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Issue #648: Hardware is key for this revolution

Issue #648: Hardware is key for this revolution

Jan 9, 2020
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #648: Hardware is key for this revolution

It's never a bad day to reiterate the message our good friend Neil Woodfine is trying to spread in the above tweet thread; bitcoin is just as much of a hardware revolution as it is a software revolution. The future success of the network, in my opinion, is contingent on whether or not enough bitcoiners are running personal hardware with copies of the blockchain and relaying those copies in an internet-minimized fashion.

During this period of relative peace that we find ourselves living in, sacrificing the ability to download and continually verify the blockchain on personal hardware for ease of use and "scalability" may come with few consequences. But make no mistake, when shit hits the fan, you better hope there is alternative distributed infrastructure in place to keep the network up and running. There doesn't even need to be a direct attack on bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to severly hinder their ability to function. Governments can be motivated to attack critical digital infrastructure for other reasons. Here's one recent example out of Iran:

If a large portion of the world is ever subjected to what these Iranian protesters were just subjected to, you better hope hardware like that which is displayed above exists to route around the attempted blackout. More importantly, you better hope the chain size of the network you are attempting to relay and verify messages for is at such a size that the alternatives need to route the messages during the blackout can do so successfully and in a timely manner. Luckily, as you should be able to tell after reading Neil's thread, bitcoiners are hard at work building products and services that contribute greatly to the construction of the alternative infrastructure needed to make sure bitcoin survives the curbing of the Internet.

Airgapped consumer products, DIY gameboy hardware wallets, anonymous hosting solutions, satellites, mesh networks, the PSBT standard, dedicated hardware nodes, and research into how to bounce bitcoin transactions off the Ionosphere via short wave radio signals may not seem that important today, but they are imperative for the success of bitcoin's future or any similar network attempting to serve the same use case. Everything is all well and good until Amazon is forced to stop running code associated with any GitHub repository holding code that makes cryptocurrencies operational.

The need for distributed hardware only begins here. We have not even touched on the pressing need to distribute mining operations throughout more of the world and across many more jurisdictions.

Much work to be done!


Final thought...

Made my bed real early this morning.


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