The future in the past

Wednesday, 04 December, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

jamespeerless micea_popescu: continuing discussion from yesterday. Since you have a new address per user per bet, don't you end up with a ton of addresses with a tiny amount of coin in them? What do you do with them once the bet is over?
mircea_popescu Not moreso than the average site taking bitcoin. If you look at the stats, Confirmed bets: 7123 Confirmed total: 9,728 BTC. That means the avg bet is 1btc. Bitpay wishes it could say the same thing.

jamespeerless Good point :P
mircea_popescu What are you gonna do, you know ? Consolidate them. There is some discussion on this topic over at Bitcoind : not quite ready for prime time.

jamespeerless Wow just read that. Sounds pretty crappy.
mircea_popescu Well... it's a prototype. Not intended to be put into production.

jamespeerless So because of these limitations sounds like you need to do some manual work to resolve payouts.
mircea_popescu Well 1. payouts are done with a lot of human supervision anyway ; 2. I doubt anyone uses unpatched bitcoin code anymore. As best as I can determine everyone is on some trunk from .4 to .6 with a bunch of in house patches. It's possible that a significant chunk of users (by headcount) are on .7/.8 or w/e. However, wallets made by those versions won't see a significant chunk of actual bitcoins... likely ever.

jamespeerless By the newer versions? Why not?
mircea_popescu Because the credibility of the dev team is somewhere between nil and epsilon.

jamespeerless Heh. So your outlook on the future of bit coin protocol is bleak?
mircea_popescu I'm not sure what you're asking.

jamespeerless If you're saying the current dev's contributing to bit coin are no good and its clear bit coin will require more work to be 'production ready' then without some change the future is bleak, is what I meant.
mircea_popescu But anyway, rather than have you shoot in the dark, here's the story :
1. Bitcoin was released as a prototype. That means something specific, and what it means doesn't include "to be used for any actual purpose". Prototypes are there to test.
2. People started using it anyway, because it was there. This is how things usually work.
3. Once Satoshi left the dev team never recovered. It's roughly what the Linux dev team would be if Linus left. Basically a collection of people with poor IQ and worse skills, hanging on because they perceive this as sexy, and imagine hanging on makes them somehow important.
4. At the right time (ie 2012) I pointed out to them that their only chance to maintain any semblance of relevance is to fully specify the code. This, obviously, is a very hard task. They, aware of their intellectual limitations, eschewed this task.
5. The situation has evolved in the exact direction I was expecting : absent a specification everyone is using their own in house concoctions.

ThickAsThieves I smell a blog post coming on
mircea_popescu This will aggravate over time, with miners and large merchants all pushing on the code, and with "the network accepts it" as pretty much the only measure of good or evil.

jamespeerless How can it work if everyone is using their own in-house modified version yet they all need to communicate together?
mircea_popescu Well that's just it, the network blindly decides. This will be a major resource black hole in the coming years, but it does not threaten the system itself. If anything, it makes the system stronger.

KRS|gotyawallet The anatomy of a blog post.
mircea_popescu It DOES however threaten any one actor, and ESPECIALLY actors acting on deluded presumptions, such as the snackman kidi.

jamespeerless Doesn't this lend itself to a couple big corps from releasing their own widely adopted forks.. similar to os x and the 5000 flavors of linux?
mircea_popescu No. Because, again, bitcoin is about the Bitcoin. As long as those big corps don't actually have big BTC, they aren't big corps, they just think themselves big.

ThickAsThieves How does one "release" a "widely adopted" fork?
mircea_popescu Exactly. 0.8 is a widely adopted fork. So ?

pankkake See web browsers and web servers.
mircea_popescu I've had people spend 1000s of hours modelling this point, as it's the one most important point in all Bitcoin. I'm not seeing anything particularly worrisome.

jamespeerless Yeah guess as long as they don't have any way to make money off of it, it won't happen
pankkake Or, in p2p, the most popular networks: ed2k and bittorrent.

  1. The spark that yielded Bitcoin as replacement for the electoral system, but generally speaking, people acting in the consumer mindset, expecting that companies are there to live up to their expectations and believing that they may step blindly anywhere simply assuming that if anything exists, then it exists in a way that's coherent with what they might "reasonably" want or need. []
Category: Trilterviuri
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