Edward Snowden: bitcoin blockchain and in my eyes

Editor’s note: This article from the vernacular block chain (ID:hellobtc), the original author: Ben Wizner,: Wendy, compiled by Odaily authorized reprint daily planet.

 Edward Snowden: bitcoin blockchain and in my eyes Introduction: the author is Ben Vizner (Ben Wizner), he is the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, author and civil liberties advocates. Since the 7 2013 years, he has served as Edward Snowden’s chief lawyer (Edward Snowden). In order to show the form of dialogue, by exposing U.S. prism project “and” listening “” hero “of the block chain and bitcoin views to the readers.

Ben Vizner is a block of white block chain chain, understand only “heard”, but Edward Snowden seems very knowledgeable about this technique. White VS experts do not know how many people will be in the wizna and Edward Snowden found his own shadow?

This is Ben wizna and Edward Snowden a chat, in this talk, Snowden to the science block chain (hereinafter BW on behalf of Ben Vizner, ES Edward Snowden):

BW: Electronic Frontier Foundation (an international non-profit advocacy organization and digital copyright law) recently made a joke “Download all the explanation to the center of the block chain and that money is the future of twitter, articles and messages need to expend their energy will soon overtake Denmark’s power consumption throughout the country.” Indeed, about “what” is the block chain, there are many statements online, but I only feel shy to admit, I still do not understand.

ES: Well, I accept your challenge. Start from easy: you of the mysterious block chain how?

BW: if I 4 years ago to be able to calm down and listen to you say these, I will probably have become rich? I often hear the word, but the understanding of it less and less. To the center of the “books” and other words often appear. So what is the blockchain?

ES is basically a new database. Just imagine, it will continue to be updated, but not with the old record of confusion — it’s like you can add a new link in the old chain to make it more powerful.

BW: the block chain to solve the problem in the end?

ES: a word: trust. Suppose there is a old database, just click the mouse and select save can modify any records; and then assume into these records and your bank balance, if someone can give you the balance to zero, it is too bad. Unless your bank account only student loans.

The point is, if in a system one can modify the record at any time with the mouse, then you have no choice but to trust them to be able to do the job and is a very good man. However, people in this aspect is not what good record. Block chain can create a cannot be manipulated in history.

 Edward Snowden: bitcoin blockchain and in my eyes

BW: what is history?

ES: transaction. The concept of block chain the earliest and most well-known incarnation is bitcoin, a new type of currency. But in recent months, we have seen a lot of people trying to get into these different historical records, all records need to be archived and should not be tampered with, including medical records and contracts.

From the technical level of the most basic, block chain is something for a time stamp, in order to prove that they are not tampered with. The first bitcoin – “creation block” contains the “proof”, until today, you can also check.

Like there is a password punk and the newspaper took a self timer to prove this new bitcoin blockchain is not in a few months or a few years ago secretly appear (if that is the case, the founder can have an unfair advantage, we’ll talk about later this).

BW: block chain is the transaction history. It’s really disappointing. I remember I heard a lot of exaggeration: block chain can resist censorship, block chain is a method to solve the online platform of monopoly.

ES: some remarks just hype. In fact, theoretically the application block chain is varied. But physically, we are a very simple concept in the discussion. Therefore, these applications are just this one theme: the evolution of calculation can be verified.

Remember that the database? The whole process is to package data packets can be any data. If money is involved, it belongs to the record of the transaction, but can also be blogs, photos of cats, download links, and even chess game operation record. Then we come to these records be marked in a complex way, even if you want to protest, I am happy to explain the principle. However, if you are afraid of math, you can take this process as the notary system technology edition. Finally, we put these just notarized records assigned to members of the network, they will update to the independent audit records, and a copy of his. The last step is to make sure that no one can deceive the members of the network, after all, a lot of people have a copy.

Many people want to replace the existing monopoly censorship and ingrained through to the center of the. Today, important data are usually held exclusively by GenericCorp LLC, and the company can and do is sell in the public interest and any playing these data. But imagine if the data is distributed in hundreds of thousands of local jurisdictions, there does not exist any mechanism or “malicious” button, even create such a button also need to obtain a global consensus, usually at least 51% of the participants in the network to support amending the rules.

BW : that is, if Peter Thiel wins the lawsuit, the court ordered him removed part of the vampire diet articles, that there is no way out, right? Because the block chain magazine has released these articles.

ES: yes. As long as the “blockchain magazine” put the article in the public area to the center of the chain, even if the court ordered the burnt their office will not cause what impact on the network.

BW: so this is how to achieve?

ES: you finally asked some interesting things. Ready for some abstract mathematical concepts? If you don’t love finance, we can start from a fictitious block chain blog, ignore the bitcoin. I just said, the blockchain most mathematical features of meaning is, even if the article is not be changed after the release.

In simple terms, you can put each post just as block chain blocks. Every time you publish a new article, you give the chain with a link. Even if it is to modify or update an old article, also need to be added to the end of this chain, will not delete any content.

If you are worried about the control or censorship, in block chain, has completed what is completed. If you want to delete a block, you must first of all blocks after the destruction of this block, but to persuade all members of the network, your history data is correct, this is completely impossible.

Why this is hard to do? Block chain is precision mathematics based on records, sounds great. But what does this mean? What will prevent you from adding a new block? What makes your existing links cannot be modified?

We need to clear the following: recording, time stamp and prove the authenticity of.

Technically speaking, the operation process is a new block to block the chain (the chain on the next link) plus a block as well as the contents of a time stamp (issued in chronological order), and then put them together (Hashi Hashing) “that can be added to this block is block chain.

 Edward Snowden: bitcoin blockchain and in my eyes

BW: “Hashing”? This verb really exist?

ES: a cryptographic hash function is a mathematical problem, through a predictable way to transform any data. No matter what time, as long as you use hash function to display the same photo of a cat, you will always get the same results. We have Hashi, the result is called the picture “(Hash), the process from the photos to the math problem called” Hashi “(Hashing) this photo. Another point is very important, if you use the cat photo processing hash function a little difference exactly the same, even a very small difference, you will get a completely different hash data.

BW: hash function can handle any data? Can you hash a blog or a financial transaction or “Moby Dick” (a novel)?

ES: yes. We can block different hash, and I said, after the block is to beautify the database update, can be a financial transaction, network link, medical records etc.. Each was added to the chain block chain will identify and verify the hash, hash hash data source here on a block. It is a complete chain can be traced back to the first block.

I have tried not to say some of the technical terms, but the important thing is to understand the concept, such as chain blocks should be verifiable, strictly abide by the order of time, and can not be changed. Each to create a new block (bitcoin every 10 minutes a block), are proved effective to block before this way, the sooner the more difficult it is to modify the block, unless completely destroyed the entire chain.

So, after Peter Thiel heard the sound of the wind, if you want to “kill” the chain is too late, because it has built thousands of published and verifiable history.

BW: so you can save the Internet? Can you tell me why some people think that the blockchain can replace large platform monopoly? How is it weaken the influence of the Amazon or Google?

ES: I think the answer is “wishful thinking”, at least in a short period of time is so. We cannot assert that Amazon does not involve money, but I think that compared with the publishing industry chain block in trading for more, because the efficiency of the industry is relatively low.

Remember the first my case? The old version of the database of the bank balance. This setting is faster, cheaper and more convenient, but it is prone to problems or abuse of authority, credibility is the source of the problem engineers mouth “”. Block chain at the price of efficiency, eliminated the trusted authority. At present, Visa and MasterCard and other traditional “authority” can handle tens of thousands of transactions per second, while bitcoin can only handle 7 pen. However, there have been people in solving the problem of the efficiency of the current weak, believe that in the next few years, we will see the blockchain transaction processing efficiency greatly enhanced, which will no longer be a big problem.

BW: it seems I cannot hide the problem. When it comes to encryption currency, in my mind there will be a picture of a big palace some little brother living in Puerto Rico and other places, inside the beautiful decoration, hot outside. You are a good time to talk to me about bitcoin.

ES: I don’t want to hear the bad news, but Zuckerberg has a lot of money. Money is indeed showing blockchain is the best and most well-known example.

 Edward Snowden: bitcoin blockchain and in my eyes

BW: the currency block chain solve any problem?

ES: also trust. I don’t want to say too complicated. You ask, what is the currency today? Some cotton paper is right? But in most cases, this is your passport into the database. Some banks tell you, you have 300 rupees, you may want them to give you the same or a greater number of tomorrow.

If you don’t have a bank account, perhaps because you cannot meet the opening condition; perhaps in your life where the bank does not reliable, like Cyprus, the bank to save his people through the search of deposits; or the currency itself is not perfect, like Venezuela and Zimbabwe, you can buy a suite of savings yesterday, today, even a cup of coffee can not afford. The monetary system is too failed.

BW: wait. Why bitcoin worth? Where the value of bitcoin from? What is the support it? If I hold a bitcoin, I really have it?

ES: good question. You in the hands of a few green paper why? If you haven’t said to detest the world and its ways “because they have a gun”, which is the difference between legal tender and Monopoly money, they are practical in terms of scarcity and hedging and trading, we have reached a consensus on this point.

Do not say first notes, after all they are without value. First talk about why gold is so valuable, but has not been used in daily life? Because people think it is worth more than the actual value. There is a social concept, the gold from the ground up. Then on the shelf, the process cost is very high, and people love to its valuation, so put a kind of boring metal became the world’s oldest hedge products.

Bitcoin blockchain encryption currency based on a foundation in fact: after all, only a limited value that allows you to store data in the block chain, so that each block chain participants save a copy for you. But the scarcity of money is part of the encrypted real: the total bitcoin is only 2100 million. Mining equipment and electricity competition involving hundreds of millions of dollars, many economists believe that this is to support the price of bitcoin.

However, one can not ignore the fact that recognition of its trading practical encryption is the only source of monetary value, namely encryption currency can be transfer large amounts of funds around the globe every day, but do not need to participate in the bank. As long as people do not want to transfer money through banks, the existence value of encryption currency will.

 Edward Snowden: bitcoin blockchain and in my eyes

BW: you? What’s your opinion?

ES: I like bitcoin transactions, because they are very fair. You can’t stop or withdraw bitcoin transactions. The bank may not want for people like me to handle the transaction. In the traditional financial system, Bank of America and other similar institutions have so much power. If a person is a young man from Venezuela to Paris to help make web development tools, and the other to pay the hard currency to him, but because of the currency controls, the other party can not directly transfer fiat money, at this time the encryption currency comes in handy. Bitcoin may not be real private money, but it is indeed the first free currency.

Bitcoin has competitors. One of the projects they want to make money a Luo, trading becomes untraceable, plus some tricks when people send transactions. There is a new project called Zcash, the innovative use of mathematics to achieve complete privatization transactions. In the next 5 years if we cannot use the default private transactions, then there must be legal problems, with independent technology.

BW: that is to say, if this ordinary blocked bank account to cut off your income, you can still receive due lecture fees.

ES: he also pushed.

BW: I think the drawback is that sometimes, the government blocked transactions tracking or is out of the consideration of the public interest, such as taxes, sanctions and control of terrorist financing. We want you to have a stable income, but also hope to continue to corrupt dictator sanctions.

ES: if you don’t worry about bitcoin, a rich man is not tax evasion, I can only say that you are too naive. You raised a very good point, but I think most people would agree that we did not touch the government’s bottom line. People generally need to the magic of the internet currency convertible into other currencies to buy luxury goods, so the government is not too worried.

BW: you talk with. The bitcoin cash does not affect you say the young people from Venezuela?

ES: the difference in the size. If the Venezuelan young people want to put the salary of a month (in the form of encryption currency) converted into local currency, so the young people do not need to provide identity information, do not even need a bank. This is that people will use in our daily cash transactions, especially in developing countries. But if there is a corrupt dictator wanted to build a value of 400 million dollar yacht, even if shipbuilding people are not so much liquidity, no Internet money involved, this does not mean that the police will not find them.

Similarly, governments can work together to combat the “real” criminals, such as Ben Laden, but it is difficult to suppress the dissidents. France and Chinese can trace the Ben Laden bitcoin wallet, but incapable of action of dissidents without causing major damage.

BW: you mean, bitcoin for those heinous people actually useless?

ES: even hurt them. On the block chain means that they must have evidence of a crime exists on the computer, according to us what one sees and hears the last 10 years, government investigators penetrate people’s personal computer is a piece of cake.

 Edward Snowden: bitcoin blockchain and in my eyes

BW: what do you think of encryption currency and there is no dark side chain block?

ES: all new technologies are the same, there will be a subversion of abuse. The problem is whether to make a balance between the two, the influence is positive or negative. The biggest problem lies in the inequality of opportunity: some new technology is not so simple, but it is still very difficult to understand. They (the technology creator) assumes that the use of technology, infrastructure and education level is equal. Globalization has a profound impact on the world economy, leading a big winner, and the losers have the same level of damage. Blockchain first mover advantage is the same.

BW: Internet economy show is a platform can be decentralized, but money and power can still be very centralized.

ES: yes. I also put forward some technical criticism here. Encryption currency is usually set up in the two “lottery” system, is a proof of work (PoW), is a proof of interest (PoS), stop the attack in order to protect the network, it is a necessary evil. The two are not perfect. PoW will reward those most affordable equipment (machine) and electricity, it will bring negative impact, but also in favor of the rich. PoS to solve environmental problems, directly to the rich rewards, they hope the endless competition desire can let the game continue. Needless to say, we need a new model.

BW: say that environmental problems. Why is this amazing internet currency need so much energy?

ES: if you decided to dig bitcoin. You should know the total bitcoin Co., every ten minutes will produce new bitcoin. To distribute bitcoin, the original creator designed a very clever mechanism: a global mathematical contest. This competition every ten minutes of a game, the winner can take every round of reward: some new, never used bitcoin, as long as the solution of a mathematical problem, you can create a new bitcoin. In order to prevent bitcoin output speed is too fast, the difficulty of mathematical problems based on the problem before the difficulty of adjustment. This mechanism explains why no matter how many people participate in the competition, playing time in 10 minutes.

There is a flaw in this clever design, it is not expected to be so successful bitcoin. The reward for solving mathematical problems from the beginning of a few cents now thousands of dollars and therefore attract a lot of people consume a lot of energy, the establishment of large-scale data center to participate in this contest is mathematics or mining. Because of the competition in the emergence of a large number of work force, so the difficulty is more and more high.

This means that the biggest winners are those who have the ability to invest millions of dollars to solve this math problem in mining meaningless outside of the people, the only way to prevent the blockchain attack.

BW: sounds like…… Nihilism. We have some more things. Because of the endless speculation, I want to know the blockchain. Some governments think bitcoin threat to world order, some VC that block chain to open a transparent golden age. But you told me this is just a new database.

ES technology is a technology, which is the most basic. It is important to apply. The real question is not “what is the blockchain, but the block chain should be how to use”. It goes back to our initial dialogue: trust. We live in a world in which everyone would lie to all things, even the most ordinary young people on the Instagram will be a fictional do not belong to their lives. In the search engine, the same problem can get different answers. Everything you need to trust; at the same time, all things are not to be trusted.

This is interesting blockchain: it is that can help us to create the trust system of small gear. A block chain, one important point is that they are very boring, the efficiency is very low, very wasteful, but the design is very clever, can not be tampered with. In a world full of lies, authenticity to prove something is a great progress. Perhaps your bank account value, perhaps your Nike shoes of origin, perhaps you are in the headmaster’s office files, as long as the chain, even if the whole world can see, is not to change the record. Exciting is that all things are traceable and verifiable. The problem is whether voluntary.

BW: you look out of the test phase of the blockchain application?

ES: what do you think?

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