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I have been noticing on many online bitcoin districts that various users are unable to understand the concept of Segregated Witness. This post will clear up any doubts, uncertainties, and myths regarding SegWit.

So, what happens in SegWit?

SegWit is short for Segregated Witness and it’s a proposal presented by the developers of Bitcoin Core. Originally it was aimed to solve the transaction malleability, which is a well-known weak spot in the Bitcoin system. The idea behind SegWit is that the signatures in a transaction, also known as the “witness data” are skipped when calculating the transaction id.

Basically, SegWit will update the 1MB size block limit to 4-million unit block weight limit. This counts serialized
witness data and one unit and core block data as four units. This is an entirely new transaction format, meaning the block size is increased. SegWit counts each byte in a witness as 0.25 bytes towards the 1MB block limit, thus the maximum size of a block becomes just under 4MB.

It’s not that the data gets smaller, it’s just counted in a way that allows for the block limit to be increased.

The short/easy version

In simple words, signature related data is removed from bitcoin transactions, causing them to appear smaller in size. Also, making the block size smaller, further, allowing more transactions to take place.

 

Clearing up myths and rumors

Myth: SegWit as a soft fork is much more dangerous than a hard fork

A soft fork ensures that the backward and forward compatibility is under control. Also, when a soft fork is set up, old versions of Bitcoin software will be able to function without any faults. On the other hand, a hard fork requires every Bitcoin user to update to the new software to support the consensus rules. Any user that fails to upgrade to the new software might be under the risk of getting thrown off the Bitcoin network.

 

Myth: SegWit is more complicated than a super simple hard fork

Similar to a hard fork, SegWit proposes the same idea of increasing the block size limit. No doubt, it is pretty complex and introduces several changes, but it is a relatively simple conceptual change. Basically, SegWit ignores the signatures when calculating the transactions, but as a soft fork, some additional changes must be made to make SegWit transactions compatible with non-segwit nodes. These changes then have side effects which can be beneficial to Bitcoin. It also contains more functionality than a hard fork increasing the block size limit. The hard fork to increase the block size limit also appears simple, but additional changes need to be made to support the deployment and to solve the quadratic hashing issue with transactions.

 

Myth: Miners who don’t upgrade to segwit will be forcefully told to quit the bitcoin network

This is false since SegWit will be deployed using the BIP9 versionbits which uses a 95% threshold. A miner would not run into any trouble, as long as he follows certain rules. However, if he fails to follow these rules, he could end up with transactions including witnesses but he wouldn’t be having the witnesses nor the witness root hash in the Coinbase. This would be an invalid block that would be in the orphan pool.

 

What are the benefits of SegWit?

Besides the obvious benefit of having to increase the capacity, there are several other benefits that come with the introduction of SegWit. Some of those benefits are:

  • Node performance is tested based on how weighting data
  • Signature covers value
  • Linear scaling of sighash operations
  • MultiSig gets more security
  • Script versioning
  • Increased security to almost-full-nodes

Why hasn’t SegWit been activated yet?

If there is not enough support shown, it might result in a contentious fork. That means a part of the network switches to the new client while some remain to use the older version. This leads to two sets of cryptocurrencies with different rules, co-existing and competing for users and legitimacy.

In order to avoid such a situation, the developers of SegWit have programmed a specific rule in the software proclaiming that it will only activate once it reaches the 95% mark.

Currently, the support is hovering around 32-33%. 

Everything you need to know about Segregated Witness

 

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bitcoin-1MB block is dangerous

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1MB block is dangerous to Bitcoin

04.07.2017, Barry’s Silbert’s New York agreement receive a new criticism in form of blog from Luke-jr. well-known Bitcoin core developer.

This post came before SegWit2x’ day- the code that carries the roadmap settled upon at Barry’s meeting-entered beta phase.

He says about the Bitcoin’s future with SegWit2x’s. “4–8MB block sizes are not sane. Even 1MB blocks are already clearly dangerous to Bitcoin.” In addition, “I cannot foresee myself consenting to the hard fork proposal under almost any circumstances, except perhaps with a soft fork to limit the size to something reasonable.”

By adding the whole SegWit2x phenomenon, Luke-jr is another source of criticism. He adds, “distraction from the upcoming BIP148 soft Fork, which is already irreversibly deployed to the network.”

Barry’s had hard struggle from the beginning. Accordingly, he also contributes in the meeting, especially Roger Ver showing the sign of U-turn.

The concluded word

Luke-jr was cautious to note any SegWit2x scheming would likely initiate and finished with NYA Bitmain participant. In that scenario, he comes to and ends with the point, “I don’t mean to imply that all the participants to the NYA have this goal [distraction from BIP148] in mind! But rather that the design of SegWit2x is such that it fits this purpose.” In addition,“Bitmain may very well have done this intentionally. but it seems unlikely anyone else intended it.”

Complete detail is available on Twitter,

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Bitcoin Mining – An Italian Bank’s Server Was Hijacked

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That was the time when you had the option to snip your company’s server power and mine bitcoin for yourself.

British cyber security

During last week presentation, British cyber security professionals had some discussion to tell about the sneaky and illegal mining of the bitcoins. In January 2015, Darktrace considers a possible interference in Italian bank’s system.

The firm exposes that the data is diffuse from one of the bank’s server to the European crime association. Director of the Darktrace Dave Palmer declares in Al summit, “It was a fairly well known European criminal botnet.” He says “The data was not customer data; it turned out to be a fairly buggy implementation of bitcoin mining software.”

The hijacked Italian bank was revealed speedily. It was inactivated within half an hour of it beginning to mine bitcoin. Palmer says, “I don’t think they made very much money out of it.”

2014 was the prime time for the criminal bitcoin mining activities. Palmer says, “It was super fashionable to have coin mining going on alongside sending spam from botnets.” According to the Palmer, bank server case was rare in the history, because these activities’ victims are laptops or desktops mostly.

Darktrace didn’t have the complete data of the mining malware. But Palmer says, “felt like it was a daily occurrence.” In that case, the company perceived 24 such cases in last six months across 24,000 monitoring sites. He says, “It has really dropped off.”

 

Palmer’s Experience

Although, mature cyber criminals steal computing power for mining in that days. It was common among the employees calmly mining from corporate laptops. Palmer says, “We’ve seen normal employees running these services on their workstations overnight.” Accordingly, “No surprise; people do all sorts of things like peer-to-peer file sharing and hosting Tor nodes [infrastructure for the anonymized network that’s part of the dark web], so I bet there is a load of coin mining stories all over the place.”

In addition, Few employees took their digital currency passion a step too far. Darktrace has found the same server covered by company’s staff in data center mining bitcoin non-stop. The severs advantage from superior cooling systems and consistent power supply at data center. Palmer says, “We found employees had procured some servers, [and] had hidden them under the data center false flooring.” And, “They were ‘off-the-record’ servers that no one recognized, mining coins 24/7.”

Those days of secret Bitcoin mining is now over. In addition, too much computing power is needed to mine bitcoin. Now, thousands of the servers are stored in huge warehouses. In addition, processing power increased by 770-fold since 2014, leaving the little chance for cyber criminals. Palmer says, “I think we have seen the last of successful coin mining.”

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Best Auction Sites and Platforms for Bitcoins

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Members of the Bitcoin community are always looking for ways to buy and sell products in exchange for bitcoins. Fortunately, several sites make that possible by offering secure and safe platforms for sellers and automatic escrow protection for buyers who bid to purchase their desired items on sale.

The following auction solutions have gotten a lot of attention over the past couple of years:

OPENBAZAAR

Best Bitcoin Auction Sites

OpenBazaar is a top Bitcoin auction site for everyone looking to purchase or sell all sorts of items in one place. Although it is believed to be a normal shop on the internet, it does offer some auction functions as well. There is no limit as to what items can be sold on the platform. Also, OpenBazaar’s peer-to-peer nature means there is no company or middleman that can remove or block listings, charge fees, or hold money. By accepting bitcoin payments, sellers are opening up to their offering to the rest of the world.

BITIFY

Best Bitcoin Auction Sites

Another Bitcoin trading platform. Bitify was launched in September 2013 and was first known as CrptoThift. It uses an auction system to sell items. It also offers escrow services to the buyers. The buyers have an option to use the escrow service for 1% fee. This means that Bitify acts as a guardian over the customer funds until the transaction is fully settled. You can browse numerous posted items for sales such as E-gift cards, software installers, online gaming accounts and more. Although, it offers more of digital items rather than physical goods.

GLYDE

Best Bitcoin Auction Sites

This platform has been around the longest and sells items super-fast. Buyers can find reasonable deals on electronic items and much more, whereas sellers can benefit from selling their unwanted products. There have been thousands of feedbacks on this platform and have been nothing but positive. So, make sure to drop by this site if you’re ever looking to sell any items. Glyde provides insurance on every package, so in the rare event an item is lost in the mail you will still be compensated for the sale. It is the best bitcoin trading platform to buy and sell with bitcoins.

To help build and enhance your reputation, opt for websites having built-in feedback systems. Also, make deals with already established buyers where you send them the item first and then wait for them to send bitcoins after receiving the goods.

Best Bitcoin Auction Sites

REMEMBER! Your buyer should have an established reputation so you don’t suffer a loss. There could be cases where you send the item to the buyer and they never send the payment.

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Is Investing in Bitcoin a Good Option or a Bad Option?

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Is Investing in Bitcoin a Good Option

Over the past few months, Bitcoin investment has seen a steady rise in its value. At the time of writing, one bitcoin is worth $1157.27 USD. This incredible value appreciation has grabbed the attention of many people. Also, with the media and government paying attention to the virtual currencies, the number of people looking to start their Bitcoin venture has gone off the charts.

Another reason as to why digital currency is gaining so much popularity is its worldwide acceptance as a form of payment at retails, corporations and large business organizations.

Moreover, it has made transactions quicker, safer and cheap as compared to the transactions involving fiat currency.

With all this being said, one question pops up into the mind: “should you make Bitcoin investment or not?”

The goal of this article is to provide you detailed insight on this question. So, let’s get started.

Should You Invest in Bitcoin or Not?

How to invest in Bitcoin?

Before asking “should you invest in Bitcoin or not?” you would need to know that there are two different ways through which you can invest in Bitcoin:

  • Buying Bitcoin and holding on until the value appreciates
  • Mining

The first one is quite simple. You go to a Bitcoin exchange, buy bitcoins and hope for the value to go high.

Mining, on the other hand, is a little tricky because when a transaction takes place, it goes straight to get verified by miners over the network. The verification process involves some complex algorithms. However, once the transaction is verified, the miners receive freshly mined BTC as a reward.

One of the biggest risks involved in Bitcoin mining is that the currency has no inherent value, is relatively new and has a price which is highly volatile.

Despite the risk, plenty of private companies and organizations are investing a colossal amount of money in BTC. Moreover, the currency is being accepted as a form of payment throughout the world, which indicates that it’s only going to increase in usage and the likelihood of it dropping back to zero is extremely low.

Another risk involved in Bitcoin mining is the difficulty. In earlier days, the difficulty level was not so high and people could easily mine new blocks through their PCs and regular laptops.

However, the difficulty has now gone to the next level with more people joining mining pools.

Since the max that bitcoins will ever reach is 21 million, the closer you get to the number, the harder it becomes to mine the coins, hence the lesser rewards.

If a miner wants to make money through Bitcoin mining, he must invest big in high-tech mining equipment. Even then, profits are not guaranteed.

Apart from these two, there is a safe third option. If you can create some complex algorithms/graphic cards through some cheap equipment, then you can expect higher profits. However, a large majority of people don’t have the sufficient skill set to succeed through this option.

So, What’s the Advice?

Keep yourself updated with the market trends, browse through Bitcoin forums and do some research regarding costs before taking a dive into the BTC world. Following these rules would increase your chances of success by over 100%. Good luck with your venture.

Tags: BTC investment sites.

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