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Bitcoin Math The Almighty Buck Technology

Bitcoin Capitalist Opens Bounty For New Block Cipher 72

An anonymous reader writes: Bitcoin capitalist Mircea Popescu has opened a contest to find a new block cipher and is offering a 10 Bitcoin reward for a winning submission. The eccentric Popescu was previously featured on Slashdot for saving OpenBSD from their electric bill in their time of need.
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Bitcoin Capitalist Opens Bounty For New Block Cipher

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  • What? (Score:2, Troll)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 )

    Can somebody translate that blog post to English from 'Self-aggrandizing twatspeak' for me? /fp

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Person who makes money off the backs of drug dealers and pedophiles seeks more efficient proof-of-work theorem for bitcoin miners.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by OverlordQ ( 264228 )

        So rich guy trying to get richer. K.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Not quite accurate. Pretend rich guy is trying to stay pretend rich by rebuilding the pretend value of what makes him pretend rich. All marketing, reward is in pretend currency which will prove problematic but the pretend rich guy can hardly offer a reward in a real currency, kinda brings down the illusion of their pretend wealth, if they acknowledge the pretend currency will attract competitors. Like all ponzi schemes, they eventually inevitably implode and with them the pretend wealth.

          • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @07:28PM (#51450435)

            It's not pretend rich if people actually accept his pretend currency for actual goods and services.

            Make no mistake, the people at the top of the Ponzi pyramid have a shit load of very real money at the end of it. It's just that it usually gets taken away by the government when they're hauled off to jail before they can escape with it.

            • Re: What? (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              It is pretend rich if you can't liquidate without tanking your commodity. If you had a ten thousand dollars of manure you could probably move that to dollars by selling it as fertilizer. If you haf ten million dollars of it, good luck finding a buyer without tanking the market.

              Like that except with a non-thing without the inherent value of shit.

              • If you had a ten thousand dollars of manure you could probably move that to dollars by selling it as fertilizer. If you haf ten million dollars of it, good luck finding a buyer without tanking the market.

                You're not comparing the same thing. If you liquidate the same proportion of *ANY* market, it will have the same effect. If Apple tired to liquidate it's entire stock holding you don't think it too would tank?

            • by Khyber ( 864651 )

              "Make no mistake, the people at the top of the Ponzi pyramid have a shit load of very real money at the end of it."

              Uhh, excuse me, but pretty much every country on the planet has fiat currency, which means it's not real fucking money, at all.

              • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

                Don't cross the streams here. The question of whether fiat money is real or not is really sort of a tangent against the actual point.

                Fiat money might be based on something other than gold bars in a bank vault, but you can use it for buying and selling almost everything and it is legal tender. That's close enough to "real" for this discussion. In that sense, it is a lot more "real" than Bitcoin, which is really the issue here, although there's no need to suggest that Bitcoin is "pretend", but it is defini

      • Well that escalated quickly! Would you please elaborate? What do big banks [] have do to with this one?

        I mean, they've been interested in developing a blockchain of their own, but that seemed like a stretch. Are you saying they're crowd sourcing their effort?

    • The first sentence is a clear description. You may not know what a block cipher is, but the word "cipher" should suggest encryption to you. It's not cool to pretend you don't understand.
      • Re: What? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by WarJolt ( 990309 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @05:52PM (#51449793)

        All you need to know if that there is no way for all the machines on the bitcoin network to know when one event happens before another. This is important for financial transactions. The block cipher is a proof of work function which takes some effort to compute. Since this takes a predictable amount of time to compute it can be used to establish a sense of global time and order events. It doesn't always work right away, but eventually if someone tries to double spend a bitcoin one transaction will win out. This establish the trust necessary for bitcoin to work.

        The problem is bitcoin can potentially be manipulated if you get a little bit less than 1/2 of the total network computational capacity.

        I have been looking at the proof of work functions that are memory hard proof of work functions because they are more expensive financially to compute. There are tons of ASICs computing those hashes right now used in bitcoin which are far cheaper than any PC, but memory in an ASIC is always expensive. You get less of an advantage.

        I think momentum proof of work function has potential, but I haven't seen any crypto-currencies use it yet. Let me know if you find one.

        There definitely is a potential for safer currencies than bitcoin

        • This story appears to have nothing to do with the block hash function. He wants a block cipher that takes 64kb keys.

        • Found the litecoin enthusiast
        • by Anonymous Coward

          The Ethereum proof of work algorithm is memory intensive and supposed to be ASIC unfriendly (see ). There are some other interesting properties of Ethereum such as smart contracts and shorter block times.

      • by bytesex ( 112972 )

        - He wants a block cipher that works on 1 kByte blocks (and on 4, 16, 64 kByte blocks, which is implicated by the first requirement). Current block ciphers do 16 bytes at a time, so they imply the 1 kByte requirement.
        - He says current block ciphers suck. Why? It doesn't really become clear from the discussion, which seems to be between two people who have heard a little bit about cryptography, and are trying to outdo each other in what little knowledge they have.

        In reality, a block cipher is perfectly trans

        • by bytesex ( 112972 )

          Just thinking out loud: *maybe* what he means is that current 'disk'-like encryption mechanisms suck (like XTS, which they don't have to do, but which in practice they do). Or maybe he wants a proper encryption scheme, based on asymmetric cryptography (so that I can properly package a file just for you), which can be done (PKCS#1, ECIES, etc) - but there you basically package a symmetric key under a single stroke of asymmetric encryption, and follow up with the symmetric ecryption of the payload itself, whi

        • by bytesex ( 112972 )

          Wait. 'Uses a 64 kbyte key' - is he mad? Does he realize the trouble he will have to go through when he has to transport over a network, or do a key agreement on, keys of that size?

    • Can somebody translate that blog post to English from 'Self-aggrandizing twatspeak' for me? /fp

      Can somebody translate OverlordQ's "twatspeak" into English for me?

      • When a vagina talks it is twatspeak, or so I surmise. Not a compound word I recall Eric Blair (bit)coining. Hope that helps.
  • I get it, sometimes you need to put on a personae to stand out in the crowd, but that guy just comes off as some vain arrogant twat with more funds than sense. So who precisely is he, and why does anyone care?

    • People who view others simply by personality traits are missing out. Yeah, so the guy talks like an arrogant twat, is he wrong?

      You see, your attacking him on something completely irrelevant, simply because it is easier than to actually discuss the merits of what he was saying.

      Keep in mind, he may be brilliant or he may be a complete loon, I am not judging either here, just your rebuttal, which amounts to "Big Fat Ugly ... do not like", which actually makes you exactly who hate the most, an arrogant twat. ;)

      • Yeah, so the guy talks like an arrogant twat, is he wrong?

        Yes, goddamn it, he's wrong to talk like an arrogant twat. Is his proposal or desire wrong? I don't think enough of us give a shit enough to listen to his arrogant twatness to find out. The analogy to big, fat, ugly is not a good one.

        • Talking like an "arrogant twat" is subjective criticism. As such has no merits on anything useful. To me, you talk like a "arrogant twat", which makes you wrong. See how easy that was to dismiss you?

          • This isn't about right or wrong. There's no logical fallacy here. This is simply about whether or not we even want to hear what he has to say, based on how he's saying it. You can choose on your own.
            • You can listen to sweet lies, or you can listen to cold hard truth. I know people would rather listen to lies told sweetly than someone speaking truth.

              I've started saying "Am I wrong" when people dismiss what I say, because of how I say it, not because of the content of my message. "You're mean" "Am I wrong?" "well no ... but .... "


    • Whoever he is: $4000 doesn't sound like much of a prize to me.

      • by amorsen ( 7485 )

        Also, he awards bonus points for proofs of hardness. No one has managed to prove hardness for any existing block cipher. Block ciphers are simply ways to jumble the plaintext up in a reversible fashion. They are not based on difficult mathematical problems.

        Proving hardness is something you do for asymmetrical ciphers, but asymmetrical ciphers are way too slow to be useful for actual messages.

    • by chill ( 34294 )

      Hey, we can't all be Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Larry Ellison or John McAfee!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2016 @05:50PM (#51449777)

      he's just some random narcissist/megalomaniac who got lucky as an early adopter, runs a shady "unregistered corporation" and hides behind unenforceable legalese in his "corporate" governance docs to deny personal liability when the illegal sites he runs eventually turn any meaningful profit and garners the attention of taxing authorities. He also routinely claims to have singlehandedly saved bitcoin from imploding on itself by creating markets... that nobody actually uses. Now that he's effectively been shown to have been completely irrelevant in any measureable way in the bitcoin world, he's trying to create something new so he can claim to be its inventor...even though he has made no attempt to do anything himself on the matter (because he has very little in the way of actual coding skill, despite his claims to the contrary).

      Oh, and saying any of this to his face will make him turn purple and scream and cry like a little girl (can't find the video offhand, but nobody like him in his home town and there is a video of him getting reamed by an older gentleman for being a little prick to everyone around him in some town hall meeting, and the twat just starts crying. It's painful to watch, really) - or, instead of crying, depending on which side of the manic/depressive bed he woke up on, he may just ignore the objector and insult them on multi-page rants about how the little people should stop talking so the betters can speak...something along those lines, I know I've seen "betters" bandied around a lot in places he tries to insert himself into, although I've seen very little of him recently since he's slipped down far enough into obscurity because the relevant people have learned to ignore him like the funny cousin nobody wants to invite to the family reunion. (And not funny "ha-ha", funny as in "hide the alcohol, he might have snorted his meds again, and someone predial the police, this may get ugly".) Sycophants hope he just pisses himself enough to want to pay even more for buying his "friends", in addition to the hookers he regularly trots out.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        parent here - I forgot to mention, the "anonymous" submitter is no doubt himself. He's just that vain, and nobody else would bother trying to promote his site. He must be starting to get really lonely by now.

      • by w9ofa ( 68126 )

        Can you produce the link to said video? It would increase your credibility here.

  • Aren't there tens or hundreds of alt coins that have been doing exactly this?
    • by JcMorin ( 930466 )
      Most of them use the same cypher with a few change. You can fork Bitcoin or Litecoin, change a single number such as the time between each block or block reward and you just created your own alt-coin. But very few on few really worked on something different.
  • Bitcoin capitalist Mircea Popescu has opened a contest to find a new block cipher and is offering a 10 Bitcoin reward for a winning submission.

    Wow, TEN whole Bitcoins for improving how it works? Why not offer 30 million Dogecoins, at least you wouldn't look so cheap.

  • What is wrong with existing block ciphers like AES?
    AES has been in widespread use for over a decade and to the best of my knowledge, there is still no practical attack on it (unless someone has built a working quantum computer and not told anyone about it). Its totally free of patents and IP issues. Its been implemented in a huge variety of hardware and software (including the Intel CPU that I am using to make this posting).

    Even the NSA trusts AES enough to certify it for use protecting top secret informati

  • This might be worth a read before selecting transformations. CNSA-Suite-and-Quantum-Computing-FAQ.pdf []

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane