The Journey of Bitcoin: The Rise and Fall Since Inception ...

Is anyone else freaked out by this whole blocksize debate? Does anyone else find themself often agreeing with *both* sides - depending on whichever argument you happen to be reading at the moment? And do we need some better algorithms and data structures?

Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me?
I know, I know, a healthy debate is healthy and all - and maybe I'm just not used to the tumult and jostling which would be inevitable in a real live open major debate about something as vital as Bitcoin.
And I really do agree with the starry-eyed idealists who say Bitcoin is vital. Imperfect as it may be, it certainly does seem to represent the first real chance we've had in the past few hundred years to try to steer our civilization and our planet away from the dead-ends and disasters which our government-issued debt-based currencies keep dragging us into.
But this particular debate, about the blocksize, doesn't seem to be getting resolved at all.
Pretty much every time I read one of the long-form major arguments contributed by Bitcoin "thinkers" who I've come to respect over the past few years, this weird thing happens: I usually end up finding myself nodding my head and agreeing with whatever particular piece I'm reading!
But that should be impossible - because a lot of these people vehemently disagree!
So how can both sides sound so convincing to me, simply depending on whichever piece I currently happen to be reading?
Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just a gullible idiot?
Just Do It?
When you first look at it or hear about it, increasing the size seems almost like a no-brainer: The "big-block" supporters say just increase the blocksize to 20 MB or 8 MB, or do some kind of scheduled or calculated regular increment which tries to take into account the capabilities of the infrastructure and the needs of the users. We do have the bandwidth and the memory to at least increase the blocksize now, they say - and we're probably gonna continue to have more bandwidth and memory in order to be able to keep increasing the blocksize for another couple decades - pretty much like everything else computer-based we've seen over the years (some of this stuff is called by names such as "Moore's Law").
On the other hand, whenever the "small-block" supporters warn about the utter catastrophe that a failed hard-fork would mean, I get totally freaked by their possible doomsday scenarios, which seem totally plausible and terrifying - so I end up feeling that the only way I'd want to go with a hard-fork would be if there was some pre-agreed "triggering" mechanism where the fork itself would only actually "switch on" and take effect provided that some "supermajority" of the network (of who? the miners? the full nodes?) had signaled (presumably via some kind of totally reliable p2p trustless software-based voting system?) that they do indeed "pre-agree" to actually adopt the pre-scheduled fork (and thereby avoid any possibility whatsoever of the precious blockchain somehow tragically splitting into two and pretty much killing this cryptocurrency off in its infancy).
So in this "conservative" scenario, I'm talking about wanting at least 95% pre-adoption agreement - not the mere 75% which I recall some proposals call for, which seems like it could easily lead to a 75/25 blockchain split.
But this time, with this long drawn-out blocksize debate, the core devs, and several other important voices who have become prominent opinion shapers over the past few years, can't seem to come to any real agreement on this.
Weird split among the devs
As far as I can see, there's this weird split: Gavin and Mike seem to be the only people among the devs who really want a major blocksize increase - and all the other devs seem to be vehemently against them.
But then on the other hand, the users seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major increase.
And there are meta-questions about governance, about about why this didn't come out as a BIP, and what the availability of Bitcoin XT means.
And today or yesterday there was this really cool big-blockian exponential graph based on doubling the blocksize every two years for twenty years, reminding us of the pure mathematical fact that 210 is indeed about 1000 - but not really addressing any of the game-theoretic points raised by the small-blockians. So a lot of the users seem to like it, but when so few devs say anything positive about it, I worry: is this just yet more exponential chart porn?
On the one hand, Gavin's and Mike's blocksize increase proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer to me.
And on the other hand, all the other devs seem to be against them. Which is weird - not what I'd initially expected at all (but maybe I'm just a fool who's seduced by exponential chart porn?).
Look, I don't mean to be rude to any of the core devs, and I don't want to come off like someone wearing a tinfoil hat - but it has to cross people's minds that the powers that be (the Fed and the other central banks and the governments that use their debt-issued money to run this world into a ditch) could very well be much more scared shitless than they're letting on. If we assume that the powers that be are using their usual playbook and tactics, then it could be worth looking at the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, to get an idea of how they might try to attack Bitcoin. So, what I'm saying is, they do have a track record of sending in "experts" to try to derail projects and keep everyone enslaved to the Creature from Jekyll Island. I'm just saying. So, without getting ad hominem - let's just make sure that our ideas can really stand scrutiny on their own - as Nick Szabo says, we need to make sure there is "more computer science, less noise" in this debate.
When Gavin Andresen first came out with the 20 MB thing - I sat back and tried to imagine if I could download 20 MB in 10 minutes (which seems to be one of the basic mathematical and technological constraints here - right?)
I figured, "Yeah, I could download that" - even with my crappy internet connection.
And I guess the telecoms might be nice enough to continue to double our bandwidth every two years for the next couple decades – if we ask them politely?
On the other hand - I think we should be careful about entrusting the financial freedom of the world into the greedy hands of the telecoms companies - given all their shady shenanigans over the past few years in many countries. After decades of the MPAA and the FBI trying to chip away at BitTorrent, lately PirateBay has been hard to access. I would say it's quite likely that certain persons at institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and the Fed might be very, very motivated to see Bitcoin fail - so we shouldn't be too sure about scaling plans which depend on the willingness of companies Verizon and AT&T to double our bandwith every two years.
Maybe the real important hardware buildout challenge for a company like 21 (and its allies such as Qualcomm) to take on now would not be "a miner in every toaster" but rather "Google Fiber Download and Upload Speeds in every Country, including China".
I think I've read all the major stuff on the blocksize debate from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Adam Back, and Jeff Garzick and several other major contributors - and, oddly enough, all their arguments seem reasonable - heck even Luke-Jr seems reasonable to me on the blocksize debate, and I always thought he was a whackjob overly influenced by superstition and numerology - and now today I'm reading the article by Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - and I find myself agreeing with him too!
I say to myself: What's going on with me? How can I possibly agree with all of these guys, if they all have such vehemently opposing viewpoints?
I mean, think back to the glory days of a couple of years ago, when all we were hearing was how this amazing unprecedented grassroots innovation called Bitcoin was going to benefit everyone from all walks of life, all around the world:
...basically the entire human race transacting everything into the blockchain.
(Although let me say that I think that people's focus on ideas like driverless cabs creating realtime fare markets based on supply and demand seems to be setting our sights a bit low as far as Bitcoin's abilities to correct the financial world's capital-misallocation problems which seem to have been made possible by infinite debt-based fiat. I would have hoped that a Bitcoin-based economy would solve much more noble, much more urgent capital-allocation problems than driverless taxicabs creating fare markets or refrigerators ordering milk on the internet of things. I was thinking more along the lines that Bitcoin would finally strangle dead-end debt-based deadly-toxic energy industries like fossil fuels and let profitable clean energy industries like Thorium LFTRs take over - but that's another topic. :=)
Paradoxes in the blocksize debate
Let me summarize the major paradoxes I see here:
(1) Regarding the people (the majority of the core devs) who are against a blocksize increase: Well, the small-blocks arguments do seem kinda weird, and certainly not very "populist", in the sense that: When on earth have end-users ever heard of a computer technology whose capacity didn't grow pretty much exponentially year-on-year? All the cool new technology we've had - from hard drives to RAM to bandwidth - started out pathetically tiny and grew to unimaginably huge over the past few decades - and all our software has in turn gotten massively powerful and big and complex (sometimes bloated) to take advantage of the enormous new capacity available.
But now suddenly, for the first time in the history of technology, we seem to have a majority of the devs, on a major p2p project - saying: "Let's not scale the system up. It could be dangerous. It might break the whole system (if the hard-fork fails)."
I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, maybe someone else could enlighten me, but I don't think I've ever seen this sort of thing happen in the last few decades of the history of technology - devs arguing against scaling up p2p technology to take advantage of expected growth in infrastructure capacity.
(2) But... on the other hand... the dire warnings of the small-blockians about what could happen if a hard-fork were to fail - wow, they do seem really dire! And these guys are pretty much all heavyweight, experienced programmers and/or game theorists and/or p2p open-source project managers.
I must say, that nearly all of the long-form arguments I've read - as well as many, many of the shorter comments I've read from many users in the threads, whose names I at least have come to more-or-less recognize over the past few months and years on reddit and bitcointalk - have been amazingly impressive in their ability to analyze all aspects of the lifecycle and management of open-source software projects, bringing up lots of serious points which I could never have come up with, and which seem to come from long experience with programming and project management - as well as dealing with economics and human nature (eg, greed - the game-theory stuff).
So a lot of really smart and experienced people with major expertise in various areas ranging from programming to management to game theory to politics to economics have been making some serious, mature, compelling arguments.
But, as I've been saying, the only problem to me is: in many of these cases, these arguments are vehemently in opposition to each other! So I find myself agreeing with pretty much all of them, one by one - which means the end result is just a giant contradiction.
I mean, today we have Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, arguing (quite cogently and convincingly to me), that it would be dangerous to increase the blocksize. And this seems to be a guy who would know a few things about scaling out a massive global p2p network - since the protocol which he invented, BitTorrent, is now apparently responsible for like a third of the traffic on the internet (and this despite the long-term concerted efforts of major evil players such as the MPAA and the FBI to shut the whole thing down).
Was the BitTorrent analogy too "glib"?
By the way - I would like to go on a slight tangent here and say that one of the main reasons why I felt so "comfortable" jumping on the Bitcoin train back a few years ago, when I first heard about it and got into it, was the whole rough analogy I saw with BitTorrent.
I remembered the perhaps paradoxical fact that when a torrent is more popular (eg, a major movie release that just came out last week), then it actually becomes faster to download. More people want it, so more people have a few pieces of it, so more people are able to get it from each other. A kind of self-correcting economic feedback loop, where more demand directly leads to more supply.
(BitTorrent manages to pull this off by essentially adding a certain structure to the file being shared, so that it's not simply like an append-only list of 1 MB blocks, but rather more like an random-access or indexed array of 1 MB chunks. Say you're downloading a film which is 700 MB. As soon as your "client" program has downloaded a single 1-MB chunk - say chunk #99 - your "client" program instantly turns into a "server" program as well - offering that chunk #99 to other clients. From my simplistic understanding, I believe the Bitcoin protocol does something similar, to provide a p2p architecture. Hence my - perhaps naïve - assumption that Bitcoin already had the right algorithms / architecture / data structure to scale.)
The efficiency of the BitTorrent network seemed to jive with that "network law" (Metcalfe's Law?) about fax machines. This law states that the more fax machines there are, the more valuable the network of fax machines becomes. Or the value of the network grows on the order of the square of the number of nodes.
This is in contrast with other technology like cars, where the more you have, the worse things get. The more cars there are, the more traffic jams you have, so things start going downhill. I guess this is because highway space is limited - after all, we can't pave over the entire countryside, and we never did get those flying cars we were promised, as David Graeber laments in a recent essay in The Baffler magazine :-)
And regarding the "stress test" supposedly happening right now in the middle of this ongoing blocksize debate, I don't know what worries me more: the fact that it apparently is taking only $5,000 to do a simple kind of DoS on the blockchain - or the fact that there are a few rumors swirling around saying that the unknown company doing the stress test shares the same physical mailing address with a "scam" company?
Or maybe we should just be worried that so much of this debate is happening on a handful of forums which are controlled by some guy named theymos who's already engaged in some pretty "contentious" or "controversial" behavior like blowing a million dollars on writing forum software (I guess he never heard that reddit.com software is open-source)?
So I worry that the great promise of "decentralization" might be more fragile than we originally thought.
Scaling
Anyways, back to Metcalfe's Law: with virtual stuff, like torrents and fax machines, the more the merrier. The more people downloading a given movie, the faster it arrives - and the more people own fax machines, the more valuable the overall fax network.
So I kindof (naïvely?) assumed that Bitcoin, being "virtual" and p2p, would somehow scale up the same magical way BitTorrrent did. I just figured that more people using it would somehow automatically make it stronger and faster.
But now a lot of devs have started talking in terms of the old "scarcity" paradigm, talking about blockspace being a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" - which seems kinda scary, and antithetical to much of the earlier rhetoric we heard about Bitcoin (the stuff about supporting our favorite creators with micropayments, and the stuff about Africans using SMS to send around payments).
Look, when some asshole is in line in front of you at the cash register and he's holding up the line so they can run his credit card to buy a bag of Cheeto's, we tend to get pissed off at the guy - clogging up our expensive global electronic payment infrastructure to make a two-dollar purchase. And that's on a fairly efficient centralized system - and presumably after a year or so, VISA and the guy's bank can delete or compress the transaction in their SQL databases.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if some guy buys a coffee on the blockchain, or if somebody pays an online artist $1.99 for their work - then that transaction, a few bytes or so, has to live on the blockchain forever?
Or is there some "pruning" thing that gets rid of it after a while?
And this could lead to another question: Viewed from the perspective of double-entry bookkeeping, is the blockchain "world-wide ledger" more like the "balance sheet" part of accounting, i.e. a snapshot showing current assets and liabilities? Or is it more like the "cash flow" part of accounting, i.e. a journal showing historical revenues and expenses?
When I think of thousands of machines around the globe having to lug around multiple identical copies of a multi-gigabyte file containing some asshole's coffee purchase forever and ever... I feel like I'm ideologically drifting in one direction (where I'd end up also being against really cool stuff like online micropayments and Africans banking via SMS)... so I don't want to go there.
But on the other hand, when really experienced and battle-tested veterans with major experience in the world of open-souce programming and project management (the "small-blockians") warn of the catastrophic consequences of a possible failed hard-fork, I get freaked out and I wonder if Bitcoin really was destined to be a settlement layer for big transactions.
Could the original programmer(s) possibly weigh in?
And I don't mean to appeal to authority - but heck, where the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto in all this? I do understand that he/she/they would want to maintain absolute anonymity - but on the other hand, I assume SN wants Bitcoin to succeed (both for the future of humanity - or at least for all the bitcoins SN allegedly holds :-) - and I understand there is a way that SN can cryptographically sign a message - and I understand that as the original developer of Bitcoin, SN had some very specific opinions about the blocksize... So I'm kinda wondering of Satoshi could weigh in from time to time. Just to help out a bit. I'm not saying "Show us a sign" like a deity or something - but damn it sure would be fascinating and possibly very helpful if Satoshi gave us his/hetheir 2 satoshis worth at this really confusing juncture.
Are we using our capacity wisely?
I'm not a programming or game-theory whiz, I'm just a casual user who has tried to keep up with technology over the years.
It just seems weird to me that here we have this massive supercomputer (500 times more powerful than the all the supercomputers in the world combined) doing fairly straightforward "embarassingly parallel" number-crunching operations to secure a p2p world-wide ledger called the blockchain to keep track of a measly 2.1 quadrillion tokens spread out among a few billion addresses - and a couple of years ago you had people like Rick Falkvinge saying the blockchain would someday be supporting multi-million-dollar letters of credit for international trade and you had people like Andreas Antonopoulos saying the blockchain would someday allow billions of "unbanked" people to send remittances around the village or around the world dirt-cheap - and now suddenly in June 2015 we're talking about blockspace as a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" and partially centralized, corporate-sponsored "Level 2" vaporware like Lightning Network and some mysterious company is "stess testing" or "DoS-ing" the system by throwing away a measly $5,000 and suddenly it sounds like the whole system could eventually head right back into PayPal and Western Union territory again, in terms of expensive fees.
When I got into Bitcoin, I really was heavily influenced by vague analogies with BitTorrent: I figured everyone would just have tiny little like utorrent-type program running on their machine (ie, Bitcoin-QT or Armory or Mycelium etc.).
I figured that just like anyone can host a their own blog or webserver, anyone would be able to host their own bank.
Yeah, Google and and Mozilla and Twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp did come along and build stuff on top of TCP/IP, so I did expect a bunch of companies to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol as well. But I still figured the basic unit of bitcoin client software powering the overall system would be small and personal and affordable and p2p - like a bittorrent client - or at the most, like a cheap server hosting a blog or email server.
And I figured there would be a way at the software level, at the architecture level, at the algorithmic level, at the data structure level - to let the thing scale - if not infinitely, at least fairly massively and gracefully - the same way the BitTorrent network has.
Of course, I do also understand that with BitTorrent, you're sharing a read-only object (eg, a movie) - whereas with Bitcoin, you're achieving distributed trustless consensus and appending it to a write-only (or append-only) database.
So I do understand that the problem which BitTorrent solves is much simpler than the problem which Bitcoin sets out to solve.
But still, it seems that there's got to be a way to make this thing scale. It's p2p and it's got 500 times more computing power than all the supercomputers in the world combined - and so many brilliant and motivated and inspired people want this thing to succeed! And Bitcoin could be our civilization's last chance to steer away from the oncoming debt-based ditch of disaster we seem to be driving into!
It just seems that Bitcoin has got to be able to scale somehow - and all these smart people working together should be able to come up with a solution which pretty much everyone can agree - in advance - will work.
Right? Right?
A (probably irrelevant) tangent on algorithms and architecture and data structures
I'll finally weigh with my personal perspective - although I might be biased due to my background (which is more on the theoretical side of computer science).
My own modest - or perhaps radical - suggestion would be to ask whether we're really looking at all the best possible algorithms and architectures and data structures out there.
From this perspective, I sometimes worry that the overwhelming majority of the great minds working on the programming and game-theory stuff might come from a rather specific, shall we say "von Neumann" or "procedural" or "imperative" school of programming (ie, C and Python and Java programmers).
It seems strange to me that such a cutting-edge and important computer project would have so little participation from the great minds at the other end of the spectrum of programming paradigms - namely, the "functional" and "declarative" and "algebraic" (and co-algebraic!) worlds.
For example, I was struck in particular by statements I've seen here and there (which seemed rather hubristic or lackadaisical to me - for something as important as Bitcoin), that the specification of Bitcoin and the blockchain doesn't really exist in any form other than the reference implementation(s) (in procedural languages such as C or Python?).
Curry-Howard anyone?
I mean, many computer scientists are aware of the Curry-Howard isomorophism, which basically says that the relationship between a theorem and its proof is equivalent to the relationship between a specification and its implementation. In other words, there is a long tradition in mathematics (and in computer programming) of:
And it's not exactly "turtles all the way down" either: a specification is generally simple and compact enough that a good programmer can usually simply visually inspect it to determine if it is indeed "correct" - something which is very difficult, if not impossible, to do with a program written in a procedural, implementation-oriented language such as C or Python or Java.
So I worry that we've got this tradition, from the open-source github C/Java programming tradition, of never actually writing our "specification", and only writing the "implementation". In mission-critical military-grade programming projects (which often use languages like Ada or Maude) this is simply not allowed. It would seem that a project as mission-critical as Bitcoin - which could literally be crucial for humanity's continued survival - should also use this kind of military-grade software development approach.
And I'm not saying rewrite the implementations in these kind of theoretical languages. But it might be helpful if the C/Python/Java programmers in the Bitcoin imperative programming world could build some bridges to the Maude/Haskell/ML programmers of the functional and algebraic programming worlds to see if any kind of useful cross-pollination might take place - between specifications and implementations.
For example, the JavaFAN formal analyzer for multi-threaded Java programs (developed using tools based on the Maude language) was applied to the Remote Agent AI program aboard NASA's Deep Space 1 shuttle, written in Java - and it took only a few minutes using formal mathematical reasoning to detect a potential deadlock which would have occurred years later during the space mission when the damn spacecraft was already way out around Pluto.
And "the Maude-NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Protocol Analyzer (Maude-NPA) is a tool used to provide security proofs of cryptographic protocols and to search for protocol flaws and cryptosystem attacks."
These are open-source formal reasoning tools developed by DARPA and used by NASA and the US Navy to ensure that program implementations satisfy their specifications. It would be great if some of the people involved in these kinds of projects could contribute to help ensure the security and scalability of Bitcoin.
But there is a wide abyss between the kinds of programmers who use languages like Maude and the kinds of programmers who use languages like C/Python/Java - and it can be really hard to get the two worlds to meet. There is a bit of rapprochement between these language communities in languages which might be considered as being somewhere in the middle, such as Haskell and ML. I just worry that Bitcoin might be turning into being an exclusively C/Python/Java project (with the algorithms and practitioners traditionally of that community), when it could be more advantageous if it also had some people from the functional and algebraic-specification and program-verification community involved as well. The thing is, though: the theoretical practitioners are big on "semantics" - I've heard them say stuff like "Yes but a C / C++ program has no easily identifiable semantics". So to get them involved, you really have to first be able to talk about what your program does (specification) - before proceeding to describe how it does it (implementation). And writing high-level specifications is typically very hard using the syntax and semantics of languages like C and Java and Python - whereas specs are fairly easy to write in Maude - and not only that, they're executable, and you state and verify properties about them - which provides for the kind of debate Nick Szabo was advocating ("more computer science, less noise").
Imagine if we had an executable algebraic specification of Bitcoin in Maude, where we could formally reason about and verify certain crucial game-theoretical properties - rather than merely hand-waving and arguing and deploying and praying.
And so in the theoretical programming community you've got major research on various logics such as Girard's Linear Logic (which is resource-conscious) and Bruni and Montanari's Tile Logic (which enables "pasting" bigger systems together from smaller ones in space and time), and executable algebraic specification languages such as Meseguer's Maude (which would be perfect for game theory modeling, with its functional modules for specifying the deterministic parts of systems and its system modules for specifiying non-deterministic parts of systems, and its parameterized skeletons for sketching out the typical architectures of mobile systems, and its formal reasoning and verification tools and libraries which have been specifically applied to testing and breaking - and fixing - cryptographic protocols).
And somewhat closer to the practical hands-on world, you've got stuff like Google's MapReduce and lots of Big Data database languages developed by Google as well. And yet here we are with a mempool growing dangerously big for RAM on a single machine, and a 20-GB append-only list as our database - and not much debate on practical results from Google's Big Data databases.
(And by the way: maybe I'm totally ignorant for asking this, but I'll ask anyways: why the hell does the mempool have to stay in RAM? Couldn't it work just as well if it were stored temporarily on the hard drive?)
And you've got CalvinDB out of Yale which apparently provides an ACID layer on top of a massively distributed database.
Look, I'm just an armchair follower cheering on these projects. I can barely manage to write a query in SQL, or read through a C or Python or Java program. But I would argue two points here: (1) these languages may be too low-level and "non-formal" for writing and modeling and formally reasoning about and proving properties of mission-critical specifications - and (2) there seem to be some Big Data tools already deployed by institutions such as Google and Yale which support global petabyte-size databases on commodity boxes with nice properties such as near-real-time and ACID - and I sometimes worry that the "core devs" might be failing to review the literature (and reach out to fellow programmers) out there to see if there might be some formal program-verification and practical Big Data tools out there which could be applied to coming up with rock-solid, 100% consensus proposals to handle an issue such as blocksize scaling, which seems to have become much more intractable than many people might have expected.
I mean, the protocol solved the hard stuff: the elliptical-curve stuff and the Byzantine General stuff. How the heck can we be falling down on the comparatively "easier" stuff - like scaling the blocksize?
It just seems like defeatism to say "Well, the blockchain is already 20-30 GB and it's gonna be 20-30 TB ten years from now - and we need 10 Mbs bandwidth now and 10,000 Mbs bandwidth 20 years from - assuming the evil Verizon and AT&T actually give us that - so let's just become a settlement platform and give up on buying coffee or banking the unbanked or doing micropayments, and let's push all that stuff into some corporate-controlled vaporware without even a whitepaper yet."
So you've got Peter Todd doing some possibly brilliant theorizing and extrapolating on the idea of "treechains" - there is a Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast from about a year ago where he sketches the rough outlines of this idea out in a very inspiring, high-level way - although the specifics have yet to be hammered out. And we've got Blockstream also doing some hopeful hand-waving about the Lightning Network.
Things like Peter Todd's treechains - which may be similar to the spark in some devs' eyes called Lightning Network - are examples of the kind of algorithm or architecture which might manage to harness the massive computing power of miners and nodes in such a way that certain kinds of massive and graceful scaling become possible.
It just seems like a kindof tiny dev community working on this stuff.
Being a C or Python or Java programmer should not be a pre-req to being able to help contribute to the specification (and formal reasoning and program verification) for Bitcoin and the blockchain.
XML and UML are crap modeling and specification languages, and C and Java and Python are even worse (as specification languages - although as implementation languages, they are of course fine).
But there are serious modeling and specification languages out there, and they could be very helpful at times like this - where what we're dealing with is questions of modeling and specification (ie, "needs and requirements").
One just doesn't often see the practical, hands-on world of open-source github implementation-level programmers and the academic, theoretical world of specification-level programmers meeting very often. I wish there were some way to get these two worlds to collaborate on Bitcoin.
Maybe a good first step to reach out to the theoretical people would be to provide a modular executable algebraic specification of the Bitcoin protocol in a recognized, military/NASA-grade specification language such as Maude - because that's something the theoretical community can actually wrap their heads around, whereas it's very hard to get them to pay attention to something written only as a C / Python / Java implementation (without an accompanying specification in a formal language).
They can't check whether the program does what it's supposed to do - if you don't provide a formal mathematical definition of what the program is supposed to do.
Specification : Implementation :: Theorem : Proof
You have to remember: the theoretical community is very aware of the Curry-Howard isomorphism. Just like it would be hard to get a mathematician's attention by merely showing them a proof without telling also telling them what theorem the proof is proving - by the same token, it's hard to get the attention of a theoretical computer scientist by merely showing them an implementation without showing them the specification that it implements.
Bitcoin is currently confronted with a mathematical or "computer science" problem: how to secure the network while getting high enough transactional throughput, while staying within the limited RAM, bandwidth and hard drive space limitations of current and future infrastructure.
The problem only becomes a political and economic problem if we give up on trying to solve it as a mathematical and "theoretical computer science" problem.
There should be a plethora of whitepapers out now proposing algorithmic solutions to these scaling issues. Remember, all we have to do is apply the Byzantine General consensus-reaching procedure to a worldwide database which shuffles 2.1 quadrillion tokens among a few billion addresses. The 21 company has emphatically pointed out that racing to compute a hash to add a block is an "embarrassingly parallel" problem - very easy to decompose among cheap, fault-prone, commodity boxes, and recompose into an overall solution - along the lines of Google's highly successful MapReduce.
I guess what I'm really saying is (and I don't mean to be rude here), is that C and Python and Java programmers might not be the best qualified people to develop and formally prove the correctness of (note I do not say: "test", I say "formally prove the correctness of") these kinds of algorithms.
I really believe in the importance of getting the algorithms and architectures right - look at Google Search itself, it uses some pretty brilliant algorithms and architectures (eg, MapReduce, Paxos) which enable it to achieve amazing performance - on pretty crappy commodity hardware. And look at BitTorrent, which is truly p2p, where more demand leads to more supply.
So, in this vein, I will close this lengthy rant with an oddly specific link - which may or may not be able to make some interesting contributions to finding suitable algorithms, architectures and data structures which might help Bitcoin scale massively. I have no idea if this link could be helpful - but given the near-total lack of people from the Haskell and ML and functional worlds in these Bitcoin specification debates, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't throw this out - just in case there might be something here which could help us channel the massive computing power of the Bitcoin network in such a way as to enable us simply sidestep this kind of desperate debate where both sides seem right because the other side seems wrong.
https://personal.cis.strath.ac.uk/neil.ghani/papers/ghani-calco07
The above paper is about "higher dimensional trees". It uses a bit of category theory (not a whole lot) and a bit of Haskell (again not a lot - just a simple data structure called a Rose tree, which has a wikipedia page) to develop a very expressive and efficient data structure which generalizes from lists to trees to higher dimensions.
I have no idea if this kind of data structure could be applicable to the current scaling mess we apparently are getting bogged down in - I don't have the game-theory skills to figure it out.
I just thought that since the blockchain is like a list, and since there are some tree-like structures which have been grafted on for efficiency (eg Merkle trees) and since many of the futuristic scaling proposals seem to also involve generalizing from list-like structures (eg, the blockchain) to tree-like structures (eg, side-chains and tree-chains)... well, who knows, there might be some nugget of algorithmic or architectural or data-structure inspiration there.
So... TL;DR:
(1) I'm freaked out that this blocksize debate has splintered the community so badly and dragged on so long, with no resolution in sight, and both sides seeming so right (because the other side seems so wrong).
(2) I think Bitcoin could gain immensely by using high-level formal, algebraic and co-algebraic program specification and verification languages (such as Maude including Maude-NPA, Mobile Maude parameterized skeletons, etc.) to specify (and possibly also, to some degree, verify) what Bitcoin does - before translating to low-level implementation languages such as C and Python and Java saying how Bitcoin does it. This would help to communicate and reason about programs with much more mathematical certitude - and possibly obviate the need for many political and economic tradeoffs which currently seem dismally inevitable - and possibly widen the collaboration on this project.
(3) I wonder if there are some Big Data approaches out there (eg, along the lines of Google's MapReduce and BigTable, or Yale's CalvinDB), which could be implemented to allow Bitcoin to scale massively and painlessly - and to satisfy all stakeholders, ranging from millionaires to micropayments, coffee drinkers to the great "unbanked".
submitted by BeYourOwnBank to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

My thoughts on Bitcoin's shortcomings and how to overcome them.

Please don't downvote because I said bitcoin has shortcomings, hear me out first.
First and foremost, bitcoin is an awesome idea and so far, implemented quite well. However, I'd like to discuss some of the shortcomings the technology has and ways we can help bitcoin to alleviate these.
First, bitcoin has to be attractive to the general public. Too many times when discussing bitcoin to people, they already know about the miners and see them as people printing their own money with no restraint and they want in. Then, when they learn that they aren't going to be able to print their own money, they want nothing to do with the currency as a whole. How do we solve this? Make sure to make a distinction between mining and using the currency at all. Explain it like the mint and VISA combined; they release currency into the market and process transactions. Eventually, all bitcoins will have been "found" and they will just be VISA, processing transactions and pocketing the tx fees, which will be much easier to explain. Bitcoin needs to be lauded as a currency, not a "get rich quick" scheme. Talk about how bitcoin can replace paypal, western union, etc and talk about how it can virtually eliminate fraud online and offline. Make it attractive to the end users, including merchants. They will ultimately decide bitcoin's fate. Additionally, one underrepresented topic is the fact that "tainted" bitcoins are traceable until the end of time. Say someone goes out and pays a hitman in bitcoin. No matter what the hitman does, he cannot spend that bitcoin with a buyer who will cooperate with the authorities, because they will be able to identify him. Additionally, once one buyer cooperates with authorities regarding "tainted" BTC, the chain can be worked backwards to determine the origin of the BTC and ultimately, the person who broke the law in the first place. I'd imagine governments could be sold on this idea alone, as it could remove the financial incentive for many crimes. What are some other talking points for bitcoin that can make it more attractive to end-users?
Second, the blockchain is a huge problem. The idea behind it is fantastic, and it should never go away. But it's a "low-hanging fruit" for entities who do not think bitcoin should be adopted, because what happens if a copyrighted piece of data makes itnow that illegal, unnecessary data has made it onto the blockchain? This has already happened with some megabytes of wikileak cables. Having copyrighted data in the blockchain would mean the entire blockchain could be subject to DMCA takedown requests and every miner and user of bitcoin with the full blockchain stored (which is a majority of them) could be infringing copyright. I welcome suggestions for combatting this problem specifically because I think it's one of our most urgent issues.
Third, MtGox. Bitcoin is a decentralized, p2p currency with what amounts to a central exchange. This needs to change. My idea is to have some sort of Craigslist-type site where you can exchange bitcoin for both local currency and goods/services/favors. The site need not deal in bitcoin at all, as there are already methods implemented in bitcoin for making a transaction that is in everyone's best interests with a lower chance of fraud.
Please post your own thoughts on bitcoin and possible solutions to these problems. Also, please let me know if I misunderstand a part of bitcoin; I've read into it as much as possible but I'm not a technical expert by any means and I would love to know if I'm incorrect.
EDIT: Sorry if this makes my post ridiculously long, but I thought more about the MtGox problem, and it boils down to this: **MtGox provides two main services: 1. The exchange of bitcoin into other currencies. 2. A way to measure the exchange rate between bitcoin and these currencies to ensure a fair market price.
How do we decentralize this? I think I may have a solution, and it only requires the bitcoin protocol so thus is immune to DDoS. As a seller, you create a small transaction with additional data listing the amount of BTC you wish to sell and the price in whatever other currency you want for it, and wait. Then, when buyers wish to purchase BTC, they can create a special transaction that includes maybe some contact info that "locks" the transaction from seller to buyer. In this stage, the BTC cannot be spent by anyone. Then, the seller contacts the buyer and arranges the exchange. Ideally, these would be geographically near each other, but this does not necessarily have to be the case. After the exchange has taken place, the buyer signs a message requesting the transaction be "unlocked". Then, the seller similarily does the same, and the BTC is transferred. This ensures both parties remain honest as if both parties do not include the signed message, the BTC is unable to be spent, ever.
It's a start but there are obvious flaws: First, a malicious seller could receive the funds and not unlock the BTC. I have not figured out a better way to create these transactions that does not include either a 1. middleman or 2. more investment than just the BTC to be sold and the currency to pay for it. I welcome suggestions and improvements.
If implemented correctly, this could serve as a full replacement for MtGox as the transactions are out in the open and any bitcoin client can give you up-to-the-minute details of what trades are actually happening in a specific currency.
Additionally, bitcoin has a problem where it's value fluctuates wildly. Sellers want this value to go up, buyers want it to go down, but I think both sellers and buyers would prefer if it didn't do anything else, they'd prefer it to stay the same. To that end, I propose a solution where collectively we value bitcoin based on something other than a fiat currency, like possibly Gold. Gold has a exchange rate to any currency in the world and its value is (for the most part) stable because it's a limited resource. If this were implemented, we could say 1,000BTC = 1 troy ounce of gold or something similar. This has both good and bad; first, the MtGox proposal above would not work the same in this scenario, but in exchange we would have a way to actually provide value to BTC that every person on the planet could agree on.
Other issues worth mentioning that I won't cover for the sake of the size of my post unless people want to hear my thoughts and possible solutions on.
submitted by InMSWeAntitrust to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: Hey, Alex Winter of Bill & Ted here. Directing a new movie called "Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and Silk Road." Ask me anything!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-11-25
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
As someone who creates content, do you think there's a solution for middle class content creators? It seems that they're the most hurt by piracy, yet free-culture proponents almost exclusively focus on large corporations. Kickstarter, Indie Go-Go, and their brethren aren't picking up that slack- tales of success seem to be the outliers, and many of the poster-children (Radiohead, Amanda Palmer, etc.) rely on past success and marketing dollars. So, will this pick up, and will there be a middle class of creators? Or are we now living in a world of (sometimes skilled, but still) amateurs? This is a smart question and demands a much longer answer than i can give here. but the short of it in my opinion is that it's a misunderstanding to assume it's harder for 'middle class artists' in this climate. it's always been very very hard. there have always been obstacles and gatekeepers. the digital landscape has opened many many doors and closed some doors. it's in many ways easier, but you still need that magic combo of talent, tenacity and luck.
Man I'm sorry but I've gotta ask...what happened to you man? Why did Keanu make it out and why did you disappear into obscurity? Haha. not an offensive question at all. I quit acting professionally in 94, after Freaked to focus on writing and directing. I'd been acting professionally since I was 10 years old and I wanted out of the public eye. It's really only been in the last couple of years that i've intentionally been slipping back in front of the camera. But I think it's important for child actors to spend time away from constant exposure. I tell a lot of kids this in that field.
Be honest…has Keanu admitted his immortality to you? I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you. And then he would drink your blood and live for another millenia...
Did you buy any Bitcoins before they blew up in value recently? Haha, I did not. The Winklevoss twins got them all :)
Since George Carlin has died, will there be some new character coming in to replace Rufus in helping the Wyld Stallyns? We've spent a lot of time and thought on making this work. all i can say right now :)
On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that B&T 3 will be financed and actually get made? I'd say 10 but it's Hollywood... so 9.9?
Did you ever use the SR before it went down? I honestly did not. I am a dull family man and most of what i need to purchase online can be found in the toddler section of Amazon :)
Your stepmom is cute. Remember when she was a senior and you were a freshman? Do You get BnT references constantly and do they annoy you? No, thankfully I like the movies a lot. I have some friends who acted in movies that they can't shake that they hated. that is an existential nightmare from which one can never awaken!
Thanks for doing this AMA, and for being part of one of my all-time favorite films. You've been quoted as saying "[Bill and Ted] was a happy accident. No one thought it would ever see the light of day." Could you expand on that? Both BnT movies were made independently. The first one was really low budget and kind of under the radar when we made it. then it sat on a shelf for a year after being made, when the producing company went belly up. So we kind of gave up on it. Then it was bought up and released and was a big hit :)
What was it like working with Mr. T? Is his public persona accurate as to who he really is? It is! Exactly! He's a really great person, into community outreach and helping people. A wonderful guy.
When will we have a new Bill and Ted to watch any plot details You can share? What got You so interested in Bitcoin? Also, Thank You for being so Excellent! Party On! I first got interested in Bitcoin in '09, when it magically appeared out of the ether. Much like Napster appeared out of nowhere 10 years prior. I recognized that Bitcoin felt like the next big thing to come out of peer-to-peer.
What can I do to get into the Bitcoin World. I don't know much about it. Start at blockchain.info. that will lead the way.
Do you think the Tor network is forever tainted due to the Silk Road takedown, or does it still remain a viable method of obtaining true anonymity on the Internet? Absolutely not. SR accounts for a tiny fraction of TOR use and is not going to impact Bitcoin much either in the long run. As Wozniak so perfectly put it, you don't shut down the whole highway when one car is speeding.
What was the funnest thing about making The Lost Boys? Having dirt kicked into my eyes by the two Coreys in my death scene. Actually it wasn't funny at the time; i had full eye contacts in and my cornea got scratched. had to go the hospital. Loved those guys tho...
Any cool memorabilia you kept from Bill and Ted? I had my evil robot head from BnT 2, but it eventually rotted. I used it as a doorstep. My kids loved it :)
What motivated you to be one of the first films to educate those about the online blackmarket? why exactly do you need the funding from the kickstarter? Because, like the Napster story, there is a lot of noise but not a lot of context. I think we need some context and our film will be one form of providing that. We are using Kickstarter for some of the funding in order to begin to build our community for the film. We want people's input, the changes occurring through the Web are part of a global movement.
Are you actually going to provide any information we don't already know from all that's been written about this? Is this just a movie version of a bunch of news articles? Our doc is an expansive examination of a movement that began decades ago and is now hitting a peak of global impact. we are interviewing the core players in this story. It's not the kind of thing news articles do in any capacity. join our kickstarter, be part of the process and of the movie's community :)
How did you do research for the script? How did you get a script just a few weeks after SR was busted? It's a documentary :)
Alex, as someone who studied Napster so much for Downloaded, what would Bill & Ted have thought of it: Most Excellent or Non-Triumphant? They would have said 'huh???'
Is a melvin a synonym for wedgie, or a completely different maneuver executed from the front? You answered your own question :))
Is there any fond memory that stands out from making The Lost Boys? Honestly the most fun i ever had 'working'. Joel Schumacher knows how to create an amazing environment to work in. It's one of my fondest memories of my crazy youth! :)
On the kickstarter page, under the "Silk Road" header, the phrase "trading mostly in drugs and weapons" is used. Don't you feel that claiming that weapon sales were a large part of the silk road's operations is misleading? especially since weapon sales were specifically banned from the site shortly after its creation? Certainly the part about mostly trading in drugs is spot on, but also weapons? Come on, that's just untrue. Sorry if that seems misleading. As the Armory only lasted a year. But SR was built for that purpose wherever it ultimately landed.
I don't know if you remember me, but I went to school with your son in LA, me and my brother stayed at your house a few times. Kinda funny how I never got to thank you for being so excellent in Bill and Ted back then, so I figured I'd do it now! Hey Dante! Hope you guys are well!
I suppose I should ask a question, so what drew you to the idea of the deep web? What made you want to make this movie? The Deep Web lies at the heart of the digital revolution, that has impacted every corner of our lives. There are huge changes that have occurred in the last decade, and many more around the corner. Examining the Deep Web in detail allows us to closely examine this revolution and its implications.
Do you think that the high prices that bitcoins are experiencing right now is actually a bad sign, since it indicates instability? Where do you think the value of Bitcoins will ultimately fall once the bubble bursts? No one knows where it will settle. It's not unlike gold in this regard. But once it's been around a bit longer and more people are taking it, the value will increase within that framework but not in such a wild manner. this form of currency is here to stay, of that there is no question.
How did people find silk road online? That always boggled my mind, because I assume it wasn't as easy as googling it haha Did you have to like, "know" someone in the business to gain membership? It's not hard to find these sites, it's just dangerous. don't go hunting for scorpions unless you are prepared to get stung.
So Deep Web... Do you have a script already? Are you dealing with the actual events, or fictionalizing them? If the former, are you worried about having to pay folks for rights? If you have a script, how does it toe the line between being too simplified to please the target demo/actually tell the story and too esoteric for the mass market? It's a feature documentary. please join our kickstarter :)
I don't think the story is too esoteric at all, just as the details of the Napster story weren't. These are universal stories about global communities.
How much about the deep web did you investigate? I have done some looking into it recently and there is some pretty disgusting stuff out there. To be honest I kind of wish I never heard about it. Silk road is only the tip of the iceberg and to me doesnt seem like that big of a deal compared to some of the other stuff out there like the hitmen websites and human dolls for sale etc. What is your take on the rest of it outside of silk road? There is a lot of dark and horrible stuff in the Dark Web. The Deep Web is a much broader world, and in my view needs to be understood as separate from the much smaller Dark Web, and in need of protection.
When did you get into directing? I realize I could easily find this out on IMDB but it's just cooler to ask the source! Hah, thanks for asking! I actually went to NYU film school to study directing before I acted in all the movies. It's always been one of my passions. I started directing professionally in about 86. Shooting music videos and commercials and then our show on MTV, The Idiot Box.
So I'm guessing MTV/Viacom or somesuch own the DVD rights to The Idiot Box? There was a fair amount of comedy from that era of MTV that I'd love to be able to watch again… MTV owns it... why no DVD... yet...
What was it like working with a big star like Larry "bud" Melman? He was awesome of course. RIP.
Wait, does Satoshi = Stations??? Ahhh you cracked the code!!!
Excellent job on Downloaded! I enjoyed remembering a time in the not so distant past when 'regular people' could not envision a world in which their music lived on a computer. Today, regular people cannot envision a world in which their money lives on a computer. I was also surprised to learn about your early connection with the world of MP3s. Could you elaborate on what you think we can learn about Bitcoin based on your experiences with Napster and the MP3 scene in the late 90's? The world is responding to Bitcoin and a new awareness of the Deep Web much like they responded to Napster, with fear and demonizing. Our film aims to put these things in some context.
What made you want to do this documentary? I've been following the story myself and it's certainly one worth following but how did you yourself first get interested in the topic? I have been interested in global web-based communities and emerging technologies since the mid 80's. There is a revolution occurring in global culture at the moment, that will change everything. and it's only just beginning. what's not interesting about that?? :)
I don't have a question but Excellent Adventure made me who I am today. Thank you. Fuck it, uh. Do you agree that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is hands down the best cereal? My kids do. it's evil.
off, I want to thank you for posting my Rasta Eyeball with a machine gun tattoo on your blog. It made getting it completely worth it. I just want to know which of the characters from Freaked is your favourite? Stuey Gluck!!
And your tat is amazing!
Hello there, thanks for doing this! I just wanted to ask if by making a movie that sheds light on the dark web/bitcoins etc. It will shed more light on an area of the web that generally dislikes the attention. In other words could it create a misaprehension of the mission and possible positive effects the darkweb community tries to provide? I think the current media spin has that effect; in that it tends to paint the entire deep web and bitcoins and cryptography with a negative brush. this is both inaccurate and destructive. Our movie does not paint dark things in a positive light, it gives context to the entire arena.
Will the Silk Road be back? Also, can you say hi to my smokin hot babe Sherry? It is back.
Hey Alex, A quick glance at your wikipedia page has made me realise you directed Knock Me Down by RHCP! Did you have much contact with the band? How was it working with them? Thanks for the AMA; Looking forward to B&T3! I love the chili's and have known them for decades. they are still great, but in the mid 80's when I had the fortune of doing some work with them, it is hard to quantify how amazing they were. the best live act on the road, by far!!
So when are you planning to bless the world with Bill & Ted 3? Soon as we get it up and running!
If you could star in any movie from any time, what movie would it be and what role would you have and why? Buster Keaton in anything probably. No one in the movies ever had a better time.
So what is the "untold" story of Bitcoin/Silk road? Isn't most of it public knowledge by now? Or we'll we have to wait and see the movie? You don't have to wait if you join our Kickstarter and become part of the making of the movie! It is hardly public knowledge as no one has framed this story up yet in one film, and the story itself is unfolding every day. :)
What was the most surprising thing you found out about the Silk Road? That's in the movie :)
Hey Alex, What will Deep Web be like? Sort of a CNN special or does it have a bigger ambition, i.e. are you making it on a scale for wide distribution in movie theaters? If the latter, what documentaries would you compare it to in terms of style and storytelling? Our doc has a broader ambition than reportage. We are making a film about a technological revolution that has been brewing for decades.
Hm, don't know you but this does sound interesting. When can we expect this movie to come out? Anything interesting about these topics you learned? Every day I learn something new and fascinating. We hope to finish within the next year. Join our kickstarter and be part of our community :)
What ''good'' is there in the deep web? I only hear stories about horrific things like drugs, black market stuff, assassins, etc. Also, were you fortunate enough to had invested in bitcoin in it's early stages? The Deep Web is being demonized somewhat in the press, which is a misunderstanding of what it is. DW represents all content on the web that is not indexed. this doesn't mean people are doing bad things. it means they are unseen. the Dark Web is a term that has come to characterize people who use the web for illicit means. the dark web represents a fraction of the Deep Web.
On your Kickstarter campaign, you say, "Bitcoin has the potential to create a level of global disruption that will make Napster look like child's play." Can you expand on that? BitCoin is a peer to peer crypto-currency. Like any peer to peer technology it is decentralized and operated by a wide user base spread across the net. As such it is here to stay, and being an unregulated currency that exists outside the control of banks and governments, it is poised to have a massive impact on the world. That's what I mean :)
Why are you focusing on the darker side of the deep web instead of the good side? Its virtues clearly outweigh the illegal stuff. As someone who appreciates the privacy benefits of Bitcoin, TOR and the Deep Web, I am concerned about the public's disproportionate focus on its negative and illegal uses. Do you plan to address this bias at all? Question 1: I am absolutely not only focusing on the dark side of the Deep Web. In fact one of my key points is that the Deep Web is misrepresented, and inaccurately represented. It is mostly just a reference to all the content on the web that is not indexed. Most of which is not dark and a lot of which is frankly boring private data :)
Are you accepting Bitcoin for the financing of this film? If not, why not? Again, thanks for doing this, but I am concerned that your focus on the negative side of TOR will continue to twist the public's perception in the wrong direction. 2: We will absolutely be accepting BTC for the movie. But Kickstarter does not accept BTC so we are doing that separately. Stay tuned!
3: Yes the bias is a big problem and we will debunk the myths, just as I did with Downloaded. People like to hold onto their preconceptions tho, so I have no illusions about turning the world around :) A lot of people loved my Napster movie, but there were many in the mainstream press who were outraged that I didn't spend more time castigating the Napster architects for being thieves who created piracy software, when clearly that is not the truth, just the well-spun myth. but myths die hard.
How concerned are you with getting all the details right? You plan to talk about things happening in the more obscure and less legal parts of the Internet. The people who use those parts of the Internet are often pretty knowledgeable about the fine technical details, and are annoyed when people get them wrong. Even the term "Deep Web" has a whiff of "Information Superhighway" or "Series of Tubes" about it. Aside from just wanting to get the details right for the sake of having an informative and accurate documentary, are you concerned at all with upsetting the wrong kinds of people by doing this? After all, the guy behind Silk Road is rumoured to have tried(?) to have people killed. Our film isn't a Silk Road movie but an exploration of the history and evolution of the Deep Web, as told by its architects. That is the story that I believe matters most :)
Are you covering other crypto currencies? Also, I didn't think porn hid on the internet. I am yes. This movie is largely about the crypto-revolution.
What are your thoughts on the rather dubious "hired a hitman" charges against DPR (Ross Ulbricht)? Do you think law enforcement used parallel construction to identify the SR server or otherwise make the case against SDPR? Looking forward to this documentary, and I'm a huge fan of Bill and Ted! It's a really fascinating case that is unfolding and changing constantly. No one knows the full story at the moment outside of the Feds, and I'm sure they're chasing some crazy leads trying to iron it all out!
Hey Alex I was just wondering if you used Silk Road for movie research and what the movie is gonna be about? The site used to pride themselves on anonymity so is it a lot of speculation about what goes on behind the curtain or were you able to actually talk to and interview the people behind the scenes of the website? I didn't use SR for research but am in contact with many people close to the world and story.
Can I donate to the Deep Web movie via Bitcoin? I loved the Napster doc, and am super excited for this one, since judging by your prior work I think it will be very high quality. There was no bitcoin address listed on the kickstarter page! Yes Kickstarter does not allow BitCoin pledges. We will have a BitCoin option soon!
Bitcoin is seen as a "dirty" term by the media as it usually relates to illicit activities, what could make it a more clean and friendly method of payment to Joe Smith who runs a small florist in a mid size town in Washington? Time. people need to get used to crypto-currency. it's here to stay and perfectly legitimate unto itself.
I've always been a fan of Bill and Ted, however this question does not related to your career. You actually grew up next to my Dad (His name is Nick) in St. Louis/Clayton. He said your family loved television, and that he always joked your television might blow up one day. As ridiculous as that sounds apparently it actually happened to you guys one day. So did this actually happen? Is my father a liar? How much television does it take before it explodes? Wow that is some ancient history! Yes when I was five my brother and I got into a fight and someone hit the tv with their body, hard (such is the way of fraternal skirmishes, my bro and I have actually always been super close). We didn't know we had blown some of the electricals inside the TV and the next time it was turned on it exploded into flames (for real!) and burned the whole house down (totally true story!!)
What are your thoughts on other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin? I think it is early days for crypto-currency and eventually one will rule the roost. Whichever proves to be the most stable, trustworthy and provides the best ease of use.
I just hope that it's objective and that it doesn't needlessly throw BitCoin into dis-appeal. I mean, there have been other digital currencies which had been used for drugs, hitmen, child porn, whatever else. Sigh. Just don't slander it, k? <3 I totally agree with you, that's the movie :)
Are you worried about how Deep Web will portray bitcoin? Us bitcoin folks are already rather irritated about how much people make the point that bitcoin is used for illegal things, without pointing out that cash is used for the same thing. Oh we are making very very clear all the legitimate uses for Bitcoin.
Alex, do you think that Satoshi Nakamoto has any sort of link or relationship to Ross Ulbricht? Yes some people have been saying that. There are other people believed to have created Bitcoin that we are talking to.
What are your personal thoughts on the deep web and how it operates? Do you think the bit coin business model is the future of personal commerce? I do yes.
Don't you think it is a little early to start writing a story before the truth is completely released? I've been following the take down since day one and there are still so many things that haven't been answered. Absolutely. Our movie is about the Deep Web, it's not a Silk Road movie.
What do you think about Silk Road 2.0 being open? Inevitable.
Have you been able to get any key actors in Bitcoin, Silk Road etc to go on the record unanonymously? BTW...San Dimas HS football rules! Yes we have :)
I live in San Dimas. Do you know what you've done to me any time I meet people from out of town? Sorry. truly. We didn't shoot there, we shot it in Phoenix, so I never thought about San Dimas one way or the other. Until many years later I made the mistake of taking my kids to the water park there without thinking about it. Very very very VERY big mistake for "Bill" to waltz into a water park in San Dimas...
What do you think George Carlin would have said about Bitcoin and Silk Road? Link to www.youtube.com
Can you please make sure that bitcoin ends up not getting the image of "crack dollars"? I'd like if people didn't associate bitcoins with just silk road. Agree!!
Bill& Ted 3: elaborate please! We have the script and our producing team on board, in finance mode now... :)
What is socrates like in real life. A windbag.
New Idiot Box sketches on YouTube please. Burrowing Bishop, If I Had My Way, etc.etc. I think everything we shot has made its way up there :)
I have yet to ever have a question answered in an AMA, not a question but a simple acknowledgment of my existence would be fantastic. Love BnT BTW. You exist!!!
We demand a sequel to Freaked. That is all. Me too! One day... many many eons from now... it will happen...
Can you give me 3 words that will best describe the movie to me. Join our Kickstarter! :)
Last updated: 2013-11-29 19:11 UTC
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submitted by tabledresser to tabled [link] [comments]

Lightning Network Will Drive Bitcoin to $250,000 Bitcoin Drop Incoming  Beware Of This What is Bitcoin's Intrinsic value? Bitcoin Will Hit $25K Due To Its Network Value - YouTube Bitcoin hashrate- 0 to 100 quintillion in 10 years ...

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Lightning Network Will Drive Bitcoin to $250,000

Educate yourself on how to trade Bitcoin correctly, just like I have done. If you take all 3 levels, the last level is jaw-dropping as you will learn how to buy stocks for free. Get a $50 discount ... The network effect of Bitcoin is mistakenly assumed to be as a medium of exchange. In this video, I discuss the network effect of scarcity, or as a store of value. ----- Seminar: http ... Try The Hitman For FREE: https://thehitman.io NEW HERE? ₿ Hey, I'm Andy, this channel will be updated 3-5 times a week. I have been in the crypto space since mid 2017 and have worked with and ... Tim Draper said innovations such as the Lightning Network would be key in propelling the Bitcoin price higher. SPONSORED BY ETORO https://4MinuteCrypto.c... Try The Hitman For FREE: https: ... Bitcoin The Bitcoin (BTC) network hash rate has just taken a steep plummet and is now down almost 45% from its 2020 peak. The network’s hash rate sank from ...

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