[Bitcoin-development] Coinbase reallocation to discourage Finney attacks

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Tue Apr 29 14:13:28 UTC 2014

I do think we need to move beyond this idea of Bitcoin being some kind of
elegant embodiment of natural mathematical law. It just ain't so.

Every time miners and nodes ignore a block that creates >formula() coins
that's a majority vote on a controversial political matter, as evidenced by
the disagreement with mainstream economics and that it's one of the most
common things for alt coins to change. Indeed Satoshi's chosen inflation
formula is a highly political statement on the value of inflation - he
could have programmed Bitcoin to inflate forever and avoided a whole area
of politics, but he chose not to.

So please, let's agree to accept that Bitcoin is ultimately just a piece of
software that encodes rules helping us run our little community in some
specific ways. It's not physics and we should believe our own hype by
pretending it is.

On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:41 PM, Adam Back <adam at cypherspace.org> wrote:

> I think the reason that it would likely work out badly is that its not
> provable, and so no consensus rule can be constructed requiring proof, so
> then it risks devolving to a political decision.

It's the other way around. If miners decide to fork the chain then that
leaves no proof (beyond the old blocks, which could have been a natural
fork - there's no way to know - and nodes don't want to keep them around
anyway). If they explicitly vote to get the same effect but without
actually forking, it leaves a proof in the form of the votes in the
coinbase that can be seen afterwards.

> Step 3: Finney attackers vote down other pools to make the point.

It only works if the majority of hashpower is controlled by attackers, in
which case Bitcoin is already doomed. So it doesn't matter at that point.
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