A proportionate response

I was first attracted to Bitcoin in 2011 because of two properties:

  1. Bitcoins had the correct properties to act as money.
  2. The Bitcoin blockchain was decentralized and incentive compatible.

In other words, Bitcoin is only viable if it is decentralized, and only valuable if it is a good form of money (meaning it must be easy to transfer).

The block size debate is essentially an argument of which of the two properties takes precedence in the event that one comes at the expense of the other.

If you fear increasing the block size will increase centralization pressure, and you think decentralization takes precedence, it makes sense to oppose any block size increase. Segwit is a strategical solution, increasing transaction capacity while retaining the “sticky” property of the 1MB cap.

If we could introduce another way to reduce the risks of centralization, then perhaps a block size increase would be a more palatable proposition to “small blockers”.

Proposition

  • Rather than rely on a single PoW function to extend the blockchain we can use multiple PoWs.
  • Each PoW function has a different difficulty which is adjusted to target a particular proportion.
  • The proportion between each function can be adjusted via stakeholder vote: “one bitcoin, one vote”.

Result

  1. If Bitcoin becomes too centralized or is attacked, then Bitcoin holders have an established procedure by which they can escape control of the miners.
  2. If sha256 receives 100% of mining rewards, miner’s go unscathed.
  3. If the introduction of a “poison pill” measure quells the concerns of small block proponents, and is acceptable to miners, then perhaps the community can agree on a way forward.

For more information check out Nathan’s post and read our paper.
Please feel free to shoot me an email: adam@zenprotocol.com

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