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Re: Blockchain, block size and interledger (was: How do bank payments actually work?)

From: Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca>
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 10:27:32 -0500
Message-ID: <CAKcXiSr8vNWB2yCfPGu2QAOiGP7E2neMoiXh+vQWKNwi38T3tQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Interledger Community Group <public-interledger@w3.org>
Cc: Web Payments <public-webpayments@w3.org>
Does the interledger goal require something similar to the role that the
not-for-profit Linux Foundation plays for Linux Standard Base?
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/lsb
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Standard_Base

Joseph Potvin

On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 10:15 AM, Stefan Thomas <stefan@ripple.com> wrote:

> There is a fundamental tension in developing any blockchain, which I've
> felt both in my days as a Bitcoin developer and now at Ripple. And that
> tension is that you have to design one single system for a very diverse
> user base that is coming at it with different ideologies, different
> priorities and usage patterns. Note that I'm not talking about differences
> in business logic - that might be handled ok with smart contracts - but
> differences in architectural choices like whether to prioritize latency vs.
> decentralization.
>
> Bitcoin is - and has always been - under that tension. Our hope is that
> Interledger can alleviate some of it. If merchants aren't accepting
> payments on one specific ledger, but rather "Interledger payments" - that
> means that every ledger is equally accepted everywhere. If I agree with the
> values and choices of the Bitcoin community I keep my money there, if I
> prefer PayPal I can use that - or I can even make my own ledger. So long as
> there is someone (anyone!) with a foot in both worlds (a connector) it
> works.
>
> With ILP, we're essentially asking the community to make a decision: Do
> you want everyone in the world to agree to use Bitcoin or do you want to
> add an abstraction layer (ILP) on top to allow people to choose a ledger?
> There are definitely advantages to the former - it totally eliminates the
> need for currency conversion for example. But it comes at the cost of
> agreeing with everything related to Bitcoin - how the mining works i.e. how
> consensus is achieved, how the currency is issued/distributed, how the
> script interpreter works, what the blockchain format is, etc.
>
> In order to transact via ILP all we have to agree on is a cryptographic
> primitive (like SHA-2) and basic escrow semantics (proposed, prepared,
> executed, rejected). That's the minimum required to make payments
> interoperable and it leaves everyone free to innovate on better, faster,
> smarter, more secure, more local and more scalable ledgers rather than
> fighting over the technical direction of the one ledger to rule them all.
>
> - Stefan
>
> On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 1:03 AM, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com> wrote:
>
>> Hey Fabio,
>>
>> No sweat!
>>
>> if it's even decentralized by any real means.
>>
>>
>> You might find this video handy:
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S1IqaSLrq8
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Greg
>>
>> On Jan 26, 2016, at 8:48 PM, Fabio Barone <holon.earth@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I apologize.
>> I fell victim of an unchecked, unresearched and unquestioned article.
>>
>> @Greg, thank you for taking the time to write down your response to Mike.
>> I first was a bit put off by your one-line response, but your effort
>> going into your article more than fully compensates it.
>>
>> I never should have been starting this conversation anyway.
>>
>> I never owned bitcoins (I do accept bitcoins on my blog but nobody ever
>> cared, but that's a different issue and may be related to my writing).
>> I don't like much bitcoin as a financial instrument, because it has the
>> same capitalist-greedy fundations as the conventional money system - just
>> without intermediares.
>> I don't like the fact that mining myself is close to utterly useless,
>> because server farms of some wealthy greedy chap will outperform me by
>> far (so the decentralization argument is somewhat put in context...),, and
>> thus
>> because the centralization of the network in just a few hands can indeed
>> become (or IS?) a real threat
>> (and all this explains why I fell victim that quickly - I suppose this
>> applies somewhat to many folks eagerly passing around Mike's version).
>>
>> Maybe I'll never grow up from my utopian dreams of a "better" world
>> (whatever that is). Welcome to reality.
>>
>> My post was fueled by genuine interest in the blockchain itself and its
>> potential, by my admiration for the technology, not bitcoin.
>>
>> At the same time I am saddened,
>> because I don't have the time to read all the links and the sub-links and
>> the sub-links in the sub-links (reinforcing the statement that I should
>> maybe not talk about it then, which saddens me even more),
>> because after 20 years in software development I am not able to
>> understand this technology as much as I would like to,
>> because I now can't even discern if I should more be concerned about the
>> developers, or the big miners, if it's even decentralized by any real means.
>>
>> I honor all the work being done and the undoubtedly many well-intentioned
>> and hard-working folks involved.
>>
>>
>> And apologize for wasting people's time up to this point. Never mind.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> 2016-01-26 22:14 GMT-05:00 Pindar Wong <pindar.wong@gmail.com>:
>>
>>> +1
>>>
>>> There's no collapse but the technical dimensions of scaling bitcoin are
>>> more involved that just changing of a constant.
>>>
>>> See
>>>
>>> scalingbitcoin.org
>>>
>>> for some of the technical presentations if you're interested.
>>>
>>> p.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> What do people here think about the potentially incumbent collapse of
>>>> bitcoin as a crypto-currency itself and the block-size issue?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I think this BS and you should stop spreading it.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> https://fixingtao.com/2016/01/point-by-point-response-to-mike-hearns-final-bitcoin-post/
>>>>
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Greg
>>>>
>>>> On Jan 26, 2016, at 12:59 PM, Fabio Barone <holon.earth@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> As suggested, I am starting a new thread for this topic.
>>>> I apologize if I am coming over as verbose and/or cluttering your
>>>> inboxes.
>>>>
>>>> ****
>>>>
>>>> What do people here think about the potentially incumbent collapse of
>>>> bitcoin as a crypto-currency itself and the block-size issue?
>>>>
>>>> The question is related to the blockchain itself, not bitcoin.
>>>> Block size is ultimately a "political" decision of the community, and
>>>> there appears to be a scism because of that.
>>>> Not wanting to discuss that in itself (it's probably being discussed
>>>> elsewhere),
>>>>
>>>> but what do you guys think this means for blockchain technology itself?
>>>>
>>>> Will we see a proliferation of different blockchains, making ILP even
>>>> more interesting and important?
>>>>
>>>> Could this be a blow to blockchain technology itself (unlikely IMHO),
>>>> because limitations of this technology are becoming apparent?
>>>>
>>>> What developments do you foresee happening in this field, also maybe
>>>> not underestimating a potential collapse of the global economy this year?
>>>>
>>>> On a side note, I like Ethereum's basic tenets but I am worried about a
>>>> lock-in of some sorts...
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
Received on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 15:28:20 UTC

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