Cynical miner power grabs are healthy for Bitcoin and should not be feared. Cryptoeconomics will always triumph.

Bitcoin 4Core

There are competing visions for Bitcoin.

I support the Core scaling roadmap. I believe in prioritising off chain scaling where possible but also for SegWit and hard forks to increase the block size as required to allow Bitcoin to grow exponentially.

Others believe the block size should be left to the miners. I think this could enable a path towards centralisation and fundamentally change Bitcoin’s value proposition.

Some miners are signalling for Bitcoin Unlimited – a hard fork to enable this. It is rumoured some would attack the other chain in the event of a fork to ensure there is no permanent split and their vision is realised.

Miners are within their rights to attack another chain. This is crypto economics in action, if you don’t like it then cryptocurrency by its nature is not for you.

If miners attempt this power grab they are taking a huge risk and we are within our rights to plan for how we could mitigate it and punish them. There may be a permanent fork, but as long as one becomes economically dominant this isn’t a problem. When the battle is over the loser will be just another altcoin.

I’m skeptical this power grab will come to fruition but if it does I believe the best approach would be increasing the proof of work methods from 1 to 4.

Ideally a ‘Quad Core’ fork could trigger when 75% of miners are signalling for an implementation like BU. This would allow the remaining 25% to bring their hashpower to the new chain and abandon the other one. The opportunity should also be taken to activate SegWit and introduce a block size capacity increase.

The addition of Scrypt, Ethash, and Equihash methods of PoW would provide a mix of CPU and memory intensive implementations and improve diversity of hardware. Each having a target block difficulty of 40 minutes would retain 10 minute block intervals overall. This should reduce centralisation and these are proven PoW methods in use with other altcoins and so there would be a willing mining infrastructure already in place.

If successful this would prove bitcoin resistant to hostile miners.

I actually think this would be quite exciting. Each side of the fork would have a clear mandate for their scaling vision and the market would decide the winner. This is exactly how crypto economics works and should be celebrated rather than feared.

John Hardy
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John Hardy

Software developer living in Bristol, UK.
Bitcoin advocate since 2011.
Email [email protected]
John Hardy
Follow me

Author: John Hardy

Software developer living in Bristol, UK. Bitcoin advocate since 2011. Email [email protected]