A pyrrhic victory awaits the developers who emerge as winners of the Bitcoin block size debate, for it should be increasingly clear to observers that miners are the king-makers who truly hold the sceptre of power.
Centralized mining has left just a handful of entities controlling 80% of the network’s hashing power, most of it residing in one single jurisdiction, China. The result of this centralization has been plain for all to see – developers fighting amongst themselves as they seek patronage from miners for their technology roadmaps.
Now, miners are smart and sensible business folk. They’ve found a proverbial cash cow in Bitcoin mining so it’s only natural they don’t want to rock the boat. Which is why the block size debate rages on, with no resolution in sight.
Some miners signed a statement agreeing to 8 MB blocks but later backtracked to 2 MB, an amount once described as absurd. Now it seems any increase is conditional upon reaching 95% consensus – far in excess of what is required of governments to declare war and just shy of a Politburo rubber-stamp!
As for ordinary Bitcoin users, why is nobody asking them if they think the grand experiment of peer-to-peer electronic cash should carry on as Satoshi intended, or be transformed into a newfangled settlement system? If the only voices worth listening to are measured by hashing power, it’s time to fix things.
The next time developers seek out your support for a Classic ACK or a Core ACK, name your price. Both sides claim to believe in a decentralized Bitcoin, so ask them to prove it. Ask for a commitment to help decentralize mining.
If they’re too busy to devise a new proof-of-work scheme, well, luckily for you, here’s one I prepared earlier: FAIR is a memory-bound chained-hashing algorithm designed to enable mining with a home computer. It plugs straight into Bitcoin’s existing HashCash based puzzle and is open for discussion and development.
So let’s find out if there’s a genuine desire to decentralize Bitcoin and give voice to ordinary users. Let’s see which developers hold true to their claims and which developers, like some miners, are increasingly at odds with Satoshi’s original vision.
Bitcoin is not an electronic payments system like PayPal… Bitcoin is not and should not be free… Mass rule is not appropriate for Bitcoin… The pipe dream of some in the Bitcoin community is to govern the system by having ordinary users vote for changes by adopting the corresponding full node software. This approach is not only impractical, it is also not desirable. – BitFury