33

The details are very complex, but the core concept is fairly simple. Ripple solves the double-spend problem by consensus. The analogy I use is an "agreement room". To walk into the room, you have to agree with everyone who is already in there. If you want to disagree, you have to leave and form your own room. Everyone who is honest wants to get into the ...


18

This is answered in the official wiki: Like Bitcoin: ripple is a distributed peer-to-peer payment network ripple transactions are irreversible, sent over the Internet, and counterfeit proof ripple uses the same underlying cryptography as Bitcoin ripple has multi-signature support ripple has low to no transaction fees ripple servers can ...


10

Bitcoin is a mathematically secured currency system which enables ultra low fee internet commerce using coins and fractions of coins which are in some ways similar to traditional cash. Acting something like a shared accounting ledger, the record of all transactions is stored in a semi-anonymous way within the network of bitcoin participants. This means ...


9

Quite concisely, bitcoin is to money what email was to letters . . . and the post office is in trouble.


7

Currently I'm in the process of finishing my master thesis on the topic of Bitcoin security, and I know there is one more person making a similar master thesis. While it might not be as in-depth of an analysis as a professional cryptography expert might perform, it should be fairly extensive. Over the course of working on the subject I haven't found any ...


7

In my opinion, it is one of the greatest misconceptions about Bitcoin that miners solve a "hard problem". Many news sources explain it like that, but in fact it's not true. All a miner does is guessing until he got something right. A miners takes his block of transactions (including the coinbase transaction that sends the fees and block reward to himself) ...


5

@David's answer essentially doesn't talk about an attack scenario where the room is full of dishonest nodes. This is essentially what the proof-of-work was designed to fix. If you get a hold of a lot of IPs (nodes in the Ripple network) you could become a majority in the room. The difference is that it's really easy to get an IP, but extremely hard to prove ...


5

Bitcoin is the currency of the future. In order to understand why this is true, there are two key pieces of information that a person must have: The first is an understanding of how money actually works: how it is created, how it enters the marketplace, and what exactly makes it valuable. The second is an understanding of the Bitcoin community and system. ...


5

First note that Ripple uses the term ledger slightly differently than general use. In Ripple a ledger is the set of all Ripple accounts, all their current balances, all open trade offers, and only the transaction details that justify the changes in this ledger from the previous ledger. A specific Ripple ledger does not contain any other past history of ...


4

Ripple is trying to replace SWIFT, the protocol for inter-bank transfers. To me it makes sense because, those systems are (according to my understanding) quite antiquated. So blockchain hype has provided the impetus for banks to consider trying something new such as Ripple. It was started by the guy who created MtGox. Bitcoin is a mechanism for exchanging ...


4

Recently I stumbled across this question as I was supposed to explain what Bitcoin was to my 5-year-old nephew. As the question states that it needs to explain the concept of bitcoin to a non-technical person, I took it a step further and explained it to the kid, who knows nothing (literally). So here goes my 2 satoshis on what is the best explanation (...


4

I found those really reasonable papers, wish it will help: https://sites.google.com/site/2ndbtcwpaper/2ndBitcoinWhitepaper.pdf Reid, F., & Harrigan, M. (2011). An Analysis of Anonymity in the Bitcoin System. Network, 1318-1326. Laurie, B. (2011). Decentralised Currencies Are Probably Impossible But Let ’ s At Least Make Them Efficient, 0100. I am ...


4

There's a good reason for why when people try to understand Bitcoin and ask the most obvious question "What is it?" they only get even more confused and discouraged. This reason is the fact that this question doesn't really have a single concrete answer and usually receives multiple answers from those who do understand it that include a lot of technical ...


4

The realistic, honest answer to this question is that Bitcoin is a "Digital Commodity". Bitcoin cannot currently be described as a digital currency since it cannot, practically, fulfill the basic functions of a currency. The wildly fluctuating USD/BTC exchange rate alone means there is price instability. How would YOU like to offer your labour for a few ...


3

This is a highly speculative question. From a technical point of view there will eventually be 21 million (21e6) bitcoins in circulation, yes. But we are already witnessing a shift to using the millibitcoin (mBTC) when denominating prices. This use of ever smaller fractions may go on until we reach the satoshi (1e-8 bitcoins). We would effectively have ...


3

See the hardfork wishlist on the Bitcoin wiki.


3

For non-technical users, I found this video to be extremely clear and helpful in explaining the details of how Bitcoin works: How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood


3

The default answer to scaling is SPV (lightweight) clients, which allow very good security and control of funds without the entire blockchain. Full nodes will still exist but the cost of running one will not be prohibitive. In practice many people will use some sort of bank service. If the funds are in full control of the bank it has some disadvantages, but ...


2

Certain clients like MultiBit, don't download the block history. They chain for them is stored in the cloud. That is one solution. Also, with interest from companies in things like google fiber, once we get to this point most people's internet speed will hopefully be fast enough to download it


2

Bitcoin is a global payment network on the internet. It is self-sustained and allows users to make payments between individuals like cash. Instead of a company being the referee, Bitcoin is governed neutrally by rules asserted through a network of computers running the same open-source software. Bitcoin is completely transparent, in that anyone can see ...


2

I think most people don't get the decentralized part. To explain, I have made a few questions and their answers: how are bitcoins created? how does it prevent double spending? how do we avoid central authorities? Bitcoin is a distributed ledger. Everyone knows how many bitcoins are around and which address sent how many to which address (sort of). A1. ...


2

Cash on the internet. It can be spent anonymously, and stolen if you're not careful.


2

With mining that takes time, synchronization gets easier. Forks happen in the blockchain and these forks need to be resolved, where the nodes select the chain that is longest. It is very hard for distributed nodes to resolve and come to an agreement if new blocks are added to forked blockchains simultaneously at high speed in different parts of the network....


2

I think the concern was that a p2p node is easier to falsify than a solution that requires great effort.


2

Bitcoin clients maintain a list of the current unspent outputs in a hash table.


2

Not with its consensus mechanism: you need the scarce ripples to prevent abuses to the network precisely from spam and DoS. But there is the older two phase commit design to implement the ripple concept as a decentralized protocol (that wasn't implemented) and didn't need ripples or any kind of "HostCoin": http://archive.ripple-project.org/Protocol/...


2

As explained in this answer fees are not fixed so I don't think that your conclusion about them being useless for spam protection is true. Other than that I would say that they can be used similar to how Bitcoin is used. They may be a future competitor to Bitcoin even though they are certainly not marketed that way. They are scarce, easy to transfer etc.


2

i don't think you can find many Object Oriented Design Patterns in the btc-source-code. but there is one example i know: the blockchain itself is like a composite pattern: you have a general type called Block. two types inherits Block: MinedBlock inherits from Block and GenesisBlock inherits from Block. A MinedBlock has one attribute of the type Block ...


1

Transactions in forks are not verified completely until the node attempts to switch to that fork. Before that, only those checks are performed that don't depend on previous transactions. In the source code, there is a function CheckBlock, which does only some of the checks, and ConnectBlock, which checks everything. The latter function is called only when ...


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