Discussion with Greg Maxwell

VeritasSapere

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Nov 16, 2015
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VeritasSapere said:
Bitcoin should not have any leadership, which is why the development needs to become more distributed.

gmaxwell said:
Do not be confused: The fact that most of the dozens of developers choose to collaborate to build a stronger and better Bitcoin implementation than we could build alone does not make development non-distributed.

The process is Bitcoin is one that amplify the independence of developers generally, even beyond the level of open source software, -- including down to the fact that multiple developers must collaborate to produce releases (so we do not just end up with only one or two person who knows how), that any user can produce the same binaries that we do, that we do not have an auto-update process, and so on. Many more complex features begin life in developers personal forks (which exist, though most don't make releases from them intended for the public (although Luke-Jr has for years)). Our software licensing enables developers to go off and do their own thing based on the codebase, even if the original authors strongly disagree with them.

When you say stuff like this, given the permissive open source software and development process what you're effectively saying is that developers should cooperate less and instead expend their efforts on more duplicated work.

I don't think that is a way to make Bitcoin successful. But I can think of a few parties that would benefit from that outcome...

VeritasSapere said:
Thank you for responding, I do respect much of the work you have done within Bitcoin Core.

Even if the internal governance structure of Core is as perfect as it can be it does not change that this still represents a singular governance and organizational structure which is ultimately controlled by just a few people. By extension having multiple implementations being worked on in tandem would in effect distribute this power of development more, since decentralization does exist on a spectrum. This would also allow for more freedom of choice which would further lead to the Bitcoin protocol better reflecting the will of the economic majority.

That the Bitcoin protocol should reflect the will of the economic majority however should be considered a subjective ideology. When there are fundamental ideological disagreements this type of split might be justified considering that one side of this disagreement is unable to have their choice reflected in Core.

I understand that distributing/decentralizing development more would slow down development. In the same sense that more totalitarian forms of governance can reach decisions quicker and more efficiently compared to more democratic systems. I would argue however that even though this would cause development to slow down, it would still be worth it considering that the protocol would better reflect the will of the economic majority. Especially considering that some of the issues that the governance of Bitcoin or body politic needs to decide on now and into the future are fundamentally ideological in nature, which should not be decided on by a small group of technical experts.

Cooperation will still be important, since in such a future different implementations would still need to negotiate consensus critical changes depending on how the miners vote. Since it would not be in the interests of everyone involved to split the network unless there are fundamental ideological differences that can not be resolved. Much of the work Core has done recently surely would not be rejected by other implementations, it adds value to the entire Bitcoin ecosystem so I do thank you for that and I do appreciate your contribution.

For some issues however like the blocksize specifically, it does seem like some other alternative implementations are willing to implement this change sooner then Core is willing to. So when it comes to fundamental disagreements like the blocksize in this case at least having multiple implementations might speed up the implementation of what the economic majority wants. More then seventy five percent of the miners are voting for an increased blocksize after all.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13025363#msg13025363

brg444 said:
That's supposed to tell us what exactly? That under the most optimal technical environment "the network" can substain large blocks? I'm shocked.

gmaxwell said:
Actually, no, they've been having huge problems with it; with nodes crashing all over the place and such. Of course: Bitcoin Core nodes on testnet are unaffected: They're just ignoring the XT chain entirely, banning those peers, and continuing on as if they didn't exist.

VeritasSapere said:
If hypothetically more then seventy five percent of the miners supported BIP101 after January. Would Core recognize the will of the economic majority and implement BIP101? If you would implement BIP101 under such conditions you will have my full support. However if you intend to ignore the economic majority and still attempt to push your own agenda while circumventing and undermining the proof of work consensus then I will accuse Core of tyranny and totalitarianism. Which one is it Greg Maxwell, can you answer this question?
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13076187#msg13076187

VeritasSapere said:
If hypothetically more then seventy five percent of the miners supported BIP101 after January. Would Core recognize the will of the economic majority and implement BIP101?

gmaxwell said:
You appear to be conflating unlike things here, the BIP101 threshold is "75%" hashpower, which right now means perhaps two or three people at the moment. Two or three people are not an "economic majority" by any definition.

VeritasSapere said:
If you would implement BIP101 under such conditions you will have my full support. However if you intend to ignore the economic majority and still attempt to push your own agenda while circumventing and undermining the proof of work consensus then I will accuse Core of tyranny and totalitarianism. Which one is it Greg Maxwell, can you answer this question?

gmaxwell said:
Have you stopped beating your wife?

After careful consideration I believe that BIP 101 is a seriously poor proposal, and I doubt the system would survive in an interesting form with that in the long run: but I don't care to try to convince you of that; when it comes down to it I'm uninterested in being involved in any system implementing it, and so I won't be. If the Bitcoin goes along with it-- I'll just work on something else. And it's my own free choice and will to decide what I work on in my time, hopefully you agree? (mimicking your approach) and if you think you can tell me what I can work on, how I can spend my time, and what thoughts or program I can publish on my own sites I will accuse you of tyranny and totalitarianism. Which one is it, person who feels comfortable throwing rocks while hiding behind a pseudonym, can you answer this question?
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13092979#msg13092979
 

VeritasSapere

Active Member
Nov 16, 2015
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gmaxwell said:
You appear to be conflating unlike things here, the BIP101 threshold is "75%" hashpower, which right now means perhaps two or three people at the moment. Two or three people are not an "economic majority" by any definition.

VeritasSapere said:
I do not think that seventy five percent of the hash power is controlled by three people. I think that pools operate in a similar fashion to a representative democracy for the miners, so there are thousands of miners represented by ten to twenty pools. In effect the pools act as a proxy for the miners and the miners are a proxy for the economic majority, since the miners are incentivized not to go against the economic majority. This makes consensus an emergent phenomena which is best represented through proof of work.

This is what I believe, obviously you disagree which is fine. However when there is a fundamental disagreement in Bitcoin that is represented by a significant number of its participants, then in this case there does need to be a process to resolve such a disagreement. This is by necessity a political process which can be defined and understood by pre-existing political theory.

What do you propose should be the process for resolving such a fundamental disagreement? Since I always thought and still do think that proof of work is the ideal mechanism for this process. It does seem like you have answered my question and considering my own ideology it does not seem unfair for me to consider your mentality to be totalitarian in the context of Bitcoin. Also why have you not spoken out against the censorship? If you are opposed to the censorship that is currently occurring in the Bitcoin community now then please take the opportunity and speak up against it and allow your voice to be heard.

Allowing the blocks to fill up is in effect fundamentally changing the economic policy of Bitcoin, since the intention had always been to allow the blocks to become as big as they needed to be, so that this restriction would not block the stream of transactions so to speak.

Since these are also questions of political philosophy and economics among other disciplines, it is not necessarily the case that the technical experts are in the best position to answer some of these questions. Which is in part why consensus being an emergent phenomena represented through proof of work in order to represent the economic majority, seems to me to be a superior governance mechanism compared to what Core is presently proposing.
VeritasSapere said:
If you would implement BIP101 under such conditions you will have my full support. However if you intend to ignore the economic majority and still attempt to push your own agenda while circumventing and undermining the proof of work consensus then I will accuse Core of tyranny and totalitarianism. Which one is it Greg Maxwell, can you answer this question?

gmaxwell said:
Have you stopped beating your wife?

VeritasSapere said:
I do not understand this statement and I find it offensive. I looked it up on google and the results where primarily comprised of examples of logical fallacy.
gmaxwell said:
After careful consideration I believe that BIP 101 is a seriously poor proposal, and I doubt the system would survive in an interesting form with that in the long run: but I don't care to try to convince you of that; when it comes down to it I'm uninterested in being involved in any system implementing it, and so I won't be. If the Bitcoin goes along with it-- I'll just work on something else. And it's my own free choice and will to decide what I work on in my time, hopefully you agree?

VeritasSapere said:
I agree that you have your own freedom of choice that is fine, and I understand what you are saying, if the majority of miners disagree with you whom I think would represent the economic majority then you would stop working on Bitcoin. I would personally not be interested in Bitcoin if it needed a type of centralized authority in order to make decisions for the entire body politic, fortunately there are many alternative cryptocurrencies, there are also alternative paths for Bitcoin as long as enough people realize this, this is why the cryptocurrency revolution will live on no matter what happens, I am confident of this.
gmaxwell said:
(mimicking your approach) and if you think you can tell me what I can work on, how I can spend my time, and what thoughts or program I can publish on my own sites I will accuse you of tyranny and totalitarianism. Which one is it, person who feels comfortable throwing rocks while hiding behind a pseudonym, can you answer this question?

VeritasSapere said:
I certainly never said such things, and you have no grounds accusing me of tyranny and totalitarianism, I am here representing an enlightenment philosophy of freedom and self determination.

I can answer your question, you are free to do whatever you want and I would never suggest otherwise. However you might not be able to convince the economic majority that we need to change Bitcoin into whatever you find more "interesting". Does this then imply that you think that the original vision of Satoshi is "uninteresting"? Since he did support an increased blocksize. Talking about Satoshi, I do not appreciate you implying that I am a coward because I am "hiding" behind a pseudonym.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13094503#msg13094503

gmaxwell said:
The modern large miners are mostly not pools in the historic sense. They own most of their own or at least physically control most of hashpower (directly or through other companies with common ownership). Even to the extent that they are still 'pools', we've seen from experience that the participants have no influence-- e.g. Ghash.io used ~30% hashpower to perform a million dollar scale finney attack, and for months after their hashrate grew, ultimately reaching to 50%. Rather than moving their miners away, people criticized the victim for accepting unconfirmed transactions and moved their hashpower _to_ ghash.

Back to the "LULZ", the desperate attacks on Opt-in RBF (seems that some think they can use this easily misunderstood bit of technology as a proxy in their epic war On Bitcoin Core) have become so shark-jumping-crazy that they're chuckle worthy now.

VeritasSapere said:
More then seventy percent of the hashpower is presently in public pools. Saying that the participants of these pools have no influence is also simply not true, ultimately they have all of the influence since it is the miners that control the hashpower not the pools. It is very simple and easy to switch pools after all, if what you where saying where true I would consider Bitcoin broken, I think you are wrong in this regard however. I am a miner myself and I was mining with Ghash, not when it was approaching fifty percent, though when I did learn about what happened I did move my hashpower over to a more responsible pool as I am sure many other miners like myself did as well. Therefore we can consider Ghash an example of proof of work actually working and the incentives being aligned well, unlike what you are claiming. Since after all Ghash presently controls less then one percent of the hashpower which I think is in part due to the blow that was dealt to their reputation.

In regards to RBF, I agree with what Mike and Gavin and many others have said who have spoken out against it. What ever happened to not implementing contentious changes? I suppose Core decides what issues are contentious then regardless of what others think? This is part of the problem with "developer consensus" ultimately it is a question of who decides. I think that proof of work consensus is superior to your "developer consensus". Proof of work consensus will reflect the will of the economic majority, not just the will of a small group of technical experts within Core.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13101756#msg13101756
 

VeritasSapere

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danielW said:
Replace by fee is not a soft or hard fork, its no fork and zero 0 consensus on the network is needed. It is clear your understanding is poor, factually incorrect. Which is ok, not everybody has to know everything and you are still allowed to have differing opinions.

VeritasSapere said:
You have proven my point actually, that it does not require consensus. Core has also not sought consensus on this issue, I do not need to be a technical expert to know this.

VeritasSapere said:
I accused Core of hypocrisy because they said they would not implement any contentious changes. This is part of the reason they gave for not presently increasing the blocksize. However now they are releasing RBF which certainly is a contentious change. Without any debate, voting, time or even miner consensus, this is hypocritical.

VeritasSapere said:
It reduces the functionality of zero confirmation transactions.

gmaxwell said:
No it doesn't.

VeritasSapere said:
When there are technical experts stating opposing things it is hard for people like me to know what is true, Mike and Gavin certainly do think that it does reduce the functionality of zero confirmation transactions.

If the economic majority where to make these type of decisions for Bitcoin through proxy then it is important for the developers to explain well what they are doing so that the economic majority do not become misinformed, having technical experts make contradictory statements is confusing for the layman. However considering that this is a science unlike politics and economics there should be a singular correct answer for this question regarding RBF and zero confirmation at least. I suppose in this situation it might be appropriate to believe the developers that I respect the most and that best represent my own personal ideology. I did read Mike Hearns criticism of RBF, the logic contained within that paper did make sense to me. If Core has written a paper countering Mike's argument please link that here, I am always open to opposing points of view which is part of the reason why I post here more often.

VeritasSapere said:
If I am a merchant should I reject RBF? Since if I did do this it could cause other problems as well. Since it is the person that sends the transaction that chooses to opt in not the receiver.

gmaxwell said:
You should wait for confirmation if your risk model says you should. This is already the case, and many properties of a transaction (like low fee or spending unconfirmed inputs) will make most zero conf accepters wait (and still they frequently get ripped off; because the Bitcoin system itself does not provide security for unconfirmed transactions). Fortunately, Opt-In RBF at least means that there is no risk that the confirmation needs to take an excruciatingly long time.

VeritasSapere said:
We have a high volume of low value transactions at this brick and mortar store, the type of place it is it would not be suitable for people to wait for confirmation. Accepting zero confirmation transactions has so far not been a problem, even if some double spends did occur it would be within acceptable loss. Of course if zero confirmation did become less reliable then it is now I would have to either use a payment proccessor or only use cryptocurrencies that have the same functionality that Bitcoin has now, that is if in the future zero confirmation did become less reliable in Bitcoin, which as far as I understand would be the case if the blocks became full, RBF does also not help this situation at least according to what some developers are saying about it.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13111590#msg13111590
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VeritasSapere said:
When there are technical experts stating opposing things it is hard for people like me to know what is true, Mike and Gavin certainly do think that it does reduce the functionality of zero confirmation transactions.

gmaxwell said:
Mike and Gavin have not commented on Opt-in RBF as far as I am aware; you are confusing his comments on full RBF. But on what basis do you believe their expertise is greater than a dozen other parties?

Opt-in RBF is explained in some detail in the FAQ on Reddit, linked previously to you in this thread; you say that you are open to other views, but you seem to have made no effort to familiarize yourself with them.

VeritasSapere said:
To be fair I do not think we have had enouth time to fully discuss and understand this issue, I was only made aware of it being implemented relativly recently.

VeritasSapere said:
You keep saying that it is opt-in however it is only opt-in for the sender not the reciever, the merchant will need to tell the customer to uncheck RBF in whatever wallet they are using in order to accept zero confirmation transactions and in some retail environments this would significantly reduce the user experience to the extent that it is not even practical, it is adding to much complexity to the user experience requiring people to do this. Transactions can only be "pushed" by the sender therefore opt-in is only optional for the sender not the receiver, and you should not expect retailers to start rejecting transactions based on this as well since this would also make Bitcoin increasingly unreliable in such an environment.

Furthermore when blocks do fill up we now already have child pays for parent for unsticking transactions without the negative consequences that RBF seem to have, so I do question how useful this really is.

DrugieDineros said:
Just broadcast a non-rbf enabled transaction to my 26 digit, alpha-numeric, case sensitive address grandma, no big deal! What, you didn't uncheck RBF? God damnit grandma I told you that you had to do that 1,000 times. Now you have to wait 1 to 120 minutes for a transaction to confirm!

VeritasSapere said:
For me it is not even a question of greater expertise since it has also become about ideology relating to economics and politics, these are questions that most technical experts are not specifically trained to answer. I think that some of these more fundamental questions like the blocksize for instance are more concerned with politics and economics then computer science, which is in part why I do not consider the Core developers fundamentally changing the economic policy of Bitcoin a good thing. You might have spend a lifetime studying computer science but there are other people that have spent a lifetime studying economics and politics that do disagree with you. The humanities are more concerned with the study of human culture, as oposed to more objective scientific facts which is what computer science is more involved with.

I do not consider you to be an expert on economics and politics, I most certainly do acknowlige you to be one of the best experts in the fields of computer science within Bitcoin. However sometimes it can be the case that engineers can awnser some questions very differently compared to schollars in different fields of thought. The engineers are not always correct, especially in fields that are not within their own area of expertise.

gmaxwell said:
I just checked his twitter feed and can find no comment on it in the last several months. As far as insight, Gavin is not very active in Bitcoin development and hasn't been for a significant time, before the recent blocksize drama. That he didn't comment on the PR was unsurprising on that basis, but he certainly was aware of it-- since he asked when the merge was being discussed in the weekly meeting if we'd talked to any other wallet vendors about it (though this also indicated he hadn't recently read the PR).

VeritasSapere said:
I see, I suppose his position on this issue was already made clear months ago.

In regards to you saying that Gavin is not active in development I certainly do have a different perspective, considering what he has done for the blocksize issue over the last few months. Since this is a very important parrameter for me and how I perceive Bitcoin, I consider Gavin to have been very active in development, maybe more in the wider sense of the word, in the development of the Bitcoin protocol. This is not to belittle the work you have done for scaling Bitcoin which has also been very important, though at some point I do believe that we should scale the Bitcoin blockchain directly which can only be done significantly by increasing the blocksize.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13113553#msg13113553
 

VeritasSapere

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Nov 16, 2015
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VeritasSapere said:
You keep saying that it is opt-in however it is only opt-in for the sender not the receiver.

gmaxwell said:
Not so, the merchant can simply ignore the transaction until it is confirmed; as they already do for all manner of unusual, nonstandard, unconfirmed input transactions, etc. or otherwise their acceptance of zero conf is no more secure than RBF (if it ever is...) ... and doing this is relatively harmless, because Opt-in RBF transactions do not need to suffer significant confirmation delays.

VeritasSapere said:
For me it is not even a question of greater expertise since it has also become about ideology relating to economics and politics, these are questions that most technical experts are not specifically trained to answer. I think that some of these more fundamental questions like the blocksize for instance are more concerned with politics and economics then computer science.

gmaxwell said:
You are making a strong and unjustified assumption about the skills and background of people maintaining Bitcoin Core. I think you may be making the fallacy of assuming that a group excellent in a particular area must necessarily be weak in another specific area. The community, even the most active segment, is fairly large and diverse in many ways-- much more so then, for example, the persons working on XT*. Beyond the expected CS and distributed systems PHDs, the community includes people with expertise in mathematics, economics, financial markets, ... Peter Todd has a fine arts degree. Skepticism about the viability of the Bitcoin system absent effective meaningful block size limits can be found in peer reviewed academic publications in economics venues. Negative effects on mining fairness are both predicted by simulation, and borne out in field trials on test networks.

[*As a vague yardstick, there are ~19 contributors to Bitcoin core with individually more commit count activity in the last six months then all contributors to XT had in both XT and Core combined. Commit count is a crappy metric and you can figure that is off by a large factor in either direction; but this isn't really a comparable; and this is in spite of non-stop attacks that make working on Bitcoin really demoralizing]

And beyond the expertise, we're speaking about a question where in the absence of perfect knowledge we conducted the experiment: We raise the soft blocksize target from 250k to 750k and saw tremendously negative effects: substantial declines in node count (in spite large growths in userbase; and to brag, somewhat heroic efforts to increase software performance), substantial increases in mining centralization, substantial increases in Bitcoin businesses relying on third party APIs rather than running nodes (hugely magnifying systemic risks). We've seen the result and it isn't pretty. And yet this information is ruthlessly attacked whenever it is pointed out-- I am routinely called a "bitcoin bear" even though I have a significant portion of my net worth tied up in it, simply for beveling in Bitcoin enough to be frank about the problems and limitations in it. Many people less convinced about Bitcoin's power and value than I and much more interested in the short term pump are unwilling to tolerate any discussion of challenges; and this creates a poisonous atmosphere which undermines the system's ability to heal and improve.

And today we are left at a point where the bandwidth consumption of an ordinary Bitcoin node just barely fits within the 350GB/mo transfer cap of a high end, "best available in most of the US" broadband service. We cannot know to what degree the load increase was causative, but none of the metrics had positive outcomes; and this is a reason to proceed only with the greatest care and consideration. Especially against a backdrop where Bitcoin's fundamental utility as a money are being attacked by efforts to regulate people's ability to transact and to blacklist coins; efforts that critically depend on the existence of centralized choke-points which scale beyond the system's scalability necessarily creates.

You're right though that the question is substantially political: A fully centralized system could easily handle gigabyte blocks with the work we've do to make megabyte blocks barely viable in a highly decentralized world. Such a system could also happily institute excess inflation, censor transactions, and other moves "for the good of the system" and "to assure widest adoption". If Bitcoin is to survive in the long run we just stand by the principles we believe in, and which make the system valuable in the first place. -- Even against substantial coercive pressure. Otherwise the transparent system of autonomously enforced rules risks devolving into another politically controlled trust-based instrument of expedience that we see with legacy monetary instruments.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13113553#msg13113553
 

VeritasSapere

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Nov 16, 2015
511
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VeritasSapere said:
You keep saying that it is opt-in however it is only opt-in for the sender not the reciever,

gmaxwell said:
Not so, the merchant can simply ignore the transaction until it is confirmed; as they already do for all manner of unusual, nonstandard, unconfirmed input transactions, etc. or otherwise their acceptance of zero conf is no more secure than RBF (if it ever is...) ... and doing this is relatively harmless, because Opt-in RBF transactions do not need to suffer significant confirmation delays.

VeritasSapere said:
My point still stands and like I said before ignoring a transaction until it is confirmed is not suitable for the retail environment I was using as an example.
VeritasSapere said:
For me it is not even a question of greater expertise since it has also become about ideology relating to economics and politics, these are questions that most technical experts are not specifically trained to answer. I think that some of these more fundamental questions like the blocksize for instance are more concerned with politics and economics then computer science.

gmaxwell said:
You are making a strong and unjustified assumption about the skills and background of people maintaining Bitcoin Core. I think you may be making the fallacy of assuming that a group excellent in a particular area must necessarily be weak in another specific area.

VeritasSapere said:
It is impossible to be an expert in an unlimited amount of fields, I think that multi disciplinary approaches do lead to the best understanding in most cases, however specialization to a certain extend is required. We can be good at many things but only masters at some.

However in regards to my political arguments it is irrelevant how qualified in any field Core is, A benign dictatorship is still a dictatorship, we could debate whether it would be an oligarchy, technocracy or a form of totalitarianism. It still does not change the underlying nature of what would define the governance under Core without significant support for alternative implementations. I can understand that software development needs to be "dictatorial" in its internal decision making process. This is why distributing development allows it to become more "democratic" and more in line with the ethos of decentralization within Bitcoin.
gmaxwell said:
The community, even the most active segment, is fairly large and diverse in many ways-- much more so then, for example, the persons working on XT*. Beyond the expected CS and distributed systems PHDs, the community includes people with expertise in mathematics, economics, financial markets, ... Peter Todd has a fine arts degree. Skepticism about the viability of the Bitcoin system absent effective meaningful block size limits can be found in peer reviewed academic publications in economics venues. Negative effects on mining fairness are both predicted by simulation, and borne out in field trials on test networks.

VeritasSapere said:
Like I said before it is irrelevant how benign or qualified Core might be, I will still vote according to my own conscience. The problem might just be that Core is not effectively communicating this I am open to that idea. I might not be a technical expert but I have spent most of my time over the last year learning about cryptocurrency, so if I am simply failing to understand this then Core might have a problem with communication. However I suspect that the conclusions of some of your research would depend on the ideological understandings of these definitions. For instance I consider pools to be comparible to a form of representive democracy for the miners, I suspect that this would effect your conclusions on "miner centralization". If we accept the continued existence of 10-20 pools for miners to freely choose from, which is how Bitcoin functions today.
gmaxwell said:
As a vague yardstick, there are ~19 contributors to Bitcoin core with individually more commit count activity in the last six months then all contributors to XT had in both XT and Core combined. Commit count is a crappy metric and you can figure that is off by a large factor in either direction; but this isn't really a comparable; and this is in spite of non-stop attacks that make working on Bitcoin really demoralizing.

VeritasSapere said:
I do hope you keep your spirit up, and I would consider it to be a shame if you did stop working on Bitcoin if BIP101 forked the network like you said you would. I would however absolutely respect your right to continue supporting Core if it chose not to adopt BIP101 and continue to exist as the smaller chain, if you are correct in your theories then it should become the dominant chain again over the long run.
gmaxwell said:
And beyond the expertise, we're speaking about a question where in the absence of perfect knowledge we conducted the experiment: We raise the soft blocksize target from 250k to 750k and saw tremendously negative effects: substantial declines in node count (in spite large growths in userbase; and to brag, somewhat heroic efforts to increase software performance), substantial increases in mining centralization, substantial increases in Bitcoin businesses relying on third party APIs rather than running nodes (hugely magnifying systemic risks).

VeritasSapere said:
I am somewhat doubtful whether you can definitively causally link all of these factors to the increased transaction volume, there are also many different variables at play, including increased decentralization because of adoption.

It is a tug of war of these different variables so to speak. I do think that the blocksize should ideally be a balancing act, with the limit acting as a precautionary measure, meaning that the blocks should not become consistently full over longer periods of time, I would disagree with such a change in the economic policy of Bitcoin, this was also never supposed to be the intention of this limit, there are also concerns over this somewhat breaking the social contract as well.
gmaxwell said:
And today we are left at a point where the bandwidth consumption of an ordinary Bitcoin node just barely fits within the 350GB/mo transfer cap of a high end, "best available in most of the US" broadband service.

VeritasSapere said:
I have done some research to test this statement and I do not think it is true. Comcast has an available option for having no data limit, while AT&T has a service where they "do not enforce" the data cap, I know that is a bit weird but that is what I found out. Time Warner also does not have data caps on its more popular plans and Verizon also does not have data caps. These are the top four ISP's in the US, the situation in Europe is also getting better like the US. To be fair these are relatively recent developments, so I would understand how you might have been mistaken about these facts.
gmaxwell said:
We cannot know to what degree the load increase was causative, but none of the metrics had positive outcomes; and this is a reason to proceed only with the greatest care and consideration.

VeritasSapere said:
This I can agree with, however care and consideration can of course also be taken to far.
gmaxwell said:
Especially against a backdrop where Bitcoin's fundamental utility as a money are being attacked by efforts to regulate people's ability to transact and to blacklist coins; efforts that critically depend on the existence of centralized choke-points which scale beyond the system's scalability necessarily creates.

VeritasSapere said:
This I actually disagree with, I also see a threat of centralized choke points however it would more likely be due to an increased reliance on a limited number of third parties because of the presently restricted blocksize.
 

VeritasSapere

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Nov 16, 2015
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gmaxwell said:
You're right though that the question is substantially political: A fully centralized system could easily handle gigabyte blocks with the work we've do to make megabyte blocks barely viable in a highly decentralized world. Such a system could also happily institute excess inflation, censor transactions, and other moves "for the good of the system" and "to assure widest adoption".

VeritasSapere said:
You are arguing a straw man here, I believe that increasing the blocksize is what will be best for decentralization over the long run. Leaving the one megabyte restriction in place presents greater risks of centralization and obsolescence.
gmaxwell said:
If Bitcoin is to survive in the long run we just stand by the principles we believe in, and which make the system valuable in the first place. -- Even against substantial coercive pressure. Otherwise the transparent system of autonomously enforced rules risks devolving into another politically controlled trust-based instrument of expedience that we see with legacy monetary instruments.

VeritasSapere said:
I have the same concern, however I perceive Core as being the most likely point of centralization at this point, yet it seems like we do share some of the same principles yet we are on opposite sides of this debate.
VeritasSapere said:
Furthermore when blocks do fill up we now already have child pays for parent for unsticking transactions without the negative consequences

gmaxwell said:
We do not. CPFP has substantial complexities that prevent it from actually working on the network today; and using it has large overheads. It will be a good additional tool to have, but it does not replace RBF.

VeritasSapere said:
I believe that I have used CPFP for some very practical reasons, I thought it was a pretty good feature at least from the perspective of the user. One of the many things I can congratulate Core for developing.
VeritasSapere said:
In regards to you saying that Gavin is not active in development I certainly do have a different perspective, considering

gmaxwell said:
You can have a different perspective; but you cannot have your own facts. This is a question of objective fact. But you mistake my comment for an insult, it wasn't intended as one-- who am I to judge what someone else spends their time on? But rather an observation the it would have been surprising to see a contribution there.

VeritasSapere said:
You somewhat missed the point I made about Gavin, I consider him to have contributed a lot for the development of the Bitcoin protocol by his actions to increase the blocksize, which is an important issue to me.
VeritasSapere said:
we should scale the Bitcoin blockchain directly which can only be done significantly by increasing the blocksize.

gmaxwell said:
An action which you could only contemplate due to the work of myself and others who believe that the BIP101 approach would be significantly damaging. I think it's likely that it will be increased in the future, but in a way only that preserves Bitcoin's properties as a decenteralized P2P electronic cash, rather than disregarding them or undermining them.

VeritasSapere said:
Saying that it will likely be increased in the future is not good enough, which is why we are at this impasse in the first place. You can not expect us to simply trust Core to increase the blocksize when we do have a fundamental ideological disagreement about allowing the blocks to fill up. If you where to take the smart political approach you should announce a date for an increased blocksize before January, this would allow Core to maintain control for longer which I would hope would be for benign reasons like helping to ease the transition into having multiple implementations to distribute the power of development more.

It should be an increase that meets BIP101 in the middle, it would need to be a true comprise. BIP100 might be able to serve this role, even with the thirty two megabyte limit that still exists, at least it would set a precedent. I am being generous here because I would prefer to see consensus through compromise compared to the possibility of a split.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1162684.msg13116562#msg13116562

[doublepost=1454174578][/doublepost]That is it, the entire dialectic I had with Greg Maxwell, preserved for posterity. :)
 
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cypherdoc

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are the above all from the same BCT thread?
 

VeritasSapere

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I did want to post this as one piece, but the forum would not allow me to go over the character limit. I am open to any suggestions to make this look neater and make it easier to read.
 
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cypherdoc

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it's fine as it is. keep up the good work.
 
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