Bitcoin Civil War: the upgrade program an ineffectual remedy for how long?

Bitcoin Civil War: the upgrade program an ineffectual remedy for how long?


If not meet in this life, these two people may have a Golden fate God bestows. They are talkative but wise over million people are concerned about the bitcoin currency and full of passion for encryption. Between them a cash invented hash (HashCash) mechanism, a solid foundation for the later birth of playing all the encrypted currency; another is the first bitcoin “white paper” translated into Chinese, the founder of bitcoin, the mysterious Nakamoto Satoshio created under fire to Chinese the world.

They are: AdamBack (hereinafter referred to as Mr. Beck), British start-up company Blockstream CEO, the company has a Blockstream including a number of bitcoin core developers, strong development team. Wu Jihan (hereinafter referred to Wu), Chinese company, bit boss, the company’s chip is equipped with about 80% of the world’s “mine”, which is specially used for maintenance of bitcoin transaction security and payment confirmation and produce new bitcoin computer. But the two is far from like-minded friends, because two of them represent the two main factions, in a field known as “bloody war bitcoin civil war”, the outcome will be decided to camp bitcoin future destiny.

The war seems to have avoided the worst of the results. In July 21st, the vast majority of the miners expressed support for the implementation of compromise, prevent bitcoin is split into different currency, and its price rose to a $3000 (see below). But this compromise may be in dispute at the bottom of an ineffectual remedy, because has not yet been resolved, and the “hard fork” — a so called bitcoin splitting will come.

The underlying problem is that the different factions dispute bitcoin “block” the size of the block is refers to the user computer contains some bitcoin trading records file, will comprise all transaction records of the bitcoin block chain in synchronization with other users of the block”. In this great God Cong block files size limit for the 1Mb, this is a direct result of bitcoin trading system can only handle 7 transactions per second. Mature bank payment systems such as Visa, can be in a number of seconds nearly 10000 transaction request. With the growing number of transactions, bitcoin settlement speed was slowed down, users have to choose a few dollars fee with the miners in exchange for preferred transaction processing.

Improve the bitcoin cheating trading settlement rate seems simple: expansion increases block size, block or increase transaction density while retaining the capacity under 1Mb. However, let bitcoin stop is not technology, but management of the dispute. One of the original developers of bitcoin, now the boss of Bloq, JeffGarzik said: “this is the biggest problem in dispute, who can lead a is meant to avoid regulatory monetary system.”

Bitcoin is a big business: the price of bitcoin now in circulation for $40 billion. One day on the trading platform an average of nearly 300 thousand pen, the daily trading volume of $1 billion 500 million. Bitcoin platform is the world’s hundreds of entrepreneurial company’s main business, from the operation of currency trading to provide market data have, even some companies also operate bitcoin ATM machine number.

However, with the bitcoin system expansion, it is increasingly obvious tearing. Different understanding to different users of bitcoin positioning bitcoin: bitcoin is the origin of disputes should be like gold? Or should be like money. These two kinds of understanding are in fact reflected in two different currencies: the traditional “gold standard” currency, precious metals such as gold, because of their nature of bottom-up, naturally become the measure of value and storage means; or paper standard currency, paper currency by the government from top to bottom out create and assign, in order to make it serve the country such as taxation, and convenient to domestic citizens to solve the problem of value exchange.

Unfortunately, bitcoin as a currency but also has the two properties. First, it is a bottom-up: people are free to choose to buy bitcoin for investment or trading, the government cannot intervene. But at the same time it is top-down: Nakamoto bitcoin God not only set the block size, also set up the detailed technical parameters, such as limiting only 21 million bitcoins in circulation system.

Mr. Beck said, all this after all is to seek a balance point: if the bitcoin system becomes too large and too fast, it will become a centralized payment system, the government can treat money as easy to intervene. The reason is that if the storage and verification of transaction records of the block chain becomes too large, ordinary users will not be able to through a personal computer to handle the transaction, the transaction information to master all in large data centers. Therefore, Mr Beck wants to maintain a relatively small area, and in other ways to optimize the bitcoin trading system, such as small high-frequency trading alone opens the trading channel, processing ability to release the blockchain, and lobbied for a certain amount of the transaction will be consolidated to block data chain (the design is called “LightningNetwork”). In order to alleviate the bitcoin system congestion, Mr. Beck and other bitcoin core developers to develop a soft bifurcation scheme increases transaction block density for “isolated witness” technology or SegWit.

If Mr Beck is an idealist, so Wu is a pragmatist. He believes that at least in the foreseeable future, the bitcoin system in size and encryption on the two can only choose one. For him, the Cong God is of practical and decided not to block the size of fighting against the government, not to change its capacity is “jiezeeryu”. He quickly put the support of those who want to block the expansion to two times or even in the future expansion to a higher capacity of the camp.

Behind these differences in bitcoin beliefs on the hidden is the struggle for economic benefits. Bit, the company not only foreign mining companies themselves and hardware sales, the mining machine’s largest customer (Wu always claimed he controls the bitcoin system all force 1/10). The company also operates a huge “mining pool”, for “small miners” common mining into common access. He also claimed to have a considerable number of bitcoin. Large bitcoin related assets owned by the Wu see bitcoin system to continue to expand the scale and not to change the encryption system.

For Mr Beck and his men, interest is more complex. Mr Beck ran Blockstream, staff and maintenance of bitcoin client (BitcoinCore) the development team is different: Blockstream’s developer is only a small number of full-time work for the company. Most involved in upgrading the bitcoin system developers to the Blockstream company with code just because this thing is very challenging, or just want to protect bitcoin free spirit. However, if the development of bitcoin as Mr Beck would like it, then Blockstream company and its owners will benefit a lot of gold. Because Blockstream can be easily extended from LightningNetwork and other software block money.

In the early days of the Internet in the construction of a similar civil war, developers try to reset the organizational rules, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF, responsible for the early development of Internet standards and promotion). Learn from history, and then the same IETF, bitcoin is going in the direction of more comprehensive reform itself, but the difference is that bitcoin is a system of direct management of billions of dollars, the change of the underlying protocol difficulty as can be imagined. The bottom of the miners as another force growing agreement makes change more one disaster after another. The main source of income for the miners is “block reward”: the world of the miners carried out once every ten minutes. The game, the winner will receive a new block and 12.5 coins in the new block, the reward is calculated according to the recent bitcoin exchange rate of about $30000.

In the Cong God expected, by mining should be scattered throughout the Internet around the individual user to complete. But in the actual operation due to the large ore mining have more advantage than the small machine, so this highly centralized mining operation quickly became a complete industry. Because of the advantages of establishing China richly endowed by nature of many of the mining data center, the cheapest power accounted for the global mining power consumed by more than 60%. The strength of the mining industry to China veto: no matter what modifications are only in China large mine owners agreed to implement, can truly become the industry consensus run up.

Now, bitcoin upgrade disputes are described as media between Chinese mining companies and Western developers deathmatch. In fact Mr Beck mentioned in the sum of Wu is very kind to each other and appreciate each other, but this does not prevent the civil war continued: mining data center was hacked; bitcoin system spam everywhere, people in the crowded building blocks in the system”. They have organized several promotion are voted to block as a unit, trying to win over enough to enforce a block expansion scheme.

These numerous and disorderly dispute has lasted for several years. But with the drag on, to bitcoin in electronic money leading position, it is not only based on a chain block encryption currency, it faces a new crypto currency competition, such as Ethernet square block chain was launched two years ago, the platform has a rapid development, there are also etheric Fang the encryption currency has risen in the world a new fund-raising way: “blockchain congregation (ICO). EminGunSirer of the Cornell University, said: “when the bitcoin internal stalemate when the new currency is the rise of the day.”

From other encryption currency competition to the bitcoin community reached a consensus in July 21st. Earlier this year, a group of bitcoin activists trying to push SegWit, equivalent to SegWit scheme does not perform the miners kicked out of the bitcoin system, their hands bitcoin will not be able to deal in the new system. In response, Mr. Wu in June issued a separate portal “emergency plan”: if he did, he would block its capacity expansion to 2Mb, to organize the new settlement system, and is not compatible with the original bitcoin to become the new currency separate from the original encryption system.

In order to avoid the worst, bitcoin companies to negotiate a “SegWit2x” compromise plan, the first implementation of SegWit technology upgrade in mid August, and then in the three months after the block size up to 2Mb. Is this compromise has received great support from almost all the miners.

At least for now, bitcoin is not split. But SegWit seems to be the technical scheme of a permanent deployment, will enable the bitcoin system to maintain long-term stability. But developers have expressed considerable concern, because the SegWit2x scheme in all time points to upgrade too urgent, upgrade the whole extended to 12-18 months would be a little more appropriate. Upgrade the bitcoin system in such a short time, if the unexpected or delay caused outrage, bitcoin will inevitably fall apart. When the world will see a name for bitcoin’s epic war, the winner will be the rightful heir to the bitcoin system.

Whatever the outcome, the chaos bitcoin civil war brought us a lesson of blood. Strong management mechanism is to the center of the currency or other encryption system block chain based in the development and expansion of the premise of maintaining internal close contact. Otherwise it will cause the system rigid, lack of vitality. “Proficient” bitcoin author AndreasAntonopoulos believes that due to the currency is to replace the encryption mechanism of decision and design, so developers and owners must find other way of making decisions for the management and development of the bitcoin system.

Another system based on the Tezos block chain, will soon launch a new management mechanism: not only to optimize the system that regularly vote, to assess and recommend the use of more scientific methods, and provide incentives for developers to provide advice. If the developer proposal is system acceptance, they will get Tezos coins as a reward. This approach seems to poke the pain points are crypto currency game player: when Tezos earlier this month, the end of the block chain to raise the public, it has won the There was no parallel in history. public to raise $232 million of funds.

Therefore, even if the final end to avoid the divide and rule of the civil war, bitcoin to crypto currency development road made a watershed: bitcoin dominated era is over, the future market is to All flowers bloom together. encryption currency. The winners will be those without power management but also can quickly change their rules to adapt to the currency market system encryption.

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