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    The governance behind blockchain is concensus democracy , and this is important , among the MINERS. Not all users get a say. The miners are motivated to keep the value of the currency high.

    The original idea is that all users are miners and run full nodes. This is radical democracy.

    In practice it turns out if you have lots of money, you can run many nodes, and therefore have many votes. And it turns out most users just wanted to have ease of use instead and opted to use centralized wallet services.

    Now its centralized by the few who have most of the control.

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      The miners are motivated to keep the value of the currency high.

      This is true, but there’s also a tension between potential future gains, and the requirement for short-term profit.

      For example, hypothetically a BTC fork that froze the block reward would be bad for the long-term value of BTC, but it might be tempting for miners staring down a literal halving of revenue.

      It’s not a given that an entrepreneur in rural China with a warehouse full of ASICs hooked up to a local hydro plant is 100% aligned with a techno-libertarian in California with regards to Bitcoin’s governance.

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      Modern large-scale market economies where people trade with strangers on a daily basis are only possible because of another solution: third-party enforcement. In particular, this means state-enforced contracts and bills of exchange enforced by banks

      For example E-Bay has shown that reputation-based marketplaces work just fine, for an indeterminate amount of time.

      If “third-party enforcement” is needed, it doesn’t absolutely positively need to be by a nation-state, specifically. Anyone with half a brain could come up with ideas for some kind of co-operative arbitration.

      Currency can be modeled as [..academic mental masturbation..]. Traders collectively have an interest in maintaining a stable currency, because it acts as a lubricant to trade. But each trader individually has an interest in debasing the currency, in the sense of paying with fake money (what in blockchain-speak is referred to as double spending). Again the classic solution to this dilemma is third-party enforcement: the state polices metal currencies and punishes counterfeiters

      Actually, traders collectively have an interest in using money that can’t be counterfeited nor debased. Gold fit the bill for ages, and now cryptocurrencies show promise of something similar.

      Again, there’s no need for a nation-state to “enforce” anything when sound money is used.

      The enforcer is in a powerful position in relation to the enforced: banks COULD extract exorbitant fees, and states COULD abuse their power by debasing the currency, illegitimately freezing assets, or enforcing contracts in unfair ways.

      (Emphasis mine)

      “Could”, you say? Fuuuckkk.

      Bank fees are kept in check by competition: the enforced can switch to another enforcer if the fees get excessive.

      This seems to conflate “competition” between banks and nation-states. The former doesn’t exist, because banks are a state-enforced (!) cartel everywhere, and governments are working hard to eliminate the need for the latter.

      Less than a hundred years ago, passports didn’t even exist. You could just show up anywhere, which sure made a lot of sense.

      But immigration just keeps getting more and more difficult as time goes by. It’s almost as if nation-states didn’t want you to have a way out of getting exploited by them and their cronies! Go figure.

      Who makes the rules matters at least as much as who enforces them. Blockchain technology may provide for completely impartial rule-enforcement, but that is of little comfort if the rules themselves are changed. This rule-making is what we refer to as governance.

      Here the author actually has a point!

      But overall, he’s basically just cheerleading for government intervention, which is never a “solution” to anything besides the “problem” of a government not having yet another way of exploiting the masses.

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        For example E-Bay has shown that reputation-based marketplaces work just fine, for an indeterminate amount of time.

        Not just Ebay. A forum like Watchuseek has more or less organically built up a reputation system that allows trades like this to be made.

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        I mostly disagree, because of an example of Internet governance. Network stacks enforce rules of TCP, made by… IETF with “rough consensus and running code”? In practice, rules of TCP are set in stone and will not change. In practice, rules of TCP are guarded by compatibility requirement with existing implementations.

        By accident of history, RFC 1323 (1992) added WS(window scale) and TS(timestamps) option. WS turned out to be very important, but by all accounts, TS is useless. But everybody still uses TS option. Why? Because of accident of history, currently deployed iOS devices happen to disable WS if TS is missing! I know it sounds ridiculous (because it is), but this is how actual TCP is governed. More here.

        I don’t see why Bitcoin protocol rules can’t be governed similarly. In fact, I think it already is: difficulty (and resulting inability) of hard fork is exactly difficulty of flag day. Internet last rebooted to TCP in 1983 and will not reboot, ever. I don’t know whether the last reboot of Bitcoin is in the past or in the future, but even if it is in the future it can’t be far away.

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          Hmm, I don’t agree with you. IETF sets the standard and anyone can diverge from it. However, if someone comes along and says, “my computer can’t to your computer” people are left with some choices:

          1. fix the problem if it’s not behaving according to the standard
          2. work around in the client or the server

          The option that is chosen usually depends on how big the problem is, what could be done to mitigate it, among other things.

          TS isn’t useless. I’m not sure you got that idea from. If you’re referring to the article, then it fails to mention that by the time SACK was deployed, TS had been there for a while. TS also provides another source of RTT estimation.

          You also mention internet reboots which I don’t know what it means. Are you saying the internet is stuck with TCP ? If that’s the case, I think you should look into alternative protocols such as QUIC.

          Yes, it’s true that bitcoin forks are a fiasco. Almost all of them track BTC anyway. How’s that for a fork? Anyway, I think the comparison with IETF can be misleading.

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            Internet switched from NCP to TCP/IP in 1983 flag day. It will not happen again, instead there will be things like IPv6 transition mechanisms going forward. Similarly, I think Bitcoin is nearly unable to hard fork now, but will continue to change by soft forks, compatibility hacks and extension mechanisms.

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              No, flag days are not going to happen, that’s true. I don’t see how this relates to bitcoin. Anyone can come up with a new crypto currency, issue an ICO and it’s up and running without any regards for compatibility with BTC.