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

Tom Zander tomz at freedommail.ch
Tue Mar 7 09:17:18 UTC 2017

On Tuesday, 7 March 2017 00:23:47 CET Gareth Williams via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> What you're describing is a hashpower activated soft fork to censor
> transactions, in response to a user activated soft fork that the majority
> of hashpower disagrees with.

It is incorrect to say that censoring of transactions is what Edmund 
suggested. It's purely about the form they take, you can re-send the 
transaction in a different form with the same content and they go through. 
Hence, not transaction censoring.

I do believe the point that Edmund brought up is a very good one, the idea 
that a set of users can force the miners to do something is rather silly and 
the setup that a minority miner fraction can force the majority to do 
something is equally silly. This is because the majority mining hashpower 
can fight back against this attack upon them.

Don’t be mistaken; a hash-minority attacking the hash-majority is in actual 
fact an attack upon Bitcoin as a whole.
If this were possible then next year we’d see governments try to push 
through changes in the same UASF way. I’m very happy that UASFs can’t work 
because that would be the end of Bitcoin's freedom and decentralized nature.

> It is always possible for a majority of hashpower to censor transactions
> they disagree with. Users may view that as an attack, and can always
> respond with a POW hard fork.

I definitely welcome that approach.

The result would be that you have two chains, but also you ensure that the 
chain that the miners didn’t like will no longer be something they can mine. 
Not even the minority set of miners that like the softfork can mine on it. 
This is a win-win and then the market will decide which one will "win".
> Bitcoin only works if the majority of hashpower is not hostile to the
> users.

This goes both ways, miners both generate value (in the form of security) 
and they take value (in the form of inflation).
If the majority of the users are hostile and reject blocks that the miners 
create, or change the POW, then what the miners bring to the table is also 
Bitcoin would lose the security and in the short term even the ability to 
mine blocks every 10 minutes.

So, lets correct your statement a little;
«Bitcoin only works when the majority of the hashpower and the (economic)
  majority of the users are balanced in power and have their goals aligned.»

Tom Zander
Blog: https://zander.github.io
Vlog: https://vimeo.com/channels/tomscryptochannel

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