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Topic: Defending Bitcoin against interventionists (Read 12419 times)

hero member
Activity: 775
Merit: 1000
April 01, 2012, 08:09:22 PM
#32
Do you mean Tyler Durden clever? Or do you mean Pirate Bay, MegaUpload, Wikileaks clever?
Lazy wording on my part. Presumably those guys are all busy on other projects and/or getting deported, so no. Strictly speaking it'll be a broad group, including but not exclusive to:
teens experimenting with their gaming rig because they heard about the "free money", engineering students borrowing FPGA kits, IT admins kitting out their server room at work, young parents running a start-up...

They may or may not be financially literate... But with various challenges being thrown their way, they can only improve.
donator
Activity: 1736
Merit: 1002
Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.
Yes! That is what I am trying to say! Agreed with you!

No-one will be trying to "prove" to you or me why you (or me) must or must not run it.

And we will just continue to use it. That is an easiest way to intervene the project - just subtly intervene the code, so noone notices.
1. Hijack the hosting, that distibutes the binaries, and you will affect the majority of users, that do not compile by themselves.
2. Hijack the developers' workplaces, and you will get the ability to subtly affect the source code.
3. Hijack the source control system, and you will control the source and the binaries.
And don't think, that the "evil Cool powers" will be forced to do that via Internet access only.
Whenever the government comes to play, or the hugest businesses, then physically hijacking the servers is the cheapest attack on the Bitcoin.

Bitcoin as a payment system suffers from the threats to Bitcoin as a software project.
They are the common threats, not Bitcoin-specific, I think they are obvious to every opensource programmer.

Yes, there are some countermeasures to protect Bitcoin as a payment system from such attacks, like developing a standard first, not a software. But AFAIK they are not deployed NOW, standard may change, and users cannot affect to veto the changes, unless they coordinate, which is, well, unlikely  without a sound reason.
That's all I can say.

I find it fascinating how Bitcoin demonstrates how immense power can be wielded where there is a knowledge gap. The cleverest miners with the best technology mine the most coins for the lowest cost. Developers have a literacy advantage over non-developers. And the community as a whole appears to be several steps ahead of the financial kakistocracy Cheesy
Do you mean Tyler Durden clever? Or do you mean Pirate Bay, MegaUpload, Wikileaks clever?
hero member
Activity: 775
Merit: 1000
Yes! That is what I am trying to say! Agreed with you!

No-one will be trying to "prove" to you or me why you (or me) must or must not run it.

And we will just continue to use it. That is an easiest way to intervene the project - just subtly intervene the code, so noone notices.
1. Hijack the hosting, that distibutes the binaries, and you will affect the majority of users, that do not compile by themselves.
2. Hijack the developers' workplaces, and you will get the ability to subtly affect the source code.
3. Hijack the source control system, and you will control the source and the binaries.
And don't think, that the "evil Cool powers" will be forced to do that via Internet access only.
Whenever the government comes to play, or the hugest businesses, then physically hijacking the servers is the cheapest attack on the Bitcoin.

Bitcoin as a payment system suffers from the threats to Bitcoin as a software project.
They are the common threats, not Bitcoin-specific, I think they are obvious to every opensource programmer.

Yes, there are some countermeasures to protect Bitcoin as a payment system from such attacks, like developing a standard first, not a software. But AFAIK they are not deployed NOW, standard may change, and users cannot affect to veto the changes, unless they coordinate, which is, well, unlikely  without a sound reason.
That's all I can say.

I find it fascinating how Bitcoin demonstrates how immense power can be wielded where there is a knowledge gap. The cleverest miners with the best technology mine the most coins for the lowest cost. Developers have a literacy advantage over non-developers. And the community as a whole appears to be several steps ahead of the financial kakistocracy Cheesy
legendary
Activity: 1764
Merit: 1007
he's been hit by a bus?  Shocked
sr. member
Activity: 252
Merit: 255
And when people start noticing that it's been hijacked, they'll make posts on forums, and that general knowledge will pass by word of mouth and people will stop using it.

Just because we're not trying to "prove" to you that it's valid/invalid doesn't mean we won't say "Uhhhh, I wouldn't use this anymore."

As less people use the client, it will become less valuable to use.  Thus, the people who DON'T listen to word of mouth will have no point to use it.
So, let's start!

I have noticed, that Quantumplation's account on this forum is hijacked by some evil power, like chinese government, or some international banking corporation, don't know exactly. He advocates against the possibility of such event affecting the Bitcoin's security.

He-he.  Cool

I suppose, that in the future, the user base may outgrow the developers community, making it more feasible to attack Bitcoin users by attacking Bitcoin by attacking it's codebase and standards base, for example, by hijacking the developers.

I wish it never happens. But what prevents that, except it being my paranoia?
And I've noticed the user throughput trying to disrupt the Bitcoin community by making false claims about community members.  Wink
full member
Activity: 158
Merit: 100
And when people start noticing that it's been hijacked, they'll make posts on forums, and that general knowledge will pass by word of mouth and people will stop using it.

Just because we're not trying to "prove" to you that it's valid/invalid doesn't mean we won't say "Uhhhh, I wouldn't use this anymore."

As less people use the client, it will become less valuable to use.  Thus, the people who DON'T listen to word of mouth will have no point to use it.
So, let's start!

I have noticed, that Quantumplation's account on this forum is hijacked by some evil power, like chinese government, or some international banking corporation, don't know exactly. He advocates against the possibility of such event affecting the Bitcoin's security.

He-he.  Cool

I suppose, that in the future, the user base may outgrow the developers community, making it more feasible to attack Bitcoin users by attacking Bitcoin by attacking it's codebase and standards base, for example, by hijacking the developers.

I wish it never happens. But what prevents that, except it being my paranoia?
sr. member
Activity: 308
Merit: 250
And when people start noticing that it's been hijacked, they'll make posts on forums, and that general knowledge will pass by word of mouth and people will stop using it.

Just because we're not trying to "prove" to you that it's valid/invalid doesn't mean we won't say "Uhhhh, I wouldn't use this anymore."

As less people use the client, it will become less valuable to use.  Thus, the people who DON'T listen to word of mouth will have no point to use it.
full member
Activity: 158
Merit: 100
Would you prove to us, that the update was "obnoxious"?
No-one feels the need to prove anything about the code to you. Because there's no centralized control, you're free to use an obnoxious update if you like.

Of course not everyone can read source code. But some people can, and some people do. The choice to run or not run the code is up to you, and no-one will be trying to "prove" to you why you must or must not run it.

Yes! That is what I am trying to say! Agreed with you!

No-one will be trying to "prove" to you or me why you (or me) must or must not run it.

And we will just continue to use it. That is an easiest way to intervene the project - just subtly intervene the code, so noone notices.
1. Hijack the hosting, that distibutes the binaries, and you will affect the majority of users, that do not compile by themselves.
2. Hijack the developers' workplaces, and you will get the ability to subtly affect the source code.
3. Hijack the source control system, and you will control the source and the binaries.
And don't think, that the "evil Cool powers" will be forced to do that via Internet access only.
Whenever the government comes to play, or the hugest businesses, then physically hijacking the servers is the cheapest attack on the Bitcoin.

Bitcoin as a payment system suffers from the threats to Bitcoin as a software project.
They are the common threats, not Bitcoin-specific, I think they are obvious to every opensource programmer.

Yes, there are some countermeasures to protect Bitcoin as a payment system from such attacks, like developing a standard first, not a software. But AFAIK they are not deployed NOW, standard may change, and users cannot affect to veto the changes, unless they coordinate, which is, well, unlikely  without a sound reason.
That's all I can say.
full member
Activity: 158
Merit: 100
If he were to try to push an obnoxious software update with new rules, most people would continue to use the existing software, or would recompile the new version to remove whatever was obnoxious.

Yep.
If they will notice, that the update contains some "wrong" rules, that will hurt their wallets, ofcourse...
But if they don't? Do you regularly read code updates Smiley ?
I don't, having a better things to do, like talking with you.
Would you notice that? Would you tell us then?
Would you prove to us, that the update was "obnoxious"?
Will we trust you Smiley ? Who are you Smiley ?
And, by the way, developers have the reputation, that gives them some authority, and there is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plausible_deniability to prevent losing that reputation.

The problem of the central authority arises with Bitcoin too.
Well, it will not arise, as soon, as development finishes and the rules in the code
become static and widely recognized and approved by majority.
But that moment is in the future.
full member
Activity: 158
Merit: 100
If Satoshi disappeared today? Then those that worked with him and wanted to put in the effort to run the project would be the natural selection logically. Otherwise, it just rolls down until someone wants to take charge. If that failed, I would considered heading the project myself if no one else was left that wanted to.

The more evil thing may happen if Satoshi start to have evil intentions and will start to manipulate the rules.
Forking the code will not help Bitcoin system to sustain.
Do you personally know him?
Do you meet IRL?
Do you know his mind?
Is he a real person Smiley ?
Haven't he dissappeared already long time ago?

The trust to the system depends on the answers to that questions.

Developers are the central authority of Bitcoin.
We all download the code produced by some single source - a group of developers.
Now we cannot decentralize the code development, developers must agree on some common rules for the system,
or the system will break.

https://bitcointalksearch.org/topic/is-bitcoin-that-really-decentralized-as-you-believe-547
sr. member
Activity: 308
Merit: 252
Possibly related though: Can the bitcoin project survive if Satoshi is hit by the bus tomorrow?
Yes, all the source code is available, anyone can compile the client or modify it, fork it, etc.

I meant an orderly succession, not a thousand forks of bitcoin.
If Satoshi disappeared today? Then those that worked with him and wanted to put in the effort to run the project would be the natural selection logically. Otherwise, it just rolls down until someone wants to take charge. If that failed, I would considered heading the project myself if no one else was left that wanted to.
legendary
Activity: 980
Merit: 1010
Possibly related though: Can the bitcoin project survive if Satoshi is hit by the bus tomorrow?
Yes, all the source code is available, anyone can compile the client or modify it, fork it, etc.

I meant an orderly succession, not a thousand forks of bitcoin.
sr. member
Activity: 308
Merit: 252
Possibly related though: Can the bitcoin project survive if Satoshi is hit by the bus tomorrow?
Yes, all the source code is available, anyone can compile the client or modify it, fork it, etc.
legendary
Activity: 980
Merit: 1010
Possibly related though: Can the bitcoin project survive if Satoshi is hit by the bus tomorrow?
sr. member
Activity: 308
Merit: 250
Every 2014 blocks the difficulty is automatically adjusted so that at the average hashing speed of the last 2014 blocks it will take 2 weeks to create the next 2014 blocks.

What this means is that if you load 1000x more computing power into hashing than the rest of us combined you will get nearly all of the remaining 2014 coins until the reset, but then even at your phenomenal speed the next 2014 will take you 2 weeks. Only about 2 blocks will be generated by other people, but you won't generate anymore than all of the blocks. Now if you could increase your power 1000x every 2014 blocks for a long time then yes you could get a lot of blocks. You are still going to run into the halving of coin awards and are absolutely maxed at getting the rest of the coins that will ever be created, about 17.5M more.

Anyway, the point is that if you hold 21 BTC you will never have fewer than 1 millionth of the coins, no matter how fast your computing is or how fast your computing speed increases.

2016.  Other than that, yea.
legendary
Activity: 1246
Merit: 1014
Strength in numbers
Every 2014 blocks the difficulty is automatically adjusted so that at the average hashing speed of the last 2014 blocks it will take 2 weeks to create the next 2014 blocks.

What this means is that if you load 1000x more computing power into hashing than the rest of us combined you will get nearly all of the remaining 2014 coins until the reset, but then even at your phenomenal speed the next 2014 will take you 2 weeks. Only about 2 blocks will be generated by other people, but you won't generate anymore than all of the blocks. Now if you could increase your power 1000x every 2014 blocks for a long time then yes you could get a lot of blocks. You are still going to run into the halving of coin awards and are absolutely maxed at getting the rest of the coins that will ever be created, about 17.5M more.

Anyway, the point is that if you hold 21 BTC you will never have fewer than 1 millionth of the coins, no matter how fast your computing is or how fast your computing speed increases.
sr. member
Activity: 434
Merit: 250
youtube.com/ericfontainejazz now accepts bitcoin
What is to prevent the government (or even a corporation like amazon cloud) from converting a bunch of its super computer clusters into producing bitcoins, thereby diluting the value of eveyone's bitcoins?  I guess basically we need enough regular people producing bitscoins to counteract any central organization of producing a majority of bitcoins.  And I guess that overtime, the cost of producing bitcoins will approach the actual physical cost of computer energy and hardware and the opportunity cost of doing something else useful.  I'm sorry, I'm a newbie!  Just trying to think this through out loud.
newbie
Activity: 10
Merit: 0
I assumed that we were getting the blocks to solve from a central authority and when I computer solves that block it turns into money. I am probably wrong.
No, block is (as the FAQ says) just a sequence of transactions that happened since the last block was created plus a transaction that gives you the newly created bitcoins. It is just made so that creating this block is quite difficult. There is no central authority in the whole system (apart from an IRC feed used only to get other people's addresses).
full member
Activity: 199
Merit: 696
The blocks are just random data - the only purpose of the hashing and block generation is to limit supply and provide a way to arbitrate double spending.
newbie
Activity: 8
Merit: 0
I assumed that we were getting the blocks to solve from a central authority and when I computer solves that block it turns into money. I am probably wrong.
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