Bitcoin Recapitulation

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Bitcoin Recapitulation

By Mircea Popescu

Posted July 15, 2019

Monday, 15 July, Year 11 d.Tr. Author: Mircea Popescu To start off in style, let’s revisit, explicitly, an important matter obliquely mentioned by yours truly with some regularity within the walls and by nobody outside the walls ever with any comprehension.

Contrary to “expert consensus “ and other such “scientific “ lulzi, Bitcoin is not fractionary.ii There are no Bitcoin digits. All Bitcoin sums are integers.

What you call “Bitcoin”, as in “a Bitcoin” or “half a Bitcoin” is rather Indian numeration, a sort of lakh, or crore. In those terms, one Bitcoin’d be 10 crore, or a tenth of an arab (अरब) ; and no, I’m not implying genetic-driven cognitive inferiority with these statements. I’m outright saying it : the manner in which “you find it natural” to think betrays your appartenance to inferior genetic stock. Just like the Indians’.

Your genetic inferiority and the phenotypic sadness it drives aside, the interesting question would be “ten crore whats?!?!” ; and the readily obvious answer follows in the same breath : one Bitcoin is just shorthand for a hundred million satoshi. That’s the unit of account in Bitcoin, the satoshi. See ?

It’s not that “there never will be more than 21 million Bitcoins ever issued”. It’s that there never will be more than 2099999997690000iii satoshis ever in existence. That’s about 2.1e+15 in scientific notation, or roughly 1.865 peta in binary notationiv. This is an absolute, logical limit ; but there probably also exists a higher practical limit, because if the coinbase is fully fragmented (meaning – all Bitcoin is held in individual single satoshi containing addresses) payment for mining will perhaps become somewhat awkward.v Consider the implications of this harsh reality for the assortment of would-be & pretend sovereigns outside The Most Serene Republic : they’re going to “track” bitcoin ? Reheheally ? Do some math, why don’t you. Each output must reside in an address, that’s 160 bitsvi or… 160 * 1.865 = 298.4 PetaBytes to merely store the collection of labels describing the worldstate at any given time.

Let’s take a moment to put that 300 PetaBytes figure in context. The peak production of storage media in human history occured in year 2014, when roughly speaking 1.2 bn items were producedvii. This would then mean that the storage required to reflect the collection of labels describing the Bitcoin worldstate at one given moment represents about 0.0000025% of the total storage production during the one year to date humanity produced most storage media. Talk about a megawatt standard!

Talk, talk, but keep thinking : one snapshot’s meaningless, you want these at least dailyviii, yes ? So then each year that’s 365 * 298.4. Then you also want to retain the transactions involved, which, even with very careful pruningix, can readily average above 1kB per address per transactionx.

If you’re snapshotting daily and each address transacts on average weekly, you’re looking at the following beauty : (160 * 365 + 1024xi * 52) * 1.865 peta = 203.34 exabytes! Each year!

Now look again at those 2014 figures : are 1.2bn units enough ? To make the question easier : 203.34 exabytes split among 1.2bn units implies a 181.95 GB (gigabyte) average size per unit. Are hard drives larger on average than 181 GB as far as you’ve seen ? Well… that’s good then! How many platters to the hard drive do you think ? Ever looked?

Bitcoin fragmentationxii poses various problems to various other peoplexiii besides fiatist pretenders, of course, which is why my only otherxiv measure as Bitcoin’s central bank and only financial, political and ideological authority – besides killing an early rally back in 2013xv– was killing “bitcoin as medium of exchange “ nonsense back in ~2016.

Nevertheless, problems or no problems : Bitcoin prevails. It is, warts and all, still today the more interesting thing happening in the world, as it has been since forever.

That’d be all.


  1. Just five articles off that large TLP adnotation project in, I already have an excellent reference point, one of those shining jewels of great explanatory power that you know will just recur time and again. Add to this that no less than the adnotation required the involvement of twenty-five other Trilema articles (that’s a factor of >5 per!) and all of a sudden it’s pretty fucking obvious the digestion was a strictly fabulous idea. Go me. []
  2. Yes, I’m aware that most everyone’s introduction to fractions came at their encounter with Bitcoin ; prior to that moment they were living a happy life made out of Baťa prices []
  3. Exact figue. Source. []
  4. Since the principal considerations have to do with disk space, and disk space is allocated in bytes, knowing what factor of 1024^5 the total satoshi count comes to is desirable. []
  5. This is entirely possible, though perhaps not likely – a situation where one maintains off-blockchain relationships with a miner combine, and communicates their desired transactions as, say, a gpg dump, only to have them later introduced into the blockchain as “zero fee” (with an actual fee paid in kind in some manner, rather than in coin on the blockchain). Like so. []
  6. Provided the pretender isn’t actually USGtarded, doing lulzy shit with excel etcetera, in which case a Bitcoin address is rather 25 to 33 base58 symbols stored as bytes.Judging by embedded girlies’ reports, pretty much all all banking currently happens through java-on-Windows unexamined (and unexaminable) towers of chairs, so no, I don’t expect much efficiency will be seen deployed by the celebrated makers of papier-mache boats. []
  7. Don’t worry though – there was hope to overtake this by 2020, back in early 2018. []
  8. Let’s amuse ourselves for a moment considering what second-accurate snapshotting would do. []
  9. The absolute size of a Bitcoin transaction falls within a range centered on 180 bytes * count of inbound tx + 34 bytes * count of outbound tx + 10 and as wide as the count of inbound transactions.As a forinstance : if you move from 32 addresses into 64 addresses your transaction size will be between 7914 and 7978 byts (32 above or below 180 * 32 + 34 * 64 + 10) while if you contrariwise move from 64 addresses into 32 addresses, your transaction size will then be 12554 to 12682 bytes, ie 64 above or below 180 * 64 + 34 * 32 + 10.

The significant differential, whereby the marginal input address adds a 180 byte weight to the transaction, whereas the marginal output address adds merely 34 bytes (18.9%, less than one fifth) creates a very heavy incentive towards coinbase fragmentation (moving from fewer to more addresses results in fewer average coins per address as a mathematical necessity) and against coinbase concentration. []

  1. Suppose you’re tracking all the 64 addresses mentioned on the wide side of one of our foregoing examples. You may get away with storing each transaction only once, but you’re storing a 8 to 12kB transaction, plus the set of indexes allowing you to link each of the addresses back to it. Figuring index overhead as equal to the data may well be an understatement, for which reason simply rounding to the unit appears a very defensible stance. Hence, 1kB. []
  2. You could, I suppose, replace this with a narrower 180 + 34 + 10 = 224, though I doubt the wisdom. []
  3. Here’s some numbers, for the actuarially inclined. []
  4. It poses problems to them, yes ; it doesn’t however outright kill them, like it does kill the fiatards and their insufferable regine. Which is, and always was, exactly the point : pentru unii muma, pentru altii ciuma. []
  5. Well, only big one,at any rate. Or maybe not. []
  6. You recall the “epic few days” era, the times of Karpeles and Keisers ? Look at all those coincidences, wooowee! []