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Issue #457: People don't like not having control

Issue #457: People don't like not having control

Apr 8, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #457: People don't like not having control

In my honest (very correct) opinion, one of the most important lessons to learn when approaching Bitcoin is the fact that it lacks a formal governance process and THIS IS OKAY. This topic has been discussed many times in this rag, but it can never be repeated enough. Especially in a world in which people are attempting to leverage this perceived shortcoming to sell a "next Bitcoin" to the unwitting masses. As our friend James points out, blocking changes is the goal and Bitcoin should not be held to the standards of opportunists who think they've solved a problem that humanity has been iterating on for millennia because "blockchains exist now".

A formal governance structure introduces more social attack surface that creates the potential for motivated individuals or groups to exploit the process to their benefit. Bitcoin's focus on changing as little as possible and avoiding the formalization of any "upgrade process" is what drives a lot of its value. I believe a part of the reason why the Bitcoin price pumped so hard in late 2017 was the fact that the network proved to be change-resistant with the failure of SegWit2x, a political campaign championed by some of the biggest "economic actors" in the space to double the blocksize limit. The fact that the network was not able to be coerced to change by people throwing money and propaganda at it proved to the market that, at least right now, one can have a degree of certainty that the protocol they decide to opt into to store some of their wealth is not going to change much, if at all.

I envision a future in which people come to understand that the Bitcoin network produces censorship resistant, peer-to-peer distributed blocks roughly every ten minutes just as they understand that the sun rises and sets each day. This is still a longshot and in no way a guarantee, but an ideal I believe Bitcoin is getting closer to by the day thanks to its focus on changing as little as possible. Everyone and their mother attempting to attain clout and status by waxing poetic about theoretical "cryptoeconomic" models that take "governance", "dev incentives" and "environmental impact" into consideration are completely missing the point of Bitcoin. We simply need a somewhat simple system that is sufficiently distributed, very hard to change, and dependable. Powerful things can be built on top of this ironclad base. At least that's what Uncle Marty thinks.

Final thought...

My wife is not a fan of The Fifth Element and I don't know how I feel about it.


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