[bitcoin-dev] Fwd: Block size following technological growth

Dave Scotese dscotese at litmocracy.com
Sat Aug 8 16:54:04 UTC 2015

Bitcoin is an irreversible payment system.  When you pay someone using its
main selling point, which is removing the need for physical presence, you
are trusting that person.  Bitcoin doesn't obviate trust.  It obviates
authority.  Centralization of trust is what creates the authority that we
all recognize as bad for our species.  It does this by making the
authority's use of coercion acceptable.

Bitcoin removes the need for authority, not trust.  It replaces trust in a
single body with trust in a majority.  We want that majority to be healthy
and varied (as opposed to largely co-opted by some authority). The
replacement has two effects.  1) It is very difficult for any single body
to become the (coercive) authority that everyone has to trust (like central
banks). 2) It is very easy for a person to find a different single body to
trust if they don't like the one they are trusting now - or even stop
trusting one body and trust the majority instead, relying on #1 for
protection, and taking on the responsibility of running a full node.

The philosophical foundation of a thing is ultimately the basis of its
value, so I thought it useful to point out the distinction between
authority and trust in the bitcoin ecosystem.  I welcome disagreements with
my philosophical position, as that is how I learn.


On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 3:53 PM, Adam Back via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> On 7 August 2015 at 22:35, Thomas Zander via bitcoin-dev
> <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> > the need an individual has for running a node is a completely different
> concept than the
> > need for nodes to exist.  And, really, you are describing miners, not
> nodes.
> It's not as simple as trusting miners, Bitcoin security needs some
> reasonable portion of economic interest to be validating their receipt
> of coins against a full node they run.
> I do it myself because I dont want to lose money, as do many power
> users.  Most bitcoin ecosystem companies do it.  You dont have to run
> it all the time, just sync it when you want to check your own coin
> receipt with higher assurance.
> > As we concluded in our previous email, the need to run a node is
> inversely
> > proportional to the ability (or willingness) to trust others.
> Even if you are willing to trust others, trusting miners or random
> full nodes would be unsafe if not for the reasonable portion of
> economic interest validating their own received coins.  That holds
> miners honest, otherwise they could more easily present fake
> information to SPV users.
> > And lets face it, practically everyone trusts others with their money
> today.
> Bitcoin's very reason for existence is to avoid that need.  For people
> fully happy to trust others with their money, Bitcoin may not be as
> interesting to them.
> >> If the impact of the system goes u[p], so should the - joint -
> incentives to
> >> keep it secure. And I think we're (slowly) failing at that.
> >
> > That is your opinion.
> What Pieter said is an accurate summary and non-controversial.
> Adam
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> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev

I like to provide some work at no charge to prove my value. Do you need a
I own Litmocracy <http://www.litmocracy.com> and Meme Racing
<http://www.memeracing.net> (in alpha).
I'm the webmaster for The Voluntaryist <http://www.voluntaryist.com> which
now accepts Bitcoin.
I also code for The Dollar Vigilante <http://dollarvigilante.com/>.
"He ought to find it more profitable to play by the rules" - Satoshi
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