@sofia there is always the need for a central network of nodes that must be avalible. imo decentral would be your smartcard being able to negotiate trust with an air-gapped terminal. cryptocurrencies reward distrust in others, exactly the opposite of what we need.
@maris well, you need a connection to one of the nodes in the network to be connected to the network. it would defeat the point of a currency if people were all isolated in their own little peergroups.
i'm not sure how the network layer works nowadays, i think it used to be something like IRC, which is of course centralized, but at the time there was talk about fixing that 🤷.
@maris i'm not sure how you can make a currency with smartcards and air-gapped terminals, i can't tell you how decentralized that would be.
as for trust, i think there is some poor choice of words by the makers of distributed systems by describing them as "trustless". the problem of the centralized systems is that they have "authorized" points of control that people don't really have a good reason to trust in the first place. perhaps a more fitting term would be "ungovernable", at ideally.
@maris @sofia OK so say we have a system where you have a card loaded with credits and you go to an airgapped terminal and spend a credit. All is well and good. This can be done. But what happens when you then go and spend it again at another terminal? How do the people who run the terminals determine who gets the credit?
@sofia @maris 2 biggest BTC mining pools together controlled over 50% of the hashing power:
Developers of ETH deciding to blacklist some wallet addresses after the DAO kerfuffle:
So, it's centralized, just on a different level.
@rysiek @maris as for the pool-situation, this arrangements seems to be fairly stable. and it makes sense for them to be big, their purpose is to make mining less of a lottery. i'm not sure how todays pools are even organized and in how far they would allow for 51%-attacks. but i don't think it's really in the interest of miners to allow for 51%-attacks to happen, so they'll tend to switch pools if they get too big. and those attack need to be sustained to be effective.
Just so people know:
The top 2 mining pools produce 31% of bitcoin blocks, which is not over 50%. When pools get big, they get broken up
And the Ethereum fork happened in 2016 when the system was small enough to allow such a thing.
If you want to make arguments against decentralized technologies, please at least do so honestly. #misinformation
If you wanted, you could even offer constructive criticism.
@rysiek @sofia @maris Here's a legitimate criticism specific to Ethereum. Gas prices are too damned high. It makes it prohibitively expensive to do decentralized collaboration (e.g., a DAO) because each vote that is called requires gas to execute.
Here's another valid criticism: most proof of stake systems give the most rewards to the people who have and hold the most money.
There are other systems, like central banks, that don't have these properties.
@adam maybe you should clarify that "gas" is a specific transaction unit in etherium. just because some people seem to blame crypto for the fact that fossil fuel company don't have to clean up their mess 😅.
and yeah, i'm not a fan of proof-of-stake either. painting central banking as fairer ignores that the central bank can increase inequality at will by by inflating the currency.
my hope for alternative currencies is energy credit, but i don't see much work done on that.
Re: central bank. yup, and hyperinflation is bad for pretty much everyone, if it gets that far.
Now is when you might be expecting to tell you about the ICO/chain/ERC20 token/NFT that doesn't have any of these problems. Nope. Not here to shill some new shiny thing.
@adam oh, thanks for factchecking that. i knew there were pools dangeroulsy fairly close to 50% before. but that was ages ago 🤷.
and yeah, the fact that all (or most) developers could collude to do something potentially harmful isn't really the fault of cryptocurrencies, that's a pretty general software thing.
or and neither @maris nor email@example.com said they were against decentralized technologies per se.
That's the difference between "it's IMPOSSIBLE to amass >50% of mining power and screw with the transaction history" and "people who did amass >50% so far always decided to voluntarily split the pools".
Which means someone can make a different decision at some point. That is, amass >50% mining power and NOT split their mining pool. Imagine the chaos!
@adam @sofia @maris regarding ETH DAO fork, sure, "ETH was smaller", but again, it doesn't matter. Again, it's the difference between "this outcome is impossible" vs. "this outcome is not a decision people would make".
The whole *promise* of ETH, BTC, and other cryptocurrencies was that such centralization and central control *is impossible*.
And it is clearly not. We've seen it happen.
@rysiek you still seem confused about what pools are. they aren't ethernal monoliths that all listen to one command. miners join pools to get a more steady income, instead of mining alone which would mean they most likely get nothing back, but they may also get a big windfall. miners could even mine for multiple pools at once.
and no technology can be called "decentralized" when you criterion is "it's impossible that all the nodes will be owned by one party somehow".
@sofia @ilja @maris @adam how do you join a pool? Do you volunteer your own hardware? Or do you "buy into" a larger pool of specialized hardware running somewhere, and get some fraction of what is mined?
In other words, to you have full physical control of your "part" the mining hardware pool, or does someone have that control instead?
Long ago, before every block was always full, the rewards would go directly to the miners. Almost that long ago, they switched to going to the pool operator to reduce fees (1 transaction instead of N) and pay out periodically based on the users preferences (e.g., @ 0.01 BTC)
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