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Category Archive: Bitcoin Foundation

How the blockchain can improve the Australian voting system

Flux Party is a new Australian political party that wants to renovate the voting system by using the blockchain.

In fact, they have proposed a new token-based political system based on the Bitcoin technology.
The Flux Party has more than 500 members and its objective is to have six senators on ballots during the next election that Australia will hold in September/October.

How it works

A special feature of this party is that its members are free of its own policies and they can vote for or against a legislation at the bidding of token holders.
“If they didn’t have to be senators, if they could just be software or robots they would be, because their only purpose is to do what the people want them to do”, commented the Flux Party co-founder Max Kaye.
So the bitcoin token could be used by the Flux members for voting but also for trading with other people.

Too old for the Internet era

Australian Flux party is clearly suggesting that the current democratic system is too old for the Internet age and for this reason they want to redistribute the political power by using Bitcoin.
Their own website states: “Our current system doesn’t work well enough; politics gets in the way of policy. Flux is an incremental upgrade to democracy designed to redistribute political power, maximise participation, remove bad policy, and empower voters.”
The Flux Party system will allow voters to be able to set their votes to experts on these issues.

A revolutionary but not so new idea

The idea of a blockchain-based voting system is very revolutionary and it is not developed only by the Fluxa Party.
In fact, Nasdaq and the Bitcoin Foundation have worked both on their own voting systems throught the blockchain technology.
About the author: Amelia Tomasicchio is a writer and a journalist of Bitcoin-related news and articles. She started writing about Bitcoin in 2014 and she graduated in Rome with an essay about movie industry related to Bitcoin.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin Foundation throws up everything you need to know about Bitcoin on GitHub

Bitcoin is all about decentralization — and now even its foundation is taking this route.

The Bitcoin Foundation has announced a set of community resources on
GitHub to educate people about Bitcoin and its potential, its website announced today.

Today’s announcement details how the Bitcoin Foundation’s education
committee creates guides for the general public about Bitcoin. It also
describes the committee’s goal to decentralize information about the
alternative currency by having content creation available to anyone on
GitHub. Anyone can join the education committee and
contribute to, update, or edit the content on GitHub. Membership in the
committee will be determined by contributions, not by a decree.
The three objectives of the Bitcoin Foundation are the
standardization of, the protection of, and the promotion of Bitcoin. The
education committee focuses on promotion
of Bitcoin, which in the “context of public misunderstandings,
misinterpretations and misrepresentations” about Bitcoin, “allow[s] the
community to speak through a single source.” With this
method, the foundation seeks to improve Bitcoin’s reputation.
The committee has already created some guides, including an introduction to Bitcoin, suggestions on purchasing bitcoinchoosing a walletusing Bitcoin for business, and the currency’s technical side. The it documents the committee’s presence on social media, including their Twitter and Facebook, as well.
If this experiment in decentralized content creation is successful,
the committee won’t need a chairperson, which adds to the middle
man-less nature of Bitcoin. People in the committee would come and go as
they please. Ideas would gain and lose momentum as they become updated
or tossed aside. With GitHub, everyone’s work would be visible to the
public, and everyone could assist in educating the world about Bitcoin.

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Satoshi

Next Bitcoin Core Version to Include ‘Smarter’ Transaction Fees

(CoinDesk) Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen has outlined the
details of new floating transaction fees to be included in the code of
the next Bitcoin Core release.
In a new post on the official Bitcoin Foundation blog, Andresen
stated that the updated code will enable “smarter” fees that account
for the length of time it takes to confirm transactions on the bitcoin
network. Ultimately, the new code will determine transaction priority,
making sure that transactions confirm more efficiently.
Andresen cited needless complexities within bitcoin’s transaction fee
code as the reason for the update. These complications result in
inconsistent and time-consuming confirmation periods. He wrote:

“Instead of using hard-coded rules for what fees to pay,
the [new] code observes how long transactions are taking to confirm and
then uses that data to estimate the right fee to pay so the transaction
confirms quickly – or decides that the transaction has a high enough
priority to be sent for free but still confirm quickly.”

Furthermore, the new code enables transaction senders to configure
how much priority they want their transaction to receive. In some cases,
users may opt to have as many as six blocks pass before the first
confirmation is received.

Systemic fee problems addressed

Currently, the Bitcoin Core code can lead to headaches for those who
send large bitcoin transactions. As Andresen explained, the new code
eliminates some of the hurdles that slowed down transactions in excess
of 1,000 bytes in size.
Transactions sent for free also run into problems under the existing
framework. The code that determines priority for free transactions
automatically places them at a disadvantage in the network. This results
in a significant increase in confirmation times.
Andresen wrote:

“The current situation is even worse for free,
high-priority transactions: the hard-coded ‘high-priority’ constant is
much too low, so transactions sent for free can take a very long time to
confirm.”

By making changes to Bitcoin Core, Andresen said, users can rely on
more effective transaction fee determinations within the bitcoin
network.

Future updates possible

Andresen went on to dismiss the idea of small, fixed transaction
fees, citing the behavior of miners – and their preference for high-fee
transactions – as reasons to avoid such an approach. Notably, he said
there was no desire within the bitcoin development community to
institute fixed fees.
Fees should rise in the future as miners sign and confirm larger transaction volumes in the months and years ahead, he wrote:

“I expect to see transaction fees rise until a good
solution for optimizing the propagation of blocks across the network is
deployed, because I expect transaction volume to increase and I don’t
think miners will include more transactions in their blocks until
somebody fixes the ‘bigger blocks take longer to broadcast’ problem.”

Ultimately, he concluded, developers need to tackle this problem and
develop new code that enables a more efficient and healthy transaction
process.

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Satoshi

Bitcoin Society CEO: Why digital currency is a tool for global good

Blockchain Awards (1)

(CoinDesk) The weekend before last week’s Bitcoin2014 conference in Amsterdam,
22-year-old Matthew Kenahan had a choice to make – one that he said was
“probably one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make”.

Here
was his dilemma: attend graduation after slogging for four hard years
to get his degree in International Business and Marketing, or skip it to
attend the Bitcoin2014 conference, where he and the organization he heads, the Bitcoin Society, were nominated for a Blockchain Award or ‘Blockie’.
“I
had my 91-year-old grandmother travelling up from Mississippi [to my
graduation],” he told CoinDesk. He eventually chose Amsterdam, and was
rewarded with not only winning the award for ‘Most Impactful Charity’, but also for ‘Bitcoin Champion’ after Andreas Antonopoulos was unable to accept the prize due to a conflict of interest.

Tool for charity

Obviously,
Kenahan’s ‘problem’ is a lighthearted tale, and nothing like the hard
choices faced by people who are living hand-to-mouth in many regions of
the world.
In fact, he sees bitcoin as a tool for helping the less
well-off and, under his leadership, the Bitcoin Society has sought to
explore the charitable uses of bitcoin and to promote a positive image of bitcoin in contrast to its association with the drugs trade.
“The
main idea behind this is to show people that you can use cryptocurrency
for something other than Silk Road. We’re creating a global community,
we’re trying to connect people,” Kenahan explained
As befits a prize for charitable work, Kenahan pledged to donate his 1BTC winnings to the Women’s Annex Foundation, which aims to build women’s digital literacy and increase access to the Internet. He tweeted confirmation of the donation that same day.
For Kenahan, that transparency in donations is appealing from an accountability point of view:

“[Bitcoin]
allows you to create a unique address, for a very specific cause […]
we see both the incoming and outgoing transactions, and we can see that
it’s used for a very specific cause.”

Those charitable uses of bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, are already apparent from a human rights organization that works in Sri Lanka to homeless outreach shelter Sean’s Outpost in the US.
Perhaps more famously, dogecoin has become a veritable charity fundraising machine, including the $50,000 Doge4Water campaign.

Image problem

More
generally, the Bitcoin Society is devoted to challenging what Kenahan
calls “misinformation” in reporting on bitcoin and to improving perceptions of bitcoin.
“One
of the biggest issues with bitcoin, and one of the things that
hindering the development of our community, is we have this fundamental
image problem that oftentimes stems from misinformation or slanderous
articles,” he argued.

Future plans

As part of that
challenge, the Bitcoin Society is planning a number of projects over the
next year, including a new website called bitcoincourses.org, which
will help to educate people about bitcoin, and a textbook buy-back
scheme for US students.
“Instead of selling your textbook back to
the bookstore … and getting grossly underpaid,” he said, “what we would
do is redeem that textbook for bitcoin. That provides a low-risk – it’s
money you’ve already spent – way to get involved into a community that
has more and more legitimacy every day.”
Currently, Kenahan has
big plans for expanding the Bitcoin Society team and is recruiting
representatives from his alma mater Washington University.
“We’re going to be set up in Shanghai, New York, India, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago,” he said.
For
this self-funded bitcoin champion – Kenahan said he previously traded
in the bitcoin markets – 2014 is proving to be a very exciting year
indeed.

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Satoshi

Bobby Lee, Brock Pierce Join Bitcoin Foundation’s Board of Directors

(CoinDesk) Bobby Lee and Brock Pierce have joined the Bitcoin Foundation’s board
of directors, after coming top in a second round of votes cast by the
organisation’s industry members.
The run-off election featured three candidates, including BTC China CEO Bobby Lee, venture capitalist Brock Pierce and CEO of mobile gift card provider Gyft, Vinny Lingham.
The results were particularly close, with Lee receiving 79% approval
and Pierce scoring 65% – just 2% above Lingham, who received 63%.
With the announcement, Lee and Pierce join a board that includes executive director Jon Matonis, bitcoin chief scientist Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin Magazine’s Elizabeth Ploshay and Ribbit Capital’s Micky Malka, alongside founder and chairman Peter Vessenes.
This news follows the 1st May results of an initial round of voting, which ended with none of the original 15 candidates reaching the necessary vote threshold to win a seat.
These industry seats have been vacant since the resignation of two founding members – former BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem and Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles – earlier this year.

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Satoshi

Bitcoin Foundation: Update on Transaction Malleability


(Bitcoin Foundation) You may have noticed that some exchanges have temporarily suspended withdrawals and wondering what’s going on or more importantly, what’s being done about it. You can be rest assured that we have identified the issue and are collectively and collaboratively working on a solution.   Somebody (or several somebodies) is taking advantage of the transaction malleability issue and relaying mutated versions of transactions. This is exposing bugs in both the reference implementation and some exchange’s software.  We (core dev team, developers at the exchanges, and even big mining pools) are creating workarounds and fixes right now. This is a denial-of-service attack; whoever is doing this is not stealing coins, but is succeeding in preventing some transactions from confirming. It’s important to note that DoS attacks do not affect people’s bitcoin wallets or funds.   Users of the reference implementation who are bitten by this bug may see their bitcoins “tied up” in unconfirmed transactions; we need to update the software to fix that bug, so when they upgrade those coins are returned to the wallet and are available to spend again. Only users who make multiple transactions in a short period of time will be affected.  As a result, exchanges are temporarily suspending withdrawals to protect customer funds and prevent funds from being misdirected.

Follow @BTCFoundation for update.

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Satoshi