It’d be amazing to find writing by someone who’s simultaneously sufficiently conversant with the technical detail of block size & other BTC issues and also appropriately disinterested by either side of this debate/schism that they can parse the various arguments and give a concise, non-partisan summary.
If anyone here knows any that would be super-helpful; although I’ve read a bunch of articles from the XT and the non-XT sides, without diving really deep into the code and the history, both sides explanation’s for the others' criticisms seem reasonable enough, and although I’m really interested to understand exactly what’s happening and the pros and cons, I don’t have the time (or the background) to dive deep enough in time for the world either to explode or … not :-)
If anyone here knows any that would be super-helpful
You might enjoy this: http://www.truthcoin.info/blog/blocksize-conversation/
Thanks. I can’t help but shoot to the conclusion to that piece in order to see what its general vibe is like, only to note that the author makes an appeal to the authority of, uh, Milton Friedman regarding his “first proposed solution to the problem”, which
required a technique that frequently embarrasses intellectuals, making it a non-starter among today’s Bitcoin elites.
Immediately sets a certain tone…
Seems Mike has “left the Bitcoin community” (it’s hard to say he’s been a part of it since starting his own community with Bitcoin XT and refusing to attend either of the Scaling Bitcoin conferences) to work more closely with a bunch of banks.
I would say this is great news for everyone involved, and will hopefully result in less drama, and less harassment for the core devs who have done a fantastic job in spite of the FUD that’s been thrown their way.
So, other than citing “less drama” and general cattiness, do you have any answer to the concrete complaints that were made in the article?
Such as the suggestion that it would be possible, under the new setup, to basically revoke transactions after walking off with the merchandise? Or the issues with the miners?
I’m not huge into the Bitcoin stuff, but there did seem to be some solid criticisms in that article.
under the new setup, to basically revoke transactions after walking off with the merchandise?
Hearn is referring to the relationship between RBF (replace-by-fee) transactions and accepting unconfirmed transactions. This is an area where Peter Todd is more of an expert than I am (he’s the person who designed much of RBF), and Todd outright called Hearn a liar (which is a fair description of Hearn IMO), and linked people to an extensive thread where Greg Maxwell and a few others answer questions about RBF + 0-conf txns.
Or the issues with the miners?
Please be specific, which issue with miners? Hearn has made a variety of false or misleading statements about just about every aspect of Bitcoin, including miners. He certainly makes true statements as well (such as when he talks about mining centralization in China), but then he always neglects to mention that his alternative is to centralize Bitcoin completely.
Cogent points, and thank you.
No prob, and if you’re interested, here’s a complete reply to Mike’s post that I published today:
Point-by-Point Response To Mike Hearn’s Final Bitcoin Post
This does appear to be a clear explanation of what was a very contentious issue last year. It’s nice to have this wrap-up summary which is factual and supports its statements with context and data; it’s a shame it didn’t exist before the outcome was clear.
I can’t help but notice that the author hasn’t mentioned that both sides of this dispute had a strong disincentive to talk about what a currency fork would mean in market terms, and I think that contributed a great deal to outsiders seeing both sides as completely irrational. I have no evidence that that perception existed, except that it was mine. :) In retrospect, I think the XT people probably had valid points about transaction volume and governance, unless any key claims in this article are outright false. And apparently they did eventually find a way to implement things that would have avoided a fork.
I’m sure the described behavior about forum bans was a big deal, as well, but usually when that sort of dispute happens it’s possible for those who have decided to be uninvolved to at least get some sense of which side is being unreasonable, while they wait for the people who have a stake in it to sort things out. In this case, both sides were dogmatic and terrifying to engage with. I’m not saying the truth was in the middle - I’m saying the truth was not represented at all. :)
I guess I take two things out of this:
1) Future cryptocurrencies should have clear governance, including procedures for removing leadership.
2) Proof-of-work may or may not make sense in all the ways that have been argued extensively, but it makes miners into an interest group at odds with other market participants. There needs to be something else.
Also, communication around currencies shouldn’t be centralized in a way that enables partisan silencing, but I would have thought that would be the easiest part of the whole thing - just don’t have an official discussion forum. Oh well…