Holding 51% of the hashing power may allow a bad player to alter some transactions in previous blocks on the chain, but not much beyond that. It would take much more mining power than everyone else combined to really wreak havoc. And since mining is done by huge farms full of dedicated ASIC machines (in China and elsewhere), or individuals in pools, a govt. intervenor would not be something that could really be kept secret, and measures could be taken at various levels down to the protocol.
Right now Bitcoin has $5.5 BILLION market cap. That's a lot of power to the people. The US gobment has shown no inclination to "shut down" Bitcoin -- a quixotic quest in any event. They'd rather regulate it and take some of that cash for themselves.
... yes, there is the investment vs. currency problem. This ties into the biggest threshold issue -- the "adoption" problem. I think the idea is that if adoption is more widespread, more stability will follow, and then it's just like any other currency whose value is always changing relative to different currencies. (e.g., USD is 'strong' right now.)
If I'm understanding this right, this doesn't do anything about the total supply of Bitcoins. That seems to me to be a serious limiting factor in its potential growth.
Bitcoin is a deflationary currency by design. The 21M total is hard-coded into the protocol. It is meant to emulate finite precious metals, which is why it is "mined." This is a good thing because nobody can just "print more money" and inflate it, causing the value to drop. It's also not a problem because it's divisible to 8 decimal points; and they already have names for fractionals (0.00000001 = 1 Satoshi).
So even if 1 BTC is worth $1M, it's not really a problem. (The hardcore anarchist fanboys think Bitcoin will supplant the banks and other currencies, but that's neither realistic nor desired. If it did, there might be deflation issues, but it won't. As long as there are governments, there will be government-backed currencies.)
I think it's wise of Agora to shut down and move servers for a bit. After all, even a tiny chance of getting caught is worth avoiding when it means going to jail for life. Yay drug war. _______
Since nobody cared about this but me, I'll note as aside that bitcoin price crash was not really because of potential forking by BitcoinXT. It was a 10k BTC short (approx. $2.3M) on Bitfinex exchange causing a flash crash and margin calls on the way down.
That was Wed. 8.19 and BitcoinXT build had launched the previous Sunday. But the mainstream press didn't get to the XT issue until days later and was all kinds of wrong about it (Bitcoin At Risk of Dividing into Two Currencies!). So there was an unrelated crash, and the wrong press contributed to panic selling by those who didn't get it.
Simple fact is XT won't kick in unless there's 75% using it, and only after Jan 2016. If so, there will be two blockchains until the miners/nodes on the wrong blockchain move to XT. If the miners don't, they will stop making money. So that'll take maybe hours or days. Then the XT will be called "Bitcoin" and will be scalable (bigger blocks), which current Bitcoin Core is not.
The devs who launched XT are being castigated for taking things into their own hands, but since consensus could not be reached, this was a way to force it. Ugly, but effective. They contend the reason the Bitcoin Core devs who object to increased block size do so because they are involved with Blockstream, which is developing Lightning Network sidechain tech designed to take load off the small 1MB blocks. If the block size increases, all the Lightning Network VC/Angel money and work will be obsolete before it launches. So the Bitcoin Core devs are basically accused of wanting to have a "low volume settlement network" whereas the idea is for a global currency, which means more than 7 transactions per second, which is about the max right now.
The quotes from other writers (i.e., notorious censorious asshats) about Cushing are too precious for just a bio. Total validation of mission success in 55 words. The entire blurb deserves a place on his tombstone.
No matter how many times a flipped coin comes up heads, the probability remains the same on the next flip. Hence, just because one or even dozens of sorority souvenir books are not bombs has no bearing on the probability of the next sorority souvenir book not being bomb. Duh.
To be fair, the Motion in Limine is just preemptive evidentiary objection -- a way to alert the court that opposition may try to introduce prejudicial or otherwise inadmissible evidence. Because if it comes up for the first time before a jury, and the judge rules it inadmissible, then it's hard to "unring the bell" in the jury's mind. (They might go look at the blogs, which is improper and grounds for a new trial if discovered anyway.)
And I don't see how these third-party anti-troll blogs (which I read) would have much in the way of admissible evidence anyway. 1) It would all be hearsay, so likely inadmissible for the truth of the statements in the blogs. 2) Courts generally want the focus on the parties' acts in this case, not their behavior outside (unless directly relevant). 3) To the extent the blogs reference court rulings, those rulings can admissible as the subject of judicial notice. But a blogger's take on it would generally not be admissible.
So ... not defending Malibu Scumfuck Media in any way, the Motion in Limine is probably a prudent tactical move (assuming there is actually a trial on the horizon).
As noted elsewhere, courts don't like to operate in a vacuum, and would likely defer any decision until getting more info on potentially proffered evidence.
I went to a presentation last night by the guys building OpenBazaar.org. It will be a decentralized P2P marketplace utilizing bitcoin (for now). They are building the open source core, that like bitcoin core, can be built upon by anyone. Users download the core program, and they are their own server and can sell anything they want directly to anyone else they want. If they want to use cloud servers to handle load, fine. If they want to build their own storefront on core, groovy, here's the API.
OpenBazaar's Brian Hoffman kept being asked if they would be adding this or that feature. Answer, probably not. Let other devs do that. The core features will be pretty standard: ratings, comments, friends. They are specifically staying out of being any kind of middleman in the traditional sense, to avoid any of the liability issues.
AND, if you want moderation, you can pay a bit for a neutral moderator/arbitrator to act as multisig escrow, or resolve disputes, etc. Anyone can do that job too, they'll be rated like the rest, so reputation matters.
If you want a curated space, they'll be available. Or build one. If you want to dive into the wild unregulated jungle, that will be there too. If you want to build an ad-based OpenBazaar search engine, awesome. It's brilliant.
Also there were some folks from blocktech.com, who are building Alexandria -- essentially the same concept for digital works, rather than goods.
Decentralized protocols are coming, and fast, because these people really want to build something that the govt. cannot shut down, because it's nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
(... this question always happens: "Don't you feel a moral obligation to keep people from using it for human trafficking?" Er, it's useful software; if others use it for bad, we can't stop that. [Auto makers aren't liable for drunk drivers either.])
Aside: Tech issues preclude this working on Tor, so if you're going to use it for bad, the IP address will be broadcast anyway, for now.
Short answer: Blockchain is an public ledger that cannot be altered unless you have more computing/hashing power than everyone else on the decentralized network combined; e.g., virtually impossible. So basically anything you can think of that can go in a ledger sheet could be done with blockchain tech, and nobody can realistically mess with the numbers.
This is a great way to encourage sites that already monitor for terroristy stuff to stop monitoring their sites before the law passes. Then they can say, within the law, that they aren't bound by it; and F-U very much if you don't like it.
It's all a subtle psych. Eric sounds like Erich and there were some Nazis named Erich (e.g., Traub, Priebke), so when people hear "Eric Snowden" they will subconsciously think of Nazis and be subliminally repulsed.