[bitcoin-dev] Requirement for pseudonymous BIP submissions

Chris Stewart chris at suredbits.com
Sat Mar 18 17:35:30 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.

I think we need to all recognize we are only humans -- thus susceptible to
our emotions influencing our decisions. The notion of identity is an easy
way to form judgements for/against an idea before thoroughly vetting it.

I also think a by product of this would be to curb reddit/twitter trolls
from talking about these protocol changes. It is a much less juicy story if
you have to say "9458b7f9f76131f18823d73770e069d55beb271b created a BIP to
propose a block size increase" compared to "Satoshi Nakamoto created a BIP
to propose a block size increase".

Note about the OP:

"The hash “6f3…9cd0” is just my..." should really say "The hash
'9458...271b' is just my.." Forgot to change the hash this morning.

On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 11:57 AM, Andrew Johnson <andrew.johnson83 at gmail.com
> wrote:

> 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
> regard.
> 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: 639c28f610edcaf265b47b0679986d
>> 10af3360072b56f9b0b085ffbb4d4f440b
>> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> bitcoin-dev mailing list
>> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
>> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
> --
> Andrew Johnson
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