Bitcoin Censorship Resistance Explained

Bitcoin Censorship Resistance ExplainedCensorship Resistance

One of the greatest features of a decentralized blockchain is censorship resistance. With the money in your bank account, a third party has control over where and when you can send it. With Bitcoin, you can send money to whatever address you like without fear of government interference. However, freedom is not the natural order of the world. The fight against oppression and censorship is a constant battle. While Bitcoin has an important history of circumventing censorship, we’ll look at the omnipresent threats against the cryptocurrency and its level of resistance.

Wikileaks

In 2010, the US government pressured payment processors such as Visa and Mastercard to block payments to Wikileaks. In response, Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, wanted to accept Bitcoin payments instead. However, at the time, Satoshi Nakamoto did not want Wikileaks using the Bitcoin network. Satoshi said “the project needs to grow gradually so the software can be strengthened along the way. I make this appeal to Wikileaks not to try to use bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy.”

Assange agreed not to use Bitcoin at the time but donations eventually opened up in 2011

Wikileaks ended up receiving over 4000 Bitcoins to the consternation of the American government. Given the increase in price since 2011, the credit card processing ban against Wikileaks no doubt had the opposite intended effect. Assange certainly was happy with the result, giving thanks to the US government.

Wikileaks and Coinbase

In 2018, Coinbase blocked the Wikileaks Shop account from making transactions on the cryptocurrency exchange. Coinbase said they are “legally obliged to implement regulatory compliance mechanisms.” Coinbase also said that Wikileaks is “in violation of our terms of service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service.”

It was said that Coinbase would help destroy censoring payment companies, not join them. Bring balance to censorship resistance, not leave it in darkness. But Wikileaks feels they have the moral high ground, calling for a “global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community.” The irony here is astounding as Wikileaks, a website that popularized Bitcoin is attacked by Coinbase, a company popularized by Bitcoin.

Coinbase’s ability to ban a specific company is just one of many possible attacks against Bitcoin. While Wikileaks still accepts donations in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Zcash, Monero, and Ethereum, it looks like they will need to look elsewhere for liquidating cryptocurrency assets.

Bitcoin ATM

If you are blocked from using exchanges, you can always turn to your closest Bitcoin ATM. While not ideal for large sums of money, no one can stop you from receiving Bitcoin and heading to a Bitcoin ATM to turn coins into cash. In this way, Bitcoin battles back against censorship by allowing payments that might otherwise be impossible.

Unfortunately, until there is greater competition in the Bitcoin ATM market, the machines often have the problem of rapacious fees and exchange rates worse than the market rate.

Anonymity

A Bitcoin ATM used anonymously helps with Bitcoin censorship resistance. If you make a wallet without providing personal information, you should be able to send and receive Bitcoins while concealing your true identity. However, if you acquire Bitcoin on an exchange that follows KYC, you can be sure that governments can track down all of your transactions on the blockchain.

When compared to Monero and Zcash, Bitcoin places much less emphasis on anonymous transactions, opening up the possibility for more censorship. While governments cannot stop Bitcoin transactions, they can certainly come after you after the transaction is complete.

Governance Model

Another way to potentially censor a cryptocurrency is through governance. The updating of software, changing of rules, or forking of a blockchain are all ways to control transactions. The disappearance of Satoshi provides a massive advantage to Bitcoin in this area. Developers and miners must reach an overwhelming consensus before they can make any changes to the Bitcoin protocol. While centralized development teams swiftly deploy updates, it comes at a cost of censorship, potentially in the form of a hard fork.

Censorship resistant cryptocurrencies should possess an immutable blockchain. Unlike Ethereum, which rolled back transactions with a hard fork, Bitcoin’s history is firmly written in its blockchain. If a fork can reverse your transactions, it opens the door to censorship.

Mining

Due to ASIC mining, the level of centralization in Bitcoin mining is not ideal. With large players setting up expensive mining farms, fewer people participate in the mining process. However, as the mining becomes more centralized, the possibility of collusion and a 51% attack increases. Currently, miners have no reason to collude and attack the blockchain due to the profits achieved by simply mining Bitcoin. However, for censorship resistance, Bitcoin would want to be in a position where it cannot logistically succumb to overwhelming hashing power.

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An example of a coin with less censorship resistance would be Bitcoin Cash. As it uses the same mining algorithm as Bitcoin, large mining pools of Bitcoin could theoretically 51% attack Bitcoin Cash. However, a large mining farm’s main purpose is to generate profit. Attacking Bitcoin Cash, while feasible, would ultimately be a significant waste of money. Miners have no incentive to use time and energy destroying Bitcoin Cash. Although from the perspective of censorship resistance, Bitcoin Cash fails due to its vulnerability.

Fees

What if the fees for using the Bitcoin network become prohibitively expensive for many users? Is it a form of censorship to prevent payments from those with less money? When Bitcoin network fees spiked at the peak of popularity, many people started exchanging Bitcoin for Litecoin to move money around. However, such a transaction would once against cause the use of a third party, defeating the purpose of censorship resistance. Bitcoin will certainly need to continue exploring ways to scale transactions on the network while simultaneously keeping fees low. The lightning network is currently the best bet. Unfortunately, there are also worries about centralization and censorship with lightning.

Conclusion

When compared to other cryptocurrencies on the merits of censorship resistance, Bitcoin comes out ahead. No other coin can claim the same level of reliability and decentralization as Bitcoin. The governance model, immutable blockchain, and ability to liquidate through ATMs all contribute to the level of freedom Bitcoin provides. However, there is still work to do. Third-party exchanges, miners, fees, and governments all try and exude pressure on Bitcoin. However, in spite of all the potential threats, the coin keeps plugging along one block at a time, without interruption, and without third parties censoring your transaction.

This article is originally posted at Coincentral.com by Paul Andrew

Music: Ambassadors of Light by Shalom Daniel ft. Folorunso, Jobs & Debbie El

Ambassadors of Light

You can either listen to Ambassadors of Light by Shalom Daniel ft. Folorunso, Jobs and Debbie El by clicking the play button above or click download file to download to your device. 

Ambassadors of Light

Download the Ambassadors of Light  by Shalom Daniel ft. Folorunso, Jobs and Debbie El. 

It is astounding that the main problem of man is that of IDENTITY CRISIS.

Only few people really or fully identify with Christ. 

They want to enjoy the pleasures of the Lust of the World yet they want to identity with Christ.

They tend to betray Jesus with a kiss while hugging the devil.

But how imperative it is for man to know that he is not just an accident in a location, rather he is on a journey to a destination.

We all need to take responsibility for our individual lives,and this can be done through accountability.

In other words, true responsibility is accountability.

We never chose or decided to come to the earth by ourselves, rather it pleases God to send us here. It,  therefore, implies that there is a purpose for which we were sent here which we must all individually fulfill.

Isaiah 60:1-3, Matthew 5:13-16 and 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 give us insights with regards to our purpose on earth.

We are pilgrims and ambassadors here on earth to shine our light for the world to see, to reconcile men back to God and to represent our Father in heaven here on earth.

Albeit we live in the world, we are not of the world.

We must shine our light via virtues and character that the world might be drawn to Christ through us.

And as ambassadors we are to dominate any territory we find ourselves. In other words, we to expand the kingdom of God on earth.

Christianity is not a religion but a lifestyle.

Every born-again man is a Christian.

Every Christian is an ambassador.

But the salient question is;
Are you truly living as an ambassador of Christ?

Are you truly living as an ambassador of Light?

Are you truly shining as light?

Are you representing Christ well?

The song ♪AMBASSADORS OF LIGHT♪ is just one of the right songs that we need to download and keep listening to.

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You must be sure you are one of the remnants who are standing for God.

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Build up yourself on your most holy faith.

7 Reasons You Should Start Accepting Bitcoin as a Means of Payment on Your Podcast

Bitcoin podcast reasons Before I give you the 7 Reasons You Should Start Accepting Bitcoin as a Means of Payment on Your Podcast, I’ll like to tell you about Bitcoin and certain businesses or companies that have started accepting Bitcoin as a Means of Payment.

According to Wikipedia, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a digital payment system invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It was released as open-source software in 2009.

In case you don’t understand that, Bitcoin is a currency just like Dollar, Euro, Naira, etc. Just that Bitcoin is digital. It’s not printed and it’s decentralised unlike other currencies that are centralised.

Bitcoin is considered an asset by many. It works based on the principles of demand and supply. It appreciates or depreciate in value. Early this year, 1 BTC was around $700 but as at today 1 BTC is equal to $2612 and it keeps increasing.

Let me not bore you with stories about Bitcoin, you can learn more here.

7 Reasons You Should Start Accepting Bitcoin as a Means of Payment on Your Podcast

Either you are a Podcaster or a business man, this Reasons also apply to you. You can utilise them and be sure that it would really pay off at the short or long run.

Low Transaction Fees: Bitcoin has Zero transaction fee. Unlike many other channels of Payment, Bitcoin gives you opportunity to make payment with little or no transaction fee. This is very good for startups you know? Others like PayPal, Western Union charge about 2% to 3% of the money you want to transact.

Quick Payment: Have you tried to send money via bank to someone or you are expecting a payment but it took days to get to the person or you? With Bitcoin, that’s forgone. With Bitcoin underlying technology, Blockchain, you can send money instantly and it gets to the receiver within second.

Security: Other platforms of Payment often require your identity, credit cards, etc for transactions but Bitcoin doesn’t require that. The implication is that your information with might not be safe with them.

For example, on my 5th Episode of the Charity Connect Podcast, a guy donated using Bitcoin and warned me not to disclose his identity. No one would know that except me or of getting tells someone. You can easily trace such via banks or other channels. So, with Bitcoin, you have Identity Theft Protection.

Ease of Accepting International Payment: to make more sales means to go worldwide. So many of us in Nigeria, for example, want to sell Ebooks or other products to other countries but we are limited because of Payment. With Bitcoin, you cab easily accept payments from the International market.

Become and Industry Leader: Let me ask you a question. If you want to set up your Bitcoin payment or acceptance point now, who would you call? Most likely, me. That’s right! You become a Leader in your business by accepting Bitcoin as a Means of Payment.

Publicity: there are more than 80,000 businesses around the world already accepting Bitcoin according to Talk Business. That includes popular companies like WordPress, Microsoft, Dell, Wikipedia, Namecheap, etc.

I remember I bought my hosting plan on Namecheap using Bitcoin. It was just about $10 when I did.

Many sites like coinmap are listing businesses Accepting Bitcoin for free. That’s where the publicity comes in.

Customer Satisfaction: many people own Bitcoin but they don’t have channels to transact with it. If you give them the opportunity to buy your products with Bitcoin, they become satisfied. I remember how satisfied I was buying my hosting plan from Namecheap using Bitcoin.

What more?

Start Accepting Bitcoin as a Means of Payment today.

There are ways to get started but let me just give you this simple way. Go to the blockchain.info and sign up or download the mobile app on your mobile store. With that you would have your Bitcoin wallet.

I strongly recommend you using blockchain because it’s easy and the most trusted Bitcoin wallet. Download Blockchain Bitcoin Wallet from playstore (for those on Android) and other mobile store.

Mind you, you can donate to support our Podcast by clicking here. No amount is to small. We would love to touch more lives.

IF you have any questions or contributions, kindly use the comment box below. We love your comments. Thanks.