This FAQ thread serves to inform both new and existing users about common Bitcoin issues, complaints, and comments that readers coming to this Bitcoin subreddit may have. This is a living and breathing document, which will change over time. If you have suggestions on how to change it, please comment below or message the mods.
What is /r/btc?
Bitcoin is commonly abbreviated as BTC, hence the name. The /r/btc reddit community was originally created as a community to discuss bitcoin. It quickly gained momentum in August 2015 when the bitcoin block size debate heightened. On the legacy /r/bitcoin subreddit it was discovered that moderators were heavily censoring discussions that were not inline with their own opinions.
Once realized, the subreddit subscribers began to openly question the censorship which led to thousands of redditors being banned from the /r/bitcoin subreddit. A large number of redditors switched to other subreddits such as /r/bitcoin_uncensored and /r/btc. For a run-down on the history of censorship, please read A (brief and incomplete) history of censorship in /r/bitcoin by John Blocke and /r/Bitcoin Censorship, Revisted by John Blocke. Update October 2017: As yet another example, /r/bitcoin censored 5,683 posts and comments just in the month of September 2017 alone. This shows the sheer magnitude of censorship that is happening. Read a synopsis of /r/bitcoin to get the full story and a complete understanding of why people are so upset with /r/bitcoin's censorship.
Why is censorship bad for Bitcoin?
As demonstrated above, censorship has become prevalent in almost all of the major Bitcoin communication channels. The impacts of censorship in Bitcoin are very real. "Censorship can really hinder a society if it is bad enough. Because media is such a large part of people’s lives today and it is the source of basically all information, if the information is not being given in full or truthfully then the society is left uneducated [...] Censorship is probably the number one way to lower people’s right to freedom of speech." By censoring certain topics and specific words, people in these Bitcoin communication channels are literally being brain washed into thinking a certain way, molding the reader in a way that they desire; this has a lasting impact especially on users who are new to Bitcoin. Censoring in Bitcoin is the direct opposite of what the spirit of Bitcoin is, and should be condemned anytime it occurs. Also, it's important to think critically, and have an open mind.
What is the goal of /r/btc?
This subreddit is a diverse community dedicated to the success of bitcoin. /r/btc honors the spirit and nature of Bitcoin being a place for open and free discussion about Bitcoin without the interference of moderators. Subscribers at anytime can look at and review the public moderator logs. This subreddit does have rules as mandated by reddit that we must follow plus a couple of rules of our own. Make sure to read the /r/btc wiki for more information and resources about this subreddit which includes information such as the benefits of Bitcoin, how to get started with Bitcoin, and more.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency, also called a virtual currency, which can be transacted for a low-cost nearly instantly from anywhere in the world. Bitcoin also powers the blockchain, which is a public immutable and decentralized global ledger. Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars, bitcoins are issued and managed without the need for any central authority whatsoever. There is no government, company, or bank in charge of bitcoin. As such, it is more resistant to wild inflation and corrupt banks. With bitcoin, you can be your own bank. Read the Bitcoin whitepaper to further understand the schematics of how Bitcoin works. You can download a Bitcoin client to start fully using Bitcoin today; note that it takes time to sync full clients, which can take anywhere from 7 hours to over 24 hours for the initial blockchain download depending on your hardware and bandwidth.
How do I buy Bitcoin?
You can buy Bitcoin on an exchange or with a brokerage. If you're looking to buy Bitcoin with your credit card you can simply visit this buy Bitcoin link to get started quickly and safely. There are several others places to buy Bitcoin too; please check the sidebar under brokers, exchanges, and trading for other go-to service providers to begin buying and trading Bitcoin. Make sure to do your homework first before choosing an exchange to ensure you are choosing the right one for you.
How do I store my Bitcoin securely?
After the initial step of buying your first Bitcoin, you will need a Bitcoin wallet to secure your bitcoin. Knowing which Bitcoin wallet to choose is the second most important step in becoming a Bitcoin user. Since you are investing funds into Bitcoin, choosing the right Bitcoin wallet for you is a critical step that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Use this guide to help you choose the right wallet for you. Check the sidebar under Bitcoin wallets to get started and find a wallet that you can store your Bitcoin in.
Why is my transaction taking so long to process?
Bitcoin transactions typically confirm in ~10 minutes. A confirmation means that the Bitcoin transaction has been verified by the network through the process known as mining. Once a transaction is confirmed, it cannot be reversed or double spent. Transactions are included in blocks.
Over the past year, the Bitcoin network has hit its maximum capacity of 1MB of available transaction space (block size limit) causing fees to rise and block confirmations to slow. If you have sent out a Bitcoin transaction and it’s delayed, chances are the fee you used wasn’t enough to out-compete others causing it to be backlogged. The transaction won’t confirm until it clears the backlog. To help with this as a temporary solution, you can check fee estimator services to help you figure out the right fee to pay or use a transaction accelerator service to help get an already broadcast transaction mined and confirmed.
Why does my transaction cost so much, I thought Bitcoin was supposed to be cheap?
As described above, transaction fees have spiked in the past year mainly due to a limit on transaction space. This has created what is called a fee market, which has primarily been a premature artificially induced price increase on transaction fees due to the limited amount of block space available (supply vs. demand). The original plan was for fees to help secure the network when the block reward decreased and eventually stopped, but the plan was not to reach that point until some time in the future, around the year 2140.
What is the block size limit?
The original Bitcoin client didn’t have a block size cap, however was limited to 32MB due to the Bitcoin protocol message size constraint. However, in July 2010 Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto introduced a temporary 1MB limit as an anti-DDoS measure. The temporary measure from Satoshi Nakamoto was made clear three months later when Satoshi said the block size limit can be increased again by phasing it in when it’s needed (when the demand arises). When introducing Bitcoin on the cryptography mailing list in 2008, Satoshi said that scaling to Visa levels “would probably not seem like a big deal.”
How can the block size be increased to accommodate more transactions?
There have been many discussions and proposals to increase the block size over the past couple of years, so far without any success. The most recent way introduced by a group of developers has been through a new client called Bitcoin Unlimited (BU), which removes the temporary limit like the original client and lets the free market decide what block size is best, allowing for on-chain scaling. The BU plan is to accomplish this via a hard fork. Another recent alternative has been Segregated Witness (SegWit), which only allows a limited amount more of transactions through a signature optimization, removing signature data from conventional transactions and placing it into a new space, called the transaction witness. SegWit has been deployed as a soft fork (but not active), although it could also be implemented as a hard fork.
What is a hard fork?
A hard fork is when a block is broadcast under a new and different set of protocol rules which is accepted by nodes that have upgraded to support the new protocol. In this case, Bitcoin diverges from a single blockchain to two separate blockchains (a majority chain and a minority chain). Some argue that having two chains is problematic, but that is only the case if you believe that the minority chain will survive and have more market value than the majority chain. Read more about hard forks in our Hard Fork mega thread.
What is a soft fork?
A soft fork is when a block is broadcast under a new and different set of protocol rules, but the difference is that nodes don’t realize the rules have changed, and continue to accept blocks created by the newer nodes. Some argue that soft forks are bad because they trick old-unupdated nodes into believing transactions are valid, when they may not actually be valid.
Doesn't it hurt decentralization if we increase the block size?
Some argue that by lifting the limit on transaction space, that the cost of validating transactions on individual nodes will increase to the point where people will not be able to run nodes individually, giving way to centralization. This is a false dilemma because at this time there is no proven metric to quantify decentralization; although it has been shown that the current level of decentralization will remain with or without a block size increase. It's a logical fallacy to believe that decentralization only exists when you have people all over the world running full nodes. The reality is that only people with the income to sustain running a full node (even at 1MB) will be doing it. So whether it's 1MB, 2MB, or 4MB, the costs of doing business is negligible for the people who can already do it. If the block size limit is removed, this will also allow for more users worldwide to use and transact introducing the likelihood of having more individual node operators. Decentralization is not a metric, it's a direction. This is a good video describing the direction of how decentralization should look.
Additionally, the effects of increasing the block capacity beyond 1MB has been studied with results showing that up to 4MB is safe and will not hurt decentralization (Cornell paper, PDF). Other papers also show that no block size limit is safe (Peter Rizun, PDF). Lastly, through an informal survey among all top Bitcoin miners, many agreed that a block size increase between 2-4MB is acceptable.
What is the block size debate all about anyways?
The block size debate boils down to different sets of users who are trying to come to consensus on the best way to scale Bitcoin for growth and success. Scaling Bitcoin has actually been a topic of discussion since Bitcoin was first released in 2008; for example you can read how Satoshi Nakamoto was asked about scaling here and how he thought at the time it would be addressed. Fortunately Bitcoin has seen tremendous growth and by the year 2013, scaling Bitcoin had became a hot topic. For a run down on the history of scaling and how we got to where we are today, see the Block size limit debate history lesson post.
What is Bitcoin Cash?
This is a question we are seeing a lot of since Bitcoin hard forked on August 1, 2017. Bitcoin Cash (symbol: BCH) is just a newer version of Bitcoin that split in August in attempt to solve the scaling problems that have been plaguing Bitcoin for years. At it's core Bitcoin Cash is just a continuation of the Bitcoin project that allows for bigger blocks which will give way to more growth and adoption. You can read more about Bitcoin Cash in this mega thread or learn the difference between legacy Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
What is SegWit2x?
Called SegWit2X, the upgrade plan calls for a very specific fork (or a change to Bitcoin's rules), one that would make certain rules valid that weren't valid before. Specifically, Segwit2x would change the size of the blocks passed regularly around the network and stored in the blockchain from 1 MB to 2 MB to allow for more onchain capacity and growth.
The SegWit2X announcement explains the upgrade to 2MB was first discussed at the ‘Hong Kong Roundtable Agreement’, and had further solidified at the ‘New York Agreement’ (NYA) this year at the Consensus conference. Both agreements involved implementing SegWit first and a block size increase from 1MB to 2MB later.
"The November 2017 upgrade to 2MB blocks is a hard-fork, but necessary changes are trivial to perform," explains the Segwit2x working group’s announcement. The targeted hard fork date is set to trigger on block height 494784, which is estimated to happen on or around November 16, 2017.
Please read the SegWit2X readiness checklist for more details and information about compatible clients.
Bitcoin is a fluid ever changing system. If you want to keep up with Bitcoin, we suggest that you subscribe to /r/btc and stay in the loop here, as well as other places to get a healthy dose of perspective from different sources. Also, check the sidebar for additional resources. Have more questions? Submit a post and ask your peers for help!
Recently, /u/BitcoinXio wrote that StopAndDecrypt is rumored to be master-of-propaganda WhalePanda. I didn’t find more information on this and did some research on my own.
Both are registered on a platform called keybase.io, a „key directory that maps social media identities to encryption keys“ (Wikipedia). You can find their public profiles here and here. Both linked their Twitter and Reddit handles so we can be certain that the profiles really belong to StopAndDecrypt and Whalepanda.
With keybase.io you also can link devices to your profile. To view their linked devices click on „[n] devices“. You might notice that both registered a phone as well as a computer on the same day. When you click on the „chain“ tab, you can see their keybase.io history including all timestamps. This information is also available as raw data and has been made available here and here in case it’s needed for later reference.
When writing down all the events of both accounts and ordering them by timestamp, it looks like some person did register both, whalepanda first and s&d second. This is no proof but evidence that both accounts might be run by the same person(s).
Another interesting observation here is that both have a gap of about 25 minutes before verifying their Twitter account (which usually is a thing of 1-2 minutes). Basically, their whole registration and linking process has a similar pattern but moved by 90 minutes, coincidence? I still have no idea what they did in the time before linking Twitter.
By the way, StopAndDecrypt linked a bitcoin address in the past but deleted it. Funds from this address originate from another address (over temp-addresses 18udgDPWxuTcfwx8RNEK4ghun8oiTVntZ2 and 12g7z1bmfMQ2CDGsjeMm5qiC5QRMqWwpcD) previously. Proceeding from this address, some payments with equal amounts have been sent to different addresses. This looks like some employees (including StopAndDecrypt) have been paid. However, I don’t want to spread rumours. Also, the funds on StopAndDecrypt’s address have been further moved to an exchange that appears to be Binance. I invite people to do some chain analysis: It’s there to all eternity on the core chain.
Edit: /u/Coinstage found some identities that Whalepanda is hiding behind. So StopAndDecrypt might just be another account.
Hello everyone - I searched and saw a few other threads of similar nature, but didn't quite get down to the same points or solutions that I think are worth discussing...so I figured it's worth another:
I'm guessing most of you are familiar with Patreon or have perhaps even been donators or content creators who receive funds on it. Content creators need to get paid (if they're creating content worthy of payment) and Patreon helps facilitate that.
Besides the obvious advantages of using BCH instead of fiat for less potential for censorship and lower fees, I believe the critical sticking point is allowing for subscriptions instead of just one time payments.
There's a great book called The Automatic Customer which details why businesses which work on a subscription model are so valuable. (In short, predictable recurring revenue streams which are friction-less for the customer generate a much more profitable business in the long run than asking the customer to pay up over and over again via a la carte purchases.) This is a key element to the Patreon style model that I believe wasn't fully apreciated in previous threads.
There are two main sticking points (I'm sure there are more, these are the two that stick out to me now):
BCH/cryptocurrency isn't as easily "pulled" from a users account as is fiat. As a result, I would think the only way to do make this happen is to help facilitate the user to keep the related wallet containing enough funds to allow for continuous subscription, similar how he/she would keep money in his/her checking account for recurring bank drafts. Perhaps, email reminders/notifications could be built in when the funds get low.
Similar to Patreon, allowing for exclusive content or rewards for various donation levels would allow for the requisite value to be transacted between the user and the creator and would be a critical element for implementation as well.
Those are just some thoughts from a non-technical but regular bitcoin user and content creator put out with the hope that those of you with diverse backgrounds, skills, and knowledge can provide some additional insight.
Thanks for your time and for all the work that you all do to make BCH great.
The last start of a system such as Lightning is the creation of a system that mirrors a Strangler fig. This is portrayed in the image below. The Lightning system itself becomes the token, leaving Bitcoin, Litecoin and all Blockchains as dead and hollow ghosts of their former state. The myth is that we need to have an underlying system such as Bitcoin. I say myth here as the truth is we live in a world where legal tender is no longer backed by sound monetary policy and is designed to support the goals of the state.
In time, if Lightning was to become a trusted medium of exchange, it leads to the perverse scenario where it no longer requires a commodity base to make it work. This leads to a system of State currency that eats cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) away leaving only the promise of what it was. Some will get rich from this, but the system will not be Bitcoin, it will be a form of government exchanges and banks that swap account balances.
You can be told how this will never occur, but there is no other end. Exchanges and Lightning hubs are already systems that come within the control of the legal system. Once the controls and requirements to alter balances are incorporated (and this path leads to a Proof of State system with a Ripple-like consensus), the system is just the shell of what created it.
Lightning becomes the system that enslaves, not the system that frees the world.
It has been (deceptively) argued that for Bitcoin to use Payment channels, a malleability fix is required. This was and never shall be the case. Payment channels have been a feature of Bitcoin since the initial release. It was later that many of the features that helped make this simpler have been disabled and removed.
The truth is one of bitcoin being stronger as an alloy. SegWit (Segregated Witness) was incorporated into bitcoin to remove a (disingenuously) created vulnerability that never existed. The argued reason was to allow Bitcoin to utilise payment channels . The truth is payment channels do not require non-malleable transactions. The only requirement for removing Malleability is to allow Lightning to act as a promissory note over Bitcoin and other blockchains. That is, to allow it to consume Bitcoin and to remove the economic system that created bitcoin.
The Lighting System differs from anything that Bitcoin used. It is a system of punishment-based bi-directional payment channels. It uses negative inducements rather than positive economic incentives as would be the case in Bitcoin natively. Punishment based channels of the form implemented in Lightning require a malleability fix. Payment channels and even atomic swaps can be completed without a malleability fix. A non-issue.
A high-frequency system such as we see discussed above never required malleability to be removed. Malleability is of no concern to this system.
The thing that matters far more than any of the technical uses of Malleability is what malleability breaks. It makes the creation of a parasitic overlay more difficult and economically less viable. Bitcoin is a system that is resilient in many ways. The central aspect of this is that in its true form, it can capture other systems while remaining challenging to capture itself. More than anything else, SegWit and related “fixes” remove this resilience.
Without some level of transaction Malleability, the system can easily fragment into many coins, and these can then be captured (and consumed) by a system that is a digital equivalent of the existing fiat system. If you want to create a system that replaces fiat with a system controlled by the banks and government but which is more insidious… then you should be supporting SegWit and Lightning.
A miner of Bitcoin Core (BTC) should be concerned. BTC Hodl’ers should be concerned. Lightning required that malleability be removed as this allows the system to move to long-term channels that with cross chain swaps can eventually remove the underlying commodity cryptocurrency. As noted above, this in all forms is a security and is in the range of systems that require registering and management under the various AML/CTF laws.
In any system where there are asymmetries, one side has an advantage. In Bitcoin, the network was incentivised asymmetrically to allow for the growth of a small world and eventually a near complete graph. In Lighting, this forms a loose mesh with a small number of centrally controlled choke points. The economics of each system are designed with distinctly separate goals in mind.
Removing transaction malleability does not make Bitcoin more secure, it allows for a system of off chain swaps. It makes the creation and integration of side-chains simpler and removes one of the critical aspects of Bitcoin, scarcity. When Lightning (or another system in a similar form) can set the terms of the settlement and, in time even alter settlement to remove the requirement to hold the currency, we end where we are now. A system that has and will be debased.
At least Bitcoin Cash (BCH) managed to avoid this trap.
Back when Bitcoin was still A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System it grew to dominate the entire cryptosphere.
Blockstream/core took over this growing, established, disruptive coin with its mind-blowing dominant market position of 95.9% and trashed it down to 40.0% today. Just imagine where we would be now if we could have avoided the blockstream reference client capture.
Well get this: With the August fork, Bitcoin became Cash again!
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is destined to dominate the cryptosphere simply because it is the only coin to have achieved it before.
The coingeek youtube channel is indeed a great source for bch-related videos with high quality content. But only few have subscribed so far, which is a shame.
Hi, I'm looking for a platform to accept crypto on my online store. I'd prefer it to accept bitcoin cash and as many other crypto's as possible. And I'd prefer if it was anonymous as far as I didn't have to put my info or customers didn't have to put their info in as well. Thanks!
Welcome to /r/btc! Home of: Up to date Bitcoin discussions, News and Exclusive AMA (Ask Me Anything) interviews from top Bitcoin industry leaders, and more! Bitcoin is the *currency of the Internet*. A distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Unlike traditional currencies such as dollars, bitcoins are issued and managed without the need for any central authority whatsoever.