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(Ars Technica)   Now witness the hashing power of this 51%-armed and operational Bitcoin mining pool   (arstechnica.com) divider line 52
    More: Interesting, GPUs  
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3107 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Jun 2014 at 1:00 PM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-16 11:28:02 AM  
Does this mean that AMD video cards will come back down to realistic pricing and availability?
 
2014-06-16 01:18:36 PM  
Speaking of AMD video cards, I might as well put my 290x on ebay.
 
2014-06-16 01:31:41 PM  
So I understand the underlying issue, but why is it that an entity with a majority stake has the ability to do the things laid out in the article? How would that play out? I don't use crypto so I'm lost on that.
 
2014-06-16 01:32:29 PM  
OK, I must have put my stupid hat on this morning because I don't follow how having a majority share gives you that sort of control over Bitcoin. Someone wanna explain for us dullards?
 
2014-06-16 01:34:39 PM  
I'm with you guys above.  I just don't get Bitcoin.  Seems to me that something that is supposed to have the ultimate security couldn't fall prey to a hole that amounts to, "If just over half the people doing this band together, the whole system is fark."   Seems to me that'd be worked out in beta.
 
2014-06-16 01:35:34 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Does this mean that AMD video cards will come back down to realistic pricing and availability?


They already have somewhat, from what I've read. Apparently all the cool kids have moved onto ASIC's.
 
2014-06-16 01:35:35 PM  
GHash has good health care benefits and maternity plan.
 
2014-06-16 01:40:43 PM  
I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.
 
2014-06-16 01:44:25 PM  

Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.


Don't be bitter. just try again.
 
2014-06-16 01:48:22 PM  

Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.


You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.
 
2014-06-16 01:50:59 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: So I understand the underlying issue, but why is it that an entity with a majority stake has the ability to do the things laid out in the article? How would that play out? I don't use crypto so I'm lost on that.


From my limited understanding, all the virtual coins are basically a shared accounting ledger that uses a unique hash (according to an algorithm)  for each transaction.  All purchases/buy/sells are one transaction.  To give yourself coins, your computer tries to make a new transaction giving yourself 100 (or something) coins.  It keeps trying to find a hash that fits the alorithm, 1 hash at a time, until you get one that matches and 100 coins. Then it updates the ledger, passes it out to everyone, and everyone tries again to get the next transaction.

Because it is a shared ledger, if one group controls 51% of all the ledgers they can (at least technically are able to) cook the books and pass them along to everyone else.  They could block your 100 coin transaction and give it to themselves, in theory.  Who is to stop them when they control the majority of the ledgers, in theory?

I think this is how it works, and why i keep my cash in good ole onion belts.
 
2014-06-16 01:52:00 PM  

BalugaJoe: GHash has good health care benefits and maternity plan.


Incidentally I only joined for the dental plan.
 
2014-06-16 01:52:48 PM  

The_Time_Master: Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.

You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.


Been here for years. Had no idea you could pay to steal links.
 
2014-06-16 02:01:27 PM  

Gunther: OK, I must have put my stupid hat on this morning because I don't follow how having a majority share gives you that sort of control over Bitcoin. Someone wanna explain for us dullards?


It has to do with how the block chains are built in Bitcoin. Blocks are basically a record of a Bitcoin transaction that has not yet been recorded; I think they can either be created when new bitcoins are mined, or when someone uses a bitcoin to make a particular transaction. Whenever a Block is created, it attaches itself as a link to the block that has the longest chain. The assumption is that the block with the longest chain is the last block created, so it must link to this next newly created block.

If you control 51% of the overall processing power of the network, however, you (theoretically? I'm not sure how difficult this would be to actually do) can build onto your own chain faster than the rest of the network can, and control certain aspects related to blocks. For example, you might choose to send certain bitcoins to another address in your chain; if anyone else in the network tries to do something with those same bitcoins, the transaction will be reversed/denied, because that transaction made by the open network cannot connect to the longest chain. This has already been done by the 51%er.

The big problem here seems to be that whole "longest chain" assumption, and the fact that there's not some kind of check against it. Really though, it's probably a problem that will self-correct. If you're into Bitcoin you're probably hyper-sensitive to things like "Big Company is controlling X"...I would imagine GHash is going to see not insignificant reduction of their pools (assuming that most of the processing power comes from hardware they don't directly control, which seems to be the case).
 
2014-06-16 02:06:44 PM  

The_Time_Master: Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.

You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.


Baloney. I got well over 300 greens as a liter before I finally ponied up for TF after being guilted into it by the pop-up sometime last year.
 
2014-06-16 02:08:27 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: So I understand the underlying issue, but why is it that an entity with a majority stake has the ability to do the things laid out in the article? How would that play out? I don't use crypto so I'm lost on that.


My limited understanding is that if someone tries to update the ledger their update is verified against other people's updates. If the ledger gets 1 update from you saying "X" and 10 updates from others saying "Y" it will record "Y" as having happened.

But if you control over half the computing power working on the ledger you can overwhelm the other checks going on. So the ledger will get 6 updates from you saying "X" but only 5 updates from others saying "Y" and will then record "X" as having happened.
 
2014-06-16 02:21:22 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-06-16 02:22:52 PM  
Researchers from Cornell University say that on multiple occasions, a single mining pool repeatedly contributed more than 51 percent of Bitcoin's total cryptographic hashing output for spans as long as 12 hours. The contributor was GHash, which bills itself as the "#1 Crypto & Bitcoin Mining Pool."


Wait... We're missing the bigger picture here, people. For once, something advertised on the internet was actually an honest assessment... I should repeat that:  For once, something advertised on the internet was actually an honest assessment...

Let that sink in for awhile, as you think of all of the times that you didn't get $13 million from a Nigerian prince.
 
2014-06-16 02:52:57 PM  

The_Time_Master: Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.

You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.


This. Of they are going to steal material I wish they would at least be quick about it.
 
2014-06-16 02:55:33 PM  

jayhawk88: Baloney. I got well over 300 greens as a liter before I finally ponied up for TF after being guilted into it by the pop-up sometime last year.


The thought of that poor squirrel starving keeps me up at night.
 
2014-06-16 03:13:39 PM  

Empty H: The_Time_Master: Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.

You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.

This. Of they are going to steal material I wish they would at least be quick about it.


The last time I checked, you can't steal someone's link and headline and get it published as your own.

But good luck with that stupid theory.
 
2014-06-16 03:23:38 PM  
I am not up on the bitcoin ...so I had not farking idea what the hell I just read.
 
2014-06-16 03:25:15 PM  

andyofne: Empty H: The_Time_Master: Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.

You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.

This. Of they are going to steal material I wish they would at least be quick about it.

The last time I checked, you can't steal someone's link and headline and get it published as your own.

But good luck with that stupid theory.


I was more pointing out that it takes more than a day for an article you submitted to show up submitted by someone else. I don't mind that someone else submitted something, just saying I wish they would be quicker about it.

But good luck on being an ass about things on the Internet. Looks like you are already real good at it.
 
2014-06-16 03:27:30 PM  

jayhawk88: Baloney. I got well over 300 greens as a liter before I finally ponied up for TF after being guilted into it by the pop-up sometime last year.


That claim has been going around with disgruntled liters for years.   Sure, I got way more greens when I paid Drew his blood money years ago...but I think that had more to do with the fact that I was trying more often and could see the ones that failed.   Also has a lot to do with when you submit.  If you submit when you first get to work, it's gonna be mass-redded when the hung-over modmin finally gets around to checking the queue.

Oh yeah, and also:  They give way more to TFers no matter what strategy you employ.

\disgruntled
\\still get to save $5 a month.
 
2014-06-16 03:37:49 PM  

Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.


cdn.arstechnica.net

FWIW, any link that has this picture on it was definitely the better choice.

All the wailing and gnashing (or is that ghashing?) of teeth about how it's "impossible" to get to 51% is predicated on the assumption that a mining pool is long BTC. It's not impossible, it's just not in the interest of the BTC ecosystem, and it's not rational if you're trying to maximize the value of the BTC that you're mining. The unstated assumption has always been that mining pools are heavily long bitcoin. That's probably a safe assumption, and the simplest explanation is that GHash got to 51% by accident by not pulling the plug on enough of its own rigs to let the rest of the network catch up. Oops. No harm, no foul.

But we have no way to know whether GHash is net long or short bitcoins. In trading terms, a mining pool is ultimately a call option on the future price of bitcoins as measured by the electricity required to produce them. If it were feasible to short bitcoins, and one could accumulate enough put options on them without exposing oneself to ridiculous counterparty risk, there exist scenarios in which it could be lucrative to take 51% control of the block chain and wreak enough atrocities upon it to crash the price. I don't believe any pool is doing this, nor do I believe any pool intends to do this, but the one thing we've learned about finance is that black swans exist.
 
2014-06-16 03:44:09 PM  
Absolute power...

As for submitted links:
It's just a number in your profile, guys. It's not a rejection of you as a human being. I can understand the frustration of someone stealing your joke, but a simple url share has nothing to do with you.
 
2014-06-16 03:53:08 PM  

The_Time_Master: Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.

You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.


I'm sitting on 49
 
2014-06-16 03:53:39 PM  

God-is-a-Taco: Absolute power...

As for submitted links:
It's just a number in your profile, guys. It's not a rejection of you as a human being. I can understand the frustration of someone stealing your joke, but a simple url share has nothing to do with you.


For me, like I said before, it isn't about getting the credit. It is more about the time disparity between submission and an actual link making it up. This system is better than Reddit though. Too much crap to filter through there.
 
2014-06-16 03:56:25 PM  

drjekel_mrhyde: The_Time_Master: Tobin_Lam: I don't mind seeing links to other articles that are reporting the same story as what I submitted, but I submitted the this exact link to this exact story yesterday.

You don't have a TotalFark membership, so it's fair game from a TF'r to use the same link and sometimes even the same title.

It's very rare for liter's to get greenlights these days.

I'm sitting on 49


Well, that is obviously because you are black.
 
2014-06-16 04:01:39 PM  

God-is-a-Taco: Absolute power...

As for submitted links:
It's just a number in your profile, guys. It's not a rejection of you as a human being. I can understand the frustration of someone stealing your joke, but a simple url share has nothing to do with you.


Exactly. And if you give it an honest eval, the only kind of story share that wins out because of timeliness of submission is the News Flashes. The other ones all can be cycled out to the main page in an optimum schedule for clickiness and visibility. Newspapers have long known this when they decide to dump unpopular stories either in the Thursday or Saturday editions as people supposedly read those days less.

I could see how that would hold true in the 24 hour news cycle of Fark et al as well. Why leave a juicy Geek story about BTC to be ignored on a Sunday, when I rarely attend to reading Fark myself, when it can be put out on Monday and get all the attention it deserves.
 
2014-06-16 04:11:11 PM  
Bitcoin:  The most confusing way to lose your money since paramutual betting.

/Seven greens in the past 90 days without really trying (maybe 2x that many attempts).  Liter forever.
 
2014-06-16 04:11:16 PM  
It's not that bitcoin has technical flaws.  It's not that people have human flaws.

It's that the sum of those two is a serious problem.
 
2014-06-16 04:31:28 PM  

God-is-a-Taco: Absolute power...

As for submitted links:
It's just a number in your profile, guys. It's not a rejection of you as a human being. I can understand the frustration of someone stealing your joke, but a simple url share has nothing to do with you.


Anyone can steal a joke. My beef is that Fark isn't supposed to allow duplicate link submissions. Maybe my work internet stripped it, but I don't even see any evidence of using the ? to make the link seem like a different one. I understand than there is often competition for which link/headline gets greenlit but they should mostly be links to different websites. My link checked out ok, yet here it is with someone else's headline.
 
2014-06-16 04:33:27 PM  

Weidbrewer: I'm with you guys above.  I just don't get Bitcoin.  Seems to me that something that is supposed to have the ultimate security couldn't fall prey to a hole that amounts to, "If just over half the people doing this band together, the whole system is fark."   Seems to me that'd be worked out in beta.


It's the first one ever invented. Whenever I hear people complaining about it, I think about Bill Gates saying "Who'll ever need more than 56kb of RAM" or however that story went.
 
2014-06-16 04:47:14 PM  

Token Anarchist: It's the first one ever invented. Whenever I hear people complaining about it, I think about Bill Gates saying "Who'll ever need more than 56kb of RAM" or however that story went.


Fair enough....but only because I don't know enough about the subject matter to argue...
 
2014-06-16 05:25:33 PM  

Weidbrewer: Seems to me that something that is supposed to have the ultimate security couldn't fall prey to a hole that amounts to, "If just over half the people doing this band together, the whole system is fark."


If 51% of US wealth was in the hands of a single entity, would that cause problems? Has anyone ever asked that question before? Anyway, I say fork it. This currency is in its infancy.
 
2014-06-16 05:27:59 PM  
 
2014-06-16 05:28:46 PM  
which was redlit
 
2014-06-16 05:42:58 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: Tobin_Lam: My beef is that Fark isn't supposed to allow duplicate link submissions.

No duplicate URL blocking for TotalFarkers - There's nothing more frustrating than having a great headline and finding out that someone already submitted the link, which was redlit. TotalFarkers bypass that block


I didn't know Fark was Pay To Win!
 
2014-06-16 05:47:23 PM  

Tobin_Lam: InterruptingQuirk: Tobin_Lam: My beef is that Fark isn't supposed to allow duplicate link submissions.

No duplicate URL blocking for TotalFarkers - There's nothing more frustrating than having a great headline and finding out that someone already submitted the link, which was redlit. TotalFarkers bypass that block

I didn't know Fark was Pay To Win!


It's not pay to win as some liters have demonstrated in this thread. What it is, is pay to try again to come up with a headline worth greenlighting for a story that doesn't deserve greenlighting all on it's own.
 
2014-06-16 05:48:23 PM  

Weidbrewer: I'm with you guys above.  I just don't get Bitcoin.  Seems to me that something that is supposed to have the ultimate security couldn't fall prey to a hole that amounts to, "If just over half the people doing this band together, the whole system is fark."   Seems to me that'd be worked out in beta.


If over half the people who use the dollar decided to band together and print their own $3 bills, I imagine that'd fark with the currency somewhat.

/dnrtfa
 
2014-06-16 05:58:44 PM  

Tobin_Lam: InterruptingQuirk: Tobin_Lam: My beef is that Fark isn't supposed to allow duplicate link submissions.

No duplicate URL blocking for TotalFarkers - There's nothing more frustrating than having a great headline and finding out that someone already submitted the link, which was redlit. TotalFarkers bypass that block

I didn't know Fark was Pay To Win!


Paying is for suckers.
1.  Encounter duplicate link.
2. Append your link with ?<whatever>
3. Profit.
 
2014-06-16 06:06:56 PM  
Bump STFU
 
2014-06-16 06:31:13 PM  
This is a mining pool, not a single miner. Which is not actually the same as a single entity, because it's a pool of lots of people.

That's still potentially a problem, although as Twilight Farkle said...

Twilight Farkle: It's not impossible, it's just not in the interest of the BTC ecosystem, and it's not rational if you're trying to maximize the value of the BTC that you're mining. The unstated assumption has always been that mining pools are heavily long bitcoin.


...if you're going to bother doing this, you probably want the BTC more than you want to screw up everyone else's BTC. That assumption doesn't hold for governments if they see BTC as serious competition for control of money, however.
 
2014-06-16 07:05:26 PM  

InterruptingQuirk: It's not pay to win as some liters have demonstrated in this thread


I did have links recently greenlit. That's not a problem for me. Getting to submit a new headline for the same link, because you paid, is pay to win.
 
2014-06-16 07:23:03 PM  

Tobin_Lam: InterruptingQuirk: It's not pay to win as some liters have demonstrated in this thread

I did have links recently greenlit. That's not a problem for me. Getting to submit a new possibly better headline for the same link, because you paid, is pay to win play more.


FTFY
 
2014-06-16 07:55:17 PM  

mccallcl: Weidbrewer: Seems to me that something that is supposed to have the ultimate security couldn't fall prey to a hole that amounts to, "If just over half the people doing this band together, the whole system is fark."

If 51% of US wealth was in the hands of a single entity, would that cause problems? Has anyone ever asked that question before? Anyway, I say fork it. This currency is in its infancy.


As I understand it, it has already been forked several times.  Litecoin, dogecoin, Coinye West, et al. are all based on the same technology as bitcoin, but with various tweaks (the most common is a higher maximum number of coins).
 
2014-06-16 08:03:52 PM  
Ah, should have RTFA before commenting.  Apparently my understanding of bitcoin forks isn't quite right.  That being said...

Eyal and Sirer reported their observations of GHash in a blog post published Friday headlined It's Time For a Hard Bitcoin Fork. Such a redesign should recognize the existing Bitcoin blockchain to ensure backwards compatibility, but it should incorporate changes to fix three fundamental problems threating the viability of Bitcoin as a currency that's immune from manipulation. The changes include restructuring blocks in a way that disincentives mining pools, closes the threat of so-called "selfish mining" attacks that allow a small number of miners to control Bitcoin, and improves visibility into any attempts to manipulate the Bitcoin blockchain.

Can anyone explain how would any fork of bitcoin could safely maintain backwards compatibility if the old bitcoins are all vulnerable to manipulation by a so-called 51%-er?  At least on the surface, it seems like an impossible task.
 
2014-06-16 08:10:23 PM  
got another one.

Still a liter.

/ Only way a liter knows a new link that has gone green but is still TF-only is to sub it.
 
2014-06-16 09:29:35 PM  

anfrind: Coinye West


lolwut https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coinye_West <- I haven't heard of this, because it's been shut down

anfrind: Can anyone explain how would any fork of bitcoin could safely maintain backwards compatibility if the old bitcoins are all vulnerable to manipulation by a so-called 51%-er? At least on the surface, it seems like an impossible task.


<begin tedious computer code explanation>

The way bitcoin works there actually aren't any bitcoins. So if you fork the code then you aren't changing how anyone's BTCs work. There's no computer code in a bitcoin, sitting there working away, doing whatever a bitcoin does. Doesn't work like that.

But there are bank account records. Those records (called addresses) just hold a number saying how much BTC they have in them. Everything sloshes around in those accounts, is how you should think of it. There's no distinguishing one coin (or, importantly, 0.5235234 of a coin) from another. And what they're proposing to change is the code that runs how those bank accounts can send numbers to each other..

<end tedious computer code explanation>
 
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