Mike Burr - log

[BT®] Ethereum's Stake Oriented Ledger

I wish someone would some day point me to the "proof" that PoS will work. It's odd that there's a big team here betting with all their piety on concept #1, and then there's the hated other tribe that with great conviction believe in concept #2. And they argue.

But where is the 0xbeef? It's really interesting in that it's a kind of math problem that has a fundamental third leg in human behvior. The whole success/failure of SoL could hinge on the existence of subtle ancient human behaviors. Or not. How far in is that third mathematical leg? It's like a giant, maybe tractable math problem where the value of certain variables will only appear in the minds of some people at some particular time. It's a critical variable, but it's awaiting its revelation from "some person" in the future.

Oh hey, that sounds easy? Just a handful of large N street poling? Maybe ask a few hundred people per?

Come on! It all really is like monopoly in that regard. Or maybe more chess. There's decisions that happen inside of people's heads (which includes their "actions", directly connected to the brain with wires.) and beyond that, as the movie of time keeps ticking by, there's only the world of physics with the radio waves and the bumping particles. And of course signals come back in the other direction (at the mercy of physics) which influence future actions. I guess Mises or something.

A really, really compelling argument from either "side" will always keep skirting the edges of compelling. There's compelling talk followed by uncompelling handwaving about incentives.

Why not? Sure do hope it's not doomed. Lex had a "controversial guest" recently and I almost was inspired to listen/find transcription of the big argument for why PoS is doomed and pick apart some faults I see.

It seems to come down to centralization of power. Do we foresee cabals forming off-chain and the whole thing quickly coming under one power? The Pentaverate?

"How much ether you have" is literally your investment. Compare with a dictionary, I won't. That's my definition and I'm hoping it's close enough to not be challenged.

How much you have is your investment. You are therefore, as a proportion of the holders invested in the success of Ethereum this much relative to its total value. If TMC is 1E6 and you have 1 you therefore share 1/1E6 of the interest in its future. My argument is not that the word "interest" appears in both places. It "stands to reason", I hope.

Now there may be a hump on the whale end or a tail on the dabbler end; maybe more the latter. If you have a bread loaf worth then you probably round your "interest" (of the comingled fate kind) down to zero. So, there could be some distortions of that kind.

The punchline is that staking will be the norm. Maybe some day it'll be a bit you flip somewhere. If not, I would at least expect most wallets to just default to stake-this-via: rocketpool.

By the way, folks think nothing of saying "money is just shared belief". To the point where it's almost trite. Why is SoL not more plausible than that? That's all we had until 2009, at least most people. It's hard to think of any single nation state that doesn't use fiat (herm...)

Ethereum just makes this idea explicit and baked into the system.

Maybe your bit will be flipped on your behalf. Would there be holders that would decline? If you don't "believe" you should be elsewhere.

Monopolies are a natural phenomenon. Ethereum itself will only have one PoS system from the start and it is the only game in town. It's part of the social contract, which in this case has voluntary inclusion.

On the other hand it does seem like a bunch of spinning plates. It may be both possible and also like trying to do a wheelie the very day you got your new Scwinn. Like, hard, lots of pitfalls... "You missed this important one here. Sorry. Thanks for playing."

Why wouldn't a pool form to coerce behavior on the chain? -- Half of the chain gets together and says, "We all vote right here to transfer all of value of the other half into our wallets, thereby roughly doubling all our holdings which we then immediately sell before Coinbase finds out!"

Or maybe they do that with the realization that it'll temporarily ruin Ethereum, but that's a price worth paying to have control so that they can implement The One True Fork. At which point they'd have no credibility with the other half which could therefore exist on its own also

Right? Sounds strained and contrived. But what other kind of hypotheticals are there? Could a cabal form that just subtly manipulates the blockchain in their favor? How would they be punished? I for one am definitely not sure.

I also wonder about how all the speculation will play into the merge. You are throwing something in with a bunch of hungry chimps. Is it really that robust? What if the value starts to oscillate by the hour in big sweeps? Does a desperate miner always behave the same way as a regular nerd? Or if you threw off all the constraints of society could you find a little flaw in the system that no one had considered because humans avoid the "horrific"? Maybe an anonymous person only needs to do something really bad in both the miner etiquette sense and also the depraved human sense. All that been scoped out? Is there a hidden "five dollar wrench" problem?

Speculation most idle. Brain dump.

- 1 toast