16

Technically it is possible to blacklist addresses, and it needs just the majority of the mining power to agree. The problem is arriving at the agreement: Nobody stands to gain from witch-hunts, so a consensus to block an address would have to be carefully built on solid proof, which is hard when there is no central organs with jurisdiction, nor a way to get ...


14

A hard fork is by definition one that does not get solved. At least not by the rules of the system, as it is essentially an incompatibility between the rules assumed by separate nodes. But think about what can cause such a thing: An incorrect (=not identical to the rest of the network) implementation forks off. In this case it will always certainly be ...


11

This question may be opinion based in some ways, but I'm going to attempt to answer it as it is an important concept, and somewhat unlike traditional systems. Bitcoin is governed by math, in some places. At the end of the day, it's software, and even the math rules can be updated to use different rules, or removed altogether by means of a soft or hard fork (...


10

the protocol allows a miner when he creates a block to send himself 25 BTC which do not have a proper source (input). that's how those 25 BTC are created, they're bitcoins that come from nowhere.


9

There are no "owners" of bitcoin. It is like a protocol or algorithm, such as HTTP or SHA256. No one made money creating the program; it's free and open source! However, there are people who make money by "mining". From the bitcoin wikipedia page: Bitcoins are awarded to Bitcoin "miners" for the solution to a difficult proof-of-work problem which ...


9

At the moment in my opinion, Gavin does indeed control Bitcoin Project to some extent. He is widely recognised as the main developer behind it and could probably push his authority on a lot of subjects if he so desired. However, I am under the impression that he would not perform such actions - they would undermine the credibility of Bitcoin and be bad for ...


8

I think your update changes the question significantly (probably too much for a SE question), but the answer is still essentially the same. In order for a miner to prevent a specific address from moving their BTC, they must not only decide not to mine the transaction but they must also convince at least 51% (most likely more) of the hashing power to not only ...


8

There are a number of "core" developers. And the ones who have access to commit directly to the Github project obviously have more "power" than other people. Since the software is open source you can of course make your own copy of it and modify it to your likings but you won't be able to change any of the "rules" of the network unless you get the rest of ...


7

Bitcoin is an open-source project - the developers devote their free time to work on it and don't necessarily do it for profit. Other crypto currencies sometimes come pre-mined, or the developers don't share them too quick in order to create a supply of coins for themselves only to sell it for profit later. From what I know, this wasn't the case for Bitcoin. ...


6

Disclaimer: I'm one of those 7 people. It is true that changes to this one particular code repository, and the releases of the Bitcoin Core software built from it are ultimately controlled by a few people, and many miners run this software. However: Bitcoin Core is not the only software interacting with the Bitcoin network. There are other node and wallet ...


6

As far as I know, the alert key is the only special one with a public key hardcoded in the client. Technically, the public key of the genesis block's output is also hardcoded in the client, but it grants no special privileges. The genesis block cannot even be spent.


5

The core concept has always been accept the largest blockchain that passes the predetermined proof of work tests. Hard forks like the one that occurred in March happen as a result of some software in the p2p ecosystem having a different understanding of what the legitimate blockchain should be. This reality is ok with all distributive networks to some extent ...


5

I'm going to answer your questions directly although I know you've selected another answer. It's for all those who come across this question. How do we know that the algorithm cannot be modified to gain control over the expansion of the monetary base? These are part of the config settings of the Bitcoin protocol. It can be changed but all you would be ...


5

No one entity overseas the issuance of block rewards. This is one of several revolutionary concepts behind Bitcoin. (There is absolutely no Federal Reserve.) The Bitcoin Protocol and its distributed blockchain consensus mechanism is what effectively awards miners solving a very difficult hashing puzzle. The solution block groups a number of transactions ...


5

That the network is secure by means of math instead of some central authority (e.g. a bank overseeing everything)? If so, what math? The math that makes PoW possible? The math that makes proof of work possible is a one-way function, specifically the SHA256 algorithm. This combined with public key cryptography secures the ownership of digital assets in a ...


4

Yes. Even more direct: owners of Bitcoins before the fork will suddenly own both types of coins after the fork and can start selling the side they don't want. However, in general, this is a very messy and damaging way of deciding consensus: in times of uncertainty a lot of people will decide to move to USD to sit out the storm (causing both sides to drop in ...


4

I think you're asking two slightly different things here: Is Bitcoin development centralized? Yes. The alternative, letting people you don't trust add code to Bitcoin, is a much worse solution. Also, I'd like to note that while development is centralized, it's also highly accountable. For example, a developer can't just reject a change, they must say why ...


4

TL;DR: The Bitcoin protocol runs the Bitcoin network and the rate at which coins are created cannot be adjusted manually, but follows a pre-defined reward schedule. The money supply in Bitcoin is governed by the rules defined in the Bitcoin protocol. The protocol defines a reward schedule, i.e. how many Bitcoins may be created with each block, and the rules ...


4

As we've answered earlier today the description of what happens when 90% of the hashpower is lost is approximately accurate, although somewhat exaggerated: "A 90% loss will create 2 hour block intervals and take a year to resolve." Actually, it would be 100 minute blocks and would take less than half a year even assuming that no new hashrate were added ...


4

No, there isn't. Bitcoin has no central management of anything at all. Public keys are pseudonymous and in general it may not be possible to identify the user to whom a public key belongs. A private key is kept by the user who generated it, and typically is never revealed to anybody else.


3

Not really, if you start doing that then chain forks and a whole load of nasty things follow. There's no real way of blacklisting a "wallet", as by design there's no way of determining exactly the extent of the keys under control by a specific party, so for the sake of this discussion we will assume we have one blacklisted "address". Even if nodes reject ...


3

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency and there is nobody with "supervisory power" over it. Anyone is welcome to suggest improvements to the protocol (changing hashing rules or anything else) at any time, and can create a source code patch to any of the several pieces of Bitcoin client software to implement them. (The maintainers of Bitcoin Core or another ...


3

Miners can decide which forks to mine, but they still have electricity bills to pay. The suppliers of that electricity only accept fiat (for now), so that means miners rely on exchanges in order to stay in business. If a miner's exchange doesn't acknowledge the fork they are mining, then they can't use their revenue to pay their expenses, and will go out ...


3

For example, this address here has 69,471.08443061 BTC: I believe there's another that has 100k BTC. Imagine if a few miners who together control more than 50% of the network hash power decided to charge higher transaction fees just for addresses containing really large sums. The problem is that if some other miner who isn't part of your cartel sees the ...


3

This is a bad article. While it may be true that Bitcoin is difficult to change, it is much easier to shut down. This is true! While full clients will not accept invalid blocks, nothing guarantees that there will be valid blocks to confirm transactions. The largest mining firms has worked out special arrangements with the chinese government which ...


3

Decred is limited in what you can amend with on-chain governance. With Tezos you can amend any part of the protocol, including the governance mechanism itself.


3

In an ideal world, we would want all programs to be auditable/verifiable(we can verify every execution path to be secure and correct). But that's far from reality, when you download a binary from a source(for example, Bitcoin Core), you have the following choices. 1) Trust the developers of the binary on their claim "binary works as intentded" 2) Verify ...


3

For a given network, consensus means achieving a consistent view of the global state between all participants. For Bitcoin, this means that all nodes/wallets should be considering the same utxo set. For Ethereum, it involves all participants having the same state trie. Minor other variations exist for other networks. Mining and protocol versions are simply ...


2

You control it. It is open source, so if you want to modify the copy you're running, go right ahead.


2

The list of project mainters who have commit access is listed here: Team of bitoin core Currently they are Wladimir J. van der Laan Jonas Schnelli Marco Falke


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