The Difference Between General And Specific Consensus In Bitcoin

Published: May 19, 2019 (Medium & Altcoin Magazine)

20 minute read

Justin Percy (May 18, 2019 — BTC Block #576603 & PHC Block #901401)

“Nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.” [1]

Consensus has to be one of the most popular buzzwords of the last few years within the blockchain industry. Almost everyone has seen this term used, or have been bombarded with phrases like: “Consensus Protocol” or “Distributed Consensus”, or as bold as “Consensus Conference”. The irony is, most people truly don’t understand what it means, or often misuse the word when speaking of their projects or source code.

Definition of consensus [2]
1a: general agreement: UNANIMITY
b: the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned
2: group solidarity in sentiment and belief

The simple definition is general agreement. This is not the same as total agreement, nor predetermined agreement as some might think. There has to be some level of a decision-making process that includes five requirements for a true consensus to take place.

“Inclusion, Participation, Cooperation, Egalitarianism, Solution-Mindedness”. [3]

“Consensus decision making involves a collaborative discussion, rather than an adversarial debate.” [4]

The First Peer To Peer Global Consensus Protocol

Little known facts in history reveal a primitive attempt to launch a global peer to peer information network in the early 1930s.

“He hoped to fund a prototypical defensive weapon in the interest of world peace, but his appeals to J.P. Morgan Jr. and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went nowhere. “ [5]

“It was the height of World War II, and Tesla had claimed to have invented a powerful particle-beam weapon, known as the “Death Ray,” that could have proved invaluable in the ongoing conflict.” [6]

This pivotal moment in Dr. Nikola Tesla’s career was a brutal awakening and learning process to why it’s important not to depend on single sources for funding or support. He quickly realized that a global marketing effort must be done; To secure funding as well as ensure global peace. He implemented this consensus mechanism by sending an investment prospectus with limited versions of his Death Ray blueprints to the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. [7] Not one single entity could reproduce his device without cooperating among themselves and with him.

“He said that there was no danger that his invention could be stolen for he had at no time committed any part of it to paper. The blueprint for the Teleforce weapon was all in his mind.” [7]

Dr. Nikola Tesla’s decentralized information scheme was never fully adopted, but proved effective when in 1935, the Soviet Union agreed to pay him for more detailed plans, specifications, and complete information by negotiating through the US Amtorg Trading Corporation, simultaneously ensuring the United States and the Soviet Union would never enter an arms race with each other, during the construction process or at any time after completion; Their military capabilities would be equal and identical, a war would be pointless. [7]

Consensus On The Bitcoin Consensus

What most people fail to understand: The “consensus mechanism” described in the Bitcoin Whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto — was referring to the use of proof-of-work, to ensure that all peers on the network, and their operators; Adhere to strict conditions for network discussions among themselves.

This is not the same as conferences or chat forums, where developers talk and agree upon similar technologies or implementations, nor does it refer to the use of static or specific variables within the code; While all nodes run the same version. What this refers to in the Bitcoin whitepaper — is selectively choosing the proper blockchain to be considered the most valid.

“expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them.” [1]

Satoshi’s Consensus

“Consensus decision-making is a group decision-making process in which group members develop, and agree to support a decision in the best interest of the whole group or common goal. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the “favourite” of each individual. It has its origin in the Latin word cōnsēnsus (agreement), which is from cōnsentiō meaning literally feel together.” [8]

The consensus mechanism Satoshi mentioned, was never fully explained in detail through the whitepaper or online forum chats. After careful study of all core source code versions 9 and prior; It becomes clear that vast amounts of functions and their outputs, determine the outcome of the wallet software, and is later recorded on the blockchain as historical evidence.

The wallet software does not start executing source code from line #1 sequentially to line #10000+, ensuring all local variables are in agreement with those from other nodes. Source code is separated into specific files, containing functions and classes referenced as objects with variables contained. These are created, cloned and destroyed in real-time via random access memory (RAM), modified and executed when called upon by other functions.

The core of the software requires that all functions work and cooperate together to achieve a common means to the same end. The path of execution is not static, it does not remain constant, function output is influenced by already loaded objects, their states or environmental variables on the network and even past calculations on the blockchain itself.

How Does Bitcoin Resist Censorship And Fraud?

“One of the primary reasons why I created Bitcoin was to make a system that could act without needing regulatory control over the base money supply and still retain a level of resistance to fraud. “ — Craig S Wright. [9]

Contrary to Mr. Wright’s claim that he created Bitcoin to replace regulatory control over the base money supply; This experimental network protocol was created to explore the “crazy concept” that computer source code running on a decentralized, distributed network of peer nodes could, in fact, enforce regulatory control over the base money supply; Without human intervention or a centralized digital authority. This was a revolutionary concept that had never been tried in the past before. Consensus through peers does not replace the need for laws and regulations to be implemented and followed or adhered to — by its users or participants. It was never designed to ensure all other network users are protected under all use cases. It was never intended to be used to circumvent already existing financial laws. It was never intended to replace the internet we know and use today.

The Bitcoin network itself does not minimize crime and was never designed to do this. Mr. Wright proliferates everywhere: That he created a decentralized monetary system to ensure criminal activities are traced and prosecuted, but almost everyone who truly understands blockchain technology and the origins of Bitcoin — unanimously agree… It was to prevent hyperinflation and monetary policy manipulation from central banks, or corrupt regulators and governments. Satoshi made this motive self-evident to anyone reading the text embedded within the first block #0. “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”.

Bitcoin was launched during a time of global civil unrest, explosive distrust in Wallstreet, and the Federal Reserve along with governments with ties to the banking sector. This was a chaotic time in humanity’s history, shortly after the real-estate derivatives bubble crash of 2008 and demise of Egold and Liberty Reserve, and similar centralized digital payment processors; Along with an escalating collapse of global fiat currencies. Economists, entrepreneurs, and average users were searching for a system that could be implemented quickly on a global scale to ensure all un-trusted parties using it — would need to follow the guidelines set forth upon inception and could not alter the rules on a whim for their benefit. Yes, all transactions are transparent, but they’re pseudo-anonymous to protect privacy, not to prevent or encourage criminal activities. Using Bitcoin as a tool of law enforcement entrapment would be quite an ambiguous scheme and would never be considered a primary method for collecting evidence. Craig Wright did not invent Bitcoin; This is not opinion, it’s a simple provable fact.

By following the same consensus mechanism in the Bitcoin Whitepaper and applying it to Craig’s bold claims using his supplied evidence; If all other nodes on the network can’t follow a tamper-proof method to verify work done, then it’s considered invalid. You CAN mine all day and night to create a chain offline, or write countless fictional articles of value… You CAN’T reconnect, then attempt to forcefully replace existing work done on the global network that you were never part of, to begin with. If nobody else can successfully verify the validity for the chain of evidence: It’s rejected by all other nodes and the most valid chain is used to build future blocks upon. That was Satoshi’s “original vision”.

Craig Wright and all his supporters — can keep their Bull Shit Vision, they can continue encouraging users to embed unfiltered web content directly on the Blockchain through Metanet. This was never part of the original Bitcoin and was never written in the whitepaper. Anyone who denies this obvious use case contradiction of a network intentionally separated from regular internet traffic; Are perpetrators of the fraud or uneducated in all aspects of it! Yes, that includes the exchange services providing liquidity along with the media regurgitating lies without doing proper due diligence. Seek legal advice soon.

Craig and nChain have a history of working with the banks during the time he describes as “between 2013 and mid-2014” [10] What he wants the public to believe through his countless Medium posts, is that he was working to involve the banking sector to support but not hinder Bitcoin mass-adoption. This outlandish lie could not be further from the truth. Corrupt developers got paid to take Satoshi’s consensus mechanism where not one single node can influence the network operations without an agreement to where a single node can influence the entire network history all the way back to the last genesis block as seen from technical analysis of the ChainActive and IBD updates.

Blockstream formed in 2014 [11] by what some believed to be Bitcoin development contributions, later turned out to be exposed as a central banking backed investment firm [12]. They ruthlessly hijacked future developments and forced many core developers to leave the project through harassment, slander, manipulation or other questionable tactics, they went to work on alt-coins. [13]

Bitcoin Primarily Uses A Specific Static Consensus Mechanism

“According to Gavin Anderson, checkpoints were originally introduced in response to the “overflow” bug which would permit anyone to spend anyone’s bitcoins.” [14]

A specific or static consensus that all nodes on the Bitcoin must follow is clearly defined as constants within the source code. Examples can be found in the file named consensus.h located within the source code of newer Bitcoin versions. These variables used to be within other sections of the code-base in the past, but they remained constant. Block size limits, maximum transactions per block, block time-spans, etc… Are shared among all nodes on the network regardless of network conditions.

Nodes can easily be confused to accept an invalid chain through simply because it has more proof of work compared to their fork counterpart. This is known as an unexpected chain hard fork. In the past, the process of selecting the most valid chain — ignoring the obvious exploited one and rolling back to a mutually agreed checkpoint was done by developers, exchange services, block explorer operators, and merchants. A painstaking task of identifying the blockchain pivot point, invalidating unsuspecting users transactions long after they’ve been confirmed was usually more damaging in terms of reputation than monetary losses incurred. Peers and node software compounded the attack vectors through exploiting flaws in their wallet software that caused their Bitcoin wallet to crash or go offline due to resource exhaustion, and or get stuck on an invalid chain.

Bitcoin Core 11 was a historical release… Blockstream Developers — Not Satoshi Nakamoto; Integrated their attempts to automate and increase processing time the blockchain reorganization process after a normal chain fork/split. Node prioritization by the exploitation of DNS seeds opens yet another attack vector; this update included an initial startup routine to connect and query a central server to receive a list of other peers to connect to in the future. DNS seeds, ChainActive and Initial Block Download [14] were apparently designed to prevent nodes from getting stuck on invalid blocks, and ensure that the chain with the most proof of work would always win the race. In reality; they compromised the integrity of the wallet and consensus.

“We sync from everyone we can, though limited to 1 during initial headers sync.” [14]

Neglecting to verify the validity and consensus among all nodes on the network, has opened new attack vectors that can be easily exploited if someone did manage to outpace honest miners or cause majority pools to go offline. Prioritizing a forked chain through header flooding can be done for minimal investment and technical understanding. This is self-evident to all developers that attempt to use the Bitcoin code-base “as is” for their alt-coin projects; They need to constantly ensure they have the majority hash rate on the network. This is costly and wasteful, and in reality; just another centralized static consensus mechanism specific to certain conditions only. As of Core 18, Bitcoin still requires human supervision and intervention during times of non-consensus among the nodes regarding the blockchain state.

Chain Active and Initial Block Download have changed the fundamentals for Bitcoin to maintain peer consensus. Looking into the source code further reveals the ability for an attacking chain to be broadcast to all nodes, forcefully rolling back [15] blockchains from the current block #582969+, as many blocks as the attackers wish all the way back to block #530359 known as the last static checkpoint [16].

This is one reason Satoshi was concerned about checkpoints upon new releases; To minimize chain organization during hard-forks, and preventing difficulty reaching consensus among all peers on the network.

Satoshi never fully completed the source code reorganization process in early versions to securely automate and decide to mine blocks based upon their validity as determined by others nodes on the network, or intelligently handle the chain reorganization process. Checkpoints implemented during wallet releases are only temporary protections for chain forks. Bitcoin has been designed to select the chain of blocks with the highest value of proof of work by default. During the last few years; We’ve seen this fatal flaw exploited through Sybil attacks known as the “double-spend 51%” on almost every alt-coin that forked from Bitcoin and even others using similar consensus mechanisms.

The truth is that Bitcoin has never been fully automated. It was designed to be, but nobody has ever fully accomplished this. Security of the network solely depends on no single entity being able to out mine the rest of the network. The flaw is not within the proof of work algorithms as some might think, but in other areas of the code-base. A bug within the primitive protocol consensus mechanism, although proven to work — has shown vulnerabilities and needs to be updated as soon as possible, at least in all forked alt-coin projects. Removing ChainActive and IBD would be an initial place to start in attempts to restore the original consensus protocol envisioned by Satoshi himself.

Is Bitcoin Source Code Vulnerable?

“Group-IB recommends that the best defense for smaller crypto projects wanting to protect themselves against a 51 percent attack is to use encryption algorithms not typically adopted by large virtual currencies.” [17]

Bitcoin’s static consensus is not under any immediate threat at the moment, nor in the near future. Investment capital required to exploit attack vectors are exponentially greater than the potential rewards that might be acquired, the investment risk is discouraging enough — when the potential for success is very minimal as 9000+ nodes and thousands of users are attempting to mitigate this.

Simply using excessive hashrates is not a guarantee for double-spend success at merchants or exchanges. Closely monitored services, with redundant backups; Have in the past shown to be useful in quickly identifying suspicious behavior on the network, but this process has mostly been performed by humans. Artificial Intelligence capabilities within the Bitcoin node software are non-existent or very minimal at best. Alt-coins that have poor monitoring and integrity checking by their developers or merchants; Usually have a far greater success rate for exploitation than Bitcoin merchants when the majority network hash-rate is prioritized to a fraudulently forked blockchain.

Profit Hunters Coin is a project that I began working on in 2017, with a group of alt-coin developers concerned about security. They understood the harsh realities that small projects could never achieve the hashrates Bitcoin has acquired in 10 years; In the short time frame required to maintain their network integrity. 2018 was the year of double-spend attacks.

“A bug in Verge was used by hackers in both April and May to cash out more than a million dollars worth of cryptocurrency” [17]

“In June, Zen cryptocurrency lost $550,000 through a 51 percent attack that lasted only 4 hours. A similar attack happened to Litecoin Cash later that month.”

“However, the biggest attack this year was on Bitcoin Gold, which lost 388,000 BTG ($18 million) in May after a “malicious miner” took control of the BTG network. The attack quickly resulted in US-based exchange Bittrex delisting Bitcoin Gold from its exchange due to security concerns.” [17]

Prior to starting PHC, I was working with BATA in developing the world’s first artificially intelligent network firewall for Bitcoin. It was highly effective in mitigating potential attacks or excessive centralized mining. It was not perfect by definition — but it did in fact work. No financial losses were ever incurred from BATA merchants while the Bitcoin Firewall was operational. Daily attacks lasting for almost a full year; gave me an extra advantage to learn, in real-time how the exploit was performed and how to make the nodes on the network “learn” normal network conditions from other nodes and compare that with attacking ones, filtering out “abnormal” behavior. This was my first attempt to replace the burden of humans trying to identify and mitigate the attack before it was destructive.

Countless projects vanished into oblivion, kept operating with an exploited blockchain or tirelessly attempted to patch the vulnerabilities. Unique concepts were explored by other developers sharing the same goals as mine. One effective counter-measure was Multi-Algorithm coins, that forced new blocks to be created by a different hashing method in sequence. Other solutions opened new attack vectors with a quick fix such as implementing staking and removing proof of work entirely. Most developers were simply forced to mine their own coin at a loss just to secure the network from unwanted forks as others simply hoped the problem would just go away. An ill-fated attempt to prevent future attacks was to use custom algorithms that ASICs would not be able to mine, ignorantly forgetting those chips CAN and WILL be produced if the ROI was substantial. Unfortunately, this is the point when the security of the network goes to null as seen with the X11 algorithm.

What Kind Of General Consensus Update Does Bitcoin Need?

Critical updates must be made as soon as possible to remove Craig Wright, nChain, Calvin Ayre, Jimmy Nguyen, Adam Back, CEOs of corrupt exchange services, news sites along with Blockstream’s ruthless influence on future development — reversing the ChainActive and Initial Block Download update. They’re obsessed with spreading misinformation, personally attacking Core developers by spreading libel and slander daily to justify their deceptions and confuse average users with intellectual property theft.

Blockstream’s satellites might need updating or could be incompatible with a rollback to Core 8 consensus; That’s only negligible as most users do not access the Bitcoin network in this method anyways. Prioritizing a sub-network of nodes for connections is very dangerous as their past core upgrades have shown to computerize the decentralized consensus Satoshi proposed.

Operating without regulations, orbiting in outer space; Blockstream Bitcoin half-nodes [18] make it quite convenient to ensure block headers along with their self-defined “best chain” are broadcast during a chain reorganization as their uptime is 100%, forcing all other nodes to rollback in accordance to a single peer only.

These pseudo-nodes are financially supported by the central banking cartel [19] that has been taking advantage of our global economy since 1913 [20]. They should not be trusted under any circumstances to be seen as leaders among an industry that was designed to make their centralized control of political and financial power obsolete. [21] [22]

One effective method to mitigate the Blockstream satellites attack vector on the Bitcoin network — would be to aim a directed-energy weapon at them in orbit; Instantly rendering them non-operational permanently. Dr. Nikola Tesla would be proud to know his technology was used for defensive purposes and for the benefit of humanity. [23]

Trademark protection regarding the first Bitcoin, BTC should not only be followed by exchange services, merchants, and regulators but the users themselves. BCH (Bitcoin Cash) and BSV (Bull Shit Vision) should be forced to remove Bitcoin from their name to respect the intellectual property rights regarding the source code they both stole from the Core developers while marketing themselves as legitimate supporters. Their pump and dump scheme for the coin that started the crypto-industry today is blatantly obvious and should be further investigated by proper authorities. Market manipulations on the grandest of scales went unnoticed and will continue to be detrimental to beginners entering the marketplace.

At the moment, Bitcoin does not NEED to change anything. It’s still secure. [24] A specific consensus should be reached soon regarding blocksize limits or micro-payment flooding to ensure transaction times are not affected by increased use. Block size increase to 2 MB without changes to Segwit, also preventing dust transactions would not adversely affect the Bitcoin protocol or open new vulnerabilities. It has lots of improvements that can be done, but an agreement must be reached before any changes to the code can be made.

What Are A Few Upgrades That Could Benefit Bitcoin In The Long-Term?

Potential updates are currently being independently tested using the PHC source code base; More specifically — on the testnet as a proof of concept. New enhancements have been added to old Bitcoin Core 8 code, and have already shown promising success to be implemented into other alt-coins and even Bitcoin; If ever required in the future.

TurboSync & Network Socket Timeout — Network Sync improvement [25] [26]

An early version of Bitcoin is notorious for connection issues, slow and unreliable network synchronization between peers. These issues have been fixed, idle nodes unable to properly communicate are automatically disconnected from the network to ensure available socket connections for active peers only.

Speed improvements have been added to the network protocol upon the network connection handshake process between nodes. Exchanging a value based upon desired maximum speed for the connection session. Without any adverse effects; this small improvement has shown big results as much as a 5X default speed increase, and could possibly be scaled higher.

Bitcoin Firewall — Artificially Intelligent real-time network protection [27]

Node traffic is individually evaluated through analysis of send and receive data signatures compared with other nodes on the network; Taking into consideration of their mutually synchronized Dynamic Checkpoints.

Identification, attack mitigation, and network normalization are fully automated by internal wallet functions. The basic machine learning processes enable the Firewall to identify bandwidth abuse, invalid and forked wallets, along with nodes attempting to make a 51% attack on the network with near 100% accuracy.

In the future, in real-time it will also learn, remember past network behavior that can be verified through consensus with Chain Buddy, later making a decision if it’s harmful or not. Cooperatively reaching an agreement with other nodes on the network; selecting appropriate actions based upon how it adversely affects the network on the potential for damage scale.

Dynamic Checkpoints & Chain Buddy — Artificially Intelligent peer to peer consensus [28]

Small protocol changes have been made to initiate an additional connection handshake at a 60-second cycle; To mutually exchange each others BestChainHash and Block Height. Consensus achieved quickly among all peers on the network with Chain Buddy identifying the best Dynamic Checkpoint — the most valid chain decided by the network, not block height+1 or an elevated proof of work value. The quickest block time while maintaining network consensus will win and be used to build the longest chain by other nodes.

Chain Shield — Split & Fork protection [29]

Frequent live-monitoring of all connected nodes to the wallet by using their blockchain Dynamic Checkpoints, real-time monitoring of Satoshi’s Consensus to prevent the local wallet from getting stuck on a forked chain.

Dynamic Block Rewards — Hyper-Inflation & chain fork protection

If any node attempts to cheat the current mining difficulty rates by creating blocks offline; They will be punished by receiving a low block reward value from Dynamic Block Rewards, that block will not be accepted in sequence to the correct chain and their block values. This value can’t be altered maliciously, nodes can’t mine a separate chain, reconnect to the network and “slip” their fraudulent blocks in between valid ones using a 51% or even 5100+% attack. [30]

Block Shield — Time-shift & Excessive Re-targeting [31]

CheckBlock() function has been modified to call upon an additional check after all initial checks have been completed. This prevents accepting blocks with altered timestamps, or dramatically increasing the difficulty re-targeting because too many blocks are getting accepted before their expected time-span. The original algorithm was designed to force a miner to slow down by requiring more work to be performed, but a few glitches compounded the problem and made it easy to monopolize the money supply, making other nodes with less power totally useless in creating the next block within the next expected block time.

ASIC Choker & Dynamic Coin Distribution — Centralized Mining protection [32]

Block Shield working in unison with ASIC Choker and Dynamic Coin Distribution ensures that CPU mining is never unprofitable even if ASIC miners attempt to gain control of inflation through centralized mining operations. ASIC choker will force solo-miners and pools to “wait for their turns”, rendering them unprofitable for mining during that time, don’t even try submitting a block, it will be rejected if you attempt to take too many — too quickly.

Using a percentage per node algorithm, new coins distribution are virtually equal for everyone on the network based upon their IP address, without taking into consideration of CPU processing speed of course. No expensive hardware, no more insane energy bills or million dollars startups… PCs, tablets, and phones can validate blocks the way Satoshi intended the network to reach consensus; Their mining capabilities would be equal and identical.

Bitcoin-SV here’s your official warning: CEASE AND DESIST!

“You cannot use the copyright holders’ names/trademarks for promotional purposes.” — MIT/X11 license

“The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.” — Dr. Nikola Tesla [33]


[1] Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System — Satoshi Nakamoto

[2] Definition of consensus — Merriam-Webster Dictionary

[3] Consensus decision-making — Wikipedia

[4] How to Reach a Consensus — Wikihow

[5] The Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla and his Tower — SMITHSONIAN.COM

[6] The Mystery of Nikola Tesla’s Missing Files —

[7] Teleforce — Wikipedia

[8] Consensus decision-making — Wikipedia

[9] Institutional madness — Craig Wright

[10] Craig Wright (All Medium Posts)

[11] Blockstream — Wikipedia

[12] Blockstream is now controlled by the Bilderberg Group — Reddit

[13] Blockstream Won, Says Bitcoin Miner in Blocksize Debate — CCN

[14] Bitcoin Core 0.11 (ch 5): Initial Block Download — BitcoinWiki

[15] BitcoinSV — Github (chainparams.cpp Line #230)

[16] BitcoinSV — Github (validation.cpp Line #4704)

[17] Five Successful 51 Percent Attacks Have Earned Cryptocurrency Hackers $20 Million in 2018 — Unhashed

[18] Is possible to send transactions with blockstream satellite — StackExchange

[19] Bitcoin Startup Blockstream Raises $55 Million in Funding Round — WSJ

[20] Secrets of the Federal Reserve Bank — Eustace Mullins

[21] JPMorgan, Citigroup, & MUFG among 2 others Fined $1.2 Billion for Manipulating 11 Currencies

[22] Planting Bitcoin — Dan Held

[23] Directed-energy weapon — Wikipedia

[24] What is Bitcoin Mining and How Does it Work?

[25] PHC — Github (net.cpp Line #1211)

[26] PHC — Github (net.cpp Line #1267)

[27] PHC — Github (firewall.cpp)

[28] PHC — Github (checkpoints.cpp)

[29] PHC — Github (consensus.cpp)

[30] PHC — Github (main.cpp)

[31] PHC — Github (main.cpp)

[32] PHC — Github (consensus.cpp)

[33] Dr. Nikola Tesla — Wikiquote