Keep Bitcoin Free is a new effort to promote and develop core technologies to allow Bitcoin to grow and develop while maintaining the decentralization that makes Bitcoin unlike any currency before it.
Here are the two big issues Bitcoin faces that we can solve with technology, and the technologies we want to develop:
Scalability and Decentralization
This is what Bitcoin looks like right now: tens of thousands of equal participants, all collaborating together to maintain a truly decentralized currency. When Bitcoin works well no one person, or even a small group of people, control the Bitcoin system. But if we make it only possible to participate in the Bitcoin network with expensive data-centers that are not anonymous, we'll end up with a network that looks more like this:
The blocksize is a tradeoff, but we don't have to sacrifice decentralization and the security of your Bitcoin savings. We can keep the load on the core network low enough so everyone can participate, and participate anonymously if they so choose with technology:
- Payment channels - Multiple tiny payments are efficiently collapsed into one.
- Off-chain transactions - Small payments can be routed through payment processors rather than clogging up the blockchain.
Will the blocksize always be 1MB?
Forever? Probably not, but we don't know yet when it will be safe to do so and won't for many more years. What we do know is it needs to be easy to run a node anonymously and mine anonymously, and for miners that means reliably transferring 1MB of data in ten to twenty seconds. Tor can almost do that reliably, but we have no idea yet if Tor will get better in the future, or even worse due to attacks. Also, Tor isn't the only anonymous data transfer mechanism - there exist even more secure ones, radio links, steganography and many many more mechanisms. Small blocks give us flexibility to resist attack, and the ability to tell regulators that they can't stop Bitcoin's core network even if they tried.
Bitcoins by themselves don't have names attached, but every transaction made on the blockchain is still completely public. As shown above, you can use that information to figure out where coins came from, commonly known as "taint" analysis, but eventually the analysis is usually obscured into a muddled grey. Usually.
However if you accidentally reveal any of your addresses, perhaps due to a virus, or because you relied on a third-party to access the blockchain, every coin you've spent can be traced back to you:
- Trust-free mixing - multiple users can author a single transaction, making determining the source extremely difficult.
- Off-chain transactions - Chaum token cryptography allows for provably anonymous payments - not even the payment processor can know who you paid.
Who we arePeter Todd created Keep Bitcoin Free as part of his project to create a video explaining the blocksize problem. Financial support for that project has come from individual Bitcoin users, including John Dillon and others.
How can I help?
Donations are accepted:
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA256 Donations to the Keep Bitcoin Free project are accepted at Peter Todd's donation address: 1FCYd7j4CThTMzts78rh6iQJLBRGPW9fWv -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- iQEcBAEBCAAGBQJRlePvAAoJEH+rEUJn5PoEBeoIAKiqyP+V9mCJXzzLxVY1MzJ6 Lvcx9qRvFVZ/r0F1ph3SwkcCBPvwV7nD0Ca7Dr5eat/SDo0u1i6NdznKcY87zADk RqhT0JvhNCNSg3uKfqiYlXS6IJNZ4yGSDxJfAaATH9irw0fLHfPXX1rxqp529I9g bEVi1PBnZx00UHUFAEbVP6uJqjICD8pGwz8K/l2mgGb/1Iw8p3HKxXEogstOILGO dmX60VzPptm2HwcQ9JLSjgsNv2f6KRZoZwr6eXlbGteNgiXRpV4Lo2V14hBWqXTs gKDFsZud93Osqj+A3XIr4qj5GtNFqDUXsVbAmmjNGzs4oyzt7YXneGObRsPm4tA= =EoMU -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
But this isn't a foundation - we'd rather you donate your time by making our goals happen. If you can program, write software, if you can do web design, we could use help, if you can write, talk about the issues.