[bitcoin-dev] Bitcoin Core and hard forks

Gareth Williams gacrux at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 08:24:27 UTC 2015

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I've seen a lot of talk on this list debating the role of Bitcoin Core and its maintainers WRT consensus, typically focused around whether they can technically force anyone to run their code (of course, they can't.)

I've yet to see the discussion framed in terms of influence and leadership. Which is why I want to highlight:

>I believe it is the responsibility of the maintainers/developers of
>Core to create software which helps guarantee the security and
>operation of
>the Bitcoin network

Perhaps s/helps guarantee/promotes/ , but this stands out as an excellent description of Bitcoin Core's relationship to the Bitcoin network.

Defaults are powerful. Users technically /can/ compile and run any code they like, but very few even bother to change configurable settings. They just want a trusted brand ("Bitcoin Core") that does the right thing out of the box. Bitcoin Core and its maintainers play a valuable /leadership/ role for the network. Whether they can force people to run their code is uninteresting -- people trust them.

That trust is well earned, precisely because they have always promoted the operation and security of the network.

In light of this responsibility it seems unreasonable for anyone to expect Core maintainers to promote patches that endanger network consensus (e.g. user configurable consensus parameters.)

Consensus is order of business #1. If we can't all agree to use the same money then the grand experiment is resolved as a failure. Everyone has consensus parameters they'd (strongly) prefer. Somebody needs to heard us all toward using the same ones, sometimes even in the face of very high costs.

- -Gareth

Version: APG v1.1.1


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