In June 2018, I published an article called Sybil and Satoshi. In it, I laid out a high-level overview of a low-level paper. It principally discussed that Satoshi created an incentive mechanism that produces a network resistant to Sybil attacks. In the conclusion, I noted that IOTA’s intended design to produce a mesh network is one that will never be Sybil resistant. This was quite controversial in the IOTA community because it challenged a belief system: the belief that IOTA is capable of something it is not. This kind of belief system has made its way back into the Bitcoin community after the infamous chain split last year.
Note: By Bitcoin, I of course mean Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin is alive and well, all the way back to the genesis block, in the BCH chain.
Another fork in the road
The community has recently had a very heated discussion about the planned changes in Bitcoin ABC’s roadmap that they plan to enact upon Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin ABC was the client used to split away from BTC, people feel like it is the best option and that the team are therefore the most qualified to perform network upgrades. After all, ABC have now completed three major protocol upgrades with very few problems.
Bitcoin is attempting to become the future of money on a scale never before achieved. To reach this goal we must carefully analyse the changes that are being proposed. This means we should review code, run unit tests, and test the changes on a testnet. However, what many people forget is that we must also test the concept of the changes, the changes must not alter the fundamental architecture of the protocol, nor damage the network incentives.
Craig Wright has been openly critical of these changes but he has not yet explained in full detail why or how he believes these changes may be counterproductive. Nchain, has released an evaluation of canonical transaction ordering which comes to the conclusion that no implementation should include the proposal. Yet, the critic ends there. After researching this topic extensively from an economic standing it has become my understanding that some of these changes are drastic departures from the Bitcoin whitepaper and the original protocol design. They also contain dangerous security flaws and compromise the mining network which keeps Bitcoin going. Despite regular discussion with some of the ABC developers and others in the Bitcoin space, I have yet to receive a satisfactory rebuttal to these concerns.
I will be publishing short chapters of a series called The Next Block — The Satoshi Series. With reference to papers I will show why I believe the proposed changes would eventually prevent Bitcoin from becoming the world’s financial and networking infrastructure as it was intended. I will also outline the boundaries that I believe should be adhered to to ensure that Bitcoin can fulfil such a role.
The first in the series is a few technical concepts one must understand for the implications of each section to be fully comprehended. This next block of information is titled Understanding Concepts.