A recent tweet by Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin, has initiated an intense debate among the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency community. In the tweet, Wright states that a cryptocurrency mining pool that can’t mine blocks of 32MB-that a 56K modem could effectively mine, don’t merit a place in the cryptocurrency community and “deserve to be bankrupt.”
Following is the tweet posted by Wright:
If a pool cannot mine a minor 32mb block (that a 56k modem could handle) and tries to hobble scaling to subsidise their failure, they deserve to be bankrupt.
This is capitalism. Scaling is happening in #BCH
Miners will just move pools, life goes on. pic.twitter.com/MY51GksjxI
— Dr Craig S Wright (@ProfFaustus) August 28, 2018
He further aired his opinion stating that such pool uses the scaling problem as an excuse for their failures in mining substantial amounts of bitcoins. He, however, noted that the scaling problem is being solved by Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Bits and Bytes
You probably could be wondering what bits and bytes mean. Well, computer information is stored in the form of bits and bytes. A bit is a binary digit representing the lowest increment of data in a computer. A bit can only involve two value: 0 or 1. Since a bit is too small making it impossible to operate it, eight bits are grouped to form a byte. A byte may contain sufficient information to store a single ASCII character such as “h.”
Wright’s tweet elicited various reactions among his followers on twitter when one user noted that Wright’s calculation was erroneous. The user stated that a 56K modem would take more than an hour to download 32 MB worth of information entirely. However, Wright was unrelenting to his calculation affirming that the modern will take 9.5 minutes to complete the download.
The debate went on, and professor Emin Gun Sirer, a renowned individual in the cryptocurrency industry, pointed out that it will take 76 minutes for the 56K modern to download 32MB data and not 9.5 as first stated by Wright. In no time, David Schwartz faulted Sirer’s calculations indicating that it will precisely take 79.89 minutes for the modem to download that worth information. Schwartz specified that he had factored in the taxes imposed by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to arrive at his answer.
The debate took another turn when Ethereum’s cofounder Vitalik Buterin rubbished the idea of calculating files sizes in bytes but internet bandwidth in bites per second. Buterin’s tweet prompted a discussion about the need to develop a standard calculation for both the file size and internet speed to avoid confusion displayed by Craig Wright. This idea was backed by Nick Johnson, go-Ethereum core developer who pointed out the errors associated with such calculation.
The heated debate was soon settled with an agreement that if modems for internet connections are denoted in bytes/sec instead of bits/sec, then the download speed should be calculated as bytes/sec and not bits/sec in all cases.
Wright’s wrong calculation with unfounded claims clearly shows that the perceived blockchain experts may also be wrong at times. Therefore, the cryptocurrency community should only criticize the wrong facts rather than bully the casualty as the case with Wright. After all, Wright’s innocuous tweet sparked a debate on a vital issue that should be resolved in cryptocurrency mining.