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Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
submitted by kcbitcoin to btc [link] [comments]

Blue Beelzebub (Part 1)

For years, years, I wondered – ‘why me’ – you know, you know, kiddo – ‘why me’ – but there is no ‘why me’. What? As if there were, you know, ‘chosens’, there’s no ‘chosens’ – there’s no all–seeing, all–knowing powerful nothing. It happened. That’s it. I fell for it. I took its bait – hook, line, sinker. Didn’t I do it to myself? Wasn’t I the sucker? There’s no ‘why me’ – and once I realized that, that there was no, that there was no, no any kind of justice what so ever, until I acted, that gave my existence purpose. And now I’m gonna fulfill that purpose. I don’t want you getting involved. You’re deep enough as it is. Don’t be the sucker!
– Bobby Mortaren; famous last words
I raced from the house to the hotel, at Walsenburg, where I struggled to make sense of everything that transpired. I poured myself over notes and records that I had brought along. Only my laptop’s glow illuminated the room. Every so often lights through I-25 swept across the bed. Every so often breezes stirred trees around the perimeter. Soon midnight passed. The world darkened, relaxing as it were into slumber.
A knock rattled the door - and I could have shrieked if it weren’t for what remained of my nerves. All of a sudden, I felt so icy, so cold, that I stood, frozen, uncertain of how to proceed. Who was it? It couldn’t be good. Not the FBI. Not the Thules. Ache, already?
I balked at chucking my laptop - whoever they were at the door, they’d find it, they’d find it.
It’s the 21st century; evidence doesn’t vanish without a trace.
As my heart pounded my chest, I reached that door and cracked it a notch. I braced for the kick certain to follow. It didn’t come. The hotel’s courtyard / lot spread, deserted except for my rented Wrangler. There wasn’t anyone - anyone who may have been my visitor.
Yet - by my feet - at the edge of the threshold - my visitor had left a box.
I poked at it with my pole and turned it over and over. It wasn’t postmarked. It wasn’t addressed. It had been delivered by hand and, suspecting what it was, I yanked it inside. Leaning onto and drooping against the door, I tore its lid. The box contained two floppies, a CD, and a stack paper. It was Blue Beelzebub - all of it, every part of it. As well as instructions: a How-To-Guide for destroying your future, fetched onto my doorstep, white-glove-style to boot, as promised. It may as well have been a bomb.
###
How did Blue Beelzebub mutate into my obsession?
Worse - did I expect to find its truth remarked into code from 1996? 1996! There wasn’t a lot to the internet way, way back when. But crime was crime no matter its era. Was it crime? And did the game start this way or that way then evolve into crime? Was it crime from its start?
The programmer of Blue Beelzebub, a hacker by the avatar ‘ZuZu’, claimed to be legit. Their MO had been to create games not scams. Or so it appeared until Blue Beelzebub entered the story. If it were a product of malware, why had ZuZu devoted so much of their effort into its creation? Why had they boasted of the game’s nitty gritty details during its gestation? Why all of that trouble, if only a fraction of it would have been appreciated by those who played it? Even LVN, when they weren’t laundering bitcoin, expressed what may be described as passion for that game.
Was it a game?
By 1996 standards, its demos parlayed atrocious graphics and threadbare mechanics. The way it affected the player’s rig ensured nobody would be eager to replay it. The game passed every scan available yet it twisted the OS and hijacked the PC to serve as a node, a link into a yet-unknown and yet-unnamed network for purposes every bit as mysterious as the game itself.
As I contemplated the reality of the situation, I settled onto the notion that that game may have been a gimmick to cover truly malevolent intentions. That had been the crux of LVN’s KickStarter and GoFundMe rackets - they always proposed plausible if lofty projects as if they were real, actual products people buy. However, case after case demonstrated that their pretense unraveled after scrutiny. Could it be, as far back as 1996, the creator(s) of Blue Beelzebub conceived of such a deception? FPS (of the type Blue Beelzebub reported to be) were the rage through the 90s. If so then their MO resembled that of a typical bait-and-switch scheme - bait them with a game, switch them with a virus. Then? What? Profit?
###
In the summer of 2017, Czech authorities in conjunction with the EU, arrested LVN at their apartment south of Plzen. They seized the hacker’s laptop, PC, as well as their twenty thousand CD library. LVN was a hacker-for-fire; evidence presented at their arraignment demonstrated to the court that they had been paid by Russian and other Eastern European actors to pilfer bitcoin wallets. In addition to theft, the court entertained charges connected to a NiceHash heist of 64 million euros earlier that year.
It was the breach of NiceHash’s security that brought my skills to the EU’s attention. For a few weeks, between March and May, I played my part to aid the investigation and the conviction of its mastermind. We discovered that the breach had been directed from inside NiceHash. We split the work: ‘brick and mortar’ detectives ran interviews and stakeouts while my fellow ‘white-hats’ and I toiled at the forensics. To meet our end of the bargain, we created a model of that cyber-attack, in order to construct and deconstruct its operation. As we realized how the crime had been executed, we identified the party responsible for it and built the authorities a solid chain-of-evidence - a chain-of-evidence that identified LVN as the perpetrator.
LVN masterminded not just that NiceHash heist but a dozen scams at sites like KickStarter and GoFundMe. LVN traded exclusively through bitcoin. Their MO was to sow fake projects then to reap real funds submitted by backers - by backers who aimed to launder money via its exchange into bitcoin. Projects were advertised to those who sought the service; they were fraudulent through and through yet they appeared real enough to fool the maintainers of those sites and the public at large who may have been tricked by the scams.
Under the supervision of the investigation at large, I pledged my dollars to a few of LVN’s projects, to see what the response would be. Soon, LVN and I exchanged emails. They wanted to speak face-to-face. In front of the experts, I played to type and gained access to a roster of services from that hacker-for-hire. As a result of the communication, the investigation brought into play anti trafficking & exploiting agencies from around the world and accelerated their goal to convict LVN.
One of the projects LVN advertised didn’t fit into the mold in so far as it felt like a genuine hobby of theirs. LVN sought investors to fund their (re)development of a game, Blue Beelzebub. The project listed at KickStarter - removed but saved to my laptop - included a lightbox of images and demos as well as snippets of code. It discussed such esoterics as: updates to its physics engine and its video & audio renderer; upgrades to its arsenal and its gallery of foes; changing its play - expanding its levels and ditching its linearity.
The details impressed me as they perplexed me. Why? I kept asking. What’s the idea? What’s the racket? Why create a game using twenty year old technology? I understood its esoterics perfectly for I came of age during the 90s. So much of what went into Blue Beelzebub felt familiar as it was familiar. An FPS - first person shooter - propelled by a fork of that fabled, 2.5D DOOM engine. Little wonder that its caps parlayed the look and feel of classic 90s PC games!
Maybe it was yet another scam? Or - maybe - it was a hobby of a gamer / programmer? Could it be that LVN recalled those early DOS games and wanted to re-create the era? But that wasn’t everything. And as I mused & Googled I started to ask myself if there wasn’t more about Blue Beelzebub beyond the haze of my nostalgia. I failed to connect the dots although that did not shake the deja vu - somehow, someway, I recognized that game.
###
Escape published my article about LVN’s conviction. Against the advice of my editor, I stalked its commentary, to see what, if anything, the story drew out of the woodwork. Its aside re: Blue Beelzebub attracted attention. I wasn’t surprised, to be honest, as I had inserted it into the text to draw reaction. And my rouse worked! But I wasn’t the only one who felt deja vu about the game.
A commentator, who asked for anonymity, posted a link to 4CHAN about Blue Beelzebub. LVN had advertized the KickStarter for the game at a group devoted to indie developers. LVN never advertized their work at 4CHAN out of fear of exposure. So that thread where they didn’t ask for money confirmed my sense that it wasn’t, necessarily, a scam.
As I scanned that thread, however, I realized what a rabbit-hole the business would be. After LVN’s post, anonymous replies went to and fro as they typically do. Then the tenor of the thread devolved into a war amongst those who were for vs. those who were against what LVN proposed to do with the game. It was a question about credit. At last - somebody revealed a truth I duly suspected of - that Blue Beelzebub wasn’t the work of LVN - that the game as it existed predated LVN by twenty years or so.
The idea for Blue Beelzebub had floated about USENET c. 1995. The majority of the conversations extracted from the archives suggested that the game was vaporware. Its supporters countered that either a P/C or a DEMO existed and that a play-through had been uploaded to (early) YouTube. Everyone who added their opinion - pro & con - agreed that it was “inspired by Satan”, “took its cues from Crowley’s ‘Thelema’“, and that it included clips “replete with ever more corrupt” gore and snuff. A self-described player, whose rig they claimed had been “totaled” by the game, stated bluntly that it contained a “Chinese Sandwich”.
Undeterred by the confusion, I kept at my search, ramming through the archives, pushing my way further back in time, from 1997 to 1995. USENET had been mirrored prior to its collapse yet its content was not indexed completely; a robust query of its posts required force and patience.... In spite of the odds, my effort worked, my persistence located the roots of Blue Beelzebub.
It was a posted dated June 15, 1995 written by the game’s originator, a hacker by the name of ZuZu. According to their missive, they claimed to have produced “a proof of concept demo” for their “latest and greatest” game, Blue Beelzebub, and that it was “a legit game catering to those who worship and admire Lucifer and everything that stands for”. ZuZu listed, point by point, the substance of their creation. I wasn’t surprised to see, splattered across that post, the verbiage LVN usurped for their own advert.
Except - they weren’t seeking funding. According to their missive, the game had been bankrolled “by entities of a foreign sort, who don’t want to be credited”. Rather, they were seeking “experts” willing to alpha & beta test the product.
Blue Beelzebub and by extension ZuZu went rouge between 1997 and 2005.
Then - October 31, 2005 - ZuZu submitted their last, known public statement. Broadcasted through their usual, over-the-top flamboyance, they wished for their “fans to learn and spread the word” that they “secured an exclusive”. They had convinced a devote of indie horror / FPS games to review Blue Beelzebub. The player they had snagged was famous for their day and their name I recognized as I read it.
Bobby Mortaren - an internet pioneer par excellence. Mixing reviews and play-throughs together, his format had been lauded as visionary and just as imitated. Tweaked a bit by-the-by it continued to find use. His name, though, hadn’t been spoken of for a decade. Games had changed. Tastes had changed. He could have shifted into yet another venture so far as I knew.
Mortaren posted his works to YouTube - to YouTube prior to its merger with Alphabet. As I considered the changes that transpired across the years, I wasn’t surprised to discover that all of my links to his works were dead. Eerily, though, it was impossible to locate his reviews directly via YouTube. So I tried Google and Bing. No result. Ditto with DuckDuckGo. Ditto with Wiki, SlideShare, BoardReader. Out of desperation I surfed into the remnants of Alta Vista - maybe its database saved the information? No. No. Futile - all of it.
YouTube’s size was greater than USENET’s size. My task’s extent was altogether a colossal order of magnitude. If that which I pursued had not been deleted, then, it would be found ad finem omnia. So to dig further I opted for a quick & dirty hack - a bot. A bot scripted to sift and sort all YouTube’s content that matched keywords Mortaren and Blue Beelzebub. I ran it and waited for days then for weeks then for months.
###
My extensive search corroborated the fact that Mortaren left the internet c. 2006. Assuming they may have continued via pseudonym, I enquired into the matter with colleagues who devoted themselves to games and / or to reviews. Only a few recognized their name; nobody was cognizant of their voice.
An editor from ToplessRobot directed my attention to a defunct fansite’s messageboard where somebody asked why Mortaren vanished without a trace. To my shock, the reply was that Mortaren had been arrested by the FBI c. 2006. I could not fathom why. Nevertheless, if the revelation were correct, then, the resolution to the matter was tantalizingly viable. Arrests - and trials - were public.
The LVN / EU case brought my forensic skills to the notice of the DOJ and the Treasury / Secret Service. The FBI, like its European counterparts, wanted to understand everything about bitcoin and how it might (might) be possible to trace transactions to individuals.
As part of my freelance work, I already met and debriefed FBI agents re: the Czech hacker. Eventually ‘large’ talk gave way to ‘small’ talk amongst us. It was at that juncture that I broached the subject of Blue Beelzebub - namely, that LVN hatched a scheme to defraud investors (via bitcoin) ostensibly by promising to develop an update to that game.
“They got exposed by players who recognized the game’s ill-repute,” I stated. “Apparently, the game’s infamy started after its reviewer, a fellow by the name of - er - Robby Mortaren? Bobby Mortaren? Well - they got arrested by the FBI.”
Neither the game nor the reviewer elicited a reply - immediately, anyhow.
A (censored) document, summarizing a DOJ investigation, worked its way into my mailbox. Mortaren had been under FBI surveillance from November 2005 to May 2006. Why wasn’t stated; just that the FBI obtained search warrants for computers & electronics. A federal judge issued an arrest warrant May 30, 2006; however, the DOJ withdrew the charges after Mortaren agreed to an immunity deal. Mortaren turned star witness at a trial that involved organized crime as well as rackets, cults, ritualized human & civil rights abuses and elements that suggested Satanism. The perpetrator(s) that the DOJ wanted to convict fled either to South America OR Eastern Europe / Central Asia. The trial evaporated; neither the charges nor the perpetrator(s) were detailed.
Mortaren’s immunity deal with the DOJ wasn’t negotiable or retractable and included a complete internet ban.
The document listed a PO BOX as Mortaren’s permanent address.
To Mr. B. Mortaren:
Sir, I apologize. Blue Beelzebub. Were it not for the fact that you may be the only person left to recall that game, I would not have stretched my resources so thin to find you. If you are not able to assist my research, is anyone?
I was part of an EU investigation re: bitcoin, theft & fraud, as well as trafficking & exploiting vagrants. Through that investigation I came into contact with a hacker; they claimed to be working on Blue Beelzebub; they sought funds to upgrade it. While disturbing to say the least, that game did not strike me as part of the hacker’s MO. So I pried further into the matter and discovered, to my astonishment, that Blue Beelzebub dated to the mid 90s and that you reviewed & posted the demo at YouTube.
I am curious about that game. I cannot get it out of my head. Who was the programmer? Who was the developer? Where did they get the money? What were their goals? What was the game about, if the game was about anything?
A DOJ document summarizing your immunity from prosecution was brought to my attention. I suspected, as I matched the timeframe of the FBI’s surveillance and arrest, to the demo, that these matters are related. I was not able to find a link, due to the fact that all records, transcripts, etc., were sealed by request of the FBI.
If, for any reason what so ever, we cannot communicate about this matter, would it be possible to contact a surrogate or anybody with the information I seek?
With All Due Respect
JK
###
Due to limits that existed at YouTube’s debut, videos posted from 2005 to 2010 were capped to 10 minutes. Both image and sound playback quality were kept low to spare bandwidth. A lack of (accessible) software and hardware to edit video forced vloggers to improvise. Mortaren had always used a webcam and mic from the 90s to shot their videos ‘live’, i.e., without edits.
YouTube retained the majority of Mortaren’s content; however, after a check of the dates and the poster’s IDs, I determined that Mortaren’s videos had been reposted c. 2006 by another user.
If the titles / numbers were correct then there were seven parts to the demo Mortaren recorded for Blue Beelzebub. Of seven, six remained. Specifically, the 5ifth - which must have been filmed as evidenced by the discontinuity between 4ourth and 6ixth - defied my ability to trace.
The reposter stated that “the 5ifth wasn’t part of the review package”. Yet, as I perused copies of replies they had saved, commentary that referenced material that doesn’t appear anywhere else, I strongly suspected that a 5ifth had been posted for a while and, for whatever reason, Mortaren removed it prior to 2006.
1irst - details facts re: the game: the developer, the programmer, the system requirements, etc.
“If your rig’s able to run DOOM, Blue Beelzebub works,” they state then add: “although, prepare yourselves, kiddos, the game takes a very, very long time to install”.
Passingly, he adds that a fan of his had ditched the game after they experienced “a catastrophic system failure” that they blamed “on either a bug or a virus or both”.
The executable and its auxiliary files pass every virus and malware checker Mortaren throws at it.
2econd & 3hird - demonstrates the game play or what passes for it.
Mortaren prefers to record his reviews live so that his fans experience the game exactly as he does. His videos contain hints / cheats if they are discovered as he plays. He describes Blue Beelzebub as a DOOM-GUY-ESQUE player who moves through an enshadowed monochromatic maze.
“There’s no backwards, I, I, I don’t believe it! Did they forget to give us backwards? There’s forwards and left, right. Kiddos, you gotta do a circle to go backwards.” He continues to berate the game, adding: “Yeah, there’s only forwards. And you know, I gotta say it, the programmer may think they’re the money’s nuts for it.... But it’s so weird that going forwards causes the view to bob up and down or side to side. What’re they trying to do? Are they trying to replicate a player’s gait? Takes me right out of the game. Let me tell y’all why. Like I said, the programmer’s got to be thinking they’re the monkey’s nuts but it’s that bizarro attention to detail that’s so jarring as I consider the lack of detail given to the graphics. Guys. Guys. Guys. You gotta think about what you present.”
Mortaren piles his criticism of the graphics and the sounds, comparing both unfavorably to DOOM. Especially frustrating is the invariance of the black & white textures throughout the maze. He praises the response of the maze to the player as he notes, while attempting to draw the maze, that its passages shift at random. Then more and more criticisms were strewn at the game, including its lack of weaponry, its lack of powerups / extras, its lack of anything.
“A game can’t be about going through the maze, guys, there’s got to be a point - something to do!” Finally, he voices the suspicion that he had been duped by ZuZu.
4ourth - the demo gets interesting.
Mortaren finds an area of the maze where the textures differ. The video’s pixilation - perhaps due to the webcam - perhaps due to the way the reposter preserved it - masks the bulk of the alteration. I detect a change of shade, though, from black & white to blue.
“Well it can’t be for nothing that the wall is blue. Jeez!” As he cracks the joke, to his shock (an explicative slips), the sounds became those of “eerie, drone-like notes fading into reverb” and the monitor displays a still-shot. Mortaren zooms into the image; I recognize it as coming from the shock-site, ROTTEN.
After that alteration, every blue-hued texture Mortaren faces produces other images, increasingly nihilistic and graphic, usually of the dead or the dying, often of celebrities, suicides, accidents, wrecks.
5ifth - ?
6ixth - the segment starts at an awkward jump.
It must have been split from the 5ifth video and while Mortaren does not state why, explicitly, the tone of the voice suggests that something serious transpired.
“Sorry, kiddos, I turned the webcam away - a first - I guess this ZuZu accomplished something.”
When he returns the webcam to the monitor, it is apparent that in addition to tone the substance of the game itself altered.
The player stands at the center of a room Mortaren describes as “a vault with a hole at its floor”. The 2.5D renderer prevents the player from gazing inside the hole. But by directing the player to walk the hole’s circumference it is possible to catch bits of its contents. A sharp, blue light shoots out of the hole; the way it cast light at the ceiling suggests there might have been “water”, as if the hole were a well of sorts.
What shocks Mortaren is that the room fills with children. The renderings of faces make each of the children unique. However: “the ghastliness of the imagery resembles how faces voxilate like with Delta Force games”. Further, he notes, after a pause that echoes my own consternation and trepidation, “I’ve seen these kids. Yeah, I’ve seen these kids from those, those photographs the game stopped everything to show us. Jeez!”
The children stand statue-like as the player walks about them. They serve as obstacles that block movement, otherwise, inert, unresponsive, “not that the player interacts with the kids as there’s no other keys available except A, W, D”.
The video continues, then, Mortaren shrieks.
The playback jostles as if it were about to stop. When everything resettles, he speaks, calmly and evenly, that “there’s a kid that’s different ... animated. You gotta see it, kiddos, I can’t say if it’s awful because it’s awful or if it’s awful because it’s awful....” The webcam zooms into the monitor; the child rendering appears to show it breathing, haphazardly, with their mouth agape. And then, then the child moves and the player like the viewer alike slip an explicative. “I take it back, everything, this is truly and utterly awful.”
7eventh - the coda feels like the set’s longest but is the shortest.
“Right now I’m running. I don’t have a weapon, jeez! I’m running as fast as this keyboard allows but my health is shrinking.” Mortaren stops and rotates the player to face backwards. The animated child is behind and striking the player using a technique that resembles “Hanna-Barbera laziness - or who knows - who knows, kiddos, it could be part of the style”. Just as it is with DOOM, as the player’s health decreases, the view gets redder and the avatar gets bloodier. Mortaren aims into the maze; there is no exit, there is no weapon, no upgrade to assist, all that exists is the floor where the player drops, dead.
The 7eventh adds a post-script recorded after the demo. It shows Mortaren’s PC, open and split to pieces. “The game installed a virus,” he declared then described its symptoms.
“Immediately upon my player’s death, the PC rebooted. After the BIOS, instead of going into DOS, it starts a telnet session and tries to connect via IP. Of course it doesn’t get a reply since my PC uses dial-up. So it freezes, pinging and pinging a server somewhere that it cannot reach.”
Mortaren concludes by theorizing that if Blue Beelzebub were a virus, it must have been designed to target high-end systems with LAN / Ethernet ports.
I jot the IP and attempt to connect to it. Strangely, it will not load yet it will not issue an error of any kind. Chrome, FireFox, Edge, etc., freeze. WHOIS is not able to resolve the owner. Nevertheless, it yields the location of the server, a site approximately 50 miles north east of Trinidad, Colorado.
I reject the result; users of tracers already know that they rely on ISP databases to match IP / location - and how often are those databases updated? - and how often are those updates distributed? The decade that passed between today and the video, and between the video and the creation, assures that there must have been a drift re: the location of the IP.
###
I will not reveal the particulars of when, where, and how I received the call.
“The coordinates.” Into my ear spoke a voice that my investigation made familiar. “Check the coordinates.”
“Coordinates?”
“Blue Beelzebub.”
“Yes,” I replied and Mortaren implied we’d meet.
Mortaren had traced my whereabouts through the blogosphere. He wanted to talk about the game yet feared the government “and or others” eavesdropping. I admitted off-handedly that as I sunk into my work with the DOJ, my paranoia tipped.
“What’s the deal with the game, anyway?”
“What do you want on your Chinese Sandwich?”
My impression settled onto a mixture of intrigue and trepidation. The matter felt so cryptic as to defy credulity. Coordinates? Blue Beelzebub. Chinese Sandwich? Nevertheless, even as we talked (brief as the conversation was) I put together that by coordinates + Blue Beelzebub Mortaren referred to the IP the game telnet’ed.
submitted by 0fruitjack0 to nosleep [link] [comments]

Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
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