Talk:Bitcoin

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Former good articleBitcoin was one of the Engineering and technology good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
July 14, 2010Articles for deletionDeleted
August 11, 2010Deletion reviewEndorsed
October 3, 2010Deletion reviewEndorsed
December 14, 2010Deletion reviewOverturned
January 26, 2015Good article nomineeNot listed
April 4, 2015Good article nomineeListed
July 26, 2015Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 18 August 2018[edit]

Add Litecoin to "See also" please. Verysadeyes (talk) 14:36, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

This would be against WP:MOS since the Litecoin article is already linked from the article body. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 11:24, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
Ladislav Mecir, being linked once in a 6400 word article isn't exactly easy to find. Which MOS section are you referring to though? MOS:ALSO doesn't seem to give such specific advice. — Alpha3031 (tc) 01:38, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
"As a general rule, the "See also" section should not repeat links that appear in the article's body or its navigation boxes." per MOS:NOTSEEALSO Ladislav Mecir (talk) 04:36, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit extended-protected}} template. — Newslinger talk 15:20, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

POV statement on full clients in Blockchain section[edit]

In the Blockchain section, there is a statement

Nevertheless, the "trustless" design requires "each and every user to download and verify the history of all transactions ever made, including amount paid, payer, payee and other details."

This statement is pushing an opinion that only full clients can be used in the network, while it is known and confirmed by the sources cited in the Wallets section that there are also lightweight clients that are used in the system. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 14:02, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

I agree. It looks optional to me. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 18:09, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────1st - This is a quote from the Bank for International Settlements report written by Hyun Song Shin so the criticism that the bank/author is biased does not apply - this is what a reliable sources says. If you want to take it to WP:Reliable sources noticeboard I doubt you'll get anywhere saying its not a reliable source. But I think you are misreading the text. The full paragraph that includes the quote reads:

"For a permissionless cryptocurrency to function in an entirely trustless environment, all miners and users need to store an up-to-date copy of the entire ledger. However, in practice many users trust the information provided by others. Some users only verify summary information of the ledger via a process called simplified payment verification. And, much in contrast to the original idea underlying Bitcoin, an even larger number of users can only access their funds through a third party website. In these cases, the third party alone is in control of its clients’ cryptocurrency holdings."

The 1st sentence is undeniably true as far as I can see. If you want to avoid trusting anybody while using bitcoin, you have to download the full blockchain. But you say this is "optional" or that I am pushing the "opinion that only full clients can be used in the network". No and no. Only if you want to be able to have secure transactions without trusting anybody do you need to download the full blockchain.

The common BS that the entire system can work on a trustless basis can not be included in this article - not while customer ripoffs, hacks, thefts, etc are incredibly common. If you'd like to suggest a rewording, please be my guest. Smallbones(smalltalk) 19:48, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

"the criticism that the bank/author is biased does not apply" – the problem is not that the source is biased. The problem is that the claim you wrote is. As you mention (thank you for the above information) the source actually claims that "some users only verify summary information via a process called simplified payment verification". That is why the claim you wrote, the claim denying this option, is biased. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 22:38, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
You are still misreading the text. Allow me to simplify it for you "if you want an entirely trustless system, all miners and users need to store an up-to-date copy of the entire ledger. However, many users trust a process called simplified payment verification, so the system is not trustless." An even shorter version might be "despite all the claims of blockchain being a trustless system, it is not." Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:56, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
That formulation of yours is not a simplification, it is a misrepresentation. It certainly does not describe bitcoin, since, as confirmed by Hyun Song Shin, bitcoin allows simplified payment verification. As confirmed by other sources, and actually by Hyun Song Shin too, bitcoin does not require the ledger to be maintained by a trusted third party. Nor it requires all users to store a copy of the entire ledger. Note that this discussion was started to let you know that other editors do not want to tolerate this particular misrepresentation of the available sources. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 05:53, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
If you are saying that the blockchain is a "trustless" system, then you are simply wrong. If anybody uses simplified payment verification, or wallets, then trust is needed to make the system work. That is what the BIS says. Sorry if the truth offends you. Smallbones(smalltalk) 11:25, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
This is some sort of a misunderstanding or misrepresentation. The blockchain is a mechanism to achieve distributed consensus while not trusting any central authority. A particular user can decide to use a so-called light client that doesn't keep the whole chain (especially if it is on a mobile phone). That light client has to trust some service provider. You will have to trust an exchange service to buy or sell bitcoin. There are many layers on top of the blockchain base layer. You seem to conclude that the "system" (whatever you mean by that) becomes contaminated for everyone. No. Anyone can go back to basics if desired - install a full client, keep their own keys, wait for several blocks on top of the block with their transactions before considering them "final" and so on. Retimuko (talk) 17:10, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
"If you are saying that the blockchain is a 'trustless' system, then you are simply wrong." - I am not saying that. I am saying that the majority of sources, including the BIS source you miscite, claim that the system does not rely on a trusted third party to maintain the ledger. I also claim that the text you wrote does not describe bitcoin, since, as confirmed even by the BIS article you miscite, bitcoin does not require users to copy the entire ledger, it simply allows them to do so. There are also independent and reliable sources as The Economist claiming that bitcoin is a "trust machine",[1] see the article to get more information on the subject. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 18:12, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
I have deleted the statement in this edit [1]. There are a number of problems with this statement. First it pushes a POV, and the advocate is the Bank for International Settlements with an obvious conflict of interest. If we are going to use this content, we need to attribute it to the BIS so the reader can laugh about it. Second, the statement relates to blockchain (there is no mention of bitcoin in either the sentence or the source) so if we cant agree on it, then just send it off to the Blockchain or Cryptocurrency articles and it can be debated there. Last, this statement seems to WP:FRINGE POV, as normally bitcoin is referred to as permissionless, not trustless. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 12:21, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ "The trust machine". The Economist. 

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── While a consensus was established that the formulation does not describe bitcoin, since bitcoin does allow simplified payment verification as confirmed even by the cited source, the text was reinserted into the article by the same warrior. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 08:25, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

I have again deleted it here [2] This section is limited to discussion of the bitcoin blockchain, not blockchain in general. Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 03:50, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Not a catch all[edit]

This article is not a catch-all for Cryptocurrency. I have removed some content today [3] and [4] that is unrelated to bitcoin. @Smallbones: did you add this content? Most of these sources made little to no mention of bitcoin, so why has it been added to this article? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 15:02, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Minor mistake in "Thefts" section[edit]

I just wanted to point out that the link for Ether is linking to the class of organic compounds. It should probably link to the Etereum page. 80.151.169.238 (talk) 06:33, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

energy[edit]

@Smallbones: Can these two statements be correct?

Bitcoin has been criticized for the amounts of electricity consumed by mining. As of 2015, The Economist estimated that even if all miners used modern facilities, the combined electricity consumption would be 166.7 megawatts (1.46 terawatt-hours per year).[1] At the end of 2017, the global bitcoin mining activity was estimated to consume between 1 and 4 gigawatts of electricity.[2] 

To me they seem to be far apart. We have: 166.7 megawatts, 1.46 terawatts, 1 to 4 gigawatts.

This needs to be explained, at least I don't understand it. Thoughts? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:38, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

While surprising for you, 166.7 megawatts is equal to 1.46 terawatt-hours per year. Those are just different units. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:16, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
On the other hand, 1 to 4 gigawatts is a very inaccurate value. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 12:35, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
The cited Washington post source (which quotes this 1-4 gigawatts) states "Other analysts say the true figure is smaller, albeit hard to measure because it is spread around the world, generated by an unclear mix of machines and co-mingled with other sources of electricity demand." This section is not encyclopedic in that it quotes a massive range of possible information (mega watts, gigawatts, terawatts). I think we need find some sort of consensus in the sources before we put this information forward. @Jytdog: do you have a comment here? Is there a policy that we should follow? Or do we just note all the info and call out to the reader the huge range of estimates? Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:24, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

Here's a more recent analysis of bitcoin's energy use[3], arriving at an estimate of 2.55-7.67 GW in 2018. Smite-Meister (talk) 13:40, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

OK, so now we have another GW source. Maybe we should use GW and drop the other two then. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 13:47, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
The others can also be expressed in gigawatts. Same as this one can be expressed in megawatts or terrawatt-hours per year. The power of 166.7 megawatts equals 0.1667 gigawatt or energy consumption of 1.46 terrawat-hours per year. 1-4 gigawatt is 8.76-35.04 terrawat-hours per year. 2.55-7.67 gigawatt is 22.34-67.19 terrawat-hours per year. Enivid (talk) 16:53, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
@Enivid: so do I read your answer to mean that the sources are disagreeing by a range of 1.47 up to 67 terawatt hours per year? What is an encylopedic way for us to deliver this information? Obviously we need to leave all this calculation out, we can wikilink to Watt and the reader can go over there and figure out how to calculate watt hours vs. watts. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 17:51, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I would keep them in GW and would mention the date of the estimate.
It would also be helpful to compare the numbers to a more common frame of reference. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average house in the US uses about 10,909 kWH per year. That's about 1 to 2 million homes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Coinluver (talkcontribs) 13:54, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
Re "It would also be helpful to compare the numbers to a more common frame of reference." – a megawatt, gigawatt, ... are common units accepted by and familiar to the international community. US house consumption is not a common unit at all, totally unknown anywhere outside of US. It would be highly nonneutral and uncommon to use such a unit in Wikipedia. Ladislav Mecir (talk) 15:29, 12 September 2018 (UTC)
The sources do not disagree. The first figure, 166.7 MW, is from 2015. The second, 1-4 GW, is from the end of 2017. The latest one, 2.55-7.67 GW, is from April 2018. The energy consumption has grown over the years and is still growing. Smite-Meister (talk) 18:19, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Sounds logical to me. Then maybe we should keep the units in GW so it is more readable. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 18:28, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ "The magic of mining". The Economist. 13 January 2015. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Mooney, Chris; Mufson, Steven (19 December 2017). "Why the bitcoin craze is using up so much energy". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018. several experts told The Washington Post that bitcoin probably uses as much as 1 to 4 gigawatts, or billion watts, of electricity, roughly the output of one to three nuclear reactors. 
  3. ^ de Vries, Alex (16 May 2018). "Bitcoin's Growing Energy Problem". Joule. 2 (5): 801–805. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2018.04.016. Retrieved 9 September 2018. 

block size[edit]

Here [5] is an interesting large block seen recently. Above 2MB. Maybe relevant for a block size treatment on this article? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:36, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

Units[edit]

It would be nice to encode values on this page using the Val template, so references to small or large amounts are more easily digestible. For instance 0.00000001 becomes 0.00000001. Clarkmoody (talk) 15:34, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

Request: Reduction of edit protection to Semi-Protection[edit]

I believe that 30/500 protection is too strict. This may be a CoI, but I don't have the time on my hands to make 500 page edits (it's called life), and some things in the article may be inaccurate, worded in a way that implies inaccurate assumptions, or other problems that users that aren't Wikipedia frequenters may be able to fix. When knowledgeable users that are busy get a chance to edit, they do not get the opportunity. TheExceptionCloaker (talk) 01:55, 17 September 2018 (UTC)