Reinventing the Fed: Why Jeff Garzik, Vitalik Buterin Are Against Soft Forks

By September 12, 2016Bitcoin Business

Bitcoin Core developer and Bloq co-founder Jeff Garzik expresses his opposition on soft forks and its mechanism in which a few group of developers are granted the authority to decide major economic changes which are applied and implemented into the Bitcoin network. To begin with, soft forks are forward compatible in the sense that old nodes will recognize new blocks as valid. A soft fork requires only a majority of the miners to upgrade to the network rules or face security reduction. Centralization The centralization issue emerges during the process of submitting and implementing a soft fork into the network. When a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal is presented to the few Bitcoin Core developers led by BIP editor Greg Maxwell, the developers decide on a majority consensus whether to accept the soft fork and to implement it into the Bitcoin network. Garzik heavily criticized the Segregated Witness proposal for the same reason in his Bitcoin Status Report presentation at the OnChain Scaling Conference on August 30, stating that SegWit is ruled by a tiny and a few technocratic elite. Garzik said : “Soft forks very specifically, from an average user point of view , cannot be considered opt-in because the entire network is locked into the new consensus rule, regardless or not.” He further emphasized that if soft forks tend to be controversial, it is extremely difficult to reverse and challenge. “Controversial soft forks are difficult to reverse or challenge. Each soft fork faces a security reduction if the node does not upgrade,” he added. Garzik believes that grating a few people in a network utilized by millions of users to create major economic changes sets a negative precedent for Bitcoin and its reliance on decentralization. Garzik stated : “The entire network has to follow decisions made by a tiny […]

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