Mike Hearn Comments Causes The Latest Bitcoin Dump

Full overview of Eth 2.0 & 1.x roadmaps from Messari

Full section on Messari's Ethereum trends for 2020 here

ETH 2.0 Research/Governance/Roadmap at a glance

If history is any guide, we’re not going to see ETH 2.0 until 2022 at the earliest, even if the earliest phases of “Serenity” begin getting pushed in mid-2020. ETH 2.0’s rollout breaks down into seven (7!!!) phases and brings with it the promise of staking, sharding, a new virtual machine, and more dancing badgers.
(One of our analysts, Wilson Withiam, put together an excellent overview of both the ETH 2.0 and ETH 1.x roadmaps for this report. They are critical to track and understand at a high-level given how much Ethereum’s performance will affect other competitive projects and most of the DeFi and Web 3 infrastructure. So these next two sections are longer and more technical.)
Here’s what you need to know about the current game plan for crypto’s largest platform.
Phase 0 marks the launch of the “beacon chain”, which will serve as the backbone for a new blockchain. The beacon chain will manage network validators (large early stakers like ConsenSys) and ultimately assign validators to individual shards (slicing the new blockchain into smaller chunks is a key, difficult, controversial scaling decision that’s been made). The new chain will support Ethereum’s new proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, and offer inflation rewards with new ETH2 for those that pony up and lock 32 ETH1 tokens into an irreversible contract. That one way bridge into the new system is also contentious, but it means ETH1 supply will start getting “effectively burned” once token holder begin claiming beacon chain validator slots. Initial reports claimed Jan. 3 as a realistic launch date (lol). It will be amazing to see this launched by end of June.
Phase 1 will introduce 64 individual shard chains (reduced from 1,024!!!) to the network, with the option to increase the total down the road as the design gets tested. The Ethereum elite see sharding as the “key to future scalability” as shards can parallelize transaction processing, something that could improve network performance and reduce individual validator’s costs (good for decentralization). It comes with big risk: this is still theoretical. No network the size of Ethereum has successfully sharded its blockchain. In Phase 1, shard chains will only contain simple data sets (no smart contracts or transaction executions) to test the system’s structure. As with Phase 0, the beacon chain will continue to run in parallel with ETH 1.x throughout the phase. Don’t expect Phase 1 anytime before 2021.
Phase 2 marks the full launch of the ETH2 chain, allowing for on-chain contract execution and introducing the new eWASM virtual machine (dubbed EVM 2.0). At this point, existing dApps can start migrating their contracts from ETH 1.x to a specific shard (one shard per contract) in the new network. Storage rent, charging contract owners for storing data on the network (more on this below), is in the cards as well, which would require mass contract rewrites. Even though Phase 2 intends to replace the original Ethereum blockchain entirely, ETH 1.x may still live on as a shard within ETH2. (How confused are you by now? See why bitcoin will still dominate the macro narrative for a while?) A late 2021 release for Phase 2 is optimistic. Before the end of 2022 would be a win.
The final four phases are less defined, and without an attached timeline:
Phase 3 implements state-minimized clients (because stateless clients are just too much). Phase 4 allows for cross-shard transactions. Phase 5 improves network security and the availability of data proofs. Phase 6 introduces meta-shards, as in “shards within shards within shards,” for near-infinite scaling. If you’re scratching your head and are sadistic enough to read more, the Sharding Wiki page does note, “this may be difficult.”
Scaling and compilation efficiencies aside, the most notable change in Ethereum’s metamorphosis is the transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. PoW is the more battle tested security model for blockchain networks, while PoS may prove to be more efficient but with new and less obvious attack vectors. For the more technical, we recommend reading Bison Trails’ Viktor Bunin on the subject of PoS security threats.
Past research has also shown PoS requires an extra layer of “trust” vs. PoW, to help nodes sync to the network. Most models share specific characteristics to address this trust issue, such as allowing for a dynamic set of validators (rotate your security), promoting token holder participation in consensus, and assessing steep penalties (slashing) for any network participant that violates the protocol guidelines. ETH 2.0 will function similarly, but may be able to learn from other PoS networks (and their R&D) as well as those come live and see real world issues. As Vitalik points out, recent research in PoS resulted in “great theoretical progress,” But...
Listen, we're talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We're talking about practice. Not a game….Practice? We're talking about practice, man? We're talking about practice. We're talking about practice. We ain't talking about the game. We're talking about practice, man.
Vitalik was eight when this happened, so the clip might help and prove metaphoric.

2 ETH 1.x Research/Governance/Roadmap at a glance.

Ok, one more. Bear with us. Let’s reiterate, ETH 2.0 is a brand new blockchain. It’s going to be a chaotic and high-risk transition. In the meantime, the existing network needs to run existing applications (particularly financial settlements for DeFi transactions). More critical upgrades are needed in the current system.
To that end, ETH 1.x devs have three goals to boost performance and reduce blockchain bloat: (1) introduce client optimizations that increase transaction capacity; (2) cap disk space requirements and prune old, memory-sucking data (so running a node is less expensive and more decentralized); and (3) upgrade the EVM to eWASM, a newer open standard for code compilers that simplifies debugging, and is also used by all the newer smart contract platforms. ETH 1.x developers have decided to split the major tasks amongst four working groups:

Core developers intend to introduce most of these implementations through a series of hard forks, the latest of which activated just over a week ago (Istanbul, Dec. 7). However, Istanbul’s second phase, tentatively scheduled for Q2 next year, has Ethereans at each other’s throats. The controversy boils down to the fork’s inclusion of ProgPoW, an ASIC-resistant hashing algorithm designed to replace Ethereum’s current algo. ProgPoW aims to even the playing field for GPU miners and ward off the entrance of potential ASIC competitors. The miners like that. But many miners and investors see ProgPoW as a threat to their investments. For miners, the change would shift the power dynamic away from mining farms and render expensive, specialized mining hardware useless. Ethereum (and ERC-20) investors intent on securing their assets might balk because ASIC miners typically prop up hash rates (overall chain security) and their costs “naturally create a price-floor for ASK prices of miners’ sell-orders.”
This saga is far from over. The infighting will likely continue leading up to ProgPoW’s activation date mid-next year, and presents the strongest potential for a network split since “The DAO” fork that spawned Ethereum Classic. The looming transition to ETH 2.0 (and proof-of-stake) will likely deter investor pushback, because it’s a short-term battle in a war the miners are ultimately going to lose, anyway.
Unless the roadmap changes back to supporting a hybrid PoW/PoS system, of course, but... Oh my god, I’m just kidding. This section is mercifully over.
submitted by CryptigoVespucci to ethereum [link] [comments]

Vitalik's response to Tuur

I interlaced everything between Vitalik and Tuur to make it easier to read.
1/ People often ask me why I’m so “against” Ethereum. Why do I go out of my way to point out flaws or make analogies that put it in a bad light?
Intro
2/ First, ETH’s architecture & culture is opposite that of Bitcoin, and yet claims to offer same solutions: decentralization, immutability, SoV, asset issuance, smart contracts, …
Second, ETH is considered a crypto ‘blue chip’, thus colors perception of uninformed newcomers.
Agree! I personally find Ethereum culture far saner, though I am a bit biased :)
3/ I've followed Ethereum since 2014 & feel a responsibility to share my concerns. IMO contrary to its marketing, ETH is at best a science experiment. It’s now valued at $13B, which I think is still too high.
Not an argument
4/ I agree with Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir that it’s not money, not safe, and not scalable. https://twitter.com/VladZamfistatus/838006311598030848
@VladZamfir Eth isn't money, so there is no monetary policy. There is currently fixed block issuance with an exponential difficulty increase (the bomb).
I'm pretty sure Vlad would say the exact same thing about Bitcoin
5/ To me the first red flag came up when in our weekly hangout we asked the ETH founders about to how they were going to scale the network. (We’re now 4.5 years later, and sharding is still a pipe dream.)
Ethereum's Joe Lubin in June 2014: "anticipate blockchain bloat—working on various sharding ideas". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJG9g0lCPU8&feature=youtu.be&t=36m41s
The core principles have been known for years, the core design for nearly a year, and details for months, with implementations on the way. So sharding is definitely not at the pipe dream stage at this point.
6/ Despite strong optimism that on-chain scaling of Ethereum was around the corner (just another engineering job), this promise hasn’t been delivered on to date.
Sure, sharding is not yet finished. Though more incremental stuff has been going well, eg. uncle rates are at near record lows despite very high chain usage.
7/ Recently, a team of reputable developers decided to peer review a widely anticipated Casper / sharding white paper, concluding that it does not live up to its own claims.
Unmerciful peer review of Vlad Zamfir & co's white paper to scale Ethereum: "the authors do NOT prove that the CBC Casper family of protocols is Byzantine fault tolerant in either practice or theory".
That review was off the mark in many ways, eg. see https://twitter.com/technocrypto/status/1071111404340604929, and by the way CBC is not even a prerequisite for Serenity
8/ On the 2nd layer front, devs are now trying to scale Ethereum via scale via state channels (ETH’s version of Lightning), but it is unclear whether main-chain issued ERC20 type tokens will be portable to this environment.
Umm... you can definitely use Raiden with arbitrary ERC20s. That's why the interface currently uses WETH (the ERC20-fied version of ether) and not ETH
9/ Compare this to how the Bitcoin Lightning Network project evolved:
elizabeth stark @starkness: For lnd: First public code released: January 2016 Alpha: January 2017 Beta: March 2018…
Ok
10/ Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is now live, and is growing at rapid clip.
Jameson Lopp @lopp: Lightning Network: January 2018 vs December 2018
Sure, though as far as I understand there's still a low probability of finding routes for nontrivial amounts, and there's capital lockup griefing vectors, and privacy issues.... FWIW I personally never thought lightning is unworkable, it's just a design that inherently runs into ten thousand small issues that will likely take a very long time to get past.
11/ In 2017, more Ethereum scaling buzz was created, this time the panacea was “Plasma”.
@TuurDemeester Buterin & Poon just published a new scaling proposal for Ethereum, "strongly complementary to base-layer PoS and sharding": plasma.io https://twitter.com/VitalikButerin/status/895467347502182401
Yay, Plasma!
12/ However, upon closer examination it was the recycling of some stale ideas, and the project went nowhere:
Peter Todd @peterktodd These ideas were all considered in the Treechains design process, and ultimately rejected as insecure.
Just because Peter Todd rejected something as "insecure" doesn't mean that it is. In general, the ethereum research community is quite convinced that the fundamental Plasma design is fine, and as far as I understand there are formal proofs on the way. The only insecurity that can't be avoided is mass exit vulns, and channel-based systems have those too.
13/ The elephant in the room is the transition to proof-of-stake, an “environmentally friendly” way to secure the chain. (If this was the plan all along, why create a proof-of-work chain first?)
@TuurDemeester "Changing from proof of work to proof of stake changes the economics of the system, all the rules change and it will impact everything."
Umm... we created a proof of work chain first because we did not have a satisfactory proof of stake algo initially?
14/ For the uninitiated, here’s a good write-up that highlights some of the fundamental design problems of proof-of-stake. Like I said, this is science experiment territory.
And here's a set of long arguments from me on why proof of stake is just fine: https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Proof-of-Stake-FAQ. For a more philosophical piece, see https://medium.com/@VitalikButerin/a-proof-of-stake-design-philosophy-506585978d51
15/ Also check out this thread about how Proof of Stake blockchains require subjectivity (i.e. a trusted third party) to achieve consensus: https://forum.blockstack.org/t/pos-blockchains-require-subjectivity-to-reach-consensus/762?u=muneeb … and this thread on Bitcoin: https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/59t48m/proofofstake_question/
Yes, we know about weak subjectivity, see https://blog.ethereum.org/2014/11/25/proof-stake-learned-love-weak-subjectivity/. It's really not that bad, especially given that users need to update their clients once in a while anyway, oh and by the way even if the weak subjectivity assumption is broken an attacker still needs to gather up that pile of old keys making up 51% of the stake. And also to defend against that there's Universal Hash Time.
16/ Keep in mind that Proof of Stake (PoS) is not a new concept at all. Proof-of-Work actually was one of the big innovations that made Bitcoin possible, after PoS was deemed impractical because of censorship vulnerability.
@TuurDemeester TIL Proof-of-stake based private currency designs date at least back to 1998. https://medium.com/swlh/the-untold-history-of-bitcoin-enter-the-cypherpunks-f764dee962a1
Oh I definitely agree that proof of work was superior for bootstrap, and I liked it back then especially because it actually managed to be reasonably egalitarian around 2009-2012 before ASICs fully took over. But at the present time it doesn't really have that nice attribute.
17/ Over the years, this has become a pattern in Ethereum’s culture: recycling old ideas while not properly referring to past research and having poor peer review standards. This is not how science progresses.Tuur Demeester added,
[email protected] has been repeatedly accused of /criticised for not crediting prior art. Once again with plasma: https://twitter.com/DamelonBCWS/status/895643582278782976
I try to credit people whenever I can; half my blog and ethresear.ch posts have a "special thanks" section right at the top. Sometimes we end up re-inventing stuff, and sometimes we end up hearing about stuff, forgetting it, and later re-inventing it; that's life as an autodidact. And if you feel you've been unfairly not credited for something, always feel free to comment, people have done this and I've edited.
18/ One of my big concerns is that sophistry and marketing hype is a serious part of Ethereum’s success so far, and that overly inflated expectations have lead to an inflated market cap.
Ok, go on.
19/ Let’s illustrate with an example.
...
20/ A few days ago, I shared a critical tweet that made the argument that Ethereum’s value proposition is in essence utopian.
@TuurDemeester Ethereum-ism sounds a bit like Marxism to me:
  • What works today (PoW) is 'just a phase', the ideal & unproven future is to come: Proof-of-Stake.…
...
21/ I was very serious about my criticism. In fact, each one of the three points addressed what Vitalik Buterin has described as “unique value propositions of Ethereum proper”. https://www.reddit.com/ethereum/comments/5jk3he/how_to_prevent_the_cannibalism_of_ethereum_into/dbgujr8/
...
22/ My first point, about Ethereum developers rejecting Proof-of-Work, has been illustrated many times over By Vitalik and others. (See earlier in this tweetstorm for more about how PoS is unproven.)
Vitalik Non-giver of Ether @VitalikButerin: I don't believe in proof of work!
See above for links as to why I think proof of stake is great.
23/ My second point addresses Ethereum’s romance with the vague and dangerous notion of ‘social consensus’, where disruptive hard-forks are used to ‘upgrade’ or ‘optimize’ the system, which inevitably leads to increased centralization. More here:
See my rebuttal to Tuur's rebuttal :)
24/ My third point addresses PoS’ promise of perpetual income to ETHizens. Vitalik is no stranger to embracing free lunch ideas, e.g. during his 2014 ETH announcement speech, where he described a coin with a 20% inflation tax as having “no cost” to users.
Yeah, I haven't really emphasized perpetual income to stakers as a selling point in years. I actually favor rewards being as low as possible while still being high enough for security.
25/ In his response to my tweet, Vitalik adopted my format to “play the same game” in criticizing Bitcoin. My criticisms weren't addressed, and his response was riddled with errors. Yet his followers gave it +1,000 upvotes!
Vitalik Non-giver of Ether @VitalikButerin: - What works today (L1) is just a phase, ideal and unproven future (usable L2) is to come - Utopian concept of progress: we're already so confident we're finished we ain't needin no hard forks…
Ok, let's hear about what the errors are...
26/ Rebuttal: - BTC layer 1 is not “just a phase”, it always will be its definitive bedrock for transaction settlement. - Soft forking digital protocols has been the norm for over 3 decades—hard-forks are the deviation! - Satoshi never suggested hyperbitcoinization as a goal.
Sure, but (i) the use of layer 1 for consumer payments is definitely, in bitcoin ideology, "just a phase", (ii) I don't think you can make analogies between consensus protocols and other kinds of protocols, and between soft forking consensus protocols and protocol changes in other protocols, that easily, (iii) plenty of people do believe that hyperbitcoinization as a goal. Oh by the way: https://twitter.com/tuurdemeestestatus/545993119599460353
27/ This kind of sophistry is exhausting and completely counter-productive, but it can be very convincing for an uninformed retail public.
Ok, go on.
28/ Let me share a few more inconvenient truths.
...
29/ In order to “guarantee” the transition to PoS’ utopia of perpetual income (staking coins earns interest), a “difficulty bomb” was embedded in the protocol, which supposedly would force miners to accept the transition.
The intended goal of the difficulty bomb was to prevent the protocol from ossifying, by ensuring that it has to hard fork eventually to reset the difficulty bomb, at which point the status quo bias in favor of not changing other protocol rules at the same time would be weaker. Though forcing a switch to PoS was definitely a key goal.
30/ Of course, nothing came of this, because anything in the ETH protocol can be hard-forked away. Another broken promise.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Looks like another Ethereum hard-fork is going to remove the "Ice Age" (difficulty increase meant to incentivize transition to PoS). https://www.cryptocompare.com/coins/guides/what-is-the-ethereum-ice-age/
How is that a broken promise? There was no social contract to only replace the difficulty-bombed protocol with a PoS chain.
31/ Another idea that was marketed heavily early on, was that with ETH you could program smart contract as easily as javascript applications.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: I forgot, but in 2014 Ethereum was quite literally described as "Javascript-on-the-blockchain"
Agree that was over-optimistic, though the part of the metaphor that's problematic is the "be done with complex apps in a couple hours" part, NOT the "general-purpose languages are great" part.
32/ This was criticized by P2P & OS developers as a reckless notion, given that every smart contracts is actually a “de novo cryptographic protocol”. In other words, it’s playing with fire. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1427885.msg14601127#msg14601127
See above
33/ The modular approach to Bitcoin seems to be much better at compartmentalizing risk, and thus reducing attack surfaces. I’ve written about modular scaling here...
To be fair, risk is reduced because Bitcoin does less.
34/ Another huge issue that Ethereum has is with scaling. By putting “everything on the blockchain” (which stores everything forever) and dubbing it “the world computer”, you are going to end up with a very slow and clogged up system.
Christopher Allen @ChristopherA: AWS cost: $0.000000066 for calc, Ethereum: $26.55. This is about 400 million times as expensive. World computer? https://hackernoon.com/ether-purchase-power-df40a38c5a2f
We never advocated "putting everything on the blockchain". The phrase "world computer" was never meant to be interpreted as "everyone's personal desktop", but rather as a common platform specifically for the parts of applications that require consensus on shared state. As evidence of this, notice how Whisper and Swarm were part of the vision as complements to Ethereum right from the start.
35/ By now the Ethereum bloat is so bad that cheaply running an individual node is practically impossible for a lay person. ETH developers are also imploring people to not deploy more smart contract apps on its blockchain.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: But... deploying d-apps on the "Ethereum Virtual Machine" is exactly what everyone was encouraged to do for the past 4 years. Looks like on-chain scaling wasn't such a great idea after all.
Umm.... I just spun up a node from scratch last week. On a consumer laptop.
36/ As a result, and despite the claims that running a node in “warp” mode is easy and as good as a full node, Ethereum is becoming increasingly centralized.
@TuurDemeester Finally a media article touching on the elephant in the room: Ethereum has become highly centralized. #infura https://www.coindesk.com/the-race-is-on-to-replace-ethereums-most-centralized-layeamp?__twitter_impression=true
See above
37/ Another hollow claim: in 2016, Ethereum was promoted as being censorship resistant…
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Pre TheDAO #Ethereum presentation: "uncensorable, code is law, bottom up". http://ow.ly/qW49302Pp92
Yes, the DAO fork did violate the notion of absolute immutability. However, the "forking the DAO will lead to doom and gloom" crowd was very wrong in one key way: it did NOT work as a precedent justifying all sorts of further state interventions. The community clearly drew a line in the sand by firmly rejecting EIP 867, and EIP 999 seems to now also be going nowhere. So it seems like there's some evidence that the social contract of "moderately but not infinitely strong immutability" actually can be stable.
38/ Yet later that year, after only 6% of ETH holders had cast a vote, ETH core devs decided to endorse a hard-fork that clawed back the funds from a smart contract that held 4.5% of all ETH in circulation. More here: ...
See above
39/ Other potential signs of centralization: Vitalik Buterin signing a deal with a Russian government institution, and ETH core developers experimenting with semi-closed meetings: https://twitter.com/coindesk/status/902892844955860993 …,
Hudson Jameson @hudsonjameson: The "semi-closed" Ethereum 1.x meeting from last Friday was an experiment. The All Core Dev meeting this Friday will be recorded as usual.
Suppose I were to tomorrow sign up to work directly for Kim Jong Un. What concretely would happen to the Ethereum protocol? I suspect very little; I am mostly involved in the Serenity work, and the other researchers have proven very capable of both pushing the spec forward even without me and catching any mistakes with my work. So I don't think any argument involving me applies. And we ended up deciding not to do more semi-closed meetings.
40/ Another red flag to me is the apparent lack of relevant expertise in the ETH development community. (Check the responses…)
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Often heard: "but Ethereum also has world class engineers working on the protocol". Please name names and relevant pedigree so I can follow and learn. https://twitter.com/TuurDemeestestatus/963029019447955461
I personally am confident in the talents of our core researchers, and our community of academic partners. Most recently the latter group includes people from Starkware, Stanford CBR, IC3, and other groups.
41/ For a while, Microsoft veteran Lucius Meredith was mentioned as playing an important role in ETH scaling, but now he is likely distracted by the failure of his ETH scaling company RChain. https://blog.ethereum.org/2015/12/24/understanding-serenity-part-i-abstraction/
I have no idea who described Lucius Meredith's work as being important for the Serenity roadmap.... oh and by the way, RChain is NOT an "Ethereum scaling company"
42/ Perhaps the recently added Gandalf of Ethereum, with his “Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians” [sic] can save the day, but imo that seems unlikely...
Honestly, I don't see why Ethereum Gandalf needs to save the day, because I don't see what is in danger and needs to be saved...
43/ This is becoming a long tweetstorm, so let’s wrap up with a few closing comments.
Yay!
44/ Do I have a conflict of interest? ETH is a publicly available asset with no real barriers to entry, so I could easily get a stake. Also, having met Vitalik & other ETH founders several times in 2013-’14, it would have been doable for me to become part of the in-crowd.
Agree there. And BTW I generally think financial conflicts of interest are somewhat overrated; social conflicts/tribal biases are the bigger problem much of the time. Though those two kinds of misalignments do frequently overlap and reinforce each other so they're difficult to fully disentangle.
45/ Actually, I was initially excited about Ethereum’s smart contract work - this was before one of its many pivots.
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: Ethereum is probably the first programming language I will teach myself - who wouldn't want the ability to program smart BTC contracts?
Ethereum was never about "smart BTC contracts"..... even "Ethereum as a Mastercoin-style meta-protocol" was intended to be built on top of Primecoin.
46/ Also, I have done my share of soul searching about whether I could be suffering from survivor’s bias.
@TuurDemeester I just published “I’m not worried about Bitcoin Unlimited, but I am losing sleep over Ethereum” https://medium.com/p/im-not-worried-about-bitcoin-unlimited-but-i-am-losing-sleep-over-ethereum-b5251c54e66d
Ok, good.
47/ Here’s why Ethereum is dubious to me: rather than creating an open source project & testnet to work on these interesting computer science problems, its founders instead did a securities offering, involving many thousands of clueless retail investors.
What do you mean "instead of"? We did create an open source project and testnet! Whether or not ETH is a security is a legal question; seems like SEC people agree it's not: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/14/bitcoin-and-ethereum-are-not-securities-but-some-cryptocurrencies-may-be-sec-official-says.html
48/ Investing in the Ethereum ICO was akin to buying shares in a startup that had “invent time travel” as part of its business plan. Imo it was a reckless security offering, and it set the tone for the terrible capital misallocation of the 2017 ICO boom.
Nothing in the ethereum roadmap requires time-travel-like technical advancements or anything remotely close to that. Proof: we basically have all the fundamental technical advancements we need at this point.
49/ In my view, Ethereum is the Yahoo of our day - an unscalable “blue chip” cryptocurrency:
Tuur Demeester @TuurDemeester: 1/ The DotCom bubble shows that the market isn't very good at valuing early stage technology. I'll use Google vs. Yahoo to illustrate.
Got it.
50/ I’ll close with a few words from Gregory Maxwell from 2016,: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1427885.msg14601127#msg14601127
See my rebuttal to Greg from 2 years ago: https://www.reddit.com/ethereum/comments/4g1bh6/greg_maxwells_critique_of_ethereum_blockchains/
submitted by shouldbdan to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Greg Maxwell /u/nullc (CTO of Blockstream) has sent me two private messages in response to my other post today (where I said "Chinese miners can only win big by following the market - not by following Core/Blockstream."). In response to his private messages, I am publicly posting my reply, here:

Note:
Greg Maxell nullc sent me 2 short private messages criticizing me today. For whatever reason, he seems to prefer messaging me privately these days, rather than responding publicly on these forums.
Without asking him for permission to publish his private messages, I do think it should be fine for me to respond to them publicly here - only quoting 3 phrases from them, namely: "340GB", "paid off", and "integrity" LOL.
There was nothing particularly new or revealing in his messages - just more of the same stuff we've all heard before. I have no idea why he prefers responding to me privately these days.
Everything below is written by me - I haven't tried to upload his 2 PMs to me, since he didn't give permission (and I didn't ask). The only stuff below from his 2 PMs is the 3 phrases already mentioned: "340GB", "paid off", and "integrity". The rest of this long wall of text is just my "open letter to Greg."
TL;DR: The code that maximally uses the available hardware and infrastructure will win - and there is nothing Core/Blockstream can do to stop that. Also, things like the Berlin Wall or the Soviet Union lasted for a lot longer than people expected - but, conversely, the also got swept away a lot faster than anyone expected. The "vote" for bigger blocks is an ongoing referendum - and Classic is running on 20-25% of the network (and can and will jump up to the needed 75% very fast, when investors demand it due to the inevitable "congestion crisis") - which must be a massive worry for Greg/Adam/Austin and their backers from the Bilderberg Group. The debate will inevitably be decided in favor of bigger blocks - simply because the market demands it, and the hardware / infrastructure supports it.
Hello Greg Maxwell nullc (CTO of Blockstream) -
Thank you for your private messages in response to my post.
I respect (most of) your work on Bitcoin, but I think you were wrong on several major points in your messages, and in your overall economic approach to Bitcoin - as I explain in greater detail below:
Correcting some inappropriate terminology you used
As everybody knows, Classic or Unlimited or Adaptive (all of which I did mention specifically in my post) do not support "340GB" blocks (which I did not mention in my post).
It is therefore a straw-man for you to claim that big-block supporters want "340GB" blocks. Craig Wright may want that - but nobody else supports his crazy posturing and ridiculous ideas.
You should know that what actual users / investors (and Satoshi) actually do want, is to let the market and the infrastructure decide on the size of actual blocks - which could be around 2 MB, or 4 MB, etc. - gradually growing in accordance with market needs and infrastructure capabilities (free from any arbitrary, artificial central planning and obstructionism on the part of Core/Blockstream, and its investors - many of whom have a vested interest in maintaining the current debt-backed fiat system).
You yourself (nullc) once said somewhere that bigger blocks would probably be fine - ie, they would not pose a decentralization risk. (I can't find the link now - maybe I'll have time to look for it later.) I found the link:
https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/43mond/even_a_year_ago_i_said_i_though_we_could_probably/
I am also surprised that you now seem to be among those making unfounded insinuations that posters such as myself must somehow be "paid off" - as if intelligent observers and participants could not decide on their own, based on the empirical evidence, that bigger blocks are needed, when the network is obviously becoming congested and additional infrastructure is obviously available.
Random posters on Reddit might say and believe such conspiratorial nonsense - but I had always thought that you, given your intellectual abilities, would have been able to determine that people like me are able to arrive at supporting bigger blocks quite entirely on our own, based on two simple empirical facts, ie:
  • the infrastructure supports bigger blocks now;
  • the market needs bigger blocks now.
In the present case, I will simply assume that you might be having a bad day, for you to erroneously and groundlessly insinuate that I must be "paid off" in order to support bigger blocks.
Using Occam's Razor
The much simpler explanation is that bigger-block supporters believe will get "paid off" from bigger gains for their investment in Bitcoin.
Rational investors and users understand that bigger blocks are necessary, based on the apparent correlation (not necessarily causation!) between volume and price (as mentioned in my other post, and backed up with graphs).
And rational network capacity planners (a group which you should be in - but for some mysterious reason, you're not) also understand that bigger blocks are necessary, and quite feasible (and do not pose any undue "centralization risk".)
As I have been on the record for months publicly stating, I understand that bigger blocks are necessary based on the following two objective, rational reasons:
  • because I've seen the graphs; and
  • because I've seen the empirical research in the field (from guys like Gavin and Toomim) showing that the network infrastructure (primarily bandwidth and latency - but also RAM and CPU) would also support bigger blocks now (I believe they showed that 3-4MB blocks would definitely work fine on the network now - possibly even 8 MB - without causing undue centralization).
Bigger-block supporters are being objective; smaller-block supporters are not
I am surprised that you no longer talk about this debate in those kind of objective terms:
  • bandwidth, latency (including Great Firewall of China), RAM, CPU;
  • centralization risk
Those are really the only considerations which we should be discussing in this debate - because those are the only rational considerations which might justify the argument for keeping 1 MB.
And yet you, and Adam Back adam3us, and your company Blockstream (financed by the Bilderberg Group, which has significant overlap with central banks and the legacy, debt-based, violence-backed fiat money system that has been running and slowing destroying our world) never make such objective, technical arguments anymore.
And when you make unfounded conspiratorial, insulting insinuations saying people who disagree with you on the facts must somehow be "paid off", then you are now talking like some "nobody" on Reddit - making wild baseless accusations that people must be "paid off" to support bigger blocks, something I had always thought was "beneath" you.
Instead, Occams's Razor suggests that people who support bigger blocks are merely doing so out of:
  • simple, rational investment policy; and
  • simple, rational capacity planning.
At this point, the burden is on guys like you (nullc) to explain why you support a so-called scaling "roadmap" which is not aligned with:
  • simple, rational investment policy; and
  • simple, rational capacity planning
The burden is also on guys like you to show that you do not have a conflict of interest, due to Blockstream's highly-publicized connections (via insurance giant AXA - whose CED is also the Chairman of the Bilderberg Group; and companies such as the "Big 4" accounting firm PwC) to the global cartel of debt-based central banks with their infinite money-printing.
In a nutshell, the argument of big-block supporters is simple:
If the hardware / network infrastructure supports bigger blocks (and it does), and if the market demands it (and it does), then we certainly should use bigger blocks - now.
You have never provided a counter-argument to this simple, rational proposition - for the past few years.
If you have actual numbers or evidence or facts or even legitimate concerns (regarding "centralization risk" - presumably your only argument) then you should show such evidence.
But you never have. So we can only assume either incompetence or malfeasance on your part.
As I have also publicly and privately stated to you many times, with the utmost of sincerity: We do of course appreciate the wealth of stellar coding skills which you bring to Bitcoin's cryptographic and networking aspects.
But we do not appreciate the obstructionism and centralization which you also bring to Bitcoin's economic and scaling aspects.
Bitcoin is bigger than you.
The simple reality is this: If you can't / won't let Bitcoin grow naturally, then the market is going to eventually route around you, and billions (eventually trillions) of investor capital and user payments will naturally flow elsewhere.
So: You can either be the guy who wrote the software to provide simple and safe Bitcoin scaling (while maintaining "reasonable" decentralization) - or the guy who didn't.
The choice is yours.
The market, and history, don't really care about:
  • which "side" you (nullc) might be on, or
  • whether you yourself might have been "paid off" (or under a non-disclosure agreement written perhaps by some investors associated the Bilderberg Group and the legacy debt-based fiat money system which they support), or
  • whether or not you might be clueless about economics.
Crypto and/or Bitcoin will move on - with or without you and your obstructionism.
Bigger-block supporters, including myself, are impartial
By the way, my two recent posts this past week on the Craig Wright extravaganza...
...should have given you some indication that I am being impartial and objective, and I do have "integrity" (and I am not "paid off" by anybody, as you so insultingly insinuated).
In other words, much like the market and investors, I don't care who provides bigger blocks - whether it would be Core/Blockstream, or Bitcoin Classic, or (the perhaps confusingly-named) "Bitcoin Unlimited" (which isn't necessarily about some kind of "unlimited" blocksize, but rather simply about liberating users and miners from being "limited" by controls imposed by any centralized group of developers, such as Core/Blockstream and the Bilderbergers who fund you).
So, it should be clear by now I don't care one way or the other about Gavin personally - or about you, or about any other coders.
I care about code, and arguments - regardless of who is providing such things - eg:
  • When Gavin didn't demand crypto proof from Craig, and you said you would have: I publicly criticized Gavin - and I supported you.
  • When you continue to impose needless obstactles to bigger blocks, then I continue to criticize you.
In other words, as we all know, it's not about the people.
It's about the code - and what the market wants, and what the infrastructure will bear.
You of all people should know that that's how these things should be decided.
Fortunately, we can take what we need, and throw away the rest.
Your crypto/networking expertise is appreciated; your dictating of economic parameters is not.
As I have also repeatedly stated in the past, I pretty much support everything coming from you, nullc:
  • your crypto and networking and game-theoretical expertise,
  • your extremely important work on Confidential Transactions / homomorphic encryption.
  • your desire to keep Bitcoin decentralized.
And I (and the network, and the market/investors) will always thank you profusely and quite sincerely for these massive contributions which you make.
But open-source code is (fortunately) à la carte. It's mix-and-match. We can use your crypto and networking code (which is great) - and we can reject your cripple-code (artificially small 1 MB blocks), throwing it where it belongs: in the garbage heap of history.
So I hope you see that I am being rational and objective about what I support (the code) - and that I am also always neutral and impartial regarding who may (or may not) provide it.
And by the way: Bitcoin is actually not as complicated as certain people make it out to be.
This is another point which might be lost on certain people, including:
And that point is this:
The crypto code behind Bitcoin actually is very simple.
And the networking code behind Bitcoin is actually also fairly simple as well.
Right now you may be feeling rather important and special, because you're part of the first wave of development of cryptocurrencies.
But if the cryptocurrency which you're coding (Core/Blockstream's version of Bitcoin, as funded by the Bilderberg Group) fails to deliver what investors want, then investors will dump you so fast your head will spin.
Investors care about money, not code.
So bigger blocks will eventually, inevitably come - simply because the market demand is there, and the infrastructure capacity is there.
It might be nice if bigger blocks would come from Core/Blockstream.
But who knows - it might actually be nicer (in terms of anti-fragility and decentralization of development) if bigger blocks were to come from someone other than Core/Blockstream.
So I'm really not begging you - I'm warning you, for your own benefit (your reputation and place in history), that:
Either way, we are going to get bigger blocks.
Simply because the market wants them, and the hardware / infrastructre can provide them.
And there is nothing you can do to stop us.
So the market will inevitably adopt bigger blocks either with or without you guys - given that the crypto and networking tech behind Bitcoin is not all that complex, and it's open-source, and there is massive pent-up investor demand for cryptocurrency - to the tune of multiple billions (or eventually trillions) of dollars.
It ain't over till the fat lady sings.
Regarding the "success" which certain small-block supports are (prematurely) gloating about, during this time when a hard-fork has not happened yet: they should bear in mind that the market has only begun to speak.
And the first thing it did when it spoke was to dump about 20-25% of Core/Blockstream nodes in a matter of weeks. (And the next thing it did was Gemini added Ethereum trading.)
So a sizable percentage of nodes are already using Classic. Despite desperate, irrelevant attempts of certain posters on these forums to "spin" the current situation as a "win" for Core - it is actually a major "fail" for Core.
Because if Core/Blocksteam were not "blocking" Bitcoin's natural, organic growth with that crappy little line of temporary anti-spam kludge-code which you and your minions have refused to delete despite Satoshi explicitly telling you to back in 2010 ("MAX_BLOCKSIZE = 1000000"), then there would be something close to 0% nodes running Classic - not 25% (and many more addable at the drop of a hat).
This vote is ongoing.
This "voting" is not like a normal vote in a national election, which is over in one day.
Unfortunately for Core/Blockstream, the "voting" for Classic and against Core is actually two-year-long referendum.
It is still ongoing, and it can rapidly swing in favor of Classic at any time between now and Classic's install-by date (around January 1, 2018 I believe) - at any point when the market decides that it needs and wants bigger blocks (ie, due to a congestion crisis).
You know this, Adam Back knows this, Austin Hill knows this, and some of your brainwashed supporters on censored forums probably know this too.
This is probably the main reason why you're all so freaked out and feel the need to even respond to us unwashed bigger-block supporters, instead of simply ignoring us.
This is probably the main reason why Adam Back feels the need to keep flying around the world, holding meetings with miners, making PowerPoint presentations in English and Chinese, and possibly also making secret deals behind the scenes.
This is also why Theymos feels the need to censor.
And this is perhaps also why your brainwashed supporters from censored forums feel the need to constantly make their juvenile, content-free, drive-by comments (and perhaps also why you evidently feel the need to privately message me your own comments now).
Because, once again, for the umpteenth time in years, you've seen that we are not going away.
Every day you get another worrisome, painful reminder from us that Classic is still running on 25% of "your" network.
And everyday get another worrisome, painful reminder that Classic could easily jump to 75% in a matter of days - as soon as investors see their $7 billion wealth starting to evaporate when the network goes into a congestion crisis due to your obstructionism and insistence on artificially small 1 MB blocks.
If your code were good enough to stand on its own, then all of Core's globetrotting and campaigning and censorship would be necessary.
But you know, and everyone else knows, that your cripple-code does not include simple and safe scaling - and the competing code (Classic, Unlimited) does.
So your code cannot stand on its own - and that's why you and your supporters feel that it's necessary to keep up the censorship and and the lies and the snark. It's shameful that a smart coder like you would be involved with such tactics.
Oppressive regimes always last longer than everyone expects - but they also also collapse faster than anyone expects.
We already have interesting historical precedents showing how grassroots resistance to centralized oppression and obstructionism tends to work out in the end. The phenomenon is two-fold:
  • The oppression usually drags on much longer than anyone expects; and
  • The liberation usually happens quite abruptly - much