Op-Ed: Bitcoin scaling is pushed by the minority who “play for real”
Chapter 0 Introduction
What is the determining force that affects the development of Bitcoin’s onchain scaling? Three groups, users,miners and developers, almost unanimously hope to onchain scaling, except as mall part of bitcoin core developers. Most obstacles to the hard fork have been eliminated bu the obstacle from the Core developers cannot be passed.
Why? I have always been confused about this.
I once read one article in Wan Weigang’s Elite Daily Class, which cited one article of Taleb—The Most Intolerant Wins:The Dictatorship of the Minority. This article analyzed one principle from the perspective of philosophers and clearly explained that people who push the history forward are never the “main-school scholars’ consensus” or “democratic selections”, but a small minority who extremely insist on “playing for real”.
After reading the articles of Wan Weigang and Taleb, I can’t help sighing and comprehended that the size of Bitcoin’s block has been locked by several people who insist on “playing for real” and insist on the 1M block.
Chapter I It is people who insist on “playing for real”that push the history forward
In his article,Taleb first mentioned the concept of “skin-in-the-game”, which means “one’s interests are in it”, namely one who has spent real money in it. When saying that you are “skin-in-the-game” in a certain field, it means you are “playing for real’.
What corresponds to it is “crowds who eat the melon” (the by-standers who watch the show is called the crowds who eat the melon).
“Melon-eating bystanders” is often used in online chat among Chinese.
Taleb used this concept to express his core principle: There are too many people that eat the melon and “playing for real” is a very rare quality. Therefore, the people who push the history forward are a handful of small minority that have the quality of “playing for real”.
Taleb described his logic and also gave some examples to prove his opinions. One similar case also appeared in China.
On the packages of most American drinks, there is a sign of Kosher Certification, which is similar to the “Halal Food” in China.
In China, many milk and food package boxes are labeled with the sign of “Halal Food”. However,the Han nationality occupy an absolutely large share in consumption and they don’t care about whether it is Halal Food or not. This is very strange. Why to label food with “Halal” only for a small part of people. Taleb said there was no plot inside it and the logic that caused such a situation was like this:
This small part of people only eat food certified by Judaism and absolutely eat nothing else.They are “playing for real”. ( A part of Hui people in our country also only eat food labeled with the sign of “Halal Food”).
This small part of people exist throughout the country and they are not only concentrated in one place.
Merchants simply put on labels according to their own methods and the costs are not high. Other people (the crowds that eat the melon) have no opinion about the this, because they are not “playing for real”. (For example, when Han people drink milk, we do not really care whether there is the sign of “Halal Food” on it).
Merchants do not care, neither do most consumers. However, only a small number of people that “play for real” care about it. Therefore, merchants do according to their requirements.
In this process,there is no plot or any violent threat: As long as this small number of people can insist on their own opinions, others have to obey them eventually.
Taleb propose a concept named “re-normalization group” to describe this phenomenon.
In fact, such a phenomenon is ubiquitous in our life. In my college years, for example, we studied in one new campus and were the first batch of students that have settled there. In the cafeteria, there was no Halal restaurant and a few Hui students then petitioned in the university’s office a few days after registrations. It turned out that the university actually set up one region as the Halal restaurant. However, its service subjects were really very limited. I thought less than 50 students were Hui people among the total 6,000 students. A large number of people with other eating habits all accepted this fact.
I used to work in one company, which has a subsidiary in Wuxi. The subsidiary’s main employees were people from Wuxi City and they mainly spoke in Wuxi dialect in the office. However, two employees were transferred from Beijing. In the end,the company made it a rule that dialects were not be allowed in the office. Most employees must cooperate these two colleagues from Beijing who speak mandarin.
Besides, public facilities all reserve exclusive ones for persons with disabilities.
Moreover, the network sensitive words exclusive in China were also caused by a small number of civil servants.
Taleb proved this logic in the political and religious fields, and he found out that it was just as what he had expected.
Chapter II Bitcoin block has been locked by small minority who insist on “playing for real” by far
There are three groups in the Bitcoin ecology: users, miners and developers. In fact, most people advocate onchain scaling. No matter how big it is, they insist on expand the 1M block. However,the developers of Bitcoin Core, namely several developers who have the voice right, insist on reserving this 1M limit. They are people “who play for real”. They insist on that “I wrote the codes, so I can refuse modifying them”.
How serious are these Bitcoin Core developers “playing for real”? The number of them is under 150, which meets the famous “Dunbar number”. They have stable financial support. They also have powerful organization and coordination ability and organize conferences regularly. They have an excellent promotion mechanism and regularly release public opinions to the community. They also have a powerful media control ability and have controlled the main media platform of the Bitcoin community. They even used the speech control means that only dictators use and seal dissidents’ opinions on a large scale. Their conversations with miners and users are also very tough.
Compared with these people “who play for real”, there are also people that start to develop themselves and setup XT, Classic and Unlimited. Compared with Bitcoin core developers, these development teams all appear to be scattered and their strength are all in an inferior status. They have no stable financial support. Besides, their promotion strength to the external world appear to be weaker. They have no special media platform, nor the ability of strongly responding to opposing voices.
Have miners “been serious”towards the theme of expansion in the past two years? Miners face huge submergence costs, while stabilizing and continuing the current situation meets short-term interests. However, long-term interests require people to implement the onchain scaling route. In the past two years, miners have been in the defense status and few dare to substantially input capital or calculation ability to support the onchain scaling development team. The whole miner group is also a decentralized organization and cannot form a unified voice. To achieve the onchain scaling, miners mainly adopt calling, declaring, negations and pubic letters, in the hope of guiding the technical route. The fact has proved that it was useless doing so, as they will still be taken as “crowds who eat the melon”.
However, users are also“crowds who eat the melon”. This group basically has no organization ability and they cannot take unified actions. Users hold Bitcoins mainly to wait for the price to rise. However, the factors influencing whether the price goes up or not are too complicated, and the scaling does not consist of the sufficient and necessary conditions of increased price, nor does not consist of the motive that promote people to “play for real”. In the past two years, besides writing articles to express their opinions on the network, users have actually been “eating the melon”. The real desperation and using one’s feet to vote that “if no onchain scaling,I will no longer play” are not users’ reasonable choices. The reasonable choice of users is still to continue “eating the melon”. After all, I, as one user holding Bitcoins, is one stubborn supporter of big block. However, even the current block has been blocked in 1M, I will continue buying more.
In the situation that the minority “who play for real” VS “the crowds who eat the melon”, the minority are not tolerant and refuse to compromise, while the crowds who eat the melon cry and scream. In this way, the quarrel has lasted for over two years. The incident was complete.y dominated by the minority “who play for real”. It is a pity that the minority are wrong.
Chapter III The onchain scaling needs another minority “who play for real” to break the deadlock.
Gavin who held high the banner of onchain scaling and his first shot was Bitcoin XT. However, he was soon drowned by public opinions.
It seems that Bitcoin Classic also failed to insist on “playing for real”.
The time that I really see a turnabout is when seeing one piece of news, which said unlimited developed received 500,000 dollars donations. This means a large amount of capital starts to tilt towards onchain scaling clearly, and it is the input of real money. It is “playing for real”. 500,000 dollars is a big sum of money. This is called “playing for real”.
Unlimited developing team carried out technical promotion and conferences to promote to the media in an organized manner. They included the Xthin block, Flexible_Transactions (the SW competing solutions) and online conferences, such as Onchain Scaling, as well as a series of systematic and organized contacts. This is “playing for real”.
Shortly after the mining pool of ViaBTC was set up, people made public statements about testing Bitcoin Unlimited, and their clearly expressed their intention towards big block to themedia. This is also “playing for real”.
Various signs have shown that some people have started to be devoted to using real money to promote the block expansion. What is more noteworthy is: This minority group includes developers who write codes, sponsors who offer money and miners. Maybe we will see more cases in which people are serious about expansion. Can they match with another minority —Bitcoin Core Developer? Who will “play the game more real”? Besides,will they eventually guide “crows who eat the melon” to use their software?
Chapter IV. The minority that “play the real game”determine the history is neutral
After reading Taleb’s article, I first signed and thought that I had subjective initiative.In fact, I was only one member of “the crowds that eat the melon”. As a minority, one can determine the historical progress. Maybe this will act against our intuition, yet we would rather believe that this world obeys the subjective initiative of the majority.After all, we are always one member of the majority. However, I was soon relieved, for this law is actually neutral.
This law is neutral itself and the law does not necessarily bring vicious outcomes or necessarily refer to kindness. A small number of bad people can do the wrong thing by “playing for real”. Just like most masses enslaved by the dictatorship government formed by a small number of servants. Similarly, a small number of good people can also benefit the world by “playing for real”. In fact, the computer and Internet that we currently apply so widely were invented and promoted by an extremely small number of minority who are stubborn about “being real” towards science.
If a small number of people do bad things by “playing for real”, such as using the national firewall to prevent us from obtaining more real information about the world, most people may stand up to restrict the bad behaviors of these minorities. For example, we will “break the wall” and make abuses. However, our determinations surely cannot match those of the small number of evil-doers. The results are that the majority of us have to bear the persecution of the firewall. Just like this, “the crowds who eat the melon”are those secretly threatened.
The minority that advocate small block like Bitcoin Core developers are also famous for being stubborn. In the scaling controversy in the past two years, most Bitcoin users have to accept the results left by their “playing for real”.
Of course, there are also people who uses the law of “playing it real” to benefit people “who eat the melon”. Science was just created by the small minority that “play for real” and benefit people “who eat the melon”. The whole world is thus benefited. Without people like Bruno who insisted on that the Sun is the center till his death, we may still believe that Earth is the center of the universe.
Chapter V Use “playing for real” to arm ourselves
As long as we know this law and understand this principle, we might as well as take it as a living attitude. For things that we care about, we must treat seriously and insist on being the small minority that have subjective awareness.
In terms of scaling Bitcoin’s block, the minority that insist on “playing for real” in the block includes me. I will support the onchain scaling by writing articles.
Chapter VI Conclusion
The most unbeatable people in the world are the small minority who are most resolute and most unwilling to compromise. They are always “playing for real”.