| submitted by /u/2Speeds
Amid the turmoil of the past few months in the cryptocurrency space, advocates and developers have been speaking out. Bitcoin developer and entrepreneur Jimmy Song adds his voice, with an explanation of why Bitcoin is exceptional, and how investors can assess its long-term value.
Google Alert – bitcoin
I’ve heard Peter Schiff argue that Bitcoin isn’t truly scarce because an infinite number of competing cryptocurrencies can be invented. But by that logic, gold isn’t truly scarce either because I can take a random piece of wood, spray paint it gold, and offer this “woodgold” as a competing commodity.
A goldbug might reply that this analogy is ridiculous because gold has properties (scarcity, historical value) that woodgold doesn’t. But that’s exactly the point. Bitcoin has properties that a random altcoin doesn’t; i.e., network security (people seriously underestimate how valuable it is that Bitcoin has survived nearly a decade of sophisticated and persistent attacks), the development community, first mover status, number of adopters, etc. Sure, anyone can create an infinite number of random altcoins, but good luck trying to get people to adopt it and to take the time to protect the integrity of the network.
What is your best response to the “bitcoin isn’t truly scarce” argument?
In block 124724 you'll find txid 5d80a29b which has a payout of 49.99999999 BTC at a time when the block reward was 50 BTC. A transaction fee of 0.01 BTC was also forfeited. This bitcoin no longer exists anywhere in the network, as opposed to "burned" coins which technically still exist in a wallet which no one can ever access (ex: 1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE).
On bitcointalk user midnightmagic explains a deeper meaning behind this:
I did it as a tribute to our missing Satoshi: we are missing Satoshi, and now the blockchain is missing 1 Satoshi too, for all time.
The fact that the market for consensus networks develops and diverges ideologies/technical differences by splitting the network and actually trying both methods is just awesome. While this is clearly not over, and there will likely be some serious bumping around, it does seem that we might actually be able to go our separate ways, and design and build upon separate systems that share a history.
This technology is the most fascinating thing that I have ever learned about. Even after 7 years I still feel like I spend all of my time learning, only to better understand how little I actually know. It never ceases to amaze. Long live Bitcoin XD
Whenever Bitcoins are discussed, one generally reads how “Bitcoins are decentralized. No company nor state controls them”. My question is, how is this statement true when you read about how Bitcoin Clients find each other.
Reading from here How do Bitcoin clients find each other? we find out that Bitcoin clients use a number of ways to find other Bitcoin clients. To summarize those methods can be:
- List of previous connections
- DNS seeds which points to host names
- (Abandoned) IRC server
So with that in mind, how are these methods decentralized? I understand how method one is, but method one can not act always act as the default method per new connections.
When you look at method 2 and 3, I question primarily the decentralized nature of a host name, as someone has to pay for the registration of said domain name and the ICANN organization is responsible for such registration. While method 3, someone has to host a server. Someone is paying for or owns the hardware and is therefore not decentralized.
The only methods I can think of that are truly decentralized is
- List of previous connections (As currently implemented)
- IP/Port scan for other Bitcoin clients. (Attempt to initiate a handshake to identify other clients. I understand this would be incredibly slow but seems purely decentralized to me)
Can anyone shed light how the actual methods do ensure Bitcoin is decentralized? My only other thought is the “spec” of Bitcoin is decentralized and the implementation of the clients themselves happen to not be.