributing what can be death threatening substance to your kids. What if you are mugged of your inheritance [items left to you by your father] that is beyond retrieval? As for crypto enthusiast, what if your wallet gets hacked as even the mighty Pentagon gets hacked. All the above can go away if the crypto system leaves a trail for hound dogs to sniff out. Money Trail or Serial Codes Trail to be exact.
• Citizens rely on governments and their countries to do what is best for them to lead their daily lives, flourish, advance, improve and strive but at the same time, citizens want to take away the single most important thing deemed crucial in the hierarchy of humanity from governments with additional boastful remarks such as “I transferred $400 million from one corner of the earth to another corner in a single transaction and no governments can do anything about it”.
• In-short, to boast unregulated financial movement is to arrogantly promote crime without realizing it while challenging the world’s monetary authority. Oldest advice in the book teaches us never to pick a fight we can’t win.
• Serial Coded Coins does not take away the financial movement freedom nor does it take away your privacy. It merely provides Authorities the necessary means needed for crime prevention and fighting. It only re-inforce security and safety. SERIALIZED COINS - WHAT IT MEANS FOR GOVERNMENTS: • Governments are relentlessly trying to find new ways to keep track of crypto transactions. Crypto Currency Exchanges, just like all other Financial Institutions and Banks, are required to practice the most stringent Know Your Customer (widely known as KYC) process. The KYC is designed to provide governing agencies and authorities with information pertaining to crypto ownerships.
• But no governments can have information on Peer-to-Peer (also known as P2P) transactions unless the government in question launch a full scale Federal Investigation on certain suspected individuals seeking Wallet Developers to unveil the ownership of certain wallet addresses. Do not forget, National and Global Security trumps Privacy Act. Refusal to co-operate under the pretext of Global or National Security will only result in an out-right ban, which is exactly what happened to Blackberry.
• Questions to Governments – What if Wallet Developers or Crypto Exchanges shuts down which can happen for various reasons be it foul-play, sinister or forcefully under threat? What if servers are damaged and ruined? An EMP strike or a simple magnet can make it happen. Information/identities of suspected customers of such addresses shall be lost forever and along with it the Money Trial.
• The most probable way of evading Authorities with crypto assets are developing an e-wallet for own illicit purpose. Since the cost of developing an e-wallet is relatively low in considerable cost to hiding, what can governments do to flush out these ants from the vast networks of tunnels?
• With Serialized Coded Crypto Assets, it doesn’t matter if servers of Exchanges or Wallets are destroyed. The Serial Codes of each token/coin enables governments of every participating country to track both origin and destination by identifying records of each token/coin in wallet address. It can disappear into a cold wallet but emerging some place later yet Authorities can still detail which particular token/coin has at one moment of time been into which wallet, on what day and date.
• If the battle of financial crimes can be resolved with a simple Serialize Coded Crypto Asset, the eradication of corruptions, money laundering, unlawful proceeds and terrorism financing will be made possible. Criminals can no longer exploit the genius creation of Sathoshi – Blockchain and Crypto-Currencies.
• Global Security, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Money Laundering could just be excuses granting government agencies the need to have access to financial information in the Monetary System. Nonetheless, it is in the interest of every nation that capital outflow is controlled. Capital Outflow is most frequent when the economy of a country is deteriorating. In the face of an economy meltdown, monetary flow is most needed and yet citizens tend to transfer monies further away illegally from their own country in an act of selfishness. This would not be tolerated by any country. Serial Coded Coin shall prove this attempt futile.
• In most part of Asian Countries, many crypto-currency mining operations are carried out illegally. The legality sits on thin fine line where Authorities can pin only stealing of electricity as a major concern to the respective country. Since most Power Companies belongs to the Country in one way or another, it is financially damaging to Power Producers and Utility Suppliers. Serial Codes can determine if the KRATSCOIN is mined legally or illegally making it difficult for miners or mining farms to mine crypto while avoiding making electricity payments. Will this deterrent disrupt the chain of KRATSCOIN supply? That’s not how Blockchain Tech works. TAXATIONS - WHAT IT MEANS FOR PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENTS: • Taxation cannot be imposed on “Illegal & Unlawful Proceeds” instead confiscation is enforced in many countries. Origins or proceeds of Serialized Coded Crypto Assets can be easily identified by the Serial Codes in-conjunction with the Blockchain. This exercise can evidently proof the legitimacy of the aforesaid token/coin. By “Illegal & Unlawful Proceeds” also refers to crypto coins obtained via illegal mining operations.
• Taxation on Crypto Assets are calculated on profits deriving from the sale/disposal of the crypto Assets. If we are small crypto believers, the amount of taxation rendered by Inland Revenue will be insignificant. Why risk Freedom of Life over Freedom of Small Monies. If we are big crypto believers, taxation on Serialized Coded Coins can be considered added security to your assets protection.
• By adopting Serialized Crypto Assets, declaration is made easily possible via proof of token/coin origin via the Blockchain. If the Authorities can know where our crypto assets come from, the Authorities will know where it will disappear to. It is taxation cum insurance in one tiny sum. This added security with freedom feature will encourage self-declarations of crypto assets to Authorities and Agencies. PRIVACY & ANONIMITY: • Many may be skeptical of their wealth being tracked and monitored. But in this era of technological advance society, everything we touches has our signature. Banks, iPhones, Samsung Mobiles, Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, WeChat, LINE, Viber, Facebook, Properties, Utilities. Almost everything. It is to this fact that there is a need for Privacy Protection Act.
• As explained before, Crypto Currency Exchange KYC procedures is designed to expose the identity of Crypto Assets ownership. The Blockchain is supposed to serve as a transparent information platform. The question of privacy over Serialized Coded Coins does not exist, it does not make Serialized Coded Coins ownership any less private.
• Ownership of wallet addresses shall always remain anonymous while the only way Authorities can get to it is through Wallet Developers by virtue of Global/National Security Threats or by a Court Order as per the Privacy Protection Act. SAFETY & SECURITY (CODED CRYPTO VS FIAT + COMMODITIES): • No human mind can memorize the millions of serial numbers printed on fiat currencies. The records of Serialized Coded Coins will forever be in the Blockchain embedded within each transaction from wallet to wallet.
• Serialized Commodities such as gold can be melted down. Diamonds recrafted. Fiat double printed. But not Serialized Coded Crypto Assets.
• Should an accessory system be added into the KRATSCOIN Blockchain, allowing reports on criminal activity be made within the Blockchain, notifying all ledgers of certain stolen Serial Coded Coins, enabling WARNINGS and forbidding next transaction of that particular Serial Coded Coin, wouldn’t this function enhance protection. A theft deterrent function which can never be achieved with physical gold, diamonds or fiat. KRATSCOIN SUMMARY: • Most crypto currencies have not reach a level of security alert for governments. This could be the only reason why a possible ban has not been discussed. China and India has begun efforts to control or ban crypto currencies in their quest to combat capital outflow, writer’s personal opinion. The EU has stopped Libra from implementation. “A company cannot be allowed Authoring Power for issuance of currencies” quoted the governments. KRATSCOIN is fully decentralized with no ownership nor control by any country, company or individual. Once again, the beauty of Bitcoin decentralization concept prevails.
• “There is no such thing as a world currency. However, since World War II, the dominant or reserve currency of the world has been the U.S. dollar” quoted in google.com.
• Most countries have “Foreign Reserves” as backing to a country’s fiat currency. It is a mean of “back up” attempt should all factors above mentioned leading to the value of their currencies collapse. Then what will happen if the Country of the Foreign Reserves collapse?
• Serial Coded KRATSCOIN belongs to no one, no country, no company and therefore theoretically shall not be effected by politics, war or global economy meltdown yet everyone, every country and every government is able to benefit from KRATSCOIN.
"Quoted by" https://lintangnews.com/ada-kratscoin-ini-bedanya-dengan-bitcoin/ https://0xzx.com/201910111244312902.html https://news.tokocrypto.com/tag/kratscoin-ktc/ http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-lookout-836105-1.shtml https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/84844615
submitted by xia112 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Nodes vs. Mining - Is bitcoin still resilient today?

Hi bitcoin folks,
I have been reading a lot about bitcoin and still haven't got the answer to one question in my head: could bitcoin today not already be very easily destroyed by an authoritarian government taking control over few mining farms?
Let me give you my underlying understanding of bitcoin fundamentals first (and let you verify whether these are correct):
- In the original bitcoin concept by Santoshi, nodes are all be mining; decentralized mining + PoWs are a fundamental source of resilience for the bitcoin design overall (no single player controlling enough of the bitcoin system overall to impair it)
- today, because of the increased difficulty of mining, nodes usually don't mine anymore, but this is done by big mining farms with specialized hardware such as ASICs.
- some of the mining farms have massive combined power, and the biggest mining pools are concentrated (as predicted by Santoshi) in some areas where electricity is cheap to obtain; these areas of concentration happen to be also geographically in tightly politically controlled areas, i.e. china, russia. most people believe that the governments in these areas would have no difficulty forcing any company, individual or institution to follow their orders. hence, the miners or mining pool operators sitting in these geographies would obey such orders if pushed this direction by a secret service, government institution, etc.
- it is already seen that the combined mining power exceeds 50% of the total capacity in china (although not in one mining pool, multiple mining pools operating out of china are believed to have that power). without that capacity, there are no new blocks, and no transactions possible on the bitcoin network.
- miners themselves would not have an interest in destroying bitcoin (e.g. by 51% attack), as they have massively invested in it, as Santoshi has foreseen. but a government or government agency would already be able to take this influence over large pools and their miners at any point in time, and may have an interest in destroying or impairing bitcoin. effectively this means, mining power is centrally controllable easily for them (even if not controlled today)?
- it is highly unlikely that the unbalanced mining power distribution (with few very powerful mining players possessing the hardware) will ever reverse, since ASICs have emerged and such massive combined computing power is out there; while the bitcoin design still allows computing with ordinary desktop computers (block size and resulting memory etc. needs were designed that way), the difficulty is already so high that nobody does it anymore
My question is:
How would regular bitcoin nodes - such as nodes run on people's own, single machines - have any chance to maintain resilience of the network then as designed by Santoshi? Specifically: how is abuse of the centrally controlled mining power at all avoidable in today's reality, e.g. aiming at destabilizing or destroying the bitcoin system?
I would understand the future of bitcoin is basically already in the hands of those who could - if they wanted - take control over the majority of the mining hardware out there for it.
I am curious to hear your thoughts about this.
-- syd
submitted by sydrooz to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Why Crypto Crashed Today

My thoughts on why the entire crypto market just tanked... (tl/dr)
The people behind B cash thought that this would be the perfect time to launch a full-scale and highly coordinated attack in it's never ending attempt to become 'the one true bitcoin'.
1) They had that idiot Swede from bitcoin.com come out and announce on every media outlet he was 'selling all his bitcoin, because it's useless'. 2) They then began a well orchestrated FUD campaign that included paid click-farm shills posting everywhere about how Bitcoin will crash there's is the better solution... 3) At the same time Roger, that idiot Swede and others from the Chinese mining groups who collectively hold hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of BTC began dumping just enough to steadily drop the price and reinforce their message... 4) Add in spamming the network with fake transactions to slow things even more...while shouting "See, we're right..."
....All timed to be within 24 hours of the Coinbase announcement.
Clearly a well planned power play and It was clearly successful... (sort of)
Roger Vers and the Swede and the Chinese miners? They all made a shit ton of money. Maybe you did too if you got out in time so who cares right?
You should care.... this past week was an important week for all crypto as it was the first week of real Wall Street money coming into the market with CME futures (5x bigger btw then CBOE). It was widely known that many investors would be waiting to see how things went, to see if it was too volatile, too manipulated... And guess fucking what?
Today Ally Financial announced it has changed it's mind and won't allow its 1m+ customers to trade Bitcoin futures.... people are reading about how corrupt the crypto space is with the Coinbase insider trading scandal... and tomorrow morning they will all wake up to read about how it crashed... And they won't seperate out one coin from another... to them it's all the same and Bitcoin is the leader.
So... the truth is we will recover but make no mistake, the bullshit greed war that Roger the fucking felon started has set back the entire market as the 'institutional money; we all hoped would flood in is now saying "No fucking way"... That and the Roger cartel dumping of BTC in an attempt to get it closer in market share is why we are tanking.
Now go on, flame me back... I expect it..I'm happy to provide references to all of the above (or you can google it yourself).
So realize this.. the threat to crypto is not just from governments or Wall Street or some hacker stealing your shit, it's from greed. Greed from within...
Or maybe not. What the fuck do I know :)
submitted by bitradr to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Why I choose Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin

A few days ago I posted my doubts and criticism about BTC vs BCH, but now I have made my mind up after a lenghty research yesterday and today, I have chosen BCH.
Disclaimer: I have already owned BCH before that.
So I was already on board BCH, but I had my doubts about it, and certainly the noise the other side makes, it made me doubt myself whether I made the best choice or not. After all it's about money, and the first thing that comes into a person's mind is that it worries about losing it. So if BCH would have been inferior to BTC then there would have been a strong chance of losing that money, through the price doing down like with the other fake coins Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, etc...
Because from an investment standpoint I shouldn't care about sides, I just want the one that has a better future and more potential in it. So if I would have found out that BTC is better I would have sold my BCH for BTC obviously, I would have no sentimental attachment to either of them, I just want to be on the right side. Eventually hedge, but hedging is like the game of uncertain people, and there is no uncertainty here, all the evidence shows one side to be much better than the other. It's not even like 70-30, it's more like 99-1.
Now I did a lenghty research, read all the comments on my posts, and compared them to the claim BTC makes on their websites and influential BTC people have stated, asked questions, used logic, and it's now objectively clear to me that BCH is the right side to be on.
   

FEES

I was already doubtful about BTC, that is why I have switched to BCH about a year ago, I saw their shady activities, but the final nail in the coffin was probably the massive FEE problem, that started last November and ended in February. That made me totally dislike BTC.
However now that the fees are normal in BTC, I had a doubt in my mind that what if they are right? What if the fee spike was just a coordinated attack on BTC, and now that it's over, BTC is just as good as BCH.
I mean if the fees are normal now, and about the same last I looked (maybe BTC is like 20% more expensive but still low like 60 cents), it gives some credibility back to BTC.
There are theories that the coordinated attack was a conspiracy against BTC, but then again BTC has it's own conspiracies too, so why not just ignore the conspiracy theories and look at the facts.
The fact is that it doesn't matter what it was, the mere fact that it happened, and it crippled the network for 4 months, shows that BTC has serious flaws. And it can happen again. So it doesn't matter who did it, it happened, and the network was crippled.
Now if a network can be crippled like that, and if you want this network to host a global payment system, then we will have huge problems.
BCH can defend against such attack much more effectively because it costs more to fill up a 32MB block than a 1MB block, 32x harder. Plus a 32MB block is so small that anyone can handle that right now, even if a 4 month period attack would happen against BCH, and it would be 32x more costly, so it would be harder to pull off.
However if a bigger budgeted attacker would attack again BTC with a 32x budget, then it would cripple BTC for 10 YEARS!!! That would literally make Bitcoin literally die.
   

Non Mining Nodes

One aspect that the BTC people say is that non miner "full nodes" are sacrosanct, and that we need them to keep miners in check, but I haven't heard any coherent answers as to why.
I have read the whitepaper twice, once today and once yesterday, and it states there clearly what the real truth is. You should definitely download and archive the whitepaper because some people tried to rewrite it, Orwellian style, so grab the original one here:
https://blockchair.com/bitcoin/whitepaper
[Download it and save it on your own computer SHA256: b1674191a88ec5cdd733e4240a81803105dc412d6c6708d53ab94fc248f4f553, these Orwellian trolls might try to gaslight you eventually and rewrite the past!]
The whitepaper mentions 3 times that:
The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes.
Subsequently:
The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote. The majority decision is represented by the longest chain, which has the greatest proof-of-work effort invested in it. If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the fastest and outpace any competing chains.
This is word for word how the whitepaper says it. So this alone disproves the full node myth, it's complete nonsense. The miners have total control, and the nodes don't matter. Satoshi designed a 1 CPU 1 vote system, where every node is a miner node. He could not forecast large farm ASIC miners, but then again that isn't resolved by just running non miner nodes.
Furthermore the full node system doesn't have any collective benefit only individual one, which we will get into next, and it might even be a drag:
Instead of going from A->D, you have to go to A->B->C->D with a full node system, adding extra inefficiency and latency. Keep in mind, this is not a medieval pidgeon relay messaging system, the information travels at the speed of light, so there is no need for extra relays, in fact adding extra relays just creates extra latency.
You eventually have to communicate with a miner, so what is the point in having extra "bus stops" along the way? It's just a waste of resources.
We do need many miners to secure the network, and instead of wasting resources on non-mining nodes, they should just spend that on mining if they really want decentralization.
   

SPV Wallets

Another claim that they make is that SPV wallets are insecure. Which is somewhat true, but out of perspective. For general users SPV wallets are totally fine. And I don't think SPV security is lower than what anyone except a billionaire who keeps all his coins in 1 address (very stupid) would need.
This explained well in the whitepaper in the page 5/ paragraph 8 "Simplified Payment Verification" section. The SPV is probabilistically secure, because it fetches blocks that are already agreed upon, so unless a big conspiracy is taking place, miners rewriting the chain, this gives people a probabilistic security.
Most SPV wallets are well implemented so they use the best tools to keep your coin history reasonably accurate, so they fetch data from multiple random servers and compare against it. Certainly Electrum/Electron Cash does this well.
One thing I might add is that it's good to use a VPN too with SPV wallets, in case your are personally targeted by a criminal, so your IP address is randomized too for extra security, so you won't download honeypot blocks that are specifically targeting your IP.
But other than that SPV is just reasonably secure, and by that I mean that it's probably below 0.1% that your coin history can be deceitful, and even then if you wait for 10-15 confirmations and shuffle your VPN IP address around enough times, you can be absolutely sure that the history is accurate.
So their fear is overblown and they are just fearmongering on this, the same way people fearmonger about asteroid impact or alien invasion, it's just not reasonable.
   

Lightning Network

Now as you can see already that a lot of these claims have been utterly debunked, and they don't have coherent arguments to address the rebuttals, in fact in most cases they resort to ad hominems and insults (which I have experienced, just for asking questions). But the coup de grace happens when you realize how inefficient LN is. And for that here are some references, it's mostly technical:
And perhaps it's explained in more simpler terms in youtube videos but the point is that there is real scientific proof that the LN will have awful consequences for the decentralization of BTC, and it inserts and unnecessary middleman into the mix that is a massive point of failure.
It essentially creates a KYC regulated bank network on top of a settlement layer, and the governments around the world will have total control over that. Well the LN nodes are essentially money transmitters because they directly facilitate the transfer of money, so AML/KYC/Tax reporting/Surveillance will happen by default on these nodes. And given that LN can't be a decentralized system but a hub & spoke system, due to the need to keep your wallet online at all times, it will literally become a 3rd party custodian based banking system, literally.
So all of the essence of Bitcoin [word for word quote from the whitepaper]:
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
Will literally cease to exist, and it reverts BTC back into a government regulated banking system, literally.
   
   
There are other arguments too, but these are the main ones, and researching them thoroughly and understanding the issues made me lose all my doubts about Bitcoin Cash and all my faith in Bitcoin.
It can't be any more clear to me now that Bitcoin Cash is the true version of Bitcoin, the real vision of Satoshi and the genuine implementation of it, with all the technical genius-ity that Satoshi had laid out in the whitepaper which is still relevant.
Satoshi laid out everything in the whitepaper, and all of it is implemented geniusly in Bitcoin Cash except for paragraph 7 on page 4 "Reclaiming Disk Space" which talks about block pruning, I am not sure if this is Xthin Blocks or Compact Blocks or Thin Blocks (please explain in the comment section), otherwise it should be implemented, it would be a much better way for scaling than LN.
But other than that BCH is technically superior. Now I don't know whether better things win in politics, but in engineering, if your design is shitty, it will inevitably fall apart. You can't have a skyscraper built on quicksand, it's inevitable disaster.
So look, BCH is obviously risky, it has less users, less merchants; but because it has a solid foundation and probably the 3rd biggest community after ethereum, it has maaaaaaaaaaaaassive opportunity in it to become the best cryptocurrency (because ethereum has the same or worse issues than BTC).
There is no question now whether BCH is better, the only question now is, how long will it take for people to realize this.
 
So I choose to stay with BCH, and now I am 101% supportive of it! Long Live Bitcoin Cash!!
submitted by alexander7k to btc [link] [comments]

Who's really shorting bitcoin? educational post

I see a lot of conspiracy theory here, especially stuff like that whales and institution are manipulating and crashing the markets so they can enter at a lower price point and etc.
I work for a TMT focus HF, but that doesn't really matter much because anyone with a curious mind and has learned to use Google can find this out themselves and see if what i am saying is true.
So, no, there is no conspiracy theory.
The main driving force of bitcoin short is the miners.
2018 has been in a steadily decline with all the charts indicating further downward movement, so instead of selling their coins cheaper and cheaper and lose their underwear, miners bought short sale contract to lock in the price they can sell their future mined coins at.
Now what is a short contract? A short contract allows you to borrow assets from somebody else, in this case, coins. You then proceed to sell it at market price. Later on you buy the coins back and pay back the lender. A short contract will only make senses if you know, or think, the price will be lower in the future.
Still don't understand? here is an example to really dumb it down:
October price hovers around 6K, November average out to 5K, December is at 3K something now. A short sell contract made in October and due december, essentially allows you to sell the coins you would have mined in November and December at October's price, 6K a piece. A pre-sale if that make sense. Later on when the contract is due, you buy the coins at 3K a piece, December's market price, and return the coins back to the lender who lend you the coins in the first place in October. You profited 3K per coin.
Now, obviously miners don't need to buy the coin back, they will just return the coins they have mined from those two months. So, they are basically forced into this short position, because they are stuck with bitcoin, not fiat, from their operation. Exponentially more miners are doing this now because the price break their cost to mine, they are shorting to limit their loss. In the summer, miners are just making less money, now they are losing and everyone is panicking.
So long as the expectation is bearish, the shorts will always be there, from the miners, and it would be foolish to do otherwise. Kinda of a vicious cycle as more shorts in the market represent an overall negative outlook which will drive down the price and thus force the miners to short even lower, whole thing goes round and round, until i suppose it reaches a point where everyone is pulling the plugs of their rigs and the cost to mine goes down substantially since the overall computing power diminishes. ( it already went from 50 to 37 since summer, but i guess by this sub's standard that's merely a minor correction )
Hope all that make sense and now the fake news and conspiracy can stop.

Edit: I don't get all the downvotes, but they surely say something about this sub

Edit: I don't think people understand how costly farms are to run. The bigger ones cost tens of millions to build and a 7 figure a month utilities bill is not unheard of. Most of those projects need a couple years to cover the initial investment, and thats based on that bitcoin worth 20K and more each. Now these farms have only been in operation for a fairly short time, and investors are panicking af. Rigs that you paid 10K for less than a year ago now is barely worth 1500, that's tens of millions of "unrealized equity loss", except they can't just hodl that shit.They got bills to pay and they will try to sell to get as much fiat cash as possible anyway they can, isn't that just a tiny bit ironic...

submitted by TechIBD to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners
Thank you for inviting Horizen to the GPU mining AMA!
ZEN had a great run of GPU mining that lasted well over a year, and brought lots of value to the early Zclassic miners. It is mined using Equihash protocol, and there have been ASIC miners available for the algorithm since about June of 2018. GPU mining is not really profitable for Horizen at this point in time.
We’ve got a lot of miners in the Horizen community, and many GPU miners also buy ASIC miners. Happy to talk about algorithm changes, security, and any other aspect of mining in the questions below. There are also links to the Horizen website, blog post, etc. below.
So, if I’m not here to ask you to mine, hold, and love ZEN, what can I offer? Notes on some of the lessons I’ve learned about maximizing mining profitability. An update on Horizen - there is life after moving on from GPU mining. As well as answering your questions during the next 7 days.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Author: Rolf Versluis - co-founder of Horizen

In GPU mining, just like in many of the activities involved with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, there is both a cycle and a progression. The Bitcoin price cycle is fairly steady, and by creating a personal handbook of actions to take during the cycle, GPU miners can maximize their profitability.
Maximizing profitability isn't the only aspect of GPU mining that is important, of course, but it is helpful to be able to invest in new hardware, and be able to have enough time to spend on building and maintaining the GPU miners. If it was a constant process that also involved losing money, then it wouldn't be as much fun.

Technology Progression

For a given mining algorithm, there is definitely a technology progression. We can look back on the technology that was used to mine Bitcoin and see how it first started off as Central Processing Unit (CPU) mining, then it moved to Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) mining, then Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), and then Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC).
Throughout this evolution we have witnessed a variety of unsavory business practices that unfortunately still happen on occasion, like ASIC Miner manufacturers taking pre-orders 6 months in advance, GPU manufacturers creating commercial cards for large farms that are difficult for retail customers to secure and ASIC Miner manufacturers mining on gear for months before making it available for sale.
When a new crypto-currency is created, in many cases a new mining algorithm is created also. This is important, because if an existing algorithm was used, the coin would be open to a 51% attack from day one, and may not even be able to build a valid blockchain.
Because there's such a focus on profitable software, developers for GPU mining applications are usually able to write a mining application fairly rapidly, then iterate it to the limit of current GPU technology. If it looks like a promising new cryptocurrency, FPGA stream developers and ASIC Hardware Developers start working on their designs at the same time.
The people who create the hashing algorithms run by the miners are usually not very familiar with the design capabilities of Hardware manufacturers. Building application-specific semiconductors is an industry that's almost 60 years old now, and FPGA’s have been around for almost 35 years. This is an industry that has very experienced engineers using advanced design and modeling tools.
Promising cryptocurrencies are usually ones that are deploying new technology, or going after a big market, and who have at least a team of talented software developers. In the best case, the project has a full-stack business team involving development, project management, systems administration, marketing, sales, and leadership. This is the type of project that attracts early investment from the market, which will drive the price of the coin up significantly in the first year.
For any cryptocurrency that's a worthwhile investment of time, money, and electricity for the hashing, there will be a ASIC miners developed for it. Instead of fighting this technology progression, GPU miners may be better off recognizing it as inevitable, and taking advantage of the cryptocurrency cycle to maximize GPU mining profitability instead.

Cryptocurrency Price Cycle

For quality crypto projects, in addition to the one-way technology progression of CPU -> GPU -> FPGA -> ASIC, there is an upward price progression. More importantly, there is a cryptocurrency price cycle that oscillates around an overall upgrade price progression. Plotted against time, a cycle with an upward progressions looks like a sine wave with an ever increasing average value, which is what we see so far with the Bitcoin price.

Cryptocurrency price cycle and progression for miners
This means mining promising new cryptocurrencies with GPU miners, holding them as the price rises, and being ready to sell a significant portion in the first year. Just about every cryptocurrency is going to have a sharp price rise at some point, whether through institutional investor interest or by being the target of a pump-and-dump operation. It’s especially likely in the first year, while the supply is low and there is not much trading volume or liquidity on exchanges.
Miners need to operate in the world of government money, as well as cryptocurrency. The people who run mining businesses at some point have to start selling their mining proceeds to pay the bills, and to buy new equipment as the existing equipment becomes obsolete. Working to maximize profitability means more than just mining new cryptocurrencies, it also means learning when to sell and how to manage money.

Managing Cash for Miners

The worst thing that can happen to a business is to run out of cash. When that happens, the business usually shuts down and goes into bankruptcy. Sometimes an investor comes in and picks up the pieces, but at the point the former owners become employees.
There are two sides to managing cash - one is earning it, the other is spending it, and the cryptocurrency price cycle can tell the GPU miner when it is the best time to do certain things. A market top and bottom is easy to recognize in hindsight, and harder to see when in the middle of it. Even if a miner is able to recognize the tops and bottoms, it is difficult to act when there is so much hype and positivity at the top of the cycle, and so much gloom and doom at the bottom.
A decent rule of thumb for the last few cycles appears to be that at the top and bottom of the cycle BTC is 10x as expensive compared to USD as the last cycle. Newer crypto projects tend to have bigger price swings than Bitcoin, and during the rising of the pricing cycle there is the possibility that an altcoin will have a rise to 100x its starting price.
Taking profits from selling altcoins during the rise is important, but so is maintaining a reserve. In order to catch a 100x move, it may be worth the risk to put some of the altcoin on an exchange and set a very high limit order. For the larger cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin it is important to set trailing sell stops on the way up, and to not buy back in for at least a month if a sell stop gets triggered. Being able to read price charts, see support and resistance areas for price, and knowing how to set sell orders are an important part of mining profitability.

Actions to Take During the Cycle

As the cycle starts to rise from the bottom, this is a good time to buy mining hardware - it will be inexpensive. Also to mine and buy altcoins, which are usually the first to see a price rise, and will have larger price increases than Bitcoin.
On the rise of the cycle, this is a good time to see which altcoins are doing well from a project fundamentals standpoint, and which ones look like they are undergoing accumulation from investors.
Halfway through the rise of the cycle is the time to start selling altcoins for the larger project cryptos like Bitcoin. Miners will miss some of the profit at the top of the cycle, but will not run out of cash by doing this. This is also the time to stop buying mining hardware. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to pick up that same hardware used for a fraction of the price at the next bottom.
As the price nears the top of the cycle, sell enough Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to meet the following projected costs:
  • Mining electricity costs for the next 12 months
  • Planned investment into new miners for the next cycle
  • Additional funds needed for things like supporting a family or buying a Lambo
  • Taxes on all the capital gains from the sale of cryptocurrencies
It may be worth selling 70-90% of crypto holdings, maintaining a reserve in case there is second upward move caused by government bankruptcies. But selling a large part of the crypto is helpful to maintaining profitability and having enough cash reserves to make it through the bottom part of the next cycle.
As the cycle has peaked and starts to decline, this is a good time to start investing in mining facilities and other infrastructure, brush up on trading skills, count your winnings, and take some vacation.
At the bottom of the cycle, it is time to start buying both used and new mining equipment. The bottom can be hard to recognize.
If you can continue to mine all the way through bottom part of the cryptocurrency pricing cycle, paying with the funds sold near the top, you will have a profitable and enjoyable cryptocurrency mining business. Any cryptocurrency you are able to hold onto will benefit from the price progression in the next higher cycle phase.

An Update on Horizen - formerly ZenCash

The team at Horizen recognizes the important part that GPU miners played in the early success of Zclassic and ZenCash, and there is always a welcoming attitude to any of ZEN miners, past and present. About 1 year after ZenCash launched, ASIC miners became available for the Equihash algorithm. Looking at a chart of mining difficulty over time shows when it was time for GPU miners to move to mining other cryptocurrencies.

Horizen Historical Block Difficulty Graph
Looking at the hashrate chart, it is straightforward to see that ASIC miners were deployed starting June 2018. It appears that there was a jump in mining hashrate in October of 2017. This may have been larger GPU farms switching over to mine Horizen, FPGA’s on the network, or early version of Equihash ASIC miners that were kept private.
The team understands the importance of the cryptocurrency price cycle as it affects the funds from the Horizen treasury and the investments that can be made. 20% of each block mined is sent to the Horizen non-profit foundation for use to improve the project. Just like miners have to manage money, the team has to decide whether to spend funds when the price is high or convert it to