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gavinandresen
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I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:56 pm

Things I get asked a lot that I'll answer up front:

No, I'm not him. No, I don't know who he is; we only ever communicated in non-real-time via email or forum message.

I stumbled across Bitcoin in May of 2010 (this InfoWorld article).

Yes, I really did give away 10,000 bitcoin through the Bitcoin Faucet. No, sorry, they're all gone, I don't have any more to give away.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:59 pm

Hi Gavin,

Do you find yourself inspired to be involved with Bitcoin for the same reasons today, as you did originally?
What were those primary motivating reasons then, as well as today?

Thank you so much for everything you have done to move bitcoin ahead!
Help spread Bitcoin by linking to everything mentioned here:
topic7039.html

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flix
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:00 pm

Hi Gavin.

How much time do we have before the Bitcoin protocol begins to ossify?

What are the most necessary changes, additions that we need to include before it becomes almost impossible to modify it anymore?

seenitor
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:02 pm

Hi Gavin,
thanks for doing this.

Do you see a chance Bitcoin Core will come to a "consensus" to raise the block size limit in some way after the Hong Kong conference? I seems Mike doesn't think so at all: "Core won’t raise the limit" https://medium.com/@octskyward/on-block ... .dzgubhu3m

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:03 pm

Thanks for your work and for taking time to do this AMA.

Can you please share your thoughts about the recent events on the main bitcoin subreddit and english language forum (censorship, Blockstream/Anti-xt propaganda)?

Do you think that the actions and statements of Theymos/Blockstream were highly damaging for the community?

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:06 pm

I see competing requirements for bitcoin full nodes. For example, Low latency for fast block propagation but bandwidth shaping for home nodes and xmit/recv capping for quantity limited plans. Yet these "limited" nodes can still be valuable. For example, they can easily service SPV wallet requests.

How can we evolve the bitcoin network to optimize the node's role to its capabilities? Does it make sense to have completely different protocols (like the miner's fast propagation network) to handle different capabilities? Will multiple protocols have positive or detrimental effects (and what would some of those be)?

Anyway, just some things I've been thinking about and would be interested in any of your thoughts on these matters...

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:07 pm

Dear Gavin,

Thank you for making Bitcoin better!

How do you track scaling progress (or lack thereof) in the Bitcoin-core project? In your opinion, will Bitcoin-core increase the limit in the next 3 months?

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:10 pm

Hi Gavin,

Thanks for doing this.
Whats your personal bet on the current different crypto-currencies, if you had to choose 3 of them to survive in 5-10 years, which would it be?

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:14 pm

Hi Gavin,

Favorite video game all time?

Favorite book all time?

Favorite movie all time?

Theres only so many Bitcoin questions to ask, I've seen/read so much about your views I feel I know what you might answer.

So I went a little "off topic"! (hope thats ok)

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:20 pm

Hi Gavin, thanks for doing this AMA!

What do you think is Bitcoin's biggest innovation (benefit) that it brings to the world? What is the greatest thing about it, to you?

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:22 pm

Gavin, is there a formal process to stop companies like Miners Center (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bitcoin-i ... NlYwNzcg--) from scamming people out of their bitcoins? Yes, I know people should be stupid enough to fall for things like this but at the same time shouldn't the community do something to educate people and warn them again things like this? It should be illegal to pretend to be a legitimate organization to prey on the innocent. http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/11/01 ... is-a-scam/

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:23 pm

Hi Gavin,
Do you find yourself inspired to be involved with Bitcoin for the same reasons today, as you did originally?
What were those primary motivating reasons then, as well as today?
I like working on interesting new technologies that have the potential to have a positive impact on the world. That's what drew me to Bitcoin in the beginning, and that still inspires me today.

Eventually the technology behind Bitcoin will stop being interesting to me-- and that's when I'll wander off and try to find something else to keep me busy.

That might surprise some people-- after all, if I believe that Bitcoin will have a positive impact on the world, why not work on it forever?

I'll feel comfortable stepping away because Bitcoin gets the incentives right-- there are lots of people with strong incentives to see Bitcoin succeed, and any one person's ability to help make Bitcoin succeedbecomes smaller and smaller over time.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:25 pm

Hi Gavin

Thank You for this opportunity,

I was recently taken back completely by two things I couldn't find... (I'll justify why I was trying to find them only as a point of reference)
1. PayPal to BTC (I was paid by an international counterpart to PayPal, I couldn't swop my incoming money to BTC)
2. A decentralized Bitcoin will. (I am a single dad, I have two children, I want to will / bequeath my BTC to my kids, it's not that easy)

My Questions...
A) Do you see potential for the viability in this?
B) Do you see a valid reason why it wouldn't be available?
C) Would you consider working on the development of such services with me? (I'm no developer) [My you dared me to ask anything...haha!]

Finally...
Thank you for giving your time to this, it's a really generous thing to do.

Al

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:26 pm

How much time do we have before the Bitcoin protocol begins to ossify?

What are the most necessary changes, additions that we need to include before it becomes almost impossible to modify it anymore?
The Bitcoin protocol began to ossify back at the first transaction between Satoshi and Hal. The bigger it gets, the more people impacted, and the more careful "we" have to be about changing things.

If there are reasonable processes for making changes (e.g. some IETF-like process) then I don't think it will ever be impossible to make changes. In fact, with a good process I think it would be easier to make changes that today.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:30 pm

Hi Gvain

Thanks to all of your hard work, we owe you a lot. I sincerely hope XT gets a super majority as transactions grow and fee pressure builds. But what would you say to the argument that 75% is not a high enough threshold?

Thanks

danster82
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:31 pm

Hello Gavin

Do you have any plans to release your own altcoin where you can freely set all the parameters you want without any politics getting in the way?

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:33 pm

Do you see a chance Bitcoin Core will come to a "consensus" to raise the block size limit in some way after the Hong Kong conference? I seems Mike doesn't think so at all: "Core won’t raise the limit" https://medium.com/@octskyward/on-block ... .dzgubhu3m
Mike and I have been really frustrated by "the other side's" unwillingness to meaningfully engage.

I'm still trying, but (as I said in a private email this morning) it is impossible to collaborate if one side refuses to communicate.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:34 pm

Hi Gavin - Thanks so much for all the great work, highly appreciated.

Seeing all the interesting features brought from the other cryptocurrencies, I wonder what is the one that would be most beneficial to Bitcoin. Let's say you can add any one feature immediately and guaranteed bug-free, which one would it be? turing-complete? privacy? else?

Thanks again!!

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:35 pm

Can you please share your thoughts about the recent events on the main bitcoin subreddit and english language forum (censorship, Blockstream/Anti-xt propaganda)?

Do you think that the actions and statements of Theymos/Blockstream were highly damaging for the community?
"highly damaging" is an exaggeration, I think. Damaging, yes, but you have to remember any online community is like an iceberg-- the number of people who actively participate is dwarfed by the number of people who are blissfully unaware of all of the "inside baseball" discussions and controversies.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:35 pm

Gavin,

Mike Hearn claims that miners will switch their vote to BIP 101 if there is no proposal to increase block size from core developers by December.
In talking with miners and companies, one thing I’m hearing repeatedly is “we will wait for the second conference in December. If there’s no progress by then, we’ll switch to BIP 101”.
Is this true?
Last edited by flix on Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:35 pm

Hi Gavin - Thank you for the contributions you've made to bitcoin, and thanks for doing this AMA. :)

Given that miners exist to serve bitcoin (not the other way around), how much weight do you think should be given to the needs/wants of existing miners when considering changes to the bitcoin protocol?
Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:36 pm

Hi Gavin,

In order to advance Bitcoin adoption rates for merchants, there has to be a concerted industry effort. BitPay spent huge on this effort but unfortunately their great campaigns have not had legs. Who do you think should take on the responsibility of leading the members of the "Bitcoin Industry" in efforts to embrace and educate the retail industry. My efforts to get the BF to do this have been unsuccessful.

Thanks for doing the AMA and thanks for hosting it Roger!

Brett Russell
BIGbtc - Bitcoin Integration Group

Blog: https://BIGbtc.ca/blogBIG

https://BIGbtc.ca - Toronto, Canada

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:38 pm

I see competing requirements for bitcoin full nodes. For example, Low latency for fast block propagation but bandwidth shaping for home nodes and xmit/recv capping for quantity limited plans. Yet these "limited" nodes can still be valuable. For example, they can easily service SPV wallet requests.

How can we evolve the bitcoin network to optimize the node's role to its capabilities? Does it make sense to have completely different protocols (like the miner's fast propagation network) to handle different capabilities? Will multiple protocols have positive or detrimental effects (and what would some of those be)?

Anyway, just some things I've been thinking about and would be interested in any of your thoughts on these matters...
Great questions!

I think specialization is inevitable as the Bitcoin ecosystem matures, so I think we WILL see special protocols and software for miners versus people who want to run fully validating nodes at home.

I think that's a good thing, and will have positive effects. Eleven diverse networks running different protocols would be more robust than the one we have now....

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:40 pm

How do you track scaling progress (or lack thereof) in the Bitcoin-core project? In your opinion, will Bitcoin-core increase the limit in the next 3 months?
I think there is a small chance some consensus will arise (without me) out of the Hong Kong meeting. I'd guess a 20% chance if I try really hard to be optimistic.

That seems to be the only way the Bitcoin-core project will make any progress on the block size limit.

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:45 pm

Thanks for doing this.
Whats your personal bet on the current different crypto-currencies, if you had to choose 3 of them to survive in 5-10 years, which would it be?
What do you mean by "survive" ? I think lots of the smaller crypto-currencies will continue to exist in 5-10 years; people seem to be willing to put up with AWOL developers and long slow price declines and STILL trade "me-too" currencies.

I would be surprised if the 5-10 year price chart versus BTC of any of the other cryptocurrencies showed them getting more valuable versus bitcoin. The network effect is just too strong.

That said, I am often surprised, so there's a very good chance I'm wrong.

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:48 pm

Favorite video game all time?

Favorite book all time?

Favorite movie all time?

Theres only so many Bitcoin questions to ask, I've seen/read so much about your views I feel I know what you might answer.

So I went a little "off topic"! (hope thats ok)
Are you trying to crack my brainwallet? :)
(kidding, I don't have any brainwallets, I don't trust my brain that much)

Video game: Lemmings.
Book: Slaughterhouse Five
Movie: Brazil

(Theme is "dark but funny" I suppose)

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:50 pm

Hey Gavin,

thanks für all you've done so far!

Do you think there should eventually be only 1 cryptocurrency or do you think having 2-3 main cryptocurrencies is good to have some competition and room for the free market to decide at least on that level (I think the market can't decide the direction bitcoin is going right now as a small group of people has the power to shape it as they want).

If you think alternative currencies have their value, do you think bitcoin should make a side chain between e.g. ethereum and bitcoin possible?

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:51 pm

What do you think is Bitcoin's biggest innovation (benefit) that it brings to the world? What is the greatest thing about it, to you?
I think it's biggest innovation is that it lets anybody innovate, on a global scale, in an area where innovation was formerly highly restricted -- payments and money.

That is the greatest thing about it, and I think it is really important to let people innovate, even if I might personally think whatever it is they're doing is a stupid idea.

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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:53 pm

Gavin how do you feel about the development of "permissioned" blockchains? Do you think there is innovation within these centralized ledger concepts?

~ Thanks Jamie R.

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gavinandresen
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Re: I'm Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin geek. Ask me anything!

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:57 pm

Gavin, is there a formal process to stop companies like Miners Center (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bitcoin-i ... NlYwNzcg--) from scamming people out of their bitcoins? Yes, I know people should be stupid enough to fall for things like this but at the same time shouldn't the community do something to educate people and warn them again things like this? It should be illegal to pretend to be a legitimate organization to prey on the innocent. http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/11/01 ... is-a-scam/
I don't know. Are there role models we can follow that are effective at keeping scams to a minimum?

For example, last year I got a lot of "Hello sir, we are Windows Technical Support, our systems has detected that your computer has a virus and I am calling to help fix your computer" phone call scams, but I haven't got any recently. Did they give up? Were they shut down?

I think trying to educate people about scams is a good idea... but it is really hard to get people's attention. Maybe it is getting easier in our social-media-saturated world... but, again, I don't know nuthin about how to educate consumers so they don't get ripped off.

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