Physically, what are bitcoins?

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

Physically, what are bitcoins?

whereismyname
whereismyname

Data. Thus electronic impulses.

Nojokur
Nojokur

just bits (but that's just a representation), bitcoins aren't real objects they're mathematical solutions to equations.

Illusionz
Illusionz

@Nojokur
this undergrad thinks that maths is not real

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

@Ignoramus
Nothing, physically.

However bitcoins are "minted" by brute forcing a random sequence of data, that when hashed with the current block data, yields a hash with a certain number of zeros at the start of it. A hash function basically takes some kind of text as input and transforms it to some random garbeldy-gook as output, except it does so in a repeatable way that a particular input will always map to the same seemingly random output. Now because you can't predict what that seemingly random output will look like, miners have to add random bits of data to the block they're try to mint over and over again, trying to find a combination of the random data that produces the output they're looking for. This brute forcing takes a lot of computational resources, and the first person to find a piece of random data that makes the block hash to a string of text with enough leading zeros gets to mint that block (which they inserted their bitcoin address into while they were minting it) and keep the payout.

Snarelure
Snarelure

Bulletproof atoms.

TechHater
TechHater

@Snarelure

Isn't it possible for someone to generate a keypair (public and private) that is already in use and has a balance on it?

eGremlin
eGremlin

@Spazyfool
My head hurts.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

Physically, what is you bank account?

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

@TechHater

Of course. A random chance is one in 2^256, meaning randomly you won't hit a match before the universe explodes.

Early on many people used a simple sha256 hash of common words. Those were guessable indeed, just bruteforce all bible words and see if there's money.

w8t4u
w8t4u

@Ignoramus

It's just a meme gone out of control

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

@Ignoramus
Information
At its most fundamental, information is any propagation of cause and effect within a system. Information is conveyed either as the content of a message or through direct or indirect observation of some thing. That which is perceived can be construed as a message in its own right, and in that sense, information is always conveyed as the content of a message.

Information can be encoded into various forms for transmission and interpretation (for example, information may be encoded into a sequence of signs, or transmitted via a sequence of signals). It can also be encrypted for safe storage and communication.

Information resolves uncertainty. The uncertainty of an event is measured by its probability of occurrence and is inversely proportional to that. The more uncertain an event, the more information is required to resolve uncertainty of that event. The bit is a typical unit of information, but other units such as the nat may be used. Example: information in one "fair" coin flip: log2(2/1) = 1 bit, and in two fair coin flips is log2(4/1) = 2 bits.

JunkTop
JunkTop

@Ignoramus
Certain sequence of 1's and 0's stored on computers in China.

People will often talk about having "X bitcoins on this USB" or "Y bitcoins on my phone" but this isn't really the case. What they have is the private keys (or "passwords") required by the network to move a certain number of coins. But the coins themselves are just data in a ledger distributed around the world.

whereismyname
whereismyname

@Nojokur
bitcoins aren't real objects they're mathematical solutions to equations.
not true
the truth is bitcoins don't exists at any place
bitcoins are not real you don't have them
what you have is a general consensus of how much of the total amount you can spend.

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

@Poker_Star
Of course. A random chance is one in 2^256, meaning randomly you won't hit a match before the universe explodes.
wrong
it means you can just as easily get it the first time as the tenth time or never. it's random.

cum2soon
cum2soon

@Crazy_Nice
Its gold senpai

eGremlin
eGremlin

@JunkTop
computers in China
Don't you get the point of Bitcoin? The idea is that it's decentralized. Your bitcoin could be in the Netherlands, Philippines, USA or Japan at any given time.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

@eGremlin
Was just joking as most mining occurs in China. Ideally the ledger is distributed globally.

ASIC chips, economies of scale, and differing energy costs hurt the intended decentralization.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

@Carnalpleasure
guess what happens if the chinese get split from the internet even for a few days!

it will be crying rivers and shouting scam as the internet rejoins and the rest of the worlds ledger get thrown out the window in a heartbeat. hundreds of thousands of transactions confirmations unmade opening up to a double spend attack.
retards will shout it's a scam but really it's the nature of the beast.

takes2long
takes2long

The bitcoin is backed by hashpower. As long as there are miners hashing the bitcoin network, the bitcoin will work as intended as a mode of payment and settlement layer. blocks will be confirmed in a timely manner. This process is computationally intensive in order to provide proof-of-work.

However, unlike gold, if all the miners of bitcoin suddenly stopped, finding it unprofitable to pay the time and energy, they may drop off the network and the bitcoin network would collapse.

Miners need to be mining bitcoin in order for it to work. If everyone stopped mining gold, the price would skyrocket, because the supply of gold is diminished.

In contrast, if all bitcoin miners stop mining, the value of bitcoin will go to zero and your coins will be worthless.

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@BlogWobbles
Nah.

Most mining occurs in China (for various economic reasons) but the ledger itself is distributed. If China was nuked off the face of the Earth at most we'd lose a few unconfirmed transactions, maybe 1 block. Anyone in Bitcoin knows transactions with <6 confirmations aren't to be trusted anyway.

The network automatically accepts the longest chain as the valid one. One of the various nodes around the world would broadcast the last seen chain and the network would carry on.

The hashrate would drop considerably opening the network up to possible 51% attacks but these attacks cannot actually steal funds and are never in the best interest of the attacker who stands to profit more by minting new coins instead of launching double-spend attacks.

The centralization of hashrate centralizes changes to the protocol which is bad but from a security standpoint doesn't really matter.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

@PackManBrainlure
you are not wrong if china was nuked everything would be alright.
The network automatically accepts the longest chain as the valid one. One of the various nodes around the world would broadcast the last seen chain and the network would carry on.
exactly what i'm talking about china comes back online they will have the longest chain i guarantee you as they have the vast majority of hashing power.

this means the rest of the worlds ledger get thrown out in an instant well a couple of minutes as it propagates.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

@PackManBrainlure
You don't know shit about Bitcoin.

askme
askme

@TalkBomber
When China "comes back online" the rest of the world will have already taken China's last broadcast chain and built on it several blocks. Mining on old chains doesn't actually create new coins, China isn't going to waste hashpower on that. They will adopt the newest chain and mine on that. There are entire networks in China built to communicate miner<->miner as soon as a new block is found so as not to waste resources, that's why you sometimes have 2 blocks mined at almost the exact same time.

@CouchChiller
Wrong. Feel free to actually counter any of the points I've made.

RavySnake
RavySnake

@askme
you have no idea what you are talking about
you have no idea how it all works or what happens at a split and rejoin

china will not know your ledger they will only know theirs they have the majority of transactions and hashpower their ledger will be much longer than the rest of the worlds which also clueless about what's going on.

your ledger will be invalidated and ever bitcoin you received in the meantime basically becomes unconfirmed and open for doubles pend with high prio by the other party.

JunkTop
JunkTop

@RavySnake
Have you ever heard of the internet? It's this cool thing where you can send information across the world almost instantly.

Lunatick
Lunatick

@RavySnake
You must be about 12 years old.

Go and read about how computers work over the internet for a couple of days.

Then read how bitcoin works

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

@JunkTop
is this guy serious?
guess what happens if the chinese get split from the internet even for a few days!
hurr durr no you are wrong!
@Lunatick
nigger i forgot about it more than you ever learned

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

Bitcoin is the obsolete digital currency that is being replaced by Etherium.

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

Magic beans

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

@Carnalpleasure
Sorry, I mistook your position.

We are in agreement: If China gets nuked the network would be fine (more or less).

If China is disconnected from the rest of the world BUT their internal infrastructure remains intact and they can continue mining (from the mempool or just empty blocks) then China would undoubtedly have the longest chain when they were later reconnected with the rest of the world and the network at large would be forced to accept their chain. This would have disastrous consequences.

Realistically China dropping off the face of the Earth would probably halt use of Bitcoin until more information became available. Still, it's possible China is nuked and the rest of the world assume it's case 1 and so begin mining their own chain only to have China return in a few days who'd been mining the whole time unbeknownst to the rest of the world.

You're right - sorry, I can't read.

Soft_member
Soft_member

not calculating by hand
fucking kids all you need is paper and pencil

Snarelure
Snarelure

@Boy_vs_Girl
from the mempool or just empty blocks
why tho? 90%+ of bitcoin transactions are chinese. for them it would be business as usual.

FastChef
FastChef

@Snarelure
anyways i did not explain in detail but i have two arguments why i think this is a real threat to bitcoin:
1) china can effectively separate it's network from the outside world simply using their firewall.
2) the internet infrastructure in reality is a lot more centralized than most people think. they talk about distributed this and that but the real broadband topology has serious points of attack. in case of a large scale chinese cyber attack it would not be hard to cut them off along with other continents that either refuse or fail to do the same.

both scenario results in the same outcome. a little chaos in the bitcoin world.

the morale of the story is if the whole net is intact then confirmations actually mean something. if it's not the case than everything must be considered an offline transaction in the meantime.

cum2soon
cum2soon

@FastChef
Super interesting, I'd not considered that type of attack before. If the Chinese government began knocking off mining operations hashrate would suffer but consensus would be fine.

If a government tried targeted the internet itself in an attempt to force "blind" hard forks faith in Bitcoin would be severely tested, possibly leading to a permanent hard fork with continent-specific BTC.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

listen here you dumdums. i dont know shit about crypto but i i have a pretty good idea about how this shit works, and please correct me where im wrong (>imblying any of this is wrong)

Bitcoins are patterns. id imagine they are expressed as a series of high/low voltage flags (learn into digital storage, flash memory) but it could be anything. On a fortran card based computer they would be a series of holes and non holes, magnetic tapes or molecular computers would be pos/neg charged particles, buying something via telegram wold be short/long beeps, or flashes of light through optical cables or a series of recited fucks and shits if stored in a torrets/autist.

mining is the process if solving some fundementally designed math problem that each crypto has at its core, maybe multiple but either way, it takes time to find an answer, one of many answers, and each solution is expressed (probably in hexidecimal, then binary then whatever hardware storage, most likely high/low voltage based addressed but certainly converted to light flashes over fibreoptics) as a pattern.

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

@CouchChiller
Shitcoin is done. Even before the mining reward is cut in half in 15 days.

Ethereum does everything bitcoin does and much more. The only real reason btc hadn't plummeted yet is that it's older so more places accept it.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

@Gigastrength
everything bitcoin does and much more

Like getting hacked.

Flameblow
Flameblow

@Soft_member
I actually mine bitcoins by hand. The hashes are pretty tough though....it hasn't gone as well as I'd hoped.

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

@Spazyfool
guiz look I'm retarded and don't understand probability
It's unlikely. Very Very unlikely. You don't seem to get just how unlikely.

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

@Ignoramus
A miserable pile of 1's and 0"s

Lunatick
Lunatick

@Ignoramus

bitcoin was created by the CIA to manage funds used to pay ISIS and other terrorist groups.

5mileys
5mileys

@Lunatick
whoops

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

@VisualMaster
but nevertheless you can get it right the first time if we are talking about random.

WebTool
WebTool

@Illusionz
why is burberry going up?

RumChicken
RumChicken

@WebTool
Why is Burberry even there?
Prob because it doesn't have the exposure to the financials as much as the banks
Pound is down, exports from UK are cheaper thus Burberry will be cheaper in relative terms of other currencies, hence more sales to come, hence going up

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