Down to the last satoshi. Now with bonus poem!

What does a sociopathic mega-capitalistic anti-socialist racialist like me love ? What do I really get a kick out of ? What really strikes my fancy ? Generally, Bitcoin-related conversations like thisi :

mircea_popescu: Incidentally, I’ve said this a few times but it readily gets forgotten : coinbase fragmentation is threatening to become a rather serious problem for bitcoin eventually. Could be a much stricter limit on scalability than the block size. Specifically : the total number of bitcoin units of account that can be circulating is 2100000000000000. If we actually get maximal utilization, which means every single unit of account is independent, the system will have to track 2.1 * 10^ 15 items. which, at say half a kb weight each, will cost exabytes to fully move.
davout: And at this point transaction fees can’t exist anymore.ii

mircea_popescu: Exactly.
punkman: Gonna need more decimal points.

mircea_popescu: There’s an entire ugly unspecified state downstream people keep pushing under the rug.iii Would really benefit from more discussion and modelling. Because you know for a fact as BTC will run up to 10k next, the “consumers need this improvement” thing will be lowering the spam limit, which itself is sensible, but wtf does it do ? Obviously there are no decimal points. Nor were there ever.iv
punkman: Eh more, zeroes then.

BingoBoingo: Integers all the way down.
mircea_popescu: This is oft repeated you know “we’ll just add more zeroes.” Orly ? How ? What will it do ?

davout: Scalabitchity.
BingoBoingo: Eh, so Satoshi actually invented Bitcoin with too many units. Too much divisibility.

punkman: “track 2.1 * 10^ 15 items” blocksize limit certainly protects against this.
davout: “will cost exabytes to fully move” <<< It’s ok because Moore’s law.v

punkman: I don’t see why adding more zeros isn’t possible, nontrivial sure, probably on the order of changing workfunction.
mircea_popescu: Do you understand what effects it has ?

punkman: Haven’t really thought about it.
mircea_popescu: Exactly my point. Collectively we’ve not spent nearly enough thinking about that

BingoBoingo: It may just be that the last 4 digits are there for precision and signalling.
mircea_popescu: Possible. Currently it works with the last 5 digits pretty much being unusable other than for that. So how much can be yielded ? 1 more ? 2 ? 5 ? A full 32 ? A full 64 more ?

BingoBoingo: Could be we end up with 1 less.
mircea_popescu: Think about it this way, the spam tx limit is currently worth very little. If it runs up to 10k it will be worth cents. And it can not be underscored enough how that is a much larger problem than the recent block size nonsense. Here, we discussed “potential users” and the blocks haven’t been full, etc.

BingoBoingo: I could see the spam tx limit run up to 100k and be worth dollars. Seriously this is the shit that needs modeled.vii
mircea_popescu: There, we’ll be discussing “you may not use bitcoin to transfer less than 2.8 dollars’ worth”.viii Very hugely different sort of limitation on the usage.

davout: What spam limit are you referring to ?
mircea_popescu: What was it, 20k ? 5k ?ix

davout: The minimum output size? The dust thing?
mircea_popescu: Ya.

davout: It’s not very clear to me how this thing works.
mircea_popescu: Which thing ?

davout: Looks like a limit based on the minimum relay fee. But that is only enforced at relay level, and by some miners. It’s by no means a hard protocol limit.
mircea_popescu: For sure not. but it does practically work to keep tx large enough, and more importantly, coinbases few. Only works because BTC is not too valuable ATM.x  What happens when this prop is no longer available ? We’re, at least to my eyes, in the situation where we’ve built something against a sleeping rhino. Once it gets up and moves, what happens ?

davout: Looks to me like this highlights another aspect of the tragedy of the commons thing, because miners don’t bear the full cost of a large UTXO, they have no particular incentive to give fee rebates to UTXO-consolidating transactions.
mircea_popescu: Quite. I think for a while gentleman-ness will prevail and the consolidations will be mined in preference. But this is no sort of solution, ie. you’ll never have that many legitimate txns that also consolidate. Especially as the size of bitcoin economy increases. By very definition, increased size = fragmentation of coinage. And I suspect the coinbase count will be, going forward, one of the most important metrics of economic health. Sorta like replacement for GNP.xi

davout: You mean the spendable outputs ?
mircea_popescu: Yes. Coinbase count = the number of available inputs.

davout: Ah, my definition of coinbase is a spendable output that was not created by spending another output, ie. new money.xii
mircea_popescu: Fucking horrid terminology, we really shouldn’t be in a situation where input and output means the same thing. Well that’s the meaningful sense of the term when you’re doing graph traversal and whatnot, cause it’s where it starts. But in this context it seemed to me it’d rather mean, “clumps of satoshi available to be spent.”

davout: It’s an output in the bathroom, it’s an input in the bedroom.
asciilifeform: Win. Needs to be expanded to poem.

mircea_popescu: Bitcoin is too phalocentric.

Now, for Stan’s requested poemxiii :

A Bitcoin of outputs and not of inputs
Is like a garden full of weeds
And when the weeds begin to grow
It’s like a garden full of snow
And when the snow begins to fall
It’s like a bird upon the wall
And when the bird away does fly
It’s like an eagle in the sky
And when the sky begins to roar
It’s like a lion at the door
And when the door begins to crack
It’s like a stick across your back
And when your back begins to smart
It’s like a penknife in your heart
And when your heart begins to bleed
You’re dead, and dead, and dead indeed.

Now let’s just stick with inputs, shall we ?

___ ___ ___

  1. Compare and contrast, if you will, the following conversation with anything you’re likely to find at, oh, say, “Consensus 2015.” One is regurgitating VC vomit, the other is looking forward with a level head on its shoulders.

    Now can you guess where Bitcoin policy is set ? There’s only one right answer here.

  2. Because if a satoshi is worth a dollar, and you want to buy some sort of computer cable from scamazon or wherever, a cable that just so happens to cost $1.00 including taxes and shipping, and you want to pay in bitcoin, what the hell is the fee going to be ? Also a satoshi/dollar ? Why kind of sense would that make ?
  3. Well, “people” here is meant in the sense of redditards who think with their food-stamp-addled noggins to the best of their poor, fat, and starved ability – which is to say, not well enough to complete the Sunday Times crossword much less meaningfully opine on the most important and poorly understood revolution in the past two millennia.
  4. The code is denominated in satoshis, which are 100`000`000 to the “bitcoin,” the latter of which is really no more than a convention.
  5. This is sarcasm, folks, unlike USGavin‘s and USGarzik‘s deadpanned and straight-faced belief in the mystical power of an ex-post “theory” cum descriptive analysis that, as best as I can tell, died sometime back in 2008.
  6. No, the “collective we” isn’t reddit or whatever mouthbreathers there exist in the cesspools of social media. The “collective we” here is the Bitcoin Lordship. Nothing more.
  7. In theory, this modelling could be accomplished by altcoins. Instead, altcoins are used to “make money in your sleep” and scam children out of their lunch money. You wouldn’t be alone in sensing that this is a travesty of a missed opportunity.
  8. That’s right, kiddos, while Bitcoin currently offers “free” transactions, this is a free lunch that isn’t long for this world. In the medium-term, Bitcoin will prove to be the absolute worst form of value exchange. Except for all the rest. And I do mean ALL the others.
  9. 5460 satoshis, to be precise.
  10. Yes, all the bitcoins in the world are ostensibly worth USD$ 3.5 bn, which is true for as long as only a few million dollars are working their way into the “cryptocurrency” at a time. But trying wedging a billion dollars in and Bitcoin’s market cap quickly goes into the trillions. It’s very, very inelastic. Not unlike a dried-up old fan belt on a 25-year-old Mercedes.
  11. Gross National Product, or what states used to use to measure the health of their economies until it started to paint too grim a picture and GDP, Gross Domestic Product, was brought in to save the day, by which I mean the mass delusion of ad infinitum economic growth as both existent and necessary for the furthering of mankind. Yes, I’m going to have to explain this lulz to my heir someday, and I guarantee he’ll laugh in my face in much the same way that children whose parents grew up in the Soviet Union laughed in their parents’ faces for believing that 600k pairs of shoes had been made in 1952. Yea, turns out they were all size 6 women’s. ‘Twas only maffs, y’know.
  12. davout’s definition of a “coinbase” is far from unusual and is essentially just the block reward for miners, that which is currently 25 BTC every ~10 minutes and that which is set to halve in July 2016.
  13. With apologies to John Fletcher (1579 – 1625).

2 thoughts on “Down to the last satoshi. Now with bonus poem!

  1. […] physical property. And while subdivision of larger units down to the last satoshi is still a concern, it’s hardly pressing for the deceased, and is it even for pioneers to build castles ? […]

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