Earlier this week (on Sunday night, in fact), I came across a definition and understanding of “legal systems” that has really cleared up a lot of things that have been weighing heavily on my mind for a long time. Here it is:

Legal systems are protocols for the management of disputes.

This includes protocols for preventing disputes and for managing the whole lifecycle of disputes, from inception to resolution. It captures both descriptions of these protocols (“legal code”) and their execution (“operation of law”). It might need to be refined, but it’s useful enough as given here.

Disputes arise in…


Check out this table I made, I call it “Some Do’s and Dont’s of Participating in Blockchain Governance in Good Faith”:

Some Do’s and Dont’s of Participating in Blockchain Governance in Good Faith

Don’t feel like if you’ve done any of the “dont’s” that you’ve necessarily acted in bad faith. Given the level of public understanding of governance (and especially blockchain governance), ignorance is normal, expected, and very excusable. Once you reach a certain level of awareness, however, the behaviors listed above become bad faith. But don’t unquestioningly accept anything I say or put in a table (I might be wrong), or assume that my table is complete (it isn’t).

I think…


“Blockchain Governance 101” was my attempt to set the scene, as I see it, of what blockchain governance is, what outcomes are at stake, and how the public can participate at this stage of the game to determine blockchain governance outcomes. This blog won’t make as much sense if you don’t read that. So do that first!

I was challenged by CleanApp to show my hand in an absolutely excellent response to my blog, and although I have to say that the compliments are a bit much, you have to read it all the way through!:

When you ask people…


There’s a lot of confusion about blockchain governance. Many participants and potential participants inside and outside the blockchain space fail to effectively participate in blockchain governance. I hope that this situation will improve with more public understanding of the basics of blockchain governance, the possible governance outcomes, and how they can most effectively participate in blockchain governance.

I don’t have all the answers, and I know that I’m missing relevant background knowledge. However I have been thinking about, watching, and actively participating in blockchain governance for 3 - 4 years. …


Hi again! I thought I would address some of the discussion/feedback

One of my favorites is what Vitalik wrote in response:

Here are the first two paragraphs:

To be clear I’m not necessarily wedded to a finite supply cap. That said, I do think that you are missing one of the big arguments in favor of finite supply: mistrust of future governance.

The fact is that we have not solved blockchain governance, and I worry that there is a large chance that we never will come up with a blockchain governance process that is sufficiently robust that it will be…


Hi everyone! This is just an opinion piece :)

Background

Vitalik cleverly made a controversial EIP on April fools:

But notes that it doesn’t matter whether or not it was made in jest:

I don’t like the proposal, so I’m going to give my opinion about it :)

We don’t know what Ether supply model is optimal

I think this is a fact.

For consensus

It’s still unclear today how much issuance will be required (if any) for the security of the consensus protocol. This is true today with PoW, and in the future with Casper and sharding.

Today the average block reward (including uncle rewards and uncle inclusion rewards)…


Refuting (and rebuking) Fred Ehrsam’s governance blog

I’ve been thinking about blockchain governance for a long time, and recently my understanding of the process has become (I think) a lot more clear.

I was (and still am) working on a blog post titled “Blockchain Governance 101”, which I hope will share some basic language for reasoning about governance.

Before I managed to finish (the research is ongoing, and it’s not my top priority), Fred Ehrsam published a blog post “Blockchain Governance: Programming Our Future”, framing the discussion as a primarily design problem.

I really don’t think blockchain governance (or governance in general) can be understood as a…


The blockchain has the potential to impact society, and it is precisely the properties that make the blockchain potentially useful that also make the blockchain potentially harmful.

It’s our responsibility as technologists to inform people about the possible consequences of the adoption of the technology we develop. It’s also our responsibility to help mitigate the damage that would be caused by the technology’s adoption.

I’m writing this because I’ve been working on blockchain architecture for around 3 years and I have become very concerned about the risks that blockchains pose to society.

The blockchain space has generated a lot of…


Following Simon’s example, I’m going to post a twitter thread to medium (with maybe some additional comments!).

I got a question about the structure of blockchain governance. I don’t tweet about what it would mean for governance to be more or less decentralized, in this thread, but it may still be useful.

I since changed my mind about what ideal governance looks like. Ideally, everyone would independently decide on the same choice without having to communicate (i.e. each independently implementing compatible hard forks).


There are many ways that a blockchain can fail. It’s always good to think about what failure looks like because it lets us see 1) how bad it might be, and 2) how it’s possible to recover from failure and 3) how can failure be prevented.

Knowing how things can fail and what it is possible to do to recover puts us in a position where we can keep our cool — both during failure and while contemplating the possibility of failure. I feel like this might be important generally as a life lesson, but here is a more economic…

Vlad Zamfir

Absurdist, troll.

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