Latest comment: 3 days ago by Jtbobwaysf in topic Lead again
Former good articleBitcoin was one of the Engineering and technology good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
On this day... Article milestones
July 14, 2010Articles for deletionDeleted
August 11, 2010Deletion reviewEndorsed
October 3, 2010Deletion reviewEndorsed
December 14, 2010Deletion reviewOverturned
January 26, 2015Good article nomineeNot listed
April 4, 2015Good article nomineeListed
July 26, 2015Good article reassessmentDelisted
On this day... A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on January 3, 2019.
Current status: Delisted good article

Edit request: typo edit

Second paragraph: “nine countries have. banned bitcoin use”

Unnecessary “.” after “have” 2A00:23C6:95CE:B401:70C4:9DA3:3DD4:9F0D (talk) 22:34, 4 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've fixed the typo. Thank you! Vgbyp (talk) 12:57, 5 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, I’m new to Wikipedia and unsure if this is a mistake or intentional, but the last line of the first paragraph renders as this for me:
”when its implementation was released as open-source software.[7]:ch. 1”
“:ch. 1” should be removed? Or is this some layout thing I’m not aware of? 2A00:23C6:95CE:B401:70C4:9DA3:3DD4:9F0D (talk) 22:42, 4 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's not a mistake. Such a notation means that the 'chapter 1' of the source is used in the citation.Vgbyp (talk) 12:57, 5 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please create a wikipedia login (free account) so you can follow the bitcoin page more easily (and anything else you might fancy). Its not mandatory, but we welcome more editors Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:22, 6 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Typo edit

There's a typo in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the History section ("The word "bitcoin" was defined the original...") I was going to correct it, but the article seems to be locked. -Miskaton (talk) 02:51, 8 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  Done. Thanks. The article is under extended confirmed protection due to a past history of spam, disruptive editing, and similar. Grayfell (talk) 05:40, 8 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Need for Simplified Payment Verification clarifications and illustration edit

The language in Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) sections should be reviewed and made much clearer. SPV clients do not need to trust any specific node. They verify transactions by querying the network, which, when properly working, means that the their trust is distributed among several nodes qua the network by a best effort basis. Per Satoshi's example, this can then in turn further be improved upon by employing a specialized payment provider, that "blasts" the transaction out to well organized nodes . As a business, they can of course also potentially guarantee the safety of their customer up to a certain amount. (talk) 20:26, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you assist us in find this in a WP:RS. Maybe an indepth book on this has covered it? We are not able to just implement comments from editors without sources. Maybe you could find it in google books and post a link here to the specific page and quote? Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 21:27, 12 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Excessively dated" content in the lead edit

@Jtbobwaysf: Regarding this revert, both sources are from 2022, and were published within two days of each other. Neither of these are "excessively dated", but the one which was removed is supported by a WP:SECONDARY source. Grayfell (talk) 02:47, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please let @A455bcd9: comment on why he/she made the change. My position that the excessive detail in the lead remains the same. The lead should summarize the article, not upweight some pet specific theories. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 03:56, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are responsible for your edits. You are not responsible for anyone else's edits. Your edit summary didn't make any sense and misrepresented both my edit and your own edit. If you want to defend your own edit, do so with words. If, instead, you are merely reverting because you can, see WP:POINT. Grayfell (talk) 05:37, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Per MOS:LEADREL: According to the policy on due weight, emphasis given to material should reflect its relative importance to the subject, according to published reliable sources. => Environmental effects already represent 25% of the lead (54 words/215 words) whereas they represent less than 5% of the article. They have a dedicated article, but still. So I think anything more than the % of GHG due to BTC mining is excessive details (relatively).
  2. Per MOS:LEADNO, again: Significant information should not appear in the lead, apart from basic facts, if it is not covered in the remainder of the article => The cumulative tonnage does not appear anywhere in the article => ciao.
  3. Then, who knows what 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide represent? A % is more informative. Also, a % is more stable in time, whereas the "As of 2022" sum is already outdated as soon as it's written.
  4. And what's the point to give the cumulative value, when Bitcoin was so small at the beginning. What matters is now, and the future.
  5. My comment "more recent" referred to the IEA source from 2021.
a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 08:44, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought another user might be able to answer your questions in a different perspective than I can, and I think the other user did in-fact provide a response that is similar but better explained than I have done. In my edit summary I meant that I believe there is excessive content that is dated, by dated I mean a specific single event (or probably press release in this case) and that is undue in the amount of coverage it is given in the lead. Your own statement admits that these two sentences are similar and within two weeks of each other. Thus it makes no sense to provide this level of detail for a single event and/or press event. This can all easily be summarized in the lead, essentially that bitcoin has environmental critics. The current treatment which you are promoting seeks to upweight this POV at the expense of other content that is due to be summarized. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 12:13, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Per those MOS quotes, we reflect the importance per source, not based on the raw quantity of material currently in the article. The environmental harm of bitcoin is a major concern of many sources, both available and already cited. The section of the body on this harm summarizes a separate article, meaning that content will come-and-go from the body. The end result is that the lead of Environmental effects of bitcoin now functions as a WP:CSECTION where a huge quantity of critical sources have been shoved-off out-of-site. We also have Economics of bitcoin and History of bitcoin, but those sections remain bloated with comparatively trivial details and flimsy sources. From this, it appears that the reason this section has gotten so much attention is because people do not like what reliable sources are saying. Wikipedia isn't a platform for PR, so this is a problem. The more we streamline this content without similarly streamlining the rest of the article, the more we misrepresent the weight of many sources. This damages the article and functionally whitewashes bitcoin's environmental problem. To put it another way, the current article doesn't represent the due weight of sources for this topic. If the issue is that this is in the lead but not the body, this doesn't automatically and instantly make the content undue, it means the body needs to be expanded to match the weight of many, many sources which discuss this issue.
I would strongly support trimming some of this other fat, and where appropriate, placing it at Economics of bitcoin, History of bitcoin, bitcoin mining, bitcoin network, etc. with this article acting as a summary. That would make it a lot easier to see how significant the environmental issues are, per sources. It would also help trim some of the breaking news junk and unreliable sources which don't belong at all.
Jtbobwaysf, the New Scientist source is not a press release. It also doesn't appear to be churnalism, so if you think this source is unreliable, you have to actually make that case, not just dismiss it because you don't think it's relevant. Normally, we want secondary source about studies more than we want primary studies. Calling this a "single incident" misrepresents the situation. Why is one primary source relevant while a secondary one is somehow "too detailed"? This is arbitrary, but the end result is, yet again, to downplay reliable sources and whitewash Bitcoin's image. To intentionally remove unflattering content based on your own subjective opinion is editorializing, to put is mildly. Grayfell (talk) 20:24, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed, the minimalist coverage currently given to the environmental issues that have been the subject of considerable ongoing debate regarding Bitcoin is grossly out of balance in this article, and a violation of WP:NPOV policy. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:39, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Minimalist coverage where: in the lead or in the article? In the lead I think it's good. In the rest of the article, the issue is that the whole article is terrible and many things (and poor-quality sources) should be trimmed and moved to other articles (as mentioned by Grayfell), so it's hard to compare... a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 21:42, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It isn't at all hard to compare. It is blindingly obvious to anyone remotely familiar with the topic that the body of this article does not give issues concerning the environmental effects of Bitcoin the coverage they deserve. The summary given would be inadequate even without taking into consideration the trivia and bloat elsewhere in the article. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree but I guess that's life... 🤷 a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 22:08, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The LEAD summarizes. It isnt used to promote your theories. Propose a different summary if you like. You stated the article contains trivia and bloat, until you deal with that it would be inappropriate to continue pushing your POV in the LEAD, which you have now made it clear that you do not consider some of the article content to be relevent and want to promote what you think is important in the LEAD. This sounds like POV pushing. Appreciate your clarification on that. I think at this point in time you might want to put this to DR or an RFC to get more eyeballs if you feel others will support your position. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 22:21, 18 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you sincerely saying the article is just fine the way it is? Really?
So for comparison:
  • The 'Mining' subsection links to Bitcoin_network#Mining, but it still includes five lengthy paragraphs, multiple images, three footnotes, and 14 sources.
  • The 'Wallets' subsection is mostly redundant with Cryptocurrency wallet, but it includes eleven paragraph in three sub-subsections, multiple images, a malformed footnote, and 20 citations, including unreliable self-published books and 'contributor' content.
  • The 'History of bitcoin' subsection is a monster with dozens of paragraphs, despite having a main article at History of bitcoin, with over a hundred sources including blogs and far, far too many primary sources used for WP:OR.
  • 'Economics of bitcoin' is another monster, again despite having its own article at Economics of bitcoin, with almost fifty sources, again including primary sources and similar cruft.
  • Meanwhile, 'Environmental effects' has one paragraph with four sources despite having its own article. A455bcd9 has partly gutted that article and removed a lot of reliably-sources content, and added some pro-bitcoin fluff based on shaky primary sources and working papers, but even now it's still clearly far more significant to the topic than the release of the November 2011, the reference implementation Bitcoin-Qt version 0.5.0 which currently gets a similarly-sized paragraph all to itself.
So again, are you saying with a straight face that the current coverage of bitcoins environmental problems is proportionate to reliable source and to the rest of the article? Grayfell (talk) 01:39, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I never said the article was fine as it is and I have seen you have done some updating around the time of this post and at first glance it looks improved. As for the LEAD, we have 4 paragraphs, more or less per WP:MOS which gives us that guidance. The issue is that 3 of the 4 paragraphs are consumed talking about reactions/commentary/criticisms. We have government reaction paragraph, an economist criticisms paragraph, and and environmentalist criticisms paragraph. Please find some space in the lead to discuss the product, history, etc. The lead is not a place for upvoting of a particular view one way or another of this article subject. Not only does this not give due weight to summarizing the article as a whole (the duty of the lead) it also violates criticism policy be making this article a stump for pushing a particular POV. I dont think the removal of the charts that you cited as unreliably sourced was an improvement, as these metrics that describe the network (i think most were coming from bitinfocharts) are non-controversial and thus the sourcing should be fine, they are just statements of fact. However, I think we do have a policy where editors are free to remove the so-called poorly sourced content. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 04:23, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Grayfell, "added some pro-bitcoin fluff"? Are you kidding? Have you read the paper? Have you checked who the author is? It's Christian Stoll, co-author of de Vries, who wrote all the most influential research papers of reference in the field. Stoll and de Vries are the most cited researchers when it comes to the environmental effects of bitcoin. Stoll's articles were already cited 6 times (!) in the article before I started editing it. This is just his latest report, published in June 2023. As you correctly wrote, From this, it appears that the reason this section has gotten so much attention is because people do not like what reliable sources are saying. the pot, the kettle, you know... (By the way, my most recent edit on this article was to update the GHG emissions and double them. Is this also "some pro-bitcoin fluff"?) a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 07:49, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are at least three problems with that specific addition. First, it's a single working paper which explicitly explains that it is not peer-reviewed. Second, it's an entire section based on this single paper. Third, it's extremely vague wording which does, regardless of your intentions, cast bitcoin in an unrealistically favorable light with very little context. Saying the financial incentives behind bitcoin mining may subsidize the sealing of orphaned wells and significantly reduce methane emissions isn't saying anything at all. This specific paragraph on this issue is buried in the middle of the working paper and is directly contextualized as "argument emphasized by Bitcoin proponents"[1] According to "bitcoin proponents", those financial incentives may do damn near anything imaginable but Wikipedia articles should stick to reality. Your addition presents this extremely nebulous claim without any of this context, and by doing so you imply to readers this one obscure claim has significance to the topic. That specific source was not cited in that article until you added it, by the way. Meanwhile, you drastically trimmed a large quantity of other content, and judging by your edit summaries, this was based on your own subjective opinion about its relevance and timeliness. As you, yourself have mentioned, significance is decided by sources, not by editors. Bitcoin may incentivize orphan-well capping, or it might not. What isn't in dispute is that bitcoin mining has already reopened coal power plants and poisoned lakes - a fact you excised from the article based apparently on your own subjective opinion. Grayfell (talk) 08:54, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes it's not peer-reviewed, but it's still RS. You're right, an entire section was not necessary for this: I merged them.
"cast bitcoin in an unrealistically favorable light with very little context": again looks like you do not like what reliable sources are saying.
"is buried in the middle of the working paper"? You must be kidding. It's in the abstract: At the same time, the financial incentives of the Bitcoin network may, for instance, subsidize the sealing of orphaned wells and thereby reduce methane emissions at scale. AND in the conclusion: Financial incentives of the Bitcoin network may, for instance, subsidize the sealing of orphaned and unplugged wells, and thereby, reduce methane emissions at scale.
Yes, I trimmed other content about one coal plant that was reopened due to Bitcoin mining (used by anti-Bitcoin people to say it's polluting) and by one hydropower plant reopened due to Bitcoin mining (used by pro-Bitcoin people to say it's helping the renewable transition). These were both anecdotal examples. We need RS saying that Bitcoin mining contributes to reopening coal power plants and ideally quantifying it (not just giving one example). a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:09, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Reliability is a spectrum, and this working paper is not reliable in all context just because you say it is. You trimmed reliably-sourced content because you didn't think it was relevant -how is that any different from me "not liking what it's saying"?
The working paper is not unambiguously a reliable source. If nothing else, any specific details from a preprint or working paper are arbitrary, since not even the authors have commited to this content. That source, such as it is, specifically contextualizes the capping of orphan wells in the body of the paper by presenting it as the second of three arguments put forth by bitcoin advocates. In both the abstract and the conclusion, it say that this may "for instance" subsidize the sealing of orphaned wells and thereby reduce methane emissions at scale. It is directly presenting this as a hypothetical example, not a concrete reality.
It's therefor ironic that you insist on Greenidge being presented by sources as an example. Greenidge re-opened and has harmed the environment Multiple sources have discussed this event. Have you read the main cited source for that 'example'?: ...the company would have to acquire and open at least four other power plants of similar capacity. ... Others are already following in Greenidge’s footsteps... etc. If the hypothetical subsidizing of orphan wells based on a flimsy source is important enough to preserve, but multiple sources for an actual event which directly harmed a specific community and is specifically presented as setting a dangerous precedent is not, than you are in no position to lecture others on not liking what reliable sources are saying. Grayfell (talk) 09:32, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is Grist a reliable source? I don't think so. Again: let's find RS (ideally academic) commenting on Bitcoin mining incentivizing the reopening of fossil fuel plants. I'll try to see what I can find... a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:39, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using a RSN post from 2012, about a different article presented as an opinion piece, with only a single (now banned) user replying, doesn't persuade me that this outlet is permanently unreliable. Grist lists plenty of awards, and they do issue corrections. Being a journalistic advocacy group which opposes pollution doesn't make this source less reliable, for the same reason a doctor is not automatically unreliable for information on cancer. Do you have any specific reason to think this source is unreliable?
But again, the working paper is still not reliable and is now heavily over-cited in that article. Grayfell (talk) 10:01, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't know Grist so I only checked RSN and it seemed not RS to be. But it may be indeed. "the working paper is still not reliable": why? Per WP:SCHOLARSHIP (Material [...] has been vetted by the scholarly community is regarded as reliable, where the material has been published [...] by well-regarded academic presses., here the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, hosted on JSTOR) and WP:SELFPUBLISH (Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established subject-matter expert, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable, independent publications.: Stoll, Klaaßen, and Gallersdörfer are subject-matter experts, already cited in the article). a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 12:11, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The working paper specifically says that it has not been peer-reviewed. There is nothing shameful about being a working paper, but it has not yet been vetted by the scholarly community. That's the entire point, it has been published so that it can be vetted. It is a work-in-progress, hence the name 'working paper'. Being published by JSTOR is better than nothing, but it is not, by itself proof of reliability. Grayfell (talk) 20:24, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. So what? As explained above, per WP:SCHOLARSHIP, a paper does not need to be peer-reviewed to be RS. Anyway, FYI, I emailed Dr. Christian Stoll who just answered Thank you for reaching out. The paper is currently under peer review. and later: I expect we will receive the reviewer feedback before eoy. It does not matter to us now (especially because my own claim is, of course, not verifiable), but it's good to know that in any case we'll get the peer-reviewed version soon. Hopefully in a high quality journal. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:18, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since Wikipedia isn't a platform for promotion or advocacy the lead should not be padded out merely to drown-out well-sourced independent analysis, since, yet again, that would be false balance.
As for bitinfocharts, it is controversial. Not merely the reliability of the numbers themselves, but the significance of this information needs to come from a reliable source. Deciding which data to include, how its denominated, when to start and when to stop, logarithmic or linear... all of this needs a reliable, independent source. Without such a source it is controversial, and How to Lie with Statistics is a classic for a reason. Grayfell (talk) 09:04, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To my experience we dont have a system for debating sources that are deemed unreliable. The fact that you object to it is to my understanding sufficient so we dont need to get into the nuance of your arguments for exclusion of bitinfocharts. The issues relating to the LEAD is the important part and the fact that the lead summarizes, this is a point that is irrefutable. All the posturing you do will not change this policy and the lead must summarize the article giving due weight to the article contents. Promoting criticisms in the lead are fine, as long as they are summarized. But currently 3/4 of the lead paragraphs are covering criticisms, and this is absurd. I earlier on this talk page proposed some edits that were all reverted. I would suggest we tone down the criticism WP:SOAP in the lead. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:16, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Calling this "posturing" is an interesting approach to WP:CIVIL, but it doesn't really matter. Both me and AndyTheGrump have already spent plenty of time explaining our objection to your proposals. This isn't just about MOS:LEAD. The lead needs to summarize the body in proportion to due weight. Reliable, independent sources discuss the many, many problems with bitcoin, and these problems come from many directions. A neutral article is going to give those sources infinitely more weight than they would some original research cobbled together from 'bitinfocharts'. Summarizing a bloated, bad article is a backwards approach which is only going to create more work when that bloat is trimmed. The article needs to be fixed, first. Grayfell (talk) 20:24, 19 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Articles are summarized based upon how the article actually is, not based upon how you want the article to be. 'I dont like the article so I will re-write the LEAD based on how I want the article to be' seems to be your argument, and this argument is laughable. I'll start a discussion in a sub-section below. I think if you position continues to be that the lead cannot be modified until you (or someone else tbd) modifies the entire article, then this position is problematic and is rather a DE matter rather than a content matter. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 00:28, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead format discussion edit

In this I will start a discussion of what we want to be in the LEAD, I think it would be easier to start at a high level. (paragraphs)

  1. Intro
  2. History
  3. Network & technology
  4. Reactions

Do you think this would be workable? This would needless to say result in merging three of the current paragraphs into the 4th. If you would like to re-order feel free. My ideas are very rough as of now, and just made that list to get a discussion going, meaning I would be open to other suggestions. Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 00:28, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shouldn't we first focus our efforts on the article? I think the lead is okay-ish. But the article is in a terrible shape. Once we improve the article, it should become obvious what needs to go to the lead. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:40, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suppose if the article body is being actively updated in a major way, but Greyfell and I have been editing the article for years, and it hasnt changed that much in that time. I do support updating the article though. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:44, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we can put our differences aside and agree that the "Wallets" section could be trimmed and moved to Cryptocurrency wallet. Same for "History" => History of bitcoin. What do you think? a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 11:06, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure, where there are sub-articles we can certainly trim and summarize. As for wallets, we should still include some distinct bitcoin wallet content on this article, as some parts of bitcoin wallets are different from cryptocurrency wallets. Also bitcoin wallets are in fact the first cryptocurrency wallets, so those would be quite encyclopedic in relation to this article Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:14, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes for sure there are many specifics of Bitcoin wallets (and many Bitcoin-only wallets). But at the end of the day we should mostly redirect readers to the dedicated "Cryptocurrency wallet". Something like: Bitcoin wallets were the first cryptocurrency wallets, enabling to do X, Y, Z. Like most cryptocurrency wallets, Bitcoin wallets exist in various forms (a, b, c). Still, Bitcoin wallets have some distinct features: 1/ 2/ 3/. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 11:23, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As well as "The first wallet program, simply named Bitcoin, and sometimes referred to as the Satoshi client, was released in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto as open-source software.[10]" and "Bitcoin Core is, perhaps, the best known implementation or client. Forks of Bitcoin Core exist, such as Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Unlimited,[64] and Parity Bitcoin.[65]" The rest of the content I do agree could probably go off to the cryptocurrency section. As well the early images Screenshot of Bitcoin-qt-0.5.2.png and Electrum Bitcoin Wallet.png are quite encyclopedic. Maybe one of the paper wallets as well. This type of article is high traffic early destination for readers in the genre, and we should do our best to provide some encyclopedic historical content where possible. We are not teaching them how to open a wallet on this article, but the historical bitcoin wallet elements are particularly encyclopedic. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:29, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree 100%. If you can please be bold and proceed with these edits it would be amazing. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 11:31, 20 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jtbobwaysf: will you do it or should I? a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 13:14, 21 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Antoine, please proceed and do it. I dont have the bandwidth right now to do it. I looked at the task a couple of times, and then realized I didnt have the time for it right now. Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 06:35, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK no worries! a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 08:21, 22 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see for history there is nothing, only pointing to the history sub-article. There is a template we can use to pull over the content from the first paragraph (or all of) the sub-article. Do you know what template this uses? I forgot. Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 05:37, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you looking for Template:Excerpt? 3df (talk) 05:59, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"I see for history there is nothing": what do you mean @Jtbobwaysf? There's Bitcoin#History. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 08:30, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I meant the intro paragraph in history was missing. Do we still intend to keep the history sections here (such as 2008–2009: Creation, 2010–2012: Early growth, etc) , or are we going to summarize in one paragraph (possibly transclusion from the sub-article)? Thank you for the excerpt link, that is what was I was looking for! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 09:51, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The History section looks good to me. It could be trimmed a bit more but its length is okay. I don't think we need to use {{excerpt}} here. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:56, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like to clarify that I included those metal coin wallets in this article because they were a pretty big point of confusion for people. They appear in a lot of stock photography put on news articles relating to bitcoin and people wonder, Is that what a bitcoin is? 3df (talk) 16:55, 21 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead issues 51 bans edit

@A455bcd9: you re-added disputed content to the lead which has multiple issues. First it is not supported by the source, you are using WP:OR to state that since crypto is xyz in abc plus def limitations in 123 countries, that bitcoin is thus banned in those A+B=C countries. Second, the source is the US government and in this case is a WP:PRIMARY source. Maybe you can find a secondary source for this. Third issue is that the WP:LEAD sumamrizes, so this needs to be in the body first. This article already a pet theory promotion issue in the LEAD, and this is a perfect example of that. If we are done with the major edits to the article, we can now work on summarizing the lead, or if you still dont want to do that, propose your lead suggestion and I will propose one and run an RFC. Thanks Jtbobwaysf (talk) 09:38, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  1. The Library of Congress is not "the US government" (the source even says "does not represent the official opinion of the United States Government"). I don't think it is a WP:PRIMARY source. The definition of WP:SECONDARY is: A secondary source provides thought and reflection based on primary sources, generally at least one step removed from an event. It contains analysis, evaluation, interpretation, or synthesis of the facts, evidence, concepts, and ideas taken from primary sources.. This is exactly what this report, "Prepared by the Staff of the Global Legal Research Directorate", is.
  2. In the body we have: Bitcoin is pseudonymous, with funds linked to addresses, not real-world identities. and The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators, legislative bodies, and law enforcement. and As of November 2021, nine countries applied an absolute ban (Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar, and Tunisia) while another 42 countries had an implicit ban.. Each of these assertions is well sourced.
  3. Then you say that chaining these assertions in the lead is WP:OR: I think you exaggerate but in the meantime, we can write Bitcoin is pseudonymous. Its use by criminals has attracted the attention of regulators. As of 2021 it was banned in 51 countries.
Otherwise, I'm happy to go through RfC with this lead vs "your lead". It will be a waste of time (for you) but it's fine. Also, per WP:CONTENTDISPUTE, RfC should be the last resort option after discussion here failed and related projects were noticed. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:59, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On LoC: Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_266#Is_the_Library_of_Congress_a_reliable_and_admissible_source_for_a_person's_birth_date?: "It seems to be a perfectly fine secondary source", "Yes, the LoC is an acceptable secondary source", "I don't see any problem, LoC is likely to be neutral and probably check their facts better than most", etc. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 10:05, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pseudonymous blockchain technology such as Bitcoin has long troubled governments, as it is notoriously used for criminal activity, such as terror financing, thefts, money laundering, scams, and ransomware [54, 74, 75]. Not just individuals and organizations, but nation states can be harmed by the aforementioned criminal activities, as they facilitate organized crime, undermine governance, and decrease tax revenues. Hence, governments seek to eliminate such illicit money flows. This is the primary justification provided by several countries that have decided to ban Bitcoin rather than regulate it.6 (Sun Yin, Hao Hua; Langenheldt, Klaus; Harlev, Mikkel; Mukkamala, Raghava Rao; Vatrapu, Ravi (2019-01-02). "Regulating Cryptocurrencies: A Supervised Machine Learning Approach to De-Anonymizing the Bitcoin Blockchain". Journal of Management Information Systems. 36 (1): 65. doi:10.1080/07421222.2018.1550550. ISSN 0742-1222.)
Ciao, end of the discussion. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 10:10, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is this the source you are using for the 51 countries? What you quoted here says "several". Where did you get the 51? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 03:07, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Per Antoine the LoC report is an acceptable secondary source. It is outdated, but it does list 51 countries where it was illegal to use bitcoin in 2021, with reasons including that no unrecognized currency is allowed, that no cryptocurrency is allowed, and that bitcoin specifically is not allowed. Not all cases are as a result of or in response to bitcoin or cryptocurrency. The report lists Pakistan and Zimbabwe as having implicit bans, but clarifies that it might not have had access to the most up-to-date information about them at the time.
I recommend some changes to the sentence:
  • It shouldn't imply that all 51 countries banned bitcoin because of its use in crime, as some bans were due to application of old laws from before bitcoin existed.
  • It shouldn't imply that these are all bitcoin bans; this is probably fine if it's a cryptocurrency ban, but some of these are because you cannot use alternative currencies period, and predate bitcoin. We should say bitcoin is "illegal" rather than bitcoin is "banned".
  • The "51" number is the correct number of countries where it was illegal to use bitcoin as of 2021 according to RS. Because this is outdated, though, it would be better to say "many" countries, and maybe "many jurisdictions" or "many countries and territories". The wikilink there will be very helpful. The report says it will likely be outdated after only months (p. 12 note 5), pending a decision by a securities authority for six countries.
  • We can clarify that many bans did occur as a result of bitcoin by appending ", including several [countries] that have directly banned it."
3df (talk) 20:55, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df You're right that we should distinguish countries than ban all unrecognized currencies from countries that ban bitcoin and cryptocurrencies specifically. How many countries of each group are there? a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 21:33, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Counts from this source would not really be useful due to it being out of date and uncertain on a few countries. It would be better to get this information from Legality of cryptocurrency by country or territory, but until it is improved we should not be using any solid numbers without a very recent RS. 3df (talk) 21:43, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df We have to use RS we have. So LoC. No matter how old it is. As long as we indicate the year. So how many countries have imposed an explicit ban on Bitcoin and/or crypto as of 2021? a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 21:45, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm concerned about this RS because it says that it will be outdated by the end of 2021, with regards to at least a fifth of the countries that report bitcoin as illegal. However, it lists 9 countries with absolute bans on bitcoin or cryptocurrency. 3df (talk) 21:58, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df Yes but we don't have a better RS as far as I know. Among the 42 other bans some are also specific to crypto / btc. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 22:04, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I mean is, any exact number reported from this source would not be reliable, possibly even including 51. I'm suggesting that we don't use a number at this time. 3df (talk) 22:12, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df The source gives a number, we use that number. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 22:16, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What if we put it this way?
According to a 2021 report by the Law Library of Congress, bitcoin is absolutely or implicitly banned in 51 countries.
3df (talk) 22:34, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At least this statement is more factually correct in that it attributes the source. However, still the lead summarizes. First, does the report state that bitcoin is banned or cryptocurrency in general? Assuming it does, second, you should be discussing how you want to put it in the body (you use the 42 term in the body and then propose to use the 51 term in the lead, why?). Third, after you establish what goes in the body, we work on the lead. I suppose Please quote where it mentions bitcoin. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 03:06, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jtbobwaysf I now understand why the article was in such a terrible shape before I started working on it... Anyway: suggest your version of the lead here and let's see. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 08:48, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First I need to understand if the source supports the sentence. Does the source support that there are 51 countries that ban bitcoin, or is the source saying that there were/are 42 and/or 51 countries that ban some type of cryptocurrency? If the sources dont support the text, there isnt much to debate. The other comment, I will ignore it as it seems to be some sort of personal attack. Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 08:51, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If all cryptocurrencies are banned, then bitcoin is banned as well. Read the source: You can also look at the source, country by country. For instance, among the 9 "absolute bans":
  • Algeria: Law from 2017 banned all private cryptocurrencies.
  • Bangladesh: Cautionary Notice on Bitcoin Transactions, Bangladesh Bank (Dec. 24, 2017)
  • China: People’s Bank of China, Circular on Further Preventing and Disposing of Speculative Risks in Virtual Currency Trading (Sept. 15, 2021)
  • Egypt: Religious Decree No. 4205, The Status of Transactions in Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies Under Islamic Law, Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta (Dec. 28, 2017)
  • Iraq: Statement, Central Bank of Iraq, Bitcoin (Dec. 3, 2017)
  • Morocco: 2017, Press Release, Office des Changes, Mise au point au sujet de l’utilisation des monnaies virtuelles
  • Nepal: “all transactions related to or regarding bitcoins are illegal.”
  • Qatar: 2018, cryptocurrencies
  • Tunisia: cryptocurrencies
a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:15, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, so it seems it is not sourced as I was inferring from reading the comments above. We dont do these If-THEN assumption WP:OR / WP:SYNTH at wikipedia. Seems we have Nepal, Iraq, & Egypt? Is that right? I am not saying there is a prohibition on representing the source properly in this or other articles, but we are not going to do this WP:SYNTH here. Something like bitcoin is used in a few countries and cryptocurrency in general is banned in 51 countries. Now the question is if this second part about the cryptocurrency ban is due in the LEAD of this article, and I doubt it is. You can of course add it to the LEAD of Cryptocurrency if you want, but this talk page is not a venue to discuss that. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 09:58, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jtbobwaysf 1. Have you read the other RS? I offered a quote above. 2. It's not OR to say that if all cryptocurrencies is banned then bitcoin is banned. 3. I don't understand what you suggest? Give here the version you want to add/modify, and we can have a productive discussion instead of the useless current one. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 10:01, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Read: WP:SYNTH: Regarding #2, "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any source. Similarly, do not combine different parts of one source to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by the source." This explains exactly what you are advocating. Regarding #1, the source(s) says how many countries have banned bitcoin? Is it the other source you stated above that had a list of 9 countries? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:08, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't understand what you're advocating for or against. I understand that there are two issues:
  • The lead: the sentence As bitcoin is pseudonymous, its use by criminals has attracted the attention of regulators, leading to its ban by several countries as of 2021. is backed by the source Sun Yin, 2019 and the quote: "Pseudonymous blockchain technology such as Bitcoin has long troubled governments, as it is notoriously used for criminal activity, such as terror financing, thefts, money laundering, scams, and ransomware [54, 74, 75]. Not just individuals and organizations, but nation states can be harmed by the aforementioned criminal activities, as they facilitate organized crime, undermine governance, and decrease tax revenues. Hence, governments seek to eliminate such illicit money flows. This is the primary justification provided by several countries that have decided to ban Bitcoin rather than regulate it.". No OR, no SYNTH. Just exactly what the RS says.
  • The body: As of November 2021, nine countries applied an absolute ban (Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar, and Tunisia) while another 42 countries had an implicit ban. Here the RS is LOC 2021 which says: "First, the legal status of cryptocurrencies, meaning whether a country either explicitly or implicitly bans cryptocurrencies. [...] the November 2021 update identifies 9 jurisdictions with an absolute ban and 42 with an implicit ban" Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency (no one denies this) so if cryptocurrencies are banned, then Bitcoin is banned. This is neither SYNTH nor OR. Still, we may be more accurate (in the body or in a footnote) and change the text to: As of November 2021, 51 countries explicitly or implicitly banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Did I understand correctly? What do you specifically suggest in terms of text/modification? a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 11:10, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seems we are going around in circles and you have already corrected the lead to state "several," which seems to not be inaccurate. In general, if the source says "cryptocurrency" you cant state in wikivoice that the source said "bitcoin", just because you think bitcoin is a subset of the larger category called cryptocurrency. This is the very definition of SYNTH and I have explained this to you repeatedly above. If you are done with your major updates to the article, then we can proceed to discuss the lead in general. Are you now ready to do that? Thanks Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:50, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you kidding? "several" is not accurate? Have you read this citation: As bitcoin is pseudonymous, its use by criminals has attracted the attention of regulators, leading to its ban by several countries as of 2021. is backed by the source Sun Yin, 2019 and the quote: "Pseudonymous blockchain technology such as Bitcoin has long troubled governments, as it is notoriously used for criminal activity, such as terror financing, thefts, money laundering, scams, and ransomware [54, 74, 75]. Not just individuals and organizations, but nation states can be harmed by the aforementioned criminal activities, as they facilitate organized crime, undermine governance, and decrease tax revenues. Hence, governments seek to eliminate such illicit money flows. This is the primary justification provided by several countries that have decided to ban Bitcoin rather than regulate it.". (it's the third time I'm copying it here, crazy...) a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 11:54, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apologies if I was unclear. I meant to say I didnt object to several. Lets not get off into WP:RGW woods here please. There is all kinds of stuff on wikipedia that we can find objectionable if we choose. Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 12:02, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I apologize, I didn't read your answer correctly ("seems to not be inaccurate").
Regarding the second issue, "just because you think bitcoin is a subset of the larger category called cryptocurrency": I strongly disagree. Bitcoin is defined as a cryptocurrency (whether we like it or not). This is not at all SYNTH. We can go to RfC if you want but I don't see who be against As of November 2021, 51 countries explicitly or implicitly banned bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. backed by LOC 2021. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 12:07, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You wont likely find support to use the terms cryptocurrency and bitcoin as synonyms, as they have existing articles and this would go against policy. These are separate articles and I suspect will stay that way. Bitcoin is one brand of cryptocurrency just as Litecoin, and Ethereum, and OneCoin, etc etc are others. I would say be WP:CAREFUL. Have you used "cryptocurrency" sources and stated bitcoin in wikivoice in other locations on this article besides the one case (this 51 countries thing) we are discussing? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 12:25, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I know quite well that btc is not crypto, come on... No one talked about using "cryptocurrency and bitcoin as synonyms". So again: what do you suggest? What are you arguing for? What do you want? I proposed something, now please do the same. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 12:32, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would like to begin work on the lead from a holistic perspective when you are done with major edits to the article. Need some more time or we return to that subject? Currently the lead does a poor job of summarizing the article as a whole and I think your proposal to add more reaction/critism content to the lead is a step in the wrong direction (there is already probably an excessive quantity now). Jtbobwaysf (talk) 12:52, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah OK, I thought you were unhappy with the content of the body. Anyway: yes, I'm done with major changes to this article. I think the body is OK now. The lead could be improved, indeed. But it may prove hard to reach a consensus, unfortunately... Feel free to modify the lead directly or to suggest an alternative lead here! a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 12:58, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Economic, legal and environmental concerns" section edit

Hi @3df, with these edits you "Moved issues out of design section" (among other things). This results in the "Economic, legal and environmental concerns" now looking like a "Issues" or "WP:CONTROVERSY" or "Criticism" section, which is not ideal per WP:Criticism. I strongly advocate to move back technical discussions on privacy and transaction throughput back to the Design section where they belong.

By the way, "Alleged bubble and Ponzi scheme" could also be moved below or in "Use as an investment" (part of "Economics and usage")

On the other hand, "Environmental effects", "Price manipulation investigations", and "Use in illegal transactions" should stay in this section (that may be renamed "Regulatory response"?). Indeed, these concerns were not only technical, theoretical or academic discussions but had "real life" implications leading to regulatory actions around the world (for instance the 2y fossil fuel mining moratorium in NYS, or the US DoJ investigation or even just outright bans on Bitcoin use in some countries).

What do you think? a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 08:47, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Antoinee, largely agree with your comments. As for the criticism section, might want to think what is the contra-opinion to each. The economic and legal concerns could be contra weighted with actual use cases. For example the economists (often EU/US) say it is a bubble, however it is used in xyz cases & countries (often third world or stigmatized states). I think this is what your bubble and Ponzi to move to investment argues, which I support. There are a few editors (including on this talk page recently) that advocate strongly for inclusion of this type of criticism content, so we might try to find places to put where it can be given weight and also balanced for WP:NPOV. The environmental concerns are related to Bitcoin#Mining, maybe they should be added to that section instead of its own section. Proof of work is designed to consume energy to provide security, and that process results in greenhouse emissions (when the energy is fossil fuel sourced). Jtbobwaysf (talk) 09:57, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We can only add "contra-opinion" if it is WP:DUE. For instance regarding claims it is a bubble, we have EIGHT Nobels behind it. A few anecdotal use cases, often reported in low quality sources, cannot be compared to these Nobels. As far as I know, Shiller 2017, already cited, is the one and only high quality academic RS arguing that Bitcoin is not a bubble. Still, I can try to merge it into "Investment".
Regarding environmental concerns, they are so widely reported in the media and in academic journals that they have their own article and therefore they may deserve their own subsection (as it is now). Also, I would be against including them in "Mining" because there are regulatory consequences of these environmental concerns. It's not just about "Design". There's an ongoing public debate about Bitcoin and its environmental footprint. It's worth being highlighted in a dedicated section. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 10:01, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We dont need to refute that it is in a bubble, I think you maybe misunderstood my point. The bubble point is simply an opinion on the investment class, going along with all the other investment content such as ETFs, use by states for reserves, etc. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:46, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure I understand your point, indeed. Anyway, I merged the subsections in Bitcoin#Use_as_an_investment_and_alleged_bubble.
Another section that is unclear to me is "Price manipulation investigations". It mentions investigations from 2018: do we know their outcome? 5.5y later, these investigations must be finished. Did they lead to anything? If yes: we should mention the convictions (or settlement). If not: then the first paragraph is not relevant. (The second paragraph is still relevant as it describes academic research claiming that there is price manipulation). a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 11:52, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Coinbase settled for a small amount in 2021 before going public: a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 12:20, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Its one of these: "Coinbase itself has not admitted or denied the CFTC’s charges." I think probably due for the coinbase article, but we couldnt really use this to bolster manipulation claims when a market maker settles a lawsuit without even admitting to the allegations. Probably cheaper to just settle it than to litigate. Just my two cents. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 21:58, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Antoine, I moved these sections because I'm concerned about the Design section being too long and going on too many tangents. Even what it's trimmed down to is a lot to take in, and it still has some critical omissions for lay readers.
About two weeks ago, I had been thinking of adding some sort of "technical challenges" heading, which could cover the scalability problem and perhaps other topics like chain forks and protocol upgrades. (Your recent work to the article has been very motivating, as the task of fixing it has seemed insurmountable for some time!)
These topics are less critical to understanding bitcoin than other things we could put in Design, but are nonetheless very important and still should be covered with some depth somewhere in the article. I fully agree that this issues heading is not their home either.
The idea is for Design to be a fast, comprehensive overview for lay readers, quickly familiarizing them with the subject so they can better understand the rest of the article. (That said, I'm also wondering if you think Wallets would be better placed with Usage.) 3df (talk) 15:20, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK I see your point. Yes, "Technical challenges" could follow "Design". I also thought about moving "Wallets" to "Usage", but I'm not sure. Do whatever you think is best. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 15:58, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just need to be careful about the technical challenges. We could even wikilink to the Bitcoin scalability problem as these discussions and forks were proposed as solutions to the alleged scalability problem. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 22:00, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I initially created the "Technical challenges" section but then after cutting some clutter I realized it was so short that it did not deserve its own section and I re-integrated it as a sub-section in the "Design" section. The "Design" section is a bit long but I'm sure we can trim it a bit by cutting verbose. If needed, "Wallets" could move in "Economics and usage" as well. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 09:32, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree, these challenges should be integrated into the relevant sections, as you have done. Wallets could also be integrated into design section (it relates to the way bitcoin is built, technical workings). I think that it probably isnt best in the usage section, but that is just my preference. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 10:21, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're probably right. I think the "Design" section looks okay now. History could still be improved, there's a bit of everything in it... a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 10:31, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll have a lot of time to work on the article when I get home today. Currently, the article has serious omissions and does not have enough material for the "Technical challenges" section. There will need to be more writing before it makes sense to have, probably with sections about how important problems like Sybil, malleability and reorganizations are answered. I can write these sections. The Design section is also in very poor shape. It doesn't give an adequate overview of how it works, and refers to topics the reader hasn't been introduced to yet (for example, it is not obvious what a "bitcoin address" is until it is explained). I will focus on this tonight and tomorrow. 3df (talk) 18:22, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df I don't think the Design section needs to be expanded much. It's Wikipedia, not the Bitcoin wiki. The article is already long. If more details are needed, add the to a dedicated article (Bitcoin mining? Bitcoin protocol? Etc.). a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 18:32, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm envisioning a Design section approximately the same size as what we have now, if not a little smaller, and a considerably smaller but also not tiny "Technical challenges" section. 3df (talk) 18:46, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df I'm not convinced "Technical challenges" as a separate section makes sense. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 19:03, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Technical challenges, is more or less a criticism section and thus we shouldnt do it. We can easily integrate this content into other technical sections. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 22:43, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The idea is not for it to be a criticism section; I don't think "technical challenges" is the right title for the section (if we even add one), which is why I keep putting it in quotes. I think I have done a poor job of explaining what I'm trying to suggest with it, because it would not be overly detailed, technical, critical or long. Here's what I wanted to address with it:
  • Why was bitcoin able to work when its predecessors could not? Briefly, which problems did they have that bitcoin solved, and why/how? (could work much better in History section.)
  • What happens if the network does not agree on the latest block?
  • If bitcoin needs to be altered, how do its users reach a consensus?
  • At what rate does the ledger grow, and why is that important?
Even if not all under one section, I do think we need to answer all of these questions (concisely!) in this article. 3df (talk) 19:31, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df Have you seen my message on Bitcoin protocol? It would be easier if you could create all these technical sections there first. Then we can see copy some part to here. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 21:46, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
These would probably be better summarized from Fork (blockchain) and Bitcoin scalability problem. I think I'd like to come back to this later, though, once the rest of Design is better. 3df (talk) 16:14, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"consensus" does not appear even once in the article: that's a problem indeed. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 07:50, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edits edit

Thought I would create a section on individual edits. @A455bcd9: In this revert you stated that Satoshi creating the blockchain was in a history section. Can you please show me where that is, I could not find it when I read it. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:48, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nakamoto's innovation was their complex interplay resulting in the first decentralized, Sybil resistant, Byzantine fault tolerant digital cash system. [...] On 3 January 2009, the bitcoin network was created when Nakamoto mined the starting block of the chain, known as the genesis block. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 11:55, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The key point is that Nakamoto created the first blockchain, that should be stated explicitly. This is in addition to this digital cash system. Bitcoin was both the first "decentralized, Sybil resistant, Byzantine fault tolerant digital cash system" and the first blockchain (the part in quotes being a bit wordy/jargony for my taste, but I dont know how else to say it). Jtbobwaysf (talk) 12:12, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jtbobwaysf Feel free to edit accordingly. In any case this historical fact is part of "History" and not "Design". a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 12:14, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My point was only that they could be merged, which you have done. Commentary on use as an investment (bubble or not) is descriptive of the investment use case. It might as well go in one section, which you have done.
Next, I'm not aware of any price manipulation investigations outcomes (or if there ever were really any investigations other than allegations and press releases). I do know that the SEC's core case was that the spot price is manipulated and that should be justification on holding off on a spot bitcoin ETF, but I read the courts didnt find that argument compelling and tossed that argument. So maybe the court case can be the closing of the investigation? Here is a barrons source for that (paywall sadly) and bloomberg without paywall here. Essentially the SEC disagreed that the spot market was manipulated and the futures market wasn't.
OK, I will try to word in the blockchain part. Its encyclopedic that bitcoin was the first blockchain.
Jtbobwaysf (talk) 12:23, 23 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Location of history edit

I propose that the history sections be first. Rationale is that I assume that most come to the article to read the history, and fewer would come for design. All my own opinion. Wondering what others thought? Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 13:12, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, good idea, other articles seem to start with "History" as well: Ethereum, Internet (after a short "Terminology" section, not useful here), Pound sterling (after "Names", as well), etc. Please feel free to do this change. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 13:32, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree that History should come first for this article (I initially proposed putting Design first). Bitcoin is in the weird position of being an advanced technology topic that has a mainly lay audience. The History explains things that would not make sense without the context of what bitcoin is and how it works (going into details about "blocks" and "chains" which would not be described until the Design section, as well as multiple types of forks which are not adequately explained anywhere yet). I think the History is actually considerably less important than the Design anyway – the most important information is going to include what mining and addresses are, not who Nakamoto is or how much was spent on the pizzas. 3df (talk) 18:11, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your reasoning could apply to Ethereum and Internet as well. And yet, they both start with "History". So this seems to be the practice? a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 18:13, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Having the Design section first would make a better, more digestible article. We should not make decisions only on account of precedent. Ethereum and Internet could probably also benefit from doing it like this, but they are not in good shape right now anyway. I gave Euro as an example in the 2021 topic. 3df (talk) 18:31, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Generally wikipedia is supposed to primarily cover the encyclopedic content at the expense of technical content. We can never be a technical guide for bitcoin, nor do we want to be. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 22:44, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not suggesting that we make Design more technical – it needs to be brief and understandable to a lay audience. I'm saying that:
  • The history section contains jargon and scenarios that a new reader wouldn't understand without first seeing the design section, and
  • what Bitcoin is and roughly how it works is more important to understanding it than its history.
The history section might be very clear to you and me, but most people are actually totally clueless about this subject, and can't be expected to automatically know enough about it to contextualize what's even happening. For example, the history section defines what the genesis block is, yet we don't explain anything about what blocks even are until Design. Then it talks about mining, which out of context could not be more confounding to a lay reader who has no knowledge of mining in a cryptocurrency context (knowledge we give them in the Design section). [And so on] 3df (talk) 23:15, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Key point is wikipedia articles normally start with history. Have a look at Microsoft and Oracle. To me Bitcoin, if we take a step back, is a technology story. People come to wikipedia for the story, its an encyclopedia. We are not a technical know how directory, aka WP:NOTGUIDE. I am not proposing removing the technical stuff, it is just of lower due weight in my opinion. I've moved history up per my proposal. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 06:09, 25 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's no rule that Wikipedia articles have to start with History. I don't know if it's useful to keep showing each other articles which have a certain order, but HTTP and Logarithm seem to be okay.
I think your rearranging was premature, since my concerns haven't been addressed at all. Can't we talk about this first? Bitcoin is a technology, not a technology story. It's also such a confusing technology that some background would be needed before any story about it makes sense. It's so novel and uncharted to most people; they don't know all this. A concise technical overview of a technology, and where to put it in the article, has nothing to do with NOTGUIDE. This section is not a manual – it describes, quickly and encyclopedically, the nature of bitcoin. 3df (talk) 21:31, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df I'm neutral on this, because both options make sense. And because I don't think it's super important. People rarely read the whole article but skim through it or jump to one specific section. Anyway, if this is really important to both of you I guess and RfC is the only solution as I don't think you'll manage to convince each other... a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 21:43, 26 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Linux, Gnutella, FreeBSD, etc are technologies that are open source like bitcoin. They all start with history, just like Microsoft and Oracle examples I already provided, as well as Ethereum & Internet provided by Antoine. We just follow norms of what other articles do, that is how wikipedia works. Be aware of WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT. Thanks Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:57, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like to talk about my concerns and how we are going to address them with the new layout and if this layout is worth using. Saying that I JUSTDONTLIKEIT completely misrepresents what I said. 3df (talk) 16:16, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Input requested at Bitcoin network edit

  You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Bitcoin_network#Point_of_this_article?. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 14:53, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead again edit

@A455bcd9: I propose that the WP:LEAD be updated to properly summarize the article, I thought I would make a new section here. We previously discussed this Talk:Bitcoin#"Excessively_dated"_content_in_the_lead.

I propose that the lead have 4 paragraphs, an into paragraph and then one paragraph each for each of the articles three main sections. I will provide a very general proposal below, as I think that might be the easiest way to start.

  • Intro: "Bitcoin (abbreviation: BTC or XBT; sign: ₿) is the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Nodes in the bitcoin network verify transactions through cryptography and record them in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Based on a free market ideology, bitcoin was invented in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown person" -I just copied from existing text....
  • Bitcoin#History. 'Bitcoin started in x year, a few things happened along the way, and today we are at the most recent event.' -We can just summarize what we have in the body here.
  • Bitcoin#Design. 'Bitcoin is designed in x way and does y. "Its proof-of-work algorithm for bitcoin mining is computationally difficult and requires increasing quantities of electricity, so that, as of 2022, bitcoin is estimated to be responsible for 0.2% of world greenhouse gas emissions." The environmental effects of bitcoin are also substantial.
  • Bitcoin#Economics_and_usage Use of bitcoin as a currency began in 2009, with the release of its open-source implementation. Bitcoin started as a Austrian economics ideal. In 2021, El Salvador adopted it as legal tender. Bitcoin is currently used less as a medium of exchange and more as a store of value. It is mostly seen as an investment and has been described by many scholars as an economic bubble. As bitcoin is pseudonymous, its use by criminals and rogue governments has attracted the attention of regulators, leading to its ban by several countries as of 2021.

Anyone care to expand from there? Thanks Jtbobwaysf (talk) 13:21, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your proposal seems good to me, although the devil is in the details :) Feel free to be bold and implement it. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 13:28, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Use of bitcoin as a currency began in 2009, with the release of its open-source implementation. Bitcoin started as a Austrian economics ideal. In 2021, El Salvador adopted it as legal tender." => this should go in the "History" paragraph btw. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 13:53, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df: would you like to expand on the design paragraph? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 13:49, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think there needs to be a design paragraph in the lead, as long as the first paragraph covers that bitcoin is a peer-to-peer decentralized cryptocurrency using a new type of ledger called a blockchain. I think these are all covered nicely. We could use this paragraph to cover the environmental effects instead. 3df (talk) 16:23, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We do have a need to summarize the article as best as we can. I will add a sentence or two in the lead about design then. It would be undue to ignore the design and only cover the design's externalities. Jtbobwaysf (talk) 22:58, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jtbobwaysf I agree with @3df that the design is already well summarized: we mention that it is decentralized, pseudonymous cryptocurrency secured by an energy intensive process called mining, with a ledger called blockain, and that the whole is open source. What else can be said?! a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 23:04, 27 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your right, I also dont see much to add. Maybe this: A new block is created every 10 minutes on average, updating the blockchain across all nodes without central oversight.
Any other comments? Jtbobwaysf (talk) 03:30, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The reader has no way of knowing what block means in this context without looking ahead at the article. I don't think that sentence is needed 3df (talk) 04:38, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@3df Yes and the 10 min delay is useless and irrelevant in the lead. We could add "peer-to-peer" (with link) before "bitcoin network" and add the word "consensus" somewhe. That's it. a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 07:10, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Draft 1 edit

Please feel free to edit below. (We will delete the wikilinks at the beginning of each paragraph and the bullet formatting (they are just there for organizational purposes) Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 07:57, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't see how the lead you suggest is an improvement from the current one. Who cares about the 2 pizzas or Silk Road in the lead?! Why is there twice "Based on a free market ideology" and "Bitcoin started as a Austrian school of economics ideal."? Where does "rogue governments" appear in the body? (I've just added peer-to-peer + consensus btw, poke @3df). a455bcd9 (Antoine) (talk) 08:02, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like to help with this, but I'd say the current lead is much better than this draft as it is now. The pizzas definitely don't belong in the lead. I don't think we need to mention SR or the Austrian economics. Actually, I don't think anything in the History paragraph of the draft needs to be in the lead. The one-paragraph-per-section model might not be the way to go here. 3df (talk) 08:13, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems there is not support for this (proposed change to lead), so i will drop. Appreciate both of your feedback. Thanks! Jtbobwaysf (talk) 11:33, 28 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Intro: "Bitcoin (abbreviation: BTC or XBT; sign: ₿) is the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Nodes in the bitcoin network verify transactions through cryptography and record them in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Based on a free market ideology, bitcoin was invented in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown person"
  • Bitcoin#History. In 2010 Bitcoin was used for the first commercial transaction, two pizzas. Beginning in 2011 Bitcoin was used extensively on the Silk Road, a dark web marketplace. In 2013 various governments began to take notice and both China and the US placed restrictions on Bitcoin's use. In February 2021, Bitcoin's market capitalization reached $1 trillion for the first time.
  • Bitcoin#Design. Bitcoin uses a blockchain and is designed as a peer to peer network. "The proof-of-work algorithm for bitcoin mining is computationally difficult and requires increasing quantities of electricity, so that, as of 2022, bitcoin is estimated to be responsible for 0.2% of world greenhouse gas emissions." The environmental effects of bitcoin are also substantial.
  • Bitcoin#Economics_and_usage Use of bitcoin as a currency began in 2009, with the release of its open-source implementation. Bitcoin started as a Austrian school of economics ideal. In 2021, El Salvador adopted it as legal tender. Bitcoin is currently used less as a medium of exchange and more as a store of value. It is mostly seen as an investment and has been described by many scholars as an economic bubble. As bitcoin is pseudonymous, its use by criminals and rogue governments has attracted the attention of regulators, leading to its ban by several countries as of 2021. Several economists have reported that bitcoin is in a bubble.