[Bitcoin-development] Long-term mining incentives

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Thu May 28 10:30:55 UTC 2015

> 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.

The same is true today - via inflation I pay for blocks regardless of
whether they contain or double spend my transactions or not. So I don't see
why it'd be different in future.

> 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.

The article states quite clearly that assurance contracts are proposed only
if people setting transaction fees themselves doesn't work. There's some
reasonably good arguments that it probably won't work, but I don't assign
very high weight to game theoretic arguments these days so it wouldn't
surprise me if Satoshi's original plan worked out OK too.

Of course, by the time this matters I plan to be sipping a pina colada on
my private retirement beach :) It's a problem the next generation can
tackle, as far as I am concerned.

> Considering the near-failure in just keeping development funded, I'm not
> sure where the believe this this model will be workable comes from

Patience :)

Right now it's a lot easier to get development money from VC funds and rich
benefactors than raising it directly from the community, so unsurprisingly
that's what most people do.

Despite that, the Hourglass design document project now has sufficient
pre-pledges that it should be possible to crowdfund it successfully once I
get around to actually doing the work. And BitSquare was able to raise
nearly half of their target despite an incredibly aggressive deadline and
the fact that they hadn't shipped a usable prototype. I think as people get
better at crafting their contracts and people get more experience with
funding work this way, we'll see it get more common.

But yes. Paying for things via assurance contracts is a long term and very
experimental plan, for sure.

> one time cost. I note that many existing crowdfunding platforms
> (including your own) do not do ongoing costs with this kind of binary
> contract.

Lighthouse wasn't written to do hashing assurance contracts, so no, it
doesn't have such a feature. Perhaps in version 2.
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