What’s new in Bitcoin? Not much… oh yeah, that. The Bitcoin Social War of 2017 is admittedly fun to watch, but I think it’s fair to say that many of the participants are getting a bit stressed. Here is an idea that might reduce some of the tension, courtesy of me and Adam Perlow—who started thinking about this idea some time ago, and who has his own views on how it could be used.
For anyone thinking about changing Bitcoin’s proof of work: Instead of forking to a single proof of work, we propose forking to multiple proofs of work, with Bitcoin holders able to vote their coins on what the mix of PoWs should be in each two-week period. That means that existing miners don’t have to be completely shut out.
For any Bitcoin holder thinking about some other hard fork of Bitcoin: you may want to follow the miners’ lead right now, but that won’t always be the case. Incorporate multiple proofs of work and coin voting, but leave the other PoWs dormant until you need them. Your miners won’t lose any income, and you’ll have more control. Even if you get into conflict later, you can send a strong message to miners without hurting their bottom line too much.
For anyone who doesn’t want to do a hard fork: I don’t think you should do one just for this. Still, this is a nice idea to have in your back pocket.