Is Crypto Currency truly at risk due to Quantum Computers, and what can you do about it?
There is no denying that the Quantum revolution is coming. Security protocols for the internet, banking, telecommunications, etc... are all at risk, and your Bitcoins (and alt-cryptos) are next!
This article is not really about quantum computers[i], but, rather, how they will affect the future of cryptocurrency, and what steps a smart investor will take. Since this is a complicated subject, my intention is to provide just enough relevant information without being too “techy.”
The Quantum Evolution
In 1982, Nobel winning physicist, Richard Feynman, hypothesized how quantum computers[ii] would be used in modern life.
Just one year later, Apple released the “Apple Lisa”[iii] – a home computer with a 7.89MHz processor and a whopping 5MB hard drive, and, if you enjoy nostalgia, it used 5.25in floppy disks.
Today, we walk around with portable devices that are thousands of times more powerful, and, yet, our modern day computers still work in a simple manner, with simple math, and simple operators[iv]. They now just do it so fast and efficient that we forget what’s happening behind the scenes.
No doubt, the human race is accelerating at a remarkable speed, and we’ve become obsessed with quantifying everything - from the everyday details of life to the entire universe[v]. Not only do we know how to precisely measure elementary particles, we also know how to control their actions!
Yet, even with all this advancement, modern computers cannot “crack” cryptocurrencies without the use of a great deal more computing power, and since it’s more than the planet can currently supply, it could take millions, if not billions, of years. However, what current computers can’t do, quantum computers can!
So, how can something that was conceptualized in the 1980’s, and, as of yet, has no practical application, compromise cryptocurrencies and take over Bitcoin?
To best answer this question, let’s begin by looking at a bitcoin address.
What exactly is a Bitcoin address?
Well, in layman terms, a Bitcoin address is used to send and receive Bitcoins, and looking a bit closer (excuse the pun), it has two parts:[vi]
A public key that is openly shared with the world to accept payments. A public key that is derived from the private key. The private key is made up of 256 bits of information in a (hopefully) random order. This 256 bit code is 64 characters long (in the range of 0-9/a-f) and further compressed into a 52 character code (using RIPEMD-160).
NOTE: Although many people talk about Bitcoin encryption, Bitcoin does not use Encryption. Instead, Bitcoin uses a hashing algorithm (for more info, please see endnote below[vii]). Now, back to understanding the private key:
The Bitcoin address “1EHNa6Q4Jz2uvNExL497mE43ikXhwF6kZm” translates to a private key of “5HpHagT65TZzG1PH3CSu63k8DbpvD8s5ip4nEB3kEsreAnchuDf” which further translates to a 256 bit private key of “0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001” (this should go without saying, but do not use this address/private key because it was compromised long ago.) Although there are a few more calculations that go behind the scenes, these are the most relevant details.
Now, to access a Bitcoin address, you first need the private key, and from this private key, the public key is derived. With current computers, it’s classically impractical to attempt to find a private key based on a public key. Simply put, you need the private key to know the public key.
However, it has already been theorized (and technically proven) that due to private key compression, multiple private keys can be used to access the same public key (aka address). This means that your Bitcoin address has multiple private keys associated with it, and, if someone accidentally discovers or “cracks” any one of those private keys, they have access to all the funds in that specific address.
There is even a pool of a few dedicated people hunting for these potential overlaps[viii], and they are, in fact, getting very efficient at it. The creator of the pool also has a website listing every possible Bitcoin private key/address in existence[ix], and, as of this writing, the pool averages 204 trillion keys per day!
But wait! Before you get scared and start panic selling, the probability of finding a Bitcoin address containing funds (or even being used) is highly unlikely – nevertheless, still possible!
However, the more Bitcoin users, the more likely a “collision” (finding overlapping private/public key pairs)! You see, the security of a Bitcoin address is simply based on large numbers! How large?
Well, according to my math, 1.157920892373x1077 potential private keys exist (that number represents over 9,500 digits in length! For some perspective, this entire article contains just over 14,000 characters. Therefore, the total number of Bitcoin addresses is so great that the probability of finding an active address with funds is infinitesimal.
So, how do Quantum Computers present a threat?
At this point, you might be thinking, “How can a quantum computer defeat this overwhelming number of possibilities?”
Well, to put it simple; Superposition and Entanglement[x].
Superposition allows a quantum bit (qbit) to be in multiple states at the same time. Entanglement allows an observer to know the measurement of a particle in any location in the universe. If you have ever heard Einstein’s quote, “Spooky Action at a Distance,” he was talking about Entanglement!
To give you an idea of how this works, imagine how efficient you would be if you could make your coffee, drive your car, and walk your dog all at the same time, while also knowing the temperature of your coffee before drinking, the current maintenance requirements for your car, and even what your dog is thinking! In a nutshell, quantum computers have the ability to process and analyze countless bits of information simultaneously – and so fast, and in such a different way, that no human mind can comprehend!
At this stage, it is estimated that the Bitcoin address hash algorithm will be defeated by quantum computers before 2028 (and quite possibly much sooner)! The NSA has even stated that the SHA256 hash algorithm (the same hash algorithm that Bitcoin uses) is no longer considered secure, and, as a result, the NSA has now moved to new hashing techniques, and that was in 2016! Prior to that, in 2014, the NSA also invested a large amount of money in a research program called “Penetrating Hard Targets project”[xi] which was used for further Quantum Computer study and how to break “strong encryption and hashing algorithms.” Does NSA know something they’re not saying or are they just preemptively preparing? Nonetheless, before long, we will be in a post-quantum cryptography world where quantum computers can crack crypto addresses and take all the funds in any wallet.
What are Bitcoin core developers doing about this threat?
Well, as of now, absolutely nothing. Quantum computers are not considered a threat by Bitcoin developers nor by most of the crypto-community. I’m sure when the time comes, Bitcoin core developers will implement a new cryptographic algorithm that all future addresses/transactions will utilize. However, will this happen before post-quantum cryptography[xii]?
Moreover, even after new cryptographic implementation, what about all the old addresses? Well, if your address has been actively used on the network (sending funds), it will be in imminent danger of a quantum attack. Therefore, everyone who is holding funds in an old address will need to send their funds to a new address (using a quantum safe crypto-format). If you think network congestion is a problem now, just wait…
Additionally, there is the potential that the transition to a new hashing algorithm will require a hard fork (a soft fork may also suffice), and this could result in a serious problem because there should not be multiple copies of the same blockchain/ledger. If one fork gets attacked, the address on the other fork is also compromised. As a side-note, the blockchain Nebulas[xiii] will have the ability to modify the base blockchain software without any forks. This includes adding new and more secure hashing algorithms over time! Nebulas is due to be released in 2018.
Who would want to attack Bitcoin?
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency represent a threat to the controlling financial system of our modern economy. Entire countries have outright banned cryptocurrency[xiv] and even arrested people[xv], and while discrediting it, some countries are copying cryptocurrency to use (and control) in their economy[xvi]!
Furthermore, Visa[xvii], Mastercard[xviii], Discover[xix], and most banks act like they want nothing to do with cryptocurrency, all the while seeing the potential of blockchain technology and developing their own[xx]. Just like any disruptive technology, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have their fair share of enemies!
As of now, quantum computers are being developed by some of the largest companies in the world, as well as private government agencies.
No doubt, we will see a post-quantum cryptography world sooner than most realize. By that point, who knows how long “3 letter agencies” will have been using quantum technology - and what they’ll be capable of!
What can we do to protect ourselves today?
Of course, the best option is to start looking at how Bitcoin can implement new cryptographic features immediately, but it will take time, and we have seen how slow the process can be just for scaling[xxi].
The other thing we can do is use a Bitcoin address only once
for outgoing transactions. When quantum computers attack Bitcoin (and other crypto currencies), their first target will be addresses that have outgoing transactions on the blockchain that contain funds.
This is due to the fact that when computers first attempt to crack a Bitcoin address, the starting point is when a transaction becomes public. In other words, when the transaction is first signed – a signed transaction is a digital signature
derived from the private key, and it validates the transaction on the network. Compared to classical computers, quantum computers can exponentially extrapolate this information.
Initially, Bitcoin Core Software might provide some level of protection because it only uses an address once, and then sends the remaining balance (if any) to another address in your keypool. However, third party Bitcoin wallets can and do use an address multiple times for outgoing transactions. For instance, this could be a big problem for users that accept donations (if they don’t update their donation address every time they remove funds). The biggest downside to Bitcoin Core Software is the amount of hard-drive space required, as well as diligently retaining an up-to-date copy of the entire blockchain ledger.
Nonetheless, as quantum computers evolve, they will inevitably render SHA256 vulnerable, and although this will be one of the first hash algorithms cracked by quantum computers, it won’t be the last!
Are any cryptocurrencies planning for the post-quantum cryptography world?
Yes, indeed, there are! Here is a short list of ones you may want to know more about:
- IOTA[xxii] IOTA uses Winternitz one-time signatures[xxiii]. As the name suggests, an address is considered compromised once it signs a transaction on the network, and, therefore, you can only send from an address one time before it’s compromised.
- ADA (Cardano)[xxiv] The Cardano roadmap lists quantum resistant signatures using “BLISS.” While BLISS is a strong hashing method, it has an estimated lifespan with classical computers of 6000 signatures (usages)[xxv] but this number could be significantly reduced with quantum tech.
- Ethereum[xxvi] The Ethereum network, as well as many more blockchain networks, use the SHA3[xxvii] hash algorithm which is superior to SHA256. Although this is considered by some to be resistant, it is not technically quantum resistant. There is talk of using Lamport Signatures[xxviii] in the future of Ethereum. Although it is not definite at this point, it’s great to see the developers proactive.
- QRL (Quantum Resistant Ledger)[xxix] This blockchain concept was conceived in 2016 and is currently in beta testing. Using XMSS (Extended Merkle Signature Scheme) trees combined with Winternitz one-time signatures (but not one time!), it’s fast, salable and truly quantum resistant. If you have not yet checked out this project, I highly suggest you do. To understand why this project is truly post-quantum cryptography ready, do your own due diligence and read the QRL whitepaper.
Although I am in no way associated with any project listed above, I do hold coins in all as well as Bitcoin, Litecoin and many others.
The thoughts above are based on my personal research, but I make no claims to being a quantum scientist or cryptographer. So, don’t take my word for anything. Instead, do your own research and draw your own conclusions. I’ve included many references below, but there are many more to explore.
In conclusion, the intention of this article is not to create fear or panic, nor any other negative effects. It is simply to educate. If you see an error in any of my statements, please, politely, let me know, and I will do my best to update the error.
Thanks for reading!
References [i] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhHMJCUmq28 – A great video explaining quantum computers.
[ii] https://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~nd/surprise_97/journal/vol4/spb3/ - A brief history of quantum computing.
[iii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lisa - More than you would ever want to know about the Apple Lisa.
[iv] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpIctyqH29Q&list=PL8dPuuaLjXtNlUrzyH5r6jN9ulIgZBpdo - Want to learn more about computer science? Here is a great crash course for it!
[v] https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/quantify - What does quantify mean?
[vi] https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Private_key - More info about Bitcoin private keys.
[vii] https://www.securityinnovationeurope.com/blog/page/whats-the-difference-between-hashing-and-encrypting - A good example of the deference between Hash and Encryption
[viii] https://lbc.cryptoguru.org/stats - The Large Bitcoin Collider.
[ix] http://directory.io/ - A list of every possible Bitcoin private key. This website is a clever way of converting the 64 character uncompressed key to the private key 128 at a time. Since it is impossible to save all this data in a database and search, it is not considered a threat! It’s equated with looking for a single needle on the entire planet.
[x] https://uwaterloo.ca/institute-for-quantum-computing/quantum-computing-101#Superposition-and-entanglement – Brief overview of Superposition and Entanglement.
[xi] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-seeks-to-build-quantum-computer-that-could-crack-most-types-of-encryption/2014/01/02/8fff297e-7195-11e3-8def-a33011492df2_story.html?utm_term=.e05a9dfb6333 – A review of the Penetrating Hard Targets project.
[xii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography - Explains post-quantum cryptography.
[xiii] https://www.nebulas.io/ - The nebulas project has some amazing technology planned in their roadmap. They are currently in testnet stage with initial launch expected taking place in a few weeks. If you don’t know about Nebulas, you should check them out. [xiv] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_bitcoin_by_country_or_territory - Country’s stance on crypto currencies.
[xv] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/30/venezuela-is-one-of-the-worlds-most-dangerous-places-to-mine-bitcoin.html - Don’t be a miner in Venezuela!
[xvi] http://www.newsweek.com/russia-bitcoin-avoid-us-sanctions-cryptocurrency-768742 - Russia’s plan for their own crypto currency.
[xvii] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/01/05/visa-locks-bitcoin-payment-cards-crackdown-card-issue - Recent attack from visa against crypto currency.
[xviii] https://www.ccn.com/non-government-digital-currency-junk-says-mastercard-ceo-rejecting-bitcoin/ - Mastercards position about Bitcoin.
[xix] http://www.livebitcoinnews.com/discover-joins-visa-mastercard-barring-bitcoin-support/ - Discovers position about Bitcoin.
[xx] http://fortune.com/2017/10/20/mastercard-blockchain-bitcoin/ - Mastercard is making their own blockchain.
[xxi] https://bitcoincore.org/en/2015/12/21/capacity-increase/ - News about Bitcoin capacity. Not a lot of news…
[xxii] https://learn.iota.org/faq/what-makes-iota-quantum-secure - IOTA and quantum encryption.
[xxiii] https://eprint.iacr.org/2011/191.pdf - The whitepaper of Winternitz One-Time Signature Scheme
[xxiv] https://cardanoroadmap.com/ - The Cardano project roadmap.
[xxv] https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/490 - More about the BLISS hash system.
[xxvi] https://www.ethereum.org/ - Home of the Ethereum project.
[xxvii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-3#Security_against_quantum_attacks – SHA3 hash algorithm vs quantum computers.
[xxviii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamport_signature - Lamport signature information.
[xxix] https://theqrl.org/ - Home of the Quantum Resistant Ledger project.
I recently wrote a text post Success to the Successful (or: why the moon is not far enough)
. In that post I explained Success to the Successful
, an example of what is know as a system archetype
, a recurring pattern that systems often take on.
I first came across the idea of system archetypes in the book Thinking in Systems: A Primer
by Donella Meadows. I would like to use one chapter of this book to analyse cryptocurrencies, as it provides a convenient basis for comparison. I will focus on Dash and Bitcoin because I think this is the illuminating pair to compare, but I will mention others as they become relevant.
Donella Meadows describes a system as a set of things—people, cells, molecules, or whatever—interconnected in such a way that they produce their own behavior over time
(p2), and as an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something
Chapter 6 of this book is titled Leverage Points—Places to Intervene in a System
. I will work through them in turn, briefly explain each, and use them to analyse cryptocurrencies. With any luck, this will also show ways to synthesise
a cryptocurrency, ie consciously choose properties that meet intended goals. The leverage points are presented in reverse order, that is to say, point 12 is the weakest intervention point, and point 1 is the strongest. 12. Numbers—Constants and parameters such as subsidies, taxes standards
The essence of this point is that changing the tax rate from 18% to 25% or 13% makes no significant change to the was a system works. Donella Meadows says that numbers are dead last on the list of powerful interventions – diddling with the details, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
This means that it is of no real importance that Bitcoin has a 10 minute average block time, whereas Dash and Litecoin have an average of 2.5 minutes, or that Bitcoin uses SHA256 whereas Litecoin uses scrypt. It also means that the debate between (what is now) Bitcoin Core, XT, and Classic, over whether to have 1, 8, or 2MB blocks, the debate which has stalled Bitcoin development for longer than I can now remember, is over the least important part of the system. Meadows might have also called the block size limit debate in Bitcoin re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic
. 11. Buffers—The size of stabilizing stocks relative to their flows
In a bathtub, the tub is a buffer
), whereas the tap and sinkhole are flows
Dash has an interesting type of financial stock with its masternode collateral
. A large amount of DASH is held by long-term holders to enable the decentralised masternode network, and acts as a sort of saving account for operators. But Meadows says this is a low-leverage point – whether collateral is specifically 1000 DASH, 100 DASH or 10 DASH is probably not significant. 10. Stock-and-Flow Structures—Physical systems and their nodes of intersection
This covers things like plumbing systems and road layouts. What is connected to what can significantly change how a system behaves, as a broken water pipe or a poorly-placed road quickly shows.
Cryptocurrencies don't have many significant physical
stock and flow structures. The main one that springs to mind is the location of Bitcoin miners near hydroelectric power stations and other renewable power sources. Proof-of-stake mining removes that physical structure, but I won't consider that further as most top cryptocurrencies are proof-of-stake.
There is another type of structure, which is informational. This actually comes under the higher-leverage point 6. Information Flows
, however I will describe them here, as they are revenant to points in between.
Dash has two very powerful structures that Bitcoin lacks.
First, Dash has proof-of-stake voting. Dash is able to collect the opinions of masternode operators (ie large stakeholders), and broadcast them in a verifiable way to the entire network. Bitcoin has no comparable system. It is like large BTC holders are each locked in their own room with only shouting loudly as a means of communication, while large DASH holders have internet connections and videoconferencing.
Second, Dash voting forms part of its treasury system, and controls a flow of money to development projects, which covers all activities that Dash needs. It can increase or decrease these flows at will. Bitcoin development is funded out of deep pockets, and is not necessarily driven by what holders want (as the previous structure is missing). In my mind I see this as a kind of hybrid structure: while technically it is informational (cryptocurrency money is pure information), it behaves in many ways like a flow of gold coins. 9. Delays—The lengths of time relative to the rates of system changes
Delays are the time it takes for one part of a system to react to another. They are the source of oscillations. Business suffers natural booms and busts because (for one reason), the time it takes to build up a business, means that by the time it is fully operational, the market may be oversaturated, and some will be forced to close down. Delays that are too short cause overcompensation, common on car dealer forecourts that routinely over- or under-order new stock. On a shorter scale, this is the source of flash-crashes in the stock market. Long delays make long-term planning impossible, for example building the correct number of power plants.
Mining hardware is extremely sensitive to delay – planning R&D and installation of mining hardware is fraught with uncertainty due to the long time scales involved.
Dash has enormously reduced one kind of delay: consensus formation. Thanks to the structure explained above, it is possible within hours or days to establish consensus of opinion among masternode operators, holding some together some 60% of the currency. For example the 2MB-blocksize
proposal was resolved in a few hours. What Donella Meadows describes as diddling with the details
was resolved as quickly as such a triviality should be. 8. Balancing Feedback Loops—The strengths of the feedbacks relative to the impacts they are trying to correct
A balancing loop
is a structure that tries to correct a system that strays from its goal. For example: a thermostat keeping a room at a comfortable temperature; democratic voting keeping a political party from runaway despotism. Balancing loops are important because reinforcing loops
are very powerful, and can throw a system out of control, like a steam engine running faster and faster until it explodes.
Thanks to its treasury system, Dash has a unique balancing feedback loop: the masternode network can cut funding to any project at will. That means that if – say – the Dash Core team adopted the same 1MB block size policy as Bitcoin Core, in defiance of the previous vote, the masternode network can bring the system back into control by cutting funding to Dash Core. This would not be the end of the matter (another Core team would be required to replace them), but it would start to resolve the problem with a much lower delay
. 7. Reinforcing Feedback Loops—The strength of the gain of driving loops
This was the topic of the earlier post Success to the Successful (or: why the moon is not far enough)
, so I would suggest reading that for more detail, as I believe it is a distinguishing feature of Dash among top cryptocurrencies today.
To summarise, Dash has a loop where wise masternode voting funds successful projects, which increase the utility of Dash, which increases the price of DASH, which increases the value of the monthly development budget, which increases Dash's capacity to fund successful projects. Bitcoin does not have this loop: a rising price of BTC does not enable Bitcoin to develop itself more successfully, because development is not paid for with BTC, and it does in any case not have the structure to direct funds based on past success. Dash is inherently more able to develop itself than Bitcoin; it is already developing faster, and its development is accelerating thanks to this loop. 6. Information Flows—The structure of who does and does not have access to information
This is covered under 10. Stock-and-Flow Structures
to make the flow of this post easier to read. But note that Meadows considered Information Flows
as higher-leverage points, higher even than Balancing Feedback Loops
and Reinforcing Feedback Loops
. 5. Rules—Incentives, punishments, constraints
This covers everything from the physical laws of nature, through codes of laws enforced by courts, to the rules of trivial board games or casual agreements between friends.
Cryptocurrencies have some very hard rules. For example, to spend any BTC or DASH etc, you must
be able to sign a valid transaction transferring the money from you to someone else. No amount of begging or pleading will sway the laws of cryptography, any more than begging or pleading can change the force of gravity.
The rules of the cryptocurrency block reward determine the incentives of participants in a cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin allocates 100% of the block reward to the miner of that block: there is a very strong incentive to mine Bitcoin blocks. However, there is no corresponding incentive for running a Bitcoin node. By splitting the block reward 45% to miners and 45% to masternode operators, Dash has ~4500 masternodes to Bitcoin's ~5500 nodes, despite the currency having a market cap somewhere around 1% of Bitcoin's. Also, Bitcoin has a balancing loop, whereby the more popular Bitcoin becomes, the higher the cost of running a node becomes, and so the lower the net incentive. Only companies and individuals who need to verify every transaction will run a Bitcoin node; with Dash, people will also run nodes because they are paid to do so.
One area where Dash is perhaps lacking in this section is punishments
. Dash has an incentive that people are paid to do projects to develop Dash, and funding can be withdrawn if they fail to deliver, but they are not punished if they deceive or defraud. As Donella Meadows put 5. Rules
quite high up the list, this suggests that adding punishments to negligently managed or fraudulent development projects might be a high-leverage intervention.
Meadows says that power over rules is real power
. Who gets to decide the rules of a blockchain, decides the fate of a cryptocurrency. Who in Bitcoin, and who in Dash, decides whether blocks will be only 1MB in size, or whether they can be larger? In Dash, this is transparent, bearing in mind the complexities we considered earlier. In Bitcoin, it is considerably less so. 4. Self-organisation—The power to add, change, or evolve system structure
This covers evolution, the adaptation of an immune system, ants building a hive, DNA building an ant, members of a society agreeing on its laws.
This point is key why capitalism is superior to communism at generating economic development: the minds of everyone working as an entrepreneur, able to startup up and shut down businesses as they sense real demand, will always outpace the abilities of a central planner with limited information and limited capacity to process it. Simply, it creates a bigger, more adaptable brain out society, a more powerful mind to design and provide infrastructure, goods and services.
Dash has a layer of self-organisation at a higher level than businesses running on the blockchain. The treasury system works like a circulatory system, providing money to its DAO employees like nutrition to vital functions. This enables Dash to create development teams, marketing teams, market research teams, R&D teams, forum moderation teams and so on. The treasury lets Dash participants self-organise into a nervous system, and function as a viable, self-sustaining organisation. 3. Goals—The purpose or function of a system
The goal of a system is what it tries to achieve. The goal of a thermostat is the temperature it wants to maintain the room at. The goal of a political party is to get elected. The goal of a football team is to win the game.
What is the goal of Bitcoin? The Bitcoin whitepaper
defines it as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system
. What is the goal of Monero? The Monero website
defines it as is a secure, private, untraceable currency
. Dash? Well, Dash is digital cash
– citation needed :)
Note that the block size debate in Bitcoin is really a debate over its goal – is it peer-to-peer cash, or is it a digital settlement layer for a Lightning Network? Dash has a consensus structure to confirm its goal, it has information and money flows to decide and fund its path to its goal, it has balancing loops to keep it in check. Dash has a clear goal; the goal of Bitcoin right now looks simply undefined
. It's not clear who is in a position to define it. But Donella Meadows puts Goals
way up the list of leverage points at number 3, so this matters enormously. 2. Paradigms—The mind-set out of which the system–its goals, structures, rules, delays, parameters–arises
At this point we may be stepping out of the sphere of any one individual cryptocurrency. What do we want as money? Do we want debt-money created by private institutions? Do we want hard money like gold? Do we want to return to peer-to-peer credit? Do we want centrally-planned money, or market-driven money?
I won't attempt to answer any questions here. 1. Transcending Paradigms
This is the idea to stay unattached, to realise that no one paradigm is true
. Maybe the head of a central bank will come to understand the advantages of cryptocurrency systems; maybe a die-hard libertarian will appreciate the positive role regulation and government intervention can have in financial systems. Meadows describes this as to let go into not-knowing
. For me it is to accept that everyone has their own mindset and the goals that this entails, and they come to this mindset through experiences no less real or valid than one's own.
At this point we have completely escaped the petty squabbling of 1MB vs 2MB blocks, and opened a discussion on what paradigm of money will best suit the needs of the modern world. That is a debate I think not even Donella Meadows would find easy to resolve.
I hope this analysis proves useful to someone. If it has peeked anyone's interested, I wholeheartedly recommend reading the whole of Thinking in Systems
, which is both short and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive mind.
(Apologies for any errors, I've typed this quickly in a few spare hours)
They're at it again. Bitcoin XT/Unlimited/Classic developers are shilling emotionally charged rhetoric declaring the failure of Bitcoin. These blog posts are promoted by their connections in the (((international media))) to try to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt [nytimes.com] around the status of Bitcoin and bully people into accepting their suicidal "solutions" to problems that don't The first issue: the potential liability of the software developers working on Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin XT, two contenders for the new fork of the Bitcoin platform code. Bitcoin XT was created by Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen in an attempt to aggressively increase the blocksize to 8MB. Roger Ver supported it, it never caught on. Around the same time he started Torrent clients are not actual people, but rather a method of downloading files that uses a peer-to-peer system. These clients give the digital world a faster way to get large files, such as movies. Depuis la création du Bitcoin en 2009 n’est pas la seule cryptomonnaie, car des crypto-monnaies concurrentes à Bitcoin ont été créées, à savoir Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Unlimited, Bitcoin Classic, Bitcoin Cash et Bitcoin Gold. Mise en garde. Tous les transactions effectuées avec le Bitcoin sont irréversibles.
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