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Why I choose Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin
A few days ago I posted my doubts and criticism about BTC vs BCH, but now I have made my mind up after a lenghty research yesterday and today, I have chosen BCH. Disclaimer: I have already owned BCH before that. So I was already on board BCH, but I had my doubts about it, and certainly the noise the other side makes, it made me doubt myself whether I made the best choice or not. After all it's about money, and the first thing that comes into a person's mind is that it worries about losing it. So if BCH would have been inferior to BTC then there would have been a strong chance of losing that money, through the price doing down like with the other fake coins Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, etc... Because from an investment standpoint I shouldn't care about sides, I just want the one that has a better future and more potential in it. So if I would have found out that BTC is better I would have sold my BCH for BTC obviously, I would have no sentimental attachment to either of them, I just want to be on the right side. Eventually hedge, but hedging is like the game of uncertain people, and there is no uncertainty here, all the evidence shows one side to be much better than the other. It's not even like 70-30, it's more like 99-1. Now I did a lenghty research, read all the comments on my posts, and compared them to the claim BTC makes on their websites and influential BTC people have stated, asked questions, used logic, and it's now objectively clear to me that BCH is the right side to be on.
I was already doubtful about BTC, that is why I have switched to BCH about a year ago, I saw their shady activities, but the final nail in the coffin was probably the massive FEE problem, that started last November and ended in February. That made me totally dislike BTC. However now that the fees are normal in BTC, I had a doubt in my mind that what if they are right? What if the fee spike was just a coordinated attack on BTC, and now that it's over, BTC is just as good as BCH. I mean if the fees are normal now, and about the same last I looked (maybe BTC is like 20% more expensive but still low like 60 cents), it gives some credibility back to BTC. There are theories that the coordinated attack was a conspiracy against BTC, but then again BTC has it's own conspiracies too, so why not just ignore the conspiracy theories and look at the facts. The fact is that it doesn't matter what it was, the mere fact that it happened, and it crippled the network for 4 months, shows that BTC has serious flaws. And it can happen again. So it doesn't matter who did it, it happened, and the network was crippled. Now if a network can be crippled like that, and if you want this network to host a global payment system, then we will have huge problems. BCH can defend against such attack much more effectively because it costs more to fill up a 32MB block than a 1MB block, 32x harder. Plus a 32MB block is so small that anyone can handle that right now, even if a 4 month period attack would happen against BCH, and it would be 32x more costly, so it would be harder to pull off. However if a bigger budgeted attacker would attack again BTC with a 32x budget, then it would cripple BTC for 10 YEARS!!! That would literally make Bitcoin literally die.
Non Mining Nodes
One aspect that the BTC people say is that non miner "full nodes" are sacrosanct, and that we need them to keep miners in check, but I haven't heard any coherent answers as to why. I have read the whitepaper twice, once today and once yesterday, and it states there clearly what the real truth is. You should definitely download and archive the whitepaper because some people tried to rewrite it, Orwellian style, so grab the original one here: https://blockchair.com/bitcoin/whitepaper [Download it and save it on your own computer SHA256: b1674191a88ec5cdd733e4240a81803105dc412d6c6708d53ab94fc248f4f553, these Orwellian trolls might try to gaslight you eventually and rewrite the past!] The whitepaper mentions 3 times that:
The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes.
The proof-of-work also solves the problem of determining representation in majority decision making. If the majority were based on one-IP-address-one-vote, it could be subverted by anyone able to allocate many IPs. Proof-of-work is essentially one-CPU-one-vote. The majority decision is represented by the longest chain, which has the greatest proof-of-work effort invested in it. If a majority of CPU power is controlled by honest nodes, the honest chain will grow the fastest and outpace any competing chains.
This is word for word how the whitepaper says it. So this alone disproves the full node myth, it's complete nonsense. The miners have total control, and the nodes don't matter. Satoshi designed a 1 CPU 1 vote system, where every node is a miner node. He could not forecast large farm ASIC miners, but then again that isn't resolved by just running non miner nodes. Furthermore the full node system doesn't have any collective benefit only individual one, which we will get into next, and it might even be a drag: Instead of going from A->D, you have to go to A->B->C->D with a full node system, adding extra inefficiency and latency. Keep in mind, this is not a medieval pidgeon relay messaging system, the information travels at the speed of light, so there is no need for extra relays, in fact adding extra relays just creates extra latency. You eventually have to communicate with a miner, so what is the point in having extra "bus stops" along the way? It's just a waste of resources. We do need many miners to secure the network, and instead of wasting resources on non-mining nodes, they should just spend that on mining if they really want decentralization.
Another claim that they make is that SPV wallets are insecure. Which is somewhat true, but out of perspective. For general users SPV wallets are totally fine. And I don't think SPV security is lower than what anyone except a billionaire who keeps all his coins in 1 address (very stupid) would need. This explained well in the whitepaper in the page 5/ paragraph 8 "Simplified Payment Verification" section. The SPV is probabilistically secure, because it fetches blocks that are already agreed upon, so unless a big conspiracy is taking place, miners rewriting the chain, this gives people a probabilistic security. Most SPV wallets are well implemented so they use the best tools to keep your coin history reasonably accurate, so they fetch data from multiple random servers and compare against it. Certainly Electrum/Electron Cash does this well. One thing I might add is that it's good to use a VPN too with SPV wallets, in case your are personally targeted by a criminal, so your IP address is randomized too for extra security, so you won't download honeypot blocks that are specifically targeting your IP. But other than that SPV is just reasonably secure, and by that I mean that it's probably below 0.1% that your coin history can be deceitful, and even then if you wait for 10-15 confirmations and shuffle your VPN IP address around enough times, you can be absolutely sure that the history is accurate. So their fear is overblown and they are just fearmongering on this, the same way people fearmonger about asteroid impact or alien invasion, it's just not reasonable.
Now as you can see already that a lot of these claims have been utterly debunked, and they don't have coherent arguments to address the rebuttals, in fact in most cases they resort to ad hominems and insults (which I have experienced, just for asking questions). But the coup de grace happens when you realize how inefficient LN is. And for that here are some references, it's mostly technical:
And perhaps it's explained in more simpler terms in youtube videos but the point is that there is real scientific proof that the LN will have awful consequences for the decentralization of BTC, and it inserts and unnecessary middleman into the mix that is a massive point of failure. It essentially creates a KYC regulated bank network on top of a settlement layer, and the governments around the world will have total control over that. Well the LN nodes are essentially money transmitters because they directly facilitate the transfer of money, so AML/KYC/Tax reporting/Surveillance will happen by default on these nodes. And given that LN can't be a decentralized system but a hub & spoke system, due to the need to keep your wallet online at all times, it will literally become a 3rd party custodian based banking system, literally. So all of the essence of Bitcoin [word for word quote from the whitepaper]:
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
Will literally cease to exist, and it reverts BTC back into a government regulated banking system, literally.
There are other arguments too, but these are the main ones, and researching them thoroughly and understanding the issues made me lose all my doubts about Bitcoin Cash and all my faith in Bitcoin. It can't be any more clear to me now that Bitcoin Cash is the true version of Bitcoin, the real vision of Satoshi and the genuine implementation of it, with all the technical genius-ity that Satoshi had laid out in the whitepaper which is still relevant. Satoshi laid out everything in the whitepaper, and all of it is implemented geniusly in Bitcoin Cash except for paragraph 7 on page 4 "Reclaiming Disk Space" which talks about block pruning, I am not sure if this is Xthin Blocks or Compact Blocks or Thin Blocks (please explain in the comment section), otherwise it should be implemented, it would be a much better way for scaling than LN. But other than that BCH is technically superior. Now I don't know whether better things win in politics, but in engineering, if your design is shitty, it will inevitably fall apart. You can't have a skyscraper built on quicksand, it's inevitable disaster. So look, BCH is obviously risky, it has less users, less merchants; but because it has a solid foundation and probably the 3rd biggest community after ethereum, it has maaaaaaaaaaaaassive opportunity in it to become the best cryptocurrency (because ethereum has the same or worse issues than BTC). There is no question now whether BCH is better, the only question now is, how long will it take for people to realize this.
So I choose to stay with BCH, and now I am 101% supportive of it! Long Live Bitcoin Cash!!
Is it really possible to scale to billions of users on chain!?
YES. Today we are going to talk about how. Here is a post from Satoshi describing how the network SHOULD operate: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=532.msg6306#msg6306 Satoshi: "The current system where every user is a network node is not the intended configuration for large scale. That would be like every Usenet user runs their own NNTP server. The design supports letting users just be users. The more burden it is to run a node, the fewer nodes there will be. Those few nodes will be big server farms. The rest will be client nodes that only do transactions and don't generate." So for a little clarification: By "generate" he means mine blocks. By "client node" he's talking about SPV wallets, A.K.A. "Lite" wallets, like Electrum, Breadwallet or Mycelium, etc. which are totally safe for everyday use. So yes, here is Satoshi clearly explaining why users should not run full nodes. Users running full nodes is against the interests of the system because it prevents the system from scaling like it should. So, it's been clearly established that the system is designed to scale with users running SPV wallets and NOT full nodes, because that limits the scalability of the system. But wait a minute...I heard SPV requires you to trust miners, is it safe!? YES, SPV is a totally safe and trustless solution for users to store large or small amounts of funds. SPV doesn't require you to trust a miner. Chapter 8, on page 5, is the part in the white paper about SPV vs. Full nodes. Here Satoshi elaborates a little more on why users should use SPV: https://bitcoin.com/bitcoin.pdf TWO key points about SPV wallets like Electrum, Mycelium and Breadwallet:
The only thing you need to "trust" is that the most POW chain is the honest one, which it is.
A mining node CAN NOT defraud an SPV client without first 51% attacking the network and overpowering it.
So basically SPV is always safe for use unless the network is under 51% attack. If the network is under a successful 51% attack, then we have bigger problems! lol. So there you have it. The intended configuration for scaling to reach billions of users is with all or most of the users running SPV clients. But wait a minute...the small block camp insists everyone needs to run a non-mining full node. Why!? Because they're against on chain scaling. The small block camp has taken some meaningless element of the system (non-mining full nodes) and blown them up as if they are a crucial part of the system, insisting that we need to limit the capacity of the system on chain in order to make way for these silly non-mining nodes to keep up. THIS IS ALL A LIE. Now they're convincing everyone that "we need to keep blocks small so everyone can run a full node. Users need to be able to validate transactions and keep the miners in check blah blah" https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6vrx3c/the_main_argument_against_bigger_blocks_is_a_lie/ It's all hogwash. Don't fall for it. The real reason why they're saying all this is because they want to choke on chain scaling to push business onto L2. Remember, the corporation Blockstream employs over 1/3 of core devs and they are developing a centralized L2 system (Lightning network) and they NEED ON CHAIN CAPACITY TO BE CHOKED IN ORDER TO CREATE DEMAND FOR THIER L2. This is corporate fuckery at it's finest. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YKBTIXdF6yF4XPp-3NeWxttUFytf8WFY1y8tZF7c17A/edit#gid=0 Tl,DR; Satoshi designed the system to work with end users NOT running full nodes, and instead using "Lite" A.K.A. "SPV" (Simplified Payment Verification, see chapter 8 of the white paper) and THIS is the only way to scale on chain to reach billions of users. BScore and the small block camp have LIED to everyone, convincing them that users need to run full nodes, thus limiting the system by keeping block size laughably small, choking on chain capacity. The real reason they're doing this is not because it's good for Bitcoin, but to create demand for their L2 solutions, where THEY make the fees, not miners. Do your own research, do not fall for the small block propaganda!
[AMA] Randy Brito here from BitcoinVenezuela.com, what we’ve been doing and why we might need your help
Hello all here, I am Randy Brito (aka @btcven), a Venezuelan whose family moved to Spain in 2004 due to the worsening situation and persecution on the middle class. I learned about Bitcoin in 2011 and read a lot about it here and at Bitcointalk.org (and learned about Libertarianism too through it), in 2012 founded https://www.BitcoinVenezuela.com as a non-profit organization dedicated to educate about Bitcoin and basic economics. Started collaborating with Electrum developers, translated it into Spanish (along with Hive Wallet, MacWallet, and some others). At Electrum also helped as manager of translations, website, social media, support. Co-founded another local non-profit education group in Spain and gave talks about Bitcoin around the country, mostly in high schools to get the young people started before they even learned how to use a bank account. Also co-founded a Classic Liberal - Anarchocapitalist group in Seville, Spain where I was part of the team which hosted the Free Market Road Show three years in a row. In 2014 joined Support at Coinbase as one of the two first employees outside the US, when it was still only serving US customers, and worked there for 3.5 years. Joined MetaMask-ConsenSys a few months ago as Customer Support. Tried to open a Bitcoin<->Bolivar exchange between 2014-2015, we got stopped and the other local exchange there got shut down completely. I’ve been educating about Bitcoin in Venezuela since 2012, in our website, in social media, with collaborators in the country who gave talks, supporting local groups teaching about Bitcoin there, running campaigns, giving interviews, podcasts. Besides trying to educate about economics, fighting Socialism both in Venezuela and Spain, and more. For more than two years now I’ve been collecting donations in cryptocurrencies through our humanitarian aid project 'Bitcoin For Venezuela Initiative' to help feed people, buy medicines and help those in need. We started doing a monthly activity to cook food for 400-500 people. Today we help feed 2000+ people daily, by buying food for a soup kitchen where 1600+ people go to eat daily, probably the only meal they have in a whole day. Also cook meals for two orphanages, an elderly center, a kids hospital, and an old people’s hospital. This is the last activity we did: https://twitter.com/btcven/status/1028743266739662849?s=21 We are now also helping another soup kitchen and an elderly center in a small town, and also managing donations to restore a farm school, so it can produce food again for the towns around it, and also teach young people to work in the farm. Donations come mostly from private donators giving us cryptocurrencies, not many donations come from our public addresses (we take Bitcoin Lightning Network donations too!) because we keep most of the pictures and videos taken private because of the persecution in the country of those who do humanitarian aid, and for the safety of collaborators on the ground. For the past months I’ve been working on speeding up Bitcoin adoption in Venezuela ( checkout these 4 tweets https://twitter.com/randybrito/status/1023679503862824962?s=21 ) through a few steps:
Get funds to develop a very simple UI to make it easy to start using Bitcoin as a medium of exchange using Electrum for Android. Adapt censorship resistant tools being developed so they work for Electrum users too.
Teach people how to use it and let them know about the different ways of turning Bitcoin to other currencies as store of value (like Dollars, stablecoins, or any synthetic USD) and also use Dollars as unit of account so they can completely stop using Bolivars.
Develop a DIY cheap device to make a mesh network in Venezuela that could be used not only for secure communications, but more importantly for transacting with Bitcoin even if/when all communications (3G, SMS, calls, cable-internet) stop working (as it has been happening these past weeks). Small router-like nodes with medium WiFi range to connect to others, bigger ones with radio antennas attached to them to connect larger distances, a few of them in the borders with Internet connection and Electrum servers adapted to serve users through the mesh directly. We’ll have a working prototype in ~1 month.
Continue adapting and developing the needed tools for Venezuelans (also Iran and Turkey are now in/towards a similar situation) to be able to actually use Bitcoin for everyday censorship resulting payments through this mesh privately and securely.
Research, adapt, collaborate, and promote second layer solutions like the Lightning Network that will let millions of users transact with each other once an important percentage of for example the people of Venezuela use Bitcoin payments every day. This research for example has let us understand that the mesh network devices could have a LN node routing payments through the mesh and make those hosting the mesh devices earn a bit of the fees collected, and even host an IPFS node too.
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