Bitcoin Prep Work: Introduction to Bitcoin Blockchain

What I Watched:

SF Bitcoin Devs Seminar: A Special Presentation By Matt Corallo of Blockstream

Link to slides.

Notes

Bitcoin is mostly focused on preventing double-spends using proof-of-work.

Proof-of-work is based off of Hashcash.

Hashcash is a poisson process.

A Bitcoin without block reward would end up as a disincentive miners to act honestly.

Confirmations: 51% hashpower isn’t necessary for a short-term attack.

Writing consensus code is interestingly difficult.

The coding to consensus slide was probably the most interesting part of the talk, at least to me.

Conclusion

Great talk – I learned a lot about forking, and the Bad Ideas section was very enlightening.

The thing I really took away from this talk was: Bitcoin is a fragile system, but has a GREAT incentive structure, that takes weaknesses (eg. miners could try and double-spend) into strengths (if they double-spend, it destroys the use case).

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