[bitcoin-dev] Moving towards user activated soft fork activation

Nick ODell nickodell at gmail.com
Sun Mar 5 21:31:26 UTC 2017


>I also think that the UASF is a good idea. Hashrate follows coin price. If
the UASF has the higher coin price, the other chain will be annihilated. If
the UASF has a lower coin price, the user activated chain can still exist
(though their coins can be trivially stolen on the majority chain).

I don't think that's true. Say there are two forks of Blahcoin. Alice
thinks there's a 55% chance that Fork A will succeed. Bob thinks there's a
55% chance that Fork B will succeed. Alice trades all of her Fork B coins
for all of Bob's Fork A coins. Now, Bob and Alice both have a stake in one
fork or the other succeeding. Alice starts spending more time around Fork A
users; Bob starts spending his time with Fork B users.

A year passes, and Alice and Bob meet again. Bob tells Alice that Fork B
has been doing much better than Fork A, and is trading at ten times the
price. Alice replies that it doesn't matter, since Fork B will soon split
into B1 and B2. After all, if Fork B surrendered its principles once, it
can do so again. Bob replies that Fork B represents the true spirit of
Blahcoin. Alice replies that all of the people whose opinion she respects
believe that Fork B violates principles set down by the Founder (peace be
upon him.)

Bob disagrees, and cites an annotated collection of the Founder's writings,
which clearly show that if a situation like what provoked the Great Fork
happens, Fork B is in the right. All of the people Bob knows (except Alice)
agree that this shows Fork A is invalid. Alice replies that Bob is
committing the bandwagon fallacy; even if a thousand people believe that
red is green, that does not make it true. Also, the collection takes
several of the Founder's comments out of context. If one looks at comments
made prior to the release of Blahcoin, they lay out a framework that
envisions Fork A. Bob replies that Alice can't use statements made prior to
the release of Blahcoin to establish original intent; the system hadn't
been designed yet.

Bob points out that Fork B has a higher total chainwork. Alice scoffs. She
posits a Fork C, which is exactly like Fork A, except that chainwork is
defined to be the previous definition plus a quadrillion. Bob finds that
ridiculous. Fork C would transgress upon intrinsic principles of Blahcoin.
No more than Fork B does, Alice replies.

----

Each sentence above is true from some point of view. Each person sincerely
believes in the rightness of their position. Is there some objective
measure, that both Alice and Bob can agree on, that resolves this? I don't
think there is. Bob and Alice will sneer at each other for being idiots
forever. The schism will never resolve.

Satoshi Bless,
--Nick

On Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 11:10 AM, David Vorick via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> I also think that the UASF is a good idea. Hashrate follows coin price. If
> the UASF has the higher coin price, the other chain will be annihilated. If
> the UASF has a lower coin price, the user activated chain can still exist
> (though their coins can be trivially stolen on the majority chain).
>
> The success of the UASF depends entirely on the price. And actually, the
> price is easy to manipulate. If you, as an economically active full node,
> refuse to acknowledge the old chain and demand that incoming coins arrive
> over the UASF chain. In doing so, you drive down the utility of the old
> chain and drive up the utility of the new chain. This ultimately impacts
> the price.
>
> I think it would be pretty easy to get high confidence of the success of a
> UASF. Basically you need all the major economic hubs to agree to upgrade
> and then exclusively accept UASF coins. I don't have a comprehensive list,
> but if we could sign on 75% of the major exchanges and payment processors,
> and get 75% of the wallets to upgrade, then the UASF would be very likely
> to successfully obliterate the old rules, as miners would be unable to sell
> their coins or pay their bills by stubbornly sticking to the old chain.
> It's less risky than a hard fork by far, because there is zero risk of coin
> split if the UASF has majority hashrate, which will follow majority
> economic value.
>
> A serious proposal I think would get all the code ready and merged, but
> without setting a flag day. Then we would get signatures from the major
> institutions promising to use the software and saying that they are ready
> for a flag day. After that, you release a patch with a flag day 12 months
> in the future. People can upgrade immediately, and have a full year to
> transition.
>
> That gives tons of time for people to upgrade, and tons of confidence that
> the UASF will end up as the majority chain.
>
> If we cannot get enough major exchanges, payment processors, and other
> economic hubs to upgrade,  the flag day should remain upset, as the risk of
> coin split will be non-zero.
>
> I would suggest that a carefully executed UASF is much riskier than a soft
> fork, but far, far less risky than a hard fork.
>
>
>
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