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

Hector Chu hectorchu at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 09:29:54 UTC 2015

On 4 August 2015 at 10:03, Pieter Wuille via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> If you want to let a majority decide about economic policy of a currency,
> I suggest fiat currencies. They have been using this approach for quite a
> while, I hear.
Nearly all the fiat currencies I'm familiar with have their economic policy
dictated by the government or the relevant central bank committee. Ordinary
users of the banking system are not consulted.

> Bitcoin's consensus rules are a consensus system, not a democracy. Find a
> solution that everyone agrees on, or don't.
That's correct. The people who disagree will cease using the system, and
quite possibly move to a different one (i.e. Bitcoin XT). The people left
on the old system will indeed have a solution that they all can agree on.

> On Aug 4, 2015 9:51 AM, "jl2012 via bitcoin-dev" <
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>> As now we have some concrete proposals (
>> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-July/009808.html),
>> 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 multi-sig.
>> 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 vote.
>> 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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