[Bitcoin-development] Proposed alternatives to the 20MB step

Jameson Lopp jameson.lopp at gmail.com
Mon Jun 1 16:41:50 UTC 2015

The overlapping consensus mechanisms between the Core Developers, the
miners, the block chain based businesses, and the end users make it such
that the very definition of Bitcoin is not just what any single one of
those groups comes to a consensus about. We must ALL be in consensus about
just what Bitcoin actually is and what its goals should be. As such, the
onus is on the Core Developers to convince the other groups to either
accept or reject major changes to the protocol.

Greg made a great point regarding the difficulty in determining the
definition of Bitcoin:

My point being that Bitcoin is inherently a political phenomenon; we're
just trying to describe the human politics behind Bitcoin with computer
code that is reasonably secure against attack.

- Jameson

On Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 8:55 AM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:

> It's surprising to see a core dev going to the public to defend a proposal
>> most other core devs disagree on, and then lobbying the Bitcoin ecosystem.
> I agree that it is a waste of time. Many agree. The Bitcoin ecosystem
> doesn't really need lobbying - my experience from talking to businesses and
> wallet developers months ago is they virtually all see raising capacity as
> a no brainer ... and some of them see this "debate" as despair-inducing
> insanity.
> What's happened here is that a small number of people have come to believe
> they have veto power over changes to Bitcoin, and they have also become
> *wildly* out of step with what the wider community wants. That cannot
> last. So, short of some sudden change of heart that lets us kick the can
> down the road a bit longer, a fork is inevitable.
> Just be glad it's Gavin driving this and not me ... or a faceless
> coalition of startups.
>> Decentralization is the core of Bitcoin's security model and thus that's
>> what gives Bitcoin its value.
> No. Usage is what gives Bitcoin value.
> It's kind of maddening that I have to point this out. Decentralisation is
> a means to an end. I first used Bitcoin in April 2009 and it was perfectly
> decentralised back then: every wallet was a full node and every computer
> was capable of mining.
> So if you believe what you just wrote, I guess Bitcoin's value has gone
> down every day since.
> On the other hand, if you believe the markets, Bitcoin's value has gone up.
> Apparently the question of what gives Bitcoin its value is a bit more
> complicated than that.
>> : to incentive layer 2 and offchain solutions to scale Bitcoin : there
>> are promising designs/solutions out there (LN, ChainDB, OtherCoin
>> protocole, ...), but most don't get much attention, because there is right
>> now no need for them. And, I am sure new solutions will be invented.
> I have seen this notion a few times. I would like to dispose of it right
> now.
> I am one of the wallet developers you would be trying to "incentivise" by
> letting Bitcoin break, and I say: get real. Developers are not some
> bottomless fountain of work that will spit out whatever you like for free
> if you twist their arms badly enough.
> The problems that incentivised the creation of Bitcoin existed for decades
> before Bitcoin was actually invented. Incentives are not enough. Someone
> has to actually do the work, too. All proposals on the table would:
>    - Involve enormous amounts of effort from many different people
>    - Be technically risky (read: we don't know if they would even work)
>    - Not be Bitcoin
> The last point is important: people who got interested in Bitcoin and
> decided to devote their time to it might not feel the same way about some
> network of payment hubs or whatever today's fashion is. Faced with their
> work being broken by armchair developers on some mailing list, they might
> just say screw it and walk away completely.
> After all, as the arguments for these systems are not particularly
> logical, they might slave over hot keyboards for a year to support the
> Lightning Network or whatever and then discover that it's no longer the
> fashionable thing ... and that suddenly an even more convoluted design is
> being "incentivised".
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