Bitcoin - an overview ScienceDirect Topics

My Collection of information for when someone states where does Bitcoin, or Crypto-currencies derive their value

Let’s start with some basics first then we can move forward. Your question is where does Bitcoin derive its value from? Well that is a multifaceted answer. Its Utility creates the demand, plus it has a relatively high scarcity, but that is an over-simplified answer. A few other factors need to be addressed. The first point is the security of the block-chain, and the second is the openness of the block-chain which is derived from the public ledger. It literally records every transaction for public records which are available to any, and everyone to review. This allows it to stand up to public scrutiny, and a thorough technical analysis.
We will start here for you. This is the basis of the whole concept.
A Block-chain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, block-chains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. A block-chain is defined as an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two, or more parties efficiently and in a verifiable, and permanent way. For use as a distributed ledger, a block-chain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.
Block-chains are secure by design and are an example of a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault tolerance. Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved with a block-chain. This makes block-chains potentially suitable for the recording of events, medical records, and other records management activities, such as identity management, transaction processing, documenting provenance, or food traceability. The invention of the block-chain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has been the inspiration for other applications. Block-chain also has incorporated the Merkle Tree, and Fast Merkle Trees. A Hash tree or Merkle tree is a tree in which every leaf node is labelled with a data block and every non-leaf node is labelled with the cryptographic hash of the labels of its child nodes. Hash trees allow efficient and secure verification of the contents of large data structures. Hash trees are a generalization of hash lists and hash chains. Demonstrating that a leaf node is a part of a given binary hash tree requires computing a number of hashes proportional to the logarithm of the number of leaf nodes of the tree; this contrasts with hash lists, where the number is proportional to the number of leaf nodes itself. Hash trees can be used to verify any kind of data stored, handled and transferred in and between computers. Currently the main use of hash trees is to make sure that data blocks received from other peers in a peer-to-peer network are received undamaged and unaltered, and even to check that the other peers do not lie and send fake blocks. Suggestions have been made to use hash trees in trusted computing systems. Hash trees are also used in hash-based cryptography.
Hash trees are used in the IPFS, Btrfs and ZFS file systems (to counter data degradation), BitTorrent protocol, Dat protocol, Apache Wave protocol, the Bitcoin and Ethereum peer-to-peer networks, the Certificate Transparency framework, and a number of NoSQL.
Whether you understand it, or not we will be moving more to this as a standard for all most all industries. Yes, the United States is looking at getting rid of Social Security numbers in favor of your identity being stored on the block-chain, in fact it is already in the works as they are in the research of feasibility stage.
What you need to is familiarize yourself with the following regarding block-chain protocols.
Proof of Work (POW) A Proof of Work is a piece of data which is difficult (costly, time-consuming) to produce but easy for others to verify and which satisfies certain requirements. Producing a proof of work can be a random process with low probability so that a lot of trial and error is required on average before a valid proof of work is generated. Bitcoin uses the Hash-cash proof of work system.
One application of this idea is using Hash-cash as a method to prevent email spam, requiring a proof of work on the email's contents (including the to address), on every email. Legitimate emails will be able to do the work to generate the proof easily (not much work is required for a single email), but mass spam emailers will have difficulty generating the required proofs (which would require huge computational resources).
Hash-cash proofs of work are used in Bitcoin for block generation. In order for a block to be accepted by network participants, miners must complete a proof of work which covers all of the data in the block. The difficulty of this work is adjusted so as to limit the rate at which new blocks can be generated by the network to one every 10 minutes. Due to the very low probability of successful generation, this makes it unpredictable which worker computer in the network will be able to generate the next block.
For a block to be valid it must hash to a value less than the current target; this means that each block indicates that work has been done generating it. Each block contains the hash of the preceding block, thus each block has a chain of blocks that together contain a large amount of work. Changing a block (which can only be done by making a new block containing the same predecessor) requires regenerating all successors and redoing the work they contain. This protects the block chain from tampering.
The most widely used proof-of-work scheme is based on SHA-256 and was introduced as a part of Bitcoin. Some other hashing algorithms that are used for proof-of-work include Scrypt, Blake-256, CryptoNight, HEFTY1, Quark, SHA-3, scrypt-jane.
Proof of Stake (POS) Proof-of-stake (POS) is a type of algorithm by which a cryptocurrency block-chain network aims to achieve distributed consensus. In POS-based cryptocurrencies the creator of the next block is chosen via various combinations of random selection and wealth or age (i.e. the stake).In general, a proof of stake algorithm looks as follows. The block-chain keeps track of a set of validators, and anyone who holds the block-chain's base cryptocurrency (in Ethereum's case, ether) can become a validator by sending a special type of transaction that locks up their ether into a deposit. The process of creating and agreeing to new blocks is then done through a consensus algorithm that all current validators can participate in.
There are many kinds of consensus algorithms, and many ways to assign rewards to validators who participate in the consensus algorithm, so there are many "flavors" of proof of stake. From an algorithmic perspective, there are two major types: chain-based proof of stake and BFT-style proof of stake.
In chain-based proof of stake, the algorithm pseudo-randomly selects a validator during each time slot (every period of 10 seconds might be a time slot), and assigns that validator the right to create a single block, and this block must point to some previous block (normally the block at the end of the previously longest chain), and so over time most blocks converge into a single constantly growing chain.
In BFT-style proof of stake, validators are randomly assigned the right to propose blocks, but agreeing on which block is canonical is done through a multi-round process where every validator sends a "vote" for some specific block during each round, and at the end of the process all (honest and online) validators permanently agree on whether or not any given block is part of the chain. Note that blocks may still be chained together; the key difference is that consensus on a block can come within one block, and does not depend on the length or size of the chain after it. This is what Ethereum is moving to later in 2018.
Advantages of POS over POW No need to consume large quantities of electricity in order to secure a block-chain ( it's estimated that both Bitcoin and Ethereum burn over $1 million worth of electricity and hardware costs per day as part of their consensus mechanism). Because of the lack of high electricity consumption, there is not as much need to issue as many new coins in order to motivate participants to keep participating in the network. It may theoretically even be possible to have negative net issuance, where a portion of transaction fees are "burned" and so the supply goes down over time. Proof of stake opens the door to a wider array of techniques that use game-theoretic mechanism design in order to better discourage centralized cartels from forming and, if they do form, from acting in ways that are harmful to the network. Reduced centralization risks, as economies of scale are much less of an issue. $10 million of coins will get you exactly 10 times higher returns than $1 million of coins, without any additional disproportionate gains because at the higher level you can afford better mass-production equipment. Ability to use economic penalties to make various forms of 51% attacks vastly more expensive to carry out than proof of work.
Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) Delegated Proof-of-Stake, on the other hand, works slightly differently. It is a more efficient PoS algorithm altogether, and seemingly provides more decentralization when it comes to issuing stake rewards to more people. Moreover, DPOS provides reliably confirmed transactions on the networks that implement this technology. If it were to be added to bitcoin at some point, it could potentially speed up transaction times, even though it would add inflation to the ecosystem as well.
Under the hood, DPOS uses a reputation system and real-time voting to achieve consensus. To be more specific, a panel of trusted parties has to be established, with all of its members eligible to create blocks and prevent non-trusted parties from participating. Delegates, the parties responsible for creating blocks, are unable to change transaction details. However, they can prevent specific transactions from being included in the next network block. This seemingly requires a fair bit of trust, which makes the concept look far less appealing.
However, there is a caveat. Any transaction not included in the next block, or a block failing to create, will mean the next network block is twice the size. In a way, this prevents malicious intent to block certain transactions or blocks being created in the allotted time period. All it does is perhaps slightly delay said transaction or block, but it is seemingly impossible to prevent inclusion and creation in the long run.
Moreover, anyone who behaves in a nefarious way will have their behavior exposed to the public. Community members of the DPOS-capable currencies can vote to have said person removed as a delegate altogether. It appears as if cheating under DPOS rules is not only impossible, but it is not in anybody’s best interest to do so either. It is equally possible to have more or fewer delegates as part of the network, although that may not necessarily be beneficial either. It is always possible to change the number of delegates, though, which is an important factor to keep in mind.
It is also worth mentioning delegates in a DPOS ecosystem are paid for the creation of blocks and inclusion of transactions. However, the delegates can use these funds to pay for marketing or lobbying efforts, which benefit the exposure of the cryptocurrency network as a whole. Network stakeholders determine how much delegates are paid for their efforts.
Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) The dBFT (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) algorithm
Consensus is about trying to maintain one version of truth. Over time we have transactions that we want to record in this ledger (book of truth). Because block-chains run decentralized around the world, and they receive different transactions at different times, they can often disagree about what is truth.
The key is to get consensus one way or another, otherwise all sorts of bad things can happen (double spending).
dBFT Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance is a fancy and cool name for a solution to getting eventual consensus under certain conditions.
The condition is really simple: as long as less than 1/3 of bookkeeper nodes are BAD actors, you can get eventual consensus and everyone is happy.
That's the main thing to remember, and I'll explain why 1/3 and not 1/4 or any other fraction.
An Analogy - Painting the walls A King has decided to paint the walls of his castle. He's decided it is either going to be Green (G) or Black (B). He doesn't mind which of the two but he wants consistency throughout the kingdom. And he wants all of his sons and daughters to agree on the color.
So he calls his four painters to come over and sends a signed message to his sons and daughters: I am getting my painters to redecorate my walls. I am torn between Green and Black. To resolve this, I want you, my beloved sons and daughters, to agree on the color and tell my painters and they will paint my walls. As soon as a painter hears from you and you can prove that 2/3 of my family agree on a color, she will start painting that color. Good luck.
The painters are all contactable by any of the sons and daughters. However, due to fighting between the family, the sons and daughters don't all talk to each other directly. Instead they pass messages between them. They all connected, just not directly.
Some of the family is evil and they want to get at least one of the painters to paint the wrong color. The family discuss and decide on the following protocol: 1. The oldest member of the family is elected speaker. He or she will communicate the chosen color with their signature.
Everyone will communicate that color to everyone else (until everyone is informed.) along with their signatures. If you hear from 2/3 of people the same color, then you can call any or all of the painters and tell them. If not, wait for some time and then elect the next oldest member as the speaker and repeat.
These signatures are magic and cannot be forged, and also are without a doubt proof that the person did sign it. Proving consensus protection.
With this setup, we can now prove that as long as less than a 1/3 of the family are evil, it is impossible for any of the painters to get a different message to the others and thereby paint the walls inconsistently.
The proof goes like this. Imagine that the evil members of the family belong to a secret clan F and have managed to insert themselves in between the other family members such that the rest of the family is split into two groups, R1 and R2. R1 members can talk to each other and to F but they can't talk directly to R2. And the same for R2. So F is in control here as they can control what information flows from R1 to R2 and vice versa.
In order for them to exact chaos, they need to get 2/3 of the signatures (including theirs) to be Green and Black. Remember, they can sign Green and pass that message to one person and also sign Black and pass that message to another person.
The next bit is really easy. In order to get 2/3 of the signatures, we need the size of F and R1 (the number of people in those two groups) to be >= 2/3 of the total. We also need that to be true for F and R2. That way R1 members think that it's green (for example) and the other group think it's black and they tell the painters and it all goes wrong.
However, because F is less than a 1/3 (remember, 2/3 people are honest), then it's impossible for BOTH F+R1 and F+R2 to be >= 2/3 x N. By using the fact that F+R1+R2 = N (the total number in the family) and a bit of algebraic rearrangement, you can prove that to get two separate consensus you requires F >= 1/3. Ta da - that's impossible as F < 1/3.
dBFT doesn't guarantee consensus in the sense that it's possible the messaging network is broken and people just can't talk to each other. But it gives protection guarantees that if you do reach consensus you can't then reach some other different consensus later. As long as the bad actors are less than a 1/3 of the bookkeepers (the Family), then everything is all good. This is the important part of ensuring the integrity of the system going forward.
Now that we have stated that You will need to read about the following.
Consensus Nodes (Bookkeeper Nodes) *See dBFT section
Master Nodes *See Full Node, but used in a POS block-chain. These also pay out fees to you for running a Master Node.
Full Nodes These are usually POW block-chains
Full nodes download every block and transaction and check them against Bitcoin's core consensus rules. Here are examples of consensus rules, though there are many more:
· Blocks may only create a certain number of bitcoins. (Currently 12.5 BTC per block.)
· Transactions must have correct signatures for the bitcoins being spent.
· Transactions/blocks must be in the correct data format.
· Within a single block-chain, a transaction output cannot be double-spent.
If a transaction or block violates the consensus rules, then it is absolutely rejected, even if every other node on the network thinks that it is valid. This is one of the most important characteristics of full nodes: they do what's right no matter what. For full nodes, miners actually have fairly limited power: they can only reorder or remove transactions, and only by expending a lot of computing power. A powerful miner is able to execute some serious attacks, but because full nodes rely on miners only for a few things, miners could not completely change or destroy Bitcoin.
Nodes that have different consensus rules are actually using two different networks/currencies. Changing any of the consensus rules requires a hard fork, which can be thought of as creating a new currency and having everyone move to it. Consensus rules are different from policy rules, which specify how a node or miner prioritizes or discourages certain things. Policy rules can be changed freely, and different nodes can have different policy rules. Because all full nodes must use exactly the same consensus rules in order to remain compatible with each other, even duplicating bugs and oddities in the original consensus rules, creating a full node from scratch is extremely difficult and dangerous. It is therefore recommended that everyone who wishes to run a full node use software based on the reference client, which is the only client guaranteed to behave correctly.
At minimum, a full node must download every transaction that has ever taken place, all new transactions, and all block headers. Additionally, full nodes must store information about every unspent transaction output until it is spent. By default full nodes are inefficient in that they download each new transaction at least twice, and they store the entire block chain (>60 GB) forever, even though only the unspent transaction outputs (<2 GB) are required.
Again to give you a slightly different over-simplified answer Bitcoin’s value is derived from the energy it cost to run the block-chain whether its coal-powered, hydro-powered, natural gas powered, or nuclear reactor-powered electricity.
Will Bitcoin be replaced by another block-chain as the reserve standard? Well it’s a possibility, but not likely any time soon. Most new Alt-coins are here to Compliment Bitcoin. Why do I say this? Well the goal is a Decentralized Smart Economy with the least amount of Centralized control possible. The Lightning Network integrates Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Vertcoin.
Bitcoin has 21,000,000 coins when they are finally fully released. This requires ASIC Miners a rather expensive, and specialized Computer. The block times are ten minutes. These for the older versions will still run about $20,000. It may have changed a little since I last looked, but the cutting edge ones will be much more.
Litecoin has 84,000,000 coins when they are finally fully released. This requires ASIC Miners a rather expensive, and specialized Computer. The block times are 2.5 minutes. It’s an improved clone of Bitcoin.
Vertcoin has 84,000,000 coins when they are finally fully released. The average Joe can mine this with a good graphics card. The block times are 2.5 minutes. It’s an modified clone of Litecoin.
Ethereum Is a Smart contract platform. It has many uses cases. Too many to list. This will be moved to a POS block-chain.
NEO Is a Smart contract platform. It has many uses cases. Too many to list. This has a lot of things in common with Ethereum, but at the same time it doesn’t. This uses the dBFT system, and has more common programming languages for Smart Contracts.
ARK this is a Smart Bridge ecosystem. It’s aim is to build bridges to other block-chains. Its aim is to be the hub of this new block-chain economy. Ark has bridged to Bitcoin, and also to Ethereum. They have plans for NEO, and Monero as well in the future. ARK has many other use cases I haven’t discussed, and don’t have time to right now.
These very originally made to compete with each other, but have found ways to coexist, but are also still be competitive with each other at the same time. I have kept this section short. I could spend many more pages writing about these Cryptocurrencies, and many more. These are the building blocks for the Smart Economy.
This is what Bitcoin, and all of the Alt-coins were brought about to fix.
· People used to pay each other in gold and silver. Difficult to transport. Difficult to divide.
· Paper money was invented. A claim to gold in a bank vault. Easier to transport and divide.
· Banks gave out more paper money than they had gold in the vault. They ran “fractional reserves”. A real money maker. But every now and then, banks collapsed because of runs on the bank.
· Central banking was invented. Central banks would be lenders of last resort. Runs on the bank were thus mitigated by banks guaranteeing each other’s deposits through a central bank. The risk of a bank run was not lowered. Its frequency was diminished and its impact was increased. After all, banks remained basically insolvent in this fractional reserve scheme.
· Banks would still get in trouble. But now, if one bank got in sufficient trouble, they would all be in trouble at the same time. Governments would have to step in to save them.
· All ties between the financial system and gold were severed in 1971 when Nixon decided that the USD would no longer be exchangeable for a fixed amount of gold. This exacerbated the problem, because there was now effectively no limit anymore on the amount of paper money that banks could create.
· From this moment on, all money was created as credit. Money ceased to be supported by an asset. When you take out a loan, money is created and lent to you. Banks expect this freshly minted money to be returned to them with interest. Sure, banks need to keep adequate reserves. But these reserves basically consist of the same credit-based money. And reserves are much lower than the loans they make.
· This led to an explosion in the money supply. The Federal Reserve stopped reporting M3 in 2006. But the ECB currently reports a yearly increase in the supply of the euro of about 5%.
· This leads to a yearly increase in prices. The price increase is somewhat lower than the increase in the money supply. This is because of increased productivity. Society gets better at producing stuff cheaper all the time. So, in absence of money creation you would expect prices to drop every year. That they don’t is the effect of money creation.
· What remains is an inflation rate in the 2% range.
· Banks have discovered that they can siphon off all the productivity increase + 2% every year, without people complaining too much. They accomplish this currently by increasing the money supply by 5% per year, getting this money returned to them at an interest.
· Apart from this insidious tax on society, banks take society hostage every couple of years. In case of a financial crisis, banks need bailouts or the system will collapse.
· Apart from these problems, banks and governments are now striving to do away with cash. This would mean that no two free men would be able to exchange money without intermediation by a bank. If you believe that to transact with others is a fundamental right, this should scare you.
· The absence of sound money was at the root of the problem. We were force-fed paper money because there were no good alternatives. Gold and silver remain difficult to use.
· When it was tried to launch a private currency backed by precious metals (Liberty dollar), this initiative was shut down because it undermined the U.S. currency system. Apparently, a currency alternative could only thrive if “nobody” launched it and if they was no central point of failure.
· What was needed was a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. This was what Satoshi Nakamoto described in 2008. It was a response to all the problems described above. That is why he labeled the genesis block with the text: “03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”. Bitcoin was meant to be an alternative to our current financial system.
To answer you on if this is a bubble. I personally do not see it that way at the moment. There will always be corrections in Crypto, or any field of Investing. Yes we have seen an unprecedented meteoric rise in cryptocurrencies there will be severe corrections in the future, but there will not be a ninety-nine percent crash like you are stating unless there is another Great Depression, or severe economic collapse. Cryptocurrencies are currently the greatest potential wealth equalizer around the world.
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This week in Bitcoin - May 18th, 2020 4/9/14 - BTCJam, Mark Karpeles avoids US, eGifter & GoCoin, Bitcoin ATMs A History of Bitcoin’s Predecessors, Dollarization, and Stablecoins with Nic Carter Learning about blockchain India Legalizes Bitcoin, CashFusion Fundraising Over 70%, New Hardware Wallet with SLP Token Support

Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money … Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. r/Bitcoin. log in sign up. User account menu. 19. I predict that the U.S. Government will attempt to shutdown BitCoin by bringing cases against BitCoin miners for money laundering. Close. 19. Posted by. u/BobbyLarken. 8 years ago ... Another major concern regarding Bitcoin is its use to launder money and finance terrorist activity. These concerns were stoked especially after the Liberty Reserve, a private and centralized digital currency was shut down on money laundering concerns (BBC News, 2013). It is important to remember, however, that bitcoins are like money, and money ... Then after the next halving after that, it will go down to 1 to 2%. Then, next halving it will be even more scarce than that. So then, you have to consider what people are going to think about decades from now. This is a multi-decade phenomenon. Well, they may well prefer to store value within Bitcoin because it’s better than their alternative of keeping it in some other money. Introduction. Bitcoin, also known as a decentralized virtual currency (DVC), [1] is regulated differently in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Canada, and the United States, and represents a vastly underdeveloped area of the law. No country has currently backed Bitcoin. Launched in 2009, and founded by Satoshi Nakamoto, [2] Bitcoin is a “decentralized peer-to-peer currency.” Oh I don't know. The guy who was printed Liberty Coins (99% pure silver) has been told he's no longer allowed to do it. Now that the precedent is set, the US government can shutdown Bitcoin or any other form of non-Reserve currency.

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This week in Bitcoin - May 18th, 2020

"Blockchain is much less a technical learning curve and much more learning a new way to think" Kris Bennett from the Global @Blockchain Training Alliance ran a session with our Global #Blockchain ... The next video is starting ... Peter G. Klein explains that the "shutdown" is no shutdown and urges us to reject the economic version of Orwellian doublespeak. Klein is the Mises Institute's ... Investigative news report regarding cancer-causing additives to milk by Monsanto is shut down by Fox News executives. Truther bot uploaded a video 5 years ago 17:08 Liberty Reserve was seized back in 2013 after a several year-long investigation into the payments processor. Authorities alleged that Liberty Reserve had laundered over $6 billion dollars in ... Peer-to-peer bitcoin lending platform BTCJam has shut down after it was discovered bitcoins were being stolen from customer accounts, the heist appears to have been enabled by a Heartbleed bug ...

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