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.
A Proportionate Response
A production quota is defined as a limit on production, set by someone other than those purchasing the good in question – a government, a cartel, etc. In the case of Bitcoin, miners produce “transaction entries in the Bitcoin ledger” and those wishing to make those entries must pay miners to do so. The question is if this good is subject to quota. Continue reading “Note on the block size limit”
I wrote this just over one year ago, but only made it public for a few days. Here it is. I still agree with perhaps 80% of the content. As for the style? Pfah.
Blockchains as a natural phenomenon
Bitcoin is real. We can keep it, lose it, give it away or receive it — but we can’t counterfeit it. There is no such thing as a fake bitcoin, nor will there ever be, radical developments in cryptography or quantum computation notwithstanding. Yes, this makes it similar to gold or crude oil. That’s not important. Gold’s been around for a while already; it’s shiny, but then again, it’s rather dull.
What I want to argue is that owning and using Bitcoin is fundamentally different from owning and using fiat currencies, precious metals or any other asset. Bitcoin turns social relations into effectively innate objects and properties. These include “transferable property”, “trade” and “autonomy”.
Continue reading “Bitcoin reifies – an old post”