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All you need to know about Yield Farming - The rocket fuel for Defi

All you need to know about Yield Farming - The rocket fuel for Defi
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It’s effectively July 2017 in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi), and as in the heady days of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, the numbers are only trending up.
According to DeFi Pulse, there is $1.9 billion in crypto assets locked in DeFi right now. According to the CoinDesk ICO Tracker, the ICO market started chugging past $1 billion in July 2017, just a few months before token sales started getting talked about on TV.
Debate juxtaposing these numbers if you like, but what no one can question is this: Crypto users are putting more and more value to work in DeFi applications, driven largely by the introduction of a whole new yield-generating pasture, Compound’s COMP governance token.
Governance tokens enable users to vote on the future of decentralized protocols, sure, but they also present fresh ways for DeFi founders to entice assets onto their platforms.
That said, it’s the crypto liquidity providers who are the stars of the present moment. They even have a meme-worthy name: yield farmers.

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Where it started

Ethereum-based credit market Compound started distributing its governance token, COMP, to the protocol’s users this past June 15. Demand for the token (heightened by the way its automatic distribution was structured) kicked off the present craze and moved Compound into the leading position in DeFi.
The hot new term in crypto is “yield farming,” a shorthand for clever strategies where putting crypto temporarily at the disposal of some startup’s application earns its owner more cryptocurrency.
Another term floating about is “liquidity mining.”
The buzz around these concepts has evolved into a low rumble as more and more people get interested.
The casual crypto observer who only pops into the market when activity heats up might be starting to get faint vibes that something is happening right now. Take our word for it: Yield farming is the source of those vibes.
But if all these terms (“DeFi,” “liquidity mining,” “yield farming”) are so much Greek to you, fear not. We’re here to catch you up. We’ll get into all of them.
We’re going to go from very basic to more advanced, so feel free to skip ahead.

What are tokens?

Most CoinDesk readers probably know this, but just in case: Tokens are like the money video-game players earn while fighting monsters, money they can use to buy gear or weapons in the universe of their favorite game.
But with blockchains, tokens aren’t limited to only one massively multiplayer online money game. They can be earned in one and used in lots of others. They usually represent either ownership in something (like a piece of a Uniswap liquidity pool, which we will get into later) or access to some service. For example, in the Brave browser, ads can only be bought using basic attention token (BAT).
If tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance.
Tokens proved to be the big use case for Ethereum, the second-biggest blockchain in the world. The term of art here is “ERC-20 tokens,” which refers to a software standard that allows token creators to write rules for them. Tokens can be used a few ways. Often, they are used as a form of money within a set of applications. So the idea for Kin was to create a token that web users could spend with each other at such tiny amounts that it would almost feel like they weren’t spending anything; that is, money for the internet.
Governance tokens are different. They are not like a token at a video-game arcade, as so many tokens were described in the past. They work more like certificates to serve in an ever-changing legislature in that they give holders the right to vote on changes to a protocol.
So on the platform that proved DeFi could fly, MakerDAO, holders of its governance token, MKR, vote almost every week on small changes to parameters that govern how much it costs to borrow and how much savers earn, and so on.
Read more: Why DeFi’s Billion-Dollar Milestone Matters
One thing all crypto tokens have in common, though, is they are tradable and they have a price. So, if tokens are worth money, then you can bank with them or at least do things that look very much like banking. Thus: decentralized finance.

What is DeFi?

Fair question. For folks who tuned out for a bit in 2018, we used to call this “open finance.” That construction seems to have faded, though, and “DeFi” is the new lingo.
In case that doesn’t jog your memory, DeFi is all the things that let you play with money, and the only identification you need is a crypto wallet.
On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name.
I can explain this but nothing really brings it home like trying one of these applications. If you have an Ethereum wallet that has even $20 worth of crypto in it, go do something on one of these products. Pop over to Uniswap and buy yourself some FUN (a token for gambling apps) or WBTC (wrapped bitcoin). Go to MakerDAO and create $5 worth of DAI (a stablecoin that tends to be worth $1) out of the digital ether. Go to Compound and borrow $10 in USDC.
(Notice the very small amounts I’m suggesting. The old crypto saying “don’t put in more than you can afford to lose” goes double for DeFi. This stuff is uber-complex and a lot can go wrong. These may be “savings” products but they’re not for your retirement savings.)
Immature and experimental though it may be, the technology’s implications are staggering. On the normal web, you can’t buy a blender without giving the site owner enough data to learn your whole life history. In DeFi, you can borrow money without anyone even asking for your name.
DeFi applications don’t worry about trusting you because they have the collateral you put up to back your debt (on Compound, for instance, a $10 debt will require around $20 in collateral).
Read more: There Are More DAI on Compound Now Than There Are DAI in the World
If you do take this advice and try something, note that you can swap all these things back as soon as you’ve taken them out. Open the loan and close it 10 minutes later. It’s fine. Fair warning: It might cost you a tiny bit in fees, and the cost of using Ethereum itself right now is much higher than usual, in part due to this fresh new activity. But it’s nothing that should ruin a crypto user.
So what’s the point of borrowing for people who already have the money? Most people do it for some kind of trade. The most obvious example, to short a token (the act of profiting if its price falls). It’s also good for someone who wants to hold onto a token but still play the market.

Doesn’t running a bank take a lot of money up front?

It does, and in DeFi that money is largely provided by strangers on the internet. That’s why the startups behind these decentralized banking applications come up with clever ways to attract HODLers with idle assets.
Liquidity is the chief concern of all these different products. That is: How much money do they have locked in their smart contracts?
“In some types of products, the product experience gets much better if you have liquidity. Instead of borrowing from VCs or debt investors, you borrow from your users,” said Electric Capital managing partner Avichal Garg.
Let’s take Uniswap as an example. Uniswap is an “automated market maker,” or AMM (another DeFi term of art). This means Uniswap is a robot on the internet that is always willing to buy and it’s also always willing to sell any cryptocurrency for which it has a market.
On Uniswap, there is at least one market pair for almost any token on Ethereum. Behind the scenes, this means Uniswap can make it look like it is making a direct trade for any two tokens, which makes it easy for users, but it’s all built around pools of two tokens. And all these market pairs work better with bigger pools.

Why do I keep hearing about ‘pools’?

To illustrate why more money helps, let’s break down how Uniswap works.
Let’s say there was a market for USDC and DAI. These are two tokens (both stablecoins but with different mechanisms for retaining their value) that are meant to be worth $1 each all the time, and that generally tends to be true for both.
The price Uniswap shows for each token in any pooled market pair is based on the balance of each in the pool. So, simplifying this a lot for illustration’s sake, if someone were to set up a USDC/DAI pool, they should deposit equal amounts of both. In a pool with only 2 USDC and 2 DAI it would offer a price of 1 USDC for 1 DAI. But then imagine that someone put in 1 DAI and took out 1 USDC. Then the pool would have 1 USDC and 3 DAI. The pool would be very out of whack. A savvy investor could make an easy $0.50 profit by putting in 1 USDC and receiving 1.5 DAI. That’s a 50% arbitrage profit, and that’s the problem with limited liquidity.
(Incidentally, this is why Uniswap’s prices tend to be accurate, because traders watch it for small discrepancies from the wider market and trade them away for arbitrage profits very quickly.)
Read more: Uniswap V2 Launches With More Token-Swap Pairs, Oracle Service, Flash Loans
However, if there were 500,000 USDC and 500,000 DAI in the pool, a trade of 1 DAI for 1 USDC would have a negligible impact on the relative price. That’s why liquidity is helpful.
You can stick your assets on Compound and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers.
Similar effects hold across DeFi, so markets want more liquidity. Uniswap solves this by charging a tiny fee on every trade. It does this by shaving off a little bit from each trade and leaving that in the pool (so one DAI would actually trade for 0.997 USDC, after the fee, growing the overall pool by 0.003 USDC). This benefits liquidity providers because when someone puts liquidity in the pool they own a share of the pool. If there has been lots of trading in that pool, it has earned a lot of fees, and the value of each share will grow.
And this brings us back to tokens.
Liquidity added to Uniswap is represented by a token, not an account. So there’s no ledger saying, “Bob owns 0.000000678% of the DAI/USDC pool.” Bob just has a token in his wallet. And Bob doesn’t have to keep that token. He could sell it. Or use it in another product. We’ll circle back to this, but it helps to explain why people like to talk about DeFi products as “money Legos.”

So how much money do people make by putting money into these products?

It can be a lot more lucrative than putting money in a traditional bank, and that’s before startups started handing out governance tokens.
Compound is the current darling of this space, so let’s use it as an illustration. As of this writing, a person can put USDC into Compound and earn 2.72% on it. They can put tether (USDT) into it and earn 2.11%. Most U.S. bank accounts earn less than 0.1% these days, which is close enough to nothing.
However, there are some caveats. First, there’s a reason the interest rates are so much juicier: DeFi is a far riskier place to park your money. There’s no Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protecting these funds. If there were a run on Compound, users could find themselves unable to withdraw their funds when they wanted.
Plus, the interest is quite variable. You don’t know what you’ll earn over the course of a year. USDC’s rate is high right now. It was low last week. Usually, it hovers somewhere in the 1% range.
Similarly, a user might get tempted by assets with more lucrative yields like USDT, which typically has a much higher interest rate than USDC. (Monday morning, the reverse was true, for unclear reasons; this is crypto, remember.) The trade-off here is USDT’s transparency about the real-world dollars it’s supposed to hold in a real-world bank is not nearly up to par with USDC’s. A difference in interest rates is often the market’s way of telling you the one instrument is viewed as dicier than another.
Users making big bets on these products turn to companies Opyn and Nexus Mutual to insure their positions because there’s no government protections in this nascent space – more on the ample risks later on.
So users can stick their assets in Compound or Uniswap and earn a little yield. But that’s not very creative. Users who look for angles to maximize that yield: those are the yield farmers.

OK, I already knew all of that. What is yield farming?

Broadly, yield farming is any effort to put crypto assets to work and generate the most returns possible on those assets.
At the simplest level, a yield farmer might move assets around within Compound, constantly chasing whichever pool is offering the best APY from week to week. This might mean moving into riskier pools from time to time, but a yield farmer can handle risk.
“Farming opens up new price arbs [arbitrage] that can spill over to other protocols whose tokens are in the pool,” said Maya Zehavi, a blockchain consultant.
Because these positions are tokenized, though, they can go further.
This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan. Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender?
In a simple example, a yield farmer might put 100,000 USDT into Compound. They will get a token back for that stake, called cUSDT. Let’s say they get 100,000 cUSDT back (the formula on Compound is crazy so it’s not 1:1 like that but it doesn’t matter for our purposes here).
They can then take that cUSDT and put it into a liquidity pool that takes cUSDT on Balancer, an AMM that allows users to set up self-rebalancing crypto index funds. In normal times, this could earn a small amount more in transaction fees. This is the basic idea of yield farming. The user looks for edge cases in the system to eke out as much yield as they can across as many products as it will work on.
Right now, however, things are not normal, and they probably won’t be for a while.

Why is yield farming so hot right now?

Because of liquidity mining. Liquidity mining supercharges yield farming.
Liquidity mining is when a yield farmer gets a new token as well as the usual return (that’s the “mining” part) in exchange for the farmer’s liquidity.
“The idea is that stimulating usage of the platform increases the value of the token, thereby creating a positive usage loop to attract users,” said Richard Ma of smart-contract auditor Quantstamp.
The yield farming examples above are only farming yield off the normal operations of different platforms. Supply liquidity to Compound or Uniswap and get a little cut of the business that runs over the protocols – very vanilla.
But Compound announced earlier this year it wanted to truly decentralize the product and it wanted to give a good amount of ownership to the people who made it popular by using it. That ownership would take the form of the COMP token.
Lest this sound too altruistic, keep in mind that the people who created it (the team and the investors) owned more than half of the equity. By giving away a healthy proportion to users, that was very likely to make it a much more popular place for lending. In turn, that would make everyone’s stake worth much more.
So, Compound announced this four-year period where the protocol would give out COMP tokens to users, a fixed amount every day until it was gone. These COMP tokens control the protocol, just as shareholders ultimately control publicly traded companies.
Every day, the Compound protocol looks at everyone who had lent money to the application and who had borrowed from it and gives them COMP proportional to their share of the day’s total business.
The results were very surprising, even to Compound’s biggest promoters.
COMP’s value will likely go down, and that’s why some investors are rushing to earn as much of it as they can right now.
This was a brand-new kind of yield on a deposit into Compound. In fact, it was a way to earn a yield on a loan, as well, which is very weird: Who has ever heard of a borrower earning a return on a debt from their lender?
COMP’s value has consistently been well over $200 since it started distributing on June 15. We did the math elsewhere but long story short: investors with fairly deep pockets can make a strong gain maximizing their daily returns in COMP. It is, in a way, free money.
It’s possible to lend to Compound, borrow from it, deposit what you borrowed and so on. This can be done multiple times and DeFi startup Instadapp even built a tool to make it as capital-efficient as possible.
“Yield farmers are extremely creative. They find ways to ‘stack’ yields and even earn multiple governance tokens at once,” said Spencer Noon of DTC Capital.
COMP’s value spike is a temporary situation. The COMP distribution will only last four years and then there won’t be any more. Further, most people agree that the high price now is driven by the low float (that is, how much COMP is actually free to trade on the market – it will never be this low again). So the value will probably gradually go down, and that’s why savvy investors are trying to earn as much as they can now.
Appealing to the speculative instincts of diehard crypto traders has proven to be a great way to increase liquidity on Compound. This fattens some pockets but also improves the user experience for all kinds of Compound users, including those who would use it whether they were going to earn COMP or not.
As usual in crypto, when entrepreneurs see something successful, they imitate it. Balancer was the next protocol to start distributing a governance token, BAL, to liquidity providers. Flash loan provider bZx has announced a plan. Ren, Curve and Synthetix also teamed up to promote a liquidity pool on Curve.
It is a fair bet many of the more well-known DeFi projects will announce some kind of coin that can be mined by providing liquidity.
The case to watch here is Uniswap versus Balancer. Balancer can do the same thing Uniswap does, but most users who want to do a quick token trade through their wallet use Uniswap. It will be interesting to see if Balancer’s BAL token convinces Uniswap’s liquidity providers to defect.
So far, though, more liquidity has gone into Uniswap since the BAL announcement, according to its data site. That said, even more has gone into Balancer.

Did liquidity mining start with COMP?

No, but it was the most-used protocol with the most carefully designed liquidity mining scheme.
This point is debated but the origins of liquidity mining probably date back to Fcoin, a Chinese exchange that created a token in 2018 that rewarded people for making trades. You won’t believe what happened next! Just kidding, you will: People just started running bots to do pointless trades with themselves to earn the token.
Similarly, EOS is a blockchain where transactions are basically free, but since nothing is really free the absence of friction was an invitation for spam. Some malicious hacker who didn’t like EOS created a token called EIDOS on the network in late 2019. It rewarded people for tons of pointless transactions and somehow got an exchange listing.
These initiatives illustrated how quickly crypto users respond to incentives.
Read more: Compound Changes COMP Distribution Rules Following ‘Yield Farming’ Frenzy
Fcoin aside, liquidity mining as we now know it first showed up on Ethereum when the marketplace for synthetic tokens, Synthetix, announced in July 2019 an award in its SNX token for users who helped add liquidity to the sETH/ETH pool on Uniswap. By October, that was one of Uniswap’s biggest pools.
When Compound Labs, the company that launched the Compound protocol, decided to create COMP, the governance token, the firm took months designing just what kind of behavior it wanted and how to incentivize it. Even still, Compound Labs was surprised by the response. It led to unintended consequences such as crowding into a previously unpopular market (lending and borrowing BAT) in order to mine as much COMP as possible.
Just last week, 115 different COMP wallet addresses – senators in Compound’s ever-changing legislature – voted to change the distribution mechanism in hopes of spreading liquidity out across the markets again.

Is there DeFi for bitcoin?

Yes, on Ethereum.
Nothing has beaten bitcoin over time for returns, but there’s one thing bitcoin can’t do on its own: create more bitcoin.
A smart trader can get in and out of bitcoin and dollars in a way that will earn them more bitcoin, but this is tedious and risky. It takes a certain kind of person.
DeFi, however, offers ways to grow one’s bitcoin holdings – though somewhat indirectly.
A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game.
For example, a user can create a simulated bitcoin on Ethereum using BitGo’s WBTC system. They put BTC in and get the same amount back out in freshly minted WBTC. WBTC can be traded back for BTC at any time, so it tends to be worth the same as BTC.
Then the user can take that WBTC, stake it on Compound and earn a few percent each year in yield on their BTC. Odds are, the people who borrow that WBTC are probably doing it to short BTC (that is, they will sell it immediately, buy it back when the price goes down, close the loan and keep the difference).
A long HODLer is happy to gain fresh BTC off their counterparty’s short-term win. That’s the game.

How risky is it?

Enough.
“DeFi, with the combination of an assortment of digital funds, automation of key processes, and more complex incentive structures that work across protocols – each with their own rapidly changing tech and governance practices – make for new types of security risks,” said Liz Steininger of Least Authority, a crypto security auditor. “Yet, despite these risks, the high yields are undeniably attractive to draw more users.”
We’ve seen big failures in DeFi products. MakerDAO had one so bad this year it’s called “Black Thursday.” There was also the exploit against flash loan provider bZx. These things do break and when they do money gets taken.
As this sector gets more robust, we could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches.
Right now, the deal is too good for certain funds to resist, so they are moving a lot of money into these protocols to liquidity mine all the new governance tokens they can. But the funds – entities that pool the resources of typically well-to-do crypto investors – are also hedging. Nexus Mutual, a DeFi insurance provider of sorts, told CoinDesk it has maxed out its available coverage on these liquidity applications. Opyn, the trustless derivatives maker, created a way to short COMP, just in case this game comes to naught.
And weird things have arisen. For example, there’s currently more DAI on Compound than have been minted in the world. This makes sense once unpacked but it still feels dicey to everyone.
That said, distributing governance tokens might make things a lot less risky for startups, at least with regard to the money cops.
“Protocols distributing their tokens to the public, meaning that there’s a new secondary listing for SAFT tokens, [gives] plausible deniability from any security accusation,” Zehavi wrote. (The Simple Agreement for Future Tokens was a legal structure favored by many token issuers during the ICO craze.)
Whether a cryptocurrency is adequately decentralized has been a key feature of ICO settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

What’s next for yield farming? (A prediction)

COMP turned out to be a bit of a surprise to the DeFi world, in technical ways and others. It has inspired a wave of new thinking.
“Other projects are working on similar things,” said Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp. In fact, informed sources tell CoinDesk brand-new projects will launch with these models.
We might soon see more prosaic yield farming applications. For example, forms of profit-sharing that reward certain kinds of behavior.
Imagine if COMP holders decided, for example, that the protocol needed more people to put money in and leave it there longer. The community could create a proposal that shaved off a little of each token’s yield and paid that portion out only to the tokens that were older than six months. It probably wouldn’t be much, but an investor with the right time horizon and risk profile might take it into consideration before making a withdrawal.
(There are precedents for this in traditional finance: A 10-year Treasury bond normally yields more than a one-month T-bill even though they’re both backed by the full faith and credit of Uncle Sam, a 12-month certificate of deposit pays higher interest than a checking account at the same bank, and so on.)
As this sector gets more robust, its architects will come up with ever more robust ways to optimize liquidity incentives in increasingly refined ways. We could see token holders greenlighting more ways for investors to profit from DeFi niches.
Questions abound for this nascent industry: What will MakerDAO do to restore its spot as the king of DeFi? Will Uniswap join the liquidity mining trend? Will anyone stick all these governance tokens into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)? Or would that be a yield farmers co-op?
Whatever happens, crypto’s yield farmers will keep moving fast. Some fresh fields may open and some may soon bear much less luscious fruit.
But that’s the nice thing about farming in DeFi: It is very easy to switch fields.
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Epic Cash AMA Recap with CryptoDiffer Community

CryptoDiffer team Hello, everyone! We are glad to meet here: Max Freeman (@maxfreeman4), Project Lead at Epic Cash Yoga Dude (@Yogadude), PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Xenolink (@Xenolink), Advisor at Epic Cash
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash Thanks Max, we are excited to be here!
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash Hello Everyone! Thank you for having us here!
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash Thank you to the CryptoDiffer team and CryptoDiffer community for hosting us!
CryptoDiffer team Let`s start from the first introduction question: Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Epic Cash?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Hello! My background is Marketing and Business Development, I’ve been in crypto since 2011 started with Bitcoin, then Monero in 2014, Ethereum in 2015 and at some point Doge for fun and profit. I joined Epic Cash team in September 2019 handling PR and Marketing.
I saw in Epic Cash what was missing in my previous cryptos — things that were missing in Bitcoin and Monero especially.
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Hello Cryptodiffer Community, I am not an original co-founder nor am I a developer for the Epic Cash project. I am however a community member that is involved in helping scale this project to higher levels. One of the many beauties of Epic Cash is that every single member in the community has the opportunity to be part of EPIC’s team, it can be from development all the way to content producing. Epic Cash is a community driven project. The true Core Team of Epic Cash is our community. I believe a community that is the Core Team is truly powerful. EPIC Cash has one of the freshest and strongest communities I have seen in quite a while. Which is one of the reasons why I became involved in this project. Epic displayed some of the most self community produced content I have seen in a project. I’m actually a doctor of medicine but in terms of my experience in crypto, I have been involved in the industry since 2012 beginning with mining Litecoin. Since then I have been doing deep dive analysis on different projects, investing, and building a network in crypto that I will utilize to help connect and scale Epic in every way I can. To give some credit to those people in my network that have been a part of helping give Epic exposure, I would like to give a special thanks to u/Tetsugan and u/Saurabhblr. Tetsugan has been doing a lot of work for the Japanese community to penetrate the Japanese market, and Japan has already developed a growing interest in Epic. Daku Sarabh the owner and creator of Crypto Daku Robinhooders, I would like to thank him and his community for giving us one of our first large AMA’s, which he has supported our project early and given us a free AMA. Many more to thank but can’t be disclosed. Also thank you to all the Epic Community leaders, developers, and Content producers!
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I’m Max Freeman, which stands for “Maximum Freedom for Mankind”. I started working on the ideas that would become Epic in 2018. I fell in love with Bitcoin in 2017 but realized that it needs privacy at the base layer, fungibility, better scalability in order to go to the next level.
CryptoDiffer team
Really interesting backgrounds I must admit, pleasure to see the team that clearly has one vision of the project by being completely decentralized:)
Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Epic Cash in 3–5 sentences? What technology stands behind Epic Cash and why it’s better than the existing one?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I’d like to highlight the differences between Epic and the two highest-valued privacy coin projects, Monero and Zcash. XMR has always-on privacy like Epic does, but at a cost: Its blockchain is over 20x more data intensive than Epic, which limits its possibilities for scalability. Epic’s blockchain is small and light enough to run a full node on cell phones, something that is in our product road map. ZEC by comparison can’t run on low end devices because of its zero knowledge based approach, and only 1% of transactions are fully private. Epic is simply newer, more advanced technology than prior networks thanks to Mimblewimble
We will also add more algorithms to widen the range of hardware that can participate in mining. For example, cell phones and tablets based around ARM chips. Millions of people can mine Epic that can’t mine Bitcoin, and that will help grow the network rapidly.
There are some great short videos on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQBFfksJlM97rgrplLRwNUg/videos
that explain why we believe we have created something truly special here.
Our core architecture derives from Grin, so we are fortunate to benefit on an ongoing basis from their considerable development efforts. We are focused on making our currency truly usable and widely available, beyond a store of value and becoming a true medium of exchange.
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Well we all have our views, but in a nutshell, we offer things that were missing in the previous cryptos. We have sound fiscal emission schedule matching Bitcoin, but we are vastly more private and faster. Our blockchain is lighter than Bitcoin or Monero and our tech is more scalable. Also, we are unique in that we are mineable with CPUs and GPUs as well as ASICs, giving the broadest population the ability to mine Epic Cash. Plus, you can’t forget FUNGIBILITY 🙂 we are big on that — since you can’t have true privacy without fungibility.
Also, please understand, we have HUGE respect to all the cryptos that came before us, we learned a lot from them, and thanks to their mistakes we evolved.
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
To add on, what also makes Epic Cash unique is the ability to decentralize the mining using a tri-algo model of Random X (CPU), Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) for an ability to do hybrid mining. I believe this is an issue we can see today in Bitcoin having centralized mining and the average user has a costly barrier of entry.
To follow up on this one in my opinion one of the things we adopted that we have seen success for , in example Bitcoin and Monero, is a strong community driven coin. I believe having a community driven coin will provide a more organic atmosphere especially when starting with No ICO, or Premine with a fair distribution model for everyone.
CryptoDiffer team
Q3: What are the major milestones Epic Cash has achieved so far? Maybe you can share with us some exciting plans for future weeks/months?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Since we went live in September of 2019, we attracted a very large community of users, miners, investors and contributors from across the world. Epic Cash is a very international project with white papers translated into over 30 languages. We are very much a community driven project; this is very evident from our content and the amount of translations in our white papers and in our social media content.
We are constantly working on improving our usability, security and privacy, as well as getting our message and philosophy out into the world to achieve mass adoption. We have a lot of exciting plans for our project, the plan is to make Epic Cash into something that is More than Money.
You can tell I am the Marketing guy since my message is less about the actual tech and more about the usability and use cases for Epic Cash, I think our Team and Community have a great mix of technical, practical, social and fiscal experiences. Since we opened our YouTube channels content for community submissions, we have seen our content translated into Spanish, French, German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, and other languages
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Our future development roadmap will be published soon and includes 4 tracks:
Usability
Mining
Core Protocol
Ecosystem Development
Core Protocol
Epic Server 2.9.0 — this release improves the difficulty adjustment and is aimed at making block emission closer to the target 60 seconds, particularly reducing the incidence of extremely short and long blocks — Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: June 2020
Epic Server 3.0.0 — this completes the rebase to Grin 3.0.0 and serves as the prerequisite to some important functional building blocks for the future of the ecosystem. Specifically, sending via Tor (which eliminates the need to open ports), proof of payment (useful for certain dex applications e.g. Bisq), and our native mobile app. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Fall 2020
Non-Interactive Transactions — this will enhance usability by enabling “fire and forget” send-to-address functionality that users are accustomed to from most cryptocurrencies. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Scaling Options — when blocks start becoming full, how will we increase capacity? Two obvious options are increasing the block size, as well as a Lightning Network-style Layer 2 structure. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Confidential Assets — Similar to Raven, Tari, and Beam, the ability to create independently tradable assets that ride on the Epic Blockchain. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Usability
GUI Wallet 2.0 — Restore from seed words and various usability enhancements — Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: Fall 2020
Mobile App — Native mobile experience for iOS and Android. Status: In Development (Testing) Anticipated Release: Winter 2020
Telegram Integration — Anonymous payments over the Telegram network, bot functionality for groups. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Mining
RandomX on ARM — Our 4th PoW algorithm, this will enable tablets, cell phones, and low power devices such as Raspberry Pi to participate in mining. Status: Needs Assessment Anticipated Release: n/a
The economics of mining Epic are extremely compelling for countries that have free or extremely cheap electricity, since anyone with an ordinary PC can mine. Individual people around the world can simply run the miner and earn meaningful money (imagine Venezuela for example), something that has not been possible since the very early days of Bitcoin.
Ecosystem Development
Atomic Swaps — Connecting Epic to other blockchains in a trustless way, starting with ETH so that Epic can trade on DeFi infrastructure such as Uniswap, Kyber, etc. Status: Drawing Board Anticipated Release: n/a
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
From the Community aspect, we have been further developing our community international reach. We have been seeing an increase in interest from South America, China, Russia, Japan, Italy, and the Philippines. We are working on targeting more countries. We truly aim to be a decentralized project that is open to everyone worldwide.
CryptoDiffer team
Great, thank you for your answers, we now can move to community questions part!
Cryptodiffer Community
You have 3 mining algorithms, the question is: how do they not compete with each other? Is there any benefit of mining on the GPU and CPU if someone is mining on the ASIC?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
The block selection is deterministic, so that every 100 blocks, 60% are for RandomX (CPU), 38% for ProgPow (GPU), and 2% for Cuckoo (ASIC) — the policy is flexible so that we can have as many algorithms with any percentages we want. The goal is to make the most decentralized and resilient network possible, and with that in mind we are excited to work on enabling tablets and cell phones to mine, since that opens it up to millions of people that otherwise can’t take part.
Cryptodiffer Community
To Run a project smoothly, Funding is very important, From where does the Funding/revenue come from?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Yes, early on this was realized and in order to scale a project funds are indeed needed. Epic Cash did not start with any funding and no ICO and was organically genesis mined with no pre-mine. Epic cash is also a nonprofit community driven project similar to Monero. There is no profit-driven entity in the picture. To overcome the revenue issue Epic Cash setup a development fund tax that decreases 1% every year until 2028 when Epic Cash reaches singularity with Bitcoin emissions. Currently it is at 7.77%. This will help support the scaling of the project.
Cryptodiffer Community
Hi! In your experience working also with MONERO can you please clarify which are those identified problems that EPIC CASH aims to develop and resolve? What’s the main advantage that EPIC CASH has over MONERO? Thank you!
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
First, I must admit that I am still a huge fan and HODLer of Monero. That said:
✅ our blockchain is MUCH lighter than Monero’s
✅ our transaction processing speed is much faster
✅ our address-less blockchain is more private
✅ Epic Cash can be mined with CPU (RandomX) GPU (ProgPow) and Cuckoo, whereas Monero migrated to RandomX and currently only mineable with CPU
Cryptodiffer Community
  1. the feature ‘Cut Through’ deletes old data, how is it decided which data will be deletes, and what are the consequences of it for the platform and therefore the users?
  2. On your website I see links to download Epic wallet and mining software for Linux,Windows and MacOs, I am a user of android, is there a version for me, or does it have a release date?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
  1. This is one of the most exciting features of Mimblewimble, which is its extraordinary ability to compress blockchain data. In Bitcoin, the entire history of a coin must be replayed every time it is spent, and comprehensive details are permanently stored in the blockchain. Epic discards spent transaction inputs and consolidates outputs, storing neither addresses or amounts, only a tiny kernel to allow sender and receiver to prove their transaction.
  2. The Vitex mobile app is great for today, and we have a native mobile app for iOS and Android in the works as well.
Cryptodiffer Community
$EPIC Have total Supply of 21,000,000 EPIC , is there any burning plan? Or Buyback program to maintain $EPIC price in the future?
Who is Epic Biggest competitors?
And what’s makes epic better than competitors?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
We respect the older generation coins like Bitcoin. But we have learned that the supply economics of Bitcoin is very sound. Until today we can witness how the Bitcoin is being adopted institutionally and by retail. We match the 21 million BTC supply economics because it is an inelastic fixed model which makes the long-term economics very sound. To have an elastic model of burning tokens or printing tokens will not have a solid economic future. Take for example the USD which is an inflating supply. In terms of competitors we look at everyone in crypto with respect and also learn from everyone. If we had to compare to other Mimblewimble tech coins, Grin is an inelastic forever inflating supply which in the long term is not sound economics. Beam however is an inelastic model but is formed as a corporation. The fair distribution is not there because of the permanent revenue model setup for them. Epic Cash a non-profit development tax fund model for scaling purposes that will disappear by 2028’s singularity.
Cryptodiffer Community
What your plans in place for global expansion, are you focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Since we are a community project, we have many developers, in addition to the core team.
Our plans for Global expansion are simple — we have advocates in different regions addressing their audiences in their native languages. We are growing organically, by explaining our ideology and usability. The idea is to grow beyond needing a fiat bridge for crypto use, but to rather replace fiat with our borderless, private and fungible crypto so people can use it to get goods and services without using banks.
We are not limiting ourselves to one particular demographic — Epic Cash is a valid solution for the gamers, investors, techie and non techie people, and the unbanked.
Cryptodiffer Community
EPIC confidential coin! Did you have any problems with the regulators? And there will be no problems with listing on centralized exchanges?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
In terms of structure, we are carefully set up to minimize these concerns. Without a company or investors in the picture, and having raised no funds, there is little scope to attack in terms of securities laws. Bitcoin and Ethereum are widely acknowledged as acceptable, and we follow in their well-established footprints in that respect. Centralized exchanges already trade other privacy coins, so we don’t see this as much of an issue either. In general, decentralized p2p exchange options are more interesting than today’s centralized platforms. They are more censorship resistant, secure, and privacy-protecting. As the technology gets better, they should continue to gain market share and that’s why we’re proud to be partnered with Vitex, whose exchange and mobile app work very well.
Cryptodiffer Community
What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Because our blockchain is so light (only 1.16gb currently, and grows very slowly) it is naturally well suited to become a decentralized mobile money standard because people can run a full node on their phone, guaranteeing the security of their funds. Scalability in Bitcoin requires complicated and compromised workarounds such as Lightning Network and light clients, and these problems are solved in Epic.
With our forthcoming Mobile Mining app, hundreds of millions of cell phones and tablets will be able to easily join the network. People can quickly and cheaply send money to one another, fulfilling the long-envisioned promise of P2P electronic cash.
As an investor, it’s important to ask a few key questions. Bitcoin Standard tokenomics of disinflation and a fixed supply are well proven over a decade now. We follow this model exactly, with a permanently synchronized supply from 2028, and 4 emission halvings from now until then, with our first one in about two weeks. Beyond that, we can apply some simple logical tests. What is more valuable, money that can only be used in some cases (censorable Bitcoin based on a lack of fungibility) or money that can be used universally? (fungible Epic based on always-on privacy by default). Epic is also poised to be a more decentralized and therefore resilient network because of wider participation in mining. Epic is designed to be Bitcoin++ Privacy, Fungibility, Scalability
Cryptodiffer Community
Q1. What are advantages for choosing three mining algorithms RandomX+, ProgPow and CuckAToo31+ ?
Q2. Beam and Grin use MimbleWimble protocol, so what are difference for Epic? All of you will be friends for partners or competitors?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
RandomX and ProgPow are designed to use the entirety of a CPU / GPU’s unique processing capabilities in a way that other types of hardware don’t work as well. You can run RandomX on a GPU but it doesn’t work nearly as well as a much cheaper CPU, for example. Cuckoo is a “memory hard” algorithm that widens the range of companies that can produce the hardware.
Grin and Beam are great projects and we’ve learned a lot from them. We inherited our first codebase from Grin’s excellent Rust design, which is a better language for community participation than C++ that Beam currently uses.
Functionally, Mimblewimble is similar across the 3 coins, with standard Confidential Transactions, CoinJoin, Dandelion++, Schnorr Signatures and other advanced features. Grin is primarily ASIC-targeted, Beam is GPU-targeted, and Epic is multi-hardware.
The biggest differences though are in tokenomics and project structure. Grin has permanent inflation of 60 coins per block with no halvings, which means steady erosion of value over time due to new supply pressure. It also lacks a steady funding model, making future development in jeopardy, particularly as the per coin price falls. Beam has a for-profit model with heavy early inflation and a high developer tax. Epic builds on the strengths of these earlier mimblewimble projects and addresses the parts that could be improved.
Cryptodiffer Community Some privacy coin has scalability issues! How Epic cash will solve scalability issues? Why you choose randomX consensus algorithem?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Fungibility means that you can’t distinguish one unit of currency from another, in example Gold. Fungibility has recently become a hot issue as people have been noticing Bitcoins being locked up by exchanges which may of had a nefarious history which are called Tainted Coins. In example coins that have been involved in a hack, darknet market transactions, or even processing coin through a mixer. Today we can already see freshly mined Bitcoins being sold at a premium price to avoid the fungibility problem Bitcoin carries today. Bitcoin can be tracked by chainalysis and is not a fungible cryptocurrency. One of the features that Epic has is privacy with added fungibility, because of Mimblewimble technology, Epic has no addresses recorded and therefore nothing can be tracked by chainalysis. Below I provide a link of an example of what the lack of fungibility is resulting in today with Bitcoin. One of the reasons why we chose the Random X algo. is because of the easy barrier of entry and also to further decentralize the mining. Random X algo can be mined on old computers or laptops. We also have 2 other algos Progpow (GPU), and Cuckoo (ASIC) to create a wider decentralization of mining methods for Epic.
Cryptodiffer Community
I’m a newbie in crypto and blockchain so how will Epic Cash team target and educate people who don’t know about blockchain and crypto?
What is the uniqueness of Epic Cash that cannot be found in other project that´s been released so far ?
Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash
Actually, while we have our white paper translated into over 30 languages, we are more focused on explaining our uses and advantages rather than cold specs. Our tech is solid, but we not get hung up on pure tech talk which most casual users do not need to or care to understand. As long as our fundamentals and tech are secure and user friendly our primary goal is to educate about use cases and market potential.
The uniqueness of Epic Cash is its amalgamation of “whats good” in other cryptos. We use Mimblewimble for privacy and anonymity. Our blockchain is much lighter than our competitors. We are the only Mimblewimble crypto to use a unique cocktail of mining algorithms allowing to be mined by casual miners with gaming rigs and laptops, while remaining friendly to GPU and CPU farmers.
The “uniqueness” is learning from the mistakes of those who came before us, we evolved and learned, which is why our privacy is better, we are faster, we are fungible, we offer diverse mining and so on. We are the best blend — thats powerful and unique
Cryptodiffer Community
Can you share EPIC’s vision for decentralized finance (DEFI)? What features do EPIC have to support DEFI?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
We view Epic as ideally suited to be the decentralized digital reserve asset of the new Private Internet of Money that’s emerging. At a technology level, atomic swaps can be created to build liquidity bridges so that wrapped Epic tokens (like WBTC, WETH) can trade on other networks as ERC20, BEP2, NEP5, VIP180, Algorand and so on. There is more Bitcoin value locked on Ethereum than in Lightning Network, so we will similarly integrate Epic so that it can trade on networks such as Uniswap, Kyber, and so on.
Longer term, if there is market demand for it, thanks to Scriptless Script functionality our blockchain has, we can build “Confidential Assets” (which Raven, Tari, and Beam are all also working on) that enable people to create tokenized assets in a private way.
Cryptodiffer Community
If you could choose one celebrity to promote Epic-cash, who that would be?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
I am a firm believer that the strength of the project lies in allowing community members to become their own celebrities, if their content is good enough the community will propel them to celebrity status. Organic celebrities with small but loyal following are vastly more beneficial than big name professional shills with inflated but non caring audiences.
I remember the early days of Apple when an enthusiastic dude named Guy Kawasaki became Apple Evangelist, he was literally going around stores that sold Apple and visited user groups and Evangelized his belief in Apple. This guy became a Legend and helped Apple become what it is today.
Epic Cash will have its OWN Celebrities
Cryptodiffer Community
How does $EPIC solve scalability of transactions? Current blockchains face issues with scalability a lot, how does $EPIC creates a solution to it?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Epic Cash is utilizing Mimblewimble technology. Besides the privacy & fungibility aspect of the tech. There is the scalability features of it. It is implemented into Epic by transaction cut-through. Which means it allows nodes to remove all intermediate transactions, thus significantly reducing the blockchain size without affecting its validation. Mimblewimble also does not use addresses like a BTC address, and amount of transactions are also not recorded. One problem Monero and Bitcoin are facing now is scalability. It is evident today that data is getting more expensive and that will be a problem in the long run for those coins. Epic is 90% lighter and more scalable compared to Monero and Bitcoin.
Cryptodiffer Community
what are the ways that Epic Cash generates profits/revenue to maintain your project and what is its revenue model ? How can it make benefit win-win to both invester and your project ?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
There is a block subsidy of 7.77% that declines 1.11% per year until 0, where it stays after that. As a nonprofit community effort, this extremely modest amount goes much further than in other projects, which often take 20, 30, even 50+ % of the coin supply. We believe that this ongoing funding model best aligns the long term incentives for all participants and balances the compromises between the ends of the centralized/decentralized spectrum of choices that any project must make.
Cryptodiffer Community
Q1 : What are your major goals to archive in the next 3–4 years?
Q2 : What are your plans to expand and gain more adoption?
Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash
Max already talked about our technical plans and goals in his roadmap. Allow me to talk more about the non technical 😁
We are aiming for broader reach in the non technical more mainstream community — this is a big challenge but we believe it is doable. By offering simpler ways to mine Epic Cash (with smart phones for example), and by doing more education we will achieve the holy grail of crypto — moving past the fiat bridges and getting Epic Cash to be accepted as means of payment for goods and services. We will accomplish this by working with regional advocacy groups, community interaction, off-line promotional activities and diverse social media targeting.
Cryptodiffer Community
It seems to me that EpicCash will have its first Halving, right? Why a halving so soon?
Is a mobile version feasible?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Our supply emission catches up to that of Bitcoin’s first 19 years after 8 years in Epic, so that requires more frequent halvings. Today’s block emission is 16, next up are 8, 4, 2, and then finally 0.15625. After that, the supply of Epic and that of BTC stay synchronized until maxing out at 21m coins in 2140.
Today we have a mobile wallet through the Vitex app, a native mobile wallet coming, and are working on mobile mining.
Cryptodiffer Community
What markets will you add after that?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
Well, we are aiming to have ALL markets
Epic Cash in its final iteration will be usable by everyone everywhere regardless of their technical expertise. We are not limiting ourselves to the technocrats, one of our main goals is to help the billions of unbanked. We want everyone to be able to mine, buy, and most of all USE Epic Cash — gamers, farmers, soccer moms, students, retirees, everyone really — even bankers (well once we defeat the banking industry)
We will continue building on the multilingual diversity of our global community adding support and advocacy groups in more countries in more languages.
Epic Cash is More than Money and its for Everyone.
Cryptodiffer Community
Almost, all cryptocurrencies are decentralized & no-one knows who owns that cryptocurrencies ! then also, why Privacy is needed? hats the advantages of Private coins?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
With a public transparent blockchain such as Bitcoin, you are permanently posting a detailed history of your money movements open for anyone to see (not just legitimate authorities, either!) — It would be considered crazy to post your credit card or bank statements to Twitter, but that’s what is happening every time you send a transaction that is not private. This excellent video from community contributor Spencer Lambert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0blbfmvCq\_4 explains better than I can.
Privacy is not just for criminals, it’s for everyone. Do you want your landlord to increase the rent when he sees that you get a raise? Your insurance company to raise your healthcare costs because they see you buying too much ice cream? If you’re a business, do you want your employees to see how much money their coworkers make? Do you want your competitors to trace your supplier and customer relationships? Of course not. By privacy being default for everyone, cryptocurrency can be used in a much wider range of situations without unacceptable compromises.
Cryptodiffer Community
What are the main utility and real-life usage of the #EPIC As an investor, why should we invest in the #EPIC project as a long-term investment?
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Epic Cash can be used as a Private and Fungible store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. As Epic Cash grows and becomes adopted it can be compared to how Bitcoin and Monero is used and adopted as well. As Epic is adopted by the masses, it can be accepted as a medium of exchange for store owners and as fungible payments without the worry of having money that is tainted. Epic Cash as a store of value may be a good long term aspect of investment to consider. Epic Cash carries an inelastic fixed supply economic model of 21 million coins. There will be 5 halvings which this month of June will be our first halving of epic. From a block reward of 16 Epic reduced to 8. If we look at BTC’s price action and history of their halvings it has been proven and show that there has been an increase in value due to the scarcity and from halvings a reduction of # of BTC’s mined per block. An inelastic supply model like Bitcoin provides proof of the circulating supply compared to the total supply by the history of it’s Price action which is evident in long term charts since the birth of Bitcoin. EPIC Plans to have 5 halvings before the year 2028 to match the emissions of Bitcoin which we call the singularity event. Below is a chart displaying our halvings model approaching singularity. Once bitcoin and cryptocurrency becomes adopted mainstream, the fungibility problem will be more noticed by the general public. Privacy coins and the features of fungibility/scalability will most likely be sought over. Right now a majority of people believe that all cryptocurrency is fungible. However, that is not true. We can already see Chainalysis confirming that they can trace and track and even for other well-known privacy coins today such as Z-Cash.
Cryptodiffer Community
  1. You aim to reach support from a global community, what are your plans to get spanish speakers involved into Epic Cash? And emerging markets like the african
  2. How am I secure I won’t be affected by receiving tainted money?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Native speakers from our community are working to raise awareness in key markets such as mining in Argentina and Venezuela for Spanish (Roberto Navarro called Epic “the holy grail of cryptocurrency” and Ethiopia and certain North African countries that have the lowest electricity costs in the world. Remittances between USA and Latin American countries are expensive and slow, so Epic is also perfect for people to send money back home as well.
Cryptodiffer Community
Do EPICs in 2020 focus more on research and coding, or on sales and implementation?
Yoga Dude PR&Marketing at Epic Cash
We will definitely continue to work on research and coding, with emphasis on improved accessibility (especially via smartphones) usability, security and privacy.
In terms of financial infrastructure will continuing to add exchanges both KYC and non KYC.
Big part of our plans is in ongoing Marketing and PR outreach. The idea is to make Epic Cash a viral sensation of sorts. If we can get Epic Cash adopters to spread the word and tell their family, coworkers and friends about Epic Cash — there will be no stopping us and to help that happen we have a growing army of content creators, and supporters.
Everyone with skin in the game gets the benefit of advancing the cause.
Folks also, this isn’t an answer to the question but an example of a real-world Epic Cash content —
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtAVEqKGgqY
a challenge from one of our content creators to beat his 21 pull ups and get 100 epics! This has not been claimed yet — people need to step up 🙂 and to help that I will match another 100 Epic Cash to the first person to beat this
Cryptodiffer Community
I was watching some videos explaining how to send and receive transactions in EpicCash, which consists of ports and sending links, my question is why this is so, which, for now, looks complex?
Let’s talk about the economic model, can EpicCash comply with the concept of value reserve?
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
In V3, which is coming later this summer, Epic can be sent over Tor, which eliminates this issue of port opening, even though using tools like ngrok.io, it’s not necessarily as painful as directly configuring the router ports. Early Lightning Network had this issue as well and it’s something we have a plan to address via research into non-interactive transactions. “Fire and Forget” payments to an address, as people are used to in Bitcoin, is coming to Epic and we’re excited to develop functionality that other advanced mimblewimble coins don’t yet have. We are committed to constant improvement in usability and utility, to make our money system the ease of use leader.
We are involved in the project (anyone can join the Freeman Family) because we believe that simply by choosing to use a form of money that better aligns with our ideals, that we can make a positive change in the world. Some of my thoughts about how I got involved are here: https://medium.com/epic-cash/the-freeman-family-e3b9c3b3f166
Max Freeman Project Lead at Epic Cash
Huge thanks to our friends Maks and Vladyslav, we welcome everyone to come say hi at one of our friendly communities. It is extremely early in this journey, our market cap is only 0.5m right now, whereas the 3 other mimblewimble coins are at $20m, $30m and $100m respectively. Epic is a historic opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legends such as Bitcoin and Monero, and we hope to become the first Top 5 privacy coin project.
Xenolink Advisor at Epic Cash
Would like to Thank the Cryptodiffer Team and the Cryptodiffer community for hosting us and also engaging with us to learn more about Epic. If anyone else has more questions and wants to know more about EPIC , can find us at our telegram channel at https://t.me/EpicCash .
Yoga Dude Pr&Marketing at Epic Cash
Thank you, CryptoDiffer Team, and this wonderful Community!!!
Cryptodiffer TEAM
Thank you everyone for taking your time and asking great questions
Thank you for your time, it was an insightful session
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Hide and Seek

An old friend of mine emailed this to me a while back with the subject line “Hide and Seek” and I’ve been hesitant to post it for reasons that should become obvious as you read it. That said, I feel that enough time has gone by for this to be safe so I’m going to post it here. The only edits I’ve made were swapping out names and formatting, otherwise it’s all exactly as he sent it.
T, if you’re reading this then message me. I want to know if you’re alright, and if you are I know you’ll be looking for this story to show up.
This is what the email said:
Rijento,
I’m writing this story because I feel like I need an outlet. I swear to god that you better actually check your email for once in your damn life!
Please…
As for if you actually are reading this, I want you to wait as long as your (admittedly) better judgment tells you to wait and then post this story online. I know it’s a bit vain, but I want people to know my story. Hell, it might be the last one I ever tell. Double hell, it might actually even help some poor soul out.
I’m going to disappear after sending this, hopefully the good kind of disappear and not the death kind. I know nobody but you is going to believe this story but damn if typing this out didn’t make my sorry ass feel better. You were right about that man, I’m sorry for giving you shit for writing so much…
This is the attached file. “Hide and Seek”:
Before I get in to the ‘hiding’ and ‘seeking’ I have a bit of a confession that needs to be made. I work as a transporter for a deep web black market site… I hope it doesn’t change your opinion of me too much, sorry for not telling you sooner.
I’m the guy they call when they get an order for something they can’t send through the mail. Guns and live animals are two good examples. You’d be pretty hyped to know how many rich assholes just order lions and tigers from the dark web.
For obvious reasons, I can’t go in to too much detail, I don’t want to make any dangerous enemies and even after this I still don’t want to lose my job. It’s a pretty sweet gig all things considered, all I have to do is pick up from the seller and deliver to the buyer. I can even choose what jobs I want to take, lets me cling to what little principles I still have. And I DO have principles. After a few years working for the site, my two rules were: no people and no crossing borders.
Anyways, I got into a bit of a bind with the cryptocurrency crash that happened early this year. The site mostly pays in Bitcoin and, well, I decided to let my wallet sit and grow. By the time I realized what happened, my savings were destroyed. Nobody expected it to crash that hard… And it probably wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if I hadn’t also gotten used to living a life full of the finer things. I didn’t really ‘save’ all that much to begin with either. So when my savings finally ran dry and the market was still down, I decided to… Lower my standards a bit and take a riskier, higher paying job.
Organ transport.
I haven’t done it before… I hadn’t been that broke in a long time. Organ jobs pay well too, and I figured I still wasn’t strictly breaking my ‘no people’ rule if it was just their organs. So, I hopped on the site and browsed through the pitiful number of requests in my area till I found what I was looking for. A rich buyer who: had shady connections, was in need of some organs, and lacked either the time or patience to wait for them to come legally. As far as these sort of requests went, this was pretty much the norm from what I’d heard. So I accepted the job and got an email with some additional details about the order: the customer needed two kidneys (which was what I was to transport) and a liver (which they had made a separate request for).
From what other people on the site have told me, what should have happened was the job would move to the ‘seeking seller’ section and I’d be on hold till someone… ‘_acquired_’ the kidneys.
What actually happened probably should have tipped me off to use my monthly free withdraw… I got a notification two hours later that there was a seller.
Rijento, I don’t know how much you know about medicine, but if you do know anything then you’re probably squirming in your own skin about right now. For those who may or may not be reading this that are not in the know, not only do the donor and receiver have to have compatible blood types but kidneys only last about a day outside of a warm body.
Not exactly a product you can stockpile.
I got another email, about the pickup this time, and began the internal debate between the bad feeling in my gut and my empty wallet… You can probably guess which one of them won out… Anyways, I planned my route; one hour to get to the seller and four hours to get from there to the buyer. I sent the site my plan and within minutes they approve of it and set up an actual meeting point. I sighed and grabbed my things, trying to swallow my nerves the entire hour it took me to reach the meeting point.
I sat down on a bench in a city park and waited for what seemed like ages before I felt someone staring at me. It took me a solid minute to pick out who it was even though there were only a few people around. He was sitting with his back to me at a picnic table about ten yards away from me and whenever I looked away I could feel his eyes on me. When we eventually did make eye-contact he bounced excitedly in his seat and waved me over; my heart sank as he also slid a small case into my line of sight.
I forced myself to smile, walked over, sat down, and hid my annoyance. Most of the buyers on the site were practically carbon copies of each other. Probably because you could only become a buyer if another buyer knew and endorsed you. The sellers, on the other hand, were all certifiably insane.
None of the other transporters I’d chatted with had ever met with a ‘normal’ seller. Because of this, all of them quickly learned to keep conversation to a minimum and to not under any circumstances piss any of them off. I decided to follow in their example.
The man sitting in front of me looked friendly enough, overly so if anything. He was scrawny, didn’t look like he would be strong enough to… well… kill someone and harvest their insides. He had a strange smile on his face, and even now I can’t get it out of my head. The kind of overly friendly, wide toothed smile that mothers warned their children to stay away from. It somehow managed to be both inviting and creepy at the same time.
I smiled back and spoke up, “So you’re the seller then?” I asked, and the man nodded.
He nodded and responded in a sickeningly sweet voice… He sounded like a child in a toy store, his voice strained with excitement and wonder as he droned on to his parents about what toys he wanted.
“Oh I’m so glad you found me. For a minute there I thought I’d have to call ‘olly olly oxen free.’” He said with a pleased sigh, pushing the case to my side of the table. “You know… Over the years I’ve gotten quite good at playing hide and seek. So good, in fact, that I’ve never been found. Not. Even. Once. Do you want to know my secret?” the man asked, his voice still just as unsettlingly sweet as his smile.
“Sure, what’s your secret?” I asked. I really, really didn’t want to know what the hell he was talking about; but if it kept him happy then…
He clapped rapidly and bounced in place, “Oh I’m so glad that you’re a curious one. My secret is that the seekers never know that they’re playing.”
“Makes sense…” I said, opening the case momentarily to verify. Two kidneys in pristine condition, doused with preserving fluid, wrapped in plastic. and packed in ice. “If the seeker doesn’t know they’re playing then how would they know to start looking?” I said, leaving out the fact that it would just be stalking at that point before swallowing hard when I thought about where these kidneys came from.
“You’re a smart one…” he said with a smile as I sent a message confirming the pickup. All that was left was to wait for the transaction to process. “I was worried about this last one though… she came right up to me. This. Close.” he said, leaning in till our faces almost touched.
I struggled to keep my composure, and managed to keep from jumping or pushing him away. “So what did you do?” I asked as he leaned back, my suspicions about these kidneys being all but confirmed.
“Why, nothing of course…” He said, a slightly bewildered expression on his face. He looked as though I just asked him how to breathe. I glanced down at my phone to see if the transaction had been verified yet and he snapped his fingers like he remembered something. “Oh I must apologize!” he said, making me look up, “I forgot that you don’t play much… I simply held my breath, closed my eyes, and wished that she would just… go away.”
“You’re right… You are good at hide and seek...” I said, wishing to myself that he would just go away and hearing the familiar ding of a successful transaction sound on both of our phones as if to answer my prayers. I reached out my hand as a formality and he grabbed it and shook it vigorously. I forced a smile and stood, although what he said next made my blood nearly freeze.
“You’re the first person to find me in oh so long…” He trailed off as he said it, his voice slowly shifting from that of an exited child to the cold blooded maniac that he was. “Maybe my games won’t be so one sided from now on,” He said, his voice disturbingly normal. Although, even without looking back I could tell that the same sickeningly sweet smile was glued to his face. I kept walking but waved my arm as though saying goodbye.
The worst part was that I could feel him watching me as I walked back to my car… Not just at first, like if he was watching me leave, but the entire way back, and even as I got in my car. I took a moment to look around and sighed as I saw nothing. It might not sound like much to you. I don’t know, I can still hardly describe it myself, but he had this… creepy way of getting under your skin just by talking to you.
I wrote it off as me just being paranoid, the guy harvests organs from people for a living so of course everything he says is creepy. I groaned and started my car, but it wasn’t until I hit the freeway that I was finally able to shake the feeling of his gaze. It’s not like he could’ve been following me, by then I was already paranoid enough to be checking for that, making a few detours just to be sure of it.
And because of my detours, I ended up being about an hour past the scheduled drop off with the buyer… Lost my chance at a tip for sure, guy was furious and there was nothing I could tell him to calm him down. I’m pretty sure, ‘sorry I’m late, but the seller was a total psycho and I wanted to make sure he wasn’t following me,’ wouldn’t have been a very good excuse.
Whatever, I had my money and the buyer had his organs and plenty of time for whatever operation that used them. Not much to complain about on either side, well except for the fact that I already knew I wouldn’t be sleeping that night. Especially because the feeling of being watched had returned as soon as I set foot out of my car which was, again, impossible. The site never tells the sellers anything about the buyers or transporters, so there’s no way he could have known where I was headed to and no way that he could have followed me.
I hopped back in my car and started to head for home, hoping that a few tabs of melatonin would be enough for at least a few hours of sleep. And again, I could feel eyes on me as I drove and I saw his eerie smile everywhere until I hit the highway. I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders then, although I made sure to take the most winding path home that I could afford gas for (which was quite a bit after a job like that). By the time I did get home it was starting to get dark, and I had made a few loops around my apartment just to be sure I didn’t still feel his eyes on me.
Luckily, my apartment building has a public parking garage attached to it so even if I was being followed I felt safe enough that nobody would be able to find my room. But Just to be sure, I took the stairs for the first time in months.
Have any of you ever climbed seven flights of stairs out of paranoia before Rijento? Well in case you haven’t let me tell you what it’s like. Do you remember running up the stairs from the basement after turning off the lights as a kid? That feeling of unease and terror? Well it’s like that, but you aren’t a kid anymore. It’s not the dark or what imaginary monsters could be lurking in it that frightens you anymore. Instead, you’re worried about who could be hiding in the darkness, what real monster could be following you up those stairs… I’m no slouch when it comes to exercise but it still drained everything out of me hauling my body up those stairs on my hands and feet like an animal as fast as I could.
I got inside and locked the door securely behind me, panting, covered in sweat, but I sighed in relief with the fact that I hadn’t felt anyone watching me at all during my climb. I took a moment to catch my breath, slumping down by the door and chuckling to myself while shaking my head. I couldn’t believe that I’d let that freak get so deep under my skin.
Once I had caught my breath, I stood up and made my way to my couch before flopping onto it. I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep then and there, but I had to be smart with my money this time. I immediately cashed the Bitcoin out. Better to pay myself out in small increments, but I had bills to pay and I’d already learned my lesson about leaving things in Bitcoin.
Once business was taken care of, I grabbed the remote control and flicked on the TV. The familiar faces of the local news anchors greeted me and I began drifting off to sleep while listening to the happenings of our city.
It was around seven a.m. when I was woken up by the sound of the ‘breaking news’ alert coming on.
“We are just receiving reports of a ghastly murder of one [yeah, I’m not gonna put her name or age here] year old college student living on her own. Police investigators say that several of her organs were found to be missing and that they found evidence of someone living in her home without her knowledge for quite some time before the murder…”
The reporters kept talking about how much of a tragedy the situation was… But I wasn’t listening. How could I listen…
I’ve never been less happy to be right then I was at that moment. I shuddered thinking about it. My thoughts and paranoia regarding the man I’d met the other day bubbling back up to the surface. It was then that the reality of what I’d done hit me like a freight train. By accepting that contract I doomed that girl to die… All because I needed some quick cash.
I stood up and went to the kitchen and opened my liquor cabinet. Without looking, I grabbed a bottle of something with shaking hands and fumbled with the top while trying to keep my mind clear of thoughts. Once I had the cap off I took several deep swigs from the bottle, spilling quite a bit down my chin before I set it down and gasped for air.
The burn of the alcohol in my throat gave me something to focus on while it worked its magic on the rest of my body. As my mind slowly clouded I found my way to a chair and found it easier to think about what happened without panicking.
My first thought was that I needed to do something. I knew the guy’s face, I should go to the cops! It was at this moment that the… Less impulsive side of my brain kicked in. I go to the cops and all I do is give myself a one way ticket to an early grave. My employers don’t take kindly to police interactions.
I slowly resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to live with the consequences of this job for the rest of my life… I’m a coward, I know.
Anyways, the next few days passed by slowly. I was… Not in a good place mentally and I’m sure you remember how much alcohol my cabinets were stocked with. I blacked out more than once only to wake up gasping for breath from drinking too much. It was honestly a miracle that I didn’t kill myself through alcohol poisoning.
But I… Managed to come to terms with everything. Don’t get me wrong, I still had nightmares where I was the guy hiding in that girls closet… But I wasn’t drinking my problems away anymore, although I think that was more because of the fact that I’d run out of liquor than any meaningful character development.
It was about a week later that I was able to get my first night of actual sleep. I didn’t dream about anything either so that was a plus. I know it probably sounds bad, but I was starting to feel normal again… Like I could maybe find a way to just be myself…
Either way, even after all that I still wanted to keep my job. I just added a new rule: no organs.
From there I fell back into more or less my old routine. I went to eat out almost every day though, I thought any excuse that got me cleaned up and out of my place was worth taking…
And then, I began to feel it again. That skin-crawling sensation of eyes on me from somewhere that I felt the day I met Mr. Hide&Seek. I didn’t think much of it at first, I only felt the eyes when I was surrounded by other people so of course one or two would be looking my way right? I thought I was just guilty and paranoid.
But no matter what I did, I would always feel like I was being watched whenever other people were around. So I started driving more and more and eating out less and less. Not driving anywhere in particular, just driving… I felt safe on the open road, I couldn’t feel any eyes on me… For about a week.
It started small. A shiver down my spine here and there. A sharp sensation that made my eyes snap to one car or another. Then it came more frequently, and I began to get more and more paranoid as the feeling became stronger and stronger.
I started driving less and less, and whenever I did, I kept my eyes on the cars around me. Trying desperately to find where that feeling was coming from. To find who was watching me… Trying to catch a glimpse of his face in a passing car.
I even thought I did see him a few times… Except that was just paranoia… I hope.
Eventually, I stopped driving unless I had to. I shut myself in my apartment, only going out to get groceries and always, always making sure that I didn’t feel anyone watching me before I parked. But that feeling would always find me whenever I went out.
This went on for about a month. I started to drink again, I didn’t go out to eat or drive anymore. I paid someone to deliver my groceries to the garage of my building. All I did was eat, sleep, drink, and watch movies or play games… I’d be living the dream, if I didn’t think a serial killer was stalking me.
Part of me believed that I was just being paranoid and to be honest I desperately wanted to believe that part of me… But not enough to stake my life on it. And after another week of living like a shut-in the feeling of being watched started to re-surface.
Like before it started off small. I felt a ping of eyes on me and from then on I kept the blinds securely closed. Even then, the feeling persisted for days, gradually gathering in strength. So I emptied out all of my closets and cabinets daily… Eventually I just left all of the doors open and everything on the floor so that I could look in to any hiding spot in an instant…
But that feeling still persisted.
I stopped drinking because I was terrified of being attacked. I started sleeping less and less and when I had to sleep, I slept inside of my closet and barred the doors shut from the inside. I ate and drank only when I felt hungry and always with my back to a corner of the room or locked in my closet… But I could still feel eyes on me, feel His eyes on me the same way I had back at the park.
It was about a month later when I finally discovered my haven. The one place left that I didn’t feel watched. The stairwell of my building. I found that whenever I went down and back up the stars to get my groceries – as I’d long since stopped using the elevator – that I would have a brief respite from the feeling of being watched.
I started to spend all of my waking hours there, sat on one of the stairs without a care in the world. I only left them to eat and sleep and whenever I entered the building proper I would feel eyes on me almost immediately. But having those stairs to return to made my life almost bearable. It had been a long time since I had anywhere I felt safe, and like every place before it I kept waiting form the feeling of being watched to follow me into the stairwell…
But it never did.
For another month, I fell into a somewhat bearable rhythm. I’d wake up in my closet feeling watched, I’d eat in the corner of my kitchen feeling watched, and then I’d scurry off to the stairwell where I could blessedly feel alone – Especially near the top floors where the stairs were seldom used.
But all good things must come to an end and all that, and while I never did feel watched in the stairs, I did run out of money. Apartments and cars don’t pay for themselves after all, and while I managed a few months on the blood money from my last job it was finally time to get back to work.
In the months since I last logged on to the site, things had calmed down significantly and there were now plenty of jobs that didn’t break any of my rules… So I decided to go with a route that I’d done before a couple of times. A gun run. The seller always treated me to a drink or two at his bar and was also always well armed so I felt that it would be a nice and easy job that I could feel safe doing.
After confirming the job I closed my laptop, pulled on a fresh set of clothing, and headed out the door. I wanted to get this over and done with, and thankfully the feeling of being watched was rather light that day. I do admit, however, that I lingered in the stairwell for a bit before heading out. I wanted a bit of time alone before being out in the open for the first time in months.
Anyways, I hopped in my car after about thirty minutes of blessed stairwell time and headed to the bar. After about two hours of paranoid and twisting driving I managed to make it just on time and pulled my car into the alleyway behind the bar.
The owner greeted me with a smile as I got out of my car, “T, long time no see!” he said, his smile fading as I walked up and he got a better look at me. “Holy shit man, are you feeling okay?” he asked, genuine worry in the eyes of the large man.
“No… I’m pretty far from okay…” I said with an exhausted sigh. I could still feel the faintest hint of eyes on me even now, though I know that the owner wouldn’t let me be jumped at his bar. “It’s a long story,” I offered, realizing for the first time that it might be nice to actually tell someone what happened.
“Is that so.” he said with a hint of a smile and a shake of his head. “Well, hows about we get you a drink while the boys get ready to load up your car.” He offered in return, making me smile. “There’s always plenty of time for stories at my bar.” He said proudly.
“I’d like that…” I said with another exhausted sigh, managing to keep the smile up as he put an arm around me and lead me in the back door of the bar.
“Oh, by the way, how did you hold up during the bitcoin crash? I heard it hit a couple of transporters pretty hard.” he said, making me chuckle as we made our way through the kitchen.
“Funny you should mention that,” I said, making him raise an eyebrow, “because that’s how my long story star—” I began, only to stop short when I looked at the bar.
HE was siting there, sipping on a beer without a care in the world. He noticed me out of the corner of his eye and that same sickeningly sweet smile crept onto his face as his eyes met mine.
I froze. There was no way that this was a coincidence. There was no way that he just happened to be at this bar at this time.
I was broken from my trance by the bar owner waving his hand in front of my face and saying my name, “Hello? T, you alright?”
I quickly ducked back into the kitchen and started to hyperventilate. How did he know? How could he possibly have known that I would be here? Did he follow me?
“Did who follow you?” The owner’s voice brought me back to reality once again as I realized I’d been thinking out loud. His face was concerned, bordering on scared.
“How long has that guy been at the bar?” I asked, hoping that the owner knew who I was talking about.
“If you mean tall, thin, and creepy then about an hour… What is going on T?” He asked, as I slumped against the wall.
I started crying. I broke down and burst back into the bar only to see that Mr. Hide&Seek he was already gone. “I… I need to go. I need to get home!” I said, pushing past the owner and running to my car. He called after me, trying to get me to stay and explain what the hell was happening but I wasn’t listening. For all I know, Mr. Hide&Seek could be breaking in to my apartment already.
I drove straight home and threw open the door to my apartment. It had still been locked, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and checked everywhere. But he wasn’t there.
Then, my phone rang and scared the living hell out of me. I checked the number and gulped when I saw that it was blocked. I considered not answering but in the end I picked up the call.
“H-Hello?” I asked tentatively.
“T… What the hell happened at the bar?” a modulated voice rang through the speaker in my ear, making me wince. It was one of the site admins for sure.
I was silent for a moment before telling the admin everything. I couldn’t see the man, but I could feel a sudden change when I mentioned seeing Mr. Hide&Seek at the bar.
“T,” the admin began, a serious edge to his voice. “I need you to log in to the site… _Now_” he said, and something in me told me to listen. I booted up my laptop and hopped on to the site. As soon as I logged in a dialog appeared that I’d never seen before.
ADMIN would like to take control of this computer. Do you consent to this?’ With two buttons. One for yes. One for no.
I clicked yes and watched as my cursor began to move on it’s own. “Thank you T. This will only take a moment…” the admin said, a practiced calm in his voice as he downloaded several files and began to do… Something on my laptop.
A minute later a dialog box popped up that said, ‘Threat detected!’ and the admin sighed and his voice sharpened as he spoke. “T… You’ve been compromised. You’ve had a nasty piece of spyware installed on your machine, for about a month by the looks of things. It’s been recording your keystrokes and giving someone remote access to your camera…” the admin explained, making me gulp as I realized that all of my information was insecure.
“B-but, there’s no way! I haven’t download anything!” I said, making the admin mutter something as a bout of typing could be heard coming through the phone.
The admin’s voice was cold and calculated when he spoke next. “No… No you didn’t…” he said, making me gulp. “This software was installed via _USB_…” the admin said, making my heart nearly stop.
Hide&Seek had been in my home! He had been here without me noticing and put that program on my laptop. Even after all of my paranoia, he still found his way into my room without me knowing.
“I’m going to delete the program,” the admin said, and a few keystrokes later, “done… What the—”
As the admin deleted the program, thousands of windows began popping up on the screen of my laptop. All of them saying the same thing…
‘olly olly oxen free’
After that, I threw my laptop in the trash and got a new one as well as a new phone, sim card and all. I was taking no chances. I got all new accounts for everything and the admin told me he revoked Mr. Hide&Seek’s membership personally.
But I’m going to disappear all the same, I have a plane ticket to somewhere and my bags are already packed.
Don’t look for me, and if you ever start to feel like you’re being watched… It’s because you are.
submitted by rijento to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]

Initially, I liked SegWit. But then I learned SegWit-as-a-SOFT-fork is dangerous (making transactions "anyone-can-spend"??) & centrally planned (1.7MB blocksize??). Instead, Bitcoin Unlimited is simple & safe, with MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE. This is why more & more people have decided to REJECT SEGWIT.

Initially, I liked SegWit. But then I learned SegWit-as-a-SOFT-fork is dangerous (making transactions "anyone-can-spend"??) & centrally planned (1.7MB blocksize??). Instead, Bitcoin Unlimited is simple & safe, with MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE. This is why more & more people have decided to REJECT SEGWIT.
Summary
Like many people, I initially loved SegWit - until I found out more about it.
I'm proud of my open-mindedness and my initial - albeit short-lived - support of SegWit - because this shows that I judge software on its merits, instead of being some kind of knee-jerk "hater".
SegWit's idea of "refactoring" the code to separate out the validation stuff made sense, and the phrase "soft fork" sounded cool - for a while.
But then we all learned that:
And we also got much better solutions: such as market-based blocksize with Bitcoin Unlimited - way better than SegWit's arbitrary, random centrally-planned, too-little-too-late 1.7MB "max blocksize".
This is why more and more people are rejecting SegWit - and instead installing Bitcoin Unlimited.
In my case, as I gradually learned about the disastrous consequences which SegWit-as-a-soft-fork-hack would have, my intial single OP in December 2015 expressing outspoken support for SegWit soon turned to an avalanche of outspoken opposition to SegWit.
Details
Core / Blockstream lost my support on SegWit - and it's all their fault.
How did Core / Blockstream turn me from an outspoken SegWit supporter to an outspoken SegWit opponent?
It was simple: They made the totally unnecessary (and dangerous) decision to program SegWit as a messy and dangerous soft-fork which would:
  • create a massive new threat vector by making all transactions "anyone-can-spend";
  • force yet-another random / arbitrary / centrally planned "max blocksize" on everyone (previously 1 MB, now 1.7MB - still pathetically small and hard-coded!).
Meanwhile, new, independent dev teams which are smaller and much better than the corrupt, fiat-financed Core / Blockstream are offering simpler and safer solutions which are much better than SegWit:
  • For blocksize governance, we now have market-based blocksize based on emergent consensus, provided by Bitcoin Unlimited.
  • For malleability and quadratic hashing time (plus a future-proof, tag-based language similar to JSON or XML supporting much cleaner upgrades long-term), we now have Flexible Transactions (FlexTrans).
This is why We Reject SegWit because "SegWit is the most radical and irresponsible protocol upgrade Bitcoin has faced in its history".
My rapid evolution on SegWit - as I discovered its dangers (and as we got much better alternatives, like Bitcoin Unlimited + FlexTrans):
Initially, I was one of the most outspoken supporters of SegWit - raving about it in the following OP which I posted (on Monday, December 7, 2015) immediately after seeing a presentation about it on YouTube by Pieter Wuille at one of the early Bitcoin scaling stalling conferences:
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/3vt1ov/pieter_wuilles_segregated_witness_and_fraud/
Pieter Wuille's Segregated Witness and Fraud Proofs (via Soft-Fork!) is a major improvement for scaling and security (and upgrading!)
I am very proud of that initial pro-SegWit post of mine - because it shows that I have always been totally unbiased and impartial and objective about the ideas behind SegWit - and I have always evaluated it purely on its merits (and demerits).
So, I was one of the first people to recognize the positive impact which the ideas behind SegWit could have had (ie, "segregating" the signature information from the sender / receiver / amount information) - if SegWit had been implemented by an honest dev team that supports the interests of the Bitcoin community.
However, we've learned a lot since December 2015. Now we know that Core / Blockstream is actively working against the interests of the Bitcoin community, by:
  • trying to force their political and economic viewpoints onto everyone else by "hard-coding" / "bundling" some random / arbitrary / centrally-planned 1.7MB "max blocksize" (?!?) into our code;
  • trying to take away our right to vote via a clean and safe "hard fork";
  • trying to cripple our code with dangerous "technical debt" - eg their radical and irresponsible proposal to make all transactions "anyone-can-spend".
This is the mess of SegWit - which we all learned about over the past year.
So, Core / Blockstream blew it - bigtime - losing my support for SegWit, and the support of many others in the community.
We might have continued to support SegWit if Core / Blockstream had not implemented it as a dangerous and dirty soft fork.
But Core / Blockstream lost our support - by attempting to implement SegWit as a dangerous, anti-democratic soft fork.
The lesson here for Core/Blockstream is clear:
Bitcoin users are not stupid.
Many of us are programmers ourselves, and we know the difference between a simple & safe hard fork and a messy & dangerous soft fork.
And we also don't like it when Core / Blockstream attempts to take away our right to vote.
And finally, we don't like it when Core / Blockstream attempts to steal functionality away from nodes while using misleading terminology - as u/chinawat has repeatedly been pointing out lately.
We know a messy, dangerous, centrally planned hack when we see it - and SegWit is a messy, dangerous, centrally planned hack.
If Core/Blockstream attempts to foce messy and dangerous code like SegWit-as-a-soft-fork on the community, we can and should and we will reject SegWit - to protect our billions of dollars of investment in Bitcoin (which could turn into trillions of dollars someday - if we continue to protect our code from poison pills and trojans like SegWit).
Too bad you lost my support (and the support of many, many other Bitcoin users), Core / Blockstream! But it's your own fault for releasing shitty code.
Below are some earlier comments from me showing how I quickly turned from one of the most outspoken supporters of Segwit (in that single OP I wrote the day I saw Pieter Wuille's presentation on YouTube) - into one of most outspoken opponents of SegWit:
I also think Pieter Wuille is a great programmer and I was one of the first people to support SegWit after it was announced at a congress a few months ago.
But then Blockstream went and distorted SegWit to fit it into their corporate interests (maintaining their position as the dominant centralized dev team - which requires avoiding hard-forks). And Blockstream's corporate interests don't always align with Bitcoin's interests.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/57zbkp/if_blockstream_were_truly_conservative_and_wanted/
As noted in the link in the section title above, I myself was an outspoken supporter championing SegWit on the day when I first the YouTube of Pieter Wuille explaining it at one of the early "Scaling Bitcoin" conferences.
Then I found out that doing it as a soft fork would add unnecessary "spaghetti code" - and I became one of the most outspoken opponents of SegWit.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5ejmin/coreblockstream_is_living_in_a_fantasy_world_in/
Pieter Wuille's SegWit would be a great refactoring and clean-up of the code (if we don't let Luke-Jr poison it by packaging it as a soft-fork)
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4kxtq4/i_think_the_berlin_wall_principle_will_end_up/
Probably the only prominent Core/Blockstream dev who does understand this kind of stuff like the Robustness Principle or its equivalent reformulation in terms of covariant and contravariant types is someone like Pieter Wuille – since he’s a guy who’s done a lot of work in functional languages like Haskell – instead of being a myopic C-tard like most of the rest of the Core/Blockstream devs. He’s a smart guy, and his work on SegWit is really important stuff (but too bad that, yet again, it’s being misdelivered as a “soft-fork,” again due to the cluelessness of someone like Luke-Jr, whose grasp of syntax and semantics – not to mention society – is so glaringly lacking that he should have been recognized for the toxic influence that he is and shunned long ago).
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4k6tke/the_tragedy_of/
The damage which would be caused by SegWit (at the financial, software, and governance level) would be massive:
  • Millions of lines of other Bitcoin code would have to be rewritten (in wallets, on exchanges, at businesses) in order to become compatible with all the messy non-standard kludges and workarounds which Blockstream was forced into adding to the code (the famous "technical debt") in order to get SegWit to work as a soft fork.
  • SegWit was originally sold to us as a "code clean-up". Heck, even I intially fell for it when I saw an early presentation by Pieter Wuille on YouTube from one of Blockstream's many, censored Bitcoin scaling stalling conferences)
  • But as we all later all discovered, SegWit is just a messy hack.
  • Probably the most dangerous aspect of SegWit is that it changes all transactions into "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" without SegWit - all because of the messy workarounds necessary to do SegWit as a soft-fork. The kludges and workarounds involving SegWit's "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" semantics would only work as long as SegWit is still installed.
  • This means that it would be impossible to roll-back SegWit - because all SegWit transactions that get recorded on the blockchain would now be interpreted as "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" - so, SegWit's dangerous and messy "kludges and workarounds and hacks" would have to be made permanent - otherwise, anyone could spend those "ANYONE-CAN-SPEND" SegWit coins!
Segwit cannot be rolled back because to non-upgraded clients, ANYONE can spend Segwit txn outputs. If Segwit is rolled back, all funds locked in Segwit outputs can be taken by anyone. As more funds gets locked up in segwit outputs, incentive for miners to collude to claim them grows.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5ge1ks/segwit_cannot_be_rolled_back_because_to/
https://np.reddit.com/btc/search?q=segwit+anyone+can+spend&restrict_sr=on&sort=relevance&t=all
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5r9cu7/the_real_question_is_how_fast_do_bugs_get_fixed/
Why are more and more people (including me!) rejecting SegWit?
(1) SegWit is the most radical and irresponsible change ever proposed for Bitcoin:
"SegWit encumbers Bitcoin with irreversible technical debt. Miners should reject SWSF. SW is the most radical and irresponsible protocol upgrade Bitcoin has faced in its history. The scale of the code changes are far from trivial - nearly every part of the codebase is affected by SW" Jaqen Hash’ghar
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5rdl1j/segwit_encumbers_bitcoin_with_irreversible/
3 excellent articles highlighting some of the major problems with SegWit: (1) "Core Segwit – Thinking of upgrading? You need to read this!" by WallStreetTechnologist (2) "SegWit is not great" by Deadalnix (3) "How Software Gets Bloated: From Telephony to Bitcoin" by Emin Gün Sirer
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5rfh4i/3_excellent_articles_highlighting_some_of_the/
"The scaling argument was ridiculous at first, and now it's sinister. Core wants to take transactions away from miners to give to their banking buddies - crippling Bitcoin to only be able to do settlements. They are destroying Satoshi's vision. SegwitCoin is Bankcoin, not Bitcoin" ~ u/ZeroFucksG1v3n
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5rbug3/the_scaling_argument_was_ridiculous_at_first_and/
u/Uptrenda on SegWit: "Core is forcing every Bitcoin startup to abandon their entire code base for a Rube Goldberg machine making their products so slow, inconvenient, and confusing that even if they do manage to 'migrate' to this cluster-fuck of technical debt it will kill their businesses anyway."
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5e86fg/uuptrenda_on_segwit_core_is_forcing_every_bitcoin/
"SegWit [would] bring unnecessary complexity to the bitcoin blockchain. Huge changes it introduces into the client are a veritable minefield of issues, [with] huge changes needed for all wallets, exchanges, remittance, and virtually all bitcoin software that will use it." ~ u/Bitcoinopoly
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5jqgpz/segwit_would_bring_unnecessary_complexity_to_the/
Just because something is a "soft fork" doesn't mean it isn't a massive change. SegWit is an alt-coin. It would introduce radical and unpredictable changes in Bitcoin's economic parameters and incentives. Just read this thread. Nobody has any idea how the mainnet will react to SegWit in real life.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5fc1ii/just_because_something_is_a_soft_fork_doesnt_mean/
Core/Blockstream & their supporters keep saying that "SegWit has been tested". But this is false. Other software used by miners, exchanges, Bitcoin hardware manufacturers, non-Core software developers/companies, and Bitcoin enthusiasts would all need to be rewritten, to be compatible with SegWit
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5dlyz7/coreblockstream_their_supporters_keep_saying_that/
SegWit-as-a-softfork is a hack. Flexible-Transactions-as-a-hard-fork is simpler, safer and more future-proof than SegWit-as-a-soft-fork - trivially solving malleability, while adding a "tag-based" binary data format (like JSON, XML or HTML) for easier, safer future upgrades with less technical debt
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5a7husegwitasasoftfork_is_a_hack/
(2) Better solutions than SegWit are now available (Bitcoin Unlimited, FlexTrans):
ViABTC: "Why I support BU: We should give the question of block size to the free market to decide. It will naturally adjust to ever-improving network & technological constraints. Bitcoin Unlimited guarantees that block size will follow what the Bitcoin network is capable of handling safely."
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/574g5l/viabtc_why_i_support_bu_we_should_give_the/
"Why is Flexible Transactions more future-proof than SegWit?" by u/ThomasZander
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5rbv1j/why_is_flexible_transactions_more_futureproof/
Bitcoin's specification (eg: Excess Blocksize (EB) & Acceptance Depth (AD), configurable via Bitcoin Unlimited) can, should & always WILL be decided by ALL the miners & users - not by a single FIAT-FUNDED, CENSORSHIP-SUPPORTED dev team (Core/Blockstream) & miner (BitFury) pushing SegWit 1.7MB blocks
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5u1r2d/bitcoins_specification_eg_excess_blocksize_eb/
The Blockstream/SegWit/LN fork will be worth LESS: SegWit uses 4MB storage/bandwidth to provide a one-time bump to 1.7MB blocksize; messy, less-safe as softfork; LN=vaporware. The BU fork will be worth MORE: single clean safe hardfork solving blocksize forever; on-chain; fix malleability separately.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/57zjnk/the_blockstreamsegwitln_fork_will_be_worth_less/
(3) Very few miners actually support SegWit. In fact, over half of SegWit signaling comes from just two fiat-funded miners associated with Core / Blockstream: BitFury and BTCC:
Brock Pierce's BLOCKCHAIN CAPITAL is part-owner of Bitcoin's biggest, private, fiat-funded private dev team (Blockstream) & biggest, private, fiat-funded private mining operation (BitFury). Both are pushing SegWit - with its "centrally planned blocksize" & dangerous "anyone-can-spend kludge".
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5sndsz/brock_pierces_blockchain_capital_is_partowner_of/
(4) Hard forks are simpler and safer than soft forks. Hard forks preserve your "right to vote" - so Core / Blockstream is afraid of hard forks a/k/a "full node refendums" - because they know their code would be rejected:
The real reason why Core / Blockstream always favors soft-forks over hard-forks (even though hard-forks are actually safer because hard-forks are explicit) is because soft-forks allow the "incumbent" code to quietly remain incumbent forever (and in this case, the "incumbent" code is Core)
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4080mw/the_real_reason_why_core_blockstream_always/
Reminder: Previous posts showing that Blockstream's opposition to hard-forks is dangerous, obstructionist, selfish FUD. As many of us already know, the reason that Blockstream is against hard forks is simple: Hard forks are good for Bitcoin, but bad for the private company Blockstream.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4ttmk3/reminder_previous_posts_showing_that_blockstreams/
"They [Core/Blockstream] fear a hard fork will remove them from their dominant position." ... "Hard forks are 'dangerous' because they put the market in charge, and the market might vote against '[the] experts' [at Core/Blockstream]" - ForkiusMaximus
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/43h4cq/they_coreblockstream_fear_a_hard_fork_will_remove/
The proper terminology for a "hard fork" should be a "FULL NODE REFERENDUM" - an open, transparent EXPLICIT process where everyone has the right to vote FOR or AGAINST an upgrade. The proper terminology for a "soft fork" should be a "SNEAKY TROJAN HORSE" - because IT TAKES AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5e4e7d/the_proper_terminology_for_a_hard_fork_should_be/
If Blockstream were truly "conservative" and wanted to "protect Bitcoin" then they would deploy SegWit AS A HARD FORK. Insisting on deploying SegWit as a soft fork (overly complicated so more dangerous for Bitcoin) exposes that they are LYING about being "conservative" and "protecting Bitcoin".
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/57zbkp/if_blockstream_were_truly_conservative_and_wanted/
"We had our arms twisted to accept 2MB hardfork + SegWit. We then got a bait and switch 1MB + SegWit with no hardfork, and accounting tricks to make P2SH transactions cheaper (for sidechains and Lightning, which is all Blockstream wants because they can use it to control Bitcoin)." ~ u/URGOVERNMENT
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5ju5r8/we_had_our_arms_twisted_to_accept_2mb_hardfork/
u/Luke-Jr invented SegWit's dangerous "anyone-can-spend" soft-fork kludge. Now he helped kill Bitcoin trading at Circle. He thinks Bitcoin should only hard-fork TO DEAL WITH QUANTUM COMPUTING. Luke-Jr will continue to kill Bitcoin if we continue to let him. To prosper, BITCOIN MUST IGNORE LUKE-JR.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5h0yf0/ulukejr_invented_segwits_dangerous_anyonecanspend/
Normal users understand that SegWit-as-a-softfork is dangerous, because it deceives non-upgraded nodes into thinking transactions are valid when actually they're not - turning those nodes into "zombie nodes". Greg Maxwell and Blockstream are jeopardizing Bitcoin - in order to stay in power.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/4mnpxx/normal_users_understand_that_segwitasasoftfork_is/
"Negotiations have failed. BS/Core will never HF - except to fire the miners and create an altcoin. Malleability & quadratic verification time should be fixed - but not via SWSF political/economic trojan horse. CHANGES TO BITCOIN ECONOMICS MUST BE THRU FULL NODE REFERENDUM OF A HF." ~ u/TunaMelt
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5e410j/negotiations_have_failed_bscore_will_never_hf/
"Anything controversial ... is the perfect time for a hard fork. ... Hard forks are the market speaking. Soft forks on any issues where there is controversy are an attempt to smother the market in its sleep. Core's approach is fundamentally anti-market" ~ u/ForkiusMaximus
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5f4zaa/anything_controversial_is_the_perfect_time_for_a/
As Core / Blockstream collapses and Classic gains momentum, the CEO of Blockstream, Austin Hill, gets caught spreading FUD about the safety of "hard forks", falsely claiming that: "A hard-fork forced-upgrade flag day ... disenfranchises everyone who doesn't upgrade ... causes them to lose funds"
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/41c8n5/as_core_blockstream_collapses_and_classic_gains/
Core/Blockstream is living in a fantasy world. In the real world everyone knows (1) our hardware can support 4-8 MB (even with the Great Firewall), and (2) hard forks are cleaner than soft forks. Core/Blockstream refuses to offer either of these things. Other implementations (eg: BU) can offer both.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5ejmin/coreblockstream_is_living_in_a_fantasy_world_in/
Blockstream is "just another shitty startup. A 30-second review of their business plan makes it obvious that LN was never going to happen. Due to elasticity of demand, users either go to another coin, or don't use crypto at all. There is no demand for degraded 'off-chain' services." ~ u/jeanduluoz
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/59hcvblockstream_is_just_another_shitty_startup_a/
(5) Core / Blockstream's latest propaganda "talking point" proclaims that "SegWit is a blocksize increase". But we don't want "a" random, arbitrary centrally planned blocksize increase (to a tiny 1.7MB) - we want _market-based blocksizes - now and into the future:_
The debate is not "SHOULD THE BLOCKSIZE BE 1MB VERSUS 1.7MB?". The debate is: "WHO SHOULD DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?" (1) Should an obsolete temporary anti-spam hack freeze blocks at 1MB? (2) Should a centralized dev team soft-fork the blocksize to 1.7MB? (3) OR SHOULD THE MARKET DECIDE THE BLOCKSIZE?
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5pcpec/the_debate_is_not_should_the_blocksize_be_1mb/
The Bitcoin community is talking. Why isn't Core/Blockstream listening? "Yes, [SegWit] increases the blocksize but BU wants a literal blocksize increase." ~ u/lurker_derp ... "It's pretty clear that they [BU-ers] want Bitcoin, not a BTC fork, to have a bigger blocksize." ~ u/WellSpentTime
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5fjh6l/the_bitcoin_community_is_talking_why_isnt/
"The MAJORITY of the community sentiment (be it miners or users / hodlers) is in favour of the manner in which BU handles the scaling conundrum (only a conundrum due to the junta at Core) and SegWit as a hard and not a soft fork." ~ u/pekatete
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/593voi/the_majority_of_the_community_sentiment_be_it/
(6) Core / Blockstream want to radically change Bitcoin to centrally planned 1.7MB blocksize, and dangerous "anyone-can-spend" semantics. The market wants to go to the moon - with Bitcoin's original security model, and Bitcoin's original market-based (miner-decided) blocksize.
Bitcoin Unlimited is the real Bitcoin, in line with Satoshi's vision. Meanwhile, BlockstreamCoin+RBF+SegWitAsASoftFork+LightningCentralizedHub-OfflineIOUCoin is some kind of weird unrecognizable double-spendable non-consensus-driven fiat-financed offline centralized settlement-only non-P2P "altcoin"
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/57brcb/bitcoin_unlimited_is_the_real_bitcoin_in_line/
The number of blocks being mined by Bitcoin Unlimited is now getting very close to surpassing the number of blocks being mined by SegWit! More and more people are supporting BU's MARKET-BASED BLOCKSIZE - because BU avoids needless transaction delays and ultimately increases Bitcoin adoption & price!
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5rdhzh/the_number_of_blocks_being_mined_by_bitcoin/
I have just been banned for from /Bitcoin for posting evidence that there is a moderate/strong inverse correlation between the amount of Bitcoin Core Blocks mined and the Bitcoin Price (meaning that as Core loses market share, Price goes up).
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5v10zw/i_have_just_been_banned_for_from_rbitcoin_fo
Flipping the Script: It is Core who is proposing a change to Bitcoin, and BU/Classic that is maintaining the status quo.
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5v36jy/flipping_the_script_it_is_core_who_is_proposing_a/
The main difference between Bitcoin core and BU client is BU developers dont bundle their economic and political opinions with their code
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5v3rt2/the_main_difference_between_bitcoin_core_and_bu/
TL;DR:
You wanted people like me to support you and install your code, Core / Blockstream?
Then you shouldn't have a released messy, dangerous, centrally planned hack like SegWit-as-a-soft-fork - with its random, arbitrary, centrally planned, ridiculously tiny 1.7MB blocksize - and its dangerous "anyone-can-spend" soft-fork semantics.
Now it's too late. The market will reject SegWit - and it's all Core / Blockstream's fault.
The market prefers simpler, safer, future-proof, market-based solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
submitted by ydtm to btc [link] [comments]

No longer "waiting for godot" with bitcoin

This is my goodbye.
I think it's great that classic blocks are now above 6% in the last 1000 blocks. Clearly the smaller miners out there continue switching to classic. Unfortunately it doesn't matter, as a small group of Chinese miners really decide what happens and for whatever reasons are locked arm-in-arm with core. If you can honestly assess the situation in bitcoin right now you might, as I have, come to the conclusion that we are in this situation because bitcoin is already centralized. Mining is centralized and development is centralized. Whatever bitcoin is, it's not decentralized.
Bitcoin's centralization might be ok if bitcoin were on a positive, functional track, however bitcoin is completely dysfunctional and also I cannot trust the centralized development team for a number of reasons. Due to this I have to agree with Mike Hearn that bitcoin has most likely failed. If you haven't read Mike's post, you should as it covers most of what has gone wrong and how it has gone wrong.
https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-resolution-of-the-bitcoin-experiment-dabb30201f7
It's taken me a long time to come to a conclusion, but I've finally decided to abandon bitcoin while it still has decent value left. I doubt it will have this much value by next year (I expect a total price catastrophe around the halvening). It's been a good ride but there are now better places to put my money and having a better place for my capital has always been the key reason I sell something.
Below are some responses to arguments that might be made against giving up on bitcoin. I've gone over these and more a thousand times in my head already. I simply don't see a positive outcome for Bitcoin now.
Segwit
Segwit will most likely help nothing as it takes too much infrastructure change to have an effect. If anything it levels the playing field to competing cryptos that also face infrastructure work. If the last year has shown me anything it's shown me most of the people in bitcoin are not even paying attention. It will take years for a soft fork upgrade to have an effect and meanwhile bitcoin is maxed out and stagnant. Growth is moving elsewhere rapidly. I don't see investors being keen to invest in bitcoin infrastructure upgrades under current bitcoin leadership over investments in alternative cryptos that are moving forward without the drama, censorship, and centralization.
Even if segwit goes well that would actually be worse. If segwit allows bitcoin to limp along in its current state under current leadership for another year or two bitcoin will surely die. The main reason why is there is no future under current bitcoin leadership. Current core leadership either has no vision or has been unable to convince users of their vision. They have no humility, do not respect users, and generally have been doing everything possible to chase users away. They have been acting in bad faith, behind closed doors, hiding behind censorship, etc. all to keep centralized control with themselves. These guys are so stupid they think the problem with bitcoin right now is a technical problem to be solved by writing code. I would not trust these guys to mow my lawn let alone develop a decentralized money system (and I'm a software development executive with 30 years experience in software development, so I know a thing or two about the subject).
Lightning
Vaporware is not a reasonable plan. The moment some promise of pie-in-the-sky vaporware took over in place of real existing bitcoin technology/vision that was the beginning of the end for bitcoin. Plus see the points under Segwit as they still apply.
Classic might take off
This has been the only argument that has kept me around this long. I no longer see it likely to happen. If bitcoin were properly decentralized we wouldn't be in this situation, but instead we sit around waiting on a few Chinese miners to decide our fate. They are too cowardly to move bitcoin where it needs to go but that's not even the problem. The problem is we have to rely on them as they continue to support a corrupt centralized dev leadership. Everyone else in the bitcoin space, all of us users--we are IRRELEVANT. THAT is the problem. THAT is why if you consider it critically you must conclude that bitcoin has already failed by definition. How can a functional decentralized money system be at the mercy of a few Chinese guys? Answer: Bitcoin has failed.
If some miracle happens and miners revolt against core and switch to classic (or something similar) I might be back. Unfortunately I suspect bitcoin price will be a fraction of what it is now by the time that happens... and the centralization problem will still exist. So more than likely I won't ever be back.
Bitcoin has the lead and the infrastructure
It does for the moment but things change. Bitcoin no longer deserves to have the infrastructure and the lead and I suspect won't have those for long. Other cryptos that are not dysfunctional exist, have momentum and huge growth opportunity, and they are already drawing significant investment and excitement. Their infrastructure is building up while bitcoin stagnates. Riding that infrastructure growth is a huge opportunity itself and is where my capital would be better placed right now over waiting for godot with bitcoin.
Best of luck to everyone.
submitted by Vibr8gKiwi to btc [link] [comments]

u/Tempatroy: "u/adam3us, u/nullc, u/luke-jr don't even understand the basic premise of Bitcoin." ... u/nullc: "You have been around for thirteen hours and you think you understand Bitcoin better than people who have been maintaining it for the last six years" ... PLUS: a lengthy response from me :)

https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/68hkk5/former_core_fanboy_admits_95_of_core_loyalists/dgyp1ok/
I mean if you base your understanding of what Bitcoin is based on the whitepaper or even Satoshi’s talk, people heavily associated with Blockstream (like adam3us, nullc, luke-jr et al.) don’t even understand the basic premise of Bitcoin.
~ u/Tempatroy
Welcome to Reddit, Tempatroy.
Thank you for pinging me to your insult.
I’m always interested in hearing when someone who has been around for thirteen hours (and, in fact, needed to be manually whitelisted to get past the 24 hours automod rule in rbtc) thinks that they understand the premise of Bitcoin better than people who have been maintaining it for the last six years, participated in it before the overwhelming majority of people here, or who worked on cryptocurrency for a decade even before Bitcoin.
~ u/nullc
Here is my response to u/nullc:
TL;DR:
Bitcoin cannot be decentralized and permissionless and trustless if we use some political / social process to decide on “the rules”.
The only way that Bitcoin can be decentralized and permissionless and trustless is if we use Proof-of-Work to decide on “the rules”.
This implies that “the rules” of Bitcoin cannot be be defined using some political / social process before a block is appended several-confirmations-deep into the chain.
In the system invented by Satoshi, “the rules” can only be defined using Proof-of-Work. This requires observing which chain has the most Proof-of-work after a block has been appended several-confirmations-deep into the chain.
Yes this seems upside-down to people who are accustomed to rules being “handed down” by some authority (Satoshi, Greg, Blockstream, etc.).
But - if we want Bitcoin to remain decentralized and permissionless and trustless - then we must recognize that:
  • The chain with the most Proof-of-Work is the “valid” chain - ie, the chain with the most Proof-of-Work defines “the rules” after the fact; and
  • There is no concept in Bitcoin of some pre-existing “rules” defining the valid chain.
To put it even more bluntly:

”The rules” are not defined “before the fact” by Greg, or by Blockstream.

”The rules” are defined “after the fact” by observing the chain (not the “valid chain” - simply the “chain”) that has ended up having the most Proof-of-Work.

Details
As others have pointed out to u/nullc: u/Tempatroy wasn’t being insulting - he was merely making a factual observation - pointing out that:
Blockstream CTO Greg Maxwell u/nullc does not understand (or perhaps is merely pretending not to understand) the must fundamental aspect of Bitcoin.
I will describe this problem at length below.
I apologize in advance for the convolutedness of this exposition - this is only a first draft off the top of my head now.
Other people have explained this better - and hopefully I will also someday manage to put together a more succinct exposition of my own.
This major “blind spot” of Greg’s has already been commented on at length, eg:
Mining is how you vote for rule changes. Greg’s comments on BU revealed he has no idea how Bitcoin works. He thought “honest” meant “plays by Core rules.” [But] there is no “honesty” involved. There is only the assumption that the majority of miners are INTELLIGENTLY PROFIT-SEEKING. - ForkiusMaximus
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/5zxl2l/mining_is_how_you_vote_for_rule_changes_gregs/
It’s a subtle point.
It involves two approaches to defining Bitcoin’s “rules”:
  • a naive, incorrect approach used throughout most of human history - called ‘Approach (1)’ below, versus
  • the correct approach developed by Satoshi - called ‘Approach (2)’ below

‘Approach (1)’ - The “naive” (incorrect, pre-Satoshi) approach
This is the approach adopted by Greg Maxwell u/nullc, and many of the people who follow him - eg Adam Back u/adam3us CEO of Blockstream, and Luke-Jr u/luke-jr (who also thinks he can decide which transactions are “spam” and which are not - ie, he is authoritarian, the antithesis of Bitcoin) - and by the “low-information” people on the censored forum r\bitcoin.
I know it sounds like I am being rude here - but the situation is dire, after so many years of censorship, and with Bitcoin’s market cap dropping to 60% of total cryptocurrency market cap for the first time (despite the moderate price rise which actually makes people overlook this drop in market cap), and in view of the hope and promise of Bitcoin as designed by Satoshi - enabling a more rational and sustainable system for capital allocation.
Sidebar on Bitcoin’s “killer app”:
I think that “rational and sustainable allocation of capital” is the most important “killer app” of Bitcoin - not coffee, not remittances, not even as a store-of-value or a speculative asset class - although those are all nice things.
I would argue that “rational and sustainable allocation of capital” is the main thing which “fantasy fiat” has not been doing - causing the various social and economic and ecological crises which may destroy civilization on our planet in a few decades.
The main hope offered by Bitcoin is that, by preventing central bankers from “ninja-mining” their “fantasy fiat” and handing it out to their buddies to invest in non-rational, non-sustainable projects, Bitcoin could help people make decisions for allocating capital which actually increase our well-being, instead of increasing our suffering.
People like Greg and his followers (naively, incorrectly) believe (or pretend to believe) that the “rules” (specifically: the “rules” governing which block to append next) are somehow “pre-defined” and are somehow (already) manifested / incorporated / coded in “the software” - and that the miners must “honestly” obey these pre-defined rules.
On the surface (and to people who are used to obeying “rules” handed down from some authority: eg from a government, a religion, a dev team, etc.), this may have a certain appeal - but it is not how Satoshi actually designed Bitcoin.
‘Approach (2)’ - Satoshi’s approach - Proof-of-Work
Satoshi, (correctly, brilliantly, counter-intuitively) specified (in the whitepaper, and in his software) that the “rules” of Bitcoin are decided in a totally different way.
He specified that the “rules” are decided after the fact - because they are decided by Proof-of-Work.
This means that whichever (branch of the) chain ends up having the most Proof-of-Work is by definition the valid chain.
The (counter-intuitive, hard-to-understand) implication here is that before any particular (branch of the chain) has clearly “won” in this ongoing, every-ten-minutes battle...
  • The “rules” determining which “next” block is “valid” are still “up in the air”;
  • The rules are “not yet decided” until after a block has been buried a-few-blocks-deep into the chain;
  • The “rules” will only become clear / manifest after we inspect the last few blocks appended to the chain which ended up (“after the fact”) having the most Proof-of-Work.
If we closely examine these two (quite different approaches), we can make a several observations:
First: There is a massive logical flaw in “naive” ‘Approach (1)’, when people try to apply it to Bitcoin.
This flaw can perhaps be informally captured by the following phrase:
“In ‘Approach (1)’, it’s turtles all the way down (which is of course impossible).”
‘Approach (1)’ suffers from a fatal omission: it fails to specify how the rules manifested / incorporated / coded in the software get put there in the first place.
This might seem like a “detail” - but actually it is everything.
This can be seen if we ask ourselves the following (rarely asked) questions:
  • Where do the “rules” come from?
  • Who makes those rules?
  • Satoshi?
  • Greg / Adam / Luke-Jr?
  • Blockstream?
  • The miners?
  • “Users”? (see: “User-Activated Soft Fork” / UASF)
  • “Investors” (aka: the “economic majority”)?
This also leads to other, specific questions, which are applicable in the current situation:
  • By what process do the rules get defined?
  • By a social / political process?
  • By a particular dev team offering some code?
Of course, initially Satoshi did offer some code - and it did contain some rules.
But Satoshi also explicitly stated that those rules at some point could be changed.
Satoshi suggested a process which could involve some political and social debate offline, culminating in some new code being released, and everyone installing that code, and - voilà - new “rules” determining the validity of subsequent blocks would now be in place.
For example, Satoshi famously made an important remark on bitcointalk.org where he suggested how this process could be used to remove the temporary anti-spam kludge which had been added to temporarily impose a 1MB “max blocksize” limit.
But Satoshi is gone now. So we can’t use him as an “authority” to hand down “the rules” to us.
But we still want Bitcoin to evolve - to be upgraded. (Otherwise, it will be destroyed by the alt-coins!)
For example, SegWit, although it is technically described as a “soft fork”, is one proposal for upgrading / evolving Bitcoin - and SegWit would involve a rather substantial change to the “rules” - indeed, SegWit would involve making all transactions “anyone-can-spend” under the old rules - which, by the way, is the main reason why SegWit is so dangerous, and which is why it should be rejected.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin Unlimited doesn’t really “change the rules” per se - but it does make it easier for miners and full node operators to express their preference regarding one particular rule - the rule involving how big a block can be.
So we are now faced with the question:
  • Who makes the rules? And how?
Here’s the answer:
Satoshi’s revolutionary solution to defining “the rules” is not based on social or political processes - which can be manipulated (eg by sybil attacks, bribes, coercion, violence, etc.)
Instead, Satoshi’s brilliant mechanism for deciding which block to append next is based on Proof-of-Work, as summarized in the slogans “One CPU, one vote” or “They vote with their hashpower”.
This moment of “voting with their hashpower” is the actual process where “the rules” (governing the validity of the next block) come into existence.
This is all very counterintuitive to many people.
But other people (who perhaps have a more “sophisticated” appreciation of social and economic processes - or perhaps a “deeper” understanding of game theory) can often begin to glimpse the massive flaw in “naive” ‘Approach (1)’.
The problem with “naive” ‘Approach (1)’ is that it neglects to specify where the rules come from - ie, who makes “the rules” - and how.
Once Satohsi himself is removed from the picture, we have a situation where we have to “somehow” do all of the following:
  • agree on certain rules,
  • then get them into software,
  • and then get that software deployed on the network,
  • and then 51% of all hashpower has to start mining using those rules,
  • and then in a 10-minute period where various “candidate blocks” are competing to be appended to the chain, one of those blocks ends up getting “buried deeper” under more Proof-of-Work
  • and at that point , the system has been “upgraded”, and the newly appended block reflects the new “rules”.
In most cases (but not in all cases) “the new rules” are the same as “the old rules”.
This is because this system does allow the rules to be changed, when Bitcoin evolves or gets upgraded.
We should also add the ‘caveat’ there that this system only works if the majority of hashpower does not adopt “crazy rules” - ie rules which would decrease the value of everyone’s bitcoins.
The system only works if the majority of miners are always “intelligently profit-seeking” - ie, if the majority never adopts “crazy rules” which would destroy the value of everyone’s coins.
The important thing is that the rules are “post-defined” - after the next block has been added chain (and a few more blocks have been piled on top of it).
  • This means that there are no “pre-defined” rules in the system.
  • There are only “post-defined” rules, which can be observed by inspecting the decisions made by the majority of “intelligently profit-seeking” hashpower, as new blocks got appended to the chain.
The only part of this scenario that guarantees a decentralized, permissionless, trustless system is the on-chain Proof-of-Work stuff - not the off-chain social / political stuff.
All the other stuff (the political / social process where people argue about rules, code them up in software, and deploy that software on the network) - all that “prior” stuff is done using the “old” “pre-Satoshi” methods - so it’s not actually reliable (ie, it’s not decentralized or permissionless or trustless - ie, it can be sabotaged by sybils, or bribery, or threats of violence, etc.)
So the political / social process of talking about the rules on Reddit or on a mailing list, or coding up some rules in some code and offering that code to the public (eg, Greg Maxwell, CTO of Blockstream, saying “These are the rules”) - that part of the process is not “Nakamoto Consensus”, so it’s not reliable, and it’s not “Bitcoin.”
The magical moment where the system actually becomes “Bitcoin” is when the majority of “intelligently profit-seeking miners” use Proof-of-Work to decide what block is the one that gets appended to the chain.
Another metaphor might be that the (naive, incorrect) ‘Approach (1)’ assumes that some other higher authority (Satoshi, Greg, Core/Blockstream) has already handed down the “rules” in C++ code.
Meanwhile the correct ‘Approach (2)’ - (Nakamoto Consensus a/k/a “one CPU, one vote” a/k/a “They vote with their hashpower”) does not require the existence of any authority (no Satoshi, no Greg, no Blockstream) to pre-define the “rules”.
Bitcoin simply requires that the majority of miners must be “intelligently profit seeking” - and then whatever they vote on as being “the next block” is by definition the next block - and they “re-decide” on this (essentially “re-deciding” on what the rules are) every ten minutes.
This is incredibly counter-intuitive to many, many people - especially to people who are of an “authoritarian” mindset - ie, they are accustomed to “rules being handed down from some higher authority”.
But this is how Bitcoin actually works.
The rules are decided not by me or by you or by Satoshi or by Greg or by Blockstream.
The rules are decided by the miners - and re-decided every ten minutes (usually the “same old” rules as during the previous ten minutes - but not “always”: because there are times when the rules may indeed be upgraded, if the majority of hashpower suddenly decides so).
And the mechanism for these rules being decided (and re-decided, and re-decided, every ten minutes) is: hashpower, a/k/a “one CPU, one vote” - which simply requires that the majority of miners must be “intelligently profit-seeking”.
Sidebar:
Of course, Exhibit A in any discussion about “authoritarianism” would be Luke-Jr, because he provides the most glaring and grotesque example of the “error of authoritarianism”.
This may indeed be a deep-seated psychological problem, so we can’t really “blame” the person for it.
But at the same time, we should always be vigilant to make sure that this “error of authoritarianism” does not get adopted as part of Bitcoin’s system for determining “the rules” - because the only way that Bitcoin can remain decentralized and permissionless and trustless is if we use Proof-of-Work (and not some “higher authority”) to determine “the rules”.
‘Approach (1)’ is used quite widely. It powers many legacy systems in the world - but it’s not what makes Bitcoin decentralized and permissionless and trustless!
In “legacy” systems, people used a political / social process to agree upon some rules (vulnerable to all the old attacks: in particularly sybil attacks, social coercion, ostracism, bribes, threats of violence or actual acts of violence, etc.) - and, eventually, through this messy process, a set of rules was finally hammered out.
Then these socially / politically selected rules become manifested / incorporated (“coded up”) in some software, and that software gets deployed on the network, and then everything becomes wonderfully easy: it is now just a question of checking whether a particular block satisfies those rules or not.
This (naive, non-Bitcoin) ‘Approach (1)’ all sounds wonderful until one remembers that it does not provide us with any decentralized, permissionless, trustless mechanism for actually forming consensus on what these “rules” should be, and then coding them in software, and getting everyone to install that software on the network!
At this point, many people (eg, the smart investors who understood Bitcoin from the very beginning) can see that this “naive” ‘Approach (1)’ neglects to specify the process of how these particular “rules” got manifested / incorporated / coded in the software itself - and how people reached a consensus to deploy this particular software on the network.
The current ongoing “blocksize debate” uses a social / political process for deciding on “the rules” - ie, it does not use Proof-of-Work.
This is the social / political / off-chain war we’re seeing now - where:
  • One faction (Core/Blockstream today) wants a “rule” that says that blocks must be less than 1 MB,
  • Another faction wants a rule that says that blocks must be less than 8 MB,
  • Another faction (BU / Emergent Consensus) wants a convenient “on-chain pre-signaling system” where miners can pre-announce their intention to adopt certain rules regarding the maximum size of the next block that they will mine (1 MB, 4 MB, 8 MB, etc.)
  • Another faction (SegWit) wants a new rule where all transactions would be considered “anyone-can-spend”, plus a new rule added to the system to do a different verification process regarding who can actually spend them.
It’s all fine for this social / political / off-chain “rule-deciding” process to be taking place now - wherever it happens to take place - eg, on Reddit, on Slack, in various dev mailing lists, perhaps at meetings at Blockstream, perhaps in secret gathering places such as the notorious “Dragons Den” - and also now to some extent it has been starting to take place at other social / political venues - eg other online forums devoted to discussing other clients (BU, Classic, etc.).
But any rules which are decided “off-chain” like this aren’t really “rules” yet. They can only become “rules” if the majority of “intelligently profit-seeking hashpower” actually mines a block which satisfies these “rules”.
‘Approach (2)’ is the major breakthrough invented by Satoshi - his solution to the Byzantine General Problem, supporting decentralized formation of consensus among parties who do not trust each other.
This breakthrough was also so counter-intuitive that very, very few people even understood it when Satoshi first proposed it in the whitepaper, and in the accompanying C++ code.
In particular, as amazing as it may sound, there are many Core / Blockstream devs who do not actually understand the subtle stuff here about how Bitcoin really works.
Why are people always so angry at Greg and Adam and Luke-Jr?
I’m going to step on some people’s toes by making provocative and even somewhat unkind statements - I do apologize, but I also do believe I am describing real and unfortunate problems which are critically important to address and resolve.
People who do not have a very clear understanding of how political and social processes - and markets and economics - actually work might have a hard time understanding this mechanism invented by Satoshi.
Yes this (unfortunately) means guys like Greg Maxwell and Adam Back.
They both know cryptography - and Greg knows C++ - but these two guys in particular apparently do not have a very good understanding of how political and social processes - and markets and economics - actually work.
They understand how (given a pre-existing set of rules) a particular implementation can reflect / express those “rules”.
But they never have shown any understanding for the “bigger” process whereby those “rules” got selected in the first place.
Indeed, in their arrogance and hubris, they assume that they are the ones who define those rules (in a non-decentralized, non-permissionless, non-trustless manner - ie, in a totally anti-Bitcoin manner).
I know this may sound like an insult - and I have certainly hurled it as an insult on many occasions in this forum over the years - out of frustration at the fact that these two guys have set themselves up as leaders for this system - so they are effectively attempting to sabotaging Bitcoin.
But in addition to being an “insult”, it also happens to be a fact. (So maybe we can just call it an “insulting fact”.)
I did not originally (several years ago) hurl this as an “insult”. I only started to raise my voice and get angry when (and many other people) I had to repeat this fundamental (but admittedly subtle) aspect of Bitcoin over and over again for years - because guys like Greg and Adam and Luke-Jr - who don’t actually understand how Bitcoin actually works - kept telling people like me that we were “wrong” (when in fact Greg and Adam and Luke-Jr are wrong - at least on this subtle and crucial point about when and where and how the “rules” of Bitcoin get decided).
Anyone can read the whitepaper. And if you do, you will notice this amazing thing. The “rules” are not pre-defined by any authority.
The “rules” are actually “post-defined” as a by-product of the process of hashing, which is based on the fact that the majority of miners are always “intelligently profit-seeking”.
Greg and Adam and Luke-Jr erroneously “assume” that they are the ones who decide the rules.
But this is not how Satoshi designed Bitcoin.
And this - in a nutshell, is the main reason why people are so angry at Greg and Adam and Luke-Jr.
And it’s also, the reason why Bitcoin’s market share has been declining, now dropping below 60% of total cryptocurrency market cap - due in large part to the fact that, for the past few years, Greg and Adam and Luke-Jr have been running around telling everyone that they get to define the rules - when all the really intelligent people involved in Bitcoin know that this is not the case: the hashpower defines the rules, as manifested by Proof-of-Work!
Of course, if we want to be “charitable”, then we cannot really “blame” them for being wrong about this subtle but fundamental about where the “rules” of Bitcoin actually come from.
The sad but likely truth is that people who spend most of their waking hours thinking about things like C++ and cryptography may have a certain kind of “mindset” which makes them suffer from “blind spots” when it comes to understanding how political and social processes - and markets and economics - actually work.
Sorry if this sounds harsh - but at this point, after all the damage inflicted on Bitcoin by Adam and Greg and Luke-Jr (now with Bitcoin’s market share below 60% of total cryptocurrency market cap), a certain amount of “tough love” diagnosis (or even anger, or insults, or name-calling) is certainly justified - in order for Bitcoin to survive.
And the only way that Bitcoin can survive is if we reject the attempts by guys like Adam and Greg and Luke-Jr to pre-define Bitcoin’s rules for us.
The only way Bitcoin can survive is if we remember that the rules are defined by the majority of the miners, who are “intelligently profit-seeking”.
What is at stake here is nothing less than the economic future (and perhaps even the very survival) of humanity. We cannot allow a tiny group of arrogant devs (who apparently lack certain social / economic skills) to destroy Satoshi’s vital invention by forcing “their” rules onto the network.
This is why it would be nice if Greg and Adam and Luke-Jr would do some deep inner reflection, to understand that they do not decide the “rules” for Bitcoin.
The “rules” are decided by Proof-of-Work - not by Adam and Greg and Luke-Jr.
So, the only phase of this whole process which actually “matters” (in the novel system devised by Satoshi) is the moment where all this debate actually gets manifested during a ten-minute period where several “candidate blocks” are all simultaneously competing to be appended to the tip of the growing blockchain.
And then, only one of these new “candidate” blocks ends up getting a larger amount of Proof-of-Work on top of it (as other, succeeding “candidate” blocks gets added) - and then (and this is the really brilliant part of Satoshi’s invention), the “economic incentive” aspect of Satoshi’s brilliant invention starts to act - combined with the “stochastic” aspect - which is just fancy mathematical terminology for saying that “as more and more blocks get piled on to the chain, it becomes vanishingly improbable for those deeply buried blocks to ever get ‘un-confirmed’ via a chain re-org.”
Sidebar:
These two parts - the “economic incentives” stuff involving the valuable economic token, and the “stochastic” stuff where blocks “buried deeper” in the chain will almost certainly not be “un-conformed” by a chain re-org - were hard for guys like Greg and Adam to understand in the early years.
Remember, in the early years, when these two “brilliant” guys first heard about Bitcoin:
  • Greg Maxwell “mathematically proved” that Bitcoin couldn’t work.
  • And Adam Back ignored emails from Satoshi explaining the system, and didn’t get involved until the price of Bitcoin was over $1000.
  • Meanwhile, many other people (who are actually smarter than Greg and Adam about economics and consensus) simply read the whitepaper, understood all this subtle stuff about “(re-)deciding rules every 10 minutes using hashpower” - and they started mining (or buying).
So Greg and Adam are not among the smartest people people when it comes to understanding how Bitcoin really works.
This shows that people with a more “mathematical” or “computer science” mindset can’t always grasp the other, non-mathematical, non-computer-science-based aspects of Satoshi’s invention: ie, the “economic incentive” aspect, where miners are “economically incentivized” not only to compete in the hash race to get their block appended to the chain, but also “economically incentivized” to only attempt to append blocks which don’t use any “crazy rules” (eg, the majority of miners will not attempt to append a block which would violate the 21 million coin issuance limit).
Most importantly this means that the “rule” which says “let’s not violate the 21 million coin issuance limit” also is not handed down from some higher authority, such as Satoshi, or Greg or Adam or Luke-Jr, or Blockstream.
Instead, this rule is decided, and re-decided - and enforced, and re-enforced - essentially put up for a vote, and put up for a re-vote - every ten minutes in Bitcoin.
And - mirabile dictu - in every single one of those every-ten-minutes insta-votes, the majority of the miners vote to “do the right thing” - not because they’re “honest” - but because they’re “intelligently profit-seeking” - ie, they don’t want to destroy the value of the bitcoin that they’re mining.
If Adam and Greg really understood that no single person decides the “rules”, then they wouldn’t try to force their own rules on Bitcoin. Instead, they’d sit back like the rest of us do, and let the majority of mining hashpower decide (and re-decide, and re-decide) the “rules” - every 10 minutes - which is how Bitcoin works - with no need for any enlightened (ie, non-decentralized, non-permissionless, non-trustless) “intervention” from “well-meaning” “authorities” like Adam and Greg.
We don’t need to presume malice on their part. But we do need to confront the massive damage which Adam and Greg have started to inflict on Bitcoin.
As seen in Greg’s quote at the beginning of this OP (where he proudly proclaims that he has been “maintaining [Bitcoin] for the last six years”), Greg thinks he’s an “expert” (and he might even feel that he is “benign” - ie, he “only wants the best for Bitcoin”).
So Greg might feel comfortable dictating the “rules” of Bitcoin to other people - even though this would end up being fatal - ie it would kill Bitcoin if we allow Greg to impose his rules on us like this.
Bitcoin does not work based on “benign” dictators or authorities defining our rules for us.
Bitcoin works based on the majority of mining hashpower being “intelligently profit-seeking”.
This is why Adam and Greg must be stopped (or at least ignored). And the only way we can stop (or ignore) them is with our hashpower.
This has been a long and messy process - a political and social debate that has lasted years, and which has involved many shenanigans.
In the end, if Bitcoin actually works, new and better rules will be adopted. (Otherwise, it will be surpassed by some alt which does adopt new and better rules.)
And they will be adopted by the process which Satoshi specified: at the precise moment when the majority of mining hashpower (which is always “intelligently profit-seeking”) adds a new block to the chain which happens to satisfy a new set of rules - eg, a block that’s 1.1 MB.
We don’t know when a block like this will get added to the chain. But when it does happen, it will be because the majority of mining hashpower (which is always “intelligently profit-seeking”) decided to do so.
Which means that Bitcoin will continue to function, and everyone’s investment will continue to be preserved (in probably dramatically increased at that point, as people flood back into Bitcoin from the alts =).
Back to the actual process of appending a block to the chain:
Each of these competing “candidate blocks” carries with it a “coinbase reward” (currently 12.5 Bitcoins) - and all the miners, who are “intelligently profit-seeking” (see the OP cited previously quoting some very insightful posts by u/ForkiusMaximus), quickly form consensus to recognize the “candidate block” which is accumulating the most Proof-of-Work on top of it as the “accepted” block, while “orphaning” the other “candidate blocks” which were also competing to be added to the chain.
So the tip of the chain looks during any given 10-minute period is actually “fuzzy” or non-deterministic. Many of us may simply think in terms of “the chain”. But the tip of the chain - where multiple “candidate blocks” are still competing to get added to the chain - the tip of the chain is non-deterministic or “fuzzy”, since it is actually plural and not singular, while various “candidate blocks” are still “fighting it out” to become “the” block that actually gets added to the chain.
Here is where the “stochastic” aspect of the situation comes into effect - because any particular “ordering” of the tip of the chain (whereby the miners have selected only one of the “tips” being appended to the blockchain as being the “accepted” one) could still of course undergo a “re-org”.
We use the word “stochastic” to describe the fact that the chances of such a re-org actually happening rapidly become smaller and smaller, as each successive new “candidate block” gets appended on top of the the chain-tip which ended up getting the majority of the hashing power... so that after about 6 blocks, we can say that (in this “stochastic” process), the probability of a block already “six blocks deep” getting kicked out in a re-org is vanishingly small.
And voilà - distributed consensus about the ordering of blocks has been achieved, in a decentralized and permissionless and trust-free environment, brilliantly solving the Byzantine Generals Problem - truly a historic breakthrough.
So Bitcoin is based on multiple components
There’s lots of things going on here.
  • There’s a decentralized system.
  • There’s the hashing - based, yes, on the hashcash system developed by Adam - and previously by other researchers as well - and also based on the cryptographic signatures.
  • But the more interesting (albeit subtle) parts of the system are the economic and game theory / social aspects - ie, the token having value, and the “stochastic” aspect where a block gets buried deeper and deeper in the chain - and the majority of miners being “intelligently profit-seeking” so they will compete to have their block included in the chain, but they also won’t “cheat” by awarding themselves more coins, or by trying to not recognize some other miner’s “winning” or “accepted” block - because in the end, they want the system to keep going - and they want the tokens maintain their economic value.
This system, as invented by Satoshi, does not involve a notion of “validity” based on some pre-existing “rules” which are (already) manifested / incorporated / coded in some software (by some unspecified political / social process) - because that would be the old systems which Nakamoto Consensus was designed to replace.
The notion of “validity” in Bitcoin as Satoshi designed it is not based on any “pre-defined” rules.
It never could be - because then we’d need a way to “pre-define” those rules.
The notion of “validity” in Bitcoin is based on “post-defined” rules.
This means that the “rules” can only be observed “after the fact” - based on whatever blocks “ended up” getting buried a-few-confirmation-deep-into-the-chain, as a result of the majority of miners being “intelligently profit-seeking” as they decide, and re-decide, and re-decide - every 10 minutes - on “what block to append next”.
As shockingly counter-intuitive as it may seem, there are no “pre-defined” rules in Bitcoin.
There are only “post-defined” rules - which can only be observed “after the fact” - by examining which block “ended up” getting added by hashpower.
It’s very weird to try to wrap your head around a system where the “rules” are defined “after the fact”.
So how do the rules get “changed” - for example when we eventually really do want something like a bigger blocksize?
This is how it works:
While the next block is about to be appended to the chain (ie, while several of blocks are still competing for this honor), these various competing blocks might actually reflect various rules (eg, at a moment when an “upgrade” is being “deployed”).
We won’t know which rules were “The Rules”TM until after only one of those blocks has been buried a few blocks deep in a chain (eg 6 confirmations),
Then we can say that this is the (branch of) the chain having the most Proof-of-Work.
Sidebar:
Of course, Satoshi’s explanation was much more succinct than this OP - and he even provided an executable version!
And other people may also offer their own “informal” explanations of this same system.
I hope that these explanations might help more people (including Greg?) gain a deeper understanding of Satoshi’s invention.
The only thing we have to guide us (regarding the “rules” of Bitcoin) is the hashpower of the majority of “intelligently profit-seeking miners”.
In particular, we cannot turn to any of the following wannabe “authorities” when trying to figure out what “the rules” of Bitcoin are:
  • u/nullc Greg Maxwell CTO of Blockstream,
  • u/adam3us Adam Back CEO of Blockstream
At some level, Greg and Adam still don’t understand Satoshi’s brilliant design for Bitcoin, where the hashpower decides (and re-decides) the rules every ten minutes.
This may due to the observation by Sinclair Lewis that “A man cannot understand something if his salary depends on him not understanding it” - ie, because Greg and Adam are getting millions of dollars in fiat by companies such as AXA - who might not want guys Adam and Greg to understand Satoshi’s invention.
Conclusion
Satoshi’s brilliant solution to the Byzantine Generals Problem of Decentralized Permissionless Trust-Free Consensus-Forming is based on Proof-of-Work.
This involves multiple blocks competing to be added to the “tip” of a blockchain and then everyone forming consensus around the “branch” of the chain which has the most Proof-of-Work.
This is based on a “stochastic” process where a block which is 1, 2, 3... etc. levels deep becomes “more and more” confirmed - ie, “less and less” likely to be orphaned - because it would be “harder and harder” to switch (re-org) to another “branch” of the chain now that that block has got so many other blocks appended after it.
The “rules” in Bitcoin are “post-defined” - based Proof-of-Work.
Proof-of-Work is not, technically, based on pre-defined “rules”.
This is really subtle! It’s hard for some people to wrap their head around the concepts that:
  • There are no (pre-defined) rules.
  • During any given 10-minute period, there are often multiple “tips” to the chain.
  • The “rules” are “post-defined” - after one of those tips has the most hashpower piled on top of it.
  • But this is how Bitcoin really works!
In Bitcoin, the “rules” are “post-defined” and not “pre-defined”.
The rules can only be observed after a block has become “buried” a few confirmations deep into the chain.
And during certain (generally rare) 10-minute periods, it may even be the case that the various competing “candidate blocks” satisfy different rule-sets (eg, when a new rule-set is being deployed).
Only after hashpower has added a block - ie, retrospectively - are we able to look back and see what “the rules” are.
Yes this stands everything on its head.
But this is the only way we can get a system which is decentralized and permissionless and trustless.
Because if Proof-of-Work doesn’t decide the rules, then we’re back to the “bad old days” where Greg, or Blockstream, or some other “centralized trusted authority” decides the rules.
So, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, Proof-of-Work decides the rules (and not the other way around).
This stuff is subtle - and I hope better explanations continue to be provided.
My way of working through it all has been to write up posts like this - while also reading posts by important people who really understand this subtle stuff - eg, guys like u/ForkiusMaximus and u/Capt_Roger_Murdock.
Meanwhile Satoshi’s explanation (the whitepaper) - and the code - are one of the most important accomplishments in the history of humanity.
Hopefully as time goes on, more people (including Greg and Adam!) will be start to be able to understand this amazing system invented by Satoshi - where the majority of miners are always “intelligently profit-seeking”, and they “vote with their hashpower” to decide (and re-decide, and re-decide - every ten minutes) - in a decentralized, permissionless, trustless manner - on the “rules” for appending the next block to the chain.
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