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Happy Birthday Bitcoin, and Don’t Forget About Cypherpunks – Keiser

If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that the price of a commodity has a massive influence on how the world values it.

As Bitcoin entered a phenomenal bull run in November, it was almost impossible not to get caught up in the hype of the ever-growing value of the cryptocurrency. The price continued to rise, breaking barrier after barrier with no consideration of naysayers or well-wishers.

But as history will forever tell us, a $20,000 high was the tipping point and Bitcoin and most of the cryptocurrency market endured a heavy price correction in the lead up to Christmas.

Some people made a lot of money while others lost out in the eventual correction. However the financial success of Bitcoin has somewhat taken away from the 40-year journey towards its inception.

Happy birthday Bitcoin

Bitcoin celebrated it’s ninth birthday on Jan. 4 – marking another milestone since the original genesis block was mined in 2009.

Bitcoin’s birth is credited to its creator Satoshi Nakamoto, but the development of Bitcoin goes back as far as the 1970s. The cypherpunk movement deserves as much credit as Satoshi for laying down the foundational development of cryptography.

Speaking on RT’s Keiser Report, show host Max Keiser says people would be wise to research the history of cypherpunks before they invest in Bitcoin:

“The Satoshi whitepaper describes Bitcoin as system for the transmission of digital cash, which sets most enquiries into this to a skewed path because they’re looking at it in one use case – the payments-use case.”

“This leads us to ignore the entire history of the entire movement and ignore everything else Bitcoin can possibly do, including obvious references to gold as mentioned in the whitepaper. Store of value has always been key to this thing.”

Privacy birthed Bitcoin

Cryptography was originally developed by governmental agencies and the military in the late 70s before data-encryption technology was released to the public. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that the cypherpunk movement was officially founded by Eric Hughes, Tim May and John Gilmore.

As Keiser points out, the publication of previously classified knowledge and developments in encryption technology had a big impact on the ability of cypherpunks to improve the technology:

“Getting into how we got to the genesis block. The idea of having private messages sent electronically required advances in technology and at some point, the government’s work in creating encryption released, set out into the wild.”

The term cypherpunk would only be immortalized in the Oxford Dictionary in 2006, but the movement was founded on the notion that cryptography and privacy technology would bring about societal change.

Without those original developers, the encryption technology and protocols would not have been set in place.

Satoshi even credited the work of Dr. Adam Back, creator of anti-spam technology HashCash, as well as b-money creator Wei Dai in the original Bitcoin whitepaper. Keiser said Bitcoin would not exist in its current form without all of this work:

“Bitcoin was not born in a vacuum, it has 40 years of history to it. It’s evolved through all these different technologies, it’s a unique protocol and like gold, it’s attracting a huge amount of capital.”

“Genesis is about privacy and the ability to protect that electronically, ending up where we are today. The cypherpunk movement is the genesis movement. No one should buy Bitcoin without studying the cypherpunks.”

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Adam Back: Bitcoin Block Size Increase in Mid-Term is Possible

On Nov. 13 Blockstream CEO and HashCash inventor Adam Back, who remains as one of the few individuals cited in the original Bitcoin whitepaper released by Satoshi Nakamoto, explained Bitcoin block size increase in the mid-term is a possibility that has not been ruled out.

In response to a statement provided by Jihan Wu, the co-founder of Bitmain, the $3 bln Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturing company, regarding the necessity of a block size increase to reduce Bitcoin Blockchain congestion, Back stated:

“Probably mid-term with enough testing yes. But in the meantime it would be nice if people would stop spamming. Thanks.”

Bitcoin Core is not fundamentally opposed to on-chain scaling

As explained by Back, the Bitcoin Core development team has not been fundamentally opposed to on-chain Bitcoin scaling. In 2014 Back noted that a gradual block increase to 2MB, 4MB, and 8MB is a viable option in the mid-term, until second-layer payment channels are fully adopted by the industry, wallet platforms, and exchanges.

But, Bitcoin Core and the majority of the Bitcoin community remain certain that block size increase is not a long-term scaling solution, in contrast to public viewpoints, because there is a limit to which the block size of any Blockchain network including Bitcoin can be increased to.

One major reason Bitcoin block size increase is not a long-term scaling solution is because if the block size increases in proportion to the growth of the Blockchain network’s user base, inevitably the block size will achieve a point wherein individual node operators are left out and transactions are verified by a centralized group of nodes. Such is the level of centralization imposes danger to any Blockchain network apart from Bitcoin.

For instance, if the block size of a Blockchain network is increased to 10MB, to 50MB, and eventually to 100MB, it will create an ecosystem wherein individual node operators are essentially non-existent.

“If my block takes 11 minutes to validate, then I’m off the Blockchain, which means fewer people can validate independently, which means the system becomes centralized. With one of these increases, fewer people can participate in the validation process, fewer people can participate in storing the data, and fewer people can participate in being independent actors. We go from a system that is decentralized to a system that gradually gets more and more centralized,” explained Bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos.

Hence, Bitcoin block size should be planned ahead, undergo rigorous testing, be carefully thought out, and conducted only when absolutely necessary, during a period in which the transaction fees on the Bitcoin network become too high for the vast majority to settle a payment.

Possibility of block size increase in mid-term

Recently the transaction fees have been substantially high, most of them being above $1 to $2, but the increase in the size of the Bitcoin mempool was triggered by the migration of Bitcoin miners to the Bitcoin Cash network. The instability in hashing power led hundreds of thousands of transactions left unconfirmed, eventually increasing the size of the Bitcoin mempool to over 100 million bytes.

As miners return to the Bitcoin network after the next difficult adjustment and more businesses adopt SegWit for around 35 percent reduction in fee,s according to Bitcoin hardware wallet development firm Ledger fees should be manageable in the short-term.

In the mid-term, if transaction fees become too high, as Back stated, block size increase is certainly a possibility with rigorous and thorough testing.

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Naughty! Bitcoin.com Removed From Safe Sites List Over SegWit2x ‘Threat’

Cryptocurrency scam alert website Badbitcoin.org has removed popular news and information outlet Bitcoin.com from its ‘Safelist’ of trusted resources.

In a surprising move seemingly stemming from CEO Roger Ver’s support of the upcoming SegWit2x hard fork, Badbitcoin tweeted Friday that a place on its Safelist was a “privilege.”

“Inclusion in our safelist is a privilege (sic) that cannot be bought,” it wrote, suggesting it would also remove BitPay and Xapo.

Uproar

The move means Bitcoin.com lurks in a gray area in the eyes of the directory, which has existed since 2014 and is now widely known. A further deterioration could see Ver’s product listed on the same level as infamous quasi-scams such as OneCoin and MMM Global.

Cause for the uproar appears to be increased allegations of foul play by proponents and developers of SegWit2x, which plans to fork off from the Bitcoin network in November.

Justifying its actions, Badbitcoin cited a tweet from Samourai Wallet developer TDevD, which claimed Bitcoin.com was a “direct threat aimed at the heart of what we stand for.”

Meanwhile, the rhetoric surrounding the upcoming hard fork has increased in intensity significantly, involving major figures such as Blockstream CEO Adam Back.

The rift in the community is reminiscent of the Bitcoin scaling debate, with constant arguments centered around social media involving both supporters and opponents of SegWit2x.

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Bitstamp Gives Users Bitcoin Cash But ‘Postpones’ Trading Indefinitely

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp has credited users with Bitcoin Cash, while announcing it will postpone trading “until further notice.”

The latest major exchange to credit wallets with the equivalent balance in BCH, Bitstamp beat major wallet Blockchain.info which is set to follow suit by the end of October.

Users with coins on Bitstamp Aug. 1st have now received BCH equivalent to that amount.

“[…] We have now distributed corresponding Bitcoin Cash (BCH) balances to those of our customers who chose to leave their BTC on our platform at the time of the fork. An equal quantity of BCH is now available for withdrawal,” the exchange confirmed in a blog post as well as on Twitter Wednesday.

The timing of the move coincides with a reversal in fortunes for BCH, which plummeted following the market upheaval begun by China banning Bitcoin-to-fiat trading.

Users can today claim around $450 per BCH, while exchanges and wallets quicker to support the fork treated users to significantly higher rates.

At the same time, community attention has more recently shifted away from BCH to focus on the impending SegWit2x hard fork, due at the start of November.

Increasing publicity is coming from industry figures such as Blockstream CEO Adam Back surrounding the aims of SegWit2x supporters.

Meanwhile, fellow wallet provider Xapo has told its users that they must withdraw their new BCH balances by Dec. 14.

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Rootstock CEO Confirms Launch ‘By December’ After SegWit2x Hard Fork

Rootstock (RSK) CEO Diego Gutierrez has confirmed it will finally launch “between mid-November and mid-December” after the possible SegWit2x hard fork.

In a Twitter exchange Monday, Gutierrez said the timing of the initial release was deliberate to avoid complications from a hard fork occurring afterwards.

RSK is an open source smart contracts platform pegged to Bitcoin, the first such implementation for the network which will see significantly more capacity and faster payments.

When asked what stage the project’s technology was at, Gutierrez added the only reason for “waiting” was the SegWit2x hard fork issue.

“…On our side, all the tech is in place, and the reason why we’re waiting is because of the potential fork which might happen after mid (November),” he wrote.

On the subject of which chain RSK would support if a hard fork did occur, Gutierrez said that any willing to integrate smart contracts, but that “limited resources” meant the chain with most transactions would get “priority.”

China setback

SegWit2x has taken a back seat in the Bitcoin industry debate this month as regulatory upheaval in China becomes a decisive factor regulating price and volatility.

Community consensus has recently drifted towards discrediting the forking proposal, which came out of Barry Silbert’s so-called New York Agreement (NYA) in May.

The advent of Bitcoin Cash, Blockstream CEO Adam Back said as an example, made SegWit2x seem “moot.”

Catallaxy co-founder Francis Pouliot yesterday meanwhile added to the opinion that such hard forks were ultimately malicious acts, echoing Chain engineer Oleg Andreev last month, who described them as “FUD projects.”