On Mon, Jun 01, 2015 at 06:42:05PM +0800, Pindar Wong wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 6:13 PM, Mike Hearn <m...@plan99.net> wrote:
> > Whilst it would be nice if miners in China can carry on forever regardless
> > of their internet situation, nobody has any inherent "right" to mine if
> > they can't do the job - if miners in China can't get the trivial amounts of
> > bandwidth required through their firewall and end up being outcompeted then
> > OK, too bad, we'll have to carry on without them.
> >
> I'd rather think of mining as a responsibility than a right per se, but
> you're right in so far as it's competitive and self-correcting.

It's important to remember that the service Bitcoin miners are providing
us is *not* transaction validation, but rather decentralization.
Validation is something every full node does already; there's no
shortage of it. What's tricky is designing a Bitcoin protocol that
creates the appropriate incentives for mining to remain decentralized,
so we get good value for the large amount of money being sent to miners.

I've often likened this task to building a robot to go to the grocery
store to buy milk for you. If that robot doesn't have a nose, before
long store owners are going to realise it can't tell the difference
between unspoilt and spoilt milk, and you're going to get ripped off
paying for a bunch of spoiled milk.

Designing a Bitcoin protocol where we expect "competition" to result in
smaller miners in more geographically decentralized places to get
outcompeted by larger miners who are more geographically centralized
gets us bad value for our money. Sure it's "self-correcting", but not in
a way that we want.

> > But I'm not sure why it should be a big deal. They can always run a node
> > on a server in Taiwan and connect the hardware to it via a VPN or so.
> >
> >
>  Let's agree to disagree on this point.

Note how that VPN, and likely VPS it's connected too, immediately adds
another one or two points of failure to the whole system. Not only does
this decrease reliability, it also decreases security by making attacks
significantly easier - VPS security is orders of magnitude worse than
the security of physical hardware.


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