“ POS is a single point of failure and won't scale.” - Jack Dorsey

Why is Dorsey such a Bitcoin maxi and blind to the innovations going on here?

Dorsey is a bad strategist as far as I can see. Bitcoin needs a lot of expensive transactions after the 5th halving to survive with PoW. The trends do not suggest that the commissions compensate the miners for their monetary motivation in any way after a significant reduction in emissions.

3 Likes

“That’s just like, your opinion, man”
-Lebowski

2 Likes

This is not an argument. No discussion of why PoS is a single point of failure or why it won’t scale; just assertion. I know it’s a tweet, but there’s no effort to persuade here; he’s just talking to people who already agree with him.

15 Likes

Wow, could not have said it better!

4 Likes

POS is not an innovation. It is a subtle type of scam, which often fools even well-meaning people. And some of the people whom Jack Dorsey quoted or referenced are not “well-meaning” by any stretch of the imagination.

“Bitcoin maxi” is only an insult in the eyes of those who have Bitcoin Envy. I take it as a compliment. If Bitcoin is so successful, then—the logical response is to be more like Bitcoin.

Just fix the Bitcoin problems that Bitcoin maxis have been complaining about for years. For instance, I can cite Adam Back speaking out against the destruction of Bitcoin’s fungibility, and favourably mentioning Zerocoin/Zerocash in 2013–2014. Is Adam Back sufficiently Bitcoin-maxi? (This could be the start of a long list.)

The transparent blockchain has been acknowledged as a problem ever since Satoshi; the only people who like it are either malicious scoundrels like Mike Hearn, or dupes who fell for said scoundrels’ FUD propaganda. Too bad there are many of the latter—and the majority of people anywhere are always apathetic.


That is an argument directed at Bitcoin’s emissions schedule and economic model. It is neither an argument against POW, nor an argument for POS.

There is currently a fast-developing thread on bitcoin-dev about arguments in favour of tail emission from Zcash’s old friend, Peter Todd.

https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2022-July/020665.html

I agree with the portion that I have highlighted of this comment by @tromp:

While in the long term, a capped supply doesn’t meaningfully differ from an uncapped supply [1], the 21M limit is central to Bitcoin’s identity, and removing this limit results in something that can no longer be called Bitcoin.

I see that some Bitcoin maxis support tail emissions. I am pretty sure that none of the serious participants in that discussion (or any Bitcoin discussion) would even remotely consider the weak security and corrupt financial manipulations of POS. @artkor, perhaps what you want to propose is tail emission for Zcash?

In principle, I think that any major changes to a coin’s economic model are are a rugpull against long-term holders. A trustworthy currency means one where you can put your coins into cold storage, go into a coma for years, wake up, and still have the same money without any rude surprises. BTC is trustworthy that way.

That said, I have thought for years that ZEC made a mistake by copying the exact economic model that worked only once, for Bitcoin. And I would certainly prefer to see moderate, very limited changes with minimal effect on users and long-term holders, rather than the drastic fundamental change of economics necessarily implied by a switch to POS.


I don’t use Twitter. Please excuse the following for being too long for a Tweet. :slight_smile:

The highlighted portion makes me gloat with some Schadenfreude. For you see, I despise Jack Dorsey. On forums where that is allowed, I exercise my creative wit inventing new personal insults and humiliating names for him. And one of my most important complaints against him is that he has destroyed the public discourse.

Twitter forces people to break their thoughts into Tweet-sized pieces. Worse: It trains people to think that way. It has ruined the minds of an entire generation of youths; and the damage is only beginning. I, for one, am thrilled to see Jack Dorsey criticized for tossing off a Tweet-sized sound bite suitable for bird-brains. Lulz. Thanks for that.

So having said, Bitcoiners have a motto: Bitcoin is for friends and enemies. I’m glad that Jack uses Bitcoin. Bitcoin is for everyone: It is all-inclusive, with no exceptions. If I love someone, I want that person to use Bitcoin; if I hate someone, I want that person to use Bitcoin. By the way, those are the values that I bring to Zcash!

Moreover, I am duly grateful that Jack Dorsey’s Square Crypto generously funds Bitcoin development with grants. Bitcoin has no developer-seigniorage mechanism to pay developers like ECC. Bitcoin Core depends on the decentralized generosity and goodwill of Bitcoiners. I’m sure you will agree, @daira, that developers rightly need to be paid somehow. Via Square, Jack voluntarily picks up more than his fair share of the cost for world-class financial software engineering that is all MIT-licensed—much of which has been copied by Zcash in the open-source spirit.

Obiter dictum, I observe that Sam Bankman-Fried/FTX, who is quoted peddling POS propaganda in the above tweet, is not on any of the lists of known makers of Bitcoin development grants. He’s not the type that would avoid advertising such a thing. He has made plenty of profits off Bitcoin. All that he gives back is an attack on Bitcoin.

Jack is, at least, more honourable than that. Accordingly, I will try to fill in some arguments that poor, word-impoverished Jack could not fit into his twittery little Tweet. Needless to say, these are my own arguments; I do not speak for Jack Dorsey!

  • “POS is a single point of failure”: Capital mobility and the incentive structure of a patent plutocracy make high-stake collusion not only possible, but likely in a way that just does not happen with POW miners. A POS chain winds up being ruled by a highly-capitalized oligarchy that meets in closed Discord/Telegram groups, under a thin veneer of faux “decentralization” hype. And if a POS chain isn’t ruled by whales, it is susceptible to hostile takeover by whales.

    Some real-world examples of how POS works:

    • Justin Sun of TRON effectuated a hostile takeover of the Steem network—using borrowed STEEM.

    • Three days before Jack made the above-quoted tweets, Do Kwon “proposed” a hardfork of the Terra network. His “proposal”, and his revised “proposal” three days later, both met massive community opposition. (I think that he only revised it, because cz_binance sharply criticized the first “proposal”.) But this was not really a proposal: It was was an executive order, by central authority. With the backing of a small clique of highly-capitalized DPOS companies, the Terra chain executed a contentious hardfork within ten days of the revised “proposal”. This is POS.

    By contrast, Bitcoin has already survived and rejected attempts by powerful miners and high-capital parties to usurp it. The Fork Wars lasted from about 2015–2018, depending on where one draws the endpoints. XT, BCH, S2X—all failed; only one of those even still exists, as a marginal altcoin. The UASF threat by non-mining nodes forced hostile miners to accept Segwit activation. The November 2017 attempt by hostile miners to kill off BTC mainnet failed.

    Non-mining validators rule the network. Miners are paid employees performing the one and only security function that non-mining nodes cannot, i.e., BFT transaction ordering. This is POW.

  • “why it [POS] won’t scale”: I don’t know what Jack meant by that. In terms of TPS, I think that centralized systems scale just fine. Paypal and Visa scale very well. With an adequately competent technical design, a POS plutocracy dominated by a few whales should scale somewhat less-well than that; or at least, I don’t see why it necessarily wouldn’t.

    But there is more than one type of scaling. If he meant that it won’t scale economically in terms of fair coin distribution, I agree with that.

    Get-rich-quick retail “investors” who learned about “crypto” from Twitter tend to get upset by “miner dumping”. They do not realize that the razor-thin profit margins of POW give the little people a chance at accumulating some coins. POW forces even high-capital miners to divest themselves of newly-issued coins, so that they can pay their electricity bills; this is beneficial to everyone else, except for those who just want free money. In POS, whales who can afford to lock up huge amounts of money grow their dominance of the total supply with obscenely high profit margins, while hapless little Twitter-buyers chase a mirage of so-called “passive income”.

That last is an an important point. It warrants extended discussion, beyond the scope of this post (or even of this thread). So also as for many of the points that I have raised in the foregoing. I intend to cover that in due course.

1 Like

Sorry. FTFY. To describe every post in this thread before mine.


Best POS argument ever. Sorry, not to pick on this one. All of the arguments in this thread were similarly “incisive”, except for @artkor’s. (His argument was not logically connected to either POW or POS; but at least, he said something substantive instead of merely jeering at Dorsey or cheerleading for POS.)

POS has nothing for it but groupthink based on trend-following, fads, and economic mirages.

I was disturbed to find that someone was pressured out of Zcash governance for what, to an outside view of that thread, appears to be no substantive reason but his strong opposition to POS. I am more disturbed that there are some users on this forum (some of whom wear mod hats) who apparently believe it is generally ipso facto harassment to express unpopular opinions about important issues—or for me to be “tenacious” in my opinions, viz., to resist groupthink and peer pressure.

I do think, @daira, that to the inverse of what you suggested, “POS supporters are just talking to people who already agree with them.” I understand that when something is such a popular trend, to see widespread misconceptions and unexamined assumptions challenged may be surprising, or may even cause some cognitive dissonance.

When I have raised substantive arguments about this in other threads, there was no substantive discussion. Here, when I raised substantive arguments, one person eventually PMed me a counterargument (which, incidentally, is much answered by what I have said already here and in other threads). I am here to engage with the community; with few exceptions, I am not interested in chatting with any particular individual. Thus, I am happy that the sender of that PM agreed to take the discussion public. I will be replying at length—probably in a new thread, as a proper answer speaks to the underlying issues, not to Dorsey’s tweets.

It’s a shame that this (and catching up on Zcash “governance” drama) has distracted me from what I would really like to write about on this forum: Positive new directions for Zcash—market opportunities that I think have been entirely overlooked. (This is a general problem with privacy promotion; I have been grappling with how to explain it in an essay titled, “Privacy is an elephant,” by reference to the ancient Indian parable.) I think that unfortunately, Zcash has fallen into some bad antipatterns which have empirically failed in “governance” and at market—which will require uninhibited, issue-focused critique to correct; and I think that POS lacks a long-term future, its current trendiness notwithstanding.

2 Likes