E037: “User Activated Soft Fork”

Get access to the show’s Companion Episodes on PATREON for as little at $1/mo.

or make a direct contribution via Bitcoin: 17ojFGrjczRtoAznoa1K4PZGvUSQ695hQX


BTC Status Update as of 3/2/2017
Bitstamp $1265
Okcoin ¥8250
Localbitcoins vol (7d) $28 mil
Network vol (24h) $353 mil
Difficulty est. +5.4%
Segwit 27.6%

Sources: PricesLocalBitcoinsBlockchain VolumeDifficulty, SegWit


Trending Topics ATHs, COIN ETF 11 Mar, User Activated Soft Fork

BitSquare

8:30 – “Europe is Collapsing”

Le Pen to Merkel at the European Parliament

12:00 – Silk Road bitcoins secured from police in Germany

A story on Deepdotweb.com, fFrom Potsdam Germany, a seller on the Silk Road from 2013 went to trial, and the cops couldn’t confiscate that money. This is a great example of how bitcoin will increase the marginal cost to persecute crimes by the centralized state.

16:00 – Picopayments brings lightning to Counterparty tokens

25:00 – COIN ETF update

Izabella Kaminska’s FT article about the ethereum cartel

From ETF.com

“Indeed, a bitcoin ETF is likely to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission as soon as next month. The idea was first proposed to the SEC about three years ago.” – Mike Venuto

Bloomberg’s most recent write up.

32:30 – User Activated Soft Fork (UASF)

SegWit activation may seem hopeless to a lot bitcoiners with all the filibustering and anti-scaling behavior from the likes of Roger Ver and Jihan Wu. At first, I was very optimistic that SegWit would be quickly adopted, I see it as the objectively superior technical solution. I overestimated the lengths that opponents would go to to block scaling. A couple months ago, I’ve came to believe that bitcoin will eventually scale, and the reason that SegWit is having such a hard time is that it’s just not needed yet. The resulting fees will whittle down the unnecessary transactions in bitcoin and as the market cap grows naturally, the pressure for SegWit will become undeniable.

Well, an interesting proposition was recently posted on bitcointalk and the Bitcoin Core mailing list which talks about a truly decentralized way to activate SegWit, a User Activated Soft Fork. This is a true market solution where users (validating nodes and wallets) pick an activation date in the future and begin relaying segwit transactions. Since these are valid transaction to older clients (backwards compatible) there’s no issue with validating the transaction. The difficulty lies in including the transactions into a block. If there is a super majority of miners that won’t include the transaction, it will never make it in. If some miners don’t care, and include the transaction, they will get the fee. With nearly 85% of the network either signally segwit, or signalling indifference, this strategy has a real possiblity to be successful. The end result with be to break the backs of the miner filibuster and get the scaling bitcoin needs.

Another benefit of the User Activated Soft Fork is that it removes a huge political attack vector for bitcoin. Miners are not politicians, they are the servants of the network, servants of consensus. The politics they have brought into bitcoin will not be allow to continue.

Evolution of the Social Engineering in Bitcoin

  1. Rhetoric to suppress price and marginalize users
  2. Introduction of competition, “blockchain” by banks and blockchain maximalists
  3. Introduction of fake division over censorship.
  4. Bitcoin Classic rhetoric went after node count, and a HF because mining hash power is a more expensive attack
  5. Bitcoin Unlimited going after the most expensive attack, mining
  6. What is the next attack vector?
    1. ETF control of the market?

Ansel Lindner Written by:

Ansel is a bitcoin specialist, economist, and podcast host.