By Robert Waldmann
Also know as collectors vintage bitcoins.
This is a crazy idea with no redeeming social value.
BitCoin is valuable only because people expect it to be valuable in the future. I am sure there is BitCoin bubble, but it wouldn't be that strange for for something useless to be valuable. Cancelled stamps may be valuable. Old coins have numismatic value. Old coins hmmm … pity BitCoins are just numbers uh first recorded on a given date … hmmm
OK so I want to invent the Vintage BitCoin blockchain. The idea is that it is a subset of the BitCoin blockchain with only BitCoin awarded to miners before 2011. It would not be very hard to create this.
It is important that it remain a subset of the bitcoin blockchain so updated with edited down bitcoin blocks.
OK before going on here is the Bitcoin wiki (which is pretty much all I know).
To be even briefer, Bitcoin is just the bitcoin ledger, that is, a record of all bitcoin transactions. Each transaction has a payer, receivers and a number (an amount of bitcoin). Bitcoin is a quantity a measure - there aren't identifiable bitcoins with serial numbers. In a valid bitcoin transaction the payer lists as "input" the transactionw by which he or she got the amount of bitcoin. These must not have been used as input before (you can't spend the same bitcoint twice). A proposed transaction is sent out over the web and joins the pool of proposed (but not yet validated) transactions.
Bitcoint "miners" check transactions and form blocks of valid transactions. Then they do pointless math which is there just to slow down the creating of bitcoin blocks. The pointless math is that a block must be an approximate root of the bitcoin hash function which I will call F. I have to define a function G such that G(a,b) = F(a+b).
The block is a bunch of ones and zeros. the N+1st block starts with G(the Nth block) (this is important). then there are the valid transactions which were in the pool of proposed transactions. They are described with text and numbers, but it is all 0s and 1s on the web. The miner then claims a reward, so the block includes her identifier and the statement "receives 12.5 bitcoin". So far the block is a huge number which I will call x. Then there is the "nonce" y which is any number such F(x+y) < epsilon. For very small epsilon it is very hard to find such numbers. It is very easy to check. Then the other miners all check the block. They check that it is made of valid transactions which have not yet been validated and that it is close to a root. The block is of the form (x,y) that is both the useful record of transactions and the pointless nonce are recorded separately. The amount of the award was originally 50 and is divided by 2 every 210,000 blocks. The difficulty epsilon is adjusted so that one block is added every roughly 10 minutes (after 2016 new blocks are made it is adjusted so that it would have taken an expected 2 weeks to make those blocks -- the hash function is well understood but not by me). The awards are the only way new bitcoin is created. To make a vintage bitcoin block, one has to check that transactions trace back to an award for a block made before January 1 2011. Sadly the vintage bitcoin inventor can't award bitcoin for making such a block. They can only be rewarded with a record of another quantity (I call it prime for the part of bitcoin prime which isn't bitcoin) which might or might not be worth anything. To make up for this, the difficulty of making vintage bitcoin blocks can be set to quite easy. Now I need to make a ledger of transactions of prime. I would put them in with the transactions of filtered bitcoin in the vintage bitcoin block (clearly marked). The modified program guarantees a fixed supply of prime which might be worth something. Also the vintage bitcoin might be worth more than plain ordinary bitcoin. This is totally pointless. Really a reducto ad absurdum of bitcoin. There is a rival blockchain to Bitcoin which forked off August 1 2017, so someone has been playing my sort of game (they have a justification, but I think they were mostly playing).