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Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
submitted by kcbitcoin to btc [link] [comments]

Our market outlook from March 2018. We're working on updating this now.

We produced this back in March to share our opinion about the market. Within three months we saw that what was a small faction of politically active devs (at the time of the BCH fork), including the BCH Fund, had "turned" the majority of BCH devs. At that point we decided to cease all BCH related activities (no point wasting) and wait for the inevitable collapse. Here we are now, hoping again.
Here is our original market assessment for what it's worth. Different in many ways but still relevant in some. Our call is unchanged for the market overall and we don't expect it to change for another year or two. SV is another matter obviously, the foundations are now sound.
We're working on an update and hope to share it soon.
BCH Market Outlook - March 10th 2018
Summary: We think it may get worse before it gets better, be careful.
We are not financial advisers and do not care to talk about short term speculation. Having said that we keep an eye on markets regularly and are conscious of their importance in some respects.
We want to warn Bitcoin Cash investors about the current market. Our outlook horizon is the next 18 months, we expect ups and downs along the way.
The most important piece of information is the Mt Gox liquidation currently taking place and how the markets are reacting to it. We now know that since December 35,000 BTCs were sold, taking the price of BTC from $20k to $7k. This liquidation gives a good explanation for the bear market we have witnessed since the December highs. A similar number of Bitcoin Cash coins were sold during that period.
We share our thoughts in this article.
Market Action Since December 2017
Only $400 million of BTCs were sold and that was enough to bring the markets down by 65%. It betrays the lack of real liquidity in Bitcoin (BTC/XBT). We attribute this lack of liquidity to the following factors:
  1. HODL: The promotion of a "HODL" culture, strongly advocated by Blockstream/Core supporters (the "Ponzi organizers"), had the intended effect: it reduces liquidity. Great in a bull market as it pushes prices up much higher than they normally would, catastrophic in a bear market. We could see BTC go to 0 with 90% of holders unable to sell.
  2. Exchanges: Daily Bitcoin trading volumes according to coinmarketcap.com approach $7 billion. And yet, a $400 million sale over 90 days (with an alleged total $500 billion quarterly turnover) triggered a 65% fall. We suspect most of the BTC trading volumes reported by exchanges are fake. This could be for many reasons: wash trades, etc., but we think the main reason may be PR as exchanges seek to inflate their market shares. All also have an incentive to mislead mainstream about the true importance of Bitcoin. We do not know the real reason and it does not matter: the important factor is that the reported liquidity does not exist and the markets are very, very small and illiquid. The Bitcoin market is much more "provincial" than we were led to believe and real trading volumes may well be in the low/very low 100s of millions daily.
What Next
That's the scary part. Knowing that the markets are very illiquid and much smaller than reported and with liquidity shrinking more as prices fall, we are informed that the Mt Gox trustees still need to sell approximately 165,000 BTCs and a similar number of Bitcoin Cash coins. That is 5 times what has been sold in the last 3 months.
What does that tell us:
  1. Selling the BTCs at the same rate the liquidators did since December would take an extra 15 months. Doing a simplistic extrapolation indicates a bear market until mid-2019.
  2. The effect on price of these volumes hitting such illiquid markets is unpredictable. The price of BTC may hit $5,000, $2,000 or may even go below its intrinsic value that currently sits somewhere around $300. On a discounted basis future value is $0 whether Blockstream wins or loses its battle to replace BTC with Lightning; either way BTC as a currency is cooked. Dropping to $0 will depend a lot on how long Blockstream/Lightning Labs can keep investors misinformed about their "unscalable Bitcoin" narrative (something impossible to do in the age of Bitcoin Cash) and the likeliness of Lightning Network ever being delivered (when it is, Bitcoin dies). Bleak future indeed. A sustained bear market may well cool a few heads and help investors realize that all the announcements and information they were given on these matters were hype rather than substance. We do not know.
  3. To put things in perspective and better understand the seriousness of the situation let's consider this: a 35k BTC sale triggered a 50%+ fall. 5 successive sales of 35k BTCs could be expected to trigger falls of 50% fives times. In other words .505 = 3% from $10k. That's a $300 Bitcoin Core (BTC/XBT) price. This is a simplistic mathematical projection but it helps get an idea of the scale of the problem. We don't see what new capital will help absorb these sales at this stage: since December, BTC is discredited and has nothing left to offer to restore trust expect low quality misinformation most investors don't fall for anymore.
  4. The impact of this liquidation on market sentiment is important too. The expectation alone of further sales should be enough to keep a lid on prices for the foreseeable future. And since the larger market operators must be aware of how little real liquidity there is in the markets, we shouldn't expect much help from "whales" either: looking at real volumes the so-called "whales" are obviously small and are likely to wait until the liquidation is near over before moving in in any case.
  5. This bear market ends the bull market that started in 2015 and may well kill the mania that began in early 2017. This mania took the price of BTC to unprecedented heights and to levels too far removed from standard currency valuation metrics (QTM).
  6. While the price of BTC may fall considerably, should the mania end, we expect tokens with doubtful business cases and unbacked by real world and credible communities / business ecosystems to go to $0. This would include tokens such as XMR, BTG, LTC, Doge, etc. This bear may be the big cleanup the crypto industry so badly needed.
Consequences for Bitcoin Cash
While the BCH market is used to absorbing sales volumes in the 100s of thousands, in this instance the impact on the price of BCH may be greater:
Conclusion
We have highlighted the negatives to instill a bit of fear in our readers ... not to generate FUD, but to encourage prudence. It may be time to look into basic portfolio management techniques, preferably not modern ones that rely on endless central bank money printing and ever rising asset prices but older ones. Googling "Benjamin Graham" may yield good results as his career spanned the 30 year bear market post 1929.
We wish to end on a positive note:
  1. While crypto has been badly affected by Blockstream's crippling of Bitcoin, the crypto industry's credibility is amazingly still alive, to a point. We see that Wall Street's interest while waning is still showing a little momentum.
  2. Small financial operators are beginning to understand that the lack of crypto progress is due to Bitcoin Core more than to crypto as a whole. This reduces the importance of BTC in the investment space and improves the crypto industry's prospects. Recent news, including Coinbase's "Large Cap Fund" that will include BCH, or Circle's addition of BCH to "Circle Invest" are very positive news.
  3. BCH fundamentals are exceptionally healthy. The speed and intensity of progress made by BCH in recent months have been very surprising. While it takes time to develop and then deploy the required BCH infrastructure (POSes, ATMs, markets, merchant base, network effect, etc) we can see that the momentum towards building a real money transfer and commerce ecosystem is unstoppable. It will take a few months but it's happening.
  4. BitPay's addition of BCH as a payment option will have a tremendous impact. Every single sale via BitPay will present customers with the option of paying a Blockstream tax by choosing Bitcoin Core, or paying no fee with Bitcoin Cash. Blockstream fought tooth and nail to stop us from reaching this stage and failed. It will bring fantastic publicity to BCH. BitPay's $1 billion in annual sales should naturally migrate to BCH settlements from now on. We also expect that BCH will help BitPay grow its sales at a much faster rate than in the past.
We are as confident as ever that BCH will be a tremendous success. But we think it may get worse before it gets better.
Keep an eye on portfolio management techniques. Remember that a bit of dry powder on the side may well come in handy come bargain time, should the worst of our fears become reality. There should be time, no rush. Good luck.
submitted by btcnewsupdates to bitcoincashSV [link] [comments]

I am Francis Pouliot, full-time Bitcoin advocate and director at the Bitcoin Embassy. I'm running for a seat of the Bitcoin Foundation board. AMA

My name is Francis Pouliot and I am a full-time Bitcoin advocate, educator, and community organizer. You may have heard of me as Director of Public Affairs at the Bitcoin Embassy, the first physical space in the world dedicated to the promotion and development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Fellow Canadians will recognize me as the Chief Executive Officer at the Bitcoin Foundation Canada, a pan-Canadian membership-based advocacy group dedicated to ensuring a favorable environment for Canada's cryptocurrency ecosystem.
While I may not be a famous Bitcoin investor or entrepreneur, I consider myself a large stakeholder in Bitcoin since cryptocurrency (mostly Bitcoin) represents around 90% of my assets and is effectively my only source of income. I’m also a Bitcoin miner, integration consultation and certified Bitcoin professional with C4 (passed at 96%).
The best decision of my life has been to re-orient my rapidly advancing and successful career as a policy analyst for free-market think tanks in order to dedicate myself full-time to being an active participant in the cryptocurrency revolution. I still remain to this day an active supporter of the libertarian movement through my involvement in various pro-liberty organizations - but I will never use the Foundation as a medium to promote my personal beliefs.
My general assessment of the current state of the Bitcoin
Foundation is that by pursuing too many goals, the Foundation has misallocated and mismanaged resources necessary to successfully fulfill the essential mandate of supporting technical development. It has not lived up to its potential and has disappointed many of its members, including myself. I truly believe in the Foundation’s mission to protect Bitcoin's technological infrastructure and that, in realizing this goal, it must remain an important part of the Bitcoin ecosystem. I also believe that the only essential mission of the Bitcoin Foundation, that should take priority over all others, should become and always remain the protection and development of Bitcoin’s technological infrastructure.
My platform
With humility, I propose myself as to represent my fellow individual members on the Bitcoin Foundation’s board of directors. I have the skills, values, energy and time necessary to accomplish this task successfully. As CEO of the BFC, I have knowledge of the inner-workings of the Foundation and know exactly what its problems are and the best way to overcome them. On behalf of its Canadian members, I have attempted to act as a watchdog, being critical of its work and suggesting reforms directly to staff members.
If I am elected, I pledge to continue this role on behalf of all individual members. I now ask for your support so that I may obtain the necessary powers to bring the Foundation to implement the following:
After having discussed with Patrick Murck, I believe that he is the most capable Executive Director that the Foundation could have at the moment. I also believe that we share the same broad vision as to where the Foundation should be heading and as your representative I will support him in his undertaking to bring the Foundation back to its roots.
Nature and role of the Bitcoin Foundation – some thoughts
(On this point I particularly oppose candidates Cody Wilson, Olivier Janseen and Colin Gallagher)
The Bitcoin Foundations, as a private organization, is a platform through which individual and corporate members can voluntarily coordinate and implement their common interests. It does not, nor should it attempt to or claim to, represent the entire Bitcoin community. Although it provides a public service, it is only accountable to its members.
That being said, there is no doubt that the (uninformed) general public’s perception of the Foundation will taint its perception of the entire Bitcoin community by proxy. In addition, the Foundation’s technical team has a large influence on the development process and its actions will have an effect on the entire Bitcoin community, whether they are members of the Foundation or not. As such, the Foundation has moral responsibilities that other private membership-based organizations do not and should act with this specificity in mind.
The Bitcoin community and ecosystem are extremely diverse. In my opinion, there is only one common interest amongst all members of our community: the continued existence and expansion of a healthy technical development process which will ensure the continued decentralization and scalability of the Bitcoin network. I believe that this is also true within the Bitcoin Foundation membership.
I think the idea that the existence of a “centralized institution” such as the Foundation is contradictory with the decentralized nature of Bitcoin is beyond ridiculous. Nor is it contradictory with the crypto-decentralization movement to which I personally identify myself with. In fact, there can be no decentralization movement if individuals and corporations do not coordinate their interests via some form of organization. While it is certainly likely that such associations and organizations will eventually take the form of Decentralized Autonomous Corporations, I do not believe the necessary technology has been developed to a degree which makes this option a logical choice for the Foundation (and probably won’t for the next couple of years).
Let’s be clear: the Bitcoin Foundation should never, under any circumstance, attempt to impose any agenda or barrier to entry whatsoever on members and non-members alike via the coercive power of government.
Also, the Bitcoin Foundation should not attempt to assert a monopoly over the technical development process. I am extremely happy to see private corporations such as Blockstream and Bitpay contribute to this process, and am even happier to see that individuals are still contributing their time on a voluntary basis. However, I think a large part of development should be undertaken by non-profit organizations in order to ensure some form of neutrality.
Final thoughts – regulation
As a libertarian, I am naturally against regulation. I do not intend to idly stand by while arbitrary decrees are imposed upon us, and, as such, I believe that stakeholders such as individuals, private corporations or local Bitcoin advocacy groups should actively engage government officials and regulators to ensure that no discriminatory regulation or legislation concerning Bitcoin occurs.
Under no circumstance should technology-specific regulation such as the BitLicenses be tolerated. Moreover, government decrees that are in effect discriminatory (such as the “double taxation” of bitcoins via sales taxes) should be fiercely opposed. Innovation does not require permission.
However, as we lobby for government not to discriminate against Bitcoin, we must also realize that Bitcoin does not and should not operate in a legal vacuum. Bitcoin business models that mimic legacy business models (such as currency exchanges) should be regulated in the same way as their fiat counterparts. For example, a Bitcoin exchange should comply to financial regulation in the same way as a fiat exchange. If we demand not to be discriminated against, we must also acknowledge that we can’t have special treatment just because we do not believe in the validity of the laws that apply to us.
I do realize that compliance requirements of the legacy fiat financial industry are often outdated and that the cryptocurrency ecosystem will come up with its own innovative solutions for KYC/AML. These solutions are to be encouraged and, ideally, they will become the standard not only for cryptocurrency businesses but for the entire financial industry.
Bitcoin is like an economic trojan horse – if we really want the cryptocurrency revolution to happen, it is crucially important that there be an economic infrastructure with exchanges, payment processors, brokers, financial products, etc. This is the key to mainstream user adoption and this will only occur if we play by the rules. Government can’t stop Bitcoin but it can certainly greatly slow down progress by enforcing its power on the individuals and corporations that compose the Bitcoin economic ecosystem, something even the most anarchic members of the community should realize.
(On this point I particularly oppose candidate Jim Harper)
It seems to me that the Foundation has an “identity crisis” because its mandate is simply too broad. It cannot be at the same time a “Linux Foundation-style” organization and a lobby group such as the Digital Chamber of Commerce or think tank such as Coin Center. Because it has given itself too many goals, each goal has been inefficiently carried out.
The Foundation’s involvement in lobbying has considerably contributed to its negative perception by the community, which means less membership and less revenue. This means that there are fewer and fewer financial resources available for technical development. I believe that retreating from active political lobbying may reverse this trend.
The main reason is strictly based on pragmatism and resource allocation. There are various groups all over the world, including in the United States, who are actively involved in the fight against discriminatory or excessive Bitcoin regulation. The void that the Bitcoin Foundation had attempted to fill when it initially got into lobbying clearly does not exist anymore. However, there are no other non-profit organization involved in supporting technical development, so that in that area there is a very real void.
Finally, policy is inherently local and jurisdictional while the Foundation aims to be a global organization. I don’t think non-US members appreciate that their contributions are being spent on lobbying in Washington while the Foundation does nothing to prevent their own governments from obstructing the progress of Bitcoin.
10 reasons you should vote for me
You can reach me at [email protected] or at 1 855 922-3622.
I'll be answering all day, at least until 6 PM EST, or however long this stays on the front page!
submitted by FrancisPouliot to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Left their jobs to work in Bitcoin

I was talking to a friend about Execs who had left their jobs to pursue Bitcoin jobs and I really didn't have any good names. I decided to compile a list. Contributions appreciated.
EDIT -- from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6xWx7EWH5mmaGFzRjQ1MklOMDA/view thanks /usezcc0nonA
EDIT -- thanks /usebruce_fenton
EDIT thanks /usesnooville
submitted by redpistachios to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

NEED SOME HELP TO MOVE AND START MY LIFE OVER

NEED SOME HELP TO MOVE AND START MY LIFE OVER
Hi Everyone -
Where to start? Back in 2009 I moved to Orange County, CA, with my wife and 1-month old son, for what I thought was an amazing career opportunity and the rest of my life. After a debilitating injury due to hazardous work conditions I faced physical rehabilitation and long road back to health working for many jobs that were acquired or went bankrupt forcing me to the unemployment line numerous times. I fought back each time and now I find my self working for another company facing bankruptcy. However, I have an amazing opportunity that requires me to move my family to northern California with no funds to move or acquire a new apartment. If you could find it in your hearts to help me raise the funds to move and give my family a new start. I would be FOREVER GRATEFUL AND PAY IT FORWARD. God Bless everyone and thank you for your time and help!
BITCOIN will be the best way for me to receive any help. I can transfer it to my bitpay debit card! Thanks again. I'M VERY APPRECIATIVE
Wallet Address to Receive Donations: 181BWqXnhSu1wdPbi3SV7iuP3F6LshVE8C
https://preview.redd.it/n0a07gvwp3f11.jpg?width=744&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ff1c8b32770dd02f3753fd20ecb28c000ec49601
submitted by RangersFan_94 to donate [link] [comments]

Full English Transcript of Gavin's AMA on 8BTC, April 21st. (Part 1)

Part 2
Part 3
Raw transcript on Google Docs (English+Chinese): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p3DWMfeGHBL6pk4Hu0efgQWGsUAdFNK6zLHubn5chJo/edit?usp=sharing
Translators/Organizers: emusher, kcbitcoin, nextblast, pangcong, Red Li, WangXiaoMeng. (Ranked in alphabetical order)
1.crypto888
Q: What is your relationship with Blockstream now? Are you in a Cold War? Your evaluation on BS was pretty high “If this amazing team offers you a job, you should take it,” tweeted Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation.” But now, what’s your opinion on BS?
A: I think everybody at Blockstream wants Bitcoin to succeed, and I respect and appreciate great work being done for Bitcoin by people at Blockstream.
We strongly disagree on priorities and timing; I think the risks of increasing the block size limit right away are very small. I see evidence of people and businesses getting frustrated by the limit and choosing to use something else (like Ethereum or a private blockchain); it is impossible to know for certain how dangerous that is for Bitcoin, but I believe it is more danger than the very small risk of simply increasing or eliminating the block size limit.
2. Ma_Ya
Q: 1) Why insist on hard fork at only 75%? You once explained that it is possible to be controlled by 5% if we set the threshold at 95%. I agree, but there should be some balance here. 75% means a high risk in splitting, isn’t it too aggressive? Is it better if we set it to 90%?
A: 1)The experience of the last two consensus changes is that miners very quickly switch once consensus reaches 75% -- the last soft fork went from 75% support to well over 95% support in less than one week. So I’m very confident that miners will all upgrade once the 75% threshold is reached, and BIP109 gives them 28 days to do so. No miner wants to create blocks that will not be accepted by the network.
Q: 2) How to solve the potentially very large blocks problem Classic roadmap may cause, and furthur causing the centralization of nodes in the future?
A: 2)Andreas Antonopoulos gave a great talk recently about how people repeatedly predicted that the Internet would fail to scale. Smart engineers proved them wrong again and again, and are still busy proving them wrong today (which is why I enjoy streaming video over my internet connection just about every night).
I began my career working on 3D graphics software, and saw how quickly we went from being able to draw very simple scenes to today’s technology that is able to render hundreds of millions of triangles per second.
Processing financial transactions is much easier than simulating reality. Bitcoin can easily scale to handle thousands of transactions per second, even on existing computers and internet connections, and even without the software optimizations that are already planned.
Q: 3) Why do you not support the proposal of RBF by Satoshi, and even plan to remove it in Classic completely?
A: 3) Replace-by-fee should be supported by most of the wallets people are using before it is supported by the network. Implementing replace-by-fee is very hard for a wallet, especially multi-signature and hardware wallets that might not be connected to the network all of the time.
When lots of wallet developers start saying that replace-by-fee is a great idea, then supporting it at the network level makes sense. Not before.
Q: 4) . Your opinion on soft fork SegWit, sidechain, lighnting network. Are you for or against, please give brief reasons. Thanks.
A: 4) The best way to be successful is to let people try lots of different things. Many of them won’t be successful, but that is not a problem as long as some of them are successful.
I think segregated witness is a great idea. It would be a little bit simpler as a hard fork instead of a soft fork (it would be better to put the merkle root for the witness data into the merkle root in the block header instead of putting it inside a transaction), but overall the design is good.
I think sidechains are a good idea, but the main problem is finding a good way to keep them secure. I think the best uses of sidechains will be to publish “write-only” public information involving bitcoin. For example, I would like to see a Bitcoin exchange experiment with putting all bids and asks and trades on a sidechain that they secure themselves, so their customers can verify that their orders are being carried out faithfully and nobody at the exchanges is “front-running” them.
Q: 5) Can you share your latest opinion on Brainwallet? It is hard for new users to use long and complex secure passphrase, but is it a good tool if it solves this problem?
A: 5) We are very, very bad at creating long and complex passphrases that are random enough to be secure. And we are very good at forgetting things.
We are much better at keeping physical items secure, so I am much more excited about hardware wallets and paper wallets than I am about brain wallets. I don’t trust myself to keep any bitcoin in a brain wallet, and do not recommend them for anybody else, either.
3. BiTeCui
Q: Gavin, do you have bitcoins now? What is your major job in MIT? Has FBI ever investigated on you? When do you think SHA256 might be outdated, it seems like it has been a bit unsafe?
A: Yes, a majority of my own person wealth is still in bitcoins -- more than a financial advisor would say is wise.
My job at MIT is to make Bitcoin better, in whatever way I think best. That is the same major job I had at the Bitcoin Foundation. Sometimes I think the best way to make Bitcoin better is to write some code, sometimes to write a blog post about what I see happening in the Bitcoin world, and sometimes to travel and speak to people.
The FBI (or any other law enforcement agency) has never investigated me, as far as I know. The closest thing to an investigation was an afternoon I spent at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. They were interested in how I and the other Bitcoin developers created the software and how much control we have over whether or not people choose to run the software that we create.
“Safe or unsafe” is not the way to think about cryptographic algorithms like SHA256. They do not suddenly go from being 100% secure for everything to completely insecure for everything. I think SHA256 will be safe enough to use in the all ways that Bitcoin is using it for at least ten years, and will be good enough to be used as the proof-of-work algorithm forever.
It is much more likely that ECDSA, the signature algorithm Bitcoin is using today, will start to become less safe in the next ten or twenty years, but developer are already working on replacements (like Schnorr signatures).
4. SanPangHenBang
Q: It’s a pleasure to meet you. I only have one question. Which company are you serving? or where do you get your salary?
A: The Media Lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) pays my salary; I don’t receive regular payments from anybody else.
I have received small amounts of stock options in exchange for being a techical advisor to several Bitcoin companies (Coinbase, BitPay, Bloq, Xapo, Digital Currency Group, CoinLab, TruCoin, Chain) which might be worth money some day if one or more of those companies do very well. I make it very clear to these companies that my priority is to make Bitcoin better, and my goal in being an advisor to them is to learn more about the problems they face as they try to bring Bitcoin to more of their customers.
And I am sometimes (once or twice a year) paid to speak at events.
5.SaTuoXi
Q: Would you mind share your opinion on lightning network? Is it complicated to implement? Does it need hard fork?
A: Lightning does not need a hard fork.
It is not too hard to implement at the Bitcoin protocol level, but it is much more complicated to create a wallet capable of handling Lightning network payments properly.
I think Lightning is very exciting for new kinds of payments (like machine-to-machine payments that might happen hundreds of times per minute), but I am skeptical that it will be used for the kinds of payments that are common on the Bitcoin network today, because they will be more complicated both for wallet software and for people to understand.
6. pangcong
Q: 1) There has been a lot of conferences related to blocksize limit. The two took place in HongKong in Decemeber of 2015 and Feberary of 2016 are the most important ones. Despite much opposition, it is undeniable that these two meetings basically determines the current status of Bitcoin. However, as the one of the original founders of Bitcoin, why did you choose to not attend these meetings? If you have ever attended and opposed gmax’s Core roadmap (SegWit Priority) in one of the meetings, we may be in a better situation now, and the 2M hard fork might have already begun. Can you explain your absence in the two meetings? Do you think the results of both meetings are orchestrated by blockstream?
A: 1) I attended the first scaling conference in Montreal in September of 2015, and had hoped that a compromise had been reached.
A few weeks after that conference, it was clear to me that whatever compromise had been reached was not going to happen, so it seemed pointless to travel all the way to Hong Kong in December for more discussion when all of the issues had been discussed repeatedly since February of 2015.
The February 2016 Hong Kong meeting I could not attend because I was invited only a short time before it happened and I had already planned a vacation with my family and grandparents.
I think all of those conferences were orchestrated mainly by people who do not think raising the block size limit is a high priority, and who want to see what problems happen as we run into the limit.
Q: 2) We have already known that gmax tries to limit the block size so as to get investment for his company. However, it is obvious that overthrowing Core is hard in the short term. What if Core continues to dominate the development of Bitcoin? Is it possible that blockstream core will never raise the blocksize limit because of their company interests?
A: 2) I don’t think investment for his company is Greg’s motivation-- I think he honestly believes that a solution like lightning is better technically.
He may be right, but I think it would be better if he considered that he might also be wrong, and allowed other solutions to be tried at the same time.
Blockstream is a funny company, with very strong-willed people that have different opinions. It is possible they will never come to an agreement on how to raise the blocksize limit.
7. HeiYanZhu
Q: I would like to ask your opinion on the current situation. It’s been two years, but a simple 2MB hard fork could not even be done. In Bitcoin land, two years are incredibly long. Isn’t this enough to believe this whole thing is a conspiracy?
A: I don’t think it is a conspiracy, I think it is an honest difference of opinion on what is most important to do first, and a difference in opinion on risks and benefits of doing different things.
Q: How can a multi-billion network with millions of users and investors be choked by a handful of people? How can this be called decentrilized and open-source software anymore? It is so hard to get a simple 2MB hard fork, but SegWig and Lighting Network with thousands of lines of code change can be pushed through so fast. Is this normal? It is what you do to define if you are a good man, not what you say.
A: I still believe good engineers will work around whatever unnecessary barriers are put in their way-- but it might take longer, and the results will not be as elegant as I would prefer.
The risk is that people will not be patient and will switch to something else; the recent rapid rise in developer interest and price of Ethereum should be a warning.
Q: The problem now is that everybody knows Classic is better, however, Core team has controlled the mining pools using their powers and polical approaches. This made them controll the vast majority of the hashpower, no matter what others propose. In addition, Chinese miners have little communication with the community, and do not care about the developement of the system. Very few of them knows what is going on in the Bitcoin land. They almost handed over their own power to the mining pool, so as long as Core controls the pools, Core controls the whole Bitcoin, no matter how good your Classic is. Under this circumstance, what is your plan?
A: Encourage alternatives to Core. If they work better (if they are faster or do more) then Core will either be replaced or will have to become better itself. I am happy to see innovations happening in projects like Bitcoin Unlimited, for example. And just this week I see that Matt Corallo will be working on bringing an optmized protocol for relaying blocks into Core; perhaps that was the plan all along, or perhaps the “extreme thin blocks” work in Bitcoin Unlimited is making that a higher priority. In any case, competition is healthy.
Q: From this scaling debate, do you think there is a huge problem with Bitcoin development? Does there exsit development centrilization? Does this situation need improvment? For example, estabilish a fund from Bitcoin as a fundation. It can be used for hiring developers and maintainers, so that we can solve the development issue once and for all.
A: I think the Core project spends too much time thinking about small probability technical risks (like “rogue miners” who create hard-to-validate blocks or try to send invalid blocks to SPV wallets) and not enough time thinking about much larger non-technical risks.
And I think the Core project suffers from the common open source software problem of “developers developing for developers.” The projects that get worked on are the technically interesting projects-- exciting new features (like the lightning network), and not improving the basic old features (like improving network performance or doing more code review and testing).
I think the situation is improving, with businesses investing more in development (but perhaps not in the Core project, because the culture of that project has become much less focused on short-term business needs and more on long-term exciting new features).
I am skeptical that crowd-funding software development can work well; if I look at other successful open source software projects, they are usually funded by companies, not individuals.
8.jb9802
You are one of the most-repected person in Bitcoin world, I won’t miss the chance to ask some questions. First of all, I am a Classic supporter. I strongly believe that on-chain transcations should not be restrained artificially. Even if there are transcations that are willing to go through Lighting Network in the future, it should be because of a free market, not because of artificial restrication. Here are some of my questions:
Q: 1) For the past two years, you’ve been proposing to Core to scale Bitcoin. In the early days of the discussion, Core devs did agree that the blocksize should be raised. What do you think is the major reason for Core to stall scaling. Does there exist conflict of interest between Blockstream and scaling?
A: 1) There might be unconscious bias, but I think there is just a difference of opinion on priorities and timing.
Q: 2) One of the reason for the Chinese to refuse Classic is that Classic dev team is not technically capable enough for future Bitcoin development. I also noticed that Classic does have a less frequent code release compared to Core. In your opinion, is there any solution to these problems? Have you ever thought to invite capable Chinese programers to join Classic dev team?
A: 2) The great thing about open source software is if you don’t think the development team is good enough (or if you think they are working on the wrong things) you can take the software and hire a better team to improve it.
Classic is a simple 2MB patch on top of Core, so it is intentional that there are not a lot of releases of Classic.
The priority for Classic right now is to do things that make working on Classic better for developers than working on Core, with the goal of attracting more developers. You can expect to see some results in the next month or two.
I invite capable programmers from anywhere, including China, to help any of the teams working on open source Bitcoin software, whether that is Classic or Core or Unlimited or bitcore or btcd or ckpool or p2pool or bitcoinj.
Q: 3) Another reason for some of the Chinese not supporting Classic is that bigger blocks are more vulnerable to spam attacks. (However, I do think that smaller blocks are more vlunerable to spam attack, because smaller amount of money is needed to choke the blockchain.) What’s our opinion on this?
A: 3) The best response to a transaction spam attack is for the network to reject transactions that pay too little fees but to simply absorb any “spam” that is paying as much fees as regular transactions.
The goal for a transaction spammer is to disrupt the network; if there is room for extra transactions in blocks, then the network can just accept the spam (“thank you for the extra fees!”) and continue as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Nothing annoys a spammer more than a network that just absorbs the extra transactions with no harmful effects.
Q: 4) According to your understanding on lighting network and sidechains,if most Bitcoin transactions goes throught lighting network or sidechains, it possible that the fees paid on the these network cannot reach the main-chain miners, which leaves miners starving. If yes, how much percent do you think will be given to miners.
A: 4) I don’t know, it will depend on how often lightning network channels are opened and closed, and that depends on how people choose to use lightning.
Moving transactions off the main chain and on to the lightning network should mean less fees for miners, more for lightning network hubs. Hopefully it will also mean lower fees for users, which will make Bitcoin more popular, drive up the price, and make up for the lower transaction fees paid to miners.
Q: 5) The concept of lighting network and sidechains have been out of one or two years already, when do you think they will be fully deployed.
A: 5) Sidechains are already “fully deployed” (unless you mean the version of sidechains that doesn’t rely on some trusted gateways to move bitcoin on and off the sidechain, which won’t be fully deployed for at least a couple of years). I haven’t seen any reports of how successful they have been.
I think Lightning will take longer than people estimate. Seven months ago Adam Back said that the lightning network might be ready “as soon as six months from now” … but I would be surprised if there was a robust, ready-for-everybody-to-use lightning-capable wallet before 2018.
Q: 6)Regarding the hard fork, Core team has assumed that it will cause a chain-split. (Chinese miners are very intimitated by this assumption, I think this is the major reason why most of the Chinese mining pools are not switching to Classic). Do you think Bitcoin will have a chain-split?
A: 6) No, there will not be a chain split. I have not talked to a single mining pool operator, miner, exchange, or major bitcoin business who would be willing to mine a minority branch of the chain or accept bitcoins from a minority branch of the main chain.
Q: 7) From your point of view, do you think there is more Classic supporters or Core supporters in the U.S.?
A: 7) All of the online opinion pools that have been done show that a majority of people worldwide support raising the block size limit.
9. btcc123
Q: Which is more in line with the Satoshi’s original roadmap, Bitcoin Classic or Bitcoin Core? How to make mining pools support and adopt Bitcoin Classic?
A: Bitcoin Classic is more in line with Satoshi’s original roadmap.
We can’t make the mining pools do anything they don’t want to do, but they are run by smart people who will do what they think is best for their businesses and Bitcoin.
10.KuHaiBian
Q: Do you have any solution for mining centralization? What do you think about the hard fork of changing mining algorithms?
A: I have a lot of thoughts on mining centralization; it would probably take ten or twenty pages to write them all down.
I am much less worried about mining centralization than most of the other developers, because Satoshi designed Bitcoin so miners make the most profit when they do what is best for Bitcoin. I have also seen how quickly mining pools come and go; people were worried that the DeepBit mining pool would become too big, then it was GHash.io…
And if a centralized mining pool does become too big and does something bad, the simplest solution is for businesses or people to get together and create or fund a competitor. Some of the big Bitcoin exchanges have been seriously considering doing exactly that to support raising the block size limit, and that is exactly the way the system is supposed to work-- if you don’t like what the miners are doing, then compete with them!
I think changing the mining algorithm is a complicated solution to a simple problem, and is not necessary.
11. ChaLi
Q: Last time you came to China, you said you want to "make a different". I know that in USA the opposition political party often hold this concept, in order to prevent the other party being totally dominant. Bitcoin is born with a deep "make a different" nature inside. But in Chinese culture, it is often interpreted as split “just for the sake of splitting”, can you speak your mind on what is your meaning of "make a different"?
A: I started my career in Silicon Valley, where there is a lot of competition but also a lot of cooperation. The most successful companies find a way to be different than their competitors; it is not a coincidence that perhaps the most successful company in the world (Apple Computer) had the slogan “think different.”
As Bitcoin gets bigger (and I think we all agree we want Bitcoin to get bigger!) it is natural for it to split and specialize; we have already seen that happening, with lots of choices for different wallets, different exchanges, different mining chips, different mining pool software.
12. bluestar
Q: 1) The development of XT and Classic confirmed my thoughts that it is nearly impossible to use a new version of bitcoin to replace the current bitcoin Core controlled by Blockstream. I think we will have to live with the power of Blockstream for a sufficient long time. It means we will see the deployment of SegWit and Lighting network. If it really comes to that point, what will you do? Will you also leave like Mike Hearn?
A: 1) With the development of Blockchain, bitcoin will grow bigger and bigger without any doubts, And also there will be more and more companies related to the bitcoin network. When it comes to money, there will be a lot of fights between these companies. Is it possible to form some kind of committee to avoid harmful fights between these companies and also the situation that a single company controlling the direction of the bitcoin development? Is there any one doing this kind of job right now?
Q: 2) My final question would be, do you really think it is possible that we can have a decentralized currency? Learning from the history, it seems like every thing will become centralized as long as it involves human. Do you have any picture for a decentralized currency or even a society? Thanks.
A: 2) I think you might be surprised at what most people are running a year or three from now. Perhaps it will be a future version of Bitcoin Core, but I think there is a very good chance another project will be more successful.
I remember when “everybody” was running Internet Explorer or Firefox, and people thought Google was crazy to think that Chrome would ever be a popular web browser. It took four years for Chrome to become the most popular web browser.
In any case, I plan on working on Bitcoin related projects for at least another few years. Eventually it will become boring or I will decide I need to take a couple of years of and think about what I want to do next.
As for fights between companies: there are always fights between companies, in every technology. There are organizations like the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) that try to create committees so engineers at companies can spend more time cooperating and less time fighting; I’m told by people who participate in IETF meetings that they are usually helpful and create useful standards more often than not.
Finally, yes, I do think we can have a “decentralized-enough” currency. A currency that might be controlled at particular times by a small set of people or companies, but that gives everybody else the ability to take control if those people or businesses misbehave.
13. satoshi
Hi Gavin, I have some questions:
Q: 1) I noticed there are some new names added to the classic team list. Most people here only know you and Jeff. Can you briefly introduce some others to the Chinese community?
A: 1)
Tom Zander has been acting as lead developer, and is an experienced C++ developer who worked previously on the Qt and Debian open source projects.
Pedro Pinheiro is on loan from Blockchain.info, and has mostly worked on continuous integration and testing for Classic.
Jon Rumion joined recently, and has been working on things that will make life for developers more pleasant (I don’t want to be more specific, I don’t want to announce things before they are finished in case they don’t work out).
Jeff has been very busy starting up Bloq, so he hasn’t been very active with Classic recently. I’ve also been very busy traveling (Barbados, Idaho, London and a very quick trip to Beijing) so haven’t been writing much code recently.
Q: 2) if bitcoin classic succeeded (>75% threshold), what role would you play in the team after the 2MB upgrade finished, as a leader, a code contributor, a consultant, or something else?
A: 2)Contributor and consultant-- I am trying not to be leader of any software project right now, I want to leave that to other people who are better at managing and scheduling and recruiting and all of the other things that need to be done to lead a software project.
Q: 3) if bitcoin classic end up failed to achieve mainstream adoption (<75% 2018), will you continue the endeavor of encouraging on-chain scaling and garden-style growth of bitcoin?
A: 3) Yes. If BIP109 does not happen, I will still be pushing to get a good on-chain solution to happen as soon as possible.
Q: 4) Have you encountered any threat in your life, because people would think you obviously have many bitcoins, like what happened to Hal Finney (RIP), or because some people have different ideas about what bitcoin's future should be?
A: 4) No, I don’t think I have received any death threats. It upsets me that other people have.
Somebody did threaten to release my and my wife’s social security numbers and other identity information if I did not pay them some bitcoins a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay, they did release our information, and that has been a little inconvenient at times.
Q: 5) Roger Ver (Bitcoin Jesus) said bitcoin would worth thousands of dollars. Do you have similar thoughts? If not, what is your opinion on bitcoin price in future?
A: 5) I learned long ago to give up trying to predict the price of stocks, currencies, or Bitcoin. I think the price of Bitcoin will be higher in ten years, but I might be wrong.
Q: 6) You've been to China. What's your impression about the country, people, and the culture here? Thank you!
A: 6) I had a very quick trip to Beijing a few weeks ago-- not nearly long enough to get a good impression of the country or the culture.
I had just enough time to walk around a little bit one morning, past the Forbidden City and walk around Tianmen Square. There are a LOT of people in China, I think the line to go into the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was the longest I have ever seen!
Beijing reminded me a little bit of London, with an interesting mix of the very old with the very new. The next time I am in China I hope I can spend at least a few weeks and see much more of the country; I like to be in a place long enough so that I really can start to understand the people and cultures.
14. Pussinboots
Q: Dear Gavin, How could I contact you, we have an excellent team and good plans. please confirm your linkedin.
A: Best contact for me is [email protected] : but I get lots of email, please excuse me if your messages get lost in the flood.
15. satoshi
Q: Gavin, you've been both core and classic code contributor. Are there any major differences between the two teams, concerning code testing (quality control) and the release process of new versions?
A: Testing and release processes are the same; a release candidate is created and tested, and once sufficiently tested, a final release is created, cryptographically signed by several developers, and then made available for download.
The development process for Classic will be a little bit different, with a ‘develop’ branch where code will be pulled more quickly and then either fixed or reverted based on how testing goes. The goal is to create a more developer-friendly process, with pull requests either accepted or rejected fairly quickly.
16. tan90d
I am a bitcoin enthusiast and a coin holder. I thank you for your great contribution to bitcoin. Please allow me to state some of my views before asking:
  1. I'm on board with classic
  2. I support the vision to make bitcoin a powerful currency that could compete with Visa
  3. I support segwit, so I'll endorse whichever version of bitcoin implementation that upgrades to segwit, regardless of block size.
  4. I disagree with those who argue bitcoin main blockchain should be a settlement network with small blocks. My view is that on the main chain btc should function properly as a currency, as well as a network for settlement.
  5. I'm against the deployment of LN on top of small block sized blockchain. Rather, it should be built on a chain with bigger blocks.
  6. I also won’t agree with the deployment of many sidechains on top of small size block chain. Rather, those sidechains should be on chain with bigger blocks.
With that said, below are my questions:
Q: 1) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 1) If the block limit is not raised, then no, I don’t think transaction fees will be that high.
Q: 2) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, and after the 2020 halving which cuts block reward down to 6.125BTC, do you think the block transaction fee at that time will exceed 3BTC?
A: 2) Yes, the vision is lots of transactions, each paying a very small fee, adding up to a big total for the miners.
Q: 3) If bitcoin is developed following core's vision, do you think POW would fail in future, because the mining industry might be accounted too low value compared with that of the bitcoin total market, so that big miners could threaten btc market and gain profit by shorting?
*The questioner further explained his concern.
Currently, its about ~1.1 billion CNY worth of mining facilities protecting ~42 billion CNY worth (6.5 Billion USD) of bitcoin market. The ratio is ~3%. If bitcoin market cap continues to grow and we adopt layered development plan, the mining portion may decrease, pushing the ratio go even down to <1%, meaning we are using very small money protecting an huge expensive system. For example, in 2020 if bitcoin market cap is ~100 billion CNY, someone may attempt to spend ~1 billion CNY bribe/manipulate miners to attack the network, thus making a great fortune by shorting bitcoin and destroying the ecosystem.
A: 3) Very good question, I have asked that myself. I have asked people if they know if there have been other cases where people destroyed a company or a market to make money by shorting it -- as far as I know, that does not happen. Maybe because it is impossible to take a large short position and remain anonymous, so even if you were successful, you would be arrested for doing whatever you did to destroy the company or market (e.g. blow up a factory to destroy a company, or double-spend fraud to try to destroy Bitcoin).
Q: 4) If bitcoin is developed following classic's vision, will the blocks become too big that kill decentralization?
A: 4) No, if you look at how many transactions the typical Internet connection can support, and how many transactions even a smart phone can validate per second, we can support many more transactions today with the hardware and network connections we have now.
And hardware and network connections are getting faster all the time.
Q: 5) In theory, even if we scale bitcoin with just LN and sidechains, the main chain still needs blocks with size over 100M, in order to process the trading volume matching Visa's network. So does core have any on-chain scaling plan other than 2MB? Or Core does not plan to evolve bitcoin into something capable of challenging visa?
A: 5) Some of the Core developer talk about a “flexcap” solution to the block size limit, but there is no specific proposal.
I think it would be best to eliminate the limit all together. That sounds crazy, but the most successful Internet protocols have no hard upper limits (there is no hard limit to how large a web page may be, for example), and no protocol limit is true to Satoshi’s original design.
Q: 6) If (the majority of) hash rate managed to switch to Classic in 2018, will the bitcoin community witness the deployment of LN in two years (~2018)?
A: 6) The bottleneck with Lightning Network will be wallet support, not support down at the Bitcoin protocol level. So I don’t think the deployment schedule of LN will be affected much whether Classic is adopted or not.
Q: 7) If (majority) hash rate upgraded to blocks with segwit features in 2017 as specified in core's roadmap, would classic propose plans to work on top of that (blocks with segwit)? Or insist developing simplified segwit blocks as described in classic's roadmap?
A: 7) Classic will follow majority hash rate. It doesn’t make sense to do anything else.
Q: 8) If most hash rate is still on core's side before 2018, will you be disappointed with bitcoin, and announce that bitcoin has failed like what Mike did, and sell all your stashed coins at some acceptable price?
A: 8) No-- I have said that I think if the block size limit takes longer to resolve, that is bad for Bitcoin in the short term, but smart engineers will work around whatever road blocks you put in front of them. I see Bitcoin as a long-term project.
Q: 9) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 9) I think Blockstream might lose some employees, but otherwise I don’t think it will matter much. They are still producing interesting technology that might become a successful business.
Q: 10) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of Blockstream company?
A: 10) I don’t think Blockstream’s fate depends on whether or not BIP109 is adopted. It depends much more on whether or not they find customers willing to pay for the technology that they are developing.
Q: 11) If we have most hash rate still on core's side before 2018, what do you think will be the fate of companies that support classic, such as Coinbse, bitpay, and Blockchain.info?
A: 11) We have already seen companies like Kraken support alternative currencies (Kraken supports Litecoin and Ether); if there is no on-chain scaling solution accepted by the network, I think we will see more companies “hedging their bets” by supporting other currencies that have a simpler road map for supporting more transactions.
Q: 12) If we have most hash rate switched to classic's side before 2018, will that hinder the development of sidechain tech? What will happen to companies like Rockroot(Rootstock?) ?
A: 12) No, I think the best use of sidechains is for things that might be too risky for the main network (like Rootstock) or are narrowly focused on a small number of Bitcoin users. I don’t think hash rate supporting Classic will have any effect on that.
Q: 13) Between the two versions of bitcoin client, which one is more conducive to mining industry, classic or core?
A: 13) I have been working to make Classic better for the mining industry, but right now they are almost identical so it would be dishonest to say one is significantly better than the other.
17. Alfred
Q: Gavin, can you describe what was in your mind when you first learned bitcoin?
A: I was skeptical that it could actually work! I had to read everything I could about it, and then read the source code before I started to think that maybe it could actually be successful and was not a scam.
submitted by kcbitcoin to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

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