Let’s Speak Bitcoin! #387 POW, POS and Self Fulfilling Counter Prophecies

Printed on February 10th, 2019 by adam

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On Todays Episode of Let’s Speak Bitcoin…

Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Stephanie Murphy be a part of Adam B. Levine for an in-depth dialogue on the ups and downs of consensus actuality and the 2 “huge” strategies (Proof of Work and Proof of Stake) which we use to outline it.

Matter 1: Proof of Stake and Proof of Work Dialogue

Matter 2: Ethereum Replace and Improve Path


Partial transcript from about 35 minutes in…

ANDREAS M. ANTONOPOULOS: “The issue with proof of labor as a system is that it is so poorly understood and it’s extremely troublesome to see what advantages it gives…. Immutability and resistance in opposition to state stage colluding actors are advantages you do not actually see till anyone tries to assault them. The truth that they do not assault them, in bitcoin, just isn’t one thing you’ll be able to have a good time as a result of it is like proving a detrimental.

One other strategy to put it’s that nobody actually pays consideration to a surgeon till their sufferers begin dying. It’s totally troublesome to say ‘take a look at how good I’m as a result of none of my sufferers have died recently’, however it’s very simple to level to the surgeon well-known for performing an operation with the 300% mortality charge. He did an amputation in 25 seconds, throughout which he managed to additionally amputate a few of the fingers of considered one of his surgical procedure assistants… And it was such a horrific scene that one of many viewers members died from shock. Then the affected person and the assistant died from sepsis days later, making it the one surgical procedure with 300% mortality charge…

Now, you’ll be able to level to that and say “That is not a great surgeon” however it’s very troublesome to take a look at a surgeon and say “Nicely, no one’s died but in order that’s a great surgeon”. It is a common downside with safety, as a result of safety working implies that nothing dangerous occurred. And the absence of one thing dangerous occurring just isn’t a provable factor. SO you’ll be able to say that Bitcoin is safe. How have you learnt? effectively, it is hasn’t been efficiently attacked but. May or not it’s efficiently attacked? May somebody amass 51%? And we will level to examples of smaller programs which have been attacked like Basic Just lately, however the issue is it is actually laborious to see that worth. Similar factor with immutability.”

“It might be the case that just one virgin start industrial, planetary scale proof of labor system might be bootstrapped. It already has been. Just one is reasonably priced and in the long run possibly just one is required, as a result of it will probably provide immutability companies to different chains via checkpointing thereby permitting proof of stake to be much more sturdy. That is not an indictment of proof of labor, in truth, it demonstrates the one system that did bootstrap and gives that qualitatively vital immutability. Qualitatively completely different from the immutability you’d get in proof of stake, is extraordinarily worthwhile as a result of you’ll be able to solely probably have one, and we will solely afford one. It is environmentally very costly and power costly. Then the query is, is it value it? I believe proof of stake could be very highly effective for smaller blockchains, particularly mixed with checkpointing in a proof of labor chain. However I believe, once more, the immutability you get is qualitatively completely different.

One of many vital issues that almost all critics of proof of labor do not perceive, is I can take a pc that is by no means seen a bitcoin blockchain. I may give it one block, the latest block. It might probably take a look at the proof of labor and inform me if that is actual with none exterior community connection. How does it know? It is aware of as a result of the proof of labor embedded in that single block, computationally, would have required 45 Exa-hashes per second to compute in ten minutes.

So there’s solely considered one of two potentialities… Both anyone was working loads of common function computer systems for 2 years to provide simply that one block with a view to idiot you, or it was a block produced in 10 minutes by the one community capable of ship 45 exa-hashes. The bitcoin community. You can also make that evaluation with none exterior data simply by taking a look at that one hash and the nonce. Then saying “What number of hashes did this take to provide?

It truly accommodates the proof of the work that was accomplished… And when there’s just one community on the planet that would do it, then the proof that the work HAS been accomplished additionally tells you WHO did that work.

And due to this fact, it’s an genuine bitcoin block. I do not even must know if it is related to the genesis block. If I do have these connections then it is past any doubt. However even only a single block accommodates one thing essential, and you’ll’t try this with proof of stake.

That means that, if all the individuals determined to rewrite historical past in a proof of stake system, the price to take action is zero. If all the individuals with 100% consensus determined to rewrite the bitcoin chain, they must re-spend a number of gigawatts of power to take action. There isn’t any strategy to faux it. And you may’t try this with proof of stake. You’ll be able to’t have the concept a participant with no prior data can set up that that is the one true historical past. You’ll be able to current different histories so long as you will have 100% consensus which can be equally legitimate. In Bitcoin, you’ll be able to’t. You’ll be able to’t current different that’s equally legitimate even if in case you have 100% of the mining…”


Tip LTB:1FZGD64BA7B9GdwDhGGGF92amt9X6VH38Okay

or By way of the Lightning Community at tipltb.tokenly.com/


Thanks for listening to this episode of Let’s Speak Bitcoin, content material for todays present was offered by Andreas Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy and Adam B. Levine.

This episode was edited by Dave/Adam and featured music by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats

Ship questions or feedback to [email protected]

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