Reading: Bitcoin Whitepaper’s ‘Known Problems’ Show Years of Progress

Bitcoin

Bitcoin Whitepaper’s ‘Known Problems’ Show Years of Progress

Wilma Woo

Wilma Woo | Jun 28, 2018 | 10:00

Bitcoin

Bitcoin Whitepaper’s ‘Known Problems’ Show Years of Progress

Wilma Woo

Wilma Woo | Jun 28, 2018 | 10:00


Bitcoin.org contributor David A. Harding has released a summary of “known problems” in the Bitcoin whitepaper, highlighting the cryptocurrency’s metamorphosis in its first years of existence. 


Theory vs. Reality

In documentation currently available on GitHub, Harding — who has also been a major commentator on Bitcoin for several years — also included changes in terminology used to describe various phenomena within Bitcoin. All the items in the collection represent previously-known aspects that “Bitcoin’s implementation differs from that described in the [white]paper.”

Top of the list is a reference to Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm, with the Blockchain now functioning according to “the chain demonstrating the most PoW,” rather than simply “the longest chain,” as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto originally described. Harding notes:

The change from checking for the longest chain to checking for the most-work chain occurred in July 2010, long after Bitcoin’s initial release.

Other revisions touch on Bitcoin’s privacy.

“Some linking is still unavoidable with multi-input transactions, which necessarily reveal that their inputs were owned by the same owner,” the whitepaper reads. Harding notes, that since 2015, this is no longer true in practice — thanks to a new implementation known as CoinJoin.

Spotlight On Credibility

The Bitcoin whitepaper continues to provide a source of contention for users and industry figures alike — with regard to the cryptocurrency’s self-proclaimed “creator” Craig Wright. This year has seen attempts to discredit Wright’s claims gain increased traction, with a 1 million Bitcoin lawsuit appearing in February.

Harding has also spoken out against Wright. Last year, the former described describing him as “a person who previously fraudulently claimed to be the creator of Bitcoin, among many other fraudulent claims.”

The often-outspoken computer scientist appears to increasingly jar with the tone set in the original Bitcoin whitepaper. This week, he blasted some users who ‘HODL’ coins as “a Ponzi of speculation.”

Perhaps ironically, Wright’s favored Bitcoin Cash has a ‘HODL’ rate of 90 percent — whereas Bitcoin’s ratio is 50:50 — research highlighted earlier this month. 

What do you think about the Bitcoin whitepaper’s revisions? Let us know in the comments section below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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