Dr. Craig Wright: With Bitcoin, the power is within
Sorry Raspberry Pi users, your tiny computers aren’t enough to handle a full Bitcoin node.
At the recently held Satoshi’s Vision conference in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Craig Wright explained how network topology works, and, in the process, debunked the notion that an outfitted Raspberry Pi can be used as a full Bitcoin node.
The nChain chief scientist prefaced his presentation, “Bitcoin network topology: Small world vs mesh,” by saying that the key to understanding connectivity and Bitcoin is to bear in mind that Bitcoin is incentivized. Bitcoin, he said, is “actually very close to a biological system,” where nodes aren’t the important part—the connections are.
“With Bitcoin, the power is within. The code is rich enough. The network is strong enough. We don’t need to do half the things people tell us we need to do. We don’t need to rebuild it, we don’t need to change it, we don’t need to bastardize it. Bitcoin is powerful right now,” Wright said.
So where do the Raspberry Pis fit in? Nowhere. Miners, after all, are incentivized to process a transaction on the network, and a Raspberry Pi does not have enough processing power, memory and network bandwidth to maintain it all, according to Wright.
“If you have to open up many, many connections, your machine grinds to a halt and it becomes slower. So all those Raspberry Pis out there end up slower, they take 30 seconds, 40 seconds to transmit a transaction. And as you send that transaction, it hits all the miners, and all the miners have that transaction in 1-3 seconds, and it can get faster than that as well. By the time any Raspberry Pi decides that’s a valid transaction, the miners have either accepted or rejected it,” Wright said, “because miners are incentivized to connect to miners. Every second matters to a miner. Every second, if you can mine one second faster, verify one second faster, get a block out one second faster, you make money. Making money makes people want to do this. We use greed for good. This is what Bitcoin does. Bitcoin is not a system of cryptographic protocols, it uses them. It is an incentive system. You can’t cheat the system because if you do, you lose money. That’s what it’s about.”
Watch Dr. Craig Wright’s “Bitcoin network topology: Small world vs mesh” presentation here: