BitcoinZH Introduction: A calm assessment of the rights & responsibilities of Bitcoin stakeholders from The Antpool and Slush Pool announcements didn't dominate Chinese forums at all today. People may be on the move already for the 春运 trip home!

Miners’s aren’t as critical as you think

Miners aren't that critical, original Chinese text from

Are we sure we want to increase to 2MB right now?

I remember when XT was being pushed out, Gavin was saying if we don’t expand block sizes there’ll be all kinds problems. We haven’t expanded, have any problems appeared after all? It reminds me of an expression, I forget who said it, but most of the things you worry about just won’t happen. So even if we don’t increase, I don’t think anything major will happen to Bitcoin. At worst maybe the price won’t go up as you’d like, but that’s nothing really. We’re all 10-year, loyal holders.

Actually, the reason I suggest not increasing to 2MB now is, I want to see just what is caused by blocks being full. This hasn’t happened before, so it’s a chance for us to experience whether or not it’s as critical as Gavin says. I don’t think it will be. Last time, to win support for XT, Gavin was sensationalizing and nothing more. If Bitcoin could die just like that, well then it wouldn’t be much loss.

Rights & responsibilities

The most frequent refrain in the block size debate has been centralization of the Bitcoin code. In fact, whatever the issue, rights and responsibilities are intrinsically linked. It’s just like with mining, CPU gives you rights, but it also gives you responsibility - to protect the network. In the same way, protecting Bitcoin’s code may appear as power, but it’s actually a responsibility.

Even if the code were being centralized, this would be a result of people’s inactions at normal times. We don’t usually assume any greater responsibility, so at these critical junctures, we don’t have greater rights to a voice. This would apply in any domain. So if anyone has something to say, any suggestions, you can closely follow how the code is looked after and make contributions to the Core developers. If everyone just acts in their corporate interests, then we won’t have anything worth saying and I for one won’t be complaining.

Of course, I still have my vote and can leave at any time. Although I don’t currently think there’s any problem with Core. As far as I can see, their’s is a long-sighted proposal.

Who are our allies?

Who are our allies in this affair? It’s often hard to tell. Like Mike releasing XT then making a run for it. I still don’t get why someone who’d sold all their coins would care so much about making a hard fork.

As a bitcoin holder, I can only confirm that miners are our allies. They’ve invested real dollars. We’ve all witnessed their hashing power, there’s no faking that. But what about developers? We don’t really know whether they hold any coins or not. I couldn’t trust anyone who could support a fork at 75% consensus without regard for the miners’ interests. For the very simple reason that I don’t know whether you have skin in the game whereas with miners it’s out in the open. So if someone isn’t looking out for the interests of miners, then they aren’t an ally. That’s why Gavin fell sharply in my estimation when he released XT.

Who’s the weak one?

Actually Bitcoin does have a way of controlling the situation when blocks are full. If a serious bug appears, achieving consensus and implementing a hard fork is simple because everyone has an economic interest. Why is it that we’ve been arguing about block size expansion for so long but haven’t reached consensus? Because there’s no rush!

If the consequence of having blocks at capacity were network paralysis, I’m sure within 24 hours the hard fork would be implemented and successfully so. But clearly, if blocks are full then blocks are just full and it’s not the end of the world. During the spam attack stress-test and over the few days when there are price bubbles, blocks are basically at capacity.

What’s that you say? The user experience is terrible? New users can’t join the network? The price is depressed? Lol, don’t you want the cheap coins? Whatever way you look at this, the weak point isn’t Bitcoin, it’s us. Maybe the price will rise too slowly, if so we’ll speed up. Maybe some people are plotting to profit from the price fall, deliberately creating panic.

Whatever you do or don’t do then, don’t stop hodling!

Word of the Day

责任 | Ze Ren | Responsibilities

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