[Bitcoin-development] Mechanics of a hard fork
roy at gnomon.org.uk
Thu May 7 22:08:48 UTC 2015
On Thu, May 07, 2015 at 11:49:28PM +0200, Pieter Wuille wrote:
> I would not modify my node if the change introduced a perpetual 100 BTC
> subsidy per block, even if 99% of miners went along with it.
Surely, in that scenario Bitcoin is dead. If the fork you prefer has
only 1% of the hash power it is trivially vulnerably not just to a 51%
attack but to a 501% attack, not to mention the fact that you'd only
be getting one block every 16 hours.
> A hardfork is safe when 100% of (economically relevant) users upgrade. If
> miners don't upgrade at that point, they just lose money.
> This is why a hashrate-triggered hardfork does not make sense. Either you
> believe everyone will upgrade anyway, and the hashrate doesn't matter. Or
> you are not certain, and the fork is risky, independent of what hashrate
Beliefs are all very well, but they can be wrong. Of course we should
not go ahead with a fork that we believe to be dangerous, but
requiring a supermajority of miners is surely a wise precaution. I
fail to see any realistic scenario where 99% of miners vote for the
hard fork to go ahead, and the econonomic majority votes to stay on
the blockchain whose hashrate has just dropped two orders of magnitude
- so low that the mean time between blocks is now over 16 hours.
> And the march 2013 fork showed that miners upgrade at a different schedule
> than the rest of the network.
> On May 7, 2015 5:44 PM, "Roy Badami" <roy at gnomon.org.uk> wrote:
> > > On the other hand, if 99.99% of the miners updated and only 75% of
> > > merchants and 75% of users updated, then that would be a serioud split of
> > > the network.
> > But is that a plausible scenario? Certainly *if* the concensus rules
> > required a 99% supermajority of miners for the hard fork to go ahead,
> > then there would be absoltely no rational reason for merchants and
> > users to refuse to upgrade, even if they don't support the changes
> > introduces by the hard fork. Their only choice, if the fork succeeds,
> > is between the active chain and the one that is effectively stalled -
> > and, of course, they can make that choice ahead of time.
> > roy
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