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Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 3)

Part 1
Part 2
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)
34. Lory
Q: https://petertodd.org/2016/mit-chainanchor-bribing-miners-to-regulate-bitcoin What is your relationship with Chainanchor project, or a similar project?
A: I have never heard of Chainanchor until this question. I don’t have any relationships with any projects that are working on digital identity.
35. xraysun
I found out this link: http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-June/008810.html, Gavin, you said: [But even before stepping down as Lead I was starting to wonder if there are ANY successful open source projects that didn't have either a Benevolent Dictator or some clear voting process to resolve disputes that cannot be settled with "rough consensus."]. I think you are quite right. Wladimir’s roll is hard, huge responsibility with unfitting return. However, that’s not the reason for demanding unanimous support for changes to take place, allowing one-vote veto. What’s the different between having Wladimir and a robot then?
My question is: Other than trying to be “decentrilized”, is it also because that you found the leading dev roll with too much responsibility but too little return, so that you gave up your power? After that, realizing the 5-dev-group (the devs with commit access) need to be somehow centralized, have you ever tried to abolish one-vote veto, and change it to a majority rule. If it was changed to majority rule now, we might need another leading dev. Are you willing to lead the development again?
A: I think I am much better at writing and communicating and thinking about ‘the big picture’ than I am at managing and keeping track of hundreds of small details.
People have encouraged me to be “the Linus Torvalds of Bitcoin,” but I looked at what Linus actually does and I don’t think I would be very good at it or enjoy it. He spends a lot of time with the details of pulling in changes to the Linux kernel, and that is the kind of thing a lead developer needs to spend time doing. Wladimir is good at that.
Even if the Core project changed from “overwhelming consensus-- one or two people can veto a change” to “majority rule” I don’t think I want the lead developer role. If there was nobody else to do it, I would return, but I think there are now lots of people who would be good lead developers. Some of them are leading projects like Bitcoin Unlimited or btcd or Bitcoin Classic, and that is great!
36. ls-a
Q: Lots of people say that “Bitcoin is dead”. What’s your opinion on this? Does Bitcoin still have a future?
A: Bitcoin absolutely has a future. It has been declared dead dozens of time, and I am sure it will be declared dead dozens of times more before people get tired of saying that it is dead.
37. redl
Q: Bitcoin has been stably running for seven years, why not the core developers act like Satoshi, just watch it, so as to avoid development centralization?
A: Good developers always want to make things better!
And there are changes that must be made as more people use Bitcoin.
38. Ma_Ya
Q: What’s your opinion on Dogecoin? Is it possible that Dogecoin becomes one of Bitcoin’s sidechains, so that it can helps the traffic on Bitcoin mainchain?
A: I like the 21-million bitcoin limit. I think it makes sense for there to be a limited, predictable supply of money.
So I don’t like altcoins that create even more money; you can think of it as a sneaky way of increasing the 21-million coin limit. If Dogecoin was just a sidechain, without its own currency, then I would like it more.
39. Gladpay
Q: Gavin, what’s your opinion on Ethereum? Any comment on the trend that the industry started to talk about blockchain without mentioning Bitcoin?
A: I answered another question about Ethereum.
As for “we like Blockchain” instead of “we like Bitcoin” : I don’t have a strong opinion about that. I answered another question about private blockchains; I think they make sense for some things, and not for others.
40. frankf
Q: Can you explain why it is not possible to solve the congestion problem by reducing block generation time? Is reducing block generation time the same as increasing blocksize?
A: It would be even more controversial to reduce the block generation time than it is to increase the block size limit. It is technically more difficult to safely reduce the generation time, and would require more changes to more software. In particular, lightweight wallets that just download block headers might have to download many more headers, increasing their bandwidth usage.
41. ZhongBenCong
Q: Hi, Gavin, I‘m curious why you always change your idea in the size of block limit? Why not insist on one hard fork solution? I think you did not think about it carefully on how to increase the limit, what’s your opinion?
A: I have been trying very hard for a long time to find a solution that most people can agree on, and have made just two proposals (BIP101 and BIP109).
I have thought very carefully about how to safely increase the limit. Part of the problem is it can be done in many ways, and it really doesn’t matter which way is chosen-- it is more important that SOMETHING is chosen. Those are the decisions that are the hardest to make, because it is easy for people to have different opinions about what way is best.
42. FengFengZhongXuYaoNi
Q: Sure, I’m gonna ask something other than blocksize and Classic vs. Core. Gavin I just want to ask you a question as an ordinary trader. Do you believe that Bitcoin can serve as a good store of value? Because you said on bitcontalk that Bitcoin cannot become a significant instrument for storing value https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=204.msg1714#msg1714. Do you still think so?
A: That feels like a very long time ago I said that…
I still think that the best store of value is in diversified investments that are investing in people that are working hard to make the world a better place. So the part of my personal savings that is not Bitcoin is mostly invested in diversified stock mutual funds.
Having some of your savings in a very safe investment makes a lot of sense; something like precious metals is probably the safest investment right now.
Hopefully some day Bitcoin will be safer than gold, and it will make sense to hold Bitcoin as part of your “safe from stock market craziness” money. Today, I think it makes sense to hold some Bitcon as part of your “high risk but maybe high future reward” money.
But please don’t invest all of your money in any one thing!
43. ShaSiBiEr
Q: I just want to ask that, Gavin, you have a title “Chief Scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation”, what does it mean? What’s the main responsibility, and who assigned it to you?
A: There was a meeting in Seattle where we created the Foundation. I don’t remember who suggested the “Chief Scientist” title, but it seemed better than the rest of the possible titles we were thinking of.
I am fortunate to have very few responsibilities. I am given the freedom to do what I think will be best for Bitcoin. I tell people I have almost no gray hair (I should have gray hair, I will be 50 years old at the end of the year) because I organize my life so that I do not need to manage people and almost never have to talk with lawyers.
44. pangcong
Q: How did you know Satoshi at the very beginning, did he come to you, or you were attacted by the Bitcoin project and contacted him?
A: I contacted Satoshi on the bitcointalk forums. Here is my first message to him:
Hey Satoshi:
I want to help make Bitcoin a success. I've started by creating freebitcoins.appspot.com, and plan on doing a couple of other small projects like it.
But I think I might be able to help in lots of other ways. I was the chief architect of the VRML 3D-graphics-on-the-web standardization effort (which is STILL a solution in search of a problem, unfortunately), and had the unpleasant experience of taking it through the ISO standardization process.
I've also written a lot of C++ code (I'm very proud of the code I wrote as part of the Open Inventor team at Silicon Graphics), although it's been a while (I've switched to Python).
I'm very curious to hear more about you-- how old are you? Is Satoshi your real name? Do you have a day job? What projects have you been involved with before?
Anyway, Bitcoin is a brilliant idea, and I want to help. What do you need?
-- Gavin Andresen
45. XiaoMaYi
Q: Gavin, last time when you were in Beijing, what did you say in that meeting?
*A: *The first and only time I’ve been in China was the end of last month (March).
The purpose of the trip was to meet with some of the mining pools and miners, to better understand what they are thinking about the block size limit, segregated witness, the halving, and anything else that is an issue right now.
I did not say a lot-- just made clear some technical points about BIP109, and explained what I have been hearing from large and small companies in the West.
46. Satoshi
Q: Gavin, what do you think is the best way to introduce / explain Bitcoin to an average Joe?
A: I usually start by saying that Bitcoin is one of those ideas that sounds crazy when you first hear it. And then I describe it as “money for the Internet, that is designed to be like the Internet-- with no single person or government or company in control.”
Then I let them steer the conversation and ask questions if they are interested. Some people want to talk about what governments think, some people want to know about the technology, some people want to know if they should invest or how easy it is to use… there are lots of things to talk about!
47. QiBuShangTianTang
Q: Gavin, you’re working for bitcoin as a career, is there anyone around try to deride or attact you about what you’re doing? How did you move on and continue your work? What do you think about the current situation of bitcoin development?
*A: *There are always people on the Internet who seem to like attacking other people. I don’t know if it is better or worse with Bitcoin; probably worse, because people care so much about it.
I get many more people thanking me for the work I do on Bitcoin than people attacking me, so usually it is easy to move on and continue my work. I am most hurt when I am attacked by people I have worked with in the past; that is discouraging.
I think overall Bitcoin development is stronger than it has ever been. There are more people contributing, not just to Core but to other projects, and more innovation happening.
But moving from there being just one implementation of the protocol to multiple competing implementations is necessary, but difficult. I wish developers did not see that transition as being some sort of personal attack.
48. kcb
Q: Hi Gavin, SegWig had a PR a couple of days ago, however, the blocksize limit is still 1MB, the amount of transactions can be processed are still the same per block. I really want to know that when we can benefit from SegWig, and when can we actually have blocks that can process more transactions?
A: If everything goes perfectly, we might see a significan number of SegWit transactions in three months. I would guess it will take six months for the miners to adopt segwit and then wallets to start producing segwit transactions, but it could take a year.
Unfortunately, transaction volume was growing more quickly than that, so even if Segwit helps, it will not help quickly enough.
49. ZhongBenCong
Q: Hi Gavin, you said in 2015 that having 1-minute block generation time is a good idea. Do you still believe so? If yes, can you share your strategy on dealing with the security issues and the higher orphan rate? https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/35hpkt/please_remind_me_once_again_why_we_cant_decrease/cr4wk0g
A: Yes, I still believe Bitcoin would work just fine with a one-minute block generation time.
I don’t think we should change that right now, though, because it would be a big change that requires changing lots of software.
I’m not sure what security issues you are talking about, perhaps you could be more specific.
As for higher orphan rates: if everybody has a higher orphan rate, then that is not a problem (unless orphan rates get very high-- say 5-10% or more). Even worries about larger miners having an advantage at higher orphan rates could be addressed with some protocol changes.
But, again, all of that is a much longer discussion that I don’t think we should have right now. Increasing or eliminating the block size limit is much simpler.
50. BiTeCui
Q: Hi Gavin, how many hours do spend on working every day? Do you still write code nowadays?
*A: *It depends on what you mean by “working” -- does answering email after dinner count?
I try not to work too much; I need to get more exercise, and like to spend time with my family (my children will be going to college in just a few years). I am usually at my office maybe seven hours, five days per week, and on good days I do get to still write code.
51.pangcong
Q: Hi, Gavin, how many children do you have? :-D How do you balance between your life and bitcoin?
A: Two children, a girl and a boy, both teenagers. The trick to balancing life and bitcoin is to say “no” a lot (“no, I’m sorry, I cannot speak at your conference in Botswana”).
52. fermi
Q: Hi Gavin, I’m very worried about bitcoin may split to two coins, which is very bad. So I once posted on 8btc to discuss how to prevent bitcoin from splitting in future. http://8btc.com/thread-30758-1-1.htm. Simply put, we just add all different opinions into one wallet, and the network automatically hard fork based on the vote result of the wallet. In this way, there would be no splitting ever happen. Do you think this idea would work out? (See above image as an illustration of the idea)
A: Agreeing how the vote would work would be hard (would transactions vote? For how long? 51% agreement or 75% or 95%?) Only transactions in blocks count as voting? (if not, then somebody could send lots of transactions to vote multiple times) And what if miners decide not to mine transactions that vote for something they disagree with?
53. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you think large institutions wil join in Bitcoin ,like big fund or bank? There are news mentioned about safery regulations and risk factors in bitoin, may they be eliminated? Or will bitcoin be a game for ordinary people forever?
A: If Bitcoin continues to grow, then yes, I think large institutions will start to accept Bitcoin. We have already seen some big technology companies like Microsoft work with Bitcoin.
Most of the risk with Bitcoin is caused by new, immature companies (like Mt. Gox). The risk is smaller today, because larger, more stable, better funded companies with better engineers are involved, and I expect that will continue.
I hope Bitcoin will also be used by ordinary people forever!
54. baowj
Q: What are you most proud of since you've join in Bitcoin development?
A: All of the testing infrastructure that I put into place. My first contribution was the Bitcoin testnet, and if I remember correctly I also put the first unit tests in place and the first regression tests.
55. kcb
Q: Hi Gavin, do you mind further share some insights on why you think Bitcoin cannot replace the fiat system and become a true global currency?
Bitcoin is a better instrument as store of value, it has better liquidity, also better against counterfeiting, and can even truly make people's wealth inviolable to anyone! (no more confiscation and capital control.)
Therefore, Bitcoin obviously is a better currency comparing to fiat. When a better currency appears, people tends to adopt it naturally, and gradually abandon the old currency. (just like how people abandoned shells, when they realized that gold is better form of money with excellent monetary attributes.
*A: * It could eventually replace the fiat system, but I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime. I hope I am wrong about that!
56.altcoindev
Q: Hi, Gavin, welcome to 8btc!
I am a altlcoin dev ,do you like one or some altcoins? And what do you think of the coins developed by Chinese Teams, like the VPNCoin、Dacrs(SmartCoin)、Antshares or others projects(these are all high light shown on 8btc.com).
Have you ever tried to understand such altcoins?
Best Regards!
Your fans
A: I don’t like altcoins that are created just to create more money, because I like the 21-million bitcoin limit.
Altcoins that have some innovative technology in them (like Ethereum or Zerocash) are more interesting, but I would rather they were done as sidechains to the Bitcoin blockchain. I think you should have a very good purpose for creating a new currency, and if you don’t have a good purpose, you should use the Bitcoin currency.
Gavin: Thank you very much for the great questions, and BIG thanks to the translators for their hard work!
kcb: Thank you Gavin!! It’s great to have you here!!
WangXiaoMeng: Thanks a lot Gavin!!!
submitted by kcbitcoin to btc [link] [comments]

Mike Hearn's inconsistencies with respect to block size

From his "The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment" post:
"The reason the true limit seems to be 700 kilobytes instead of the theoretical 1000 is that sometimes miners produce blocks smaller than allowed and even empty blocks, despite that there are lots of transactions waiting to confirm — this seems to be most frequently caused by interference from the Chinese “Great Firewall” censorship system. More on that in a second."
"Because the block chain is controlled by Chinese miners, just two of whom control more than 50% of the hash power. At a recent conference over 95% of hashing power was controlled by a handful of guys sitting on a single stage. The miners are not allowing the block chain to grow."
"And the final reason is that the Chinese internet is so broken by their government’s firewall that moving data across the border barely works at all, with speeds routinely worse than what mobile phones provide."
"Right now, the Chinese miners are able to — just about — maintain their connection to the global internet"
So, established by Mike: Chinese miners are currently the largest players, at least 50% of the mining power and they have limited bandwidth which is barely able to operate at current capacity. What is his solution?:
"In August 2015 it became clear that due to severe mismanagement, the “Bitcoin Core” project that maintains the program that runs the peer-to-peer network wasn’t going to release a version that raised the block size limit. The reasons for this are complicated and discussed below. But obviously, the community needed the ability to keep adding new users. So some long-term developers (including me) got together and developed the necessary code to raise the limit. That code was called BIP 101 and we released it in a modified version of the software that we branded Bitcoin XT."
BIP101: "The maximum size shall be 8,000,000 bytes at a timestamp of 2016-01-11 00:00:00 UTC"
So his solution, increase capacity to 8MB 6 days ago. So what are we to assume would have happened then? I don't claim to be smart enough to accurately predict the result but I'm pretty sure based on the assumptions Mike laid out in his own words this would impact most of bitcoin's mining capacity. Does this seem like a prudent plan to you?
I found a ton of other amazing misrepresentations, like this one:
"it’s now common to be asked to pay more to miners than a credit card would charge". Common? Really? Perhaps if one is spending 1 BTC of collected dust, but that doesn't not seem like a common scenario.
There are plenty more misrepresentations but I'm trying to stay focused on the bandwidth issue, though this is the kicker to me:
"When parts of the community are viciously turning on the people that have introduced millions of users to the currency, you know things have got really crazy." Isn't that just exactly what Mike Hearn did with this medium post? Not only did he turn on the people who managed to bootstrap, maintain and nurture this system, he turned on all of the XT supporters and all investors.
Also notice the failure to mention he's now an R3 employee working on a competing blockchain? Perhaps if he really cared about the people he worked with and the community he represented, that he claims he was trying to help with XT, in the interest of fairness and knowing the broader public eye would be on this post due to the NYT article, he would have disclosed that. He should have.
IMO, all indicators are that this was simply a bitcoin hit piece in an attempt to benefit his personal stock and new employer.
So to my point, if 1 of the 2 leaders of the XT movement would do such a thing and was so influential as to precipitate this major rift, should we perhaps use more caution before trusting successors with easy solutions?
I hope this post serves to reopen the questions regarding bandwidth which seem to not be adequately discussed (thanks Mike_Hearn for providing the valuable information), and to hopefully restore some faith in the more mature and cautious development and process of the core developers vs. the reactive and emotional responses of their detractors. Note, I believe what Theymos did with censorship was wrong and completely antithetical to the spirit of bitcoin, but we need to be collectively cautious rather than assume the logical response is to blindly follow a different path and a new charismatic leader. Especially when that path seems to be clearly dangerous based on the prior leader's own words.
submitted by jimmajamma to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Mike Hearn's inconsistencies with respect to block size

From his "The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment" post:
"The reason the true limit seems to be 700 kilobytes instead of the theoretical 1000 is that sometimes miners produce blocks smaller than allowed and even empty blocks, despite that there are lots of transactions waiting to confirm — this seems to be most frequently caused by interference from the Chinese “Great Firewall” censorship system. More on that in a second."
"Because the block chain is controlled by Chinese miners, just two of whom control more than 50% of the hash power. At a recent conference over 95% of hashing power was controlled by a handful of guys sitting on a single stage. The miners are not allowing the block chain to grow."
"And the final reason is that the Chinese internet is so broken by their government’s firewall that moving data across the border barely works at all, with speeds routinely worse than what mobile phones provide."
"Right now, the Chinese miners are able to — just about — maintain their connection to the global internet"
So, established by Mike: Chinese miners are currently the largest players, at least 50% of the mining power and they have limited bandwidth which is barely able to operate at current capacity. What is his solution?:
"In August 2015 it became clear that due to severe mismanagement, the “Bitcoin Core” project that maintains the program that runs the peer-to-peer network wasn’t going to release a version that raised the block size limit. The reasons for this are complicated and discussed below. But obviously, the community needed the ability to keep adding new users. So some long-term developers (including me) got together and developed the necessary code to raise the limit. That code was called BIP 101 and we released it in a modified version of the software that we branded Bitcoin XT."
BIP101: "The maximum size shall be 8,000,000 bytes at a timestamp of 2016-01-11 00:00:00 UTC"
So his solution, increase capacity to 8MB 6 days ago. So what are we to assume would have happened then? I don't claim to be smart enough to accurately predict the result but I'm pretty sure based on the assumptions Mike laid out in his own words this would impact most of bitcoin's mining capacity. Does this seem like a prudent plan to you?
I found a ton of other amazing misrepresentations, like this one:
"it’s now common to be asked to pay more to miners than a credit card would charge". Common? Really? Perhaps if one is spending 1 BTC of collected dust, but that doesn't not seem like a common scenario.
There are plenty more misrepresentations but I'm trying to stay focused on the bandwidth issue, though this is the kicker to me:
"When parts of the community are viciously turning on the people that have introduced millions of users to the currency, you know things have got really crazy." Isn't that just exactly what Mike Hearn did with this medium post? Not only did he turn on the people who managed to bootstrap, maintain and nurture this system, he turned on all of the XT supporters and all investors.
Also notice the failure to mention he's now an R3 employee working on a competing blockchain? Perhaps if he really cared about the people he worked with and the community he represented, that he claims he was trying to help with XT, in the interest of fairness and knowing the broader public eye would be on this post due to the NYT article, he would have disclosed that. He should have.
IMO, all indicators are that this was simply a bitcoin hit piece in an attempt to benefit his personal stock and new employer.
So to my point, if 1 of the 2 leaders of the XT movement would do such a thing and was so influential as to precipitate this major rift, should we perhaps use more caution before trusting successors with easy solutions?
I hope this post serves to reopen the questions regarding bandwidth which seem to not be adequately discussed (thanks Mike_Hearn for providing the valuable information), and to hopefully restore some faith in the more mature and cautious development and process of the core developers vs. the reactive and emotional responses of their detractors. Note, I believe what Theymos did with censorship was wrong and completely antithetical to the spirit of bitcoin, but we need to be collectively cautious rather than assume the logical response is to blindly follow a different path and a new charismatic leader. Especially when that path seems to be clearly dangerous based on the prior leader's own words.
submitted by jimmajamma to btc [link] [comments]

Bitcoin - YouTube BITCOIN QRcode! How To Protect And Profit From Upcoming Bitcoin BIP 148 Fork WATCH NOW (AUG 1ST) What is BITCOIN XT? What does BITCOIN XT mean? BITCOIN XT ... Scaling Bitcoin - Day 1 - Morning Session

The bitcoin symbol is ₿ and its ticker price is BTC (XBT). The bitcoin unit of account is bitcoin and the denomination is one hundred of a millionth (0.00000001) with the smallest unit called a satoshi (sat). Other alternative units for smaller amounts are millibitcoin (mBTC) for 0.001 bitcoin or 100,000 satoshis. The maximum bitcoin supply ... BIP101 is excessive and risky and makes predictions well into the future when the block reward falls to 0.39BTC. There are other more moderate balanced proposals out there like BIP100, BIP102 and BIP103. Even if you think BIP101 might be a good idea, please listen to the concerns of others and be willing to be pragmatic and compromise. Please support a more balanced proposal, rather than one ... Earlier today, popular Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp announced how they will be implementing BIP 101 in a few days. As you would come to expect, it was only a matter of time until Theymos issued a comment on how Bitstamp will be removed from all Bitcoin references, including Reddit and the Bitcoin Wiki. Also read: Greek Banks Asked To Pay Bitcoin ... Absolute rubbish. If you look at the code for BitcoinXT, which is simply BIP101 attached to bitcoin core, you will see that it allows the blocksize to increase if consensus is reached by miners. I know Gavin personally and it's his ambition to see bitcoin mature into something even bigger than it is today. With the current blocksize locked up to 1mb, this isn't possible. Gavin (and others ... BIP101 - blocks with version 0x20000007 as defined in BIP101; None - blocks mined without any indication of block size increase support Votes by miners None. Miner Number of blocks ; 8MB. Miner Number of blocks; BIP100. Miner Number of blocks; BU. Miner Number of blocks; BIP 100. In last 12,000 blocks voted for BIP100 by including 'BIP100' or 'BV' in coinbase scriptSig included BV notation as ...

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Bitcoin - YouTube

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