Since mining is a single-leader process, there is no quorum required to produce a block. To mine a block, a Stacks miner submits block-commit transaction on the Bitcoin chain, and out of all competing block-commits within a Bitcoin block, one of them will be chosen via a cryptographic sortition process. The winning miner earns the right to have their block accepted into the chainstate of other honest nodes, on the fork of their choice.
Bob can validate it and send it to the blockchain for crypto clearing and settlement. By definition, ‘peer-to-peer’ refers to the direct exchange between individuals or other parties. The process is peer-to-peer. As such, a consumer, Alice, who wishes to purchase goods from a merchant, Bob, would send a transaction directly to Bob. Winston Churchill supported the reintroduction of the gold standard, although at a mispriced level, as it stopped the knaves in Parliament from altering values for political concerns. The miners or nodes in the network act as a distributed intermediary. No one intermediary needs to be directly trusted, which differs greatly from any of the current systems. A distributed system enables a method that will stop such knaves seeking to alter the monetary supply yet not turn them into trusted third parties.
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This is a lower bound on the number of Bitcoin blocks mined during which a reorg needs to take place — in practice, honest miners will keep working on the canonical chain, and will win some Stacks blocks of their own, which in turn increases the number of Stacks blocks the reorging miners must win. How hard is it to cause a safety failure (i.e. Anyone can become a miner by spending BTC, so without loss of generality, reverting the last block on the canonical chain is at least as hard in expectation as spending more BTC than the rest of the miners combined for that block. Because each Bitcoin block selects at most one Stacks block, the act of reorging the canonical Stacks chain back N blocks is the act of winning at least N + 1 blocks built off of a common ancestor that is N blocks deep. a double-spend via a reorg) on just the canonical Stacks chain fork?
Over time, this would allow discount miners to out-compete non-discount miners, since their true expenditures are lower than they appear on-chain. However, this degraded form of mining still has an ongoing capital cost in the form of a (BTC) transaction fee, which prevents the system from fully collapsing into PoS. Specific to Stacks, a minority STX token holders have the power to vote to compel PoX miners to burn the BTC instead of transferring it if it is discovered that miners are systemically discount-mining, thereby eliminating the advantage. Because the upside of doing this is capped by vigilant STX holders, and because discount mining requires miners to forego selling their STX to recoup their BTC spend for a long time, it is unlikely to be a problem in practice. Discount mining occurs when PoX miners use their accumulated block rewards to receive PoX token transfers from other miners (including themselves). Moreover, bitcoin the existence of a thriving set of use-cases for STX beyond locking them for PoX further renders discount-mining as a less profitable and more risky use of STX.
At present, the block header is under 50 MB in size. So, we have a system that scales by Moore’s law exponentially yet takes a linear amount of resources. A decade from now, the growth will only be linear. There are a few systems that could not keep block headers in memory today. Many image files can exceed such levels. Users in the system are only required to maintain a copy of the block header to which they can compare transactions.
Forks are a failure recovery mechanism in Stacks, just as they are in PoW blockchains. The fact that the history of all Stacks blocks is encoded within the Bitcoin
chain means that all nodes can enumerate all Stacks blocks that have ever existed, and identify which Stacks blocks are missing from their local chain states. In the event of a systemic network or miner failure, or even systemic block loss, other nodes can become miners at any time and proceed to produce new blocks.
As Bob sends the transactions, and as he is likely to be a merchant with many transactions, his IP address is made public, not Alice’s. Bob and Alice are already exchanging, and so Bob knows of Alice (he may need to send her goods). As the merchant, Bob sends the transactions to the blockchain, and not Alice; she has more privacy than if she sent it herself. So, Alice reveals far less and can maintain her privacy in the world at large. Alice does not need to attract attention using Tor; she can exchange knowing that only Bob sees her exchange (here, Bob and Alice can use an encrypted channel).
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