[Bitcoin-development] replace-by-fee v0.10.0rc4

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Thu Feb 12 13:18:44 UTC 2015


>
> But, let's say, 5 years from now, some faction of miners who own
> soon-to-be-obsolete equipment will decide to boost their profits with a
> replace-by-fee pool and a corresponding wallet. They can market it as "1 of
> 10 hamburgers are free" if they have 10% of the total hashpower.
>

Yes, like any P2P network Bitcoin cannot work if a sufficiently large
number of miners decide to attack it. This is an ancient argument. It came
up the moment Bitcoin was first invented.

But this argument could have been made at any time in Bitcoin's entire
history. Lots of miners have dropped out due to hardware obsolescence, yet
massive double spending hasn't happened. Perhaps the system is not as
simple as you boil it down to be.

Anyway, what would happen in that event is within a few days some people
would stop selling Bitcoin for hamburgers, others would find workarounds,
and the fees collected from the double spends would be worth very little.
Nobody wins.

So would you take a responsibility for pushing the approach which isn't
> game-theoretically sound?
>

"The approach" is how Bitcoin has always worked.

People have been using game theory to predict the imminent demise of
Bitcoin since I first found it. Just one example:   "Bitcoin will collapse
when the 50->25 BTC drop happens" was promoted as a dead cert thing by game
theorists. Every miner becomes unprofitable and stops at once!

So far game theory based predictions tend to be proven wrong by reality, so
this sort of argument doesn't impress me much.

Anyway, going around this loop again is pointless. I brought up the counter
argument so people who see this thread don't mistakenly think Peter's
position is some kind of de-facto consensus about how Bitcoin should work.
Not because I love rehashing the same arguments every six months ad nauseum.
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