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Author Topic: Moving towards user activated soft fork activation  (Read 24270 times)
coins101
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February 28, 2017, 09:48:04 PM
 #21

Proof of work = one cpu one vote.

That was the original design intent for the network.

The introduction of pools + ASICs has changed the nature of the system design.

So the original concept design was around a majority decision making process. Lots of different people voting with their nodes.

With large mining farms, the majority of hash power can be considered irrelevant as the original design also suggested that using IP addresses as a way to identify the longest chain was easy to sybil.

If the network wasn't so heavily biased towards pools and big central mining farms, a majority vote of the miners would be appropriate. But that is not the case at this present time.

The problem with having fixed rules is that the network isn't fixed. People innovate and the nature of the network changes. There should be a way to come to consensus on what the overriding principle should be and then make a judgement call on a case by case basis. While this can be gamed by politics, it makes sense to try and find a mechanism that adapts with the times.

Perhaps an agreed network governance process should be considered which regularly takes a view on such matters before any such voting is required. This should stop voting rules being tailored to suit a preferred outcome.

But at this time, it makes more sense to seek a super majority of the economic nodes (where most of the 'effort is') than the mining nodes - which are mostly just SPV's anyway.

Having said that, i'd edge for a segwit hard fork if at all possible. But if not, a softfork it is.
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hdbuck
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February 28, 2017, 10:26:26 PM
 #22

eh wut super  Huh

and its not about "economic" nodes, its about full nodes.

<spoilers>
there will be no softforked segwit with a 95% threshold but rather a softfork ending in hardfork.
</spoilers>
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March 01, 2017, 04:16:43 AM
 #23

Anyone can make a soft fork and split the chain with the minimum hash power, no need to ask for anyone's permission, but how high is the chance of surviving?

Short term wise the value will crash to the corresponding hash power cost, due to arbitraging (if it costs $100 to mine one segwitcoin but the market price is $1000, then everyone will borrow coin to sell and mine them back to cash in $900 profit immediately, so I guess before this even happens the price will already crash to the mining cost)

Long term wise the hash rate and value might rise if the demand for this chain is growing. But remember that there is another chain with larger hash power thus higher value existing, and I think most of the demand for bitcoin is investment/value storage, so it is not a guarantee that hash rate will rise on the chain that has less hash power/value


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March 02, 2017, 08:36:57 AM
 #24

and why a whole blockchain system has to wait when or if Jihan wake up in a good mood, [...]
One thing that is left out of your argument, and left out of the argument of many of the so called 'Bitcoin experts' is that the miners as a whole have very real incentives to do what is best for Bitcoin, including when deciding if they will signal for a particular fork/proposal, and if/when there is a serious threat to their ability to continue mining bitcoin (such as a serious threat to change the PoW), they have substantial incentives to not act in Bitcon's best interest (they have incentives to act in a way so that they can continue mining bitcoin, even if this means acting in a way that will damage Bitcoin over the long term).

When a person buys mining equipment, they are essentially paying a bond to the manufacturer that they will use their mining equipment in a way that is not harmful to Bitcoin over the long run. The reason for this is because ASICs have no other use than for mining Bitcoin (the actual use of Bitcoin ASICs is slightly more broad, however I do not see any reason why any other crypto would want to use the same PoW as Bitcoin as this would likely expose them to significant security vulnerabilities), and that mining equipment will have net revenues that will only recuperate the cost of purchasing said mining equipment over very long periods of time (it is also noteworthy that, as a general rule, as mining equipment has recouped a larger percentage of it's purchase cost, it will have less of an impact on the overall network due to both advances in technology and additional purchases of other mining equipment).

Mining pools provide their services of pooling resources together in a way so that variance is reduced, and recently either take a stance on various political issues, or allow individual users to take a stance on various issues. For the most part, pools collect fees in exchange for this service. If a pool is acting in a way that is contradictory to the long term interests of Bitcoin, then miners will point their equipment elsewhere. 

The above causes trust to be placed onto the manufacturers of mining equipment, however the manufacturers of mining equipment have incentives to act honestly (as defined as selling their equipment at a price that is not below fair market value), because they are essentially paying a bond in the form of the costs of manufacturing their equipment (generally fairly low), and the costs of R&D of their equipment (generally fairly high). Some mining manufacturers will use their own equipment, which results in them paying the above "bond" to themselves, however they would still need to pay the "bond" described in this paragraph, and has incentives to earn at least as much mining revenue (plus capital costs - eg, interest) as they would get if they had sold the equipment to the public. Mining manufacturers also will care about Bitcoin over the long run, because in order to recoup the R&D costs of designing/manufacturing mining equipment, they need to sell their equipment over fairly long periods of time.

The engineers that are hired by the above mining equipment manufacturers have fairly transferrable skills, and if they are not offered a high enough salary by a mining manufacturer then they will simply find work elsewhere. The market for these kinds of engineers is generally very competitive.

It is for the above reason why the miners as a whole will act in the best long term interest of Bitcoin, and can be trusted to do as much. The scope of when a miner should signal for a particular proposal is entirely up the individual miner, and the claim that miners should signal for a particular proposal when they are ready to implement said proposal is made by those with self-claimed expertise of Bitcoin, with self-appointed authority over Bitcoin, and contradicts with the above, as this does not necessarily mean that a miner would be acting in the best interest of Bitcoin if a proposal was not in the best interest of Bitcoin.

Node count is very easily faked, and it is fairly easy to fake economic activity, so it is very difficult to use either of these as a means to measure if a proposal should be implemented (the same is true for essentially every other measurable indicator). As a result of my above argument, a better measure to determine consensus is signaling from the miners, more specifically, that the miners are signaling for a proposal that is (a) in the long term interest of Bitcoin, and (b) in the miners' good judgment, there is a consensus for a particular proposal -- if both of these criteria are not met, then a proposal should not be signaled for. I would argue that this would roughly fall in line with Satoshi's whitepaper and early statements, as his whitepaper made statements assuming that miners would act in their own economic best interests.



Before something like this is added for any particular softfork, I'd like to see a detailed investigation into how much of the economy is committing to support it; how much is actually doing verification rather than just blindly trusting miners; the popularity and expected behavior of each end-user wallet software; etc.
At the end of the day, this is essentially 'proof of bitcoin.org/bitcointalk.org and I would note that both domains are heavily accessed partly because they are sites that Satoshi originally built and posted on.

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March 02, 2017, 10:30:35 PM
 #25

miners as a whole have very real incentives to do what is best for Bitcoin, including when deciding if they will signal for a particular fork/proposal, and if/when there is a serious threat to their ability to continue mining bitcoin (such as a serious threat to change the PoW), they have substantial incentives to not act in Bitcon's best interest (they have incentives to act in a way so that they can continue mining bitcoin, even if this means acting in a way that will damage Bitcoin over the long term).


Wrong

If I was an organisation like Western Union or the IMF (who can print fiat money, so it's essentially cost free to them), I would set up a mining farm, sell all the BTC for profit, and block any attempts to upgrade the Bitcoin network. I'd design a hard fork that screws Bitcoin up, and employ loads of trolls to promote it.

Bad actors can and do mine BTC. You're very naive

Vires in numeris
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March 02, 2017, 10:59:13 PM
 #26


Wrong

If I was an organisation like Western Union or the IMF (who can print fiat money, so it's essentially cost free to them), I would set up a mining farm, sell all the BTC for profit, and block any attempts to upgrade the Bitcoin network. I'd design a hard fork that screws Bitcoin up, and employ loads of trolls to promote it.

Bad actors can and do mine BTC. You're very naive

With your logic no group can be trusted to make network improvements that aren't intended to harm the network.

Nodes can be faked or spoofed, miners can hard fork to bad outcome, users really don't give a crap, they just want faster tx.

Are we stuck with Bitcoin as is forever, and the only scaling solutions must be built on top of the current utterly fixed ruleset?

1YogAFA... (oh, nevermind)
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March 02, 2017, 11:00:23 PM
 #27

Are we stuck with Bitcoin as is forever, and the only scaling solutions must be built on top of the current utterly fixed ruleset?

Probably.
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March 02, 2017, 11:24:52 PM
 #28

Are we stuck with Bitcoin as is forever, and the only scaling solutions must be built on top of the current utterly fixed ruleset?

Probably.

I agree.  Likewise, given the difficulty of changes now as shown by segwit and block size changes, any further changes will be even more difficult to get consensus.  And this isn't necessarily a bad thing, changes should be very difficult to make barring something catastrophic (e.g March 2013).  Think about changing tcp/ip.
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March 02, 2017, 11:32:55 PM
 #29

the question is why we cant get a two step consensus with segwit now and a hard fork later? Especially for the next hard fork step we can all agree that will trigger if only 99% of miners support it and 80%+ nodes and with some months preparation.
I think in a proposal like this everyone will agree.

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March 03, 2017, 04:06:46 AM
 #30

- snip -
I think in a proposal like this everyone will agree.

If you think EVERYONE will ever agree on anything, you have a VERY optimistic view of the world.  There are too many people with to many agendas to ever get everyone to agree on any protocol changes.  The best you can hope for is to get a significant enough majority to agree to force the minority into submission.
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March 03, 2017, 11:56:06 AM
 #31

Are we stuck with Bitcoin as is forever, and the only scaling solutions must be built on top of the current utterly fixed ruleset?

Probably.

I agree.  Likewise, given the difficulty of changes now as shown by segwit and block size changes, any further changes will be even more difficult to get consensus.  And this isn't necessarily a bad thing, changes should be very difficult to make barring something catastrophic (e.g March 2013).  Think about changing tcp/ip.

immutability is bullish af, just look at btc price now.
Carlton Banks
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March 03, 2017, 12:15:48 PM
 #32

There are too many people with to many agendas to ever get everyone to agree on any protocol changes.  The best you can hope for is to get a significant enough majority to agree to force the minority into submission.

If that was true, explain how the CSV opcode soft fork was activated only 6 months ago? It achieved +95% signalling and is activated and usable on the network.

I appreciate that Bitcoin will attain more protocol inertia as it becomes more widespread, but you seem to be suggesting that all possibility and time itself have finished (which would be typical of your character). You've taken too much inspiration from Dr Who storylines, it seems

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March 04, 2017, 09:40:34 AM
 #33

User is counted by full node count?

So what speaks against that high capitalized miners just buy some cheap full nodes to vote for their intersts if needed?

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March 04, 2017, 03:14:49 PM
 #34

I love this, seriously, amazing work on this. I support this 100%.

Miners have no business deciding on new features. Maybe in the past it was assumed that miners would go along in the best interests of users, but now it's clear that miners have become too political and keen to push their own agenda.

^This

When is flag day?  I will spin up full nodes from here to Timbuktu....perhaps a few proxies as well....   Cool


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March 04, 2017, 04:39:19 PM
 #35

anything that pisses in the face of people who wield amounts of power that never should've been awarded to them is fine by me.
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March 04, 2017, 05:40:23 PM
Last edit: March 04, 2017, 06:26:18 PM by piotr_n
 #36

How exactly is the UASF design going to prevent the hashing majority from conducting 50% attacks on the node ('users') majority branch after they'd split?

Because, as I understand it, they will split at the first tx spending a segwit output.  

Am I missing something or do we get to deal again with geniuses who try to change bitcoin protocol while not even having a clue about the basic of its security?

The whole reddit of idiots along with bitcoin news websites are suddenly excited on how someone allegedly found a way to kick miners' arses...
But has he? Because I don't think so.
After activation of such 'user fork' all the weapons would  still belong to the miners. Which would surely not hesitate to fire them on the rebels.

People should stop seeing bitcoin as an alternative to PayPal. Bitcoin is not a toy, or a computer game which rules can be adjusted and controlled by a ruling elite.
Bitcoin is a self regulating arm race - without the weapon you can't change the rules. And there is only one type of weapon: the mining farms.

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March 04, 2017, 06:30:00 PM
 #37

Proof of work = one cpu one vote.

That was the original design intent for the network.

The introduction of pools + ASICs has changed the nature of the system design.

So the original concept design was around a majority decision making process. Lots of different people voting with their nodes.

With large mining farms, the majority of hash power can be considered irrelevant as the original design also suggested that using IP addresses as a way to identify the longest chain was easy to sybil.

If the network wasn't so heavily biased towards pools and big central mining farms, a majority vote of the miners would be appropriate. But that is not the case at this present time.

The problem with having fixed rules is that the network isn't fixed. People innovate and the nature of the network changes. There should be a way to come to consensus on what the overriding principle should be and then make a judgement call on a case by case basis. While this can be gamed by politics, it makes sense to try and find a mechanism that adapts with the times.

Perhaps an agreed network governance process should be considered which regularly takes a view on such matters before any such voting is required. This should stop voting rules being tailored to suit a preferred outcome.

But at this time, it makes more sense to seek a super majority of the economic nodes (where most of the 'effort is') than the mining nodes - which are mostly just SPV's anyway.

Having said that, i'd edge for a segwit hard fork if at all possible. But if not, a softfork it is.

Everyone knows that Jihan Wu is currently a cancer for the network, but I fail to see how UASF will help in getting rid of it.

1 cpu = 1 vote sounds good, but isn't it ultimately the same as mining?

At the end of the day, a bad actor with a bunch of money, can buy a huge building and fill it with thousands of computers and run whatever software node they want.

At the end of the day, the rich can mold the system and aim it the way they want it to take a direction to... because at some point the masses may follow this strong single entity controlling a massive amount of nodes (sheep mentality, conservation/fear etc)

And also, even in a post UASF scenario, we still ultimately need the miners and this fucker got the biggest hashing power on earth as far as I know. So even if nodes don't agree with him, he still got the biggest hashing power. What will merchants do? And what if people running nodes get scared and switch places to whatever the biggest hashing power is supporting? I hope this question makes sense.
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March 04, 2017, 06:42:01 PM
 #38

At the end of the day, a bad actor with a bunch of money, can buy a huge building and fill it with thousands of computers and run whatever software node they want.

This

The only way to take power back from the miners, is to take away the actual source of their power: mining ASIC processors.

i.e. change the proof of work to something that is too difficult/expensive to make ASIC processors for

Vires in numeris
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March 04, 2017, 06:47:04 PM
 #39

How do we move forward? Let's do it
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March 04, 2017, 06:55:10 PM
 #40

How do we move forward? Let's do it

What do you want to achieve?

I believe everyone wants cheaper transactions.
How do you get cheaper transactions without asking miners for permission?
Two ways:
1) centralized bitcoin banks that settle balances between each other
2) side-channel payments that are based on the current protocol

Both are possible.
We don't need miners permission to have cheaper transactions. Which is important because it's unlikely that we'd get it.
And the incentives to develop either of the two solutions are already there - high txs fees that have been and likely will be growing.

Stop trying to change a weather in order to build a house and start thinking how to build a house in the existing weather.
A developer's metaphor Smiley

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