Bitcoin: More than Miners, revisited
[:en]I wrote this article on 25th of October last year, explaining how slavishly following the “longest chain with most cumulative work” is naive and dumb.
Explaining Bitcoin governance is one of the hardest things to do. While Bitcoin has no traditional governance model, it…baswisselink.com
At the time, BCH (then mostly BCC) proponents were vocally saying it was “Nakamoto consensus” and the way Bitcoin works (according to the Whitepaper)”.
They decided to interpret the WP “out of time” with no context or admission that not all terms in the WP are used now as they were then.
I replied with this thread:
There is no need for this to be in the whitepaper.
Following miners blindly a priori defeats Bitcoin’s security, because this would mean also blindly following a majority of clearly malicious miners.
Of course, I am just a small voice and nothing was heard. Doesn’t make it less true that slavishly following a protocol without looking at the spirit of it (on an individual user basis) is against one’s own interests. It allows you to be ruled by whomever satisfies the algorithm.
The algo might favour someone wanting to hurt your interests. Would you follow such a one? I wouldn’t.
At the time, BCH proponents said they were willing.
Of course, they had reason: it benefitted their forking efforts. While forking is a right and not a problem, distorting facts to get there is and it will bite you on the bum eventually, which is happening now.
BCH is forking again, and not in a nice way. BSV is in the lead to forcibly taking over and many users are not happy with that due to BSV being aligned with Craig Wright.
So, a conundrum: do you follow the “Nakamoto Consensus”, as they have dubbed the naive “longest chain + CD” rule? It’s clearly against their best interest, in their minds.
Here’s Olivier Janssens, a very vocal BCH proponent last year:
He won’t stay on chain if it’s against his best interest.
He admits it only works it it’s in control of “good actors”
Last year he was explaining to Charlie Lee (creator of Litecoin) that longest chain is the rule.
We see the same with Rick Falkvinge, who last year said “Nakamoto” was leading:
Now, we see him discussing the person running the longest chain (rightly, by the way!) as a narcissist, so apparently personality and context now DOES matter.
Discussions on /BTC reddit are even talking of their own UASF (hey wait, wasn’t users running their own nodes useless?”
It is kind of sad to see people now finding out what happens if you are on the wrong side of the stick and seeing your project attacked: if you vocally show your neck to an opponent in an adversarial system and say “here’s the rule that says you can bite me”, you will get bitten.
So now the ABC people are in need of the same, and VALID, arguments BTC adherents already made last year. You only follow the chain that benefits you, ie. users HAVE power, and a lot.
If anything good comes out of the ABC vs. BSV “drama”, I hope it is this: that from now on, we can lay to rest the notion that “miner’s decide”.
It’s a dictator’s argument.
Originally published at Bas Wisselink.