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Bitcoin Privacy Security Software The Almighty Buck Technology

A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built To Outperform Bitcoin (technologyreview.com) 186

An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Bitcoin isn't the only cryptocurrency on a hot streak -- plenty of alternative currencies have enjoyed rallies alongside the Epic Bitcoin Bull Run of 2017. One of the most intriguing examples is also among the most obscure in the cryptocurrency world. Called IOTA, it has jumped in total value from just over $4 billion to more than $10 billion in a little over two weeks. But that isn't what makes it interesting. What makes it interesting is that it isn't based on a blockchain at all; it's something else entirely. The rally began in late November, after the IOTA Foundation, the German nonprofit behind the novel cryptocurrency, announced that it was teaming up with several major technology firms to develop a "decentralized data marketplace."

Though IOTA tokens can be used like any other cryptocurrency, the protocol was designed specifically for use on connected devices, says cofounder David Sonstebo. Organizations collect huge amounts of data from these gadgets, from weather tracking systems to sensors that monitor the performance of industrial machinery (a.k.a. the Internet of things). But nearly all of that information is wasted, sitting in siloed databases and not making money for its owners, says Sonstebo. IOTA's system can address this in two ways, he says. First, it can assure the integrity of this data by securing it in a tamper-proof decentralized ledger. Second, it enables fee-less transactions between the owners of the data and anyone who wants to buy it -- and there are plenty of companies that want to get their hands on data.
The report goes on to note that instead of using a blockchain, "IOTA uses a 'tangle,' which is based on a mathematical concept called a directed acyclic graph." The team decided to research this new alternative after deciding that blockchains are too costly. "Part of Sonstebo's issue with Bitcoin and other blockchain systems is that they rely on a distributed network of 'miners' to verify transactions," reports MIT Technology Review. "When a user issues a transaction [with IOTA], that individual also validates two randomly selected previous transactions, each of which refer to two other previous transactions, and so on. As new transactions mount, a 'tangled web of confirmation' grows, says Sonstebo."
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A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built To Outperform Bitcoin

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  • First post (Score:5, Funny)

    by null etc. ( 524767 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @10:37PM (#55743551)

    Now two other posters, please verify me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Iota "invented" a new hash function.

    Their "accumulator" recently went down and no transactions were possible for a time--horribly centralized. ... that being said, while their network was effectively dead, the price went up.

    Stop this stupid crypto advertising!

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @10:52PM (#55743603)
      horribly centralized is a good thing. The reason "cryptocurrency" will never take off is that it can't be easily controlled. Nation states require monetary policy. Also, 1% inflation is "good" for the economy. If the main currency were deflationary, as bitcoin is, the economy would crash. Also, bitcoin burns electricity like a small country. A small country would need 100% of power generation going into a crypto currency to ensure it was stable.

      There are thousands of reasons why bitcoin will never be used as a currency replacement. And even more ACs who will complain when any of those massive failures are addressed.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2017 @11:24PM (#55743707)

        There is no empirical evidence that 1% inflation is a 'good' thing for the economy - it's just a random target that seems justifiable easily. The ECB has a 2% target, in Australia the RBA officially targets 2 - 3%, but basically there is on science of the 'goodness' behind these figures.

        Any inflation mostly benefits investors with debts and basically constitutes a wealth transfer from savers to investors (~ from poorer to richer).

        The higher the inflation - the more unfair a society seems to be.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @12:45AM (#55743935)
          There is empirical evidence that deflation is destructive to a modern economy. So inflation isn't there to cause all the destruction you claim it does, but to be a buffer for swings not landing into "deflation" range.

          If you get deflation, Bob will sell his stocks and put the money under his mattress, when he does that, the stock price will drop, so everyone else will see that stocks are worse than selling and putting the cash under their mattress. Repeat until the stock market is $0, then we have a recession that would make the Great Depression look like a stock boom.

          But yes, inflation is a tax on those who don't have massive debt. I'm surprised Donnie John hasn't tried to make inflation take off. If you buy a building for $1B, financing 150% of it, you are $500M in the red. If inflation makes that building worth $10B, then you are $8.5B in the black. Since most "rich" people have as much or more debt as assets, inflation does disproportionately benefit them. But it doesn't seem to be a target because not only does it benefit you for past purchases, it eliminates future ones, until the inflation comes back down.
          • The stock market isn't the economy, most of what happens to it is only relevant to it's investors. Come back when you have empiric evidence that deflation is bad to common people.
            • The stock market isn't the economy, most of what happens to it is only relevant to it's investors.

              Only an ignorant fool believes that what happens in the stock market has no effect outside of investors.

              Come back when you have empiric evidence that deflation is bad to common people.

              For a recent and relevant example I refer you to Japan for the last 20 years or so. Seriously, among people who actually study this stuff for a living it's not even a question that deflation is bad for economies. And 20 seconds of searching [wikipedia.org] would provide all the evidence you need about why deflation is bad for the "common people".

              • by stdarg ( 456557 )

                Seriously, among people who actually study this stuff for a living it's not even a question that deflation is bad for economies.

                A few years ago it was not even a question that the zero lower bound on interest rates made perfect sense.

                https://www.investopedia.com/a... [investopedia.com]

                You put too much faith in economists. That suggests, to me, that you find prevalent economic theories useful to your political leanings and so it's convenient to put faith in them. Most economics is just apology for one or another political agenda. "Hmm we want mass immigration, what can we say? Oh some drivel about a free labor market."

                • A few years ago it was not even a question that the zero lower bound on interest rates made perfect sense.

                  That is a different question. Please stay on topic.

                  You put too much faith in economists.

                  So I should put faith in you instead? No thanks. If you understand these issues better than economists then publish your findings and collect your Nobel prize.

                  That suggests, to me, that you find prevalent economic theories useful to your political leanings

                  That's a curious argument since you have no idea what my political leanings might actually be nor what I consider to be prevalent economic theories. I follow the evidence wherever it may lead. My political belief have no relevance and I will change them readily in the face of compelling evidence

                  • by stdarg ( 456557 )

                    That is a different question. Please stay on topic.

                    Your link said one of the problems with deflation was it shifts wealth from borrowers to savers. Well, what do you think negative interest rates do, a tool that a few years ago was thought to be unavailable by "people who actually study this stuff for a living." I'm sorry I didn't spoon feed it to you, you seem to know what you're talking about. You apparently follow what economists say after all.

                    So I should put faith in you instead? No thanks.

                    I don't know why you're being so aggressive here, I obviously did not position myself as an expert you should li

          • Stocks are not a very good, probably even a super stupid example to explain deflation problems.
            E.g. while the 'price' not the 'value' of stocks drops the value of the money increases. A zero sum game.
            Secondly: the 'prices' of stocks have absolutely nothing to do with recessions.

            The problem with deflation is hording money, but bottom line it only means: instead of getting interest in the bank, your money increases under your matress. The oroblem is that people postpone investments, as buying a new car. As in

        • by Anonymous Coward

          That's some contorted logic right there. Deflation of currency is wealth transfer to those holding (hoarding) the money (that is the definition of rich, net assets, not debt). Poor people can't afford this, they are the ones in debt.

          You think those 10% of holders owning 80% of all bitcoins, are poor? Poor Winklevoss twins. I've heard some stupid comments about bitcoin, but this really takes the cake.

        • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @07:30AM (#55744585)

          There is no empirical evidence that 1% inflation is a 'good' thing for the economy - it's just a random target that seems justifiable easily.

          There is plenty of evidence and quite a lot of experience. We have centuries of real world data from the effects of various amounts of inflation and deflation on economies and every bit of evidence we have shows that a modest (1-3%) amount of inflation is the least worst option in most circumstances. Grossly oversimplified explanation: Deflation is almost always bad because it dis-incentivizes investment and creates perverse incentives. (why invest if your money will grow in value without the risk?) High amounts of inflation are bad because economic growth and wage growth cannot keep up and it wipes out the value of assets. Modest amounts of inflation force people to take reasonable risks to stay ahead of inflation but its low enough that economic growth can keep pace or get ahead. Maintaining zero inflation is as a practical matter essentially impossible and trying will result in dipping into deflation now and then which is worse for society than a small amount of inflation.

          Any inflation mostly benefits investors with debts and basically constitutes a wealth transfer from savers to investors (~ from poorer to richer).

          A wildly over simplified analysis if I've ever read one. There is quite a lot more to it than that.

          • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )

            Deflation is almost always bad because it dis-incentivizes investment and creates perverse incentives. (why invest if your money will grow in value without the risk?)

            Because you can get even more money from the investment. All inflation does is get you to make bad investments. Even if the investment doesn't make any money at all, it's still better than holding the money, because at least that's not losing value. That is a huge waste of resources.

            By the way, there's a really easy way to get around inflation, and that is to buy and hoard scarce resources, such as real estate and precious metals. And guess what? Tons of people do that, making it very hard for people and

      • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @03:26AM (#55744171) Journal

        Also, 1% inflation is "good" for the economy. If the main currency were deflationary, as bitcoin is, the economy would crash

        Please note that the economy would only crash because expectations of inflation are already built in (ie, loans and bonds are sold with the expectation of inflation). If there were enough time to adjust, then it wouldn't be a problem. One of the longest periods of deflation in the US was also a period of strong growth (although it caused problems for people who had borrowed money).

      • I'm glad this whole this is still Opt In and I can safely ignore it for now.
      • Well, that's what the concept of smart economy and currencies like NEO are about. Bridging cryptocurrencies and a sense of controllability

        A small country would need 100% of power generation going into a crypto currency to ensure it was stable

        Ok, we know bitcoins get hard to mine... but this seems like a very bold claim. Do you have any sources to back that up?

      • Being good for economy, being liked by nations or being particularly energy efficient are not among the reasons why cryptocurrency very much is taking off. It's taking off because people are greedy and bitcoin was built to spectacularly exploit it. And there is not much anyone can do to stop it short of turning off internet.
      • horribly centralized is a good thing. The reason "cryptocurrency" will never take off is that it can't be easily controlled.

        The whole point is that you don't need your governments permission to use it. And in case you haven't read the news, cryptocurrency is already starting to take off

        Nation states require monetary policy. Also, 1% inflation is "good" for the economy. If the main currency were deflationary, as bitcoin is, the economy would crash.

        So what about any of the other hundreds of cryptocurrencies that aren't, like the one in TFA?
        You're also assuming nation states will always be a thing. I realise I'm stretching things here, but changes in technology changed us fiefdoms and kingdoms to nation states, decentralised currency might just be something that evolves us from nation stat

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @10:44PM (#55743591) Journal

    It seems like the big problem with Bitcoin is hoarding, which discourages trade. How about a decentralized ledger without a "coin"? If you just had a secure, decentralized record of trades, *and* you could transact in less than a second, *and* you were simply creating a secure record of transaction in pre-existing currency *then* you'd have something that might compete with what the credit card companies and check clearinghouses do. Then you might actually reduce fees for the rest of us, even if we don't use it directly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lanthanide ( 4982283 )

      So Ripple, then?

      https://ripple.com/ [ripple.com]

      Ripple does have a coin, but it's used as 'grease' to help out the transactions. You can transact on the ripple network without the coins being involved at all.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm trying to understand what you wrote.

      The decentralized ledger is what is slow in Bitcoin. It's slow because it has to record all transacation since the beginning of time. So they limit how much can be added per minute to limit the growth of the permanent record.

      This is to transfer the coins.

      Get rid of the coins and say it is backed by cash or electronic money. How do you enforce that the ledger is source of truth then? If ledger says I gave you $5 but didn't what's the force?

    • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @10:58PM (#55743623)

      The good that will come out of this whole cryptocurrency bubble is a testing of numerous approaches to decentralized transaction processing. There is no mystery about Bitcoin hoarding. It's a direct outcome of the limited money supply, which has transformed what was intended to be a digital currency into an imaginary investment.

      Yes, just focusing on decentralized transaction processing with national currencies would be a good idea to explore. Goal: is there a way of handing this which is inexpensive at reasonable transaction volumes? Such a scheme doesn't have to match Visa's 24,000 transactions per second. It just has to be high enough to serve a population interested in anonymous transactions.

    • Sounds like Ethereum. Although it has a coin, it is more about the network so it used by many other 'coins' for transactions. It has smart contracts and applications built-in so you don't even have to have Ethereum to use it.
  • Remarkably Dumb Idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2017 @10:48PM (#55743597)

    Pretty incredible how calling a DAG a "tangle" and sprinkling in a bunch of other mathy sounding words can net you a 10 billion dollar valuation when your product isn't even functional and there's no evidence to suggest it could ever even work / be viable.

    After all, the first thing I think of when someone says IOT device is a device with no power or processing constraints that can afford to validate transactions on a network every time it needs to send data--why have miners running massive server farms when your tiny embedded devices can do all the work!

    • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @11:01PM (#55743635) Homepage

      After all, the first thing I think of when someone says IOT device is a device with no power or processing constraints that can afford to validate transactions on a network every time it needs to send data--why have miners running massive server farms when your tiny embedded devices can do all the work!

      The original idea of bitcoin was for people to use idle cpu cycles and have a sort of democracy. Instead, what has happened is that people have created huge data centers that burn thru an insane amount of energy. I'm pretty sure the inventor of bitcoin never predicted the rise of dedicated mining rigs. IOT isn't a bad replacement idea but still doesn't prevent someone from creating a "mining rig" with millions of little IOT devices. What really needs to replace bitcoin is some sort of verification that can't be faked with dedicated mining rigs. IPv4 addresses maybe? mac address? IMEI number? What is needed is something that every personal computer and/or smartphone has but can't be faked with dedicated hardware in a massive datacenter.

      • The idea to force decentralized mining is not a new one; it was the basis for choosing the Scrypt encryption algorithm behind LiteCoin. Unfortunately some clever wogs came along and figured out how to make an asic to do that work and now it's centralized too. I am working to decentralize mining by the only way I know how. I'm mining. I dropped half a BTC on miners earlier this month, and will spend many more if the company successfully delivers this batch. It's not an elegant solution, but it's what I
        • That would require a fork, and the miners make that decision. It is not in their financial interest to make that choice.

          Miners don't make the decision. People with economic power make the decision, and miners simply follow the money. This was demonstrated last month by the failure of SegWit2x, which was supported by 90% of the miners, and only 15% of the people. The miners lost.

          • Miners don't make the decision. People with economic power make the decision, and miners simply follow the money.

            That was the idea, but that isn't true. Let's say I am a miner. I want a bunch of transactions to go through. Maybe I also own an exchange. Maybe a buddy of mine does. Maybe I do a lot of moving of coins around for whatever reason I can think of. I can choose to pack those transactions into my blocks to be solved. I don't *have* to include blocks just because of their transaction fees. As a mat
            • Maybe I also own an exchange

              Then you have economic power, and you're not just a miner.

              I don't *have* to include blocks just because of their transaction fees

              No, but if you don't, then some other miner will take them, and you've just given them a monetary advantage they can use to expand their mining capacity.

              • Then you have economic power, and you're not just a miner.

                I listed a few things, included the open ended "Maybe I do a lot of moving of coins around for whatever reason I can think of", and you only focused on that? And you dismissed it because they weren't "only" a miner? My point being, there are/is/will be times where me, as a miner, want to move transactions for reasons outside of the transaction fee. You speak about "monetary advantage". Well, fees are ridiculous right now. Selling mined coins is a l
        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          Unfortunately some clever wogs came along and figured out how to make an asic to do that work and now

          SCrypt was a good choice of algorithms, but whoever selected the parameters wasn't quite aggressive enough ---- my speculation is they still wanted GPU mining to be easily or something, they could've tuned the algorithm differently to be much more memory intensive thus more expensive to build asics for.

          If a new crypto were being built today, a good choice of PoW would probably be something like

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The original idea of bitcoin was for people to use idle cpu cycles and have a sort of democracy. Instead, what has happened is that people have created huge data centers that burn thru an insane amount of energy. I'm pretty sure the inventor of bitcoin never predicted the rise of dedicated mining rigs.

        1. Two factors caused this:
        2. greed, a common human trait/defect, and
        3. the Chinese, who got 'into Bitcoin' and ruined it for everyone (see above point)
          1. Two factors caused this:
          2. greed, a common human trait/defect, and
          3. the Chinese, who got 'into Bitcoin' and ruined it for everyone (see above point)

          Other systems have had similar problems. Some of it is unavoidable. Because much of this stuff is priced in USD, people in third world countries can make more money playing games like Second Life than they can working. I don't blame the Chinese, I blame the algorithm. Any time there is profit in a system, someone will find a way to arbitrage it. The question is really, what to do now. Even if you can't fix the existing bitcoin, how can you create a new system that is resistant to centralization. The

        • This is the most obvious flaw in Libertarian ideology. It's utopian worldview quickly gets co-opted and abused by the real world.
      • by Air-conditioned cowh ( 552882 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @11:53PM (#55743803)
        IOTA is pre-mined. There is no mining to be done. That's why there are no fees for transactions. By design it doesn't need to create an incentive for people to burn high CPU loads on it. That wouldn't fly with low-powered IOT devices. The incentive for taking part is that IOT devices can collect miropayments for the data services they provide.
      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        ASIC mining is not entirely a bad thing. I've seen somewhere that having something like half ASIC, half general purpose computers would be the ideal situation for a proof-of-work mining network.

        The good thing with ASIC/specialized mining is that it requires a significant investment in something that can't really be used for anything else. It stabilizes the network. Using general purpose computers (spare CPU/GPU cycles) is good for decentralization, but it also mean that the vast majority of the network have

    • Pretty incredible how calling a DAG a "tangle" and sprinkling in a bunch of other mathy sounding words can net you a 10 billion dollar valuation when your product isn't even functional and there's no evidence to suggest it could ever even work / be viable.

      And THIS is the new bubble. Throwing real money into unicorn hunts.

      • Sounds a lot like the old bubble.

        I think it had to do with communism? commies? something like that.

        It involved dots, anyway.

    • Anyone can claim they have a $10billion valuation by picking a booger out of their nose and declaring it to be worth $10billion. Value is entirely subjective.
  • tangled web (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lkcl ( 517947 ) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Thursday December 14, 2017 @11:21PM (#55743697) Homepage

    "oh what a tangled web we weave...
      when first...."

  • by NicknameUnavailable ( 4134147 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @11:25PM (#55743713)
    The concept of tangles is great, but it's designed for IoT devices. It has no concept of mining. It is funded by an initial issue (meaning any future funds come from the developers printing money.) It has the flaw that if they ever add a mining concept it will end up with a flaw where people can take 10+ machines offline, have them validate each other, then come back online.
  • What to invest in (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Thursday December 14, 2017 @11:27PM (#55743721)
    If I had to pick other coins that aren't just stupid gimmicks and have a real function that are worth investing in right now they're:
    Lightcoin because it was the 2nd one ever invented and it's simply superior to BTC.
    Zec because transactions are NOT public, which is proving to be a problem with BTC
    Sia because is is tied to an ownerless encrypted open source dropbox cloud storage system
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You keep saying 'invest' but i don't think you know what that means. Speculate is perhaps more accurate.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think these Electric Monopoly Money Scams are not even speculation. They all operate like a Ponzi Pyramid Scheme, where purchases of latecomers are used to inflate the value of the holdings of early entrants.

    • If I had to pick other coins that aren't just stupid gimmicks and have a real function

      All altcoins have a function: to separate fools from their BTC. You can't travel back in time to buy Bitcoin when it was cheap, but you might be able to convince enough people that your shitcoin du jour is worth "investing" their Bitcoin in. Since some altcoins actually have gone up in value, the beat goes on...

    • Zec because transactions are NOT public, which is proving to be a problem with BTC

      ZEC hides transaction amounts, so the coin supply is not auditable: if someone finds an exploit to create extra coins for free, there's no obvious way to expose the flaw. It may have happened already. Besides, the underlying Zerocash tech is only understood by a handful of cryptographers.

      Conversely, Zcoin uses the older Zerocoin protocol which only hides addresses, and it is much more widely understood. Then there's also the Cryptonote family (Monero, Aeon, Boolberry, ..) with a lot more mileage in the p

  • Here's all my money!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15, 2017 @02:05AM (#55744047)

    Bitcoin blockchain is also based on DAG. This is how all Bitcoin transactions are linked with one another. in bitcoin, the transactions are stored in blocks whereas in IOTA they are not. Thus Bitcoin is predictably consistent, whereas IOTA is eventually consistent, and partial double spending is extremely common with IOTA. this is why IOTA needs centralization to enforce consistency. The infamous accumulator.

    A centralized unregulated pre-mined currency is a terrible idea.

    From the start IOTA makes conscious use of hype inflation to boost its value without offering actual value. There is a technique of associating yourself with well-known names to boost credibility, there is name dropping on Medium and history of fighting criticism without actual technical merits.

    It is a scam.

  • it all don't matter (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @02:30AM (#55744083)
    Blockchain, crypto, mining, consuming electricity, distributed verification... It all don't matter. What matter are a few things :
    1) is the value stable (e.g. not wildly fluctuating)
    2) can the supply be increased indefinitely (e.g. there are no inherent limit on the maximum amount of currency amount issued).
    3) can the supply be controlled by government and bank
    4) processing fee cost is essentially near zero for the entity processing it, like banks - and that include processing monetary fee and amount of time

    (3) is important because no country or super-national entity like EU would allow currency on which there is no control by central bank. It makes all kind of sense for monetary policies. Like it or not, baring anarchy and exchanging "caps" in a post apocalyptic world, all our economies and governmental monetary policies are based around that. I call that a condition "sina qua non" and all dreamer out there wanting to escape "government grasps" don't get what society is based on and why it is that way. Those who never learn from history...
    (1) is important because without it you have no valid currency which can be used for exchange. Wild fluctuation make buyer think twice and maybe push a buy the next day/month, because next day the currency could be worth twice what it is now. Seller refuse for the contrary reason, it could be valued as half the value the next day/month.
    (2) like it or not is important because without it you may as well go back to limited monetary policies based on the gold standard... There is a reason all countries switched to a standard which does not limit the amount of monetary supply. You are essentially stringing the economy if you limit the total amount of issuable currency (assuming the amount is something low like 50 millions bitcoins, and not a technical limitation like 2^64-1). Like it or not but current economy are not based on limiting the total supply
    (4) is simply a question of adoption. If you have processing fee of 20+$ like today, or take minutes to close and be validated, then there is no way anybody with a sane mind will adopt it as a currency, it will stay niche.


    That is why essentially I think ZERO of the crypto currency existing today will be anything but either a scam, a niche commodity, used for money washing, or a speculative bubble.
    • According to your criteria, is gold: a scam, a niche commodity, used for money washing, or a speculative bubble ?

      • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

        Obviously he is talking about the important characteristics of a CURRENCY, and nobody considers gold a currency. The comparison is meaningless.

    • I think you are incorrect to argue that the ability to indefinitely increase the supply of a currency is a good thing.

      Robert Mugabe tried that in Zimbabwe - his solution to not having enough cash to pay for basic services was to simply print more money - in practical terms precisely what you argue for here.

      What Zimbabwe have ended up with is hyper-inflation, in which most people in the country have ignored their own currency and now run their lives using the US dollar or the Euro, with some very old a
      • >I think you are incorrect to argue that the ability to indefinitely increase the supply of a currency is a good thing.

        And history shows, contrary to your view, that controlling the money supply is critical to managing the economy.

        Mugabe's problem was he didn't understand (or possibly care) that there is a limit to how much you can print before you do more harm than good.

        However, eliminating the tool altogether gives you a deflationary currency, which is a very good thing if you want to kill any growth.

      • I think arguing that someone abused something once therefore it's not necessary (which was the argument, not merely that it was a "good thing") is not reasonable. Unless you see a hard limit to which an economy will ever grow, placing a hard limit on a currency supply is absolutely going to be disastrous. It will ultimately result in deflation, which will kill investment and turn a currency into a store of value rather than an exchange medium.

        Yes, history has shown us several examples of poorly managed c

        • Unless you see a hard limit to which an economy will ever grow, placing a hard limit on a currency supply is absolutely going to be disastrous.

          How about we let the economy run on fiat money, and we keep bitcoin as a parallel currency for those of us who don't want to see their savings evaporate ?

          A soft limit, such as that advocated by Friedman

          A soft limit is no limit, because it will be removed whenever it is deemed necessary.

          • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

            What sense does that make? If you are not participating in the economy by using fiat money, exactly what are your precious bitcoins good for?

    • While not having government and corporate bank controls over you currency sounds appealing (and it is from a certain perspective), there are some obvious draw backs. No one has any regulatory control to try and manage what is going on.

      I think a interesting example if you can stretch the analogy a bit is Greece and the Euro. One can argue about the strengths of the creation of the Euro, but Greece certainly illustrated one of the drawbacks. Greece like many others, by accepting the Euro also accepts a loss o

  • "Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive"
    • by ramsun ( 62627 )

      But in this case, the second line also fits (though it wasn't by Walter Scott):

      _But when you've practiced quite a while, how vastly you improve your style!_

  • Booby trapped (Score:4, Interesting)

    by amorsen ( 7485 ) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Friday December 15, 2017 @03:34AM (#55744197)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15, 2017 @03:36AM (#55744199)

    There is another new currency, coined itoa().

    Instead of using untrustworthy integers to transmit the coin value, it uses a chain of characters called a characterchain. For example, fifteen-thousand three-hundred and eighty-five would have a characterchain of “15385” and a hexadecimal characterchain of “313533383500”. If any of the bits are changed, it will (probably) become invalid. And the null terminator ensures that any forgery by modifying the value is limited to a factor of ten (because an extra digit cannot be added, without overwriting the next piece of data)..

    In this way, it provides a trustworthy, verifiable, tamperproof, untraceable, open-source, non-central-government cryptocurrency with by-design limited supply and potentially infinite value.

  • Like outperform has ever been a thing for bitcoin. my dead grandmother could outperform bitcoin, it is a turd when it comes to performance and every cryptocurrency since has made it look terrible, doesn't seem to have hurt its popularity though.
  • So how does this IOTA tackle the double-spending problem? You know, the thing to which Bitcoin was advertised as a solution?
  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @07:18AM (#55744571) Homepage

    IOTA is an interesting concept, but it's silly to say it's not a blockchain. It absolutely is - it just allows parallel versions to exist for undetermined amounts of time, until they happen to merge together.

    IOTA also has a fundamental problem that - imho - will prove impossible to resolve. It is possible for contradictory things to happen on parallel branches. On a blockchain, this would be something like double-spending, and one of two transactions would quickly be invalidated. Since IOTA allows parallel branches to exist for indeterminate amounts of time, what happens when conflicting transactions are discovered? Potentially, you would have to roll back a very long chain of other transactions - but that same branch may have already given rise to many, many other branches in the tangle.

    As far as I can see, there are only two ways to deal with this. (1) Restrict the branching behavior - making IOTA more like a classic blockchain. (2) Only trust the IOTA ledger in a very limited scope - say, during the segment of the branch that you can see. An unrestricted tangle is fundamentally incompatible with a globally trustworthy ledger.

    • IOTA is an interesting concept, but it's silly to say it's not a blockchain. It absolutely is - it just allows parallel versions to exist for undetermined amounts of time, until they happen to merge together.

      What? You mean someone actually posted to a Slashdot cryptocurrency thread that wasn't a tulip/ponzi/monopoly money post?
      I was starting to lose hope that Slashdot comments might still contain information from people who actually know the subject matter . Thank you...

  • Sounds like a good idea, but from what I've read they control the amount of currency in the system which will just lead to a future even to cause them to start printing more currency. All the currencies suffer from this problem. Who pays the bills to keep the software up to date, or or good old fashion greed when it gets capitlized to the point that a few strokes of the keyboard could add millions of dollars to their pocket.

    The only way to get IOTAs is to trade with other currencies. Sounds like they a

  • I have two issues with this that are straight show-stoppers.

    1. 100% "pre-mined". The issuers start with literally all the money.
    2. Centralized control. The blockchain/database has been "reset" a couple of times during the alpha to recover lost coins.

    I love the scalability of this idea, but they've failed utterly at decentralizing. The lack of single authority is not a bug in Bitcoin; it's a feature. If I wanted an unaccountable organization to control the money I'd use Euros, not Iota.

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