I felt that i understood the blockchain by now, but the range of transactions that are possible, their usefulness, and the apparent ease with which they could be implemented in that understanding dont seem to match reality. The question then is, either there is a reason it isnt being implemented, in the newer coins, or my understanding is off. In older coins, maybe they are afraid it will break things in existing coins, but then the question is the same about the new coins. Now for my understanding of the blockchain: Basically you take a checksum of appended:
checksum_of_previous block miners_pubkey value_you_scan_for_mining (each one gives a new checksum with a shot of beating the difficulty) accepted_transactions ... (whole list)
The result of the checksum is the score, if you get a score below the current difficulty for a correct block. (Havent figured out how that is agreed on yet) You win the block, and may refer to it, to use it as money in your reward. A block is correct only if the transactions are also valid; i.e. dont send more than a wallet contains, all signatures must check out.(most transactions have signature, unless they're attached to the miner somehow) Of course some point in the network may not know about better scores existing, to avoid that, the longest chain wins. Miners and nodes would become aware of longer chains implying their earning would go lost if those chains won outright, so they'd switch. Edit: whether the above is correct is essentially the question, the below indicates the kinds of transactions that seem missing. However in this understanding transactions can be really arbitrary, basically anything the other nodes can check. And apparently bitcoin has a whole scripting language for them, but why isnt it being used? There are many potential uses:(not neccesarily of the scripting language, but in principle doable with transactions)
Regular transactions just send money, of course.
"Transact, but leave on hold" and "finalize transaction", when a buyer is unsure the seller will actually deliver, the seller or buyer both put coins attributed to no-one, when the product arrives, the buyer can put a transaction on the blockchain that releases the coin in both directions. The seller gets paid and some of his 'promise coin' back, and the buyer gets the incentive to release back.(edit: promise coin by the seller need agreement from the seller first. The seller can sign something for the buyer so the buyer cant do it one sidedly, but the seller doesnt have to put something on the blockchain for it)
Gather inputs, miners could earn coin for taking accounts with a really old inputs and put a transaction on the blockchain saying 'this pubkey has this much coin, no need look further'.(and it would have to be correct of course) This achieves two things 1) the next transaction of that pubkey only needs to look at one input. 2) eventually, beyond some age, there is nothing you need to look further back in the past for. That past becomes irrelevant and can be thrown out.(this one is signed by the miner itself, doesnt need a secondary signature)
Crowdfunders would hang coin in the air, diverting it to the person that started it if enough coin is gathered in time, or cancelling it all if it isnt.
Bountysource releases coin by vote. However this one is actually difficult, as you have to figure out how to do the voting. Stake doesnt help because a big player could add a lot of money and vote to send it to himself.
Sending people a signed message giving them a probability of being able to detract coins. The purpose is to have exceptionally small transactions be turned into bigger transactions that also just have a small probability of occuring. The sender signs probsend the receiver only has a shot at getting the coin though, he has to put a transaction out: probsend_success but it would only be accepted if the checksum meets the difficulty.
This one is likely difficult too. A variation on that idea is for data serving basically pubkeys with some coin in them can view data stored on servers, to request it they sign view and send the request and signature. The server serves it up, and waits for the viewer to send the signature of viewed . Once it received that, they can get a transaction if served and a given number of attempts, reward and difficulty of the checksum of such a transaction. To give the viewer incentive to actually send back the signature, the first signature, asking for the data can alternative used to destroy coins of both the server and viewer.(that approach may not actually work, of course)
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