Current state of the scaling problem

A whole lot of shills have been posting a whole lot of mostly valid criticisms of Bitcoin, and I have been silently suppressing them, because I doubt their capability and willingness to have a genuinely informative discussion of Bitcoin, rather than randomly and unresponsively spewing fear, uncertainty, and doubt from scripts compiled by morons who did not understand these problems in the first place.

But the issues need discussion anyway.

When Bitcoin was just a gleam in Satoshi’s eye, the scaling problem was foreseen, and in 2016-2017, it bit.

If we don’t do anything to fix it, then Bitcoin scales by everyone having only a custodial wallet, because only banks and megacorporations can afford the transaction fees, and Bitcoin by slow and imperceptible degrees becomes a CBDC, as was foreseen from the beginning. And since Satoshi had his idea, we have been casting about for solutions. And since the scaling crisis started to bite, casting around for quick fixes to get a bit more scaling to postpone the crisis for a few more years, Lightning Bitcoin being one such quick fix, and L-BTC another.

But high transaction fees are biting Lightning. The number of channels has stopped growing, and more and more people are using custodial lightning wallets. (Partly because genuinely self custodial full routing lightning wallets are really bad, and are designed for someone with good linux administration skills who generally uses the command line, and has a dozen linux computers in his basement without screens or keyboard, with which he interacts over his home network by ssh and xrdp. Partly because setting up a bunch of routing channels is expensive, and rapidly getting more expensive. Partly because existing tools for setting up a useful set of channels are not very useful. These lightning tools are designed by a small group of insiders working full time at lightning related jobs to be used by a small group of insiders working full time at lightning related jobs.)

Lightning, like the bitcoin base layer, is turning into a custodial solution.

L-BTC works, and Blockstream plans to use it to take down SWIFT. But they have a permission and trust based consensus system, which centralisation makes a whole lot of scaling easy, but unlimited scaling hard. The more you scale that, the more it turns into a CBDC.

Well: Now we know in principle how to solve the problem. The final and permanent solution being recursive snarks, and the use of recursive snarks to shard the reliable broadcast channel. Which Polygon is planning to implement for the Ethereum ecosystem, but has not yet quite implemented.

Litecoin’s bulletproofs, which are almost snarks, and are based on the same technology (polynomial commitments) also support sharding in principle, though not in Litecoin as implemented today, but no one has quite figured out how to support contracts on bulletproofs, other than contracts which are purely scriptless scripts.

Polygon’s alarmingly centralised and anti privacy solution scales without limit.

Giap’s blog has the latest hot information about the latest and greatest techniques for polynomial commitments and all that stuff, but unfortunately very little information as to how fast these actually work on real world problems and how big the proofs are, because as yet very few of these techniques have actually been applied to the real world problems we need to solve.

There are three kinds of useful polynomial commitments. (I am ignoring DARKS as useless)

KZG10, used by Polygon, is based on pairing elliptic curves which have constant time scaling. Unfortunately operations on pairing curves are very slow, and operations on pairing curves with useful security are very very slow. So Polygon has gone with a pairing curve of only eighty bits security, which is not enough. Breaking this requires the breaker to search approximately 280 cases. Which is breakeable in reasonable time for a vast system of special purpose asics analogous to the bitcoin mining network.

Also KGZ10 requires trusted setup to establish a special trusted set of curve parameters. It is very difficult to do trusted setup in a way that anyone should trust, and Polygon has not even tried to do so.

FRI, also used by Polygon and Starkware to implement zkstarks, which are a kind of snark, are fast, because hashes are so much faster than elliptic curves and vastly faster than pairing curves, but inconveniently large. So you don’t want to communicate them over the internet as part of your protocol, and in Polygon’s implementation, they always get passed around in a big data center, hence centralisation. And they scale as log(d)2, which for problems of interest is apt to get inconveniently larger, so Polygon combines them with KZG10 to control the size.

IPA uses ordinary elliptic curves, which are reasonably fast, even though vastly slower than FRI’s hashes, small enough to be passed around over the regular internet, though much bigger that KZG10, and need no trusted setup, and scale as log(d). These are used by Litecoin for bulletproofs.

The relevant libraries for IPA based proofs are Halo2 and NOVA. Which are not exactly libraries, more like technology demonstrations. You have to write your own library. The available source code is not really in a useful state. You have to pull it out of Litecoin and Elements. To implement recursive snarks over a Merkle tree with the snark recursion paralleling the Merkle tree recursion it would be necessary to extract Polygon’s code for doing hashes inside the proof engine, move it to IPA and HALO2, and then implement recursion using NOVA.

Monero does not scale. Litecoin’s mweb addresses are not scalable, but would not be hard to make scalable by sharding the hogex. It would be necessary to introduce yet another new form of address, which would be the same as an mweb address except that it would run on a sharded reliable broadcast channel.

Polygon’s aggregated blockchain is shardable because of recursive snarks, but Litecoin’s bulletproofs, though they have lesser capabilities that snarks (hard to do contracts in a bulletproof) have most of the capabilities of snarks, among them sharding.

You can prove anything with bulletproofs, including, as in Halo2, snarks, but it is apt to be slow and the proofs large. So you have to optimise for a particular use case, and when you have optimized, your bulletproof based system is no longer general purpose, thus its commits are no longer snarks. Which ties your hands if you want contracts.

Litecoin addresses the contract problem by pegging money into and out of the hogex. Which if combined with sharding would mean that contracts could only function within a single shard. But that is acceptable for a whole lot of contract applications, and you could always connect a regular contract to a scriptless script, which can operate between shards and between separate blockchains.

Litecoin’s bulletproofs have no trusted setup, and 126 bits cryptographic security, which should suffice for a few centuries. I have not really looked at Blockstream’s Elements yet.

91 Responses to “Current state of the scaling problem”

  1. Ryan says:

    Crypto is a useful and portable store of wealth for fleeing the country, but what about productive foreign investments?

    I have no doubt western/GAE economies will collapse due to being fake and gay, plus massive government liabilities. Other countries with an actual manufacturing base which aren’t too tied to the dollar will fare much better, although there will be shocks.

    The relative rise of other economies should be reflected in currency exchange rates, but just holding foreign currencies isn’t productive, although bonds etc are an option.

    What do you think about investing in multiple foreign countries that are relatively sane? Perhaps buying properties which are rented out, managed by a local company, or investing in an index fund for foreign stock exchanges?

    • jim says:

      It is a very good idea. But trouble is investing is hard. And if you don’t know what you are investing in, things will not go well.

  2. Uriel says:

    In a proverbial fan situation, what would be the ideal coin to hold cold? Instincts say Litecoin because seems to stay stable but I obviously defer to you on this, had half a mind to BTC/LTC/ETH. This would be on top of, you know, hodling various actual material objects of every day value.

    • SHTF says:

      SHTF means that real shit ain’t working no more.
      That means your comms, grid, food, and cops are all offline.
      There’s military sects and warlords in the streets all angling to be the next King.
      Shit looks like Haiti.
      And you haven’t ate anything but worms, a dead rat, and some ditch water in two days.
      Sure, sit on BTC till shit comes back online and it sorts out all the orphan blocks.
      But till then it’s Gold and Silver, Guns, Goats, Shovels, Tools, Diesel and Firewood.
      SHTF means that you go outside tomorrow and plant a garden, buy those tanks of fuel, hatch those chickens, learn how to fix shit made out of metal whose single forged parts weigh more than your whole stupid PC.
      If you’re worried about your BTC, you ain’t prepared.

      • jim says:

        Yet another reminder to all the spammers spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Bitcoin.

        I am not going to allow your stuff through unless you take the shill test described in the moderation policy and get white listed.

        Bitcoin is, as I explained above, likely to be highly useful in a shit hits the fan situation, because you are likely to want to go someplace else, or be forced to go someplace else because of war and/or genocide, and you cannot take gold, whiskey, tobacco, coffee, and LR ammo with you.

        • SHTF says:

          Yet another reminder that Jim is a liar.

          You see, the OP referred to being “*IN*” a SHTF situation.
          If you are waltzing intact *OUT* of a non-SHTF situation BEFORE it gets to being an *ACTUAL* SHTF situation, then by definition you are not *IN* a SHTF situation yet, you are just having a bad day.
          If you are *IN* an actual SHTF situation, then either you will not be permitted to LEAVE that SHTF situation, or the only likely way you’ll be able to make it out is starving and on foot, and your BTC won’t do you any good because shit is DOWN everywhere until you get past the SHTF border, or to a region that hasn’t been NUKED yet.
          Sure, send your shit to a HD wallet and memorize your biblical words *BEFOREHAND* while you are still in Utopia and every other place still looks like a shithole compared to yours.
          But when the actual SHTF, and you’re knee deep innit, not a damn thing but what I posted above is gonna save your ass.

          • jim says:

            I allowed through this spam as representative of, and largely a repeat of, all the spam I have been silently deleting, so that everyone knows what they are not seeing.

            If I allowed it all through, the noise would drown out the signal.

            And strangely, not one of them is willing to take the shill test. Odd that.

      • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

        There’s a lot of ruin in a nation. If you’re waiting for a platonic ideal SHTF, you’ll be waiting till you’re dead.

        • jim says:

          He seems to be defining shit hits the fan as you are stuck in your bunker, and cannot leave. In which case you are likely to die. So you should have left before then. For which expedition gold, whiskey, tobacco, coffee, and lr 22 ammo is not going to do you much good.

          The situation where gold, whiskey, tobacco, coffee, and lr 22 ammo is likely to help keep you alive is when you swear fealty to a good King. But if that King does not manage to get internet access up, at least for himself and a few of his top lieutenants, you are all going to die anyway. In modern warfare, tech rules. We are increasingly seeing Russian soldiers geared up for future war.

          Recall that when Charles the Hammer defeated the Saracens, all the old Roman tech was being lost and forgotten, it was the darkest part of the dark age, but his men’s armour and weapons were the latest and greatest tech of their day. Tech is not going away when a high tech army can defeat a low tech army. During the dark ages, they lost and forgot no end of stuff, but their armour and weapons just steadily got better.

          • Mayflower Sperg says:

            At present you can pack up cash and gold, ride Amtrak to Penn Station, take the Long Island Rail Road (not the subway!) to JFK, and fly to your destination of choice. You show your passport and visa, then walk past the vacant, cobwebbed “goods to declare” station.

            You’ll be amazed how little it costs to live in a country where the rental market hasn’t been taken over by single mothers with Section 8 vouchers.

            If Russia’s your goal, the border with Finland is now closed, but you can take a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn and enter from Estonia. Travel through Istanbul or Dubai is a lot more expensive, but it gets you deep inside Russia more quickly.

            US dollars are still accepted everywhere, but they must be in mint condition, with no tears, marks, or soiling of any kind.

            • Karl says:

              Do you really think you could take a substantial amount of gold with you departing from a US airport?

              I very much doubt this would work. It definitely would not work in Germany. A few goldcoins in your purse, maybe, but definitely nothing above 5 ounces. Your gold will be confiscated and you will be fined.

              Same with cash. Any substantial amount will be confiscated. We recently had some German tourists who wanted to fly to Russia. Even a few thousand EUR in cash was seen as a violation of sanctions and confiscated.

              • Mayflower Sperg says:

                Between the USA, Finland, and Russia, I had no problems. I got a feeling that the other passengers were carrying more cash and gold than I was.

                At Sberbank a safe-deposit box of A4 x 3 cm costs 1000 rubles for up to ten days, so about 3000 a month (30 euro).

                • Mike in Boston says:

                  Between the USA, Finland, and Russia, I had no problems.

                  Maybe you were only carrying a little gold, or maybe you were lucky. If you try and carry more than the limit of $2,500 without filing an export declaration, you are liable to have your gold confiscated. In one month at one airport, U.S. Customs confiscated over $150k in gold from people who didn’t fill out the forms. And of course if you do fill out the forms to export it legally, that’s a heads-up to the customs agents at your destination country to seize it there.

                  Several times I have flown overseas from JFK with gold coins just under the $2,500 limit, and each time the guy at the metal detector has noticed them. I wouldn’t expect to fly with gold and have it go undetected.

                  Heck, in India they’re now compounding gold into a 16-karat paste you can squirt into the soles of your shoes to try and beat the metal detectors, and that’s not working.

                  For people trying to get money to Russia or another designated enemy country, maybe Bitcoin is the way to go as Jim suggests. The place I’m trying to get money to is not a designated enemy country, but just a place on the fringe. So for me, it’s been perfectly fine to just wire money to relatives that I trust. Might they spend it, in an emergency situation? Sure. But in that kind of siutation they’d also feed and house my family, should we show up. In the end, human solutions are more important than technical ones.

                • Tyrone says:

                  I’m sure you can cross many borders with a suitcase full of cash or even heroin.

                  But you need to think in probabilities. Even if you have a 90% chance of an unmolested crossing, a 10% chance of being broke and in jail is totally fucked up.

                  If you’re only carrying a small percent of your net worth then you won’t be broke, and you probably won’t go to jail, but even if they don’t catch you you’ll need to make the trip multiple times.

                  Congrats if you did something like this yourself but I doubt anyone else on your plane had much more than the legal limit, I think 10K USD in many countries.

    • jim says:

      You should make provision for three cases.


      1. Everything goes down, and you have to stay put in your bunker and fight off the Zombie hordes. This tactic is suicide, because the zombie hordes are going to get organised, and you have to get organised. You will have find a good King and swear fealty to him. And so will need money. What kind of money? I will get to that in the next part.

      Forget about holing up in your bunker. People who tried that in Yugoslavia got eaten.

      2. Not everything goes down, but you have to flee war and genocide. For which you will need money. What kind of money.

      There are three threats.

      1. Normality with increasing crackdown on Bitcoin fungibility. In this case, your Bitcoin becomes worthless — though utxos on the official CBDC list remain valuable. Yours is not on the list. In this case, Litecoin and Monero is what you want.

      Bitcoin is advancing with level twos that make a CBDC list of acceptable UTXOs more difficult, but at the same time, exchanges are moving closer to having a list of acceptable UTXOs. NOKYC exchanges like Changelly suddenly turn KYC when they see a bitcoin they cannot track.

      I think in the next year of two, Bitcoin is going to go through the roof, but you may well find it difficult to unload your untraceable bitcoin. You may have to send it through a circuitous path, but at the same time, they don’t seem to have the necessary skills to shut down on all paths, but rather have cobbled together an ad hoc collection of rules for suddenly freezing bitcoin when you try to exchange it through a centralised exchange.

      The problem is, you discover the path by getting your Bitcoin frozen in a custodial exchange. Lightning to level one BTC and L-BTC works great, level one Bitcoin to lightning works great, and Lightning is hard to trace. So far, non custodial exchanges are working great, and running your bitcoin through a level two in ways that result in mingling work great. If they start going after them as money laundering operations, time to panic, and time for Litecoin and Monero.

      2. US Government collapses in war internal and external, Fiat money, electricity and internet go down. By that time they probably have an official list of unacceptable Bitcoin UTXOs, but no one is paying attention and the servers maintaining the list have gone down. In this case you probably need gold and lr 22 ammo for internal transactions, but you probably also want to get out of the latest genocide attempt, and you cannot take your gold and lr 22 with you when you flee. In this case you need a secret that will enable you to have crypto currency when you manage to escape to somewhere where stuff is still functioning. In this case, Bitcoin is your best bet, but to get to where you can spend your Bitcoin, going to need gold and lr 22 ammo, though at some point in your journey, it is going to be seized.

      3. Internal war and genocide, but the internet and electricity mostly stay up most of the time. In this scenario, they probably have other things on their mind than turning Bitcoin into a CBDC, and gold and LR ammo will be of limited use.

      • Tyrone says:

        I think most people would benefit from dividing their holdings in two.

        One part is properly taxed and KYC’d. CBDC friendly if you will. On the list.
        Would it really be that bad to have 1 public BTC that you can cash out smoothly?

        The other is private. Obviously it would be nice to have 1 BTC that is unseizable, and no one knows you have it.

        The proper split probably isn’t 50 50, and the more complicated you make things the more likely you are to inadvertently link the two parts. But I’m sure everyone could benefit from having at least 1% of their holdings be totally above board and accessible through a consumer app, and at least 1% totally secret.

      • Nunya says:

        Re: Scenario 1, Selco described urban Bosnia in some detail. And being eaten is a sound cautionary summary. He did suggest that rural outcomes were different…a comparative paradise.

        I’ve done some searching for first-hand accounts of the rural experience, with little to show for it. Has anyone else come across accounts of the rural experience?

        I’m interested in better understanding the risk profile of bugging in outside of urban and suburban locales…

  3. Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

    Ukraine has been attacking Russia’s early warning BMD architecture the last couple weeks – to tepid Russian response.

    The merely written doctrine stipulates that attacks on response capability is tantamount to a strategic weapon strike in of itself, and thus must be responded too in kind. If your armour gets chinked and you just let it happen, if you can’t react to a first strike, then you’re as good as dead, so you may as well strike first instead. The logic of escalation is clear.

    Zelenski would of course be perfectly happy with this outcome; the ukraine is already cooked, and what better way to wrap a bow on it than to get even more malorussyans cooked by the harsh glare of x-ray bursts? And even better, the possibility of of such an event drawing the Washington empire and its vassals into even greater escalation in response, so as to get even more europoids killed. The trotskyites are all in on lunging for the wheel and swerving the bus into a game of chicken.

    The rational response of course would be to kill the men responsible. Meaning not the trigger pullers flying the drones, the leadership actually responsible for the actions. Again and again the logic of war, chance, and necessity inevitably flow through the contours of Being and arrive at the importance of finding evil men and killing them, specifically – *especially* when organized in positions of status. A logic that Putin has also repeatedly declined – failed – to observe.

    If playing stupid games doesn’t win stupid prizes, then the stupid games will continue.

    • jim says:

      > Ukraine has been attacking Russia’s early warning BMD architecture the last couple weeks – to tepid Russian response.

      Russia does not want to respond upon the path that leads to nuclear war — which is obviously the response that the Ukraine has been seeking to provoke.

      In the past they have generally resolved this contradiction by horizontal escalation — responding to Nato escalation with some different form of escalation.

      On Youtube, I see an effort to promote color revolution in Kalingrad, with the not at all subtle threat that if Kalingrad does not submit to color revolution, Nato will “support” the color revolutionary rentamob by shelling Kalingrad into rubble. They have long been attempting to color revolution Kalingrad, but are now escalating their threats, relying more on menace and less on promises — perhaps in an effort to create a new front against Russia if the Ukrainian army collapses — the Global American form of horizontal escalation.

      At any moment they may announce that Kalingrad has been successfully color revolutioned, recognise a color revolutionary government in exile (residing in the close vicinity of Harvard with frequent visits to the South of France and sporadic day trips to Poland) and proceed to support the government in exile by flattening Kalingrad.

      So Russia really has to demonstrate willingness to engage in horizontal escalation against western Europe, though I am not sure how it could do so.

      • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

        I think announcing on TV that the actions of the Zelenski regime are not just the games of princes but an existential threat to Russia and the whole western hemisphere in general, and then stuffing a khinzal down their chimneys, is exactly the appropriate thread through the needle. Deterrence by other means is demonstrated, and unlikely to result in the GAE launching nukes itself. And as far as other forms of escalation go, washington and its vassals have already been crossing every line they can, the rationalizations for which alternating between ‘putler is the ultimate evil thus all means are justified’ and ‘ruZZia would not dare to dream of retaliating if we slap them so lets slap them’, the later of which being greatly enabled by the fact that many have in fact gone without significant answer, that Putin has been extremely ‘reserved’ and ‘measured’ and ‘circumspect’ in his responses to violations.

        With respect to asymmetric responses, the big obvious one is not a nuclear attack, but a restart of nuclear tests. Something ‘easy’ to do, does not involve actually attacking one, and nothing else, short of an indeed actual attack, would more viscerally impress the meaning of what it means for sons of man to have the wrath of helios at their fingertips than the first time a new sun will dawn on earth in the new millennium. And not just doing it, but making a whole production of doing it. It’s the ultimate symbol of readiness.

        The other is like the first point, but, elsewhere. The world has no shortage of GAE plants up to no good taking up space on its surface, in places its state preachers are paying far less attention too (or do not *want* to draw attention too), and it would be just as well if they started dying. The messaging will be obvious, and the effects salutary in any case.

        • jim says:

          That would be a good response. Resume regular nuclear testing, and start assassinating newsmen and ngo operatives inside Europe.

          The Global American Empire has long been assassinating influential bloggers in Russia. It is long past time to return the compliment.

          • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

            For the record I don’t think actually just blasting HUR headquarters with a physics package would be a bad response either (we’re arguably already a year past the most pertinent time to have done it). The core visceral dynamic of nuclear deterrence is the possibility that personages in positions of preeminence instigating violation of an other body’s sovereignty may well personally pay the price for it (the proliferation of advanced firecontrol systems and delivery mechanisms in later days also facilitates this), something that has often not been the case over most of the modern (post 16th century) era. And the whole calumnious mythology later day whigs have propagandized about catastrophic effects of atomic weaponry springs from their desire to put that genie back in the bottle; to create a world where it is safe again for them to start conflicts for getting other people get killed in them, without bearing any responsibility.

            The reinforcement of sovereignty granted by the power of Our Friend, The Atom, put the kibosh on global conquest for global communism (not that there’s anything wrong with global conquest per se), and ‘non-proliferation’ has been the ceaseless quest for disempowering the actors of the world so that they can be defected upon by bad guys once again; yet another expression of the eternal gnostic’s hatred of all forms power in general.

          • Cloudswrest says:

            Ron Unz today has an essay where he states, if NATO attacks targets deep in Russia (via Ukraine), then Russia should “call its shot”, with advance warning, and take out NATO headquarters in Brussels. Sort of like what Iran did (twice!). First after the US assassination of Soleimani with their precision ICBM attack on the US base, and after the Israeli attack on their embassy. If a second one is needed, an aircraft carrier.

            Should Vladimir Putin Call His Shot on a NATO Brushback Pitch?

            • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

              Sinking a washington carrier would be a proportional response to attacks washington has been making on Russia’s own strategic assets.

              It would also of course be like letting a fox loose in the hen-house in terms of the kerfuffle it’d kick up in the chattering classes.

              The world isn’t real to the congenital solipsist, it’s this thing that exists in their phone when they log into twitter. It’s something that they do things to, not something that does things to them. Any situation where a recalcitrant reality unresponsive to their will intrudes into the bubble is a deeply shocking experience; in phenomenological terms, such events to them feel like a violation of the natural order, an affront against cosmic justice.

              Putin has quite evidently been making every effort to ‘take the high road’, to be mature and avoid escalation; which is also why he has been inviting further escalation, by failing to meet lower order escalations with sufficiently disproportionate responses to cut the dynamic off at its knees. Equivalent tits for tats is a cycle that leads all the way to the bottom.

        • Cloudswrest says:

          Resume regular nuclear testing

          I was thinking the exact same thing! That could be a win/win for everyone. In addition to message sending, it could also force the West to restart its moribund nuclear industry, assuming it already hasn’t been completely destroyed by Shaniqua.

        • Cloudswrest says:

          Or, if GAE can’t respond in kind, it would further demonstrate their impotence. But they would probably spout some moral environmental reason to cover their impotence.

      • skippy says:

        Color revolutioning Kaliningrad sounds very difficult.

        K-grad aka Koenigsberg is really a German city, but the German population was completely deported in 1945. Surely everyone who lives in K-grad today is Russian military, family, ex-military, or camp followers. Essentially the entire population ought to be on the Russian state payroll, and the ratio of literal soldiers to population should be very hard.

        • jim says:

          You assume that color revolution requires local grass roots support. I am well aware that grass roots support for color revolution is conspicuously absent in Kalingrad, which is why I suggested that the color revolutionary government in exile would be resident near Harvard, with frequent trips to the South of France and occasional day trips to Poland. They have been declaring color revolutions successful with less and less indication of internal support, and more and more extreme external support for some time. This trend is likely to continue.

          Recall that color revolution in Libya required them to drop thirty thousand tonnes of explosives, largely on civilian targets, and the youtube videos telling us how wonderfully popular color revolution is in Karlingrad keep dropping hints about a considerably larger volume of explosives landing on Kalingrad.

          • Karl says:

            The willingness to drop some thousand tonnes of explosives on Kalingrad is not in doubt, but the technical ability very much so.

            So I don’t see how a color revolution could possibly succeed.

            • jim says:

              Kalingrad is ringed by Nato bases. All of the city is in artillery range of Poland, a fact that videos on the wonderful popularity of color revolution in Kalingrad are strangely apt to refer to. In order to give effect to the will of the people, they may forced to protect them from Putler by blowing up the people.

          • skippy says:

            “You assume that color revolution requires local grass roots support.”

            Obviously color revs are not spontaneous, but back when they worked well they did have a lot of local grass roots support, albeit this support was “managed”, was not told the full motives of the “managers”, and was possibly largely unaware of the existence of the “managers”.

            What you are talking about is more like NATO broadcasting Kaliningrad attacked a Polish radio station minutes before bombing the place. Which is, sure, likely, but maybe not really a color rev is any meaningful sense, rather looks like war faction trying to trick the Westenr population into accepting the war, rather than trick the Kalinigrad population into overthrowing their government..

            • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

              >rather looks like war faction trying to trick the Western population into accepting the war

              In a manner of fashion, this has always been the bedrock of ‘colour revolution’; but as GAE capability has collapsed, the more it has also stopped being anything but this bedrock.

            • jim says:

              > rather looks like war faction trying to trick the Westenr population into accepting the war, rather than trick the Kalinigrad population into overthrowing their government..

              Libya and Syria looked mighty like the war faction trying to trick the Western population into accepting the war, rather than trick the Libyan and Syrian population into overthrowing their government.

              It is a matter of degree. I don’t think the ground operation part of color revolution ever mattered all that much, and it has been mattering less and less. Successful empires have always managed to make bloodless conquests by reminding their target of just how bloody it could get, and from time to time demonstrating it. Color revolutions are just how this is presented to a Western audience. In every color revolution, the target audience has always been the western population, not the target country population.

              The fundamentals of color revolution have always been:

              1. Manufacture political cover for US Government military intervention.

              2. Threaten elements within the target government that they had better capitulate, or there will be US Government intervention.

              In the lead up to world war I and world war II, there were a whole lot of operations similar to color revolution — one government would send a whole lot of operatives in on the ground to manufacture cover for intervention, “fifth columnists”, and as it got closer to World War, these covers got more and more transparent.

              In a successful plausibly popular bloodless color revolution the GAE has a bunch of operatives of the ground, they generate genuine local excitement that an applecart is about to be knocked over, turn out a big crowd, have adherents within the military and police that share their faith, their adherents within the military and police perform a coup, and coupists remind the government loyalists within the military and police that they have backing from the overwhelming might of the US Government, so resistance is useless and will result in terrible destruction. But the mailed fist is kept in the velvet glove.

              Lately governments have started to protect themselves by exposing foreign operatives as foreign operatives, and lately the overwhelming might of the US Government has looked less overwhelming, resulting in it being harder to create a perception that the applecart is coming down, and lately the faith has been getting less adherents.

              The usual suspects have been trying to whip up enthusiasm in Kalingrad that the applecart is coming down, but they don’t seem to have operatives on the ground. They are trying to do it through the extensive contacts Kalingraders have with the West. Putin does not seem to be doing anything special to keep them out or stop them from trying to influence Kalingraders from outside. Russia seems wide open for entryism, but when Russia attacked the Ukraine, they all self deported. All their operations folded up simultaneously. Which is odd.

              They are trying to whip up the semblance of Kalingrad enthusiasm for color revolution through Kalingraders external contacts with the west, without sending their people in on the ground, though there does not seem to be any effort to stop them from sending their people in on the ground. Maybe if they sent their people in there would be such an effort.

              That they all left simultaneously and there seems to be no attempt to re-insert suggests a single authority deciding that Russia was getting too dangerous and would very soon become a lot more dangerous. It was getting more dangerous, and it was quite plausible that it would soon become a lot more dangerous.

              It has not become a lot more dangerous — but that may well be because they are not trying to re-insert. Russia remains strangely wide open, but that may well be because the Russian authorities are watching, and not seeing anything bad come in through the wide open door. It is entirely plausible that if they re-inserted, a crackdown would ensue and their entire operation would be swiftly shipped to Siberia. Right now it is perfectly safe and easy for foreign operatives to come in, and reasonably safe for them to operate provided that they are very careful about obeying the law. But it is not crazy to suspect that if there were a lot of them in, and their operations became noticeable, that would suddenly change.

              In a successful color revolution, the US government uses money in large amounts, and the threat of US Government violence, without actually using US Government violence. Putin has successfully deterred the ground operation part of color revolution by the threat of state repression, without actually using state repression.

              • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                In the case of mass self-deportations, I think a lot of it came from many of them drinking their own kool-aide about Russia being literally the Fifth Reich and that they would get strung up from lampposts the day after tomorrow and that literal world war 3 has literally started and so they better get out now while they still can and dodge the gulags.

                If only that were true, of course.

                • jim says:

                  > many of them drinking their own kool-aide

                  Every single one of them drank his own kool-aide simultaneously?

                  No, it was one guy at the top drinking his own kool-aide.

                  Every single one of them simultaneously received an order to grab everything not nailed down, smash everything nailed down, and get the hell out.

                • Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

                  Well yes, the main point of the kool-aide drinking part. The fact that it was a higher-up is even more damning.

                  The soviet union died because none of its inheritors believed; the GAE is getting killed because its inheritors actually did believe.

                • Mayflower Sperg says:

                  My favorite bit of liberal Kool-Aid is the belief that Cuba and Venezuela each transformed, in a few short years, from the richest country in Latin America to the poorest because of U.S. sanctions.

                  So when the Biden regime needed a way to bring Mr. Putin to his knees, they logically decided on sanctions, because their college professors forgot to tell them that sanctions only work against socialist countries!

  4. The Cominator says:

    Kek, well they are definitely going to Epstein him now.
    The preference cascade against them just entered wildfire mode. The problem is even if he survives it will only temporarily roll back problems (and the economy is kinda beyond repair without going through a long painful period) unless Trump actually assumes dictatorial power and then kills a LOT of people… but he won’t.

    • jim says:

      I have been watching the official line on Ukraine and the Trump trial. Detached from reality, naturally, but I can see them realising that reality is going to impact their increasingly strident and confident denials.

      Team A wants to go full steam ahead ever faster. Russia cannot win, Trump cannot be allowed. Team B is starting to sweat. What if Russia does win? What if lethal solutions to political disputes becomes the standard?

      If Trump is alive, that he won the election will be impossible to deny. The real Biden vote, in the sense of people physically going to the poll booth and voting under their own identities is now in the low single digits. (Compare the Trump rally in the Bronx with the anti Trump rally organised by the Democratic party and held simultaneously in the Bronx. The ratio was in the high hundreds. Showing up at a party organised rally is akin to showing up at a voting booth.) Civil war is likely to ensue. If he is Epsteined, well, as with assassinating Caesar, the proverbial hits the fan, and civil war is likely to ensue, though it might be postponed for a year or two. Similarly Ukraine. If Russia wins, continued denial leads to World War Three.

      The current course leads to war and genocide internal and external. They might very likely be able to win an internal civil war and perform a successful genocide, but not if they are losing the external World War Three simultaneously.

      • The Cominator says:

        “I have been watching the official line on Ukraine and the Trump trial.”

        Watching as in the boomer tube (I’m not one who says boomer for everything and there used to actually be good stuff on tv regularly in the 90s but there really isn’t anymore and only boomers and older watch it)? I like to avoid things that fill me with rage and listening to say CNN or MSNBC for more than a minute fills me with rage.

      • Karl says:

        Civil war requires leadership. Without leadership there is only government troops killing anyone they suspect of not liking the government.

        Where would that leadership come from when the government declares that Biden won the election?

        • A2 says:

          The leaders of a civil war will come from inside the armed forces and inside the government as these orgs fracture. (Perhaps also ethnic leaders but probably ineffective.)

          Popular boomer weapon locker uprising if Biden ‘wins’ seems rather unlikely. Does anyone anticipate anything worse than Summer of BLM, say? I don’t think I do.

      • Anon says:

        I just saw the cathedral moving the DNC convention in Chicago to conference calls , i think the end result will be that in person will be abolished and election will be a database and result automatically appears on media and tv
        Clearly in the future even the veneer of “election ” will not survive.

        • Mayflower Sperg says:

          Well good, that means Trump can appear at the RNC via video link from his safe house in Russia. If the Republicans call him a “convicted felon” and nominate someone else, R-voters stay home on Election Day and the party gets wiped out, unless the Jews add fake R-votes to make it look like a real election. Always eliminate traitors first and enemies second!

          No one does anything in person anymore; even wars are fought with FPV drones now.

  5. alf says:

    It is wonderful that you are both educating and seemingly spearheading the crypto development. A fully functional decentralized coin would be amazing.

    Open source and foss software is fantastic, in that once it is developed, it is out there, near permanently. But it also sucks, because it depends on an army of volunteers, so that development is much slower, and we do not have an infinite amount of time.

    • jim says:

      A truly decentralised coin has to be open source. But, as I say with great regularity all over the place, information wants to be free, but programmers want to be paid.

      A system that does everything I envisage is going to need an army of people working on it, and continuing to work on it for a long time. Therefore, I not only need a vision of what is to be done, but a business plan whereby some of the money liberated from the bankers winds up in the pockets of the people freeing it. The bigblocker brigade is mighty keen on “fair” distribution. I am mighty keen on the most unfair attainable distribution. I am also, however, keen on positive sum race to the bottom, wherein competition distributes the benefits widely. So I want the most unfair possible distribution that race to the bottom permits, enriching the poor by first enriching the rich. I favor fixed supply and 100% premining.

      Working on a business plan. The low hanging fruit is SWIFT, which enables an enormous number of slow and expensive international transactions, and is currently shooting itself in the feet, then reloading and shooting some more. There is an enormous amount of money, and we need to get some of into the pockets of people writing a replacement.

      • Mayflower Sperg says:

        but programmers want to be paid.

        Not only that, programmers want to take credit for their work, and free software is often a loss-leader to showcase their programming skills. Not so good if you have to hide your real identity and/or live in exile to avoid decades in prison for “money-laundering”, “financing terrorism”, and dozens of other felonies they could charge you with.

        I still think gold will take over eventually because it’s the meat-space equivalent of crypto-currency, and that’s a space everyone is forced to live in. But the Jews will use ever more extreme measures to keep the dollar alive for a while longer, because without it, they are nothing. Jews today hold very little gold, and their enemies hold very much.

        Does democracy always end in hyperinflation? Why print money to buy votes when you can just print the votes?

        • S says:

          Because the money isn’t meant for the voters or counters. Priests rule by consensus, so if you want to take power, you hire more priests. Promised payments go up, goods in circulation go down, the process accelerates (as it becomes a worse and worse bet to engage in the regular economy) until things snap.

          Are people buying and selling with gold, silver and/or any other non-currency material? My impression is if you think the dollar will die, you go Yuan or Bitcoin.

        • The Cominator says:

          If precious metals win out silver will appreciate far more than gold. The US government has been repressing the price of silver subtly since the fucking 1880s and blatantly since the hunt brothers. Gold is far far closer to something like its real value than silver is.

          • jim says:

            This issue was decisively settled in the long depression.

            There can only be one. Silver is not going to return to monetary use.

            A problem with gold is that you cannot make sufficiently small gold coins for small change. If we return to moneys based on true weight, yes silver has to be remonetized. But we will not. In the event of a full on dark age, Kings will issue large denomination gold coins, and promise conversion of small change base metal coins into gold. And people will not worry too much about the King reneging on his promise, or dying suddenly and violently, because it is only small change.

            • The Cominator says:

              By the intervention of the US government to forcibly demonetize silver,l and the US government forcibly intervened and has been intervening at least since the Hunt Brothers to keep silver down (if not since the Kennedy assassination since Kennedy ordered a partial remonetization of silver partially before his assassination).

              I’m not saying silver will return to monetary use but when the US gay empire falls (inevitable) and if crypto fails (I don’t know enough about crypto but you are optimistic but see problems so maybe 50-50… I don’t know enough to estimate the probability well but there is a chance) then silver should appreciate more than gold will.

              > Kings will issue large denomination gold coins, and promise conversion of small change base metal coins into gold. And people will not worry too much about the King reneging on his promise, or dying suddenly and violently, because it is only small change

              Small change in a dark age can mean the difference between starvation and not and dark ages are low trust and not easy to maintain leviatian regulation… silver money will drive out nickel coin money and such.

              • jim says:

                The long depression was the spontaneous demonetization of silver. The US government officially demonetizing silver was just accommodation of reality — a reality the bankers rather liked, and pushed, but it was not stuffed down people’s throats. It was happening spontaneously and naturally.

                A bimetallic standard is naturally unstable. There can only be one.

                The bimetallic standard continued to exist because silver was useful for small change, so some places went on the silver standard, rather than the gold standard. But sterling silver naturally tarnishes, and pure silver is just too soft for coins. Pure silver coins have to be treated with extreme care. To get silver that does not tarnish at all, silver that has the durability characteristics of gold, you need four nines silver, as for example the silver maple. And you just cannot put a silver maple in your pocket and let it jingle around with a bunch of small change.

                Truly pure silver money would just have to be carefully weighed every time, because the coins would rapidly degenerate into shapeless lumps. So back during the dark age, they did weigh them, and during medieval times, standardised on sterling silver, which tarnishes.

                • The Cominator says:

                  Spontaneous demonetization…

                  This is very un Jim talk. And the government blatantly rigged the market against the Hunt Brothers in the 1970s to stop a massive spike in the value of silver and has been rigging it ever since.

                • jim says:

                  You are suffering from presentism. Long, long, long before the Hunt Brothers, silver was spontaneously genuine grass roots demonetized in the long depression. Go check the history. Spontaneous demonetization started in the seventeenth century. The only surprising thing is that it took so long to finalise.

                  If anything, silver as money was on artificial government life support from the seventeenth century to 1890, and collapsed when that artificial government life support was withdrawn.

                  Silver is just ill suited for use as money, short of weighing and during a purity check every time, which is inconvenient for small change.

                • The Cominator says:

                  I do not think you are lying or are ignorant of history but I suspect that something has perhaps been supressed because I do not believe it was spontaneously demonetized.

                • jim says:

                  If you don’t believe, the period to look for the evidence is the nineteenth century, when silver was finally completely demonetized and most of the political and economic debate over this issue took place. Silver was on artificial government life support in the seventeenth century, which life support was progressively withdrawn in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, leading to hot political and academic debate in the nineteenth century as silver went the way of the Dodo.

                  Talking about the Hunt brothers is presentism.

                • The Cominator says:

                  Neoreactionary theory and Austrian theory differ in that neoreactionary monetary theory doesn’t believe that absent very close to anarchic or dark age conditions that political power ever disinterest itself from the monetary system entirely.

                  When I look at the 19th century bimettalism controversy I see the same people who later installed the Woodrow Wilson and the progressives first bolstered their support by doing what was a hugely unpopular move among the working poor (there were no welfare poor then really) and in less urban areas even among the better classes by demonetizing silver. It was on government support to some degree but no more than gold was really ie the government would freely coin silver like it would freely coin gold.

                  And when I mention the Hunt Brothers it is fairly recent yes but the government very nakedly and openly rigged the markets against the silver bulls when the Hunt Brothers made their move.

                • jim says:

                  > a hugely unpopular move among the working poor

                  The will of the people is always “Give us other people’s stuff and print more money” $&@# the will of the people.

                  The nineteenth century debate was “Should the government allow silver to float freely against gold, or should it set an official exchange rate?”

                  During the seventeenth century, most governments set an official exchange rate, which invariably came unstuck against overwhelming market forces, resulting sooner or later in governments letting it float freely.

                  Whether the masses wanted it to float freely is irrelevant. Market forces always want things to float freely, and free floating silver invariably spontaneously demonetized.

                  Now that silver has fallen to its industrial value and lost monetary value, it is now useful as a store of value, as is platinum, palladium, and tungsten. I like tungsten. But none of these are going zoom upwards as a result of value as medium of exchange. Bitcoin and gold are both soaring as a result of the expectation that they will be useful as a medium of exchange. If a full on dark age, gold will be valuable, and Bitcoin not. If a merely localised collapse (US empire collapses, and possibly goes full dark age, while the rest of the world continues to advance) bitcoin will be valuable, and gold not.

                • The Cominator says:


                  How accurate is the chart here? I’m not claiming expertise on it but I don’t see a total collapse in the silver price in the 1890s in fact not until WWII and in the depression when people had a fad of distrusting the banks (and FDR also demonetized gold except for bankers and international traders) the silver price again surged…

                  I’m not saying you’re wrong about everything but I think the silver collapse is a bit more complicated than gold was the market’s choice (we’re reactionaries not Austrians… we agree with them on most things but not on this) and the government was subsidizing silver and stopped.

                • jim says:

                  The graph shows a period of absolutely constant GSR, reflecting state intervention that came increasingly under stress, then a bit over a decade of slight fall in the value of silver, measured in gold, then abrupt and radical fall in silver as everyone woke up to the reality. The decade of slight fall was normality bias, during which silver ceased to be useful as money, but people continued to hoard it as a store of value because of normality bias. The abrupt and radical fall was the long depression and final demonetization.

                • The Cominator says:

                  I just find it impossible to believe that it happened spontaneously and our history has just been cursed since silver was demonetized. I cannot explain exactly what happened because I suspect the truth has been occulted but I smell a rat. Pissing off the working poor provided fertile ground for leftists and progressives (and yeah I know they were mainly driven by intellectuals but back in the late 1800s and early 1900s they needed genuine rubes too) who before the demonetization of silver were generally told (violently) to fuckoff.

                • jim says:

                  > I just find it impossible to believe that it happened spontaneously and our history has just been cursed since silver was demonetized.

                  Governments were fighting market forces for two centuries and lost. A decade or so after they finally threw in the towel, silver lost its monetary premium. The long struggle between governments and market forces is marked by no end of vigorous debates and dramatic events.

                  There can only be one, and gold was better. Pure silver is too soft for coins, sterling silver too corruptible.

                  In both cases, governments added roughly ten percent copper to make coins durable. But gold with ten percent copper does not tarnish. Silver with ten percent copper tarnishes badly.

                  So pure silver can function as a store of value, but not convenient as a medium of exchange. (Hence, for store of value in silver, prefer silver Maples) Sterling silver as a medium of exchange, but not good for store of value. Gold can function as store of value indefinitely, but is only useful as medium of exchange over short distances. Bitcoin can function as store of value, and as medium of exchange over vast distances. Silver demonetized well before the long depression, and subsequently lost its monetary premium as a store of value. Gold will lose its monetary premium once the outcome of our current collapse becomes clearer. (As the likelihood of full on world wide dark age diminishes)

              • jim says:

                You cannot have small change coins without an issuer. If we go back to a dark age, as is looking increasingly probable, you are going to make change by chopping up your silver maple coin and weighing the bits. Which is doable, and was done during the last dark age, but is inconvenient.

                So, in the event of a full on dark age, people are going to accept base metal small change coins from an issuer who promises conversion into gold coins or weighed gold.

                During the latter part of the dark age, the king would cut bits of wood into two irregularly across the grain, so that each split was unique, marking both pieces, issuing one piece as a coin or banknote, and keeping the other piece, and promise that the matching piece, issued as coin or banknote, was good for paying taxes as if a certain amount of weighed gold or weighed silver. This worked quite well for the King.

                Late dark age social tech rendered silver coinage technologically irrelevant, and it surprising that silver as money lasted as long as it did.

      • Ryan says:

        For initial development funding, you could do something similar to the Ethereum presale. Ultimately people will need to trust you to deliver and not run off with the money, so given your sensitive identity you could take funds in zcash or monero.

        Ongoingly, you could do something like letting jimcoin holders vote every 3 months for the developers who have contributed the most to the software or ecosystem, with them getting fresh jimcoins as a reward. Maybe this could be combined with hardforks, with voting on what protocol and code changes are implemented to become the ‘official’ fork.

      • Anon says:

        I can’t stress how SWIFT et all for money transactions are horrible.they act like bandits . Insane fees, often losing your money and take more time than actually delivery the money yourself.
        It a massive opportunity with a lot of power. If it is solved, it is like you conquered the world.

  6. Dano says:

    Here’s a perfect example of another big issue in the crypto space, using Bitcoin as example.

    Because of Bitcoin’s dire inherent L1 limitations at being money, a faction of the Small’s came up with some L2 “layers” that were, unfortunately for them, by nature still bound by the same underlying L1 fails, and thus their L2’s didn’t and can’t really “solve” anything.

    I define Maxi’s as shameless promoters who lie about a coin’s capabilities in order to entice others into their game, primarily to prop up the price of their own bags, and to act against all other potentially better crypto solutions, protecting their own at all costs, no matter how fatally flawed their own is. Omissions, Lies, Shills, Snake Oil Salesmen, Frauds, Dishonesty, etc.

    The Small’s L2 faction has their own army of Maxi’s.

    Here we see one of their Maxi’s claiming they have the solution, when in reality he spends all 11 minutes proving that his L2’s
    are a false solution, debunking himself in the process.

    It’s quite laughable.
    This guy is respected by Bitcoiners for his game theory.
    But he fails to tell the users that he does not actually have a coin that they can back and win the game with.
    They are leading their users into a trap.
    It’s a serious problem, not just in Bitcoin, but in almost every other coin as well.

    Real P2P CryptoMoney needs to have a definition (it did back in the OG days), and then all these Maxi people need to have their feet publicly held to that fire until a modicum of honesty emerges in the cryptocurrency space.

    • jim says:

      Putting you on moderation. The Maxis are telling an important part of the truth with good intent. You are telling a part of the truth with evil and malicious intent. The Maxis are not lying. You might well justly accuse them of being misleading. But you are maliciously and destructively misleading.

      Take the shill test described in the moderation policy and get white listed.

  7. A2 says:

    It should be noted that SWIFT merely provides an infrastructure for exchanging standardized structured messages (many messages of many types) between a few hundred banks. The actual money transfers and suchlike are done out of band.

    (Nevertheless, it has been weaponized and will have to go.)

    • A2 says:

      An indicator of the volumes required:

      “More than 11,000 global SWIFT member institutions sent an average of 44.8 million messages daily through the network in November 2022.”

      Averages out at 518 messages per second with peaks let’s say at 10x. I think Visa and Mastercard handle more than that.

      • jim says:

        To beat SWIFT, need a sharded reliable broadcast channel with open entry, without centralization. Being sharded, can handle unlimited volume. And once that exists as a neutral protocol, can put dexes on it, Daos on it, uncensored social media on it, and coins on it.

        I am using “reliable broadcast channel” in the cryptographic sense. It is not reliable in the ordinary sense, since you may attempt to put a message on it, and the message may not get on it, and you have to try again. It is certainly not broadcast in the ordinary sense, since most of the messages are end to end encrypted so that only the two parties can read them. What makes it a reliable broadcast channel, is that if Bob sends a message to Carol over it, as part of a protocol where Bob has to send a message, and Carol has to send a reply, then if the protocol fails because of Bob, Carol can prove it, and if the protocol fails because of Carol, Bob can prove it.

        And Bob can prove it even if his message is supposed to appear on one shard, and Carol’s response on a different shard.

        • Ryan says:

          What does this look like in practice? I’m guessing users have an ID/account/wallet (or many) tied to a public key, and obviously hold a private key. Then there is some sort of network daemon to find peers and propagate information.

          If it’s ZK snark based, then will most of a user’s assets exist in the form of a local copy of a pile of ‘IOUs’ which can convince others you have net assets? Like many L2 solutions, does this rely on looking out for people spending money they have already given to you, and you can ‘fine’ them if they get caught? Would there even be an authoritative ledger or L1 solution? I think the idea with shards is that they can trade within themselves and not have to worry about tracking what goes on in other shards. The master blockchain records inter-shard trades, which would have a much higher TX fee, at least as the TX/s got close to the scaling limit. How does you concept differ from existing attempts?

          • jim says:

            Your questions indicate such total incomprehension of what I said that I have no idea how to respond.

            SWIFT is infrastructure, the roads over which money moves, not the money that moves over them, and what I am describing is also infrastructure. It is not a crypto coin. It is a messaging system to facilitate large scale interactions about crypto coins.

  8. Dano says:

    I’ve mentioned at various fora over years that there will be another fork of Bitcoin, and now, that moment is actually here, with many big players making public rumblings and more or less openly beginning to hold their positions out sort of quietly forming teams.
    I’ve never claimed to know what the winning protocols will look like, only that they will include both privacy and transaction rate, and maybe even pqc.
    And that given current BTC’s variety of “layers” approaches, the fork is likely to declare that futile or as BTC refusing to consider anything else, thus leave the “layering” thing to today’s current “layers” BTC camp.
    The fork will probably instead simply snapshot and import the current UTXO coinbase set into a one-way turnstyle, thereafter users will spend them into the new protocols, whatever those end up being.
    And it will be a massive political battle, one in which the forkers will resolve by simply saying “we’re doing this, follow us in peace,
    or follow your own in peace”.
    “Miners / Stakers” will actually follow for the long term as well.
    The forkers will spawn a massive rapid roadmap and development season beginning essentially now, with their forks launching through and up to 2028’s halving.
    This will coincide with a big competition from new L1’s also being launched up through 2028.
    After which from 2028 onward people will shift their funds around as they see fit.
    Curiously, many will be ok with letting these forks and L1’s happen, because many of them will have new chances to make money as if it were the early high gain years of the BTC L1 again.
    BTC will survive, but only if the new forks and L1’s also fail in their quest.
    Again, I only know that BTC will be soon facing, and is actually now beginning to face, massive well funded and highly technically capable competition from forks and new L1s.
    Whereas before, we had interim years filled with shitcoins, scams, NTF’s, and other bullshit, we are now entering a cycle of real L1 competition.
    I’ve been closely watching crypto twitter for ages and the amount of chosen words and signalling that people are now willing to compete directly against BTC is rising, with a clear upshift in this rhetoric happening this year when the ETF’s got approved.
    It used to be quiet, just like it was quiet before the previous contest, now after years, it’s getting publicly not quiet again.

    This cycle should be fun 🙂

    • Tyrone says:

      I’m very active on crypto twitter but I haven’t picked up on all this. I see L1’s worth speculating on but I haven’t seen any discussions of forking the UTXO set of bitcoin.

      I’ll look around on my own but can you give pointers? If you’re right then it will be unmissable soon but it’s nice to be ahead of the curve.

      • jim says:

        Dano is just a bigblocker, and all bigblockers are scammers. Bigblocker are always forking, and it is always a scam.

        You cannot solve the problem on level one. You have to shard and move transactions of the primary chain, which is what the smallblockers are trying to do. The bigblockers just point at the problems because they want to pick your pocket. They have never displayed the slightest real interest in trying to solve the problems that they rightly decry.

        The bigbblockers complain that the maxis are denying the problems. Maxis are not denying them, they are just neglecting to mention them, while actively working to alleviate them.

        • Dano says:

          > Dano is just a bigblocker

          Utterly false, categorically denied.

          Bigblockers alone get no reprieve from critique either.

          • jim says:

            You were shilling a fork, which is absolutely stereotypical crypto scammer behaviour and what the bigblockers have been doing from day one. You guys spray out perfectly valid criticisms of the Bitcoin ecosystem not to promote fixes, but to promote scams.

            The reason that none of you can pass the shill test is that you just want to knock over the crypto currency applecart to grab some apples.

            In the hot news of today, Egan, who is as maxi as you can get, has just promised a bridge between Bitcoin and snarks, which he correctly says will make unlimited Bitcoin scaling possible. Except that snark based chains do not exactly exist right now, and to the extent that they do exist, they are on the bleeding edge, and are bleeding quite a bit.

            And now that Egan has a solution in hand, he can talk more about the scaling problem.

            I am being left behind. Now if I was a bigblocker, I would be spreading fear uncertainty and doubt about his solution in order to promote my as yet nonexistent solution. And given that most of the necessary parts of his solution do not exactly exist yet either, there is plenty of room to sow fear uncertainty and doubt.

            But I know enough about snarks to know his solution can exist, and can enable scaling without limit. Snarks inherently promote privacy, and I see ferment in the cryptocurrency world that tells me that pretty soon it will exist. And I, unlike a bigblocker, can see that if he succeeds, this will enable me to succeed, while you guys want to pull everything down except your own scams.

            Snark chains are inherently private, unless you exercise great ingenuity to spy on the participants. Which unfortunately Polygon has done. And Polygon, unfortunately, are the only people who are have something going with snark chains, so Egan is inevitably going to wind up using Polygon technology, because he is in a hurry. I hope that in the adaptation, the spy processes get lost or broken. And if they don’t, it is open entry. Someone, possibly me, can get on with breaking them. They are overcomplicated and fragile, fighting the inherent nature of the technology that they are using. ZK, zero knowledge, is right there in the name.

            In the development of Zero knowledge snarks, which has been going on for about ten years, everyone treated zero knowledge as an absolutely central and essential requirement. From the beginning, they always had the big fix for two big flaws in Bitcoin in mind.

            • Dano says:

              [*held pending passage of shill test*]

              • jim says:

                Your comment is not deleted, and will be restored if you take the shill test described in the moderation policy and get white listed.

                I would love to debate these vitally important issues with someone capable of debating them. But I suspect you are just robotically running off a fear, uncertainty, and doubt script. There is a whole lot of real stuff that is reasonable to be fearful, uncertain, and doubtful about, but an attempt to discuss these issues with a shill will just waste space and create darkness rather than light, because a shill is not allowed to give meaningful responses.

                All useful work on solving these problems is being done by maxis and smallblockers. It is obvious who the good guys are.

                You are being silenced here, not because your criticisms of Bitcoin are untrue, but for lack of genuine interest in solving the issues, rather than using them to promote scamcoins that make absolutely no genuine attempt to solve these problems.

  9. Tryone says:

    The critiques of the big blockers were right, but only the critique. The actions they took devastated them. Trading their BTC for BCH and DCAing ever since, pouring time and energy into ghost chains that split into other ghost chains, pitying themselves the entire time.

    It does seem like solutions are on the way and we won’t need to worry about it for much longer.
    I think the parallels Vitalik draws to other political tragedies are the most interesting part of his post.

  10. Tyrone says:

    Vitalik posted about the block size wars this week.

    He draws a lot of analogies to right vs left politics and I think it’s an interesting read.

    To summarize his POV

    The big block team had great points.

    The original vision was being perverted in favor of a risky road map that pretended to be the safe course, and even polite criticism was censored. Very fishy. Signs of conspiracy.

    The people were on their side, or at least a big percent, probably the majority.

    However, the big blockers entirely lost their cool, had terrible tactics and strategy.

    Practically all the best human capital chose the small block side, even though most were uncomfortable with it on some level.

    Meanwhile the big blockers purity spiraled, stabbed each other in the back, and brain drain accelerated. They still cope that they’re going to win any day now.

    In the end it looks like technological innovation will make the entire war look even stupider in hindsight.

    There are similar dynamics in immigration debates aka the great replacement.

    • jim says:

      “For example, even if everyone switched to Lightning, a block size increase would still eventually be required to onboard hundreds of millions of users. In addition, trustlessly receiving coins in Lightning requires having an online node, and making sure that your coins are not stolen requires checking the chain once a week. These complexities, Ver thought, would inevitably push users toward interacting with Lightning in centralized ways.”

      Ver and the big blockers been proven right by events, and the small blockers have also been proven right by events. A different solution is necessary. A different solution is now possible. I never paid much attention to the block size wars, because I anticipated this outcome from the beginning. Indeed, everyone on the small block side expected it. “Store of value” is a black pill rationalisation, a surrender to becoming a CBDC. “Store of value” is transporting value through time, “medium of exchange” is transporting value through space. Bitcoin can never compete with gold for transporting value through time. It has to compete on the basis of its ability to transport value through time and space.

      • Dano says:

        Small and large blockers were up against the same problem… that the Satoshi protocol did not actually offer a real solution to anyone, all it did was solve one problem out of many computer science problems, that in its first raw implementation and application, and under light load, did provide a money, that eventually hit its known limits.
        Small’s went their way and ran into problems.
        Big’s went their way and ran into problems.
        Both sets of problems ultimately had to do with what they were trying to task the L1 with, but that the L1 couldn’t handle.

        The Smalls were right to fork and try continuing their vision of development paths.
        The Bigs were right to fork and try continuing their vision of development paths.

        I critiqued the Smalls as being too complex, and of questionable backing provenance. They hid a lot of things.
        I critiqued the Bigs claim that disk space and bandwidth and cpu/ram would forever evolve without bound to handle their load. Given that there is no such guarantee of advancement, they should have disclaimed their claims as such.

        In the end, both failed, so far at least.

        Now that since their committals to their respective paths around 2017 or so, there are now many more new protocol elements to choose from than just Satoshi’s L1, and this cycle of forks and new L1’s will be the first to begin to utilize them towards being a P2P Electronic Cash aka money again 🙂

    • jim says:

      “The scalability implications of ZK-SNARKs were explored a little bit by Gregory Maxwell in 2013, but they did not seem to get taken into account at all in discussions of Bitcoin’s future roadmap.”

      Yes, ZK snarks, and probably bulletproofs, allow infinite scaling. And we have known this for a long time.

      But looking at Polygon’s grossly flawed implementation, and the horribly small scaling limit of Z-CASH, ZK snarks are hard, and applying them to solve the scaling problem is harder. Litecoin’s bulletproofs are the nearest thing we have so far.

    • jim says:

      > The original vision was being perverted in favor of a risky road map that pretended to be the safe course, and even polite criticism was censored. Very fishy. Signs of conspiracy.

      I have been silencing big blockers on this site because they are fools, scammers, and crooks. And, more importantly, not one of them can pass the shill test.

      The small blockers were wrong. All the prophecies of the big blockers came true, Bitcoin was and is on a path that leads to a very bad outcome. The big blockers were wrong, and, more importantly, evil.

      The politeness of the criticism was not the issue. The truth of the criticism is not the issue. The issue was that the criticism was coming from an evil place. The devil can quote scripture to his purpose.

      • Fidelis says:

        I always remembered the small blocker argument being near to your own: it won’t scale severside regardless, so burdening nodes is pointless, only client side solutions can work. I.e. you scale by shifting everything off the chain except for some minimal ordering of events. Am I remembering this wrong?

        • jim says:

          You are exactly right. I am a maxi and smallblocker.

          But, lacking a good long term solution for scaling, the Maxis tended to rationalise away the problem. cheerleading for store of value, in which Bitcoin can never compete with gold, except that medium of exchange gives it an advantage over gold. In this their position deviated from my own. Bitcoin is only a better gold than gold if you can buy stuff with it.

          Rationalizing the problem away is in truth a black pill, and they were and are unduly cheery about a very black pill.

          The big blockers were right to say that medium of exchange is what it is all about, even if the price is primarily set by store of value. Evil and dishonest to imply that they were doing something effective about it.

          The flaws the bigblockers point out in the layer two solutions are indeed terrible flaws, which if nothing more is done will eventually prove fatal. But still, vastly better solutions to the medium of exchange problem than anything the big blockers came up with, or had the slightest genuine interest in coming up with.

          The smallblockers, while tending to minimise and evade the importance of medium of exchange, have done a great deal of very good work to give effect to medium of exchange, while the bigblockers just spread fear uncertainty and doubt, and try to screw everything up.

          The bigblockers truthfully point out the importance of medium of exchange, and then do everything they can to prevent medium of exchange.

          • jim says:

            The maxis and smallblockers are trying to increase the size of the pie, so that they, and everyone, gets more pie. The bigblockers just want everyone else to have less pie, in the hope that they can get more of what is left.

            And strangely, no bigblocker can pass the shill test.

            The bigblockers are correctly pointing out the problems. Which would be great if they were trying to solve, or at least temporarily alleviate, these problems. But they are not. They just want to harm any solution other than their bigblock chains, but their bigblock chains do not solve the problem, and they do not display the slightest interest in doing anything about the problems they so loudly decry.

            The maxis minimise the impact and danger of these problems, which is deceptive and misleading — not lying, but not telling all the truth. But also, all the actual work to solve, or at least temporarily alleviate, these problems, is being done by maxis and smallblockers.

    • jim says:

      Yet another reminder to all the spammers spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Bitcoin.

      I am not going to allow your stuff through unless you take the shill test described in the moderation policy and get white listed.

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