Vitalik buterin: defending bitcoin maximalists

Blockbeats 2022-04-05 10:30:20 阅读数:843

vitalik buterin defending bitcoin maximalists

Original title :《In Defense of Bitcoin Maximalism》

What we've been hearing for years is —— Blockchain is the future , Bitcoin is not ; There will not be only one major cryptocurrency in the future of the world , Not even a few , But there are many cryptocurrencies —— The winning cryptocurrency will have strong leadership under a central control , So as to quickly adapt to the scale needs of users ; People will also say , Bitcoin is a 「boomer coin‌( Old currency )」, The etheric fang Will soon keep up with it , Ethereum will be updated 、 More dynamic assets , It will attract a new wave of users , They don't care about strange liberal ideologies or 「 Private property is inviolable 」, Shut out by toxic and anti-government mentality , They just want the blockchain DeFi Can play fast and 、 It works .

however , If this narrative is wrong , And bitcoin's biggest believer (Bitcoin Maximalist) Ideas 、 Habits and practices are actually very close to being correct ? What if bitcoin is far more than an outdated stationery stone linked to the network effect ? If bitcoin bigwigs actually understand deeply , They operate in a very hostile and uncertain world , There's something they need to fight for , And their actions 、 Personality and the concept of protocol design deeply reflect this fact ? If we live in an honest cryptocurrency ( There are very few ) And the liar's cryptocurrency ( There are a lot of them ) In a world of , In order to prevent the former from turning to the latter , A certain degree of persistence (dose of intolerance) Is it actually necessary ? This is the point I want to make in this article .

We live in a dangerous world , Protecting freedom is a serious matter

I hope this is more obvious than it was six weeks ago , At that time, many people still seriously thought that Vladimir - Putin is a misunderstood good man , He just wants to protect Russia , Turn Western civilization from 「 Homosexuality ( NATO )」 Saved from the disaster of . But this view is still worth repeating . We live in a dangerous world , There are a lot of bad people who don't listen to compassion and rationality .

The core of blockchain is a security technology —— This technology is basically to protect people , Help them survive in such an unfriendly world . It's like the Lord of the rings  Phia of Galadriel‌( The vase Galadriel gave Frodo ) equally ,「 In this little bottle , Shining with the star of Ellen Deere , In my spring . When night falls , It will be brighter . When all the other lights go out , May it be your lamp in the dark 」. It's not a low-cost lamp , Nor is it a fluorescent Hippie energy-saving lamp , Or a high-performance lamp . It is a lamp that makes sacrifices in all these aspects , To optimize one thing , And there's only one thing : When you face the toughest challenge of your life , There's a damn 20 When a foot long spider stares at your face , It's a light that lights up the road ahead of you .

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Blockchain is blocked every day by people who have no or insufficient bank accounts 、 Activists 、 Sex worker 、 Refugees and many other groups use , These people are either not interested in profit seeking centralized financial institutions , Or there are enemies who don't want them to be served . They are used by many people as the main lifeline , Used to pay and store their savings .

And that's why , The public chain sacrificed a lot for security :

Blockchain requires each transaction to undergo thousands of independent verifications before it can be accepted .

Unlike a centralized system that confirms transactions in hundreds of milliseconds , Blockchain requires users to wait 10 Seconds to 10 Minutes to be confirmed .

Blockchain requires users to be fully responsible for authenticating themselves : If you lose your private key , You lose your cryptocurrency .

Blockchain sacrifices privacy , People need to be more crazy 、 More expensive technology ‌ To find privacy .  

What are all these sacrifices for ? To create a system that can survive in an unfriendly world , And really do it 「 When all the other lights go out , May it be your lamp in the dark 」.

If blockchain wants to accomplish this task well , Two key factors are needed .(i) A powerful 、 Defensible technology stack and (ii) A powerful 、 Defensible culture . The key attribute of a powerful and defensible technology stack is the focus on simplicity and deep mathematical purity :1 MB Block size of ,2100 Limit on the total amount of 10000 coins , And a simple proof mechanism of Nakamoto consensus , Even a high school student can understand . The rationality of protocol design must be easily proved decades or even centuries later ; Technology and parameter selection must be a work of art .

The second element is uncompromising 、 A committed minimalist culture . This must be a culture that can persevere in defending itself , To resist corporate and government actors trying to incorporate ecosystems from the outside , And bad actors in the cryptocurrency field who try to use it to gain personal benefits , There are many such people ‌.

Now? , What is the culture of bitcoin and Ethereum ? ok , Let's ask Kevin Pham:

I don't think bitcoin is any different from the Ethereum community .

I don't believe this tweet is representative ? ok , Let's ask again Kevin Pham:

The communities of bitcoin and Ethereum are exactly the same , Second parts .

Now you might say , It's just that Ethereum people are joking , Finally they understand what they are going to do , What are they dealing with . But do they have ? Let's look at the founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin With whom . 

Vitalik With scientific and technological elites in Beijing, China CEO We mingle

Vitalik Met with Vladimir in Russia - Mr Putin

Vitalik Met with the mayor of Jerusalem Nir Bakrat

Vitalik With the former president of Argentina Mauricio Macri handshake

Vitalik With the former CEO of Google 、 Adviser to the U.S. Department of defense Eric Schmidt Say hello kindly

Vitalik With Taiwan's digital minister Audrey Tang For the first time in many meetings

And this is only a small part of it . The direct question anyone who sees this should ask is : What's the point of meeting all these people publicly ? Some of these people are very respectable entrepreneurs and politicians , But others are actively involved in serious human rights violations ,Vitalik Of course, these activities are not supported . Don't Vitalik Be unaware of , Some of these people are killing each other geopolitically ?

Now? , Maybe he's just an idealist , I believe that talking with people will help to achieve world peace , It's Frederick - Douglas ‌「 Unite with anyone to do the right thing , Instead of doing the wrong thing 」 Followers of proverbs . But there is a simpler assumption :Vitalik Is a playful global traveler and status seeker , He likes meeting important people very much , And feel respected . And it's not just Vitalik; image Consensys Such companies are also fully willing to cooperate with Saudi Arabia ‌, The whole ecosystem is constantly trying to seek verification from mainstream people .

Now ask yourself a question : When it's time , In fact, important things have happened on the blockchain —— It's actually an important thing that offends powerful people —— Which ecosystem would be more willing to give up , Refuse to censor them , No matter how much pressure is put on them ? It's the ecosystem of global nomads who really care about being everyone's friend , Or those who shoot themselves AR15 And axe photos as a sideline of the human ecosystem ?

Money is not 「 Just the first application 」, It is by far the most successful

Many hold 「 Blockchain , Not bitcoin 」 People with different views believe that , Cryptocurrency is the first application of blockchain , But this is a very boring application , The real potential of blockchain lies in bigger and more exciting things . Let's take a look at the Ethereum white paper ‌ Application list in :

1. issue Token

2. Financial derivatives


4. Identity and reputation system

5. Decentralized file storage

6. Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO)

7. Point to point gambling

8. Forecast market

Many of these categories have launched applications , And at least some users . What cryptocurrency people really value is giving 「 Third world countries (Global South)」 The rights of bank debtors . In these applications , Which countries in the third world really have a large number of users ?

The fact proved that , up to now , The most successful application of blockchain is to store wealth and pay .3% The Argentines ‌ Have cryptocurrency ,6% Nigerians ‌ and  12% The Ukrainians ‌ Also has cryptocurrency .

What other applications today can be close to this practical 、 True adoption level ? Perhaps the closest thing is  ENS‌.DAO Is real , And it's growing , But there are too many today DAO In attracting people from rich developed countries to use , Their main interests are playing and using cartoon characters to meet their first world self-expression needs , Instead of building schools and hospitals and solving other real-world problems .

therefore , We can clearly see the two factions :「 Blockchain 」 send , The privilege of a wealthy country , They like to 「 Beyond money and capitalism 」 Send a signal of virtue , And couldn't help but feel sorry for 「 Decentralized governance experiment 」 Excited as a hobby ;「 The currency 」 send , A highly diversified group of rich and poor people in many countries of the world, including third world countries , They are actually using the capitalist tool of a free and sovereign currency , Provide real value for today's mankind .

Focusing on becoming money will make money better

About why bitcoin doesn't support 「 Rich and stateful (richly stateful)」 Smart contract , A common misconception is that : In order to reduce the chance of mistakes, bitcoin really attaches great importance to simplicity , Especially low technical complexity . therefore , It doesn't want to add more complex functions and opcodes , These functions and opcodes are necessary to support more complex smart contracts in Ethereum .

Of course , This misunderstanding is wrong . in fact , There are many ways to add rich statefulness to bitcoin ; Search the bitcoin chat profile for 「 contract ‌(covenants)」 The word" , You can see many proposals under discussion , Many of these suggestions are surprisingly simple . The reason why these contracts are not added is not because bitcoin developers see the value of rich statefulness , Found that even a little more protocol complexity is intolerable . contrary , This is because bitcoin developers are worried about the system complexity that rich states may bring to the ecosystem ‌ The risk of ‌!

Ethereum and miners can extract value (MEV) The struggle of ‌ This is a good example of this problem in practice . In Ethereum , It's easy for developers to build some applications , Let the next person who interacts with some contracts get a considerable reward , This leads to a struggle between traders and miners , This greatly increases the risk of network centralization , And requires complex solutions ‌. In bitcoin , It's hard to build this kind of application with systematic risk , This is largely because bitcoin lacks rich statefulness , And focus on simplicity ( nothing MEV) The use case , That is, just money .

Systemic risks can also occur in non-technical ways . Bitcoin is just money , That means bitcoin needs relatively few developers , This helps to reduce the number of developers who start asking for free money to print for themselves ‌ To establish the risk of new protocol functions . Bitcoin as a currency has reduced the number of core developers and increased functions to 「 Keep up with the competition 」 and 「 Meet the needs of developers 」 The pressure of the .

in many ways , The systemic impact is real , A currency cannot 「 Facilitate 」 An ecosystem of highly complex and risky decentralized applications , In some way, complexity is not raked down . Bitcoin is a safe choice . If Ethereum continues its second tier centric approach , that ETH As a currency, it may have some distance from the application ecosystem it enables , So as to obtain a certain degree of protection . On the other hand , The so-called high-performance tier 1 platform has no chance .

Generally speaking , The earliest project in an industry is the most 「 real 」 Of

Many industries and fields follow a similar pattern . First , Some new and exciting technologies have either been invented , Or it has been greatly improved by leaps and bounds , So that it can really be used in some aspects . At the beginning , The technology is still cumbersome , It's too risky , Almost no one will touch it as an investment , either 「 Social proof 」 It shows that people can use it to achieve success . therefore , The first people to participate will be idealists 、 Technology geeks and others who are really excited about technology and its potential to improve society .

However , Once the technology has fully proved itself , Ordinary people will follow —— In Internet Culture , This event is often called the eternal September ‌(Eternal September). These people are not just ordinary good people , They want to feel part of something exciting , And businessmen in suits , They began to search the ecosystem like hungry wolves , Find ways to make money —— And the army of venture capitalists is also eager to make their own money by supporting them . In extreme cases , A total liar came in , The blockchain they create has no redeemable social or technical value , It's basically a scam . But the reality is , from 「 Altruistic idealists 」 To 「 A liar 」 The boundaries of are actually coexisting . The longer an ecosystem lasts , The more difficult it is for any new project on the altruistic side of the system .

The philosophy and idealistic values of the blockchain industry are slowly replaced by short-term profit seeking values , A noisy representation is the increasing preset scale : Developers of a cryptocurrency allocate funds to their own .

picture source :Messari

Which blockchain communities deeply value self sovereignty 、 Privacy and decentralization , And make a big sacrifice to get it ? Which blockchain communities just want to raise their market value , Make money for founders and investors ? The chart above should be very clear .

Intolerance is a good thing

I have made it very clear in the above content , Why does bitcoin's status as the first cryptocurrency give it unique advantages , Any cryptocurrency created in the past five years is extremely difficult to replicate . But now we are talking about the biggest objection to the bitcoin belief culture : Why is it so toxic ?

The case of believing that bitcoin is poisonous stems from conquist's second law ‌. At Robert - In conquist's original statement , The law says ,「 Any right-wing organization without clear and constitutional provisions , Sooner or later, it will become the left wing 」. But actually , This is just a special case of a more general pattern , And in the modern era of relentless homogenization and obedience to social media , This model is more meaningful than ever .

If you want to keep a different identity from the mainstream , Then you need a really strong culture , Whenever it tries to assert its hegemony , Will actively resist and resist being assimilated into the mainstream .  

As I mentioned above , Blockchain is fundamentally a very clear anti-cultural movement , It is trying to create and maintain something different from the mainstream . When the world is splitting into a group of great powers , When actively suppressing the social and economic interaction between them , Blockchain is one of the few things that can remain global . As more and more people reach out for censorship to defeat their short-term enemies , Blockchain continues to review what it is determined to do .

Answer 「 A sensible adult 」 Trying to tell you , in order to 「 The mainstream 」, You have to be responsible for your 「 extreme 」 The only right way to compromise values . Because once you compromise once , You can't stop .  

The blockchain community must also fight internal bad actors , Some bad actors include :

A liar , They make and sell projects that ultimately have no value ( Or worse , Very harmful ), But insist on 「 Cryptocurrency 」 and 「 De centralization 」 The brand of ( And highly abstract ideas of humanism and friendship ) Legitimacy .

Collaborationists , They openly and loudly signal the virtues of working with the government , And actively trying to convince ‌ The government uses coercive force against its competitors .

Enterprisers , They try to use their own resources to take over the development of blockchain , And often promote the agreement to change in the direction of centralization .

One can oppose all these actors with a smile , Politely tell the world why they 「 Disagree with their priorities 」. But it's not realistic : Bad actors will try to infiltrate themselves into your community , At this point , Psychologically, it's hard to criticize them with enough contempt they really need : Your friend is the one who criticizes you . therefore , Any emphasis on identity ‌ Our culture will be overwhelmed by challenges , So that the liar's hand can reach into the innocent novice's wallet at will .

What kind of culture will not be knocked down ? A culture that is willing and eager to tell internal liars and powerful external opponents to take the road of Russian warships ‌.

The bitcoin community's bizarre crusade against seed oil is right   

Help a community maintain internal cohesion around its unique values , And avoid falling into the mainstream , A powerful bond tool is the strange faith and Crusade with a spirit similar to the core mission , Even if there is no direct relationship between them . Ideally , These Crusades should be at least partially correct , Poke the real blind spots or inconsistencies of mainstream values .

The bitcoin community is good at this . Their latest crusade is the war on seed oil ‌, Oil extracted from plant seeds contains high concentrations of Omega 6 Fatty acids ‌, Harmful to human health .

When the media commented on this bitcoin Crusade ‌ when , They will doubt the bitcoin community , But when 「 honorable 」 When technology companies deal with this problem , The media's attitude towards this topic is much better ‌. This Crusade will help remind bitcoin owners , The mainstream media is fundamentally tribal and hypocritical , So the media is sharply trying to ‌ Slander cryptocurrency is mainly used for money laundering and terrorism , Should be treated with the same degree of ridicule .  

Be a bitcoin maximalist

Bitcoin bigwigs are often derided by the media as both a dangerous and toxic right-wing cult , Another paper tiger , Once other cryptocurrencies enter and take over the highest network effect of bitcoin , It will disappear . But the reality is , The argument I described above for believing in bitcoin does not depend at all on the network effect . The network effect is really growing logarithmically , Not secondary : Once a cryptocurrency 「 Large enough 」, It has enough liquidity to operate , Multi cryptocurrency payment processors will easily add it to their collection . however , Claiming that bitcoin is an outdated stationery stone , Its value comes entirely from the botnet effect of walking , The argument that it takes only a little push to collapse is also completely wrong .

Encrypted assets like bitcoin have real cultural and structural advantages , This makes them powerful assets worth holding and using . Bitcoin is a good example of such assets , Although it is certainly not the only example ; Other respectable cryptocurrencies do exist , And bitcoin bigwigs are willing to support and use them . Believing in bitcoin is not just about bitcoin, but bitcoin ; contrary , It is a very real understanding , That is, most other cryptocurrency assets are scams , In order to protect novices and ensure that at least one corner of the field can continue to be a worthy corner to live in , A culture of intolerance is inevitable , It's also necessary .

By mistake Guide ten novices to avoid an investment with good results , It's better than letting a novice be ruined by a liar .

Make your agreement too simple to be ten low value 、 Short attention gambling application service , It's better than making it too complex to serve the use case of the core sound currency that supports everything else .

Offend millions by actively supporting what you believe , It's better than trying to satisfy everyone and end up with nothing .

Be brave , Fight for your values , Be a bitcoin maximalist .

Original translation :Captain Hiro, Babbitt