A Bloom filter is a space-efficient probabilistic data structure, conceived by Burton Howard Bloom in 1970, that is used to test whether an element is a member of a set. False positive matches are possible, but false negatives are not – in other words, a query returns either "possibly in set" or "definitely not in set". Elements can be added to the set, but not removed (though this can be addressed with a "counting" filter); the more elements that are added to the set, the larger the probability of false positives.
The theory can be considered a form of Pythagoreanism or Platonism in that it posits the existence of mathematical entities; a form of mathematical monism in that it denies that anything exists except mathematical objects; and a formal expression of ontic structural realism.
I remember the first time I saw it. It was $10 and I thought to myself: how can a digital coin be worth anything if I can copy it a million times and send it to anyone I want? A useless game. I ignored it.
One year later I noticed it again; it was $100. Maybe I should do some reading...
I remember reading the bitcoin whitepaper, today, the most famous whitepaper in the world. http://nakamotoinstitute.org/bitcoin/
People sometimes joke their "minds are blown", but it's a rare thing when it actually happens. It’s the feeling you get when your conception of the world, of what it is and what it can be, snaps into an irreversibly new configuration. Like an unfolding chessboard or like stumbling out of a famous cave.
At that moment I understood the world would never be the same. and that #bitcoin was a harbinger of the impending reorganization of our civilization.
I’ve seen it written that people never realize when they’re living through great periods of change. That someday readers of history will point back at them and say, if only they had known what was in store for the world. But none of the great paradigm changes of history ever involved the internet.
For the first time in history humans are living through a paradigm change as members of a global hivemind. And of course, the hivemind IS the paradigm change; for the first time we can be conscious of the turning of the Wheel. https://knovigator.com/quests/key/civilizational-changes-that-will-upend-your-life-77468
If the internet is our civilization’s brain, then #bitcoin is its heart because #bitcoin is all about measuring that which we desire.
The internet is the globalization and disintermediation of communication networks, #bitcoin is the globalization and disintermediation of money.
My first realization was that bitcoin was not a “coin” at all. It was simply a ledger of accounts. Names with numbers next to them.
Just like the ledger your bank holds.
Alice: $100. Bob: $50.
Just as with your digital dollars when you send bitcoin you are really sending a message that says: update your account.
Alice send $5 to Bob.
Alice: $95. Bob: $55.
The truth about money is that once you have the ledger you don’t need the “coin”. You can see this is true by emptying your pockets of the cash you have and then compare that to the amount of money in your bank account.
Money has never been about the sea shells, silver, gold, or paper. Those were just measuring tools. Money has always been about information. Information about how much Value we were storing and sending. Everything we’ve ever used as money was a proxy for stored and transmitted Value measured in the most convenient way available at the time.
The paper dollar is a measuring tool. The amount of paper you have informs others about the amount of Value you hold (denominated in that paper). The moment we had a trusted place to digitally record that information we largely stopped holding the paper. As soon as we had a trusted way to “send” that Value, ie. update our information, we largely stopped trading the paper. It’s just not as convenient.
Trust. Until #bitcoin it’s not something I every really thought about too much. It seems so abstract. But this abstract concept is the scaffolding on which our civilization is draped. It’s the reason we pay taxes, the reason we have a military, the reason we have banks. All of these institutions, all of this energy, just so we can be sure that the worthless paper in our wallets, or the ephemeral numbers in our bank accounts, actually represent something of value; something that can be used to trade for food to eat, or a car to drive to work.
Without this collective trust in our institutions the paper is just paper. The numbers are just numbers. No one would trade food for them, or a car. When we receive this paper we trust that someone in the future will take it from us or that we will pay taxes with it.
Imagine trying to keep an online record of the amount of Value we possessed without relying on a bank? I would post how many dollars I had. You would post how much you had. I would instant message you “I am sending you $5”, before updating my records. How do you know I didn’t message anyone else at that same moment? How do you know I didn’t double spend? What stops me from just giving myself an extra $10? Money is just information after all! Anyone can synthesize information out of thin air. It is infinitely available, which means that it is worthless. How do you know you can trust me?
These are the two main challenges of running a digital ledger of account, aka digital money. How to enforce the scarcity of infinitely available information, and how to prevent people from being able to double spend their Value.
That’s why we need the bank, who we all have to trust. So that we can know that the numbers in our bank accounts actually mean something, that they aren’t created out of thin air. Without that trust trade and progress will halt.
Reading the whitepaper I understood that Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever s/he is, had figured out a way to keep a digital record of accounts without having to rely on a bank.
S/he had solved the double spend problem. S/he had solved the digital scarcity problem.
bitcoin allows me to instant message you “I am sending you 5 bitcoin” and for you to be mathematically certain that I did not create that bitcoin out of thin air, and that I did not send that bitcoin to anyone else.
It does this without relying on a bank, a government, or any other institution. It only relies on me and you, running a piece of open source software.
For the first time in history, through a bunch of complicated math, you and I can have our own money without having to rely on, or to trust anyone else, not even each other. Not only that, but given enough participants in our network we can be sure that no one can stop us from sending money or even to know who we are.
That is the "inherent" value of bitcoin. It is the freedom to instantly store and send Value from and to anyone in the world, anytime, without the possibility of censorship.
In the process #bitcoin removes the raison d’etre of much of the banking and legal architecture that exists in every country in the world. This means that fundamental institutions must be transformed to provide a service other than the establishment of trust at gunpoint.
Nothing like it has been possible until now. The world has irreversibly changed. What it will look like going forward is difficult to predict. But this is just the beginning.
as mining becomes harder the essence of a decentralized currency no longer exists as specialized, centralized data centers exist to mine certain coins. Mining is consolidating more towards these data centers, so while it is still decentralized due to number of data centers around the world, it is not as decentralized as it could be should a PoS algorithm be used to validate new transactions
In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as "familiars" or "animal guides") were believed to be supernatural entities that would assist witches and cunning folk in their practice of magic. According to the records of the time, they would appear in numerous guises, often as an animal, but also at times as a human or humanoid figure, and were described as "clearly defined, three-dimensional… forms, vivid with colour and animated with movement and sound" by those alleging to have come into contact with them, unlike later descriptions of ghosts with their "smoky, undefined form[s]".
The gold specie standard arose from the widespread acceptance of gold as currency. Various commodities have been used as money; typically, the one that loses the least value over time becomes the accepted form. Chemically, gold is of all major metals the one most resistant to corrosion.