How the Reddit MillionaireMakers Are Using the Bitcoin Blockchain

Journalist:
December 23, 2014

The MillionaireMakers subreddit grew out of one of Reddit’s infamous shower thoughts, in which Redditor moizmie correctly posited that “If a million of us picked a certain redditor and all donated just $1, we would have the power to make someone a millionaire.” Last month, a Redditor won nearly $1,000 from the budding community which was given in a combination of Changetip Bitcoin tips, Dogetipbot Dogecoin tips, straight up Bitcoin and Dogecoin transactions to posted addresses, as well as a PayPal donation address.

This month, the MillionaireMakers community is ready for a second go, and is prepared to select the winner in the most provably fair way imaginable, thanks to /u/potatobadger. The Bitcoin Blockchain will be used to ensure the fair selection of Reddit’s newest Millionaire.

Also read: Watch a Blockchain Save Bank of America $17 Billion (Hypothetically)

MillionaireMakers Use the Bitcoin Blockchain

The System that has been developed involves creating the list of participants, pruning for cheaters, and then posting the list of participants to a public thread, so the “drawing” of the lucky winner is provably fair. The list of participants will also include an SHA 256 check sum so participants can verify that the participants list has not changed. In order to have a truly random selection, the MillionaireMakers community has opted to use the Bitcoin Blockchain to select the winner. The process is as described:

Once the participants thread is posted, the bot will watch the Bitcoin blockchain for mined blocks. Our lucky block will be the 6th block mined after the participants list announcement (~ 1 hour after). We will then use the lucky block’s hash to computer 1 + ( hash % number_of_participants) which will be a number between 1 and the number of participants. (Note that the numbering starts from 1 and not from 0 for the sake of simplicity) The winner will be the person who has a number equal to the generated number.

This is the preferred method because it doesn’t allow the mods to fake results or change the participants list without raising clear red flags, which many will be watching for. Instead, all of the world’s skeptics will be able to verify the results of this drawing themselves:

Because the list is announced before the lucky block has been mined, there is no way for the moderators to predict or fake the results. You can download the list and use the lucky block’s hash to reproduce the drawing on your machine. This can be done by writing your own Python script or using the one provided by us for convenience.

The Bitcoin Blockchain’s Many Uses

Since the inception of the Bitcoin Blockchain, many have spent all their time arguing about Bitcoin’s place as money in the current financial system. They see the nascent size and decide that this upstart technology can’t possibly be used for anything when it has such a volatile price. For the MillionaireMakers community’s intended use of the Bitcoin blockchain, it won’t matter what the Bitcoin price, relative to USD, is at the given moment. The use of the Bitcoin blockchain’s block hashes as a provably fair random number generator (RNG) has seen use in Bitcoin gambling sites such as Satoshi Dice. Beyond the novelty of an un-censorable RNG available to anyone with an Internet connection, the Bitcoin blockchain will also lead to useful information storage “chains.” The amount of services that will leverage the Bitcoin blockchain grow by the day as Bitcoin 2.0 projects take decentralization beyond money.

Images from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): December 26, 2014 19:51

Caleb Chen @bitxbitxbitcoin

Caleb is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied Economics, East Asian Studies, and Mathematics. He is currently pursuing his MSc in Digital Currency at the University of Nicosia.