Blocksize: A Matter of Logistics

Discussions regarding the block size are often burdened by complex technical and engineering details, but fail to emphasize the key driver of Bitcoin’s future success. The critical driver of Bitcoin’s future success is its continued utility. If Bitcoin should for any reason become useless, it will become irrelevant! If it were to become inaccessible, or if it were to perform poorly in its main functions (1) assuring the security of the cryptographically scarce counterfeit resistant digital token bitcoin or (2) fail to securely facilitate the movement of these tokens from one address to another in an efficient, reliable, predictable and affordable manner – Bitcoin & bitcoin would become irrelevant. The original maximum allowable block size was 32MB1. In the early

Read more

Ethereum For Everyone

 Introduction Everyone should know about Ethereum—and this article will explain why. The goal here is to describe this groundbreaking software project in layman’s terms. A big-picture approach will be taken, analyzing Ethereum’s design and implementation with comparisons to legacy computer systems. Liberty will be taken to simplify some of the technical details, so emphasis can be placed on the fundamental architecture and socio-economic implications of this radical innovation. Ethereum is an ambitious open source endeavor that promises to change the world by revolutionizing the utility of the Internet [1]. There are far-reaching implications for engineering a better, more honest world. Ethereum is creating a “truth” protocol with unlimited flexibility, allowing anyone and everyone to interact peer-to-peer using the Internet as

Read more

Bitcoin & Blockchain Programming #007 – RPCs via Python

by Albert Szmigielski Previously we issued commands to bitcoind via PHP using Remote Procedure Calls. In today’s tutorial we will do the same using Python. We are assuming you have python installed on your machine. On Ubuntu 14.0.4 Python 3.4 is installed by default. If you do not have Python installed, just do a search on how to do it, there is a number of good tutorials out there. Or depending on your system you can try

If you are not sure if Python is installed on your system you can check by doing:

for versions 2.x or

for versions 3.x The RPCs to bitcoind are accomplished via json format, so we will need a library for

Read more

Primer: Think about accepting bitcoin.

Many friends label me a Bitcoin fanatic, however let me first state that Bitcoin alone will not save your business, will not make you wealthy, and is not essential for a successful business; at least not today.  Bitcoin remains small[1], but important in a growing niche payments technology space.  We will see more of it in the future.  In 2009, Bitcoin introduced two fundamental innovations[2]; the blockchain: a secure public ledger managing the possession of a cryptographically scarce counterfeit resistant digital token.  That token, bitcoin with a small ‘b’ is what a merchant may accept at the register alongside cash and credit cards.  That token, BTC (aka XBT), in the last 7 years, has achieved a real world value which

Read more

Bitcoin & Blockchain Programming #006 – Blockchain Notary System Design

by Albert Szmigielski Notary System Let’s design a notary system. A system that can notarize a document and store it. There are three solutions possible: a decentralized one, that can keep functioning for ever, a centralized system that would depend on a company running it, and a combination of both. We would like the system to be decentralized, so that in the event of our company’s demise the system can keep on functioning. This is a desirable property to have as wills may need to exist for decades before they are executed. In addition to this we will have a centralized component where we keep the information stored for our users. Added functionality like storing authorized users able to access

Read more

An Overview of MaidSafe’s SAFE Network – Secure Access For Everyone

  If you have additional points to add, be part of the conversation! Please comment below! Brief History MaidSafe is the only cryptocurrency project I know of that is older than Bitcoin. It started in 2006, raising 5 million dollars to fund a 14-person team working towards the goal of decentralizing the internet. [1] Since then, the project has had more face-lifts than an aging D-list celebrity. Last year they even completely rewrote the C++ code into a new programming language called Rust. [2] The Maidsafe team is finally about to release the first version of their long awaited minimum viable product to the general public. [3] I can’t wait to try it out! What is it? The SAFE Network

Read more

Rootstock – Smart Contracts on the Bitcoin Blockchain

by Albert Szmigielski As a concept the Rootstock [1] platform is one of those ideas that once it is proposed it is obvious that it is a great idea. Essentially Rootstock aims to be what Ethereum is, a decentralized, Turing-complete smart contract platform. However, Rootstock aims to utilize the Bitcoin ecosystem rather than creating a new one from scratch. The way this will be accomplished is via the still not fully implemented sidechains technology [2]. This approach presents both advantages, and its own set of challenges. We will briefly outline what the Rootstock platform promises to offer and then will discuss the main points of the proposal. Smart Contract Platform Smart contracts are an active area of interest and research.

Read more

New Book Review: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies

For anyone serious about understanding the technical inner workings of Bitcoin, Princeton University Press will be releasing a new textbook later this year: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies. After studying this book and doing the exercises, you will understand how Bitcoin works in detail, and see why there is so much commercial interest surrounding blockchain technology, not to mention the potential social and political ramifications. This book is both technically rigorous and very accessible—an indispensable reference for any serious student of cryptocurrencies. CryptoIQ’s very own Research Director, Albert Szmigielski, is mentioned in the Introduction for his help in reviewing the text. A free draft version of the book is available here. Check it out! -Paul Jones

Read more

Compiling Bitcoin Classic from Source on Ubuntu

by Albert Szmigielski If you would like to run Bitcoin Classic and you want to build it from source here is the way to do it. In your terminal navigate to the directory you want Bitcoin Classic to reside in. Then clone the GitHub repository:

cd into the Bitcoin classic directory

checkout the branch with 2MB support

Now run the autogen, and configure scripts

If any of the dependencies are missing then configure will let you know, install the dependencies (see below) and try again from ./configure If all the dependencies are met you can now build (this will take a few minutes)

optionally you can also install

If all the dependencies were met

Read more

Bitcoin: The Maximum Block Size Debate, Much Ado About Nothing?

Headlines Can Deceive News headlines can be like movie trailers. Too short to give an accurate picture of the full story—designed to grab attention and often deceptive. This article will explain in layman’s terms the issues surrounding one of the hottest Bitcoin * topics of late, known as “the maximum block size debate”. There is a lot of confusion swirling around the media. For those lacking insight into the mechanics of Bitcoin, simply scanning headlines can leave a misinformed impression. Mike Hearn, a former core developer, recently created major commotion with his blog post titled, The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment [1]. His post was followed by a prominent article in the New York Times, sounding a premature death knell

Read more

Block Size Debate – Devs vs Miners

By: Griff Green Backround When Satoshi put the 1mb block size limit in place, it was done without explanation. The general understanding was that it was done as an anti-DoS mechanism and it would eventually be removed. [1] Now without Satoshi to lead this complex ecosystem, the exact course of action is seemingly impossible to agree upon. There are 7 developers that control the github [2], countless exchanges, mining pools, merchants, etc each with their own interests not to mention their own time zone and first language. [3] Expecting so many diverse organizations to reach consensus is ironically unreasonable, but that doesn’t mean people haven’t tried! There are several BIP Proposals [4] that are trying to address the block size

Read more

Bitcoin Block Size Debate – Two sides to each coin.

by Albert Szmigielski As Bitcoin, the secure network and bitcoin, the currency gain in popularity, the number of transactions per time frame, and therefore per block increases. There is a limit to the number of transactions that can be included in a block. As the number of transactions is trending upwards, we are approaching the 1MB per block limit. A natural reaction would be to shrug and say: “so what, just raise the limit, problem solved”. However raising the limit has consequences on the economics of the network. Conversely, not changing the limit presents a different set of consequences. What follows is a summary and a review of arguments for and against the block size increase. Those in favour. The

Read more