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/btc was created to foster and support free and open Bitcoin discussion about cryptocurrency, Bitcoin news, and exclusive AMA (Ask Me Anything) interviews from top Bitcoin and cryptocurrency leaders. 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. Learn more about Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, cryptocurrency, and more.
Hi, I’m looking for tools on BCH to build out infrastructure and services similar to what’s being developed on other chains. Are there tools like BitDB, Planaria, Bitcoin Computer, Content Addressable file system etc. available on BCH? Also is there a native browser for Bitcoin Cash that browses the blockchain like Bottle? Or anything like it?
Bitcoin doesn't require any special hardware, as it can be used on any device which can do computations. To make a Bitcoin transaction you need to create a ECDSA signature, which is just math, something which all computers do well. You can do it both on resource-constrained like smart cards (think SIM cards) and on large servers alike. The idea that you need a special Bitcoin computer to use Bitcoin is outright harmful, as it limits your choices and dupes you into buying overpriced proprietary hardware which gives the vendor more control of what you can and cannot do. This is very much against the spirit of Bitcoin which can thrive only as an open system. So yeah, that thing 21 inc is trying to sell makes no sense, whatsoever. But a lot of people think that "there might be something in it", let me go through the theories of why this device makes sense:
"It is a dev kit!". Let me guess, you aren't a programmer. Or if you're a programmer, you're a shitty programmer and should be ashamed of yourself. You do not need any dev kit for Bitcoin, all you need is open source software (and, maybe, some internet services, optionally). When I wanted to try to do something Bitcoin related back in 2011, all I needed was to download bitcoind and install it on my $10/month VPS. Then I looked through RPC API call list and made a Bitcoin-settled futures exchange. The whole thing took me only a week. I didn't need to pay $400 for a devkit. Learning how to work with bitcoind took less than a day. There are hundreds of Bitcoin companies and thousands of hobbyist working on Bitcoin projects, none of them needed any sort of a dev kit.
"It is useful because it has APIs and pre-installed software!" No, see above. If needed, pre-installed software can be delivered in a form of a virtual machine (e.g. VirtualBox, VMware, etc), no need for a physical device.
"It is useful because it comes with a micropayment service/API". Nope. These things can be done in software, no need for custom hardware. Obviously, a micropayment system can be more widely adopted when it is open. If it is tied to custom hardware (which I doubt) then you have a vendor lock-in which is exactly the thing we're trying to avoid with Bitcoin.
"it comes with pre-installed marketplace". So what, we have marketplaces such as OpenBazaar. If there are useful features in the 21 inc's marketplace we can replicated them in open source software.
"It's convenient for users!" Are you saying that a $400 device which you need to be connected to a laptop is more convenient than a service which can run in a browser?
"It might offer better security". We already have devices such as Trezor which can protect bitcoins from unsecure operating system. Trezor costs much less than $400 and is actually useful. Even though it was done by a small company without much capital.
"It can be used for applications like a reputation system, etc." When telecom companies wanted an ability to differentiate between users, they created smartcard-based SIM cards. This technology is many decades old. Using Bitcoin for a reputation system is a bad idea, as it is not designed for that. If device holds 1000 satoshi to give it an identity weight, a guy who has 1 bitcoin can impersonate 10000 such devices. It just not going to work.
"A constant stream of bitcoins it mines is convenient for users." User has to pay for this device, he might as well just buy bitcoins. If it is necessary for bitcoins to be attached to hardware, this can be done using a tiny dongle which costs less than $1 to manufacture, or a smart card.
"But this device got backed by VCs and large companies, there must be something to it, we are just too stupid to comprehend its greatness". Well...
There is, indeed, a very simple explanation of this device's existnce: Balaji's reality distortion field. He is a prominent VC, so it was relatively easy to convince others that it's a worthy idea. The big vision behind it -- the financial network of devices -- is actually great. And then there is a question of execution. A guy like Balaji is supposed to be an expert in assessing feasibility of execution. So, as we can guess, investors trusted him. As many VCs tell, they invest in people. They cannot examine nitty-gritty technical details, but just look at skills, track record, etc. So the fact that it got large investments and generates a lot of hype doesn't mean much, there was a plenty of such companies during dotcom boom. It's quite like :CueCat. As we now know, an ability to scan a printed code and open a web page which it points to is very useful, a lot of people use QR codes, they are ubiquitous. This was exactly the vision behind CueCat. But it was implemented as a dedicated hardware device, not as a smartphone app, as there were no smartphones at that time. So after a lot of hype and aggressive marketing the company failed, but just few years later their vision became realized in QR reader apps. Hardware becomes increasingly irrelevant. As Mark Andreessen, Balaji's partner, [once said], software is eating the world. Solving problems which can be solved software using custom hardware is just silly. Balaji talks about internet-of-things applications where devices mine bitcoins and use them to buy services they need to function. Well, in the end, user pays for that, as he pays for physical chips and electricity. It would be more efficient for him to pay directly than to use this mining-based scheme. And it's possible to do so using software. E.g. imagine you have a lot of smart devices which use external services in your home. It would be nice if you can just aggregate the bill and pay it off automatically, say $2/month. Why only $2? Well, if there is a device consuming $20/month, it needs some serious mining abilities, so it will cost much more than $20 in electricity bills... Maybe 21 inc will eventually pivot into purely software solutions, they have a lot of money to play with. But the current generation of devices they make just makes no sense, whatsoever, and people who try to find something useful in them just waste their time. EDIT: One plausible case for using custom hardware is a possibility of off-chain microtransactions using trusted hardware. Not unlike MintChip conceptually. But size of the device as well as its price is puzzling in this case, as this can be implemented (and was already implemented) in smart card form factor.
if you think the 21inc bitcoin computer is a waste of money because of ROI, i believe you're missing the point
i keep seeing posts about people being upset because they can't understand why someone would pay $400 for a raspberry pi with a mining shield, a big ass heatsink, and a fan. this isn't marketed as a bitcoin mining device. it's being marketed as a device (a dev kit for future devices, at this point) that is designed to integrate with bitcoin in many ways. mining is one (and definitely not the only one) of the ways it does that. and it's not mining to just be mining. i'm not super familiar with the ins and outs of this newfangled device, but it seems to me like the satoshis are for other uses, like smart contract kinds of uses. the things are definitely not mining for profit. i don't get everyone's obsession with ROI. would you be considering the ROI if you were investing in any other computer? obviously a computer is an investment, but the value you get out of it is from its utility. you can do all kinds of crazy cool shit with a computer. things you never imagined you could do before. i recently got a raspberry pi, and the uses seem endless. i never thought i would be learning about linux, coding, web design, electronics, robotics, music, web servers, home servers, proxys, radio, graphic design, and home automation, all because of the same little device! i don't see anything keeping this 21inc device from being a great tool for bitcoin innovation on many levels. and it seems they're just getting started. it also seems to me like 21inc will eventually have a very decentralized mining pool. plus, the existence of another mining pool adds decentralization to bitcoin mining in general. right? perhaps someone who is more knowledgeable could elaborate or cmv? tl;dr the 21 inc computer is not a mining rig. it's a computer. it does stuff. some people find value in that.
Check out the 21 Bitcoin computer. It's gaining engineering traction.
What brought me to bitcoin was folks writing complex code and building interesting things with programmable money that was simply impossible before. I just got my 21 computer in the mail and for all its failings as a terrible miner and expensive hardware, it's biggest win is worth the cost: Watching, learning and sharing code and ideas with bitcoin engineers. Writing apps on the 21 platform is fun and rewarding. If you've dismissed the 21 machine, I recommend spending the $400, getting one . Join the engineering community experimenting and exploring what bitcoin can do. NOTE: I'm neither employed/paid/endorsed by 21. I just stumbled into their community and liked the code created.
RIP 21.co (End Of Life Notification: Bitcoin Computer, CLI and Marketplace)
Hello, We wanted to reach out to let you know that we've scheduled October 27, 2017 to be the end of life (EOL) for server-side support of the Bitcoin Computer, 21 command line interface (CLI), and marketplace. We encourage you to flush any balances and back up any of your previous work before then, as we will be deprecating server-side support for these tools after this date. The two1 software will remain open-source and client side applications will continue to work. The Bitcoin Computer and the associated two1 software was an experiment to see what kind of applications could be built with digital currency as an intrinsic component. That experiment has succeeded, because one of the tutorials we published at the time of the Bitcoin Computer’s release has grown into a very fast growing product with significant utility: the application currently live at 21.co that allows you to earn digital currency by replying to emails and completing tasks. Going forward, we’re going to be putting all our energy into that product and the corresponding token launch at 21.co/token, because we think the ability to earn digital currency by replying to emails and completing tasks will be one of the most useful applications of the blockchain. We greatly appreciate your support over the past few years! We hope you will continue to use our products and collaborate with us as we forge ahead. Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can help with anything. Best regards, The 21 Team
[TUTORIAL] Turn your $35 Raspberry Pi into a 21 Bitcoin Computer! (original post deleted)
I noticed that ButtcoinEE deleted his own tutorial from here, and I liked the information provided, so I'm reposting it for others who may not have it saved. I haven't tested his tutorial on my own RPI yet, but if anyone wants to give it a go, I can update this as needed. Below is the post directly quoted from OP: You get your brand new RPI and
It's supported operation in the code supplied by the company.
That is not honest given that you cannot reproduce everything that the 21 Bitcoin Computer can do right now. You don't have the integrated framework. You would be doing something very different and that is not an honest comparison.
The script linked is literally what sets up the 21 Bitcoin Computer, it's identical in software in every way.
21 Bitcoin Computer. The 21 Bitcoin Computer isn’t the typical USB Bitcoin miner. It does, however, plugin to your computer via USB. In terms of $ / hash rate, it’s not a very good choice. But since it’s still technically a USB miner we have included it in this list. If you’re not impressed, we don’t blame you! The Bitcoin.com mining pool has the lowest share reject rate (0.15%) we've ever seen. Other pools have over 0.30% rejected shares. Furthermore, the Bitcoin.com pool has a super responsive and reliable support team. The 21 Bitcoin Computer is produced by 21 Inc, one of the most prominent Bitcoin startups funded by the famous venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.It is also known as the first Bitcoin computer in the world. Given the reputation of its manufacturer and the anticipation and excitement of the Bitcoin community, I decided that it was worthwhile to buy this Bitcoin device and learn more about it. Today’s Bitcoin miners are known as ASIC miners , ASIC stands for Application Specific Integrated Circuit and it’s basically an ultra powerful computer designed just for mining Bitcoins. You can find many used miners on eBay or just buy a new one online. Digital money that’s instant, private, and free from bank fees. Download our official wallet app and start using Bitcoin today. Read news, start mining, and buy BTC or BCH.
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