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Bitcoin Math Microsoft

Researchers Locate Flaw In Bitcoin Protocol 191

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Microsoft Research and Cornell identified a potential flaw in Bitcoin's transaction propagation. In a recent paper they show how miner nodes in the Bitcoin network have an incentive not to relay transactions to the rest of the network, and propose to implement a scheme that rewards nodes [PDF] for relaying messages."
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Researchers Locate Flaw In Bitcoin Protocol

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @06:40AM (#38057758)

    This doesn't really make sense. Clients forward transactions as well as miners (and typical clients are connected to 8 other clients, making it a very well connected network).

    Granted, there is no incentive to forward transactions, but if nobody forwards transactions then the network won't work so ultimately it's in the self interest of all users to do so. Some miners may decide not to do so, in the hope that they will be the one who solves the block and get the transaction fee. But they are not actually gaining anything by doing so. They are making other miners potentially miss out on transaction fees but it doesn't improve their chances of winning the block and therefore getting the fee and there is no way they can know what transactions other miners have picked up through other routes via the network.

    I think the conclusion is wrong; while there is no incentive to forward the transaction (beyond stability of the network), there is also no obvious disincentive to do so as the cost is tiny (the cost of the bandwidth to forward it)

  • by qxcv ( 2422318 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @06:56AM (#38057846)

    I think the real question here is why all UIDs under 2,000,000 don't do marketing for MS. But seriously, their R&D department do some pretty cool stuff. Even though MS manage to churn out nine-nines of crap products, occasionally they still come out with something awesome that they manage to get to market (think Kinect). Shame they spend the rest of their time suing their competitors, churning out garbage like Windows and spreading FUD.

  • by intellitech ( 1912116 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:06AM (#38057892)

    A bug can exist without it immediately causing problems. It's generally best to fix things before they become a problem, not afterwards.

  • But seriously, their R&D department do some pretty cool stuff. Even though MS manage to churn out nine-nines of crap products, occasionally they still come out with something awesome that they manage to get to market (think Kinect).

    The problem with that idea is that Kinect was a 90%+ finished product when they bought it. They polished it for use with the 360, it always takes them some time to fuck up a new technology sufficiently for their branding, and kicked it out the door. And it's taking them how long to kick out a PC version even though hobbyists have been doing it all along? Microsoft is pathetic at everything but illegally exploiting their opportunities and believing otherwise is ignorant at best.

  • The value of a good is actually whatever a third party is willing to give you in exchange for that good... This value is completely arbitrary, and allows products with no physical value (eg software) to be sold for huge amounts of money or other goods...

    Similarly, money itself has no real value, only the value that others are willing to give in exchange for it.

    The advantage of bitcoin, is that while its effectively a worthless token system, just like regular cash, it is a finite supply and thus not subject to the whims of a central authority.

    Personally i use bitcoin a lot, primarily as an intermediary currency because i can buy bitcoins with money i hold in one currency, and then draw it out again in my local currency without incurring fees levied by existing currency exchange establishments.

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:06AM (#38058210)
    Getting ready to watch bitcoin plunge the rest of the way to zero. Just over $2 now. Anyone who lost money in bitcoin must be told : "seriously, what were you thinking?"
  • by EdZ ( 755139 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:36AM (#38058366)

    I got bored of the Wii gimmick and PS Move pretty quick. So I didn't even bother buying Kinect for my 360. How is it any better?

    It's not. All three non-haptic (don't give me that "vibration is feedback" claptrap!) motion gaming controllers are absolutely horrible to use.

    However, the Kinect is an amazing machine vision system. SLAM, 3d scanning, etc, all for something the size of a Toblerone you can buy off-the-shelf for cheap.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:42AM (#38058416)
    And Sony haven't done that? Oh wait they did [playstation.com].
  • Google as well. Saw an interesting article on Google X labs, their "skunkworks"-style division yesterday.

    http://www.slashgear.com/google-x-labs-plans-robot-researchers-to-map-the-future-14194990/ [slashgear.com]

    There's a link to the poorly-paywalled nytimes article in there. Funny thing is they like to keep the fact that they're doing research a secret and constantly emphasize that they put very little money into research, because research makes shareholders nervous. Shows you how far ahead shareholders (or their HFT servers) are thinking.

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