[bitcoin-dev] Wrapping up the block size debate with voting

jl2012 at xbt.hk jl2012 at xbt.hk
Tue Aug 4 07:50:43 UTC 2015

As now we have some concrete proposals 
I think we should wrap up the endless debate with voting by different 
stakeholder groups.

Candidate proposals

Candidate proposals must be complete BIPs with reference implementation 
which are ready to merge immediately. They must first go through the 
usual peer review process and get approved by the developers in a 
technical standpoint, without political or philosophical considerations. 
Any fine tune of a candidate proposal may not become an independent 
candidate, unless it introduces some “real” difference. “No change” is 
also one of the voting options.
Voter groups

There will be several voter groups and their votes will be counted 
independently. (The time frames mentioned below are just for example.)

Miners: miners of blocks with timestamp between 1 to 30 Sept 2015 are 
eligible to vote. One block one vote. Miners will cast their votes by 
signing with the bitcoin address in coinbase. If there are multiple 
coinbase outputs, the vote is discounted by output value / total 
coinbase output value.
Many well-known pools are reusing addresses and they may not need to 
digitally sign their votes. In case there is any dispute, the digitally 
signed vote will be counted.

Bitcoin holders: People with bitcoin in the UTXO at block 372500 (around 
early September) are eligible to vote. The total “balance” of each 
scriptPubKey is calculated and this is the weight of the vote. People 
will cast their votes by digital signature.
Special output types:
Multi-sig: vote must be signed according to the setting of the 
P2SH: the serialized script must be provided
Publicly known private key: not eligible to vote
Non-standard script according to latest Bitcoin Core rules: not eligible 
to vote in general. May be judged case-by-case

Developers: People with certain amount of contribution in the past year 
in Bitcoin Core or other open sources wallet / alternative 
implementations. One person one vote.

Exchanges: Centralized exchanges listed on Coindesk Bitcoin Index, 
Winkdex, or NYSE Bitcoin index, with 30 days volume >100,000BTC are 
invited. This includes Bitfinex, BTC China, BitStamp, BTC-E, itBit, 
OKCoin, Huobi, Coinbase. Exchanges operated for at least 1 year with 
100,000BTC 30-day volume may also apply to be a voter in this category. 
One exchange one vote.

Merchants and service providers: This category includes all bitcoin 
accepting business that is not centralized fiat-currency exchange, e.g. 
virtual or physical stores, gambling sites, online wallet service, 
payment processors like Bitpay, decentralized exchange like 
Localbitcoin, ETF operators like Secondmarket Bitcoin Investment Trust. 
They must directly process bitcoin without relying on third party. They 
should process at least 100BTC in the last 30-days. One merchant one 

Full nodes operators: People operating full nodes for at least 168 hours 
(1 week) in July 2015 are eligible to vote, determined by the log of 
Bitnodes. Time is set in the past to avoid manipulation. One IP address 
one vote. Vote must be sent from the node’s IP address.

Voting system

Single transferable vote is applied. 
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_transferable_vote). Voters are 
required to rank their preference with “1”, “2”, “3”, etc, or use “N” to 
indicate rejection of a candidate.
Vote counting starts with every voter’s first choice. The candidate with 
fewest votes is eliminated and those votes are transferred according to 
their second choice. This process repeats until only one candidate is 
left, which is the most popular candidate. The result is presented as 
the approval rate: final votes for the most popular candidate / all 
valid votes

After the most popular candidate is determined, the whole counting 
process is repeated by eliminating this candidate, which will find the 
approval rate for the second most popular candidate. The process repeats 
until all proposals are ranked with the approval rate calculated.

Interpretation of results:

It is possible that a candidate with lower ranking to have higher 
approval rate. However, ranking is more important than the approval 
rate, unless the difference in approval rate is really huge. 90% support 
would be excellent; 70% is good; 50% is marginal; <50% is failed.

Technical issues:

Voting by the miners, developers, exchanges, and merchants are probably 
the easiest. We need a trusted person to verify the voters’ identity by 
email, website, or digital signature. The trusted person will collect 
votes and publish the named votes so anyone could verify the results.

For full nodes, we need a trusted person to setup a website as an 
interface to vote. The votes with IP address will be published.

For bitcoin holders, the workload could be very high and we may need 
some automatic system to collect and count the votes. If people are 
worrying about reduced security due to exposed raw public key, they 
should move their bitcoin to a new address before voting.

Double voting: people are generally not allowed to change their mind 
after voting, especially for anonymous voters like bitcoin holders and 
solo miners. A double voting attempt from these classes will invalidate 
all related votes.

Multiple identity: People may have multiple roles in the Bitcoin 
ecology. I believe they should be allowed to vote in all applicable 
categories since they are contributing more than other people.

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