Ah, right. It would also require a distributed UTXO set. I've read some ideas about that, but I don't remember where it was.
Again, if any those "ideas" worked, you've just invalidated the very premise behind having a blockchain.
I... uh... don't know how to stress that enough, I guess?
I mean, if those "ideas" *DID* work, you didn't find a workaround to the size
of the blockchain, you've completely obsoleted the need for anything remotely like it entirely.
To be clear, I've seen those sorts of "ideas" too: they're handwaving nonsense suggested by utterly clueless people. There are a ton of people talking about this "problem" with bitcoin without (seemingly) any of them realizing it's the same exact, with a capital-p even, -Problem- that bitcoin solved. Which. Is. Very. Frustrating.
Currently you already download and trust the block headers chain, and the blocks. Here you just don't download all blocks.
If someone has full control over your connection, couldn't they just as well send you fake top-of-chain instead of messing with the middle of it?.
But it's a trust that is verified by the fact that what they are sending me is stupendously
hard to fake: If you verify that the valid hashes for just the three top blocks (honestly, just the first one is basically enough) have ~17-18 leading zeros, it's the real one.
It *HAS* to be. If they can "fake" that, they just *practically* broke SHA-256 into *triviality*: fake *your* blockchain? You mean, "fake" the real one? Fake tons of other very important stuff?
Really, if they have "full control of your connection" they'd just fake the software
and steal your keys or fool you into something else or who only knows what. That is *EXACTLY* how Craig Wright carnie-conned an unbelievably gullible Gavin Andresen, for a real-world and very prominent example.
Again, the problem with lacking the full blockchain means you don't know the balances, which means that while you can verify blocks, you can't verify that the transactions within them aren't double-spends or even fake spends. Which is, once again according to the very whitepaper itself
, !!! -> the entire point of the whole fricking thing! <- !!!
In just the past couple weeks of crypto price movement I've found myself saying "how are these gains even possible?"
Oh, but they are eminently possible: All it takes is the magic of "paper
", a required spell component for such arcane arts.
This has stemmed rampant price run-ups from typically unsubstantiated rumors (IOTA for example is up 10x on the back of a rumor that they were partnering with Microsoft, was recently found to be false, but the price has been slow to return to previous levels)
Not just false, but falsely promoted: IOTA was spreading that rumor with what can only be the full knowledge it was false. Not just behind the scenes, but prominently on their official blog
This isn't a mistake or a miscalculation via the madness of the crowd, no, it's just flatly and completely illegal.
Which is what drives me crazy: for all the cryptocurrency talk of the drag that financial regulation puts upon the fiat world and innovation, good-god, how these clowns dance in abject ignorance of sword of damocles hanging over them with a thread that seems like it will never-ever break! (I'm sure it will, but the amount of rope they are being given to hang themselves with is incredible).
The CME futures are still set to launch on 12/18, which could be good or bad. Coincidentally Bitcoin is forming a pennant that intersects almost the exact date of the CME futures launch, and we could be looking at the potential for a triple top around that same date.
I see distinguishable shapes in clouds too, but I don't try to predict the weather with them. Maybe I should, OK, I say we're in for a Daffy Duck day!
That's what I see. If things pan out, we could be looking at a perfect storm for a big pullback.
Enough Technical Analysis malarkey, what about fundamental analysis like "what does bitcoin even do, practically speaking?"
I mean, I think Uber is overvalued, and find Tesla to be an ongoing misadventure in hilarity by a high-functioning (but, yes, on occasion in certain circumstances, sometimes earnest & legitimate) mountebank, but I know people who regularly use Uber and the price of a Medallion breaking a million in NYC was an obscene creature borne only of legendarily perverse regulatory capture. And electric cars are real things with an easily imagined future, etc...
Bitcoin though, come on. What is all this money chasing except the exclusivity of an eventual exit?
The number of active full nodes on the Bitcoin network is in the low 10000s, and possibly below 10000.
Which doesn't matter, because the people "buying" bitcoin solely as speculatively instruments aren't even using it and indeed cannot.
Yes, yes, exchanges of equities trade internally too, etc..., but that's matter of convenience and lack of any relevancy (complete lack of arbitrage available for retail investors): There is no technical reason prohibiting real settlement & resolution. Bitcoin? Yeah, optimistically only like ~5 *ADDRESSES* (not even actual individuals!) can move funds per second. EVERYWHERE and for the foreseeable future (core has shown *NO* signs of losing the small-block faith).
Thus, we see 1K+ arbitrage "opportunities" abound. And that's before we get to *WHY* the concept of a "full-node" even exists in the first place!
I mean, good grief, this speculation has nothing to do with bitcoin in and of itself, on so many levels it's tiresome to continually explain them all.
I don't know if the percentage of full nodes in the network was higher in recent history, but I don't think a high percentage is required to keep the decentralization aspect.
The centralization of miners means, unavoidably, that they can do things like censor certain addresses by simply never including them in the blocks. The vaunted "economic majority" cannot prevent that, and would have difficulty demonstrating that it is even happening. That's before we get to protocol-forcing things miners could conceivably do, because in mining all the blocks they control the destiny of that blockchain, just not its popularity. In other words, if the miners decide to change stuff, who forked? Them, or core? It's a matter of opinion, but the fact is that, should it happen, core will *HAVE* to hard-fork too
: Keeping the same proof of work would mean spoiling attacks by the miners would be trivial. This is not just my personal opinion: core has publicly and repeatedly threatened to the change the PoW as the nuclear option against that kind of miner interference.
In any event, Satoshi plainly didn't anticipate how the popularity of bitcoin would inevitably lead to an economy of scale being applied to it. Once that happens, the system, as a system, is no longer "decentralized" in an unequivocal way.
Pruned mode is just as secure.
Only if *YOU* pruned it, which requires that you've had the full blockchain, just not contiguously in time.