Ah the bitcoin bro's are just as delusional as they usually are.

@ghost_letters Just the normal moving of goal posts, misunderstanding on purpose and dishonest discussion tactics.

I swear for each day that goes it reminds me more and more of a religion that whole thing.

@sotolf I only know little about this stuff and what the advocates say about it, nevertheless tend to agrer on the cult like behavior.

However, one could probably say the same about a lot of topics that were once small and are now big. For instance, the idea to connect each PC into a single global net must have sounded similar stupid to most people in the early '90.

Let's see how it goes :)

@ghost_letters I don't see your connection between the internet and cryptocurrency to be honest. Networking and connecting people and pcs is something we have done since the beginning, cryptocurrency and blockchainl is a solution looking for a problem, and that is usually not the productive way to go about things.

I don't want to wait for the resource wasting thing to just go away, and that is why we should actively at least talk about it, maybe it can actually help if people aren't oblivious.

@sotolf Hm, wouldn't a global currency not also connect people via easier trading? (even so this is not the point I try to make. Of course the internet and cryptofoo can/may yield different kinds of benefits. Or none in the latter case)

I think there is already some push back on the resource waisting part. Of course more push back is even better, so yes we must talk about it. :)

@ghost_letters If it would be something that is stable, trustable, with small fees, and something strictly better than what we have, yes it would be, cryptocurrency (and bitcoin especially) is none of these :)

@sotolf Agreed.

But it might get to that point. Or implode like many others did before. Or do you think it (meaning blockchain like tech) can actually not reach this point (let's say at least not in one decade).

Would be interesed in hearing what are the fundamental flaws.


@ghost_letters @sotolf To answer the question about the fundamental flaws, a distributed database (such as a blockchain), is inherently inefficient compared to a centralized database.

To read or write to a centralized database:
1. Send your request
2. Authenticate
3. Authorize
4. Do the request
5. Get confirmation back

Doing this on a blockchain wouldn't fit in a toot.

This tradeoff can be worth it in low trust environments. The centralized approach requires a custodian that all parties trust

@urusan @ghost_letters Thank you for filling in where my knowledge wasn't really good enough to give a good answer :)

@sotolf @urusan
This is a valid point. With the same argument facebook could lobby against the fediverse or other non centralized platform. So this argument is valid but pretty dangerous.

@ghost_letters @urusan How is this dangerous? And could you please enligten me how the fediverse is less efficient than something like facebook?

@ghost_letters @sotolf Fedi isn't actually fully decentralized, it's federated.

Fedi is more like a chain of small banks, while Facebook is like one huge central bank.

Regardless, you can still use the centralized model within each small bank/Fedi instance.

Instead, trust becomes the primary issue, which you can see in Fedi with the constant warring over federation and defederation between instances. Untrustworthy behavior gets an instance kicked out of the network.

@urusan @ghost_letters So in effect it's actually more effective, since you have more smaller databases instead of one giant one ;) And way better for the users ;)

@ghost_letters @sotolf However, that's pretty much the extent of the truly fundamental problems.

I guess there's also the fact that there's no privacy. Everyone has access to everything all the time. That said, the current system has a quasi-solution which makes it pseudo-anonymous, which is usually good enough, and some of the more paranoid solutions may eventually be able to do better.

Whether this is actually a problem also depends on the application.

@ghost_letters @sotolf Also, specific to blockchain, there's no (good) way to delete data from the ledger.

People have already uploaded illegal material to the Bitcoin blockchain, and it could be used as a legal angle to attack individual distributed Bitcoin users as well as Bitcoin institutions at any time, it just hasn't been utilized (yet) for whatever reason.

This may also be one of the reasons China decided to crack down recently.

The EU's right to be forgotten laws also clash with this.

@urusan @ghost_letters That's something I haven't even thought about and another great point :)

@urusan @ghost_letters @sotolf

> it just hasn't been utilized (yet) for whatever reason.

Yes it has. Plenty of times. Honey badger just doesn't care.

@jeffcliff @ghost_letters @sotolf That's interesting, and also makes sense.

I don't follow the cryptocurrency news all that closely, so it seems very likely to me that I would miss individual legal cases where this was used.

When I said that I was thinking about it not yet being used to launch an attack on the whole system, even though the pretext exists.

@ghost_letters @sotolf In my opinion, blockchain would do two things really well:
1. History-chain: the historical record is currently fairly malleable, and the properties of the blockchain make it pretty ideal as a way to store history.
2. Trust-net: Instead of building a currency directly on the blockchain, it makes more sense to build a trust-building system on the blockchain, and using that to ensure trust. This is a major trend in cryptocurrency already with "off chain" transactions.

Huh, what do you mean with 'uploaded illegal material to the blockchain'? As far as my understanding goes, the information added to transactions is fixed, there's no way to 'upload' files or sth. (I still see your point about the right to be forgotten, though it's no 'absolute' in any case; contracts & finad can already be exempted from this right)
@ghost_letters @sotolf

@keunes @ghost_letters @sotolf en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Script
A person can add arbitrary data into this script field. Assuming the script is validated, one can still write a valid script that encodes the target data.

It's expensive and inefficient, but there's nothing stopping an individual from doing this.

It's definitely possible to write a cryptocurrency that doesn't allow this, but the 2 most popular cryptocurrencies have scripting as a feature.

@keunes @ghost_letters @sotolf Also, it's likely possible to upload arbitrary data to stricter cryptocurrency systems, it would just be even more elaborate and expensive.

If you set up several wallets with specific names/IDs, you could make transactions between them that encode your data.

Even if you are really locked down, you can encode binary by doing legit transactions in a reliable pattern. Like maybe you send money daily at 1pm for a 0 and 5pm for a 1.

Thanks for the explanation! I had forgotten about the scripts.
> Even if you are really locked down, you can encode binary by doing legit transactions in a reliable pattern. Like maybe you send money daily at 1pm for a 0 and 5pm for a 1.
This is a bit far-fetched, no? Such 'morse' could be done with any kind of digital payment system. In our current banking system simple messages are even possible (different from scripts, ofc).

@keunes Yeah, that's kinda the point. It's a potential weakness of any system, but in most systems the person administering the database could be asked to delete the information permanently.

A blockchain cannot* delete past information, no matter how much the current administrators want to. Even if they are under intense legal pressure and face severe penalties, they just can't.

This presents a unique weakness for blockchains to operate legally, as anyone can criminalize one.

@keunes *Technically speaking, there is a method to permanently delete data from a blockchain, which is to do a hard fork.

However, by doing so, you are basically creating a new cryptocurrency. The hope is that most people follow the fork, rather than the original.

Also, this no-rewrite property is a feature, not a bug, from the perspective of the original creators of the system. It is working as intended when information cannot be altered or buried through legal means.

@keunes Anyway, the point is that the design of the blockchain elevates this kind of attack from a meaningless trick to a serious issue that can be used to serve a wide variety of agendas, from competitors trying to take each other down to uneven enforcement being used as a powerful stick.

I'm also assuming we have illegal information laws, but currently we have plenty, especially when the information isn't promptly removed.

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