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

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2016 22:07:31 +0000
Cc: Fabio Barone <holon.earth@gmail.com>, Web Payments <public-webpayments@w3.org>, Interledger Community Group <public-interledger@w3.org>
Message-Id: <4559D741-0215-44FB-8D4C-3AEB82419E91@bblfish.net>
To: Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com>

> On 27 Jan 2016, at 21:08, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com> wrote:
> 
>> At the same time Tony Arcieri who is an expert in cryptograph argues that even though this
>> may doom the current bitcoin algorithm this does not doom the whole concept. In the second
>> part of his article "The Death of Bitcoin" he points to a number of up and coming algorithms
>> that could be much more energy efficient
>> 
>> https://tonyarcieri.com/the-death-of-bitcoin <https://tonyarcieri.com/the-death-of-bitcoin>
> Tony is still somewhat new to the world of blockchains, and it’s interesting to watch him explore it as he spent a significant part of his time laughing and those he called “blockchainiacs”. Well, it seems he’s starting to become one himself now. :P
> 
> The alternatives he points to are not superior to Bitcoin.
> 
> SCP, for example, is completely broken in terms of being usable as a decentralized payment system because it has no way to reconcile forks once they occur.
> 
> Tendermint is certainly good, but I don’t think it’s good enough to power a global currency. It’s great for smaller projects though.
> 
> Hyperledger is not a cryptocurrency by a consensus algorithm, and while I haven’t looked at in detail I suspect similar issues to either SCP or Tendermint might apply.

Is it not the case that all of these technolgies contain 2 parts:

 A). the data structure ( eg. blockchain)
 B). the consensus algorithm: which allows a digital medium where everything is easy to copy, to come to an agreement on what actually is the case ( who paid what to whome, who signed what contract, etc...)

There can't be anything magical in A) as that's covered by the semantic web [1], which provides the foundation for any possible data structure, being based as it is on mathematical logic.

All that can be new is the consensus algorithms. And when I say "all" I don't mean to minimise the importance of that.

Henry

[1] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webpayments/2016Jan/0006.html <https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webpayments/2016Jan/0006.html>
> 
> The VICE article you linked to was written by someone who doesn’t have a very good understanding of Bitcoin (as you can tell by the various corrects they ended up having to make at the bottom of the article).
> 
> Cheers,
> Greg
> 
>> On Jan 27, 2016, at 10:05 AM, Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net <mailto:henry.story@bblfish.net>> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>>> On 27 Jan 2016, at 02:33, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com <mailto: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/ <https://fixingtao.com/2016/01/point-by-point-response-to-mike-hearns-final-bitcoin-post/>
>> Thanks for the article, which does undermine Mike Hearns case.
>> But there are other cases that have been made too, especially with regard to the energy consumption
>> of the current bitcoin blockchain. 
>> 
>> See this article 
>>   http://motherboard.vice.com/read/bitcoin-is-unsustainable <http://motherboard.vice.com/read/bitcoin-is-unsustainable>
>> 
>> At the same time Tony Arcieri who is an expert in cryptograph argues that even though this
>> may doom the current bitcoin algorithm this does not doom the whole concept. In the second
>> part of his article "The Death of Bitcoin" he points to a number of up and coming algorithms
>> that could be much more energy efficient
>> 
>> https://tonyarcieri.com/the-death-of-bitcoin <https://tonyarcieri.com/the-death-of-bitcoin>
>> 
>> Clearly this is a huge research project. Add to that the very intruiging possibility of
>> having an RDF distributed ledger fusion and I'd say the space is still wide open, and
>> very exciting. 
>> 
>> Henry
>> 
>>> 
>>> Cheers,
>>> Greg
>>> 
>>>> On Jan 26, 2016, at 12:59 PM, Fabio Barone <holon.earth@gmail.com <mailto: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 22:08:02 UTC

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