Very often people say that Bitcoin is a system where you don’t need to trust people, just math. Let’s look at this problem from another angle. I will prove that Bitcoin is about trust between people.
Imagine for a moment that aliens flew to Earth, and they liked Bitcoin. They understood mining, installed an ultrafast internet and flew away. Their scientists set up production of miners, and the total hashrate began to increase rapidly. Individual mining pools now control less than 0.1% hashrate each. Their mathematicians are superior and don’t consider the current Bitcoin developers intelligent people at all. New improvements began to appear in the protocol.
Now some questions:
- If at some point, double spending attacks occur, and it is impossible to say who did that – how to decide which chain is correct?
- What if scientists from Earth fail to to understand the mathematics on which the changes were based? (Who understands how ZCash works?). Can an investor now call his friend Peter Todd, and ask – “Tell me please, what risk I face if I update?”
Trusting Bitcoin, we trust not just mathematics. We trust MATHEMATICIANS. Which we know. They can talk, understand each other, reach SOCIAL consensus on forums (DAO hardfork 🙂 ), and make us feel safe.