Hi, this is my first post here on reddit. I've been in bitcoin since 2013, haven't posted a lot though. I am however quite active on tradingview, and would like to share my view on bitcoin longterm price growth, so that people might learn how the BTC cycles work, and that the fundamental bitcoin price drivers are: 1. The halvings
Metcalfe's law and network growth
That's why I think we've almost reached the low in the current bearmarket. It sure could go as low as 1500-2500, but that's just random noise in the long run. Anyways, here's one of my charts from 7 months ago, which seems to be quite accurate so far: https://www.tradingview.com/chart/BLX/uYKn9Nrx-Bitcoin-longterm-chart/ Price growth follows a square-root function in the logarithmic chart. Longterm target 2030+ : 1million USD per BTC ;) There will be many more bull- and bearmarkets. It's normal and part of the growing process.
Remember that BTC price has a ceiling proportional to number of tx it supports
The value of a network is proportional to the square of number of connected users [Source]. In case of crypto, we don't have the exact number of users, however number of tx is a good measure. Though HODLers can increase speculative value, number of users increase the real network value Price closely mirrors the TX count in all major networks:
The format of this post has been modified to be more reddit friendly. Apologies for any momentum lost. This piece was written in collaboration with u/beerchicken8. He deserves a massive amount of credit and our thought experiment could not have been generated without him. We wrote this piece to remind the community and new investors that we are incredibly early to this investment, and also to demonstrate that ETH is massively undervalued even if viewed as a network utility token. We meant for this to be as simple, yet impactful as possible. We are not in the practice of writing academic papers, but the narrative is clearly demonstrated. all data is accurate to May 22, 2017 A Crude Valuation of ETH Pundits and the media will look at the recent price graph and will likely tell you that cryptocurrencies are in a bubble. Sure the recent price action looks aggressive and may appear unsustainable, but it is hardly a bubble. In fact, it is likely that ETH is significantly undervalued. ETH Price Graph Crypto skeptics attempt to value bitcoin or ETH using conventional stock market metrics like P/E ratio or by comparing market capitalizations of crypto versus blue chip companies. These metrics do not fairly translate to cryptocurrencies. We can improve on that. Metcalfe's Law Image Description A close friend of mine stumbled across Metcalfe’s Law in an effort to properly value the market price of ETH, the cryptocurrency of ethereum. We can think of ETH as a demand-driven digital asset, since it is converted to gas to execute the smart contracts on the blockchain. It provides a vital network function: incentivizing miners to secure the blockchain. Therefore we should attempt to value ETH by attempting to value the ethereum network itself. We can use the daily transactions as our tool. Metcalfe’s Law aims to value the network effects of communication technologies like the Internet or social networking. The premise is that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. To determine a fair market price of ETH, we can compare the ethereum network transactions squared (or the network value) versus the market cap of ethereum. In the following chart, we chose to graph the log of our inputs for a better visualization of the correlation. Log graph of Transaction2 and Marketcap The scale is misleading, but when we look back at the ETH market cap and see that it fell below the network valuation around the time of the DAO hack. The market cap languished as the ETH price suffered from a lack of investor confidence. But as investors licked their wounds and Bitcoin maximalists cheered, the ethereum transactions have steadily increased; they even outpaced the price correction. Yet, that was just the log graph. This is the actual Metcalfe’s Law graph demonstrating that network value of ethereum vs the market cap: Metcalfe's Law for Ethereum We can see clearly that the market cap is significantly lagging the network effect. Theoretically, the network valuation calculated by transactions squared should equal the market cap. So here we are. We can conclude ETH appears cheap. But this is probably far from the truth: If the current network value equals the current market cap, we are completely discounting the future growth of the network. Stock investors will buy stocks on their future earnings and growth potential years in advance. The Tesla stock has outperformed every incumbent metric due to tantalizing growth projections. But Tesla will likely not generate profits for years. In the case of ETH, this growth discount is significant. Not only does it not appear to exist in the price, but we can make 3 safe assumptions to forecast the opportunity for incredible growth:
The corporate adoption of ethereum is ramping up: the current EEA onboarding of 86 companies last weekend and 100 more coming in June will accelerate the network transactions in the coming months. The sheer marketing network from these corporates should also draw additional attention to the burgeoning blockchain space. This will likely snowball into more corporate memberships as these companies aim to keep up with the joneses.
The EEA plans to standardize the basic smart contract functions. The collaboration between EEA Members using this enhanced functionality will provide more momentum to roll out of more dapps and use cases. This will further increase the network transactions.
The synergy of the dapps will exponentially increase ethereum’s network transactions as they stack protocols to change the world.
Also, there are additional factors accelerating the scarcity of ETH:
The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) auctions lock up ether for at minimum one year. These have only just begun as investors are claiming their naming rights for their wallet addresses.
The looming ‘Ice Age’ essentially reduces the daily issuance, or supply, or eth tokens. This decrease in supply should be price supportive as well.
We all know about the ‘network effect’, Metcalfe’s law etc etc. Kin’s arguably already leading the way on this front. ✔️ Kin.org/stats Blocktivity.info etc Then we have the FCAS scoring system you can see on CoinMarketCap- again Kin’s one of the very highest scorers in the whole of the cryptoverse ✔️ https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/kin/#ratings Another metric of ‘success’ is the amount of chatter on Reddit. After generic crypto, bitcoin and eth subs, guess who’s top? Yep. Kin. ✔️ https://cryptosub.live/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/research-reddit-crypto-related-discussion-volume-strongly-correlated-to-price And yet today Kin sits at 236 on the crypto charts. Laughable really. We all know that the three (main) things that have held or are holding us back are: lack of liquidity/exchanges, the seemingly endless ‘pivoting’ on blockchain plans and let’s not forget the SEC. The blockchain should now be sorted (no more pivots), the liquidity/exchanges should be easier to organise now we have migrated so that just leaves the SEC... Should the threat of the SEC really drag us down from hitting top 10 in most metrics to being valued as a coin in the 230s? Personally, I don’t think so. Bearing in mind there’s a shit-load of other projects (higher up the charts) that the SEC will also fall foul of the SEC. Like the rest of you, I’m curious to see how things look when the migration is complete and we’re finally on some liquid exchanges🤞
First would like to credit an article from Willy Woo from September as an inspiration for this analysis. Secondly I'm posting in the spirit of spurring discussion and getting feedback. I'm most definitely not an expert, not giving financial advise, yada yada yada. For God's sakes, if I were an "expert" I'd be sipping brandy, smoking cigars, and having some nice times with my girlfriend in the back of a yacht in Thailand, not posting on reddit in a condo eating mangos. Anyway, Metcalfe's Law: in short, the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants. This means that as members increase linearly, network value will increase quadratically (not exponentially). A simple way to think of it is a doubling in users increases value 4x. For this analysis to be valid we have to assume that Bitcoin is fundamentally a network (the "internet of money" as Andreas Antonopoulos calls it), not simply analogous to a commodity, stock, or precious metal, and therefore it's underlying value is tied to the size of it's network. So how big is the bitcoin network? Alas, there is no way to directly measure the number of Bitcoin users. You can't just count wallets because 1) the vast majority of wallets contain "dust" <0.001 bitcoin and 2) many users own multiple wallets. So the best we can do is find measurable data we think is correlated to the number of users. One set of data that's been suggested is network transactions excluding long chains (currently ~200k transactions/day). There are benefits and drawbacks to using this as I'm sure folks will point out. Let's roll with it. Taking the current market cap, and dividing it by this transaction value squared should (if Metcalfe's Law holds) produce a proportionality constant that remains roughly consistent over time. I'll call this the Transaction Metcalfe Ratio (TMR). Notice that by the ways it's calculated, a high TMR indicates the price is relatively high given the amount of actual transactions occurring (ie could indicate it's "overvalued" as a network). When we calculate TMR over the past 5 years you get the following chart: https://ibb.co/cqfKDF Two things that stand out: the Metcalfe ratio was relatively high and very volatile during and after the 2013-2014 price run-up. However when you look at the ratio starting around Q3 2015, it's remained both low and remarkably consistent, settling around 0.5, spiking up here and there occasionally to just above 1. This is an order of magnitude lower than where we were at in 2013. Interesting indeed. TLDR: Market cap may be holding consistent with Metcalfe's Law for at least a year and a half now. I like brandy.
It currently feels like every chart analyst and every "expert" says this is the bottom and I'm bearish af.
In general I think it is always good if several indicators/reasons pointing in one direction. I see the following: Previous bubbles have lost more than we currently have. Previous bubbles had similar "resistances" but broke through them eventually and had then following crashes that were highly unexpected. Metcalfes law says we have room to fall: https://news.bitcoin.com/bitcoin-value-to-lose-43-billion-by-years-end-researchers-argue/ Everyone is expecting another bull run pointing towards institutional money. I think the interest of institutional investors is also increasing in the price and vice versa. A further price drop could make them less inclined to invest. Previous bull markets occured after a first stable and the slightly increasing period. I think even if prices don't fall further it would go sideways for half a year. In financial markets the obvious answer is often wrong. Someone always needs to be fooled in order to make money. I think this time it will be the chart analysts and experts who did not go through the last bear market (fucking endless). I don't say chart analysis is complete bullshit, it can be useful sometimes. But to rely on it 100% of the time can be misleading. My best guess would be another crash of 50% bringing it to the 3k range. Disclaimer: I own 1 coin that I bought in 2013 (too broke to buy more) I'm fucking bullish long-term I'm shorting BTC with a few hundred bucks and I'm fully aware of the risks. What do you think?
Just some food for thought. Number of Ethereum wallets are going parabolic, yesterday over 100k new addresses were created. Ethereum transactions per day are in the 500k ballpark. Metcalfs Law says the value of a network is n squared, where n = number of users. If you take BTC which averages 330k tx/day and apply the formula you get a total network value of $109B. Bitcoins current market cap is $113B. So if this is a lagging indicator, ETHs value should be in the range of $250B or $2631/ETH. Because # of transactions by itself could be manipulated, this should only be part of a valuation model. So the next Ethereum bull run, when people start asking why the price is skyrocketing, it'll most likely be an upwards correction based on adoption, network effects, & herd mentality. Don't chase pumps, do your own research and due diligence. Put your money into undervalued assets and sell when they become over valued. Bitcoin addresses https://blockchain.info/charts/n-unique-addresses Bitcoin transactions per day https://blockchain.info/charts/n-transactions Ethereum addresses https://etherscan.io/chart/address Ethereum transactions per day https://etherscan.io/chart/tx
Have another perspective about Electroneum supply and decimal points! (RE-POST/reformat)
Argument 1: It is wrong that less number of decimals = less supply Let starts with the background of the debate: Hypothesis 1: Electroneum (ETN) has less supply than Bitcoin (BTC) Hypothesis 2: BTC has less supply than ETN The argument of Hypothesis 1 is that BTC has 8 “decimal points” and ETN only 2 “decimal points” which bring the argument to something like this: 1 satoshi = 0.00000001 BTC 1 mETN = 0.01 ETN Max supply of BTC is 21 Million, which is equal to 21 * 1014 satoshi. Max supply of ETN is 21 Billion which is equal to 21 * 1011 mETN. Which means ETN’s total supply is 1/1000 of BTC’s. The argument of Hypothesis 2 is that the “decimal points” is just “fractional notation” and it is not significant in the calculation of supply. Max supply of BTC is 21 Million BTC Max supply of ETN is 21 Billion ETN Which means BTC’s total supply is 1/1000 of ETN’s. At the beginning when Richard Ells explain about the 2 decimal points, I immediately thought: “No, you can’t do that!” “The fraction is insignificant; how can you include that into the calculation of total supply?” So, for quite a while, just the same as other people I tend to believe Hypothesis 2 is right and this is quite disturbing to think that ETN has this “flaw”. Then I came to a realization that I am thinking in technical/engineering formula concept and try to forced it into a dynamic currency calculation. This is a big flaw in hypothesis 2 argument, because we are using Math (as in pure Math calculation) perspective instead of the understanding of how Currency behaves or works. In Math, the unit of numbers is a standard, where 1 (100) is the lowest denominator, and decimal points are just the “fraction of the unit”, which gives the argument that no matter what is the length of the fraction, 21 Million will still be less than 21 Billion. But we are not talking/discussing about “just numbers” here, we are talking about a Currency. Currency has what is called as “circulating denomination unit”, and every currency has the lowest circulating denomination unit. For US Dollar and UK Pound, it is 1 cent or a penny. In Australian Dollar and Canadian Dollar, it is 5 cents (5 cents coin). So, when we talk about BTC has 8 decimal points and ETN has 2 decimal points, we are not just talking about fraction of unit, we are talking about the “lowest circulating denomination unit” of a currency. Consider this: Let say that ETN and BTC mining is getting harder and harder. The lowest unit a miner can earn is 0.01 ETN in Electroneum supply and 0.00000001 BTC in Bitcoin supply (we are not talking about price at the moment, but focus on supply). With 0.01 as the lowest unit that can be mined in ETN, that means for ETN to reach max supply is 21 Billion/0.01 or 21 * 1011. With 0.00000001 as the lowest unit that can be mined in BTC, that means for BTC to reach max supply is 21 Million/0.00000001 or 21 * 1014. Which simply means ETN will reach max supply faster, hence lower supply (or vice versa). If we are talking about token, then arguably Hypothesis 2 can be right, because tokens are just token; and they are not designed to be a currency, there are significant differences. Electroneum is designed as a currency and projected to be the “de-facto mass adopted” currency. So, think about it as a currency, NOT token. Let’s get further into this with some examples of “real” (i.e.: fiat) currencies. We know that currently US Dollar is one of the most (if not the most) dominant and popular currencies (fiat currencies). At the time of writing, these are the exchange rates of USD (US Dollar) to some other currencies (source: xe.com): 1 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) = 0.0000736762 USD (US Dollar) 1 USD = 13572.90414000722 IDR 1 VND (Vietnamese Dong) = 0.0000440036 USD (US Dollar) 1 USD = 22725.4133752693 VND Argument 2: The 2 decimal point in Electroneum is a flaw? Now, let’s talk about the lowest transactional/circulating denomination unit of USD. It is $0.01 USD, which is represented by a penny or 1 cent coin. Have you ever heard anyone say: “Hey, because USD lowest denomination unit is $0.01, this doesn’t make sense, this is a flaw. How am I going to exchange 100 IDR to USD? Because based on the exchange rate, 100 IDR is 0.0073762, it is not even 1 cent USD. The answer is you don’t. People (currency users) behaviour change, and they adjust to it. Currency is dynamic and involves people’s behaviour, not a static Math numbers. If you go to Bali (Bali is in Indonesia), the most common lowest denomination unit of IDR in circulation is Rp.500 (IDR). There might be 200, 100, 50 IDR in circulation, but people don’t use them much. I saw some drivers (Taxi or Uber) using 500 IDR as “parking fee” or as “small change”, some “parking operators” even say that 500 IDR is not enough for parking fee, it has to be 1000 or 2000 IDR or even more. Let say you come back from Bali with 10000 IDR left in your pocket. So, you go to bank to convert 10000 IDR to USD. You will get a weird looking face from the Teller trying to say “Are you serious?” Why? Because it is not practical or common practice to exchange 10000 IDR to USD (in cash), as it is less than 1 USD (not including fee/commission). They EXPECT you to exchange a much larger amount of IDR. Argument 3: The 2 decimal point will limit the price of Electroneum to something like $100, so 0.01 ETN will still be $1 Consider this: I never heard anyone say: “Oh no, this 2 decimal points in USD will limit the price of USD, so 1 USD will never go beyond 100 or 1000 IDR. The fact is, in the 90’s, 1 USD was around 1000 IDR or maybe even less, and now it is more than 13000 IDR. How can a 2 decimal points affect the price or limit the price of a currency? I cannot understand the argument. And this is just a fiat currency, as we all know that crypto currency is more “explosive” in creating price trend. Borrowing some examples from fiat currency again, does this mean that people will never use calculation that is beyond 2 decimal points (like 3 or more decimal points)? No, not necessarily, I believe more decimal points (something like 4 decimal points or even finer) are used in calculation of interest, loans, in exchanges, etc. Yet, it doesn’t deny the fact that the circulating denomination unit only has 2 decimal point. Currency is dynamic, people and businesses will find one way or another to adjust with the price and denomination unit. For example, in the old days when cash was king, when someone buy something in a shop with price of 80 cents, paid with 1 dollar bill. Then, the owner of the shop realized that he/she runs out of 20 cents coin and other less value coins. The owner of the shop will try to offer candy or chocolate or other cheap items as replacement for the change. The buyer might actually be happy with that because the buyer might appreciate candy or chocolate more than the spare change or coins. In some payment systems, they mathematically rounded the number to the closest denominator units, like 5 cents or 10 cents. In term of ETN, if necessary, when the price is skyrocketing. I believe, there will be some options, including creating “sub-currency”, akin to “Dollar coins”. You can buy something in ETN and get the “sub-currency” as a change. The sub-currency can either be pegged to ETN value or not, that can be defined later in the dynamic. Argument 4: Technology affects the price of currency. Really? Consider this article or infographic: https://illicittrade.com/infographics/worlds-most-counterfeited-currencies/ US Dollar is considered as the one of the world’s most counterfeited currency. Then, consider another article: https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0412/the-most-counterfeit-proof-currencies.aspx “ International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA) holds an awards ceremony for currencies and individuals that have made great leaps in protecting the integrity of currencies and the technologies that go into creating and manufacturing them. In 2011, the IACA voted the Bank of Uganda as the winner of the best new banknote.” Yet, 1 UGX = 0.000277417 USD. How come? Based on some arguments, that the more advanced the technology a currency has, the more valuable is the currency. Then, it supposed to be 1 USD = 0.000277417 UGX, not the opposite, right? How about Bitcoin? At the moment, BTC has relatively the least technological advantage to other coins. Then why its price is the top of the chart? Yes, you don’t want a currency that is very easily counterfeited that it is become “public secret” that everyone can counterfeit the currency at will. But you also don’t need the most secure anti-counterfeit technology to give value to the currency or make the currency as the most valuable currency. Consider this:
US Dollar, EU Euro, Japanese Yen, UK Pound, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar and Swiss Franc, why are they perceived as valuable currency to people, investor and trader?
Because they are the most traded currency in the world. I understand there are fundamentals factors affecting the value, but it cannot be denied that people perceived the most traded currencies are more stable and valuable.
“Analyst says 94% of bitcoin's price movement over the past four years can be explained by one equation”. That equation is about mass adoption or network effect. Put it simply, it shows that the success of Bitcoin and its price are NOT because it is the first, it is the most advanced technologically, it has the most unique features, etc. But because it gets the biggest mass adoption among other crypto currencies, at least for the time being.
Currency is dynamic. It involves people and people’s behaviour, not a static Math numbers or Technology features.
There are significant differences between crypto that is projected to be just token and the one that is projected to be currency.
When we talk about currency, people give value to currency because of “the fundamentals” value (because currency relates to the fundamentals of a country, policies and its users) and because it is the top traded/used currency in the world. But when we talk about crypto currency, I think many people agreed it is hard to understand “the fundamentals”, so I believe the easiest to understand the value is how it will be mass adopted. The fundamentals values, I believe, will be easier to see at later stages as they will become more tangible. These include relationships/partnerships, networks, how it will scale, how the team will keep progressing and keep making improvements (including technological improvements), the progression and manifestation of the planned roadmap, how agile is the team to respond to changes and challenges, and for ETN specifically, is the “ETN Community”. ETN community is a big asset for Electroneum like no other crypto currency has. So, what’s the deal with 2 decimal points? At the beginning, I thought this “2 decimal points” can be a drawback for ETN, but now I think it is a brilliant idea. Consider the following advantages of using 2 decimal points for ETN:
Easy to understand, human friendly notation.
Why is this important? In order for a currency to be widely adopted, people need to be comfortable enough to use it and understand the transaction quickly and easily. People are already accustomed to 2 decimal points in currency. People mindset are already trained to calculate in cents as in 0.01 and not more decimal points. Thus, this will greatly help mass adoption
Businesses’ accounting or business model are setup around this mindset of 2 decimal points or cents of currency.
So, if the business community wants to adopt a crypto currency like ETN, it is “just natural” adoption. For examples, some little things like, how are you going to invoice customer with a number that has 8 decimal points? It will take longer for the business to adapt and adjust with 8 decimals. It looks like simple thing, but if you try to implement it in the business model, then it can be huge. Another example, Businesses don’t need to adjust the format in their receipt/docket, because their current format is already 2 decimal points, just change the currency name to ETN, compare this with if the Business has to change the format of the purchase docket/receipt in 8 decimals. I am quite sure it will be quite chaotic in the first few weeks of implementation. Then how about the data format in the database, reconciliation process, etc, etc. The list can be very long just trying to adapt with 8 decimals.
When Electroneum tries to create business partnerships and relationships with other big Enterprise, entity, organisation, network, etc. They don’t need to “overhaul” their system for ETN to be included in their systems.
Thanks to 2 decimal points, which comes natural in every system that uses fiat currency, these integrations can be done faster and more easily. I think most IT people and developers understand how mind blogging it can be to change whole system just because we need to adapt with 8 decimal points and 2 decimal points at the same time. The key here is the integration of the systems can be done faster and easier.
One of the target of Electroneum is to be adopted by the unbanked people, which means ETN will become one of the main currency for the payment system, which might involves, at least at early stage, features for exchanging between ETN and local currency.
You can see as ETN comes naturally with 2 decimal points, just like other fiat currencies. Integration of payment system and legacy point of sale (POS) systems can be done much easier, because ETN behaves similar to other fiat currency in term of calculation (decimal points). The only differences (or benefits) are ETN is a crypto currency with faster transaction settlement, cheaper transaction fees, no country boundary (cheaper transfer fees), with no “middle man” like banks, no complicated registration to bank accounts, and has privacy features. So, Electroneum community and ETN HODLers, we can look forward to the full realization of Electroneum’s potentials in the near future. I got the “feeling” that Electroneum community will play significant roles like in no other crypto currency. Cheers, PS: In using some currencies as examples, I am not undermining the currencies or users of the currencies. I have some friends and relatives from some of these countries whom I know are richemuch richer than average people in developed countries (in terms of Dollar wealth). It is just for the sake of example. I hope no one get offended by this. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Electroneum, but I am an ETN ICO investor and HODLer. This is my personal opinion and perspective regarding the matter and NOT to be seen/taken as advise or suggestion in any kind.
Dr Peter R. Rizun, managing editor of the first peer-reviewed cryptocurrency journal, is an important Bitcoin researcher. He has also been attacked and censored for months by Core / Blockstream / Theymos. Now, he has now been *suspended* (from *all* subreddits) by some Reddit admin(s). Why?
Dr. Peter R. Rizun is arguably one of the most serious, prominent, and promising new voices in Bitcoin research today. He not only launched the first scientific peer-reviewed cryptocurrency journal - he has also consistently provided high-quality, serious and insightful posts, papers and presentations on reddit (in writing, at conferences, and on YouTube) covering a wide array of important topics ranging from blocksize, scaling and decentralization to networking theory, economics, and fee markets - including:
It was of course probably to be expected that such an important emerging new Bitcoin researcher would be constantly harrassed, attacked and censored by the ancien régime of Core / Blockstream / Theymos. But now, the attacks have risen to a new level, where some Reddit admin(s) have suspended his account Peter__R. This means that now he can't post anywhere on reddit, and people can no longer see his reddit posts simply by clicking on his user name (although his posts - many of them massively upvoted with hundreds of upvotes - are of course still available individually, via the usual search box). Questions:
What Reddit admin(s) are behind this reddit-wide banishing of Peter__R?
What is their real agenda, and why are they aiding and abbeting the censorship imposed by Core / Blockstream / Theymos?
Don't they realize that in the end they will only harm reddit.com itself, by forcing the most important new Bitcoin researchers to publish their work elsewhere?
(Some have suggested that Peter__R may have forgotten to use 'np' instead of 'www' when linking to other posts on reddit - a common error which subs like /btc will conveniently catch for the poster, allowing the post to be fixed and resubmitted. If this indeed was the actual justification of the Reddit admin(s) for banning him reddit-wide, it seems like a silly technical "gotcha" - and one which could easily have been avoided if other subs would catch this error the same way /btc does. At any rate, it certainly seems counterproductive for reddit.com to ban such a prominent and serious Bitcoin contributor.)
Why is reddit.com willing to risk pushing serious discussion off the site, killing its reputation as a decent place to discuss Bitcoin?
Haven't the people attempting to silence him ever heard of the Streisand effect?
Below are some examples of the kinds of outstanding contributions made by Peter__R, which Core / Blockstream / Theymos (and apparently some Reddit admin(s)) have been desperately trying to suppress in the Bitcoin community. Peer-Reviewed Cryptocurrency Journal
In case anyone missed it, Peter__R hit the nail on the head with this: "The reason we can't agree on a compromise is because the choice is binary: the limit is either used as an anti-spam measure, or as a policy tool to control fees."
"It's because most of them are NOT Bitcoin experts--and I hope the community is finally starting to recognize that" -- Peter R on specialists vs. generalists and the aptitudes of Blockstream Core developers
It is time to usher in a new phase of Bitcoin development - based not on crypto & hashing & networking (that stuff's already done), but based on clever refactorings of datastructures in pursuit of massive and perhaps unlimited new forms of scaling
Peter__R on RBF: (1) Easier for scammers on Local Bitcoins (2) Merchants will be scammed, reluctant to accept Bitcoin (3) Extra work for payment processors (4) Could be the proverbial straw that broke Core's back, pushing people into XT, btcd, Unlimited and other clients that don't support RBF
"My response to Pieter Wuille on the Dev-List has once again been censored, perhaps because I spoke favourably of Bitcoin Unlimited and pointed out misunderstandings by Maxwell and Back...here it is for those who are interested" -- Peter R
Calculating the scale of a post singularity economy
We’ve all heard Musk’s explanation of base reality and can see how that’s closely tied to the idea of the technological singularity. I’m interested in speculating on how currency and financial systems can be perceived using a similar thought experiment. First postulate: An advanced AI will be disincentivized to amass large sums of fiat currency. How do you create an efficient AI economy where you don’t have legal standing within the human organization that controls your wealth? An AI needs a system that’s both legally and technically secure. Second Postulate: Some AIs will be motivated to amass wealth in a form that they can control. Leaving a nationally or centrally controlled fiat currencies for a system that uses network based protocols is already happening, and has been happening for almost a decade. Crypto-currencies are like fiat in the same way that email is like an internationally coordinated postal system. While international postal networks continue to, and probably always will, operate in a niche capacity, the vast bulk of human correspondence has moved to email, as well as centralized non-protocol based systems of information distribution. It seems reasonable to assume that AIs will use crypto-currencies the way automation software uses email. Third postulate: The growth of CryptoCurrency-enabled independent AIs will grow exponentially over time. While pondering this I considered the price performance of Bitcoin against Metcalfe’s law: “The value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.” It seems to follow that there is no logical upper limit or carrying capacity to the networks and systems that support these hypothetical AIs. So, as computation increases so does the participation in their financial networks. This implies that there is no theatrical limit to size (and value) of the network. This is very similar to Musk's thought experiment about simulation and base reality: Computation and networks have no theoretical upper limit when you zoom out to a time span of hundreds or thousands of years. Fourth postulate: The value of Crypto-Currency base networks will grow exponentially over time. I decided to observe year over year price performance of Bitcoin as an analogous reference for our theoretical AI economy. Before we look at those details: Investment advice from Disco Stu:
A 30-day price projection shows that we are bouncing between the 60-day trend and the 2017 trend. If we project the price starting from the dates we choose for our trends you can see that we are generally performing above past price performance, with greater swings. If today's prices perform like past prices, as if it were a linear relationship, we project greater price stability and a significant drop in the daily periodic trend. This shows evidence that Bitcoin price performance adjusts logarithmically or quadratically. Price projection based on currently observed daily periodic rates of interest:
2017 - Present Performance
2016 - Present Performance
2014 - Present Performance
2013 - Present Performance
Starting Price USD
Doubling in months
Doubling Period in Days
Days in period
Daily Periodic Rate
Period Percent Growth
Annual Rate of Investment
Over USD 3,000 on
Over USD 5,000 on
Over USD 10,000 on
Over USD 50,000 on
Over USD 100,000 on
Over USD 1,000,000 on
Data Source Summary Data older than a year is a close approximation based on observations of bitstamp from charts. The percent error caused by that fuzzy way of collecting data is assumed to be minimal. All other source data is queried directly from servers that support bitcoincharts.com
Bitcoin price performance since 2013 and 2016 is almost identical. Recent price performance appears to be much too high. So, let’s consider that our most bearish case is a daily periodic rate for the value of the growth of the network is .1%. That still shows that the value of the AI financial network would exceed 21 trillion USD by 2033 if it were established in 2009. The less conservative case would have use at 21 trillion USD next year and the most liberal would have us there by the end of 2017. When you consider the scale of the abundance this implies it’s hard to imagine that there isn’t an environmental factor that might impose a limit on Metcalf’s law. That leads to further implications for the future of economic systems.
Is anyone else freaked out by this whole blocksize debate? Does anyone else find themself often agreeing with *both* sides - depending on whichever argument you happen to be reading at the moment? And do we need some better algorithms and data structures?
Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me? I know, I know, a healthy debate is healthy and all - and maybe I'm just not used to the tumult and jostling which would be inevitable in a real live open major debate about something as vital as Bitcoin. And I really do agree with the starry-eyed idealists who say Bitcoin is vital. Imperfect as it may be, it certainly does seem to represent the first real chance we've had in the past few hundred years to try to steer our civilization and our planet away from the dead-ends and disasters which our government-issued debt-based currencies keep dragging us into. But this particular debate, about the blocksize, doesn't seem to be getting resolved at all. Pretty much every time I read one of the long-form major arguments contributed by Bitcoin "thinkers" who I've come to respect over the past few years, this weird thing happens: I usually end up finding myself nodding my head and agreeing with whatever particular piece I'm reading! But that should be impossible - because a lot of these people vehemently disagree! So how can both sides sound so convincing to me, simply depending on whichever piece I currently happen to be reading? Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just a gullible idiot? Just Do It? When you first look at it or hear about it, increasing the size seems almost like a no-brainer: The "big-block" supporters say just increase the blocksize to 20 MB or 8 MB, or do some kind of scheduled or calculated regular increment which tries to take into account the capabilities of the infrastructure and the needs of the users. We do have the bandwidth and the memory to at least increase the blocksize now, they say - and we're probably gonna continue to have more bandwidth and memory in order to be able to keep increasing the blocksize for another couple decades - pretty much like everything else computer-based we've seen over the years (some of this stuff is called by names such as "Moore's Law"). On the other hand, whenever the "small-block" supporters warn about the utter catastrophe that a failed hard-fork would mean, I get totally freaked by their possible doomsday scenarios, which seem totally plausible and terrifying - so I end up feeling that the only way I'd want to go with a hard-fork would be if there was some pre-agreed "triggering" mechanism where the fork itself would only actually "switch on" and take effect provided that some "supermajority" of the network (of who? the miners? the full nodes?) had signaled (presumably via some kind of totally reliable p2p trustless software-based voting system?) that they do indeed "pre-agree" to actually adopt the pre-scheduled fork (and thereby avoid any possibility whatsoever of the precious blockchain somehow tragically splitting into two and pretty much killing this cryptocurrency off in its infancy). So in this "conservative" scenario, I'm talking about wanting at least 95% pre-adoption agreement - not the mere 75% which I recall some proposals call for, which seems like it could easily lead to a 75/25 blockchain split. But this time, with this long drawn-out blocksize debate, the core devs, and several other important voices who have become prominent opinion shapers over the past few years, can't seem to come to any real agreement on this. Weird split among the devs As far as I can see, there's this weird split: Gavin and Mike seem to be the only people among the devs who really want a major blocksize increase - and all the other devs seem to be vehemently against them. But then on the other hand, the users seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major increase. And there are meta-questions about governance, about about why this didn't come out as a BIP, and what the availability of Bitcoin XT means. And today or yesterday there was this really cool big-blockian exponential graph based on doubling the blocksize every two years for twenty years, reminding us of the pure mathematical fact that 210 is indeed about 1000 - but not really addressing any of the game-theoretic points raised by the small-blockians. So a lot of the users seem to like it, but when so few devs say anything positive about it, I worry: is this just yet more exponential chart porn? On the one hand, Gavin's and Mike's blocksize increase proposal initially seemed like a no-brainer to me. And on the other hand, all the other devs seem to be against them. Which is weird - not what I'd initially expected at all (but maybe I'm just a fool who's seduced by exponential chart porn?). Look, I don't mean to be rude to any of the core devs, and I don't want to come off like someone wearing a tinfoil hat - but it has to cross people's minds that the powers that be (the Fed and the other central banks and the governments that use their debt-issued money to run this world into a ditch) could very well be much more scared shitless than they're letting on. If we assume that the powers that be are using their usual playbook and tactics, then it could be worth looking at the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, to get an idea of how they might try to attack Bitcoin. So, what I'm saying is, they do have a track record of sending in "experts" to try to derail projects and keep everyone enslaved to the Creature from Jekyll Island. I'm just saying. So, without getting ad hominem - let's just make sure that our ideas can really stand scrutiny on their own - as Nick Szabo says, we need to make sure there is "more computer science, less noise" in this debate. When Gavin Andresen first came out with the 20 MB thing - I sat back and tried to imagine if I could download 20 MB in 10 minutes (which seems to be one of the basic mathematical and technological constraints here - right?) I figured, "Yeah, I could download that" - even with my crappy internet connection. And I guess the telecoms might be nice enough to continue to double our bandwidth every two years for the next couple decades – if we ask them politely? On the other hand - I think we should be careful about entrusting the financial freedom of the world into the greedy hands of the telecoms companies - given all their shady shenanigans over the past few years in many countries. After decades of the MPAA and the FBI trying to chip away at BitTorrent, lately PirateBay has been hard to access. I would say it's quite likely that certain persons at institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and the Fed might be very, very motivated to see Bitcoin fail - so we shouldn't be too sure about scaling plans which depend on the willingness of companies Verizon and AT&T to double our bandwith every two years. Maybe the real important hardware buildout challenge for a company like 21 (and its allies such as Qualcomm) to take on now would not be "a miner in every toaster" but rather "Google Fiber Download and Upload Speeds in every Country, including China". I think I've read all the major stuff on the blocksize debate from Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Greg Maxwell, Peter Todd, Adam Back, and Jeff Garzick and several other major contributors - and, oddly enough, all their arguments seem reasonable - heck even Luke-Jr seems reasonable to me on the blocksize debate, and I always thought he was a whackjob overly influenced by superstition and numerology - and now today I'm reading the article by Bram Cohen - the inventor of BitTorrent - and I find myself agreeing with him too! I say to myself: What's going on with me? How can I possibly agree with all of these guys, if they all have such vehemently opposing viewpoints? I mean, think back to the glory days of a couple of years ago, when all we were hearing was how this amazing unprecedented grassroots innovation called Bitcoin was going to benefit everyone from all walks of life, all around the world:
wealthy individuals trying to preserve and transport their wealth across space and across time
iPhone and Android users who want to buy a latte on their smartphone at Starbucks
Venezuelans and Argentinians and Cypriots and Russian oligarchs and Greeks and anyone else whose state-backed currency sucks
unbanked Africans who will someday be texting around money via SMS messages on their cellphones
online content providers who will finally be able to get paid via micropayments
smart contracts and stock brokering and lawyering and land deeding and the refrigerator calling out to order more milk and distributed anonymous corporations (DACs) automatically negotiating and adjusting driverless taxicab fares in the Uber-future of the Internet of Things
...basically the entire human race transacting everything into the blockchain. (Although let me say that I think that people's focus on ideas like driverless cabs creating realtime fare markets based on supply and demand seems to be setting our sights a bit low as far as Bitcoin's abilities to correct the financial world's capital-misallocation problems which seem to have been made possible by infinite debt-based fiat. I would have hoped that a Bitcoin-based economy would solve much more noble, much more urgent capital-allocation problems than driverless taxicabs creating fare markets or refrigerators ordering milk on the internet of things. I was thinking more along the lines that Bitcoin would finally strangle dead-end debt-based deadly-toxic energy industries like fossil fuels and let profitable clean energy industries like Thorium LFTRs take over - but that's another topic. :=) Paradoxes in the blocksize debate Let me summarize the major paradoxes I see here: (1) Regarding the people (the majority of the core devs) who are against a blocksize increase: Well, the small-blocks arguments do seem kinda weird, and certainly not very "populist", in the sense that: When on earth have end-users ever heard of a computer technology whose capacity didn't grow pretty much exponentially year-on-year? All the cool new technology we've had - from hard drives to RAM to bandwidth - started out pathetically tiny and grew to unimaginably huge over the past few decades - and all our software has in turn gotten massively powerful and big and complex (sometimes bloated) to take advantage of the enormous new capacity available. But now suddenly, for the first time in the history of technology, we seem to have a majority of the devs, on a major p2p project - saying: "Let's not scale the system up. It could be dangerous. It might break the whole system (if the hard-fork fails)." I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, maybe someone else could enlighten me, but I don't think I've ever seen this sort of thing happen in the last few decades of the history of technology - devs arguing against scaling up p2p technology to take advantage of expected growth in infrastructure capacity. (2) But... on the other hand... the dire warnings of the small-blockians about what could happen if a hard-fork were to fail - wow, they do seem really dire! And these guys are pretty much all heavyweight, experienced programmers and/or game theorists and/or p2p open-source project managers. I must say, that nearly all of the long-form arguments I've read - as well as many, many of the shorter comments I've read from many users in the threads, whose names I at least have come to more-or-less recognize over the past few months and years on reddit and bitcointalk - have been amazingly impressive in their ability to analyze all aspects of the lifecycle and management of open-source software projects, bringing up lots of serious points which I could never have come up with, and which seem to come from long experience with programming and project management - as well as dealing with economics and human nature (eg, greed - the game-theory stuff). So a lot of really smart and experienced people with major expertise in various areas ranging from programming to management to game theory to politics to economics have been making some serious, mature, compelling arguments. But, as I've been saying, the only problem to me is: in many of these cases, these arguments are vehemently in opposition to each other! So I find myself agreeing with pretty much all of them, one by one - which means the end result is just a giant contradiction. I mean, today we have Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent, arguing (quite cogently and convincingly to me), that it would be dangerous to increase the blocksize. And this seems to be a guy who would know a few things about scaling out a massive global p2p network - since the protocol which he invented, BitTorrent, is now apparently responsible for like a third of the traffic on the internet (and this despite the long-term concerted efforts of major evil players such as the MPAA and the FBI to shut the whole thing down). Was the BitTorrent analogy too "glib"? By the way - I would like to go on a slight tangent here and say that one of the main reasons why I felt so "comfortable" jumping on the Bitcoin train back a few years ago, when I first heard about it and got into it, was the whole rough analogy I saw with BitTorrent. I remembered the perhaps paradoxical fact that when a torrent is more popular (eg, a major movie release that just came out last week), then it actually becomes faster to download. More people want it, so more people have a few pieces of it, so more people are able to get it from each other. A kind of self-correcting economic feedback loop, where more demand directly leads to more supply. (BitTorrent manages to pull this off by essentially adding a certain structure to the file being shared, so that it's not simply like an append-only list of 1 MB blocks, but rather more like an random-access or indexed array of 1 MB chunks. Say you're downloading a film which is 700 MB. As soon as your "client" program has downloaded a single 1-MB chunk - say chunk #99 - your "client" program instantly turns into a "server" program as well - offering that chunk #99 to other clients. From my simplistic understanding, I believe the Bitcoin protocol does something similar, to provide a p2p architecture. Hence my - perhaps naïve - assumption that Bitcoin already had the right algorithms / architecture / data structure to scale.) The efficiency of the BitTorrent network seemed to jive with that "network law" (Metcalfe's Law?) about fax machines. This law states that the more fax machines there are, the more valuable the network of fax machines becomes. Or the value of the network grows on the order of the square of the number of nodes. This is in contrast with other technology like cars, where the more you have, the worse things get. The more cars there are, the more traffic jams you have, so things start going downhill. I guess this is because highway space is limited - after all, we can't pave over the entire countryside, and we never did get those flying cars we were promised, as David Graeber laments in a recent essay in The Baffler magazine :-) And regarding the "stress test" supposedly happening right now in the middle of this ongoing blocksize debate, I don't know what worries me more: the fact that it apparently is taking only $5,000 to do a simple kind of DoS on the blockchain - or the fact that there are a few rumors swirling around saying that the unknown company doing the stress test shares the same physical mailing address with a "scam" company? Or maybe we should just be worried that so much of this debate is happening on a handful of forums which are controlled by some guy named theymos who's already engaged in some pretty "contentious" or "controversial" behavior like blowing a million dollars on writing forum software (I guess he never heard that reddit.com software is open-source)? So I worry that the great promise of "decentralization" might be more fragile than we originally thought. Scaling Anyways, back to Metcalfe's Law: with virtual stuff, like torrents and fax machines, the more the merrier. The more people downloading a given movie, the faster it arrives - and the more people own fax machines, the more valuable the overall fax network. So I kindof (naïvely?) assumed that Bitcoin, being "virtual" and p2p, would somehow scale up the same magical way BitTorrrent did. I just figured that more people using it would somehow automatically make it stronger and faster. But now a lot of devs have started talking in terms of the old "scarcity" paradigm, talking about blockspace being a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" - which seems kinda scary, and antithetical to much of the earlier rhetoric we heard about Bitcoin (the stuff about supporting our favorite creators with micropayments, and the stuff about Africans using SMS to send around payments). Look, when some asshole is in line in front of you at the cash register and he's holding up the line so they can run his credit card to buy a bag of Cheeto's, we tend to get pissed off at the guy - clogging up our expensive global electronic payment infrastructure to make a two-dollar purchase. And that's on a fairly efficient centralized system - and presumably after a year or so, VISA and the guy's bank can delete or compress the transaction in their SQL databases. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if some guy buys a coffee on the blockchain, or if somebody pays an online artist $1.99 for their work - then that transaction, a few bytes or so, has to live on the blockchain forever? Or is there some "pruning" thing that