[Bitcoin-development] Long-term mining incentives

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Wed May 27 22:22:48 UTC 2015

On Wed, May 27, 2015 at 9:59 PM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
> I wrote an article that explains the hashing assurance contract concept:
> https://medium.com/@octskyward/hashing-7d04a887acc8
> (it doesn't contain an in depth protocol description)

The prior (and seemingly this) assurance contract proposals pay the
miners who mines a chain supportive of your interests and miners whom
mine against your interests identically.

There is already a mechanism built into Bitcoin for paying for
security which doesn't have this problem, and which mitigates the
common action problem of people just sitting around for other people
to pay for security: transaction fees. Fixing the problem with
assurance contracts effectively makes them end up working like
transaction fees in any case.  Considering the near-failure in just
keeping development funded, I'm not sure where the believe this this
model will be workable comes from; in particular unlike a lighthouse
(but like development) security is ongoing and not primarily a fixed
one time cost. I note that many existing crowdfunding platforms
(including your own) do not do ongoing costs with this kind of binary

Also work reminding people that mining per-contract is a long
identified existential risk to Bitcoin which has been seeing more
analysis lately:

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