Harvard researcher: bitcoin is a highly centralized network

Harvard researcher: bitcoin is a highly centralized network

PrimaveraDeFilippi is a hacker, but also the blockchain researcher at the Harvard University. He and T L comParisTech is associate professor and Research Associate CERSA BenjaminLoveluck in a new article pointed out that in the few technology has evolved into a highly centralized network control bitcoin.


After providing a brief introduction, the researchers analyzed the bitcoin management in the first paper, and pointed out that “Nakamoto So and the early bitcoin developer to create a decentralized payment system is self-sufficient and independent.” However, they point out, they perhaps naively, that it is possible to create a new technology infrastructure, will be able to carry out self – management through its own protocol and the rules do not require any third party intervention to sustain itself. However, although the whole system is a mathematical elegance, once in a particular socio-economic background into the system, it will usually be in unforeseen ways of evolution, and may become a victim of power relations unexpectedly.


After the analysis of the open source ecosystem, the researchers pointed out that the open source project is divided into two types of management: “democracy and spontaneous” or “tyranny and mechanization”. As the name implies, the former is a “elite management system”. On the contrary, the latter has no formal management structure, just hidden projects usually rely on the benevolent dictator”. The researchers said, “bitcoin definitely belong to the second class.”


For further elaboration, the article puts forward:


The [T] can provide input to the project (the community) and those who can finally call the project progress there is a difference in people. In fact, although no one has the right to submit changes to the software (such as bug fixes, incremental improvement), but only a few people (the core developers) have the right to decide what changes should be merged into the main branch of the software.


More precisely, in bitcoin eventually make can make such decisions only one person, namely the maintenance, now WladimirvanderLaan has been described as “from Holland programmers”, because there is no about his previous experience or the details of why he signs that qualify for this position. In any case, he said in a statement on May 6, 2015, he will be unable to cope with the block growth in the near future, this may well determine the outcome of the debate.


Bitcoin management


The researchers believe that bitcoin does have some formal, for “the formation of consensus between the bitcoin Core developers, but they insisted that” on whether to implement changes ultimately depend on the Core developers to offer public support of the assessment, and seek consensus on these proposals.


In addition to Core developers, other people’s rights, including the rights of miners, is only limited to refuse to run the software, running to “veto”, and for any software conflict management, including the “risk” deadlock and split, these people are incapable of action, as if these problems do not exist. “The recent crisis” reveals the limitations of consensus between due to political differences and the commercial interests of the individual form, and emphasizes the overall goals of the project (go to the center of a virtual currency and payment system of self regulation) and the differences between the technocratic elite in charge of the project and over the center of the.


The article thinks, the bitcoin community mistakenly believe that technology can make the management of government agencies and the central organization becomes unnecessary, because “people can not only through technology to get rid of politics, because technology management itself is a broad dynamic power.”


The most powerful passages of the article believes that there is a conflict between bitcoin liberalism and the height of the center of the will and non democratic management structure:


“Implied bitcoin management structure in view, bitcoin Core developer (along with a handful of technical experts) with its technical expertise, it is possible to put forward specific improvement on technical characteristics in the bitcoin system in the correct decision. The management method of “technocrats” is a problem, because it violates the original concept of bitcoin project. Therefore, the free will of bitcoin as a not by any third-party regulatory agencies to infrastructure center, there is a significant difference between it and the actual management structure, this structure determines the development of technology – bitcoin although its open-source nature is highly centralized and non democratic. Although many people admire or at least admit the former political level (a), but the latter has long been ignored: public decision technology decision taken by bitcoin developer is not political, so never like this debate.”


Although in the early stage of bitcoin and anarcho-capitalism closely related, subreddit has grown from its sidebar were deleted from the list of r/bitcoin, the reason is the highest referee r/bitcoin Marquardt, some of the decisions and actions made in violation of the ban on the capcap review and delete the general principle of force. Marquardt thinks he has subreddit, so he can make any decisions that will make you feel free, but he had no legal ownership of r/bitcoin, also can say that his self control means of ownership, rather than a power will use for all -subreddit revenue contributors to the trust relationship. Therefore, there seems to be a contradiction between the governance structure and the principles of liberalism bitcoin and the current height of the center of the.


Bitcoin whether there should be standardized management?


This paper points out that at the end, “we all think only bitcoin project governance by publicly acknowledged its political dimension, and the abolition of the bitcoin project to adapt to the technical and political power structure and the system function within the framework of technocrats.”


This seems to refer to, five Core developers, to maintain the relationship between the rest and the ecosystem should be formal, in order to make their way in, rather than to maintain the current opaque and arbitrary grant and delete these rights, when GavinAndresen Git submitted right has been removed, but without any public discussion, these rights can be said to have been abused.


Learn from the experience of bitcoin, Ethernet square has established a Foundation funded by the ICO sale, and tend to make decisions in a democratic way, and the Zec foundation by the 10% Mining Fund, will form economic interests of developers and the wider community of interests together, by reducing the price, thus the public opinion allowed developers to reduce income directly affect the decision.


The lack of this form of bitcoin between the economic interests of developers and the wider ecosystem linked to a great extent. Early attempts to create a broader ecological system funded by the bitcoin foundation, PeterTodd and others have conducted a year long malicious marketing to the foundation, they often loudly claim that this is the center of power. However, he did not apply the same speech based on Blockstream, which is a commercial profit for the purpose of the company, employing 12 or more bitcoin developer, but unlike the Ethereum or Zec foundation, even bitcoin foundation without any formal or accepted structure from the form will be the interests of developers and more wide ecological system linked to the interests of.


Whether the developers have a fiduciary obligation?


Although anyone can on the digital currency bifurcation, but introduce new features in the digital currency, especially when there is a dispute or some part of the cost / effect of other parts of the interests of the protocol, digital currency decision of how it should be, this is a project of AngelaWalch an associate professor at the Saint Mary’s University Law School under study. He believes that developers are people endowed with trust, so they burden on users and participants digital currency ecosystem accountability, a lawyer AndrewHinkes BergerSingerman shared his views, he said that during the OnChainScaling conference he believes that no public blockchain developers should or should not take their responsibilities, they actually “” have this obligation.


I pointed out in an editorial, forced to bitcoin developers to add such a responsibility now is not the time, democratic management like ETH and Zec do digital currency. But bitcoin has shown the status of monetary management highly decentralized, developers can do any changes, while the miners only vote yes vote, any other objections are very weak, because people hold tokens and no legal right to vote. (Note: this paragraph text more difficult to understand, I can not guarantee that translation is very accurate, is to retain the original: Iarguedinaneditorialthattheimpositionofsuchdutyisfartooearlyasitpertainsdemocraticallygoverneddigital

CurrenciessuchasEthand, perhaps, Zec, butforhighlycentralizedcurrenciesgovernedinanarbitrarymethodand,

Apparently, through “agreements” withminers, anycounterargumenttoWalchisnecessarilyweakerasonecan

Notraisethelegitimizationofanydecisionthroughtokenholdersvoting.)


However, in fact and the main effect is not very clear, because digital currency management only recently became the focus of speech. In a further communication, the article is very timely, if the conclusion further academic support, may tend to debate how to run the management system, rather than whether it should establish a system.

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