Issues » 81


We're back! We hope you enjoyed the holiday break. Here's a bumper issue with everything we've been reading over the past few weeks.

I’d prefer a nice, simple, clean solution, but I’m old enough to know that most of the world’s great technologies are built on top of horrifying piles of legacy cruft, and they work just fine pretty much all of the time.
Gavin Andresen
A good summary of the evolution of Bitcoin and its ecosystem in 2015.
A well argued and very documented rant on the hype surrounding blockchain technology, and a critique of the poor design of Bitcoin.
Tony Arcieri
This post will cover events from both a trader / engineer’s point of view. It will look back at how far we’ve come, and summarize the current state of Bitcoin.
Benedict Chan
Sirer explains why it’s wrong to say that miners have all the power in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Users, wallets and exchanges have tremendous powers because they are the ones who buy the miners’ services.
Emin Gun Sirer
Some people, specifically, those who are arguing to raise Bitcoin fees, have been using “developing the fee market” as a euphemism for artificially creating higher fees by restricting the supply of transaction slots (aka the maximum block size).
Emin Gun Sirer
I think Charlie Lee’s argument for high bitcoin fees is wrong because it assumes that everyone is motivated by money, whereas good distributed system design is all about taking advantage of freely contributed resources whenever possible.
Emin Gun Sirer
Here’s a dirty secret: Bitcoin relies heavily on altruism. The system as we know it today would just not work were it not for the kindness of strangers.
Emin Gun Sirer
An argument for high bitcoin fees.
Charlie Lee
Core block size limit should be made dynamic, put in the realm of software, outside of human hands.
Jeff Garzik and Gavin Andresen
This is the first of four articles initially intended to outline BitPay’s current thoughts and plans regarding the block size issue. Very well written.
Stephen Pair
Ryan modified Bitcoin Core to support 8MB blocks. He shows how anyone can simply run the software one wants.
Ryan X Charles
This article is just an introduction to a much larger set of challenges related to building decentralised social networks.
Maciej Olpinski
Economics, Markets and Infrastructure
The author analyses the probability for first confirmation of a transaction given the network load.
Dave Hudson
The author introduces a new metric: ratio of hashes computed over all time to hashes computed daily, which interestingly depicts the evolution of the strength of network as mining equipment improves. A growing hashrate doesn’t mean a strengthening of the network!
Dave Hudson
SG Kinsman
An analysis of the bitcoin mining industry and where it might be going considering a variety of factors such as electricity price, block size and fees, mining algorithm, technology improvements, etc.
Jameson Lopp
Legal and Regulations
The SEC has approved a plan from online retailer to issue company stock via the Internet, signaling a significant shift in the way financial securities will be distributed and traded in the years to come.
Bitcoin 101
A great write-up that explains an often unclear topic.
Startups and Projects
Analysing your genes, Managing work with Mechanical Turk, Monetizing social media, Selling creations and assets, Internet of Things
A visualization of the blocksize increase debate.
Code and Development
A rough proposal for a Bitcoin client that unifies two blockchains and prevents spending the same bitcoins on both at the same time.
Emin Gun Sirer
Command line tool to predict phenotype from VCF (gets models from pheno-server-21)
Joe Pickrell
Decentralised Twitter: A microblogging service running on the Ethereum blockchain
A comparison of proof of work and proof of stake, from the creator of BitShares.
Dan Larimer
A bitcoin-payable wifi captive portal
Andreas M.​ Antonopoulos
Segwit allows scaling Bitcoin capacity in a opt-in way. Those who want to take advantage of extra capacity need to expend extra resources, but those who do not want to use the feature (no matter how small that minority is), do not need to expend any extra resources at all.
Oleg Andreev
Lerner explains what SPV mining is meant to be and why it should be used in order to lighten the load on the network.
Sergio Lerner
A core developer’s view on how to proceed with scaling bitcoin.
Gregory Maxwell
The author compares soft forks and hard forks and explains why he went from preferring soft forks to hard forks.
Chris Pacia
The goal of the cost metric approach is to tie consensus rules to actual resource requirements. The idea is that cost of a block is a function of certain block properties. As an example, the block cost could be represented by a weighted sum of block size, validation cost and utxo growth.
Jonas Nick
The authors expresses concerns about deprecating core Bitcoin features just for the Lightning Network.
Chris Pacia
A breakdown of all the components, libraries, and APIs that are used.
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Published by Cooper Press and curated by Stanislas Marion