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Bitcoin Blocks Do NOT Take “about 10 Minutes”!
Gambler’s Fallacy is too oft preached by FAQs, help guides, wallet UIs, and people who should know better.
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A Doc Bug that Hurts Usability

A common canard in Bitcoinland:  “Blocks take about 10 minutes.”  This is wrong—factually wrong; and it is a practical problem, not an exercise in pedantry.  The distinct statement, “blocks take 10 minutes on average”, is strictly correct in a mathematical sense; but in practice, it is no less misleading.

When people are told this misinformation, they reasonably expect that they can predict when the next block will arrive—and that it will take “about ten minutes”.  The resultant confusion is bad for users, and it’s bad for Bitcoin.

“TL;DR” for people who just want to send and receive money:  The majority of your transactions will confirm faster than 10 minutes; sometimes, your confirmations will be slower; and there is no way to predict this.

Abstract for the technical readership:  You are promoting a form of Gambler’s Fallacy.  Stop it.  Just stop it.

N.b. that the principles herein set forth may be adjusted and applied, mutatis mutandis, to any cryptocurrency which shamelessly rips off flatteringly imitates Bitcoin’s block generation algorithm.

Bitcoin Block Generation Times and Gambler’s Fallacy

Imagine a gambler playing a simple game with a six-sided die.  Each roll of the die picks a uniformly distributed random integer between 1 and 6, inclusive.  On average, no matter which number the gambler bets (and no matter if he changes his lucky number from bet to bet), he will get a “hit” once out of every 6 rolls.  However, it is fallacious for him to act according to the expectation that he is “due” for a “hit” after “about six rolls”.

This is classic Gambler’s Fallacy—the same fallacy that Bitcoin FAQs, user guides, and wallet UIs are preaching, when they train users to expect confirmation to come due in “about 10 minutes”.

The Practical, Nontechnical Explanation

Foremost, let us look at this from the perspective most useful to those who ask, “When will my transaction confirm?”  To that end, let us first get our definitions straight—without being overly technical.

A liberal, altogether too-charitable reading of the phrase “about 10 minutes”, or “approximately 10 minutes”, is that it means “most blocks will happen within 10 minutes ±10%”—i.e., between 9 minutes and 11 minutes.  To claim that the figure needs more wiggle room than a whopping ±10% would be to declare, “I am waving my hands with no idea what I’m talking about.”

According to the maths briefly described below, only about 7.4% of block times fall within that range.  This means that about 92.6% of blocks violate user expectations, when people are told that blocks take “about 10 minutes”.  Indeed, 59.3% of blocks will take less than 9 minutes—and 33.3% will take more than 11 minutes.  For people who are just trying to send and receive money in real-world scenarios, the “about ten minutes” guidance is worse than useless.

More importantly—and in practice, to Bitcoin’s favor—the median block time is about 7 minutes.  The figure of 10 minutes is based on the mean—and the mean is practically meaningless for nontechnical explanations, because the block times follow a probability distribution that violates normal human intuitions.

Looking at the fastest quartile, we find that 25% of blocks take less than 3 minutes.  Those blocks are not surprisingly fast.  It is expected that half of all blocks will take less than about 7 minutes, and half of those will take less than about 3 minutes.

On the other hand, there is the slowest quartile.  25% of blocks take more than almost 14 minutes.  This is expected.  The slowest 10% of blocks will take more than about 23 minutes.  5% of blocks will take more than about 30 minutes.  1% of blocks will take more than about 46 minutes.  0.1% of blocks will take more than about 69 minutes.  And 0.01% of blocks will take more than about 92 minutes; at about 144 blocks per day, that means that, on average, we will see such a slow block once every few months.

The good news:  About 10% of blocks will occur within about one minute!

Although the majority of blocks take less than ten minutes, the long tail of very “slow” blocks drags the average, i.e. the mean, up to ten minutes.  But this “average” is worse than useless for those who are simply wondering when their transactions will be confirmed.

The best answer to that question:  It is unpredictable.  It will probably be pretty fast—but it may be slow, if you are unlucky.  Although it seems like a vague answer, it is much better to tell the truth than to set expectations wrongly.

The “average time of 10 minutes” is, and only is, a mathematical average across a large number of blocks.  Users who do not know the underlying maths should ignore that average.

“From when?”

Astute readers will note that I just stated a bunch of times, without stating when the times start.

The answer:  Whenever you choose to start counting.  Just like that classic roll of a die, Bitcoin block generation is a memoryless system.  The probability of the timing of the next block applies from any arbitrary point in time—not only from the creation of the last block.

It does not matter if the last block happened one minute ago, ten minutes ago, or an hour ago.  Starting from now, whenever “now” may be, the average time to the next block is 10 minutes—the median time to the next block is about 7 minutes—there is a 1% chance that the next block will take more than 46 minutes—and there is a 25% chance that the next block will arrive within less than 3 minutes.

This is all counterintuitive; for my random god, the son of Tyche, recks aught of the intuitions of mere mortals.  (The link is a teaser as to a forthcoming future essay; it does not yet work, as of the publication hereof.)

The Maths

Bitcoin block generation (“mining”) is a pseudorandom process, which behaves a Poisson process:  Block arrival times follow the exponential distribution.

As a model of real-world behavior, this is an idealized abstraction.  It ignores hashrate variability.[1]I also hereby ignore the potential argument that in absolutely ideal, unrealistic conditions, the Bitcoin block generation process could be theoretically characterized as a discrete-time process, not a continuous-time process.  This potential objection is not only overly pedantic, but fallaciously so, to the point of hypercorrection.  I will therefore consign the argument to a footnote, and otherwise ignore it.  In practice, however, it is a close approximation for how Bitcoin actually behaves; variance in hashrate usually seems to have an almost negligible effect.  (Verifying this empirically is left as an exercise to the reader.)

Accordingly, given the rate parameter \(\lambda = \frac{1}{10\ minutes}\), Bitcoin block arrival times have the probability density function:

\[\lambda e^{-\lambda x}\]

…and the cumulative distribution function:

\[1\ -\ e^{-\lambda x}\]

…and the quantile:

\[-\frac{\ln(1\ -\ p)}{\lambda}\]

With these and other bits of MATHS!!! from any textbook, you can calculate all of the above-stated numbers, and many other useful numbers besides.  For example, to estimate the maximum time that the fastest 10% of blocks will take, plug this into your handy desktop calculator:[2]Engineers who may lambaste me for sloppiness with my notation of units:  I am not as bad as most.  I will hug you, then slap you and tell you to shut up.  Those who really want to understand this should work through in detail exactly where the units fit, where the parameters with units cancel each other out, etc.

\[-\frac{\ln(1\ -\ 0.1)}{0.1} \quad \approx 1.0536\dots\]

The median block time:

\[\frac{\ln(2)}{0.1} \quad \approx 6.9315\dots\]

75% of blocks will occur within this time—thus implying that 25% will take longer:

\[\frac{\ln(4)}{0.1} \quad \approx 13.8629\dots\]

The percentage of blocks that will actually occur between 0 and 10 minutes from now, starting at any arbitrary moment:

\[1\ -\ e^{-0.1 \times 10} \quad \approx 0.63212 \quad \approx 63\%\]

STOP HURTING THE KITTENS, YOU BASTARDS: STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

As you can see, the figure of “about 10 minutes” is worse than useless for setting real-world expectations as to the confirmation time of any particular transaction.

Beware, lest thou be damned!  This kitten’s tears shall bring down the wrath of the gods on thy Gambler’s Fallacy.

Thus remember, every time you repeat the “about 10 minutes” canard, you commit a cryptological sin that makes kittens cry.  In turn, crying kittens make Raches very angry.  Don’t do it.  I am protective of the poor, dear kittens. ®


Notes

[1] I also hereby ignore the potential argument that in absolutely ideal, unrealistic conditions, the Bitcoin block generation process could be theoretically characterized as a discrete-time process, not a continuous-time process.  This potential objection is not only overly pedantic, but fallaciously so, to the point of hypercorrection.  I will therefore consign the argument to a footnote, and otherwise ignore it.

[2] Engineers who may lambaste me for sloppiness with my notation of units:  I am not as bad as most.  I will hug you, then slap you and tell you to shut up.  Those who really want to understand this should work through in detail exactly where the units fit, where the parameters with units cancel each other out, etc.

 
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  1. Raches says: • Website

    Moderation Note

    This is a technical thread.  At my exclusive discretion, I will keep it more or less strictly on-topic about Bitcoin, and about the issues herein discussed.

    Ever since I hounded Mr. Unz into installing MathJax, The Unz Review became a great place for doing maths.  Feel free to improve on my explanation. ®

  2. MarkU says:

    In many situations the gamblers fallacy is even worse than described.

    Imagine that a coin is flipped ten times and every time it comes up ‘heads’, what are the odds on the next flip?

    The gamblers fallacy suggests that it is more likely to come up ‘tails’
    The mathematician says that it is 50/50
    They are both wrong.
    My money is on ‘heads’

    In the real world, perfect coins do not exist and if the coin has a significant bias it is more likely that the bias is towards the result we have already seen most often.

    • Thanks: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  3. @MarkU

    The mathematician says that it is 50/50

    The mathematician only says that under the assumption that the coin toss is fair.

    The odds of 10 straight heads with a fair coin is a straightforward thing to evaluate – and the variance of those odds is also a very well-understood thing.

    • Agree: Raches
    • Replies: @MarkU
  4. Anonymous[402] • Disclaimer says:

    When I see crypto-chads and the wackier libertarians blabbering around crypto, I’m amazed that there are people who really believe that governments will take it lying down while they abrogate the entire body of financial law. China outright forbade crypto, but I guess America will stifle it with regulation.

  5. Thank you, Ron, for the tutorial on long wait-states for crypto currency payments. I will stick with Federal reserve notes that transfer instantaneously. Love you!

  6. @Raches

    ‘Ever since I hounded Mr. Unz into installing MathJax, The Unz Review became a great place for doing maths.’

    Ron, you could always install Mathjax without justification – you need not hide behind your Raches character. Weirdo!

    Phil Hendrie on KFI 640 years ago did a radio show where he talked to himself under the guise of different characters – in his prime Phil was hilarious. Try to emulate him, Ron – it will improve your ‘Raches’ character.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  7. Actually, the biggest fallacy about the bitcoin, especially when compared to gold, is that BTC is valuable because it’s “scarce” and requires “significant work” to “mine”.

    The statement that bitcoin is scarce is entirely false. Bitcoin is not scarce the same way the gold is (as limited quantity physically available); the total number of the units is restricted. And the restriction is entirely artifical – the total number is just a constant in a C++ header file, which was randomly selected for the first version of the Bitcoin software by its author. The only thing that is required for this number to be increased is a decision by the team, which develops, maintains and manages the Bitcoin Core software, and the actual modification in the code. The modification then would me distributed in less than month to all full nodes (the only nodes in the Bitcoin network that actually matter), most likely slipped as part of a BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal). And no one would be any wiser.

    Indeed, someone may argue that Bitcoin Core is an open-source software, available for review by anyone, therefore someone would notice eventually, bla, bla, bla. And, formally, they would be right. Unfortunately, these day the “miners” don’t build their software from sources anymore; they simply take and use the latest official binaries. And the reason for this behaviour is simple – thanks to the linking of the cryptos with the pre-existing fiat systems, these days crypto mining is not about “maintaining the network”, it’s just another very competitive, for-profit business. Which means that the miners no longer put the official software under scrutiny; they simply update – after all they can’t afford to waste too much time for reviewing the software.

    Speaking of “mining” (the use of the term is another fallacy on its own accord), the statement that BTC is valuable because it requires “significant work” to “mine”, is also false. Gold mining produces something, which has both monetary and industrial value (most people don’t realised it, but the largest industrial consumers of gold are the factories, which produce various electronics – TV sets, computers, smartphones, you name it). The only thing that BTC “mining” (which is essentailly a brute-force guessing of SHA-256 hashes, which must be lower than the currently signalled difficulty value) produces is a waste of electricity and silicon. Indeed, in theory, the “mining”could be done with general-purpose CPUs and GPUs, but they’re no competition for the chips, made specifically for the purpose. And those chips aren’t FPGAs, they’re ASICs, which means that once burned they can’t be reused for anything else – once they become obsolete (and this happens on average of 4 to 6 months) the only thing one could do with them is either to throw it away, or sell second-hand to idiots, who believe they could compete in “mining”.

    If anyone bothers to read Satoshi Nakamoto’s original white paper, he or she would see that the BTC was intended precisely as currency – as medium of exchange and, eventually, unit of account – completely separated from the existing fiat regimes. This was an interesting idea, but once BTC was connected to the fiat, it went down the toilet – these days BTC it’s just another speculative thing (I really can’t force my fingers to call it “asset”). To compare BTC to gold and therefore, to claim that it’s valuable, is entirely wrong. A much more correct comparison is to think of it as the common stocks of a publicly traded company, but without actually having a company behind it – think TSLA and how and why the price of their stock jumped so much in the last decade.

    • Disagree: Raches
    • Replies: @Raches
  8. Raches says: • Website
    @George Kovachev

    Actually, the biggest fallacy about the bitcoin, especially when compared to gold, is that BTC is valuable because it’s “scarce” and requires “significant work” to “mine”.

    It is scarce.  And the part about Bitcoin’s value deriving from “‘significant work’ to ‘mine’” is believed only by ignorant fools, who do not understand Bitcoin; here, it is your strawman.

    As for scarcity, you are so flatly wrong that either you must have no idea how Bitcoin works, or you must be intentionally trying to mislead people.  Either way, this is misinformation:

    [Boldface is in the original.]

    The statement that bitcoin is scarce is entirely false. Bitcoin is not scarce the same way the gold is (as limited quantity physically available); the total number of the units is restricted. And the restriction is entirely artifical – the total number is just a constant in a C++ header file, which was randomly selected for the first version of the Bitcoin software by its author. The only thing that is required for this number to be increased is a decision by the team, which develops, maintains and manages the Bitcoin Core software, and the actual modification in the code. The modification then would me distributed in less than month to all full nodes (the only nodes in the Bitcoin network that actually matter), most likely slipped as part of a BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal). And no one would be any wiser.

    Indeed, someone may argue that Bitcoin Core is an open-source software, available for review by anyone, therefore someone would notice eventually, bla, bla, bla. And, formally, they would be right. Unfortunately, these day the “miners” don’t build their software from sources anymore; they simply take and use the latest official binaries.

    Second of all, you grossly distort the process of Bitcoin Core development.  And first of all, you conflate “full nodes” with “miners” so smoothly that I doubt this was accidental.

    To understand nodes, you must first come to know that Bitcoin is a consensus.  It is not a democracy:  “Consensus” means absolutely unanimous agreement about the rules of the network.  This is not mere hairsplitting.  A huge amount of development and review effort is required to prevent Core from accidentally being incompatible with itself between versions.  Even a tiny, subtle incompatibility with consensus rules would cause a chainfork.  This has actually happened, from a subtle difference in locking behavior between versions of the Berkeley Database (BDB) software library.  It is partly due to this experience that Bitcoin maintains its own fork of LevelDB.  Even the tiniest, most obscure consensus incompatibility must be avoided.

    Violating the current value of the consensus-critical MAX_MONEY parameter¹, which only is only a sanity-check on a supply with other limitations, would not be a subtle issue.  It would immediately and very obviously split the network.  There is absolutely no way that it could be done on the sly.

    The consensus rules are enforced by nodes, including non-mining nodes.  If miners create consensus-invalid blocks, they are only wasting their time and electricity; their blocks will simply be ignored.  Your bait-and-switch between “nodes” and “miners” obscures the fact that miners have only a limited amount of power on the network.  Many non-mining nodes are run by people who have strong financial incentives, and even strong ideological incentives, to keep the consensus rules essentially as they are (modulo softfork upgrades for softforkable bugfixes and new technology, such as Segregated Witness, or the currently ongoing upgrade to add Schnorr signatures).  An arbitrary change to MAX_MONEY would fundamentally change what Bitcoin is, and would devalue it; that would be flatly rejected by almost everyone.

    Miners have exactly one job:  To determine the ordering of transactions.  Understanding this requires technically precise thinking.  Your homework:  Read up on the double-spend problem, on distributed consensus protocols, and on Byzantine fault tolerance.  The whole hashcash “mining”² scheme is only a way to resolve the question:  If Alice sends a coin (viz., spends the same UTXO) to Bob, and sends the same coin to Charlie, who gets the coin?

    As for the development process, you are spinning a fantasy if you suppose that huge changes to the existential definition of Bitcoin could be snuck by.  The Core codebase is one of the most carefully watched codebases in the world.  In the case of Bitcoin, the code being watched is not some open-source nerd fantasy; with this much money on the line, people actually do read and review the code.  And Bitcoin Core is also the project that pioneered the practical use of reproducible builds, to prevent sneaky changes where the binary doesn’t match the source code.  From source control to the shipped binaries, the whole Core development process is designed with a threat model of needing to prevent much subtler, trickier malicious attacks than changing MAX_MONEY (!).

    Speaking of “mining” (the use of the term is another fallacy on its own accord), the statement that BTC is valuable because it requires “significant work” to “mine”, is also false.

    Yes, it is false.  So why are you saying it?

    Bitcoin does not derive its value from the resources spent on mining.  The proposition inverts causality.  Miners spend resources because Bitcoin is valuable, rather than vice versa.  This increases Bitcoin’s security against double-spend attacks, and therefore indirectly increases its value; but that value is not directly derived from electricity bills, or whatever.

    I intend to blog about Bitcoin’s value fundamentals in the future.  Here, I will leave it at this:  Bitcoin is a form of money with characteristics that make it valuable, by facilitating other activity which would otherwise be difficult or impossible; see, for example, my recent comment in another thread about Bitcoin and the freedom of speech

    If anyone bothers to read Satoshi Nakamoto’s original white paper,

    Have you?  You certainly have a shaky grasp of how Bitcoin works, including of some concepts that Satoshi spoke of in the the whitepaper.  In my experience, most of the people who speak most loudly about reading Satoshi’s whitepaper have the least understanding of Bitcoin, and often have ulterior motives.

    I almost cited the whitepaper in the above article; I wanted to relate what I said to the security analysis in Satoshi’s §11 at p. 7.  I omitted that portion, to keep the article relatively simple(r).  I may also blog the whitepaper itself in the future.

    For now, here are a few links to where Satoshi’s whitepaper can be downloaded:

    The government of Miami, Florida:
    https://www.miamigov.com/My-Government/City-Officials/Mayor-Francis-Suarez/Bitcoin-White-Paper

    The government of Estonia:
    https://e-resident.gov.ee/bitcoin-whitepaper/

    This Forbes Spanish article has a link to a copy of the Bitcoin whitepaper hosted by the government of Colombia:
    https://forbes.co/2021/01/29/tecnologia/gobierno-de-colombia-publica-el-whitepaper-del-bitcoin-en-su-sitio-oficial/

    HTH. ®

    ——————————
    1. Plus some other consensus-critical parameters in the code, which, as noted, would also need to be changed.

    2. “Mining”—which Satoshi called block generation, as I did in the above article.

    • LOL: Yevardian
    • Troll: Yevardian
    • Replies: @George Kovachev
  9. MarkU says:
    @Kratoklastes

    If you want to split hairs then I feel justified in pointing out that a person who has fallen for the gamblers fallacy is also making the assumption that the coin toss is fair.

    My point still stands, a perfectly fair coin/dice is a mathematical abstraction and does not exist in the real world.

    • Replies: @Raches
  10. Raches says: • Website
    @MarkU

    You want:

    • Diaconis, P., Holmes, S., & Montgomery, R. (2007). “Dynamical Bias in the Coin Toss”. SIAM Review, 49(2), 211–235. doi:10.1137/s0036144504446436.

    A quick search on arXiv shows some relevant physics papers:

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1612.06705
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1904.07101

    ——————————

    If you are really worried about the potential bias in a physical coin toss, then I suggest an easy¹ solution:  Use a Cryptographically Secure Pseudorandom Number Generator (CSPRNG) on your computer.

    And if you need to flip a coin with an untrusted party, the power of cryptography can also help you there; e.g.:
    https://eprint.iacr.org/2009/214

    You seem to be thinking in the opposite direction of people who are so worried about the CSPRNG not being “truly random”, they build half-baked, insecure schemes, often loaded with modulo bias, involving physical dice and the like.  (Evidently, none of them has the patience to toss a coin once for each needed random bit.)  They don’t know what “random” means; they have never even heard of the difference between Shannon entropy and min-entropy.  Inevitably, their code winds up not much better than this pseudo-random number generator:

    Yes, I fully intend to turn The Unz Review into something like xkcd—but more artistic, more serious, and with less BLM, fewer queers, and more Hitler!  —And here, the pointy-haired² reluctant Trumpist nitwit Scott Adams thought that he was being daring about randomness:

    I am not a cryptographer per se—more one of those cryptography and information security wonks who plasters the “IANAC” disclaimer on everything.  But Tyche has blessed me with a strong affinity for random numbers.  Just wait till I call down the wrath of my random god… ®

    ——————————
    1. Easy, because others have done the hard work for you.

    2. By the way, Sam Harris is a Christian, loaded with Christian cultural residues; he just doesn’t know it.

  11. @Raches

    I used to work on Bitcoin Core’s development. So, I dare to say, I have a pretty good idea what’s in there. But I give you an “A” – you did an excellent research to promote your viewpoint. Very few trolls these days do. Still, I stand behind what I wrote. Do you?

    • Troll: Raches
    • Replies: @Raches
  12. Raches says: • Website
    @George Kovachev

    On objective technical grounds, at this point, I can tell that you are flat-out lying about Bitcoin.  You have some audacity, accusing me of trolling.  As for grading, I shall be the one who does that:  You flunk.

    I used to work on Bitcoin Core’s development.

    If you make that claim, I need to ask under what name you did your alleged work so that I can see it.  It looks like you are probably lying—again:

    [email protected]:~/src/bitcoin\$ git shortlog --author=Kovachev
    [email protected]:~/src/bitcoin\$ git shortlog --author=nidzovito
    [email protected]:~/src/bitcoin\$

    I tried the latter, because a search for “George Kovachev” on Github turned up only a “Senior JS Developer” who apparently used to be known as “georgi-kovachev”, insofar as I can infer.  I don’t know if it’s you.  There is a George Kovachev on Stackoverflow, with an answer an answer to some question about IntelliJ IDE and nothing Bitcoin-related, unless I missed something.  I didn’t bother searching social media, because you’re not worth the effort.

    ——————————

    You have presented flat-out wrong technical misinformation about Bitcoin and about Core development.  That is not in question.  I explained where you are wrong.  Anyone with even the slighest knowledge of the subject matter can see that I am right, and you are spouting arrant nonsense.  In reply, instead of admitting that you are wrong, you dodged with a pure ad hominem attack—without addressing anything substantial that I said.

    Now, as an argument from authority to back up your nonsense, you have specifically claimed to have “[worked] on Bitcoin Core’s development”.  Such claims are a dime a dozen.  Fraudulent claims of being a “Bitcoin Core developer” are quite common.  Show your commits, or buzz off. ®

    • Replies: @Raches
  13. Raches says: • Website
    @Raches

    P.S., to be clear, Mr. Kovachev:  Even if you could prove that you ever did any Core development, it would mean nothing except to make you only lying about how Bitcoin works, instead of also lying about your development experience.

    Some former Core developers are idiots (and/or likely compromised by the CIA).  For example, if Gavin Andresen himself were to show up here, I would whip him bloody for his abysmal failure to know how to verify a digital signature (!).  So, don’t get hopeful that showing me some commits would make me tolerate your misinformation. ®

    • Replies: @George Kovachev
  14. @Raches

    You seem to be missing one very important point: these are comments and they’re personal opinions, right or wrong. No one is required to agree or disagree with them.

    Of course you wouldn’t find “George Kovachev” among those who commited to the BC’s source base. None of those you’ve found, is me (what waste of your time, BTW, but it’s your time, so I guess it’s ok for you).

    As a rule, I comment on Unz Review with a pseudonymic handle, which is permited. And I don’t use my real name when I participate in open-source projects either. As for your request about under what name I participated in BC dev – well, that’s actually none of your business – as a rule I don’t care much about the opinion of other people about myself, and I feel no need to comply with their demands about anything.

    You, on the other hand – inability to cope with opinion different than yours, personal assaults, inability to recognize a simple personality test – congrats, it looks that you have all necessary traits to become great woke leftist one day.

    • Troll: Raches
    • Replies: @Raches
  15. Anonymous[134] • Disclaimer says:
    @Raches

    Keep talking about Bitcoin and crypto. It’s sad the readers don’t understand yet.

    • Thanks: Raches
    • Replies: @Raches
  16. Raches says: • Website
    @George Kovachev

    Your audacity is incredible:  You make a bunch of contrafactual claims, dodge and insult me ad hominem when I shoot down your claims, appeal to your own authority based on credentials that you refuse to prove, and then turn around and claim that your contrafactual claims are only “opinions”.

    ——————————

    As a rule, I comment on Unz Review with a pseudonymic handle, which is permited. And I don’t use my real name when I participate in open-source projects either. As for your request about under what name I participated in BC dev – well, that’s actually none of your business – as a rule I don’t care much about the opinion of other people about myself, and I feel no need to comply with their demands about anything.

    Well, you see, this is why I do not claim anything about my own credentials:  I understand that if I claim credentials so as to appeal to my own authority, people may reasonably tell me to put up or shut up.  Instead, I present myself as an unidentifiable raceless, sexless, nationless ghost behind the proverbial seven proxies—and I repose my arguments on the merits thereof.  Who, what, and where I am is none of your business.

    Maybe I myself have been involved in Bitcoin Core development.  Maybe not.  Since I have not claimed that, people should assume no by default.  When I make technical claim \(X\), focus first and foremost on whether or not \(X\) is true.

    You made an issue of your own credentials.  As a privacy activist, I would not ask the question that I did, if you had not, of your own free will, [0] claimed credentials, as [1] an appeal to your authority, in [2] support of such incompetent arguments that your alleged credentials are implausible.

    Therefore, yes:  What name you allegedly used for your alleged Core development is my business.

    This reminds me of the time that I busted a fake Internet doctor in an anti-vaxxer thread.  You are now in the position of that “MD”, as to your claim that you “used to work on Bitcoin Core’s development”.  Anyone who has spent any time scambusting in crypto-land has seen the “I am a Core developer” (or, in the extreme, Faketoshi) scenario play out a thousand times.

    As I see it, there are three possibilities:

    [0] You may be a flake, or potentially malicious like Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, or Jeff Garzik—all of whom could legitimately claim to be former “Bitcoin Core developers”.  I would find that unimpressive.

    [1] Bitcoin Core is a big project.  As of 446b706696 (2021-10-03 03:14:06 UTC), `git shortlog -s -n --no-merges | wc -l` shows 1026 contributors who wrote code in HEAD (and some very interesting statistics without the `wc`:  Who really writes Bitcoin?).  You may be one of hundreds of people who submitted a PR with some helpful little patch.  It passed review, so Wladimir merged it.  Now, you go around bragging about your “work in Bitcoin Core development” to support trashing Bitcoin with lies.

    [2] You are just totally lying.  You never wrote even one line of code, and you don’t know how to.

    Pick your poison.

    ——————————

    Boldface is in the original:

    You seem to be missing one very important point: these are comments and they’re personal opinions, right or wrong. No one is required to agree or disagree with them.

    You made claims that are counterfactual misinformation.  I shot them down in flames.  Of course, you have no answer for my arguments, because you are wrong.

    For you to turn around and claim that your misinformation is (by implication, merely) “personal opinions”, which you imply to validate your claims “right or wrong” (!), is a basic fallacy of modern liberalism.

    personal assaults

    So says the idiot who turned to personal attacks on me, insulted my intelligence, and called me a “troll”because he cannot answer my argumentsNice try.

    I see that you do not “stand behind what [you] wrote” with anything other than Internet Arguments.

    congrats, it looks that you have all necessary traits to become great woke leftist one day.

    Accusing me of your own characteristics does not make this any better for you. ®

  17. Raches says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Keep talking about Bitcoin and crypto.

    This will be a regular topic on my blog.

    I have also planned from the start to make some blog posts promoting the use of PGP, and otherwise urging people to secure their communications.  In a coy, cryptic sort of elliptical way, I started this with my commentary in August:

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/glenn-greenwald-escapes-his-100-million-webzine/?showcomments#comment-4859884

    More broadly, after my substantial involvement in anti-vaxxer threads ([0], [1], [2]) from the unusual perspective of a scientifically-minded skeptic who is avoiding the Covid vaccines, I realized that The Unz Review needs more science and technology blogging outside of HBD and IQ research (where Steve Sailer and Anatoly Karlin already far exceed anything that I could do).  By blogging about applied cryptography and information security, and branching out from there, I can make of myself what I had wanted to suggest to Mr. Unz:  An Unz Review columnist who regularly covers science and technology topics at an advanced lay-level.  I will enjoy it—and it will be a salutary counterweight to the crackpots who insist that Bill Gates is exterminating billions of people with euthanasia shots, or who deny the moon landings, etc., ad nauseam.

    And on a personal note, I have a wide range of interests.  At his free-speech webzine, Mr. Unz has granted me the opportunity to write most anything I want.  Expect variety.  Monomaniacs who only want to read about one topic all the time should look elsewhere.

    It’s sad the readers don’t understand yet.

    I consider it a benefit that I am not preaching to the choir.

    The Unz Review’s Mission Statement proclaims, “Taking the measure of an effective critic is always more valuable than listening to a mindless echo.”  That double-edged sword cuts both ways:  I can show my own measure as an effective critic—and I can show that my critics are ineffective, ignorant, impotent, incredible, and meritless.

    I see many Bitcoin-haters here.  I am protective of my free-speech money, as well I must be for to protect my freedom of speech.  I will pour out the wrath of Nemesis on those who recklessly or maliciously spread misinformation about Bitcoin.  And when I debunk anti-Bitcoin nonsense, my efforts will benefit those who just don’t know much about Bitcoin. ®

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