A reminder of some of Jeff Garzik’s greatest insights. We love you Jeff. Please come back. We will welcome you with open arms.

51% hashing power, or even 90%, means nothing if clients collectively refuse to accept and relay your blocks.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=93366.msg1031394#msg1031394

It is simple, provable engineering fact that storing data in transaction outputs makes block validation, double-spend checks and other critical consensus operations more expensive. More RAM is used on average. In general, it burdens the entire network. UTXO is our most critical resource currently.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=265488.msg3204526#msg3204526

Bitcoin is only zero trust, if you can verify the entire transaction history.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=145386.msg3992876#msg3992876

Do not premine, or other scamcoin traits.

  • Jeff Garzik (Technology advisor to premined coins PO.ET and Civic)

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=333487.msg3579674#msg3579674

"They are attempting to ride the coattails of the Bitcoin brand"

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=263272.msg2832560#msg2832560

Further, you cannot handwave away the problem that, if transactions is infinitesimally cheap, people will abuse the system by sending non-currency data messages. Lots of them. Gigabytes worth, as other alt-chain field experience has proven. To the point that bitcoin-the-currency transactions are impacted. "I want a system that can process infinite amounts of traffic" is in the land of unicorns. The accusation of dev laziness is particularly rich, given that SatoshiDICE abused the blockchain in this way, by sending informational messages (IM "You lost a bet") via the blockchain. If you want an infinite amount of transactions per 10 minutes, you have just reinvented the Internet… over the blockchain. Poorly.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=196138.msg2568306#msg2568306

one cannot ignore a key attribute conferring by a limit like the 1MB limit: it encourages engineering efficiencies to be sought. Programmers have an incentive to actively seek ways to reduce the number of transactions, or reduce transaction size, when faced with a limited resource. Some business models simply don't care about that part of the equation. It's not a conspiracy by Gavin and the Bitcoin Foundation funders, it is simply one facet of some bitcoin businesses. They make money with increased transaction volume. That's fine, but a key economic counter-point is that these businesses are not bearing the costs of the mining/blockchain impact of a million-TX-per-day policy.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=199947.msg2126381#msg2126381

It's open source. Fork away. Though the consequence is that you remain at a higher, hardcoded fee level, and people will still dump megabytes worth of non-currency data into the blockchain (wikileaks cables etc.).

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=196259.msg2043056#msg2043056

More to the point, zero-conf transactions have been double-spent already. It is proven they are not safe today, ignoring any proposed changes.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=179612.msg1885782#msg1885782

There have been chains of hashes and chains of digital signatures before. What makes bitcoin different is that it is timestamping these digital messages, and protecting those timestamps against being reversed. The currency aspect of bitcoin is simply a layer on top of the distributed timestamping service

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=158756.msg1784729#msg1784729

Satoshi also intended the subsidy-free, fee-only future to support bitcoin. He did not describe fancy assurance contracts and infinite block sizes; he cleared indicated that fees would be driven in part by competition for space in the next block.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=157141.msg1753923#msg1753923

Any miner that increases MAX_BLOCK_SIZE beyond 1MB will self-select themselves away from the network, because all other validating nodes would ignore that change. Just like if a miner decides to issue themselves 100 BTC per block. All other validating nodes consider that invalid data, and do not relay or process it further.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=140233.msg1633102#msg1633102

If the users are not voting (validating), then it is trivial for miners to rewrite the rules. If the users are fully validating, then a miner decision to have each block produce 50 BTC again would be instantly rejected.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=153573.msg1630008#msg1630008

In an unfunded open source project, arguing all day about the lack of full-engineering-team rigor is entirely wasted energy. Blame the dev team if that is your favorite target, that will not magically create extra time in the day or extra manpower to accomplish these extra tasks being demanded by non-contributors. The time spent whining about what an unfunded effort fails to do could be better spent, say, creating a test network of full nodes running all known bitcoind versions, 0.3 through present. And test, test, test changes through that.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=134318.msg1621672#msg1621672

It is always entertaining to watch non-contributors opine about completely obvious solutions that the devs are silly to have overlooked.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=152027.msg1614822#msg1614822

A hard fork is a significant event that knocks legitimate users off the network, makes coins unspendable, or potentially makes the same coins spendable in two different locations, depending on whether or not you're talking to an updated node. It is, to pick a dramatic term, an Extinction Level Event. If done poorly, a hard fork could make it impossible for reasonable merchants to trust the bitcoins they receive, the very foundation of their economic value. Furthermore, a hard fork is akin to a Constitutional Convention: a hard fork implies the ability to rewrite the ground rules of bitcoin, be it block size, 21M limit, SHA256 hash, or other hard-baked behavior. Thus, there is always the risk of unpredictable miners, users and devs changing more than just the block size precisely because it makes the most engineering sense to change other hard-to-change features at the time of hard-fork. It is a nuclear option with widespread economic consequences for all bitcoin users.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=145809.msg1549003#msg1549003

Being the person who actually posted a faux-patch increasing the block size limit, it is important to understand why I disagree with that now… it was erroneously assuming that the block size was the whole-picture, and not a simple, lower layer solution in a bigger picture. The block size is an intentionally limited economic resource, just like the 21,000,000-bitcoin limit.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=144895.msg1547919#msg1547919

Boy that's a shortsighted analysis. Bitcoin will grow layers above the base layer — the blockchain — that will enable instant transactions, microtransactions, and other scalable issues. Do not think that the blockchain is the only way to transfer bitcoins. Larger aggregators will easily compensate for current maximum block size in a scalable manner. All nation-state/fiat currencies are multi-layer. Too many people look at what bitcoin does now, and assume that those are the only currency services that will ever exist.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=140233.msg1496142#msg1496142

Transactions will not always be free. Any time there are a lot of transactions being sent, free transactions get the lowest priority and might have to wait to make it into a block. If blocks are often full, you will need to pay a transaction fee to get priority.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=128171.msg1370918#msg1370918

It is not as good when obviously-still-learning people are billing their project as the "future of bitcoin" and misleading people into thinking they are a bitcoin expert, and are misleading people into thinking they are producing high quality, proven code (and potentially taking thousands of dollars for it). Those who are not coders lack the skills to judge this sort of thing, and only have hype from this thread to go on.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=123488.msg1337894#msg1337894

Miners only select (or ignore) transactions provided to them. The bitcoin client you run chooses what transactions and blocks to validate and relay. Miners cannot change the rules without bitcoin user agreement.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=115554.msg1251016#msg1251016

I think users with older clients, holders of older bitcoins quite appreciate the struggle to maintain backwards compat. Nobody wants to wake up in the morning, to discover that their money is unspendable outside of a required upgrade.

  • Jeff Garzik

Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=114064.msg1231866#msg1231866

EDIT: In this post I am trying to be positive, its a genuine look back at great comments that taught me a lot. I am not trying to do character assassination.

submitted by /u/jonny1000
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Bitcon’s failure to change in the face of a divided community is its greatest strength

First, you should understand that both sides of the scaling debate have the exact same goals in mind. They just don't agree on the best way, at a technical level, to achieve it.

One side believes that scaling bitcoin to support exponentially more users and transactions should happen on secondary layers; keeping the base blockchain as thin and secure as possible.

The other side believes that scaling bitcoin, exponentially or linearly, should happen on-chain; at least in the short term if not the long term.

The point to remember here is that everyone wants the same thing, they just don't agree on the best technical solution to get there.

By design, if the community cannot agree as a whole what direction the bitcoin software should take, then nothing changes.

This is the state we find ourselves in now, and that's just fine. This is simply bitcoin acting, as it is designed to act, when there is no overwhelming consensus.

So, there is no point in name calling. There is no point in personal attacks. There is no benefit in getting angry or upset about it. This is just how bitcoin is designed to function.

If it were easy to shove through changes to the software in the face of extreme disagreement in the community, that would put bitcoin at a major risk of being destroyed.

This current state that bitcoin is in is not a sign of failure, but rather a sign of it's greatest strength.

For now, we are in a stalemate. Neither side has enough consensus to enable any change. Everyone has heard the same debates and arguments so many times, it seems doubtful many people are going to change their minds or that a true majority consensus is going to be reached any time soon.

We must realize that this is not bitcoin 'failing', this is bitcoin succeeding. Bitcoin must be extremely resistant to political change. Only overwhelming consensus within the community as a whole should produce a new version of the software.

We do not have that consensus today. It is a likely scenario we will never have that consensus. And, if that happens, then that's ok. Bitcoin will continue to function. It will continue to process transactions. It will continue to be traded on exchanges. People will continue to use it when and where it best makes sense for them. Off-chain solutions, be they centralized or not, will still occur; though perhaps not as elegantly as would be possible if certain features were deployed.

At this point there doesn't appear to be much each side can do to convince the other. At a recent conference of bitcoin thought leaders, more than 90% raised their hand when asked if they supported getting segwit activated as soon as possible. Meanwhile, a minority group continues to lobby actively against segwit, even though the feature provides significant on-scaling scaling in the immediate short term.

We may well stay in a stalemate for a very long time, years, if not permanently. While segwit certainly makes some layer-2 technologies easier to implement, layer-2 solutions will still be developed and deployed even without it.

Maybe, eventually, segwit will be activated and deployed. Perhaps the reference client will switch development teams and deploy on-chain scaling solutions. Either of these things are possible, but neither will occur unless the community converges to an agreement on one solution. In the meantime, the fact that it isn't changing in the face of a split community is not something to get upset about, it's something to celebrate.

submitted by /u/jratcliff63367
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Alex B.: “Back before the block size limit debate was even relevant, @gwern hit the nail on the head. Features are secondary, resilience sine qua non.” [‘Bitcoin’s greatest virtue is not its deflation, nor its microtransactions, but its viral distributed nature; it can wait for its opportunity.’]

Alex B.: "Back before the block size limit debate was even relevant, @gwern hit the nail on the head. Features are secondary, resilience sine qua non." ['Bitcoin’s greatest virtue is not its deflation, nor its microtransactions, but its viral distributed nature; it can wait for its opportunity.'] submitted by /u/eragmus
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Maybe the greatest gift and the most important that Satoshi(and possibly company) left was the fact of a true figure headless payment system that can't be rolled back or threatened to be rolled back due to bias or whatever else nightmare of a reason. (red

Maybe the final bolt in the grand Bitcoin design was the missing element of a central point of coersion. I like Vitalik, he’s a rad guy and a little brainiac genius. I do however question his ties TO Ethereum and the very meddling in the affairs of bad actors upon the system he created. It’s a great philosophical quandary to ponder and maybe that is the one factor that separates bitcoin from ethereum and some others that have obvious central leaders in development. Bitcoin is harder to…