Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Bitcoin The Almighty Buck

Core Bitcoin Devs Leave Project, Create New Currency Called Decred (softpedia.com) 122

An anonymous reader writes: Core developers in the Bitcoin project have left and started a new currency called Decred. Developers are citing a lack of transparency and a conflict of interests between the group that funds the actual Bitcoin software development, and the decisions taken inside the project. Jacob Yocom-Piatt, CEO at Company 0, who has funded development of Bitcoin since early 2013: "This is in part due to a lack of mechanisms and pathways for funding development work directly from the community, and as a result Bitcoin development is funded by external entities that create conflicts of interest between the developers and the representative power of the community that uses Bitcoin."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Core Bitcoin Devs Leave Project, Create New Currency Called Decred

Comments Filter:
  • Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 28, 2015 @02:12AM (#51193705)

    "We can't make any more money off Bitcoin, so we decided to create our own currency."

    • "...and we're using it for hookers and blackjack."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      From their website..

      Self-funded development via block subsidy - In order to have an ongoing source of funding for development work, a consensus rule has been added to allocate 10% of each block subsidy to a development organization. This entity is transparent and responsible for funding development work performed by current and new developers so that the project remains sustainable without a funding dependence on outside forces in the future. Decred therefore improves with growth in a sustainable way and is

    • Re:Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bazorg ( 911295 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:40AM (#51193989) Homepage

      It's sad but these days the business model seems to revolve around selling tech companies, not selling the output of said tech companies.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That's because in the tech world there are several mega conglomerates that have effective monopolies, whose operating mode is to buy up any competitors and destroy their products, either by discontinuing them outright or by starving new features by reassigning the developers.

        The only thing that any startup founder can look forward to, if successful, is being an overpaid employee of one of these conglomerates who has to take orders from career executives.

        Things won't change *technologically* until patents ar

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      In a twisted way, this makes sense. One is oftentimes better off by mining a currency like AltCoin, DASH, or another cryptocurrency, then trading that for BTC, as opposed to trying to just mine BitCoins, just due to the requirement of having a huge investment in ASICs (not to mention a cheap energy source) to mine BTC oneself.

      • I did a little BC mining myself as a hobby. I never aimed to make money off it, I just wanted to play with the technology. I learned enough to run the numbers and determine that it really isn't practical to mine BC for profit except on a very large scale - even if you have free power (ie, live in college dorm), the payback period for a miner is long enough that the miner will be obsolete by the end. The only way it an work is if you have not only cheap power, but enough scale to buy mining hardware in bulk

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... into yet another currency. Nah, that won't happen, the Decred founders will say.

    But it can and will, if Decred ever amounts to anything. See, the best thing Bitcoin has going for it is that it was the first to make it work.

    • See, the best thing Bitcoin has going for it is that it was the first to make it work.

      How is that an advantage in any sense but "we did it before it was popular"?

      • by JoelKatz ( 46478 )

        See, the best thing Bitcoin has going for it is that it was the first to make it work.

        How is that an advantage in any sense but "we did it before it was popular"?

        Because anything that has a small number of properties (stability, scarcity, fungibility, and so on) can be used as a currency. Now that we have the technology, anyone who wants to can create a new currency that has the perfect combination of such properties to be used as a currency. So that means that currencies will have to compete based on the areas in which they differ. One of the major such factors is expected future demand, and one of the best predictors of future demand is current demand. This means

  • Forking is normal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @02:14AM (#51193713)

    That's how open-source projects handle differences in philosophy, transparency, coding direction, etc.

    Reserving billions of dollars worth of digital coin for yourself isn't.

    let's see if they do a better job than Bitcoin in this regard.
    *or dogecoin or the various other derivatives*

    E

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This isn't a fork. It's a pre-mined altcoin which is not made by Bitcoin Coin developers. It claims to be written by the makers of btcsuite, which has nothing to do with Core. That's if you trust this rather anonymous landing page.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      If you think something is going to be worth a lot more in the future than today, you buy it. It's called investing. If you can't/won't do it in your own name, start a trust, get an accomplice and so on - it's not illegal because you're not under stock market rules, no such thing as insider knowledge or insider trading. I think I read that the first Bitcoin transaction was something like 25000 BTC for a pizza. That was the market value at the time, if you knew it was going to be worth $1000/BTC maybe you wou

      • Re:Forking is normal (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:38AM (#51193985)
        It didn't "work", it hasn't even had as much penetration as some offline pyramid schemes (eg. that one that took in Albania - yes not even as big as a the Albanian economy).
        Instead of having a fake crypto-currency with just the crypto we need something backed by some sort of assets so it can actually be a currency. A promise of value from some recluse with a fake name is only of worth to people who will trust just about anything. There's no point pretending it's like the stuff in the fictional "cryptonomicon" without the gold, some asset or some actual productive entity behind it. A "fiat" currency depends on someone that can be trusted, who has a lot of assets AND a major income stream giving a promise. Thus not something that works for Zimbabwe and not something that works for a recluse with a fake name on the internet.
        • by yo303 ( 558777 )

          Well, no. The Albanian schemes were around $1.2 billion, while Bitcoin is $6.7B. You are right though that the Albanian economy as a whole is bigger than Bitcoin now. Still $50 million is traded daily in Bitcoin.

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )

            Bitcoin is $6.7B

            I'm discussing money moving and not the high hopes for hoarded tokens based on the very little that is actually moving. If there was an attempt tomorrow to exchange all of those tokens for something else only a few at the start of the day would match the high value of the bitcoins currently being passed among enthusiasts.
            Do you dispute that?
            If so, why?

            • by Anonymous Coward

              If there was an attempt tomorrow to exchange all of those tokens for something else only a few at the start of the day would match the high value of the bitcoins currently being passed among enthusiasts.

              Doesn't that apply to all currencies?

            • If there was an attempt tomorrow to exchange all of those tokens for something else only a few at the start of the day would match the high value of the bitcoins currently being passed among enthusiasts.

              Perhaps the same could be said of fiat currencies.

          • Still $50 million is traded daily in Bitcoin.

            While it's hard to pin down the size of the secondary market in baseball cards, the daily "trading volume" in baseball cards is similar in size if not bigger [thinkadvisor.com] most likely. (Sales of new cards are around $200 million/year and the secondary market is considerably larger) I know $50 million sounds like a lot but it really isn't even if the $50 million figure you cite is true.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            The funny thing about that number? It likely includes tumblers and thus total transitive transactions would be much lower.

          • Still $50 million is traded daily in Bitcoin.

            This is were the real issue with BTC is, IMHO. For a currency to work, certain percentage of it must be used as "currency", not as some long term investment (stock/bond/asset). It won't take off unless it becomes a "common currency" that everyone carries around.

            The second greatest problem with BTC, is that there is no proper institution that can hold the value of your coins, without the need to hold onto those specific coins. No, the laundering ./ anonymizing services do not count. I'm talking insured banki

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          It didn't "work", it hasn't even had as much penetration as some offline pyramid schemes

          Apples and oranges, they wanted an investment and were scammed. As an investment, Bitcoin might still end up being a scam. But if you just want to sell something for BTC and buy something else, it works quite well. It's easily traded to USD or some other "real" currency, you don't have to get bids on eBay and you won't get stuck with it. You do run a bit of currency risk but if you make many small transactions you'll lose some and win some, it's a quite okay facilitator of trade. If it's seen limited use it

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            Huge fluctuations and things like the most trusted player in the market at one time being a Magic the Gathering Online eXchange (Mt GOX) which ripped off the tokens of thousands argues otherwise. It may be "the only game in town" to many but it's crooked at times and your sixgun isn't going to help. You may think you know when to leave the table but so did all those others that lost real money they spent on the tokens.
            The tax people, DEA etc are starting to get interested now and those blockchains provide
          • by sjbe ( 173966 )

            As an investment, Bitcoin might still end up being a scam.

            No need for the qualifier. Even if we accept that Bitcoin itself isn't a scam, Bitcoin routinely is used for scams and even when it is used honestly it's generally a terrible investment positively dripping with risk.

            You do run a bit of currency risk but if you make many small transactions you'll lose some and win some, it's a quite okay facilitator of trade.

            "A bit of currency risk"? Presumably you mean exchange rate risk [investopedia.com] and it is WAY more than "a bit" (no pun intended). Bitcoin is terribly volatile compared with traditional currencies so anyone who plans to hold it for any length of time is taking a LOT of exchange rate risk. If you hold it in

        • A "fiat" currency depends on someone that can be trusted, who has a lot of assets AND a major income stream giving a promise.

          Well, it was my understanding that anyone could have used bitcoin to buy drugs on Silk Road, and supposedly you still can still do so on various successor sites. It seems to me a big reliable drug dealing organization meets all your qualifications.

          OK, granted, this only works for certain values of "trust," but still... You'd essentially have a currency pegged to a known commodity, one with as much if not more intrinsic value than any precious metal.

    • I'm not sure if this is a factor, a consequence, or unrelated, but... ... when I read stories like this, I try and apply a simple question, "Who benefits?" as an attempt to dig out deeper motives. Bitcoin has the potential/has proven to be a significant market disruption of the existing, traditional banking model. In one single step it has leapt past existing banking models and thus threatens portions of the current global banking model. Specifically, one of the most lucrative forms of revenue for banks to
  • What's the conversion rate to Dogecoins?
  • by phantomcircuit ( 938963 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @02:27AM (#51193745) Homepage
    To avoid any confusion it should be clear that these are the developers of btcd not bitcoin core. As far as I know the only bitcoin core developer working on an altcoin is gavin andresen.
    • by radiumsoup ( 741987 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @02:45AM (#51193793)

      this. and also, the linked article is just a press release disguised as a story, quoting only the subject of the article without any independant analysis or rebuttal of any kind

      • ... the linked article is just a press release disguised as a story, quoting only the subject of the article without any independant analysis or rebuttal of any kind

        And this is nothing new for modern journalism, its a very common practice.

    • by mrlibertarian ( 1150979 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @04:36AM (#51193979)

      As far as I know the only bitcoin core developer working on an altcoin is gavin andresen.

      BitcoinXT is not an altcoin; it's an attempt to increase the bitcoin blocksize. It does not change any bitcoin rules unless 75% of the hashing power is running it. BitcoinXT has not been widely adopted yet, but Coinbase just started running it in production, so it will be interesting to see if others follow their lead. But calling it an altcoin will only add to, rather than avoid, confusion. In fact, some moderators are actively censoring discussion of BitcoinXT on the most popular bitcoin reddit board, and they are trying to justify this censorship by calling BitcoinXT an altcoin. So, calling BitcoinXT an "altcoin" is a very contentious issue right now.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by sexconker ( 1179573 )

        By increasing the block size you fork the block chain and people can choose to stick with the original or go with the new, forked chain.
        Alternate block chain = alternate crypto currency, regardless of how many people join in.

        • by mrlibertarian ( 1150979 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @06:12AM (#51194251)
          So, in 2013, when the developers switched from BerkeleyDB to LevelDB and accidentally caused a fork between the miners running bitcoind 0.8 and the miners running bitcoind 0.7, which one was the alternate crypto currency? 0.7 or 0.8? 0.8 had more hashing power behind it, but the developers chose 0.7. What if the developers had chosen 0.8, instead? Would you say that an altcoin was adopted in 2013 if that had happened, since it doesn't matter how many people join in? What if people abandon bitcoin at some point and switch to litecoin? I suppose we could also call that 'switching to an altcoin'. Is it okay to use the exact same terminology to discuss such radically different situations?
          • Is it okay to use the exact same terminology to discuss such radically different situations?

            Yes, if the terminology is insufficient to make a distinction. And terminology will change when such a distinction is 1) needed and 2) accepted by common (relative) understanding. IMHO, calling a mutation of BTC to BTC(XT) is not really a altcoin difference. If the change in coin is permanent (non-reversible) the conversion is essentially an Alt-Coin.

            And sometimes, the terminology becomes muddled, like the "hackers" and "crackers" became synonymous in spite of the understanding in the geek crowd. Now, the t

      • You've really got two distinct points of contention at play: some people say 'altcoin' when they mean anything that isn't bitcoin-with-the-annointed-blockchain. Others say 'altcoin' when they mean something based on an algorithm with substantially different characteristics(eg. the scrypt vs. SHA-256 divide between bitcoin and litecoin) or markedly different rules aimed at achieving some very different outcome as a currency/meme/ponzi scheme(eg. dogecoin).

        Then, you have the better informed but far less di
        • by mrlibertarian ( 1150979 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @08:20AM (#51194581)

          some people say 'altcoin' when they mean anything that isn't bitcoin-with-the-annointed-blockchain.

          You are correct that some people are advancing this definition, but I do not consider it to be an honest definition; instead, I consider it to be an attempt to conflate two clearly distinct concepts: A competing bitcoin client that would fork the blockchain and an altcoin. The only reason some people are attempting to conflate these concepts is so that they can pretend that censoring discussion of BitcoinXT on a bitcoin message board is not really censorship, but simply the removal of off-topic, altcoin discussion.

      • by FS ( 10110 )

        That argument is propaganda. BitcoinXT is not an alt coin.
        I'm not running BitcoinXT, and not supporting it, but the people who asserted that it is an alt coin are intellectually dishonest and you should consider their ulterior motives for making such an emotional response (censorship, intellectualy dishonest statements, DDoS attacks, etc) to a math problem.

        Anyone curious should read the dispassionate and logical argument for BitcoinXT on the BitcoinXT website. Then look at the negative responses everywhere

    • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @08:57AM (#51194699)

      To avoid any confusion it should be clear that these are the developers of btcd not bitcoin core. As far as I know the only bitcoin core developer working on an altcoin is gavin andresen.

      This is exactly the kind of manipulative nonsense that has been infuriating developers and driving them away from Bitcoin.

      "phantomcircuit" is Patrick Strateman, an employee of a company called Blockstream. Blockstream employs many of the developers who work on Bitcoin Core, which is the de-facto standard node implementation, descended from the original code written by Satoshi. When Satoshi left, he handed the project on to a guy named Gavin Andresen.

      Gavin later handed on the project again to another guy, and under that guys non-existent leadership (he rarely if ever even posts to his own developer mailing list) the project started making decisions that upset many people, most notably, they decided that the block chain should retain a hard-coded limit on block sizes that was originally put in as a temporary hack, with the result that the block chain is currently full - Bitcoin cannot process any more transactions/second than it presently does and payments have started to break as a result [slashdot.org].

      So Gavin and myself created a fork of Core called XT to give people and miners the option that Bitcoin Core had decided to refuse them. It is exactly the same software as Core, but with extra patches that cause it to cast a vote for raising the limit. If 75% of blocks vote for the increase, then blocks can get bigger after that point.

      Unfortunately, Blockstream and Bitcoin Core developers do not believe the user community should have a choice. So they decided to claim that Bitcoin XT is "not bitcoin" or put another way, any source fork that they disagree with "isn't bitcoin", even if it uses the same block chain, sends the same coins, speaks the same protocol and from the users perspective is indistinguishable from Core. They have decided that more or less any bullshit is acceptable in order to bring about what they want - a project that is theoretically open source, but which cannot actually be forked. These tactics include DDoS attacks on any computer that runs XT [reddit.com] and extensive censorship of community forums and websites [reddit.com].

      The comment I'm replying to is a classic example of this kind of BS in action. Strateman says he wants to "avoid confusion" and then immediately claims Gavin isn't working on Bitcoin anymore, even though in fact Gavin has only ever worked on Bitcoin and has never worked on an alt coin.

      When the Decred guys talk about "governance issues", that's a polite way of saying that people like phantomcircuit and his employers have gone crazy and can't be trusted anymore.

      • For what little it's worth, I read the GP as saying that Gavin Andresen was the only developer who is both a Core Developer and someone working on an Altcoin, not that Andresen is no longer a Core Developer.

        The rest of what you say is very interesting and adds a lot of context to the article, I hope it's modded up.

        • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @12:08PM (#51195579)

          But Gavin has never worked on any alt coin at all. That's my point.

          The definition of "alt coin" is literally an alternative coin made by creating a separate block chain. Alt coins have their own transactions, their own network, their own value and their own currency symbol. They may be based on the same code as Bitcoin or might have a different codebase, but they are not the same currency.

          Redefining widely used terms is a classic propaganda technique (hence "newspeak" in 1984) and Blockstream/Bitcoin Core guys have become devils for it. Other than trying to define a patchset on top of Bitcoin Core as an "alt coin" because they disagree with it, they've also attempted to redefine the meaning of "SPV wallet" to claim no such things exist, despite the fact that the term has been used for years and the top mobile wallets on both Android and iOS describe themselves as being SPV wallets.

  • Title is Misleading (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 28, 2015 @02:28AM (#51193747)

    This is not an exodus of core developers from the Bitcoin project. This is a small group of developers, some of whom have contributed to Bitcoin, who are creating a new cryptocurrency to address some of the governance problems cryptocurrency projects have faced. "Decred" stands for "decentralized credits" and will employ both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake in a novel way to secure the blockchain while avoiding centralization pressures.

    • Am I the only one who thinks the name has a subtle reminder of words like discredit? "de" is a bad prefix for "decentralized", IMO.

      • Am I the only one who thinks the name has a subtle reminder of words like discredit? "de" is a bad prefix for "decentralized", IMO.

        It's a bad name, yes, but it's not like they had the desire to jump TLDs, nor had the million dollars necessary to buy d3c3ntr8l1zed.org or decreed.org or decrud.org.

        Until they become multi-millionaires of their own, decred.org [decred.org] will have to do.

    • Thank you for the information. Your comment is what the summary should have contained.

    • Why does bitcoin need further development? What are they doing?
  • Demurrage (Score:2, Interesting)

    by conner_bw ( 120497 )

    Progressive agenda? Why not http://freico.in/ [freico.in] then?

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday December 28, 2015 @03:40AM (#51193893)

    This is in part due to a lack of mechanisms and pathways for funding development work directly from the community

    Someone should come up with a system to send other people money, even in small amounts.

    • The problem is that banks still charge high fees to wire money to other countries because they have to pay for the couriers that are transporting the money on horseback. Maybe some day they will be able to do it electronically somehow so they don't need to charge those fees anymore...

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Someone should come up with a system to send other people money, even in small amounts.

      I was a very tiny part of doing that in 2000 when manufacturing jobs were scarce and such stuff looked promising - as were many others including Charles Stross who has something about that sort of thing on his blog which is far better than I could write. The short story is a lot of end users like travel companies loved the idea but banks hated it. Roadblock. It's still sometimes faster by DAYS to withdraw cash and carr

      • Even with in the US, whether through malice or apathy, transferring money between accounts with different banks can take an absurd amount of time(in my case, this wasn't even some commercial-scale operation with validation and trust problems, it was my accounts, and those of my parents, at one bank that had very few branches or ATMs in the city I was going to college in, and my account with a bank that had better local coverage). It turned out to be the least hassle to just withdraw up to the limit on the o
        • Even with in the US, whether through malice or apathy, transferring money between accounts with different banks can take an absurd amount of time

          How are you doing the transfer? Check? ACH? Wire Transfer? The faster you want the money moved the more it will cost. I can wire money to basically any account around the globe nearly instantly via Wire Transfer. If you send a check there is back end transaction processing (including security) to that method of money transfer - far more than most people appreciate. If you are a small customer writing a check and dealing with banks from different states then they might put a 7+ day hold on money trans

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          This is actually more true than some people may think. I have physically carried large sums of money to another institution and made the deposit there, in a new account, only to transfer it to one of their account holders in order to speed up the transaction. That was not even going from across any land boundaries. That was simply going across town. It was quicker for me to ask my credit union to ensure that they got enough cash brought in on the truck to cover my withdrawal, wait until the following day, a

    • by Anonymous Coward

      YES! They could call it SystemD, and maybe it will be so successful that it could be the first program anyone runs as soon as they start up their computers!

    • It is, arguably, closer to trying to ensure that such seigniorage as exists has a cut kicked back to the developers; but more broadly it sounds like a "yeah, welcome to convergent evolution" situation.

      So long as their is nonzero, usually nontrivial, work involved in keeping a currency(or an exchange service layered on top of a currency, like credit/debit/paypal/etc.) up and running, the people doing that work(as well as any opportunists available) will try to get their cut, whether in seigniorage, taxes,
  • "Core developers in the Bitcoin project have left .."

    Can someone tell me the single most prominent such developer?

  • I'm sorry, if the names of the peoples involved aren't on the list of bitcoin/bitcoin contributors with at least 3 commits [github.com], then they're probably not anywhere near core developers of Bitcoin. That doesn't make them not Bitcoin developers, but in that same capacity, I'm just as a much of "Bitcoin developer". Hell, at least I've got a commit in Bitcoin Core.

    This appears to be a press release from a company that got some of the btcd implementors to join it. btcd is an implementation of bitcoin in Golang.

Polymer physicists are into chains.

Working...