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[Cryptography] ghash.io hits 50% of the Bitcoin compute power

On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 10:43 PM, Perry E. Metzger <[email protected]> wrote:
> And how do these others know that the public key in question has any
> connection to a particular set of coins in the ledger? How do they
> know that some other key, in fact, isn't the correct one?

Because the former owner signed the 'coins' over to the public
key in question, confirmed all the way back to their first generation,
in a ledger back to the genesis. You were given (bought) the deed
of your house from someone, confirmed by many titles before
in recorders ledger, right?

> Who is everybody?

Everyone who says, "well, my chain was at this height
before suspect 51% attack (or other) issue, let's compare."
Though that's an event you *really* want to avoid. Thus for
their own good people will move off ghash.io. Or will plain stop
transacting and starve the pools of trans fees and trans
to scam.

And how many dollars on hardware and power would an
'unknown' pool of say government or criminals need to
reach 51% on their own for disruption or profit? By now,
maybe an amount that might be hard to keep quiet.

> Do millions of people actually store and check the complete block
> chain on a routine basis? Where did your little cellphone wallet
> app get its blockchain from? When was the last time you verified the
> custody chain of all coins? Does your cellphone wallet app do that
> all the time? Where do people get this historical ledger from?

There are verifiable and agreed upon checkpoints...

> I think you're trusting quite a bit here.
> Bitcoin isn't primarily protected by mathematics, it is primarily
> protected by a social process that can be gamed. Gaming it is
> nontrivial because the social process is protected by cryptography,
> but there seems like a great deal of religion behind people's claims
> of how well it all works in the face of attack, perhaps because a lot
> of people want it to work very, very badly.

Agreed there is a lot of trust, crazy trust, and the adoption in actual business
using it (not simply user2user beer and pizza trade), is a bit amazing.
So far it's held up. Try to break it or game it, mathematically or
operationally, huge recognition for anyone who does.
Those with personal money (not mined) in their hoards are on their own risk
decision on that, at least until say the ten year mark and the laws prove out.
Others have mined or can mine, or invest, to recover/recoup their entry
which makes it free for them.
The rest seem to get in, buy a pizza, and get out (perhaps wisely).


Lots people should read, learn and evaluate, me too. Meanwhile, I
don't have a problem putting some disposable funds into holding,
trading, commerce, or related bitcoin business and seeing what happens.
Call me stupid, seems more fun, profitable and useable than blowing
lottery tickets would be. And if that's all it's ever good for you can have
my wallet after you break Bitcoin ;-)