Once more on the Bitcoin Cash Difficulty Adjustment Algorith (DAA).
It is clear to most people that we need to fix the badly designed Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) algorithm that was introduced when Cash started.
Today there was an announcement from the same person that introduced the EDA some months ago, he writes he selected a new algorithm and were planning with miners to hard fork on November 13th.
This sounds like great news, but upon closer reading of the press release there are various very worrying facts.
First of all, the algorithm introduced a month ago by Neil was hardly mentioned. This algorithm has seen the most testing and public discussion. It was put in a short-list by various people. How can it be that the private reviewers didn't get to judge on it?
Equally curious is that the "winner" picked was the idea of the developer of the ABC client. The same person that gave us the flawed EDA. Additionally, the BitPrim adviser gave a political reason as the basis of his choice. Not a technical reason.
The algorithm chosen was previously reviewed and seen as ill-advised. Now there is an updated version that has not actually been reviewed or simulated. I personally have never actually seen the algorithm that was picked.
Is the picked one really the best technical solution? I have not seen any evidence at all to support that conclusion.
How I hope Bitcoin Cash protocol development works
In Bitcoin Cash there are three steps to implementation in the network.
- Developers propose changes, single-handedly or in coalitions.
- Influential miners choose to adopt the proposed changes (or not).
- The economic majority accepts or rejects the changes.
If there is major disagreement somewhere in these three steps, you risk a split, dividing the conflicting interests which from that point will be diverging in different directions.
We should definitely review our process going forward. We want to avoid politics writing the code, and we must do better than they did today.
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