[ExI] proto-bitcoin

spike spike at rainier66.com
Thu Apr 18 17:32:33 UTC 2013


GIMPS is an organized search for the record prime number, but it occurred to
me that it is kinda sorta like a prototype of bitcoin.  Imagine you have a
hardcore math buddy who would give an absurd amount of money to be on the
same short list with Mersenne, Euler, Cataldi, and those kinds of cats, guys
who have always been indistinguishable from god to your math buddy, but not
so much to you.  Rich and famous?  You like rich, but don't care about
famous, at least not in that.  So if you are running GIMPS because she
thought it was cool, and consequently discovered the next Mersenne prime, it
makes sense to me to contact your buddy and tell her you found one and will
sell it to her for say, 50k, along with an agreement to say nothing about it
after the sale.  


Likewise, it makes sense to me that your math buddy would put out the word
in the small community of people who care about this sort of silliness that
she has a pile of money willing to buy a Mersenne prime should it be


This situation is loosely analogous to Bitcoin, ja?  Eugen, is it?  We had a
program running since 1995, waiting waiting waiting for someone to come
along and modify it into something that makes actual money by some
quasi-formal means, rather than the (I hope) imaginary scenario I describe
above.  I will be extremely annoyed (and yet paradoxically entertained and
perhaps even titillated) if I learn that one or more of the GIMPS
discoverers bought their way to godhood.



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