[bitcoin-dev] Bitcoin, Perceptions, and Expectations

gb kiwigb at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 25 02:18:11 UTC 2015

Validated - (seen on network) 

Settled/Cleared - 1 conf

Finalised - 6 confs

On Sat, 2015-07-25 at 00:37 +1000, Vincent Truong via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> "Fast transactions"
> Fast transactions implies it is slower than Visa, and Visa is
> 'instant' by comparison from the spender's POV. Bitcoin is still very
> instant because wallets still send notifications/pings when
> transactions are first seen, not when it goes into a block. We
> shouldn't mislead people into thinking a transaction literally takes
> 10 minutes to travel the globe.
> Maybe this feels like PR speak. But being too humble about Bitcoin's
> attributes isn't a good idea either.
> If we're going to look at perception, image and expectations, perhaps
> we can start to look at redefining some terminology too. Like
> confirmations, which is an arbitrary concept. Where possible we should
> describe it with finance terminology.
> "0 conf transaction"
> 0 conf is the 'transaction' - just the act of making an exchange. It
> doesn't imply safe and I believe using the word 'settle' in place of
> confirmations will automatically click with merchants.
> "1st conf"
> A 'confirmation' is a 'settlement'. If it is 'settled', it implies
> final (except by court order), whereas confirmation usually means 'ah,
> I've seen it come through'. I rarely hear any sales clerk call credit
> card transactions confirmed. More often you will hear 'approved'
> instead. Although 1st conf can be overtaken, so...
> "n confirmations"
> This term can probably stay since I can't come up with a better word.
> Settlements only happen once, putting a number next to it breaks the
> meaning of the word. "Settled with 4 confirmations" seems pretty
> clear. Alternatively I think instead of displaying a meaningless
> number we ought to go by a percentage (the double spend improbability)
> and go by 'confidence'. "Settled with 92% confidence." Or we can pick
> an arbitrary number like 6 and use 'settling...' and 'settled' when
> reached.
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