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Offline Rune

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Turns out the attack isn't possible. The assumption that miners can always mine empty blocks that the main chain has to accept is mistaken. Developers would release a full node update in response that rejects empty blocks based on some criteria of  and there would be a network partition if this was ever attempted.

The good news is that it means no one can perform this attack, so we won't be at risk by some competitor or mining pool creating a bitcoin 2.0 blockchain that destroys us. Unfortunately this also means that bitcoin will probably never be able to upgrade its consensus algorithm away from POW, and will have to become irrelevant eventually, which I think is a shame.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 11:22:31 AM by Rune »

Offline nomoreheroes7

Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 04:11:04 PM »
I couldn't bring myself to read all of that...but what I did read sounds incredible.

You have a keen mind, Rune.  +5%

Offline luckybit

Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 04:32:21 PM »
It looks like a hostile takeover.
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Offline fluxer555

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 04:45:19 PM »
Holy shit.

Offline xeroc

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2014, 04:51:02 PM »
It looks like a hostile takeover.
Yeah .. but I like it ...

let me read it again more carefully
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Offline biophil

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2014, 04:53:09 PM »
Rune, you crazy guy, this looks like a very clever idea, but my gut tells me it would never work. I'll see if I can convince my gut to tell me why it's so pessimistic, but first a question: When a mining pool publishes an ERB, do they collect the normal bitcoin block reward for it as well as the future reward they get at exodus?

Offline Ben Mason

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 04:55:29 PM »
Mind blowing.

Offline fluxer555

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2014, 05:05:27 PM »
I wonder at what lengths Bitcoiners would do to stop pools that are mining ERBs.

This will also inevitably put us at war with Bitcoin, especially if this fails. We may see much more transaction spamming, DDoS, new exploits, etc. from Bitcoin Zealots. The resulting climate of the combined effect of these attacks on BTS with the hostile takeover of BTC will be very hard to predict...

Offline Rune

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 05:10:30 PM »
Rune, you crazy guy, this looks like a very clever idea, but my gut tells me it would never work. I'll see if I can convince my gut to tell me why it's so pessimistic, but first a question: When a mining pool publishes an ERB, do they collect the normal bitcoin block reward for it as well as the future reward they get at exodus?

I think that would be a bad idea, as that could allow for the selling on of ERB's and would perhaps make it less obvious when the bitcoin blockchain is ready for the exodus (when every other block is an ERB). If miners are forced to hold onto the normal bitcoins in the ERB if they want to collect the bonus bitcoins post-exodus it will make them more vested into seeing the exodus go through, I think. I'm not sure if it really matters though.

The way I see it would work is this: When the bitcoin network stops and the new genesis block is created, the developers who make it basically manually go through a list of all ERB's they can detect that fulfill the rules of the social contract (no transactions, the word "bitshares" embedded into it). If the 25 bitcoins still sit in the same address as when the block was mined, they are manually changed to x times as many, creating the bonus bitcoins out of thin air and allowing the miners to claim them just like they claim all their other post-exodus bitcoins.

I guess the  we would vote the new genesis block into effect, we will all attempt to go through the block and make sure everything is according to the social contract, so that the transition is as smooth as possible with no errors (any error would cost us dearly, and would mean we would have to be very careful). It's possible that we would have to have the bitcoin network shut down for at least 24 hours just to be totally sure that everything is as it should be, before we vote the genesis block into effect. During this time exchanges would still work, and anyone needing to do blockchain transactions would have already moved over to bitshares as it would continue to function normally. Hodlers wouldn't need to do anything though, they could just wait for the exodus to happen and claim their new bitcoins whenever they need them. In case the new genesis block is wrong and isn't accepted by the miners, or is too slow, they would resume processing transactions on the bitcoin network and the exodus would fail, so we will have to be swift and effective. A failed exodus would hurt bitcoin a lot more than it would hurt bitshares, so there is no chance this will be used as some angle of attack - if the exodus is about to happen then the bitshares market cap will already be at 1 billion USD.

Offline fluxer555

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 05:16:53 PM »

Offline Riverhead

Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 05:20:27 PM »

Only flaw I can see, and I may have missed it somewhere in the Wall-O-Text is:

Would the migration from POW to DPOS of the miners need to happen in a shorter time frame than the diff adjustment? Otherwise each major miner that started to mine ERB's instead would be making mining more profitable for whoever is left because the diff would start to nose dive. Then you'd have an uptick in the number of miners and the cycle continues.

Offline Rune

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 05:24:09 PM »
I wonder at what lengths Bitcoiners would do to stop pools that are mining ERBs.

This will also inevitably put us at war with Bitcoin, especially if this fails. We may see much more transaction spamming, DDoS, new exploits, etc. from Bitcoin Zealots. The resulting climate of the combined effect of these attacks on BTS with the hostile takeover of BTC will be very hard to predict...

I've already thought about this, and my initial conclusion is that there is nothing a bitcoin holder can do beyond normal internet shitstorms. I believe their initial reaction will be to simply dismiss that this can possibly happen, and the anger will not come until it is already obvious that the acquisition cannot be prevented. At that point if they wish to continue holding bitcoins then they will be hurting their own investment by attacking bitshares.

There is no doubt that the price of both bitcoin and bitshares would become wildly volatile once ERB's begin to be mined. You'll have tons of people, prominent community members even, publicly pledging that they are permanently done with bitcoin and blockchains, like when oculus got bought out. You'll have institutional investors claiming they are running away in fear (while secretly buying). I think the futility of the situation and the undeniable reality that this is an inherent POW flaw will eventually force people to calm down. They will realize that even if we moved to do a reverse acquisition and failed due to too much resistance, someone else would simply come along right after and would offer 10 times the ERB rewards to the miners to ensure a swift transition. In fact we in bitshares could simply vote to change our social contract to something with higher ERB rewards if we feel like the bitcoiners are being too resistant - this would hurt the bitcoiners more by having their share diluted more, and would incentivize them to take the path of most stability to avoid having it ever brought on the table: unconditionally supporting the acquisition.

Once the initial shitstorms begin to calm down we will see people beginning to learn the advantages bitshares has (now that they're suddenly on track to be stakeholders in it), and their grand vision of a single, unified blockchain holding all blockchain functions will be realized. I think the idea of a super-blockchain is actually pretty easy to sell to the bitcoiners, especially when it is a fait accompli. When the dust settles I'm sure that bitcoin/bitshares will begin an instant new 10x bubble due to the possibilities of the bitshares technology and the unification of all developers as delegates.

But yeah, it's going to be pretty crazy.

Offline fluxer555

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 05:27:17 PM »
Rune, you are a mad scientist.


I love it.

Offline fluxer555

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 05:28:40 PM »
I'm now mostly concerned for the safety of the BitShares dev team from irrational, crazy bitcoiners...

Offline Rune

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Re: The reverse acquisition attack: Buying the bitcoin POW to DPOS hardfork
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2014, 05:29:09 PM »

Only flaw I can see, and I may have missed it somewhere in the Wall-O-Text is:

Would the migration from POW to DPOS of the miners need to happen in a shorter time frame than the diff adjustment? Otherwise each major miner that started to mine ERB's instead would be making mining more profitable for whoever is left because the diff would start to nose dive. Then you'd have an uptick in the number of miners and the cycle continues.

ERB's will be on the main bitcoin blockchain at full difficulty. The idea will be to keep the bitcoin difficulty at its current levels, even long after the migration is over, so that once it has happened it will be impossible for anyone to process transactions on the bitcoin blockchain (after the new genesis block miners will only get external rewards for their bitcoin blocks if they mine on top of other empty blocks, so any future bitcoin block with a transaction in it will be rejected by the network and orphaned. Once it has been established that the only reward you get for mining bitcoin blocks are now rewards on the bitshares blockchain, and the new bitcoins themselves are completely worthless because they cannot be moved, then we can begin to gradually lower the difficulty to a level that actually makes sense (by reducing rewards), and use the bitcoin blockchain as a POW backup to determine the correct bitshares main chain (through embedded hashes).

 

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