David Schwartz
  • Member for 10 years, 5 months
  • Last seen more than a week ago
Why do exchanges have a buy/sell column in their trade history?
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14 votes

Yes, if someone buys at a particular price, someone else must sell at that price. But they didn't place their orders at the same time. The buy/sell indicates the direction of the filled order. This is ...

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Why is MtGox trying to trademark "Bitcoin"?
14 votes

Some countries have a strict first-to-file rule. In these countries, if some malicious entity tried to trademark the term 'Bitcoin' it could cause problems for others trying to use it to talk about ...

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Why does my wallet need to download the whole transaction history?
14 votes

The short answer to your question is "no". The reason is actually pretty simple: Without the entire block chain, there is no way to know that funds that are claimed to have been sent to you weren't ...

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Why is Bitcoin fair?
14 votes

It's a complete irrelevancy. It is still early, and Bitcoins are worth on the order of $3 each. If you want to be an early adopter, buy Bitcoins now. If Bitcoins never become really valuable, what ...

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Where are the user's bitcoins actually stored?
14 votes

The information is split. Some information is stored on your PC in the wallet file. Some information is stored in the public blockchain. Stored in your wallet file is the list of accounts that you ...

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What cryptocurrency systems predate Bitcoin, and how do they differ from it?
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14 votes

The closest predecessor to Bitcoin is generally agreed to be Wei Dei's b-money proposal. The proposal had a lot of holes. For example, it assumed that money could be created simply by solving hard ...

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Can I download the whole block chain from somewhere?
14 votes

This was an issue with versions of the client prior to 0.3.24 -- once the vast majority of the network switches over, the block chain downloads should proceed as fast as your CPU and network ...

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Hardware Bitcoins (Smartcards, RFID etc.)
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14 votes

It's certainly possible. The card would basically need four functions: add/generate account, add bitcoins, prove bitcoins, spend bitcoins. The card could piggyback on external smart systems so the ...

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Why did Satoshi design Bitcoin to be mineable only on specialized hardware, if the goal was decentralization?
13 votes

GPU-mineable cryptos are arguably more decentralized. Sure, but in a bad way. Say you want to attack or compromise bitcoin. You have to buy ASICs to do it. You could use GPUs or CPUs, but you would ...

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Why are companies selling mining hardware instead of using it themselves?
13 votes

Companies that manufacture mining equipment don't just mine with their own hardware for a variety of reasons: They may not be able to obtain low prices on electricity, making it more profitable for ...

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Why does the BFL Single produce ~50% stales with P2Pool?
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13 votes

The BFL single produces high stale rates on P2Pool because of the way its firmware is designed. The BFL does 2^32 hashes and then reports any shares found. This takes it about 5 seconds. With solo ...

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Push notification of incoming transaction
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13 votes

A transaction can only be confirmed by a new block being added to the chain. And since that happens on average every ten minutes, it would work just as well to be notified when a block is discovered (...

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How can one download the bitcoin client securely?
Accepted answer
13 votes

Jeff Garzik signs every release with his GPG key (also here). You can find release announcements (such as this one) on the SourceForge.net Bitcoin development list. To verify the signature on a ...

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Can I buy/sell a lot of bitcoins without moving the price?
13 votes

It won't work, no matter how you do it. If you acquire a lot of Bitcoins, that will mean that a lot of people who wanted to get rid of their Bitcoins no longer want to get rid of their Bitcoins. Thus, ...

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What does -keypool=1 do?
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13 votes

You can do getnewaddress as many times as you want. The keypool parameter just sets how many extra keys the client creates when it needs to create keys. With keypool set to 1, the client will create ...

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Has someone compared the cost of mining vs. that of brute-forcing addresses?
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12 votes

The chance of generating the key of a very rich address is effectively zero. That is, in the entire history of humanity, nobody has come anywhere close to accomplishing such a feat. Let's consider 1 ...

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Why do we need Proof of Work in bitcoin?
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12 votes

Imagine I have 1 bitcoin. And imagine I can form a transaction to send that bitcoin to Alice or I can form a transaction to send that bitcoin to Charlie. Now, what stops me from forming both ...

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Bitcoin client IRC - a potential network weak link?
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12 votes

They'd have no problem finding peers for several reasons: Once the client finds a single peer, it can get a list of peers from that peer. The client has a built-in list of about 500 peer IP addresses ...

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Why does bitcoin have so many digits if I cannot move anything freely under 10000 satoshi?
12 votes

In the future, these small amounts of Bitcoins may be worth more. Right now, they're not worth the cost to transfer them. Bitcoin payments are a shared, public resource.

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How can I change BTC into normal cash?
12 votes

Bitcoins are a purely electronic currency. If you want to sell them in exchange for dollars or euros, you can do that. But as Bitcoins, they exist purely electronically. There are physical Bitcoins ...

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What happens when a gateway on the Ripple network defaults or simply vanishes?
12 votes

Any of those things can happen. Likely, there will be some "hot potato" going on as people rush to offload any IOUs they hold to people who haven't yet gotten the news. It's unlikely other gateways ...

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Why do some transactions take minutes and others take hours?
12 votes

Four factors affect this: 1) The size of the transaction. Smaller transactions get a lower priority. Abnormally small transactions look like spam. 2) The transaction fee. Abnormally low transaction ...

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Could the price drop between July and September 2011 have been caused by a bot?
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12 votes

Since the bot exists, and the people who wrote it presumably wish it to perform every transaction it performs, it reflects real supply and real demand. Why would you want to stop it? There is nothing ...

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What happens if my transaction is not accepted because I did not pay fees?
Accepted answer
12 votes

If your transaction does not get accepted, you have a few options. Right now, at least for Bitcoin itself, there are still enough miners willing to include any valid transaction. So if you just keep ...

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What keeps the average block time at 10 minutes?
12 votes

Each individual client checks the validity of each block it receives. If it receives an invalid block, it ignores that block as if it didn't exist. If you mine a block and other clients ignore it, ...

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What protection does Bitcoin have against Denial of Service (DoS) attacks?
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12 votes

The network has a moderate amount of protection against DoS attacks. If you flooded a single node with data from a single source, it would just drop you. You could reconnect, of course. You would need ...

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Will merged mining mine each chain as efficiently as non-merged mining?
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12 votes

Every hash you do will contribute fully to the hashing power of both block chains. You will have to do a tiny bit of extra work when you generate a work unit, but that's almost insignificant, and you ...

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Does the bitcoin design make bitcoins suitable as a medium of exchange, a store of value, or both?
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12 votes

Today, it primarily serves as a store of value. It is inherently more useful as a medium of exchange, its intended purpose. Perhaps a bit ironically, its expected future usefulness as a medium of ...

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How does the market bubble?
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11 votes

The short answer is momentum. Imagine for a second that you are a neutral observer and you see that the price of Bitcoin has been rising over the past few days. Even if you have no reason to think it ...

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What is the motivation for miners to include all recent transactions in a block?
Accepted answer
11 votes

Miners have a long-term investment in the health of the Bitcoin network. If Bitcoin collapses, then their expensive ASICs are worthless. Miners particularly need Bitcoins to remain valuable over the ...

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