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RE: Who likes hard forking?

in #steem5 years ago

This wording seems ambiguous to me:

As others have done, I have committed previously off-chain and further do so here on-chain that I won't support any hard forks (as either as witness or stakeholder) as long as the power down is stopped and that Steemit and the community work together to address the serious problems that exist in the Steem ecosystem. (my emphasis)

What is your stance on running a hard-fork that removes stakeholders' account access in the event that the power down is not stopped, or if (in your opinion) Steemit and the community don't "work together to address the serious problems that exist in the Steem ecosystem"?

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BTW, I want to comment on this wording becuase it is important

What is your stance on running a hard-fork that removes stakeholders' account access

The correct phrasing is "that removes stakeholders account access on that fork". One can not fully "remove" stakeholders access without rewriting the past chain, which no one has suggested whatsoever (even then, others might decide not to participate in the rewrite). One can only create a fork (think, as in, "fork in the road") going forward in which some, all, or none may participate. There is always a (potential, if anyone follows it) fork where the old rules continue to apply and any "removed ... access" has not been removed.

Please read the post by @aggroed. Forks are never a matter of "removing" or "theft", they are a mechanism on agreement of what sort of blockchain(s) in which you wish to participate going forward. Anyone pushing loaded terms like "theft" or "property rights" in a sort of global context without incorporating this "fork in the road" concept of how blockchains actually work either does not understand how they work or is using those loaded words to try to manipulate you.

Forking someone out of their legally acquired stake is nothing short of theft, and in the distributed ledger world it would be the equivalent of a Jonestown mass suicide on the part of those perpetrating the theft.

You witnesses need to get your shit together quick, let the loser go, and get on the stick. We need code upgrades that bring down the overhead making decentralization possible. Crying over spilt milk only makes things worse.

Get over it. You've got 3 months to put a replacement in place for Steemit's 2 million a year servers, and, if you don't, you've got nobody to blame on that one but yourselves!

You've got 3 months to put a replacement in place for Steemit's 2 million a year servers

There's numerous Steem forks already around, including the "official" Golos.
Golos is trading below $0.01 now and the whole project do have about $1 million market cap.
There's no way for them to be able to collect 2 million a year "for servers", and yet...

There's no way for them to be able to collect 2 million a year "for servers", and yet...

Good point!

You can not fork out something, only fork. The former is a misnomer that indicates either misunderstanding or a deliberate attempt to mislead.

When one creates a fork, it introduces two possible paths going forward for the blockchain. People can choose either, both, or neither of the paths to use going forward. If people take the path where certain premined stake is no longer recognized then that is their prerogative. If they choose not to, that their prerogative as well. Neither you nor I can dictate to others what to do.

You are looking at forks as being something like updating bank records in a database, where there is one single record and when an account is gone, it is really gone. That's not the case with blockchains. You can not make these kinds of destructive modifications without rewriting the past chain, which goes far beyond a mere fork (and even then, nothing prevents people who prefer it from continuing to use the original chain).

You are hiding behind semantics. If a majority decides to fork leaving any legitimate minority excluded, then the minority is screwed. The old chain is lost to history (except in a couple of very famous, high profile cases where the minority has spent millions trying to keep their "forks" alive). You know this all too well, so I will not condescend by implying you might not understand. What I will say, however, is that my impression is that you are indeed trying to mislead with your hiding behind Orwellian doublespeak. What is being contemplated is out-and-out theft, and the end result for those who were to carry it out would be STEEM suicide. Nobody in their right mind would want to be on either chain!

Edit: (before writing this I must warn that you could accuse me of being ignorant on this subject of GitHub ownership, please correct me if I'm wrong) There is another angle not mentioned as of yet, and that is GitHub access. In light of Steemit Inc.'s public declarations, I think the world would view a request by a select group of top witnesses (as determined by highest ownership and long term participation ratios, for example) for STEEM GitHub access/ownership as being very reasonable. I think the long and short of Steemit Inc. and Ned's public announcements is that they are basically opting out, and if they do nothing to assist other stakeholders to take over, I think the world would see that as a problem. Remember, any action taken must be justifiable to the world at large if survival is to have any chance at all. With GitHub access/control, the community could move forward, without it there is a major problem. If Ned were to refuse to hand over GitHub access to the community, then there would be justification for forking and leaving him out. The case would have to be clearly made, defended and continually disseminated, but it could be seen as acceptable justification for an exceptional one-off that would never happen again and that wouldn't be viewed as theft, IMO anyway.

If a majority decides to fork leaving any legitimate minority excluded, then the minority is screwed

You have no say over this, as much as you might like to. If people want to move to a different chain (including a chain which forked from a previous chain), with some differences in state but some commonalities, they can absolutely do so. There's nothing really to discuss here, regardless of what you or think. No mechanism is possible that can prevent it. If you think it is a bad idea, your only real option is to not use it.

The old chain is lost to history (except in a couple of very famous, high profile cases where the minority has spent millions trying to keep their "forks" alive).

In the case of proof-of-work chains, yes it is true that mining costs money. Whether this is any sort of deliberate "spending" of millions for a political agenda or just the usual case of miners chasing rewards is somewhat a matter of opinion but the latter certainly does happen (as when relative profitability of the chains shift and miners follow it). But in any case this does not apply to PoS chains which do not have mining cost. It is arguably a version of the famous nothing-at-stake problem that infinitely many forks can coexist with no added cost. The only thing that really determines which ones do is whether people find them attractive to use.

Nobody in their right mind would want to be on either chain!

People have repeatedy made these sorts of claims about various hard forks and chain splits in cryptocurrency history and always been wrong. It turns out that it is almost impossible to come up with anything (even the most incredibly stupid ideas, in my opinion, or probably yours), which "nobody" would want. Perhaps this simply means there are a great many people not in their right minds, but again what you or I think does not matter.

If Ned were to refuse to hand over GitHub access to the community, then there would be justification for forking and leaving him out

This has been requested repeatedly by witnesses and has been both explicitly and implicitly (by failing to take actions toward it) rejected. Apart from actual handing over, there has been repeated resistance to even allowing: a) third parties to perform some of the development work, to help develop a less centralized process and competence; b) including non-Steemit developers in planning, design, and roadmap processes; c) accepting work from non-Steemit developers which disagrees with the Steemit-determined roadmap. This included threats of using the Steemit stake to vote out witnesses in favor of it. So there we are. Draw your own conclusions I guess.

You're right to clarify that. Thank you.

However, I would add that the main branch that matters to most stakeholders here is the one that is tied to the STEEM symbol on the exchanges. There is also a difference between a hardfork in the historical sense of the term on the Steem blockchain, and a hardfork of the BTC/BCH, ABC/BSV, ETH/ETC types that leave two viable chains behind.

When I think of hardfork in the Steem context, my default mental model is one in which only one branch survives. In that context, I think terms like "property rights" are appropriate. It could be argued that they're also valid in the other sense, too, because the split is merely a dilution of the original chain. That's not as clear, though.

How do you suppose it would go if IBM tried to say, we're doing a 2 for 1 stock split for every shareholder except the California Pension Fund?

the main branch that matters to most stakeholders here is the one that is tied to the STEEM symbol on the exchanges

There is no "main branch" predetermined, nor is it predetermined which chain will inherit the name, until after the fact, when it is observed which branch most or all of the users/economy/community deem worthy of support (this includes exchanges as "users" who have the ability to decide which chain(s) to support and which name(s) to use, and they occasionally don't agree on this). During the previous forks which you mentioned (which of course after the fact all turn out to be chain splits), there were discussions about what would happen if "unexpected" chain ended up being dominant. Even Vitalik, who was on record in favor of the ETH (as opposed to ETC) fork, stated that if the community did not support the fork, he would accept that and the chain with unmodified rules (the path which is now called Ethereum Classic) would continue as "Ethereum".

There is also a difference between a hardfork in the historical sense of the term on the Steem blockchain, and a hardfork of the BTC/BCH, ABC/BSV, ETH/ETC types that leave two viable chains behind.

There is no difference that can be determined until after the fact. At least in the case of ETH/ETC, it was not widely expected to leave two chains behind and came as somewhat of a surprise when exchanges began listing ETC. In fact it started out much the same as an upgrade hardfork, but it didn't end up that way. The difference is determined by the emergent properties of voluntary individual (and the collectively community) choices.

When I think of hardfork in the Steem context, my default mental model is one in which only one branch survives

The only one your mental model matters to you is you. You can not impose your mental model on others. They are free to make different decisions than you, whether that results in one chain or two. If significant groups of people have a different idea of which rules are best, there will be two chains. If not there will be one. Nothing other than individual choices and free associations determines this.

How do you suppose it would go if IBM tried to say, we're doing a 2 for 1 stock split for every shareholder except the California Pension Fund?

Appealing to centralized entities and securities instruments which are not based on voluntary association and are in fact legal claims on real world assets (of which decentralized blockchains and cryptocurrencies are neither) is at a minimum a seriously flawed analogy. The only question is one of degree in how flawed. Stock splits are not forks, and you can not fork a building. The CPF has a legal claim on its proportionate share of the IBM assets. A blockchain has no assets and a cryptocurrency holder has no such claim to make against the blockchain itself (a nonsensical concept) nor against someone else who wants to run different code.

Appealing to centralized entities and securities instruments which are not based on voluntary association and are in fact legal claims on real world assets (of which decentralized blockchains and cryptocurrencies are neither) is at a minimum a seriously flawed analogy. The only question is one of degree in how flawed.

Agreed. Which is why my previous paragraph stated that it is less clear in the case of two viable branches. But DPOS is also different from other blockchains in the regard that stakeholders other than miners/witnesses have an on-chain voice in which fork gets selected. (unless the fork were to reset that mechanism too...) Flawed though it is, I think it's a useful analogy to consider when casting one's witness votes.

The complexity that you accurately highlight in the rest of your reply is the reason that I'm scrutinizing the witness statements so carefully. Risk and uncertainty abound in the cryptocurrency space, but I'd prefer not to vote for witnesses who (in my own estimation) are prone to increase those aspects of the ecosystem.

Which reminds me... Thank you to you and other witnesses for posting these statements. I should have said that in my first reply. And thank you for your additional dialog, too.

I am always going to do what I believe is best the blockchain and community at the time (after careful examination of the details, and due consideration of input from others).

If there is ever a credible proposal for any fork (including as I have done for the 21 Steemit-proposed forks), I will evaluate it as it comes. The @johan troll fork was not that. I am well aware that if such a fully fleshed out proposed fork were to appear, there would certainly be different (and strongly held) points of view and interests to consider and I would hear them out before making a decision.

I won't pre-commit to anything without seeing the details and evaluating the situation in light of the above criteria. The offer which you quoted was and is a willingness to take certain options categorically off the table for a limited time under certain conditions, with the goal being to work toward an outcome that is better for the blockchain and community. If those conditions are not satisfied, then all options are on the table for careful consideration (which does not necessarily mean the situation will even arise or if it did that I would decide a certain way), and again see above for my decision-making criteria.

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