[bitcoin-dev] Requirement for pseudonymous BIP submissions

Andrew Johnson andrew.johnson83 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 18 16:57:56 UTC 2017

I think this is an excellent idea. I consider myself to be extremely
data-driven and logical in my thinking, and have still fallen victim to
thinking "oh great, what's <person I've been annoyed by in the past> on
about now?" when seeing something posted or proposed.

And vice versa, it prevents people from being more partial to a bad or not
so great idea simply because it was posited by someone they hold in high

Simple, yet effective.  I would actually even go a step further and say
that all BIPs should be done this way as a matter of procedure, I can't
think of a downside.

On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 10:46 AM Chris Stewart via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> As everyone in the Bitcoin space knows, there is a massive scaling debate
> going on. One side wants to increase the block size via segwit, while the
> other side wants to increase via hard fork. I have strong opinions on the
> topic but I won’t discuss them here. The point of the matter is we are
> seeing the politicization of protocol level changes. The critiques of these
> changes are slowly moving towards critiques based on who is submitting the
> BIP -- not what it actually contains. This is the worst thing that can
> happen in a meritocracy.
> *Avoiding politicization of technical changes in the future*
> I like what Tom Elvis Judor did when he submitted his MimbleWimble white
> paper to the technical community. He submitted it under a pseudonym, over
> TOR, onto a public IRC channel. No ego involved — only an extremely
> promising paper. Tom (and Satoshi) both understood that it is only a matter
> of time before who they are impedes technical progress of their system.
> I propose we move to a pseudonymous BIP system where it is required for
> the author submit the BIP under a pseudonym. For instance, the format could
> be something like this:
> BIP: 1337
> Author: 9458b7f9f76131f18823d73770e069d55beb271b at protonmail.com
> BIP content down here
> The hash “6f3…9cd0” is just my github username, christewart, concatenated
> with some entropy, in this case these bytes:
> 639c28f610edcaf265b47b0679986d10af3360072b56f9b0b085ffbb4d4f440b
> and then hashed with RIPEMD160. I checked this morning that protonmail can
> support RIPEMD160 hashes as email addresses. Unfortunately it appears it
> cannot support SHA256 hashes.
> There is inconvenience added here. You need to make a new email address,
> you need to make a new github account to submit the BIP. I think it is
> worth the cost -- but am interested in what others think about this. I
> don't think people submitting patches to a BIP should be required to submit
> under a pseudonym -- only the primary author. This means only one person
> has to create the pseudonym. From a quick look at the BIPs list it looks
> like the most BIPs submitted by one person is ~10. This means they would
> have had to create 10 pseudonyms over 8 years -- I think this is
> reasonable.
> *What does this give us?*
> This gives us a way to avoid politicization of BIPs. This means a BIP can
> be proposed and examined based on it’s technical merits. This levels the
> playing field — making the BIP process even more meritocratic than it
> already is.
> If you want to claim credit for your BIP after it is accepted, you can
> reveal the preimage of the author hash to prove that you were the original
> author of the BIP. I would need to reveal my github username and
> “639c28f610edcaf265b47b0679986d10af3360072b56f9b0b085ffbb4d4f440b”
> *The Future*
> Politicization of bitcoin is only going to grow in the future. We need to
> make sure we maintain principled money instead devolving to a system where
> our money is based on a democratic vote — or the votes of a select few
> elites. We need to vet claims by “authority figures” whether it is Jihan
> Wu, Adam Back, Roger Ver, or Greg Maxwell. I assure you they are human —
> and prone to mistakes — just like the rest of us. This seems like a simple
> way to level the playing field.
> Thoughts?
> -Chris
> _______________________________________________
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> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Andrew Johnson
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