Čvn 14

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Puts Mona Lisa Painting on the Blockchain

· June 13, 2018 · 11:00 pm

Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd defended Blockchain art startup Verisart against Terence Eden June 13 after claims the company believed he had painted the Mona Lisa.

‘Obvious Fraud’

In a Twitter discussion, Todd alleged Eden, who currently runs Open Standards for the UK Government Digital Service (GDS), “misunderstood what Verisart is” after the company uploaded the famous painting to the Blockchain with Eden as the creator.

Verisart began trading in 2015 and describes itself as “applying blockchain technology to combine transparency, anonymity and security to protect your records of creation and ownership.”

“Verisart is a tool to collect and timestamp evidence, not an authoritative blockchain; his Mona Lisa claim is obvious fraud [without] evidence,” Todd wrote.

Eden had originally published details of his experiment with Verisart in a blog post June 12.

Allegedly, Verisart had required only “an email address” and “a photo of the Mona Lisa from Wikipedia” as “proof” he had painted it.

“I don’t understand the blockchain hype,” Eden subsequently wrote on Twitter.

A startup has certified my artwork & placed their verification on the bitcoin blockchain. Now art dealers & auctioneers can feel secure that I am the original artist. One small problem… I am not Leonardo da Vinci!

Blockchain ‘A Big Improvement’

Blockchain’s ability to tighten up the art sales process have formed the focus of a growing number of business initiatives in recent years, with high-profile schemes targeting the upper echelons of the collector world.

Critiquing Eden meanwhile, Todd nonetheless suggested the real value of Blockchain at Verisart lay beyond the benefits Eden claimed did not exist.

“What Verisart’s tech – specifically [open timestamps] – prevented… [Eden] creating backdated evidence. If he tried to forge that evidence, it’d still show up as being created recently, and thus be suspicious,” he continued.

That simple guarantee is a big improvement over the status quo.

What do you think about Terence Eden vs. Verisart? Let us know in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Úno 27

Crashes And Failed Payments: Peter Todd Urges Caution Over Lightning Network

· February 27, 2018 · 11:30 am

Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd has delivered a frank appraisal of the Lightning Network, suggesting it is technically insufficient in its current form.

Lightning’s Growing Pains

Writing about his “initial impressions” of Lightning’s testnet implementation on Twitter Monday, Todd questioned aspects including operational resilience and programming language.

“Initial impressions of Lightning on testnet: c-lightning segfaults a lot, and when it’s not crashing payments fail more often than not. Writing it in C – a notoriously dangerous language – doesn’t strike me as a good idea,” he wrote.

Since its mainnet debut at the start of the year, the Lightning Network has grown rapidly, but cryptocurrency experts and developers remain divided over whether the technology is ready for use at all.

Future Vulnerability Today

The most hotly awaited of the so-called ‘Layer 2’ Bitcoin network improvements, Lightning promises near-zero transaction fees and confirmation times.

This month, Microsoft threw its weight behind the project, pledging support for it as an off-chain Bitcoin scaling solution while pouring cold water over on-chain solutions such as block size increases.

On a technical level, however, the experimental state of Lightning remains evident. Figures including Bitcoin.org creator Cobra preceded Todd in voicing doubts about a consumer rollout given the untested nature of many of its features. The result, both say, could be lost funds.

“As for the Lightning protocol, I’m willing to predict it’ll prove to be vulnerable to DoS attacks in it’s (sic) current incarnation, both at the P2P and blockchain level,” Todd meanwhile predicted.

“While bad politics, focusing on centralized hub-and-spoke payment channels first would have been much simpler.”

Lightning has also faced caution from Andreas Antonopoulos, who despite championing its technological promise saw regulatory woes forcing major cryptocurrency exchanges to avoid offering it.

This week meanwhile also saw Bitcoin Core release version 0.16.0, a major milestone incorporating full support for SegWit scaling improvements, itself a useful foundation for allowing Layer 2 solutions to spread.

What do you think about Peter Todd’s angle on the Lightning Network? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Kvě 11

Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent

Source: bitcoin

Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent

Bitcoin Core contributor, Peter Todd, announced that a hard-fork had been proposed to negate attempts to patent the ASICBoost method.

Also read: Kraken Launches ETH Dark Pool Trading

According to a message sent out by Peter, this proposed idea sprang from an agreement made at a Bitcoin-oriented round-table in February. The round-table was attended by a slew of representatives from the Bitcoin development and industry, and focused on a variety of different subjects.

The intent of this fork is to make ASIC boost optimisation useless, and ideally the change would be SPV compatible. However, according to Peter, if a change to SPV clients were needed, then that would also be acceptable. In addition, the change would also be compatible with existing mining hardware.

The Hard-Fork Resistance Against Patents

ASICBoost is a patent-pending method that will lower the total cost per bitcoin mined to approximately 20%. The patent has been a point of controversy because many in the Bitcoin community do not generally agree with patents. It is held that patents simply act to restrict competition on advancing a certain good by giving a legal monopoly on the provision of that good.

Patents thus slow down innovative processes, and would be especially detrimental to hardware and software industries. Software and hardware are always in state of change and the current life cycle of patents are simply unable to accommodate this change.

Additionally, some other points of agreement at the roundtable were the progression of SegWit as soft-fork and possible ways of improving it, running only Bitcoin Core-compatible consensus systems eventually containing both SegWit and the hard-fork, and committing to scaling technologies which use block space more efficiently.

The Hong Kong agreement was also signed by many leading figures in the Bitcoin community, including: Peter Todd, Valery Vavilov, Cory Fields, Johnson Lau, Luke Dashjr, and Matt Corallo among others.

What do you think of the proposed hard-fork, do you feel it will stifle innovation in Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments Below!

Source: Linuxfoundation.org

Images Courtesy of Elaineou.com and Prafises.com

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Proposed Hard-Fork to Nullify ASICBoost Patent

Dub 22

Peter Todd Exposes MIT ChainAnchor Project That Enables Tracking Bitcoin User’s Identity

Source: bitcoin

Peter Todd Exposes MIT ChainAnchor Project That Enables Tracking Bitcoin User’s Identity

In a surprising development on Wednesday, Bitcoin developer Peter Todd released information around MIT’s ChainAnchor project. ChainAnchor supposedly involves enticing miners with additional compensation to ensure that only transactions from a list of identified and registered users are included in blocks. The news comes at a time of accelerating initiatives to adopt facets of Bitcoin’s Blockchain technology into traditional banking and trading of other digital assets or securities.

Also Read: FBI Used Invalid Warrant To Infect Tor Website With Malware

The uses all fall under AML or KYC regulations that ChainAnchor would help with. Identity has long been at the core of issues involving Blockchain acceptance by regulators. ChainAnchor project seems to be the most pointed attempt yet to implement an additional technology layer to help require the revealing of one’s legal name. All this to be included in confirmations on the Bitcoin Blockchain.

ChainAnchor to Expose Users

See: White Paper for ChainAnchor here.

Mr. Todd cites a slide deck obtained and made public which details the technical specifics and roadmap for the implementation of this identity-layer. As Mr. Todd states, “If ChainAnchor is fully successful to use Bitcoin at all you would be required to first register your real world identity. Your transactions would be linked to that identity in a way that that a court order, or even a hacker, could uncover full details on every Bitcoin transaction you make – your entire financial history, and for that matter, the full financial history of all Bitcoin users.”

At first, the ChainAnchor would require registration of public keys under a system that verifies one’s government given identity, though this would initially be opted into. If the system administrators intervene through linking Intel’s EPID group signature schemes to individual transactions, then transactions associated with these keys could be tied back to the real-life identity of that user. thereby making these transactions vetted under the law. “This means that the privacy of the system is based on trust: the permissions verifier and identity provider can undetectable deanonymize a user by colluding to combine the real-world identity and cryptographic identity information that each side is supposed to keep secret from the other,” Mr. Todd remarked.

Those in oversight of such a system would recreate many of the problems inherent in centralized trust models. System administrators would, according to Mr. Todd, “have the sole ability to add new members, as well as the ability to revoke membership, with or without the co-operation of the member in question.”

Miners Key To ChainAnchor

Transactions that fall into the “non-permissioned” or not verified group will be discouraged from being included in the increasingly rare space available within blocks. As a result transaction fees would be expected to rise, and in a world of exceptionally difficult mining environment and a block-reward halving the fees paid to miners will rise in importance for obtaining priority. More importantly, miners would be strongly incentivized or arguably coerced into accepting these permissioned or “Whitelist” transactions. Miner operators would likely be required to register under such a setup, too.

Mr. Todd added, “While not in the paper or slides specifically, allegedly the final stage to ChainAnchor is to eliminate unregistered, non-compliant miners from Bitcoin entirely by gradually reducing their profitability until they stop mining or become compliant.”

The Bitcoin Blockchain is a fully transparent, open database architecture with time ordered and immutable data, which relies on fully independent nodes to compete in a game to solve blocks for monetary rewards. Often left out, however, is the necessity to have an incentive token for miners to strive for while maintaining the database securely and fully independently. Through providing an extra monetary incentive, the ChainAnchor project is flipping the economics and trust model towards including only registered or personally identifiable transactions. In turn, this will hurt the neutrality and equality in inclusion facilitated by Blockchain technology.

In response to this, Mr. Todd presented a scenario where users who are not registered could have their transactions included in blocks; “But what happens if users do not leave? For example, users could respond to reduced non-compliant transaction capacity with higher fees – an especially palatable option if layer two scaling solutions like Lightning making users less sensitive to higher fees and longer on-chain confirmation times. In a perfect market without artificial barriers ChainAnchor would in turn have to respond by increasing the bribes paid for compliancy – obviously this could get rather expensive!”

ChainAnchor’s initiative plays into a larger story around enabling privacy online. As the Lightning network and other off-chain solutions are released, the tensions caused through decentralized systems will grow in noise. The discussion around digital privacy is an important one for everyone to be involved with in order to answer difficult questions. Regulators and established financial institutions understandably need to identify those transacting assets to monitor threats, and rightfully so in a time of political and economic uncertainty. Technological developments, however, are forcing us to ask new questions around what behavior should or shouldn’t be allowed in how we create and manage information.

What are your thoughts on the ChainAnchor project? Is identity tracking justifiable if done through an abstraction layer? Share your thoughts below!

Image Source:Bitcoinist.net, perivansolutions.co.uk

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Peter Todd Exposes MIT ChainAnchor Project That Enables Tracking Bitcoin User’s Identity

Dub 15

Celebrate Two Years of Arnhem Bitcoincity During “Bitcoin In Use” Event

Source: bitcoin


Arnhem Bitcoincity is one of the most compelling digital currency initiatives taking place in Europe these days. Getting consumers to buy and spend Bitcoin seems to be working well in this region. On May 28th, the team of Arnhem Bitcoincity will celebrate the two-year anniversary of this initiative with a special event.

Also read: European Parliament To Host Educational Blockchain Conference

Special Arnhem Bitcoincity Event On May 28th

It is hard to imagine the Arnhem Bitcoincity initiative has been around for nearly two full years already, especially when considering very few people thought this project had any chance of success in the long run. But as it turns out, this has been one of the most popular Bitcoin initiatives all across Europe in recent times.

Keeping in mind how over 100 merchants have signed up for the Arnhem Bitcoincity initiative, there is no denying this project has been incredibly successful over the course of two years. To celebrate this joyous occasion, there will be a special event taking place on May 28th, which will be extended to May 29th as well for those who want to explore the city the next day.

Things will kick off with a small conference in the Arnhem city center on May 28th, which will run from 1 PM until 6 PM. Afterward, there will be a dinner at one of the many restaurants in the city accepting Bitcoin payments, which will also give enthusiasts a chance to explore the possibilities of digital currency payments.  Last but not least, there will be a meetup / party starting at 8 PM until the early morning hours.

During the mini-conference, various speakers will tell the attendees more about digital currency and distributed ledgers. Among the speakers are Monero developer Riccardo Spagni, Bitcoin developer Peter Todd, and Bitsquare Founder Manfred Karrer. More names will be added to this list over the next few weeks, so make sure to keep an eye on the event website.

Events like these would not be possible without some prominent sponsors, including Bitonic, BitKassa, Anycoin Direct, and Breadwallet. Do keep in mind attending the presentations during this event is not free of charge – early bird tickets are still available –  and the number of available tickets is limited. More importantly, tickets can be purchased with Bitcoin.

Will you be attending the Bitcoin in Use event to celebrate two years of Arnhem Bitcoincity? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Arnhem Bitcoinstad

Images courtesy of Arnhem Bitcoinstad, Shutterstock

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Celebrate Two Years of Arnhem Bitcoincity During “Bitcoin In Use” Event

Led 18

Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Mike Hearn has Fled the Building

Source: bitcoin

Mike Hearn

What started out as a relatively quiet week ended in tragedy, as news of Mike Hearn abandoning Bitcoin sent the community into an uproar. Following this announcement from Hearn, the price fell below $400, and even found itself in the $350s for a brief time. Overall, the price declined by 15.54% this week, and most of those losses occurred during the shock caused by Hearn.

Also read: Carl Force’s Lawyer is Pessimistic About Ulbricht’s Appeal 

Daily Bitcoin Price Action

  • January 11: $449.60
  • January 12: $446.52
  • January 13: $430.20
  • January 14: $431.07
  • January 15: $416.43
  • January 16: $371
  • January 17 Open: $383.07
  • January 17 Close: $379.74

Total Change: -15.54%

The Week in Summary: Peter Todd Double Spends, Mike Hearn Abandons Bitcoin

The week started on January 11, 2015 with the bitcoin price sitting at $449.60. With the markets determined to hold on to the $440s range established last week, the price stayed within the mid $440s for the rest of the day after falling out of the high $440s in the early morning.

Meanwhile, in the news, Bitcoin developer Peter Todd surprised the community when he revealed that he successfully completed a double spend attack against Coinbase. Todd took $10 from Coinbase and purchased Reddit gold for Jeremy Gardner of the Augur project. Coinbase is a popular wallet provider and exchange service in the bitcoin community — especially for newcomers — so the concerned reaction from the community was understandable.

Tuesday opened at $446.52, and proved to be the last day of the $440s range that Bitcoiners enjoyed for some time. Trading activity was remarkably flat for the majority of the day. Starting at 6 PM, though, there was a large bout of selling, and the bitcoin price fell into the $420s.

On Tuesday, we reported on another development in the drama surrounding Theymos and his policies of censorship in the Bitcoin-related assets that he controls. Coinbase was reinstated on the Theymos-controlled Bitcoin.org. This reinstatement comes after the company was removed following an announcement that Coinbase planned to test BIP 101 — more commonly known as Bitcoin XT. BIP 101 is the implementation drafted by Gavin Andresen, and would change the Bitcoin protocol to accommodate for large block size increases. Theymos has stood firmly against Andresen and BIP 101, removing any discussions regarding the implementation from r/bitcoin on Reddit, and BitcoinTalk.org.

Bitcoin rose to the low $430s at the start of the 13th and established a holding pattern in the high $420s-low $430s range that persisted for the entire day.

January 14 began with the bitcoin price at $431.07. The markets held in the low $430s for most of the day. However, during the evening hours, a massive price drop commenced. The price began dipping slightly at 5 PM, and by the end of the day the small decline turned into a massive selloff. By the close of the 14th, the price had fallen into the low $400s.

This sudden decline can be attributed to former Core developer Mike Hearn’s dramatic exit from the Bitcoin community. In a blog post, Hearn declared Bitcoin “doomed” because of a supposed inability of the community to reach consensus on the block size debate. Hearn said that since the network refused to accept his and Gavin Andresen’s XT proposal, the block size problem would continue to get worse until Bitcoin died. Citing mining centralization in China and issues with Chinese network infrastructure and regulation as additional pitfalls, Hearn stated that he decided to sell all of his coins and leave Bitcoin for good.

This Hearn-induced selloff continued well into Friday, January 15. The day opened at $416.43, and the price fell for the entirety of the day. The price fell below $400 at 8 AM, sinking to $392 by midday. Another large drop at 5 PM sent the price into the $360s, and after a small recovery the day ended in the $370s.

January 16 started with the bitcoin price at $371. As the community began to process the news from Hearn, it seems like traders composed themselves, and the markets stabilized. The decline bottomed out at $4352 in the early morning; afterwards, what looked like a recovery got underway. The price rose steadily throughout the entire day, reaching the high $380s in the evening.

Sunday, January 17 opened at $383.07, with the markets apparently stabilized in the $380s. Aside from a few brief dips into the high $370s, the price saw modest growth for most of the day, reaching the high $380s in the early evening. Some downward pressure at 6 PM sent the bitcoin price down to $380, and it spent the rest of the night hovering between $379 and $380. The week closed at $379.74, making for a massive 15.54% loss for the week.

What do you think will happen with Bitcoin in the coming week? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Mike Hearn has Fled the Building appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Mike Hearn has Fled the Building

Led 12

Peter Todd Double Spends On Coinbase

Source: bitcoin

Peter Todd Double Spends On Coinbase

Developer Peter Todd has caused quite a stir in the community by committing a double spend on Coinbase. Taking $10 from the company and buying Jeremy Gardner of the Augur project some reddit gold. Todd admitted to the action via Twitter and GitHub with the crack he created. Gardner says:

Also read: Use Bitcoin to Play the $1.3 Billion PowerBall Lottery

At 2:30 this morning @petertoddbtc committed a double-spend attack on @Coinbase by buying me Reddit gold and then redirected the payment” Jeremy Gardner

At this time, Gardner says he and Todd were conversing, and Todd had decided to “make a point about security in the industry” Gardner goes on to say that he had succeeded on his first try and was able also to snap a screenshot of the action. Many people in the community went crazy on Twitter following this announcement. Charlie Lee of Coinbase and creator of Litecoin also jumps into the tweets “we are willing to let one steal $4 for better UX for everyone else. Of course, will change if there’s abuse.”

A lot of people within the community had thanked Peter Todd for his honesty. Todd writes via Twitter, “Yeah relying on honesty is fine, but let’s make sure the general public understands that’s what we’re doing.” Other people such as Brian Hoffman of OpenBazaar wrote, “trying out for the clown Olympics” Following this tweet-fiesta the post was then added to forums like r/bitcoin and r/btc causing a frenzy in those online areas. After this drama, even more craziness ensued as Peter Todd was banned from reddit.

“I’m not sure if this is a risk that coinbase minds, but when Peter Todd discusses bitcoin security flaws, they’re worth listening to,”Jeremy Gardner

When this the statement was submitted to the subreddit /u/petertodd was indeed suspended for unknown reasons. However the creator of this post writes:  

/u/petertodd has been suspended:

Background: The bitcoin protocol currently operates on a zero-confirmation basis, where users are free to accept transactions without confirmation if they so choose. Typically, merchants do this to improve customer experience – the rationale being: “no one is going to double spend attack this transaction for their coffee.” Additionally, the cost of securing low-value transactions is not worth the money saved in identifying them. Developers on the QT implementation (this includes Peter Todd) want to run replace-by-fee and eliminate zero-conf transactions. Event: You can read the whole thing here, but essentially Peter Todd double-spend attacked coinbase. He appears to have committed fraud and announced it on reddit. You can specifically see the conversation between him and coinbase here.”

At press time, Todd’s account was reinstated on reddit and it seems to be operational. Many people on the suspension post on r/bitcoin claimed Todd had broken some kind of law. And nobody could figure out which law he broke and this caused yet another heated debate. However one person writes, “/u/petertodd released information on how to attack companies service for what can essentially be called free money, he then chose not to contact Coinbase, and instead bragged about it. I’m pretty sure that’s both illegal and can be considered “confidential information”. With the latest fighting between Bitcoin.org and Coinbase, the heated block size debate, and everything in between its never a dull day in Bitcoin-land.

What do you think about what Peter Todd did? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Pixbay



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Peter Todd Double Spends On Coinbase