Talk:Bitcoin

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q 1
When should the term bitcoin be capitalized?

A: Use bitcoin (lowercase) in all cases (see the note in the article for the explanation and references).

Example: "I installed bitcoin software, downloaded the bitcoin blockchain, and received 1 bitcoin after giving my bitcoin address to my employer. I received 0.03 bitcoins as a tip. Maybe I'll sell my bitcoins on a bitcoin exchange."

edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Bitcoin:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Maintain : archiving sources- basically none of the >200 url's have been archived

Mining[edit]

When reverting someone else's change because it contained "incorrect claims", basic courtesy requires that you specify what those claims were. – Smyth\talk 11:12, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

I agree and have reverted the revert... please flag those claims that are incorrect or otherwise revert only the incorrect portion(s) of the edit. Fleetham (talk) 11:57, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, I didn't intend to introduce any new claims at all, only to explain the existing material more clearly. If I've misunderstood anything, please let me know. – Smyth\talk 13:11, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Disagree with the edit. Basic courtesy requires that the editor making a copy edit does not alter the sense of the text, which actually happened. Changes altering the meaning are:
  • The edit omitted the explanation of the nonce specific for the bitcoin proof of work, replacing it by a general cryptographic nonce cross link. The problem is that the general explanation does not fit in case of bitcoin. Bitcoin nonce is not used to suppress replay attacks in communication, and it is not true that any random nonce would be accepted.
  • The edit introduces the formulation: "...a cryptographic hash of the new block combined with the nonce produces a hash..." However, the formulation is incorrect, since the cryptographic hash of the new block is not combined with the nonce to produce another hash.
  • The edit removes the explanation why finding the proof of work is tedious - this is based on the fact that for a secure cryptographic hash there is no simpler way how to find the nonce than to try different nonce values one after another until the difficulty target is met.
  • The edit introduces the formulation: "Every 2016 blocks (approximately 14 days), the difficulty target is reset...", which is incorrect. The fact is that every 2016 blocks the difficulty target is adjusted, not reset. The difference is substantial, the network rules make sure that the changes of the difficulty target are not "too big".
I do not claim I found all the problems the purported "copy edit" caused, but for me these are sufficient to revert the edit and go back to the correct original text. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 05:39, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

replacing it by a general cryptographic nonce cross link: The linked article also covers the alternative meaning, and the explanation makes it clear that not any random nonce would be accepted.

the cryptographic hash of the new block is not combined with the nonce: I intended this to be parsed as "a hash of (the new block combined with the nonce) produces a hash". I agree this should be reworded to remove both the ambiguity and the awkwardness.

for a secure cryptographic hash there is no simpler way how to find the nonce than to try different nonce values one after another: True, but I doubt that anyone actually uses the 1, 2, 3... sequence given in the previous explanation, otherwise the fastest miner would discover every block.

the network rules make sure that the changes of the difficulty target are not "too big": According to this, "The difficulty is set such that the previous 2016 blocks would have been found at the rate of one every 10 minutes". That does not appear to set any limit on the size of the change. – Smyth\talk 11:13, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

"for a secure cryptographic hash there is no simpler way how to find the nonce than to try different nonce values one after another: True, but I doubt that anyone actually uses the 1, 2, 3... sequence given in the previous explanation, otherwise the fastest miner would discover every block." - that is based purely on your misunderstanding. It is easy to prove that there is no reason to not use the 1, 2, 3, ... sequence of nonce values. You should read more on the subject instead of trying to mistakenly criticize and delete the explanatory text that is not broken.
"That does not appear to set any limit on the size of the change." - again, do not "correct" what is not broken, please, especially if you do not know what you are doing. See this: "To avoid extreme volatility in the difficulty, the retargeting adjustment must be less than a factor of four (4) per cycle. If the required difficulty adjustment is greater than a factor of four, it will be adjusted by the maximum and not more." (from: http://chimera.labs.oreilly.com/books/1234000001802/ch08.html#difficulty_target )
I have to repeat: the edit intendedly changed the meaning of the text, introducing mistakes and incorrectnesses based on the misunderstandings of the respective editor. As such, it is certainly not a copy edit as pretended, and shall be reverted for introducing the mistakes and incorrectnesses, as well as due to the fact that it simply isn't copy edit. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 23:20, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for correcting me about the difficulty adjustment. It doesn't contradict anything which I actually put in the article, but "adjusted" is a better word so I'll change it. – Smyth\talk 23:55, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

For anyone else who was confused about why it's fine to use the 1, 2, 3, ... sequence of nonce values: the block reward transaction is paid to the miner themselves. Every miner is therefore trying to produce a block with a different set of transactions, so they will produce a different sequence of hashes even if they use the same sequence of nonces. – Smyth\talk 14:26, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Legal status and regulation section[edit]

I'm thinking of going ahead and removing the individual countries listed in the Legal status and regulation section simply because the information duplicates what's available on the "main" page for this topic, Legality of bitcoin by country. I don't really object to having small subsections about specific countries, but why are the specific countries currently on the page any more or less relevant than the host of others that can be found in the main article? Also, if sub-sections for countries should be kept, the one on the US should be cut down in size. Fleetham (talk) 22:35, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Disagree - this has been already discussed several times, and there is no consensus with such an edit. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 23:22, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Disagree as per Ladislav.--Wuerzele (talk) 21:53, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
@Ladislav Mecir:@Wuerzele:Well, I plan on reducing the overly massive US section then. And moving the G7 section elsewhere as the "G7" is not a country or even an international organization like the UN. Let me know any qualms prior to these edits please (i.e. discuss don't revert). Fleetham (talk) 22:03, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Disagree A spinoff is supposed to include what the summery says on the main page. This is not duplication. AlbinoFerret 23:17, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Comment: A section in a high-level article should summarize the content of the corresponding sub-article. The US section fails to do this, as it is basically a replica of the very large section in the sub-article. – Smyth\talk 23:28, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Comment:Information about Russia is incorrect. One of senator proposed to deny "surrogate money", but such law even was not submitted to parliament. In Russian wiki you can found, that bitcoin not deny. Please correct. 89.22.62.25 (talk) 03:43, 13 May 2015 (UTC)--Wuerzele (talk) 22:53, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
thanks. WP cannot be used as a reference to its own articles, though. feel free to correct with wP:rs.--Wuerzele (talk) 22:53, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

It appears that some people are expanding this section, when we have a septate article on it. It needs to go back to a simple summery with a link to the daughter page. AlbinoFerret 02:32, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

What is taint?[edit]

I've been reading conflicting definitions about that crypto/btc 'taint' is. Some say it relates the the link between the address and personal identifiable information, such as a previous address, a term blockchain.info uses. However many get pretty emotional when applying the term 'taint' to proposed black/whitelisting systems designed to (more?) actively trace e.g. heists, hacks because of the impact on fungability.

It seems the community has rejected the existence of the latter taint term, but the former is used, instead? It seems we have two ideas sharing a word. So, how is BTC 'taint' best described? Deku-shrub (talk) 18:40, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Deku-shrub, fyi this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Bitcoin article.--Wuerzele (talk) 01:01, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposed split of the "Block chain" section[edit]

I oppose the proposed split of the "Block chain" section, because:

  • The discussed section contains just one paragraph of text explaining the block chain term. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 06:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Hi deku-shrub, i saw you proposed the split here but you didnt discuss here why. i also saw that you started a new article. fyi, you probably do not know, there was an article called block chain before, which died due to lack of maintenance and interest.--Wuerzele (talk) 01:13, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

"a bill explicitly banning bitcoins is due to become law in Russia"[edit]

In my opinion, this formulation violates the WP:BALL policy. The source does confirm that a russian official promised such an event, but another official source, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, expressed a different, opposite opinion. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 07:06, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

yes, i agree.--Wuerzele (talk) 01:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Reliability of CoinDesk[edit]

This has been discussed several times here. Seeing recent attempts to mark this specific source as unreliable, I am writing this to repeat the known facts establishing reliability of this specific source. The facts are:

  • CoinDesk specializes in bitcoin and digital currencies. Contrary to the opinion of some editors claiming unreliability of CoinDesk, specialization is not listed at WP:IRS as a reason why a news site might be unreliable.
  • CoinDesk published their editorial policy and board.
  • Facts published by CoinDesk have been reprinted by other sources considered reliable by Wikipedia. The group of outlets republishing the facts published by CoinDesk includes these sources considered reputable by Wikipedia: The Economist, The Telegraph, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The New York Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, and Business Insider. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 06:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Has this been taken to WP:RSN? If so a link to the discussion might be good. AlbinoFerret 14:03, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Done, see WP:RSN#CoinDesk Ladislav Mecir (talk) 14:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Good its a good idea to get opinions of uninvolved editors, lets hope a few more reply. But in any event its a good resource to use.Andy is correct though, it all depends on the use. AlbinoFerret 15:10, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
@AlbinoFerret: I don't mind, I use Coindesk all the time. I have found a couple things that were in there, and I cross-checked it against other sites. They were all correct. I see no reason for us not to use it in this article. Yoshi24517Chat Online 20:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)