Bitcoin Bits: 19 February 2016

Some of the more interesting articles about bitcoin and the blockchain from the past few days:

Ending the Bitcoin Civil War – by Washington Sanchez, via Medium

Now this sounds like a good idea:

“Imagine if Core and Classic got together and merged their efforts in a single, consensus-based hard fork.

A 2 MB increase in the block size gives immediate breathing room for transaction capacity, while segregated witness solves transaction malleability and a raft of other issues that we all want (with an effective increase in the transaction capacity as a lovely side-effect). This buys us time to kick the tires on the lightning network, improve block propogation, test out other interesting improvements such as IBLT, thin blocks etc.

I’m willing to bet that a joint announcement to this effect would begin to heal a fractured community.”

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by Hide Obara for Unsplash
by Hide Obara for Unsplash

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I’ll bet you $5,000 that bitcoin’s first hard fork works out just fine – by Brian Armstrong, via Medium

This is getting fun. Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, has bet $5000 (payable to the charity of the winner’s choice) that a hard fork will not be difficult or negative. Game on.

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China’s Role In Bitcoin: How Cultural Differences Are Affecting The Technology’s Progress – by Laura Shin, for Fortune

The cultural chasm between the US’s interest in bitcoin and China’s.

“One of the big drivers behind Bitcoin’s early popularity in the United States was its appeal to libertarians, who were drawn to the fact that it is not a state-sponsored currency. However, Lee says the concept of libertarianism doesn’t translate. “Chinese people are very practical, very pragmatic, and the notion of multiple political parties, people who want freedom and anonymity — that’s weird to Chinese people. Some of them want quick profit. They want to gamble and make a return on their investment — and that goes over the head of Westerners.””

So, the Chinese miners are happy to let Core decide what happens, and they’re not very interested in decentralisation. Hence, they’re likely to take a conservative view of any proposed changes.

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So that’s how it works

If public key cryptography makes absolutely no sense to you, you’re not alone. I’ve read books on the stuff and I’m still confused. This, however, finally gets the glimmer of comprehension going, and it does so by mixing paint.

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Have a great weekend! I’ll be braving the blustery, freezing winds of London…

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