Transcribed by me from episode #385 of Let's Talk Bitcoin submitted by
Tweetstorm of the highlights: https://twitter.com/Sesame4Bitcoins/status/1087970527887667200
On the topic of different blockchains: Jonathan Mohan
: One of my favourite people to talk to about this is Joey from Augur because he tried to build Augur on top of Bitcoin. They [Bitcoin community] made him feel like he was the dick for even asking, that he was wasting their time. It was just a very toxic experience of trying to work with that community those developers who try to build on top of Bitcoin. He would turn to Ethereum and say, “hey, there's this bug I have that Ethereum can't handle,” and then a week later Vitalik would just update the Ethereum protocol. Andreas Antonopolous
: I think that's a perfect demonstration of not just the difference in philosophy but more importantly the difference in application space. The reason Bitcoin is, and has been, and continues to be conservatively developed is because its area of specialization is super robust, super secure, super deterministic, sound money, and operating in highly adversarial environments where you can't expect the goodwill and cooperation of anyone.
Not the hardware vendors, not the miners, not world's governments, not institutions, and in that environment it serves some very important needs that don't exist in the world today. To be truly neutral, truly sound global money, it has to do those things, and that means you can't have the kind of flexibility where one person decides let's add something to the protocol without very carefully thinking about all of the implications that has down the road - Bitcoin has specialized in that domain
It's why even though I believe we'll have a proliferation of different currencies in the long run, none of those will be able to effectively compete for the one application of super secure robust sound money that survives adversarial environments. And for exactly that reason Ethereum, can't do that, will never do that. In fact, if it tries to do [sound money] it would actually destroy its other benefits (flexibility)
. Those are two different application spaces and you can't occupy both at the same time.
Sure, some developers are just dicks and that has nothing to do with with the underlying issue but some of that has to do with the fact that Bitcoin has to be more conservative in order to serve that application space. It cannot simply adopt changes without thinking very very far ahead about the implications those changes will have. Bitcoin is not something you build companies on top of. Bitcoin is something you build economies on top of.
I never saw really Bitcoin as something that you build companies or apps on top of. The broader cryptocurrency space is playing that game out, and ironically, all of those other things/apps fail to work if you shut off the ability for them to have a sound, neutral money that can be exchanged no matter what, anywhere. Adam B. Levine
: So that kind of brings to mind another question, do you have any past strongly held convictions regarding Bitcoin or cryptocurrency where you've changed your mind? Andreas M. Antonopolous
: Back in 2015. I thought that we had to address scaling sooner rather than later, and I made some comments about that. I supported a tweet that Gavin Andresen made at the time about increasing the block size and that was a belief that I held strongly. Over the next year, I took a 180 and went in the exact opposite direction. The reason I made a 180 was really simple: from the very early stages, I believed in this idea that the protocol ossifies over time as it gets embedded in more devices. And once it's ossified, you can't make any changes. So I've always thought we have a narrowing window of things we can change in the core protocol to make improvements, the absolutely necessary improvements, before that window shuts, and then you can't make any changes.
It's like IPV4 - it's in too many devices, you can't even upgrade it anymore. I believe that's happening. When the scaling debates started I thought we had a window of about two to three years. The debate around scaling which turned into a power play demonstrated practically that that window had already closed for many controversial decisions.
That we could not reach consensus, and that the power struggle and ability to make money in that power struggle was already trumping engineering. At that point I realized that in fact, that window was much narrower.
Once I realized that, I also understood that there are other more important things that need to be done first: privacy being the most important. And if we have a narrow window, privacy needs to be done in the base layer but scaling can be done in the second layer. Therefore I flipped. I've started believing that privacy was needed first and scalability could wait until later and mostly be done on the second layer quite effectively. I took a lot of flack for that, but it wasn't arbitrary. It was because the facts changed and based on new facts a strongly held opinion was worth nothing because I had to revise my understanding of the space. Jonathan Mohan
: I don't think the enemies of Bitcoin are the Rogers or the Bitcoin Cash guys. I think the real enemies are going to be the exchanges in the listing agents and what they will or will not allow to be called Bitcoin when a consumer presses “buy,” when Bitcoin ultimately does have privacy
. There's no such thing as private money and I think that everyone says that. Bitcoin needs to be more like physical dollars, and I think that if you try to sell physical dollars today, you go to jail. I don't know how legal Bitcoin will be once it's made private and further I don't know to what extent any of the people we consider allies like the Coinbases of the world would in any way support a Bitcoin with privacy in it. I actually I think we're past the point of Bitcoin having privacy, and if a Bitcoin were to have privacy that it would be some marginalized fork that no one can get access to.
I think so my fear has always been: make sure you're building SSL not PGP. Cuz almost everyone uses SSL no one uses PGP. I think we're at the point now where the facts as they are, it's that if Bitcoin were to become truly private, it would be basically the PGP of Bitcoin and the one that isn't would be the SSL of Bitcoin. Andreas Antonopolous
: I really like the fact that all of the privacy developments right now, specifically things like taproot and graftroot are actually around obfuscation and plausible deniability to give the exchanges a “see no evil” out of exactly that conundrum. Meaning that if it looks like a payment to a public key and you can no longer tell the difference between that and a Coinjoin, you're done. Stephanie Murphy
: I don't know what the future is gonna look like, and nobody knows. We can speculate and think about it and it's really fun, but at the end of the day, none of us can really even imagine it fully and we're gonna have to wait and see what happens, but that’s part of the excitement
. Being aware that you don't know is also exciting because you can just be surprised by what comes out and not try to control everything or plan everything. Andreas Antonopolous
: I'd like to take the opposite perspective, kind of more optimistic. Because what what you say is true and that's definitely happening but the opposite is also happening. Which is when I think that there's an intractable problem or a very hard problem that we seem stuck on, and then suddenly a brilliant solution emerges from nowhere that nobody expected. That was my experience with for example Ethereum. I had not imagined the application of smart contracts in the way Ethereum did it when it came out when I read that first whitepaper by Vitalik in 2014. I had not seen that coming. Mimble Wimble, Lightning Network, the softfork solutions in Segwit. There's all of these technologies and inventions that came out of nowhere, there was nothing really to prepare me for the idea that these were under development or that someone had thought of them, then boom, suddenly they're on the on the radar. So that's also another thing that makes this such an exciting space: can't predict anything other than it won't be boring.
Hi everybody, So we've been seeing quite a few new alt-chains release which is totally great! Only problem is, it seems like instead of doing innovative things or adding improvements, instead they're just coins that are easy to mine but which don't actually have any advantages besides being new.
This means they basically have no chance of succeeding, and instead of "IPO" coins where they are pre-mined, then released on one small exchange so "suckers" will buy them hoping to be buying early, but in fact they're buying late.
The miners sell, and this continues until people figure out that the coin doesn't actually have a chance in hell, at which point it collapses and the miners move on to a new coin.
I'm looking for suggestions of what you would consider a "Scam Coin" - What the benefit is of pre-mining, what alt-coins are NOT scamcoins. Looking for people both for and against various coins, we want to represent a variety of perspectives.
This show will run middle of next month, we'll be recording interviews over skype with stakeholders in the next two weeks. Please post your interest here, email me at [email protected]
, or send me a PM.
Thanks, Adam B. Levine Editor-in-Chief [http://www.letstalkbitcoin.com](Let's
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