My referral link for the aforementioned FREEBITCO.IN: https://freebitco.in/?r=30437643&tag=redditF
I have cross referenced this post on my site: passivecryptoguides.com
Why should you sign on with me? I'm not a one off, you can reach me personally through DM or post comments. I've done most of the leg work, alleviating the trial and error process. Just follow the steps in this guide specifically in sections 7️⃣, 8️⃣, and 9️⃣.
I share 50% commissions, get a kick back on everything you earn weekly.
I trust this site, and personally have 270$ worth of bitcoin in one account
with almost 500$ total including two other accounts.
Coming from Cointiply? Well, as a heads up, you're not actually holding any BTC
. I suggest what you earn you HODL in FREEBITCO.IN.
Just some abbreviation and terminology explanation before we start for those unfamiliar.
USD=US Dollar Satoshi Click here Bitcoin price history, past and present
4️⃣HOW DO COMMISSION REWARDS WORK?
5️⃣SOME CLAIM STATS
6️⃣MULTIPLY BITCOIN STRATS AND INFO
8️⃣OPTIMIZATION AND USE
9️⃣STRATS TO INCREASE EARNINGS
1️⃣0️⃣ADVERTISING YOUR LINK
FREEBITCO.IN can be accessed from any device with internet.
Using a VPN or a TOR is now allowed given that your account achieves certain criteria similar to a captcha free account requirements.
🛑WARNING: FREEBITCO.IN wipes inactive accounts after a certain period! If you lose interest, withdraw your BTC!
📝NOTE: iOS devices (iPad, iPhone) are restrictive. The only way to access is via website, as BitBot isn't available.📝
FREEBITCO.IN is what's called a "faucet", a site that gives a small steady stream of crypto which FREEBITCO.IN does through hourly rolls and interest accrual.
FREEBITCO.IN also hosts other means to win or earn crypto, you can gamble with Multiplier, or bet on world evens and crypto prices.
After your account reaches 30k Satoshi, you begin to collect interest. The site also offers lifetime referral commissions, explained later in this guide.
All you need to start is an email. You can add more verification options for security later on. I would highly suggest it. Use a junk email though.
2FA and MFA are strongly suggested. A password should be 15 characters long. I suggest Google Authenticator for your 2FA needs.
I know you can definitely access this site from Brave Browser with add blockers enabled. I'm sure it will work with others. Even without an ad blockers, they only advertise their site gambling and games, no 3rd party adds that I've seen. It's not too invasive or spammy either.
This post is both an advertising platform I use, and a guide I've made to help those interested to automate and optimize earnings.
For those of a cautious mindset, I've uploaded all of FREEBITCO.IN's information on interest accrual, security, and proof of mining on Imgur, in case you're worried about visiting the site.
Transparent link here: Interest accrual structure and FREEBITCO.IN security. https://imgur.com/a/wWjQtKT
My referral link: https://freebitco.in/?r=30437643&tag=redditC2
So at this point, with hourly claims and daily interest, I'm bringing in roughly 8978 Satoshi (or .70$ USD with BTC at 7804$ USD) daily at full optimization on one account, and two other self referred accounts without lifting a finger. This is before the fact that a hourly roll (claim) can reward up to a max of 200$ USD worth of BTC (percentages in section 5️⃣).
They also have a weekly lotto (tickets awarded with every roll and referral roll) with the last 1st place winner receiving .32769156 BTC (2587$ USD at current bitcoin price).
This is also not including my current commissions on accounts not owned by me. In this post I will describe some of my strategies I've incorporated, and some insight into how this website works.
To offload or withdraw bitcoin, you're going to need what is called a "wallet". I personally use Coinbase
(available on mobile or desktop) as you can sell it through here as well and easily move money to Paypal or a bank.
4️⃣HOW DO COMMISSION REWARDS WORK?4️⃣
If you are already on FREEBITCO.IN, do you have someone who referred you? Do they share commissions? If not, why not make a new account and join me, where you'll get a return on everything you earn. As you can see, large affiliate groups don't share anything, hoarding hundreds of thousands worth of BTC earned off their referrals
I share 50% of my commissions. I get 50% of your roll rewards, 25% of your interest, and 0.4% of your wagers. All of this is paid out by FREEBITCO.IN as a commission, so it's not pulled from your rewards or held BTC.
So the more you're active, the more you'll receive from me weekly (being active is doing anything that I get commissions from). IMPORTANT: Your (and all referrals) shares are based on activity, so if you are inactive for the week, you get a lower % for that week. If you're the most active of my referrals you get a higher percentage of what I share. This is to incentivize being active and to stop people from getting a cut without doing anything.
If you have FREEBITCO.IN automated, you don't have to worry about this. However, having a larger bankroll to earn interest, or playing Multiply BTC (I do not suggest playing unless doing so to meet auto roll requirements) will increase can your activity further. Commission Structure Here is some proof, I've actually shared about 2/3 of all commissions Commissions update 12 January 2020 Here is a proof of Payment section per individual
📝NOTE: I've noticed when I was creating the images of commission sharing that the "RECENT" blocks are showing zero. If you look at totals from the first image, you can tell I'm actively sharing with all of my referrals.📝
Join my team FREEBITCO.IN
5️⃣SOME CLAIM STATS5️⃣
You can earn AT LEAST .00000552 BTC (.048$) daily when automated (or claiming every hour on the hour) before bonuses (like using reward points to increase rewards 1000%). After some testing, it seems that this amount will always be about .048$ worth of BTC, base claim rewards no bonus active.
After .00030000 BTC, you accrue compounding interest at a rate of 4.08% APR, paid daily. As soon as your daily interest is accredited, it too starts earning interest. The daily interest rate comes out to ~0.011% of your total held BTC.
FREEBITCO.IN gives you a roll once every hour, free
📝NOTE: Roll rewards fluctuate inversely with BTC price. BTC goes down, roll rewards go up, vice versa. The BTC rewards USD value will be extremely close to the values represented below.📝
Current rewards and probability with every hourly roll.
(.002$) -> 98.85%
(.02$) -> 1.00%
(.20$) -> .08%
(2.00$) -> .04%
(20$) -> .02%
(200$) -> .01%
6️⃣MULTIPLY BTC STRATS AND INFO6️⃣
🛑!WARNING!, NO STRATEGY IS 100%, THE MULTIPLIER GAME IS GAMBLING, YOU CAN STILL LOSE YOUR WHOLE BALANCE IF YOU PUSH YOUR LUCK.🛑
UPDATE: I decided to do some research after some odd outcomes when extensively testing some of my Multiplier strats. Turns out FREEBITCO.IN does indeed have a house advantage that isn't too transparent. Longer sessions are almost always going to come out negative. If you still plan on playing, do short sessions, once daily max, with lower amounts.
There are a couple methods to play the Multiplier with a reduced risk (but still a risk) here as well. I would suggest small play sessions. STRAT #1
My preferred settings for AUTOROLL on MULTIPLY that I've had the best success rate with to date. (preferably with .00005000 in ACCT for best results)
ROLLS: (doesn't matter, 100)
BET ON: alternate
STOP BETTING PROFIT: .00000050, important as the bets will get exponentially higher with every loss. Win in small increments.
STOP BETTING LOSS: Set a loss limit if you want, I have mine set to .00001 and haven't reached it
ON WIN: select increase bet 0%
ON LOSS: select increase bet 65%
RANDOMIZE CLIENT SEED: yes
DO NOT REFRESH: yes Here is a pic of the settings
Anything else doesn't matter. Make sure the boxes are checked for the above options.
With this strat, I've won positive on one account, about .000077 BTC, and I've only played 5 or 6 times, at less than 2-3 minutes of play time a session. STRAT #2
Good for accounts with a low balance. I've had a surprising amount of luck with this method, enough so that I thought I'd post it here with an update. This could work well for accounts with less than 1k Satoshi, as a losing streak wouldn't be a huge loss. For this strat, you should have at least 189 Satoshi in your account.
BET: Minimum amount
ODDS/WIN CHANCE: 189 or %0.5
ROLLS: 189 (remains the same no matter if you bet more)
BET ON: High or Low, but not Alternate.
STOP BETTING ON PROFIT: Minimum amount, once again, you want continuous small wins
UPDATE: Conducting more tests for viability
I played these settings 10 times, I came out positive 8/10 times. In the end I was positive 433 Satoshi total with selecting "hi".
On selecting "low" I went positive 5/10 losing 525 Satoshi.
On selecting "hi" and betting 10 Satoshi, I went positive 3/10 times losing 9708 Satoshi.
On selecting "high" and betting 100 Satoshi, I never went positive, 0/10. Losing 189000 Satoshi (~15$ USD).
There does seem to be a pattern of losing more when betting more. Like anything gambling, there's probably a house advantage that's not too transparent.
Win small lose small. Pic of these settings STRAT #3
Another strategy I've tried is betting most of my balance once occasionally with a 94.06% chance of winning. This is, eh, alright to risk OCCASIONALLY, but a loss would set you back more than you ever made using this strategy, which happened to me, I lost about 40 USD worth of BTC after making maybe 5 USD.
THIS METHOD IS GREAT FOR MEETING NON-CAPTCHA ACCOUNT REQUIREMENTS!
Playing this in auto roll, out of 20 rolls I'd always lose at least once, putting me into the negative. Even with 10 rolls, I'd more often then not lose at least once. Pic of these settings
There are other strats out there, such as the "Martingale", which is essentially doubling the bet amount every loss, then resetting your bet to minimum after a win to in theory "win back what you lost". At 47.5% odds of winning, I've had loss streaks that would drain my account.
My summary for Multiply, use sparingly. Don't use it as your primary means of earning. Use once or twice daily, limit play sessions to 5 minutes max.
📝NOTE: FREEBITCO.IN captcha requirements seem to be tiered, with requirements for Captcha free upscaling when you BTC holding passes a certain threshold.
I'm currently testing, as is another team member (Shout out to u/SrExtreme69
) , what exactly these thresholds, if holding at these thresholds increases the length of Captcha free rolls, and at what amount does FREEBITCO.IN no longer require these to be met.📝
📝NOTE: To start automating, remember to verify email and setup 2FA or the Captcha will still appear even if your account meets Captcha free requirements. Check the site occasionally as Captcha free roll requirements can change. After certain held BTC amount you don't need to renew your requirements. I haven't had to achieve new requirements in over a month.📝
📝NOTE: You may need to manually roll for a bit until the the ability to achieve a Captcha free account becomes available. It doesn't show at first.📝
📝NOTE: It's very difficult, if not impossible to automate on iOS devices.
First of all, getting to this point can be a grind, but once achieved you'll have a steady flow of BTC with options to increase earnings through rewards claims using RP. I would suggest going to your PROFILE tab on FREEBITCO.IN and disabling lottery to increase RP production when starting out. Using other apps or resources to supplement income is a good idea as well.
On the FREE BTC page, there is a blue text hyperlink with requirements that need to be met to make your account captcha free, thus allowing you to enable autoroll on extensions or apps. It has multiple ways to achieve this and they can change, so if your autoroll has stopped, check to see if these requirements have changed. Here are the requirements. (Amounts vary)
It seems only two of these requirements need to be met.
The less risky and easiest method is to buy lottery tickets and bet with jackpots on. Even better is depositing bitcoin if you have that amount.
The POSSIBLY least expensive method is to bet both regularly and with Jackpots enabled on MULTIPLY (for higher amounts required, IMO Multiplier strat #3 works best)
8️⃣OPTIMIZATION AND USE OF FREEBITCO.IN8️⃣ For computers
I would suggest using Firefox, as you can add functions and tools to your bar up top. One of the being a "auto roll" for FREEBITCO.IN, still requires a "captcha free" account. Turn it on and let go, check it occasionally to make sure its still going. Autoroll firefox add-on link My link again for ease of access
Not my preferred method, but good for a second account, as using a computer means devoting more attention to FREEBITCO.IN in an inconvenient manner if you are just starting out. After Captcha has been removed, this becomes more hands free, but not as profitable as using bitbot, as you can't autoclaim RP rewards.
I haven't tried many methods besides using Firefox addons, as I'm wary of sources or intent when it comes to 3rd party scripts or programs. If I find any trustworthy scripts or programs, I will update here. For Mobile
🛑BITBOT WARNING, IF YOU USE BITBOT TO ACCESS FREEBITCO.IN BEFORE USING MY REFERRAL, YOU WILL BE REFERRED THROUGH BITBOT, AND THEY DON'T SHARE COMMISSIONS AS FAR AS I CAN TELL🛑 My Link again
📝NOTE: iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) do not have access to BitBot, nor do they allow extensions/add-ons on their browsers. I have not personally found a way around this. You may still access the site and manually roll.📝
I use BitBot. This is the best place to start from IMO. You can set it to notify you of rolls and gives direct access to the site from the app (you can also access the site from any device with internet). Once your account is "captcha free" you can set it to auto roll AND automatically claim rewards every 24 hours (RP increase, BTC increase, Lottery ticket Increase).
📝NOTE: Bitbot allows auto roll from the app for accounts over 500 RP. This isn't permanent, as it uses your RP. You'll need to log onto the website through a browser to achieve captch free account requirements, which Bitbot does recognize, which allow completely free rolls.📝
📝NOTE: Accessing FREEBITCO.IN through BitBot doesn't allow access to the Hi-Lo or betting games.📝
9️⃣STRATS TO INCREASE EARNINGS9️⃣ Bitbot optimization
I started manual claims by setting roll notifications to "ON" for a while until I supplemented my BTC in FREEBITCO.IN with what I was collecting from my miner and CryptoTab. Once I was able to AUTOMATE and I had enough RP to claim the RP BONUS, I set it to do that automatically every 24 hours as this nets more RP than you spend (EG, 100 RP roll bonus costs 1200 RP, but can net 2400 RP if claimed every hour). Eventually you accrue enough RP to claim the %1000 BTC bonus, probably at a rate of once or twice a week.
My current BitBot settings now that its auto claiming, I have the 24 hour auto bonus claiming 100 RP roll bonus and 100% claim bonus, spending a total of 1520 RP, but I'm making 2400 RP with the RP bonus, leaving me 780 RP in the positive each day. Every now and then I'll stop the auto bonus claim so I can buy the 1000% claim bonus (3200 RP). So on a normal day I'll make about 1344 Satoshi. Bitbot auto bonus settings
Once your accrue more referrals, or save enough RP, it's possible to claim the 1000% BTC roll bonus multiple days in a row. This is just about as optimal as you can get for auto rolling. Self Referrals
If you have two devices (phone and computer preferably) you can make two accounts as long as one uses a different wifi or internet connection, as the roll rewards tracks IP addresses for roll counts. So if you have 2 devices on the same network, it sudo links accounts, so if you roll on one, it restarts the timer on the other. This allows you to collect referral rewards from yourself. Effectively adding 25% of interest and 50% roll rewards.
I currently have a phone autorolling on BitBot with a computer autorolling on Firefox with a tool to roll automatically as long as the page remains open. My computer account is referred from my mobile account, and is currently bringing in an extra .000015+ BTC weekly (currently, total will be this Sunday and I will update).
I've also made another account on my partners phone, linked it with bitbot and got it auto-rolling. Once bitbot is going, its non-invasive and you can silence notifications, it also uses minimal data. Supplementing with CryptoTab
I'll use CryptoTab on my computer 24/7 to earn BTC from that while I have FREEBITCO.IN running. I also have it running on my phone at night when I sleep and on an iPad I have that I don't use much, its server mining, so no worries about battery on mobile devices. On computers it does actually use your processing power. You can directly deposit into you FREEBITCO.IN accounts. CryptoTab Link
I've used it for two weeks and have earned a total of .000454 BTC (3.60$ USD). Not huge, but enough to start collecting interest on FREEBITCO.IN and to get the capthca free account requirements. Supplementing with Cointiply
🛑WARNING: Cointiply's main currency is the constant, weighted against the dollar (10,000 coin/1USD). This means your actually BTC holdings will fluctuate with BTC's price.
For this reason, it's my strong opinion that DON'T HODL in Cointiply as you're not holding actual BTC.🛑 Cointiply
is a great site to earn decent amounts of COIN which translate to SAT's. Earn coin, withdraw to FREEBITCO.IN (as you actually hold BTC in cointiply).
I also use an ASIC miner (Antminer s9i, DIY liquid cooled and overclocked with BixBit firmware), and whatever I earn I'll put that into FREEBITCO.IN to collect interest. If you want, I may be willing to do a rental.
1️⃣0️⃣ADVERTISING YOUR LINK1️⃣0️⃣
📝NOTE: Since this faucet has been around a while, many people privy to sites such as this are already signed up. So getting referrals can be a slog. My tips for your ads is be genuine and don't hard sell or post "too good to be true" sensational ads.📝 COINTIPLY
This is another faucet. Its structure is a bit different from FREEBITCO.IN, as you complete offers to earn coin. Within this site (also an app) users can earn coins by doing PTC ads (and other offers), this is a good method to get exposure as you can advertise as well. Using this method my traffic for last week as about 800 people.
13000 coins buys about 1000 "clicks" on your ads. They also have options to advertise to people based on location (these options will increase or decrease cost). After your first ad, you usually get a 10% off coupon good for 7 days as well.
You can earn this amount within a day doing surveys on Theorem. I've done surveys before, and this has to be one of the best surveys sights I've ever done. Very rarely do I get kicked out mid survey, and if I do, I still get partial pay.
I will also use "Hideout" on my computer and leave it running. It has to be the open tab on your browser, with the browser open, not minimized. Let it go and check it occasionally as it has a timeout at roughly 2-3 hrs idle. As of now this is the best passive method of earning on Cointiply. PI NETWORK
Pi Network, an ICO (Initial coin offering) based on trust and social media is another good medium for advertising. I will usually see 15-20 people click on my link with 2-4 ads posted per day.
Just go to "chat", select "random" and post an ad in the chat channel. No charge.
My tip, keep your ads short to medium in length, don't spam. XYO NETWORK/COIN APP
This is another crypto earned through "geo-mining". On the "coin" app you can do a "geodrop" where you can leave a note. Just click on the box with a parachute icon, select "any" on the "Tile" selection. Leave your ad in the "note" section.
It costs 10 "COIN" at the very least to do a "geodrop". This method may not be worth it if you aren't already involved in the program. To earn a substantial amount of coin, you'll need a subscription or a "sentinel". Sentinels can actually be purchased for under 20$ nowadays (depending on site) and is the best option to earn. Without these you'll only make approx .05-.18 coin every 30 seconds if you're actively moving.
My tips if you plan on advertising on this platform, once again keep it short, and only advertise around 7-9am and 4-6pm, as this will be peak mining hours with people driving to and from work.
1️⃣1️⃣LINKS1️⃣1️⃣ My FREEBITCO.IN Referral Link What is a Satoshi? Bitcoins price through Coingecko CryptoTab Link Autoroll on Firefox Coinbase Link PI NETWORK COINTIPLY XYO NETWORK/COIN APP
Why do both sides of the debate seem “right” to me? submitted by
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 gets rid of it after a while?
And this could lead to another question: Viewed from the perspective of double-entry bookkeeping, is the blockchain "world-wide ledger" more like the "balance sheet" part of accounting, i.e. a snapshot
assets and liabilities? Or is it more like the "cash flow" part of accounting, i.e. a journal
revenues and expenses?
When I think of thousands of machines around the globe having to lug around multiple identical copies of a multi-gigabyte file containing some asshole's coffee purchase forever and ever... I feel like I'm ideologically drifting in one direction (where I'd end up also being against really cool stuff like online micropayments and Africans banking via SMS)... so I don't want to go there.
But on the other hand, when really experienced and battle-tested veterans with major experience in the world of open-souce programming and project management (the "small-blockians") warn of the catastrophic consequences of a possible failed hard-fork, I get freaked out and I wonder if Bitcoin really was destined to be a settlement layer for big transactions. Could the original programmer(s) possibly weigh in?
And I don't mean to appeal to authority - but heck, where the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto in all this? I do understand that he/she/they would want to maintain absolute anonymity - but on the other hand, I assume SN wants Bitcoin to succeed (both for the future of humanity - or at least for all the bitcoins SN allegedly holds :-) - and I understand there is a way that SN can cryptographically sign a message - and I understand that as the original developer of Bitcoin, SN had some very specific opinions about the blocksize... So I'm kinda wondering of Satoshi could weigh in from time to time. Just to help out a bit. I'm not saying "Show us a sign" like a deity or something - but damn it sure would be fascinating and possibly very helpful if Satoshi gave us his/hetheir 2 satoshis worth at this really confusing juncture. Are we using our capacity wisely?
I'm not a programming or game-theory whiz, I'm just a casual user who has tried to keep up with technology over the years.
It just seems weird to me that here we have this massive supercomputer (500 times more powerful than the all the supercomputers in the world combined) doing fairly straightforward "embarassingly parallel" number-crunching operations to secure a p2p world-wide ledger called the blockchain to keep track of a measly 2.1 quadrillion tokens spread out among a few billion addresses - and a couple of years ago you had people like Rick Falkvinge saying the blockchain would someday be supporting multi-million-dollar letters of credit for international trade and you had people like Andreas Antonopoulos saying the blockchain would someday allow billions of "unbanked" people to send remittances around the village or around the world dirt-cheap - and now suddenly in June 2015 we're talking about blockspace as a "scarce resource" and talking about "fee markets" and partially centralized, corporate-sponsored "Level 2" vaporware like Lightning Network and some mysterious company is "stess testing" or "DoS-ing" the system by throwing away a measly $5,000 and suddenly it sounds like the whole system could eventually head right back into PayPal and Western Union territory again, in terms of expensive fees.
When I got into Bitcoin, I really was heavily influenced by vague analogies with BitTorrent: I figured everyone would just have tiny little like utorrent-type program running on their machine (ie, Bitcoin-QT or Armory or Mycelium etc.).
I figured that just like anyone can host a their own blog or webserver, anyone would be able to host their own bank.
Yeah, Google and and Mozilla and Twitter and Facebook and WhatsApp did come along and build stuff on top of TCP/IP, so I did expect a bunch of companies to build layers on top of the Bitcoin protocol as well. But I still figured the basic unit of bitcoin client software powering the overall system would be small and personal and affordable and p2p - like a bittorrent client - or at the most, like a cheap server hosting a blog or email server.
And I figured there would be a way at the software level, at the architecture level, at the algorithmic level, at the data structure level - to let the thing scale - if not infinitely, at least fairly massively and gracefully - the same way the BitTorrent network has.
Of course, I do also understand that with BitTorrent, you're sharing a read-only object (eg, a movie) - whereas with Bitcoin, you're achieving distributed trustless consensus and appending it to a write-only (or append-only) database.
So I do understand that the problem which BitTorrent solves is much simpler than the problem which Bitcoin sets out to solve.
But still, it seems that there's got
to be a way to make this thing scale. It's p2p and it's got 500 times more computing power than all the supercomputers in the world combined - and so many brilliant and motivated and inspired people want this thing to succeed! And Bitcoin could be our civilization's last chance to steer away from the oncoming debt-based ditch of disaster we seem to be driving into!
It just seems that Bitcoin has got
to be able to scale somehow - and all these smart people working together should be able to come up with a solution which pretty much everyone can agree - in advance - will
Right? Right? A (probably irrelevant) tangent on algorithms and architecture and data structures
I'll finally weigh with my personal perspective - although I might be biased due to my background (which is more on the theoretical side of computer science).
My own modest - or perhaps radical - suggestion would be to ask whether we're really looking at all the best possible algorithms and architectures and data structures out there.
From this perspective, I sometimes worry that the overwhelming majority of the great minds working on the programming and game-theory stuff might come from a rather specific, shall we say "von Neumann" or "procedural" or "imperative" school of programming (ie, C and Python and Java programmers).
It seems strange to me that such a cutting-edge and important computer project would have so little participation from the great minds at the other
end of the spectrum of programming paradigms - namely, the "functional" and "declarative" and "algebraic" (and co-algebraic!) worlds.
For example, I was struck in particular by statements I've seen here and there (which seemed rather hubristic or lackadaisical to me - for something as important as Bitcoin
), that the specification
of Bitcoin and the blockchain doesn't really exist in any form other than the reference implementation(s)
languages such as C or Python?). Curry-Howard anyone?
I mean, many computer scientists are aware of the Curry-Howard isomorophism, which basically says that the relationship between a theorem and its proof is equivalent to the relationship between a specification and its implementation. In other words, there is a long tradition in mathematics (and in computer programming) of:
- separating the compact (and easy-to-check) statement of a theorem from the messy (and hard-to-check) details of its proof(s);
- separating the specification of a system from its implementation(s); and
- being able to prove that an implementation does indeed satisfy its specification.
And it's not exactly "turtles all the way down" either: a specification is generally simple and compact enough that a good programmer can usually simply visually inspect it to determine if it is indeed "correct" - something which is very difficult, if not impossible, to do with a program written in a procedural, implementation-oriented language such as C or Python or Java.
So I worry that we've got this tradition, from the open-source github C/Java programming tradition, of never actually writing our "specification", and only writing the "implementation". In mission-critical military-grade programming projects (which often use languages like Ada or Maude) this is simply not allowed. It would seem that a project as mission-critical as Bitcoin - which could literally be crucial for humanity's continued survival - should also use this kind of military-grade software development approach.
And I'm not saying rewrite the implementations in these kind of theoretical languages. But it might be helpful if the C/Python/Java programmers in the Bitcoin imperative programming world could build some bridges to the Maude/Haskell/ML programmers of the functional and algebraic programming worlds to see if any kind of useful cross-pollination might take place - between specifications and implementations.
For example, the JavaFAN formal analyzer for multi-threaded Java programs (developed using tools based on the Maude language) was applied to the Remote Agent AI program aboard NASA's Deep Space 1 shuttle, written in Java - and it took only a few minutes using formal mathematical reasoning to detect a potential deadlock which would have occurred years later during the space mission when the damn spacecraft was already way out around Pluto.
And "the Maude-NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) Protocol Analyzer (Maude-NPA) is a tool used to provide security proofs of cryptographic protocols and to search for protocol flaws and cryptosystem attacks."
These are open-source formal reasoning tools developed by DARPA and used by NASA and the US Navy to ensure that program implementations satisfy their specifications. It would be great if some of the people involved in these kinds of projects could contribute to help ensure the security and scalability of Bitcoin.
But there is a wide abyss between the kinds of programmers who use languages like Maude and the kinds of programmers who use languages like C/Python/Java - and it can be really hard to get the two worlds to meet. There is a bit of rapprochement between these language communities in languages which might be considered as being somewhere in the middle, such as Haskell and ML. I just worry that Bitcoin might be turning into being an exclusively C/Python/Java project (with the algorithms and practitioners traditionally of that community), when it could be more advantageous if it also had some people from the functional and algebraic-specification and program-verification community involved as well. The thing is, though: the theoretical practitioners are big on "semantics" - I've heard them say stuff like "Yes but a C / C++ program has no easily identifiable semantics". So to get them involved, you really have to first be able to talk about what
your program does (specification) - before proceeding to describe how
it does it (implementation). And writing high-level specifications is typically very hard using the syntax and semantics of languages like C and Java and Python - whereas specs are fairly easy to write in Maude - and not only that, they're executable, and you state and verify properties about them - which provides for the kind of debate Nick Szabo was advocating ("more computer science, less noise"). Imagine if we had an executable algebraic specification of Bitcoin in Maude, where we could formally reason about and verify certain crucial game-theoretical properties - rather than merely hand-waving and arguing and deploying and praying.
And so in the theoretical programming community you've got major research on various logics such as Girard's Linear Logic (which is resource-conscious) and Bruni and Montanari's Tile Logic (which enables "pasting" bigger systems together from smaller ones in space and time), and executable algebraic specification languages such as Meseguer's Maude (which would be perfect for game theory modeling, with its functional modules for specifying the deterministic parts of systems and its system modules for specifiying non-deterministic parts of systems, and its parameterized skeletons for sketching out the typical architectures of mobile systems, and its formal reasoning and verification tools and libraries which have been specifically applied to testing and breaking - and fixing - cryptographic protocols).
And somewhat closer to the practical hands-on world, you've got stuff like Google's MapReduce and lots of Big Data database languages developed by Google as well. And yet here we are with a mempool growing dangerously big for RAM on a single machine, and a 20-GB append-only list as our database - and not much debate on practical results from Google's Big Data databases.
(And by the way: maybe I'm totally ignorant for asking this, but I'll ask anyways: why the hell does the mempool have to stay in RAM? Couldn't it work just as well if it were stored temporarily on the hard drive?)
And you've got CalvinDB out of Yale which apparently provides an ACID layer on top of a massively distributed database.
Look, I'm just an armchair follower cheering on these projects. I can barely manage to write a query in SQL, or read through a C or Python or Java program. But I would argue two points here: (1) these languages may be too low-level and "non-formal" for writing and modeling and formally reasoning about and proving properties of mission-critical specifications
- and (2) there seem to be some Big Data tools already deployed by institutions such as Google and Yale which support global petabyte-size databases on commodity boxes with nice properties such as near-real-time and ACID - and I sometimes worry that the "core devs" might be failing to review the literature (and reach out to fellow programmers) out there to see if there might be some formal program-verification and practical Big Data tools out there which could be applied to coming up with rock-solid, 100% consensus proposals to handle an issue such as blocksize scaling, which seems to have become much more intractable than many people might have expected.
I mean, the protocol solved the hard stuff: the elliptical-curve stuff and the Byzantine General stuff. How the heck can we be falling down on the comparatively "easier" stuff - like scaling the blocksize?
It just seems like defeatism to say "Well, the blockchain is already 20-30 GB and it's gonna be 20-30 TB ten years from now - and we need 10 Mbs bandwidth now and 10,000 Mbs bandwidth 20 years from - assuming the evil Verizon and AT&T actually give us that - so let's just become a settlement platform and give up on buying coffee or banking the unbanked or doing micropayments, and let's push all that stuff into some corporate-controlled vaporware without even a whitepaper yet."
So you've got Peter Todd doing some possibly brilliant theorizing and extrapolating on the idea of "treechains" - there is a Let's Talk Bitcoin podcast from about a year ago where he sketches the rough outlines of this idea out in a very inspiring, high-level way - although the specifics have yet to be hammered out. And we've got Blockstream also doing some hopeful hand-waving about the Lightning Network.
Things like Peter Todd's treechains - which may be similar to the spark in some devs' eyes called Lightning Network - are examples of the kind of algorithm or architecture which might
manage to harness the massive computing power of miners and nodes in such a way that certain kinds of massive and graceful scaling become possible.
It just seems like a kindof tiny dev community working on this stuff. Being a C or Python or Java programmer should not be a pre-req to being able to help contribute to the specification (and formal reasoning and program verification) for Bitcoin and the blockchain.
XML and UML are crap modeling and specification languages, and C and Java and Python are even worse (as specification
languages - although as implementation
languages, they are of course fine).
But there are
serious modeling and specification languages out there, and they could be very helpful at times like this - where what we're dealing with is questions of modeling and specification (ie, "needs and requirements").
One just doesn't often see the practical, hands-on world of open-source github implementation-level programmers and the academic, theoretical world of specification-level programmers meeting very often. I wish there were some way to get these two worlds to collaborate on Bitcoin.
Maybe a good first step to reach out to the theoretical people would be to provide a modular executable algebraic specification of the Bitcoin protocol in a recognized, military/NASA-grade specification language such as Maude - because that's something the theoretical community can actually wrap their heads around, whereas it's very hard to get them to pay attention to something written only
as a C / Python / Java implementation (without an accompanying specification in a formal language).
They can't check whether the program does what it's supposed to do - if you don't provide a formal mathematical definition of what the program is supposed to do. Specification : Implementation :: Theorem : Proof
You have to remember: the theoretical community is very
aware of the Curry-Howard isomorphism. Just like it would be hard to get a mathematician's attention by merely showing them a proof
without telling also telling them what theorem
the proof is proving - by the same token, it's hard to get the attention of a theoretical computer scientist by merely showing them an implementation
without showing them the specification
that it implements.
Bitcoin is currently confronted with a mathematical or "computer science" problem: how to secure the network while getting high enough transactional throughput, while staying within the limited RAM, bandwidth and hard drive space limitations of current and future infrastructure. The problem only becomes a political and economic problem if we give up on trying to solve it as a mathematical and "theoretical computer science" problem.
There should be a plethora of whitepapers out now proposing algorithmic solutions to these scaling issues. Remember, all we have to do is apply the Byzantine General consensus-reaching procedure to a worldwide database which shuffles 2.1 quadrillion tokens among a few billion addresses. The 21 company has emphatically pointed out that racing to compute a hash to add a block is an "embarrassingly parallel" problem - very easy to decompose among cheap, fault-prone, commodity boxes, and recompose into an overall solution - along the lines of Google's highly successful MapReduce.
I guess what I'm really saying is (and I don't mean to be rude here), is that C and Python and Java programmers might not be the best qualified people to develop and formally prove the correctness of (note I do not say: "test", I say "formally prove the correctness of") these kinds of algorithms.
I really believe in the importance of getting the algorithms and architectures right - look at Google Search itself, it uses some pretty brilliant algorithms and architectures (eg, MapReduce, Paxos) which enable it to achieve amazing performance - on pretty crappy commodity hardware. And look at BitTorrent, which is truly p2p, where more demand leads to more supply.
So, in this vein, I will close this lengthy rant with an oddly specific link - which may or may not be able to make some interesting contributions to finding suitable algorithms, architectures and data structures which might help Bitcoin scale massively. I have no idea if this link could be helpful - but given the near-total lack of people from the Haskell and ML and functional worlds in these Bitcoin specification debates, I thought I'd be remiss if I didn't throw this out - just in case there might be something here which could help us channel the massive computing power of the Bitcoin network in such a way as to enable us simply sidestep this kind of desperate debate where both sides seem right because the other side seems wrong. https://personal.cis.strath.ac.uk/neil.ghani/papers/ghani-calco07
The above paper is about "higher dimensional trees". It uses a bit of category theory (not a whole lot) and a bit of Haskell (again not a lot - just a simple data structure called a Rose tree, which has a wikipedia page) to develop a very expressive and efficient data structure which generalizes from lists to trees to higher dimensions.
I have no idea if this kind of data structure could be applicable to the current scaling mess we apparently are getting bogged down in - I don't have the game-theory skills to figure it out.
I just thought that since the blockchain is like a list, and since there are some tree-like structures which have been grafted on for efficiency (eg Merkle trees) and since many of the futuristic scaling proposals seem to also involve generalizing from list-like structures (eg, the blockchain) to tree-like structures (eg, side-chains and tree-chains)... well, who knows, there might be some nugget of algorithmic or architectural or data-structure inspiration there. So... TL;DR:
(1) I'm freaked out that this blocksize debate has splintered the community so badly and dragged on so long, with no resolution in sight, and both sides seeming so right (because the other side seems so wrong).
(2) I think Bitcoin could gain immensely by using high-level formal, algebraic and co-algebraic program specification and verification languages (such as Maude including Maude-NPA, Mobile Maude parameterized skeletons, etc.) to specify (and possibly also, to some degree, verify) what
Bitcoin does - before translating to low-level implementation
languages such as C and Python and Java saying how
Bitcoin does it. This would help to communicate and reason about programs with much more mathematical certitude - and possibly obviate the need for many political and economic tradeoffs which currently seem dismally inevitable - and possibly widen the collaboration on this project.
(3) I wonder if there are some Big Data approaches out there (eg, along the lines of Google's MapReduce and BigTable, or Yale's CalvinDB), which could be implemented to allow Bitcoin to scale massively and painlessly - and to satisfy all stakeholders, ranging from millionaires to micropayments, coffee drinkers to the great "unbanked".
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