A possible Bitcoin fork? – Bitcoin 2: Freedom of Transaction

Those following the internal rift in the Bitcoin community over regulation have often discussed the possibility of a fork.  The Bitcoin world moves quickly.

Hitting the web only hours ago is a paper detailing the how and why of a proposed “Bitcoin 2”. The authors, and many in the Bitcoin community, are concerned that changes will be made to the Bitcoin protocol turning it into “a distributed PayPal instead of a censorship resistant currency”.  

The paper discusses inherent weaknesses and changes to the protocol currently being discussed which could see users lose the option of anonymity or see miners concentrate into larger centres of control. The proposed “Bitcoin 2” aims to increase Bitcoin’s resistance to centralization, censorship and political control and prevent it from being “absorbed by the established financial and regulatory environment.”

The proposed changes include…

  • ·         A sliding block-chain
  • ·         Distribution of dead coins
  • ·         Forced mixing with Zerocoin
  • ·         Miner ostracism
  • ·         Transfer of coins from Bitcoin 1 to Bitcoin 2

The Paper Abstract…

We propose a set of changes to the original Bitcoin protocol (called Bitcoin 2) that allows Bitcoin to evolve into a system that is future-proof against developing threats to its original vision – an alternative, decentralized payment system which allows censorship-resistant, irreversible transactions.

Bitcoin 2 strives to be a minimal set that lays the foundations for a long-lived system capable of delivering the original Bitcoin vision, with enough room for growth to layer additional improvements on top of it. These changes include a sliding blockchain with fixed block sizes, the redistribution of dead coins with an unforgeable lottery, enforced mixing, and miner ostracism.

The proposed changes require a proactive fork of the original Bitcoin block chain, but they allow final transfers of existing coins into Bitcoin 2 and a reuse of the existing Bitcoin infrastructure.

The authors are obviously well informed and technically skilled. The paper can be read here

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