Cathedral or bazaar: what’s the right approach to blockchain governance?
News & Commentary
decentralize— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
In Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar, he describes two distinct approaches to free software development, the cathedral, and the bazaar. He summarizes the two approaches as follows:
Cathedral: the code is developed strictly by a group of developers, and the source code is only available with each release.
Bazaar: a hectic marketplace of ideas, characterizing the process pioneered by Linus Torvalds. The code is developed completely under the view of the public.
Blockchain governance, in its essence, is an extension of the problem of finding the balance between these two approaches. The top-down approach is streamlined, efficient, and organized. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach represents the true ethos of open-source software: given enough eyeballs, any bug can be squashed. At this point, there are many different thoughts and design principles on blockchain governance. They all inevitably need to answer one question: is the network still decentralized with this governance framework?
"In addition to seeding the social practice of earning and financing through interest, the early modern period also saw a new innovation in trust technology: the joint-stock corporation, which allowed groups of people with money to invest in high risk, high return endeavors. Joint-stock corporations were a way of distributing risk and reward for violent seizures of treasure that would just as likely end in disaster as in profit."
"After all, the entire point of a decentralized blockchain is to provide a hard-promise — an immutable ledger with open, non-discriminatory participation. In a sense, we bear the inefficiency of decentralization because it is the only way to enable a network with these qualities."
"Even though the new governance model seems pathbreaking and incredibly useful, several people have been skeptical about the merit and need of such a system. There are several major critiques of such a system put forward by people such as Vitalik Buterin. The most common argument is that having an onchain governance model would take the participation of governance away from miners (and subsequently users)."
"As we have established that Decred offers solutions for easy governance, which also makes up for its original objective, it’s time to judge this coin based on its features. Decred uses Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake protocols that actually represent hybrid protocols based on the original PoW and PoS traditionally used in many blockchain-based ecosystems."
"At least, that was the mood at a meeting of top ethereum developers late last week where a discussion on a controversial code proposal called EIP 999 led some to speculate the scenario is now a possibility. Indeed, it's now believed the proposal, which which seeks a technical fix that would return $264 million in lost funds, is so contentious, some users may chose to defect to a new version of the code."
"On Wednesday, the company announced a collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded by early bitcoin investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The deal gives Gemini access to Nasdaq's surveillance technology to help make sure the platform provides a fair and 'rules-based marketplace,' for their own participants, Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement."
"Most cryptocurrency trading now happens on marketplaces based in Malta, the European island nation that’s seeking to boost its fortunes by becoming one of the world’s friendliest jurisdictions for a sector that’s caused concern among other regulators."
Technical & Updates
"Hackers can, for instance, break into 'hot wallets,' internet-connected applications for storing the private cryptographic keys that anyone who owns cryptocurrency requires in order to spend it. Wallets owned by online cryptocurrency exchanges have become prime targets."
"An unsigned SSL certificate warned users before entering the phony site but some bypassed the warning, resulting in a loss of funds. MyEtherWallet confirmed the attack in a statement on April 24, 2018."
Why web cryptocurrency wallets are a treasure trove for hackers today:— Ryan Shea (@ryaneshea) April 25, 2018
1. ISP compromised
2. IP addresses spoofed for Amazon DNS servers
3. Google DNS delegating to spoofed DNS servers
4. $150K in Ethereum & other tokens stolenhttps://t.co/TyC960Pppk
"With that, we further run our system to scan and analyze other contracts. Our results show that more than a dozen of ERC20 contracts are also vulnerable to batchOverflow. To demonstrate, we have successfully transacted with one vulnerable contract (that is not tradable in any exchange) as our proof-of-concept exploit (Figure 3)."
Some of us called out the Solidity overflow issues a long time ago.— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) April 25, 2018
This is me back in July 17, 2017. pic.twitter.com/3799yJTR4b
Strong economic forces are hard to fight. As L2 brings orders of magnitude improvements to transactional efficiency, amongst equal companies those that adopt L2 will outcompete the others. The same applies to L1, the Blockchain as a reliable arbiter cannot be easily replicated.— Alex Bosworth ☇ (@alexbosworth) April 25, 2018
"Khot figured out that the key to solving this problem lay in understanding the complexity of another problem, in which the goal is again to color a graph, but now there are rules that tell you, whenever you color a vertex, what color you must use on each vertex connected to it."