[bitcoin-dev] Annoucing Not-BitcoinXT

Adam Back adam at cypherspace.org
Mon Aug 17 14:36:48 UTC 2015

Thank you Eric for saying what needs to be said.

Starting a fork war is just not constructive and there are multiple
proposals being evaluated here.

I think that one thing that is not being so much focussed on is
Bitcoin-XT is both a hard-fork and a soft-fork.  It's a hard-fork on
Bitcoin full-nodes, but it is also a soft-fork attack on Bitcoin core
SPV nodes that did not opt-in.  It exposes those SPV nodes to loss in
the likely event that Bitcoin-XT results in a network-split.

The recent proposal here to run noXT (patch to falsely claim to mine
on XT while actually rejecting it's blocks) could add enough
uncertainty about the activation that Bitcoin-XT would probably have
to be aborted.


On 17 August 2015 at 15:03, Eric Lombrozo via bitcoin-dev
<bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> NxtChg,
> In the entire history of Bitcoin we’ve never attempted anything even closely resembling a hard fork like what’s being proposed here.
> Many of us have wanted to push our own hard-forking changes to the protocol…and have been frustrated because of the inability to do so.
> This inability is not due to any malice on anyone’s part…it is a feature of Satoshi’s protocol. For better or worse, it is *very hard* to change the rules…and this is exactly what imbues Bitcoin with one of its most powerful attributes: very well-defined settlement guarantees that cannot be suddenly altered nor reversed by anyone.
> We’ve managed to have a few soft forks in the past…and for the most part these changes have been pretty uncontroversial…or at least, they have not had nearly the level of political divisiveness that this block size issue is having. And even then, we’ve encountered a number of problems with these deployments that have at times required goodwill cooperation between developers and mining pool operators to fix.
> Again, we have NEVER attempted anything even remotely like what’s being proposed - we’ve never done any sort of hard fork before like this. If even fairly uncontroversial soft forks have caused problems, can you imagine the kinds of potential problems that a hard fork over some highly polarizing issue might raise? Do you really think people are going to want to cooperate?!?
> I can understand that some people would like bigger blocks. Other people might want feature X, others feature Y…and we can argue the merits of this or that to death…but the fact remains that we have NEVER attempted any hard forking change…not even with a simple, totally uncontroversial no-brainer improvement that would not risk any sort of ill-will that could hamper remedies were it not to go as smoothly as we like. *THIS* is the fundamental problem - the whole bigger block thing is a minor issue by comparison…it could be any controversial change, really.
> Would you want to send your test pilots on their first flight…the first time an aircraft is ever flown…directly into combat without having tested the plane? This is what attempting a hard fork mechanism that’s NEVER been done before in such a politically divisive environment basically amounts to…but it’s even worse. We’re basically risking the entire air force (not just one plane) over an argument regarding how many seats a plane should have that we’ve never flown before.
> We’re talking billlions of dollars’ worth of other people’s money that is on the line here. Don’t we owe it to them to at least test out the system on a far less controversial, far less divisive change first to make sure we can even deploy it without things breaking? I don’t even care about the merits regarding bigger blocks vs. smaller blocks at this point, to be quite honest - that’s such a petty thing compared to what I’m talking about here. If we attempt a novel hard-forking mechanism that’s NEVER been attempted before (and which as many have pointed out is potentially fraught with serious problems) on such a politically divisive, polarizing issue, the result is each side will refuse to cooperate with the other out of spite…and can easily lead to a war, tanking the value of everyone’s assets on both chains. All so we can process 8 times the number of transactions we currently do? Even if it were 100 times, we wouldn’t even come close to touching big payment processors like Visa. It’s hard to imagine a protocol improvement that’s worth the risk.
> I urge you to at least try to see the bigger picture here…and to understand that nobody is trying to stop anyone from doing anything out of some desire for maintaining control - NONE of us are able to deploy hard forks right now without facing these problems. And different people obviously have different priorities and preferences as to which of these changes would be best to do first. This whole XT thing is essentially giving *one* proposal special treatment above those that others have proposed. Many of us have only held back from doing this out of our belief that goodwill amongst network participants is more important than trying to push some pet feature some of us want.
> Please stop this negativity - we ALL want the best for Bitcoin and are doing our best, given what we understand and know, to do what’s right.

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