SegWit2x vs UASF

Bloomberg has a good piece on the struggle between the Bitcoin core developers and the leading miners on how to best scale Bitcoin.

I am for the SegWit2x proposal and hope that we see it broadly adopted later this month.

There is a chance that doesn’t happen and a user activated soft fork (UASF) could be used to force SegWit into the market.

I personally hope that a user activated soft fork doesn’t happen as it would create a lot of turbulence. The Ethereum fork last year (almost exactly a year ago) that created Ethereum Classic is a good case study to look at if you want to see how that might play out.

Ultimately I do believe the best ideas will win out and that Bitcoin can survive any of these scenarios. But it would be good to see the Bitcoin community agree on something and implement it. That would build confidence that the governance model, which has been a bit shaky, is maturing.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Twain Twain

    It was a missed opportunity when Satoshi didn’t think through REPRESENTATIVE VOTING as a necessary tenet of bitcoin.Instead, he opted for the very legacy mechanisms that are similar to the gridlock in government. Quadratic voting isn’t adequate for solving the problem either.

    1. Eric Herrera

      Gridlock is a feature. We should strive to mimic IETF. “We reject kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in rough consensus and running code”

      1. Twain Twain

        Gridlock is a BUG, not a feature.The bug has to do with voting distribution curves being bounded by P(0) and P(1).

        1. Eric Herrera

          What then is the appropriate voting threshold?

          1. Twain Twain

            Quantum Computing is on the horizon. That will make a lot of binary, one-dimensional voting systems … OBSOLETE. @wmoug:disqus — Again, Satoshi wasn’t thorough as a technology strategist.What’s the appropriate voting threshold? Well, there’s added dimensionality so it won’t be a case of “51% voted for and so we’re going to fork.” What’s much more important is not a number for the threshold as much as having metrics for “WHY WE VOTED IN THIS WAY.”That’s something a whole raft of clever people from Aristotle through to Nobel Prize-winning economists haven’t been able to develop in 2000+ years.IBM already released a beta version of IBM Q, by the way.*

          2. Eric Herrera

            What is the problem to be solved? (I’m not trolling. I genuinely want to understand your position)

          3. Geoffrey Hamilton

            The problem being solved is that miners who want to protect their covert ASICBoost advantage and their great firewall of China latency advantage to further centralize the network for themselves. They are spamming the network with fake transactions using artificially high fees in blocks they mine themselves so that they can argue that we need bigger blocks which we don’t yet and won’t for a very long time once SegWit is activated.

          4. Twain Twain

            Will answer when I return from this:*…The problem to be solved is that the machines and their algorithms are supposed to be fair+objective+rational ways to circumvent the irrationality of human decision-making.

          5. Trace Mayer, J.D.

            Each individual running their own full-node for network consensus and controlling their own private keys.

        2. Geoffrey Hamilton

          Gridlock is a feature. BIP 9 is the bug, asking miners to approve of soft fork changes to the code was a mistake and now that they have abused it they will never get that opportunity again.

  2. kidmercury

    there is no governance model, which is the problem.we are closer to understanding this. ethereum is WAY more centralized in its architecture and thinking than bitcoin is, and future iterations will continue on this is useful to think of the beef between free markets and communism, right vs left, etc. the answer is not anarchy or total decentralization. rather the answer is some type of hybrid. monetary policy needs to be extremely centralized, though everything else can be decentralized and managed through token distribution.we are getting there!

    1. Geoffrey Hamilton

      This is a feature. The bug is BIP 9 asking the miners permission to soft fork.

    2. earonesty

      A lack of a governance model is one of the most important things about Bitcoin. If we abandon it, we abandon its value proposition as well.

      1. kidmercury

        yes , i understand that, though i think there is far more value in economies with governance models. so i don’t think there is much value in bitcoin (i own a small bit and have for a few years, but that is mainly in the event i am wrong or need to buy something that is not easily purchased with above ground currencies). i do think that adding a governance layer on top of bitcoin is the worst option; it should remain anarchic, however limited that value proposition may be, as the more governance it adds the more it will compete with the value propositions of other currencies (mainly the stuff on top of ethereum), almost all of which are much better designed for governance from the start.

  3. William Mougayar

    Either way, the Core team’s influence will be diminished, and this will usher a Bitcoin governance renaissance. All indications are that SegWit2x will prevail.

    1. Geoffrey Hamilton

      How does anyone still take anything you say about bitcoin seriously?

      1. kidmercury

        lol i’m all for a good beef but you can’t just troll like that with no ammo. gotta bring a well-reasoned point of view or at least some links. till then, william wins the beef via disqualification

        1. Hiyito Patada

          Why? People who are paying attention outside the bubble of this blog know what he means.

          1. kidmercury

            one of the golden rules of beefing is that it’s always better to beef with the ideas than with the person. and if the temptation to beef with the person is too great, at least be playful about it instead of just outright mean! 🙂

          2. Geoffrey Hamilton

            William was bearish on bitcoin at $600 and I told him it was going to the moon in comments on this blog. QED.

          3. William Mougayar

            I was bearish on bitcoin at $600? I don’t recall that, but if you can dig up the evidence, happy to respond to it, with context.Regardless, that point is not related to the current debate we are discussing today.

          4. William Mougayar

            I’m not sure what kind of words you are putting in my mouth.That depiction is not correct. I was against SegWit, that’s it.

          5. Geoffrey Hamilton

            Everyone can read that for themselves now that it is linked.I was calling you a corporatist shill in that post, I’m thinking I may have given you too much credit. Maybe you actually believe the idiotic things you are saying.In the meantime, core devs losing influence? What a joke.Not only is it completely wrong, but if you understood the actual process of how the code gets committed it doesn’t even make sense, “core” is an open source project, not a team.

          6. William Mougayar

            There is no point having a rational discussion with you, given your lack of knowledge about what you want to talk about + you continue to take personal shots. Goodbye.

          7. Arturo D. Gentili

            so much beef talking, i am hungry now.

          8. Hiyito Patada

            I don’t think he was being mean. I think you’re falling into the trap of siding with William, just because he’s a regular on the blog.

          9. kidmercury

            i’m not siding with william, i’m siding with not being unnecessarily mean. replying to someone asking them how anyone can take them seriously — without addressing anything they said — fits my definition of being mean. it probably fits most of humanity’s definition of being mean. except maybe mean people’s definition! 🙂

    2. spiroseliot

      and you are?

  4. Ty Danco

    Would love to see a poll of reader’s predictions of the value of the various BTC chains should they split, and then revisit it in a year. Which fork goes the way of ETH, and which becomes like ETC, with lower valuations. I suspect while the money/activity followed the developers with Ethereum, it’s the miners, not the developers, who will have their way more.

  5. Needy Newt

    perhaps this weekend’s turbulence is a omen of the turbulence approaching?

  6. greggdourgarian

    The shootout at the OK corral hasn’t started yet? And the topic is bitcoin forking? This may change my world view.

  7. jason wright

    glad you mentioned SW. thought yesterday’s blog post was lacking the context, the reason for the price retreat.

    1. Geoffrey Hamilton

      The price retreat was technical. Bitcoin is consolidating for a blowoff top in the fall.

      1. jason wright

        the pathetic fallacy is dead?

        1. Geoffrey Hamilton

          Things can’t go up in a straight line. Traders take profit, bulls get vertigo. Momentum stalls out and weak hands sell the bottom.We had 3 weekly candle opens outside of the bbands and it was only a matter of time before we retraced and consolidated. No one who has ever bought bitcoin up until now will be underwater this time next year.

  8. Geoffrey Hamilton

    So you’re in favor of capitulating to demands of nefarious actors who are attempting to centralize the network? You’re in favor of doubling the latency to miners outside of the great firewall of China? You’re in favor of making contentious upgrades that there are no need for without backwards compatibility? You’re in favor of making it twice as slow to run a node over tor?Do you even know what bitcoin is?You have jumped the shark Fred.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and no

      1. Geoffrey Hamilton

        Why should bitcoin set a precedent of capitulating to centralizing demands? What is the value of increasing the maxblocksize variable at this point? Why are you not more concerned about censorship resistance?

      2. Geoffrey Hamilton

        Imagine back before broadband and people are complaining about bandwidth. There is this new technology called fiber and another one called dialup2x. Dialup2x is patented by the phone companies and basically all it is is a second phone line to run a second modem with some new routing hardware that can allocate resources between them for twice the cost. The other is 1000x as fast and the same price but it’s open source and makes the patent obsolete.You are advocating dialup2x.

    2. Trace Mayer, J.D.

      SegWit2x —> LOL

      1. Geoffrey Hamilton

        Lol I’m so triggered by this post. I have a lot of respect for Fred but he isn’t getting it. There is no “scaling issue.” The “issue” is simply bad actors acting bad to push their agenda. Why would we appease them?

    3. kenberger

      Rumors of Fred’s shark jumping are greatly exaggerated.

  9. JLM

    .At the most simplistic level, this is an exercise in which the ungoverned are asking to be regulated like the infrastructure they seek to disrupt and destroy.The question may be — are they governable?Is mob rule just violent consensus without leadership?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Hiyito Patada

      It was never meant to be governable. That’s the point to decentralization. If it’s not BitCoin, then it will be another crypto currency. And nobody – or at least only a relative few – is asking to be “governed”, no matter how much you enjoy projecting such things. It’s about reaching consensus. The market will sort this out.Do you feel the same way about fiat currency and fractional reserve banking, and its trillions in debt? Looking around the world with hyperinflation, failed states like Venezuela, massive debt, austerity, 2008, etc… centralized and nationalized fiat money is what’s looking ungovernable and violent.

      1. JLM

        .”It was never meant to be governable.”Duh. That’s why I made the comment, Einstein.There is not a consensus to be reached. One side or the other will prevail as has happened in the past. Perfectly reasonable.In fact, it is clear that people are asking to be governed, when that governance sorts out the problem.There is nothing relevant to comparing the world of fiat currency to Venezuela wherein the problem is political governance not fiscal policy.If you cannot keep toilet paper on the shelves, it doesn’t make any difference what the central bank thinks about anything, does it?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Hiyito Patada

          Cute insult, but you missed my point. You’re old and stodgy, and quite frankly, a bore. Nobody cares what you’ve done, what you own, or what business you’re in. This future does not belong to you. Try not to screw it up for everyone else, because you really have no clue what you’re talking about on this.Venezuela would not happen if not for fiat currency. Socialism, in whatever variety, always looks nice when there is a limitless supply of money and it’s not yours.

          1. JLM

            .Only a child ignores the wisdom of experience.There is a reason why kids work their asses off to fashion a future the wise man owns. It is not because youth is smart.You can have the future, if I can control the sweat of your brow.There is a reason why you are doing what you are doing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. creative group

            Hiyito Patada:The block features saves a lot valuable time that could be used elsewhere. Once you identify that the entity has evolved into a old bitter troll with a inflexible Rightwing slant you exercise the block feature. A lovely addition.

  10. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:BTC PRICE: $2135.09If a fork would bring this price down to say $10.00 it would be reasonable. Not for smart money or those who have bet their ranch but for making the currency practical for the average person. BTC currently isn’t for the average and that will be its demise.The subversive group from the start desired this currency to be out of the control of central Governments and smart money. Sorry but the Fox is in the big house and has abandoned the hen house.

    1. Hiyito Patada

      You don’t need $2135 to buy into BitCoin. You could start with $10. It all depends on your personal goals and desired use with it. Is it a SOV for you? A currency? An investment? Your view is too narrow.If BitCoin isn’t right for you, there are other crypto currencies for you to choose from or trade into. Want something faster and perhaps with more transactional value? Maybe LiteCoin right now. Want something a bit more centralized, and easier to launch a token from? Ethereum. Want more privacy? ZCash. And so on…By the way, your off topic alerts have zero value added.

      1. creative group

        Hiyito Patada:we acknowledge you are providing advice. Our post is rhetorical. We have been aware or involved in some way with digital assets as an alternative currency since Nick Szabo’s Bit Gold in the late 90’s.The emergence of the current crypto market without fundamentals leave us on the sidelines. We are Daytraders and in the Commercial RE space.We know our lane and usually stay in it.(Hiyito Patada (Little Kick) are you thee Hiyito Patada?

        1. Hiyito Patada

          Cool. Fair enough.

        2. Hiyito Patada

          Another question, if you’ve been involved since the 90’s, I’m guessing that you saw potential in it then. Why not get back into it now, start a coin that addresses the issues you see in BitCoin and other cryptos?And yes, I am thee. Good on you for the little kick reference, too. 🙂

  11. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT!SoundCloud which was evangelically promoted in this very forum is rumored to be in financial trouble and 173 employees experienced layoffs. Chance the Rapper releasing a track on SoundCloud can’t solve it. (Fundamentals are not in agreement with narrative of all is well)Lessons are abundant and can be used to correct operational mistakes. But the arrogance of we know best and having all the great minds at the table and on the board isn’t assisting in the correction is more of a problem. What are the people getting paid to advise actually doing for the business. What real value beside rubbing shoulders with wealthy investors are you really receiving. What is the return at letting the smart money in the doors.Alex Ljung what is your return?Just sickening to watch. Similar to WebVan but definitely not the same circumstances. DISCLOSURE: NO HOLDINGS OR INVESTMENT TO REPORT

    1. fredwilson

      pls don’t spread incorrect rumors about SoundCloud, a company i am deeply involved in, on my blog. you don’t know what you are talking about.

      1. Jim Ritchie

        The “creative group” is always posting off topic things. Maybe they could be instructed to stay on topic.

      2. creative group

        FRED:What rumors?…People can lie but figures never due.We are not posting anything not in public domain.Attack the Fake News of and various news outlets reporters.

  12. Allan Lund Hansen

    What would be much more interesting would be to hear your reasoning behind why you are for it.