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Issue #867: Extreme ownership brings extreme motivation

Issue #867: Extreme ownership brings extreme motivation

Nov 13, 2020
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #867: Extreme ownership brings extreme motivation

Here's an observation from our boy Matt Odell that I'm pretty confident was sparked by this particular thread.

While the scenario laid out by Juraj seems pretty scary, I am skeptical that the described attack would be successful for a few reasons. They are laid out in this back and forth between myself, Matt, Juraj and some others. For those too lazy to read the back and forth I believe it would be easy to stave off this attack by flipping the attack on the attacker and it makes more sense from a profitability perspective for the KYC-pool to mine on top of the longest chain instead of playing games by orphaning blocks. That is an expensive attack if it's unsuccessful.

In my opinion, it is naive to believe larger pools would just roll over and bend the knee to an upstart pool that is attempting to mandate KYC compliance on the rest of the network. This is naive because it assumes that some of the largest players in the mining space are complacent and naive instead of proactive and adversarial. I've met miners who are some of the most ideologically pure bitcoiners I've encountered to date. These people understand Bitcoin's value prop and how it can be destroyed. Forcing KYC on mining pools and censoring transactions is a great way to destroy Bitcoin's value prop, which in turn hurts bitcoin's market price, and diminishes the profits miners could potentially make.

If you play out the attack scenario described above to its logical conclusion, non-KYC mining pools who bend the knee to the small minority of KYC mining pools are hindering the potential for a sustainable business because Bitcoin would be worthless if censorship became common. Pools and individual miners alike will act to defend the future viability of their businesses and, by extension, the Bitcoin network.

This is a completely different paradigm when compared to the traditional financial system. Bitcoin demands extreme ownership whereas the traditional monetary/banking system does not. If you lose your keys. you lose your wealth. If you lose your debit card, you get issued a new one pretty quickly. On a larger scale, if you loan out too much money to individuals unlikely to pay it back, the Fed is there to bail you out when payments stop coming in. The only backstop in Bitcoin is the individuals who use the network actively defending the properties that make it valuable. That includes miners and pools who may be targeted by other miners and pools looking to brute force KYC compliance on the rest of the network.

Final thought...

Eddie would go.

Enjoy your weekend, freaks.


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