Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? A analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). [Part 2]
Part 1 It's been a bit of time since the first post during which I believe things have crystallised further as to the intentions of the three primary bitcoin variants. I was going to go on a long winded journey to try to weave together the various bits and pieces to let the reader discern from themselves but there's simply too much material that needs to be covered and the effort that it would require is not something that I can invest right now. Firstly we must define what bitcoin actually is. Many people think of bitcoin as a unit of a digital currency like a dollar in your bank but without a physical substrate. That's kind of correct as a way to explain its likeness to something many people are familiar with but instead it's a bit more nuanced than that. If we look at a wallet from 2011 that has never moved any coins, we can find that there are now multiple "bitcoins" on multiple different blockchains. This post will discuss the main three variants which are Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV. In this respect many people are still hotly debating which is the REAL bitcoin variant and which bitcoins you want to be "investing" in. The genius of bitcoin was not in defining a class of non physical objects to send around. Why bitcoin was so revolutionary is that it combined cryptography, economics, law, computer science, networking, mathematics, etc. and created a protocol which was basically a rule set to be followed which creates a game of incentives that provides security to a p2p network to prevent double spends. The game theory is extremely important to understand. When a transaction is made on the bitcoin network your wallet essentially generates a string of characters which includes your public cryptographic key, a signature which is derived from the private key:pub key pair, the hash of the previous block and an address derived from a public key of the person you want to send the coins to. Because each transaction includes the hash of the previous block (a hash is something that will always generate the same 64 character string result from EXACTLY the same data inputs) the blocks are literally chained together. Bitcoin and the blockchain are thus defined in the technical white paper which accompanied the release client as a chain of digital signatures. The miners validate transactions on the network and compete with one another to detect double spends on the network. If a miner finds the correct solution to the current block (and in doing so is the one who writes all the transactions that have elapsed since the last block was found, in to the next block) says that a transaction is confirmed but then the rest of the network disagree that the transactions occurred in the order that this miner says (for double spends), then the network will reject the version of the blockchain that that miner is working on. In that respect the miners are incentivised to check each other's work and ensure the majority are working on the correct version of the chain. The miners are thus bound by the game theoretical design of NAKAMOTO CONSENSUS and the ENFORCES of the rule set. It is important to note the term ENFORCER rather than RULE CREATOR as this is defined in the white paper which is a document copyrighted by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Now if we look at the three primary variants of bitcoin understanding these important defining characteristics of what the bitcoin protocol actually is we can make an argument that the variants that changed some of these defining attributes as no longer being bitcoin rather than trying to argue based off market appraisal which is essentially defining bitcoin as a social media consensus rather than a set in stone rule set. BITCOIN CORE: On first examination Bitcoin Core appears to be the incumbent bitcoin that many are being lead to believe is the "true" bitcoin and the others are knock off scams. The outward stated rationale behind the bitcoin core variant is that computational resources, bandwidth, storage are scarce and that before increasing the size of each block to allow for more transactions we should be increasing the efficiency with which the data being fed in to a block is stored. In order to achieve this one of the first suggested implementations was a process known as SegWit (segregating the witness data). This means that when you construct a bitcoin transaction, in the header of the tx, instead of the inputs being public key and a signature + Hash + address(to), the signature data is moved outside of header as this can save space within the header and allow more transactions to fill the block. More of the history of the proposal can be read about here (bearing in mind that article is published by the bitcoinmagazine which is founded by ethereum devs Vitalik and Mihai and can't necessarily be trusted to give an unbiased record of events). The idea of a segwit like solution was proposed as early as 2012 by the likes of Greg Maxwell and Luke Dash Jnr and Peter Todd in an apparent effort to "FIX" transaction malleability and enable side chains. Those familiar with the motto "problem reaction solution" may understand here that the problem being presented may not always be an authentic problem and it may actually just be necessary preparation for implementing a desired solution. The real technical arguments as to whether moving signature data outside of the transaction in the header actually invalidates the definition of bitcoin as being a chain of digital signatures is outside my realm of expertise but instead we can examine the character of the individuals and groups involved in endorsing such a solution. Greg Maxwell is a hard to know individual that has been involved with bitcoin since its very early days but in some articles he portrays himself as portrays himself as one of bitcoins harshest earliest critics. Before that he worked with Mozilla and Wikipedia and a few mentions of him can be found on some old linux sites or such. He has no entry on wikipedia other than a non hyperlinked listing as the CTO of Blockstream. Blockstream was a company founded by Greg Maxwell and Adam Back, but in business registration documents only Adam Back is listed as the business contact but registered by James Murdock as the agent. They received funding from a number of VC firms but also Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman and there are suggestions that MIT media labs and the Digital Currency Initiative. For those paying attention Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman have links to Jeffrey Epstein and his offsider Ghislaine Maxwell. Ghislaine is the daughter of publishing tycoon and fraudster Robert Maxwell (Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch, a yiddish orthodox czech). It is emerging that the Maxwells are implicated with Mossad and involved in many different psyops throughout the last decades. Greg Maxwell is verified as nullc but a few months ago was outed using sock puppets as another reddit user contrarian__ who also admits to being Jewish in one of his comments as the former. Greg has had a colourful history with his roll as a bitcoin core developer successfully ousting two of the developers put there by Satoshi (Gavin Andreson and Mike Hearn) and being referred to by Andreson as a toxic troll with counterpart Samon Mow. At this point rather than crafting the narrative around Greg, I will provide a few links for the reader to assess on their own time:
Now I could just go on dumping more and more articles but that doesn't really weave it all together. Essentially it is very well possible that the 'FIX' of bitcoin proposed with SegWit was done by those who are moral reprobates who have been rubbing shoulders money launderers and human traffickers. Gregory Maxwell was removed from wikipedia, worked with Mozilla who donated a quarter of a million to MIT media labs and had relationship with Joi Ito, the company he founded received funding from people associated with Epstein who have demonstrated their poor character and dishonesty and attempted to wage toxic wars against those early bitcoin developers who wished to scale bitcoin as per the white paper and without changing consensus rules or signature structures. The argument that BTC is bitcoin because the exchanges and the market have chosen is not necessarily a logical supposition when the vast majority of the money that has flown in to inflate the price of BTC comes from a cryptographic USD token that was created by Brock Pierce (Might Ducks child stahollywood pedo scandal Digital Entertainment Network) who attended Jeffrey Epstein's Island for conferences. The group Tether who issues the USDT has been getting nailed by the New York Attorney General office with claims of $1.4 trillion in damages from their dodgey practices. Brock Pierce has since distanced himself from Tether but Blockstream still works closely with them and they are now exploring issuing tether on the ethereum network. Tether lost it's US banking partner in early 2017 before the monstrous run up for bitcoin prices. Afterwards they alleged they had full reserves of USD however, they were never audited and were printing hundreds of millions of dollars of tether each week during peak mania which was used to buy bitcoin (which was then used as collateral to issue more tether against the bitcoin they bought at a value they inflated). Around $30m in USDT is crossing between China to Russia daily and when some of the groups also related to USDT/Tether were raided they found them in possession of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit physical US bills. Because of all this it then becomes important to reassess the arguments that were made for the implementation of pegged sidechains, segregated witnesses and other second layer solutions. If preventing the bitcoin blockchain from bloating was the main argument for second layer solutions, what was the plan for scaling the data related to the records of transactions that occur on the second layer. You will then need to rely on less robust ways of securing the second layer than Proof Of Work but still have the same amount of data to contend with, unless there was plans all along for second layer solutions to enable records to be deleted /pruned to facilitate money laundering and violation of laws put in place to prevent banking secrecy etc. There's much more to it as well and I encourage anyone interested to go digging on their own in to this murky cesspit. Although I know very well what sort of stuff Epstein has been up to I have been out of the loop and haven't familiarised myself with everyone involved in his network that is coming to light. Stay tuned for part 3 which will be an analysis of the shit show that is the Bitcoin Cash variant...
When the Media Lab was founded 30 years ago, Nicholas Negroponte said that the Media Lab was about "demo or die" as opposed to "publish or perish" which represented a departure from the paper writing of academic to a more prototype and demo model. This fit well with the roots in architecture which also focuses on the atelier model of building things. This actually allows rigor at an interdisciplinary level that couldn't occur if participants across disciplines had to write an academic paper together. This worked very well for 30 years especially when a large percentage of the impact of the Media Lab was through influencing other organizations such as the sponsors of the Media Lab to create products such as guitar hero, the Kindle or LEGO Mindstorms.
However, with the diminishing cost of deploying things like websites or even hardware, researchers at the Media Lab are increasingly able to deploy directly. Last year, we change "demo or die" to deploy or die to signal a shift from just building prototypes (Nicholas actually said, "the demo only has to work once") to thinking about and actually deploying our work directly into the world.
And Joost Bonsen and Sandy Pentland teach a course called Development Ventures which is focused on creating venture businesses in developing countries and has been very successful: Link to d-lab.mit.edu
And there is a lot of stuff going on that I don't know.
So the strategy is to encourage global interaction and get out of the way and let people do it as well as support and nudge where it helps.
I think that there are probably a few people - mostly white men - for whom dropping out of college turned out to be exactly the right thing. I think that for the most part, a college degree will increase options for just about anyone, so I always try to convince my students - not just because it's now my job to - to complete their degrees. The people who should drop out, will drop out anyway and so anyone who can be convinced to not drop out, probably shouldn't.
In my case, it's hard to say. There is a total survivorship bias since it could just be luck that I turned out OK and you're not talking to the 99% of the people for whom it sucked because they couldn't get the job because they didn't have the degree.
My career choices would probably have been different, but I really don't think that you take my choices as any guide for how to live your own life since we're all pretty different... sorry about the non-answer here.
This is one big thing that that I have been pushing since I got to the Media Lab - to post more stuff to the Internet and share as much as possible. We're posting all of our videos and other things.
The reason is that the Internet allows people to see what we're doing and allows us to see what they're doing. This enables us to collaborate with people thinking about similar things or to avoid doing things that others are already doing or have done. One of the key things that we focus on is to NOT do things that others are already doing. This doesn't always work, but I think that as more and more work from across the world is available and searchable online, the less likely we see redundancy.
So for individuals who have similar ideas, I would suggest contacting the research group at the Media Lab that is working on the idea to see if there is a way to collaborate.
No. Interdisciplinary is when the chemist and the biologist talk to each other. Antidisciplinary is when you are between or beyond the disciplines.
When I think about the "space" that we've created, I like to think about a huge piece of paper that represents "all science." The disciplines are little black dots on this paper. The massive amounts of white space between the dots represent antidisciplinary space. Many people would like to play in this white space, but there is very little funding for this, and it's even harder to get a tenured positions without some sort of disciplinary anchor in one of the black dots.
And this is important because the lines between hardware, software, biology - they're blurring and almost everything interesting is actually antidisciplinary.
Yes, you're right. I would still say that we are more "antidisciplinary" than "interdisciplinary" in that although we do connect branches of knowledge, I think my premise is that there is knowledge that is missing from the traditional "branches" of the disciplines and we are actually trying to find the "gaps" or the areas not traditionally covered by disciplines well. Also, while we have many teams that involve more than one person, we try to have at least 2 orthogonal domains in each single person. The "inter" in "interdisciplinary" seems to focus too much on connecting between things rather than being the between itself.
If Bitcoin should use an increase in block size to increase the number of transactions per second is an important debate. More importantly, how this decision is made will be a good example of how the community of developers, entrepreneurs, miners, and users will continue to collaborate on major changes to bitcoin core. Over the last few months there has been a rich discussion through blog posts and open email chains. The MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative is happy to host an open forum where a discussion can take place in person and online with the goal of coming to a satisfactory conclusion by the participants. While it might take some trial and error to figure out exactly how this could work, we're happy to support the community in this way if they think it would be helpful to come to a conclusion on this topic and use this model as an example for future discussions.
1) On privacy: Bitcoin isn’t private. Financial privacy is really important. In the US, many think of privacy as a means for terrorists to hide, but in countries with governments that do not have an open society it is a powerful tool for the citizens to be able to protect their ability to dissent and have freedoms that we take for granted. I’m excited about the potential for technology like ZeroCash to revolutionize this space. The tricky part of any global protocol or network is that anything we do in one country ripples across the world and has unintended consequences. The key is balancing the needs of people in a huge variety of environments.
2) On Lightning: It’s a great idea. I’ve been thinking of Bitcoin as a layer on the internet stack, like TCP/IP. Protocols like lightning are like HTTP, making it easier and more accessible for the world.
I think that every major setback that I've had has made me stronger so in many ways - like a healthy immune system - without the challenges, I wouldn't have growth would be who I am. So first off, I don't see setbacks or stumbling blocks (as long ask they don't kill you) as negative things.
Probably the thing that set me back the most was when my mother died of cancer and it turned out that we had spent all of our money + a couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical bills. I ended up spending the next few years living in a pretty shitty place working for a pretty shitty guy digging myself out of the hole. At some level that built character, but I think it also provided me with the energy to get off my ass and do real work and start a real business so I didn't have to work for people I didn't like.
My biggest failure was probably the incubator that I built in 2000 in Japan called Neoteny. We were backed by some VCs who thought that a big full service incubator would be more successful than a fund so we built a big facility, hired a bunch of people (40+), raised a bunch of money and started investing in and incubating companies. A lot of this was driven by the VC and the market at the time where many incubators were going public at valuations that were many times the value of their portfolios. Soon this model fell out of favor of the market, the model didn't actually work that well, the VCs pushed us to shut down and I had to fire everyone and wind the company down, pay the remaining cash back to our investors and set up a skeleton team to manage the portfolio of investments.
We did some good things like invest in Six Apart that developed Movable Type which didn't end up being a great investment financially, but did help bring blogging to the world.
Although I view it as a massive failure on my part, almost all of my investors are still friends and many of them have continued to invest in my companies and my funds, in part because I think we were always honest and tried to make the right decisions for the employees as well as the shareholders.
Last updated: 2015-06-03 01:52 UTC This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
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