Ethically, this situation has some similarities to the DAO fork. We have an 
entity who closely examined the code, found an unintended characteristic of 
that code, and made use of that characteristic in order to gain tens of 
millions of dollars. Now that developers are aware of it, they want to modify 
the code in order to negate as much of the gains as possible.

There are differences, too, of course: the DAO attacker was explicitly 
malicious and stole Ether from others, whereas Bitmain is just optimizing their 
hardware better than anyone else and better than some of us think they should 
be allowed to.

In both cases, developers are proposing that the developers and a majority of 
users collude to reduce the wealth of a single entity by altering the 
blockchain rules.

In the case of the DAO fork, users were stealing back stolen funds, but that 
justification doesn't apply in this case. On the other hand, in this case we're 
talking about causing someone a loss by reducing the value of hardware 
investments rather than forcibly taking back their coins, which is less direct 
and maybe more justifiable.

While I don't like patented mining algorithms, I also don't like the idea of 
playing Calvin Ball on the blockchain. Rule changes should not be employed as a 
means of disempowering and empoverishing particular entities without very good 
reason. Whether patenting a mining optimization qualifies as good reason is 

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Message signed with OpenPGP using GPGMail

bitcoin-dev mailing list

Reply via email to