submitted by CelesOS to u/CelesOS [link] [comments]
The consensus mechanism is one of the important elements of the blockchain and the core rule of the normal operation of the distributed ledger. It is mainly used to solve the trust problem between people and determine who is responsible for generating new blocks and maintaining the effective unification of the system in the blockchain system. Thus, it has become an everlasting research hot topic in blockchain.
This article starts with the concept and role of the consensus mechanism. First, it enables the reader to have a preliminary understanding of the consensus mechanism as a whole; then starting with the two armies and the Byzantine general problem, the evolution of the consensus mechanism is introduced in the order of the time when the consensus mechanism is proposed; Then, it briefly introduces the current mainstream consensus mechanism from three aspects of concept, working principle and representative project, and compares the advantages and disadvantages of the mainstream consensus mechanism; finally, it gives suggestions on how to choose a consensus mechanism for blockchain projects and pointed out the possibility of the future development of the consensus mechanism.
First, concept and function of the consensus mechanism
1.1 Concept: The core rules for the normal operation of distributed ledgers
1.2 Role: Solve the trust problem and decide the generation and maintenance of new blocks
1.2.1 Used to solve the trust problem between people
1.2.2 Used to decide who is responsible for generating new blocks and maintaining effective unity in the blockchain system
1.3 Mainstream model of consensus algorithm
Second, the origin of the consensus mechanism
2.1 The two armies and the Byzantine generals
2.1.1 The two armies problem
2.1.2 The Byzantine generals problem
2.2 Development history of consensus mechanism
2.2.1 Classification of consensus mechanism
2.2.2 Development frontier of consensus mechanism
Third, Common Consensus System
Fourth, Selection of consensus mechanism and summary of current situation
4.1 How to choose a consensus mechanism that suits you
4.1.1 Determine whether the final result is important
4.1.2 Determine how fast the application process needs to be
4.1.2 Determining the degree to which the application requires for decentralization
4.1.3 Determine whether the system can be terminated
4.1.4 Select a suitable consensus algorithm after weighing the advantages and disadvantages
4.2 Future development of consensus mechanism
Last lecture review: Chapter 1 Concept and Function of Consensus Mechanism plus Chapter 2 Origin of Consensus Mechanism
Last lecture review: Chapter 3 Common Consensus Mechanisms
Chapter 3 Common Consensus Mechanisms (Part 2)
Figure 6 Summary of relatively mainstream consensus mechanisms
Source: Hasib Anwar, "Consensus Algorithms: The Root Of The Blockchain Technology"
The picture above shows 14 relatively mainstream consensus mechanisms summarized by a geek Hasib Anwar, including PoW (Proof of Work), PoS (Proof of Stake), DPoS (Delegated Proof of Stake), LPoS (Lease Proof of Stake), PoET ( Proof of Elapsed Time), PBFT (Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance), SBFT (Simple Byzantine Fault Tolerance), DBFT (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance), DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph), Proof-of-Activity (Proof of Activity), Proof-of- Importance (Proof of Importance), Proof-of-Capacity (Proof of Capacity), Proof-of-Burn ( Proof of Burn), Proof-of-Weight (Proof of Weight).
Next, we will mainly introduce and analyze the top ten consensus mechanisms of the current blockchain.
Delegated Byzantine fault tolerance. The improved Byzantine fault-tolerant algorithm makes it suitable for blockchain systems. The system consists of nodes, delegators (who can approve blocks), and speakers (who proposes the next block). It is a consensus algorithm that guarantees fault tolerance implemented inside the NEO blockchain.
In this mechanism, there are two participants: the professional bookkeeper "bookkeeping node" and the ordinary users in the system.
Ordinary users vote based on the proportion of holding stake to determine the bookkeeping node. When a consensus is required, a spokesperson is randomly selected from these bookkeeping nodes to draw up a plan, and then other bookkeeping nodes will vote basing on the Byzantine fault tolerance algorithm.That is, majority principle. If more than 66% of the nodes agree to the spokesperson’ plan, a consensus is reached; otherwise, the spokesperson is re-elected and the voting process is repeated.
-Representative application: Neo, etc.
Proof of authority. That is, certified by some accredited accounts, these accredited accounts are called "validators". The software that the verifier runs that supports the verifier to place transactions in blocks.
-Representative applications: VeChain, etc.
Directed acyclic graph. Each newly added unit in the DAG is not only added to the long chain block, but added to all the previous blocks, verifying each new unit and confirming its parent unit and the parent unit of the parent unit, and gradually confirming until the genesis unit. As the hash of its parent unit is included in its own unit, the blockchains of all transactions are connected to each other to form a graph-like structure with time.
In the DAG network, each node can be a trader and a validator, because the transaction processing in DAG is done by the transaction node itself. Taking IOTA as an example, IOTA’s Tangle led
ger does not need to pay transaction fees while ensuring high-speed transaction processing. However, it does not mean that the transaction is free, because in this ledger, the initiation of each transaction needs to verify the other two random transactions first, and connect the transaction initiated by itself to these two transactions, so the responsibility that miners on the blockchain bear is distributed to all traders. The DAG method of processing transactions can be called asynchronous processing mode.
Figure 10 The difference between the traditional blockchain structure and the DAG structure
-Representative applications: IOTA, etc.
Proof of elapsed time. That is, it is usually used in a permissioned blockchain network. It can determine the mining rights of the block holders in the network. The permissioned blockchain network requires any prospective participants to verify their identity before joining. According to the principles of the fair lottery system, each node is equally likely to become the winner.
Each participating node in the network must wait for a randomly selected period, and the first node to complete the set waiting time will get a new block. Each node in the blockchain network will generate a random waiting time and sleep for a set time. The node that wakes up first, that is, the node with the shortest waiting time, wakes up and submits a new block to the blockchain, and then broadcasts the necessary information to the entire peer-to-peer network. The same process will be repeated to find the next block.
Proof of stake velocity. Proposed by Reddcoin, drawing on the concept of "money circulation speed" in economics, it mainly allocates bookkeeping rights based on the coin age of nodes participating in the competition.
PoSV also allocates accounting rights according to the coin age of the nodes participating in the competition, but modifies the coin age calculation formula to a function of exponential decay of growth rate. Taking Reddcoin as an example, Reddcoin sets the half-life of the coin age growth rate to 1 month. Assuming that the unit token can accumulate 1CoinDay coin age on the first day, only 0.5CoinDay coin age can be accumulated on the 31st day, and only 0.25CoinDay coin age can be accumulated on the 61st day, and so on. In this way, the nodes are encouraged to use the token to conduct a transaction after holding the token for a period of time, thereby restarting the calculation of the coin age and increasing the circulation speed of the token in the network.
-Representative applications: Reddcoin, etc.
Table 2 Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of current mainstream consensus mechanisms
Source: network resources
Chapter 4 Summary of the Selection and Status Quo of Consensus Mechanism
4.1 How to choose a consensus mechanism that suits you
Step 1: Determine whether the final result is important
For some applications, the end result is very important. If you are building a new payment system that can support very small amounts, it is acceptable for the transaction result to change. Similarly, if you are creating a new distributed social network, 100% guarantee that the status is updated immediately is not particularly necessary. On the contrary, if you are creating a new distributed protocol, the final result is critical to the user experience. For example, Bitcoin has a final confirmation time of about 1 hour, Ethereum has a final confirmation time of about 6 minutes, and Tendermint Core only has a final confirmation time of 1 second.
Step 2: Determine how fast the application process needs to be
If you are building a game, is it reasonable to wait 15 seconds before each action? Due to the low block processing time of Ethereum, games built on it will cause poor user experience due to Ethereum's throughput. However, the application for the transfer of housing property rights can be run on Ethereum. Use the Cosmos SDK to build an application that allows developers to freely use Tendermint Core. It has a short block processing time and high throughput, and is capable of processing 10,000 transactions per second. You can reduce the required communication overhead and speed up the application by setting the maximum number of validators for the application.
Step 3: Determine the application's demand for decentralization
Some applications such as games may not require very high censorship resistance as a by-product of decentralization. In theory, does it really matter that the validator can create a cartel in the game and reverse the transaction result for profit? If it is not important, a blockchain such as EOS may be more suitable for your needs because of the fast transaction speed and free fees. However, some applications such as autonomous banks are more powerful and decentralized. Although Ethereum is considered to be decentralized, some supporters claim that Ethereum's mining pool is an important part of centralized platform, although there are actually only 11 validators (mining pools). One of the major benefits of building your own blockchain instead of building on a smart contract platform is that you can customize the way the application completes verification. However, it is difficult to build your own blockchain, so the Cosmos SDK is very useful, you can easily build your own blockchain and customize the degree of decentralization you need.
Step 4: Determine whether the system can be terminated
If you are building a new application similar to a distributed ride-sharing service, then ensuring 24/7 service must be the first priority, even if there are occasional errors in accounting similar to transactions. One of the properties of Tendermint Core is that if there is a disagreement between network validators, the network will suspend operations instead of proceeding erroneous transactions. Applications such as decentralized exchanges require correctness at all costs-if there is a problem, it is far better to suspend trading on the decentralized exchange than there may be trading problems.
Summary: Choose a suitable consensus algorithm after weighing the advantages and disadvantages
All in all, there is no single best consensus algorithm. Each consensus algorithm has its own value and advantages. You need to have your own judgments and choices. However, by understanding the relevant processes of the consensus mechanism, including proposals and agreements, and establishing a framework to consider the types of consensus algorithms that your application may require, you should be able to make wiser decisions.
4.2 Future development of consensus mechanism
The consensus algorithm is one of the core elements of the blockchain. Although there are more than 30 consensus mechanisms listed in the article, there are still many niche consensus mechanisms that may not be discussed. As the blockchain technology is gradually known and accepted by the public, more and more newer and better consensus algorithms may appear in the future, which may be brand-new consensus algorithms, and more should be improvement and optimization version based on the current consensus algorithm.
After 2016 and 2017 years’ fast development, the current consensus algorithm does not have a recognized evaluation standard, but is generally more biased towards fairness and decentralization, as well as some technical related issues, such as energy consumption and scalability , Fault tolerance and security, etc. However, blockchain technology must be combined with requirements and application scenarios, and the consensus mechanism algorithm and incentive mechanism are inseparable. How to customize a suitable consensus mechanism according to the characteristics of your own project and optimize the current consensus mechanism will become the future direction of consensus mechanism development
As the first DPOW financial blockchain operating system, CelesOS adopts consensus mechanism 3.0 to break through the "impossible triangle", which can provide high TPS while also allowing for decentralization. Committed to creating a financial blockchain operating system that embraces supervision, providing services for financial institutions and the development of applications on the supervision chain, and formulating a role and consensus ecological supervision layer agreement for supervision.
The CelesOS team is dedicated to building a bridge between blockchain and regulatory agencies/financial industry. We believe that only blockchain technology that cooperates with regulators will have a real future. We believe in and contribute to achieving this goal.
I tried my best to be as accurate as possible, but if there are any errors, please let me know so I can fix. I believe this talk is important for all Bitcoin Cash supporters, and I wanted to provide it in written form so people can read it as well as watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOv0nmOe1_o For me, this was the first time I felt like I understood the issues Amaury's been trying to communicate, and I hope that reading this presentation might help others understand as well.submitted by BCHcain to btc [link] [comments]
Bitcoin Cash’s Culture
“Okay. Hello? Can you hear me? The microphone is good, yeah?
Ok, so after that introduction, I’m going to do the only thing that I can do now, which is disappoint you, because well, that was quite something.
So usually I make technical talks and this time it’s going to be a bit different. I’m going to talk about culture in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. So first let’s talk about culture, like what is it? It’s ‘the social behaviors and norms found in human society.’
So we as the Bitcoin Cash community, we are a human society, or at least we look like it. You’re all humans as far as I know, and we have social behaviors and norms, and those social behaviors and norms have a huge impact on the project.
And the reason why I want to focus on that point very specifically is because we have better fundamentals and we have a better product and we are more useful than most other cryptos out there. And I think that’s a true statement, and I think this is a testimony of the success of BCH. But also, we are only just 3% of BTC’s value. So clearly there is something that we are not doing right, and clearly it’s not fundamental, it’s not product, it’s not usefulness. It’s something else, and I think this can be found somewhat in our culture.
So I have this quote here, from Naval Ravikant. I don’t know if you guys know him but he’s a fairly well known speaker and thinker, and he said, “Never trust anyone who does not annoy you from time to time, because it means that they are only telling you what you want to hear.”
And so today I am going to annoy you a bit, in addition to disappointing you, so yeah, it’s going to be very bad, but I feel like we kind of need to do it.
So there are two points, mainly, that I think our culture is not doing the right thing. And those are gonna be infrastructure and game theory. And so I’m going to talk a little bit about infrastructure and game theory.
Right, so, I think there are a few misconceptions by people that are not used to working in software infrastructure in general, but basically, it works like any other kind of infrastructure. So basically all kinds of infrastructure decay, and we are under the assumption that technology always gets better and better and better and never decays. But in terms of that, it actually decays all the time, and we have just a bunch of engineers working at many many companies that keep working at making it better and fighting that decay.
I’m going to take a few examples, alright. Right now if you want to buy a cathode ray tube television or monitor for your computer (I’m not sure why you want to do that because we have better stuff now), but if you want to buy that, it’s actually very difficult now. There are very little manufacturers that even know how to build them. We almost forgot as a human society how to build those stuff. Because, well, there was not as high of a demand for them as there was before, and therefore nobody really worked on maintaining the knowledge or the know how, and the factories, none of that which are required to build those stuff, and therefore we don’t build them. And this is the same for vinyl discs, right? You can buy vinyl disk today if you want, but it’s actually more expensive than it used to be twenty years ago.
We used to have space shuttles. Both Russia and US used to have space shuttles. And now only the US have space shuttles, and now nobody has space shuttles anymore.
And there is an even better counter example to that. It’s that the US, right now, is refining Uranium for nuclear weapons. Like on a regular basis there are people working on that problem. Except that the US doesn’t need any new uranium to make nuclear weapons because they are decommissioning the weapons that are too old and can reuse that uranium to build the new weapon that they are building. The demand for that is actually zero, and still there are people making it and they are just basically making it and storing it forever, and it’s never used. So why is the US spending money on that? Well you would say governments are usually pretty good at spending money on stuff that are not very useful, but in that case there is a very good reason. And the good reason is that they don’t want to forget how it’s done. Because maybe one day it’s going to be useful. And acquiring the whole knowledge of working with uranium and making enriched uranium, refining uranium, it’s not obvious. It’s a very complicated process. It involves very advanced engineering and physics, a lot of that, and keeping people working on that problem ensures that knowledge is kept through time. If you don’t do that, those people are going to retire and nobody will know how to do it. Right.
So in addition to decaying infrastructure from time to time, we can have zero days in software, meaning problems in the software that are not now exploited live on the network. We can have denial of service attack, we can have various failures on the network, or whatever else, so just like any other infrastructure we need people that essentially take care of the problem and fight the decay constantly doing maintenance and also be ready to intervene whenever there is some issue. And that means that even if there is no new work to be done, you want to have a large enough group of people that are working on that everyday just making it all nice and shiny so that when something bad happens, you have people that understand how the system works. So even if for nothing else, you want a large enough set of people working on infrastructure for that to be possible.
So we’re not quite there yet, and we’re very reliant on BTC. Because the software that we’re relying on to run the network is actually a fork to the BTC codebase. And this is not specific to Bitcoin Cash. This is also true for Litecoin, and Dash, and Zcash and whatever. There are many many crypotos that are just a fork of the Bitcoin codebase. And all those crypos they actually are reliant on BTC to do some maintenance work because they have smaller teams working on the infrastructure. And as a result any rational market cannot price those other currencies higher than BTC. It would just not make sense anymore. If BTC were to disappear, or were to fail on the market, and this problem is not addressed, then all those other currencies are going to fail with it. Right? And you know that may not be what we want, but that’s kind of like where we are right now.
So if we want to go to the next level, maybe become number one in that market, we need to fix that problem because it’s not going to happen without it.
So I was mentioning the 3% number before, and it’s always very difficult to know what all the parameters are that goes into that number, but one of them is that. Just that alone, I’m sure that we are going to have a lower value than BTC always as long as we don’t fix that problem.
Okay, how do we fix that problem? What are the elements we have that prevent us from fixing that problem? Well, first we need people with very specific skill sets. And the people that have experience in those skill sets, there are not that many of them because there are not that many places where you can work on systems involving hundreds of millions, if not billions of users, that do like millions of transactions per second, that have systems that have hundreds of gigabytes per second of throughput, this kind of stuff. There are just not that many companies in the world that operate on that scale. And as a result, the number of people that have the experience of working on that scale is also pretty much limited to the people coming out of those companies. So we need to make sure that we are able to attract those people.
And we have another problem that I talked about with Justin Bons a bit yesterday, that we don’t want to leave all that to be fixed by a third party.
It may seem nice, you know, so okay, I have a big company making good money, I’m gonna pay people working on the infrastructure for everybody. I’m gonna hire some old-time cypherpunk that became famous because he made a t-shirt about ERISA and i’m going to use that to promote my company and hire a bunch of developers and take care of the infrastructure for everybody. It’s all good people, we are very competent. And indeed they are very competent, but they don’t have your best interest in mind, they have their best interest in mind. And so they should, right? It’s not evil to have your own interest in mind, but you’ve got to remember that if you delegate that to others, they have their best interest in mind, they don’t have yours. So it’s very important that you have different actors that have different interests that get involved into that game of maintaining the infrastructure. So they can keep each other in check.
And if you don’t quite understand the value proposition for you as a business who builds on top of BCH, the best way to explain that to whoever is doing the financials of your company is as an insurance policy. The point of the insurance on the building where your company is, or on the servers, is so that if everything burns down, you can get money to get your business started and don’t go under. Well this is the same thing. Your business relies on some infrastructure, and if this infrastructure ends up going down, disappearing, or being taken in a direction that doesn’t fit your business, your business is toast. And so you want to have an insurance policy there that insures that the pieces that you’re relying on are going to be there for you when you need them.
Alright let’s take an example. In this example, I purposefully did not put any name because I don’t want to blame people. I want to use this as an example of a mistake that were made. I want you to understand that many other people have done many similar mistakes in that space, and so if all you take from what I’m saying here is like those people are bad and you should blame them, this is like completely the wrong stuff. But I also think it’s useful to have a real life example.
So on September 1st, at the beginning of the week, we had a wave of spam that was broadcasted on the network. Someone made like a bunch of transactions, and those were very visibly transactions that were not there to actually do transactions, they were there just to create a bunch of load on the network and try to disturb its good behavior.
And it turned out that most miners were producing blocks from 2 to 8 megabytes, while typical market demand is below half a megabyte, typically, and everything else above that was just spam, essentially. And if you ask any people that have experience in capacity planning, they are going to tell you that those limits are appropriate. The reason why, and the alternative to raising those limits that you can use to mitigate those side effects are a bit complicated and they would require a talk in and of itself to go into, so I’m going to just use an argument from authority here, but trust me, I know what I’m talking about here, and this is just like raising those limits is just not the solution. But some pool decided to increase that soft cap to 32 megs. And this has two main consequences that I want to dig in to explain what is not the right solution.
And the first one is that we have businesses that are building on BCH today. And those businesses are the ones that are providing value, they are the ones making our network valuable. Right? So we need to treat those people as first class citizens. We need to attract and value them as much as we can. And those people, they find themselves in the position where they can either dedicate their resources and their attention and their time to make their service better and more valuable for users, or maybe expand their service to more countries, to more markets, to whatever, they can do a lot of stuff, or they can spend their time and resources to make sure the system works not when you have like 10x the usual load, but also 100x the usual load. And this is something that is not providing value to them, this is something that is not providing value to us, and I would even argue that this is something that is providing negative value.
Because if those people don’t improve their service, or build new services, or expand their service to new markets, what’s going to happen is that we’re not going to do 100x. 100x happens because people provide useful services and people start using it. And if we distract those people so that they need to do random stuff that has nothing to do with their business, then we’re never going to do 100x. And so having a soft cap that is way way way above what is the usual market demand (32 megs is almost a hundred times what is the market demand for it), it’s actually a denial of service attack that you open for anyone that is building on the chain.
We were talking before, like yesterday we were asking about how do we attract developers, and one of the important stuff is that we need to value that over valuing something else. And when we take this kind of move, the signal that we send to the community, to the people working on that, is that people yelling very loudly on social media, their opinion is more valued than your work to make a useful service building on BCH. This is an extremely bad signal to send. So we don’t want to send those kind of signals anymore.
That’s the first order effect, but there’s a second order effect, and the second order effect is to scale we need people with experience in capacity planning. And as it turns out big companies like Google, and Facebook, and Amazon pay good money, they pay several 100k a year to people to do that work of capacity planning. And they wouldn’t be doing that if they just had to listen to people yelling on social media to find the answer. Right? It’s much cheaper to do the simple option, except the simple option is not very good because this is a very complex engineering problem. And not everybody is like a very competent engineer in that domain specifically. So put yourself in the shoes of some engineers who have skills in that particular area. They see that happening, and what do they see? The first thing that they see is that if they join that space, they’re going to have some level of competence, some level of skill, and it’s going to be ignored by the leaders in that space, and ignoring their skills is not the best way to value it as it turns out. And so because of that, they are less likely to join it. But there is a certain thing that they’re going to see. And that is that because they are ignored, some shit is going to happen, some stuff are going to break, some attacks are going to be made, and who is going to be called to deal with that? Well, it’s them. Right? So not only are they going to be not valued for their stuff, the fact that they are not valued for their stuff is going to put them in a situation where they have to put out a bunch of fires that they would have known to avoid in the first place. So that’s an extremely bad value proposition for them to go work for us. And if we’re going to be a world scale currency, then we need to attract those kinds of people. And so we need to have a better value proposition and a better signaling that we send to them.
Alright, so that’s the end of the first infrastructure stuff. Now I want to talk about game theory a bit, and specifically, Schelling points.
So what is a Schelling point? A Schelling point is something that we can agree on without especially talking together. And there are a bunch of Schelling points that exist already in the Bitcoin space. For instance we all follow the longest chain that have certain rules, right? And we don’t need to talk to each other. If I’m getting my wallet and I have some amount of money and I go to any one of you here and you check your wallet and you have that amount of money and those two amounts agree. We never talk to each other to come to any kind of agreement about how much each of us have in terms of money. We just know. Why? Because we have a Schelling point. We have a way to decide that without really communicating. So that’s the longest chain, but also all the consensus rules we have are Schelling points. So for instance, we accept blocks up to a certain size, and we reject blocks that are bigger than that. We don’t constantly talk to each other like, ‘Oh by the way do you accept 2 mb blocks?’ ‘Yeah I do.’ ‘Do you accept like 3 mb blocks? And tomorrow will you do that?’
We’re not doing this as different actors in the space, constantly worrying each other. We just know there is a block size that is a consensus rule that is agreed upon by almost everybody, and that’s a consensus rule. And all the other consensus rules are effectively changing Schelling points. And our role as a community is to create valuable Schelling points. Right? You want to have a set of rules that provide as much value as possible for different actors in the ecosystem. Because this is how we win. And there are two parts to that. Even though sometimes we look and it’s just one thing, but there are actually two things.
The first one is that we need to decide what is a valuable Schelling point. And I think we are pretty good at this. And this is why we have a lot of utility and we have a very strong fundamental development. We are very good at choosing what is a good Schelling point. We are very bad at actually creating it and making it strong.
So I’m going to talk about that.
How do you create a new Schelling point. For instance, there was a block size, and we wanted a new block size. So we need to create a new Schelling point. How do you create a new Schelling point that is very strong? You need a commitment strategy. That’s what it boils down to. And the typical example that is used when discussing Schelling points is nuclear warfare. So think about that a bit. You have two countries that both have nuclear weapons. And one country sends a nuke on the other country. Destroys some city, whatever, it’s bad. When you look at it from a purely rational perspective, you will assume that people are very angry, and that they want to retaliate, right? But if you put that aside, there is actually no benefit to retaliating. It’s not going to rebuild the city, it’s not going to make them money, it’s not going to give them resources to rebuild it, it’s not going to make new friends. Usually not. It’s just going to destroy some stuff in the other guy that would otherwise not change anything because the other guys already did the damage to us. So if you want nuclear warfare to actually prevent war like we’ve seen mostly happening in the past few decades with the mutually assured destruction theory, you need each of those countries to have a very credible commitment strategy, which is if you nuke me, I will nuke you, and I’m committing to that decision no matter what. I don’t care if it’s good or bad for me, if you nuke me, I will nuke you. And if you can commit to that strongly enough so that it’s credible for other people, it’s most likely that they are not going to nuke you in the first place because they don’t want to be nuked. And it’s capital to understand that this commitment strategy, it’s actually the most important part of it. It’s not the nuke, it’s not any of it, it’s the commitment strategy. You have the right commitment strategy, you can have all the nuke that you want, it’s completely useless, because you are not deterring anyone from attacking you.
There are many other examples, like private property. It’s something usually you’re going to be willing to put a little bit of effort to defend, and the effort is usually way higher than the value of the property itself. Because this is your house, this is your car, this is your whatever, and you’re pretty committed to it, and therefore you create a Schelling point over the fact that this is your house, this is your car, this is your whatever. People are willing to use violence and whatever to defend their property. This is effectively, even if you don’t do it yourself, this is what happens when you call the cops, right? The cops are like you stop violating that property or we’re going to use violence against you. So people are willing to use a very disproportionate response even in comparison to the value of the property. And this is what is creating the Schelling point that allows private property to exist.
This is the commitment strategy. And so the longest chain is a very simple example. You have miners and what miners do when they create a new block, essentially they move from one Schelling point when a bunch of people have some amount of money, to a new Schelling point where some money has moved, and we need to agree to the new Schelling point. And what they do is that they commit a certain amount of resources to it via proof of work. And this is how they get us to pay attention to the new Schelling point. And so UASF is also a very good example of that where people were like we activate segwit no matter what, like, if it doesn’t pan out, we just like busted our whole chain and we are dead.
Right? This is like the ultimate commitment strategy, as far as computer stuff is involved. It’s not like they actually died or anything, but as far as you can go in the computer space, this is very strong commitment strategy.
So let me take an example that is fairly inconsequential in its consequences, but I think explains very well. The initial BCH ticker was BCC. I don’t know if people remember that. Personally I remember reading about it. It was probably when we created it with Jonald and a few other people. And so I personally was for XBC, but I went with BCC, and most people wanted BCC right? It doesn’t matter. But it turned out that Bitfinex had some Ponzi scheme already listed as BCC. It was Bitconnect, if you remember. Carlos Matos, you know, great guy, but Bitconnect was not exactly the best stuff ever, it was a Ponzi scheme. And so as a result Bitifnex decided to list Bitcoin Cash as BCH instead of BCC, and then the ball started rolling and now everybody uses BCH instead of BCC.
So it’s not all that bad. The consequences are not that very bad. And I know that many of you are thinking that right now. Why is this guy bugging us about this? We don’t care if it’s BCC or BCH. And if you’re doing that, you are exactly proving my point.
Because … there are people working for Bitcoin.com here right? Yeah, so Bitcoin.com is launching an exchange, or just has launched, it’s either out right now or it’s going to be out very soon. Well think about that. Make this thought experiment for yourself. Imagine that Bitcoin.com lists some Ponzi scheme as BTC, and then they decide to list Bitcoin as BTN. What do you think would be the reaction of the Bitcoin Core supporter? Would they be like, you know what? we don’t want to be confused with some Ponzi scheme so we’re going to change everything for BTN. No, they would torch down Roger Ver even more than they do now, they would torch down Bitcoin.com. They would insult anyone that would suggest that this was a good idea to go there. They would say that everyone that uses the stuff that is BTC that it’s a ponzi scheme, and that it’s garbage, and that if you even talk about it you are the scum of the earth. Right? They would be extremely committed to whatever they have.
And I think this is a lesson that we need to learn from them. Because even though it’s a ticker, it’s not that important, it’s that attitude that you need to be committed to that stuff if you want to create a strong Schelling point, that allows them to have a strong Schelling point, and that does not allow us to have that strong of a Schelling point.
Okay, so yesterday we had the talk by Justin Bons from Cyber Capital, and one of the first things he said in his talk, is that his company has a very strong position in BCH. And so that changed the whole tone of the talk. You gotta take him seriously because his money is where his mouth is. You know that he is not coming on the stage and telling you random stuff that comes from his mind or tries to get you to do something that he doesn’t try himself. That doesn’t mean he’s right. Maybe he’s wrong, but if he’s wrong, he’s going bankrupt. And you know just for that reason, maybe it’s worth it to listen to it a bit more than some random person saying random stuff when they have no skin in the game.
And it makes him more of a leader in the space. Okay we have some perception in this space that we have a bunch of leaders, but many of them don’t have skin in the game. And it is very important that they do. So when there is some perceived weakness from BCH, if you act as an investor, you are going to diversify. If you act as a leader, you are going to fix that weakness. Right? And so, leaders, it’s not like you can come here and decide well, I’m a leader now. Leaders are leaders because people follow them. It seems fairly obvious, but … and you are the people following the leaders, and I am as well. We decide to follow the opinion of some people more than the opinion of others. And those are the defacto leaders of our community. And we need to make sure that those leaders that we have like Justin Bons, and make sure that they have a strong commitment to whatever they are leading you to, because otherwise you end up in this situation:
Where you got a leader, he’s getting you to go somewhere, he has some goal, he has some whatever. In this case he is not that happy with the British people. But he’s like give me freedom or give me death, and he’s going to fight the British, but at the same time he’s like you know what? Maybe this shit isn’t gonna pan out, you gotta make sure you have your backup plan together, you have your stash of British pound here. You know, many of us are going to die, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
That’s not the leader that you want.
I’m going to go to two more examples and then we’re going to be done with it. So one of them is Segwit 2x. Segwit 2x came with a time where some people wanted to do UASF. And UASF was essentially people that set up a modified version of their Bitcoin node that would activate segwit on August 1, no matter what. Right? No matter what miners do, no matter what other people do, it’s going to activate segwit. And either I’m going to be on the other fork, or I’m going to be alone and bust. Well, the alternative proposal was segwit 2x. Where people would activate segwit and then increase the size of the block. And what happened was that one of the sides had a very strong commitment strategy, and the other side, instead of choosing a proportional commitment strategy, what they did was that they modified the activation of segwit 2x to be compatible with UASF. And in doing so they both validate the commitment strategy done by the opposite side, and they weaken their own commitment strategy. So if you look at that, and you understand game theory a bit, you know what’s going to happen. Like the fight hasn’t even started and UASF has already won. And when I saw that happening, it was a very important development to me, because I have some experience in game theory, a lot of that, so I understood what was happening, and this is what led me to commit to BCH, which was BCC at the time, 100%. Because I knew segwit 2x was toast, even though it had not even started, because even though they had very strong cards, they are not playing their cards right, and if you don’t play your cards right, it doesn’t matter how strong your cards are.
Okay, the second one is emergent consensus. And the reason I wanted to put those two examples here is because I think those are the two main examples that lead to the fact that BTC have small blocks and we have big blocks and we’re a minority chain. Those are like the two biggest opportunities we had to have big blocks on BTC and we blew both of them for the exact same reason.
So emergent consensus is like an interesting technology that allows you to trade your bigger block without splitting the network. Essentially, if someone starts producing blocks that are bigger than … (video skips) ,,, The network seems to be following the chain that has larger blocks, eventually they’re going to fall back on that chain, and that’s a very clevery mechanism that allows you to make the consensus rules softer in a way, right? When everybody has the same consensus rules, it still remains enforced, but if a majority of people want to move to a new point, they can do so by bringing others with them without creating a fork. That is a very good activation mechanism for changing the block size, for instance, or it can be used to activate other stuff.
There is a problem, though. This mechanism isn’t able to set a new point. It’s a way to activate a new Schelling point when you have one, but it provides no way to decide when and where or to what value or to anything to where we are going. So this whole strategy lacks the commitment aspect of it. And because it lacks the commitment aspect of it, it was unable to activate properly. It was good, but it was not sufficient in itself. It needs to be combined with a commitment strategy. And especially on that one there are some researchers that wrote a whole paper (https://eprint.iacr.org/2017/686.pdf) unpacking the whole game theory that essentially come to that conclusion that it’s not going to set a new size limit because it lacked the commitment aspect of it. But they go on like they model all the mathematics of it, they give you all the numbers, the probability, and the different scenarios that are possible. It’s a very interesting paper. If you want to see, like, because I’m kind of explaining the game theory from a hundred mile perspective, but actually you can deep dive into it and if you want to know the details, they are in there. People are doing that. This is an actual branch of mathematics.
Alright, okay so conclusion. We must avoid to weaken our commitment strategy. And that means that we need to work in a way where first there is decentralization happening. Everybody has ideas, and we fight over them, we decide where we want to go, we put them on the roadmap, and once it’s on the roadmap, we need to commit to it. Because when people want to go like, ‘Oh this is decentralized’ and we do random stuff after that, we actually end up with decentralization, not decentralization in a cooperative manner, but like in an atomization manner. You get like all the atoms everywhere, we explode, we destroy ourself.
And we must require a leader to have skin in the game, so that we make sure we have good leaders. I have a little schema to explain that. We need to have negotiations between different parties, and because there are no bugs, the negotiation can last for a long time and be tumultuous and everything, and that’s fine, that’s what decentralization is looking like at that stage, and that’s great and that makes the system strong. But then once we made a decision, we got to commit to it to create a new Schelling point. Because if we don’t, the new Schelling point is very weak, and we get decentralization in the form of disintegration. And I think we have not been very good to balance the two. Essentially what I would like for us to do going forward is encouraging as much as possible decentralization in the first form. But consider people who participate in the second form, as hostile to BCH, because their behavior is damaging to whatever we are doing. And they are often gonna tell you why we can’t do that because it’s permissionless and decentralized, and they are right, this is permissionless and decentralized, and they can do that. We don’t have to take it seriously. We can show them the door. And not a single person can do that by themself, but as a group, we can develop a culture where it’s the norm to do that. And we have to do that.”
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