A Modest Bitcoin Improvement Proposal, Proposal


A Modest Bitcoin Improvement Proposal, Proposal

Decentralized consensus is required to make changes to the Bitcoin code. Clear processes, standards and norms can ease decision-making in the future. This is an opinion piece about BIP119 (OP_CTV). If you would like to submit a counter argument, please email Bitcoin Magazine. We’ve Got A Problem Decentralized consensus isn’t easy. There’s a reason most companies have CEOs, and “non-hierarchical” organizations tend not to function well for long. Bitcoin’s decentralized governance is harder still: On top of decentralization, we layer a relative lack of official processes, standards and norms for group decision-making — we even lack clarity around when to make a decision at all. Jeremy Rubin’s recent proposal of a Speedy Trial consideration for Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP)119 (OP_CTV) has brought these issues to the fore, illustrating just how difficult and amorphous the Bitcoin decision-making process is. This problem is largely inevitable. Bitcoin would not be Bitcoin with central governance. But as the community scales and becomes more ideologically diverse, this problem gets worse and effective communication and decision-making become increasingly difficult. This article argues for two changes to the “meta” process of BIP consideration, which I believe could significantly improve the quality of our debates: Raise a set of high standards for BIP documentation. Adopt these open standards as a de facto minimum quality bar for a BIP to be considered for wider discussion. I believe these standards could radically improve the quality of our decentralized decision-making about Bitcoin. But first, I’d like to illustrate the problem in more detail. Information And objectivity Let’s pick on an anonymous, highly indicative tweet: “CTV isn’t necessary and is very much in its infancy as a project. No one knows enough about it, no one has bothered to review it thoroughly. I’m not a developer or technically trained but this feels rushed and that is a

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