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Issue #532: Emergent, grassroots coordination

Issue #532: Emergent, grassroots coordination

Jul 23, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #532: Emergent, grassroots coordination

Here's a great point from our good friend Parker Lewis that is, in my humble opinion, not very well understood by many in the mainstream who comment on Bitcoin. And especially not by those who have launched affinity scams attempting to replicate Bitcoin's success.

Bitcoin's emergent, grassroots nature is the crux of the strength afforded to its assurances of sound monetary policy, distributed consensus, and overall progress towards the Ideal of sufficient decentralization. Bitcoin may be a little rough around the edges and may not have all of the features that some "crypto" enthusiasts would like it to have, but the purity of its inception is what gives us a chance at creating a system that is truly robust.

When Satoshi launched Bitcoin, it was the enthusiasm of genuinely interested individuals who were curious to see if this new system could even work that kept the network alive. Slowly over time, more individuals joined the efforts to build out and fortify the system. Adding new perspectives and expertise to the project. Helping to highlight the limits of the system and better define what it actually is as the block height grew.

At the onset, there were no specs for things like the Lightning Network, SegWit, or assumeutxo, which in one way or another have made or may make the network more robust. These solutions emerged naturally from the minds of individuals who have been observing Bitcoin in the wild, thinking about how they can make it better. There was never any orders decreed by some product manager to go out and build these things.

Contrast that with the onslaught of altcoins the world has been subjected to for the better part of a decade. These projects have looked at Bitcoin and said, "We can do this better. This is what we have to build [insert whitepaper]." Completely antithetical to the nature of Bitcoin and how it has gotten to where it is today because they are based on a lot of untested assumptions. Bitcoin's progress has been due to it being battle-tested in the wild. Bitcoin never promised the masses an "unstoppable Turing complete world computer". Satoshi said, "Hey, I think I may have solved the Byzantine General's problem. Let's launch this thing and see if it works. If you think you can contribute, join us. If it works, this could be pretty big for society." After more than ten years, we've come to find that Bitcoin does work pretty well and has the potential to be much better. All of this thanks to natural, emergent forces.

Those who have set out to design a "better Bitcoin" miss the importance of this very natural process.

Bitcoin reminds me of the chimps at the beginning of 2001 A Space Odyssey discovering the alien slab. Whereas altcoins remind me of the fake cities being erected in China.

Final thought...

Had a nightmare for the first time in a minute overnight. Woke up shook.


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