Dub 04

Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme Aims To Foster Ecosystem Development

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_ Research And Development

The Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme has recently been announced, which is dedicated of foster innovation in the world of Bitcoin and digital currencies. There is a lot of research and development waiting to be completed, and keeping in mind how Bitcoin Core powers the majority of the existing Bitcoin infrastructure, it makes sense to ask for help.

Also read: Tesla 3 and Bitcoin Make The Difference Locally

Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme is Important

Even though the ongoing “battle” between Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Classic is still going up, the Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme is not about adding more nodes or mining pools to the network.  Instead, this concept goes well beyond just financial aid, as more developers and researchers are needed. Providing the proper incentives seems to be the way to go if more people need to be attracted to the Bitcoin world.

Most people are well aware of the open source nature associated with Bitcoin Core, and voluntary efforts are the main reason the Bitcoin ecosystem has grown exponentially over the years. As the ecosystem grows bigger and better, more helping hands are required to keep the momentum going. Several companies in the Bitcoin space have started to contribute developer resources, although more funding is desperately needed as well.

By introducing the concept of sponsorships to further the development and research of Bitcoin Core, an exciting milestone has been reached. Adding more features to this Bitcoin software solution will require compatibility screening and any submitted project that has achieved “some” consensus among the community will have a better chance of being accepted.

As mentioned before, there is a double-pronged approach to the Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme. First and foremost, additional developers need to be recruited to carry out code reviews and testing on a regular basis. Additionally, there will be a bigger focus on communication and PR, to keep the community informed regarding the progress of Bitcoin Core development.

The other part of the focus for the Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme will be on bringing additional funding to the future of Bitcoin development. Some people may recall how several Bitcoin developers are being funded by MIT Media Labs for the past year or so, but more than three people are developing and maintaining the Bitcoin Core repository on Github.

It is important to keep in mind decentralization will be respected regardless of the funding or projects submitted through the Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme. Individual projects will be monitored by a project manager, who bears all of the responsibility for expenses and reporting. Smaller donations will not be accepted at this time, as the Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme is tailored for industry participants.

What are your thoughts on the Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme? Will this be a success to further advance Bitcoin development? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Bitcoin Core

Images courtesy of Bitcoin Core, Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Core Sponsorship Programme Aims To Foster Ecosystem Development

Led 30

Bitcoin In-Fighting Doesn’t Matter: Gavin Andresen Weighs in

Source: bitcoin


January 30, 2016 – Gavin Andresen, former head Bitcoin Core maintainer, posted a short treatise on the issue of consensus infighting among the Bitcoin implementations on the Svbtle writing network. The squabbling between the different dev teams has caused a deal of speculation and nervousness about the future of Bitcoin, but Andresen sees the issue a bit differently.

Also Read: Bitcoin Network Reaches 1 EH/s For First Time

Andresen: The Worst Case Isn’t That Bad

In his post, he proposes a short thought experiment, outlining the trajectory of a split on consensus rules in the bitcoin specification, something that seems more likely as the debate escalates on what direction to take moving forward. He appears to think this supposedly worst-case scenario wouldn’t hurt Bitcoin much at all:

“What would happen if some minority of mining hash power and maybe a merchant or exchange decided to stay with, or move to, different consensus rules than everybody else?

Would there be two different flavors of Bitcoin? Would it cause massive disruptions to the Bitcoin economy? Would your coins be safe?
(spoiler alert if you’re in a hurry: no, no, and yes)”

While it is refreshing to see a more optimistic perspective in the midst of doomsday profecy and wild speculation about how and when Bitcoin will change, his reasoning makes a lot of sense. Extreme changes would essentially become an altcoin, going the way of CLAMS, and the sort of ‘civil war’ scenario he outlines would end quickly and bloodlessly, the victor being the specification with the most hashing power. The Minority branch’s value would drop to zero, and the hashpower and coins in old blocks would get transferred back over to the main branch as this becomes apparent. In short, it wouldn’t be that big a deal:

“That is the real disincentive for miners to stick with the minority branch; in the three days it takes for their newly minted minoritycoins to mature they are very likely to see the price they can get for those coins drop to almost zero.”

Andresen’s understanding of Bitcoin lends credibility to a lot of his extrapolations, and the fact he’s not worried about its collapse makes you wonder what all the hysteria is even about. Most likely, all it’s achieving is development delays and introducing politics into a process that should be purely technical.

Bitcoin’s Unique Situation

Bitcoin’s P2P nature makes central control efforts problematic


Bitcoin has fundamentally and irrevocably changed commerce and finance, and our thinking about investments has to change accordingly in the context of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Isn’t a company, doesn’t have a central bank, and bitcoin owners aren’t shareholders. Lack of a united front can at best be seen as competition bringing the best to the forefront of Bitcoin as software, or at the worst be seen as irrelevant. Bitcoin is worth a lot, but the developers working on it aren’t CEO’s or a Federal reserve. Bitcoin’s value comes from its decentralization and the amount of people using and trading in it. Outside of that, not much else matters long-term.

Because the devs are as close as people can get to a centralized authority on Bitcoin, they attach a lot of importance to what they say and do in the community. Bitcoin’s nature makes exertion of individual interest close to meaningless, though. Andresen’s write-up exposes the fallacy of the vying for control over any decentralized system. Even in a split designed to harm or change the network forever, majority adoption wins out, and things come to equilibrium fairly quickly. I propose the best course of action for the bitcoin community is to let the developers do their jobs without interruption, so they can address real potential points of failure in the software — not speculative ones on social media.

What’s your take on bitcoin development and the balance of community input? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Logo Image courtesy of SVBTLE

The post Bitcoin In-Fighting Doesn’t Matter: Gavin Andresen Weighs in appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Bitcoin In-Fighting Doesn’t Matter: Gavin Andresen Weighs in

Led 28

AMD Launches GPUOpen: Potentially Huge Boon for Cryptocurrency

Source: bitcoin


January 28, 2016 — This Tuesday, AMD launched GPUopen, a suite of MIT-licensed development tools for graphics and GPGPU applications. GPGPU is integral to making mining hardware profitable for many cryptocurrencies, and with the upcoming launch of Vulkan and the recent Hack of AMD’s GCN architecture, many interesting possibilities for the Mining and Cryptocurrency communities present themselves.

Also Read: Bank of England Considers Distributed Ledger Technology To Revamp UK Financial Infrastructure


The Trouble with GPGPU


We’ve found ourselves in a strange transitional period for both cryptocurrency and the hardware that makes it possible. Debates rage around the direction bitcoin can (or should) go. A bevy of new altcoins are coming into their own, and GPGPU hardware has reached a point of stagnation as major hardware manufacturers refine their newest architectures.

Successful decentralized services rely heavily on open source development and distribution, a concept markedly foreign to AMD and Nvidia when it comes to the software they provide for their cards. Nvidia’s CUDA was choked out of the cryptocurrency market as a standard for this reason. Thus far we’ve been limited from both a performance and development standpoint by the opacity of the closed drivers, only able to interface with GPGPU hardware via the provided SDKs. This introduces overhead, inefficiencies, and inconsistent performance where there needn’t be because developers can’t see what’s going on inside the driver binaries, or “blobs.”


GPUOpen Brings Transparency to the Table


The options outside of the manufacturer provided ones weren’t great for a long time. You could hack the binary drivers to uncover direct hardware access like Tomasz Stachowiak did for GCN, but you can’t ship finished code with these implementations because of all the legal trouble it’ll get you in. You could also use open source drivers, but up to this point they perform badly compared to the closed versions and have little to no support for GPGPU. GPUOpen turns this Paradigm on its head. It provides support and tools for OpenCL implementations on the open source AMD driver, enabling developers to get closer to the inner workings of the cards they’re writing applications for. This means improvements in a lot of areas down the road for AMD support, but it should be of particular interest to Cryptocurrency miners, because it means hashing overhead could come down and compute efficiency may very well rise, and all of this is happening for GCN hardware, which has been the miner’s GPU architecture of choice for some time now, given it’s OpenCL performance.

There’s one package from GPUOpen that should give the Crypto community pause: The ROCK open-source kernel driver. It allows more direct hardware access than one can achieve with the proprietary driver, and its liberal license means there are tremendous opportunities for permutation and optimization. In addition, development on the open source driver will push improvements for the open-source software stack, leading to stability and performance improvements comparable to what we see in the proprietary Catalyst driver, possibly replacing it on Unix-based systems. With Vulkan intended to replace OpenGL in the near future, having a solid open-source codebase to work from in case OpenCL stagnates or standards change is invaluable.

So what does this all mean in the context of the Cryptocurrency community? Well, Developing mining applications and setting up direct-compute proof of work just became a lot easier, a viable open source driver has come into play that lets developers see what the hardware is doing, which means lower overhead and faster hashing, as well as more granular control of compatibility and settings for the end user. There’s a lot to be unsure of moving forward into the new year, but a lot of it should be exciting for those that use or are interested in blockchain technology.


How do you think GPUOpen will affect  Blockchain development? Let us know in the comments!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia commons, Vulkan Group

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AMD Launches GPUOpen: Potentially Huge Boon for Cryptocurrency

Led 18

F2Pool Statement Indicates Plan To Hard Fork 2MB Bitcoin Block Size

Source: bitcoin

F2Pool Statement Indicates Plan To Hard Fork 2MB Bitcoin Block Size

The Bitcoin block size debate has taken another interesting plot twist in the past few hours. F2Pool, one of the largest Chinese Bitcoin mining pools in the world, has announced they support the hard fork for an increased 2MB block size. While the post on BitcoinTalk is a weird translation from Chinese to English, it looks like F2Pool might be attempting to push people to accept the Bitcoin hard fork. Not a great move in the Bitcoin mining industry if this were to be the case.

Also read: Bitcoin A Perfect Tool To Offer Hacked TalkTalk Users A Form of Compensation

F2Pool Statement is Quite Worrying To Say The Last

Certain aspects of a statement can tend to get lost in translation, and Bitcoin community members can only hope this is the case regarding the post made by F2Pool on BitcoinTalk. The way things read right now, the Chinese mining pool is looking to accept the Bitcoin hard fork to up the block size to 2MB, and enforce that decision on the rest of the mining community as well.

It is not the first time F2Pool is causing a fair bit of controversy when it comes to the Bitcoin block size debate. One Reddit user pointed out how one of their representatives posted another statement about how zero-confirmations should be made as secure as possible, as the company does not believe in a fee market. Additionally, support for FSS-RBF will be dropped after upgrading to Bitcoin Core 0.12, a process that will take place over the next few weeks.

Needless to say, these statements are a reason for great concern in the Bitcoin community. With the block rewards not lasting forever, removing any transaction fees from the equation would provide less incentive for miners to support the network. While there are some people involved in Bitcoin mining for short-term profit, an ecosystem without transaction fees is not feasible in the long run.

There is no denying the ongoing Bitcoin block size debate will need to come to an end sooner rather than later. The issue has been plaguing the Bitcoin ecosystem for many months now, and there is still no solution in sight. A lot of community members seem to be for increasing the block size to 2MB, and a solution should come to fruition very soon.

Bitcoin Classic seems to hold all of the answers and solutions people have been looking for, including an increase to 2MB Bitcoin blocks. Furthermore, both Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik are onboard with this solution, giving Bitcoin Classic a more legitimate image. There is no need for any Bitcoin mining pool to force a hostile direction at this time, and F2Pool faces some serious questions that need answers.

Hard Fork For 2MB Seems Odd

With so many people in the Bitcoin ecosystem agreeing on increasing the block size to 2MB, forcing a hard fork right now seems like a dubious move. If F2Pool is planning to force the issue by employing a hard fork soon, another hard fork will need to follow for future block size increases. In the end, this creates a vicious loop of hard forks that could end up hurting the Bitcoin ecosystem more than anything.

By the look of things, the Bitcoin Core roadmap now includes a block size increase to 2MB as well, which would render part of the hard fork idea moot. However, there is still the issue of transaction fees versus no transaction fees to address in the near future. Anyone with half a brain can see why these minor fees are needed to keep the ecosystem going. The recent RC1 for a new Bitcoin Core version will change the way wallet fees are calculated, which opens up interesting opportunities.

What are your thoughts on this statement by F2Pool? Will they try to force a decision on the rest of the Bitcoin community? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Bitcointalk

Images courtesy of Bitcoin Belgie, Shutterstock

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F2Pool Statement Indicates Plan To Hard Fork 2MB Bitcoin Block Size