On consensus changes in bitcoin 2024

On consensus changes in bitcoin 2024

Original Postby ariard

Posted on: February 14, 2024 02:56 UTC

The discussion begins by acknowledging the dual nature of having trusted leaders and chairs in managing consensus changes within projects.

While they can aid in streamlining the process, over time, they may also become vulnerable to coercion, posing a risk to the integrity of the project. A pertinent example provided to illustrate the potential future risks associated with this form of leadership is the environmental impact of Bitcoin, as highlighted by Greenpeace in their critique ([Greenpeace]( bitcoin climate change crisis clean up/)).

Further exploration into the topic of consensus change and its challenges references Jeremy Rubin's insights on avoiding coercion risks in decision-making processes. An attempt to address these concerns was made through the creation of the Bitcoin Contracting Primitives Working Group. However, the initiative struggled due to its ambitious scope and the original creator's lack of time to maintain it, prompting a call for others to continue the effort if interested. The working group's details and objectives can be found at its GitHub page (Bitcoin Contracting Primitives WG).

The conversation shifts towards differentiating between weak and strong technical consensus, using OP_EVAL as a case study to elaborate on the complexities involved in reaching agreement within the community. The reference to OP_EVAL points towards a historical proposal aimed at enhancing Bitcoin's scripting capabilities, which faced considerable debate before being ultimately rejected (OP_EVAL).

In concluding thoughts, the author suggests that allowing the natural progression of consensus changes outside of Core/BIPs (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals) might be beneficial. This approach has been evidenced by various initiatives and proposals within the community, albeit with mixed outcomes. Emphasis is placed on the importance of thorough review processes for proposals once they reach a mature stage, citing the 2019 taproot review sessions as an effective model. The document underscores the ongoing challenge of balancing innovation with the need for rigorous evaluation, given that the most capable reviewers often have their hands full maintaining existing systems.