[FoRK] bitcoins vs. alchemy

Gordon Mohr gojomo-forkxent at xavvy.com
Wed Dec 5 19:55:42 PST 2012

On 12/5/12 5:26 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Don't bother reading, there's too much, I'll sum up.
> They've arbitrarily decided that people with FPGAs and GPGPUs are
> cheating, so they are devaluing the ability to mine value.

That's not what happened at all! Even before the availability of mining 
FPGAs/ASICs, a decrease in the reward was scheduled for this point in 
the growth of globally-shared 'blockchain'. (This grows by one block of 
new transactions roughly every 10 minutes. It's like a giant shared 
consensus account balances ledger.)

The timing of this change was based on block count, *not* net 
computational ability, though there are other system parameters that 
adjust as more computation comes online. There has never been a fixed 
return on a certain amount of block-solving power: it has always been 
probabilistic, and relative to the total amount of other competing power 
for a given block.

There are sometimes grumblings about the way the particular block-reward 
problem (a partial hash collision) encourages certain kinds of 
optimizations, or is power-wasteful compared to theoretical 
alternatives. A better system might come along someday, starting fresh 
or forking off from the bitcoin protocol/blockchain.

But there's no shadowy "they" having recently decided any changes in the 
mechanism or rate of production; the adjustments baked in at the 
beginning have just continued as planned, like clockwork.

- Gordon

> Greg
> On 12/5/2012 5:01 PM, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
>> On 12/5/2012 4:54 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
>>  > Apparently they've said they've considered that and are able to
>> arbitrarily devalue it at will.
>> Sure, but the devaluation will be after-the-fact and will surely favor
>> the tech-advanced. Right?
>> Your links, at cocktail hour, are intrinsically tl;dr. But I will read
>> them tomorrow.
>> - Joe
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