[Bitcoin-development] Concerns Regarding Threats by a Developer to Remove Commit Access from Other Developers

justusranvier at riseup.net justusranvier at riseup.net
Thu Jun 18 16:07:44 UTC 2015

Hash: SHA512

On 2015-06-18 14:53, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> Consensus changes - worded another way - change Bitcoin's Constitution 
> -
> The Rules that everyone in the system is -forced- to follow, or be 
> ignored
> by the system.

Force is not a helpful or accurate way to describe the situation.

The purpose of Bitcoin to let people trade with each other, and trade 
requires mutual agreement.

If some people choose not to trade under certain terms, they aren't 
"forcing" anybody to do anything. They are simply refraining from 
proposed interactions. Not granting them the right to do this would 
actually be forcing them to engage in interactions against their will.

It's an unavoidable reality that Bitcoin's usefulness is related to the 
size (really: economic output) of the group of people who can be 
convinced that it's in their best interest to agree on a common trade 

Conversations that feature untrue claims about someone forcing someone 
else to do something is the opposite of a viable strategy for growing 
the size of that group.

Arguments about who violated what Bitcoin Core internal governance 
procedures are not interesting to most Bitcoin users, who generally 
don't know or care who has commit access to the repository.

Getting angry at Gavin and Mike for providing Bitcoin users with an 
alternative which they can freely choose or reject is not helpful in 
persuading users to stay with Bitcoin Core. Making the case why the 
changes in Bitcoin XT are not beneficial to Bitcoin users could be.

For better or for worse, Bitcoin coin users are going to run the 
software they perceive to be in their best interests.  Nobody can stop 
them from making that choice and any effort directed at that end is 

It's more productive to expend effort making sure the current and future 
Bitcoin users are as informed as possible about the long term and short 
term consequences of their choices.

Circling back to the original quote:

On 2015-06-18 14:53, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> Consensus changes - worded another way - change Bitcoin's Constitution 
> -
> The Rules that everyone in the system is -forced- to follow, or be 
> ignored
> by the system.

Bitcoin does not and can not function as a set of rules imposed by some 
people onto other people. Bitcoin is a negotiation about the best way 
for money to function in the future. The only way we get people to use 
Bitcoin is to convince them that the benefits they gain from agreeing to 
its protocol outweigh the downsides they encounter.

I'm confident that this case can be made successfully but a prerequisite 
to a successful negotiation is recognizing that it is, in fact, a 
negotiation, and that the other parties have full agency and the right 
to walk away if mutual agreement is not reached.

My suggestion is to spend less time talking about procedural violations 
and more time convincing Bitcoin users that Bitcoin Core is the best 
client for them to use, especially if the process of convincing them 
involves making improvements which the users are asking for (or making a 
very compelling case about why the users should reconsider).

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