Author Topic: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August  (Read 2793 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« on: July 29, 2017, 04:28:47 am »

 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 02:14:04 pm »
The huge huge key thing to remember here always is that if you keep bitcoins at an exchange or other online wallet then you DO NOT own those bitcoins, THEY DO. All you have is a contract with them. That may or may not be worth something, depending on how reputable and reliable they are. If they go titsup or otherwise act shonkily then you can lose everything.

If you run your own wallet, on your own PC or phone or specialist hardware device then you truly own those bitcoins, forever -- or until you transfer them, or until the entire bitcoin system falls apart (not just one particular exchange).

So, yes. Coinbase will absolutely get to keep the Bitcoin Cash after the fork, if they want to.

The trick with running your own wallet is, in the words of Gandalf: "Keep it secret, keep it safe".

Keep good backups. Maybe not only electronic. Print it out and put it in a physical fireproof safe. Maybe in different locations. Unlike most computer things, your bitcoin wallet is fundamentally just a 256 bit number. 64 hex digits. You can type it back into a computer by hand from a paper copy without much trouble at all if that proves necessary. The rest (your balance etc) can be recovered from any copy of the blockchain.

But don't let other people get their hands on it. If they can get a copy of your wallet then they can transfer all your bitcoins, as if they were you, with no recourse.
 

Online brucehoult

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 02:36:51 pm »
As for technical details...

It is absolutely essential for the future of bitcoin to increase the number of transactions per second/hour/day that can be supported. At the moment there is one new block created on the blockchain on average once every ten minutes, with a maximum size of 1 MB. That limits the number of transactions per block to on the order of 2000. That's a bit over three transactions per second.

You're not going to compete with VISA or Western Union or bank TTs with that.

Bitcoin Cash's increase to an 8 MB block will relieve the immediate pressure, but it's not a long term solution. It will support about 25 transactions per second.

VISA handles an average of about 2000 transactions per second, world-wide, and some peaks may hit about 20000 transactions per second.

Any possibility for bitcoin to take over the world has to have a plan to scale to that kind of level, otherwise it's just like doing laps of a spa pool.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 04:34:48 pm »
A similar thing happened with Ethereum, but kind of the other direction: Ethereum Classic was created, because some people didn't agree with the hard fork of Ethereum itself (which happened because of the DAO debacle). Now Ethereum classic is exchanged at about 1/10 the price for the original Ethereum (e.g. at Poloniex). Might be in the same region for the new Bitcoin Cash, so you could get 10% free additional Bitcoins, if you move it in a private wallet. But this is within the normal fluctuation of the exchange rate, but you never know, might be worth the same someday, so it is a good idea to move it to your private wallet, if you want to be sure, that you get the same amount of Bitcoin Cash for it.

BTW, technically I wouldn't call this a hard fork, because the old Bitcoin blockchain or program is not changed (you couldn't change the blockchain anyway without changing the program), unlike the hard fork of Ethereum, where some blocks on the blockchain were invalidated by a new software version. But Ethereum Classic in this case was a new alt-coin, but which was just the previous Ethereum, so no hard fork either for this new alt-coin. I hope this explanation was not too confusing :scared:
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Offline WastelandTek

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 03:08:15 am »
As for technical details...

It is absolutely essential for the future of bitcoin to increase the number of transactions per second/hour/day that can be supported. At the moment there is one new block created on the blockchain on average once every ten minutes, with a maximum size of 1 MB. That limits the number of transactions per block to on the order of 2000. That's a bit over three transactions per second.

You're not going to compete with VISA or Western Union or bank TTs with that.

Bitcoin Cash's increase to an 8 MB block will relieve the immediate pressure, but it's not a long term solution. It will support about 25 transactions per second.

VISA handles an average of about 2000 transactions per second, world-wide, and some peaks may hit about 20000 transactions per second.

Any possibility for bitcoin to take over the world has to have a plan to scale to that kind of level, otherwise it's just like doing laps of a spa pool.

I have to respectfully disagree.  Bitcoin is not for buying coffee, or even cars, or probably even houses.  Bitcoin is for large international settlements, shipfulls of goods and downtown buildings.  There is no reason for it to "scale".  Buy your coffee with an altcoin and don't tamper with the gold standard crypto.
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 06:01:38 am »
I have to respectfully disagree.  Bitcoin is not for buying coffee, or even cars, or probably even houses.

There is no reason Bitcoin couldn't do this with an improved protocol.
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Offline WastelandTek

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 06:36:23 am »
But there ARE reasons, not the least of which being the sheer storage space required to store the chain, or so many committed developers would not be against it.

The big block initiative is a play for centralized power by putting the maintenance of full nodes out of reach of the individual.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Offline David Hess

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 10:56:17 am »
But there ARE reasons, not the least of which being the sheer storage space required to store the chain, or so many committed developers would not be against it.

Are there any practical solutions for this?

Large scale acceptance is going to be a problem if most people cannot use it for routine transactions.
 

Offline WastelandTek

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 08:06:01 pm »

Large scale acceptance is going to be a problem if most people cannot use it for routine transactions.

I very much doubt that.  This genie is well and truly out of the bottle.  Within a few years nearly all financial transactions will be executed with some variant of blockchain technology.  There will probably be different chains for different purposes; government sponsored chains will be accepted as taxes, corporate controlled chains will offer fool-proof protection (hand holding) and instantaneous convenience, and Bitcoin, provided we do not break it through rushed tweaking, will be for large transactions where the highest security is needed and counter party risk is simply not an option.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 08:10:53 pm by WastelandTek »
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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 10:08:50 pm »
Are there any practical solutions for this?

Large scale acceptance is going to be a problem if most people cannot use it for routine transactions.

There are altcoins like Tether, which is locked to USD, Euro or Yen. I don't know the details, but I guess this could be done for Bitcoin as well, an altcoin which is locked to Bitcoin. Then every bigger city could have its own altcoin, no need for one big central blockchain. This would solve the number of transactions problem and the blockchain size problem; individuals could still run a copy of the blockchain. The local blockchains could be even cryptographically coupled to the Bitcoin blockchain, so they would be as safe as Bitcoin.

And there are ideas for more users and transactions per second. For example the developers of the altcoin Dash are working on multi-tier solutions (this would be the similar to what I described above, with a blockchain per city), which would allow even more transactions per second than VISA: https://www.dash.org/2017/06/29/ChainScaling.html
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Offline WastelandTek

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Re: Bitcoin Blockchain Hard Fork Split on 1st August
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 11:54:14 pm »
Yes, sidechains, altchains, off chain settlement layers for small transactions.

There are many competing priorities; speed, capacity, size, security, decentralization, you enhance one at the expense of another.  A changed protocol is not necessarily "improved", just optimized differently.

I came into this current debate with a fairly open mind a few weeks ago when it started looking serious and I figured I better see what all the fuss was about.  I have to say, the behavior of the bigblockers has me very concerned.  This is far from over, indeed I fear it is just getting started.  While Segregated Witness has locked in, the 2X blocksize increase from the New York agreement is still in play, and Core has said they are not going to implement it.  Thus, another fork looms.  Meanwhile Ver and his cohorts wait in the wings with very deep pockets, lots of mining capacity and an army of mempool spambots so don't count Bitcoin Cash out just yet.
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