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apesconcert
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June 24, 2015, 09:24:25 PM
 #1

How are changes in the Bitcoin network implemented? I'm not talking about the core of the network itself, but rather, if for example some new feature were to be implemented... can someone outline the decision-making process, who is responsible for implemented such changes and how they are made known to the community? Thank you
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June 24, 2015, 09:31:33 PM
 #2

The whole network's distributed and nobody is in charge of making decisions. The majority of people running network nodes decide whether to accept a change or not by upgrading the Bitcoin software they use to a new version containing the change.

There is a group of developers who code changes into the software, but anyone can suggest changes they could make, and if they approve the developers will include the change in the next software version they produce.
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June 25, 2015, 12:21:15 AM
 #3

The whole network's distributed and nobody is in charge of making decisions. The majority of people running network nodes decide whether to accept a change or not by upgrading the Bitcoin software they use to a new version containing the change.

There is a group of developers who code changes into the software, but anyone can suggest changes they could make, and if they approve the developers will include the change in the next software version they produce.

Keep in mind that there is no "The Software". Anybody can make any change to their own code. The trick is to get others to make the same changes. Right now, most bitcoin developers tend to follow the code in Bitcoin Core, but that could change (perhaps even in a few months if enough people switch to Bitcoin XT).

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June 25, 2015, 12:47:11 AM
 #4

How are changes in the Bitcoin network implemented? I'm not talking about the core of the network itself, but rather, if for example some new feature were to be implemented... can someone outline the decision-making process, who is responsible for implemented such changes and how they are made known to the community? Thank you

This is the gray area and decision tree that's not yet clearly defined. Once this ambiguity is crushed into ashes, Bitcoin will become an unstoppable force.

"The Internet unshackled information, Satoshi Nakamoto unshackled money. And money makes the world go round."
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June 25, 2015, 01:05:21 AM
 #5

How are changes in the Bitcoin network implemented? I'm not talking about the core of the network itself, but rather, if for example some new feature were to be implemented... can someone outline the decision-making process, who is responsible for implemented such changes and how they are made known to the community? Thank you

This is the gray area and decision tree that's not yet clearly defined. Once this ambiguity is crushed into ashes, Bitcoin will become an unstoppable force.

I don't disagree, but I think the big barriers are also not enough retailers accepting bitcoins, and a long history of bad press.  But there have been some really positive news stories lately so maybe this is changing.
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June 25, 2015, 01:14:41 AM
 #6

The bitcoin developers are who implement the changes,but they try to ask the community some critical changes to take decisions



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June 25, 2015, 07:23:27 AM
 #7

it is all based by the consensus given by the nodes who run bitcoin(miner and merchants, especially), it is like an automated poll, so a more % agree on a version instead of another one, that version will succeed

this isn't something like few politicians around a table taking all decisions, like in every governments basically...
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June 25, 2015, 07:36:08 AM
 #8

How are changes in the Bitcoin network implemented? I'm not talking about the core of the network itself, but rather, if for example some new feature were to be implemented... can someone outline the decision-making process, who is responsible for implemented such changes and how they are made known to the community? Thank you

This is the gray area and decision tree that's not yet clearly defined. Once this ambiguity is crushed into ashes, Bitcoin will become an unstoppable force.
You call this decision making like decision tree, sound like bureaucratic agency in centralized govs or institutions. Probably you get used to them! But it is totally different from the way bitcoin is operating! This feature is just the beaty of bitcoin!

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June 25, 2015, 09:23:19 AM
 #9

How are changes in the Bitcoin network implemented? I'm not talking about the core of the network itself, but rather, if for example some new feature were to be implemented... can someone outline the decision-making process, who is responsible for implemented such changes and how they are made known to the community? Thank you

This is the gray area and decision tree that's not yet clearly defined. Once this ambiguity is crushed into ashes, Bitcoin will become an unstoppable force.

First of all, thanks for all your answers guys. The reason I'm asking is because I have written a legal Doctorate thesis about the effect which Bitcoin might have on money laundering and AML law, and this is the only question which had me thinking and thinking. I suggested several changes which may be implemented into Bitcoin for it to become more akin to mainstream requirements without sacrificing any of its inherent attributes, but before I put forward and publicise such suggested changes, I just wanted to be sure about the mentioned decision-making issue.

So regarding the group of developers - are they a set group, or is it a free-for-all system where anyone wishing to implement changes can join the group? I'm assuming that the group of developers will need to agree by themselves on whether to implement the changes or not, rather than asking the consent of each and every miner or person sustaining the network? It's true that consensus from the community is sought before implementing changes, but how many BTC users actually participate in the discussion? I understand that ultimately the users and miners will be the ones deciding whether to accept the changes or not via adoption, but then again, someone has to implement these changes at a higher-up level, aka the developers.

I have an idea in mind on how the decision-making process can be ameliorated, which would make it a lot easier albeit a bit more bureaucratic; but it would ensure a wider range of people are reached during the consultation session
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June 25, 2015, 11:32:59 AM
 #10

How are changes in the Bitcoin network implemented? I'm not talking about the core of the network itself, but rather, if for example some new feature were to be implemented... can someone outline the decision-making process, who is responsible for implemented such changes and how they are made known to the community? Thank you
There might be some professional sitting there to look after the process of new implementation and obviously there were some senior board executive for decision-making process, there are some people who help bitcoin to move in the market. Venture capitalists, such as Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, which invested US$3 million in BitPay during the year 2012, no idea about the current status.
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June 25, 2015, 11:38:53 AM
 #11

How are changes in the Bitcoin network implemented? I'm not talking about the core of the network itself, but rather, if for example some new feature were to be implemented... can someone outline the decision-making process, who is responsible for implemented such changes and how they are made known to the community? Thank you

This is the gray area and decision tree that's not yet clearly defined. Once this ambiguity is crushed into ashes, Bitcoin will become an unstoppable force.

First of all, thanks for all your answers guys. The reason I'm asking is because I have written a legal Doctorate thesis about the effect which Bitcoin might have on money laundering and AML law, and this is the only question which had me thinking and thinking. I suggested several changes which may be implemented into Bitcoin for it to become more akin to mainstream requirements without sacrificing any of its inherent attributes, but before I put forward and publicise such suggested changes, I just wanted to be sure about the mentioned decision-making issue.

So regarding the group of developers - are they a set group, or is it a free-for-all system where anyone wishing to implement changes can join the group? I'm assuming that the group of developers will need to agree by themselves on whether to implement the changes or not, rather than asking the consent of each and every miner or person sustaining the network? It's true that consensus from the community is sought before implementing changes, but how many BTC users actually participate in the discussion? I understand that ultimately the users and miners will be the ones deciding whether to accept the changes or not via adoption, but then again, someone has to implement these changes at a higher-up level, aka the developers.

I have an idea in mind on how the decision-making process can be ameliorated, which would make it a lot easier albeit a bit more bureaucratic; but it would ensure a wider range of people are reached during the consultation session

It has a selected group of devs that can commit on the main repository of Bitcoin.
But anyone can make a BIP(Bitcoin Improvment Proposal), or fork the repository and make a pull request.
And please note that most changes doesn't affect clients(like the increase in the max block size), only miners.

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June 25, 2015, 04:37:44 PM
 #12

So regarding the group of developers - are they a set group, or is it a free-for-all system where anyone wishing to implement changes can join the group? I'm assuming that the group of developers will need to agree by themselves on whether to implement the changes or not, rather than asking the consent of each and every miner or person sustaining the network? It's true that consensus from the community is sought before implementing changes, but how many BTC users actually participate in the discussion? I understand that ultimately the users and miners will be the ones deciding whether to accept the changes or not via adoption, but then again, someone has to implement these changes at a higher-up level, aka the developers.

Bitcoin is a protocol. Anyone can write software implementing the protocol, and many have. The legacy software implementing the protocol is called Bitcoin Core. The people that control that particular Github repo are known as "Core" developers.

Ultimately, it is the miners that determine consensus. They can choose or write whatever software they want for mining, so if a developer wants to move Bitcoin in a certain direction, they have to convince a majority of miners to use their software, or at least implement their proposal.

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June 25, 2015, 06:32:27 PM
 #13

If you are talking about changes to the user interface, then anyone can grab a copy of any of the existing open source user interfaces and make any changes they like.  They can then share their new user interface with whomever they like.

If you are talking about changes to the blocks or transactions, and acceptance and rejection of those which leads to network consensus, then you are talking about a "forking" change. While you (or anyone else) are welcome to modify the existing bitcoin programming, any changes that violate the current consensus rules will result in all peers that are running the current protocol to simply ignore such communications from program.

You could potentially convince other peers to run your protocol changes.  If you were successful in getting a significantly sized minority to run peers that make use of your changes, then the system would split into two separate systems.  Those running the "legacy" bitcoin, and those running the "new" bitcoin.  All peers on the "legacy" system would simply ignore the communications from your "new" system.

If you can convince a significant majority to run peers that make use of your changes, then the system would still split into two separate systems, but since the majority are using the new system the legacy system will be more likely to be seen as the niche eccentric system, while your new system will be the "mainstream" system.

Currently, the easiest way to get a significant majority of peers to use your software changes is to convince Wladimir J. van der Laan to include it in the "Bitcoin Core" reference wallet.  You could make the changes yourself, or get someone else to make them.  You would participate in discussions with some of the other programmers that have provided significant amounts of programming effort to "Bitcoin Core".  If everyone agrees, then Wladimir J. van der Laan will pull your changes into his github repository.  If there isn't agreement, then Wladimir J. van der Laan might choose to wait for more discussion before making the decision to pull the code into his github repository.

Potentially, Wladimir J. van der Laan could refuse to pull in the changes at all, or could put off the decision indefinitely.  If either of those things happen, you would have to find some other way to convince everyone to use your software instead of the software that Wladimir J. van der Laan has control over.

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June 25, 2015, 10:19:10 PM
 #14

A hard fork is like the latest resort to fix something about BTC. The things that need a hard fork, thank god (or thank Satoshi) are very few. Actually I would like to know a exact list of what requires a hard fork because the only thing I can thing of is the blocksize, the rest of issues can be resolved without resorting to that.



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June 26, 2015, 12:58:25 PM
 #15

If you are talking about changes to the user interface, then anyone can grab a copy of any of the existing open source user interfaces and make any changes they like.  They can then share their new user interface with whomever they like.

If you are talking about changes to the blocks or transactions, and acceptance and rejection of those which leads to network consensus, then you are talking about a "forking" change. While you (or anyone else) are welcome to modify the existing bitcoin programming, any changes that violate the current consensus rules will result in all peers that are running the current protocol to simply ignore such communications from program.

You could potentially convince other peers to run your protocol changes.  If you were successful in getting a significantly sized minority to run peers that make use of your changes, then the system would split into two separate systems.  Those running the "legacy" bitcoin, and those running the "new" bitcoin.  All peers on the "legacy" system would simply ignore the communications from your "new" system.

If you can convince a significant majority to run peers that make use of your changes, then the system would still split into two separate systems, but since the majority are using the new system the legacy system will be more likely to be seen as the niche eccentric system, while your new system will be the "mainstream" system.

Currently, the easiest way to get a significant majority of peers to use your software changes is to convince Wladimir J. van der Laan to include it in the "Bitcoin Core" reference wallet.  You could make the changes yourself, or get someone else to make them.  You would participate in discussions with some of the other programmers that have provided significant amounts of programming effort to "Bitcoin Core".  If everyone agrees, then Wladimir J. van der Laan will pull your changes into his github repository.  If there isn't agreement, then Wladimir J. van der Laan might choose to wait for more discussion before making the decision to pull the code into his github repository.

Potentially, Wladimir J. van der Laan could refuse to pull in the changes at all, or could put off the decision indefinitely.  If either of those things happen, you would have to find some other way to convince everyone to use your software instead of the software that Wladimir J. van der Laan has control over.

Thanks for all the answers, but this one had the exact info I was looking for. P2P consensus, albeit having been around for a while, is still a relatively new concept when we're talking about such a large scale as a currency, so something so obvious still needs a kind of "rewiring" of traditional thoughts in order to be understood. I tried explaining this to some people the other day, but the recurring question was - who is responsible for BTC? I answered "no one and everyone", but so far it is still a difficult concept to swallow.

Myself and another enterpreneur are currently in charge of spreading the word about Bitcoin in Malta, as he took the initiative to start monthly meetings and I liked the idea of gathering around BTC enthusiasts. Still, ignorance about BTC is still extremely high here, so we're aiming to double our efforts during the summer
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June 26, 2015, 01:22:41 PM
 #16

Myself and another enterpreneur are currently in charge of spreading the word about Bitcoin in Malta, as he took the initiative to start monthly meetings and I liked the idea of gathering around BTC enthusiasts. Still, ignorance about BTC is still extremely high here, so we're aiming to double our efforts during the summer

I was just in Malta last October to participate in the Middle Sea Race.  It's a beautiful island and I had a wonderful time.  I only wish I could have found places to use my bitcoins while I was there.  If I return to participate in the race again in the future, perhaps we'll be able to get together for a drink.

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August 19, 2015, 02:10:59 PM
 #17

Myself and another enterpreneur are currently in charge of spreading the word about Bitcoin in Malta, as he took the initiative to start monthly meetings and I liked the idea of gathering around BTC enthusiasts. Still, ignorance about BTC is still extremely high here, so we're aiming to double our efforts during the summer

I was just in Malta last October to participate in the Middle Sea Race.  It's a beautiful island and I had a wonderful time.  I only wish I could have found places to use my bitcoins while I was there.  If I return to participate in the race again in the future, perhaps we'll be able to get together for a drink.

Yes certainly, I'd be more than happy to meet up with anyone interested in Bitcoin.

It seems that my concerns about changes in the BTC network were well-founded - look at what is happening right now. I am not seeing what the problem might be with increased block sizes; anyone who thought that Bitcoin as originally devised will stand a chance in the future (i.e. now, or in 2 years' time) didn't really understand the implications of a currency going global. My idea for "Bitcoin Embassies" established across the globe seems to be veering towards a possible reality. Expecting each and every participating of the BTC network to chip in with an informed opinion is a piper's dream, which is why decision-making needs to be a bit less centralised, and let the adoption rate do the talking as to whether decisions are well-met or not.

I studied altcoins for quite a while, and this scenario already unfolded in Huntercoin. The answer to that was reducing the data size gathered in blocks i.e. the transaction data is more efficiently gathered, iirc. Whether that proved to be a wise move or not, no one knows, as Huntercoin has dwindled down and all but died... but for a while there were more people downloading the full nodes and participating, until the currency died a natural death out of lack of interest. While this same method may be adopted for BTC, I have to ask the obvious question - will this be enough? Even more so, can it be done? Are the two prominent devs opting for the easier way out rather than just perfecting what's already there?

I'm just playing the devil's advocate here. I have tackled this issue and a host of other ones in my thesis - if anyone from the Bitcoin Dev team wants to contact me in order to discuss my ideas, I'd be more than happy to share. All my ideas are aimed at prodding BTC towards the mainstream sphere, so they will not be to everyone's liking - but I guess it beats waiting around for oblivion and the rise of some other virtual currency.
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August 20, 2015, 11:22:40 AM
 #18

In the meantime, here's an article which I wrote regarding the forking issue:

https://www.targoexchange.com/pulse/the-bitcoin-fork-whats-all-the-fuss/
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August 20, 2015, 12:10:50 PM
 #19

For me the Lead Developer has too much say, in what would be added and what not, even though concensus still have the last say. Wladimir could soon be replaced by a "agent" and he could dominate the

development decisions in these matters to a degree, where things will fall apart. Wladimir said in May of this year, his decision on the block size, will be based on stalling the decision to the degree where it would

need to be a forced change. {Kicking the can down the road} We need some group {not Mike/Gavin} to speed up this decision making process. We want Bitcoin/Blockchain to adapt quickly wiith the changing

internet environment.  Huh  

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........T H E   F U T U R E.................
......................o f   B E A U T Y
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apesconcert
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August 20, 2015, 03:58:27 PM
 #20

For me the Lead Developer has too much say, in what would be added and what not, even though concensus still have the last say. Wladimir could soon be replaced by a "agent" and he could dominate the

development decisions in these matters to a degree, where things will fall apart. Wladimir said in May of this year, his decision on the block size, will be based on stalling the decision to the degree where it would

need to be a forced change. {Kicking the can down the road} We need some group {not Mike/Gavin} to speed up this decision making process. We want Bitcoin/Blockchain to adapt quickly wiith the changing

internet environment.  Huh  

"Kicking the can down the road" - I see you read Gavin's blog.

I firmly believe in the setting up of national Bitcoin Embassies working together on an international scale, with a separate Embassy in each country, each consisting of capable technical and legal individuals, with each Embassy having an equal say and no veto. Applicants should satisfy a rigorous test and contest an election if need be. Input from the separate national communities is fed through such Embassies, who then work together to see which changes should or should not be implemented.

Pure decentralisation is, as I previously said, a piper's dream - one which is not possible in a world where most people are still tech-ignorant and have not even grasped simple concepts such as P2P or "currencies", let alone Bitcoin. Let's work towards a centralised democracy... and not a decentralised oligarchy. 

Slightly off-topic, but I strongly urge you to take a look at the Targo Exchange, on whose blog I posted the article. It's a well-thought out exchange, with adequate user protection in place to prevent any Mt.Gox/Mintpal/etc schemes. I've used it several times and it's great

https://www.targoexchange.com/
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