> Miners are *not* incentivised to earn the most money in the next block
> possible. They are incentivised to maximise their return on investment.
This would be right if you assume that all Bitcoin miners act as a single
entity. In that case it is true that that entity's goal is to maximize
But each miner makes decisions on his own. Are you familiar with a concept
of Nash equilibrium, prisoner's dilemma, etc?
The fact that nobody is using this kind of a behavior right now doesn't
mean that we can rely on it.
For example, Peercoin was horribly broken in 6 months after its release
(e.g. people reported that they are able to generate 50 consecutive blocks
simply by bringing a cold wallet online) and yet nobody bothered to exploit
it, and it managed to acquire non-negligible "market cap".
So we have an empiric evidence that proof-of-stake miners are motivated to
keep network secure. So, maybe, we should switch to proof-of-stake, if it
was demonstrated that it is secure?
There are good reasons to not switch to proof-of-stake. Particularly, the
kind which is used in Peercoin is not game-theoretically sound. So even if
it works right now, it can fail in a big way once attackers will really get
around to it. An attack requires significant knowledge, effort and,
possibly, capital, so it might be only feasible on a certain scale.
So, well, anyway, suppose Peter Todd is the only person interested in
maintaining replace-by-fee patches right now, and you can talk him into
OK, perhaps zero-confirmation payments will be de-facto secure for a couple
of years. And thus a lot of merchants will rely on zero-confirmation
payments protected by nothing but a belief in honest miners, as it is damn
But, let's say, 5 years from now, some faction of miners who own
soon-to-be-obsolete equipment will decide to boost their profits with a
replace-by-fee pool and a corresponding wallet. They can market it as "1 of
10 hamburgers are free" if they have 10% of the total hashpower.
So would you take a responsibility for pushing the approach which isn't
Dive into the World of Parallel Programming. The Go Parallel Website,
sponsored by Intel and developed in partnership with Slashdot Media, is your
hub for all things parallel software development, from weekly thought
leadership blogs to news, videos, case studies, tutorials and more. Take a
look and join the conversation now. http://goparallel.sourceforge.net/
Bitcoin-development mailing list