Bitcoin Q&A: The rules of Bitcoin (part 2)


[AUDIENCE] If that’s the case, how is it possible that
one single person, like you or me, is able to predict… .. what is going to happen, when the whole thing is
robust in consensus decision-making? Thank you. [ANDREAS] Yeah, that’s a good question. The simple answer is that Bitcoin runs a certain set
of rules, and those rules can’t be changed unless… .. everybody agrees. By “agrees,” that means you run
the software that expresses the rules that you want. But if you don’t do anything different,
Bitcoin does not change. That’s the whole point. The consensus rules remain the same. For example, I’m a U.S. citizen right now. [The Federal Reserve announced], at the last Friday
meeting, that they’re going to raise interest rates. They said, “Maybe once more this year.” I know what the interest rate will be next week;
I don’t know what the interest rate will be next year. I know what the [issuance rate] will be for bitcoin
in the year 2142, down to eight decimal points. Why? Because I can read the code. It’s right there. That is one of the rules that’s not going to change;
if you change that rule, it’s not Bitcoin anymore. I can guarantee you that Bitcoin
will never create 21 million coins. That’s the upper limit. We will never reach it. We will get 20,997,000 [coins] with change, and
then it will stop. Why? That will never change. If you try to change that rule, I will say “no” and most
other people interested in Bitcoin will say “no.” If you split off the network, you can
call your thing “Buttcoin.” [Laughter] We will keep calling our thing “Bitcoin,” and
we will just keep the old rules. That certainty…. It gives me a set of rules based on mathematics,
[where] I can look into the future and know when, down to the block number, the distribution of
bitcoins will reduce by half — in the year 2038. I can tell you which block number today, because
it is just mathematics. That is what gives us control. This is not based on arbitrary decisions
by people, it’s based on mathematics. Some people don’t like that. Some people want to have the ability to make political
choices, to elect people who make choices for them, to change their mind, to have flexibility in the system. For that, Bitcoin isn’t good,
because Bitcoin is inflexible. Do you want 24 million coins?
Sorry, we’re not going to do that. It is going to be around 20,997,000. Done. If you want certainty, predictability, and hard
mathematical rules, Bitcoin might be… an interesting choice for you. If you don’t, you can pick another digital
currency or system of organisation. [But] that’s what we get [with Bitcoin],
we get a level of certainty.

12 thoughts on “Bitcoin Q&A: The rules of Bitcoin (part 2)”

  1. Andreas is a mathematical genius, with the ability to communicate his genius to others! I trust Bitcoin and cryptos because I trust this guy and those like him!

  2. Keep teaching, we will keep learning and sharing and growing this space! I blog a lot of your stuff out regularly on Steemit!

  3. some people wonder why bitcoin has certain rules, and not other ones. they have come up by convention and educated guesses on these rules. the much overlooked aspect of it is that we have rules that we can rely on, not which rules they are. this and the fact bitcoin was the first to set up an almost arbitrary set of rules that anyone can rely on not ever being changed, is invaluable and one of the main reasons for bitcoin's value. many don't understand this. and many in the legacy system waste energy on discussing what rules are the right ones. all global judicial systems are basically relying on people fighting over changeable rules. this is super inefficient.

  4. There's actually less coins in circulation..I'm not sure exactly but many coins that were mined early have been lost due to damaged hard drives or lost keys etc..could be several % pts!

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