Should Bitcoin Have Regularly Scheduled Hard Forks?

Hard forks are a rather contentious issue in Bitcoin. The controversy surrounding hard forks can be seen most prominently in the context of Bitcoin XT ’s implementation of BIP 101.

While there have been successful Bitcoin hard forks in the past, the problem with hard forks of the Bitcoin blockchain is that they’re, well, hard. Any change to the Bitcoin protocol that requires a hard fork essentially requires near-complete consensus to avoid a potential blockchain split.

For example, there are many individuals in the Bitcoin development community who do not believe that BIP 101’s use of a 75 percent majority vote by miners as a mechanism for enabling a larger block size limit is such a good idea.

Hard forks are difficult, but they have to happen from time to time in order for Bitcoin to grow and evolve. For this reason, some have proposed the idea of scheduled hard forks. This would essentially create a regular update schedule for the blockchain for changes that require a hard fork during the implementation process.

Problems with Regularly Scheduled Hard Forks

Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen and Bitcoin Core Contributor Peter Todd were both recently asked for their opinions on scheduled hard forks during the Bitcoin governance panel at Bitcoin Pacifica 2015, and neither of them seemed overly bullish on the concept. For one, Todd noted that the schedule may become useless because it is not set in stone.

“I would point out that — I would start by at least doing one,” he said. “Trying to go figure out what does a schedule actually look like. You can delay the schedule; it becomes very tricky.”

Todd, who always seems to be able to pick out the flaws in any proposal, also noted that miners could ultimately decide to veto any hard fork they don’t like.

“Let’s look at this from an adversarial point of view,” he said. “If we have a hard fork and some miners decide that the next hard fork they disagree with — the reality is they can go veto a hard fork.”

Measuring Consensus is Hard

A third issue pointed out by Todd had to do with figuring out what would be implemented in each individual hard fork. In his view, there does not exist a good mechanism for coming to consensus, nor measuring it:

“Well, again, we don’t have good methods for this other than to accept that hard forks are hard, and getting consensus is something that kind of needs to happen. Maybe we do need some technological measures, such as miner voting, maybe proof-of-stake voting, but beyond that, it’s really hard to imagine how you actually create durable social institutions when they’re so easily undermined at protocol, almost by design.”

Hard Forks Have to Be Hard

Gavin Andresen also shared his cynical view of regularly scheduled hard forks, mainly pointing out that there could be issues because “people are lazy and they don’t like upgrading.” According to Andresen, this could cause issues related to having proper validation between users on the network. The key point that Andresen made during his comments had to do with making sure that hard forks were hard to pull off:

“I think hard forks have to be hard. I actually do agree with Jeff Garzik. There has to be community consensus, and the community has to be aware of what’s going on with them. I don’t know, I’d have to think a little bit more of: Would it make sense to have a regular schedule, where if there was nothing in the hard fork, maybe the hard fork just doesn’t happen.”

The post Should Bitcoin Have Regularly Scheduled Hard Forks? appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Clarke: Hillary Rice Tweet Shows ‘She’s Willing to Prostitute Herself’ for the ‘Black Vote’

Monday on Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File,” while discussing new reports saying the officers acted reasonably in the death of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot dead while holding a toy gun by a Cleveland police officer, Milwaukee Co., WI Sheriff David Clarke said. Guest host Shannon Bream said, “Despite these reports, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is being an expert on this. Now today sending out a message of support to Tamir Rice’s loved ones, saying, ‘Too many black families are mourning the loss of a child.’ Last week Clinton met with some Black Lives Matter activists. On Friday, she sent out a message saying this, quote, ‘Racism is America’s original sin.’ And our good friend Mr. Greg Gutfeld over at The Five is now suggesting that positions like Mrs. Clinton’s are only making things worse.” She continued, “We have two, now, outside investigations, one by a former FBI agent, I believe, another by a prosecutor saying that the officer, you know, lamenting the death of a 12-year-old but saying the officers acted in a reasonable manner. You gotta make split-second decisions. But still there are those who are casting doubt on the case. Sheriff?” Clarke
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Giuliani: Social Issues Making GOP Lose the Suburbs

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in the general election the Republican Party needed to focus on the economy and national security and avoid the social issues, which he argued would cost the party politically. Giuliani said, “I think the party will have to put the focus on the economy and national security. Keep the focus off social issues when we gets to a general election . Where it gets to social issues,  the people of my party might disagree with me, a lot of t he more more right wing  members of the party disagree with me. but I think that’s our soft under belly. And I look at it differently. That’s where we lose the suburbs. Forever and ever when I first stated in politics in New York we owned  Nassau county in New York. Reagen got his biggest plurality in Nassau county, bigger than Orange County. Today it is half Republican and half Democrat. Right now it’s Republican by  a point or two. Eight years before it was Democrat. Hasn’t voted for a Republican Presidential candidate probably since Bush, the first Bush. You look at Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. You look at
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German Migrants Sue Asylum Centre For Not Giving Them Money Fast Enough

Asylum Centre
Twenty migrants have sued the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs because they had to wait more than a week to register their asylum cases and receive welfare handouts. They are demanding instant payment. Germany is struggling to cope with the 1.5 million migrants it expects to absorb this year and those arriving in Berlin often have to wait days if not weeks to be registered at asylum centres. The group of twenty who have decided to sue claim they have had to wait more than a week. Their “urgent application” has been confirmed by a court spokesman, Die Welt reports. The court spokesman said the plaintiffs were seeking to “put pressure on the authorities” by bringing the case, and the court would issue a ruling in the coming days. The spokesman said that the incident was just one of several similar legal cases brought by migrants over the past two weeks. “We can do it!” proclaimed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in reference to the migrant influx at the beginning of September. However, just this morning, it was announced that the nation would be extending temporary border controls until the end of October, AFP reports. Border controls were first implemented on September 17th, just weeks
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What You’ll See Tonight

Ever since I launched my campaign for president, I’ve argued that the election before us is a choice between the past and the future. Tonight, we’ll get to see exactly what the past looks like by tuning into the Democratic presidential debate. There we will see five candidates who call themselves “progressive,” yet who advocate…

The post What You’ll See Tonight appeared first on Marco Rubio.

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‘Clock Boy’ Ahmed Makes it to Mecca with Saudi Funds and Pushes U.S. ‘Islamophobia’ Narrative

“Clock boy” Ahmed Mohamed made it to Mecca Friday for umrah, the Arabic word for pilgrimage, the portion of his Middle Eastern tour sponsored by the Saudi government. The trip also included the 14-year-old’s parents and other relatives, including one uncle who pushed the Islamophobia narrative.
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