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Comment Re:Why is the limit a problem? IS it a problem? (Score 1) 185

Is the situation that the Bitcoin network is coming dangerously close to having enough transactions to exceed that 1MB limit?

It is not, although the transaction rate is steadily increasing. The question is more about how Bitcoin should evolve, rather than imminent problems.

Bitcoin at its core is a notarization network using scarce tokens to prevent spam and data size limits against DoS. Relaxing the limit means more entries, which both helps with monetary use of these tokens as well as the their utilization for other purposes like asset transfers, dispute mediation, digital copyrights, etc. It also means more resource requirements for nodes, which could eventually lead to hobbyists getting out of the equation.

it seems like the people behind Bitcoin XT stand to make a lot of money if the big Bitcoin exchanges switch over to their version of the currency, so I'm not so sure.

It is open source software for a decentralized network, so at least there isn't a direct connection to developer revenue. Although, there is a lot of investment going on, and different companies stand to gain from different scaling approaches, which could have lead to conflicts of interest.

Comment Re:Any useful reviews? (Score 1) 45

Well, requiring a Ubuntu One account (which asks for your Full Name and e-mail) in order to install software was a terrible choice. Last time I checked, they still thought it was a good idea.

You don't need an account to use the phone though, nor a SIM card. Also if you enable write access, you can use the repositories just like you would in any Debian distro, but lose the ability to install OS updates. You also can't get updates without a Ubuntu One account (at least by default).

Bluetooth is almost completely missing, there is no encryption, and the default terminal software (you need a Ubuntu One account in order to install), lacks some key combinations. Translations are quite good.

My overall feeling is, it will continue to lack the features that motivates me to look for an alternative OS, so I did not want to spend more time on figuring things out.

Comment Re:"Cashless" is meaningless (Score 2) 294

Certainly possible. Ecuador had plans to do that, but I don't know how it went.

However, I think states around the world will prefer having an extra layer of protection in the form of licensed private entities, and this system is pretty much already established, particularly in favor of the western world.

Citizens are required to use one of these, they can still be made worthless but the bureaucrat(s) in your example will be shielded from any potential backlash.

You don't need to pass laws to change the world into whatever you favor and you won't even risk being the bad guy. Everyone will continue to hate banks and intermediaries, but their place will continue to be guaranteed. Similar to the current state of affairs, but more efficient.

Comment Re:"Cashless" is meaningless (Score 1) 294

5. Government can control you if you do not have access to your own money, and it can prevent you from doing anything they don't like and punish you for doing anything they don't approve of.

They already can do that, so I think it's important to clarify the distinction. Governments do not handle your money directly, but they restrict you to licensed entities, like banks, payment processors, etc. These entities are subject to broadly defined rules which make them responsible about not only identified crimes, but potential future crimes. On top of that, in many countries these entities are aligned to particular political groups, and in the case of multinational entities, foreign powers or international organizations. Basically, you can be instantly screwed because of your behavioral pattern or political activity, without being charged with any crime.

I don't think we will be "fucked" in the sense that confiscations will be prevalent. We will and do adjust our behavior and expectations from life. We will and do move to a monopolar world much faster than everyone imagines.

Comment Re:"everyone from PayPal merchants to Rand Paul" (Score 1) 67

What I said does not have anything to with people using Bitcoin in their morally questionable endeavors.

I however said that Bitcoin does not require a centralized power's backing. Not only that, it is allergic to that sort of thing.

You can buy a gun with Bitcoin and kill a man. However, using it by itself does not require guns or killing.

Comment Re:"everyone from PayPal merchants to Rand Paul" (Score 3, Interesting) 67

Bitcoin is an experiment in getting people to agree on something (be it notarization, settlement or just exchange value) without the need for a central enforcer.

It's not a bug, it's a feature, i.e. you won't see Bitcoin bombing children to "reinforce" the position of its currency. No one should be surprised that this brings many limitations with it.

So no matter what the majority of Bitcoin community thinks, it's a collective experiment and will always depend on actions that are just for the sake of it succeeding. Network effect just won't cut it. Fortunately, there is a lot that makes sense in leaving behind central enforcers and decision makers.

Another problem I find in your analysis is, publicized thefts and the mechanics of Bitcoin are completely separate. There is plenty of way to go, but the currently lacking advancements in these areas are naturally complementary.

Comment Re:Not many devices (Score 1) 56

I assumed wonkey_monkey is talking about making smartphones temporarily offline. So it does become online with your consent. It could also connect without you even noticing.

Also, any device is vulnerable, but not equally. A lot needs to happen for the encrypted data on my old laptop with no wi-fi capability to leak out.

Comment Re:Not many devices (Score 1) 56

I don't think anyone would go through all this trouble for security, it is just a geek entertainment thing.

Having said that, keeping around an offline device for secure storage is not too bad an idea. If you have a RasPi lying around, it's all you need to generate secure keys, store 2FA secrets, and anything else that is best preserved cold.

Comment Re:I agree (Score 3, Interesting) 111

all of the protections disappear with bitcoin type anonymity

Reversing transactions requires arbitration, which is quite possible with or without anonymity (although, you wouldn't want to provide delivery receipts for physical items if you need to remain anonymous).

Actually, decentralized & pseudonymous systems like OpenBazaar which work with Bitcoin provide trustless (i.e. the notary can't steal your funds, unlike a trusted escrow) arbitration services. This sort of opt-in protection is better than what you get with Mastercard, but considering the technology is immensely more complex than what is used in centralized systems and that it is mostly open source (negligible funding), more time is needed until it matures.

I have no need of anonymous financial transactions for credit cards.

I would agree with this. Most of the problems with credit cards is because they are pull payments. The fraud levels would be immense if it became anonymous.

It's very convenient to not be required to give out personal info to prove you are not a fraud, though. It's also good for security: no "pull payment" info to steal when one of the companies you work with has a data breach. So I think from the consumer's perspective it is better in the case of push payments.

Comment Re:Bitcoin... (Score 1) 353

Bitcoin was already around, but Wikileaks didn't use it until 6 months into the blockade. Haven't read it myself, but here's a foonote from Assange's new book:

On the day of the conversation [with Eric Schmidt], Bitcoin had risen above the US dollar and reached price parity with the Euro. By early 2014 it had risen to over $1,000, before falling to $430 as other Bitcoin-derived competing crypto-currencies started to take off. WikiLeaks’ strategic investments in the currency saw more than 8,000 percent return in three years, seeing us through the extralegal US banking blockade.

Here, they are saying that it makes up the majority of public funding (as of Jan 2014 though).

In space, no one can hear you fart.