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Bitcoin is a cult

The Cult of the Coin (Coin) has many saints, perhaps none greater than Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym of the founding father(s) of Bitcoin.

-- Adam Caudill


Compiled from |

Author  Adam Caudill

Translator |  qhwdw Total translations: 144 Contribution time: 281 days

After all these years, the Bitcoin community has changed very much; community members have gone from being able to explain the Merkle tree with their eyes closed


of tech junkies into speculators driven by a desire to get rich overnight and blockchain startups attempting to seek $1 billion valuations led by people who don't even know what a merkle tree is. As time passes, a craze has formed around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which they believe are far more important than they actually are; they believe that common currency (fiat money) is becoming a thing of the past and that cryptocurrencies will fundamentally change the world economy.

Each year their ranks grow, and their views on cryptocurrencies are becoming more ambitious, that is, even with the new and novel uses of the technology


And it puts it in a bind. While I firmly believe that well-designed cryptocurrencies can make it easier to move money across borders and provide a more stable alternative in areas of massive inflation, the reality is that we are not doing that. In fact, it is the great instability in value that makes speculators money. Those who preach the imminent death of the dollar and the euro have completely abandoned an objective and unbiased view of the real world.

A little background ...

The day Bitcoin was launched, I read its white paper -- it uses the interesting Merkle tree


to create a public ledger and a very sensible consensus protocol - which has caught the attention of many in the field of cryptography due to its novel properties. In the years following the release of the white paper, Bitcoin became very valuable, and in doing so attracted many people who saw it as an investment, and devoted followers (and vocalists) who thought it would change everything. It is the latter that will be discussed in this article.

Yesterday (2018/6/20), someone tweeted a recent hash of a bitcoin block, and the thousands of tweets and other discussions below convinced me that bitcoin has crossed the line into true cult territory.

It all started with this tweet from Mark Wilcox




— Mark Wilcox (@mwilcox)June 19, 2018


This value posted is bitcoin block #528249


The hash value of the Leading zeros are the result of the mining process; mining a block is combining the block contents with a present number nonce (and other data) and then doing a hash operation, and it has at least a certain number of leading zeros to be validated as a valid block. If it is not the correct number, you can replace the current number and try again. After repeating this process until the number of leading zeros in the hash is the correct number, you have a valid block. The part that got people excited was the next .

Some say it's a meaningful numbering, and the people who mined out this block actually had a much harder time than what's currently seen, not only adjusting the number of leading zeros, but also matching the next 24 bits -- it required very powerful computational skills. If someone could achieve it with brute force, it would indicate something serious, say, a major breakthrough in computing or cryptography.

You're bound to wonder why it's so important--a question you're sure to regret asking. Some say it's a reference to the E8 theory


(a widely criticized paper proposing a standard field theory), or that a total of 2,100,000,000 bitcoins exist (that's 2,100,000,000). There are other claims that are too crazy to write about. Another important fact is that there are 21e8 blocks behind leading zeros that are mined out on average once a year -- these were never considered important.

This leads to the interesting part: the theory about how this happened


◈ A quantum computer that can somehow do hash operations at incredible speeds. Although there is no indication yet in the theory of quantum computers that it can do this. Hash is one of the things that quantum computers consider secure.

◈ Time travel. Yes, someone really said that, someone traveled from the future back to the present to mine the block. I think this argument is so ridiculous that I don't even bother to explain why it's wrong.

◈ Satoshi Nakamoto is back. Despite the fact that there was no activity on his private key, some people theorized that he was back and that he could do things that no one else could do. These theories are unable to explain how he did it.

So, in summary (as I understand it) Satoshi Nakamoto, in order to know and calculate what he did, according to modern science, could have been one of the following.

A) uses a quantum computer B) is from the future C) is both

— Crypto Randy MarshREKT


June 21, 2018


If you think all this sounds like numerology numerology


, you're not the only one who thinks that way.

All the discussion around block hashes that have special meaning has also sparked a discussion about something that is in some way more interesting. Bitcoin's Genesis block, which was the first Bitcoin block, has an unusual property: early Bitcoin required the first 32 bits of the hash to be zero; the Founding block has 43 leading zeros. Because the code that generates the Genesis block has never been released, it is not known how it was generated or what type of hardware was used to generate it. Satoshi Nakamoto had an academic background, so perhaps he had more computing power than was common in universities at that time. From that point on, just a little curious about the history of the wacky Genesis block, that's all.

A brief digression on hash operations

This buzz started with the hashing of Bitcoin blocks; so it is important to understand what a hash is and to understand a very important property, a hash is a one-way cryptographic function that creates a pseudo-random output based on a given piece of data.

What does this mean? For the purposes discussed in this paper, for each given input you will get a random output. Random numbers sometimes seem fun and easy because they are random results and the human brain can easily find the order from anything. You see the funny thing when you start looking at the order from the random data -- these things make no sense because they are simply random numbers. When people attribute significant meaning to random data, it will tell you a lot more about those participant perceptions than the data itself.

The cult of coins

First, let's define a set of terms.

◈Cult Cult: a system of religious worship and direct devotion to a specific person or object.

◈ ReligionReligion: some consider the supreme pursuit or interest.

The cult of coinsCult of the CoinThere are many saints, Perhaps no one is better than Satoshi Nakamoto.Satoshi Nakamoto greater, He's the founding father of Bitcoin.( plural marker for pronouns, and nouns referring individuals) pseudonyms。( towards him) fervent embrace, To be attributed to his ability and understanding far beyond that of the average researcher, He was considered a visionary like no other., He influenced the order of the new world economy。 When combining the mysterious nature of Satoshi Nakamoto with the unknown true identity, Avid followers see Satoshi Nakamoto as a truly respectable figure。

Except, of course, for the followers of other saints, and there is no doubt that these followers think they are right. Any criticism of their saints is considered to be a criticism of them as well. For example, those who follow EOS may see Satoshi Nakamoto as a hacker who developed a failed project, and they will react violently to even the slightest criticism of EOS, reacting so strongly simply because of the attack on their beloved god. The reaction of those who are after IOTA is the same; there are more examples of this.

These followers have lost their rationality and objectivity when discussing issues, and their fanaticism obscures their vision. Any discussion of these programs and the people behind them that isn't overflowing with praise is bound to end in some kind of procedural mean-spirited rhetoric, and there's no justification for that kind of approach to a technical discussion.

This is dangerous for many reasons.

◈ developers & Researchers turn a blind eye to flaws。 Thanks to the massive praise of the admirers, The perceptions of these people involved in the development of their own abilities began to swell, and see some criticism as unwarranted attacks —— Because they think they can't be wrong。

◈ The real problem is being attacked. Technical problems are no longer seen as problems to be solved and opportunities for improvement, they are seen as attacks from people who want to go and sabotage the project.

◈ Things come in small packages and people are divided by coins. The followers usually ally themselves together, while the saint has only one. Acknowledging the superiority of other programs means identifying with the flaws or shortcomings of their own program, and that is something they are not willing to do.

◈ Stop real progress. Evolution is brutal, death is inevitable, projects can fail, and it's important to acknowledge the reasons for those failures. If the lessons of failure are ignored, if the things that should go to die are not allowed to happen, progress will stop.

Many of the discussions around cryptocurrencies and related blockchain projects have started to become increasingly "toxic", and it is increasingly impossible for well-meaning people to have technical discussions without being attacked. As the discussion of real flaws, flaws that are doomed in other contexts and instantly judged heretical without any factual analysis has become the norm, it has become extremely costly for people of good will to get involved. At least some people are aware of the extremely serious security vulnerabilities, but choose to remain silent due to the highly "toxic" environment.

What was once driven by curiosity, by expectations of learning and improvement, by creative viability, is now driven by blind greed, religious fervor, self-righteousness and inflated egos.

I don't hold out much hope for the future of a project inspired by this kind of frenzy, and its continued spread could damage the real researchers who have been in the field for years. Some of these technology projects have succeeded and some have failed - that's how technology evolves. The people who design these systems are just as flawed as you and I. Likewise these projects are flawed. Some projects are perfect for some usage scenarios and not others, some projects are not suitable for any usage scenario, and no one project is suitable for all usage scenarios. Discussions on these projects should focus on the technical aspects, which are intended to allow this field of study to develop; mixing religious fanaticism with these projects is bound to harm everyone.

[Note: There are many examples of this behavior that could be cited, but in order to protect those who are targeted for criticizing the project, I have chosen to list as few examples as possible. I have seen many people I respect very much, many people I consider friends, fall victim to such vicious attacks -- and I don't want to draw attention to them and reignite the attacks against them. ]

About the author.

I am a senior application security consultant, researcher and software developer with over 15 years of experience. My main focus is on application security, secure communication and encryption, although I often go into new areas out of boredom. I usually write about my research and security, development and software design, and my current hobbies that have captured my attention.


By Adam Caudill


Selected by: lujun9972 Translated by: qhwdw Proofread by: wxy

This article was originally compiled by LCTT and is proudly presented by Linux China

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