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27 August 2014

Bitcoin is Like Computing in the 90's

I've done some mining of Dogecoin and a few altcoins, and owned a tiny bit of bitcoin, but never really much. I'd run the wallet applications for the altcoins I'd used in the past and it was annoying but fine. Most of my bitcoin transactions have been on hosted wallets or signed using a command line client.

I've often seen people complaining about using the bitcoin wallets on their computers for a number of reasons, but hadn't experienced the pain.

I recently met with Trace Mayer, and he was raving about his Armory product. I recently downloaded it to see how it would do. First impressions were "meh". I imported a few vanity addresses, backed them up to some encrypted USB drives, etc, and then thought I'd start working with them.

Then I see that Armory doesn't run the node software itself, it will find a locally running Bitcoin-QT instance. "Ugh", I thought, "I'll finally get Bitcoin-QT up and running. How bad can it be?"

It's awful

Yesterday morning I found something describing how I can use BitTorrent to download a copy of the 20 gigabyte blockchain. So, ok, did that. That took me about that whole day. And now my laptop has 20 gigs less space available. That's 20% fewer baby pictures my laptop can have so that I can, "Have my own money on my computer." Given that I've paid a lot more money than I own in bitcoin to recover baby pictures off failed hard drives, this is not a winning proposition at the outset.

Then, 20 GB file downloaded and placed, I open the client - expecting it to import the wallet in a few seconds. I mean, shit, I'd just spent 9 hours downloading a 20gb file.


9 hours of terrifyingly-hot-laptop-operation later and the client has ALMOST finished importing that file.

What the heck, people

This is a huge opportunity. Digital currencies can change a lot of things about the world. You've had 5 years and over a year of a billion dollar market cap - that means lots of people have tens (maybe hundreds) of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin at their disposal and a really quite liquid market. And this is the garbage you want people to use?

You think that your bitcoins will become worth a million dollars each with the software being this steaming pile of shit?

I guess it's just more of an announcement that there is a TON of work to be done. I just wish there were people with the foresight to fund it with some newly-minted wealth...