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Bitcoin SV Node Q&A

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Hey@shadders thank you for being willing to answer questions about the Bitcoin SV node and BSV protocol. Do you think that BSV is controlled by anyone? This is in reference to the tweet https://twitter.com/CalvinAyre/status/1307955310519349251
I can only conceive of a reality where a select group of individuals have power to make changes and therefore could possibly pull an Amaury (no disrespect intended toward him). Are there mechanisms in BSV to prevent such control? I don't see any happy medium between Tragedy of the Commons and dictatorship, for a software. Do you?
pete tipped:
0.06 USD
1 year ago
It is impossible to control a protocol definition after it was set in stone, just like it is impossible to control mathematics. If you say 2 + 2 = 5 you are not controlling mathematics, you just deviated from it, you are not doing mathematics anymore. BTC is not doing bitcoin anymore.
I can’t remember in which video but CSW brought up how the Bitcoin protocol remains locked because it states ‘set in stone’ in the white paper. The release of Bitcoin was a unilateral contract for anyone who wanted to engage in mining. If those terms are breached then CSW is held liable under the law for breaching the contract. It’s a good question you ask though and one i’d like more clarification on.
andyg replied:
Satoshi said that on BitcoinTalk. If CSW said it's in the WP then he was mistaken. This article cites the original quote. https://coingeek.com/the-bitcoin-protocol-cant-be-set-in-stone/ The article also doesn't make sense to me. They use a car as an example, saying that having four wheels makes it a car but two wheels makes it a motorcycle. But there are many different kinds of cars. And trucks have four wheels. So, having four wheels doesn't mean it's a vehicle that follows a specific protocol. I don't see what Satoshi is saying is the mechanism either. He says the different transaction templates need to be planned in advance... but... why? Guessing it may be some complicated C++ thing. If being set in stone is part of the fundamental nature of Bitcoin as Satoshi claims, then that's awesome! I believe it could be possible.
I'm not Shadders, ofc. It seems to me that the value in an unchanging protocol will prevent it from being usurped. Those using it will just reject a change because it makes what they have invested in less valuable.
glauce replied:
Couldn't agree more... the pleasure is in the locking! Why repeat counter propaganda... laugh, mock, make into a joke of it and convert it into asset!
shadders replied:
I would echo this as part of the answer. The rest of the answer though is in scale, pure and simple. Bitcoin doesn't start to really be Bitcoin until it gets REALLY big. I mean most of it's properties are there now. There's already enough reasons for people to fight for it's stability. But in time no one will need to because no one will be mad enough to try and challenge it. Let me give you an analogy in the form of the mythical 'infinite block attack' that was used as a scare tactic in the lead up to the 2018 hashwar. The argument went that an attacker could create a really big block for only a few thousand dollars that would choke the network. It was true at the time it would have because the software wouldn't look for alternatives. But it would eventually process the block and move on with no detriment to transaction processing since they'll just all get mined in the next block. It wouldn't benefit the attacker other than creating a news story, so if a few thousand dollars is worth that news story to you then I guess someone might try it. There are two answers to this which are really the same thing... First and obvious one, if Bitcoin is massive the cost of making that attack block is immense so that news story better be worth A LOT to you. The second is the one we put in place, which is parallel block validation. The attack block would still lock up a validation thread but another block will come along pretty soon, get validated before the attack block and essentially orphan it straight away. The news story is gone as a benefit, so you've basically spent a few $k to lock up a single core on a few machines which likely no one will notice. cost/benefit ratio just went way down. Controlling the network isn't much different. The benefit of gaining control is marginal and debatable. The cost grows with the network and when everyone else is motivated to punish controlling behaviour the risks to the dishonest actor grow massively.
musiq tipped:
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1 year ago
uniqueusername tipped:
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1 year ago
shadders replied:
p.s. What I intended this channel was discussion of the protocol and implementations. I'm not really so keen on getting into long winded debates about the nature of Bitcoin and control and it's politics so I will only occasionally be dipping a toe in discussions like this...
andyg tipped:
0.1 USD
1 year ago
andyg replied:
Thanks@shadders I agree it's a contentious political issue so thank you for the answer even as a one-time thing. I get what you mean about parallel validation. One thing I have to remember is that the miners can choose to use the node software or not... it's not mandatory, so changes to the software may or may not actually become part of the bitcoin that scales, depending on miner choice.
shadders replied:
Precisely... I have written before about the political power of default config values which we've tried to disempower. We took a huge with Genesis releases of bitcoin sv on the most important default values, I. E. Block size hard and soft caps. Where instead of deciding we actually made the software simply refuse to start until you selected those values for yourself.
andyg tipped:
0.1 USD
1 year ago
danman replied:
so if we can force decision making on block size why cant we force decision making on default node behaviour under block reorg conditions?