There has been a lot of chatter recently on coat-tails of Bitcoin core’s 2016 Roadmap which was disappointing for a lot of people in the industry who were expecting to see a more immediate capacity increase via a non-contentious hard fork. This has brought the debate back to the issue of Bitcoin governance and our current lack of consensus on how Bitcoin should be governed. I had previously written a proposal about creating a meta-protocol above the technical protocols of Bitcoin itself, which would be a basis for competing ideas, goals and principles to be proposed and agreed upon, much in the same way the BIP is a process by which competing enhancements or features are proposed for the protocol itself. In the prevailing months, I have come to realize that a free market solution has manifested which makes such a rule system unnecessary: one of Emergent Consensus. (a sort of self-organizing property)
This is a completely new idea, and not one that we are accustomed to understanding, given that all organizations and political systems in present times rely on a notion of democracy where the general public (lacking sufficient time, knowledge, or rigor) delegate their rights to a representative, whom they vote into power, who in turn should make decisions on their behalf for a designated period of time. They do this for no visible reward, and the cost of failing at their task is losing the vote the next time around. In such a system, we are basically basing the entire security of the system on the premise that we will be able to find enough of these altruistic ‘saints’ who will consistently put the good of the many above their own desires. Of course, as we all know, supply of these saintly people are in hard supply, and thus corruption is born, inherent to the system itself. (Remember politicians are not supposed to be rewarded proportionally for the services that they perform) Bribing politicians is how the free market reacts to this inequality. This talks to the root of the problem with Proof-of-Stake systems, which serve to enrich the rich (those with more stake) proportionately more than the poor. This is also the base of consensus systems which rely on weak subjectivity* instead of objective consensus**, all of which are still theoretical and have not been shown to work in practice at scale. Our current democratic system of politicians and government is a weak subjectivity system. We must trust that there is a critical majority of politicians that are not corrupt, as well as trusting one specific honest politician to tell us what is in our best interest, in order for the system to work for us. I will leave you to ponder on whether or not it is an inherently stable system in the long run.