Bitcoin protocol is slow to change by design, but incentivizing the BIP feedback process with rewards can improve development.
This is an editorial by Ariel DeChapelle, co-founder of multi-cloud hosting platform Hydra Host, senior fellow at Lincoln Network and team member at BIPBounty.org.
The idea that Bitcoin lacks innovation compared to other cryptocurrencies diffuseBut is this true?
The Bitcoin protocol undergoes major changes much more slowly than other cryptocurrencies, the latest of which, of course, is Implementation and activation of Taproot. But this is a feature, not a bug.
As the foundation of a massive open source ecosystem, changes must be well thought out and must consistently demonstrate a broad consensus that the benefits of change outweigh the costs. Although this reasoning is correct and generally accepted, it can also be conditional. It is important to recognize the necessity of consensus, but we must think deeply about what consensus is, how it is achieved and how we can improve how it occurs.
Generally, the idea that slow Evolution is a better pattern that is simply terrible indicative and a wrong split. The options available for Bitcoin community protocol development are more diverse and nuanced than the “slow” or “fast” options. meticulous, thorough, thoughtful and thorough; All of these adjectives do a much better job of describing what the Bitcoin community should actually aim to facilitate. This explicit formulation is important, whatever values we share will be used to judge initiatives and efforts, and the only ambitious ideal is likely worse than slow. fast.
A simple passing of time does nothing on its own to ensure a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) gets more eyeballs, reviews, serious thought, or engagement. It also does nothing to ensure that the developer community focuses its efforts and limited attention on the right areas.
If we seek to advocate for innovation in the Bitcoin community, the easiest way to do so is to refer to the truly broad body of research and development that is ongoing at bitcoin-dev . messaging group and other forums for the exchange of technical information. It is undeniable that Bitcoin boasts a huge mind share of global programmers, cryptologists, mathematicians, economists, and more. These individuals continue to face pivotal problems, such as implementing greater degrees of privacy, scaling the larger Bitcoin network to a global throughput without losing the properties that make Bitcoin.
This community is cheerful and deliberate, unorganized and informal. There is no standardized process by which any idea or suggestion can be included in Bitcoin. The only way to eventually get to a proposal is to get the intense attention, support and subsequent action from the community required to do so. From the research and analysis required to convince the community that the benefits greatly outweigh the costs, to the downfalls and communication necessary to motivate the broader ecosystem of software upgrades and preparing use cases, to the actual work of finalizing and implementing the code itself.
Maintaining and enhancing this process is essential, and while it will always be slower than a standardized and formal system in a relative sense, there is always room for improvement to make it happen more effectively on its own terms.
The unusual drive to fight any assertion that the Bitcoin development process is not perfect, or that it could benefit from improvement, is usually based on the implicit assumption that any effort to improve it necessarily means adding more centralization and control. However, this is far from the truth. Just as the Lightning Network has debunked the claim that increasing transaction scalability requires increasing block size.
Similarly, BIP Rewards is an attempt to improve the incentives that drive Bitcoin development and consensus building. managed by Lincoln Networka non-profit organization focused on promoting technologies that support human freedom, BIPBounty.org Collects donations to fund standard grants earmarked for specific BIP projects. Although it only lists one bonus at the moment, this structure is designed to achieve the following:
- Through tax cuts, it motivates community members and organizations to show interest and financial support for proposals by putting their money where their mouths are.
- It gives the open source Bitcoin development community strong comparative signals regarding which areas the community is most interested in, and which have a higher potential financial ROI for them to match their focus.
- Reward options for BIPs are designed to move the ball forward on tangible achievements, which represent the input needed for the community to come to consensus (or not) on any given proposition. This includes written reviews, analyzes, and various categories of bug or vulnerability detections.
- It does all of the above in an optional and decentralized way that keeps the spirit of the Bitcoin project alive. Many developers may not pay any special benefit for bonuses, and that’s fine too.
Starting with BIP119
Very quickly, BIP supporters threw their hats on and made the show Their Free Rewards. And soon the total amount of the reward was doubled. The occurrence of this completely spontaneously and organically was a massive sign of the community’s pent-up desire and demand for financial resources to push the ball forward in discourse and consensus.
Of course, BIPBounty.org started with BIP119 rewards, but as a project it has no goals in relation to any specific BIP. Its goal is to include all BIPs and allow the Bitcoin community itself to determine which proposals are most important and which are worth their deductible tax contributions.
BIPBounty.org is new and trying to tackle an ambitious problem. The premise with which we will evaluate our efforts is that there is societal interest in such an endeavor that goes beyond one-time interest in the context of a single BIP. By enabling this, we can sustainably accelerate research and development outcomes and discourse across BIPs.
All of this requires community involvement and participation. The most important at this early stage is the feedback. To this end, we at Lincoln Network hope that the best and brightest Bitcoin community will continue to partner with us and help us in our efforts to drive the development of Bitcoin effectively, collaboratively, and sustainably.
This is another guest by Ariel Dechapelle. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.
The opinions and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Nasdaq, Inc.
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