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比特币走向分裂,新虚拟货币即将诞生

更新时间:2017-7-27 11:17:15 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Some Bitcoin Backers Are Defecting to Create a Rival Currency
比特币走向分裂,新虚拟货币即将诞生

SAN FRANCISCO — For the last two years, rival factions have been vying for control of the Bitcoin virtual currency and its global network of computers and supporters.

 旧金山——在过去的两年里,不同的派系一直在为控制虚拟货币比特币(bitcoin)及其全球计算机和支持者的网络而激烈竞争。

Now, one of the main camps is preparing to break off and create a competing version of Bitcoin.

现在,竞争各方中的一个主要阵营已经为脱离比特币创造一个与之竞争的版本做好了准备。

A group of investors and entrepreneurs, most of them based in Asia, have announced a plan to create what they are calling Bitcoin Cash, starting next week.

一些大多来自亚洲的投资者和企业家已宣布了一项计划,将在下周开始创建他们称之为比特币现金(Bitcoin Cash)的虚拟货币。

The plan would seal a divorce between opponents in a long-simmering feud over what Bitcoin should be — and lead to two competing virtual currencies going by the name of Bitcoin.

该计划将让对比特币应该是什么进行了长期争吵的各方分道扬镳,并导致两种用比特币这个名字、但相互竞争的虚拟货币。

“I actually think it would be a good thing if there is a split,” said Roger Ver, a Tokyo-based investor who voiced his preliminary support for Bitcoin Cash on Tuesday.

一位住在东京的投资者罗杰·维尔(Roger Ver)周二对比特币现金表示支持,他说,“我确实认为这是一件好事。”

He said the differences among the different camps had quite likely grown too stark for them to move forward together.

他说,不同阵营之间的分歧可能已经太大了,以至于他们不能再走到一起来。

Bitcoin Cash could easily dissolve into irrelevance — the level of support for it is still unclear — but the concrete plans to move forward have underscored, once again, how hard it is to govern a decentralized, open-source technology like Bitcoin with no single set of leaders or ownership.

比特币现金可能很容易变成无关紧要的东西,目前仍不清楚对其的支持程度,但是,迈出这一步的具体计划再次凸显了管理像比特币这样的没有单一领导机构或所有权的、分散的开源代码技术,有多么困难。

“In the long run it will be forced to develop some real political structure to take these kinds of decisions, but it just isn’t there yet, so the result has been chaos,” said Joseph Bonneau, who has studied Bitcoin and is a fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which describes itself as a nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech and innovation.

研究比特币的约瑟夫·博诺(Joseph Bonneau)说:“从长远来看,它将被迫发展出某种真正的政治结构来制定这些决定,但现在还没有走到那一步,所以结果是混乱的。”博诺是电子前沿基金会(Electronic Frontier Foundation)的会员,该基金会把自己描述为捍卫数字隐私、言论自由和创新的非营利组织。

The Bitcoin divide is part of a wider splintering of the world that has sprung up around virtual currencies.

有关比特币的差异是围绕着虚拟货币涌现出来的意见分裂的世界的一部分。

Many people who initially got excited about the unique technology behind Bitcoin have taken advantage of the public, open-source nature of the technology and created their own new virtual currencies, like Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. These other systems run according to different rules than Bitcoin, with some emphasizing more speed and complexity, and some more focused on anonymity and security.

许多最初对比特币背后的独特技术感到兴奋的人,已经在利用该技术所具有的公开的和开源的特性,创造了他们自己的新虚拟货币,如Ethereum、Ripple,以及Litecoin。这些其他的系统使用了与比特币不同的规则,其中一些强调更快速和复杂性,另一些则更专注于匿名性和安全性。

The divisions have, if anything, increased the excitement and the value of all the virtual currencies in the world — and banks and governments have announced their own projects to harness the technology.

这些分歧如果有影响的话,其实是增加了人们对世界上所有虚拟货币的兴奋和估值——银行和政府已都宣布了他们利用这项技术的计划。

The price of Bitcoin has recently been at record highs, near $3,000, and several other coins have grown to be worth billions of dollars on their own. A whole class of companies have raised money in recent months by creating and selling their own new digital tokens.

比特币的价格最近创下了历史新高,已接近3000美元,其他几种虚拟货币也各自成长为价值数十亿美元的东西。一大批公司在最近几个月通过创建和销售自己的新数字代币筹集到了资金。

Until now, though, Bitcoin has remained the most valuable digital token of them all, and it has kept its followers united by a single set of rules, despite all the warring behind the scenes.

但此前,比特币仍是所有虚拟货币中最有价值的数码代币,而且比特币让步其后尘者团结在单一的一组规则之下,尽管它们之间有许多幕后竞争。

The divisions, though, appear to have grown too stark to keep everyone on the same blockchain, as the ledger of all Bitcoin transactions is known.

不过,这些分歧似乎已经变得过于严重,不能让所有的人都使用同一个区块链(blockchain),也就是比特币交易的收支总帐。

Mr. Ver has been one of the leaders of a contingent that has long wanted to change the rules governing the Bitcoin network so that it can handle more transactions and compete with the likes of PayPal and Visa.

维尔长期以来一直是一群志趣相投者的领导人之一,他们希望改变管理比特币网络的规则,以便让其能够处理更多的交易,并与PayPal和Visa工具等竞争。

Bitcoin Cash is set to increase the limit on the number of transactions that can be processed by the Bitcoin network every 10 minutes. Currently, the network can process only blocks of transactions that are smaller than one megabyte, which allows for roughly five transactions in a second.

比特币现金的设计是每10分钟就增加比特币网络能处理的交易数量的上限。目前,该网络只能处理小于1兆字节的区块,大至相当于允许每秒种处理五笔交易。

The move to increase the size of the so-called blocks, though, has run up against intense opposition from the programmers who maintain the Bitcoin software.

但是,增加所谓区块的大小的做法,已经让其设计者遭到维护比特币软件的程序员的强烈反对。

These programmers, known as the core developers, have said that increasing the amount of data included in each block of transactions would make it harder for individual users to process the blocks and easier for a small number of companies to take control of the Bitcoin network.

这些被称为核心开发人员的程序员已表示,增加每个交易块中包含的数据量,将会让个体用户更难处理这些块,而会让少数公司控制比特币网络变得更容易。

“It destroys the Bitcoin ethos, which is open and permissionless, where nobody is telling you what to do,” said Samson Mow, the chief strategy officer at Blockstream, a company that employs some of the most prominent core developers.

“这破坏了比特币的道德观,也就是开放和无需授权,不需要有人告诉你该怎么做,”Blockstream的首席战略官缪永权(Samson Mow)说,Blockstream是一家雇佣了一些最有名的核心开发人员的公司。

The core developers have come up with their own solution to increase the number of transactions flowing through the system with software known as Segregated Witness, or SegWit. Mr. Ver and others, though, have said SegWit does not expand Bitcoin fast enough to keep up with its recent growth in popularity.

核心开发人员已经提出了自己的解决方案,他们希望通过被称为Segregated Witness或SegWit的软件来增加经过系统的交易数量。然而,维尔及其他人表示,SegWit并没能把比特币扩展为快到与其最近受欢迎程度大增相符的程度。

While Bitcoin Cash will not exist until next week, a small number of exchanges have begun trading futures contracts, tied to the expected price of Bitcoin Cash. On Tuesday, it was trading around $450, or a fraction of the $2,600 value of an ordinary Bitcoin.

虽然比特币现金下周才会出现,但少数交易所已经开始交易与比特币现金的预期价格相关的期货合约。周二,比特币现金的交易价在450美元左右,远低于普通比特币2600美元的价格。

As recently as last week, it appeared that the major Bitcoin players had found a compromise that would avert a split in the network, or a fork as it is known in Bitcoin world.

就在上周,比特币主要的玩家似乎找到了一个可以避免比特币网络发生分裂(或用比特币世界的语言来说叫“分岔”)的妥协。

Many of the largest Bitcoin companies agreed in May that they would install the SegWit software the core developers created, while also moving toward a doubling of the size of each block of transactions, to two megabytes, in November.

几家最大的比特币公司在今年5月达成一致意见,将安装核心开发人员研发出的SegWit软件,同时也将采取措施在11月让每个交易块所包括的数据的大小翻番,达到2兆字节。

The largest Bitcoin processors had signaled last week that they intended to begin running the new software on Aug. 1. But the developers have suggested that they do not intend to move forward with any increase in the size of the blocks in the coming months.

最大的比特币处理商上周发信号表示,他们打算在8月1日开始使用新软件。但核心开发人员已暗示,他们不打算在未来几个月里增加区块所含数据的大小。

One of Mr. Ver’s many investment holdings, Bitcoin.com, announced on Tuesday that it would put all of its resources behind Bitcoin Cash if the block size has not been doubled by November.

维尔拥有投资持有股的许多公司之一Bitcoin.com在周二宣布,如果区块大小到11月还不翻番的话,公司将把所有的资源投入到比特币现金上去。

To gain traction more broadly, Bitcoin Cash will have to win backing from the broader community of so-called Bitcoin miners.

为了得到更多的动力,比特币现金还不得不赢得所谓的比特币挖掘者的支持。

Bitcoin miners are best known for using specialized computers to unlock, or mine, new Bitcoins. But miners also process Bitcoin transactions and have voting power over any changes to the Bitcoin network in direct proportion to the amount of computing power they dedicate to the network.

比特币挖掘者以使用专门的计算机来发现或挖掘新比特币而闻名。但是挖掘者也处理比特币的交易,并且对比特币网络的任何变化都有投票权,他们的票数与他们投入到比特比网络的计算能力成正比。

Most of the largest mining operations are now in China, thanks to the availability of cheap hardware and electricity.

由于中国有廉价的硬件和电力,大多数经营挖掘的最大公司现在都在中国。

One significant Chinese mining operation, ViaBTC, has been an outspoken supporter of Bitcoin Cash and has said it will begin backing the system next week.

ViaBTC是一家主要的中国挖掘商,它一直在直言不讳地支持比特币现金,并表示将在下周开始支持该系统。

The largest Bitcoin mining operator in the world, a company known as Bitmain, is a primary investor in ViaBTC. That has led many in the Bitcoin world to expect that Bitmain will also provide backing to Bitcoin Cash. But Bitmain has so far said only that it does not “rule out” supporting Bitcoin Cash.

世界上最大的经营比特币挖掘的商家是一个叫Bitmain的公司,这家公司是ViaBTC的主要投资者。这让Bitcoin世界的许多人期望Bitmain也将为比特币现金提供支持。但Bitmain迄今为止只表示,“不排除”支持比特币现金的可能性。

When Bitcoin Cash comes into existence, every current holder of Bitcoins will have access to an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash, but from that point forward the two systems will diverge.

比特币现金出来后,每个现在持有比特币的人都能得到等量的比特币现金,但那之后,这两个系统将分道扬镳。

In the coming weeks, Bitcoin enthusiasts on all sides of the debate will be watching closely to see which big Bitcoin companies offer support for people who want to hold, trade and mine Bitcoin Cash.

在未来几周里,辩论各方的比特币爱好者们将会密切关注哪些比特币公司将为想持有、交易和挖掘比特币现金的人提供支持。

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